Thursday, November 29, 2007

Embarrassing moment #4

This is definitely a woman thing. While on my mission, I lost quite a bit of weight. As a result, my undergarments fit quite loosely. For various reasons, I was unable to get new, fitted underwear. So, I walked around in loose undies.

Once while my companion and I were out walking quite a bit, I noticed that my undies were especially loose. I was finishing up on being a woman (Aunt Flo, ragtime, whatever you call it) and had on a feminine napkin (don't you just love that nice word?). I was constantly pulling up my undies whenever I could (very discreetly of course). I was very irritated at the situation as well as the feeling of my undies hanging on me.

Eventually, we had to go home for the evening. When I went into the bathroom to do my thing, to my surprise, no longer did I have a feminine pad in my underwear! Somewhere in our travels, I lost it. Ewww!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Practical Joke #2

I used to work with the Youth at church. We had a huge Stake Youth Conference one year in which I helped with the housing committee. We stayed at a local college and used their facilities: cafeteria, dorms, classrooms, etc. A friend of mine who chaired the housing committee had a master key to all the dorm rooms.

The night of the dance, I was chaperoning outside where all the dark corners were (it's just fun to sneak up on a couple of teens in the dark!) when I saw my friend. Suddenly I had the wonderful idea of how to show the girls in my ward that we loved them. Of course D. was up for an outward showing of our affection.

Using her master key, we went into the dorm rooms of our ward. We were able to take all the mattresses and pile them up in the middle of the main hallway. When we removed the mattresses, we replaced the clothes, blankets, pillows, etc. exactly as they were on the bed. It was hilarious just thinking about their reactions.

That night, the girls confronted us. D. confessed almost immediately. I, on the other hand, was able to divert their attention and make them think I had nothing to do with it. In fact, I was so successful that while we were sharing our experience with the other adults, D. was exasperated with me for it. Unthinkingly, I blurted in front of the bishop that I am a GREAT liar. Then I sheepishly looked at Bishop and said, "Except when I'm talking to you, Bishop!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Practical Joke #1

As many embarrassing moments I have, I have practical jokes I've done. One was while I was in the MTC.

One of the sisters in my district hated Parmesan cheese. Hated it! Whenever we had pasta for dinner, she would sit by herself to avoid the view and smell of the cheese.

Once, my companion got sick while we were in class. Our teacher excused us to leave early for our dorm room. As we passed by the cafeteria, behold! a light shone on a lone container of Parmesan cheese on a table. Seriously, I expected to hear angels singing. The cafeteria was closed for the night, but a door was ajar with this single light shining on an empty table--except for the fated Parmesan cheese.

Of course I had to take advantage of that moment. So my companion and I entered the cafeteria, placed some cheese in a piece of paper, folded it and went to our room. Once my district was dismissed for the evening, I was able to go into Sister R's room, lovingly spread the cheese all over her pillow, and joyfully make my way back to my room.

Suddenly, I heard lots of cursing with my name interspersed (in her defense, she says she doesn't remember using curse words and that she doesn't use them--whatever, I heard cursing). I hurriedly ran to her room to shush her (we are in the MTC--a most hallowed place). She cursed me for doing something so evil to her. Now, I am not about to take all the credit for this act of kindness. I was able to convince Sister R that I was bribed by Elder G to do this. She then turned her wrath from me to Elder G. I had become an innocent pawn in the evil plot of Elder G.

But, that my friends, is another story...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Embarrassing moment #3

I have family in Bulgaria. While there on my mission, two of my cousins wanted to come visit us in America. Since airline tickets were cheaper to buy in America than in Bulgaria, my cousin gave me $2000 in cash to take home with me to buy the tickets. Dad, being the paranoid father that he is, insisted that I not keep this money in a purse, pocket, or any other normal holding place. He insisted that I keep the money on my person. So, being the woman I am, I thought of one place to hold the envelope full of $20's--in my bra.

Coming home from the mission was a long trip. We flew to Vienna Austria, spent the night there, then flew to Copenhagen Denmark. We had about a 45 minute layover and then on to Chicago. While in Copenhagen, my flying companions, 2 Elders, and I got out to walk the airport. We needed to stretch our legs before the long flight to America.

Once on the flight, I remained in my seat for almost the whole duration. Before landing in Chicago, though, I decided that I should visit the restroom. It was dark in the cabin as they were showing a movie. I carefully made my way to the back of the plane to stand in the short line for the lavatory. As I'm standing there I realize that I don't feel the envelope of money. I discreetly check to see if I can locate the envelope--perhaps it shifted from the middle of my bra to the cup. As I covertly check, I don't feel anything. Nothing anyway in my bra. It has to be somewhere. I then began to panic--I lost $2000 in American cash! I begin to frantically search my entire body for the money. I'm feeling all around my chest, stomach, back, get the picture.

I have no idea what the people nearby were thinking. I can only imagine their thoughts and looks as they shielded their children's eyes from this insane woman groping herself. When I was able to go into the lavatory, I was even more groping--to no avail. It wasn't there.

I couldn't kneel in the lavatory, so I stood and said a quick prayer. I was prompted to remove my shirt. When I did, I turned to look in the mirror and there on my shoulder blade was the envelope full of cash. It was stuck to my skin. Nothing held it in place. I quickly counted the money--all there--replaced my shirt and said a prayer of thanks. I kept repeating thank you's as I made my way back to my seat. Paranoid father or not, that envelope went into my purse which kept it safe until I was able to hand it to Dad with a terse, "Here, take this now!"

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Count your blessings

Today at church, the youth speaker mentioned one of my stories that he remembered from a Sunday School lesson I gave. I thought I'd share it with you.

My dad and I went back to Bulgaria a few years ago. Not many people there have cars since they are expensive to buy and keep up (gas, maintenance, etc.). We spent most of the time in the small town of his birth visiting with his brother and family (tons of cousins). The last week there, we were going to travel about 3-4 hours north to spend the final week with his niece. My cousin arranged for us to hire a friend of hers to drive us to Ivanka's house. There were 5 of us in the car: the driver, my dad, my cousin, her 10 year old son, and myself.

We had been traveling less than an hour when Itso (my 10 year old cousin) starting getting car sick. We had to pull over so he could get sick and almost as soon as he got back in, the car began to make horrendous noises. I don't know what was wrong with it, but we literally couldn't go faster than 15 mph.

My cousin is sick, the car is driving so slowly, my dad is getting worried, I'm hot....just not a good experience. The longer we drove at that annoyingly slow pace, the more irritated I got. I kept focusing on all the bad going on at that point--the smell of sickness, the heat without air conditioning, the loud car noise, the slow speed, etc. I was getting in a royal tizz.

Finally a thought came to me. I should count my blessings. I remembered all the stories we've heard about how if you count your blessings, you'll be able to see the good in your life. Blah, blah, blah. Since I had nothing better to do, I decided to try it. I started with the obvious. I'm not the one who is sick. At least we have a car (even if it is slow). I'm grateful to be in this country with my dad. I am grateful for the Gospel. And on I recited.

Soon I began to run out of the obvious. I had to start thinking--grateful for education, job, my own car, never starving, etc. I then had to get creative. I'm grateful I didn't have to pick the weeds on the side of the road. I'm grateful that English is an easier language to speak (at least for this native speaker). I'm grateful I used the restroom before we left and I don't have any drinking water with me. I got so creative that I began cracking myself up. At one point my Dad asked me what was so funny. No way would he understand that my gratitude for strong thighs to hold me up while using the primitive bathrooms in Bulgaria was such to make me laugh. "Just thinking, Dad!" I replied instead.

Although the negative issues hadn't disappeared (the car still made lots of noise, Itso actually hurled in the back seat, the temperature rose to over 100 degrees), my attitude had changed. I was actually able to see the humor in this situation and realized that it wasn't that bad. We were able to get to our destination on time, Itso recovered, and I just sweat more to cool off. The miracle came in my perspective and outlook. It was a lesson that I learned and have been able to apply since that time.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Embarrassing moment #2

I'm least in my mind I am. I enjoy joking, laughing, and acting goofy now and then. Let me tell you about one of my goofy, embarrassing moments.

I have a friend who is very funny. He is always joking and teasing. Once we were at a party and there were some of us sitting on the couch and chatting. J. sat behind me and suggested that he become my "hands." You know that game, you put your hands behind you and the person puts their arms through your arms and pretends to be your arms/hands. So I place my arms behind me while J. puts his arms around me. As I place my hands comfortably behind me, J. says, "Ummm, you might want to move your hands. I thought that they were fine where they are, but thinking that he meant that he didn't have a good angle to maneuver, I shifted my hands slightly. Then J. says, "Seriously, THAT is not a handlebar." Oops! NOW, I understand...I have to MOVE my hands.

Whenever I see J. now, he teases me about groping him. I just smile and tell him that he enjoyed our tryst.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Donny knows me!!!

In case I've never mentioned it, I love Donny Osmond. I haven't always, but seeing him in "Joseph" changed my life forever. Afterwards, I discovered while driving that Donny and I harmonize so well together on "Any Dream Will Do." And so began one of my life goals...singing harmony with Donny while in my car.

My best friend's brother lives in LA. He and his girlfriend are frequently acting in commercials, hosting TV shows, or other Hollywood type of things. It's always fun to hear their stories of their celebrity friends.

Tonight I attended my best friend's family's Christmas program. Each year they put on a show with singing and skits. Her brother, D., is the highlight as his funny characters are so entertaining. As we chatted I found out that D. and his girlfriend had attended "Dancing with the Stars" as audience members. In between takes for this show, they had the opportunity to meet Donny. D. and Donny chatted and D. told him how much I really like Donny. Unfortunately, there were no pens around to get an autograph.

But, now Donny knows me! Sort of. In a very brief way. Through an acquaintance. But he knows me! He said hello to me! I'm one step closer to completing a life goal! I'd better start practicing the harmony in "Any Dream Will Do" since I'm sure Donny will be waiting for me in my car very soon.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Eat-Too-Much-Then-Take-A-Nap Day!

Oh, wait...most people call this Thanksgiving Day. And it is. I'm thankful that I have so much food to eat. I'm grateful that I have family members who can cook really, really well. I'm grateful that I'm not a picky eater. I'm grateful for Chinette large size plates. I'm grateful for chocolate. I'm grateful for whipped cream. I'm grateful for Diet Pepsi. I'm grateful for comfortable couches. I'm grateful for ball games to lull me to sleep. I'm grateful for getting my second wind to eat again.

Yep, definitely Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holiday blues

Blue is my favorite color...especially the deep, dark midnight blue. But I don't like to feel that way. Today marks 6 months to the day that my mom passed away.

I really miss her. I think about her each day and I truly think I will continue to do so. Sometimes the memories get too much and I have to shut them down for sanity's sake.

As I think on my memories of mom and how much that sometimes hurt, I'm reminded of our Heavenly Home. I've always thought we had the veil drawn over our memories to help us live by faith. Now, I think there are other reasons as well. Grief can be incapacitating--how much we would have grieved over our prior home could have prevent us from doing our duty. Living in memory would be a impediment to our growth as well. If we were to dwell on what was in our pre-mortal existence, then we could not see the good and growth available in the present.

I think it will be an interesting day when we will remember things we have forgotten. Do you think I'll be able to find my favorite book and gold watch then?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Embarrassing moments #1

I have quite a few embarrassing moments, but since I love to laugh I'm usually open to sharing them. I can only think of two moments that I don't share routinely (they are embarrassing for a reason), but the rest are open for laughter.

When leaving my mission, there were 14 of us. As we boarded the plane in Sofia, we were spread over several rows. One of the elders had a guitar that wouldn't fit in the overhead cabinet. I offered to keep it in the open seat next to me. Once we landed in Vienna, we had to debark from the back of the plane right onto the tarmac. They rolled metal stairs for us to use to debark. Since we were separated, I told the elder that I would grab the guitar and give it to him at the end of the stairs.

These stairs were so narrow that only one person could fit. I had my carry-on and his guitar case and due to the narrowness, had to put both arms in front and maneuver them to accommodate their bulky load and the stairs. As I descended, the wind blew...strongly. A gust threw the back of my skirt over my head and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I could feel the edge of the skirt hitting my forehead as my eyes widened and looked into the elder's widened eyes. All I could think of was my white underwear, knee-hi stockings and pasty legs flashing the person behind me. I was so embarrassed that I didn't even look to see if a man or woman saw my modesty flapping in the wind.

When I arrived at the bottom of the stairway, I shoved the guitar into the arms of the elder as I snapped, "That guitar cost me my virtue, Elder!" I think he was just as embarrassed as I....ok, no way was there equality in our humiliation. I was the one showing my assets to all...he was just waiting for his guitar.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Active Culture

I love the theater--plays, musicals, movies. I don't care what kind of theater production because I love them all. I suppose as an English major it comes natural. But lately, I've gotten in a lot of theater (after months...ok, years of deprivation). Let me tell you about one of them.

Recently I went to Wicked in Chicago. For those who have never been to a Broadway production, GO! You must go to one immediately. Call me and I'll go with you. Let me tell you why you should make every effort to attend. The set designs are wonderful. In Wicked, they had the set in such a way that the sparsity of images disappeared. I really felt as if I were in a classroom, or bedroom, or the land of Oz. The costumes were very vivid and imaginative. I loved how the costumes were very rich and reminiscent of the movie. The talent of the actors was spectacular. I was blown away by the voice of Elphaba and the physical acting of Glinda. Put everything together and you come away with a sense of awe and amazement. Two specific moments seem to encapsulate my feelings: the end of Act I and the flying monkeys.

At the end of Act I, we have the climax of Elphaba's transformation into the Wicked Witch of the West. She is dressed in her black hat, black dress, and black cape. As she rises in her powers of wickedness, she is raised above the stage. Her black cape elongates and flaps in the wind as she belts out a vocal performance that astounds everyone. A very visual and auditory execution of her rise in power.

I have always been afraid of the flying monkeys. I remember as a kid when the Wizard of Oz came on each year, I would cringe and hide my face when those creatures came on the screen. They scared the pee out of me! I had mixed feelings while anticipating these monsters in Wicked. After all, they couldn't be exactly as they were on the screen. Therefore, they wouldn't be as scary, right? Since the set designs, costumes, and actor talents are so tremendous, they made up for any limitations of the stage. The producers must have recruited talented acrobats from Cirque du Soleil because those guys climbed, hung, and leaped with such talent that it looked like they were flying. They were so scary that I still wanted to cringe and hide, but curling into a fetal position with so many others around me would cause some concerns (and security calls, I'm sure).

That, my friend, is why you should immediately purchase tickets to a Broadway production. An incredible experience. So, give me a call and we'll arrange a date.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What's in a name?

My dad is from Bulgaria. I can't remember a time that I haven't been affected by that. I remember as a child wanting to know all about Bulgaria--who are my family? what is life like there? how do you speak the language? I knew a few words--goodnight, grandma, grandpa, black monkey.

Then, I received my mission call to Bulgaria. I was ecstatic to finally have the opportunity to answer my questions from my childhood. I cannot tell you the significance of that event on my life.

One affect is on my language. I love the Bulgarian language. I don't speak it's a very rough sounding language and my tone and voice are too soft to speak it well (not to mention my memory). But I do use it when I can.

Thus, Beefche. That's pronounced Beef -chay. "Che" is a Bulgarian diminutive meaning "little or endearing." Although Beef is part of my last name, it is definitely an American spelling and pronunciation. The Bulgarian word for "thank you" is "blagodaria" and pronounced as it looks. I changed it slightly to fit my needs.

When trying to be creative and formulate a title for my blog, I thought and discarded other less-worthy versions. I like my final version. I like the alliteration and little play on words. I like paying homage to my ancestry. I like saying it.

We've come to the conclusion of our language lesson. Now go forth and begin using your lesson. Oh! One last language lesson--my last name has a Bulgarian meaning--"bully or commander." Hah! That doesn't apply to me, right?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Why am I doing this?

Starting a blog makes me think that I'm succumbing to the gotta-do-as-everybody-does-itis. I admit that it's intriguing to me to be able to write something interesting about everyday occurrences. Manipulating the written language to reflect my thoughts, feelings, personality, etc. is a real challenge. Oh, and of course I have to make it entertaining. Otherwise, why bother reading about it? Telling you that I did my laundry today is so mundane. But telling you that while doing laundry, I was eating ice cream and dropped some on my chest (sans shirt) and scared the cat as I expressed my displeasure....well, that sounds a little more interesting.

And so, I fall to the pressure of blogging and captivating you sufficiently to continue to visit and even to comment. I make no guarantees that posts will be hilarious or even well written, no pledge that there will be pictures to document the moments, and certainly no committment to such an impossiblity as to post every day.

Therefore, I surrender to the world of commonality--writing about my life for any to read (ok, any that I invite). Perhaps I'll find an outlet for my creativity. Perhaps, you'll find something of worth. Perhaps, we'll both waste time on a mildly entertaining, slightly enlightening, so-so telling of the banality of the life of a Hoosier Mormon.