Ohh, Betsy!

A Series of Fortunate Events August 22, 2009

Filed under: Good Times,Secret celebrity friends — Anna @ 8:46 pm

The Indiana State Fair has been good to me this year.

My third visit to the fair this year was the Kelly Clarkson concert. She showed off her non-airbrushed self and I thought she looked great. She was funny and charming and sang her little guts out.  The average age of the crowd was, um, a bit younger than myself as demonstrated by the entire arena singing “Breakaway” which sounded like a choir of 12 year old girls. But I wasn’t embarrassed. I was proud of my matronly concert-going self, even if I did feel like I needed to sit down because it was age-appropriate to do so.


And then there was my dear Jason Mraz. I didn’t plan on seeing him but after a fantastically craptastic weekend, my friend Casey pulled me out of the gutter of self-pity and threw me right into Jason’s adorable arms.

mraz message

At the end of the concert Jason talked about picking up people who are down and that is what happened to me. Thanks to Casey and Jason, I left the concert a cheerier soul and was reminded to look on the bright side. And it didn’t hurt that Mr. Mraz was so darn cute, fedora and all.  I got one picture of Jason and I like to pretend he was looking right at me. It isn’t in the same league as Casey’s photography so I’ll go ahead and direct you to a set of her amazing pics.


Still, the fair was not through with me yet. Early Thursday morning I got word that M.C. Hammer was going to be performing on the free stage. The FREE stage! I called Brandon at noon and proposed another trip to the fair (my fifth to be exact). The more I thought about it, the more I could not resist going to see M.C. Hammer. After all, “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em” was the second CD I ever owned. Fate was on my side when a friend offered me free tickets to the fair that evening. All was working in my favor. When Brandon got home, we packed up G and headed out.

We had a great spot next to the stage and the show was just as fun as I had anticipated. Near the end of the concert, Hammer began to call some fans up on stage. Brandon looked at me with huge eyes and shouted, “GO, ANNA, GO!” Before I realized what I was going on, I was up on stage. Before I knew what I was doing, I was dancing on stage with Hammer to “U Can’t Touch This”. Before Hammer realized it, I had touched him. With my index finger. Just reached out and there he was. I CAN touch Hammer! My work was done.



The Big Greasy August 17, 2009

Filed under: Good Times — Anna @ 10:42 pm

When I lived in Utah, I only remember going to the county fair once. It was uneventful. We took a picture of a man wearing overalls without a shirt and giggled. We watched a little bit of a demolition derby and the friend we were with made a man from a political campaign feel incredibly uncomfortable with some direct questioning.  That’s it. That was the extent of my fair-going.

And then I moved to Indiana and my friend Casey introduced me to the Indiana State Fair. I don’t know what I love more – the idea of the fair or the actual fair itself. Whatever it is, I LOVE it.  I went twice in one day and even went back again later in the week for a the Kelly Clarkson concert. (If you just sang, “Since you’ve been gone” out loud, don’t be embarrassed because that was the most common reaction whenever I told someone that I was going to that concert.)

One of my favorite thing about the fair is the food. Last year, I was amazed to see deep-fried Pepsi, deep-fried Twinkies and deep-fried candy bars for the first time. Then there was the Pork tent. And the ginormous turkey legs. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And here’s my confession: I’ve only had a bite of a deep-fried Twinkie and a bite of a deep-fried candy bar. I don’t have much standing to say that I love fair food since I don’t eat it but, oh how I love the idea of it all.  It kills me.  I honestly don’t know how they come up with this stuff.  The signature food this year was deep fried pizza.  And a new food this year was chocolate dipped bacon.  Yes, you read that correctly. Chocolate covered bacon. I heard about it before I even went to the fair and I had to actually see it.  We happened upon the booth and I plopped down on the bench directly in front of “Pigs in the Mud”.  When I came to my senses, I noticed an unfinished portion of the chocolate covered bacon.  Seeing that a person couldn’t finish it, that they couldn’t even throw it in the garbage two feet away made me laugh even more. It must have been just as disgusting as it looked. And that my friends is the essence of fair food – there is no hiding, no subtlety, it’s exactly what you would expect, fattening and over-the-top in all of it’s deep-fried glory.





Three Amigos August 12, 2009

Filed under: Good Times,Photography,Travel — Anna @ 7:38 am

Spending the weekend with some old friends brought some good laughs and late-night conversation. And it was remarkably relaxing (apart from the fact that Chicago never fails to chew me up and spit me out). Three young kids running around an apartment does not usually equate relaxing.  But G and his two new buddies got along splendidly. So splendidly that they required little to no adult intervention supervision. They seldom quarreled, resolved their disputes internally and happily played games together. The friendship pact was sealed when  each partook of the smuggled Andes mints stolen from the pantry. Dare I say, they behaved better together than when apart?  Oh, content little friends they were.  If an outsider saw them playing, I doubt they would guess that this was their first meeting.  By all appearances, it was as if these three kids were old friends just as their parents were. Only (thankfully) the kid’s friendship began without the habit of exploding random items in microwaves, throwing flaming bowling balls down hills or other random acts of destruction that accompanied their fathers’ friendship throughout high school.







My Pet Rock August 7, 2009

Filed under: Secret celebrity friends — Anna @ 8:41 am

Last night I sat down with child-like excitement to watch “Race to Witch Mountain”.  Disney, with those brilliant marketing schemes, made me as an adult NEED to see the remake of the movie “Escape to Witch Mountain” that I watched as a kid.  Do I remember the movie much? No.  All I remember are two kids with special powers (I was still at an age when I thought I could posses said powers) and an RV (all kids love the idea of an RV, right?).  But still, it was enough to make Brandon laugh at how giddy I was to watch this remake, with none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. (I realize he’s dropped “The Rock” but I think it’s more fun to say it that way.) But honestly, there is no other reason needed to get me to watch a movie other than the fact that Dwayne Johnson is in it.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a crush on Dwayne. I don’t think his acting ability is stellar.  He’s not that funny (well, he was pretty funny in that The Rock Obama sketch on SNL). But, I love movies with “The Rock”. Okay, so really, I’ve only watched like four total: “The Rundown” , “Walking Tall” (both courtesy of TBS and the male equivalent to a chick flick – fighting, male bonding, little to no plot, and of course a hot girl), “Get Smart”, and now, “Race to Witch Mountain”. Even still, those four movies make me think that I would really love to have Dwayne as a neighbor.  He’d be a great guy to BBQ with. If our house ever caught on fire, he could totally knock down the door and carry all three of us out of the house with one arm.  Plus, if there were any shady characters hanging around, he just needs to carry around a baseball bat (he seems to be really good at holding big sticks and using them handily) and they would run away crying. If he ever shoveled our walk, it would probably take him 5 minutes tops. And judging from his recent run of Disney movies, he’d be great with kids.

Truth be told, his facial expressions are probably my favorite characteristic. He has the eyebrow raise.


He’s got the best furrowed brow.


And last but not least, he’s got a really, really good sideways glance, especially when he’s giving the, “oh, no you didn’t” look.


I love the Rock.


The extra hour August 3, 2009

Filed under: Seriously now,Travel — Anna @ 8:49 am

Living in Prague as a missionary was a dream.  It was emotionally and physically difficult but at the same time it was a dream.  Although others may argue, I believe that Prague is the most beautiful city in Europe.  And for six months, I was able to live and work there.  Granted, most of my work took place away from the center of the city where the most breathtaking sights were held, but the feeling that Prague brings -the beauty it brings to your soul- does not leave you.

One Sunday morning, my missionary companion and I rushed to the tram stop an hour before church began so that we could make the trek to our meeting house. Sundays were slow transportation days and if you didn’t catch the first tram, there was no hope of being on time.  We climbed on the first in a series of trams we would take to reach our destination.  As we plopped down in the empty car, I looked through my hazy eyes to see that the clock was an hour early.  No, we were an hour early.  We did not remember to change our clocks.  We somehow forgot that we could have had an extra hour of sleep which was very precious to the over-tired missionary.

We seemed to be of one mind when we discovered we had that extra hour.  Almost without any discussion, we stepped off the tram near Charles Bridge and took an hour-long walk through the city to our church building.  It was early in the morning, before any tourists were out and before any club mixes blared from stores.  As an added bonus, it was Sunday where most people were either sleeping in or hung over.  Times like this were rare in such a noisy metropolis.  The beauty of the city was only magnified by the calm that blanketed our surroundings. We walked across the bridge and the Vltava river.  We walked through Mala Strana and up to Prague Castle.  From there, we walked to our building.  We reached the same destination. The difference that Sunday morning was that we used the extra hour to walk and absorb our surroundings,  traveling on foot rather than sitting on a tram watching everything from the window.

Life doesn’t always work out on our timeline. We are anxious and we are impatient.  We are planners.  We are scheduled.  But sometimes, we are given an extra hour. An hour that isn’t missing, it’s a bonus.  So as I’ve grown ever-impatient in my life, I remember my extra hour in Prague and am reminded that the destination was the same, but I was all the happier for having walked a mile in a magical city.