Monday, July 23, 2012

I'm Glad You Visited

Marcie Glad, my friend from BYU who looks great in headbands, came up for a visit last weekend. Marcie is the best person to show around town because she was super-excited to see everything.

One of Marcie’s must see locations was the gum wall at the Pike Place Market. She doesn’t have a camera and I didn’t bring one so we had to take pictures with our minds and our cheap cell phones. Marcie planned ahead and brought gum for us to deposit on the wall which I had never done despite the many times I’ve visited the gum wall. After getting our picture taken with Marcie’s flip phone and depositing our gum on the wall, a German girl traveling alone asked us to take of picture of her. Marcie took her camera and said, “Would you like some gum?” and the girl accepted. We then awkwardly stood around for what felt like two minutes watching a stranger chomp on a piece of gum until it was wet enough and stretching enough to be blown into a bubble. Marcie snapped a picture of the girl blowing a disappointingly small bubble and another of her placing her gum on the wall and then we parted ways.

While at the Pike Place Market we bought some of those little donuts that I love to eat. The place only takes cash and we were a little short on change so we paid the difference with a stick of apple pie flavored gum (you can taste the crust!). The guys working there were the coolest donut people ever.

We then went to the observation deck on the Columbia Tower, the tallest building in Washington. As we walked around admiring the view we saw a sign that said: “Quiet please. Recording in progress.” Turns out there’s a radio station up there. The door to the recording studio was wide open (if they want quiet they should shut the door) and we could hear a woman giving traffic updates. At one point the woman walked out of the recording booth with some binoculars to peer on the traffic situation below. We struck up a conversation with her which was fascinating. We learned that she works for multiple stations and has a few pseudonyms, but her real name is Bev. She also taught us that Seattle has the 4th worst traffic in the nation. She was super-kind to us and we were a little star struck after, but only a little because we’d never heard of her. Later that night we were talking to Chantelle and we told her that we’d met some traffic lady named Bev and she said, “Oh, Bev Devlin! I listen to her all the time!” I was surprised that someone knew who Bev was and I instantly felt 10 times cooler for having spoken with the illustrious Bev Devlin.

Me, Marcie, Tyler, and Chantelle at the beach

The next day Marcie and I drove up north to see Mt. Erie and Deception Pass. I took my camera along so we actually have some pictures of that outing. Mt. Erie is great because you can drive to the top. There were a lot of elderly folk up there. Marcie really liked Deception Pass because she saw a crab.

Marcie standing in the ocean next to a crab at Deception Pass

All in all, we had a blast last weekend and I’m glad (pun intended) that Marcie came to visit.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Parting Words

In August I’ll be moving to Tucson where I don't know anyone. Since no one there knows me, I thought it might be fun to change something about myself. I discussed changing my name with some friends and the top contenders for my new title were Benny, Benji, Benjamin, and B-dog. Referring to myself as Benny or Benji makes me feel like a little kid, Benjamin sounds like I take myself too seriously, and B-dog makes me sound like a tool. I’ve decided to stick with Ben.

Someone suggested that I consider dressing differently (a very subtle hint), but that would cost way more money than I’m willing to spend. As Suze Orman would say: Denied! My frugality (aka Scrooge McDuckery) is something that I don’t plan on changing.

There is, however, something that I might change – my hair. And no, I’m not going to dye it, just grownupfy it. I’ve been spiking my hair for many years and now that I’ve passed from my mid-twenties to my late twenties it might be time to have a more adult hairdo. Last week I started parting my hair and asking people what they thought. My mom and my aunt loved it, absolutely loved it. That was encouraging. On Friday I went to a bonfire hosted by a 19 year old girl from church. The 19 year old’s 15 year old sister and her friend were there (as well as people my age too). All three of them agreed that the part made me look too old (I would have assumed that the grey hairs would have already done that). I went into the bathroom and spiked my hair and they liked it a lot better. That was discouraging.

This left me with a tough decision: do I try and attract 60 year old women with parted hair or teenage girls with spiked hair? Neither option was very appealing. I parted my hair today and when I got home from church my brother and sister-in-law were at the house and they both raved about how much they loved my hair. Jay even said that he wanted to part his hair like mine. That was not the reaction that I was expecting from my brother because he’s already so handsome (just ask my mother). And I really respect my sister-in-law's opinion especially since she was smart enough to marry my brother. So it looks like the part may be here to stay, but I’ll let you judge for yourselves. Here’s a picture of me with my hair spiked last summer in Portugal.

Here’s a picture that I took for this blog post. I have to admit that I’ve always thought it was a little tacky when people take pictures of themselves in the bathroom mirror, but I couldn’t think of a better way to get a picture of my hair. I apologize for being a tacky hypocrite.

I also may try using a new word when I move to Tucson. I’ve been trying to reintroduce the word rad back into popular usage for years and it hasn’t caught on. I think it’s time to give up on that one.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Life with Jay

On the last day of school not only did I have to wrap up the school year (maybe next year I'll rap up the school year), but I also moved out of my house and flew to New York. It was a busy day, but the trip to the east coast with my family was supreme. One of my favorite parts of the trip was spending time with my brother Jay (I can talk about him on my blog because I know he doesn’t read it). He’s five years older than me, got married at 23 and has five kids ages 9 to 1. We see each other frequently, but our lives are very different. I find it a lot easier to relate to Lindsay since we’re at a similar stage in our lives. When I see Jay he’s usually fulfilling his roles as husband and father and it was great to spend time with him as my brother and just have fun together. I hate to admit it, but Jay is the funniest Schilaty and thanks to his wittiness the two of us created numerous inside jokes during our east coast adventure.

New York City doesn’t have a lot of public restrooms. I’ve learned on my travels that when there is no public bathroom, you can always find a free bathroom in McDonald’s. Unfortunately I have the bladder of a pregnant woman so we stopped by many McDonald’s as well as other restaurants. Sometimes we bought food and sometimes we didn’t which made us feel a little shameful. We came up with some terms to describe using a restroom without buying food. Here are my favorites: sneak a leak, duke and dash, relieve and leave.

When we were in Washington, DC we were on our way to take a tour of the Capitol building. I was driving our rental car and the closest place to park it was at Union Station which is a few blocks away. We had just arrived from a five hour road trip and Jay and I both had to use the bathroom pretty bad. The GPS took us down a busy road with lots of construction and it took forever. By the time we got close to Union Station my potty situation was at emergency levels and I just wanted to park the car and find a bathroom. There’s a roundabout in front of the station and I wasn’t sure which way to go. I was also driving an SUV which was nerve racking in the city because I’m not used to driving such a big vehicle and taxi drivers were doing all kinds of aggressive maneuvers around me. I missed the parking lot entrance and had to circle around the roundabout again. I was freaking out and Jay was saying all kinds of funny things and telling me to be more aggressive so I yelled, “Stop being funny! You’re gonna make me pee my pants!” That, of course, made us laugh like crazy and it was only with great willpower that I managed to not wet myself.

We finally got to the parking garage and had to park on the top floor. I did a poor job parking and I usually would have reparked, but there was no time. Jay had to go to the bathroom really badly too and when we got on the elevator we both looked at each other, saw the pained looks on each other's faces and burst into laughter. I nearly lost it, but somehow maintained my composure. We made it to the restrooms and – relief.

Jay and I during the Capitol tour.

As we walked around the Capitol whenever we passed someone in a suit we’d say, “Hello, congressman,” or “Good afternoon, senator.” Addressing strangers as congressman and senator really gave us the giggles. Ironically, when we were in the Supreme Court building, Justice Sonia Sotomayor walked right by us. Instead of saying, “Hello, Justice Sotomayor,” all I managed to say was, “Isn’t that Sonia Sotomayor?” and then she was gone. It’s a pity that I addressed many non-congressmen as congressman yet couldn’t appropriately greet the only Supreme Court justice that I would actually recognize. Still, seeing her in person was awesome.

Jay, myself and Lindsay in front of the Capitol.

On two different days two different people came up to Jay and me and said, “Are you two twins?” This was both a compliment and an insult. A compliment because Jay is very handsome (just ask my mother) and an insult because Jay is 33 and how dare they insinuate that I look like I’m 33! I’ll admit that we do look a lot alike, but twins? I don’t think so.