Monday, December 13, 2010

Hugging a strange man

I received a bear hug from a complete stranger last week.

Generally, I am super grumpy at 7:30 AM while riding the elevator to the third floor.

I entered the elevator and joined a very large man also riding. The man seemed fidgety and peculiar. Great, I thought, I get to share an elevator with a weirdo.

As the elevator approached the 2nd floor, the following conversation commenced:

“How is your day going?” asked the large, strange man.

As it was 7:30 AM I tried to figure out the appropriate answer.

“Fine, so far,” I said. “How is yours going?”

The man smiled a huge smile and said, “I have a son.” He was beaming. “Can I give you a hug?”

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Many trials, mostly errors

This blog piggy-backs on THIS ONE written a few months ago. I finally made it to the goodwill and purchased two beaufitul house dresses.



Lovely, are they not? Anyway, my goal was to make a blouse out of the top piece and a dress out of the latter. Due to some mis-measuring by me, they both turned out to be blouses. Whoops. Live and learn, I guess. As Andy so expertly put it, "You have to start somewhere."

So, let's start at the beginnning, shall we?



First item on my list was to shorten both pieces and remove most of the sleeves. Above, I cut it short and removed the super awesome snaps that held the front together. I pinned the front of the now blouse together for stitching.

Below, I removed the length and chopped the sleeves. Please, no making fun of the fact that I cannot cut in a straight line. I really did my best. Please note little Alice Boo was really excited to get in on this project.



Next, I opened up the neck of both pieces and pinned them into a V. The darker piece will have a much deeper V shape. Only one is pictured because I got tired of taking pictures of pinning. Really not that exciting.



Here are the three pockets that I removed from two dresses. Don't get me wrong, I totally dig pockets--just not in the pieces that are being transformed.



Here's the obligatory sewing machine shot. This is to prove that I sew. So, there you have it. I sew.



Isn't Andy the best? For the purple and cream top, I used some left over fabric to make a belt. After I sewed in inside out I started to manually turn it right side out. After working on that for five minutes or so, I got frustrated and handed it to Andy. Without complaint, he set down to work and slowly, slowly, HE DID IT! He's a rockstar.



And here are the final products:




I hope you enjoyed the journey! I look forward to doing better next time!

Special shout out to Marisa and Mandee for supplying my inspiration!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Deck the Halls.

The Victim:




The Culprits:





The Solution:




Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Soap



Andy and Candace sit down to a nice dinner. The wine has been poured, the table set, and the husband and wife say grace over the meal.

The conversation turns to various happenings of the day, banter, and their upcoming trip to Arkansas. Andy remarks that dinner is very good. Candace smiles and says that she’s glad he is enjoying it. The dinner continues thusly until Andy puts his wine glass to his lips and takes a sip. The conversation ceases as he makes a face, looks at his dinner, back to his wine, then up at Candace. He smacks his lips a few times and sniffs this glass. He takes another sip.

“This wine tastes like soap.”

FREEZE. REWIND 30 MINUTES.

Candace is making dinner and multi-tasking as usual. As she cooks, she is unloading the dishwasher, loading it back up, texting Andy to see what time he’ll be home, and preparing pots and glasses for hand washing, and singing whatever song happens to be one their “Bad Ass Road Trip” mix. Kelly Clarkson, no doubt.

Upon Andy’s arrival, she grabs the glasses they used for wine last night and fills them forgetting that she had put soap in them for dish washing preparation.

RESUME ABOVE STORY.

Candace’s face drops in sudden horror.

“What is it?” Andy asks.

“It tastes like soap because I put soap in the glasses to wash them and completely forgot about it. You’re drinking soapy wine.”

Uncharacteristic of Andy, he doesn't just shrug and drink the soap wine. I empty the glasses and fetch new ones. The remainder of the dinner commences soap free.

A typical evening at the Larson household.

Weird, Wacky day

First days back to work are always strange. Re-focusing, remembering where you left off, time change, etc. Today is my first day back from a five day break. Allow me to recount my weird, wacky day thus far (it’s only 10 AM):

Don my sub-zero winter coat, wool gloves, 180 ear muffs, sweater, scarf, tights, pants, wool socks, and snow boots to brave the 30 degree weather (with the rumor that tomorrow will be 15) after five glorious days of 65+ weather.

Arrive at work to find 4 new projects awaiting me—to be added to my already large to-do list.

Call a heating/plumbing company to get a quote and brief explanation of how to fix a sizeable puddle in our basement and slight sewage back up in our downstairs shower. With an apology, I’m told we need a new water heater and some rooting.

Rumors that the severe storm set to hit this afternoon might turn into a snow day tomorrow.

Break my zipper after using the restroom at 9 AM and must go through the rest of the day with my fly down. Sadly, my shirt isn’t long enough to cover.

So far, that’s it but I think that’s enough in 2 hours. Here’s to a better afternoon and staying warm in the storm!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Little Alice Boo.

This weekend Andy and I welcomed a new member into our household.



This is Alice Boo.

She is a two month old, long hair, gray tabby.
She is adorable and loves to get into everything. She has already been crushed by our stepstool (twice), face-planted multiple times, and has been knocked on the head by various objects she pulls off of tables. Alice is a trooper. She shakes it off and goes looking for her next adventure.



She is fascinated (though intimidated) by Mort. She wants his food, his water, and his litter box. Mort, of course, wants nothing to do with her. Someday I’ll have pictures of them together. As for now, Mort is cowering behind the washer and dryer.
Alice Boo loves to be held, loves to play, and is scared to death of running water. My two cats could not be any more opposite. I love them both!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spiders. (Home projects Story 3)


Our house has kind of a creepy basement. Half of it is finished and the other half is a cold, gloomy room reminiscent of the set of Vincent Price’s The Pit and the Pendulum. Well, not that bad, but it is a little spooky in the dark.

I don’t have a problem with spooky rooms or spending extensive amounts of time in them. After all, I have my iPod and my determination to clean out the basement so one day (soon, hopefully) it will become the comfortable sitting/reading room.

This basement, unfinished and otherwise, is the happy home of many spiders. As the weather is cooling down, a multitude of arachnids have found their way into my basement. Normally, this isn’t an issue as I have a dust buster which sole purpose is sucking up spiders.

I began the five hour process of clearing out my basement. All of the boxes in the finished room had been opened, rummaged through, and left alone for four months. I decided the first step would be to consolidate boxes, break down the empty boxes, and store the full boxes in the unfinished portion of the basement. As I began moving the many boxes around, I kept my dust buster nearby to suck up the eight legged freaks that emerged from the mess.

All was going well until I started putting things into the closet. I had gone down the day before and sucked all of the daddy long legs (8 of them) from the closet. After I put the printer, files, and other computer stuff into the closet, I straightened up and felt a tickling on my neck.

That’s right, folks. A daddy long leg dropped down from a hiding spot in the closet and felt that my neck would be the most comfortable place for it.

I began screaming, dancing, swatting at my face and neck, and finally squashed the culprit. From then on, I just felt like I had something crawling on me. Every few minutes or so something would tickle and I would reenact my spider dance (which is not as cool as the African Anteater ritual dance from Can’t Buy me Love).

Turns out, I had two other spiders crawling on me. Thankfully these ones weren’t large or as creepy as the daddy long legs. But still, I don’t love spiders…especially on me.

Ugh. Thankfully, I lived through it and got the basement cleaned out. Now I’m off to buy some spider traps.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Problem with Plaster (Home projects story 2)

The problem with plaster is that it’s really hard to work with. My house (built in 1917) is equipped with plaster walls. The exterior walls are plaster and brick. Undoubtedly, you understand how difficult it might be to hang something as simple as a picture on these walls.

Part of my miniature home makeover was to hang stuff on the walls. Andy hung our 30 lbs mirror in our front room by using his trusty drill with the masonry bit (this was on a wall that had brick 1 ½ inches in. As I don’t relish using power tools, I decided to stick with interior walls (plaster sans the brick) and use an old fashioned hammer and nails.

First was the kitchen. I decided to do several pictures of fun places we’ve visited. Out of the 8 frames I wanted to hang, I went through 22 nails (many bent, few victorious), 12 holes (way less than I was anticipating), and two applications of putty to hide mis-measured holes. All that and 2 hours later, my travel wall was complete!

Then I was on to the bedroom. The beautiful room that was painted in this blog now needed some stuff on the walls. I managed to get one nail in on my first try, another picture could be hung on an already existing nail, and I turned to the north wall to hang two small pictures.

I had forgotten that this was once the exterior wall until the addition was put on.

I grabbed my nail and hammer and went to work.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Thunk.

As I unknowingly tried to drive the nail into the brick beyond the plaster, the plaster cracked and dropped a large chunk onto my bedroom floor. I almost cried. My beautiful, freshly painted wall now had a chunk of plaster missing from it.

What did I do? Nothing. I’ll let Andy hang something over it with his trusty drill this weekend.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10/27/2010

In honor of Andy’s 29th birthday, I have listed 29 things that make Andy the best.
1. He’s the funniest person I’ve ever known.
2. He’s a fantastic cook.
3. He knows all the lyrics to “Drop it like it’s hot” and will rap it wholeheartedly when it comes on.
4. He also knows all the lyrics to “The wizard and I” and will sing it, too. (Sorry, Andy!)
5. He has an endearing love for Star wars.
6. He has the cutest “white man overbite” you’ll ever find.
7. He rocks every solo I’ve ever heard him sing.
8. He gives the very best hugs.
9. He loves his family.
10. He is serious when he needs to be but is silly when he wants to be.
11. He snuggles Morty.
12. He watches “The Price is Right” on his days off.
13. He plays many instruments well—I’d list them but I’ve lost track.
14. He loves Disneyland about as much as I do.
15. He unknowingly makes noises if the room is quiet for too long.
16. He is gaining an appreciation for classic rock, 80s hair metal, and show tunes.
17. He leads the youth praise band at our church.
18. He can beat most people at ping pong.
19. He sometimes struggles with multi-tasking (such as chewing gum and playing the drums).
20. He is frustratingly good at Trivial Pursuit.
21. He has an unrivaled passion for excellent food.
22. He takes pride in his appearance. Especially his jeans.
23. Has developed a pretty awesome white streak just above his forehead. He might be the male version of Rogue.
24. He really loves Mad Men, True Blood, Dexter, Big Love, and any show that involves food.
25. He tries his hardest to do impressions and funny voices. He usually succeeds.
26. He loves me.
27. He takes on yard work without complaint.
28. He’s too damn smart.
29. He will make a great 30 year old!!



Happy Birthday, Andy!! I love you!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blue Wall, White Wall (Home projects story 1)

In Andy’s absence (he went to Spain for a choral competition, if you’re out of the loop) I decided to keep myself busy with home improvement projects, of which Andy is unaware.

First step: painting my bright blue bedroom a less obnoxious color. Andy and I have spent some time discussing the color we would like our room to be. He wanted light brown, I wanted mint green. Since he left before we could resolve this debate, I decided to give in and paint the bedroom brown (using my beloved mint green as an accent color).

My darling friends, Jamie and Emily, came over to support my extreme fervor for the painting process. We were able to get the first coat on in about 2 hours. They are rock stars. As they were leaving, I realized that I still had a blue wall to cover. We have an extra room off of our bedroom; three of the walls are painted a pleasant tan color while the fourth wall is painted the nauseating BRIGHT BLUE that once plagued my bedroom.

Geez. I thought. If we could do an entire room in two hours, it should be a snap to do one wall! Right?

I should state that the blue wall was once the exterior of the house. It is a very uneven brick wall with many nooks and crannies. As much as I would like to strip the paint and have exposed brick in that room, I didn’t think my 7 days remaining would be adequate time to A) learn how to strip paint down to the brick, and B) actually do it. Rather, I chose to paint the brick wall white since the brown I put in the bedroom did not match (nor did it compliment) the tan in the extra room. Plus, a white wall would certainly brighten up the extra room.

Around 6:30, I began my project. I found a can of paint called “Brilliant White”, grabbed my trusty brush and roller and set to work. I called my sister to keep me company as I painted. The sun was almost gone and the lighting wasn’t great. April and I chatted for several minutes before I said, “This paint doesn’t seem very white.”

That having been said, it was much lighter than the blue wall underneath it. I told April that the light (or lack thereof) was playing tricks on my eyes and that the paint was much lighter and therefore must be white.

I painted and painted the brick wall, making sure to include all crevices and indentations. A sizable blister formed and popped on my right ring finger from the tenacity with which I was painting. I yelled at my cat a few times for stepping directly into the wet paint on the door frame, and meticulously smoothed out the paint thus eliminating the dreaded footie prints.

After another hour and a half of careful painting, my first coat in both rooms was finished! I washed the brushes, took a shower (scrubbing very hard to get all of the paint off), and settled into bed with season 12 of South Park to keep me company. I was so proud of myself for all that I had accomplished!

In the morning I went into the bedroom to admire the mostly dried round 1 outcome. The bedroom was lovely. There were a few bleed-throughs but it was very even and looked great! One more coat and the bedroom would be done!

I stepped into the extra room and found…

…AN EFFING BRIGHT BLUE WALL!

Yes, friends. I worked so hard to paint the wall the exact same color I was trying to get rid of. The can must have been from another paint because the color on the wall was definitely annoying, ugly, bright, sky blue. I cursed the heavens knowing that I’d have to start again with coat 1 later that night.

Today, the first coat is finished. I made sure to start early enough yesterday evening to see that the color I was applying to the wall was indeed white. Tonight will be the 2nd and hopefully last coat of white paint. On the bright side, the ugly blue cannot be found on any of my walls!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Through the shredder (for real, this time)

I was introduced to Jillian Michaels' 30-day shred a year and a half ago by my once workout buddy and all around great gal, Hilary. Please take a look at my attitude when I first attempted the Shred. The month of September 2010 became “Shredded September.”

I decided that action needed to be taken when I was lethargic all the time and was winded by a few flights of stairs. I grabbed my trusty Jillian Michaels DVD and figured it would be a good jumpstart to reviving my old habit of going to the gym. I wasn’t naïve enough to expect to shed the 20 lbs that was boasted on the cover of the dvd, I was just looking for something to get me going.

Here’s my experience in a nutshell:

Fiction: Lose up to 20 lbs in 30 days. Fact: I ended up gaining in the end; however, it was all muscle. I have rediscovered my shoulder blades and have some pretty awesome upper body muscles going on.

Fact: The first 21 days were the easiest—the last week was super hard. I got really bored with the video and was ready to move on to something else. I even mixed up the levels just to break routine.

Fact: I will never be able to do 30 squat thrusts. They hurt my knees and make me very cranky.

Fact: Plank position really is the best way to build shoulder and back muscles. I will stop complaining about all of the exercises in plank position.

Fiction: half push-ups or “girl” push-ups are just as effective as full push-ups. Personally, I disagree with this statement. That’s a copout that I used a lot. Finally, I bit the bullet and just struggled through the full push-ups and I found that I was strong enough to do them. They’re just hard.

Fact: I was AMAZED at how easy level 1 was after doing 20 straight days of levels 2 and 3.

Fact: squats and lunges never get easier. That’s why they’re good.

So, that’s what I learned in the last 30 days. Now I’m off to 30 days of running followed by another 30 days of shred. I have a wedding to go to in January and I will look hot for it.

I would recommend the 30-day shred for anyone who isn't a diehard gym goer.I don't think this should be used as a weight loss program, but to discover how strong you really are.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Inspirartion!!

I have stumbled upon some inspiration. When I say stumble, what I mean is I saw my friend do something and now I am jealous and want to do the same thing. My friend Mandee took a shapeless piece of clothing and made it super cute. She got her idea from this fabulous lady (who I now follow religiously).

“Hey!” I thought. “I like to sew. I like to rip things apart. Why not me?” After all, we all remember the 80s monster bridal gown that had to be torn apart and re-vamped.

With plans to meet my gal-pal Heidi at the neighborhood DI (Desert Industries for
all of you non-Utahans – A “goodwill” of sorts) at 7 pm. I put $10 in my pocket and set off to find my soon-to-be masterpiece! I began thinking of all the possibilities depending on the article of clothing I chose to demolish.

I arrived at the DI before Heidi and, mind still full of dizzying possibilities, walked through the front doors. My dreams came to a screeching halt when all of the employees turned and stared at me as I entered. I stopped thinking I must have done something wrong but could not for the life of me figure out what I did.

One of the employees grabbed the store microphone without looking away from me and made the following announcement:

“DI customers- it is now 7 o’clock. This store is now closed”

He continued to stare at me with a smirk as he put the microphone back.

At this announcement, the lights in the store dimmed and my excitement and inspiration were crushed by the rude employee. I dejectedly turned around and walked out the doors.

Heidi found me outside of the store with my hopes for the night broken on the concrete.

“Screw it.” I said. “Let’s go get some ice cream.”


Next time I’ll choose to support Savers, Salvation Army, Thrift Town, or any other thrift store that doesn’t have cranky, tactless nincompoops as employees.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Writer's Block

I find that every few months I have severe writer’s block. Several times during the day something will happen that makes me think “Ooh! That would be a great blog!” I go so far as to write ideas down in a trusty notebook Andy gave me for Christmas. However, when it comes to actually writing it in story form, I can never make it as funny as what I witnessed.

Since my notebook is filling up, I feel like I need to put a few down in non-story form to make sure that these instances get out somehow.

The items on following list are happenings from the past few months that I deemed ‘blog worthy’ but have been unable to put them into any sort of amusing, anecdotal, or worthwhile story.

• A group of fat, old men taking a lesson on how to ride their newly acquired segways. No joke, there were about 15 old dudes with helmets on their segways outside of Huntsman Cancer Institute taking direction from a policeman.

• A worker at a nail salon chewing out some poor, young customer for putting glitter nail polish over her acrylic nails. I’m not gonna lie…I laughed at the poor customer while it was happening.

• During my last trip to New York, April and I witness several (several= upwards of 50) people, men and women, in black suits, wearing sunglasses, carrying black duffle bags in his/her right hand. All of these observed weirdoes were sighted within 5 blocks. MIB convention, maybe? I was super creeped out.

• How many times in one day I reference South Park. I haven’t given up on this post as its own entry. I’ve had a draft for several months now and it will be completed someday. Allow me to say, I reference South Park an obscene amount of times in one day. I guess that goes for most TV shows and movies as well.

• Random people feeling that it's not only acceptable, but necessary, to touch my hair when I braid it. Seriously. Respect the friggin' bubble, people!

• The re-release of Avatar into theaters. WTF? Is the movie industry so bad that they have to bring a really sub-par movie back into theaters?

These are my favorites from a large list. Some form or other all of the above stories are stored as “drafts” on my blog list. I just haven’t been able to make them anything worth reading.

So, dear readers, you must use your imagination and make each scenario the most amusing you can. Lord knows, I’ve tried and I’ve failed.

I hope to be inspired soon. Don't give up on me!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Judgment

I witnessed a car accident this morning. A woman in a Jeep cut off a man in a Ford truck. Rather than hitting the brakes, as you usually do when someone cuts you off, the truck sped up and plowed right into the Jeep. Whether the woman didn’t see the truck or was purposely cutting him off, I don’t know. Perhaps the man panicked when she cut him off and accelerated instead of braking. Whatever the case, the part that really struck me as horrible was the confrontation of both drivers.

They both pulled off to the side of the road (across the street from my bus stop). The man jumped out of his truck screaming “You stupid son of a b****, what the f*** were you thinking?” so on and so forth in this manner. He approached the Jeep and began banging on the windows. At this point, the woman swung her door open (hitting him in the face; to be fair, he shouldn’t have been banging on the windows) and began screaming just as aggressively as the man from the truck.

I kept my phone in my hand, ready to call 911 should this “conversation” come to blows. I watched with horror and disgust as these two people dressed in business attire screamed at each other on 1300 East at 7:00 AM.

First, I have been in two accidents and never realized how fortunate I was to be treated with such respect and sympathy. Both times, the driver of the other vehicle asked if I was ok. The conversation was civil both times and voices were never once raised. There was no blaming, no accusations. The situation was always treated as “Man, that sucks but let’s see if we can figure it out.”

Second, I was saddened by the state of the world if such a display of conflict management has become normal. To see this anger, hostility, and disrespect from two adults made me sick.

I watched as the police approached the scene and listened with perfect dignity as these two people were screaming at him and each other. He took notes and spoke calmly to both of them. At that point my bus pulled up.

I boarded my bus and watched the scene as we pulled away. My disgust soared to a new level when the woman opened the door to her back seat and pulled out two small, crying children.

Shame on those people for choosing to not think before they spoke and acted. Shame on them for forgetting that everyone makes mistakes and refusing to work together to solve the problem. Shame on them for not using self restraint in the presence of others.


But then again, how often do I have the same reaction in different situations? How often have I been guilty of the judgment I've just placed on them?

Lesson observed and internalized.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

12 Days: a sad tale with a happy ending.


12 days ago- I opened the window of our bedroom (as I always do) to let Mort get some fresh air before bed. I finished my nighttime rituals, shut the window, and went to sleep. It was like any other night.

11 days ago- I woke up and realized Mort was not at my feet, not crying for me to turn on the faucet, and not asleep under the bed. I woke Andy up and we did a sweep of the house. I ended up coming home early from work to continue searching. Many tears shed. I was mortified when I realized he had jumped out of the window before I shut it the evening before. He had spent the whole night outside.

10 days ago- Andy and I did a full neighborhood sweep. We went down every alleyway and side street we could find. We (I) went so far as to ask another cat if he knew where Mort was hiding. More tears shed. Humane Society knew me by name at this point.

9 days ago- Another neighborhood sweep. I put out food in case Mort was hiding in the bushes around our house. Consequently, I became the neighbor’s cat’s best friend. Hysterical tears shed. Depression started.

8 days ago- I came home from work and walked around the neighborhood. In my depression, I didn’t clean, I didn’t cook; I just stared out the window and waited for Mort to come home.


7 days ago- I began to get really angry with people who tried their hardest to be upbeat and supportive. Every time I heard “I’m sure he’ll come home when he’s ready” I wanted to scream and throw things.

6 days ago- I painfully came to the realization that Mort was not going to magically reappear. Either someone had to find him or he was lost forever. Andy was very patient with me when I came to this understanding.

5 days ago – Andy and I talked about what more we could be doing. We decided that our cat, a Houdini of sorts, was not going to be found unless he wanted to be found. Therefore, posters were superfluous.

4 days ago- I caught a glimpse of a white cat that wasn’t my neighbor’s cat. I was convinced it was Mort and began laughing and crying and calling to him. Once I shined the light on the cat, I found out it wasn’t Mort. It was just another neighborhood cat. I went straight to bed.

3 days ago- Andy went to the Humane Society to see if someone had dropped Mort off and he was mistakenly not scanned (for his chip). Andy proceeded to come home and tell me how heartbreaking the cat situation was at the shelter (GO ADOPT A CAT and SPAY AND NEUTER ALL OF YOUR ANIMALS) which inspired more tears, sadness, and depression.

2 days ago- Andy and I began the conversation of how long we wait before we replace Mort. More tears and depression.

1 day ago- I received a phone call. An angel found Morty hiding in her basement and contacted the humane society with his tag numbers (who then contacted me). I was able to pick him up at 5 pm at which point Morty did not let me leave his sight. He was constantly head-butting me and telling me all about his adventures in the scary outdoors.

Today- I am so thankful to have my Morty back. I intend to help him gain the weight he has lost (he’s so skinny). I intend to never open the bedroom window again. I intend to snuggle him until he can’t stand it. The snuggling will commence after his bath, of course.

This picture was taken this morning. The pictures above were taken at an earlier date. He's very skinny and very dirty but I think he'll pull through. He's so happy to be home.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In defense of "My generation"

I work with a woman who drives me crazy. She is an angry child of the 60s who doesn't seem to like anyone. She calls me naïve and often puts me down. She refers to me as "Your Generation."

According to her, My generation:

- Doesn't know how to travel. She was appalled when I told her I'd rather fly than road trip. My argument: "six hours in a plane will get you to a much cooler place than six hours in a car." Her argument: "Your Generation is just too lazy to drive without destination. There's nothing like cruising the open road with a beer in your hand." Fair enough.

- Eats nothing but sugar. This statement came from me offering her a gummy worm. Interestingly enough, she refers to 2pm as "Chocolate time" when she chokes down a pound of chocolate covered pretzels every day. But I guess my generation is the "sugar generation".

- Stole music from a superior generation. As I listened to my 'Glee' channel on Pandora, the song "Let it be" came on. This woman began raving about how my generation can't make quality music of their own so we have to steal from her generation. "When I was a twenty-something I wouldn't have been caught dead listening to my parent's music." I guess this is true. I prefer the The Who over Backstreet Boys any day. Guilty.

- is a generation of posers. This piggy-backs on the last one. My generation can be considered a 'poser' generation because we bring back fashions "they" wore, listen to "their" music, and use slang that "they" invented. Also, she like to remind me that she was a vegan before it got trendy. Would we call practicing veganism trendy?

In the defense of my generation: we are a product of your generation. All of your complaints are your own doing. Leave generation Y alone, hippie.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My husband, the Rockstar

This morning we decided to ditch church and go to breakfast at a delightful restaurant called Finn's. We found our friend, Jamie, there and ordered our drinks, iced tea, hot tea, and diet coke.

As we were perusing the menu and deliberating about whether we should order breakfast or lunch, Andy jumped out of his seat and vacated the table. Before Jamie and I could figure out what was going on, Andy was at the front of the restaurant, assisting an elderly gentleman who had fallen. The man was on his back and very disoriented. Andy was asking questions and gathering information.

Jamie and I looked at each other and exchanged remarks about what a good guy Andy was.

I glanced back at Andy's progress and was slightly startled to see him on top of the man, doing chest compressions. The entire restaurant went into an awkward stupor and watched.

"Breathe," Andy kept shouting to the man who had dropped out of consciousness.

Considering how many people were around Andy asking if they could help, I decided to stay in my seat and simply gape at the spectacle, feeling terribly insulted when the head chef asked the table behind us if they were going to "stay for the end of the show?"

The CPR continued for what seemed like forever. Andy continued his compressions and just being overall fabulous. When the EMTs arrived, Andy turned his attention to the poor man's wife, asked her for her husband's medical history, and explained to her (in layman's terms) what was going on with her husband.

Andy stood by, watched over the EMTs, and stayed with the man until he was loaded into the ambulance.

So, here's to Andy: the serious stud muffin who reacts beautifully in dire situations. You are an inspiration and a lifesaver. I am so very proud.

To Andy!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Love will hold us together

Nothing makes me happier than being able to share my most embarrassing moments with my faithful readers (of whom there are a few). Allow me to share my latest and greatest:

Acting purely on impulse, last night I dragged Andy to the nearest Barnes and Noble to go on my semi-annual literary shopping spree. After a large meal we decided that we needed the walk anyway. With our new house (pictures will come, I promise) we are within easy walking distance to the book store. During the last few hours at work, the bus ride home, and the making and devouring of the meal, I had this song stuck in my head (yay Christian music). The song persistently stayed with me through the walk. Usually I use my “Asia” trick, but not with songs that I like. I allow them to be stuck in my head…because I’m sick.

Upon entering B&N, I headed directly to restroom (several glasses of water…you get the idea). I opened the door to the deserted bathroom and began singing the song out loud. On some level, I knew I was singing in a public place and I probably shouldn’t, but I continued to sing to the empty stalls.


About halfway through the song I heard:

“Ahem. You should probably know that someone else is in here.”

Yikes. I immediately flush, wash my hands, and leave.

Guess what, the song was no longer stuck in my head.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I guess I'm bored




















Things I love:
Paul McCartney in concert—wow.
Russian literature…who knew?
Purchasing plane tickets to visit April in New York for Pioneer Day!
Massages
A sleepy kitty with a warm belly passed out on my lap
Rain
Stories told by an elder generation
Successfully cooking something
Pixar—all of pixar
Feeling productive
Friends…and wine
The miniature Wall-E that sits next to my computer in case I need some cheering up during the day (thanks, Andy)
Climbing under the covers, any time of the day
Dancing


Things I don’t love:
Grumpy people
Doors that won’t open (my car’s passenger door, patio door, etc)
Working on Saturdays
Dexter and Big Love (get over it)
NPR
Family losses
Spiders
Missing the bus
4:08—too late to get anything done but too early to leave

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Temp

Like most people, the dentist evokes feelings of dread and fear in me. I go to my appointment with the expectation that the dentist will discover at least 15 cavities. This is an irrational expectation, but one that I come to terms with every six months.

At my latest appointment, the hygienist pulls me into a room, introduces herself as ‘Tammy’ and tells me that I will need to be patient with her because she is a temp. One of the many reasons I go to my current dental office is because a cleaning is about 15 minutes long which provides me ample time to get to work. So, from the start, I know that this will not be an ordinary cleaning.

Tammy spends a solid five minutes searching for gloves and a mask. She rummages through every drawer, ever cupboard, and every cubby, twice. Finally, she takes her leave from me to go “in search of a hygienist who normally works at this place.” She comes back fully gloved and masked and dives right into my chompers. She introduces a new tool of torture that measures the gum depth (used to detect gingivitis). She begins dragging this metal rope across my gums and makes disapproving noises.

“Wow,” sighs Tammy. “You have quite a bit of gingivitis! This is a problem!” Automatically, I start panicking.
How is it possible that I have developed “quite a bit of gingivitis” when just six months ago I had a clean bill of health? She pulls the tool of torture away and leaves my gums a bleeding mess. “Ah,” continues Tammy regarding my meaty gums. “I see you also don’t use the correct method of flossing.”

The cleaning continues in this manner. During the course of the 55 minute cleaning, Tammy was good enough to observe that not only was I lousy with gingivitis, I have receding gums that will need to be fixed soon, at least five cavities (or teeth that “bothered” her), and that I needed to relearn all of my known and practiced dental hygiene.

At this point, I didn’t want the dentist to come in. I dreaded hearing him reiterate all that was acutely wrong in my mouth. I feared the hours of dental work that would result from my horrible, horrible teeth. I could practically feel the Novocain and hear the squeal of the drill. Tammy patted me on the shoulder and told me she was going to grab the doctor.

I thought about my options. I look to my left where the door stood friendly and inviting. I could make a break for it. I look to my right and realized that this is exactly why I was here. I might as well wait it out and take it like a man.
The doctor walks in. He gently looks around, shakes my hand, and tells me that he’ll see me in six months. “Do you have any questions?” asks the savior of a dentist.

“Yeah. What about my receding gums, five bothersome teeth, and my “quite a bit of gingivitis”?”

The dentist looks directly at me and shrugs his shoulders. “Meh. She’s a temp.”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

All fun and games until someone loses a zipper

Among the desirable objects one may find on any given shopping excursion, I firmly believe that the dressing room experience is not complete without also finding the most hideous thing to try on.

There are certain rules to the monstrosity which one might add to the ‘try-on’ pile:

1. The more sequins the better.
2. Any catsuit is an automatic must.
3. If the article of clothing would seem appropriate in your run of the mill Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff music video, it’s a winner.
4. Any thing that makes you laugh.

The last time I was at Nordstrom rack I came across a denim romper which
automatically qualifies under rule #2. It was a strapless, shorts masterpiece with a low riding belt. Beauty. I confirmed the necessity of trying it on with my shopping partner and she agreed whole-heartedly. She found a breathtaking sequined mini skirt to compliment my denim catsuit.

After rounding The Rack we took our finds into the dressing room. I awkwardly climbed into my denim jumpsuit and heard my friend giggle as she slid into her mini skirt. We opened our doors and had fun laughing at each others ridiculousness, twirling, and enjoying our ugly outfits.

The time came to return to my normal clothes and purchase what I had found (excluding my ugly catsuit). I reached up to the side zipper nestled snuggly in my armpit and tugged it downward.

The zipper refused to budge.

I tugged again.

Nothing.

I began to panic. The idea of being stuck in this abomination made my head spin. I was nauseous. Bordering hysteria, I pulled and pulled at the zipper.

Nothing.

I put my arm down, sore from pulling so hard. I leaned forward to take a breath, gathering my strength for the next fit of tugging.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPP.

Alarmed, I stood up and felt for the zipper. It was still there, obstinate and cruel. My fingers follwed the zipper down to my waist...I felt skin. The zipper had split down the middle.

I stared at myself in the mirror and tried to come up with a plan. I hated this catsuit, jumpsuit, romper, or whatever the hell it was. It was a stupid ritual to trying something this ugly on.


I had no other choice. It would just have to come off. I slowly began easing the suit down when...

POP!!!

The top of the zipper flew off it's resting place, ricocheted off the mirror, and flew somewhere on the other side of the dressing room. I quickly stepped out of the romper and back into my normal clothes. I hung the suit up, gathered the rest of the clothes and took them out of the dressing room.

"How did everything work out for you?" Asked the employee.

"Not too great." I replied. "I think there's something wrong with the zipper on that one." I motioned toward the catsuit and threw my pile of clothes at her before she could examine it too closely.

Red faced and full of shame, I left The Rack empty handed. I didn't want to buy anything anyway.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The grass so green, Skies so blue. Spectre is really great!


I am starting to get a little weirded out by the volume of random shoes dangling from various power lines. I don’t know if anyone else in the Salt Lake Valley has noticed, but the number of ownerless shoes strewn haphazardly on the power lines (or telephone cables) of Salt Lake City is on the rise. I guess I never recognized the cult ritual of ‘shoe slinging’ until Edward Bloom experienced the town Spectre in the movie Big Fish.

As quaint a tradition as it seemed in the movie, I can’t help being slightly annoyed by how ugly it is to see a pair of old sneakers hanging from power lines. Every street we drove on yesterday had at least one pair of shoes flying high from cables.

As I began writing this I did a small search online about shoe slinging and came across some very interesting articles, none offering a definitive explanation for such a spectacle. I quickly found out that I am unbelievably naïve. Apparently, popular beliefs attribute shoe slinging to gang activity, the announcement of the latest drug dealer, or a teen boy’s proclamation of becoming a man. Snopes.com suggests differently. Here I was, innocently thinking that people were dumb and liked abandoning their used shoes for all to see instead of donating them. My common reaction was to ‘tut, tut’ the former owners of the shoes for being wasteful individuals. Little did I know that the general public firmly believed that shoes from power lines were a beacon warning trouble for the neighborhood. Silly me.

Wikipedia tells us about “Shoefiti” which is prevalent all over the world with much of the same information Snopes.com has to offer. However, Wikipedia goes a step further to explain how a “Shoe Tree” is different from the act of shoe slinging—but fails to actually tell us explanations. Annoying.

Perhaps the most helpful site I found was straightdope.com which posted the question to the web and had readers answer the question.

So, this is what I have discovered today. I am more informed, less naïve, and still without a reason why people find it necessary to sling their dirty shoes up on the power lines. Thoughts?

For more information on 'Shoefiti' and how it might affect you, please follow this link: Shoefiti

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A little bit country but also a little bit rock and roll

I have had my fair share of testing in my 25 years of living. The testing isn’t always bad but it is ALWAYS interesting. I like to go against the grain and prove that I’m way cooler than what I appear to be. Through the course of my many medical journeys, here are some things that I’ve learned from testing:

Family history
It is a known fact that my ancestors hail from Sweden, Germany, and Italy.

Blood tests
Blood tests determined that I am Italian (and apparently Jewish according to my GI doctor).
I have lots of red blood cells but they are all misshapen from my Italian (and/or Jewish) heritage.
My white blood cells sometimes get confused and forget what they’re doing also from my Italian (and/or Jewish) heritage.

Diagnostic Scans
Through an ultrasound I have found that I have no appendix. This must be a miracle since I’ve never had it removed.

Genetic Testing
The most recent finding is that I carry an allele found in Asians and Pacific Islanders. Go figure. I’m not sure how that one’s even possible.

I have had other tests that dealt more with actual medical issues, but these were the ones that I find most amusing.

To sum up I am an appendix-less Italian, German, Swedish, Asian, Pacific Islander, Jewish woman.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The home stretch

I sure hope this isn't bad luck! So, Andy and I are under contract for this house. It is beautiful and we are so excited to finish the purchasing process and move in. I have been dreaming about planting flowers and getting all domestic.



We are probably most excited about this porch. Is it not beautiful? Truth be told, it is probably larger than any room inside the house. We look forward to many summer evenings here.



Ok. The kitchen is just adorable. The vintage stove/oven is in working condition. The cabinets are metal, and the floor is black and white tile. I am ready to don my pearls and apron and do my best Donna Reed/Betty Draper impression. I must apologize for not including more pictures of the interior. The person who lives there currently still has all of his furniture in the other pictures and I thought it would be disrespectful to parade his belongings for all to see. Interior pictures to come!



The backyard is our second favorite thing about this house. There is room for bbq parties and dogs! It has a vegetable garden, which Andy has nobly offered to take on, mature trees, and tall fences!



We just love this house. We are scheduled to close June 23rd. Fingers crossed that all goes well!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ugh. That song is stuck in my head again.

So, I have always struggled with getting THE MOST annoying songs stuck in my head. When I say annoying, the songs range from ‘Here comes santa clause’ to ‘Pharaoh Pharaoh’ (for all of you church kids out there) to various horrible Broadway classics (“Shipoopi”, “I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair”, and ANYTHING from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). For years I would wander around in the black hole known as ‘irritating song migraine’ and wish that there was a cure. Like hiccups, when an insufferable song is stuck in your head, there is no cure.

Or is there?

Two years ago during the painful Christmas season (when a certain radio station plays non-stop Christmas tunes starting October 31st), I shared an office with a woman who would hum ‘here comes Santa clause’ over and over again. When she grew tired of humming it, she would whistle it. When she didn’t want to whistle anymore, she would resume humming it. I didn’t know if I was going to kill her or myself.


After days upon days of trying to will the tune of ‘here comes santa clause’ out of my head I heard a song that will forever be my savior of ‘irritating song migraine’. I heard the song ‘Heat of the Moment’ by Asia and, while this song successfully killed the pernicious ‘Santa Clause’, it did not lodge itself into my brain.

Therefore, my solution for dislodging painful songs from one’s brain is to simply sing the first line of ‘Heat of the Moment’.

I never meant to be so bad to you…

If you need help remembering the song, please follow this link.

I apologize if you now have the song ‘Heat of the Moment’ stuck in your head.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Tough Read

I love reading. I am fairly certain I have made that quite clear within the life of this blog. I enjoy reading difficult, flowery, and timeless books. Then again, I also love Twilight, Harry Potter, and various contemporary, mindless, and/or enjoyable reads.

Occasionally I will pick up a book that for one reason or another, challenges me. Sometimes the book is too smart for me, sometimes the plot is so irritating I have to keep putting it down, and sometimes a book makes me feel a certain way that makes it difficult to finish.


Disclaimer: Some of the books on this list I loved and some I hated. I apologize if I offend anyone in any way. I feel it necessary to state that this is my blog containing my opinions.

These are the most difficult books I’ve read so far: (in no particular order)

1. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand): This book made me want to throw heavy objects at the wall and extreme conservatives. I read this book because SO many people have told me how life changing it was. I read and read and waited for these horrible characters to find redemption. They never did. I found it beautifully written, incredibly self-righteous, and overall frustrating. I felt that every character in the book should have died. Because I wanted them to. All of them. I firmly believe that the little utopia they made should go up in flames. I found that this book wasn’t life changing for me…it was a waste of two months. The Fountainhead is so much better, in my humble opinion. At least she uses subtlety in that book. Again, I’m really glad if you loved Atlas Shrugged. I still rank it as one of my least favorite books.
2. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy): This book is slow and dry and wonderful. I’m so glad I was able to stick with it; the fact that I have read the book has come in extremely handy from time to time. The characters were complex and it has beautiful metaphors. However, there are many pages of description that you must plough through (pardon the pun—if you’ve read the book) to get to the story. I find that this is the reason people don’t care for classic literature, which I totally understand. It’s not always easy, which is why Anna Karenina has made it onto this list.
3. Native Son (Richard Wright): Native Son made me feel like a really bad person. I was constantly jumping to stereotypes and getting very angry with the characters. I kept reminding myself of when the book was written. I researched the time period, the geographical setting within the time period, and then read African American history of that time period in that geographical setting. I worked so hard to understand this book and try to imagine the impact it had on society pre-civil rights but I had nothing to relate to. This book may very well be the most difficult book I’ve read so far. I certainly tried the hardest with Native Son. To this day, I have no clue if I actually liked the book. In the end, I believe that the protagonist should have SOME redeeming quality and I get really frustrated when I don’t care whether the protagonist lives or dies. Even Ignatius O’Reilly had some redeeming qualities.
4. Sophie’s World (Jostein Gaarder): I don’t know about you, but I didn’t necessarily excel in philosophy in college. For those of you who are on the same page, I highly recommend this book with one caution: it is a difficult read. Sophie’s World is philosophy 101 on crack. It challenges the reader to learn about a different philosopher with every other chapter, be able to keep them and their theories straight, and understand the theories in a practical sense within the story. I found myself constantly flipping back in the book to remind myself of which philosopher was who. Very difficult, very fantastic. Sophie’s World is probably in my top 10 favorites.
5. Stone Fox (John Reynolds Gardiner): Stone Fox, for me, is lumped into a large category which I like to refer to as ‘Horrible Children’s novels’. Sharing the category is Island of the Blue Dolphins, Old Yeller, and (who can forget) Where the Red Fern Grows. I HATE all books like this. However, some good came of it. I now know to NEVER read books or watch movies where an animal is one of the main characters. It will inevitably leave me curled up on the floor, blubbering like a two year old. The reason this book made the list is because I read it for a Children’s lit class and ended up sobbing in the middle of class one day. Terrible. Just terrible.
6. The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner): This book is ridiculous. First of all, there is no way anyone who is reading this book outside of an educational setting will derive any sort of plot. The book is rather short but unbearably incomprehensible. I got halfway through the second (out for 4) part and told Andy, “I am not smart enough to read this book.” I was even reading analyses of the book while I was reading it. Even then, I had no clue how the authors of the analyses were able to arrive at any conclusion. I neither liked nor disliked this book because I could never decipher a plot. I know that stream of consciousness writing is difficult to read and comprehend but this is not my first rodeo. So, kudos to those who are feeling really proud of yourself because you not only read The Sound and the Fury but were able to understand parts of it. You are much smarter than I. I gave up and have no intention of picking it up again.
7. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb): I don’t even know what to say about this one. It was recommended to me and I just couldn’t get into it. I read 908 pages out of the 912 page book and put it down. There is no way the book could improve enough in the last four pages. I put it down four years ago and never found out the ending…which doesn’t bother me at all. The book isn’t poorly written, I just didn’t enjoy it. I struggled through it hoping that it would have some twist to make it more interesting, but it never did. As a result, I have never felt compelled to pick up any of his other novels. My sister has graciously loaned me She’s Come Undone which I hear is a good book, but I haven’t found the motivation to start it.
8. The Scarlet Pimpernel (Baroness Emmuska Orczy): I’m not gonna lie. Sparknotes told me all I needed to know about this book. I read the first few chapters in high school, got bored, and relied solely on sparknotes.com for the rest of the quizzes. Granted, I was 15 and the book was mandatory. I think I should give it another try at some point. It might be a great book…I have no idea.  So perhaps this book shouldn’t be on this list since I really didn’t give it much of a chance. Does laziness count as making a book ‘difficult’? Here is my defense for including this book on this list: in that same class I was able to finish Les Miserables without HALF of the heartache I had with the “Scar Pimp”.
9. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens): Slow and dull. Much like the Scarlet Pimpernel, I tried to read this book when I was probably too young and should therefore give it another go. However, this was the first classic that I tried to tackle and, though I was able to finish it, I was bored out of my mind and probably missed half of it. Charles Dickens is one author in particular that I have never felt the need to read. I believe Great Expectations had a lot to do with it.
10. Ulysses (James Joyce): This is an anticipated #10 because I am only 250 pages into it. Much like Sound and the Fury I am utilizing sparknotes.com and other analyses to assist me in understanding this stream of consciousness. Also, many of the analyses for this book offer how Ulysses parallels the Odyssey. Sadly, I’ve not read the Odyssey (which will go on my list of things to read in the near future) so the analysis is helping immensely in that area. The difference between Ulysses and Sound and the Fury is that Ulysses has a discernable plot. That makes all the difference in the world and will allow me to actually get through the book. 

I’d love to know which books you find challenging…

Friday, April 16, 2010

Shh. Be vewy, vewy qwiet. I’m hunting fow waskawy houses…


The home hunt has begun. Andy and I got serious about saving a down payment and buying a house. Part of this decision was my radical love for animals and the fact that Mort needs a buddy; part of the decision was the fact that we (more or less) hate our tiny apartment; part of the decision was the multiple house guests we get and the extreme awkwardness that occurs for our guests walking through the bedroom to get to our bathroom; part of the decision was realizing that ‘it’s just time.’

Long story longer, we got serious with our savings account and are now looking at homes.

That's really all I have to say on the issue. We have a great realtor and we are viewing houses tomorrow. Some are awesome, some are not, but I will keep you posted on the outcome!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Celiac Sprue: Friend or Foe?


I chalk my latest and greatest disease up as a friend. So far, the pros far outweigh the cons. I praise the Lord that I am not craving gluten filled products (except for chicken nuggets, yum) as much as I had anticipated. The diet thus far has been incredibly manageable and simple (as long as we aren’t going to restaurants…that can get tricky unless it’s Mazaa or Noodles and co.). I have found new inspiration to cook and am having a great time trying to hone in on my non-existent inner chef skills.

OK. Here are the cons:

• Obviously, saying good-bye to most fried foods, all fast food, soy sauce (the GF version just isn’t the same), ravioli, flour tortillas, (soft, warm) cookies, ready-made pie crusts, monkey bread, Hawaiian sweet rolls, cookie dough, Chinese noodles, PB&Js, Zatarain’s, Crown burger, flat bread, naan, barley, so on and so forth.

• Needing Andy to baby-sit my foolish cooking ways. I am learning and trying really hard, but I still do stupid things like chop up the stalk of fennel instead of the root (whoops) or purchase the 16 oz can of diced tomatoes instead of the 28 oz can. I am thankful to have Andy here to fix my mistakes, but it’s so frustrating!! Also, I am a terror when it comes to other people offering guidance. I get stubborn and oppositional defiant…imagine a 25 year old child grabbing the knife and shouting, “NO!! I CAN DO IT!!” Disgustingly enough, that is me, the cook, in a nutshell.

• Reading labels. I am not good at this yet so I try to steer clear of mixes and spice packs. I mean, I know when a product says ‘wheat’ ‘barley’ or ‘rye’ it is usually out but it’s trickier than that. Thankfully, I have a friend who has offered me a crash course on label reading. What average person really knows what Triticum monoccum, L-cysteine, and rennet are? I hope to in the near future.

In-betweens (neither pro nor con…just me thinking on paper):

• Many GF substitutions are friggin’ nasty. I would rather stick with foods that are naturally devoid of gluten than start eating millet bread. Also, I tried my hand with some brown rice rotini…never again. I hear that rice tortillas are pretty good, but I am content with corn. I don’t see the necessity for substitutions. I can’t have bread anymore…ok. That doesn’t mean I need fake bread! I know, I just haven’t developed a taste for it, but still-- that fake pasta was super gross.

• Andy is a super good sport. He is the ultimate guinea pig and trusts me to not poison him inadvertently. He eats all of my concoctions (even if they suck) and tells me how good it is and how well I did. He has been a fantastic cheerleader. Also, when we eat at home, he’s gone mostly GF with me. We keep a loaf of bread in the fridge, but we’ve been on the same loaf for 4 weeks now. He was good enough to finish off my wheat thins for me (so I wouldn’t be tempted) and sticks to his gross triscuits (by which I am NOT tempted).

Pros:

• Three weeks in and 8 lbs down. Completely unexpected and not too shabby! It’s amazing what happens when you become really picky about what you eat. I have been devouring fruit and almonds like they are going out of style. Since I’m down 8, I’m going to go ahead and hope for 15 more. :)

• I feel better! I guess this probably should have gone at the top of my list but frankly, I am more excited about losing weight. :) Who wouldn’t be? It will take a little longer for my intestine to heal but so far, so good!


• New recipes!!! I am compiling my own book of recipes that I know I can cook. If a recipe doesn’t work, I throw it away (or in one case, Andy makes it work). I have absolutely fallen in love with cooking lentils and quinoa. I have entered the wild world of cumin, coriander, and fresh garlic! I now use strange vegetables called bell peppers! I have never gone through so many onions in my life! So far, I have successfully made (among many other things) a Thai soup, Risotto, Mazaa’s spinach and lentil soup (not their recipe but it tastes exactly the same!), a zesty Mexican chicken and rice dish, and I anticipate my first roast this weekend. For now, I have no desire to bake. I don’t like baking; I have never liked baking. I always preferred to buy the pre-made dough and eat it raw. Mmm. This disease will make a cook out of me yet.

• Cheaper food bill per month. Andy and I were notorious for saying things like ‘we really need to stop eating out so much,’ stick with that cute idea for a week or so, and then continue our 4 or 5 meals out per week. This lovely little disease has made eating out somewhat difficult. I would rather cook and have to deal with waiters…isn’t that sick? Also, because I am cooking more, there are more leftovers to take for work lunches. Brilliant!

That’s my list so far. Celiac disease isn’t easy, but it’s WAY better than what I was anticipating. I appreciate all of the advice and suggestions given to me by my family and friends. I am doing great and learning a ton! Thanks for your support!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mr. Bubbles and other stories...


I went to the Michael Buble concert last Friday. April and I were graciously invited to attend this fantastic concert by Meg (whose blog you might want to read as well) and Lolly. These are two fabulous ladies and we had a great time.

We had a great dinner, lots of Buble music, and the concert was great; however, this is not the focus of this post. I would like to talk about the people who surrounded us. With no offense to Mr. Buble or Naturally 7, the most memorable moments of my evening belong to various nincompoops.

Nincompoop #1: The waiter at the restaurant. I know that I am still really new to this celiac thing, but I found this dude to be incredibly unobservant. After a long discussion about what on the menu was gluten free and me explaining to him that I couldn't have gluten, the waiter brought me a salad covered in croutons. Brilliant. April told me that he probably didn't think about it. Fair enough. I pushed the plate aside and waited for my delicious curry (I would have sent it back, but he had a tendency to avoid our table like the plague). Finally, our dinner arrived. He handed me my curry over rice and quickly left. I looked down and noticed that my gluten-free dinner had four large pieces of flat bread nestled in it. Again, I pushed it aside and waited for him to come back. April was good enough to catch his attention and remind him of my situation and explained to him that the plate needed to be remade...not just pick off the bread. The waiter apologized and returned five minutes later with what I suspect was the same plate with the bread picked off. Whatever. I ate my meal (which really was delicious) and figured this will be the story of the rest of my life with restaurants.

Nincompoop #2: In Megan's Blog you will read about the 'Douche Family". When we found our seats (10th row!!!), we quickly grabbed our cameras and began taking pictures of our proximity to the stage. Megan turned around and asked an awkward pubescent boy to take our picture. He was obviously not educated in the ways of social etiquette (which, judging by the matriarch is not that big of a surprise), awkwardly took the camera with a 'what am I supposed to do with this?' look on his face. He managed to find the big button that takes the picture and also succeeded in handing the camera back without too much difficulty. Success for the pubescent boy; good job dude. We began the concert thinking that they would be ok. They seemed like hip enough people. This was disproven as soon and Michael Buble began his concert. As Megan and April are HUGE fans of Michael Buble (I mean, serious, teenage, screaming, grabbing, etc. fans of him), it was only natural for them to jump to their feet and began screaming for his attention. Without our knowledge, the entire audience had sat down after the initial opening. The matriarch began shouting and Megan and April, "EXCUSE ME!!! EXCUSE ME!!!" during the opening song. Megan and April had just noticed they were the only ones standing (and were beginning to sit) as the matriarch continued to shout at them 'EXCUSE ME!!! EXCUSE ME!!!". She caught Megan's attention and yelled that she and April needed to sit down because her awkward, pubescent offspring couldn't see Michael Buble. Douche family. Even if April and Megan decided to stand, what was it to her? You are at a CONCERT, madame. When one is at a concert it is normal to experience any of the following: screaming, standing, dancing, singing, stripping, throwing articles of clothing, etc. It is NOT normal to remind people of rules that apply at a ballet or symphony...it's also not normal to sit tight lipped with your arms crossed through a concert you paid a lot of money to see. Also, if your awkward teen can't see, perhaps he should stand as well. Douche bag matriarch, take your valium.

Nincompoops #3 and 4: Harry and Alice. Harry and Alice were obese and sat right next to me. When I say right next to me, I really mean halfway on my seat. I am no dainty flower myself, but I am able to sit in a folding chair comfortably. Poor Lolly had me in her lap for the majority of the evening. Anyway, Alice pulled out her husband's nifty iphone do-hickey to take a picture of Michael Buble. She tried and tried to work the phone and finally resorted to screaming questions over the music we were all enjoying. The conversation went like this:
Alice: HARRY! HARRY! I CAN'T GET THE CAMERA TO POP UP!
Harry: WHAT?
Alice: I SAID, "I CAN'T GET THE CAMERA TO POP UP!"
Harry: DID YOU CHOOSE THE LITTLE PICTURE OF THE CAMERA?
Alice: THERE WAS NO PICTURE OF A CAMERA! WHERE IS THAT? I DON'T KNOW HOW TO WORK THIS THING!
Harry: ALICE! CAN'T YOU DO ANYTHING?
Harry takes the phone, pushes a few buttons and is able to get the camera function to appear.
Alice: HARRY!! THE PICTURE JUST WENT AWAY! WHERE DID IT GO?
Harry: WELL, GEEZ, ALICE. WHAT DID YOU PUSH?
Alice: I DIDN'T PUSH ANYTHING!! THE PICTURE JUST WENT AWAY!
Harry: ALICE, THE PICTURE DOESN'T JUST 'GO AWAY'. YOU MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING!
Alice: HARRY, I DIDN'T!! IT JUST WENT BLANK!
The conversation went on in a similar manner for the next 20 minutes. They screamed about the damn camera solidly through five songs. I wasn't sure if I should tell them to shut their yaps or continue listening for blogging purposes. I obviously chose the latter.

So there are the nincompoops of the evening.

The concert was fantastic, I am in love with the bass singer from naturally seven, and I am so grateful to Megan, Lolly, and April for allowing me to participate! Thanks, ladies!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Those sneaky Acura designers

The short story is that I need a new half shaft. I've never heard of it before and I don't know what it does. I know that it is somehow involved with the CV boot and the transmission and that I am lucky neither of those are damaged. That is great news and I am very fortunate for that. However, the needed part won't be in until Tuesday and it is crucial that I don't drive my car. Long story short: Loaner.

If you are the proud owner of an Acura, you know that their loaner cars are probably one of their strongest marketing points. I took in my '99 CL and they gave me a 2010 TSX with less than 1500 miles on it. Automatically, I imagine myself with this car (which I think is why Acura gives you a brand new car as a loaner. Clever.)The car is super snazzy and (as with all nice cars) I am a little nervous driving it.

I got into the car, adjusted the seat and the mirrors, took a deep breath and turned the key in the ignition. The car started 'ding'ing at me and the annoying bright red letters popped up "Very Low Fuel". No big deal. There was a Smith's on my way home; I'll just swing in and fill 'er up.

I pulled up to the gas station, parked the car, and began the search for the fuel door release button. On my car, this button is found on the floor right next to the trunk release. I looked to the floor where I found the trunk release but no fuel tank release. I reached over to the glove compartment. No button and no owner's manuel. I yanked open the center console. There was an AUX input and a USB drive (nice!) but no button. I looked at the door of the fuel tank but there was no way to pull it open. It was flesh with the car. In a panic I called my dad. My mom used to drive a TSX so I figured they would know better than me.

"Dad. Do you know how to open the door to the fuel tank?" I asked, having been sitting at the gas station for a solid 10 minutes looking for the stupid button.
"It should be on the floor."
"Right. That's what I thought too but there's only a trunk release."
While on the phone with my dad, we went place by place through the car to figure out where I hadn't looked. After exhausting ever possible place the release button could be, my dad said, "Well, call the dealership. They'll know."

Still sitting at the gas station, I called Andy to get the number for the dealership. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with my inability to figure out how a stupid door opens. Andy answered and I quickly asked for him to look up the number of the dealership. I explained the problem.
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"Is the button on the floor like on your car?" Andy asked.
Ugh. "No, that's where it should be but it's not," I snapped now 15 minutes into the process of locating the fuel door release.
Andy, being ever helpful went through different spots where it might be. Finally he offered,"Do you want me to come see if I can find it?"
"Andy, if you think you can do a better job looking, by all means, but I really just want the number to the dealership." As Andy began looking up the number for the dealership, I got out of the car to see if i could pry open the door with my bare fingers. I pushed on the fuel door and...dammit.

It popped right open.

"Nevermind," I told Andy. "The effing thing just pops open."

I began fueling the car when my dad called back.

"I just figured it out," I answered the call.
"Yeah. So did mom," he replied.

I hung up the call, not wanting to spontaneously combust from static electricity. I hung my head in shame. Seriously. One of these days I'll learn to use my brain.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reasons why I love Oregon (from this trip):

1. I saw 2 bald eagles, 1 golden eagle, a great-horned owl, lots of antelope, and countless hawks. I always see the best wildlife on the drive from Ontario to Bend.
2. Any given grocery store has a better beer and wine selection than the BEST state liquor store in Utah. Whole foods really was remarkable. Andy was like a little boy in the candy store. He kept running to take a closer look at all of the imported and Oregon brewed beers. It was pretty adorable.
3. The state troopers are super nice. The first question he asked when he pulled us over was if we had a reason for going so fast. I was floored! What a considerate thing to ask. I only wish we had had a legitimate reason for speeding. Sorry, Sarg. We really do appreciate the verbal warning rather than the reckless driving ticket it could have been.
a. Here’s a shout out to the Idaho Highway patrol. I appreciate your professionalism though your reason for pulling us over was completely ridiculous. I can’t believe you pulled us over on the freeway to ask where our front license plate was.
4. Where else can you be accosted by Greenpeace, random Christian zealots, and hippies making/selling hemp hats in one hour? Let’s not forget the teenage addicts who were able to get three quarters for me because he told me his dog needed food. Yes, I know. I fed his addiction. Shame on me.
5. Despite the hippies, it smells better than any other state I’ve ever been.
6. Grandpa Parker was there and he is an absolute delight. He told us stories about growing up in Southern California (way before it was a popular place to live) with his dog Stub stealing watermelons from his neighbor. What a fantastic dude. He skyrocketed into my top five people ever.
7. The produce. Hands down, delightful.
8. Cindy's cooking. She was so kind to think up dishes that I could have (I don't think I announced that I have Celiac disease) and they were always super tasty. Someday I will be gifted in the ways of culinary arts but until then, I will enjoy the cooking of people like my mom and Cindy.
9. Thom’s church. Every time we visit Bend, we have the opportunity of attending Thom’s church. It is always such a wonderful, uplifting experience. I wish we lived closer so we could go every Sunday. Thom, fantastic sermon, as always.
10. The number 10 reason why I love Oregon is because it’s the best state. To all of you from New York and Texas who are hyperventilating right now, I’ve been to your states and they have a lot to offer. But I maintain that Oregon is the best.

On a bright note: being pulled over twice on the freeway has proven that my window is fixed. It successfully went down AND up twice!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spazzy McGee

Spazzy McGee is a name I have bestowed upon a male Nurse Practitioner who not only attends every single training class I am in, but feels it necessary to sit next to me at every one.

Spazzy enters the lecture 30 minutes late. He gracefully makes his entrance by creating a loud vortex of stomping feet and rushed movements proving that he was too important to arrive on time. In a state of upheaval, he pulls out his macbook pro, phone, pager, various papers, and writing utensil which inevitably spill into my desk space. Politely (though thoroughly annoyed) I shove them back the three feet to his desk space. After five minutes of disruptive behaviors which vaguely resemble getting prepared for the lecture, he answers his phone (during the class) and loudly stomps back out of the lecture hall. This very scene will happen 3 times over the next hour and a half.

Unfortunately, Spazzy returns. His return is heralded by the loud stomping steps he must take to announce his return. He flops down and loudly sucks his nasal cavity into the back of his throat. He turns to me:
“Where are we?” he asks loudly.

Irritated at his return I whisper in response, “About 45 minutes in.”
“No,” he says at full volume. “Where is the speaker in the power point?”

I would like to smack this guy in the head for sheer lack of manners. “She’s there” I say sarcastically pointing to the projector which obviously had the power point displayed.

Spazzy starts laughing loudly at my response. He then begins a seated dance which ends up lasting for a solid 25 minutes. This dance includes jiggling his legs back and forth (not bouncing his feet, JIGGLING is legs), bobbing his head up and down like a chicken, and loudly tapping out his favorite rhythm on the desk. At this point, everyone in the room dislikes this guy. Even the speaker isshooting him dirty looks.

During Spazzy’s dance, he decides he is bored with the lesson and needs to check his email. His chicken-head-bob stops long enough for him to lean all the way into his computer screen until his nose is touching the screen. He stares and stares. Finally he resumes a ‘normal’ sitting position and continues his chicken dance. He angrily types out an email.

Once the angry email had been typed Spazzy dials his phone and has a fair amount of conversation as he stomps back out of the lecture hall.

The class heaves a sigh of relief. But it doesn’t last long.

Soon, Spazzy returns with three plates of food. One plate holds his very large pretzel, another plate holds a huge serving of cantaloupe, and the third plate is a large mound of cheese. Spazzy grabs five or six chunks of melon in his hand and shovels all of it into his mouth, finishing off this grotesque display with a large slurping sound. Spazzy continues to cow his food, washing each bite down Napoleon Dynamite style by tilting his head all the way back and gulping his beverage.

After Spazzy has satisfied his appetite he, once again, sucks back whatever has crept into his sinuses since the last evacuation. Spazzy puts his hands behind his head and begins leaning back in his chair, rocking so far that in no time at all, his head is resting on the desk behind him. At this point, Spazzy begins talking to himself in response to the speaker. “Ah yes,” he says. “But of course!” he muses.

All of this I could handle. As annoying as he is, I could put up with it for the greater portion of the lecture. What I couldn’t handle was when Spazzy took off his shoes and placed his stocking feet on my chair so his grodie, nasty, stinking feet were touching the outside of my leg. This I could not stomach.

I stood up in the middle of the presentation and loudly whispered to him, “You have GOT to be EFFING KIDDING me!”

I moved across the classroom and was able to catch the last 30 minutes of the 2 hour lecture.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Sexy Reynolds

A war has been waged upon my picture of the ‘Sexy Reynolds’ which can be viewed on the right column of this blog just under the ‘random cuties’.

Here is the comment (or shot, if you will) that declared war:

“That's all well and good Candace. But just as soldiers are confused and often misperform as a result of the "fog of war", any reasonable response here, is doubtful due to the "fog of Burt". That picture over there is very disturbing and makes it difficult to take meaning from your writing.
Remove Burt now, and increase your credibility infinitely. Burt sucks and is a big douche.”

First of all, whether Burt sucks or is a big douche is neither here nor there. I don’t believe either of those arguments is accurate but that is not the point. The topic of focus is the picture that I decided to put on my blog when I started it June 2007.

I am grievously sorry that you find the picture of ‘Sexy Reynolds’ just a little too masculine. I understand to some it can be a little intimidating and can cause an unspecified type of envy. My suggestion is that you think long and hard about your person on the inside to be at peace with ‘Sexy Reynolds’ on the outside. If you cannot, might I suggest a counselor?

As this blog has been in existence for roughly three years and this is the first time I have heard anyone even mention ‘Sexy Reynolds’, I feel that you are the minority and are therefore overruled. I am forced to come to the conclusion that people are capable of forming coherent opinions and writing them with the picture present…you seem to the only one with that disability.

Furthermore, I was not aware that this blog awarded me any credibility. Thanks!

Gary, I thought this picture of ‘Sexy Reynolds’ was super hot in 2007, and I think he’s super hot now. ‘Sexy Reynolds’ stays.