Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Confirming the Stereotype

Andy wanted an external hard drive (EHD) for Christmas. Easy.

I went to our local Apple store and made my way to the back corner where the EHDs live. I stared at the huge wall of multiple brands and sizes trying to make heads or tails of what I was looking at. 500GB, 750GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, Iomega, Western Digital, LaCie, G-tech, Porche… I was overwhelmed.

As if sensing my distressed state (or perhaps just seeing a girl staring at a wall), an employee approached me.

“May I help you find something?” said Scott with a sympathetic smile.

I continued staring, baffled, at the wall of possibilities. “Um, I’m not really sure what I’m looking for.” I immediately hate myself for not doing some homework about these little boxes and how many I would have to choose from.

“Well, you’re standing in front of the EHDs”.

“Right. That’s what I need but I don’t know much about them.” SHAME.

“Ok, well, what size do you need?”

“I don’t know.” SHAME.

“How much memory is on your computer currently?”

“I don’t know.” SHAME.

“What kind of computer do you have?”

“A black one.” SHAME.

“A black one. What year did you buy it?”

“Uh…five years ago maybe? Four?” SHAME.

“Was it four or five years ago?”

“I don’t know.” SHAME.

“What will you be storing?”

“Music and pictures.” AHA! I knew this one.

Scott grabbed a 500 GB EHD and began telling me about how it was his favorite brand and it rarely had problems. I held the box and stared at it waiting for it to tell me that it was just what I was looking for. I turned the box around in my hand pretending to look for something and trying to seem interested in what Scott was saying. At least, I think I nodded my head in the correct places.

“So, when I say we’re storing music, I’m talking about hundreds of albums” I challenged Scott. “Do I need something bigger than this?”

“Oh” said Scott. “A lot of music. Ok.” He took the 500 GB EHD out of my hand and replaced it with a 1 TB EHD. He thought this would hold us over for a while.

Unfortunately they didn’t have this size in his favorite brand, but he thought this other brand would be ok.

I thanked him for his help and checked out. Leaving the store, I hung my head in shame as I had just confirmed the stereotype that women know nothing about technology.

Thank God women like my sister are in the world to prove this stereotype wrong.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nothing went according to plan.

A week ago, Andy and I had the opportunity to present a Christmas program for a delightful group at our church. We were approached by this group two months in advance and agreed to provide background music for a Christmas dinner. They would graciously provide dinner for us in return for our involvement.

One month ago we found out we would not be providing background music. We were asked to put together a 45 minute concert to serve as entertainment after dinner.

OK. Not what we were expecting. But OK.

Andy and I sat down and talked about the possibilities. We came up with the following program:2 songs by Andy, one song by me, 6 song group carol sing, one song by Andy, a duet, and end with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. We figured that this would cover about 45 minutes.

We purchased the music and worked on our program.

The night of the dinner/concert:

I raced to the church after work with my change of dress in tow. I quickly made a power point slide show for the group carol sing. Andy showed up and we warmed up, checked levels, and sang through a few songs. Due to our frazzled state, we asked if our dinner could be held for us until after the concert.

A group of singers asked if they could join us onstage for the carol sing in the middle of the program. The more the merrier, I figured.

With the guests pleasantly filled with their delicious dinner, the program began as perfectly as could be desired. Andy rocked his first two songs (hardly a dry eye in the house) and I was pretty content with my own performance. We invited the group of singers onto the stage and we led the audience in a 6-song-medley. All was going well until a lovely lady (with the very best of intentions) announced to the audience:


At her announcement, everyone in the audience grabbed their belongings and headed for the door. Andy and I remained on stage trying to figure out what had just happened. We still had the other half of our program to do. Did we care? Did we call out for everyone to come back? Did we just shrug it off and go get dinner?

We chose the latter. We chuckled over the strange ending to our concert and went to the kitchen to retrieve our dinner.

Before we reached the kitchen, we were met by a guilty looking lady who informed us (with her head hung low) that our meals had accidentally been thrown out. She firmly thrust a $20 bill into Andy’s hand and apologized over and over again for how the night turned out.

Then she asked if we would do a concert for their mother/daughter dinner they hold in May.

To which we replied: Yes.

Monday, November 21, 2011

You know what you should do...

Disclaimer: I fully acknowledge that advice givers speak from the kindness of their hearts with the sole purpose of helping others through their expertise and wisdom. That said...

I have some sort of bug, a virus that is dwelling in my throat and making me sound like a sultry baritone. I am not congested. I am not sneezing, hacking, or sniffing. I generally feel fine. I merely sound like a dude.

Have you ever noticed how much advice you get when you sound like you might be sick? I’ve noticed advice givers a lot lately(particularly myself…I LOVE to give advice—I’m working on it). While advice about curing a virus usually makes me roll my eyes, I prefer the advice givers to the people who form a cross with their index fingers and scream “STAY AWAY” at me. However, that is another post for another day.

Since I lost my voice four days ago I have compiled a list of the spontaneous advice I’ve been given to cure me. 9 times out of 10 the advice giver begins his or her session with the following words:

You know what you should do…

• Emergen-C (people always swear by it)
• Gargle Cayenne pepper
• Put eucalyptus oil into a pot of boiling water and inhale for 20 minutes
• Drink tea (preferably a concoction of pickled ginger, cayenne pepper, tobacco sauce, vinegar, and black pepper)
• Increase your vitamin intake
• Wear two scarves (or 3 if you have a third)
• Gargle lime juice
• Netty pot (ugh)
• Stop talking (which, I admit, I agree with and failed to do over the weekend)
• Massage eucalyptus oil into your pressure points
• Put Vic’s vaporub under your nostrils and eyes—apparently it doesn’t work as well when it’s just on your chest

This is my list from the past four days. If anything else noteworthy is mentioned, I’ll be sure to update the list. As for now, I thought this was a good start.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My personal chauffer

My morning commute began as it always did. The short walk from my front door to the bus stop, waiting for the bus which is notoriously 10 minutes late, the grumpy grunt in response to my “good morning”. Nothing out of the ordinary. I snuggled into a seat and immersed myself in my book.

Ten minutes later, the bus turned right and began heading up the hill when the driver called out, “Hey! Does anyone know where this route goes from here?”

The passengers of the 213 nervously looked at each other. The woman one seat in front of me spoke up: “You don’t know the route?” I recognized this woman as a regular rider.

Apologetically, the driver confessed that she hadn’t driven this route in six months and the route had changed since that time. Additionally, she hadn’t reviewed the route before she began her shift.

The woman in front of me smiled maliciously and whispered “This means we can have her drop us off wherever we want!”

Before I could respond, the woman stood up and ran to the front of the bus to help the poor driver find her way.

As we pulled up to the stop where everyone should have gotten off, I stood up to exit the bus. The woman looked at me and said, “Don’t you remember? The route changed and this bus now goes all the way up to the Hospital!” I expected her to give me a giant wink.

“Ma’am,” I began to the bus driver, “this woman is lying to you. The route changed three weeks ago. This bus no longer services the hospital. At the next light, you are supposed to make a left and head down to Central Campus."

The driver looked at me, then at the woman giving her directions. The driver shrugged and said, “Eh. I’m in no hurry. I don’t mind heading up to the hospital.”

I immediately exited the bus frustrated by the woman who used public transportation as her personal car service. I was also frustrated by the driver who gave into it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Restructuring your life, starting over, turning over a new leaf, shaking it up, etc. These have been my never ending mantras for the past several months. I woke up one morning in June and found myself in a funk. I was unhappy. And I couldn't figure out how to get happy. I was bored with everything and craved a change. I sat down and began to brainstorm the kind of change I was looking for. Unfortunately, the product of my brainstorming session was either too expensive for our current lot (travel the world) or just impractical (move to a new state). I considered school for a while but really had no direction or motivation to speak of.

After dismissing all of my ideas for change, I decided I just needed to get a grip. That's always my first thought when I encounter another person in a funk. Dude, snap out of it. So I gave that a shot.

I dwelled on the blessings in my life (of which there are far too many to count). I made an effort to recognize and acknowledge every kindness that was shown me. I constantly reminded myself how selfish it was to wander around in a grumpy funk. To no avail. I just couldn't shake it.

Hence my three month break from blogging.

I sat down once more at the end of September to list out exactly what was wrong. First on the list (an almost instantaneous addition) was my job. My job was a constant source of anxiety and heartache. I was grateful to have a job but decided that my mental health could use a break from the ever-present stress. Ok. Good progress. #2 on the list: my zumba class. I was lucky enough to find a place that would let me teach zumba. I worked hard to make sure my classes were perfect. I was early to every class and ready to go with a bounce and a smile. Class after class, week after week, no one showed up. I truly felt like a failure. Other things were added to the list from body image to attitude; from spiritual walk to not knowing where to go from here. Each line item knocked me down a peg. The simple act of opening my blogger account made me feel hopeless and discouraged. I felt out of control.

Do you know the best way to handle feeling out of control? You find something small that you do have control over and do something drastic with/to it.

I cut 12 inches off my hair.

I instantly felt better and more confident. Not because I chopped my hair off but because it was MY decision. It may sound stupid but I felt liberated. I was lighter and magically developed an optimistic outlook.

Slowly, things are turning around and I am resurfacing in the world of the functional and content. I quit my failing zumba class which was wasting my time and gas. I will find another class sometime but it isn't my focus right now. I accepted a new job today. I can't say with any certainty that it will solve my problems but it's a change. And anything different is good.

Anything different is good.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mourning books

When I get attached to a book (I mean, really attached) I will mourn its end. Regardless the ending, I am depressed that it’s over. This doesn’t happen very often but when it does, I really feel that I go into some kind of mourning.

I recently finished a series that had me absolutely captivated (800 pages in 2 days tells you something). When I read the final page, I was so content with the ending and so sad to have lost this new world. I mentioned this feeling to a coworker and she looked at me like I was an idiot.

So, I just want to throw this out there: Does anyone else mourn the end of a really good book? I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who goes through this. Or perhaps, is there a better way to describe it? Is it more of a withdrawal?

Regardless, I’m usually sad for a few days, consider reading it again, and finally choose a book that is a polar opposite of the book in mourning.

What books do you mourn and how do you deal?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Do you feel SO much better now?

Andy and I had the pleasure of visiting some friends and family over the 4th of July holiday. We made the miserably dull drive to Reno and celebrated the birth of our nation in style. We barbecued, we hiked, we enjoyed the casino scene, we saw some fireworks—it was an all around fabulous trip.

When we arrived at our friends’ house Aron told Andy their t-time was at 1 and Mara had the brilliant idea of the girls hitting the spa while the boys golfed. I couldn’t have picked a better pastime. We chose a spa located in a hotel in South Reno. I’d never been there, she’d never been there. It was an adventure. We arrive at the spa, fill out the paperwork, change into robes, and wait for our massage therapists.

Cindy emerges from the bowels of the spa and leads me back to a room. On my way, I notice that the spa has a nice ambiance and friendly staff. So far, so good. Upon entering the room, my attention is drawn to a reusable grocery bag filled with used Tupperware and trash. Apparently, Cindy has just finished her lunch and left it in the treatment room. I silently wondered if they don’t provide a break room and lockers in which Cindy could have left the remains of her lunch. I shrug off the thought and prepare for the heaven that is a massage.

Cindy increases the volume of her zen-friendly music and the massage begins. “So, are you a guest here?” asks Cindy. Ugh. Chatty therapist. This is always a tricky situation. I don’t want to be rude but I also don’t want to talk. Thankfully, I escape the situation when someone knocks on the door and enters followed by a very loud whisper saying “UGH!! I’M SORRY, I’M SORRY. I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE WITH A CLIENT. I’M SORRY, I’M SORRY, I’M SORRY!!!!” Cindy begins laughing loudly and hysterically and feels in necessary to tell me what she finds so funny. She begins a monologue about every single time she’s been interrupted or starts working on the wrong client. I close my eyes and try to tune her out.

After Cindy’s recount of several stories she falls silent. I think I’m in the clear until “Man! Your skin is soaking up my oil! You must be dehydrated!” I feel that this statement goes into the category of “things you shouldn’t tell people who are tipping you.” I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that she was using cheap scented oil. But, whatever. Maybe I was.

Usually a massage therapist will ask you how the pressure is. I waited for this question and it never came. So I softly clear my throat and say, “Would you mind doing a deeper pressure?”

“Oh no,” Cindy begins. “This is a Swedish massage. Did you want a deep tissue?”

The massage continues and I notice that my heart rate is up and something is weird. Then I place it. Her zen-friendly music has morphed into a bad ass electric guitar solo. I am listening to hair metal at half volume.

That was it. I was ready to leave. 45 minutes had gone by and I wasn’t relaxed at all. I was frustrated and formulating this blog post the entire time. Cindy takes a final breath signaling that the massage was over.

“Well, that's it," says Cindy. "Do you feel SO much better now?”

Monday, June 6, 2011

What can I get you to drink?

My #1 largest pet peeve at a restaurant is the following:

You go to a restaurant, you are seated at an acceptable table, and you begin perusing the menu options.

You are enjoying a conversation with your dinner companion when the waiter (or waitress) approaches.

"Good evening," begins the wait staff. "What can I get you to drink? Coke (or Pepsi) products? iced tea? raspberry iced tea? lemonade? raspberry lemonade? coffee? hot tea? or perhaps an adult beverage?" (so on and so forth)

This introduction drives me bonkers.

I imagine it's pretty rare for someone not to know what they want to drink. Also, if you pose a question to your customers, isn't it only courteous to wait for an answer (rather than bombarding them with twelve different drink options)? If the customer has a question regarding the restaurants offerings in the way of beverages, don't you think they'd ask?


Sunday, May 29, 2011

What I'll endure for Zumba

I walked into a nearby Gold's Gym on Friday evening to attend a Zumba class. I had to miss my Thursday class and was feeling a little roly-poly. I walked directly to the front desk.

Helper: "Hello! Welcome to Gold's Gym! How can I help you?"

Me: "Hi. I would like to purchase a drop in class for the 5:30 Zumba class."

Helper: "OK! The guest fee is $10, I'll need you to fill out this form and I will also need your ID. We hold onto this until you're done with your workout."

I handed over my card and ID and started filling out the form. Pretty standard.

Helper: "Oh, by the way, I'd really like to introduce you to my friend Brett! He would love to meet you!"

Brett: (from a nearby cubicle): "Well, hello there! I'm Brett!" --Yeah. Got that much.

Me: (to the helper) "I'm not interested in a membership. I only want a drop in class."

Helper: "Brett, this lady is doing a drop in for ZUMBA!"

Brett:"Oh, you don't want to pay for a drop in class! You want a membership!"

Me: "I'm not interested in a membership. I'm here for a drop in class."

Brett: "But why pay for it when you could sign up for a membership and get the class free?"

Me: "Yeah. I'm pretty sure I'd still be paying for it. I don't want to be part of Gold's Gym. I'm just here for a drop in class." --(I feel like a broken record)

Brett: "But if you sign up today, your class is absolutely free."

Me: "I'm here for a drop in class. I'm not interested in becoming a member."

Brett: "Why aren't you interested in becoming a member?"

Me: :"Y'know Brett, I feel like you aren't listening to me. I'm going to say this one more time. I'm not interested in membership. I am here for a drop in class."

Brett surrendered my ID and showed me to the classroom.
The Zumba class was less than thrilling. But better than nothing.

The end.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

26 facts about this 26 year old.

In honor of my 26th birthday, here are 26 facts you may or may not know about me:

1. I peel bananas backward.
2. I use the New York Times bestseller list to know what NOT to read.
3. I don't like the feeling of my teeth scraping a fruit pit so I don't eat fruit with pits. Even if the fruit has been cut up.
4. I was diagnosed with hearing loss in fourth grade and wore supplemental hearing aids until high school.
5. I know all of the words to American Pie by Don McLean (and have since I can remember).
6. When I was younger I wanted a limo, an RV, or a Honda Del Sol when I grew up. Those three were always present on my MASH game.
7. I studied psychology because I knew I was the next Clarice Starling.
8. I usually count stairs as I climb them but not when I descend.
9. I had every intention of joining the Peace Corps when I was 21--it ended up not working out.
10. I hate asparagus.
11. I obsessively watched the Kids Inc. movie as a child and was able to sing all of the words to "Gloria" and "I Need a Hero". I wanted to be Stacy so bad.
12. I look to my sister to keep me up to date on the latest in fashion and accessories. I rely her hand-me-downs to stay hip and with it.
13. I have lived in Citrus Heights, California, Utah (Pleasant View, Ogden, Salt Lake), and Bentonville, Arkansas (technically) and have dwelled in twelve different homes/apartments.
14. Most of my time between jr. high and college was spent purchasing and memorizing every broadway show I could get my hands on.
15. I love roller coasters but hate the feeling of falling.
16. It's a life goal to hold every type of wild baby animal.
17. I wish I lived in a place where cars weren't necessary.
18. Andy and I spend most of our alone time sitting on the couch laughing.
19. WALL-E is my favorite movie.
20. I rarely send cards (any type of card). I prefer sending presents instead.
21. I wish I could travel more... like everyone else in the world.
22. I believe that people who have made bad decisions in their past can make good decisions in the present and future. Working at a lock-down juvenile facility taught me that.
23. I claim Styx as my favorite band.
24. I miss my mom's yogurt pie with graham cracker crust more than any other food. I've tried to recreate it but it never turns out as delicious.
25. I love playing the game "Name that time signature" with Andy. Rush makes the game more interesting.
26. Ideally, I would buy a ton of land and adopt every animal that needs a home. There is no excuse for the amount of animals put down every day from neglect, cruelty, and ignorance.

Monday, May 2, 2011

High Five

My friend, Mandee and I met for lunch in Ogden as she will soon be leaving for London. After eating a delightful lunch, we decided to walk around 25th street and check out some boutiques in that area. Our first stop was a new age-y store that was not our speed. The second store is the awesomeness that inspires this post.

We walked into a sort of shrine to Ed Hardy. Bejeweled jeans as far as the eye could see. Oversized jewelry populated the center of the store. Hiding within the Ed Hardy wear, one could find a cute sundress here and there. These sundresses were the purpose of us being in this store in the first place.

Upon entry, we could see the store was a popular spot. It was crowded and had a line for the dressing rooms. Mandee and I began sorting through the Ed Hardy monstrosities to find any sort of wearable item.

Mandee was victorious and found five cute items to try on. She proceeded to the fitting room. I waited outside of the dressing room with my arms crossed.

The atmosphere changed as a greased up 40 year old (who turned out to be the owner) approached me, placed his hand on my back
and asked how my day was going. #1- a strange man's hand was on me and #2- his person (not to mention his overpowering cologne) was invading my personal space. I could practically tell you what he had for lunch. Gross.

“I don’t mean to be rude but please don’t touch me. It makes me feel uncomfortable.”

“No worries, no worries! I hope you have a beautiful day!” said aged Jersey Shore man as he moved on to his next victim.

I watched the man approach most of the customers in the same manner. Apparently, this is the way to gain customer rapport in Ogden. What was really disturbing is I watched multiple women carry on animated conversations with his hand resting comfortably on their bra straps. Ugh. I resumed standing with my arms crossed staring and the dressing room.

Not five minutes later, Jersey man was back in front of me. “You never answered my question. How is your day going?”

“It's fine.”

The man looked at me, cocked his head to one side and held up his left hand. “High Five,” he said.

WTF. “Thanks, I’m fine,” I responded coldly.

“What?” asked Jersey man.

“I said 'I’m fine. Thank You'.” I repeated with my arms in their securely crossed position.

He moved away and turned his attention to people who would accept and appreciate it. My friend made her purchases (which Jersey man deemed “excellent purchases” which needed a high five—she awkwardly tapped his palm and looked at me with confusion) and we left the shrine.

We stopped at a few more boutiques but this one was by far the highlight of my shopping experience in Ogden.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I am generally a good sport. I am terrible at most sports but can have a grand time when with good company. I love bowling, though I average about 40 points per game. I have developed a love for hiking, though I am winded 15 minutes in and am really slow. I can even enjoy an afternoon at the driving range, though every ball I hit manages to bounce a few times before even leaving the gate. What I can’t handle is a game of putt-putt.

Miniature golfing is stupid. I remember as a kid liking and hating putt-putt at the same time. As an adult, I am finally able to recognize it for what it is: an annoying humiliation.

Andy took me miniature golfing for one of our first dates. I warned him that I was a poor sport and would not be much fun but I promised to give it a try. After getting our stupid little sticks and our stupid little balls, I took my pretty pink ball and threw it right into the stream. I looked at Andy and said, “It will end up there anyway,” with a shrug. He obtained a new ball and the game began.

Andy became increasingly frustrated with me as I met his helpful putting hints with disdain and threats. He tried to teach me good putting form; I preferred either whacking the ball as hard as I could or dragging the ball with my stick directly to the hole. Eventually, he gave up and laughed at my shenanigans.

That was almost 7 years ago. We haven't been since.

I’m not sure what it is about miniature golf (and board games) that makes me such a poor sport. I can’t think it’s because I’m bad at it—I’ve demonstrated above that I’m bad at a lot of things I enjoy. It might be the jolly little courses that mock you as you fail. Who knows.

Happy Gilmore knows what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.

We chose Lugano as the venue for our 2 year wedding anniversary celebration. Lugano holds many special memories for us and is one of the best meals you can get in Salt Lake City. I made the reservation last week and we anxiously looked forward to what would be an undoubtedly amazing meal.

I picked up a dress at Urban Outfitters last month (80% off!) and have been looking for an occasion to wear it. What better time than for an elegant dinner to celebrate our anniversary?

Monday rolled around and we spent the day relaxing and enjoying each other’s company (minus the one hour it took to renew my driver’s license and the DMV). At 6 PM, we began primping for our dinner date. I put on my new cute dress, my awesome wedding shoes (in honor of the day), and the earrings Andy brought me from Spain. I put on some make up, whipped up my hair, and was content because I looked super hot.

We went to the restaurant and had a great dining experience. We started with wine/beer and salads (Andy- arugula salad, Me-baby spinach salad), moved to our main course (Andy- short ribs, me- risotto of the day), and sadly declined dessert as we thought we would burst.

After arriving back at home, I took off my coat and began unbuckling my shoes. At that moment, I put my hand over my backside and felt skin. I stood up, mortified. I ran my hand along the back of the dress and found that the entire seam from waist band to skirt was non-existent, exposing my bare bottom. With wide eyes I thought through the evening, trying to remember any time I had felt a pop or a tear, anytime I had added extra strain to the seam. Nothing came to mind. I ran to Andy.

“How long has my dress been like this?!?” I screamed with utter horror.

“Hunh. I don’t know,” said Andy. “I didn’t notice it.”

“Oh. My. Goodness. I bet I mooned everyone in the restaurant!”

I removed the dress and inspected the two foot tear. Yep. This wasn’t a tear from too much stress on a seam. This was a stitching error. It looked like it was never stitched in the first place. Then it made sense—the dress was 80% off. I never noticed the gaping hole on the back side.

Happy Anniversary.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who’s got the pain when they do the mambo?

I Zumba. A lot. If you are unfamiliar with Zumba, it is a Latin-inspired dance/workout class that is not for the faint of heart. For a lifelong dancer like me, Zumba is a dream come true. Four days every week I put on my dance pants and do my very best Shakira impression for 60 minutes at a time. This post is from a class I take at a nearby rec center. The class is filled mostly with older women who shake it far better than me. It’s a party—no lie. Until this point, I’d experienced one teacher and just loved her enthusiasm and energy. She’s great. This particular day, I experienced a new teacher.

The new teacher showed up late, looked like she had just woken up from a nap, put on her Zumba music and proceeded to lead us in a four minutes song of nothing but squats. I was pissed. This was not Zumba. I stuck it out and finished the squat song. As we moved on to the next song (my thighs yielding an uncomfortable burning sensation), the teacher began to count the music off incorrectly. The music obviously went 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. She yelled out "1-2-3-4-5-1-2-3-4-5". Then she began her very best samba which looked like a cross between the Tin Man and a little kid who needs to go to the bathroom. This lady was obviously a kick boxer (no offense to kick boxers who like to dance). This continued for a full hour. She looked bored most of the time and had the energy of a wet mop.

At first, I was really mad. Why was a lady who couldn’t dance teaching a dance class (of sorts)? When the class was finished, I realized I had still had a great time. If nothing else, it was fun to watch her. Who cares if the teacher can’t dance?

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Worst Soup of My Life

Once every six months I allow myself a “cheat day”. This is the day I can have any gluten-filled craving my heart desires. I look forward to every March and every September when I can throw caution to the wind and have whatever I want. My past two cheat days have been at Greek Souvlaki where I order the Chicken Souvlaki in a pita (my favorite flatbread in Salt Lake). This March's cheat is special. This cheat is all about the chicken strips at Hoppers. Generally, I don’t like Hoppers. I have been disappointed time and again by their bad menu selection and even worse food preparation. Their chicken strips, however, are the exception. They are delicious.

Yesterday was a particularly stressful day at work. I ran around all day like a chicken with my head cut off and was even pulled aside by one of my superiors to ask if I was ok. I was in meetings all day and rushing to meet some very pressing deadlines. Finally, I caught my breath at 3pm and texted Andy “Do you want to go to Hoppers after Zumba?” I had Zumba at 6:30 but thought that some much needed chicken fingers (my first in over a year) would do my soul good.

I went to my hour of Zumba and left feeling satisfied after my long day. I no longer wanted chicken strips. In fact, the mere thought of something fried made me sick to my stomach. Andy and I decided we’d go to Hoppers anyway since I wasn’t very hungry and Andy had been planning on it.

We went to Hoppers and were greeted by the nauseating sound of their live music where a well-intentioned woman was doing an unplugged version of “Living on a Prayer”. After requesting the farthest table from the live music, the hostess seated us, told us the specials, highly recommended the soup of the day, and left. We were faced with the underwhelming menu that Hoppers has to offer. I grimaced as the singer continued to sing too high for her range and Andy happily fixed his focus on the ever-present basketball games that make March as insufferable as it is.

Our waitress came to our table and we ordered. I decided on the soup: turkey chili (since it came highly recommended) and Andy got his usual: garlic burger. After a little while, our meals came out. Andy’s looked pretty good whereas mine looked like chunks of unrecognizable meat floating in what seemed to be teriyaki sauce. It was DEFINITELY not chili. Andy and I looked at my bowl in disgust.

Andy said, “That looks…”

“Terrible.” I finished. “Will you taste it and let me know if I’ll like it?”

Andy (the trooper) took the spoon and swallowed some of the soup. He stared at the table while smacking his lips a few times.

“Well?” I asked. “How is it?”

Andy contemplated the question. “It’s salty,” he said diplomatically.

I took my spoon and filled it with the brown liquid and put it in my mouth. Salty was about the nicest description it could have been given. Really, I would have described it as “Ass in a bowl”. “Poop flavored salt lick”. Or perhaps just “effing disgusting” (that’s right, effing). Andy and I came up with some other descriptions that are just too graphic for a classy blog such as this.

Anyway, I was not eating this soup. Andy and I wondered aloud if the hostess knew what she was promoting when she “highly recommended” it. I understand that restaurants have their staff push certain menu items, but I believe this is the quickest way to lose a customer. A new customer might think If they are recommending this bowl of excrement, how much worse is everything else on their menu?

The waitress noticed I had pushed the bowl aside and asked “Oh, did you not like it?”

“No,” I replied with a smile. “It’s really terrible.”

I ended up not ordering anything since the brown mystery stew and thoroughly killed any appetite I had. Sick.

On our way out, I mentioned to the hostess that she should probably not push the soup. It was really terrible. Hoppers has topped themselves yet again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not only is he not into you; you're a failure.

Generally, I try to keep this blog light and sarcastic but occasionally I am confronted by a piece of information (or two) that compells me to dust off my trusty soapbox and speak my mind. Here we go.

Author Tracy McMillan wrote an article titled "Why you're not married" for the Huffington Post. The article (if you choose to not read it) is written to educate 30-something single women about why they just can't seem to land a man. The author makes sure to point out "But I won't lie. The problem is not men, it's you. Sure, there are lame men out there, but they're not really standing in your way. Because the fact is -- if whatever you're doing right now was going to get you married, you'd already have a ring on it."

She goes on to list six reasons women fail to get married:
1. You're a bitch
2. You're shallow
3. You're a slut
4. You're a liar
5. You're selfish
6. You're not good enough

If this list sparks your interest and you would like to learn more, by all means, click on the link and read away. If nothing else, it's an entertaining piece that promises to raise your heart rate and inspire blog posts such as this.

I don't want to talk about the article, whether I agree with it or not(I DON'T), or harp on the author. I read the piece as more of an entertainment post rather than lessons of life. My fear, however, is that hundreds or thousands of women have read it as a lesson on life. And that depresses me.

Are women so desperate, so lacking in self-esteem, that they would take this advice from a thrice-divorced, tactless author? She is giving advice on how to get married, not how to have a successful relationship. In fact, she uses sentences such as: "a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself" and "if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly" which, in my opinion, is signing up to be someone's slave. What happened to setting goals? What happened to a marriage being a partnership? What happened to compromise, love, and respect? I feel like feminism never happened. Apparently, marriage will destroy your identity, ladies. If that's true, why would you want to get married in the first place? If that's true, these bitchy, selfish, slutty, egocentric women know where it's at.

Actually, I feel that this article is for any woman who is married to give herself a self-righteous pat on the back for obviously not being any of the aforementioned things (God knows that no married woman is capable of being a bitch or selfish or shallow or lies or fill-in-the-blank) since she's married.

This might be my favorite part:
"Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something -- it's about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession -- a free-agent penis -- and for us, it's the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland." I don't think I need to add anything to this. The blatant stereotypes really speak for themselves.

Although Tracy McMillan brings a few sentences of grace toward the end of the article, I was mostly appalled by it. But then, I read the article "Why I'm not married (and it's not because I'm an angry slut)" by Jessica Ravitz on CNN.com and really wanted to put my fist through my computer screen.

I was so excited to see a rebuttal to Tracy McMillan's "Why you're not married" and had high hopes for it! I was expecting to read a strong article by a strong woman that was written to empower, not condemn. I wanted to read about choices and priorities. I would have been happy with the "Everything in its own time" argument or perhaps (dare I say?) the idea that God might be in control or have a purpose or one of those ideas that are usually scoffed at.

What was offered was this woman's life (sob) story about all of the circumstances that surround her singleness. Her early distrust in men, following a guy across the country who was obviously not interested, committing to a man and running away, several failed dates, etc is all narrated in this article. It read like an apology. While she was giving real life instances that counter the six reasons stated by McMillan, never once did she mention anything that would hint at self-esteem.

So here's my soapbox. If you found value or guidance in either of these articles, What are you looking for? Why are you looking to these authors to tell you why you are a "failure"? Has it ever occurred to you that maybe there is nothing wrong with you? You have gotten this far in life without McMillan or Ravitz to tell you what is wrong or who to blame. I'm guessing you are smart enough to get along without them a little while longer.

Women, you are exquisite. You are strong and powerful. You have the ability to climb mountains, succeed in life, and love in many, many ways. Why are we considered failures if we aren't married by 35 (or in Utah, 19)? Why do we allow our self-esteems to be destroyed time and time again by any ignoramus with an opinion? No one wants to be lonely and everyone wants answers. But, really. Are you willing to resign and condemn yourself in this offensive way?

Food for thought.

The reasons I hate(d) Las Vegas

I went to Las Vegas for 18 hours to take an exam last weekend. Here's what I (already knew but) confirmed on this trip:

1. The flight is inevitably hijacked by a bachelorette or "Dirty 30" party that talks non-stop about how wasted they are going to get. Also, they can't seem to understand the time change thing and feel it necessary to debate it for 40 straight minutes. At the end, they decide they don't really care. As long as they don't miss Jersey Shore.
2. People really think that high fashion in Las Vegas consists of anything that is sequined, two sizes too small, and shows off one's bright pink thong.
3. It's. Too. Damn. Expensive.
4. Dear Mr. Porn hander-outer guy, as I am walking down the strip with my arms full of luggage and other travel items, what makes you think I want to take your smutty, porn fliers?
5. Drunk sloppiness. Everywhere.
6. People who take pictures of the Eiffel Tower or the Arc D'Triumph at the Paris hotel and casino. Hey guy, they aren't real.
7. Ed Hardy on old women (or anyone for that matter). I hate you Ed Hardy.
8. Know-it-alls on the shuttle who feel it necessary to announce to everyone which casino is which. Just in case we couldn't read the numerous, enormous, flashing signs. "See the one in the shape of a pyramid? See that one? That one is called the Luxor! See? it's like an Egyptian theme!" Dude. Cool it.
9. Bachelor parties who really think that the "Hangover" will happen to them and therefore quote the movie over and over again.
10. People who cleverly use the phrase "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas". For the love. Give it a rest. You aren't clever. You're annoying.

My above cynicism might have been due to the fact that I was sick and there to take a test. Or it might be that Las Vegas sucks. Either way--this list is true.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kickboxing and Me

I tried my very first kickboxing class not too long ago and found out that Kickboxing and I don't get along.

My first mistake was attending a class at a nearby college. When one chooses to attend a high-energy exercise class with a bunch of college freshman, one can assume he/she will inevitably be the fat kid in class. Thus, my pride was somewhere trodden on the floor by peppy 18 year old cheerleaders doing their collective jump rope very early in the class.

After the grueling ten minute warm-up we moved on to something just as peppy and just as exhausting. I expected kickboxing to be kind of like violent jazzercise. Interestingly enough, it was more of a chaotic Tae-bo class. And just like the Tae-bo class I took in seventh grade, I still can't do bean bag punches without giving myself black eyes.

Let's talk about the instructor. She looked and acted like an ex-Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. She wore a headset (which was silly considering the size of room and number of students). She really enjoyed making the "Woo!" sound and saying "Come On!" as a means of inspiring us to keep going. She was very disappointed that we didn't "Woo!" and "Come On!" with her. Sorry lady, I'm just not that peppy.

After jumping and swinging my arms like a monkey for 45 minutes, I excused myself to grab some water. As I took a sip I thought, you know, I wouldn't be the least bit sad if I left right now (I should point out that I had done an hour of Pilates prior to the "Turbo Kickboxing" class). I mentally chastised myself for being lazy and went back into the class of bouncing children.

Shortly after re-entering, the instructor announced that it was time for the cool down. PRAISE THE LORD!! We went to the floor and immediately began what felt like a million mountain climbers. Anyone who has experienced mountain climbers knows that, by no stretch of the imagination, can they be considered a "Cool Down" exercise. I reminded myself for the 20th time that I would not be returning to this class. We then continued our "cool down" with 100 crunches and 50 bicycles. I now know that the instructor really had no clue what "cool down" meant.

After an hour of bouncing, kicking, hitting myself, cursing my spare tire, climbing mountains, and setting my abs on fire, I limped home (I considered it my "cool down") and swore to never go back again. And I haven't.

I'll stick to Zumba, Pilates, rock climbing, swimming, and running. I think that's good enough for now.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The dreaded 213

I realized I haven't blogged about Salt Lake City's public transportation in a while. After Andy and I moved to Sugar House, I abandoned TRAX and began riding the bus (which is actually really nice--way better than TRAX). I began riding the 220 which picked me across the street from my house and delivered me to the hospital at which I work. Easy. Wonderful.

UTA decided to revamp the bus schedules mid-December which cause the 220 to no longer go to the hospital! In fact, no busses near me went to the hospital. Boo. I would have to transfer. After studying the new schedule I decided to switch to the 213 simply because it got me closer to the hospital than 220's new route.

So, the 213 picks up one block west of the 220 and let me tell you what a difference one block makes! The 220 uses beautiful, new, clean busses whereas the 213 uses super crappy, dirty, old busses. The people who ride the 220 are all commuters to the hospital. The people who ride the 213 are rude and stinky. Unfortunately, both busses cater to two high schools which isn't ideal for the morning commute.

I rode the 213 for about two weeks before I gave up and returned to the less convenient 220. Here are the reasons I chose the longer commute:

1. The 213 would NEVER arrive on time. It was either 10 minutes early or 10 minutes late (when it decided to show up at all)

2. The drivers are grumpy (The first day I rode I tapped my pass on the scanner and the driver mumbled something to me, "Excuse me?" I said, since he mumbled and I didn't hear what he had said. "USE--THE--ONE--IN--BACK" he yelled in an exaggerated way.)

3. The people who wait at my stop are weird (I struck up a conversation with a nice blind man who told me he really hoped I was LDS because the only nice people in the world were Mormon and he sincerely hoped I was one of the nice people. Then he invited me to a Sarah McLachlan concert for Valentine's Day.)

4. The people who ride the bus are rude (I gave up my seat for an elderly man with back problems and he called me a "bitch" very loudly because he was offended that I moved and didn't sit next to him. He called me a "stuck up bitch" loudly for 10 minutes until I exited the bus.)

5. High School students- though this one goes for 213 AND 220, (I listened to a Junior telling a sophomore about the really old movie that his teacher showed him called "A Beautiful Mind". He talked about how it was made when Russell Crowe was really young and how it was about some guy who was good at math, was "schizophrenia", and tried to kill his son . He thought it might have been based on a true story.)

6. College Freshman ( taking religion 101 talking about how lucky they are to be part of church that doesn't have any negative historical events to cover up unlike the Catholic Church.)

7. General Weirdoes (A guy interrupted me from reading to say, "I notice you are reading with your sunglasses on. Does reading with your sunglasses on give you a different perspective on what you're reading?")

Due to the above instances, I have switched back to the 220. Thank God.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Choose your own adventure: The mystery of the murdered blue man.

After much success with my previous "choose your own adventure" story, I thought I'd do another one.

Read the story and choose your own adventure!

Candace and Andy have a wonderful evening planned with friends. The evening includes great company, fantastic food, delicious wine, and much fun to be had all around. For everyone's ease, the hostess brings out rubber wine markers with suction cups to mark whose glass is whose. Candace picks out a silly blue one for Andy and sticks it to his glass.

Dinner is served and the friends gather around the dining room table. The wine is poured, the food is devoured, and the conversation takes form. If Andy remains gripped in conversation continue to part V. If Andy's mind wanders and he begins playing with his wine charm continue to PART II.

Andy mentally checks out of the conversation and is suddenly hypnotized by the rubber suction cup wine charm. He checks its bounciness by flicking it. He checks its flexibility by twisting it. The idea I wonder if I can twist this little blue guy in a full circle?enters his head and his experimentations begin. Andy twists and twists only to find that the little blue man cannot twist a full 360 degrees. The little blue man is severed from his suction cup and falls into Andy's lap. If Andy announces to the group of the blue man's death, skip to PART VI. If Andy decides to take care of the problem on his own, continue to PART III.

Andy immediately rises from the table and wanders toward the kitchen. To everyone at the table Andy looks lost and confused. He walks to the kitchen, turns around, takes a few steps back, and spins in an aimless fashion. "Andy, what are you doing?" asks Candace. If Andy informs the group that he is looking for the trash to dispose of the evidence, skip to PART VII. If Andy thinks fast and comes up with the first fib he can muster, continue to PART IV.

Andy faces the party group and and pauses. "I...forgot that...the wine in...the kitchen was...empty." Andy immediately walks back to the table and sits down in front of his half-full wine glass and partially full bottle of wine.. To find out the ending, skip to PART VIII.

Candace and Andy have a very pleasant evening with no topic left untouched. With the wine and food consumed, Candace and Andy bid goodnight to their hosts and go home.

"Hey, guys!" says Andy, "Did you realize that these wine charms aren't as flexible as they seem? I just tried to spin one around in a full circle and it broke off! Sorry, Kristen! Can I replace them?" The hostess assures Andy that it's ok. Everyone laughs at the situation and the party commences. After hours of enjoyment, everyone bids goodnight to their hosts and goes home.

Andy cooly responds to Candace by saying, "I forgot to spit my gum out! Does anyone know where a garbage is in this place?" Kristen mentions the location of the garbage and Andy is able to dump the evidence without anyone being the wiser. The party continues, fun is had, and the guests bid good night to their hosts and go home. It isn't until weeks later that Kristen thinks I thought we had another wine charm.

Andy turns to the hostess. "Kristen, I broke your wine charm."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cat Update and Happy New Year.

So, while everyone is writing inspirational posts about starting over, New years, and all sorts of resolutions, I decided against such a post.

I would rather tell you great news! Remember this post when we adopted little Alice Boo and Morty decided to hide for three weeks? Well, I finally got some pictures of them together. Here's the update:

Alice is no longer afraid of running water. Mort has taught her how to drink from the faucet.

Mort tolerates her existence and plays with her often. They sleep near each other but no sign of snuggling yet UNTIL...

...LAST NIGHT! I guess this can't be considered snuggling but they are sure cute sleeping butt to butt. Morty is a trooper and is so patient with Alice. Alice often jumps on his back and chews on his ears. They are buddies now. YAY!

Also, my New Year's resolution was to floss more. No joke. I'm on day five and going strong. Here's to a great 2011!