Monday, December 29, 2008

After Christmas

Well, Merry Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus everyone. It's late, I know, but I've been busy/tired.

How the kings and queens celebrated a full 12 days of Christmas, I will never know. We celebrated for roughly 5 days. By the 4th, fatigue had set in. Each of us took a 4-6 hour nap Saturday and fell asleep relatively early... wait... no... 3am doesn't count as early does it? Well... we slept anyway. And today just the idea of working makes my eyes close on their own.

But I have to say, tiring or no, this Christmas season was better than I expected. I'd never spent a Christmas away from my family before - and admittedly I was a little teary eyed and homesick Christmas morning - but all in all I feel like Christmas was full of cheer and joy and livers now a little worse for wear. This nerdy group I call my friends has grown on me quite a bit over the course of the past three months. I love them like family. Playing Wii with the Moores was like being around my own siblings, with the added bonus of cussing. And Ray and Nicole took care of those of us who are vegetarians. The veggie sausage was delicious. Ray's stories were very good. I'll treasure that piece of paper for a long time yet. Cade STILL needs to come play Clue with us so we can open that Scotch, but I'm just glad he came and liked his ship in a bottle kit. This holiday was truly a success. I seriously wish Olivia could have been there, but at least she'll be home soon!

My Christmas gifts this year were spot on. My favorite gift from John-Ross was definitely the Michael Jackson music videos. Klaus Kinsky the gold fish is pretty awesome too though, I must say. My dad's family sent me TimTams and some other junk food (they know me too well). I'm still waiting for our fussy mailman to bring the package my mom sent.

I'm excited for New Years' Eve. We're going to two dance parties I think. Mainly I'm excited for 2008 to be over already. It's been a seriously tumultuous year. Far from what I expected. Hopefully 2009 will be better. Or a little calmer at least.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sometimes, you just make me soooo happy.

I really want to make a post about all the friends I love and am thankful for lately. There are more than this, but I want to mention these people specifically just for being there and chatting with me and being so all around lovely, particularly this past week. In case they weren't sure. In no particular order, they are:

Celia
John-Ross
Elisa
Amalia
Ray
Ryan
Olivia
Bob
Ben
Dane
Andrew
Avery
Toby*
Sego*



*I know, they're dogs. But I love them just the same. They're so nice to me when I'm sad haha. I'm really glad we have them.

That's all. Just a who I'm thankful for list.

Monday, December 8, 2008

some ranting, some raving

I haven't been updating this as much lately. I was talking to Elisa the other day and I admitted I've stopped writing in here because it stopped being mine a while ago. The fear of who was reading it, the idea of writing to and for other people frightened me and so I began to feel myself unworthy of writing in my own meager little blog.

So, if you don't like it, bugger off. I'm going to try to write more anyway. Because honestly, I need it. I bottle too much up when I don't write regularly.

I'm feeling pretty weird tonight. I think it's stemming from a few things:

1) I hate my job. A lot. So much so that I've started a work day count down until I can go back to school. 98 days left. When I do go back to school, I'm going to have to find a part time job somewhere else, and I'm ok with that. I want to be able to afford school though, so I've got to save up as much money as possible. I've decided to start donating plasma twice a week. It's good money and I'll be helping people (who work for the big bad pharmaceutical companies... but still). I hate needles, so I'm really hoping I can go through with this. It'll pay rent each month if I can.

2) Our house is a mess and it's driving me crazy. I'm not always the neatest person. My family knows this. I can be messy as all get out. But I'm also a germ-o-phobe. This may sound weird, but let me explain. There's a difference between my germs and other people's germs (to me obviously. I don't mean that in a neurotic, "my germs are better than your germs" kind of way). There's a difference between living in my "mess" which is more an assortment of piles that I've strategically placed and know the contents of in depth; and living in someone else's mess, unable to find my other shoe or that tank top I just got last week or the hat I took the tag off this morning. And our carpets are disgusting.

I've called a cleaning company to have them come help us clean deep since none of us seem to know how to really scrub a shower or a kitchen floor or a toilet. And I've called a Chem Dry down here to come clean our carpets right after Christmas. I'm hoping this will make me feel better about where I live. Because as is, it's stressing me out so much that I can barely think about anything else when I'm home, but it's so overwhelming I can't seem to start on it in any direction.

3) I just want to learn to sew but the mess we have everywhere and the fact that I can't bring myself to do anything at home but obsess over how messy it is or watch movies or sleep means I haven't been focusing on it like I'd like to be. I want to get my skills up to at least intermediate so that I can take the intermediate and advanced classes as BYU this Spring and Summer, but if we don't get this place under control and my desk cleaned off and my little craft area set up, I'm not going to be able to get it done. I've started sewing lessons but the past two weeks just haven't worked out and I'm starting to get frustrated with it.

4) I'm not spending nearly enough time reading or finding new music. Two things I love and used to do regularly but these days just don't seem to make time for. It's driving me nuts. Every time I scroll through my Ipod I get annoyed.

So, those are the things bothering me in order of importance. The job thing is 98 work days away from being solved. The clean thing is hopefully 21 regular days away from being solved, or at least taken care of for a little while. The sewing thing will hopefully work itself out once the messiness does. And I'll just have to take more time for reading and music surfing now and then.

Ok.

Problems identified, plans made.

In good news: I like John-Ross. I like my friends. I love my roommates. Elisa's almost convinced me to join 24 hour fitness because they have a pool that's open 24 hours a day (!!!). I love weekends. I love discussing projects with Olivia - we're going to have a booth at a hip craft fair in the spring. I'm off of accutane and glad for it! (just a few more months and I can start getting my eyebrows waxed again. yessssss). I'm nearly done with my year of depression meds then I can go back to being an N instead of an S. Or maybe my full S will come out, who knows. Crappily great and greatly crappy 2008 is nearly finished. And Christmas is almost here!

All very good things.

That's life for now I guess. A little yin, a little yang.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Tofurky Day!

Today marked my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian. If I'd been with a lot of meat eaters, I may have been a little nervous, but being with my two other vegetarian roommates and Celia who only eats poultry anyway, it was the easiest vegetarian feast I've ever enjoyed!

Between the four of us we made food for roughly 86 people. We had green bean casserole, broccoli and cheese casserole, buttered asparagus, apple and cranberry dumplings, yams with marshmallows, vegetarian stuffing, mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, poppy seed rolls, regular rolls, cranberries, and pomegranate flavored Sprite. We forgot to thaw the Tofurky so actually we'll be eating that either tonight or tomorrow. But seriously, I think we're going to end up eating all this for about three weeks. And we haven't even started on the pies. We've got like four pumpkin pies, a berry pie, an apple pie, some apple strudel, and pumpkin muffins. SO MUCH FOOD.

And here's the thing, I've got two more Thanksgivings to attend. One tonight at Ryan's (I'm bringing mashed potatoes and one of my homemade pumpkin pies) and one tomorrow with John-Ross's grandparents. Intense!

Tonight, at 1am, I'm going to Mode with the roommies for the 30% off sale. Then to Coal Umbrella for 35% off of everything there as well.

And tomorrow it will be time to get a Christmas tree. I'm staying in Utah for Christmas since I'm a grown up now with a real job and not much vacation time. I can't believe its so close. I've got my Christmas presents for everyone all picked out already. I will not be taken by surprise this year like I was last year. No way, Monet!

Well, it's about time to start warming the potatoes and gravy for Ryan's. I'm really excited for this installment of Big Kids Thanksgiving. I love my friends. And get together at Ryan and Cade's are always fun. Plus, Ryan's quite the cook from what I understand. Although I won't actually be able to eat the turkey... I'll probably bring some Tofurky along for the ride.

Other than a few snags, today has been and will continue to be a pretty good holiday. My roommates are like my family. I love them. They're what I'm thankful for the most today.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Parties, People and Precipitation

Its raining. And the drops against the window are music to my ears. Living in Western Washington for 20+ years has bred in me a love for dark, dreary, clothes soaking precipitation. Its when I feel most at peace.

This weekend has, by far, been one of my best. Friday night was Christmas in October. I was Daria and JR was Trent. Favorite costume of the night was Ray's. Who dressed up as a gay Jewish DJ. He pulled it off fantastically. His crocheted ringlets were probably my favorite part. And might I add that Ryan's home made cider was some of the best I've had.

Last night was the Toga Party. I found a way to tie my toga that meant I really could go without having to wear a tshirt or shorts underneath. And it stayed tied all night, no slippage or loosening. Those Greeks really knew how to party. I tell you what. The music selection made me wish Joey or his friend could be my personal DJ's all day every day. The mix consisted of dance hits from the 60's and 70's. I, of course, boogied the night away along with everyone else. And afterwards the crew watched 300 at Ryan's.

Seriously. From beginning to end, I thoroughly enjoyed this weekend. I don't think it could have been any better. And I can't get over how much I like the new friends I've made in the past month. Utah, I may not always call you my favorite, but you've done great things for me. Thank you. Sincerely. Thank you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

XP on an MB

Why would anyone - EVER - willfully run Windows on a Macbook? This is ridiculous. All the perks of having a Mac have been made null and void. Nothing works. I CAN'T EVEN FIGURE OUT HOW TO RIGHT CLICK.

Work, I love you sometimes. I'm glad you've made it possible for me to work from home (or Washington State) by providing me with this practically vintage Macbook, but just run Tiger or Leopard already would you? Life will be made so much easier with the myriad shortcuts, working volume buttons and compatibility between the business and graphic design departments. It'll all be worth it in the end, love. I promise. Just do it already. MAKE MY LIFE EASIER.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

another death in 2008

My mom's mom, my grandma, passed away tonight.

It's been a tough go. I have mixed feelings. She's the grandma I feel the most like. We have similar personalities, similar struggles in life, similar interests. But I haven't been on the best terms with her the past year - or even few years.

There's so much to say about it, but I don't know what's appropriate, what I should air. And grief makes me tired. As do all negative emotions these days.

I loved my Grandma Anderson. I hope she's at peace now and that she's found what she was looking for at long last.

That is all really. That is all.

Monday, October 6, 2008

#100

I have found that living in a place I like living and being with people I like being with means I spend much less time wishing I were elsewhere and pretending to be there by perusing the internet. What I'm getting at, is that I finally have time to read. I spend my real world time in the place I used to try to reach with my internet time, which means I spend my internet time reading books I like.

Current: The Savage Detectives by Roberto Belano
Next: Darkmans by Nicola Barker
Follow Up: Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

I feel like I'm finally returning to homeostasis.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quick Update!

1) I moved to Utah almost two weeks ago now
2) Provo is wonderful
3) Sego rocked my socks, particularly Pierrot Le Fou, The Eden Express and Return to Sender.
4) I love my roommates (two of whom are also vegetarian)
5) I love our two dogs Toby (a Dachshund) and Sego (a cute little German Shepherd-Pincer mix)
6) My friends are fantastic and take good care of me
7) Both Sigur Ros and Why? put on amazing shows. Why? is particularly fun to dance to
8) I finally got a job and it pays $15/hr and is at least full time, if not more. Imma be rollin' in't!
9) MY LOFT BED IS FREAKING AWESOME!
10) I need a new phone (I'm thinking about a Blackberry once I get some paychecks coming in)
11) I do miss some peeps from home
12) But I've met some really wonderful people since moving back
13) I'm happy here. Things aren't perfect, but that's life. And I'm ok with it. I'm where I'm supposed to be. And things are looking up, though admittedly I've got to get this anxiety of mine under control.
14) I'm an ISFP. Look it up. It'll probably explain oodles and oodles about me.

And with that, I love you, I'm sorry I never update. Be well my lovely friends.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

places I'd rather be


I think about the last frame in this webcomic almost daily. I find it heartwarming and full of hope.

I'm not really in my usual chipper state these days. I rotate between anxiety, anger and depression. I am not in San Diego. And I'm missing a few key people greatly.

The bright spot in my life is that I'm moving in less than two weeks to Utah. I leave the 20th and should arrive the afternoon of the 21st if my dad drives with me. If he doesn't I'll make the trip in one shot. This wasn't part of my original plan but current life necessitates it. And at least I'll be there in time for Sego.

Sigh. I just have to make it through the next two weeks then hopefully things will start looking up again.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Not a shopping blog, Ross.

Fall is here. Tonight was crispy as I took Avery home. I said goodbye to her. It's probably the last I'll see her at least until Christmas (assuming I come home for that, if not, it might be a year). We chatted all evening while I began the dejunking process. I have five garbage bags of old letters, photos, mix cds, clothes, and just plain garbage - anything with a negative conotation really. I'm ready to let go of the baggage.

If need be, I could have my entire room packed into my car by the end of tomorrow. I can't tell if this makes me feel better or worse. Or maybe just the same. Lighter though. That, for sure.

I'm anxious about applying for schools. I'm worried about saving up enough money to support myself without any help from my parents. I'm panicking about finishing my Book of Mormon class. I'm nervous about all the changes happening and overanalyzing even the simplest things. But even so, I'm happy I'm finally moving forward. I'm tired of living someone else's idea of my life. I'd like to practice being me the way I see myself.

Whatever that means.

San Diego in 7 days. It's going to be so fun. And a welcome break from my worries. After that, it's just a matter of being patient until my move. I hope I can make it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Keeping my hands and head busy

This IS a shopping and crafting blog. Boys, if you want to stop here, I won't blame you.

It's been an interesting week. This weekend came as a relief. Particularly given my parents decided it was a "vacation" Sunday. Which gave me a few hours extra time to start and finish my new sewing project:

It's a yoga bag. (more photos here). It only took me about two hours to finish (which means I'm getting much faster), and despite being a "level 2" I found it quite easy to put together. I also learned a few new things about Isabella in the meantime.

There is in fact a yoga mat inside it. And both the mat and it's cover will be getting quite a bit of use from me!

Tarin and I are starting Yoga classes tomorrow. We found a little studio about fifteen minutes form work that has the best introductory rate I've ever heard of. We'll be getting unlimited drop in classes for two months, which is perfect since it lines up with when I'm planning to leave for Utah. We're starting out with the Beginner's level since its been a while since I really got into it and Tarin's only done Pilates before. But we want to move up to the Intermediate class asap. I'm also going to look into the Yin Yoga class, which is deeper joint stretching.

Given how excited we both are, we decided to trek up to Bellesquare yesterday and go to Lululemon, a yoga gear and clothing store. We each only got a new mat but I tried on some of their clothes and holy cats I wanted them all! They fit like a dream and are soooo comfy.

While we were at the mall we, of course, stopped in Sephora (where I took Tarin's Sephora virginity. She said it was a special moment and was so glad to have shared it with me haha). I got some Stila blush for the fall that basically looks like NARS Orgasm blush but without the sparkles. I love it! We also went into Lush, where I did indeed buy some of the Buffy scrub (I converted Tarin too). I tried the Buffy out today. oooooh myyyyy wooooord. Worth every penny. My skin feels healthy and smooth and moisturized. Best purchase of yesterday, by far.

Oh! And! This will show my truly shallow fashion crazed side, but whatever. If you haven't noticed my worldiness yet, you've been missing a huge portion of this blog :P

I dragged Tarin into Aritzia, and as I was looking at this adorable grey, blue and peach colored dress that of course was sold out in every size except XS, Tarin came over to tell me about a cardigan she was in love with. What was shocking though, was that it was $455.00. Yes. That is correct. $455.00. For a cardigan. I didn't believe her at first because while Aritzia is a bit spendy, its definitely NOT $455 cardigan expensive. Or so I thought.

So we went to check it out. And it really was adorable. I mean drool over it, wear it every day for the rest of my life cute. And it really was $455, which left my jaw hanging for sure. Just then the sales girl walked by and said something about it being a Chloé. And I looked up and sure enough, there was a sign. Chloé. All around us, Chloé dresses, jackets, blouses, sweaters. I ran my hand over the Ikat silk dress that I've seen in countless magazines and tried not to pee my pants. I was touching a Chloé dress hahaha

I don't know if shopping gets any geekier than that. But it sure is fun!

And in closing I'll leave you with some wise words from one Jona Bechtolt (Y.A.C.H.T.) "We want all that stuff, all that stuff that cost's too much. We feel sad and such, are we owned by our own stuff?"

Friday, August 22, 2008

I don't know how it happened

but it would seem half of everyone I know is rotating between Provo, San Diego and Portland between now and the next six months. I don't get it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Crafty Little Thing

Some of you may remember (or maybe none of you do, either way see here for a reminder) one April day this year when I decided to purchase a cheap sewing machine from the evil empire that is WalMart and make some napkins as my first foray into the sewing world. Well friends, four months later my little project actually happened. This afternoon I decided to unpack my sweet beginning sewing machine (which I've named Isabella), read every single instruction I could until she was usable, and then practice on some scrap fabric.

Four hours later, Isabella and I churned out some fairly nice looking cotton napkins! My first one has some wonky stitching but it didn't take me long to get some at least fairly even looking edges going.

I really really like this hobby. Projects can vary from a few hours to a few days but progress is so fast! I mean one minute you've got yards of fabric and the next you're cutting, ironing and stitching it into something usable. I would definitely like to keep this up.

Also as stated in the post linked above, I was going to finish my orange knit bag. Well, tonight I finally went to put the buckle on and realized it just looked much better without straps or a buckle. So I undid the stitching on the straps to take them off, and left the flap just hanging. I don't know if I'll ever actually use this bag as it's really impractical for anything other than knitting projects. Get anything heavier than a bit of yarn in it and it droops to the floor. Still, it was fun to make given I had to use gigantic knitting needles. Plus I love the color.

And lastly, I did "finish" the purple crochet blanket. I would still like to add some embroidery on it somehow, and I think it needs some edging so it doesn't look so unfinished, but at least for now it's usable (though in this weather who needs it?). The huuuuge crochet hook I got to use on this was so much fun. Progress was fast too because the double yarn made it so thick.

So, I DID manage to finish some projects for once. For a few more pictures, see my crafts photostream on flickr. I'm sure I'll keep uploading pictures of my projects as I complete them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Damn you Free Willy!

Alright, for tonights blog we have a special guest, one Avery Ann Berschauer. Last night we got into a discussion concerning whales. For roughly half an hour. And the following is what we came up with. I think you'll find it makes a lot of sense when you really think about it:

What is the movie that defines most people of our generation's childhood? None other than "Free Willy!" It was not just children who worshiped this movie. People of all ages could not get enough of that lovable Orca, Willy. Filled with friendly sea creatures; an unforgettable song by Michael Jackson and themes of family values, friendship and integrity, this movie spoke to the masses.

"Free Willy" was the answer to millions of good, strong Christian families' prayers. Finally a movie came along that children wanted to watch and parents approved of. The only way for this movie to have been even more fulfilling for these Christians would have been for Willy to have turned out to be Jesus Christ. Talk about the twist! Jesus does return but in the form of a whale. Makes perfect sense. Whales have been used before in the Bible to teach lessons. Willy is Jesus and he has come to tell everyone to love one another and that Christianity is the true religion of the world.

Now obviously, this did not happen, but think of what our lives would have been like if that had happened. There would have been an entire generation of children who lived moral lives because Willy, I mean Jesus, had reached out to them in cinematic format. Crime, underage drinking, teenage pregnancy, and drug use rates would all be down. We have to be realistic and not say that these things would not go away. I mean, what about the kids that did not hear Willy's message of love and leading a Christian life? Instead of going to church they would be shooting up and having unprotected sex. Naughty! Naughty! Willy would not approve.

There was still hope though! Willy was a real whale that resided at the aquarium in Portland, Oregon. Millions flocked to see Keiko, the star of "Free Willy." I was one of these people. I ventured down to Oregon with my parents to meet the most famous Orca in history. I had dreams of being able to communicate with him. I wanted to be Kieko's best friend. Willy was a fictional whale, but Keiko was legit! Wide eyed and innocent, I was about to meet my destiny. Keiko was in the tank directly in front of me. I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. This moment was about to happen. I knew that seeing Keiko would definitely be the crowning moment of my life. Forget my graduation or wedding day, this was a big milestone!

But then some thing happened. What could be the worst thing to a little girl who expected this to mean everything to her? Keiko made it very clear that I meant nothing to him. Turned out, Keiko was a diva. He hung out on the opposite side of his large tank most of the day and every 20 minutes he would make a lap of the tank. That cocky bastard! Yeah, I bet he liked hearing the applause and screams of the adoring children, but he didn't give a damn about them. So easily he forgot about how he got so famous. His public made him who he was, especially the little people, aka children!

From that moment on, I was jaded and hated Keiko.

I caught wind that years later there was a plan to "free Willy." Millions of dollars were raised to release Keiko back into the wild. Oh! That is rich! Just what that snob needs, more publicity. Here is the kicker though. Turns out Willy did not want to be free so much. He did not respond well to his natural surroundings and did not survive long in the wild waters of Iceland. My theory is that he died due to a lack of attention. Karma is a bitch, huh Keiko?

Which leads me to this conclusion:

If Willy had just been Jesus Christ in whale form and was actually nice and not an oversized blowhole, I would have lead a clean, moral life! I would feel compassion for the world and would want to spread pure, sweet Christian love instead of being on this downward spiraling path to Hell! Damn you, Willy! Damn you! You could have saved a generation, nay a civilization, but you decided to stay on the other side of your tank!

NOTE: Keiko may not be the correct spelling of the whale's name, but I did not feel he was worth googling to find the actual spelling.


EDIT: I would like to point out to anyone reading this (because I didn't make it very clear earlier) that this was written by Avery Berschauer, not myself. While I wish I was clever enough to voice our opinions the way she does, she's the one with the magical tongue (oooh YEAH :P) -Pamela

Put it back in your pants Russia! Put it back. In your pants.

Russia is attacking Georgia. And while the Russian Prime Minister is in China for the Olympic opening ceremonies no less. Frightening to say the least. I mean maybe I just haven't been paying attention, but where was the lead up to this? Maybe we're all so busy worrying about Barack Obama claiming tire pressure will stop our energy crisis to notice conflict arising in other countries.

I think I'd like to move to Sweden now. Thanks.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Questionable Content

Ok, we are going to completely ignore any of the things that have happened in the real world the past few days and stick to the intar-webz. Because, ugh, I don't even want to think about it.

Thanks to my lovely friend Dane, I am officially 100% obsessed with Questionable Content. 1027 comic strips and 3 days later, I'm trying to force myself to slow down. Because eventually (cough tonight cough) I'm going to get to that point where I actually have to wait a day for every new strip. And I don't even know how I'm going to handle that (or not being able to just skim the guest strips and get back to the main story line).

The thing is, I relate to these characters. I mean reading this is like reading someone else's take on my life. Just, everyone is scarily better looking. But the conversations and the interests and snobbery! oh the snobbery! It's just so me and my friends.

I just got to the point when Steve and Meena are having the "what happened with your last boyfriend" conversation and it was astonishingly similar to my (somewhat) recent history. That overwhelming feeling of just not living up. Knowing if it doesn't end, you're going to make a really stupid decision just to get out of it. And all because the other person is simply too perfect.

How can I relate to drawings this much?? I don't even know!

Also reading Persepolis. My first foray into the graphic novel genre. It's wonderful so far. Our matching freckle is what first intrigued me (see the top right side of the bridge of my nose - no, it is not mascara), but after further investigation, I realized it was a worthy read for other reasons as well. I'm learning a lot about Iran in the process and I'm hoping once my French skillzorz are up to par, I'll be able to read it in it's original language.

Oh, and I guess I'll throw in two small tidbits about real life: 1) Neumo's need some freaking air conditioners! and 2) I've never seen Conor Oberst so happy in all my life (and all 4 times I've seen him) than he was on Wednesday. It was pure magic. I thought I'd eaten some rainbow slices and unicorns hairs and hallucinated it all. But no, I think it really happened. Conor Oberst was ACTUALLY SMILING. A LOT. Weird, I know! And yet strangely glorious.

Alright, I think I've taken a long enough break from QC. Time to finish this bad boy UP! (also, I just really want to see Faye get together with Sven already. I mean we could see that one coming from a mile (and two years) away!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Adventures, Anxiety and Animals

I woke up on the brink of an anxiety attack this morning and it hasn't subsided. It hasn't blossomed into the stomach wrenching, heart pounding, barely able to walk symptoms that usually occur, thankfully, but I'm still not feeling great. I haven't been able to pinpoint what I'm feeling anxious about exactly so it's been hard to fight.

However. Babyanimalz.com has helped significantly. Basically I want one of these:


Isn't it just squishy, fluffy, floppy, oh so adorably huggable?? I love its cute little arms and ears! aaaaah!

So I know I'm like 2 years behind on this, but my brother and I finally bought Zelda: Twilight Princess on the Wii and oh em gee I love it! I love slashing the wii-mote to beat bad guys up, and the tail spin thing I get to do as a wolf ROCKS! Heck, just being a wolf is awesome fun.

I think next on my list is Zelda: Wind Waker (from the Game Cube) and Boom Blox. Both look very entertaining.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Devotion

Friends, I'm back with the random shopping links and Project Runway blogs. Beware!

Last night was the season premier of cycle 5 of Project Runway. Mmmmm. Don't try to contact me on Wednesday nights between 9 and 10, because chances are, I won't be available.

I haven't decided who I'm rooting for yet. It's a little soon to tell. I was surprised the garbage bag dress didn't go home last night. I felt it was less innovative, though also less frightening, than the shower curtain rain coat. And generally the judges prefer something a little more outrageous over pure blaaaaah.

It was good to see Austin back from season 1 as a guest judge though. I have such a crush on his lisp. Adorable!

So my latest shopping obsession: Lush. I have been lusting after the Buffy Body Butter and the Honey Waffle Soap. I've decided I'm allowed to buy neither of these until I finish my online Book of Mormon class (which I've been dreading but severely need to get out of the way if I'm going to go back to BYU in the winter). I tried the Buffy at the Lush store at Bellesquare and it's wonderful! Got bumpy skin? This'll take care of it straightaway. And it moisturizes AS it exfoliates. Incroyable! And most of their products are vegan. Yay!

Oh and new favorite thing from Sephora: Givenchy Phenomen'eyes Mascara. I really want to try this. The applicator looks perfect for those hard to reach inner lashes.

Seattle/Tacoma salon goers: anyone know a good place for eyebrow threading? I can't wax until I'm off Accutane, but apparently eyebrow threading is allowed. These caterpillars are getting a little out of control, so if you know of anywhere nearby that isn't completely sketch, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Lastly, Beach House. Why didn't I know about this before? Where have I been? Sigh, sometimes I'm so behind. Anyway, thoroughly enjoying both albums.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Amazing!

Oh my gosh. This made my day in a completely bizarre way:

Two elderly women (75 and 77) were sentenced to 2 consecutive life terms in prison after taking out insurance policies on homeless old men and then staging the deaths of two of them to look like hit and run accidents.

I HOPE I'M THIS AWESOME WHEN I'M 77!

My favorite part is when Rutterschmidt berates Golay for being "greedy."

aaaah, what a world!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Today I

1) Made a grown man cry
2) Hiked the hill with my dad and baby brother
3) Got hollered at by Mexican and high school boys alike
4) Ate edemame
5) Wasted a shit ton of time

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Man Beheads Hitler.... waxwork......

I woke up WAY too early this morning (6:39 to be exact) and got to work at 7:05. Yes I DID get ready in 10 minutes, thank you very much. It's been... slightly redonkulous (I use that non-word regularly these days. I don't know why). One guy didn't show up this morning. Cool. I had the pleasure of rescheduling all his appointments for Monday. We still haven't heard from him. He might be dead in a ditch somewhere for all we know. Awesome.

Every time the phone rings I'm terrified it's going to be Duct Tape Guy. He's schizophrenic and calls about 6 times a week on different lines to ask if we can get Duct Tape out of his carpet. When questioned on how it got there, his answers range from "I don't know" to "someone put it there" to "some people that I don't know came in and put it there... I don't know why." Apparently it's everywhere, and you can't pull on it or get it off the carpet, even when using knives.... Each time he calls it goes back and forth between "But can you get it out? But how much will it cost? But... can you get it out? Well, how much is it going to cost? Hmm... could you get it out though?"

I had a dream a few weeks ago that he was stalking me -- standing outside my doors and windows just waiting for someone in my family to come out so he could get it. When he called the other day, I answered and had to make someone else talk to him because I was so creeped out. My mom spoke to him on Wednesday and he asked if someone could call him Saturday morning to set up an appointment. She promised someone would. Guess who that someone is....

But I am NOT calling. Our tech manager is supposed to, except he's not here. So in the mean time I'm stuck praying every phone call that comes in will be a legit customer or sales call. Anyone but duct tape guy!

Luckily it's been pretty quiet/boring in here this morning (less moments of deep fear struck to the center of my heart as that little red plastic button lights up and the ringing begins). I've been reading random CNN articles and found these gems:

Man Beheads Hitler Waxwork
- I'm pretty sure Hitler felt that one! This world is definitely a safer place now.
Faked Tiger Photo Sparks Web Furor - Who knew a poster of a tiger cut out and placed in some bushes could cause such controversy and get so many government officials fired?
$32,000 for Queen Mother's 'Pack the Gin' letter - Hey, the Queen Mother obviously knew how to plan an outing.
University given collection of 78 rpm records - Syracuse Univeristy got 50 tons of old 78s! Effing awesome! I want to venture there just to check out their sound lab, it's second only to the Library of Congress!

So that's my boring day so far. I don't feel like being productive per se, so I'm blogging/reading/dreading duct tape guy instead. I'm seeing Tilly and the Wall tonight, which I'm pretty excited about. And I may see Maria Taylor tomorrow night at Tractor Tavern. We'll see how it goes.

Cheese lovers: I finally tried Brie. And the consensus is..... I LOVE IT! This is literally the first time I have ever said that about a cheese. It was sooo much better than that hammy smoked gouda I tried. I like soft cheeses. I think next on my list is this Stilton I saw that had cranberries in it. It looked pretty delish. I might be coming over to your side. I can't say for sure, but if it gets better from here, then you've definitely won me over. Good lord. I will now have to inform people I'm not only a bottled water connoisseur and a picky vegetarian, but a cheese lover as well. I'm becoming the ultimate food snob.

This is getting lengthy, but I've got another 3 hours here, so Imma keep going (not for 3 hours, just... until I feel done haha).

Last night. 4th of July. I kind of hate big holidays like this because I can't really leave the house unless I want to deal with insane parking lots, crowded stores and bad traffic. So I stayed home and tried to read and ended up sleeping half the day.... crapola.... the phone... duct tape guy? Ah, no. A nice lady in Lacey instead.

Anyway, I got a bit cabin feverish by the end of the day and ended up sorting through my entire book shelf. I came up with a pretty big stack of books to sell. And I've got a stack of books to read and then sell. And a stack I've already read and want to keep. And many stacks of which I haven't read and thus don't know if I will keep. After that, the fireworks began.

Now, living on the lake, we get a pretty awesome show every year. We're practically surrounded by big fireworks. The guy a few houses down even hires a professional to do a half hour show around 10 and our entire cove stops their fireworks to watch. Except us. Because our show freaking rocked. My brother and cousins bought 200 mortars, screwed all the tubes to two boards, and while someone was prepping the right side, someone else was lighting the left, so the fireworks were almost continuous. It was the best show they've put on yet.

And afterward came the annual sparkler bomb. This year was supposedly the biggest they've done to date. It was 6 bricks duct taped (no, not duct tape guy) together, with one sparkler sticking out on the top. The boys had a tough go convincing my parents to let them do it, but eventually they gave in, so long as it was far enough away that no shrapnel would hit surrounding neighbors/boats. They floated it out about 80 ft from our dock and my cousin Devin lit it, then my brother pulled him back with a rope as fast as he could. A few seconds later came the house rattling BOOM and a title wave and pieces of Styrofoam everywhere. It was great! (if not eco-friendly).

So that's that. I think I'm done now haha. I've run out of things to ramble about and bore you with, so I guess this will have to do. I hope everyone had a safer 4th than the people across the lake who had an ambulance at their house for 45 minutes last night. Enjoy this (rainy in Washington) day!

UPDATE: DTG just called. Agh! I only talked to him for a second though and then made one of the technicians here talk to him (since I am not good at being mean/firm hah). But guess what he said? Instead of the usual, Marty grabbed the phone and duct tape guy said "I got it all up!" He called two more times, but realized he was calling the same place and said so, then hung up. Maybe this is the end of duct tape guy's phone calls! I hope so! Yaaaay!

P.S. I am so sorry this is so outrageously long hahaha

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Save me!

From this dull thing I call the anti-life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I am not good at going to bed.

I like my AA TriBlend romper more than is good for me. I've never loved short shorts so much in my life. They make my sleeping life four times better.

Between now and November I must: read every book in my library then sell the ones I don't love passionately. Sell anything that isn't of great importance/use to me. Work two jobs. Pay off all debts. Save up for Utah. Pack and store anything of great importance but not of much use. Fit my life into my car. Road trip it down to Utah over the course of two weeks, stopping in Portland and maybe Idaho along the way. Move into Cecilia's house. Find a job in Provo. Live happily and freely and feel as liberated as I do now.

As such, I have decided to: 100% stop mooching off of my parents once I move down to Utah which means I pay for: rent, car insurance, health insurance, gas, school, life in general. Stop living in fear of disapproval. Give up sleep in lieu of work. Eat healthier to make sure my lack of sleep doesn't make me sick. Save up money for a new, more gas efficient car. Stop stressing so much. Be happy.

I wonder if I have enough stuff to have a garage sale. Or if I should go to the likes of used bookstores and urbanXchange in Tacoma. If only I weren't on Accutane--I'd go donate plasma. Maybe I'll see if my mom would let me sell some of our family stuff and take the money if I do all the work... hmm... going on my To Consider list.

Basically I am planning on doing everything in my power (graveyard shift at a hotel front desk not excluded) to get down to Utah ASAP. Particularly since I've got a bed down there with my name on it. And on said bed, I plan on: being better at going to bed. Sleeping instead of working. Wearing my AA Romper as much as possible. Being myself. Enjoying life. I'm thoroughly looking forward to it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This is for Jonni!

Utah, never in my wildest dreams did I think would say this, but... I love you... or at least I love the people I know/have met while visiting your overly warm and way too dry climate, brown mountains and thin air. The ways you have changed my life are countless.

I seriously cannot wait to move back. Summer in Utah is so much better than Winter there. I wish I'd known that before. I met so many amazing people this time around, and clicked with certain of them more than I ever expected.

In shopping news, I spent way too much money down there, but at least came back with some freaking awesome clothes. Mode was amazing! (thank you Your Heart Out and Cecilia!) I bought a Gentle Fawn sleeveless shirt there that fits like a dream. I also bought a toooon of stuff at the new Urban Outfitters in SLC including some gigantic sunglasses, a cute crocheted hat, peacock headband (that sadly broke when I wore it but which I plan to fix soon), some tank tops, and a tank top dress that has pockets. yesss! American Apparel also treated me well. Amongst other things, I went nuts over triblend and bought two more tshirts (an indigo deep v and orchid girls track shirt), and, I can't even believe it, but a one piece halter jumper. It's amazing!

Sigh, I bought way more than that. But I won't bore you any more than I already have.

I also just want to say though, I spend way too much at Sephora EVERY TIME I GO THERE. Oh man. It's outrageous! The only winning feature is that I actually love every single thing I buy from there and use it like it's going out of style two hours from now. LADIES: They've got some really amazing stuff out for bikini and hair maintenance for summertime. Check it out!

Now that I'm back, I'm washing clothes and repacking for Thursday's trip to Arizona. It's going to be soooo hoooooottt down there. I'm not sure I'm excited for 115 degree weather, but I guess I'll live. I am really looking forward to visiting my grandparents and other family.

Anyway, I think that's enough rambling for now. I hope Jonni is satisfied with this (not so) meager update. :P

Sunday, June 8, 2008

But a weekend in Provo won't fix what's wrong with us

I have no idea why I've felt more like posting on here lately. It just seems like a thing to do. (also, for those of you not in the know, my title is a Mountain Goats lyric which, ironically, an Australian friend of mine, who has never been to Provo, told me about.)

I love Laura Veirs these days. My affair with her music started out slow and has steadily grown from mild attraction to can't-get-enough-so-google-the-lyrics-and-sing-along-at-all-times obsession. It's lovely.

In other news, I'm getting really excited for Utah. Both for my trip down there next week and to be moving back down in January. I love the ideas behind the Sego Arts Center and the new Pennyroyal Cafe (which promises lots of organic and vegan/vegetarian foods. YAY!) I fully intend to get as involved as possible with both when I'm actually in the same state.

Not to mention I'm really looking forward to living with Celia when I move. She's so great! It's going to be so much fun!

And I bought a small lime green suitcase with red and green apples on it from WalMart yesterday to take with me when I leave next week.

What I'm getting at is that LIFE IS GOOD! I'm excited!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Canceled vs. Cancelled

I vow, from this day forward, to never spell the past tense of cancel as "cancelled."

Why? Because if the past tense of travel is "traveled" then the past tense of cancel is most certainly "canceled." I don't care if the dictionary claims both are right. There are enough exceptions to English language already. I refuse to perpetuate yet another!

(If you think this has been bothering me for quite some time now, you are right on the money)

OCD? maybe...

Obama fo' yo' mama

Whaaat? You mean we might actually have a democratic nominee? After all this time? But I thought Hillary AND Barack were going to duke it out against McCain until November...

Seriously. It's about freaking time. Good. Ness.

Now can we please move on to the good debates? I've been waiting far too long!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Today was a great day

I might look emo, but I promise I was actually having a really good time! haha


Jordan was wake surfing behind the boat


Mom and Brocky were having a grand old time watching Jordan. Brock kept getting really worried when Jordan would fall in


Tod and the rest of us were pretty impressed by the stellar wakeboarder who went by. If only we all had such skillz


I'm so glad it's finally warming up. And I'm very grateful for where we live. I love it so much here!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

First Name Last Name, equally empty, equally to be loved, equally a coming Buddha

I feel new today.

Thank you Jack Kerouac.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Comprehensive Review of Death Cab for Cutie’s Narrow Stairs

Overall, this album has a phenomenal flow about it. The transitions work together, it even has the feel of the musical version of a narrative arc. Rather than slowing down and getting boring near the end like a lot of major releases are wont to do, it seems to build, climax, and eventually resolve. It’s only slight dips or weak moments seem to be somewhere between Cath… and You Can Do Better Than Me. Specifically, Talking Bird. It’s alright, but that’s it. Just alright.

The lyrics to Talking Bird are about on par with the rest of the album though, in that they’re much easier to understand than past albums. I find this a little disappointing. One of the thrills of listening to past Death Cab albums was interpreting the sometimes enigmatic lyrics. The lyrics in Narrow Stairs are generally straightforward and easily interpreted. This takes a little of the sparkle off this album for me. Luckily, what it lacks in deeper meaning, it seems to make up for in melody (though this statement generally excludes Talking Bird, as the melody is, as I said before, just alright).

Starting the album with Bixby Canyon Bridge was a great way to grab attention. It pulled me in almost instantaneously and brought on that euphoria Death Cab has provided for me upon first listen in the past. Grinning ear to ear, I played it out. My initial reactions to the end of this song were mixed. The fuzzy distortion seemed a little clichéd and trite at first. I read that they were really shooting for a shoegazer feel on this album, and this felt like a cop out to make that true since the only other truly shoegazer/post-rock feeling song is I Will Possess Your Heart. However, the end has grown on me over time. It could be that I’m just used to it now, but I think mostly it’s because clichéd or not, it fits just right between these first two tracks.

The instrumental lead into I Will Possess Your Heart is perhaps the most vivid and well-done “shoegazer” aspect of this album. It is well varied and the swelling layers are perfect. Nick Harmer’s bass line keeps movement and time while the sparse piano chords, reverberating guitar strums, and Ben’s background vocals add fullness. The song builds and builds almost to the breaking point, and then suddenly there’s Ben’s soft yet intense voice as the music drops out - all I can do is grin and wait for my goosebumps to pass - the timing, tone and feel are in perfect sync. The lyrics might be the crooner of a rejected stalker, but that certainly doesn’t detract from the lush layering of this beautiful song.

Nick Harmer’s moving bass lines seem to be the driving force in the first half of this album as No Sunlight comes into view. The lyrics to this song are… perhaps a little trite. Who doesn’t lose their optimism as they grow older? This might make this song more relatable to some, but personally I see it as so generic that it’s not worth taking the time to relate to on anything other than a superficial level. So I enjoy the music, dance a little, sing along to the repetitive lyrics, and move on, no worse for wear.

Cath… on the other hand has opposite lyrical issue. Instead of generic, these lyrics are very specific. Generally when Gibbard writes specific lyrics, they’re so specific that a lot of personal interpretation is required to glean some meaning out of the song. That or the background story has to be known. Take, for instance, basically anything off of Something About Airplanes, or, for something more recent, Death of an Interior Decorator off of Transatlanticism. Without background stories, access to meaning within these songs have to come from within. Cath… however, sounds like a quick story about someone like Catherine Zeta Jones or any other starlet marrying someone older and a little skeazy for money. I don’t relate to that. And I don’t think anyone who is marrying for anything other than love, would be listening to the likes of Death Cab. Or if they are, they definitely aren’t connecting to any of their past lyrics or melodies. As for the melody in this song, it does sound something slightly more akin to Photo Album but at the same time it evokes the Get Up Kids circa Guilt Show for me. That doesn’t necessarily make it a bad or even “so-so” song, it’s just a matter of individual preferences. This song sort of goes into the same category as No Sunlight for me; I enjoy it as it passes, because it is a really nice pop song, but it’s not something I skip back to or put on repeat.

We already know how I feel about Talking Bird, so I’ll move onto You Can Do Better Than Me. Now, I’m going to be cliché here and just say it now: I love this song. Probably in the same way everyone and their pet hamsters love I Will Follow You Into The Dark. For me, it hearkens back to the days of Technicolor Girls. It’s wonderfully bitter sweet and the lo-fi organ just works with the big timpani sounding drums and vibrating snare. It’s a purely enjoyable one minute, fifty-nine seconds. The lyrics are again straight forward, but they fit well with the straightforward feel of the instruments.

And so we come to Grapevine Fires. There are a lot of things I love about this song. There is also one glaring thing I, for some inexplicable reason, can’t stand: that it’s about the 2007 California Wild Fires. Perhaps it’s that I heard about them for so long last fall, or maybe it’s that the colors evoked from this song in my mind are automatically ashy and smoke filled, that I find the relation to that event in this song a little annoying. But, that aside, the lyrics to this song are more akin to Transatlanticism. They are specific but there is a deeper meaning there for the individual listener to glean. And the feel of this song is lovely - it’s soft and flowing the way Transatlanticism and the better parts of Plans were. Even with my hang-ups about the wild fires, I can’t help but find this song lovely.

You’re New Twin Sized Bed is… aaah, a breath of fresh air. It’s peppy, lush, flowing, bright, and bitter sweet in the way only Ben Gibbard can pull off. The lyrics are cute and poignant and again, there’s just enough specificity to pull the listener in, yet enough generality to force the listener to relate in their own personal way. It’s classic Death Cab in all the right ways.

Now we have Long Division. There is something about this song that just sucks me in. I listen to You Can Do Better Than Me up through this song on repeat. It’s a perfect little stretch. This is where the album seems to peak, where it’s at it’s best. Long Division is full and poppy and sure, repetitive, but the story behind the lyrics is just thoroughly interesting. I think this is because I love a good look into the why’s of what people do. And this guy was obviously left behind by cheaters in the past, so he decided to stop being the leavee and be the leaver instead. If I were him, I’d probably want to be something other than the person in the triangle who gets left behind as well. But even without understanding the lyrics, Long Division seems like the type of song to be utterly enjoyable to the masses in the same vein as The Sound of Settling. And I’m ok with that.

Making the transition between climax and resolution in this album is Pity and Fear. I find the Indian music in Pity and Fear pretty cliché. As it came on, I felt like I was turning on a Sting album. Or maybe a Britney Spears album. Basically it just felt like they were trying really hard to be “new” and “different” but in a way that’s already been done – by John Lennon, Sting, Britney, almost every teeny bopper, on down. Despite this though, the song isn’t bad. The lyrics sum up the theme of the album – settling for less than we deserve and becoming someone we never thought we’d be – and as the song grows, the Indian beats become less distracting. Simply, it works as the peak and beginning of the downward slope in the album’s narrative arc.

The full resolution comes with The Ice Is Getting Thinner. It’s pretty in ways. It feels overly thoughtful and like another hack at Steadier Footing, Lack of Color or I Will Follow You Into The Dark. It’s shooting for simplicity, but misses and at times hits boring instead. The lyrics are highly relatable and the melody would be good to fall asleep to. If one is looking for depression, this song could fill that need. As a stand-alone song, it’s lackluster. But within the larger picture, works well as a resolution, as a sort of end of one cycle and entrance into the next. With this album on repeat, “Ice” continues the flow back into Bixby Canyon Bridge. In that way, this song is a fitting last track for Narrow Stairs.

I’ve read a few times that Ben wanted to write more straightforward lyrics. If that’s true, he succeeded, but perhaps not to his benefit. One of the biggest charms to Death Cab for Cutie has, for me at least, always been their simple, thoughtful, many-leveled lyrics. Puzzling out the meanings always made the songs more personal to me. The playfulness of words and interesting story lines aren’t quite up to par with their pre-Plans albums, but this album is at least much more enjoyable and less macabre than their last full-length. And I daresay their newly acquired fans will find it more than acceptable. Overall it’s enjoyable, has catchy melodies and flows like the Amazon. I know it’ll be on repeat in my cd player for quite some time.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Of colons and crafts

Sewing: I bought a sewing machine and stocked up tools for a good sewing kit. And I've bought some cute fabric I'm going to make napkins out of. I've got to start somewhere! I'm using Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter as my guide into this wonderful world.

Crocheting: I also found that as cheesy as Vanna White is, her yarn colors by Lion Brand are actually tres tres chic. I bought a size Q crochet hook (i.e. a really huge one) and yarns in light purple and dark purple that I'm using simultaneously to make a small afghan (the blanket, not the person). It's really cute so far. I think I'll embroider some flowers or something on it when it's finished.

Knitting: I finally bought the belt buckle for my orange knit bag. So now I just have to finish sewing on the straps and the buckle, and that stretchy, completely impractical little novelty item will be finished! yay.

Cooking: I bought Veganomicon from the grocery store tonight and have started reading it. I am not a cook by any means. I know very very little about how to put recipes together or even what most ingredients are - I see the names and have no idea what kind of flavor they evoke or even what they look like. But this has a great intro into vegan cooking. The authors go into detail about what each ingredient is, where you're most likely to find it, and sometimes they even suggest specific brands they prefer. I'm not a vegan, but I wouldn't mind trying out vegan recipes at home. Especially since I'm a bit sick of all my regular vegetarian food.

Frenching: I've learned past and present tense. I feel much more complete.

Musicking: Laura Veirs and Bon Iver are my favorites at the moment. Particularly the latter. His minimalist recording is completely offset by lush arrangements of melodies and his almost orchestral use of vocals. Yummy. Honorable mentions for the week are Dosh, Bowerbirds, Tender Forever, Mariee Sioux, and Hanne Hukkelberg. All worth checking out.

Living: Life is good. I'm really tired lately but I'm hoping the vegetarian geared multivitamins I bought today will fix me up in that area. That and if I can just get off my duff and do some Yoga more than once a month, I think I'll be feeling much better.

Updating: That's it for now. Peace!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm a little bit ridiculous

So I find myself a little annoyed with the internet lately. Which is completely hypocritical and kind of dumb, but I can't seem to help it. This is why I haven't been blogging as of late.

I find that the more we recede into the internet (the more Facebook friends we make, the more blogs we write, the more emails we send and comments we leave and statuses we update and instant messages we type) the less we really know our fellow man. These versions of ourselves and others are not real. The people we "meet" through these mediums are rarely who we think they are but rather some skewed version of themselves; a distorted reflection of another distorted reflection of the real thing.

So I bought a real journal, and I'm writing in that. And at times I might update this thing, but mostly I'm tired of posting my life on the world wide web for a while. I'll probably get over it, but I'd rather just talk to people in real life. And do real things. And think about them myself and not talk to everyone about it not in person.

That's this week's feeling anyway, we'll see what happens next week or the week after :)

I'm so fickle, I swear. But I guess at least I'm aware of this fact.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

BOOYAH!

99 words

Speed test



man, took me long enough but I fiiinally got over 90 haha. I'm such a geek...

Try it though, seriously, it's harder than you think to type this fast :P

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Opening your heart out to the front

In the past month I have happily taken meat out of my diet. In the past two weeks I've done without refined sugars. And this past week I've managed to implement a fairly successful workout routine, alternating cardio and light weight lifting Thursday through Tuesday and yoga on Wednesday if I'm free (I should technically be at Institute on Wednesdays, but I've just been such a recluse lately). I'm kind of loving all of this.

For starters, I've gotten a lot more creative with what I eat. I'm trying a lot more new things and liking most of them, and I'm forcing myself to eat more fruits and vegetables. Tonight I had a soy chick'n patty with avocado, tomato, lettuce and Nayonnaise (eggless Mayonnaise) on a whole wheat bun, and I made a fruit salad with fresh cut mango, strawberries and pineapple. Delicious! And Brocky loved the Mango!

I've been having trouble remembering which fruits are actually in season right now (what with science making it possible to have all kinds of fruit year round, whether it tastes great or not). So I did a little Googling and found this site that lists which fruits and vegetables are in season when. It's been really helpful.

So along with all the great food I'm eating now, I have so much energy I'm not really sure what to do with it. Generally in the late afternoon I get really drowsy and just want to go to bed. Not so anymore. In fact I seem to get a little antsy that time of day. Which is great because by the time I leave from work, I've got enough energy to put together something to eat that's actually worth eating, then workout later on.

And by the way, weight lost? 7lbs in the past week. Yippeeee :D

Funny moment tonight: I was doing yoga in my kitchen (that's the only hard floor available to me, and I don't use the dining nook so it's a great little space for yoga) and Jordan walked in to get a drink of water before bed. I was just finishing up my practice so I was lying on the floor with my palms facing up at my sides, eyes closed and breathing deeply. I could tell he was kind of tiptoeing around, so after about a minute of breathing and trying not to laugh at him (faces are supposed to be soft in yoga!), I finally said "Jordan, you should do yoga with me." I think he jumped a little bit, then we laughed and he asked if I knew he was there the whole time haha. I said, "well yeah, I'm not asleep!" He did a little one legged yoga pose then tramped off to bed.

I love my family! And the way they make fun of/tease/support me in all that I do. And I do some crazy weird stuff sometimes, I know.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The meat and potatoes of it

This makes me really sad. I want to know what I can do to make this stop! Don't we all at the very least have a right to eat?

Riots and Instability Spread as Food Prices Skyrocket

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hello Sunshine

I. LOVE. SUMMER.

aaaah, finally - FINALLY- it's warm out. I put on the old swimsuit and shorts, grabbed a magazine and sunglasses, and flip-flopped my way out my backdoor to our big patio on the lake. Who needs resort getaways when you've got parents who live on Lake Tapps? haha! And there have only been a few boats out today so the lake isn't raging with noise, but relatively calm instead.

The water was freezing, so I only stepped in for a few minutes, but just sitting in the sun reading my magazine for over an hour was enough for me. I've even got a little pink on my freckled shoulders already. If only it were in the 70's all the time.

Supposedly they're expecting snow this Friday, but as long as nice weather like today is on its way, I'll live! Yay summer!

And to top it all off, for the first time in... gosh... three... four years? I won't be working Saturdays. So I'll actually be able to enjoy where we live every weekend. Wahooooo!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Some active causes to consider

I've been considering today (thanks to all the headlines about the SF torch ceremony) whether to participate in this whole "boycott the Olympics" thing. On the one hand, I love the Olympics. Particularly the summer Olympics. On the other hand, there's that side note where China aided in the Darfur genocide and that little thing going on in Tibet... what's a girl to do? How does one boycott the Olympics anyway? Without actually going to China I mean. Someone answer me that.

Also on the topic of death and displacement, let's talk about Hurricane Katrina for a moment. Has anyone heard about The Pink Project? I'm highly confused about this thing. Brad Pitt and his cohorts have spent a TON of money putting together these pink solar powered lit up tent houses in the lower 9th ward with constellations around them that reflect the sky on the night Katrina hit (because obviously with all that hurricane weather the lower 9th ward could totally see the stars). My confusion is, wouldn't all that money be better spent on actual houses? Perhaps I'm missing the point, I don't know. I mean we all like a good monument to those who have died. Thousands of people travel to Pearl Harbor and Ground Zero every year, but... tent houses that are uninhabitable?

I don't get it. Someone explain. Please.

Alright, I am seriously ready to just sell everything I have and go to Africa to help all the little kids with AIDs (yes, I did watch Idol Gives Back, thank you very much). My heart just breaks for them. I can't imagine living without parents and having HIV. They're all so young and sweet and have nothing.

Sigh, new before-I-die checklist:
Provide clean water to someone who otherwise couldn't get any
Protect a child from Malaria
Work in an orphanage in India
Feed a hungry family
Decrease my contribution to global warming
Save a chunk of rain forest (will help previous by bucketloads)
Solve world poverty

P.S. Did you know becoming a vegetarian decreases global warming and contributes to ending poverty? Read about the environmental positives and the world hunger positive to becoming a vegetarian.

P.P.S. Did you know some biofuels, like ones made from corn, are actually increasing global warming because deforestation is taking place to make room for more corn crops? Yeah. I was surprised too. Read about it here.

Just some things to think about :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Splash or dive

"I read an inspiring message this week about how the shallow waters are compared to living a life focused on yourself - your job, your money, your house, your rights, your needs, your opinions, your ideas, and your comfort. The deeper waters, in comparison, are about others - family, friends, community, faith, country, and commitment. 'Almost every dimension of your life can be held to the shallows or taken into the deeper water. Your career, your involvement with others, your spouse and your children, your politics - each can be lived with you comfortably at the center. Or, they can draw you out of yourself, into service and sacrifice, into selflessness.' - Mitt Romney.

"I am so impressed with those who are fully immersed in life - doing all they can to add value to the lives of others. These are the producers who also harvest huge returns for themselves. Those who merely splash around in the shallows are rewarded only by their own sense of comfort.

"Enjoy the swim!"

-Dr. Paul Jenkins (italics added for emphasis)

Yes! Yes yes yes! YES. I have been thinking about this a lot lately in more abstract terms, and suddenly, right in my hotmail inbox tonight is a newsletter from my old therapist talking about how we can choose to live life on the shallow side, focusing on ourselves and what we think we want right now. Or we can dedicate our lives to serving those around us and ultimately receive a much better reward. I really hope to learn to live the latter.

Monday, April 7, 2008

There's a blue ribbon at the end of the line

I had this whole rant about WalMart typed out, but realized that's not at all what I care about or even want to talk about.

Tonight I went to my Dad's to celebrate my sister's 5th birthday. For one thing, this makes me feel a little old. But the thing that really caught me off guard was that I fully remember my 5th birthday and it was probably one of my favorites. It was right before my dad remarried Kina, but she and I had already spent time together. In fact before my birthday, I spent the night at her apartment in Seattle and we stayed up late into the night giggling about everything. It was kind of a magical night for me.

Anyway, my 5th birthday. I was with my dad at my grandma's and we were getting in the car. My dad and grandma made me dress up so I was gruuuumpy (I was not a girly girl when I was little). He told me we were going to my mom's to pick up some extra church clothes for the next day. When we got there, I threw a fit and did not want to get out of the car. I'm not even really sure why. But he finally persuaded me, and as we walked in the door, my whole family was there and there were streamers and a banner that said "Happy Birthday" and everyone yelled "SURPRISE!" And I'm pretty sure I tried to keep the scowl on my face but couldn't help it and ended up in a big grin. It was lovely.

And now I'm 21 and my sister is that same age I was, and it's odd to think back and look at all the things that have happened in between. The people I've known, the experiences I've had, the places I've been, the things I've seen. It's very strange indeed. We only have one life don't we? There's no "second childhood" or redo's for all the mistakes we make in our teens and twenties. We're here. We're now. In ways it's sad, but in other ways it's kind of brilliant.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My own mark, my own change

I love General Conference. I thoroughly enjoyed every single talk given in this afternoon's session. Jeffrey R. Holland's was particularly wonderful. I missed both of the Saturday sessions, but I'm hoping to either read them or watch them later. I love this church. There's such a peace and light about those who truly serve the Lord that I haven't found in anyone else. There's such deep love from our leaders and an awareness of the things that are happening in the world today. I just love it so much!

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to "lose my life" in service so that I may "find it." I really really want to go abroad for a couple of months or so and work with people. I'd love to go to India. I've been looking into ways to do it through the church, but I haven't found a way yet. It seems that there are enough members worldwide in conjunction with the missionaries that most of their humanitarian aid projects are done by locals. Which is really wonderful. It just means I'll need to find some other avenue I think.

But before I get to that (because it will probably be quite a while before I've saved up enough money to go for a month or two), I'm looking into things I can do locally and in my spare time now. I found a book called Knitting for Peace that is full of knitting projects that can be donated to different organizations. My favorite is a swirly looking cap for newborns. Warm Up America is also listed in there. So I'm going to focus on that for a bit I think, as well as doing some local restoration through EarthCorps perhaps. I just want to get involved! Make a difference!

Like some of the Young Women leaders said today, each of us can change the world. I want to make my contribution.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Joke's on us

Band of Horses is continuing to grow on me. I'm such a butthead sometimes, I swear. I should have gotten into them a long time ago, but I was too stubborn. Sigh. They remind me of The Shins with just a hint of Now It's Overhead mixed in.

Tonight I made tofu stir-fry over lo-mein noodles. It was yummy. Then I did the responsible thing and washed my dishes, did some laundry and finished my French homework. And all with time to spare. I feel like a real grown up. Weird.

And speaking of weird, the office was in some kind of freaky vortex today apparently. Everything broke. The bulbs above my desk started to flicker and flash because they were about to go out, one phone line would crackle or just stay silent when we picked it up, another had a fax tone going through it all afternoon, the database won't work thanks to a corrupt file that made everything below a certain line just disappear, my mom's version of Excel suddenly wouldn't work today and asked for the disc, the security system is wonky and didn't go off or turn off when the tech manager came in this morning, and one of the credit card machines was causing problems.

Then at one point, instead of the usual three to six people we have in the front office at any given time, there were suddenly two security system technicians climbing through our ceiling on ladders, two guys filling out applications at the front counter, a customer asking about getting her couches cleaned, two of our technicians changing the light bulbs above my desk, our tech manager, my mom and of course the three of us who are secretaries. That is twelve people all in one small space frantically trying to answer phones while the door bell rang incessantly from people walking in and out. It was insane. I'm not sure I ever fully recovered.

Apparently April was playing a fool's day joke on us. I don't know what else to call it.

It was just a wonky day all the way around. So I think I'll let it rest and hope for un-wonky dreams and an un-wonky day tomorrow.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Gonna wash my bones in the Atlantic Shore

Ok. I am a stubborn person. I can admit this.

That being said, I have finally - FINALLY - given Band of Horses a fair trial. And... um... I might not actually hate them after all. Well, ok, I guess I never said I hated them, but I wasn't exactly their cheerleader. And I'm not saying they're my favorite band ever, but The General Specific is pretty darn catchy.

On another topic, I'm on my way to being nearly finished with my pumpkin colored knit bag. I've got all but one small piece finished, and once that's done it's just a matter of sewing it up and adding a buckle. I think it's going to be great!

I started French today. It's... going to be interesting. It's the same teacher I had in the fall and the class is mostly full of people who just finished 101 during the winter quarter. So I feel a little disconnected in comparison to the rest of the class. But whatever, I'm going to just stick it out and push my way through to an A. I just want my A.

So that's life for today.

Can I just add that I'm really really happy lately? I mean I have moments where I feel a little down, but overall, life is actually really great. Thank goodness!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

You've got to believe in treasure to find it

Jordan and I watched King of California tonight. I loved it. It's bittersweet and charming in a completely quirky kind of way.

I've been a little depressed today. Saturdays do this to me. I don't actually like weekends, to be completely honest with you. I prefer routine over wandering aimlessly. I only knitted a few inches today and then felt the fever of being indoors, so I went shopping and bought nothing. I always feel better when I do this than when I actually buy something.

Well, no, that isn't always true. I like buying things, but they have to be things I've been wanting for a long time and I have to feel that I have enough money for it. Lately I feel like I don't really have enough money for anything (not what The Secret has taught me, I know. Think less, get less. Think more, get more. I know, I know). In any case, because I've been feeling that way lately, when I go shopping and walk out with nothing, I actually feel a lot better than if I'd wasted my money on something I only kind of wanted.

After the mall was a quick visit to my grandma. I love her so much. I think I get my sense of people from her. When we're in a group and my grandma is reacting to things, she seems a little distant and perhaps baffled. Maybe even a little senile. But when she recounts things later, she's very spot on. It reminds me of how I get quiet in groups and rarely contribute but prefer to passively watch what's happening instead of participating actively. It's not that I'm not paying attention, it's the opposite. And it's made my sense of people a bit more keen. I hope this means I will one day be as great a woman as my lovely grandmother is.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Today is Brocky's birthday. He is two.

I think no one reads this anymore. But what do I know? And really it's for me anyway. I guess I just can't help but wonder.

I started a new knit project today. I really needed something to do and crochet squares, while nice, are not exactly challenging. Well, neither is my new project, but at least it will be something I can use when I'm finished with it. And it's going super fast. It's an orange garter stitched messenger bag. I really love the yarn I'm using too. It's very soft.

We went to a Mexican restaurant tonight for Brock's birthday. He loooves his chips and dip. Guacamole is his favorite. I ordered two cheese enchiladas and I forgot to say no beans, only rice. I don't normally like refried beans anyway, I think they're kind of gross, but now I think they're doubly gross because they've got lard in them. Very few places use anything else. So I ate the one enchilada that wasn't touching the beans haha. I brought the other one home. I'm going to try to suck it up and just eat it, but seriously, I've become a bit of a freak about this. I really really hate eating anything that has animal in it. I never ever thought I would be this way. Maybe after a few weeks I'll calm down, I don't know. But right now it's a little bit of a pain hah.

I think I'll get back to knitting now. Or sleeping. One of the two.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Healthier rambling

aaagh, work is boring, and I'm going a little bit crazy!

So, I will ramble here.

Firstly, I have decided to learn how to sew. I know how to knit and how to crochet, but it has become more obvious lately that knitting/crocheting things that don't look like something your crotchety old great grandmother would make for a wee-tyke is very hard to come by. Unless you're super talented/have the time to work teeeny tiny knit stitches to make something more akin to fabric. But then you've generally got to sew it anyway.

I've done a little research and I think I'm going to get a Brother sewing machine from WalMart. They're only $70 and supposed to be pretty easy to learn on. I don't want to invest in something really nice until I know I enjoy sewing. I'm pretty excited about this venture though. I've been wanting to learn for years.

Next, I just want you all to know that I am really enjoying being a vegetarian. I am, for once, eating veggies and enjoying them. And I'm discovering my love for other things I'd never really considered before. So it's going well.

I think I want to start doing Pilates. I remembered this week that I did it once at a YW activity from a real Pilates instructor, and I loved it. I think I could barely walk the next day because I was so sore. But I'm ok with that. There's a new studio opening in Auburn, but I don't think it'll be open for group classes until August, so I might have to go up to Kent instead. Or maybe I'll look into Yoga if there are no Pilates classes around here. I loved Yoga back in high school.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Upside down and round and round

It has been an extremely bizarre day. It's the end of March (a.k.a. spring) yet we've suddenly got an inch to two inches of snow sitting on our back porch. And a friend came out of the closet unexpectedly this afternoon.

Life seems a bit topsy-turvy lately. Not bad. Just not quite usual. Though I guess, when is it ever?

And right now I'm watching an Oprah about packrats. It's insane.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A week... or so's... worth of accomplishments

I finished The Book of Mormon. Finally. 2 weeks and 2 days from start to finish. It's been really neat. I certainly have felt the difference in my life. An added peace. It has of course brought me to a better understanding of my own shortcomings, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing :)

I'm going to read The Infinite Atonement next I think. Though I'll probably take my time with that, just reading a little each day. And of course I'll continue my scripture study, just not in such a ravenous way hah.

In other news I managed to finish 7 more squares for Warm Up America in the past week. I have also caught up at work and have a routine down finally. And the whole being a vegetarian thing is going pretty well, minus the whole family ganging up on me and trying to make me miss meat (which I don't) thing. I'm actually really enjoying the fact that I'm forced to think up other things to eat. It's making me more creative. So, 4 days down, another 26 or even a lifetime to go. I guess we'll see what happens!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fish are friends, not food

I have been so incredibly lazy this weekend. I think I've been asleep more than I've been awake. But considering I worked 5+ hours of overtime last week learning a ton of new things, I'm pretty ok with how I spent it. That and I finally finished Alma. And I read half of a health book that... well... has kind of turned me into a vegetarian...

I'm so grossed out by slaughterhouses that it's all I can do to eat things with milk and eggs in them, let alone any meat. I don't know if it will stick, but I signed up for the 30 day Peta Vegetarian challenge. I'm going to give it a try and see how I feel. I am by no means an animal activist, and I'm wary to actually call myself a vegetarian because I can't stand those people who are "vegetarian" for a few weeks at a time in between Big Macs and chicken sandwiches, but I am willing to try this out and see if I really do feel healthier afterwards.

Also thanks to this health book, I now want to cut out all bleached flour and hydrogenated oils. I'm not quite there yet because that stuff is in almost everything, so I'm going to have to do some hunting around and trying new things. I'll just ease into it. If I can get that down, I may eventually cut out eggs and milk altogether as well. I'm going to have to learn to do a lot of my own cooking.

This is a new experience and I'm actually pretty excited. Eating is suddenly kind of an adventure!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Oh, the Place You'll Go!

New Life Plan:

1) Save up money for school while ditching... I mean taking French and online BYU classes
2) Go to BYU
3) Have insanely good time at BYU
4) Have insanely good time at BYU whilst dating cute foreign boy/boy who speaks different language thanks to mission
5) Talk Avery into applying for Summer internship in Australia
6) Mooch off of Avery for a month during her Summer internship in Australia
7) Work for publisher and/or book store part time
8) Graduate from BYU
9) Marry cute foreign boy
10) Start kitschy little book store while cute foreign husband finishes Masters/Doctorate
11) Have darling little children
12) Live happily ever after, preferably in cute foreign husband's villa in Tuscany/native country

Thursday, March 20, 2008

National news

Apparently today was insane news day:

Woman dies after eagle ray jumps on boat and kills her

This ups my fear of fish/open water by about 15%.

Woman's skin grows over toilet seat and boyfriend charged with abuse

How in the world do you sit on a toilet long enough to have your skin grow around it, and how does your live in boyfriend just not notice? In an article I read earlier about it, he said she just kept going in for longer and longer periods of time, and eventually she just didn't come out. So he just sort of got used to it... hahaha

Sigh. People. Maybe this belongs in the Darwin Awards

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blaaaaaah

Sorry it's been a few days. I've been... stressed, depressed, dressed, and messed, but not caressed.

My car. Sucks. Well, it did. $775 ago. Now it had better be freaking awesome because I'm not dropping another grand on it!

Work has been a little insane the past few days. Well it was today too, but now that we've rearranged and reorganized the office it feels a lot better. I feel a lot better. I have a lot more work now, but I'm slowly but surely learning it all and getting faster at it. That being said, I've already worked 4 hours of overtime this week. Awesome.

I don't know why, but Alma is going SO SLOW. I am having the worst time getting through it. Which is weird because it's usually one of my favorite books.

I dunno, life is a little bit blah right now. I'm feeling a teensy bit annoyed with myself I guess. But whatever. School (French) starts soon. That'll double my stress. Yay. But at least summer is coming and it's getting warmer.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A quick and meaningful read

I skipped out on church today mainly because I didn't get to sleep until about 3:30 in the morning, but I did do some scripture reading.

Originally my goal was to read the entire Book of Mormon in a week. I started Monday listening to the Book of Mormon on CD at work. When I had particular trouble understanding something, I'd pull up the online version at lds.org to make sure I was getting everything. Then at home it was just my regular scriptures. In one full week I've managed to get to Alma 12. I'm hoping to get to Alma 15 or 20 by tonight and through the rest of Alma tomorrow. What I'm getting at is that it's going to take me more like a week and a half to two weeks, but even so, it's been pretty profound so far.

Generally I skip from book to book in my daily studies rather than reading in order. But reading in order in such a short amount of time has given me a much better understanding of how all the peoples changed, worked together or separated. My time line is much more cohesive. I think so far Jacob has been my favorite.

It's a good feeling being excited to read the scriptures. They're really wonderful and can give such a sense of comfort and a reminder of our own duties. They're humbling yet uplifting all at the same time. I love this church, this gospel and these scriptures.

Girls night out

I'm a little late tonight because I've been out with Avery. We saw Penelope today. Ok, seriously, probably one of my favorite movies of the year. I mean it's not perfect, but it's really, really cute. And I'm basically in love with James McAvoy. He is delicious!

In other news, I got to talk to Julian tonight, Aves' and my friend from Australia. I haven't talked to him in ages (he's more Aves' friend than mine) but we called him about midnight and had a good chat. He had some funny and rather spot on things to say about my relationship status. It's nice to hear an Aus accent now and then :)

Also on the topic of foreign things, we went to World Market after the movie. I love that store more and more every time I go. We got some Tim Tams (of course) and Mint Slices (mmm) plus some Ritter Sport and Japanese gummy candies. Oh and Aero, which is a weird chocolate candy that has bubbles in the middle that sort of tingle on your tongue if you let it sit for a little while. Not my favorite, but alright none the less.

So that was my day. Things are pretty good. I'm sad Avery is leaving to go back to school tomorrow, but that's life. I'm just glad I have a best friend who is as amazing as she is.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Eerie: It's not just a lake near Canada

Shonna, the office manager, is gone. Tod fired her this morning. It was kind of sad, but mostly it was just a huge relief. The office had that sort of weird, empty, creepy calm-after-the-storm feeling, but it was also, oddly, very positive. Kind of in the vein of the cat's away so the mice are out to play. We let go of some of the things we'd been struggling with in the office and got excited to rearrange tasks and schedules. I think this will be a good change.

Disappointment of the day: Top Foods didn't have pancake in a can. Unless it was somewhere other than the pancake section. I didn't check the organics section so there's a chance. But it's a slim one.

I did however try a vegetarian corn dog. And I liked it way better than a regular corn dog. Morning Star makes the best vegetarian food. Seriously. Their Chik'n Nuggets are sooo good.

Lately, I really wish I was just in Utah already. Which is weird. Because I really love my family and I like my job and for the most part I'm enjoying my life the way it is right now. That and I mean it's UTAH. Ick haha. But I honestly wish it was next January already. And other than superficially, I don't really feel unsettled about it, just excited. I can't wait!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Life tastes good

The extent of my obsession with Nutella has reached ridiculous levels. I cannot get enough of it. I think this is because when I was younger, I had a few too many bad experiences with Ferrero Rocher - which I still think is disgusting - and it resulted in my thinking that I didn't like hazelnut. Thus I as a child and teen I had no desire to even attempt something like Nutella.

I wish I'd known then what I know now.

Because I'm obviously making up for lost time. First it started out with just Holland Rusk. That's all I'd eat it on. Now it's bagels. And toast. And when I'm done spreading, I can't help it. I lick the knife. I just can't let it go to waste!

What I am getting at, is that if you haven't tried it already, do. Now. Run to your local grocer and buy a jar of it this second. It will change your life.

On the topic of foods that have altered my reality in a serious way, we now come to pancake in a can. Well, ok, it's actually called Batter Blaster. I found out about it today, and it blew my mind! Brad, our tech manager, was telling us about it, and at first we in the office thought it was a joke. Then when we realized he was serious, we thought it just sounded nasty; like cheez whiz style pancakes full of chemicals and preservatives.

But not so! It is in fact USDA certified organic! And the pancakes it makes actually look really good! Who would have thought?? You MUST check it out. Just watch the video. You too will be a believer.



I know, you want some now don't you? I'll get some soon and let you know how it is. And I think maybe I'll put a little Nutella on it while I'm at it...