Saturday, December 15, 2007


One more thing:

I'm including one more picture today, partially so all can see what a great job Melissa did turning me into a dark, sultry brunette. More importantly, though, I wanted Scott and Melinda to see the perfect visual representation of "forlorn" on my mom's face. I must be a riot to hang out with.

The canine maturation program.

There are a few things in life that you never imagine you'll get the opportunity to witness in your own home. For most of you, that list likely includes a 60 pound yellow lab in a diaper. Thus, by way of enlightenment, consider the following an educational gift from our family to yours. Merry Christmas.

Remember that Alanis Morisette song from Jr. High called Ironic? You know, the one where all the situations were not so much ironic as they were just unfortunate? Well, the unfortunate part of this story is that I had actually scheduled Lupe's spay appointment mere hours before this adventure began. Isn't ironic? Don't ya think?
As you can see, Lupe is just as thrilled about this latest development into adult dog-hood as her adolescent girl counterparts.

To satisfy all those inquiring minds out there, a diaper for a dog looks exactly like a diaper for a kid only with a tail hole. It must be a real hassle to cut out that hole, too, because they're even more expensive than the human variety. And it turns out you can't spay a dog while they're in heat. A little too ironic. Yeah, I really do think.

For those more interested in a pre-pubescent dog pictures, enjoy the following snapshots of the younger, more innocent Lu with our nephew Peyton, seen here in his first blog appearance:

Monday, November 19, 2007

I am my mother.

Mostly, I really like being like my mom. She's smart, she's thoughtful, she's organized, and she's funny. I'm rarely surprised these days when I find myself doing Shauna-esque things. After all, I caved long ago to the genetic pull toward detailed 'to do' lists-- even though I made fun of her heartily for the first 18 years of my life for her obsession. (Let's face it: I still make fun of her lists. We're alike, but she's still way more neurotic than I am. She's got lists telling her to make other lists.)

I'd like to think that we maintain enough differences to keep our relationship interesting. In general, I'm more free-spirited and laid back than she is. I like to freak her out from time to time by telling her that I dig the occasional democrat or that I haven't mopped my bathroom in over a week.

Today, I found myself sticking temporary Post It notes in my brand new Rolodex rather than writing on the actual cards. Want to know why?

I didn't have my favorite type of pen at work. So if I write on the cards now, they won't match the others after I get the pens.

Matching ink does not = easy going political moderate with relaxed housekeeping demands.

Matching ink = Shauna.

(Matching ink = pretty Rolodex.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The week in review

It's been a long week, all. A quick run down for those keeping track:

Sunday, Nov. 11, approximately 10:55 am-
Paddy gets the Gospel Doctrine lesson manual and is informed he's "on the lesson next week, man". Substituting, we assume. Alrighty.

11:02 am- First counselor in the bishopric asks us to meet him after church. Uh oh.

12:10 pm- After a quick check to see what damage the Lupe had done to her room while we were worshipping, we return to the Bishop's office. Paddy is called as Gospel Doctrine teacher. Right on! (Husband's reaction appears to contain a hearty portion of the spirit of fear, but that's what you get for 4 months calling-free.)

Monday, 7:15 pm-
Lupe starts obedience school, and immediately proves to be both the cutest and the smartest dog in the room. There's a good chance she may have been smarter and cuter than several of the humans in the room, as well.

Tuesday, 7:o0-
Kris goes to Young Women in Excellence and realizes she doesn't like it any more than she did when she was actually a young woman, right down to the frozen lasagna that's luke warm in the middle.

Wednesday, 11:00 pm-Thursday, 8:00 am-
Kris wears the ER beeper for the first time, and though she is lucky enough to not go in at all and actually only receives one crisis call total, she still doesn't sleep all night because she's too busy checking the time on her cell phone to see how much longer she has until she's not on call anymore.

Happy birthday, Grandma Nancy.

Friday, 6:15 pm-
Kris finally leaves work. It's late. She's grouchy. Turns out she gets irritated when people who aren't her boss monopolize her time and get away with it because she hates confrontation and also because the other party can talk louder and faster than she can.

Saturday, 8:30 am-
Cousin Eric gets married. I remember when he used to like Top Ramen a lot and he had a color tv and I didn't. Now he's got a cute wife. I assume he still has a color tv, too, but I'll have to check on the Ramen.

Sunday, 10:20 am-
Husband + the Spirit deliver a fantastic Gospel Doctrine lesson.

Of note:
I started my new job this week. I am now acutally cool enough to carry not one, but two different pagers. I think I might get two badges, as well, since they figure the title "psych intake" might freak out my regular 9-5 patients. I encourage all y'all to stay healthy, but if you're going to get sick, you may as well come visit on the 8th floor of LDS hospital. If you tell them you're feeling really unstable, I promise a rockin' visit from the local social worker.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My welcome gift

Approximately 3 days before I turned in my two week notice at ye ol' nursing home, a FedEx box came from the corporate office with my name on it. It seems that our parent company-- Fortune 500, I've been told-- still has enough heart to send out a welcome gift to new employees.

Gift in hand, I still didn't feel guilty turning in my notice. Care to know why?


With a tiny plastic light egg of this quality upon my arrival, my heart aches to know what I would have received at the five year mark, or even retirement. Maybe they would have splurged on a couple of those grocery store 3-D paper decorations that fold out accordian style.

To be fair, I should mention that the lightbulb inside changes color. The box claims that it should serve as "relaxing mood lighting". Let the romance begin.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nervous neck rash

OK. Sometimes when I'm nervous I develop a temporary rash on the front of my throat. It's not an attractive sight and if you ask me if I did a google image search for 'neck rash', I'll plead the fifth. (So what if I did. Lemme tell you, though, all those images were WAY grosser than my version of neck rash. I just get red and splotchy and it's not contagious.)

If the tension doesn't subside, I also get a little nauseated. Most of the time, all this cool stuff occurs when I'm anticipating some sort of conflict.

Today was a recipe for neck rash, nausea, and anything else my body wanted to throw at me. Why?

After almost exactly 2 months of employment at my first big-girl job, I had to give my boss my two weeks' notice. Whoa.

Don't worry, I'll still be bringing home the bacon. Actually, I'll be bringing home a few more strips, and it'll be higher quality bacon. Hospital Social Worker bacon, to be precise. Medical Telemetry and Oncology bacon. Dang, Gina. That's good bacon, and hopefully it'll smell less like urine.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Summer Scrapbook, Round 1

I may have mentioned that I'm not a good scrapbooker. I've tried a little, but my skills end at writing in bubble letters. Even then, the page usually runs out before the word I'm trying to squeeze in does. Thus, el blog serves as the sole record of our lives. Pretty shameful, 'specially for a good little Mormon wife like m'self. Here's some fun stuff we did a long time ago.

We have about a million pictures of Megs and various animals at her request. There is a chance she's a bit of a diva.

Also, Jordan is cute. Husband is cute. Jordo and Husband together at the zoo? Super cute.

Megan and Jordan get a long just swimmingly, and this Hogle Zoo adventure was no exception. Right up until Jordan nailed her in the arm with a rock.

This was my favorite exhibit. The mammal in question wasn't super amused to see that I was taking his picture, but I figure anything inside a cage is fair game.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

From the side lines to the front lines

I have come up with the perfect analogy for my current job. Prepare yourselves, all- I'm actually going to make a sports reference.

In this confusing game we call work, we in the Social Services department basically compromise Special Teams. Stay with me; it's true, and not just because the rest of the professionals think we're a little bit pansy. Mostly, it's because no matter how many interceptions are thrown, we come in at the end and still get blamed for losing the game. Oh, and I never get to tackle anyone. It seems the only meaningful difference is that my hamstrings are not nearly as limber as real kickers.

Without boring you with the details of the mounds of paperwork, Advance Directives, Adult Protective Services abuse allegations, and discharge planning I spend my time on, I'll move on to my new, much more interesting job. Happily, it more closely resembles Special Forces than Special Teams. Right on.

In what may or may not be a thinly veiled attempt to get my foot in the door for those coveted hospital social work jobs, I am now officially also employed as an on-call crisis worker in the ER at a local hospital.

It. Freakin. Rocks.

Well, at least the first 3 hours of training did.

I get to tackle (the second football reference was unintentional, though in retrospect, pretty much rad) drug and alcohol detox, psych referrals, and suicide assessments, plus whatever else the nursing staff wants to pass on. I can be found wearing the pager between 11 pm and 8 am on Wednesday nights. I'm pretty sure pagers are so dorky they've actually rounded the corner and returned to awesome- a little like neon colored fanny packs. Awe-some.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Maybe at 80, I'll suddenly be athletic, too.

M.J. is complaining about the lack of new posts. The thing of it is, I can't seem to think of anything funny/amusing/thoughtful/important to say. Also, the camera still won't connect to this computer for some reason so we are without visual aids. My brother hasn't opened a mission call, and since there isn't a baby in my tummy -- though that would legitimize the unsightly weight gain -- we don't really have anything to blog about.

Oh. I'm not sure how funny this is to people who don't wander halls lightly scented with scent-o-urine all day, but I giggled for a few minutes. My boss was taking the family of a potential resident on a tour of our facility the other day, which is a somewhat rare happening, when our of the clear blue sky one of our less oriented residents grew upset over something or other. Picture contorted old person fists lashing out from a little hunched body in a wheelchair, the resident-turned-boxing champ screaming vulgar obscenities at, well, whatever. Turns out that while he's usually fairly immobile, he can deliver a wicked kick in the shins from where he sits and those slow hands can whip out to inflict great pain on the more sensitive areas of the anatomy of a particular male nurse. From my safe plot of ground behind the wheelchair I could hear the chaos, see the barely controlled rage on the aforementioned male nurse's face, and the look of horror in my boss's eyes while he debated the merits of calming the resident versus quickly steering the visiting family down the opposite hall.

And the newly hired Director of Social Services? I just sat back with a jolly grin and enjoyed the show. Maybe old age will be cool after all.

Other than that, not too much that we haven't expected; after all, life without a few more outlandishly bizarre tragedies from Paddy's family really would be unusual. Ah, life.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Home is the sailor, home from the sea.

I know how worried you've all been about us. Never fear, we are home safe and sound, and we didn't squander away our life savings. Lupe made it through the longest separation since she joined our lil' fam without any diarrhea and without chewing anything that had sentimental value to my parents, so our familial accord is still in tact.

I'll post pictures and descriptions later, but until then I'll leave you with this thought:

I used to look at beautiful (if immodest) little black dresses on the hanger in stores. They had pretty sequins and tiny straps and whatnot, and I'd visualize beautiful women wearing these dresses to fancy parties.

Lesson learned in Vegas: There are no beauty requirements for purchasing and then wearing into public the aforementioned little black dresses. Whoa. I'll keep my Old Navy capris and flip flops, but thanks.

Oh, and what's the deal with girls holding hands with girls and giggling to look cute?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Library trips

I'm sitting in a beautiful little home office courtesy of Patrick's boss and his wife, and just though I'd give a quite update on the Santo Jorge/Las Vegas goings on. The weather is beautiful and the trip has been fantastic. We've eaten some great food, and had a lot of fun with Paddy's coworkers.

I'm just now remembering that I forgot to take a picture of this absolutely hideous piece of, well, art?, that was in our hotel room-- not once, mind you, but twice. The exact same painting hanging in two different places in the room. Ha!

Last night we saw a truly mediocre-bordering-truly-bad rendition of 42nd Street at Tuacahn-- the company and the beautiful surroundings made up for the performance, though. (Have hotpants, Wendy? Even for a game of shuffleboard? Neither do I. Some funny memories, anyway.)

While the person I am married to has attended his work meetings, I have had a glorious time shopping, exploring, and relaxing. I blasted my way through a thoroughly engaging book, and couldn't have enjoyed myself more. Which brings me to my next thought...

I spent the majority of the day in the Santa Clara library, which just so happens to be beautiful. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the beautifully stark landscape of southern Utah. I love the library. I wonder sometimes why I didn't structure my life more carefully so I'd end up there more often. I love that it is brightly lit and full of books and comfortable chairs. I love that it is quiet. I love that no one thought it was weird that I sat curled up in a chair, moving only when my legs cramped beneath me. I would love to wander around through the dusty shelves. Occasionally I wonder why I didn't choose to surround myself with this all the time. I am quite certain I would have been happy and content.

No one there would yell at me over whether or not a person has the right to choose how to die. (Amazing, my job. To satisfy your curiosity without violating HIPAA privacy laws, let me say that it didn't involve a patient, or other employees, or any family members. Oh, and also apparently I lie. And smirk. Remind me that I like my job.)

I suppose the library would have been a good fit. But I would have found myself researching child abuse and terminal illnesses. I would have missed my interaction with my bright and talented clients who struggle with substance abuse. I suppose the cheesy phrase from my undergrad really is true. Social work is a calling, and unfortunately not even the draw of smell of a new book can pull me away for long.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Viva Las Vegas

I'm out of the Stone Age at work with keys to my own office and access to a computer with an internet connection that would have been awesome circa 1998. I'm still without a name badge, but that's not an all together bad thing as I don't get stopped by families in the hall; they assume I'm there to visit my own grandmother or something. Anyway, turns out that the somewhat antiquated internet connection there does boast some sort of filtration system that prevents me from signing into el blog. Thus, we're a little backlogged.

We have pictures from the trip to the zoo with Jordo and the Monk. By the by, Hogle Zoo doesn't have a hippo, a polar bear, or any lions. It's a good thing they had that kickin' white alligator to make up for it.

We also have pictures from our trip to Dog Lake with Kimmi, Indy, and the Lu. I'm not about to admit how long it's been since we actually went on that hike, but the pictures are cute.

For now, though, we're packing for our jaunt to Santo Jorge (which sounds more exotic than St. George) and Las Vegas where we are hoping to luck out and meet up with Scott and Ashley and gamble away our life savings.

I'll give a report on all of the above when we return, but you won't be able to tell when I'm lying and when I'm not. As the commercials say, what happens in Las Vegas...

Monday, September 10, 2007

"No! Stop! I didn't even say 'shake', stupid!"

Scene I.

Kris is lounging on the newly purchased Siesta Sac (which happens to be much cheaper than a Luv Sac) and is mostly paying attention to a new episode of Survivorman.

Enter Husband.

Husband: Lupe! Lupe-- sit. sit. Please sit. SIIIIT. Good dog! Ok Lupe, shake. C'mon, shake. SHAKE.

This type of dialouge continues for several minutes, punctuated with occasional sparks of laughter from a proud Husband when Lupe complies and somewhat grudgingly places her paw in his hand to receive the promised Bac'n strip snack.

Husband: Kris! Kris, watch, please! This is awesome! Lupe, shake. Shake. SHAKE.

Nothing happens.

Husband: (Groans.) I swear... just give me a minute.

Scene continues as before. Several minutes pass.

Husband: This is awesome! Wife! Watch this!

Lupe now complies readily, gobbling up her treat with great energy.


A day has passed. A couple is lounging on the aforementioned Siesta Sac, commenting on how it is easily as comfortable as a Luv Sac and how someone would be silly to spend half of a thousand dollars on the latter brand just to have that cool orange and black logo tag on it. Lupe is not lounging anywhere, but is fussing around with everything trying to draw attention away from the Sac discussion and the Chargers game playing in the background.

Husband: But, but, stop Lupe. STOP. I didn't even say shake. What are you doing?! I DON'T EVEN HAVE ANY TREATS!

As the wife laughs hysterically in the background, Lupe continues pawing at any part of the Husband she can get to, trying to elicit a treat as before. At one point, she catches him off-guard and drags her paw all the way across his face, altogether quite proud of herself for her excellent "shaking" though she seems a bit confused about why no one is grabbing her leg and bouncing it up and down as before.

Husband: (forlornly) Kris, I'm a bad dad. Look at her. I should never have even taught her that stupid shaking thing. It's not even cute, and now she won't stop.

Wife continues chuckling, thinking about how hilarious life will be someday when they have real kids, and not just an adorable yellow lab.

Curtain drops.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Done and done.

Star Date 9.5.07:

Passed my boards yesterday. Am now waiting for the pretty blue piece of paper telling the world that I am

Kristin __________, CSW

No one busted me for intelligence fraud and so the charade continues. Whew.

Monday, September 3, 2007


Isn't life cute, what with all it's little surprises?

I sure think so. I think it's good that I can keep such a fun, positive outlook on life. Especially when I find myself googling the phrase "dog vomit smell out of carpet".

It would be down right hil-AR-ious if I was joking. Since the computer is located in the very room with the aforementioned concern, it's not the least bit humorous. Sometimes coming home from church is way more interesting than you expect.

Don't worry, though. The Lup is A-OK now. The emergency vet we took her to yesterday after she stopped responding to her own name tested her for a few things and ultimately determined she probably ate something nasty. (We learn new things about our pet every day. For example, no matter how lethargic she appears, she HATES having a Q-tip inserted, ah hem, there to get a stool sample.) Beyond having to shove an antibiotic and an anti-nausea pill down her throat a couple of times a day, we're back to having an adorable, perky little puppy around who just happens to stink a little.

Lupe: "I promise to stay nice and perky like this if you won't let that man put anything under my tail ever again."

To make the trip just a little more fun, the veterinarian had a strong southern accent. That meant that when he said "parvo" (some dog disease) it sounded a little like "parlay" from Pirates. This would not have been quite so funny if he didn't look almost exactly like this:

Ah, life.

So, back to the carpet. It's a good thing we absolutely hate it anyway. We've steam cleaned it 4 times and sprayed it with a special pet-odor treater. Now I'm dumping white vinegar all over it, to be followed with oxy clean and some febreeze. If you have any bright ideas for getting the smell out, let me know. Just don't tell me how you learned them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


So, now that I'm a workin' girl (tee hee) it seems I have less time to work on the blog. To be honest, that's not entirely true. I actually have probably the same amount of time, or possibly more, but the powers that be have not yet seen it fit to bestow upon me access to the computer at work. Feels a little like the Stone Age, actually. Or at least what I imagine it must have been like to be a Social Services Director in the Stone Age.

Anyway, not a whole lot of interesting stuff happening 'round our compound this week. (Certainly nothing as interesting as bright green, pulpy vomit. Cool, Scott.) I got my diploma in the mail today, which is cool. Once I can get my friggin' camera cord to work, I'll post a picture of it or something. Lupe is getting huge. If I was a good mom, I'd put in a couple of pictures of her, too. Until then, imagine a bigger version of the last pictures I posted.

In 18 or so years of schooling, I never managed to acquire any sort of study habits. I'm into binging and purging. (Not the eating disorder kind. Obviously.) Blessed with a fabulous short term memory, I generally retain information just long enough to regurgitate it in essay/exam form and on I go. Works pretty well in the public education system, however it also leaves me with a sort of paralyzing fear that someday, somewhere, someone is going to stand up, point at me, and yell "HEY! WE'VE GOT A DUMB CRAP HERE!" and everyone will know I've been faking it all along.

I guess I'm thinking about all of this because I have to take my state licensure exam one week from today. Please wish me luck. I can't handle the exposure.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Finally, I'm gotta bring home some bacon.

First of all, a shout out to my youngest sister Megan who, while too young to contribute to this blog personally, nevertheless has inspired everyone around her to use "gotta" instead of "going to" in every possible situation. Yes, Monk, we're gotta have milkshakes.

But anyway, I'm no longer among the ranks of the unemployed. While I try to steer clear of the off-hand, flippant religious assumptions about the world, sometimes crazy things happen. Like how sometimes a mostly broken car magically passes inspection right after you get caught up on your tithing. Or how maybe when the family could really use some good news, a not-yet-licensed social worker somehow gets hired as the Social Services Director of a long-term care facility.

I don't want to hear any guff from all y'all about how there aren't actually any other social workers in the facility for me to be manager over. I'm still MANAGEMENT. Can I get a what-what?

So we're really lucky and I'm really excited and more than just a little bit scared. Had my first day today, and it seems like it'll be great. I passed the drug test and got introduced to most of my coworkers as "Chrissy" (which, as it turns out, is a name I absolutely have no patience for.) I'll finally be helping Husband win our bread. Oh, and after 90 days, the approximately 47 million Americans without health insurance will drop to approximately 46,999,998. (That's especially meaningful since now if Paddy cracks his head open again, we can actually get him some stitches instead of that sweet action butterfly bandage he got last time.)

I'll let you know when I get an ID badge. That's when you know it's official.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In loving memory

"Grampa Trim"
May 30, 1948- August 15, 2007

Funeral services will be held on Monday, August 20th in the Murray 22nd Ward, 619 W. 5750 So., Murray, at 11:00 a.m. Friends may call Sunday, August 19th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary, 4760 So. State Street, Murray, and at the church from 10:00-10:45 a.m. prior to services on Monday.
Thanks to all for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. You may visit the obituary here.
Sometimes, life happens. And there is simply nothing else to say.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


As Wendy mentioned in her comment on the last post, watching prime time programming is often much more educational than you might think. For one, I'm now a genius at crime scenes. Criminals 'round the world- beware! I will find that stray epithelial or partial print. Professional that I am, I was horridly disappointed when Paddy's car was stolen 18 months ago and the officers didn't bother to check for shoe impressions or even dust the car the theives had left next to it for fingerprints. C'mon, guys, I know better than that. If I but had access to CODIS...

But, I digress. Television, particularly my madre's obsession with the "ER" of yesteryear, (before the tank rolled down the streets of Chicago and ruined it for any viewers with any sense of reality) has turned out to be quite handy. For example:

My 7 and a half year old sister, Megan, is a tender soul. Thus, her soft heart was nearly shattered yesterday when my parent's household had a medical emergency. This is a photograph of a very intact stuffed Husky dog from Build-A-Bear.

This one is actually Maddi's dog, Brody, but he serves as a good example. Megan's dog, Morgan, used to be identical. That is, until she accidentally left it in the yard with Lupe and her doggie-aunt, Indy. The carnage:

Disheveled, and missing an eye... and a nasty looking laceration on the lower back.

Worst of all, piles of stuffing and (gasp) the heart.

(The careful observer will note the right eyeball nestled in the cotton tufts. Sadly, there is not enough remaining tissue on the eye to safely reconnect it to the socket. The optic nerve appears to have been totally severed, and significant damage was done to the eye itself by the offenders.)
Naturally, the disaster occurs with no identifiable mother figure in the vicinity. Luckily, highly skilled surgeon-watcher Kris is on call.
The delicate reconstruction begins. Carefully, the blades of grass are removed from the cotton stuffing, which is then reinserted into the abdominal cavity via the back laceration. Precise stitching follows with silver medical thread. ("Lucky that we had gray!" an increasingly cheerful Megan exclaims.) Careful repairs begin on the upper right quadrant of the face. (Megan considers and then declines the offer for a prosthetic button eye.) Care is taken by the surgeon to avoid further matting of the dirty coat. (Read: Kris tries very hard not to touch or smell the fur soaked with dog slobber.)
And, with easy mother-like grace, Dr. Kris suggests the dog will be the very coolest one-eyed pirate dog on the block. ("Could it be a ballerina-pirate dog?" asks a concerned Megan. But of course.) (Not long after, the social worker in Kristie further suggests that the one-eyed ballerina-pirate dog will also make a very compassionate seeing eye dog for the blind.)
The patient is gently placed in a relaxing, bubbly jacuzzi that looks suspiciously like mom's front load washing machine.
After a cycle on "Air fluff, no heat", Morgan makes a full recovery.

Oh, and Megan gets to show off her wicked sweet temporary tatoo. Everyone wins.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Unemployment and Crime Scenes

So I'm unemployed. I wrapped up the temp position at my mom's office job while she was recuperating, and I am now without job. The first few days weren't so bad... I refinished my mom's kitchen cabinets (they went from 'truly hideous' to 'obviously done by an amatuer but still way better than before') and cleaned her carpets, and she was good enough to pay me, so I was still technically bringing home a little bit of bread for the ol' fam. For the last two days, however, I have been really, truly, solidly without income. I feel pretty guilty that once again Husband is left to support his well-educated but rarely gainfully employed wife. A question for the masses: if every position requires experience, how are the youth of the nation supposed to become contributing members of society?

Anywho, for the last two days I've spent my time cleaning our neglected house and following around after our dog with a Ziplock for her stinky poop. It reminds me of a Jerry Seinfeld stand-up bit where he suggests that if aliens are watching our society from afar, and they see one species picking up another species' crap in little baggies, who are they to assume is in charge? About the time I found myself folding laundry between throwing a slobbery tennis ball down our little hallway for her, I realized she absolutely is the boss of me.

Unfortunately, not in a way that means that she pays me. Then I'd be employed.

So that should explain why I don't have much to post about. Pretty much the biggest event in my life today is finding that Scott and Ashley and Davis and Angie have blogs for me to check. Oh, and I'm taking the Lupers to get vaccinated today.

OH! WAIT! Hold on a sec! I almost forgot! I totally do have something interesting to say!

Paddy and I took Lupe to the dog park on 5300 South in Murray last night. We like to walk on the Jordan River Parkway, too, but for some reason decided to hangout in the park instead. While we were there, we heard a loud popping sort of sound, and commented on how it sounded like gunshots. We didn't think much of it, though, and continued making small talk with the other owners. A few minutes later, we heard several sirens headed towards us. We commented that we were glad we hadn't walked down the Parkway. Some irritating know-it-all owner with an equally lame dog insisted it wasn't on the Parkway anyway, but was OBVIOUSLY in the Walden neighborhood. We saw several emergency vehicles turning into the neighborhood, and figured maybe it really had been gunshots we heard. Wow.

We wrapped up our conversation with Mr. I-Know-It-All-But-Not-Enough-To-Buy-A-Decent-Dog and left the park. We figured we'd head down the parkway and see if we could see the police car lights and all. (By the way, have you ever noticed that humans flock to those spinning red and blues like moths to a flame? I hate moths almost more than anything, but it's true.) We went under 53rd, and when we came out the other side, we found ourselves right in the midst of a police investigation! (Turns out Mr. Smarty Pants was way off. Totally right on the Parkway-- so THERE.) The vic (that's CSI-ese for 'victim', in case you're not as cool as me) was getting the whole CPR business, and before we knew it, they had taped off the sidewalk so we couldn't get back to our car. There was also an officer with a very large gun guarding the path. I don' t like guns even a little bit, so I steered clear. I considered offering some suggestions based on my extensive CSI knowledge, but decided it might be tacky. Pretty soon the AirMed helicopter landed right in front of us, and hung out there for a while because it turned out they weren't going to be much help for the unfortunate gentleman who had been shot.

After standing there for a while feeling really lame for wandering into a murder scene with our puppy, we finally circled around the park and headed back to the car via the intersection on 5300. Not our best decision making. However, we were less retarded than the 5-6 parents who were there letting their young children play on the slides and also watch the victim die 10 feet away. I'm not even joking.

Here's a sort of cruddy picture from the news.

If you could see us, we'd be right behind the vehicles between the pavilion and the slide, behind the youngsters with front row seats.

The whole event was terribly sad-- and for us, about the most dramatic thing we'd seen that day-- and I can't believe I almost forgot to post about it. We're pretty glad we stuck to the dog park.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The boys

These pictures are a little outdated, but for some reason the computer at home hates our digital camera, and refuses to upload photos. I don't know what the deal is, but I do know that Husband is trying to use the malfunction as an excuse to buy a better camera. If we could remember to take pictures more than once a month, I think it would be a good investment. For now, I just head over to the parentals where they have a neato slot for the camera's memory card.

Anyway, here are some pictures of 2 of our cutie-pa-tootie nephews when they came to meet the puppy a couple of weeks ago.

This is Jordan's best imitation of a puppy:

And this is Carter:
He is almost 4 months old. Jordan is only sometimes excited to have him as a member of the family. Luckily, on this particular day, Jordo seemed to like him well enough. I think he even forgot to smack him. Actually, I think he felt the new puppy was stealing all the attention. I'm just guessing, though, based on his repeated shouts of: "Look at my brother. Aren't his feets-es cute?"

One of the coolest things about being the oldest grandchild in a family, like Jordo, is that you have all these great uncles who don't have kids of their own yet to teach you how to do cool stuff. For example, gang signs. Every cool three and a half year old has to know a few, and Jordo is definitely ahead of the learning curve. Despite the time I spent as a substance abuse therapist, I'm still a little rusty on the whole flashing signs business. Luckily for the lil' guy, his uncle Braden keeps him up to speed with all the latest stuff from the hip-hop world:

Cool, huh? Apparently there is a song with some reference to "W's to the moon", and Little J obviously has it down. I'm only a little embarassed that the 3 year old knows more than I do...

This last one is of Husband teaching Carter to growl. Not sure how useful that'll be against Jordan's wigga street knowledge, but it's not bad for someone who doesn't have voluntary control of his limbs yet.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tag! I'm it.

I'm new to the blogger world, and wasn't aware there was such a thing as 'tagging'. Wendy had to pronounce me 'it' for me to even realize we were playing a game. Somehow reminds me of my grade school playground experience...

So, after doing a little digging, I discovered that being tagged means that I have to list seven things about me that others may not know. Enjoy the following:

1. I heart noodles. A lot. I'm pretty sure I could eat pasta for every meal of every day and not ever get sick of them. I would suck at the Atkin's diet.

2. I'm a Scorpio. I don't put much stock in astrology and signs and whatnot, and that's probably lucky as every description of Scorpios seems to suggest that I should be a horrible beast to mostly everyone I meet. For example's sake, a quick google search reveals the following:

"The Scorpio can be the toughest enemy as they are often one step ahead of the game with their powers of perception, steely intuition, and suspicious nature. Yet, outwardly they can look as if they don't suspect a thing. If Scorpios want something, they usually get it as they are focused, ambitious and rarely give up. They are the supreme chess players of the Zodiac.

"Classic Scorpios are suited to careers in management, medicine, advertising, and the creative arts. They also make good funeral directors and scientists. The Scorpio may rarely use sick days at work and can be hard working to the point of being a workaholic. Scorpios are usually intense and confident in their abilities."

Funeral director? What? And also, I think I'm way too lazy to be a Scorpio.

At the risk of getting way too graphic-- wait for your ew-o-meter to go off-- I have to include this:

"Parts of the body ruled by the Scorpio:
The genitals - Because the genitals rule them, Scorpios are susceptible to venereal disease and urinary infections. They may also suffer from fatigue and bad health due to their explosive emotions."

Sorry, too funny to leave out. Ugh. Moving on...

3. My soapbox is health care. Don't get me started.

4. My body knows what day of the week it is. Proof of this lies in the fact that if I don't get a nap on Sunday afternoons, I am very, very grouchy. And I also experience intense, completely uncharacteristic hunger on the morning of the first Sunday of every month, even though skipping breakfast on other days is not uncommon.

5. I dig flip flops. If it's not snowing, I'm probably wearing them (though the corporate world is slowly putting a cramp on my flava.) Don't worry, I'm obsessive about having nice looking toes. I'm not obsessive about using cool slang like 'flava', but I should be. It's fun to use incomplete words to sound like I'm coo'.

6. I am possibly the most unathletic person in the entire world. I'm terrible at everything. I played on the "B" (read: suckier than "A") volleyball team in 9th grade. After another loss, my coach told me she didn't put me on the team because I had any skill, but rather because I had a bubbly attitude. Cool.

Luckily, I am also the most noncompetitive person in the world, at least when athletics are involved. That means I don't care even a little when I lose everything.

7. All of my sisters and my brother swim on the swim team. People regularly ask me if I swam, too. I didn't. (See above). When I tell them that "I only dog paddle", most people don't get the joke. It's just from Princess Bride, people. I can stay afloat, really. I swear. Just laugh.

Unlike grade school, where I was usually 'it' for the rest of recess because I couldn't run fast enough through that blasted pea gravel, this is where my tagee status ends. I don't know many bloggers, so Melinda and Ry, you're it. Seven things about yourselves, stat.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Oh, and also...

I realize I already posted today. Just thought I should give all of my newly graduated friends a little heads up. If your brain says this:

"Hey, Self, I don't care how hungry you are and how cold your office is. You aren't in college any more. There is no excuse for running to the grocery store next to the office and buying frozen burritos that you intend to heat in the break room microwave and eat. Especially when the individually wrapped ones belong to a mystery brand. Steer clear! No mas!"

then listen. Otherwise you'll end up eating a hideously disgusting used-to-be-frozen-and-now-some-parts-are-still-frozen-and-other-parts-are-on-fire imitation of a burrito wondering why you ever got your Master's if you just intended to keep eating prepackaged frozen foods willy nilly with no thought to the possible gastrointestinal repercussions.

It's not a fun place to be.

I'm a nerd. I get it, ok?

Reading has long been a favorite past time of mine. As a child, I used to actually set my alarm for 2:30 in the morning so I could finish devouring my latest Nancy Drew novel after bedtime without my mom catching me. I have long wished to invent a waterproof book so I could read in the bathtub without getting the edges all wet when I have to turn the pages, and I have actually tried to read while blowdrying my hair. I read in the car, too, (not while driving, of course) even though the chances are decent that I'll end up getting all queasy for about an hour.

Experience has dictated that I not allow myself to read for pleasure during any semester of school work. As any member of my family can tell you, I am essentially useless to the outside world until the book is finished. Understand that if my personal hygiene can acutally suffer during the course of a good read, a research paper is not likely to get any attention.

Luckily for me, I have officially finished the coursework for the last official class I will ever take. (Can you imagine anything more awful than working on a PhD? I can't. Bleh.) It took about 5 minutes after my class ended for me to run to the charming neighborhood library and stock up. (Which meant that I finally had to pay the somewhat expensive fines I had racked up over Christmas break. I finish the books, and forget to take them back for weeks on end. Even the threat of monetary reprimands cannot prod my memory into remembering to return them.)

Then we moved away from that charming neighborhood library--not that I'm complaining and also I took their books back first and without fines this time--and I started working full time.

Introduce the delightful 'Project Gutenburg' link (thanks, Wendy) on the right. While this does not solve the bathtub problem (using a lap top in the tub is a decidedly more risky endeavor than reading a book, what with the high replacement cost and electrocution risks and all) but it does help keep me entertained while covering the front desk. Now I've been able to reread Jane Eyre for the first time since 8th grade and am just starting into Nicholas Nickleby. There's nothing like a little bit of Dickens to remind myself that the good orphans of the world always end up on top.

All of this while reading some wonderfully mindless Mary Higgins Clark mysteries at home and the second Harry Potter out loud at night makes for a perfectly happy little ol' me. Except for that irritating Gilderoy Lockhart. Grrr.

PS- Oh, and the artist of those cool Golden Gate bridge paintings emailed me back. Come visit the condo in a week or two to see one.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

And puppy makes three!

Say hello to the newest member of our family! The beautiful four-legged creature below is Maria Guadalupe del Mar. (That's what Patrick says her name is, anyway. I don't think they can put all of that on a tag. It's just Lupe to the rest of us.) (Oh, and mom says we should have put a pronunciation guide on her tag, too. Lupe. Loo-pay.)

She is two and a half months old, which seems to be a wonderful age to get a puppy as she has yet to have a potty accident in our condo. As designated dog mess cleaner-upper of the family, I am pretty excited about that.

She also has managed to get through two work days in the condo without any major destruction, with the notable exception of the carpet outside of her room. The rather unattractive carpet in our house acts a little like a sweater-- if you pull one thread, the whole thing unravels. Such is the case now in our hallway. Good thing Mama is more patient than her Dad.

Note: Despite the picture to the right, we in no way condone the use of cigarettes by dogs or people.

Lupe is a cheerful little thing, and generally pretty content with the world. Except, it seems, at bath time. The look on her soggy face below pretty much sums up the experience.

In our fam, we have recently discovered that getting a puppy is a lot more like having a baby than one might think. I don't sleep well because I'm listening to her in the next room all night, and we can't let her take naps in the evening or she won't go to bed. I definitely think she's cuter than all the other dogs in our complex, and is obviously going excel in doggy obedience school. Oh. And we worry about her peeing on herself. So, pretty much like a baby-- kind of, sort of.

Lupe has life pretty easy. Since we don't have any kids, she only has our beta fish, Enrique, to beat out in order to claim the coveted position as favorite. And since he sucks, that should be a walk in the park.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Friggin' hot

The worst part about returning from the yearly family Lake Powell run is knowing that it'll be approximately 364 days before we get to go again. Lake Powell Trip 2007 was super cool. And by super cool, what I really mean is swelteringly hot. (Melinda, what do you think of when you hear the word 'swelter'?) I'm pretty sure it averaged around 109 degrees, although I can't be positive since I was much too tired to watch the news at night to find out. And also, I'm convinced that anything over 103 doesn't really feel any hotter, it just kills you quicker. Paddy, who served 2 years in one of the hottest missions in the world, begs to differ. He says 120 does feel hotter, but I'll just have to take his word for it.

Anyway, the wind on our faces during boat rides and wave runner trips was like air from a blowdryer. Paddy and I, with our smooth, olive skin (read: pale with freckles) got the desired sunburns in record time. It appears we made it through with no long term damage, though. The Honda Accord pulled through with flying colors, especially when compared to last year's Kia disaster. Paddy managed to catch a couple of fish, and I can see ankle bones on both sides of my feet again! (Side note: Did you know that if you get lazy and don't drink enough water in the aforementioned sweltering heat, your feet and legs can swell? I didn't either. And I ended up with cankles.) (Side note numero dos: Cankles= a hideous condition wherein there is no distinction between calf and ankles. Gross.)

We also learned that we suck at taking pictures. I'm pretty sure that subconsciously we didn't want any documentation of us in swimsuits. I guess we'll post some from our family members' cameras soon. Maybe tonight I'll post what our house looks like with the post-trip mess.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Don't call it 'Frisco. Trust me, it's tacky.

After an exhausting weekend, we are all moved into our new condo! Nearly everything appears to have survived the move, though I did break the top to our precious Brita filter. Dear Brita will be sorely missed-- after all, she's probably the only reason our intestinal tracks survived the South Salt Lake tap water for the last year. (Once, I let the tap drip onto a cloth... it dyed it orange. Safe? I think not.) The camera is buried somewhere, though, so pictures will be coming later. While the furniture is all in place, I have yet to hang much on the walls. In fact, there is a glaring bit of wall space near the kitchen table just begging to be filled. The following is the painting by Chris Harrington that I really want to hang there. I don't know anything about the painter other than he came up in a google image search and that I love this:

I am also in love with this one, however it wouldn't look quite as stunning against my buttery yellow walls:

My next move is to pray that the painter will email me back, though it'll probably just be to shatter my dreams of finding an affordable print for my home. After all, being a newly-wed, newly-graduated social worker filling in at a temp job in a financial office doesn't exactly leave me with a lot of discretionary income.

I'm sure you noticed a recurring theme above. My grandparents lived outside of San Francisco for most of my childhood, and the city holds a special place in my heart. Were you aware that Walnut Creek, California has a whole different smell? Occasionally I'll get a whiff of it and miss the funny shaped pool that was always approximately negative one million degrees because of Uncle Scott's crazy solar heating idea. Being from a land-locked state and all, we swam anyway. I think about the Palm Walk and Coit Tower and the Brown Bear Factory (long before Build-a-Bear, by the by) and seafood and torta-greenies and Papa eating the lima beans out of those disgusting frozen mixed veggie bags. Bleh.

Weird how absolutely foreign a place is when you've never heard of the grocery store chain before. I'm not sure Bandie and Papa will ever stop calling Albertson's Alpha-Betas.

Anyway, here's to hoping I can get lucky with an inexpensive reprint.

Also, here's to hoping that our Lake Powell trip is as truly awesome as last year's! We should be leaving in the wee hours of the morning, and returning Sunday with sunburns and some great pictures for el blog. Hooray for Independence Day!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Saddle Up

I'm not exactly what one would call a country girl. I don't like twangy music, don't own a truck, and have only ridden horses on those guided sort of tours where the horse just follows the one in front of it down a paved path. I think cowboy boots and large belt buckels look terribly uncomfortable, and what with those icky tight pants, I don't understand why cowboys think they have the corner on the Patriotic Man market.

Which is probably why I felt just a tad out of place at last night's Lehi Roundup. Turns out it's a family tradition on the hubby's side. I had managed to avoid it until now, but last night was my initiation.

This is an actual photo from the Lehi Roundup. I didn't take it as our camera is stuck in a box somewhere in what is left of our front room, so I snagged this one and the one below from the Lehi City webpage. I have a hard time understanding why an adult would voluteer for what must be horrid next-day whiplash, but then, I'm not really a rodeo sort of gal.

I'm not one of those nutty animal rights activist types-- I eat meat and I'm pretty sure I would wear leather if I could afford it, (and as long as it didn't have those bouncy tassle things on all of the seams), but a rodeo always seemed to be a needlessly cruel activity targeting innocent cattle. Expert on bovine activity I'm not, but I don't think they often buck around violently in the fields without some provocation.

Those around me at last night's rodeo learned of my sympathies for the poor fourlegged creatures when I insisted on cheering for the little steers who managed to avoid being roped. I also encouraged the one bull who stopped bucking mid-ride to hurry up and jump; after all, I can't imagine there's much of a market for non-bucking bulls on the rodeo circuit, and he's not exactly petting zoo material. Keep bucking, pal, I don't think they'll give you much of a pension.

The moment I really knew I was out of my element is represented below.

These lovely young ladies represent the Rodeo Royalty for the 2007 Lehi Roundup. They possess many, many talents that I don't-- most notably, wearing lots of sequins with style and flair.

I didn't even giggle at the sparkly chaps.

But then, that's because my intuitive husband began squeezing my hand in warning as soon as he saw the big hair.

Favorite quote of the night: "And now, ladies n' gentlemen, we have for you a real live, purebred Mexican fighting bull! That's right, a purebred Mexican fighting bull! This thing was born and bred straight out of Sao Paulo, Brazil..."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Our apartment is in a state of disarray hitherto unseen by human eyes. Close your eyes, and imagine that a tornado has struck the D.I. Cram the wreckage into a 600 sq. foot space. That is the squalor we are living in now. But it's totally worth it!

We're moving!

We have closed on our condo and should be moving this week. We are thrilled to be escaping (mostly) unscathed from our humble abode in South Salt Lake. Luckily, the memories will stay with us always...

Paddy has translated at 2 a.m. for the paramedics. We've had a couple of stolen vehicles and a rickety camping trailer towed from our parking lot where, I can only assume, they were left to die. We've conquered a 9 foot high mountain of carpet padding, evicted a smoker who set his apartment on fire, recovered furniture and large electronics from the bushes, and endured at least one mailbox break-in. Oh, and we will forever look back on the teenagers hot boxing in the laundry room and the flood in our living room with fondness. We are a little bruised, but none the worse for the wear.

City of South Salt Lake, with your parking lot barbeques, we bid thee farewell.

It's Taylorsville or bust.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Our blogger debut

After steadfastly refusing to join the MySpace revolution, I somehow found myself adrift in the vast sea of the world wide web-- perhaps the only young person left without even a Facebook page to call my own. Until now.

Welcome to our brand new blog!

I hestitate for only one reason: I fear that no one will care. I'll have all this fun creating a virtual scrapbook (since I'm terrible at the paper-and-sticker variety) and no one will read it. Here's hoping I have some friends, somewhere.