Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye, 2008

Happy New Year! The year of our Lord two thousand and eight was a good one to our family. The year in review:



(Notice how the Janssens have a tent mansion and ours looks like a dumpy shed?)



Bonus 2008: New house comes complete with German neighbor!

Finally straightened the filth in the new house, too


Celebrated our Scottish heritage...

... and made our dog pretend she is Scottish, too.

Mini-golfed with the Ovesons

Saw a grown woman urinate in public with the Janssens

Sent off the cutest missionary since a certain Elder headed to Mexico in 2003

Went to a Jazz playoff game courtesy of Marketer Jim

Lots of other fabulous things happened, too, and a (thankfully) small number of heartaches. We are happy and healthy and more blessed than we deserve. Goodbye, 2008.
Hooray for 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Brace yourselves

Spoken by a 60-something grandmotherly type at an after-Christmas ward Christmas party:

"I don't eat coconut. Tastes like tonsil scabs."

Yup. Tonsil scabs.

Carry on.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.

He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Love/Hate Relationship: A definition

I hate you, Phoenix, Arizona.

Just days ago, while I was trudging through the snow and scraping my car windows and falling on the ice (which I do at least once every single stinking year) all I could think of was you. You and Al Roker.

Al chose you to be the "pick city of the day". "PICKCITYOFTHEDAY!" he said, cheerfully.

And you. You.

You were 'mostly sunny, 60 degrees, and cool'. My eyes are narrowing in anger just thinking of it.

How dare you. Do you know that my pants are wet half way up my calves and caked in salt? That my toes have been numb for weeks? Do you even care? I hate you, Phoenix. That's right. I hate you.

I love you, Phoenix. Can we get married? Can I bring my husband?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

And may all your Christmases be ethnically diverse.

First of all, I didn't run the race with Kinzy, after all. I worked Trauma for PCMC the night before and just couldn't do it. Guess the food bank got my money for nothin'. I did score a cool t-shirt though.


I enjoy Nativity scenes. I have a whole bunch that I inherited from Paddy's mom, and I set up my mom's every year, too. I've got big ones, small ones, colorful ones, plain ones, and a few with gold halos. I dig 'em.

Setting up the Nativity is a delicate process. Shepards and lambs on one side. The family sandwiched in the middle with the occasional angel presiding. Donkey near the manger because hey, he did a lot of work that day. Camels and wise men on the other side.

Did you hear that? Shepards on one side, wise men on the other, and n'er the two shall meet.

Does this make me a Christmas separationist?

I mean, I've got nothing against either group. Sure, I'm rather fond of the whole shepard's hook thing, but what modern girl wouldn't like to score a little myrrh from time to time? If I was a good social worker, would I have everyone intermingling in a jolly everyone-in-the-front-of-the-bus-playing-I-Spy-together sort of travel party? Your thoughts, please.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Halloa, Watson! What's this?

I am grateful for mashed potatoes.

And so, on behalf of hungry people everywhere:

Anyone want to join Kinzy and I at the Utah Human Race in the morning? Proceeds benefit the Utah Food Bank (where requests for food are up 30% this year) and the LDS Humanitarian Fund. Brave the early morning hour and the bitter cold to make a preemptive strike on behalf of your (my) hips against all that gravy.

Cost: $13
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Place: Draper Factory Outlet Mall.

Be there, or be... pudgy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(The title is my shout-out to ye ol' Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I've been enjoying round 2 of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in my leisure time this fall. I mourn the diappearance of my copy of the first collection. Has anyone seen it? It's ragged and used and probably has water spots from being read in the bathtub.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Despite the barren landscape, my mind is rarely bulldozed

"The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind."
- Maya Angelou

Poetic, ain't she?

I could go on and on about the changing seasons of life, blah blah blah. I don't want to. Reasons I don't like change any more than the next girl:

1- I'm scared of it.

Pretty much that.

And so, the following:

I grieve for you, Warrick Brown.


Dear Slate,

I can admit it. At first I hated your new layout. However, I think I have made peace with your white borders where I used to enjoy plum. If you want, we can still be friends. Please circle yes or no.


My list of things to read grows smaller as blogs I lurk go private so people like me (and/or axe murderers, which I think we've established I must not look like) don't lurk. And I don't know the authors well enough (read: at all) to ask to be invited, despite my obvious non-axe murderer status.


There aren't any leaves left on my trees, and it's months until my newly planted tulip bulbs come up. Blasted winter.


In the 10 seconds it took me to see where the stock market closed (it's a testament to how much I love my husband that I even know where to look), gmail changed its layout, too. So much for a firm foundation.

On the upside:

Taco Bell has Dr. Pepper now. How Kat and I would have thrilled in those college years.

And, turning sour again:

I'm old enough to say "those college years?"


Monday, November 17, 2008

And it wasn't even Fast Sunday

Husband, after church, gazing longingly into our empty cupboards:
"On a scale of one to hungry, I'm an eleven!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

With regard to the aforementioned new shiny red shoes:

Please boost my confidence. I'm trying to branch here.

Do these belong in the closet of an 80-year-old matron?

Or the closet of Lisa Hardman? (All y'all haven't met her. But trust me, the girl's got style. She's now the meter by which all out-of-comfort-zone clothes are judged by every female in my family.)

Or peeping out from under the black dress pants of a 20-something social worker?

(Please say Lisa Hardman.)

(But please also say the truth.)

Liv, for bonus points, they come from DSW and they are comfy flats. And also for bonus points, they are red, shiny, and new.

And Alice, what do you think Stacy London would say?

P.S. I haven't worn this much yellow gold since I thought my Young Women's medallion (yep- the one with the girl's hair on fire) was cool. And never on my footwear.

Robin Hood and his fair Lady

So I think I've been tagged about a million times by a lot of people, which, as I mentioned before, reminds me a lot of second grade (see here). I'm flattered, but probably not enough to search back through their blogs to find out which of the many lists of questions I am supposed to answer.

I seem to remember something from Kinzy about answering questions about the person I'm married to.

(I might as well admit it… I only remember it because she got her own husband's age wrong, which I think is funny. And he read it and commented on it, which is even funnier, especially when you know him. And he included some sexual humor in the comment, which is funny, too, but not at all unexpected, especially when you know him. And I think there were too many commas in that last sentence.)

I could pretty much bear my testimony about him for several paragraphs, including all the necessary "with every fiber of my being" and "righteous eternal companion" and "nourish and strengthen our bodies" references. But, it's hard to make the font visually represent my voice rising in pitch secondary to spiritually-induced tears, so I'll leave you be.

Instead, I'll tell you a parable.

And behold, the mighty Husband found himself in the neighborhood of my father's father. And he did endeavor to take my father's father out for lunch to enjoy some delicious french fries, because of the love he hath for my father's father and the love which my father's father doth have for french fries.

But behold, my father's father was without his residence due to the celebration of the day of the Veteran, and also could not enjoy the precious french fries because of the looming intestinal workup scheduled for the day after the day of the Veteran. And the mighty Husband did mourn.

And the mighty Husband did call me, yea even his Lady, and did entreat me to enjoy some Quiznos with him, for which he had stolen a coupon from the house of my mother on the Sabbath day. Nevertheless we did go. And we did enjoy a Chicken Carbonara with no mushrooms. And there was much rejoicing.

And the mighty Husband did tell his Lady that he liked her new shiny red shoes which her mother had granted unto her as celebration on the day of her birth. And when the Lady did unabashedly fish for compliments on the shoes (for she was sore afraid that they did resemble old person shoes) the Husband did profess unto her that she looked "hot".

See? It's like he's better than french fries or something.

And that's why I waited patiently outside the public boy bathroom for him to come out even though I work here and felt a little weird. I busied myself by staring at the fake plant and wondering why they make the leaves on the fake plant so shiny if they want people to think it's real. Or maybe they don’t. But anyway, he smooched me after he was done so it was all worth it.

Even the part about how my new shiny red shoes are hurting my achilles heel.

P.S.- Dad, "every fiber of my being"? Done and done.
P.P.S- Grandpa, Paddy wants some french fries with you. And sorry your first appearance on el blog involves your doctor's appointment.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Warning: Soapbox-standing occurs below.

I’m home sick from work today. I’m in my jammies, wrapped in a blanket, and wallowing in my sniffles, coughs, and all-encompassing germiness. For some reason, the congested version of me is also feeling all fired up (although not so much in a fever way. Kicked that a couple of days ago.)

I don’t know if it’s the exhausting political season wearing on me, or the Sudafed, or even the segment of “What’s Happening, Hot Stuff?” I heard on the radio today, but I am feeling particularly rankled this fine morning.

How lucky we are to live in this beautiful country where it is our privilege, our right, and even our responsibility to express our opinions and promote what we feel is best for our communities and our government. Two thumbs up, say I.


On the radio today I heard someone question the faith and even spiritual status of a prominent member of my faith based on a political statement (which, to add insult to injury, he had misquoted to begin with.)

What business is it of his? Of what consequence is it to any of us?

I don’t know whether to scream or sigh or (likely the best choice) simply abandon this post altogether and hope the anger fuels a miraculous recovery from this cold. Enough with this nose-in-someone-else’s-business garbage. Just stop it. Making a judgment on someone’s spirituality is absolutely dripping with irony, but that’s another post entirely. Enough.

I propose the following:

Let us worry about ourselves. Let us guide and support our own families. By all means, let us vote and protest and hold signs and distribute fliers and promote those things we support and believe in. And at the end of the day, let us go home and simply love each other.

Perhaps I am mistaken. It has happened once or twice before. But it is my belief that there is one most important doctrine of my own faith which is also central to the faiths of many of my friends. It is, hopefully, a guiding force in the lives of all good people everywhere, regardless of spiritual preference. It is to love each other.

Being compassionate, kind, and tolerant is rarely the wrong decision, I think. Two thumbs up.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dear Ashlie-

I could have responded in comment fashion, but this note from you

p.s. I saw a preview on the History Channel for a show called Monsterquest and it was about Giant Sized Spiders that eat DOGS!!! Thought about you. :)

deserves more than a measly hidden comment.

I. Am. Horrified.

And also, I googled "dog eating spider". (What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment.)


Trust me, the Brain Blog had a profanity-laced caption for this one. In fact, every time I see it, I post again.

Shut the heck up.

So, anyway, thanks for the heads-up. I'll steer clear of the History Channel for a while. It'd be like sending Wendy to Shamu's house for Thanksgiving.

Only with more legs.



Does anyone else find themselves thinking in blog-ese? I'm not talking about the casual "oh, this will be so funny to blog about later" blip that flashes across the mind-screen of every good blogger. I'm not even talking about the somewhat more obsessive-bordering-frantic "something good better happen today so I can hurry up and blog about it" commentary that runs like stock quotes across the bottom of my brain version of CNN. I'm talking about constructing a detailed, complete, word-for-word post mentally without ever logging in.

There are lots of benefits to a successful Brain Blog. You can put the final touches on the punch line before you ruin the joke, for example. Or use swear words as adjectives for people in the real world with out your alive blog friends thinking less of you. You know, stuff like that. Also, typing posts on the Brain Blog is a great problem solving skill.

See, just today I was crafting a post in my mind. Yesterday, we spent a positively delightful evening catching up with the Allreds (mentally planned hyperlink) at ye old California Pizza Kitchen before heading over to the Klug's pad (mentally acknowledged no hyperlink as they remain blog-less) to see their newly birthed child. All of this was fine and dandy, except that we forgot to record The Office.

Repeat for emphasis (in both mental and real-life blog): WE FORGOT TO RECORD THE OFFICE.

And then, a miraculous thing. I inserted a hyperlink to The Office on the Brain Blog. And, naturally, I clicked on my Brain Blog's link with my mind. HELLO! What have we here? Oh yeah. Free episodes.

I refuse to believe I am alone here. Wanna know why? Because some of you commented on my Brain Blog.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

As I was saying...

I mentioned a coupl'a posts ago that this young man was headed to the Philippines to serve a 2 year mission for our church. Since he's flying out early next week, I figure I should squeeze in a few of the pictures of Day 1 for good measure.

As his big sister, I can assure you that Tommy is a safe and cuddly 9 year old who loves Michael Bolton and Steve Young and projectile vomits on every car trip. Where this 6'3" mature monster came from is a mystery to me.

We've worked hard to reassure the Tomster that having oodles of estrogen around for his formative years will mold him into a fabulous husband someday. Having 6 sisters around obviously did nothing to stunt his growth. (I can count, too. In true Ari fashion, she was halfway around the world in Russia when he left.)

He does have a couple cute brothers, as well. We kept them around to make sure he could properly throw a football, and to stock him up with plenty of hideous polyester ties for the mish. (See the cute one on the end? No, not the one with the Lamanite complexion. The other end. Guess what? I'm married to that piece of sugar. Mmmm.)

This is the whole fam-damily. All told there are 4 last names in this group; Ari would've made 5. For fun, we'll count Ari in from now on. There are 3 married couples, one engaged brother (I took so long to post this that he's married now, too), 4 returned missionaries, 3 college students, and 2 kiddos in high school. 5 of the lot swim/swam competively. 4 play(ed) high school soccer. 9 members of the crew are taller than I am, including the 12 year old. (Query: How did the eldest daughter of paternal 6'4" and maternal 5'10" genes end up a chunky 5'6"?) 2 are Spanish-speakers, 1 speaks Thai, and Tom-Tom is learning Tagalog. 4 were born outside of Utah (including 1 outside of the USA). There are 3 altos, 1 soprano, 1 tenor, 1 bass, and a grundle of tone-deafers. There are 3 Aggies, 5 Bruins, and 3 Cougars, plus 1 U of U grad who doesn't care about being a Ute. All but two of them have left the country at least once; 4 can say they have lived outside of the U.S.

Oh, and one leaves for the Philippines on Monday.

Try signing that Christmas card. We all love each other.

Bonus question: Can you figure out who goes into which groups? Betcha Mom can't. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pop Star Cents

As a general rule, I don't discuss the economy much. Numero uno- I'm the first to admit that I don't really understand global or even national economic structures beyond, say, a second grade knowledge of supply/demand, and B- I live in Utah and therefore generally disagree politically with about 78% of my neighbors. I try to keep at least a working knowledge of issues up to speed by watching plenty of the Today Show in the morning, reading slate and MSNBC while I'm at work, and catching some good ol' John Stewart whenever possible. Nothing like being well-rounded, you know? (Aside: that was not a fat joke.)

Lucky for me, I stumbled upon a brilliantly educational article which resolved all my concerns about the current state of our nation. It's like a parable, really.

Check it out.

How I yearn to be that funny.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ode to a roommate

You know how in college, 96.8% off all new conversations start with, "what's your major?" (For those who haven't ever lived in a college town, the other 3.2% of conversations likely come from someone sporting a Tweety Bird t-shirt and begin with some version of, "and did you see the last episode of Stargate?!?" Sigh.) Well, anyway, I once had the good forturne of stumbling across one particularly intelligent male specimen (at ward prayer, naturally) who, upon learning of my course of study, decided on this course of conversation:

Him: "Um, wow. So you, like, wanna take babies away from their moms, huh?" (Winks in an attempt to be witty.)
Me: (with the blankest expression I can muster) " Sure. But only if you slap them around first."
Him: "Oh."

And I neatly slunk away, leaving him to chat with my cute roommate. If memory serves, she was clad in a Minney Mouse hoodie, eager to discuss the deep plot line of the latest episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

Anyway, the point of all this rambling is that I'm having a little trouble connecting to my Inner Sanctum of Happy Heritage today.

Normally, I don't mind my job much. Ever seen Scrubs? The social worker at that hospital "vomits sunshine" all over the place. To be honest, it's a fairly apt and downright hilarious description of our world, and it's even funnier if you happen to actually be a hospital social worker, like mwah.

Today, I just can't seem to connect to the cheerfully dizzying nausea of being pleasant all day. From time to time, my little Jimminy Cricket says: "H'lo? What's wrong with you? You've chosen to work in a cancer building. And to work trauma at a children's hospital in the middle of the night. Have you no heart?" Usually, I can convince myself it's because I have a little heart. But not today. I've been all wrapped up in myself and feeling supremely 'eh' about the whole thing.

I've been trying to convince myself all morning that there is simply no reason for it. After all, I am wearing new pants and have my zebra stripe purse with me today. I should be absolutely exploding with joy.

You know what I need? A good lecture on why it is not at all weird and/or worthy of sarcasm to watch a show where some of the antagonists have actual horns. Something tells I've heard the lecture several times before. Multiple times, prolly, from the aforementioned roommate. I think she was wearing a cartoon shirt.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My cup runneth over

*EDIT #1- Note the new hyperlink to Pres. Uchtdorf's talk. You'll love it.

I'll admit it: for the last couple of days, I have been mentally crafting a positively brilliant post (if I do say so myself), full of my ever-present wit and charm (tempered with my loads of humility, naturally), detailing the woes of my ridiculous working schedule of late and the consequential mounds of laundry and dishes to be tackled.

I've changed my mind.

I heart President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

So instead, I'll spend the time I would've spent crafting snide little remarks re-reading his talk. But first, this list of small (and not so small) things I am happy about.

-Those little booty-things that allow me to wear flats without visible socks.

-My sweetheart, who tackled the mounds of laundry and dishes for me, made me a deliciously naughty quesadilla at 12:25 last night when I was finally home from work, and makes the best darn CrystalLight anywhere.

-Yesterday, I had exactly 10 minutes to be at home between hospitals of employ. And I had exactly 10 minutes left of an old Jon & Kate Plus 8 episode left. Tender mercies, indeed.

-My dog drinks out of the toilet. And she loves me.

-My new discovery: Light Chocolate Soy Milk.
-Down comforters
-Last Friday, I needed a sewing machine. Last Thursday, Kinzy bought one. BFFs, indeed. (And see what she did over the weekend, here!)
-My toenails are painted red.

-My new office has a blank wall crying out for my framed degrees. And I'm hanging the Utah State one on top. Go Aggies!
-For my one year anniversary, the company I work for gave me a blue, rubbery alien man with a digital clock that doesn't keep time. (Anyone remember the
light egg?) I giggle everytime I see it. Oh, and I can bend his arms and legs. And his head can double as a paperclip. Simple joys, indeed.

-It's September and still 80 degrees. Warms my heart, and my toes.

is my heritage.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How you know the employee parking sitaution is just silly

So I'm hiking out to, oh, maybe Magna to get to my car today, and an adorable old woman in a car that doesn't sound so great slows down, unrolls her window, and shouts, "Honey, do you need a ride somewhere?"

I'm being serious. This just happened.

On the up-side, apparently I don't look much like an axe murderer.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.

I have something horrible to report.

My dear darling brother (obligatory Cleo reference? check.) is in the MTC on his way to the Philippines. I'm a sucky sister and I know it because I have yet to blog about him, blah blah blah. I'll get around to it, I swear. That's not the horrible part. For that, I have to share a portion of his latest letter to his favorite sister.

So I don't know if I already told someone this, but I'm going to tell you. (He knows me well and wants to share the following atrocity with me first for ultimate shock value.) I asked my teacher all about the Philippines and one of the questions that I asked was about how many spiders he saw. He told me that he saw tons, but not to worry because they all lived up in the power lines. When I asked how he could see spiders if they were all the way up in the power lines, he said "because they're about this big."

Now imagine your average 5'4" half-Chinese guy making as big of a circle as he can make with his birdie fingers touching and his thumbs thought, and then he opened it up about another inch or two. That was the size of the spiders he saw. (I want to throw up a little.) When I asked how a spider that large sustains life (life lesson I apparently forgot to mention to Tommy... don't ask if you don't want to know the answer) he told me that they eat birds. I'm going to go ahead and say that again for emphasis. FREAKING SPIDERS THAT EAT BIRDS! I wish I was kidding. Pray for me.

I am speechless. I am without speech.

I thought about googling "spiders, Philippines" to post a picture, but I think I'll save that fun little tidbit for later.
I'm bound to get a real-life giant spider portrait from Tommy in a few weeks.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Someone to teach me how to properly fold a fitted sheet. Must be able to fold queen size sheet into a neat square. Must not show yucky elastic parts. Ability to maintain level surface as to not disrupt even stacking field for additional folded linens preferred. Applicants wearing socks with sandals need not apply. Flexible hours available with some sock-pairing required. Salary varies based on experience and/or willingness to iron.

(Disclaimer: For her benefit, I should note that my mother can do this perfectly. I'm reasonably certain she has a few linen cupboards full of sheets she doesn't even use but can't bear to throw out due to their extreme neatness and stackability.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Paddy and Daddy

There are a few lucky moments in life-- moments where the planets seem to align, where your heart skips a beat and it seems all is right with the world. Moments were the joy in the air is tangible and all the tough times suddenly seem worth it.

Paddy versus the Papanwa in an epic Wii bowing match? Definitely one of those moments.

Staged at halftime during last week's BYU game in our poorly lit basement, the two need no more than a couple of cold ones (Diet Coke with lime) and an old bag of Red Vines from Daddy-o's truck to fuel frame after frame of giggles from their only spectator. Their lightening-quick moves were too much for me to capture with a mere photo.

Possibly Daddy's first interaction with any game controller anywhere. Ever.

Looks pretty tough for a guy using an animated Mii designed after his sister. He only won because Daddy's Mii was patterned after Braden's girl friend, who happens to be 90 pound Asian girl. (Thanks, Mich!)

Can you believe there is no blood relation between these two? Neither can I.

Thank heavens for those wrist straps. I thought both of them were going to bowl those controllers right through our Vizio more times than once.

I've said it once, and I'll say it again:

Life is good.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I think I might be without secrets.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Brown paper packages tied up with string

Life is good.

These are a few of my favorite things, in no particular order, with an incomplete sentence and brief description for your viewing pleasure.

My adorable German neighbor. He gardens in his dress socks and floppy hat and hates our dog but loves us nonetheless. Bless his heart, and pray Lupe never accidentally gets to one of his hand-painted gnomes. Germans are tough; it wouldn't be pretty.

My fleurs. I planted seeds this year. I think I planted them too early in my excitement to be a new home owner, though, and nothing happened for months except some spotty looking plants that looked suspiciously like tomato bushes. Without any warning at all, they exploded into these beautiful orange flowers. Isn't it great?

Our place in line (after 45 minutes of waiting) when De and I went to the Layers clothing warehouse sale . It was 150 degrees in there, and smelled of Mormon women. It's a sister-in-law-ly tradition to go to these types of things in our pajamas and laugh at the girls with giant hair who got up early to put on their makeup.

Beto's. Always good for a laugh-- and a burrito that tastes great going in and is likely to hurt coming out. Sometimes, it's a risk you take.

This grainy cell phone photo of a water spot on black pavement in the dark. One time, we were hanging out with Bri and Kinzy, and we just might have been wandering out onto a freeway overpass to laugh at an obscene teenage stunt. On our way back to the car, it's possible that we may have seen a full grown woman pull down her pants, squat against her truck in the parking lot and, while delicately balancing her cigarette between her lips, urinate right out in public. And I might have taken a picture of it with the sole intent to blog about it later.

Finding out the 'fireworks' setting on my camera lets me take wicked sweet campfire pics.

This empty room. It's meaningless to the rest of the world, but priceless to me. You see, this room has been crammed with junk, garbage, clutter, and miscellaneous items that didn't really belong anywhere else in the house since we moved in. In March. Today, as part of my Labor Day Weekend Goal List, I have finished organizing it. I was way too embarrassed to take a picture before I started today, so you'll just have to trust me-- this is a big deal.

The way taking a Jeep camping always makes it look like it belongs in a Jeep brochure or something.

Simple pleasures, indeed.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Let beauty abound

Please join me in a huge shout-out to my dear pal, Alice, for generously offering her skills to transform our boring blog to this ever-so-styligh version. Isn't it fabulous? Al is a wonderful, hilarious, and kind-hearted social worker dedicated to changing the world (if not through radical social change, then at least one ugly blog at a time.) Thanks, lady!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Did you know?

I've been running a little dry on the blog-juice recently. By way of a recap:

Did you know that this mound of dead juniper madness has finally (mostly) been taken to the dump? I know we're happy about it, and while I haven't asked him, I bet the fire marshall feels a little better about things, too. Turns out that stuff dries out quickly when you use a chain saw to sever it from its root system.

Did you know that about a million years ago we had a hilarious barbeque with Vince and Mary? Aren't they cute?

Wouldn't you know it, they were even good sports about the fact that we only have one steak knife and we had to pass it around the table during dinner. Ah, the plight of being newly-weds. (Can I still use that excuse after 2 years? Yes. Especially when it comes to rather expensive dinnerware.)

Mary has a much more thorough and timely report of the night's events here. For my purposes, suffice it to say that Vince and Paddy matched a little, even though they swore it was an accident.

Mary and I did not match. Maybe that's why we lost at mini golf later that night. (Thanks for letting me steal the picture from your blog, Mary-dear.)

I'm not really sure what's happening with my belly in the picture below, but I'm pretty sure it involves a drawstring and a bad, bad dream. Bah.

Moving right along...

Did you know I got a new job? It's true, but even though it all happened about a decade ago, I haven't started it. I'll have the same bosses and all that, but it's much, much closer to home and I'm very excited about it. Hubbie, being the cute hubbie that he is, took me out to dinner to celebrate. I remembered how fun it was to date him, and I also remembered why I hate hot rollers.

See how my hair is still straight? Yeah. Also, this was the best picture we could come up with by setting the camera on our mantle and setting the timer. The rest looked a lot more like this:

We ate at a Mexican place that had three kinds of salsa with the appetizer. Some of them tasted funny, but the presentation was nice.

Did you know anything as horrible as this could possibly exist in my house?

Ugh. This was before the last round of spidery ethnic cleansing at our hood, and I stumbled upon the picture while downloading from the camera. The Hub-ster killed it silently on his own, and then snapped the picture, complete with coin for size reference. If this whole life insurance thing doesn't work out, he could be a CSI, I swear.
Did you know we watched the Opening Ceremonies with Michelle and Christian?
Fast, friends, we are. So are Lupe and Titan. After a minor skirmish in the front yard (turns out Lupe is a brat on her leash) the two wrestled in the back yard for hours. Just in case you were wondering, Lupe had mud stuck to her entire body in all the squiggly little lines of slobber that Titan gave her as a present. Trampy little thing on her first date, isn't she?
Mish and I are destined to be good friends, whether she likes it or not.
Christian is destined to make his only appearance on my blog minus a good portion of his head. Sorry. He's taller than the person I'm married to.
Paddy got to sport his new USA Basketball D Will jersey. Some super cool wife (who shall remain nameless but might start with an "M" and rhyme with "ee") must've surprised him with it. Golly, he's cute.
He's now asked if he can attend volleyball camp in preparation for 2012. Watch out, London. 5'9" height be darned; my honey wants to spike it down Brazil's gullet.

Did you know any dog in all the land could be so cute? Note this is before her makeout session with Titan, so she's still reasonably put together, unlike the ragged, slut-sort of version we saw after her romp in the yard.

Um, precious. Too bad she likes us so much, or maybe you could take her home like you secretly want to.

That's what I thought.