Thursday, January 31, 2008

The deep blue sea, the deep blue sea, there's lots to see in the deep blue sea.

Yesterday I was in a bit of a funk. Not a huge funk, just your average you're not sure where it came from or why you're in it but you know what it is and you want to get rid of it kind of funk. It was enough to make me want to put a blanket over my head and call it a day. But one of my goals for Liz's YOLTILALALB is to use my time after work more productively and while the act of putting a blanket over my head could count as exercise if I did it about a 1000 times, I doesn't quite fit into my ideal life. So I went to the gym, in the hopes that I would sweat out the funk, or at least see the Cat Woman. No luck on either. (Sidenote and possible future post: I have a feeling the gym is making me less funny. I'm concerned. Maybe my giant butt is the source of my sense of humor. Like Samson's hair. And here I am writing a "what I did last night" post. I'm officially dull as oatmeal. Drat!)

I came home and ate a bowl of cereal (because that's what I always want most when I'm in a funk) and decided that it was time to bring out the big guns. I needed Doris Day. I had a friend in college, Betsy, who loved Doris Day movies and would make us get one on almost every free-rental-Wednesday down at Scene One Video. We would pick up some brownie mix and when they were done baking we'd pull them out of the oven, put them in the middle of the living room floor and eat the brownies right out of the pan with forks while we watched Doris sing and prance around in cute outfits. Happy memories. There is are few things better for the soul than a warm pan of brownies and a Doris Day movie*.

So I popped in The Glass Bottom Boat, because even if Doris didn't do the trick Paul Lynde in a dress would. And while I watched I worked on Liz's stocking for a bit (Hey, I can't help that her birthday is in January. She'll have a whole year to enjoy it. And sorry, no hints. Wait for the picture.)(If you want a stocking for your birthday you had better put in your order now, with the minor celebrity of your choice, before I put them up on Etsy.)(Okay, one hint, because I can't stop giggling over it: lunging is involved. Picture me laughing like a loon right now.). So the Doris/cereal/lunging combo worked magic, but what really got me out of the funk was that wee little bird you see over there. I made her out of scraps from the World's Largest Felt Collection after I had gotten as far as I could on the stocking. I've named her Evelyn. She has issues with her equilibrium but she's pretty cute.

*Although not the one where she's married to an alcoholic Frank Sinatra and he gets into some accident. That one was depressing. So depressing that I've completely blocked the name of it out of my memory.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Popcorn Pot

My mom was at the store the other day and she bought a jar of popcorn kernels and the zygote bagging the groceries asked, "What do you do with these? Put them in a bowl and microwave it?"

Did you know my family has been having popcorn every Sunday night for the last bazillion years? True story. See that pot right there? That's magic, my friend. Legend has it that fairies casted it out of iron and unicorn hair and used it to make popcorn for their queen but lost it in a heated game of Monopoly to a sly elf in a tam o'shanter. That elf loaned it to his cousin Fred and, well, you get the picture. Fast forward a few centuries to 1972 and a cupboard in an apartment in Downey, CA, where my newly married and very lucky parents found the pot. We have had magical popcorn ever since. My mom, right this minute, is probably a little mortified that I would put a picture up on the blog of the pot because, well, it's not in the best of shape. But who cares. Why? Because you haven't had popcorn until you have popcorn from this pot. Testify!

I always use to roll my eyes a little when people got nostalgic for days of yore. I remember being at a family party once and my aunts were going over a list of things that were better when they were kids. Things like donuts, roses, neighbors, milk, and the Hollywood Christmas Parade, to name a few. I thought it was kind of silly because, you know, donuts are donuts. But let's be honest. Popcorn actually popped in oil in a crudy old cast iron pot will always taste better than popcorn popped in the microwave. And one day, years from now, when they no longer sell popcorn kernels because we will all be able to materialize it through a chip implanted in our brains, you will find me saying, "Sigh. Popcorn use to taste so much better." And then I'll put on my muumuu and take my teeth out.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sweating with the Cat Woman

I was at the gym last night and saw a woman come in who looked like she was working her way towards this:Her lips weren't quite this large but she had the same eyes, nose, cheeks, brow and look of desperation and lunacy. Oh, and she had a 4 foot long pony tail of gray scraggily hair sprouting out of the top of her head. She was going so fast and hard on the eliptical that I was pretty sure she was trying to change the earth's rotation in an attempt to turn back time like Superman.

Ah, crazy people. How I love you.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sunshine in my soul, figuratively

Dear Drive to Work,

Have you lost weight? Did something different with your hair? A new outfit, maybe? Because you looked incredible this morning. Seriously. When all those people in Hollywood who aren't working and not giving me new episodes of the Office talk about the importance of good lighting, they really mean it. You literally looked radiant. (And I actually do mean literally, unlike Oprah, who should know better, who says things like, "My heart literally broke." But I don't really want to get on Oprah's bad side since she could literally have me killed.)

I love the effect we had this morning when there are dark rain clouds above but not in the horizon and the sun was rising and reflecting off of the clouds, highlighting all of them in pink and orange, and sparkling off of the wet palm trees and the newly sprouted clover patches on Kellogg Hill and making them look green and gold and so very California. And that big fat double rainbow was a nice accessory. Generally you're not this pretty. You can't help it, what with all of your malls and car dealerships and freeway sound walls. But you really gussied yourself up today and I want to let you know that it did not go unnoticed.

You warmed my heart. And I mean that as a metaphor, but I don't think it lessens the compliment any.

Love, Rachel

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Dumbest Among Us

Dear Channel 7 ABC Eyewitness News:

I don't like watching the news for two reasons: 1.) The "reporter voice" with all those pauses and meaningful inflections drives me cray and 2.) The news doesn't actually report news anymore. For instance, a couple of weeks ago you reported on things that cause headaches, things that you claimed would surprise us, things like stress and not getting enough water or sleep. Here's something you may not know, that's not news. Why? Because everyone already knows that.

I only ever watch the news when I need to know how miserable my drive to work will be. Yesterday I didn't have the willpower to do it and that was my big mistake because the drive was gross. So today I turned it on and learned a few things.

1.) Interstate 5 is a major north/south highway
2.) Snow is tough to drive in, especially for truckers
3.) Snow gets even tougher to drive in when it gets icy
4.) The 5 usually gets shut down when it snows

Really? This is what you're reporting on? Possible snow in the Grapevine that's tough to drive in? The only people this would be news to are pygmy tourists who came to LA to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame but want to get up to Sacramento to see their cousin who married a visiting missionary and left the pygmy village for good. Everyone but pygmies knows what snow is, Eyewitness News! You don't need to report on it.

I feel like you're catering to the dumbest among us. And since that's not me I'm giving you up. I'll take my chances with traffic on the 10. Now, if there happens to be snow on that freeway you can send your reporter to West Covina to give the full report. That would be news.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Bad Idea

I didn't have enough time this morning to sit and eat breakfast so I made 2 pieces of toast with peanut butter and jam (natch) and made them into a sandwich and wrapped it in a paper towel and headed out. Only that when you do that the peanut butter and jam get all melty from the warmth of the toast so that when you bite into it they kind of ooze out. Which is not really a bad thing, except for when you're driving. Because what does toast create, besides a warm glowly feeling deep in my heart? That's right, crumbs. And where do those crumbs land while I'm driving and eating? On my chestal area. So what do I logically do? Wipe them off. And what did I not realize was on my hands? Jam. And what does my shirt look like now? A first grade finger painting project. Classy!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With Tape

I think it's universally agreed upon that, unless you're living in the witness protection program after ratting out a mob boss, a package on your doorstep is a very happy sight indeed. Last night I came home to three. THREE!!! Okay, so one of them was for Katie, but you get it right? I could totally justify caps and exclamation points for just two. I was expecting them (sort of) and knew what they were so it wasn't really a surprise but that does not in any way take away from the absolute joy of seeing them there, crowding my welcome mat. I was even excited for Katie to open hers. Packages = Love.

The first was my order from Barnes and Noble. People know how much I love gift cards to book stores so I always get them for Christmas and my birthday. (Note: if you're looking for something for Rachel Appreciation Day - held on the first Thursday after the Second Wednesday of every month - you would not go wrong with a gift card to Borders. Except the Writers Guild of America. You know what they can give me? New episodes of the Office!! I'm DYING without them.) Because my birthday happened while I was house-sitting at the Dukes I ended up putting all those wonderful cards into a gift bag after my party and putting it in my closet before heading back to dust more Surfing Santa figurines. I found them when I was moving...around Christmas time. And suddenly I found myself rolling in plastic money. Hooray! I bought my weight in books in the stores but I still had some money left over. So it was time for CDs. I haven't purchased a CD in months but I had been wanting the new Rilo Kiley since I heard a full review on NPR and Amazon had been recommending this Robert Plant/Allison Krauss CD for a while now and that seemed like kind of a weird and magical pairing so I got that too (see exactly how much I loved this CD here. I feel bad for Rilo Kiley because I may never get to theirs.)

The next package needs some explaining. Picture Young Adorable Impressionable Rachel. It's her 7th birthday. She just opened a package from Uncle Kim & Aunt Vicki. It was 3 books from the Trixie Belden series. Who's Trixie Belden you ask? She's Nancy Drew, only so much better. Nancy was just too perfect. With her lawyer father and powder blue convertible. I couldn't stomach her. And she played that old trick that all Alpha Girls play, she surrounded herself with seemingly inferior people. In Nancy's case her dopey boyfriend Ned, and her two best friends, Bess, who was "pleasantly plump" (read: fat) and George, the tom-boy (read: future member of the wrestling team). Nope, Nancy Drew was not for me. But Trixie was awesome. She had cool older brothers and great friends and they had a secret club with matching jackets and they helped the poor and underprivileged out, and still managed to find mysteries and get into scrapes. Because that's what young teenage sleuths do, they get into scrapes. My dad would read a chapter a night to me out of two of the books and I read the third on my own. Fast forward 25 years and talk to Laura, who had the not so enviable task of organizing my book collection, and you can see exactly what Trixie lead to.

I still have all of my Trixie Belden books, except that the collection isn't complete. I grew out of her before getting all of them and it's been a little bit of a heartbreak to me. Enter Joan. What can we say about Joan, except wow, and maybe can I take a nap now. Because Joan is a wee little pixie spit-fire who loves tag sales. Joan is Amanda's mom and during those golden days of being roommates (with Amanda, not Joan) she learned about my incomplete Trixie Belden collection and vowed to find the rest of the books for me. And she has stuck to her promise. About every few months I will get a package from Joan containing old copies of Trixie books (And sometimes clothes. The woman can not stop herself from a getting a good deal.) It is always really thrilling to open the package and see which ones she's found. They're usually books that I have already except usually from a different printing of them, which is just as exciting. They've actually started reprinting these books and I could certainly go on line and find dozens of copies of the ones that I'm missing but that would mean that I'd have to tell Joan to stop looking. And I believe, and I'm sure that Amanda would agree, that the hunt is what really gets Joan going. I couldn't deprive her of that. And that means that I still will get surprise packages. Win-win.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Prepare the confetti and noise makers!

I logged into Blogger and confetti shot out from my computer because this is my 100th blog post!!!! Okay, so maybe I made that up. But you could certainly imagine confetti couldn't you? For me? Alright, fine, moving on.

In honor of my 100th blog post I will now list 100 mostly uninteresting things about me that will only come in handy if I'm a category on Jeopardy. You might want to study up, just in case.

1.) Spatula is my favorite word
2.) I also like autumnal
3.) Solstice
4.) And forefend
5.) I’m the shortest in my family
6.) By a lot
7.) My legs especially are crazy short
8.) Like, laugh out loud short
9.) As in once upon a time Amanda looked at my legs and said, “Are your legs really that short?” and laughed out loud
10.) They’re so short that I can’t reach the pedals on the organ
11.) I took one semester of organ lessons at BYU
12.) I skipped most of the classes
13.) My teacher had eyes that peered deep into my soul and made me want to cry when I couldn’t reach the pedals
14.) I didn’t like feeling guilty about my midget legs
15.) But I’m not upset anymore about not being able to reach the pedals because that’s one less thing I have to worry about when I play the organ.
16.) Things I worry about while playing the organ include: Is it too loud? My fingers are sweaty and are sticking to the keys! What if I can’t stop myself from laughing through “In Our Lovely Deseret” and I can’t see the notes anymore? What if my knuckle knocks one of the preset buttons and makes the organ sound like Satan chose the stops?
17.) My knuckle once knocked one of the preset buttons and made the organ sound like Satan chose the stops.
18.) I love to buy lip balm/lip gloss
19.) My lips are always chapped
20.) I currently have 4 lip balms/lip glosses on my desk and 3 in my purse
21.) None of them are Chapstick because after 2 decades of faithfulness to it, Chapstick started giving me cold sores
22.) I had never had a cold sore before then
23.) I didn’t even know that they were cold sores when they showed up
24.) I called Chapstick and told them that I was pretty sure they changed their formula because 1.) I was getting cold sores and 2.) It smelled different. They said I was crazy
25.) I don’t think I was, in this case
26.) I don’t like cucumbers
27.) But I love pickles
28.) Dill, not sweet
29.) And very dill, not half-hearted dill
30.) And I like the pickle to stand alone.
31.) Not in anything like a hamburger or sandwich
32.) Or, heaven forefend, tuna salad. Bleh.
33.) I’ve broken my arm twice
34.) Both times roller skating
35.) My mom has put the Eternal Kibosh on me ever roller skating again
36.) My best friend was a competitive roller skater
37.) I didn’t know there was such a thing as a competitive roller skater until I met her
38.) I’ve never been roller skating with her, although I sat through many Saturday morning practices
39.) I’ve had pneumonia twice
40.) Both times I wanted to die
41.) The second time I had a fever of 104 and everything looked green
42.) My one wish is that everyone in the world will wake up one day and decided to switch to odorless everything (deodorant, shampoo, detergent)
43.) I’m fairly certain it will bring about world peace.
44.) I've never, not one, been able to see one of those 3-D pictures
45.) I wish that people would stop giving me tips on how to see them
46.) It’s never going to happen and I’m happy with my decision to give up on it
47.) I have a fear of stairs
48.) Both going up and coming down
49.) I fall in both directions
50.) I like celebrity gossip
51.) I’m not ashamed of that
52.) US Weekly is one of my favorite magazines
53.) And my favorite section in it is the “Celebrities: They’re just like us!”
54.) Because I love to see famous people carrying 30 rolls of toilet paper out of Costco
55.) Although sometimes I feel guilty that I’m reading those magazines because I know that the only way they get those toilet paper pictures is to stalk the celebrities and I feel bad for them that they have so little privacy.
56.) Although I’m always very surprised in the clothes that the rich and famous choose to wear to Costco. Don’t they know that the paparazzi will be out there? Wouldn’t they at least change out of their sweat pants and Uggs if they know they're going to end up in US Weekly?
57.) Even I don’t go to Costco in my pajamas, which means that celebrities are not really like us, if by us we mean me
58.) And I don’t actually go to Costco
59.) I think it’s too overwhelming
60.) I should not be able to buy a mattress at the same place I could buy a 2 gallon tube of peanut butter.
61.) Chunky peanut butter is superior to creamy.
62.) I once had to buy a small jar of creamy peanut butter for my peanut butter pie and only used half of it and the rest of it sat in my cupboard for a year because I couldn’t bring myself to using it on toast.
63.) Peanut butter on toast with either boysenberry jam or honey, if there is no jam, is my number 1 all time favorite dearest to my heart comfort food.
64.) I don’t like the phone
65.) If you have called me and I didn’t answer or return your call, don’t feel bad.
66.) It’s not you, it’s me.
67.) Plus, you’re not alone.
68.) It’s just that I have this anxiety that I won’t have anything to say and then there will be this dead silence and I’ll feel awkward.
69.) I only call people if I have something to say.
70.) I’m getting better about answering my phone.
71.) Really, I promise.
72.) Writing a list of 100 mostly uninteresting things is very exhausting to me
73.) I can’t stay on the same radio station for long when I’m in the car
74.) Which means that sometimes I find myself on KOST 103.5
75.) And sometimes I zone out
76.) And suddenly I find myself singing along to a Toni Braxton song
77.) And I’m a little embarrassed that I know all the words.
78.) I have a scar on the inside of my left elbow that is shaped like a Nike swoosh.
79.) I got it from a popcorn popper covered in sizzling oil during my glory days as a movie theater concessionaire
80.) When I told my manager that I thought I should probably go to the doctors because the burn was oozing blood she said to suck it up and get back to work
81.) I still want to be an astronaut when I grow up.
82.) But for now I’ll settle for a jet-pack
83.) I can point out any country in the world on a blank map
84.) I did this because I realized at 25 that I didn’t know where Ohio was on the map.
85.) It steamrolled from there
86.) I love maps
87.) I think one of the saddest things is when there is no more cocoa in my mug.
88.) This happens almost every morning around 10
89.) The only pet I’ve ever had was a turtle named Sheldon who ran away twice and never made it back the second time
90.) I use to work for a vet
91.) While there I was bitten once by a dog and once by a bird.
92.) I was holding the dog at the time and when he bit me I drop kicked him out the back door into the parking lot
93.) It felt good to see him flying through the air
94.) Men in turtlenecks give me the heebs
95.) So do boys choirs
96.) And wet hair in the shower drain
97.) My favorite Abba song is Fernando
98.) It’s my ring tone
99.) Sometimes it’s not my fear of phones that keeps me from picking up but my love of thumb-mic-ing to Fernando
100.) I love my blog

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Few Dears

Dear Pete,

I'm sending you off to Brooklyn to live with Valerie. She said that she'd take you to Coney Island and feed you a hot dog. Behave yourself. You're one lucky bird.

Love, Rachel

P.S. Don't tell the other birds, but you were my favorite.

Dear Woman Who Called Me This Morning to Complain about How Our District Took This Past Monday Off for MLK Day instead of Next Monday Which is the Actual MLK Day,

I don't know why we did it. I don't make that decision. Your kids are still going to be marked absent if they go to the MLK Day parade in LA instead of going to school. It doesn't make us racists. That's just how school works.

Best, Rachel

Dear Zit on my Chin,

If you get any bigger I'm going to have to start charging you rent and utilities.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

So Close to an Acme Cartoon

Dear Seth, Dave, Matt, and Art (of the fellas from Golden Eagle Moving Company who moved my piano on Saturday),

I got that piano in a very shrewd business deal from an old roommate. It went something like this (my thoughts will be italicized):

Old Roommate: I'm moving
Me: Oh. (Score! Now I don't have to move because I can't handle watching you make out with your wee little boyfriend anymore!)
OR: I don't want to move my piano. Do you want to buy it for $250?
Me: Sure. (Shrewd business deal struck!!!)

You see, I know how much pianos cost. And a piano like that, even though it's kind of beat up, is worth a whole lot more than $250. The piano, as you could tell, is incredibly old and made entirely of anvils. But watching you move it yesterday made me realize that perhaps Old Roommate* was the shrewd one. I was pretty sure one of you was going to be crushed by it and a great deal would not be enough to get me out of the depths of despair if that happened.

Why? Because you guys were AWESOME! A piano made of anvils easily weighs 1000, which means that's a whole lot of piano to move both down and up several steps. I had visions in my head of one of you losing your footing and the piano crashing through the landing wall and shattering on the ground below in a million anvil pieces. And while that scenario played through my head I had dollar signs in my eyes because your company guaranteed $.60/lb for any damage done and that would have more than doubled what I paid for it. Talk about a shrewd business deal.

But no, I couldn't do that to you guys. Because besides having the strength of several Barry Bonds on both the "cream" and the "clear" you were also really cool and nice and you wouldn't let me lift anything. I bet Barry would had made me. And he probably would have whined a lot too. You found a special place in my heart. That place that is occupied by all people who do things that I don't want to do myself. Like those girls who come all the way from their homes in Asia with big dreams and no English skills and end up working in a nail salon and giving 80% of their wages to their "Uncle" after scraping the calluses off of my heels. Or the guy at the car wash that one time I felt lazy and rich and desperately out of time enough to warranted someone else washing my car. He was so meticulous and careful with her that my heart swelled a little and I started to well up as he shammied my bumper because I kept thinking that he probably had a family south of the border that he sent most of his wages too.

What I'm trying to say is thanks. You did a fine job and you deserve gold plated back braces for your efforts. No, wait, gold is heavy. You deserve, um, $100 bill lined back braces. Or stocks. Do you want stocks? Stocks could be worth more in the long run. Why don't we say stocks.


P.S. I hope you have good medical.

*Rumor has it, she has finally dumped the Wee One. (Inter-letter-letter: Dear OR, You're so much better without him! He was bringing you down, and not just literally. Love, Rachel)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Toe Thumb

Because I went to bed at 8:00 last night (You know what number is in 8:00? 80!) I woke up all bright and early at 5:15, took my shower and got back into bed and watched the news to get the traffic report. But before the traffic came on I saw two things I'd like to comment on.

1.) They did a Special Report on "Headache causes that may surprise you!" I was thinking that maybe scientists have learned that fluffy bunnies cause head aches, or broccoli, or too much Tyra Banks (that would not be surprising though). But instead they have discovered that things like too much sugar, and lack of sleep, and really tight ponytails, and hunger, and stress bring on headaches. Hm. Fascinating. They don't know why these things cause headaches but they're pretty sure that they do. Apparently, this cracker jack team is made up of scientists who have had headaches who like to make logical guesses. I knew I was dealing with experts when the reporter, in a tone that sounded as if they just discovered what causes cancer, said, "It may surprise you that you can get a headache when you don't get enough WATER!"

2.) Immediately following the special headache report I saw something that no one should have to see before 6am. A man who had lost his thumb in a tragic thumb-losing accident had his big toe sewn on in it's place. Ick! It looked...well, it looked like a big toe, complete with hair and a fungus-y nail. It basically made me not want breakfast. Which was fine because I ended up falling back asleep and waking up with just enough time to do my hair, thus maintaining my resolution to not go to work looking like a hobo anymore.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The only thing missing was a plate of prunes

Because I moved from one apartment in the Hub to another I have the exact same bedroom layout. Except that because I'm the New Rachel Who Doesn't Hold Onto Things I threw a lot of stuff away and I was able to squeeze in my big comfy chair. Barely. It's wedged in between the bed and the wall. It's my own little Fortress of Solitude, minus Marlon Brando but just as cold. I can sit there for hours, snuggled up in a blanket and reading or sleeping or doing my correspondence like a good little 80 year old.

Which is my point. I have actual photographic proof that at the age of 32 I've entered the golden years of my life. Behold:

I took this picture because I was kind of enthralled with the moment. It was 7:00pm, I was home in my PJs, reading Persuasion*, wrapped up in my big chair and drinking cocoa from my cute teapot. Cozy, right? The perfect evening. So I got the camera out to capture it all. And once I did I noticed also in the picture the following: my jumbo size bottle of multi-vitamins, my carafe of water that I like to keep by my bed because I get a dry throat at night, my dermatologist recommended hand lotion. And what you can't see is that I have a blanket wrapped around my shoulders. An afghan actually. THAT I CROCHETED!!!

At least I have all my teeth.

*The Masterpiece Theatre Jane Austen-fest begins this Sunday night with Persuasion. They're showing adaptations of all 6 of her books, including 4 new ones, and one on her life. It will be every Sunday night from now until April. Which means that we're going to have to start Sunday night popcorn down at the fam's a little earlier so I can get home in time. That is, popcorn before Andy Rooney comes on 60 minutes. Where do you think I get the 80 year old gene from?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Year in Review...So what if it's a little late. Deal with it!

Because I'm a hopeless band wagon jumper I have decided to do a year in review. And because my brain has about the same memory capacity as cardboard and I can't remember my phone number, let alone what I did in January, this should be pretty fun. Let's begin:

January - Um, I don't remember much about January. See, I told you. Oh, wait, Casey left for Brazil.
February - February is pretty much a blank. I think I may have probably gone to work.
March - Benjamin Spence Knecht, Golden Child, Blessed Nephew, Winston Churchill Impersonator, Heir to the Knecht Family Silver was born. Everything else pales in comparison. Things that would have come in first had I not become an aunt would have been going to my first ever pro-tennis tournament. Super fun! And getting the new beautiful mattress that cradles me to sleep every night. I love you mattress! Let's get married!
April - Did April even happen this year?
May - Camille left for Ohio.
June - Gina and Chris were married. The World rejoiced!
July - All I can remember from this month is that I spent a lot of time picking up poo produced by a little retarded dog named Maynard.
August - Happy Birthday to me!
September - The Dodgers didn't make the play-offs
October - My knee locked. I wanted to die. Serioulsy. The pain. I'm feeling nauseated again. On to...
November - Had three days off in a row, the first since spring break. Hey wait! Spring break was in April. It did happen.
December - Moved in with Katie. She does not leave open cans of tuna on the kitchen counter for days. She's perfect!
Yep, that was pretty exciting. Happy 2008!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hate Mail

Dear Monday after Christmas Vacation,

You stink.


P.S. You can tell your friend the alarm clock that he's fired.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Amanda and I have this joke. When one of us says something hurts, like a finger maybe, the other will say, "Well, you must have cancer." It's hilarious. But it's not true. Because I don't have cancer. (Amanda, I'm not so sure about. You might want to get that checked out.) And why don't I have cancer? Because my family did "hands-in".

Let me explain the power of the hands-in. You all know hands-in, right? You're on a volleyball team and you all put your hands in and shout "Go Team!" or "The Other Team has Pink Eye!" or something motivating like that. Well, someone in my family, probably Camille, decided we needed to do hands-in after family prayer. Some families hug, but the Knechts like to shout inspirational things and then slap each other on the butt. The hands-in works in two ways: first as a wish-maker, like a well only less deep. For example Casey could have a big test that day so we would do hands-in and say "GOOOOOOOOOD LUCK TO CASEY ON HIS TEST!" It was surprisingly affective which leads me to it's second purpose: a means to ward off bad mojo. Enter cancer, because it seemed like for a while there cancer was really popular and everyone seemed to be getting it, like Hummers. Every day it seemed like one of us was coming home with news that so-and-so had cancer. Sigh. So one night after family prayer someone said, "Hands-in, no cancer," and we all put our hands in and shouted, "NOOOOOOOO CANCER!!!" And not one of us has it! How's that for magic! And now whenever we hear that someone has cancer we take a few minutes and feel really bad and shake our heads and shed a tear or two and then say, "It's a good thing we did hands-in."
But, unfortunately, not everyone knows the power of the hands-in. Specifically, my best friend Cynde's husband Ryan. Mr. I Liked It So Much the First Time I Think I'll Go Back for Seconds. Two years ago Cynde and Ryan were married and when they came back from their honeymoon they found out that the growth on Ryan's jaw was cancerous and had to be removed. He went in for surgery and had it removed and then went through radiation. The End. Except for that little bit that they didn't get, which grew up and they had to remove on Monday. Since Cynde's parents weren't going to be in town I decided to drive out to Arizona to be with them, you know, for support and stuff.

I have documented in the past how I feel about driving to Arizona. But the drive was surprisingly easy this time around. Mostly because I'm very self-amusing. Seriously. I crack myself up. I can sing to myself for hours. And I have very fascinating conversations with either myself or Ruby St. Germaine, Fallen Woman and Alleged Sumo Assassin. This was my view the whole time. True story. I stuck my camera out the window and snapped and this is what I got. Bleak despair. So I just kept singing. Mostly Abba.
We checked Ryan in, let him crack a few jokes about his hospital gown and fancy surgery support hose and then set out our provisions and waited. We played a lot of Bananagrams and Simpsons Uno while we waited for the doctor to come out and give us the good news. The surgery went fine. Everything looks good. He probably won't have to have treatment and we can go see him in recovery. Hooray!

This is how happy we all were:

Once Ryan woke up and stopped throwing up we took him home, put him to bed and Cynde and I spent New Year's Eve partying like two old women. That is, we ate bean soup, took a walk around the block and came home and watched a French film. Ryan joined us around 11 and we banged on pots and pans at midnight. We are party animals.
Ryan and Cynde are both doing great and I left Tuesday morning with Abba in my heart and my thumb mic at the ready.