Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Things that smell

1.) The summer heat is upon us and the dojo doesn't have air conditioning. This has only enhanced the smell of sweat, feet and 10-year-old-boy.

2.) The upstairs bathroom in our office building overflowed yesterday and soaked through the walls of the Verizon office downstairs.

If given a choice, I would go with the dojo.

Monday, June 29, 2009


1.) Have you read the comments on my last post? And if so, are you totally amazed at how many people have fallen out of moving cars? Were car door latches made of slightly cooked spaghetti noodles back then? I can tell you right now that my mom is feeling an enormous sense of relief that she was not the only parent that this happened to.

Amanda mentioned that, thanks to her older brother, she has fallen out of a moving car twice. The theory occasionally comes up that I may have had something to do with Gina falling out of the car, but I would like to say that it is a vicious, vicious lie. I was in the back seat AND I was not very good at opening car doors back in the day. This is evidenced by another Knecht Family Legend of the time when I was about 5 and we all came home late one night and I was asleep in the back of the car and my parents, having a lot of kids to file in, didn't realize that I wasn't in the mix and I was left there. I eventually woke up and thought it was extremely new and exciting that I was alone in the dark car. I tried to open the door to get out but couldn't and so I rolled down the window and climbed out and then found the front door locked so I had to knock to get in. My parents were slightly shocked to find me standing there. I love that story. And I love that it shows that I couldn't possibly have mastered the door handle to shove Gina out.

2.) There is one week left for voting. They caught on to you sneaky ones and my votes plummeted! I am now in 7th place. But since I still really want an ice cream social, I'm going to lower my standards and say we'll have one if I'm in the top 10.

3.) You should feel very fortunate that my nephews do not live around here. Because I would totally turn into one of those bloggers who only writes about all their cute antics. It would be insufferable and you would hate me. But I would not be able to stop myself because they are adorable and hilarious. For example: Stacy taught Ben the words and dance moves to Damaged by Danity Kane.

Addendum to #2: I just discovered that there is a major Twilight fan in the running. Let's hope her followers don't find this.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Miracle Cures

We all have our own medical remedies. Things we swear by when the ague hits. Like, for instance, I firmly believe in the medicinal powers of 7-Up. I get this from my Grandma Knecht. She swore by it. So much so that once when Gina fell out of a moving car (this was before the days of mandatory seat belts and, apparently, car doors that stayed shut) she rushed over with a 2-liter bottle of it.*

And how can we forget the beloved Doc, who, among other things, told me to put raw bacon on my chest when I had a cough and to take 21 allergy pills a day when I had the sniffles. She was a gem.

Well, I have discovered Chiquita's miracle cure. I have a bit of a cold but I came into work yesterday because it's not that bad and Chiquita has a little cold as well, but by about 3pm I was fading and she could see this and told me to go home. (This was about 30 minutes after she got a phone call from her son saying that Michael Jackson was dead but it was before any official announcement was made and she yelled out of her office, "Rachel! We're going to stop what we're doing and get to the bottom of this rumor!") As I was cleaning my desk up for the night she came out of her office with an aerosol can of what I assumed was Lysol and said, "I'm going to take care of these germs so we don't keep getting sick," and then she went to town. By the time I made it to the door the office was socked in. I could make out through the haze that Chiquita had placed the can on the bookcase. So this morning I walked by it and noticed that it wasn't Lysol. It was a can of Glade Jasmine and White Rose Air Freshener. I thought about telling her that unless the stuff killed germs by asphyxiation, it wasn't going to be that productive. But it tickles me so much that she does it that I think I'm going to keep quiet.

*This happened maybe 30 years ago and some of my siblings weren't even born yet but the story is LEGEND. Mostly because along with the 7-Up she also brought a hand mirror for Gina to check out the wounds on her face. This cracks my family up. Anytime anyone is injured someone will inevitably say, "Would you like me to get you some 7-Up and a mirror?" And then we laugh like loons.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Last night I was cooking dinner (Macaroni and Cheese. True story: I've never made mac & cheese before. I'm talking about the real stuff. The Kraft stuff and I are pretty tight considering all the time I spent with it in college. But I went for the real stuff. It was delicious. You should definitely add bacon.) and there was a knock at the door. There are several things that run through my head when I hear a knock. 1.) Who could it be? 2.) Probably a neighbor. 3.) Do I have stuff on my face? 4.) What if it's a sales man? I hate sales men. 5.) What if it's a ruffian? Would I look crazy if I come to the door with a knife and it's not a ruffian?

Turns out I didn't need the knife because when I opened the door I found my little nephew Ben standing there saying, "Hi Rachel," like he stops by every day.
And then my face erupted into a geyser of tears. I was the Old Faithful of crying.
Because there was a NEPHEW AT MY DOOR!!!! Who lives in Utah and wasn't suppose to be in California for another month.

And bonus tears, walking up the steps was my sister-in-law Stacy with Thomas, the other Blessed Nephew, who must have gone through some kind of time warp because he's like 18 years old now.
It was the greatest surprise of my life. Hands down. No contest. The best.
Have a look:
Ben seeing if he can fit in a basket
Tom trying to swallow a ping pong ball
It was like Christmas and my birthday and a Dodger game and the fair and a boat ride all rolled up. If there had been rocky road ice cream I would have died.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This is War!

Sometimes a girl needs a little Anne of Green Gables so I went to the cabinet where I keep the books, pulled out my copy
and noticed a weird clump of dust on it. When I blew it off I found this
I thought they were a myth! But they are not. And I find it UNACCEPTABLE!
Especially considering that it munched on one of my most beloved books that was in a very old cabinet filled with other most beloved books from my childhood. So I'm officially declaring war on all bookworms. I'm sprinkling black pepper on the shelves and lining the walls with linen rags soaked in camphor* and doing any other crazy old lady librarian tactics I can find on the internet.
Because I will not stand for such a violation!
But at least I know that it had taste. It burrowed it's way to one of my favorite lines in the book, after Anne asks for puffed sleeves and Marilla says they look ridiculous: "But I'd rather look ridiculous when everybody else does than plain and sensible all by myself."
*Where would one get camphor? All the places I have thought of - the general store, the trading outpost, great-grandma's airing cupboard - are not really options.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cactus Flower

Lately, Katie and I have been feeling like maybe we have magical powers - like we can speak things into existence. Like, for instance, the other night we were watching an episode of Alias and we both wondered whatever happened to Michael Vartan. And then the very next day Katie sees that he is on a new show. This is just one of several examples.

Well, in a recent post I mentioned the movie Cactus Flower, how you should watch it. And then I watched it a few days later. There's a scene in the movie when Ingrid Bergman comes back into the office after a night of revelry and high spirits and she sees that her cactus has flowered. She takes it as a sign that good things are ahead. This was primarily manifested in the form of Walter Mathau's love and affection, which, I guess is a good thing if you like the cranky, jowly type. Anyway, the cactus. When that scene came on I said, "I wonder if my cactus is ever going to flower."

Because I've had this cactus for years and years. And it has only flowered maybe every 3 years. And every time it has, I have been out of town. I would return to find the brown and withered stem and the people who witnessed it would say, "It was lovely!" So you can understand, right? Why I would say this as Ingrid Bergman does a little dance over hers?

And then last night I came home from work and saw this:

You know what this means, right? That I'm one of the X-Men and this is my mutant power. OR that my cranky and jowly Wealthy Benefactor is on his way.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I promise to not hit you with my nunchucks if you vote for me.

Finally, a picture of us in all our Nunchucking Glory! Liz and Katie are ready to block, I'm ready to strike and Heather is ready to hug.

And are those matching shirts? They sure are. We made shirts with our 9th kyu certificates on them. Rad, I know. They were a huge hit at the dojo. These are things 10-year-olds don't think to do and I'm pretty sure they were jealous.

We didn't go to class for three weeks so we had a triumphal return on Monday night. I think we were missed. The kids actually talked to us. Mostly, when we try to make conversation with the kids they shun us, but several of them actually chatted with me while we were waiting our turn for the game (Which, ahem, I won. High fives for everyone!)


In other news: I am currently in 5th place for this competition:

2009 BlogLuxe Awards

And I have made it over the 1000 votes mark. Wow! I think I owe a lot of this to Camille, who may or may not be a computer genius. But everyone else deserves an enormous thanks too. You're all the greatest. I've decided that if I get 3rd place I will hold an ice cream social to show my appreciation. You're all invited. Bring your own vanilla if you want it because I don't believe in buying the stuff.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My guess: International Jewel Thieves Down on their Luck

Yesterday I found myself sitting at a stop light and trying to figure out the story behind the person in the car ahead of me. Here are the details.

1.) Older model Corolla with a tinted driver's side window. No other window was tinted.
2.) The Driver had a nervous tick of shrugging his shoulders and cracking his neck. Like about every 5 seconds.
3.) He also had a very elegant fingers that he flourished about.
4.) He had a full mustache and looked to be Mediterranean.
5.) The Passenger was a very short woman. The top of her head only came up to the bottom of the head rest.
6.) I initially thought that it was a child but she had a 80's style feathered do. Like Jo's from the Facts of Life, only blonde.
7.) She did not move. Not an inch. Her head was slightly tilted off the side of the chair and it remained there through 2 red lights and the metered light on the freeway on-ramp.
8.) Maybe she was asleep, but the Driver was talking to her.
9.) There was a fuzzy teddy bear on the back of the seat (What is that called? The shelf behind the back seat?)(And WHY do people put stuffed animals there?)(Or boxes of tissue?)
10.) Dangling from the hanger holder (what is THAT thing called? The grip above the door in the back seat?) was a pair of hand cuffs.

Your thoughts, please.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PG-13 Gardening

This morning at the gym two of the regulars, Old Lady and European Old Lady*, were discussing their tomato plants and one said, "My girl plants are going strong but my boys aren't."

Um...maybe this is something that I missed in health class, so can someone please enlighten me? How can I tell if my tomato plant is a boy or a girl? And if it's a boy, how come there's two tomatoes on it? And if it's a girl, how did it get in the family way? Immaculate conception? Do I need to have one of each in order to have a successful crop? Should we even be talking about this? It seems a little personal.

*Other regulars include: Puerto Rican Lady, Opera Lady, Boob Lady, Little Mexican Mamita, Really Old Lady, and of course, Cat Woman.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Things we would discuss over breakfast

Things I would bring up if I had called you up and said, "Hey, let's go get some breakfast this morning.":

1.) My rogue eyebrow hair. On my left eyebrow I have a rogue hair that grows in the opposite direction as the other hairs, thus causing it to stick straight out. Part of me doesn't want to take care of it because I admire it's plucky attitude.

2.) The jam I made over the weekend. I've only ever made freezer jam but its shelf life isn't long enough for me and I end up throwing away half the container because I can't eat it fast enough. So I decided that this year I was going hard core and making cooked jam, with the glass jars and the sterilizing and everything. Because this is exactly what 80 year old women do. So I headed down to Chino, which everyone knows has the best strawberries, and I took over my parents kitchen and I made jam. And it is delicious, my friends. It's a good thing the mouth of the jar is so small because I would be tempted to stick my whole face in it. If we had gone to breakfast this morning I would have brought you a jar of your very own.

3.) The lesson I taught yesterday in Sunday School about the Word of Wisdom convinced me that I should make a salad for lunch and how I'm really sad about it because even though I always enjoy a good salad (this one has avocado, and what's not to love about that) I never actually look forward to eating a salad. And there is nothing sadder than not being excited about your lunch.

4.) Katie and I walked out of church yesterday to sunshine. SUNSHINE!!!! I know you're all thinking, "Duh, Rachel. California!" Yeah, and that would be true, except that we have had gloomy, cloudy, drizzly, stinky weather for weeks. Weeks, I tell you! I suppose I should appreciate that fact that it isn't 100 degrees yet but when I walked outside yesterday and felt the sun and saw my shadow I felt like skipping to my car. Except that I was wearing shoes that don't facilitate skipping very well and opted for skipping in my heart.

5.) How much I love going out for breakfast and I think we should do it more often.


Post Lunch Addendum: My salad was actually super awesome and hit the spot and I plan on making the same one for lunch tomorrow. And looking forward to it. (Spinach, tomatoes, avocado, chicken, gorgonzola, strawberries, balsamic dressing. It needs some crunch though. Maybe cashews.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Queen has spoken...for the last time today.

A Royal Decree

(Note: Most people don't know this but I'm the Queen of the Universe. I am gentle and good but sometimes I have to send out these royal decrees, because the Good People of the Universe, for whatever reason, are just not listening to my very rational and reasonable requests.)

By order of the Crown, no subject is allowed to talk to her Majesty the Queen for the next 4 hours. She is through talking to people. She means it. Done! She has conducted eight long interviews this morning and has answered 20 phone calls from former felons wishing to be dental assistants and she just can not say another word. It would kill her and then who would be your Queen? If one more person attempts to engage the Queen in conversation she will personally dig a dungeon and throw said person in it. Now, the Queen is going to take her lunch break - which she is two hours late for - and enjoy a pudding snack and possibly a nap.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"You mean my prison record is going to stop me from getting this job?"

Chiquita is out of the office for the rest of the week. Her daughter is graduating from high school, and then is leaving for basic training with the Air Force. Chiquita is making her go. Every day for 2 months she has been coming into the office saying, "I can't wait for that girl to be the military's problem." It's not that she's bad, she's just dumb. Like most 18 year old girls.

Chiquita being gone isn't a problem, except that I am now the only one here to answer phones. Which also isn't a problem, except that we just placed an ad for a dental assistant in one of the local newspapers and EVERYONE ON THE PLANET IS CALLING FOR IT. Including people who have never even stepped foot in a dental office. I like to imagine that their thought process goes something like, "Well, I have teeth. And sometimes I put my fingers in my mouth. That's what a dental assistant does, right?" It's been a joy talking to some of these people.

Here is just a sampling of what I've heard:

"How many years have you been a dental assistant?"
"I've only been a forklift driver, but I've done that for 5 years."

"Are you a certified or registered DA?"
"What does that mean?"

"The client requires you to pass a credit check."
"Well, I filed for bankruptcy a few years ago. Is that going to be a problem?"

"This job is at the corrections facility. Would you have a problem working with inmates?"
"My husband was in prison, so no."

"Any misdemeanors, felonies or DUIs?"
"I've been arrested a few times, but who hasn't?"

Monday, June 8, 2009

3rd Place Kind of Funny

I got an email from my faithful friend Jeanette saying that she was going to vote for me 36 times today. But only if I posted. Because I guess if I'm in the running for Funniest Blog, I should...um...blog. Well, and maybe be funny. You people are so demanding.

But also super awesome. Seriously, you kids have some kind of magical powers because I'm now in 3rd. Which is hilarious to me. Third place has always struck me as being really funny. I once got 2nd place in a spelling bee and I've always been a little disappointed that it wasn't 3rd. Because 3rd you can laugh at. 2nd just means you were 1st place loser.

Another thing that is funny in a 3rd place kind of way is a grown woman belong to a celebrity fan club. Katie and I were watching a concert honoring Paul Simon (the same one which, a few years ago, instigated an open-letter to Jennifer Lopez, pleading with her to feed Marc Anthony a sandwich) and she happened to mention that when she was at the taping of Dancing with the Stars she was standing next to a woman in line who belonged to the Marc Anthony Personal Fan Club. The benefits of this being that she gets to go out for meals with him when he's in town. (I also hope she gets some of those giant buttons that were so popular in the 80s - I'm thinking New Kids on the Block here - because if I ever see a woman with a Marc Anthony giant button on her acid wash denim jacket I would DIE. Die, I tell you! And then I would come back to life just so I could blog about it.) This all came out because another woman in line mentioned how she did not really appreciate Jennifer Lopez's performance on a previous season of the show and Marc Anthony's Number One Fan chimed in with, "Well, I happen to know her personally and she's a wonderful person and we go out to dinner every time they're in town and I was one of the very first people to know that she was pregnant so there." Katie did not go into much more detail but I like to imagine at this point she put her hands on her hips and glared at the woman and then slowly turned around without taking her eyes off her until the very last second, when she whipped her head around and huffed with disdain and superiority, all the while plotting how she would find her car and spell out "You suck!" on her back window with rotten banana peels.

I love her. I want to bottle her up and carry her around with me so I would always have something laugh about.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Vote for me! I'll kiss your baby!

I realize I just posted, like minutes ago, but I was checking out my statcounter and noticed that someone came here via Social Luxe Lounge . I've never heard of it but the tag line is "Pamper. Polish. Primp. Socialize. Party!" which makes it sound like a cyber meet-n-greet for Women of Elegant Leisure. I imagine them all wearing caftans and lounging on zebra print divans as they type about their grueling days filled with correspondence to diplomatic wives, re-wrapping their turbans and ordering the servants to dust behind the water feature in the foyer. This is obviously a group I need to spend more time with. So I started poking around to see where my link was and guess where I found it? On their nomination page for their annual awards under the Funniest Blog category. I've been nominated! Which one of you kids did it? Fess up.

I'll be honest with you here, I use to make fun of people who put those little buttons up on their blogs that say, "Sassiest Blog!" or "Third Nicest Blog on the Web!" or "I'm a Blogger! Love me!" But now I know that I was just bitter and jealous. Because being nominated for something is fun. Even if I haven't even heard of the group giving the award, or the prize that comes with it, or the leverage being Social Luxe Lounge's 2009 Funniest Blog would give me if I won. Line jumping privileges at the DMV? A corner booth at Chili's. A free Slurpee machine! So help me, if there is a Slurpee machine in the prize package and you people don't vote every single day I will go from being a mildly funny blog to a Blog of Fiery Rage and Fury. It will be nothing but stories about mimes and hangnails and sick kittens from here on out. And I mean it.

They say that just to be nominated is an honor. I'll let you know if that's true after the votes have been counted.

No Water - Hot or Cold.

I came home from work and Katie informed me that we didn't have any water. So I called Flo.

Me: Hi, Flo. I was just wondering how long our water was going to be off.
Flo: It's not off honey. You just don't have hot water.
Me: No. We don't have any water.
Flo: No. You have cold water.
Me: Flo, when I turn the faucet on, no water comes out.
Flo: Not even cold?
Me: No.
Flo: But you should have cold water.
Me: But I don't.
Flo: Did you try just turning the cold water on.
Me: (I contemplate the effort it would take to explain that there is no magical valve for cold and hot water on a one knob faucet and then decide it would be too much.) Yes, and nothing comes out.
Flo: Well, have you tried it recently?
Me: About 30 seconds ago.
Flo: Well, try it again.
(I walk into the bathroom with the phone and turn the faucet on. Nothing comes out.)
Me: Nothings coming out.
Flo: Not even cold water?
Me: No. Not even cold. There is no water.
Flo: Have you tried the kitchen?
Me: Yes, and the other bathroom and the toilets. There is no water, hot or cold, coming out of any orifice in this apartment. At all. None. No water. And I just want to know how long I have to wait to cook my dinner and use the bathroom.
Flo: Well, honey, I just don't know.
Me: Maybe you could find out?
Flo: (Sighs. Pictures life in Florida with here sister and no pesky tenants asking about water. Sighs again.) Alright.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I reached up and felt a spear lodged in my head

The CD was disk 1 of Troubadour by Donovan. I love this CD because 1.) It has one of my possible Top 10 songs on it - Catch the Wind, and 2.) there are a few songs on there that you listen to and you instantly can picture a gogo dancing scene from a movie. You know, girls in short dresses and white boots, guys in tight pants, love beads, side burns, psychedelic lights flashing, groovy man. Like that club in the movie Cactus Flower. What, you haven't seen Cactus Flower? You should. Really.


I had a rough night and now I'm feeling slightly loose around the edges and wobbly, like a bobble-head Rachel. I've been fighting off a sinus infection and last night it laid siege on my head. I woke up around midnight with a headache that was so bad I actually put my hand to my forehead and was surprised to find that there wasn't a spear lodged in it. It certainly felt like there should have been one. A big one, with splintery wood.

So I was up for a couple of hours waiting for the medication to kick in and for the room to stop spinning (does anyone else get dizzy when you have a sinus infection? I'm going to have to wear a helmet pretty soon from all the running into walls I've been doing.) and I ended up watching Jimmy Fallon's show. He was actually pretty funny. I generally think he's a little too ticky but he seems to have calmed down. He was interviewing Anne Hathaway and, I don't know, I just feel sort of awkward whenever I see her. Like she's this close to saying something embarrassing because she's the type of girl you don't expect to hear it from so she wants to shock you with her Worldly Knowledge. So then I turned it over to Craig Ferguson and he was interviewing Mary Louise Parker, who I also feel awkward watching because she comes off as actually having a ton of Worldly Knowledge and it's intimidating. Plus she was wearing the shortest dress I've ever seen which presented a scenario fraught with Worldly Knowledge.

I feel like I'm rambling. Am I rambling? This is the affect no sleep and a spear to the head have on me. But I wanted to point out that it wasn't just the sinus infection that made it a rough night.