Friday, August 28, 2009

The Watermelon Blanket

Years ago my Grandma Crenshaw made my family a blanket. We love it. It goes everywhere with us. It's perfect for picnics and beach outings and bundling under if it gets below 60 degrees. Brrr.

It came with us last night to the concert. (Follow that link. Read about them. Buy their album. Love them. Because I said so!)

Here's Lindsay and Camille showing some blanket love:

We call it the watermelon blanket because of it's watermelon print. My grandma thought it was cute. "Look," she said as we opened it up, "Watermelon! I thought it was really fun."

No Grandma, not just really fun. HYSTERICALLY FUN! Because it's not just a watermelon print:

Picture it: my grandma, white hair, sensible shoes, faithful Mormon woman of pioneer heritage who wrote hymns for fun, standing in line at the fabric store with a bolt of Southern Comfort material and having no idea how much joy and laughter that blanket would give us. Priceless.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


1.) I've completely lost my appetite. The other day I roamed around Sprouts trying to think of something - anything - that sounded good for dinner and the only thing I left with was yogurt and granola for breakfast, which I still haven't eaten because it just doesn't sound good. I need someone to cook me a really sensational meal to get it back. Any takers?

2.) I have an unusual last name that you don't hear too often. (Knecht. It's pronounced connect. It's German. It means servant. Which I think is nice. I won't clean your toilet but I'll drive you to the airport if you need a ride.) But lately I feel like it's everywhere. When I was getting my Disneyland pass last week the lady processing the paperwork saw my name and said, "Knecht is my maiden name." But she said it like it was Smith. Like she always meets people with that last name. And then at the temple on Friday night I showed my recommend and the man said, "I know a Knecht in Orange County." And just now I was reading some random blog and I saw the name again. Do you think we're taking over the world?

3.) I've been seeing the same 80 year old woman all over town lately. She works out at my gym every morning with the other elderly woman. I saw her at the Lion's Club fish fry a few weeks ago, again with the elderly. Then again at the grocery story on a Friday afternoon, when the elderly shop. And then I ran into her this morning at the local bagel shop where it looked like she was holding a meeting of the Elderly Citizens of Upland Brigade. I use to think it was a coincidence but it makes sense that I would naturally be drawn to local pensioner hang-outs.

4.) I interviewed a guy today who was super nervous. At the end of the interview I went to shake his hand and we had the following conversation:

Him: I would shake your hand but I have really sweaty palms.
Me: Oh, that's okay. I don't have to shake your hand.
Him: It's a real problem. And it's kind of frustrating.
Me: I bet.
Him: I've started just giving people hugs instead. (As he opened his arms a little and stepped closer).
Me: We can just wave good-bye.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Rac!

I have already admitted to you that I sometimes keep birthday presents I buy for friends. I should also admit here that I forget birthdays ALL THE TIME. Even when they are written in my calendar. Even if we have talked about it, and there's a party in the planning, and I've made a mental note the night before to call the person the next day to wish them the happiest of happy days, and I've already bought a gift and kept it and then bought a replacement gift, I still forget.

I don't know why you people stay friends with me.

But this morning I woke up and one of the very first things that popped into my head was that it was Rachel's birthday. The Other Rachel. The Short Rachel. I know you totally thought that I was the Short Rachel. But I'm not!

By sheer luck Rachel and I were thrown together as roommates at BYU and within about 2 seconds we realized that we were the exact same person. Same name, both born in August, we liked all the same movies, the same mindless TV (we watched A LOT of the Love Boat and Beverly Hills 90210), the same food, the same music, painting our toe nails shades of sparkly blue, coloring until the wee small hours of the morning, Bon Jovi, Marshmallow Matey's (argh!), impromptu dance parties, disco balls, and grape Kool-Aid. We even both broke our arms roller-skating as children. We were roommates for three years, which, in college, is an eternity. And even though we haven't lived in the same state for over 10 years I still consider her one of my greatest friends. She's just that fantastic.

So, to make up for all the times I have forgotten every one's birthday, and because I really, really mean it, I want to say...


You're the shorter sister I always wanted.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Leather Tuscadero

For the most part, I like my hair cut. But some days it's a little too Leather Tuscadero.

Like today, for instance, would have been an excellent day to wear my studded leather jumpsuit.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Power of the Bundt!

My congressman routinely sends out letters, hand-written with a Sharpie, on unlined paper in all caps about putting up a giant wall with armed guards across the entire Mexican border and other things I don't agree with.

I hate those letters. They get me all riled up. I occasionally write him back saying that the people would be better served if a giant wall with armed guards were build around his big fat head.

(Okay, so maybe I just imagine writing that. I actually don't even know how big his head is.)

So you can imagine how excited I was when Chiquita informed me that his office is IN THE BUILDING RIGHT NEXT TO OURS.

Because you know what this means, right? When I write to him I can just walk the letter over. And I'll bring a Bundt cake, because it's the neighborly thing to do. And we'll have a heart to heart about the important issues and he'll go back to Washington and vote like a reasonable human being and the world will be a better place.

Do not underestimate the power of the Bundt!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Birthday Weekend!

I began my birthday celebration this morning not with biscuits and gravy, as I would have liked, but with a 5:30 trip to the gym, where I typed in 34 when the eliptical asked me my age. I don't know why the eliptical needs to know my age. But it asks every time. Cheeky.

I actually started the celebration on Friday night. Katie, Laura and I went to the Disney Concert Hall for a Broadway sing along. I LOVE sing alongs. LOVE THEM! First of all, you can always count on a good crowd, because generally people who go to sing alongs are fun. (The exception being people from Orange County. Years ago we went to the Sound of Music Sing Along (the Mother of All Sing Alongs) at the Orange County Performing Arts Center and it was a drag. We were so relieved when it moved back to the Hollywood Bowl.) People who go to sing alongs sing with gusto! And they sway and cheer and hoot and shimmy. It is basically my kind of crowd. The event was held outside the hall in the amphitheater. Have I mentioned how much I love that place? It's just so beautiful. You can look at the hall at any angle at any time of day and you will always get a lovely view. So there we were, in the amphitheater with 300 other people, as the sunset reflected off the walls of the hall, singing, with gusto, songs from West Side Story and Les Miserables the Little Mermaid (Disney, natch). It was wonderful! I may or may not have shed a small tear as we all belted out "I Dreamed a Dream".

And then there was the ice cream social. Thanks so much to everyone who came out!!! You're the loveliest people I know. It was exactly as I hoped...friends, ice cream, pinata, crown and sash, wonderful weather. And bonus, extra ice cream! Come on over for a cone any time.

Last night I had my birthday dinner with the Fam and 5 strangers. Casey is down from school for the next few weeks and he brought along 5 friends for the weekend. I grew up with a couple of brothers and I know how boys can eat, but seeing 6 of them together was like watching one of those food eating competitions. You feel both awed and slightly full just watching them. Impressive.

My plan for today was just work and the Dodger game tonight. But I decided that I wanted to get a Disneyland pass because they knock off a chuck of the price on your birthday. So I asked Chiquita if I could take a 2 hour lunch and she said to just take the whole afternoon. Happy birthday to me!

Friday, August 14, 2009

"You mean there are two of you?"

My mom brought out a box of her treasures on Sunday after dinner. There were all sorts of letters and journals and pictures from when she was a kid and during the early years of her marriage. It was pretty amazing to look through all of them. Among all the stuff were our baby things. Look at these gems:

The Birth Announcement

Don't you love that they put the address? You know, to make it easy for those people who want to bring gifts, or steal the baby.

Did you know I'm a twin? Erin was born with a hole in her heart and lived for just 4 months. It's a little strange having a twin who isn't here and sometimes a little sad that she doesn't get to join in the hilariousness that is my family right now. But the fact is, we'll have eternity to laugh over Bill Murray quotes together. And trust me, we will. Best thing about being a Mormon: eternal families. And all that Jell-O.

Sometimes when people find out that I'm a twin they say, "You mean, there are TWO of you?" I can't tell if it's awe or fear.

Look at the wee hospital bracelet.

I tried to get it around my wrist, for old times sake:

And my left foot:

I'm showing you this picture to let you know that my foot looks exactly the same. That is to say, like a duck's foot. Narrow heal, wide everything else. I think it looks like India. Or a t-bone steak.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

McCarthy Park is Melting in the Rain

Is there anything worse than a bad piece of fruit?

Okay, cancer. Cancer is definitely worse.

But after cancer is a bad piece of fruit.

And this morning I had two (Bad pieces of fruit. Not cancer. Knock wood.) I diced up a banana into my Rice Krispies and it had that too ripe mushy taste to it. And now I just bit into a nectarine and it tasted like a dirty sock. I actually had to spit it out. I hope Gary the CPA doesn't look too closely when he takes my trash out tonight.

On the plus side of things: aren't Rice Krispies so comforting? I still lean my head toward the bowl to hear the snap-crackle-pop.


The location of the ice cream social has been determined:

McCarthy Park in Upland on the corner of San Antonio and 20th. Here, I've mapquested it for you.

Aren't you a little sad that it's not called MacArthur Park? Wait, does anyone who isn't 80 even know that song? The classic Richard Harris (Dumbledore #1) song about someone leaving the cake out in the rain? It's awesome! My sisters and I use to listen to that song all the time when we were kids. We really belted it during the dramatic part. "And I don't think I can TAKE IT, 'cause it took so long to BAKE IT, and I'll NEVER HAVE that RECIPE AGAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIN...OOOOOH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" There was also a great upbeat middle section where we did mad dancing. We were adorable children.

Where was I? Right, ice cream social...

Saturday from 2-4. McCarthy (not MacArthur) Park. Come any time.

And there will be a pinata. And maybe mad dancing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I'm a firm believer in leading with your big news. Don't you just hate it when you've been talking to a friend for like 15 minutes about stuff like nail polish or the latest US Weekly cover and then, all casual like, she says, "I ran into Tyra Banks yesterday at Wal-Mart."

The rule is that you lead with Tyra Banks! Always give the big news first because that will give your friends and family enough time to be sufficiently impressed.

So the big news is that we got our yellow belts!!!!!!! Don't we totally look fierce?! Or dopey? Or like safety guards? They're SUPER yellow. We definitely look hot and sweaty because we spent an hour running around the dojo without air conditioning. Knights of Columbus, Upland Martial Arts Center, it's August!

Don't tell the Sensei you saw this picture because we're wearing those illegally. We're not allowed to wear the belt without the gi. But how could we not? As soon as we got out of the car we put them on. And then we stuck our nunchucks in them like the 10 year olds do. We wanted to be totally authentic.

By the way, those belts are a fat joke. They're outrageously long. I could repel out of my window with it.

In other news: I think I need to conduct a poll about ice cream cones. Colleen thinks that cake cones are the best and Stephanie is for the sugar cone and Amanda says, based strictly on size, that the waffle cone is superior. I am a cake cone girl. There is something magical about that last bite of the cone when the ice cream has pooled up in the grid at the bottom and you stick it in in your mouth and crunch down on it. I want to high five people when I do it. Plus, I feel like the cake cone isn't intrusive. A sugar cone is too crunchy and often times enormous chucks of it break off when you bite into it. And a waffle cone is too, too crunchy, and too much work. There's all this fiddling that you have to do with it. Do you eat it with a spoon or lick it? Do you eat the cone as you go or do you wait till the end? Too much to worry about, I say.

But what do you say? Cake, sugar or waffle? Or bowl? Weirdo.

Monday, August 10, 2009



The Ice Cream Social, in honor of my 9th place victory in that blog contest that was so long ago you all can hardly remember it, is back on.

It will be this Saturday, August 15, 2009 from 2-4 at a location to be determined. It will be at a park in Upland but I haven't decided which one yet. I'll let you know. Ice cream and cones will be provided. There will be no vanilla. Camille informed me last night that she knows several people who don't like their ice cream in cones. This seems ridiculous to me and I don't believe I could possibly be friends with any of them, but you never know, so I'll also provide a very small number of bowls and spoons.

The ice cream social is in conjunction with my Birthday Jubilee which means that party hats are appropriate. There may also be a pinata. I haven't decided yet. I love my birthday. LOVE IT! And I love having birthday parties because birthday parties are a means of gathering all of my favorite people together for fun and ice cream. Which is exactly my plan for the ice cream social. Because, coincidentally, you're all of my favorite people.

So, if you have the time and you're in the area bring the fam and enjoy a cone with me. Wear sun screen.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dream Job

I spend a lot of time looking at the Department of Labor wage determination. Now more than usual because I'm updating all of our price lists which means that I have to retype the wages of 106 jobs in 18 different counties in California and Texas.

Morticians make a lot of money.

As do Dental Hygienists.

I suppose that makes sense. They're putting their fingers in places most people would shy away from.

Carnival Equipment Workers make $9.67/hr in LA County. This is something to think about the next you head over to the midway to take a turn on the Tilt-a-Hurl.

Did you know that there is a job designation of Chore Aide? Where I come from that is called Your Little Brother. I use to make Casey play this game called Let's Do the Dishes!!!!! I would say it with all those exclamation points and do spirit fingers. He fell for it every time.

I sometimes look at the list and imagine what it would be like to have a certain job.

For instance, I imagine that if I were a Cartographic Technician, making $25.06/hr in Beaumont Texas, I would spend my days in a dusty basement and the walls would be lined with old school maps of the USSR and Zaire and Rhodesia. I would have a bust of Columbus sitting on my roll top desk and a globe that lit up.

That's my favorite job on the list, by the way. I think about that one a lot. Wouldn't it be amazing to spend your day looking at maps? No? Maybe you don't love maps the way I love maps.

Okay, so if being a Cartographic Technician doesn't wow you, what does? What's your dream job? And I'm talking Big Dream Job, here. I don't want to hear any of this "Well, the job I have is pretty okay," business.

Mine? Travel Writer. Astronaut. Flower Deliverer (it's a dream because my allergies would never be able to handle the smell.) Person who names lipstick colors. Wayne Newton's Back-up Singer. Book Mobile Driver (I stole that one from Amanda. It's just the best idea ever!) Cartographic Technician.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My morning by the numbers

539 resumes in my inbox this morning*
378 resumes left to read as of 1pm*
5 potential employees who have not sent back there applications like they promised
5 heart attacks I've had because of it
5 poxes I have placed upon the people of San Antonio, TX for not being as responsible as I would like them to be
17 phone calls to San Antonio, TX
7 phone calls to various military bases around the US
20 military acronyms I have had to decipher
58 times I have been called ma'am from people in San Antonio, TX and military bases around the US
1 Chiquita not in the office because she's driving up from San Diego
26 pay checks stuffed, stamped and mailed out
1 broken office phone sitting on the floor
1 lousy replacement phone sitting on my desk
1 email to frantic HR rep explaining the...
2 employees I had to fire
3 pairs of silver hoop earrings found in my purse
1 puncture wound from said earrings
7 pretzel sticks I ate for lunch at my desk
1 ice cream cone I will be eating after work

*I only wish I were exaggerating these numbers. But I SO am not.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Somebody High-Five Me!


(Insert fist pump, disco fingers, running split kick, the worm, followed by a very elaborate soft-shoe dance routine with jazz hands!)

Chiquita has finally given the approval on the website!!!!!!!

(I just did the moonwalk! And now I'm strutting. I'm TOTALLY STRUTTING!!)

You didn't know I was a web designer, right? Well, I'm not. I have no skills. I have no eye. I have no imagination. I am the designer equivalent of eggshell walls and generic floral prints that they sell at whole-sale art fairs at the airport Marriott. I am the last person on the planet you want to design your web site. And yet, I was the only person who could do it so I was stuck.

So for the last 4 months (FOUR MONTHS!) I've been working on our company's website and Chiquita and I would have had meeting after meeting after meeting about lines and colors and blocking and content and wording and links and pricing and after every meeting I would spend days and days and days implementing the changes and then I would show Chiquita the new site and she would say, "Meh. Let's change it all."

At one point she decided that she didn't want the menu. She said it looked "cheap". I told her it would probably look cheaper if our customers couldn't leave the home page. She wouldn't budge. So I look the lines out of the menu and suddenly she said it looked a million times better and we could keep it in.

She's leaving for a conference in San Diego tomorrow and I convinced her that maybe we should have the web-site up since she would be handing out a lot of business cards, so she went into her office and had a look and then shouted out, "I'm in LOVE WITH IT!" I wanted to cry. I wanted to put my head down on my desk and weep for joy.

But instead I'm shimmying!