Monday, May 31, 2010

Flat Rachel Cannot Recite Poetry

1.)  Happy Memorial Day.  Would you like me to recite "In Flanders Fields"?  I just memorized it.  I read it every year on Memorial Day but I'm always envious of people who have poems memorized and at the ready and I thought, I could be that person!  I could be the envy of weirdos like me the world over!  And now I am.  Or will be until the poem decides to flit out of my brain as most things do. 

2.)  Even though Memorial Day is still in the spring I think we can all agree that it kicks off summer.  And so it will also kick off Flat Rachel's Summer 'o Fun '010!  Instead of making up an itinerary for her I have decided to just draw names out of a hat.  Or, in this case, a sombrero:

Here's FR waiting on pins and needles to see who she will go to first:

Who will it be!?!?!

Andrea!  What a relief.  Can you imagine FR braving the Arizona sun in August with her fair skin?  June is much more acceptable. 

I'll be sending her off tomorrow with her sunscreen, a few books and some instructions (namely:  don't keep her for more than a week; you must do one new and/or adventurous activity with her; you must document said activity; she likes a bowl of ice cream before bed.) and we'll hear all about it when she returns.  This is going to be fun.  Thanks for humoring me.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Satan's Sweaty Socks

It may surprise you that I had fun last night in spite of:

1.)  Getting the world's largest burn blister.  It popped this morning and it was the Old Faithful of Grossness;
2.)  Not getting home until 1am.  Why, oh why?!  I'm 80!!!!
3.)  Crumbling under peer pressure and eating salted black licorice.  It has left a lingering ghost taste in my mouth that makes my face squirm up in revulsion.  Even those who actually like black licorice agreed that it tasted like Satan's sweaty socks.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

So I judge a book by its cover.

I was in Barnes and Noble and I overheard a mother say to her teenage daughter, "See, you like books."  To which the daughter replied, "Yeah, when they have a good cover."  To which I added a derisive snort.  Very judgey.  And then I looked at several editions of To Kill a Mockingbird and picked the one with the prettiest cover.  Okay, so I have standards.  I'm sorry Teenage Daughter.  I see your point.

Some of you may remember that I currently have a book buying moratorium on.  Well, I had to briefly lift it tonight.  It was an emergency.  Yesterday morning I caught literally the last minute of  "To Kill a Mockingbird" and was a wreck.  A WRECK!  Just seeing Scout walk Boo back to his house and then walk back to her house and crawl into Atticus' lap was enough to do me in.  And then that same morning I read an article about the 50th anniversary of the book's publication and all the parties that were being thrown for it (I don't want to be a band wagon jumper, but doesn't a party sound like fun?  We can all drink lemonade and shoot marshmallow guns at pictures of rabid dogs!  I'm going to dress like a ham.)  I took both of these as a sign that I needed to read the book again.  Except that I can't find my copy of the book.  It's not in this apartment - I looked - and if there's one thing I keep organized it's my books.  And I don't remember lending it out to anyone.  It's just gone.  See?  Emergency!  So I lifted the moratorium.  I feel good about my decision.  I think it's a moral obligation to own that book.  Plus, I have a sort of job with Kramerica Industries so it's justified, right?  Right?!

If I do throw a party it will be in the summer, because To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely a summer book.  I mean, it feels like summer, doesn't it?  But until then I'm throwing out a challenge for you to read it.  Yeah, that's right, a challenge!  Even if you've read it a million times, read it again.  And then come on over and we'll watch the movie and have a good cry.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Agony of the Feet

Kramerica Industries has taken me to places I never dreamed of - like a podiatrist's office where I spent four hours looking at pictures of some of the nastiest feet on the planet. When I was asked if I minded looking at gross pictures of feet I said no - but in my head I was screaming Good Heavens, YES! Because I do have a problem with it. But I want to be a team player and I thought, how bad can it be? I was prepared for some fungusy toe nails and a few bunions. I was wholly unprepared for what I actually saw. Here's a sampling of what came out of my mouth when I started looking through those pictures:

"Knights of Columbus!"

"What in the world...!"

"I think I'm going to be sick."

"Is that a toe?"

"If that's a foot what happened to the toes...Oh, dear."

"I didn't know toes could bend like that."

"Is that meatloaf?"

"Is that even human?"

"Can I go back to calling insurance companies?"





So here's my warning to you. Wear closed-toe shoes! All the time! Especially when motorcycling! Or when playing soccer! Or sleeping even, because you may have to get up in the middle of the night to pee and you'll stub your toe on something dangerously sharp and low to the ground and it will be ghastly! And get pedicures, often! Or at the very least file down those calluses on a regular basis! And if you see anything questionable growing on your foot have it looked at immediately before it takes over! Because it will take over, oh it will be ALL over and your foot will look like meatloaf. And for the love of all that is good and holy, DON'T GET DIABETES because what that does to your feet is a sin! Oh the humanity. I will never get the images of all those stumpy, gnarly, twisted, bloody feet out of my mind. Ever.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I sing all my conversations

WedFest '010 is officially done.  We had an open house for the cute couple on Saturday night.  There were lots of cupcakes and lots of family and old friends and lots of hugs and lots of shimmying.  I'd call that a success.

This has nothing to do with WedFest '010 but I'm going to show you a picture from it that illustrates a point.  That point being, I don't take very good candid shots:

You see, I'm just having a normal conversation with my friend Stacy.  But my normal conversations are punctuated with a lot of facial expressions and hand gestures.  So I'm animated.  I'm pretty sure you could have guessed this about me.  But this means that all candid shots of me look like I'm having some sort of epileptic fit.  I've come to terms with it.  In fact, most of them could be interpreted as me singing to people.  Like this one could be of me singing my awesome rendition the Mariah Carey classic, "Hero".  I'm killing the high notes.

Years from now those pictures will be dug up and I will be known amongst my posterity as that crazy aunt who sang all of her conversations.  I could totally live with that.

Friday, May 21, 2010

There had better be jet packs!

Dear Disneyland,

Lindsay, Camille and I spent the morning strolling around your park today.  It was lovely.  It would have been nice to know that it was "Screaming 13 Year Old Girls Who Dress Alike and Walk in Packs Day" but whatever, they made Star Tours hilarious.  We decided to do things that we rarely do, like hang out on The Island Formally Known As Tom Sawyer's But Is Now Moderately Pirate Themed (Lame).  I mean the pirate theme is lame.  The island is great.  There's a tree house and swaying bridges - how can it not be great.  And we rode Casey Jr.'s Train which, I have to admit, is kind of magical in that you're just cruising along and you're slightly higher than everyone else so you can wave to the people down below which makes you feel regal and benevolent.

We decided to check out Innoventions because none of us had ever been inside - mostly because it sounded kind of boring.  It has all these newfangled things of the future and if I were impressed by technology then I would be on board.  But I'm 80 and not really into what the kids are into so, you know.  It was mostly a cool (as in - out of the heat) place to walk around while we digested our pretzels to make room for the ice cream cones we were about to eat.  But here's my beef:  in the opening video it showed how Innoventions has always been a place to show off new ideas for the future - one of which was the jet pack.  And the video was a bit condescending.  As in, "Can you believe we all thought we would have jet packs?"  And inside, near the exit they have the old spaceman mannequin with the jet pack on - as a relic of our foolish past.

Well, I'm here to tell you, Disneyland, that I don't know what your future looks like, by MY future has a jet pack.  Because if there aren't jet packs, then what else is there to hope for?! 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't put the turkey in the dishwasher

1.)  At Relief Society tonight we learned about freezing food.  We got a handout that told us all about it and in it there was a section about safe defrosting.  Basically it said to do it in the fridge, and to not do it in several placed, including 1.)  the car and 2.) the dishwasher.  This makes me believe that there have been people who, on Thanksgiving morning, started panicking that their turkey wasn't thawed so they just strapped it into their car and ran some errands.  Or threw it in the dishwasher with a few dirty forks and ran a load.  I really hope so.

2.)  Oh, the grand time Flat Rachel is going to have during her Summer of Fun.  New Zealand!  Tunisia!  New York!  Arizona!  Utah!  Nebraska!  The exotic southern California Wine Country with a possible field trip to THE Ohio!  Cerritos with a possible field trip to Bakersfield!  Plus Chris has promised dance class and bedazzled pants.  I'm pretty sure I'm already jealous of my flat self.  Here's the plan:  If you want to participate email me your address and I'll work up an itinerary.  I was thinking that instead of you sending her back to me you could send her on to her next location and we'll see how far she can go.  I'll work out the details and get her a passport and pack some sunscreen and we'll get this rolling.  I'm very excited.  I plan to throw her a big welcome home party when she gets back.  There will be a slide show.  And popsicles.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Flat Rachel's Summer of Fun

I did a mighty cleaning of my desk tonight.  It was to the point where I was moving stacks of papers from my desk to my bed and back again each day just to get to my computer.  That is a bit ridiculous, right?  Right. 

So I purged. 

And look who I found!!!

Flat Rachel!  Years and years and years ago my friends and I got together and made flat versions of ourselves to send out on grand adventures.  Inspired, natch, by Flat Stanley, who was flattened by a bulletin board and then shipped off in an envelope to visit a friend across the country.  His mom packed him a lunch for the trip and just put it in the envelope with him.  Clever. 

I clearly used creative license because my hair has never looked that luxurious.  Nor did I ever own a sweater like that.  And I'm not so much of a dork to wear my camera around my neck, unless it's for laughs.  Let's say that Flat Rachel is doing it for laughs and forgive her.  But I do own red shoes and ill-fitting jeans.  Also, don't you just love how Wee Chinese Rachel is looking over her shoulder.  No doubt whispering Secrets of the Orient in her ear.  And yes, I keep WCR up in that nook all the time.  I sometimes need reminding that I'm a happy person by nature and if that picture can't convince me then nothing can.

I think it may be time for Flat Rachel to have an adventure.  Any takers?  I'll mail her to you and you take her around the neighborhood to see the sights and document it, then you send her back and email me the pictures and I post the best ones right here and we can all live vicariously through you and your awesome life.  It doesn't matter if you live near or far, she is up for anything.  And the more the merrier.  This can be Flat Rachel's Summer of Fun. 

There are a few rules though.  1.)  You must promise to send her back.  2.)  And to do so in a timely manner.  None of this holding on to her for months business.  I say this because I have been known to do just that due to my fear of postal workers.  3.)  You must treat her as an out of town guest, meaning you must do something fun to entertain her, like go out to eat or to a museum or the beach.  I'm not saying you have to be extravagant, just a little creative.  I'm pretty sure you'll thank me for it later.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Action Jeans and other stuff

1.)  In the comments Sarah alluded to an incident we had last week.  She was washing my hair before cutting it and as she was rinsing the conditioner out the sprayer slipped out of her hands and started thrashing about, squirting water EVERYWHERE.  We were in fits of hysterics.  I was reclined in the chair with my sopping wet head in the sink and Sarah was wildly trying to catch the sprayer and we were both laughing like loons.  I love moments like that, when things happen that usually only happen in cartoons.  Once we composed ourselves she kept apologizing - but I think we can all agree that it's better to have a funny story to share than to have nothing happen at all.

2.)  My Kramerica Industries job has taken me to the land of insurance companies.  And I'm here to give you a warning:  Don't get cancer.  Don't have a heart attack.  Don't even get a hang nail.  Just don't get sick because that may put you into the unenviable position of having to call an insurance company and Woe To Those Who Do!  You will be stuck in a never ending automated system.  You won't be able to speak to a human, ever.  Not even when you are actually speaking to what you think is a human.  It's not human!  It's a robot who is programed to tell you, "That has been denied," or "We didn't receive that paperwork."  After four hours of this I wanted to put my head under the desk and cry.  And I wasn't even sick.

3.)  Also in recent comments Heather came up with a Brilliant Idea.  When Tyra Banks' fantasy novel comes out I'm going to host a reading!  You're all invited.  We will all take turns reading passages and smiling with our eyes.  And then we'll eliminate someone.  Oh, it will be dramatic.

4.)  I'm working on new bookmarks to keep Mr. T company on my etsy shop so I was looking for pictures of Chuck Norris and came across this gem:

You're welcome.

Monday, May 17, 2010

We Grew (That is not a fat joke)

Do you know what the world really needs?  Another Knecht.  Well, congratulations world.  You got her:

Kylea is great.  She's sassy and funny.  And she gets the joke - which is not really a requirement to join the family but makes our jobs a whole lot easier.     

It was a wonderful weekend filled with highlights.  But here's just one.  We had a brunch for everyone before we went to the temple.  There were two key features:

1.)  The centerpieces made of Cupcakes and Ding Dongs,

2.)  The "pants optional" memo that only Ben seemed to get:

We certainly know how to throw a party. 

Welcome to the Fam, Kylea!  Things you can look forward to include but are not limited to:  free massages from Lindsay, magical Sunday night popcorn, impromptu head-measuring, Dodger Baseball, and more Seinfeld references then you could possibly imagine. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Things that make me look short and consumptive

I've been trying to find an outfit for my brother's wedding and I've come across a wall of Post-in Note yellow.  And sweat pants gray.  And Malibu Barbie pink.  It's the triumvirate of colors that make me look consumptive.

And animal print.  Oh, the animal prints.  I tried on several dresses that had it because I believe in the Stacy and Clinton rule of trying everything on.  And there were several that looked pretty good on me but I just can't be that girl.  The girl who wears a leopard print dress to her brother's wedding.  Although think of the jokes I could make when the inevitable question is asked at the reception, "So, are you married?"  "No, but I'm on the prowl."  Hardy-har-har!

I have also seen a lot of maxi dresses - which would be great considering that we're stopping at a buffet in Vegas on our way out to St. George.  But I'm 5'3" and I'd like to stay away from things that make me look even stumpier than I am.

I did end up finding something that wasn't pink, gray, yellow, maxi, or wildernessy.  It has a shrug that is the exact same shade of green as both a long coat and a short jacket I own.  It looks like green is my new purple. (This is where I would insert a link to the post I wrote about how I had to ban myself from buying purple clothes because I had so many due to my royal inclinations - only, I can't find it.)

Speaking of my brother Casey, did I tell you about the bachelor party my sisters and I threw for him?  No, I don't think I did.  It was wild.  We first stopped off at Grandpa's apartment to deliver some medication, then we went to Honolulu Harry's and ate sweat potato stacks, then we got really crazy and went to Rite-Aid to get Thrify's ice cream cones (Casey got a TRIPLE SCOOP!) then it was back home to hang out with our parents.  They could make a reality show about how nuts we are.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm more excited for this than I was for the 7th Harry Potter

Breaking News!!!

Tyra Banks will be writing a series of fantasy novels.

No.  I'm not making this up.

This may be the single greatest thing to happen to literature since the printing press.

I hope it's bad.  And not bad as in awful and unbearable but bad like Spice World and Wayne Newton at the San Manuel Indian Casino.  There are no words to describe how excited I am for this.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I got the black lung

I've got the black lung. It's only a matter of time before my dream of dying of consumption finally comes true.

It was California Mormon Helping Hands Day yesterday. This is when Mormons all over the state put on yellow vests and paint things, or dig things, or plant things all in an effort to beautify our communities and also to say, "Hey, look how helpful we are. Don't hate us. We're normal. Except that we're all super chipper about painting city curbs at 7:30 on a Saturday morning."

My stake headed out to our biggest city park and painted the fence around the baseball diamond and laid mulch. I was on paint patrol and within the first 5 minutes a drop of paint fell on my nostril. It smelled gross. But not as gross as the mulch. I actually really love doing stuff like this. The work is a bit arduous but you get to do it next to members of your ward and stake and you can all laugh and joke about the blisters forming on your hands or the paint up your nose. And there's all these little kids running around trying to help out or making water balloons out of left over latex gloves. It feels a bit like a carnival, only sweatier.

So here's where the black lung comes in. In an effort to support our mid-singles group* Katie and I went out to the multi-stake service project/barbecue they were having in the afternoon. We met at the church and then drove out to the walking trail where there were piles and piles of mulch. Not nearly as stinky as the morning variety but it was in Fontana, and if there's one thing you should know about Fontana it is that the wind there has no mercy. Oh, it blows. It looked like the piles of mulch were smoking but it was actually just the wind picking it up. They gave us masks and shovels and rakes and we spread that mulch for two hours. But even the masks were no match for the wind and last night when we got home we both felt like we had inhaled a pile of dirt. But it was still a good time because, let's be honest here, consumption jokes are funny.

On a tangential note: There was a bbq at the end of the mulching and by that time I had 1.) painted a fence, 2.) spent several hours cleaning my balcony and planting lots of flowers, and 3.) spent 2 hours being doused with mulch, all without a shower or a change of clothes, although I did load on extra layers of the cancer-causing deodorant. It struck me as kind of funny that we were at a singles activity - the main point of these being to meet people - and here we all were looking sweaty and dirty and a bit on the disgusting side and not nearly as attractive as one would hope. It was even funnier when we got back to the church and saw the clean and fresh faces of all the people who skipped the mulching and came for the food. It's a shame I'm going to be dead from the black lung in a month, considering all the guys I impressed.

*Things you may not know about the Mormons: the church has various groups for single people, mostly in an effort to eradicate the need for them. There are the young single adults who are 18-30, the single adults 31 til you die and recently they have started up a mid-singles group for the 31-45ish. It is a bit of a relief to be out of the same dating pool as my grandpa.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My apartment is haunted, by a slob.

Happy Friday. How about a laugh? How about two?

This morning Colleen sent me this.

And yesterday Cynde sent me this:

I'm sensing a theme.

In other news:

1.) Someone texted me last night and this morning with the same message "Hey cooki3 monst3r" I don't recognize the number (this is not unusual as I only know my parents and, on occasion, my own.) but I'm pretty sure it's from Elmo. This is not the first time I've been confused as a monster shoving cookies in her face.

2.) I can now play "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on the ukulele. I chose this one because it was the first link that came up when I googled "ukulele tabs". The next song I want to learn: "Dancing Queen". I also need to start learning Christmas songs so my cousin Allie and I can rock the ukes at the Knecht Family Christmas Extravaganza this year. Although, considering the crowd at that party Dancing Queen would be just as appropriate.

3.) There's a ghost in my apartment who keeps leaving her accessories lying about. Remember the sunglasses I found a few months back? I still don't know who they belong to. And now there is a mysterious old necklace we found on the floor by the kitchen. I don't know who this ghost is or why she's hanging out but I'm getting a little tired of always picking up after her.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Genius at Work

My made up job with Kramerica Industries* has me doing a lot of different things, which I love, but there are some days when I have to spend several hours at my desk on my computer, typing and typing and typing. And my other job as a Woman of Elegant Leisure has me at my craft desk hunched over teeny scraps of felt for hours on end. So there are often times when I just can't handle sitting that long and I'll get up and do a few lunges or I'll put on some music and have an impromptu solo dance party**. Well, today I was really feeling it but I had to get a lot of stuff done so I got resourceful:

I moved my computer to my wee small kitchen so I could stand at the counter and type. It did the trick and I even seemed to work faster. To reward myself for being such a genius I had a bowl of Chocolate Marshmallow Mateys. Yeah, that's right. CHOCOLATE. MARSHMALLOW. MATEYS! Only the greatest breakfast cereal EVER.

*For the curious: I work part time for a business marketing/consulting firm - because I have so much experience in that field - and I do odds and ends for them.

**A cute but entirely unrelated story: I was watching my friend's kids the other day and I was listing off suggestions to the older one of things we could do, "We could play with Legos," "Um, no." "We could read a book." "Um, no." "We could choreograph an elaborate dance routine to perform for your mom when she gets home." He looked at me suspiciously, and also, like I was crazy, "I don't even know what that means." We ended up taking a walk and then drawing pictures of animals and ice cream trucks.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


You've seen Breakfast at Tiffany's, right? You know OJ Berman? Holly Golightly's agent friend who always calls Paul Varjak Fred-Baby? We were sitting in front of a bunch of his offspring last night at the Dodger game. Real schmoozy Hollywood muckity-mucks. Only they were considerably less entertaining. They all strolled in wearing expensive looking suits with no ties and spent half of the 5 innings they were there drinking beer and talking about casting shoots and set walk-throughs and the other half drinking beer and fixing the world of sports. These were four men who clearly knew everything and loved nothing more than to hear themselves talk, and talk, and talk. Oh, my, the talking. What's the point of saying anything if you don't saying it 10 times. It got really amusing when the ringleader got up to go get another beer and offered to get the other fellas something, (insert transplanted east-coaster accent) "You boys want anything? You? You want something refreshing? I'll get you something refreshing. A beer? How about a refreshing beer? How about I get you a nice, cool refreshing beer? I'll get you something refreshing. And you? Ice water? I know you. You want ice water. I'll get you an ice water."

It was only moderately annoying, up until Tommy Lasorda came out to watch a bit of the game and they started ragging on him. UNACCEPTABLE! I wanted to turn around and accidentally dump my Icee on them. I refrained because what a waste of a perfectly good - no, refreshing - Icee.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Knecht Fest '010: Part 1

It was Knecht Fest '010: Part 1 this weekend up in Utah. (Part 2 will be in 2 weeks when Casey and Kylea get married. It will be similar to Part 1 only there will be even more family in a smaller place. Look out Logandale, NV. We're coming!) The whole family was together and we laughed a lot and ate a lot of ice cream (True story: it was 32 degrees and snowing yesterday morning outside of Cedar City, UT when we stopped to get gas. This did not stop us from getting ice cream cones. That is how dedicated we are to the cause.) There were many, many highlights but here are just a few:

1.) Lindsay graduated from college in December but did not attend the ceremony. So we threw her a surprise one. Because if there is one thing my family loves it's a graduation mock. (I actually think my family should be hired out to sit in the audience at graduations because you can not believe how entertaining we can be.) It was complete with banners, Pomp and Circumstance, a mortar board, a speech (that was written for her and contained a lot of Seinfeld quotes), and a multicultural portion wherein Gina and Chris sang "The Impossible Dream" in Spanish.

2.) When I was introduced to Kylea's grandma the first thing she said to me was, "It looks like I've just met the midget of the family." I can not express to you just how funny I thought this was because a.) sassy grandma! and b.) so true. When I'm really and truly 80 I plan to be just like that. Do not be alarmed if I start practicing now.

3.) Camille and I flew out there on Thursday night and while on the shuttle bus from the long-term parking to the airport a woman got on and said, "Boy, it's windy out there. How's my hair? It was blowing all over the place. And I even glued it down this morning."