Thursday, December 29, 2011

Meat Juice

It's been a Knecht Fest up in here.  The whole fam is together and we've been yukking it up all week.  Tonight we decided to let other people in on the fun and invited fifty or so friends to come over and celebrate the arrival of the newest Knecht, wee baby Levi, who is super-duper cute.  So all day we were cleaning and cooking and generally getting ready and then for several hours tonight we entertained and laughed and laughed and laughed.  And then everyone left and we sat around and watched Gina and Chris open all the presents and the real laughing began.  Because our goal as a family is to make each other laugh.  We are experts at this.

By the time we finished laughing and cleaning up and made it home we were sufficiently done in.  But I still managed to trudge upstairs to water my neighbors' plants and when I walked inside I was hit in the face by the smell of rancid death.  I looked around to make sure there wasn't a dead body anywhere but instead found that their freezer had exploded open and all of the contents had thawed and spilled out, leaving a rather large mess of rotten meat all over their kitchen floor. They are fit as two fit things and I believe eat a very Atkins-y type diet so they had enough meat in that freezer to feed a T-Rex and his family several meals. And now they have nothing, which makes me sick.  And I'm going to have to call them tomorrow to break the news.  And then invite them over for dinner for the next month.

So I went back downstairs and rally the troops (Katie, Casey and Kylea, who are staying with us.) and we gathered trash bags and mops and headed upstairs to take care of business.  While Casey and Katie cleaned up the kitchen Kylea and I made a trip down to the dumpster (note to the people of Las Brisas:  stay away from the dumpster - it is rank.) The bag I was carrying had about 50 pounds worth of formerly frozen meat and was already leaking a bit.  When it came time to hoist my bag into the bin I was struck by how exhausted I was and started giggling over the whole situation.  And then I couldn't manage to lift the bag.  So I summoned all my strength and gave a mighty heave and just as the bag lifted off the ground the bottom fell out of it and the rotting contents inside fell all over my feet.

So naturally we both fell into fits of laughter.  And we started scooping the rotting hamburger and ground turkey and kielbasa up with our hands, in the dark, mind you, and tossing them into the dumpster and all the while we're cracking up because we're so tired and it's so funny.

On the way back to the apartment I could feel my flip flops squish underneath my feet, leaving meaty footprints behind me, and I said what is now in the running for the title of my pending memiors: "I have meat juice on my toes." 

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Christmas, Keanu. Cheer up!

Hannah needed stockings for her new husband and new dog to go with Richard Simmons.

She requested Ron Swanson


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Snap Age Approaches

I like to imagine when Ancient Man tried out the wheel for the first time to haul rocks with ease and comfort he said something along the lines of, "This is THE BOMB!  Grog (this is Ancient Man's best friend), go tell the others that this new tool totally rules!"

Well, I have had my Ancient Man Discovers the Wheel moment with this snap attacher tool.  Big deal, you say.  Yeah.  It IS a big deal.  Snaps are pesky things to apply.  They are teeny and come in multiple parts, some containing prongs that have a tendency to go all wonky if you breath on them wrong.  You have to line them up exactly right and then bang them with a hammer and if they're just a hair off the whole endeavor is ruined and you have to spend a lifetime trying to pry the now useless snaps off of your project.  Oh, I've had my troubles with snaps.  But no more!  I put in three snaps tonight on a felting project and got them all on in one shot.  Like magic.  I yelled out, "Katie, this is THE BOMB!"  And she rejoiced with me because she was there for the Great Snap Meltdown of Christmas '010 where I openly sobbed over another felting project that had taken days, DAYS!, to complete only to be ruined when the snaps did not go in properly and then would not come out without the use of scissors and lots and lots of swearing.  I went through a brief but fertile drawstring phase earlier this year where I made drawstring bags for all occasions.  I sense the dawn of a new Snap Age approaching.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Antics

It was one of those weekends where you just want to do high kicks all over the place because you're having such a good time.  It included THREE outrageously fun parties, special occasion French Toast, a dance-off, karaoke, cheesy potatoes, a house full of Knechts, an apartment full of some of my favorite people, and lots and lots and lots of women in sequins dresses and fur stoles. 

Just a couple of highlights:

1.) I wrangled a gig working the check-in table at a large hospital company Christmas party.  Lucky, right?  Because I LOVE doing stuff like that.  Seriously.  I love talking to total strangers, mostly because they give me great material.  Like the doctor who came up and told me he was late because his Pomeranian didn't want him to leave and then he had to spend fifteen minute brushing pom fur off of his suit and thank goodness he didn't wear his tux like he did one year only to show up and feel totally over dressed so he just settled for his more subtle and suitable Christmas tie, which, it must be said, had dancing reindeer on it.  Also, I love seeing what other people wear to parties.  Oh, the sequins.  And the sparkle.  And the shorty short dresses.  Some of their dresses were so small I was afraid they would catch pneumonia down there.  Someone asked if I was having a good time and I said I was having the time of my life.  And then they asked if I was being facetious and I said no because being paid $50 to sit around and people-watch with dinner and unlimited Shirley Temples included is my idea of a good time.

2.)  I will just say this about karaoke.  I love it and if you invite me and Camille to come along with you the next time you go we will sing a rendition of Total Eclipse of the Heart that will make you weep.

3.)   The annual Knecht Family Christmas Spectacular was on Friday.  And I think that most of us all left feeling like it was one of the best we've ever had.  Maybe Grandma and Grandpa were sending out double the party vibes now that they've teamed back up on the other side.  Grandma loved her parties.  And Grandpa loved basking in how much fun we all were capable of.  I missed seeing him sitting in his chair and giggling at all of our antics.  And you know there were antics.  Antics are what we do best.  And jazz hands.  Which there were a lot of in this year's Knecht Sisters Holiday Number.  (Some background:  we took this from our favorite SNL Christmas skit that cannot be found anywhere on the internet.  Trust me, we've all searched and search.  Fortunately, it has worked it's way into our souls.)  Enjoy, enjoy,enjoy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Pied Piper of Elegant Leisure

Because of my unemployed Life of Elegant Leisure I get to spend more time with friends and their kids during the day.  So lately I've been feeling like the Pied Piper. The kids, they're flocking.  Yesterday was especially so. My friend Heather's kids have become my new best friends - they're the ones I had a coloring party with a few weeks ago.  They were having a Grandparent's Day at school and since their grandparents live far away Kaiya asked if I would come as her Special Friend.

Would I!

I hung out with her in her classroom and we made a fancy construction paper Christmas tree and I chit chatted with the 7 year olds about who they liked more, Katy Perry or Taylor Swift (Taylor won out.  I didn't even ask about the Bieb.) and then strolled around the book fair.

It was only the cutest thing I've ever done in my life.

When I got home from that I headed over to watch another friend's kids where we made enormous Lego towers and danced whenever we knocked them over.  There was a lot of dancing.

And that's not all.  Because after I got home from the Lego tower dance party Heather called to say they were coming over with a surprise.  She and the kids brought me a Christmas present of multi-ethnic skin tone markers and color pencils.  I did not know that these even existed!  I can finally stop coloring everyone with peach skin.

Since I had a few hours of free time I invited the kids to stay over and color.

Is this not the best picture you've ever seen?  We're coloring and painting and drinking hot chocolate with candy canes in them.  I'm going to frame it and look at it whenever I'm having a rough day because that is nothing but pure joy.

I was just about to type that kids seem to be the way to go when it comes to having fun but then I recalled that just about an hour ago I had a Facebook exchange with my friend Andrea (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!) wherein we reminisced about doing crazy things like getting lost on a dead end road then nearly running over a hobo and wearing pioneer bonnets around Old Town Pasadena.  So I will instead say that I appear to collect friends who don't mind having funny adventures with me - no matter what their age.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I want this more than I want a Slurpee machine

Stephanie, my beautiful and talented and super thoughtful friend, posted this on Facebook for me:


Would anyone like to buy my kidney so I can get one? 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Do you need someone to cry with you? I'm your gal.

Maybe you think I'm exaggerating when I talk about how I'm a sympathetic crier.  How when I see someone crying I almost always start crying along with them.

I am not. 

An example:

We have a Spanish branch in our stake and they were fresh out of pianists so I was asked to help out for the primary sacrament meeting program, which was today.  With the exception of a few phrases and things I've pick up spending a lifetime in a southern border state (plus my love for Latin root words), I neither speak nor understand Spanish.  Like a genius, I took German in high school and the only good it has done me was that one time in Tunisia when I was mistaken for a German tourist by a local shrimper.  Anyway, after the program was completed the branch president got up to say a few words, very little of which I understood.  A few minutes into it he got a little weepy - over what I can only guess.  But those types of details do not matter to a sympathetic crier.  Oh no, because there I was getting weepy right along with him.  He could have been talking about that one time he lost his lucky socks.  It matters not.  When you are with me you do not cry alone.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lesson Learned

The girl ahead of me in line at the post office had flame tattoos running up her neck, a spiked cuff that looked like it came from Thunderdome and a beaded hoop dangling from that little flap of skin that connects your upper lip to your gums.

She turned around and said to me, "Oh wow, you look exhausted.  I was exhausted the other day because I had been up all night because my boyfriend left me. Just packed all his things and left me.  No note.  And this was after he stiffed me for two months of rent and ran up my electric bill to take care of his reptiles.  Lesson learned."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another Blessed Nephew!!!!!!!

Big News.  I mean REALLY BIG NEWS!

Gina and Chris got themselves a baby boy!

Behold, Levi:

He was born on Tuesday and they signed the adoption papers this morning and brought the kid home. 

Isn't he the greatest?!  And the cutest?!  And look at all that hair! And he has big lips just like his Favorite Aunt Rachel.!

We're all jumping for joy around here.

We've known he was coming for months now but for obvious reasons we kept it on the down low.  Oh the lies we have told people when they would ask how Gina and Chris were doing.  Oh, the deception.  But no more!  I asked Gina if it was okay that I posted it on the blog and she said, "Would you please.  Let's shout it from the roof tops."

Have you counted the exclamation points?  Consider it shouted.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Approximately ten spools

It should be noted that when I got in line at Joann's with my two wee bits of embroidery floss totaling $.85 all the items in the basket of the woman in front of me had already been scanned and the checker was telling her, "That will be $62.71."

What followed was 10 minutes (TEN MINUTES!!!!!!!!) of the woman:

Explaining why her teacher discount card had expired

Explaining why she had an old teacher's union card

Digging around in her purse for her new teacher's union card

Asking the checker how she would go about getting an updated teacher discount card

Being informed that it was easy enough, she just had to go online to do it

Asking the checker if she couldn't just come into the store because sometimes she doesn't trust the internet to do things because once she had signed up for something online and it didn't work can you believe that.

Telling everyone around (including me as I smiled patiently) that she taught high school orchestra

"Yes, really!  High school orchestra!"

Telling everyone around (including me, this time shooting laser beams out of my eyes) that she was planning on buying scarves for the orchestra to wear for their Christmas concert because she really didn't want to make them but here she was making them - sigh.

Laughing at herself for being so darn accommodating

Being told repeatedly that the total was $62.71.

Digging around her purse for her checkbook

Methodically licking her finger and flipping each previous duplicate in her checkbook until she came to the next check

Carefully writing out the check while saying out loud exactly what she was doing

Balancing her checkbook

Being handed her bags and her receipt and a "have a nice night" but refusing to move

Asking the checker if they have any Cricut books

Announcing to everyone (including me, now silently weeping into my embroidery floss) that she was planning on buying a Cricut in a few months and wanted to be prepared so she needed to know exactly where to find the Cricut books when that day came

Reluctantly walking away from the counter, only to leave her shopping cart in the aisle, thus blocking me and the five people who had lined up behind me from getting to the cash register

Moving the shopping cart after the checker beat me at shaming her into moving it but acting like she was just asked to move a giant bag of poo.

Blissfully going about the rest of her life never realizing that we were all imagining how many spools of grosgrain ribbon it would take to tie her up and dump her in the back corner with the discounted fabrics.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm a winner! Literally!

Around 7 pm I reached 50,000 words, thus making me a NaNoWriMo winner.  WOOT.

In celebration I did a very spontaneous but elaborate dance that involved lots of shimmying and jazz hands and fist pumps.

But here's the thing - 50,000 words is really just a long pamphlet.  It's about half the length of a regular size novel.  And my story isn't near finished.  But it's definitely on the way.  Also, boy is it garbage right now.  There are moments of greatness but for the most part it is a jumbled mess.  Which is to be expected.  I wrote fast and did zero editing.  I have not gone back to read any of it.  I am hoping when I do I won't be completely disappointed with it.  I don't think I will be.  There's a good base there.  We'll see how it plays out.

Things I've learned while spending November lashed to my laptop trying to convince myself to write:

1.)  The internet is my enemy
2.)  The more I complained about how hard writing was the less writing I did.  Once I changed my attitude and started saying, "This is a piece of cake.  Just a really time consuming piece of cake." my progress tripled. 
3.)  Cake is an excellent writing snack.
4.)  Do not start reading a hard-to-put-down novel with just three days left.
5.)  Writing without editing is incredibly freeing.  But it makes for really crappy writing.  I need to find a good balance.
6.)  Writing with a goal is the best.  Even when it was a daily goal.  There would be days when I would say, "Okay, I'm not going to stop until I hit 3000 words for today" and then I would get there and realize that I was only 1000 words away from hitting a milestone on my total word count and then I'd get there and realize that I was just 1000 words away from hitting a personal daily best.  I suppose this is what athletes do when they're pushing themselves.  Just for the record, I'm sticking with writing.
7.) I always do better when there is a prize at the end - even if that prize is allowing myself an episode of Psyche on Netflix.
8.) It turns out all those wealthy, famous, published authors are right:  sometimes all it takes is to just sit down and write. 
8.)  50,000 was not that hard.  Or rather, not as hard as I thought it would be. Relief!

Thanks to everyone who asked how the novel was coming along.  Feel free to keep it up because there's still plenty of opportunities left for me to think I'm a talentless hack before it is completed.  I need the accountability and encouragement.

And if you'd like - you may stop by and see my NaNoWriMo winner's certificate.  I think I will get one of those double frames so it can be side by side with my nun chuck certificate.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Handel at the Nixon

Just like most families, the Knechts start the Christmas season off with a trip to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library.

(Note - it's been a few years since I've been through the place but I remember loving how they simply glossed over the whole Watergate business.  "Well, there was this thing with some tapes, but LOOK OVER THERE!  Is that the White House china??!)

We actually go for the Messiah Sing-along that is held there every year.  It is magical in many ways.

1.)  It's a sing along.  This blog is riddled with examples of my deep love for them.  People who like to sing along to things are just more fun.  We all know it's true.

2.)  People dress up in period clothing.  What period, you ask?  Oh, any period.  There were people in mid 18th century dresses - which is the period Messiah was written - with lots of bustles and ruffles and powdered wigs and tri-cornered hats, and then there were people dressed like Jane Austen.  And a few more dressed like they were from ye olde Dickens novel.  Basically any kind of Days of Yore attire is permitted.  Which makes me want to dress like a hippie next year.

3.)  The music is divine.  And I mean that in the literal sense of the word.   Every year the conductor tells the same story of how Handel was destitute and he came home one night and found several verses of scripture a friend left on his doorstep to give him comfort and within six weeks the entire thing was written and Handel tells everyone that all of Heaven was revealed to him as he wrote.  Then the conductor always says, "I wonder what he saw," and then we sing, "Behold the Lamb of God". And then I weep like a baby.

4.)  The clarinetist had the BEST toupee.  I mean, it was epic.  He was clear across the room from us when we first spotted him and even from that distance we all were like, "niiiice."

5.)  The orchestra and choir are all volunteers so there's always a few squeaky and out of tune violins.  Which I love because it just reminds me that people do this sort of thing because they love it.  My voice is also squeaky and out of tune most of the time.  There is no judging here.

6.)  We sang the Hallelujah Chorus twice because it was so much fun.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lydia the Tattoed Lady

1.)  There are four more days left in NaNoWriMo and unless a freak finger accident is in my future it looks like I will finish.  That's right, I WILL FINISH!  I'm only 5000 words behind on my count, which, I have learned, is nothing.  I eat 5000 words for breakfast.

2.)  My toenails are a shiny gold right now and they make me feel very festive and also like a superhero.  It is my new favorite color.

3.) I saw The Muppets today and it was grand.  I mean, really.  And it got me thinking about one of my favorite clips from the old Muppet Show.  Enjoy

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Back

There is a lot to be thankful for.  I mean, really, a lot. And I'm not just talking about pie and stretchy pants here.  I am a very lucky girl.

One of the things I am most grateful for are unintentionally funny people.  To illustrate, here's a gem from tonight:

While sitting in a feast-induced coma my family ended up watching Wheel of Fortune and one of the contestants introduced himself thusly -

"Hi.  I'm Andrew from Chicago.  I have an adorable wife, an awesome cat named Squeemu, and I play the synthesizer."  He later went on to say his favorite movie was Godzilla vs. Mothra and when he made it to the final round it was revealed he was wearing red skinny jeans.

I must have worked off at least half of my mash potato calories from laughing.

Dear Andrew from Chicago, I am thankful for you.  Love, Rachel.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nick Lachey is a Robot

1.) Last night I watched my friend Heather's kids and we spent the whole two hours drawing, coloring and painting.  A while ago I told them about my ridiculously large collection of art supplies and they were eager to see them so I brought them along and they were sufficiently impressed.  I'm not going to lie, it's a pretty rad collection.  There are hundreds of crayons (in standard, neon, metallic, glitter and glow in the dark), colored pencils, pastels, watercolors, markers, and glitter paint.  It was kind of an awesome night.  I love Heather's kids (K said, "I think we should start an art society," as seven year olds do.) and I love to color and now I'm trying to figure out how to get other kids to color with me because it was so much fun.

2.)  I've done it.  I've made amazing rolls.  Year after year I try to make rolls and they always turn out sort of mediocre.  But I was trying out a new recipe for Thanksgiving and I wanted to give them a test run so I made some this afternoon and THEY ARE INCREDIBLE.  I feel victorious. (Fluffy Dinner Rolls from America's Test Kitchen baking cookbook.  ATK has never failed me.  I'm also making their sausage cornbread stuffing that I made last year and have been dreaming about ever since.)

3.)  Is anyone watching the Sing Off?  And is anyone else annoyed that Afro Blues was sent home?  And does anyone else think that Nick Lachey may be a robot?  He does not vary from his host mode at all.  From the inflection in his voice to his shiny shirt/black slacks combo to the way he stands with his hip a little out to the way he drops his arm when he's done talking, everything is exactly the same week to week.  It's creepy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I hope their turkey is dry too

Last night was rough.  I had to fight it out with Verizon for an hour and a half.

Me:  Do I need a new modem?
V: You may need a new modem.
Me:  So I need a new modem?
V: Maybe
Me: Can you just tell me?
V: I'm not saying you do, but you probably do.  Let me transfer you to someone who can sell you a new modem.
Me:  I hope the marshmallows on your candied yams burn on Thanksgiving.

All of this went on while I was having the Worst Cramps of my Life.  They were the full body kind that make you feel like someone took a meat tenderizer to your insides and then put on some brass knuckles and punched you a few times and then said mean things about your hair.  They were so painful that about an hour into the phone call I felt like I was about to black out, but then I willed myself to go on because so help me if all that back and forth was for not! It turns out that it was entirely for not as this morning Katie rearranged some of the wiring and ta-da we have internet again.

Which I am grateful for.  But I'm still hoping for disastrous yams.

Another thing I am grateful for...Los Angeles, and friends who want to have Adventures there.  Me, Katie, Heather and Andrea spent yesterday (before the Verizon/Cramp Summit of '011) cruising the city.  Andrea has lived here for several years but has never really seen anything so we took her all over the place.  Beverly Hills, the Farmers Market, the Biltmore, we rode Angels Flight (which is the cutest thing you can do in LA.  Best 25 cents you will ever spend.), and we capped it off with French dips at Philippe's.  I've lived here my whole life and you know how much I love it.  It's so much fun to show it off.  Maybe I should look into becoming a tour guide.  We saw a guy driving down Sunset in a van with no windows and the roof sawed off giving a tour to a family of red-heads.  I could totally do that.

And it has to be mentioned:  we started the morning off with breakfast at the Avocado House - Home of the Life Altering Cinnamon Swirl French Toast with Caramel Sauce.  I would not be surprised if that stuff could cure cancer.  At the very least it balanced out a night of cramps and a soul-crushing phone call with my internet provider.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kwik, someone get me a sedative

I'm putting Utah on notice for a gross misuse of the letter K.  Over the weekend I saw the following:
(none of the above were even at a KOA (which is also on notice) by the way)
I get it, these people want to make their business stand out.  They think they're being clever and cute and original.  So I just have a few gentle words for them. YOU'RE NOT BEING CLEVER!!!!  YOU'RE BEING DUMB!!!!  PEOPLE THINK YOU CAN'T SPELL AND THAT MEANS THEY WON'T COME TO YOUR SHOP BECAUSE ONLY A MORON WOULD MISSPELL QUANTUM TO GET ATTENTION AND WHO WANTS TO SUPPORT A MORON???!!????!!!!!!! 
Or maybe I just want people to not shop at places with intentionally misspelled words.  Maybe I think we should boycott those shops.  WHO'S WITH ME?!  (Note to self:  gather torches and pitchforks.)

Okay. Sorry about that.  It's a touchy subject for me.  A part of me dies when I realize grown ups do this sort of thing - as opposed to 13 year old girls, who are the only demographic who can legitimately get away with this as long as it's written in pink ink from a Hello Kitty pen. 

And I'm serious about the boycott.  We shall overcome!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let is snow...somewhere else.

Thursday night was a little busy for me and Katie.  Our friend Andrea and her husband were in town and we had been invited over for dinner at her parent's house.  And we were hosting book club afterwards.  And sometime during those activities we decided that Gina needed some quality Sister Time.  Now throw in packing and weekend-plans-and-responsibilities-adjusting and that made the night a late one.  By 5:30 the next morning we were on the road to Utah.  Adventure!

(Side note:  Growing up with my dad meant we always left on trips for Utah before the sun came up.  I think this hearkens back to the days when he was a kid and it used to take 20 hours to drive to Utah and you had to do it in an un-air conditioned car and you wanted to beat the heat of the desert.  Or he just likes getting up early and getting miles behind him.  Either way, it has been ingrained in us.  If you ever drive to Utah with me, I'm sorry, but we're leaving early.  I promise to bring good snacks and mixed CDs.) 

So I spent the weekend in Utah, doing things like: going to the BYU Singers concert which was good but long, more good than long, but still, long; making homemade Butterfingers, (it will freak you out how close these get to the real thing); taking naps while watching White Christmas; going to Five Guys for dinner (1st timer here.  I'm convinced.); visiting the other sibs and nephews and niece, who is, and I'm not even kidding here, the Cutest Sweetest Most Kissable Baby on the Planet; and going up to the Olympic Park in Park City where we were supposed to catch some bobsled races but missed it by like 10 minutes because the weather got too bad but we still got to see the athletes in their spandex man-pri uniforms.  The Swiss looked a little snooty.

Speaking of weather, maybe you don't know this but I think cold weather is for chumps.  And snow if for chumps with bad hair cuts.  When we got out of the car at Park City I very nearly rushed back in.  The wind.  Oh, the wind.  It was making the snow go all sideways.  And it wasn't pretty fluffy snow.  It was mini cannon balls of snow.  Ice pellets of mass destruction.

Guess what I'm saying in this picture as I'm standing in the snow and the cold and the wind:

Here, I'll help you.  I believe I was quoting Georgia, "WHAT IN THE NAME OF PANTS AM I DOING HERE?!?!?!"

This was me about 5 minutes later as we started marching into the wind towards the bobsled track:

10 seconds later I finally got smart and closed that top snap, making me all but invisible to the snow.

I will say this, snow is beautiful and this particular brand was perfect for snow balls, of which I made several.  But I am a delicate flower and could only handle about 20 minutes out in the elements.  The rest of our time was spent in the Olympic museum, where we watched highlights of the Salt Lake Games and I got totally pumped for the London Olympics (I want to start planning my Opening Ceremonies Party right this minute.)  We stopped off for some lunch when we got down the mountain, where it wasn't snowy but still cold and I noticed several people wandering around in shorts and flip flops, like they were in Maui or something.  I was aghast.  Particularly when a gust of wind came by that was so chilling it almost made me burst into tears.  When I asked Gina why people were dressed for the beach she said, "It's only 50 degrees."  I didn't want to hurt her feelings by insinuating she had lost her California roots but around these parts 50 degrees means you had better find your can opener and head down to the bunker because the end is nigh.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

No novel, but nicely trimmed nails

The continuing list of things I've done instead of NaNoWriMo includes:  trimming and filing my nails (I cannot be expected to type with long nails); searching every inch of my kitchen for an appropriate snack for writing (I thought it was popcorn but I was wrong); going to a friend's baby shower where I got to visit with the girls and snuggle a newborn; visiting another friend afterwards where I got to snuggle with her newborn (Oh boy, newborns.  They're kind of the best thing ever.); making paper Christmas ribbons

Ack!  I'm addicted.  And for what purpose.  It's not like I ever go out of my way to decorate presents.  And it's not like people are going to keep those forever if I do.  And yet, I can't stop.

For those of you interested I am officially 6051 words behind on my count.  But I have a plot.  A PLOT!  That I'm pretty sure I have stolen from every single book I love.  But at least I'm heading in some direction, right?

Do you know what else I have been up to instead of NaNoWriMo?  Going to my writing group.  I now belong to one with 3 friends.  We all have similar goals in regards to writing and recognized the need to be brave in order to achieve those goals so we got together for the first time last night to critique.  It was TERRIFYING!!!!  Because you may not know this but 99.5% of every single thing I write I think it garbage.  Oh, it's just so bad.  And I have learned that every other writer on the planet feels the exact same way.  So imagine how we all were feeling last night as we huddled around our little bits of work, anticipating confirmation that our fears are justified - we cannot write.  And then it turned out to be just the opposite - we found out that we could.  It was actually a really amazing experience for me.  We were all kind and helpful in our critique and no one left in tears.  And I came home inspired and ready to write.  And what did I do this morning?  Trimmed my nails and watched Gilmore Girls.  But I'm getting there.


In other news:  I'm a little annoyed at my Jehovah's Witness best friend Jason who occasionally stops by to give me pamphlets and invite me to conventions because while I was visiting my friend her own JWBFF came by and gave her a present for the baby.  What?!  Jason is totally slacking on this.  I was busy snuggling so I didn't get a chance to see them but had I been at the door I would have told them to pass it on to Jason that he can stop by anytime with a present.  At least wrap the Watchtower magazine in a bow.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Kids are Alright

I think you all need to give me a stirring round of applause.  Why?  Because I was released as the Primary President yesterday and I didn't cry church.  At home - different story.  Marvel at my self control!!! I've known it was coming for a few weeks now - which made last week's primary program even more of a tear-fest, and I actually have felt for some time now that it was imminent - I'm still the stake girls camp director and I made it clear that it was only through many, many miracles that I was able to do both this past year and that, while I was willing to do it again, maybe we shouldn't tax heaven so much the next time around.  So I was prepared.

But do you know what I wasn't prepared for?  How much I would love working in the Primary.  Before I got in I would hear people say, "I love being in Primary.  It's the best job in the whole church," and I was certain they were saying that just to make themselves feel better about the whole thing.  Because who wants to spend 2 hours of every Sunday with 40 kids making sure they don't poke someones eye out when you could be having deep doctrinal discussions with adults? 

Um, I do.  Because those kids are awesome.  They made me laugh every single week.  And they sometimes said the most profound and really sweet things.  And we got to sing a lot.  Remember how freaked out I was about the whole thing?  As all the kids were filing in on Sunday, giving me hugs and high fives, I felt like a total pro.

Next church adventure:  Nursery Assistant.  That's right - I'll be hanging with the toddler set, eating gold fish crackers and playing with bubbles.  I'm thinking of instituting nap time. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Confetti Gun!

Highlights from the Chino High School Band Review and Field Show Competition (which my sisters and I go to every year even though none of us were ever in band - we're just really big dorks and live for opportunities to cheer for people and eat snack bar food.)

1.)  During the parade one of the bands shot off confetti guns, instantly making them The Greatest Band There.  Those guns went off and every single person, young and old, shrieked in delight.  I wonder if they have little personal use sized confetti guns.  I think that would be fun to take into the bank.

2.)  We ate multiple things covered in nacho cheese.  WIN!

3.)  We always sit right in front of where the flag girls line up just before marching for the Rose Parade judges.  It is a joy to hear some of the things their coaches say to them, the best so far being, "Hands on hips, smiles on lips, ladies."  Which, of course, is my personal motto.  Also, we like to chat with the girls.  Well, not so much chat as say things like, "You look super sparkly,"  or "I love your hair extensions," or "We want to see some big smiles out there," as they're waiting to step off.  I like to believe it gives them that extra boost of confidence.

4.)  As usual we became best friends with everyone around us.  It's because we spread good cheer and crack jokes about flag girl costumes.  And we're loud.  We will not be ignored!  Anyway, we made friends with everyone around us including Charlene the 53 year old flight attendant who came by herself even though she didn't know anyone in the competition (or have a deep rooted family tradition of going) and started off the conversation by saying, "You girls are so funny.  I just came from a stand up class in Burbank and I've been listening to you and you're hilarious.  I came here to meet men but you can never have too many girlfriends."  She then spent the rest of the evening telling me about her glory days as a majorette and trying to convince us to come to another band competition in two weeks.  I told her that if she brought her baton and stormed the field I'd consider it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The pinata, the pinata

Camille just messaged me to say that they're having a pinata at work today.  She's the secretary at an Institute of Religion* and Mormon college kids are notoriously goofy, so it's not surprising.  In fact, the only job I've had where that sort of thing could potentially happen was my student job at BYU in the Alumni House.  We had treats every Friday and sloppy joe parties and Wear Your Overalls to Work Day (this applied mostly to our bosses (as it was the 90s and overalls were big with the kids) who were of an age that believed overalls were only worn on the farm.) On the first day of Spring every year we would all run down to the front lawn and frolic for 15 minutes.  I cannot believe I didn't take advantage of the high caliber of fun that group possessed and suggest a pinata.

But now I know.  Any job interview I go to from here on out I will ask, "What's your company's policy on pinatas?"  A girl has got to have standards.

*Place where religious classes are taught for college-age kids.  Known for their pool tables, abundance of snacks, and loitering youth.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My mantra for this month is: If Tyra can do it, so can I!

I'm doing NaNoWriMo this month.  That's right, folks, it's time I got around to writing a novel.  By the end of November I should have at least 50,000 words and an ulcer because the truth is, I've never written that much in my life.  Well, that much of one thing.  I do better writing short things like blog posts and thank you notes.  Every time I have attempted a novel I've gotten about 30 pages in and decided that 1.)  I'm a talentless hack, 2.)  I have no imagination, and 3.)  I'm going to give it all up and learn how to do something that will actually make me money like cosmetology.

But can you think of a better time to do it than right now?  I'm a woman of elegant leisure.  I have all the time in the world.  So what if I don't have an imagination.  Or a plot.  Or realistic and interesting characters.  They say that all you really need is a deadline and November 30th is pretty firm.

But take a look at my list of activities this morning and see how this could play out:

Turned on my computer, all set to write
Checked my email
Checked Google Reader
Read a few articles in the LA Times
Read up on Kim Kardashian getting a divorce (I'm pretty ashamed about that one)
Fixed myself some breakfast
Talked myself out of playing a round of online Scrabble
Wrote this blog post instead

David Franzen (who writes big books) said he removed all games from and physically disabled the Net portal on the computer he writes on.  I totally get why.  Distractions are the death knell of my creativity.

But I'm determined.  So feel free to ask me how the writing is coming along.  Check in to make sure I'm keeping up with my daily word count goal (2000/day).  Ask me if I have finally come up with a plot line that involves the characters doing more than just sitting and watching TV for 100 pages.

Tyra did it (sort of)(I mean, she wrote a lot of words).  Surely I can too.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Candy Corn Cuteness

Happy Halloween (tomorrow)!  My ward has already had their party.  I went as a candy corn

My cuteness knows no bounds.

It's felt, natch.  But the flash gave it a sheen, thus making me look like Judy Jetson in her space age ice cream parlor uniform.  I added that orange band around the hat because without it looked like the Pope's.

In other news:  We had our Primary sacrament meeting presentation* today and the kids KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK.  They were so calm and poised and not a single one of them showed any sign of nerves.  Even my little four year old who refused to say his part in any of the practices we had finally lifted his head and spoke into the mic.  They all sang loud and clear and were so sweet and funny and cute.  Ugh, those kids.  They're the best.

*Mormon Glossary:  The 3-11 year old set gets to take over the main portion of church and share what they have been learning.  It is, by far, the best Sunday of the year.  Aside from them being so sweet and adorable you know that at any moment one of them could absolutely lose it.  It's kind of thrilling.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A stroke is no excuse.

Hey, head on over to my family's blog for a Mom-fest.  It's her birthday.  There are cute pictures and a mention of her legendary chocolate chip cookies. 

In other news, I am continuing my campaign to teach people the proper way to drive through a four-way stop.  There's one near Katie's school that she has regularly written off to the devil.  In the last week I have had to drive through it a number of times and she's right - it is Satan's handiwork.  People seem to just go whenever they feel like it.  Today, for example, I came to a stop about a second after the person to my right, which gave her the right of way.  Even if we got there at the same time, she still had the right of way.  But she didn't go.  I gave her a very generous 5 seconds and a wave and she still didn't go.  So I decided that she was having a stroke and headed into the intersection.  It wasn't until I was directly in front of her car that she decided that it was, in fact, her turn to go and proceeded forward, nearly slamming into my car in the process and angrily honking at me as I drove off.  Last week I went through when there was a line of cars on all four sides.  Bedlam.

Maybe I'll use my current status as a Woman of Elegant Leisure and Ample Free Time to stand out there and direct traffic.  I've always wanted to do that.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Don't put too much mustard on the hotdog, Captain"

The Fam spent the weekend up at Big Bear Lake.  It was, as anyone who knows my family can imagine, a 48 hour laugh riot.  Activities included playing games like Reverse Charades (no joke, folks, this is the Funniest Game I've Ever Played Period.), figuring out how to get the water on (we were at a friend's cabin and the city had turned the water off, unbeknownst to all of us), smoking out the game room by trying to light one measly fire, eating lots of ice cream cones, several trips down the Alpine Slide (weeeeeeee!!!!!), and watching Dad demonstrate yoga poses (could possibly rival Reverse Charades for funniest moment.)

In addition to all of that some of us took a boat tour around the lake.  This was notable for two reasons. 

1.) As we boarded the boat we noticed that a few people were a little over dressed.  There was an old woman in a fur coat.  Another with an enormous flower in her hair.  And a man dressed in a slick suit with one of those collarless dress shirts that I find so distasteful.  He was sitting near us and we kept calling him the Reverend.  Turns out we were right because halfway through the tour Captain Jack (really) announced that we were in for a surprise.  A couple was going to be married at the bow.  So we all headed out to watch the ceremony.  Super sweet.  It was just the two of them and their moms (Fur Coat and Flower Head), one of whom was totally surprised by it.  They exchanged rings that were still attached to those floating key chain contraptions.  And near the end a fisherman on a nearby boat must have caught something because he gave out quite a whoop.  It was joyous.

2.)  After the wedding we cruised back up the lake and passed by the town of Fawnskin (which years ago I visited and wrote about while lamenting about not having any friends with boats.)  Captain Jack asked if any of us remembered from earlier in the tour what the people who live there are called.  I was the only one to respond, "Fawnskinians." The captain was so excited that someone was actually paying attention that I decided to take advantage of the situation and ask if I could drive the boat.  Some of you may not even consider asking a captain if you can take the helm.  That just shows that some of you lack imagination.  One of the rules for a Life of Elegant Leisure and Grand Adventure is:  when given the opportunity to drive the boat, take it.  Who knows how many people you will impress when you open up a conversation with "So I was captaining a large vessel across Big Bear Lake..."  I am thrilled to report that he let me.  I made my way up to the wheelhouse and he handed me the captains hat and showed me how to keep her on course and continued on with the tour while I guided us to port.  After deftly avoiding running over a local fisherman I waved to the crowd to let them know everything was under control and Captain Jack (or, you know, my first mate) said possibly the best line all day, "Don't put too much mustard on the hotdog, Captain."  Which would become my life motto, except that I'm a firm believer in lots of mustard.  You don't get to wear the captains hat by skimping on the mustard.

Me, at the helm.

My boat.  A grander vessel there never was.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nacho Cheese

Camille photographed the wedding of our cousin Jessica to Alan on Saturday and I stood in as her assistant.  (My main duties were basically shading her lens and holding the bouquet and saying things like, "Ooh, that's a good shot," and "Nice."  My services are available to all photographers, but I don't come cheap.)  Those two love birds were professionals.  It's like they take wedding pictures every single day.  Or have read Modelland  cover to cover.  They were relaxed and funny and made the job super easy.  The whole day was actually quite lovely.  Partly because on the way home from the temple we had decided we needed Slurpees and thought we'd do a proper gas station lunch:

Slurpees, nachos and a candy bar.  The perfect meal, right?  While not technically a food (and I'm not ever sure it could even be considered a fake food), nacho cheese is my guilty pleasure.  It's creamy and cheesy and orange, three things I love!  And my Slurpee was the perfect mixture of Pina Colada, Cherry Orange, and Citrus Blast.  That is some fine dining, my friend.

What is your guilty pleasure food (real or fake)?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pork Bun, Revisited

Remember this?  Of course you do, it was last week.  You're no dummy.

Well, Gina and Camille have started to lovingly refer to each other as Pork Bun.  The other morning Camille got a text from Gina saying, "Call me when you wake up," so she did and they chatted and at the end Gina said, "You know what my original text to you was?  'Hey Pork Bun, call me when you wake up.'" Camille asked why she didn't send it and Gina responded, "I did, except that I sent it to my friend by accident."  Her friend called her and asked, "Was this meant for me?" and Gina explained.  And then her friend said, "Do you really call your sister Pork Bun?" 

Doesn't everyone?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gifts from a Kiwi

EEEEEEE!!!!!!!  Guess what arrived on my doorstep today!  A package from New Zealand!!!!!!  This blog has introduced me to some lovely little Kiwis who not only are funny and sweet and thoughtful but who send me things.  I love friends and I love packages.  Win win!  (Also, I love this blog.  Who knew it would bring me so much joy.)

Tessy wanted something felty but I can't take orders from people outside of the US because of the whole money exchange business so I said we could just make a swap.  I could send her something made of felt and she could send me something unique to her area, like a Hobbit.

Boy, did she.  Well, not a Hobbit.  She did say she looked for the One Ring but that was destroyed on Mount Doom.

But she made up for it in snacks.  Behold the New Zealandy loot:

There's candies (one called Pineapple Lumps - which is the must unfortunate and unappetizing name ever - that are like Charleston Chews but pineapple flavored.  Yum.) and Marmite (I'm going to give it another try after my first and only attempt 20 years ago of eating fermented yeast, which did not end well.) and Milo (a chocolate beverage which I plan to wash the Marmite down with.), some music, a lovely necklace, a book and postcards, a calendar and a NZ flag and an All Blacks flag (go All Blacks!)(that's rugby)(there's a World Cup going on right now and truthfully I don't follow the sport but it just seems appropriate now to root for them.) and a mini Buzzy Bee which is a toy that was made popular thanks to Prince William the Toddler, and a map so when I go out to visit I will know where I can find and hug my favorite people.

And for something truly unique, there is some yarn made of possum wool.  You read right.  Wool made from possum.  I don't know about you folk but around here possums aren't the most luxurious creatures.  And doing a little research it looks like possum wool is unique to New Zealand (Teresa, our resident yarn expert who only reads this blog about once every 3 months, can verify).  So I'm trying to imagine in a country that has more sheep than humans why someone would look to the possum and say, "I'd like to make a sweater out of that."  They must be velvety soft down there.  The yarn looks and feels like regular old, non-vermin yarn so keep your eye out for some sort of scarf in the near future.

Thanks Tessy!  I'm going to learn the New Zealand national anthem and sing it while marching around my apartment waving the flag.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Modelland, gross hair, cream puffs and surviving consumption

1.)  I've survived the consumption.  Although I've had a bit of a relapse last night and today.  Because yesterday I had a burst of energy after holing up in my apartment and watching countless hours of Gilmore Girls (what else is a girl to do in such a weakened condition). I ended up cleaning my bathroom, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the kitchen, including moping the floor, shopping for fabric, shopping for groceries, visiting my mom, making a Halloween costume for a friend, making cream puffs and hosting book club.  By the time the ladies left last night it hit me that I was nigh unto death and I was in bed within 10 minutes.  A record.  But book club is always worth it. 

2.)  If you're going to have a book club you should read the Wednesday Wars.  And not just because it's a great book.  But also because cream puffs play a dominant part in it.  Which means that when your friends come over for book club they'll bring an assortment of cream puffs.  We had 4 different kinds.  You cannot beat that.

3.)  Stacy convinced me to try not shampooing my hair.  As in, get it wet and condition it and rinse it out, just don't shampoo.  She's been doing it (or rather, not doing it) for a few weeks now and claims her hair has become luxurious.  And truly, it looked that way when we Skyped on Sunday.  So I gave it a shot this morning.  EPIC FAIL.  When my hair dried it looked like I had soaked it in left over cooking oil and then styled it with lard.  And then it hit me - I already have decent hair, minus the tumbleweediness and robust cowlicks.  Why change anything?  Shampoo it is.

4.)  I finished Modelland.  It is the crappiest book I've ever read in my entire life.  Holy Cats in a Bag, it is so bad.  If I didn't love Tyra and her loony ways it would have been a nightmare for me.  I wouldn't have made it past page 20.  It is so bedazzled with descriptions of the craziest things - things I can't even recount or describe because there were so, so, so many. There were several moments (ok, every page) that I thought, "Is this even a book?  Or did Tyra's brain just vomit all over these pages?"  Which is to say, it was awesome.  I will be hosting a dramatic reading from it in a few weeks.  You are all invited and must come prepared to smize.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


am dying of consumption...please send ice cream.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How do you say angry in Chinese?

Okay, so I'm going to show you this picture first to make it clear I was an adorable child.

That's me in the hat on my first birthday.  And that's Gina, flashing her knickers.

Now that we have established that, here's another picture:

Gina's all "Look at my luxurious bangs."  And I'm all, "Who stole my pork bun?" Because I have clearly morphed into a very angry 80 year old Chinese woman.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A short list of good things

1.)  Watching Casablanca outside on a big screen and remembering that it's an awesome movie.
2.)  Warming my hands on a cup of hot chocolate after watching Casablanca outside and fah-REEZING.
3.)  Finding out the Tigers beat the Yankees while warming my hands on hot chocolate.  WOOT!
4.)  Coming home and Katie remembering that she brought me a left over Lil' Debbie brownie.  Ah, childhood.
5.)  Watching Parks and Recreation while bundled up in my Dodger snuggie.
6.)  Finally getting around to switching to October on my Abba wall calendar and finding this picture:

Nice overalls, Bjorn.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pajama Day

It was a pajama day.

For the record, I did change out of my jim-jams today.  I changed from a shorter pair of jammy pants to a longer, warmer pair of jammy pants and put on a different t-shirt, which I then covered with a sweatshirt, because suddenly it's all cold and fall like around here.  And also, for the record, I showered and washed my hair and shaved my legs.  And I put on a bra, which connotes some level of responsibility, right?  But I wore pj's all day long.

Even though I spend the majority of my time at home these days I still make it a point to get dressed and do my hair and put on mascara because it makes me feel more like a human being who is an active part of society.  I find that I am way more productive when I get myself ready for the day, even if it is just to fill out online job applications.  But the odds were stacked against me today. 

1.)  It rained all day.  I have mentioned here before that I have a made-up condition called weather paralysis which means that I feel like I am not capable of doing anything but eat cheese and watch Pride & Prejudice when it's cold and rainy. 

2.)  I have two of the largest zits that have ever sprouted on any face in the history of all zits.  And faces.  Which is a really long time.  What I am saying is that they are enormous and if mascara and non-stretchy pants makes me feel human, these zits make me feel like an alien from the planet Sad And Tragic.

3.)  Also from the planet Sad And Tragic, I woke up with a sty.  Gah.

4.)  Did I mention is was cold and rainy?

So, you see, it HAD to be a pajama day.  And I did, in fact, eat cheese and watch Pride and Prejudice, all 5 hours, while hunched over my crafting desk, submerged in felt.  Apparently I can be productive without mascara.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This and That and Tyra

1.  We don't watch a lot of Wheel of Fortune around here but when we do Katie kills it.  She's a Wheel savant.  It will be a 15 word phrase and she'll get it with two letters up there.  I usually don't even have it by the time the contestants have bought all the vowels and they keep spinning to get more money.  So I felt pretty good about myself tonight when I got one before she did.  Woot!  But what I really felt great about was recognizing one of contestants as a very bit character from Gilmore Girls who's maybe been in like 10 scenes total.  And there she was spinning for cash.  So I'm a Gilmore Girls savant.

2.  After dinner I said, "I could use some chocolate cake right now," and Katie said, "There's a recipe for individual microwave chocolate cake in the Food Network Magazine," (which, for the record, is a great magazine.  Trust your friend.  You'll want to make every recipe.)  I am very suspicious of things being cooked in a microwave.  Warmed up in a microwave, sure.  But baked?  I don't know.  (I wonder if the folks in Days of Yore felt this way about the gas range.)  But a girl has got to take a few risks if she wants cake.  And ta-da!  It worked.  Chocolate cake in under 10 minutes.  Revolutionary!  It's more souffle-ish, and it could definitely use some whipped cream or frosting or chocolate sauce, and the recipe makes more that I could eat (can you believe that?), but who am I to complain about such speedy results?

3.  I'm reading Tyra Banks' book Modelland and it is the Capital of Crazytown.  I'm marking my favorite passages and I think I need to host a dramatic reading.  Who's interested?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Beware the Waters!

For the last month the water here has both tasted and smelled like dirt.  I asked Katie and she said she didn't taste or smell anything.  I went out to eat with Holly to a place in Claremont where the water also tasted like dirt (yeah, Claremont, even you) and she said she couldn't taste anything.  I was beginning to think that I had a brain tumor that was affecting my senses.  I would die a poor spinster, alone with my felt. 

But it wasn't a tumor.  It was just my mutant sense of smell.  Because 3 days after I had the bad water in Claremont I got a text from Holly saying it was bad in LaVerne.  And at the same time I was down in Chino at the old homestead and it was gross there too, and I wasn't the only one who thought so.  And then suddenly Katie could taste it at our place.  And then my dad told me today that he heard on the radio that the water supply for western San Bernardino County and Eastern LA County (I live about 1 mile from the county line.  I'm at the epicenter of bad water.) has an algae bloom that's causing the water to taste like dirt.  Fantastic.  We can all rejoice that I'm not going to die alone with my felt, and they claim that it is harmless and are handling the situation.  But even so, my water still tastes and smells like it's being pumped in from a pond. 

On a tangential note, last night I had to make a quick run into Stater Bros. to pick up some hamburger buns and the man in front of me at the check out was buying 20 cans of Friskies cat food and 20 packets of Kool-aid mix.  I initially thought that he was throwing a party for his cats but now I'm wondering if he's trying to mask the taste of the nasty water.  I like his style (even though he looked like a hobo).  I'm always up for Kool-aid.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Haftan

The nice thing about not having any extra money to spend is that I can try on whatever clothes I want without having to worry about the cost.  Everything is outside of my budget so why not try everything on?  I had an hour to kill before the movie last night so I headed over to Macy's to play dress up and while perusing the selection came across this little number:

You guys!  It's an orange and cream zebra print halftan!!*  Because of the spending moratorium the only price that would have worked for me was free but oh how I laughed myself silly in the dressing room.  It is so Golden Girls!  Doesn't it just make your day?!  And don't you wish it came with a turban, a pair of silk pants, and a stack of personalized stationary?  If it did I could go as a legitimate Woman of Elegant Leisure for Halloween.

I'm not sad about leaving it in the store because twice before I have found pieces that I loved during a spending moratorium and have gone back months later once I could spend again and have found them significantly reduced and in my size.  If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.  And then I can get down to some serious lounging.  A turban should be easy to make, right?

*A caftan that only goes to the hips. Rotating the picture cut off the bottom.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The community who watches musicals together stays together.

There's a very large outdoor mall around here and they're showing old movies out on their grassy knoll on Thursday nights.  Tonight was Singin' in the Rain so Katie and I headed over.  I cannot pass up Singin' in the Rain.  It is one of my favorites.  Also, I cannot pass up watching a movie outside on a balmy autumn night while eating Mexican food.  Perfect?  If a Slurpee had been involved it would have been.

The group sitting next to us were clearly super fans.  You know how much I love super fans.  One of the guys was laughing at (and I'm not exaggerating) every single funny line, like it was his first time seeing it, and also like he was drunk, which I don't think he was.  I am a big proponent of communal events such as this for the simple reason that people who go to these types of things go with the intent of enjoying themselves.  It makes for a nice crowd.

It's Victoria Gardens if any of you locals are interested.  Next week is Casablanca, if you'd like to join us.  The movie starts around 6:45.

Because I'm curious, what is your favorite musical?  Mine - The Sound of Music.  Duh.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chocolate Frosty is Redundant

Does it bother anyone else when you order a Frosty at Wendy's and the drive-thru gals asks, "A chocolate Frosty?"  As if a Frosty, by it's very definition, isn't chocolate.  I know that Wendy's is coming out with all of these other Frosty-like concoctions but a Frosty is first and foremost a CHOCOLATE frozen treat.  If it's not chocolate it's not a Frosty.  If I wanted something vanilla (I'm just being hypothetical here) I would have specified.

I never say anything because I remember how it was way back in the day when I worked the concession stand at a movie theater.  Normal, functioning, educated people turn into blithering chimps when they order food.  At least once a night someone would ask for a Coke, I'd hand it to them, they'd drink half of it and proclaim that they wanted a Dr. Pepper.  People would walk down the length of the counter looking in every single candy case, which were all stocked with the same things, and ask for Jordan Almonds, which we did not sell.  They would ask for fresh popcorn, meaning they wanted us to stand right next to the kettle, wait for it to pop out and catch it in the bag for them.  And then they'd eat half the bag and ask for it to be topped off.

I suppose I should be happy that the kid at the drive-thru is just trying to be thorough.  But it still feels like an affront to all that we hold dear in this country to consider a Frosty to be anything but chocolate.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Noses Knows

After one hour of sitting in a room full of women wearing perfume the skin around my lips and eyes started to get tight and tingle, my cheeks were hot, my throat burned, my eyes felt fuzzy, my head hurt, and worst of all, the deep inner ear itch set in.  And even hours after I can still smell it.  It's like a bad house guest has moved into my nostrils.

Wolverine has awesome claws for his mutant power.  I have a nose.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crafty McCrafterson Over Here

I've been crafty lately.  The hint of fall (as in, it cooled down to 80 the other day) and all this free time has accommodated that.  Some recent crafty things:

1.)  Oh, wait, but first, I got serious about organizing my craft desk.  It's this old roll-top that a roommate left behind (Amanda?) and when I'm in the midst of a project it is a wreck.  There are scraps of felt and teeny beads everywhere.  And the felt is normally bulging at all points.  So I got down to business and organized it all.  That felt is packed so tight in there I'm afraid one minor earthquake or a sound door slam or my wonderful upstairs neighbors (whom I love, really and truly I do and they are so nice and neighborly about the whole thing and only exercise during the day so it's hard to be bothered, although I think they may be made of steel) doing their P90X and the whole collection will come exploding out of it shelves.

Things of note:  There are tons of drawers and they're all filled with fabric and yarn and needles and hooks and patterns and fasteners and notions; I'm in love with my ribbon collection; That thing on the top left?  it's an old train signal that belonged to my great grandpa, who was an engineer, and Katie and I borrowed if from our parents for a party we were throwing where we needed mood lighting, I think it was Liz's Beatnik Poetry Reading Birthday Party - which, it must be stated, was a resounding success.

2.)  Speaking of hooks, I got tired of my crochet hooks just rolling around in the needle and hook drawer. So I made them a cute bag

You can get handy hook organizers just about anywhere but I have found that they are kind of bulky.  This is compact and also, cute.

3.)  My pal (and Sister In Arms in the Pursuit of Social Awkwardness and Anxiety)(T, I'm going to needlepoint that on a pillow for you) Teresa, commissioned this

It's not just a cute bag (I'm clearly on a drawstring kick).  Look inside.

Monkey and alligator finger puppets!  For that terrifying kiddie song 5 Little Monkeys Swinging In A Tree, where the alligator sneaks up on them and snatches them out of the tree, presumably to feed them cookies, I HOPE.

4.)  And finally, in the pursuit of trying to get rid of some of my crafty stuff (if only to make room for more), I have made an afghan from scrap yarn.

I like how it turned out.  But, sadly, I can't keep it.  Because I already have stacks and stacks of blankets.  And I live in a place that doesn't often require them.  And if the point of making it was to create more space then it's got to go.  Which is me saying it's yours for the asking.  If no one wants it I'll just hand it over to the DI, which was the original plan. But if you can give it a home, just let me know. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Woman of Elegant Leisure Strikes Again

Did you hear I'm looking for work...again.  Ugh.  My time at the Pod came to an end a few weeks ago.  I miss everyone there, but I do not miss, among other more serious things which we will not discuss, the smell of old people or the occasional glimpse of a foot that looks like meatloaf.  (Have I mentioned to you to avoid diabetes like the plague.  Because I think it may actually be a plague.  Like toads and locusts type of plague.  Egad, the horror.)  It was a good run, and I knew it would only be temporary and, let's face it, what other job would let me flit off to Africa for 3 months and still welcome me back with open arms?  The answer is:  no other job.  So I'm grateful for the time there, but do so miss a regular income. 

Being back on the job hunt has reminded me how much I hate the job hunt.  Mostly because it feels like an enormous waste of time.  You're basically spending a lot of time putting out feelers and sending out resumes and filling out online applications that take all morning to complete (read: this morning).  Only to hear nothing but your bank account gasping for breath in the distance.  I recognize the importance of all this effort (I went for an interview last week and the guy gave me an A. Like, he literally wrote it on the top of my resume.  I high fived myself!) and I certainly put the time in but it gets old not seeing a whole lot of results.  Also, did you know how many scam job postings there are on Craigslist?  Possibly a gajillion. 

So, there's that.  But there's also the joy of a free schedule.  I love going to the grocery store in the morning with the other old ladies.  I love going to gym when the gym rats aren't there to disturb my workout with all their grunting and preening.  I love writing a little itinerary out for myself every night (8:00 am, make breakfast, 8:30 am make something funny out of felt, etc.) and checking things off my to-do list.  One day the Wealthy Benefactor will come along and he'll be amazed at how well I fill my leisure time.  I'm a pro at it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Girly Things

At book club tonight it struck me that what we talk about is exactly what men imagine large groups of women talk about.  That is:  bras, cramps, chocolate, labor and boobs.  We also talk about other things, like the book, but we will always come back around to those 5 standards.  I'm not ashamed.  Because we always have such a grand time. 

Tonight, we were discussing Persuasion and the topic turned to the various adaptations.  The best is the 1995 Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root version.  Do not try to convince me otherwise.  But the more recent and substandard BBC version came up, which meant that I had to do my impersonation of Anne Elliot as she races across Bath, leaping over baskets and invalids in the street, in search of Captain Wentworth.  A scene which, by the way, did not happen in the book because it would have been a scandal.  What Jane Austen heroine ever ran - except for perhaps Harriet Smith when she's being pestered by the gypsies.  No, it is too ridiculous.  Anyway, all that sprinting ends with The Most Awkward Kiss in Cinematic History.  Naturally we had to pull out the copy and show everyone:

Oh, how we howled.  We shrieked and cringed and howled with laughter. 

And then we ate PMS Brownies and talked about boobs some more.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It Was a Good Day at the Fair

I missed the LA County Fair last year because I was busy being hit on by Tunisian date farmers.  An experience I would not have passed up, so it's no complaint.  But while Tunisia does have an abundance of men offering you 300 camels to stay in the Sahara with them, it does not have many deep-fried things on sticks.  So I was understandably eager to return this year.

1.)  There was an entire display in the student arts & science exhibit of famous scientists made out of felt.  And suddenly I did not feel so alone in the world.

Ben Franklin
Jane Goodall

Edward Scissorhands

2.  I don't gamble, but were I to start it would be on horses.  I LOVE watching a horse race.  And not just because it reminds me of the Ascot scene in My Fair Lady (Definitely one of my all time favorite movie scenes.  Ever.)  It's just so exciting to pick a horse - based almost exclusively on how pretty I think it is - and cheer it on.

3.  The majority of the stuff you can buy at the fair is pretty dumb.  Like this toilet paper holder.

Friends, If I see this in your home I will be so embarrassed for you that I won't be able to look you in the eye ever again. 

But if I see that you have purchased this:

as we did, then I will think you the smartest of all people.  A slushy maker!  And it really works!  You put your chosen beverage in the cup with the special ice cubes and shake and in a minute you have a slushy!  It is, as the sign says, magic.

4.  My dream of all fair dreams is to win 1st prize for jam.  Not that I'm an exceptional jam maker.  I make strawberry jam every year and it turns out fine but I feel like one of these times something magical will happen and I'll make a sensational batch and that blue ribbon will be mine.

5.  Let's face it, if it weren't for fair food the place wouldn't be nearly as charming.  The only problem is that there are so many options you don't know where to start.  Here's the trick, get one of everything and share.  We had the usual, chocolate milk, corn dog, bloomin' onion, funnel cake, ice cream, but we also tried something new - the Potato Tornado:

A potato on a stick, deep fried and covered in a suspicious, yet delicious, powdery substance.  Winner.

6.  And finally, a tip:  DON'T RIDE THE RIDES!

You guys!  That is a ROLLER COASTER ON STACKS OF WOOD!!!!  No doubt set up by some 17 year old carnie making minimum wage with an acne problem that is only slightly less worse than his marijuana problem.  We could have tossed our stick from the Potato Tornado at it and the whole thing would have crumbled.