Tuesday, December 31, 2013
To which I say, if this is all the bad things that happened then fine, I'll take it. Those are hardly tragedies. In fact it's been a year of grand adventure (as all years should be.) Look, there have been plenty of rough patches in 2013. But it's hard to complain when life hands so you much joy.
This was the year I:
Went to New York with my sisters
Met Neil Gaiman
Became a godmother
Learned to not hate exercise
Went to a play-off game for the Dodgers
Sang "My Favorite Things" with Julie Andrews
Talked to Mock Turtleneck Guy
Found the Best Ice Cream in the Los Angeles
Did two days at the tennis tournament instead of just one
Met an astronaut
Memorized the order of the presidents
Survived my first year of early morning seminary and started a new one
Went to the circus for the first time
Saw New Kids on the Block from the luxury suite
Drove up the central coast with a bunch of wild teenagers
Made chocolate covered bacon
Went to the temple more
Went to lots of sing alongs
Read a lot of books
Had lots of Art Society meetings
Ditto that for book club
Laughed a lot with friends and family
See, it's been great. Even if only half of these things happened I'd still consider it a success because there's so much to love about life (okay, truthfully, all I really needed was Prancercising.) And I'm grateful that you come around here from time to time and share in the joy. It's an honor to have you be a part of it. Here's to a new year full of wonder. And Slurpees.
Friday, December 27, 2013
4. Christmas Eve brunch buffet at the Avocado House. Caramel syrup for everyone!
7. Lots of Addie time. I cannot adequately express to you how cute this kid is. Oh, sure, you've seen pictures, but they don't do her any justice. She has the most adorable personality and we would all spend hours just watching her babble to herself. And now she's gone and we're in the depths of despair. COME BACK TO US ADELAIDE!
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
I'll tell you about Julie Andrews and the Knecht Family Party hootenanny and the impromptu trip to Disneyland later. But right now I just want to say that I hope your Christmas is merry and bright and that the Spirit of Christ fills your homes and your hearts.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
And then I had a flashback to the day when I applied for a job and the woman doing the interview looked at my handwriting and said, "That's almost identical to mine." And she pulled out a piece of paper and started writing and she was not kidding. We were writing twins. Very spooky. I got the job and we ended up being eerily similar in many ways.
And then again, I just finished up reading Rebecca where the New Mrs. de Winter keeps talking about how sharp and decisive Rebecca's handwriting was. She's haunted by it because she has such weak handwriting and how can Maxim ever love her and her inelegant hand? How, indeed! And it struck me that for however long people have been writing they have been commenting on it. And someday in the near future that won't happen anymore.
Then today I read an article about how important it is to still teach cursive in school. A lot of places have taken it right out of their curriculum. I'm not as broken up about it as you might imagine. The article was a little preachy and the gist of it was that it boosts kids' self esteem to master script. Hogwash, I say. If anything learning cursive gave me anxiety. I could never get the letters to look how they were supposed to look when I always could in printing. And if I based my self worth on how nice my T's looked then that would be a sad thing indeed. But naturally, it made me want to dust off the old cursive:
Isn't it strange how we all learned cursive and we still break through and write how we want. I mean, I really applied myself to it. I did all those worksheets as a kid and still my writing has evolved to look nothing like how I was taught. Oh, how I agonized over those Ts. And also the lowercase r. I could never get that second corner.
But it is a little sad that kids today are missing out on the joy of writing the cursive Z. I still use it because it's just so satisfying. When I wrote out Zarahemla (a place in the Book of Mormon) on the board in class the other day, the kids did not know what it was.
This is just a really long way of saying, "Handwriting. Am I right?"
Friday, December 13, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
Any ideas as to why these North Korean soldiers are patrolling in heals. I mean, they have tread which will help them chase their fleeing countrymen across the ice but that's where the practicality ends. Also, is Number Two wearing sensible pumps with blue socks? Yes. North Korea is a glorious mystery.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Do you want to know the most strenuous thing I did today? I lifted 6 pizzas. But the rest of the day consisted mainly of sitting and talking, so a normal full day. And still I came home completely wiped out. Which is to say that I'm back among the living, just not 100%. And that's ok. I'll take what I can get.
I took off Monday and Tuesday and made it 4 whole hours on Wednesday, which felt like an enormous accomplishment. And I don't have the death rattle any more. I think we caught the shingles early enough to not be so miserable as I remember. And I can stand for longer than 5 minutes. Progress.
But what I really want to say is that I'm surrounded by the nicest people on the planet. My refrigerator full of soup can attest to it. People dropped by with food and sympathy, and countless more offered. My seminary class was taken care of (like early morning seminary is the easiest thing to sub for on a few hours notice.) And everyone has been so helpful and wonderful. I have felt very taken care of. So thanks. If any of you want letters of recommendations as a friend I'll write you a glowing one.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Which was how I ended up at the doctors this morning. "Sure, Rachel. Of course you were at the doctors. This is what normal people do." Except that I haven't been to a doctor in about 6 years. Mostly because I didn't have insurance for a lot of those years but also because I never think I'm sick enough to see a doctor.
I'm going to suggest to my doctor that he starts creating categories for patients based on their level of tolerance. Because you know there are people out there who go in for a runny nose. They get one little paper cut and they're off to the doctor. And then there are people like me who only go in if limbs are starting to fall off. I want to have a sticker on my chart that says, "She's not kidding. She's really suffering. Desperation drove her here. Please just give her drugs and let her go home."
Because when the doctor said to me, "I'm not going to give you anything for the bronchitis but if you get to the point of extreme exhaustion and you have to drag yourself out of bed to do anything then give me a call," I wanted to yell, "I'M THERE! I'VE BEEN THERE FOR DAYS NOW! WHY DO YOU THINK I'M HERE!!! AND LOOKING LIKE A HOBO!!! I DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH ENERGY TO PUT ON MASCARA!!! I HAD EXACTLY ENOUGH ENERGY TO PUT ON A BRA AND BRUSH MY TEETH AND DRIVE MYSELF HERE!!!!!" Except that I was too exhausted to scream and simply said, "Give me the drugs." Which he did. A lot of them (I had to make a spreadsheet of when to take each one.) Because on top of acute bronchitis I also have shingles. And they're fighting against each other for my attention which is why I'm getting worse and why I'm so tired.
So I got a lot of drugs, and while I was at it I also got a flu shot and a DTAP vaccination, because why not. And then he noticed that I was due for a pap smear and suggested I could have that done today and then I punched him in the face. No. Not really. Remember I can barely lift my arms. Which was just his dumb luck.
If you need me, I'll be in my bed.
PS. This is my second time around with shingles. I'm not looking forward to the next few weeks.
PS2. One of my antibiotics doesn't work if I have any dairy, which is seriously cutting into my Season of Eggnog.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Along with being entertaining it is also a really beautiful experience to sing those songs. You know how much of a sucker I am for a sing-along. This may be my favorite one.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
But how about this one: "warm gelatinous ham fat."
I chose ham for our Institute Thanksgiving feast simply because I did not want to have to deal with the turkey neck and innards. I did that last year and I think I'm set for life. So I got a bunch of hams. They were pre-cooked and spiral cut and I thought, swell, this will be a cinch. And it was. Up until the time I had to carve it off the bone.
And that's when I started gagging. Look, I fully admit that I'm a wimp when it comes to meat. I like it but I want it to come in a hamburger patty, or a well trimmed steak, or a breast of chicken. I don't care for it on the bone or dripping in grease and fat. Cartilage and tendons and gristle gross me out. And that slimy, gelatinous fat sends me over the edge. So I just wasn't prepared for how much of all of that would be on this ham.
It was really the sound that got me. You know how I am about sounds. I have sensitive ears. It was that sound of the fat slicing apart. Like a plunger in a vat of jello.
And I'm gagging again.
Next year: vegetarian!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
And I tried everything. Any suggestion people made I would do. I took fish oil pills, I took prenatal vitamins, I rubbed coconut oil all over my head, I added more fat to my diet, I massaged my scalp every night, I washed it less, I washed it more. I did everything short of sacrificing squirrels under a harvest moon, and still it fell out. I had luminous skin but no hair.
And then suddenly...HAIR!
Seemingly overnight I went from losing fistfuls of it to sprouting it like a Chia Pet. I have regrowth upon regrowth. Little wisps of hair are shooting out at all angles. My head looks like one of those Tesla balls. And I love it. Never have I cared less about fly-aways, because it means that my hair is back.
The downside is more cowlicks. My scalp is a swirling mess of them. But at least they're covering up the corners. I'm not kidding! They're there!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
I promise I wasn't following you. I mean, it seemed like I was. But really, you just happened to be at the top of the escalator when we got up there. And then you just happened to walk down the same corridor that the bathrooms were at. I just had to pee, okay. I'm not a stalker.
|Camille and the book, which is fascinating so far. You guys, it's a tough road to space.|
|Contrary to how it looks, this was not a lounge act.|
|Blurry - but whatever. We met an astronaut!|
Monday, November 11, 2013
Lesson learned: always start with Abba.
Monday, November 4, 2013
There's something about a marching band, right? I know you agree with me which is why I'm certain that you won't find it weird the my family goes to this high school band competition every year. Some people find it weird, but you don't.
Chino High puts it on every November and it's a joy to sit outside on a lovely autumn day and watch high school kids play clarinets and such. I mean, they're just so awkward. And they're band kids, which is like another level of awkward. But also fun. There is no denying that band kids know how to have fun.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
1. More Oingo Boingo songs on the radio,
2. Edie's costume,
3. Really, any kid in a costume,
4. My seminary kid who would never intentionally talk to me suddenly telling me this morning about how gross the games were at last night's youth Halloween party. There were live worms and other insects involved and truthfully, I was getting the heebs. But I will take what I can get with some of these kids.
5. This picture of the dumpling assembly party we had at the Institute today:
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
2. No one had a York Peppermint Patty at the trunk or treat. This was a blow.
3. For the whole of last week "Walk on the Wild Side" was stuck in my head. I would wake up singing do do-do do-do do do-do. And then Lou Reed died. I don't know how well this bodes for Katy Perry because that song "Roar" won't leave my brain.
4. Apparently today is National Cat Day. How do I know this? Because half the people on Facebook mentioned it. And every radio station I turned to brought it up. Is this a thing? Because if it really is let me just remind you that cats claw around in their own poo and then walk all over you and your kitchen counters.
5. On Sunday night my sisters and I spontaneously burst into this song:
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Do you think if I'm really charming and friendly (Fat chance. I'll be a mute.) he'll tell me the secret to stowing away on the next Russian space ship?
Step 1: Get to Russia
When I wrote about meeting Neil Gaiman, my sister-in-law Kylea sent me this clip, which illustrates my mental state exactly in similar situations:
I have faith I'll keep it together. Anyone want to join me? We can get ice cream at Carmela afterwards. It's the second best ice cream in LA and it's right across the street. Stories of space exploration AND chocolate nib ice cream? Yes.
Monday, October 21, 2013
(Dear friends, if you have out of town guests visiting southern California would you please let me make an itinerary for them so they don't have to spend a fortune and hours of their lives that they'll never get back schlepping around amusement parks. I hate the idea of visitors coming here only to stand in line for rides and missing out on all the glorious things to see.)
Anyway, once we got through that part of the conversation one of the sisters mentioned a local phenomena that I've noticed myself, that being people going over the top in their Halloween decorations. (BEGIN 80 YEAR OLD RANT) Has anyone else noticed this? I'm not talking about just pumpkins or festive door hangings, I'm talking about cobwebs on the eaves, giant spiders on their roofs, skeletons in their yards, and, sadly, those dumb inflatable decorations that used to just be isolated to Christmas. I really kind of hate those things. For the record, I've never been a huge fan of Halloween. I don't care for dressing up and I don't like spooky things. Even as a kid I didn't really like it other than the fact that I got candy. And now that I can buy my own candy whenever I want, the last of the Halloween magic is gone for me.
Look, I'm not going to begrudge people their holiday cheer, but it just baffles me. It never used to be like this, right? It used to just be a jack-o-lantern on the front porch but now it seems like every other house I drive by has some elaborate spectacle going on. Where do we draw the line? Inflatable rodents on Groundhog's Day? Inflatable oaks on Arbor Day? Inflatable union reps on Labor Day? The madness must end!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Because that show is awesome. I loved it when it was on and when Netflix made it available to stream I plotzed with joy. Now if only they would stream Gilmore Girls and America's Next Top Model, my life would be complete. And Little House on the Prairie.
Back to the West Wing. Don't you just love how idealistic governing seems on that show? All they want to do is serve the people. I mean, I hate all politicians right now. I don't like them most days but with this whole shutdown business, and the fact that it has hijacked NPR which means I can't listen to it without wanting to spit, well, I think they're all criminals and should be marched out onto the streets of Washington so we can throw rotten fruit at them and say mean things about their hair cuts.
Oh blast, I got off topic again. The West Wing -- It's awesome. (Sorry, the Nyquil has set in. I'm not so lucid.)(Also, I had to look up how to spell Nyquil. And I object. My whole life I've thought it was Nite-quil. I should be, right?)
Monday, October 14, 2013
Oh, like you've never thought of something funny in the temple and had to muffle hysterical laughter.
Along with the temple we went to Cafe Rio and then back to Allie's house for a soak in the hot tub. Should every night be like this? Yes.
Also, can we just acknowledge how amazing my bangs look in this picture?
We were about to start a game of Ticket to Ride last night when Camille shouted out, "Don't move! You're bangs are perfect!" And then I made her take this picture for posterity, and also so I could see for myself, because never in my life have my bangs been perfect. Never! You know how they plague my very soul. My posture is lacking but oh, those bangs.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
In case you think I'm judging, I'll tell you that I'm right along with them. I comment on how wet and cold it is just like everyone else. I walked out of my house with just a light sweater even though I knew it was supposed to rain. I happened to luck out by having an umbrella in my trunk. I find it kind of adorable how dopey we are about it.
But I love rainy days because IWP means that I have a valid excuse to come home and put on my jimjams and make soup. Which I did.
PS. Happy birthday to my brother Sam. He is the funniest person I know. And he makes really great cream puffs and knows a lot about everything. He's a great brother. And he has cute kids.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
I drive by a cemetery every morning on my way to work. A big one on a hill. So I see a lot of grave side decorations. There are always a few baskets with stuffed animals at Easter, and the occasional mini tree at Christmas. But for the most part it's just flowers.
Well, this morning I was stuck in traffic so I had a long, slow view of the hill, and as I approached the top I noticed a man standing over a grave. He was very still. And his arms were stretched out. And there was straw coming out of his sleeves.
Yep. It was a scarecrow. Someone decorated their dearly departed's grave with a scarecrow. You know, for fall.
Side note: wouldn't it be fascinating to talk to the guy who has to go around picking this stuff up? I mean, old flowers are one thing, but a scarecrow? Actually, I think anyone who works in the death and burial business in fascinating. How does one end up becoming a coroner? Or a funeral director? I should research this.
Monday, September 30, 2013
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Me, Dad, Camille, & Lindsay were playing a game tonight. On the score sheet were our four initials: L, B, M, & H. Can you match the initial to the person? The first person to correctly do so will win a very, very short hand-written work of fiction by me featuring a zebra and an anteater. Family members are excluded from playing. Oh, and my dad's name is Scott, so...that helps.
In other news, I was in Walmart this last week (it had to be done.) when I overheard the following:
"Mama's gonna get her some Duck Dynasty panties."
Have a great day everyone.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
And then she said it again.
And then a third time.
A woman who gets paid to talk on the radio, in English, said fustrated three times. I assume she thinks the R is silent. Like all those other words with silent Rs.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Back to Roycefest. It was his first birthday party and baptism this weekend so I went out to celebrate. My rule for attending 1st birthday parties is that I have to actually know and love and pretty much be related to the child to go. Otherwise I don't see much of a point. What does the kid know except there are a heck of a lot more people making faces at him and there's lots of trash to play with. But Royce meets all the criteria and there's something sweet about inviting your friends over to celebrate one year of survival. "He didn't die on our watch! Let's eat cake!" The funny thing about this particular child birthday party is that Cynde and Ryan know about 3 people who have children so it was mostly a bunch of oldies hanging out in the back yard. But I really like their friends (this is no surprise. Who don't I like? Besides Hitler. And my old upstairs neighbors.) And it was a lot of fun and Royce was super cute with his cupcake and it all felt like a lovely thing to celebrate.
The baptism was great. Gosh, I love going to other churches. Cynde and Ryan's is teeny but super friendly and warm. Every single person said hello. And all I had to do for the actual baptism part was stand there and be happy. Easy.
I really have no idea what it means to be a godparent. It's not part of my religious tradition and every time I ask people they usually say, "I think it means you get him if his parents die." Eek! Why are you talking about them dying? And what exactly are my qualifications? That I can keep a house plant alive? But I love the kid. And I promise to give him hugs and I take him on awesome adventures.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
For the second time this year my bank card number has been stolen. Blerg.
I caught it in time for them to reverse it but not in time for multiple overdraft charges to go through because they wiped out my account and kept on spending. Those will also be reversed but not for 10 days. And my card had to be canceled which will be super convenient when I travel to Phoenix tomorrow for the weekend. Hey, who wants to mug me in the airport? I'll have a lot of cash on me.
On a positive note, everyone I talked to at the bank was super helpful and sympathetic and quick to respond, which made me feel better. And I do feel very blessed that I discovered it today and not, say, tomorrow at the airport when my card is denied while trying to buy water.
I hope that whatever you bought at Brookstone is a dud and blows a fuse at your home. And I hope that whatever you got at McDonald's gave you food poisoning. You belong in prison.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Camille took one autoharp and Mom took another and I had the ukulele and Dad brought out his guitar and Katie shouted out chords to us and it was basically a ton of fun. And then Mom brought out her old guitar music from when she took lessons in the 60s and then it really turned into a peace rally. Maybe the cutest part of the night was when my dad was trying to figure out the chords and my mom would help him by showing him how the fingers looked, just like Phoebe does with Joey on Friends.
There are many reasons why I love my family, but this is high up on the list -- when you say, "Hey, let's do this super funny and nerdy thing, like have a hootenanny on crazy instruments" they all shout, "Yes!"
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Also in the air: pot. They should mention that included in your ticket price is a contact high. That was the mellowest crowd I've ever seen. And it meant that when lasers started shooting off from the stage there was plenty of haze in the air to make for a really dynamite show. And anyone who wasn't baked was pretty drunk so the walk down the hill was kind of hilarious. You should all be so lucky to live to see wasted and/or buzzed middle-agers walking down the hill of the Hollywood Bowl in not-so-sensible shoes. Comedy gold!
Maybe the best part of the night was our pre-show trip to our new favorite ice cream place, Neveux, to say hi to Leo and pick up some peach pepper. Still so good!!!
Friday, September 13, 2013
Thursday, September 12, 2013
This was my first flat tire. Can you believe it? Charmed life. In theory I know how to change a tire. But in practice it was a little hard. While I was waiting for help to arrive I got out the spare, found all the tools (the jack was in a SUPER SECRET COMPARTMENT that took me forever to find. Why the mystery, Toyota?), loosened the lug nuts (also, face planted into my car while loosening them because first it was stuck and then it really wasn't and now I have a fat(ter) lip and a scratch on my nose.) So I feel like I was chugging along until I got stumped by the jack. I'd like to think that I would have figured it out but in all honesty I probably would have been still sitting in that parking lot wondering how to get the dumb thing to work.
But helped arrived, the spare was put on (flat. Ugh.) and I made it down to the tire store in one piece. Hooray!
True story, my entire seminary lesson this morning was on having a positive attitude when we have to do hard things. You would not believe how cheery I was to Mohammad, my new tire guy, as I handed over my money. I was the Blue Bird of Happiness with that debit card.
Another true story, I just got a text from Katie saying that she too had a flat today. Sisters, am I right?
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Welcome to the Hub! You're going to find living here to be a joy. The view of the mountains is lovely, right. You just missed Flo. You may have met her when you were first coming in. Did she double book your apartment? She did that from time to time. I'm so bummed for you that you didn't get the full Las Brisas experience with her.
You're so quiet. I can't even hear you walking. The kid who used to live upstairs must have been wearing cement boots because I could hear his every move. Speaking of him, I wanted to let you know of our expectations as your downstairs neighbors. I think they're all pretty reasonable but your predecessor had a hard time with them. So just so we're clear:
1. Don't dump your bong water out of a hole you cut in your bedroom screen.
2. Don't listen to really loud rap that is full of swears on Sunday morning (or any morning, really.)
3. Don't invite 30 of your hoodlum friends over for a night swim and then hours and hours of reggae in your room while smoking pot.
4. Don't take that unmarked parking space next to our assigned space. It belongs to us in a common law sort of way (the Kid never did this but others have and it's just wrong on a moral level.)
5. Don't get into a fight with your girlfriend. We don't need to know all about how you cheated on her.
6. When you move out, don't do it in the middle of the night. Dresser drawers falling down the stairs usually wake people up.
You've been great so far. Keep up the good work!
Hugs and Kisses,
Sunday, September 8, 2013
So, maybe not everyone would think to go on such a quest, but Katie, Camille and I did. Ok, let's be honest, are you even surprised by this? Of course you're not. Who loves ice cream more than a Knecht? We were working off of this list and made it to five of them. By the end of it we felt like we had won something.
There were many, many things to love about this adventure. Firstly, ice cream. We decided that we wanted to find really unique flavors, and we did. We sampled as much as we could and then split a small of our favorites. Secondly, ice cream makers. People who make their own ice cream are passionate about it and are interesting to talk to. Thirdly, when people find out that you are on a quest they cheer you on. Everyone was so supportive. Fourthly, Los Angeles. If you ever get tired of me talking about how much I love LA you can just go ahead and find some other mildly humorous blog to read because I'm just not going to stop. We saw a lot of it on this quest and it's all wonderful. And I'll say this until I die, palm trees make everything beautiful.
Here are the five we made it to (in the order that we went, not the order that we loved.)
1. Bulgarini in Culver City. There's a funny story for another date about this location, but needless to say it's a charming area with a few shops. And there's a Father's Office nearby, which serves The Best Hamburger I've Ever Had In My Entire Life. Our guy Oscar helped us out. What a cute kid. He heard about our quest and then immediately started giving us samples, we never had to ask for one. And he would sample them with us. We settled on the stracciatella and the Gorgonzola (if we could get two flavors in a small we always did.) The Gorgonzola was, as you would expect, a little weird, but strangely tasty. I also sampled their chocolate orange, and it must be said, it was better than Burt and Rocky's. On our way out Oscar informed us that they just brought out a bunch of new flavors so we sampled those as well and that's when we hit on the single best sample we had all day, their pistachio. It was a punch to the face of flavor. Wow!
2. Sweet Rose in Brentwood. Meh. This was our least favorite. It was tiny and cramped and crowded. And the flavors were just kind of weird. I tried the pistachio rose geranium which tasted like a garden bed. We got fresh mint, which tasted like you were chewing on a mint leaf. I liked that but Camille did not. And we also had the Melon Chiffon which was pretty good (Katie didn't like it) but not as melony as I wanted it to be. You can skip this one.
3. Ice Cream Lab in Beverly Hills was next. This was gimmicky but kind of cool. They put the liquid ice cream mix in a fancy Kitchen-Aid and then shoot it with liquid nitrogen. So the texture is a little different from churned ice cream. And the flavor of the ice cream alone wasn't outstanding. But the toppings they put on them were great. We had the Rodeo Road, which is just fancy rocky road. It was fun to watch them make it. Science!
4. Carmela at Fairfax and 3rd is adorable and so tasty. And the girls there were great and helpful and happily brought out more sample spoons because we were using them all up. We had the dark chocolate with cacao nibs (sweet land of liberty!) and strawberry buttermilk. The combo together was fantastic. We almost named this one our number one but then decided to try one more.
5. Neveux. While we were in Carmela another customer heard us talking about the Quest and she said, "Well, I'm here and I love this place, but no proper ice cream quest would be complete without going to Neveux." So we went. It's on the section of Melrose where you can pick up a new eyebrow ring, a new tattoo, and a new venereal disease, so it kind of sticks out. But I will always be grateful to that woman in Carmela because this place was our number one. Without question. Their Peach Pepper (you got it right. Peach ice cream with cracked black pepper.) could bring about world peace. We all chose it as our favorite. We also had the Caliente Cinnamon Chocolate which is fiery and so delicious. Not only did it have the most flavor but the texture was by far the creamiest we had all day. We met the owner and chef, Leo Neveux (that's him on the right down below. And Tim on the left.), and he told us the whole story about how he's trying to save LA from frozen yogurt and cupcakes. Keep up the good work Leo! We announced him as the winner and had a nice cheer for him. His ice cream won in both flavor and texture, the place was charming, and the customer service was excellent. Thanks guys. We're coming back on Friday night. Have the peach pepper ready.
Friday, September 6, 2013
So this year I set a goal to have a better summer. I made a list of the most essential fun:
1. A trip
2. The beach, both for the sunshine and a bonfire
5. Some sort of outdoor musical thingy
7. Homemade boysenberry ice cream
8. Dodger game
I can put a check next to all of those things.
My dad asked a question the other day: what is one of your favorite travel memories - just a moment on a trip that you can pinpoint as amazing. I'm applying that question to this summer. There are a lot.
1. When Gina and Lindsay walked into the hotel room in New York an hour after Katie, Camille and I got there and we all screamed and laughed and hugged,
2. Watching Neil Gaiman sign books and seeing how nice he was to every single person, which then made me think that I probably wouldn't pass out,
3. Seeing Sandy Koufax walk out onto the field at Dodger Stadium during the Old-Timers Game,
4. Peach & boysenberry cobbler on Labor Day,
5. Sitting in the light of our single lantern and laughing a lot while camping on the second night of the Amazing Race with the kids from church,
6. Coloring with Rac,
7. Swimming out into the ocean, well beyond the crowds and the point where my feet reached the floor, and just floating.
8. Singing Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of my lungs at the sing-along. And then meeting Mock Turtleneck Guy afterwards.
Oh, my friends, it's been a great summer.
Tell me yours.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
If I had any kids,
If I wanted any,
If I was married,
How come I wasn't married,
How old I was.
I then told her my religion, political leanings, feelings on abortion, the death penalty, gun control, and the situation in Syria, and then handed over my social security number after announcing my weight over the store's intercom because it seemed really pertinent to her scanning my groceries.
Monday, September 2, 2013
But I went to one on Saturday for a long time family friend (congratulations Annie and Phil! I'm not kidding when I say, Annie you were hands down the prettiest bride I've seen in ages.) and the whole night was filled with basically everyone that I love. I mean, seriously, every wedding should be just like that. I couldn't walk to the punch table without seeing 3 people I wanted to hug. And the cake was amazing. I'm pretty sure there was Nutella in it.
Two notable things happened.
1. There was a reunion.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Flo, as you know, if the old lady manager of my apartment complex. She's cranky, unhelpful, forgetful, stubborn, yet endearing. I mean, how else would you explain all of us putting up with her refusal to fix anything no matter how many times you beg her? We usually just say, "Oh, Flo," and work around it.
Well, she's retiring. It's time. But it's a little sad. She's the only manager Las Brisas has had for 30+ years.
So, in honor of Flo, here are some fond memories:
1. That one time my shower knob broke and I called her and she said, "Oh honey, you can just use some pliers to turn it on and off." And then when I said that wouldn't work she told me to go buy a new one and install it. So when I told her that I would do that, and take it out of my rent, plus send her my invoice for doing independent contract work she sent someone over to fix it.
2. That one time I called her to tell her we didn't have any water and she said, "Oh, no honey. Your water is working. You just don't have any hot water." Apparently they were working on the water heater and she didn't tell us. And she kept insisting that we had water, just not hot water, even though no water, hot or cold was coming out of any of the faucets.
3. That one time she gave my key to a worker who just unlocked my door and walked right in without knocking or announcing himself as I was making a salad in the kitchen. And when I called her and told her that she can't just give my key out she said, "Oh honey, of course I can. I give keys out to everyone."
4. All those times she called up to say, "Honey, do you have any more of your people (meaning Mormons) who what to move in?"
5. She would get her hair done once a week, which is such an endearing old lady thing to do and I plan on following suit when I enter the Muu Muu Years.
6. She came to one of our ward activities and gave us all hugs because she was so happy to see us.
So long Flo! We'll miss you. And that really short bathrobe you wear when you answer the door. Your legs are great for 90.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Saturday, August 17, 2013
After a late night of singing at the last sing along of the summer (NO Mock Turtleneck Guy! Ugh! Tragedy! But we did sing "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and KILLED it.) and then dinner at the Nickel Diner where we ate our collective weight in dessert (a PJB poptart, a blueberry lemon poptart, a ding dong that tasted exactly like an actual ding dong but with a 1:1 cream to cake ratio, the Oaxacan chocolate bread pudding and a coconut tapioca, all homemade, all the best thing I've ever eaten) I eventually made it back to my parents where I was staying the night because Dad and I were hitting the road early for Utah.
And we totally did. We hit that road at 5:45. And we made it a whole 15 miles, all the way up to Rancho Cucamonga, and stopped because my dad was writhing in pain. Here's how much pain he was in. I said, "I think we should go to the hospital." And he said, "OK." Like he doesn't hate hospitals and being around sick people. So we got him to the hospital, they gave him some morphine and took a CT scan and discovered that it's a kidney stone. Poor Dad. But also, such a trooper. He made sure that I mentioned to everyone I talked to how well behaved he was. No complaining or whining. A model patient. I kept joking with him that this was the beginning of the end, that this was just a precursor to all the times I'm going to have to take him to the hospital in his old age. He made me promise that if it ever got to the adult diaper stage I would leave him out in the wilderness to be eaten by wolves.
So we didn't make it to Utah today. Probably Monday. But the nurses kept wishing me a happy birthday. And I reminded my dad that the last time we were in a hospital together on August 17 was the day I was born.
After I dropped him off at home I picked up a Slurpee and went home and took a nap. So, not what I expected from the day, but you can't beat a Slurpee and a nap.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
it's the 3rd Annual GET YOURSELF A SLURPEE DAY!!!
Also, my birthday. But this is how I plan to celebrate. Somewhere on the road to Utah my dad and I will stop and get a Slurpee. There has also been talk that we could stop at Alien Jerky in Baker, CA, simply because I've always wanted to go. Not because I have a real love of jerky, I just think it would be funny to stop in. If it's not over the top kitsch then I'm going to be a little disappointed. I'm talking flying saucers and space suits.
So, you may remember the rules of the day. You get yourself a Slurpee or an equivalent if you don't have Sevs in your area. You take a picture of yourself with the Slurpee and you send it to me. You can email me. You can post it on Facebook or Instagram (I'm @rachelsaysso. Also, that's the first time I've every typed an @anything. Ugh, technology. I'm too old for this. Heaven help us all if I ever do a hashtag.) You can print the picture out and leave it on my doorstep. However you want to do it, I just want to see you enjoying yourself with a cool slushy beverage. Don't like them? What?! Get out of my life. No, I kid. Please stay. You can get an ice cream cone instead. Or a lemonade. I don't know, it's summer. Live a little. Or maybe you're in the southern hemisphere (Hi friends!). Have a mug of Milo for me. There are so many options, is what I'm saying. I just want you to enjoy yourself because I think you're great.
And now for a super grainy sombrero gif, because I've spent the evening finding ways to ignore my laundry. Also, this is my 900th post. Nothing says celebration like a sombrero.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
That is until I really looked at the front cover, one that I had glanced at multiple times and neglected to notice that it was not A Wrinkle in Time that I was reading. It was A Wind at the Door, book two (I think) in the series. In my defense, not once is the kids' previous adventure of searching for their dad through time and space ever mentioned (that's what happens right? Oh, like I know.) And Meg is totally surprised when weird and magical things start happening. Like she hasn't already been through all of this before. It is a stand alone book...with a title that looks an awful lot like it's companion.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
And guess what, I get to see her and all the Northern Fam because I'm overlooking the fact that I'm in a huge fight with Utah and I'm going up on Saturday.
Anyway, Casey answered the phone and the first thing he said was, "How's Just Lips going?"
You remember Just Lips, right? No. You don't. It's the imaginary 70s rock cover band my siblings and I have come up with. Every so often a song will come on the radio and one of us will say, "Just Lips! We'll fit it into our second set." Because we have the whole tour planned out, all the way down to costume changes and pyrotechnics (We open with Kashmir.) I could use the excuse that we were weird children, except that we planned this like 5 years ago, as fully grown adults. We have a gift for turning ridiculous ideas into elaborate plans.
So naturally whenever Casey and I talk we get around to plans for the Just Lips summer state fair tour. We discussed the tour bus tonight. One of the features will be an old timey soda counter, complete with a soda jerk wearing a white shirt, red bow tie, and a little paper hat. Any soda you want, our guy will make it. Want a strawberry phosphate? An egg cream? Just a regular root beer float? Well, you're going to have to get yourself invited onto the bus.
Question: if you were going to outfit your tour bus what would be on it?
Sunday, August 11, 2013
They've been moving for a few days now, almost entirely in the middle of the night. Last night it was from 10 to 2. About every 15 minutes I would wake up to heavy objects being dropped on the floor. Or many feet scuttling up and down the stairs. Katie woke up to one of the Upstairs yelling to Mrs. Cranky Smoker, "Well we never complained about your husband smoking all day long." He has a fair point, Mrs. CS. Your husband's habit is kind of vile. Which is worse, having a 12 pack a day smoker next door or a loud punk upstairs? The smoker is truly miserable but at least you can shut the door on him. It's tough to drown out the noise of 15 kids in a room getting high and listening to really loud rap.
Okay, so they're almost gone. If we could just get the Smokers and then the Megaphones who live across the way out then all my dreams would come true. Because those people are loud. I was once in the shower, water running, door closed and I could still hear them talking on their balcony.
On the flip side, as of this weekend there are 16 units in our complex with Mormons in them. People of Las Brisas, we are taking over! You'll be so happy when Armageddon hits (we are next to a Walmart, the fireballs will hit there first.) and we share our food storage with you.