Friday, March 29, 2013

The taste of things

Up on the other (lately ignored) blog of mine I have posted a recipe for Thai Peanut Sauce.  Click over, get the recipe, go to the store, get the ingredients, make this, and erect a statue in my honor for introducing you to it.

I'll wait.

Okay.  Now that you're back, let's talk about food for a bit.  I was talking with my friend Melissa the other night about food and both of us mentioned that we know people who just aren't that interested in it.  I actually heard someone say once, "I don't really enjoy eating." Can you imagine?! All I heard was, "I don't really enjoy living." Because food, and all of it's textures and flavors is one of the greatest joys of life.  It's a mystery that these people are out there.

So we were talking about this phenomenon and I think we hit upon the answer.  I bet their smeller is broken.  Follow the logic here.  As we all know, I have the Great and Powerful Nose.  I smell everything.  My super sniffer is my mutant power.  Which naturally means that I have a super taster, because they're linked. Flavors, good or bad, explode in my mouth.  Which is why I get so excited when I eat something that is delicious.  Because to me, it is really, really, really delicious.

Which made me think that maybe those people who don't like to eat have some kind of medical condition.  You know when you have a cold and your nose is stuffed up, food just doesn't taste all that great.  So I started thinking of these people who don't enjoy eating as having permanently stuffy noses.  They must not actually know what things really taste like.  Because if everything just tastes like iceberg lettuce then of course eating isn't pleasurable.  So instead of thinking they're weird I should really pity them.  And race for a cure or something. Ooh!  Let's get those rubber wrist bands!

I'm really just making this up right now.  But it's a theory that makes me feel a whole lot better about these poor people who don't like food for no discernable reason.  Maybe you know someone like this.  Maybe you are someone like this.  If you are, tell me, how is your nose?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chocolate covered bacon

1.  Remember how I took a bacon poll at the Institute?  While discussing the topic in depth one of the girls asked if I had ever tried chocolate covered bacon.  I have, at the fair, natch.  But I was unimpressed simply because of the execution.  It was a chunk of chocolate with a strip of bacon in it.  Low concept, even for the fair.  So I told her that one day we would try it out with a little bit more finesse.  And that day was today.  We fried up some bacon and let it cool and then drizzled melted chocolate over it.  And it was AWESOME. You should try it this weekend as a little Easter treat.

2.  The best compliment I got this weekend came while at the organ on Sunday.  I finished playing the introduction to one of the hymns and looked up to our conductor for the cue and she looked down at me and smiled and said, "You look so cute today," and then proceeded to start the song.  I was giggling like a loon through the whole first verse.

3.  Second best compliment came from my friend Liz who prefaced it like this, "It's going to sound like such an insult." She saw me and Katie walking into the church building for a ward party and thought, "Is that the Knecht girls?  No.  They're not that skinny." That was, of course, before I had several pieces of chocolate covered bacon for breakfast.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Art Society at the Zoo

Heather and the Art Society kids asked if I wanted to go to the zoo with them.  Duh.  Of course I do.  Because I love Heather and the Art Society and I love walking around in the sunshine on a spring day. We looked at all the animals and imitated the sounds they make and we drew a few of them (naturally we all had our sketch pads) and the kids would hold my hands and tell me about other times they had been there and all the cool things they have seen.  It was such a lovely day.

Minus the part about how zoos make me really sad.  Sure, these animals don't know what they're missing and I've no doubt that they're loved and taken care of (they all looked healthy, as opposed to a zoo I once went to as a child where all the animals looked clinically depressed) but it's still a bummer to see tigers in a space slightly larger than my apartment.  I'm sure something in their wild animal instinct tells them that they're getting a bum deal. I kept imagining the lion thinking, "What's a gazelle and why do I keep dreaming about it?"

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Delights of this morning include:

1.  Sleeping in an extra hour and a half.  My seminary spring break is a dream!

2.  Lighter traffic.  Again, spring break.  Woot!

3.  While looking through some old mixed CDs I found one that included the Talking Heads, Oingo Boingo, U2, the Bangles, and the B-52s.  Was I missing 1991 when I made it?

4.  In an article about the King of Jordan I came across this paragraph and had to look up three words:
Geography has cursed Jordan. To Abdullah’s north is the charnel house of Syria, a failed state in the making. To his east is Iraq’s bloody Anbar province. Saudi Arabia, ruled by the superannuated princes of the House of Saud, the ancient rivals of the Hashemites, sits to his southeast. To his west are the obstreperous Israelis, as well as the disputatious Palestinians.
There's something a little obnoxious about so many SAT words clumped together, but you can't argue that charnel house is a perfect description. Vocabulary is fun! Also, for some reason, this quote made me think of Eleanor Lavish from A Room With A View, "I prefer something bolder:  the reckless rose, the tempestous tulip."

5.  An abundance of orange blossoms on my drive through Cal Poly to get to the freeway.

6.  18 Joyful Soul Train GIFs. You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

5th Grade

Is it weird that I don't have very many childhood memories? I know some people who can rattle off years of their young lives like they're reading from a diary.  I have just hazy glimpses. I suppose it's good enough to just remember being happy and loved and taken care of (I have that in spades) but it would be nice to have a few more recollections of actual events. So when a memory comes to me I try to pinpoint it and then see if I can remember anything else from that specific era.

A memory from the 5th grade came to me this morning and this is all I can pull from that year:

1.  Mr. O'Clock gets off the phone and announces to us that the Challenger exploded.  Someone laughs and Mr. O'Clock gets really upset at him.  (I've told you about Mr. O'Clock, right?  Art Garfunkle look-alike.  Drove a Carmen Ghia.  Sensitive soul.)

2. We are reading The Outsiders out loud in class.  Johnnycakes dies.  I lay my head down on the desk and start to cry.  I do not feel embarrassed, which is strange because later in life it will take me years and years to not feel embarrassed about crying in public when no one else is.  When I look up I notice that not a single person in the room is devastated by this. It is the first time my heart gets broken over a book and also the first time I recognize that not every one's heart gets touched in the same way.

3.  We are in line to go into the class and a group of kids are playing with an injured potato bug.  Mr. O'Clock walks up and stomps on the bug and says, "Never let a creature suffer like that."

You guys, 5th grade appears to have been very heavy.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Camille and I made our annual pilgrimage out to the desert for the tennis tournament.  And this time we became True Tennis Fans and went two days.  This gave us a bit of an in with a certain set of people, namely, the elderly.  Because it's the elderly who have the time and means to spend multiple days watching tennis matches.  At nearly every match, particularly on Friday when it was still just the first round, we would end up sitting next to a senior citizen gentleman and would strike up a conversation and it would come out that we were there for a few days and suddenly there would be a hint of respect.  We were there to watch tennis, not just see super-stars.
Look, it's Roger Federer, and Andy Murray, and Juan Martin Del Potro.
We had to race to see Andy (remember we are his biggest fans.  We've seen him every year but last year and we made it a goal to casually run into him this time around.  Check!).  And Camille's height once again came in handy in getting us up to meet Del Potro. And being that close to Roger Federer meant that there were several large men behind me trying to get his autograph and I very nearly elbowed one in the groin because he was practically molesting me and when I kindly asked for him to back up Roger said, "Yes, please, everyone back up." Only then did the guys stop leaning.  So he wins Grand Slams and rescues girls from being impaled on media fences. Class act.
Other highlights
Don't let this picture of our drive into Palm Springs fool you.  It looks lovely, right?  But it was cold and threatening rain in Indian Wells.  We felt like we were at Wimbledon.  But aren't the windmills pretty? And, tennis miracle, there was no rain.  Just an arctic wind. 
There is always creative head-wear at this event.  This guy tied his jacked around his head to block the sun and/or the biting wind.  And he spent most of the match chugging a bag full of trail mix. 
Camille almost cost this kid the match!  We really like going to watch matches on the small courts because you can sit right in the front row in comfy seats about 20 feet from the players.  There were many times when a player nearly landed in our laps running for a shot.  So we're watching this match and Camille grabbed a bag of chips just before this guy served and the noise distracted him and he gave her a very serious look. Fortunately, as you can tell from the picture, heaven was on his side and he won. Is he being Raptured?
I get asked often why we go to this thing if we don't play tennis.  And here's the answer, it's the same reason why I go to Dodger games (I also don't play professional baseball) or any sporting event for that matter.  It's just really, really fun.  You're in the sunshine and these awesome athletes are doing amazing things and you get to cheer them on (I love cheering for people!) and there's usually an ice cream cone involved.  I'm really surprised why people even ask me this question.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bacon Week

One of the girls at the institute mentioned that she doesn't like bacon.  In fact, she said that she would only eat it if it was on the limp side.  No crispy bacon for her.  So I turned to the other girl in my office for a little support and she shook her head and said that she didn't like bacon either. Did my office just turn into the capital of Jokeland?  And then the other girl said that she didn't think it was so unusual to not like bacon and I said she was crazy and would prove it by taking a poll.

I asked anyone who walked by for the rest of the day and the results were:

Like bacon:  37
Don't like bacon:  2

I thought about asking you but then I decided that would be overkill.  Of course you like bacon.  But if you don't you should let me know because I can pass it on to the two girls and you can all form a lame club for bacon-haters.

Incidentally, this week is my one year anniversary at the Greatest Job Ever.  I celebrated by making us all some nachos today for lunch. And I have dubbed next week Bacon Week.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Misty Water-colored

I have this box.
My grandma gave it to me many, many years ago.  It belonged to her dad.
It's a cigar box.
And it's lined in cedar. In the Great Beyond, when I meet my great-grandpa, I'm going to expect him to smell just like this box.
I've always kept little mementos inside.  Nothing of real importance, just nice memories and little tchotchkes.  And I haven't looked inside in years and years, maybe since college.  But I needed it for my lesson this morning (a lesson that we got about 5 minutes into when someone asked a deep doctrinal question and we ended up in a swirling vortex of me saying a lot of, "I have no idea.  I suppose we'll find that out eventually.") So last night I took a peek. 
Here's a sampling:
I have no clue where these came from but they're glass salt and pepper shakers and on the bottom is a little tag that reads, "HSK, child," written in my grandma's writing.  HSK can only be my grandpa and the thought of him playing with these little glass ducks as a child growing up in Watts is hilarious to me. 
A ticket stub for when I saw Les Miserables for the first time.  I went with Cynde and I think there were others.  Our seats were in the balcony so when Javert jumped off the bridge at the end our perspective was kind of wonky so it just looked like he was standing there flailing his arms about.
You guys, I graduated from high school TWENTY YEARS AGO!  And that thing has been sitting in there the whole time. Should I go to my reunion? 
This would take forever to explain but yes, it is a business card for a plumbing, heating and air conditioning company. A story for another time.
When my brother Casey was a kid, like 4 or 5, he used to ask us for stickers and then sell them back to us.  Enterprising, right?  He rigged up this thing where he would crawl under the table, or stand on the other side of the door and stick an empty paper towel roll at you and you had to put the money through the tube and then he would send the sticker and a hand written receipt back to you. Anytime I had friends over he'd hit them up.  Considering how many of my own stickers I bought off of him I'm counting on him being very rich and supporting me in my old age.