Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Age of Flo

The Age of Flo has ended.

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

I lifted the Utah Moratorium for a week.

I did make it to Alien Fresh Jerky.  It had aliens and space ships, but I wanted it to be a little bit more run down.  It looked like any other shop, which is weird considering that it is in Baker.  Shouldn't it look more like a meth lab?  The people inside certainly looked like they had just come from one. 

Other highlights:

1.  My dad has an alarming amount of 1960s protest songs on his iPod.  Like he doesn't wear a suit and tie every single day.  Also, no surprise, he has a lot of Bob Dylan.  I think it's a real testament to Bob Dylan's talent as a song writer that he's such an icon considering how his voice sounds like a cross between a Jew's harp and a leaf blower that can't quite get started.

2. Rac and I had a slumber party.  She picked me up at 5 and we started talking.  We talked all the way through dinner.  We talked at the store while we picked up provisions.  We talked through a marathon of ANTM.  We talked as we colored.  We talked and talked and talked.  And then we went to bed at 3.  And then we woke up and talked some more.  This is why the slumber party was necessary.  In the time since we were roommates we would get an hour here or there about once a year and that's just not enough.  We needed a substantial chunk of time.  And ice cream. And crayons. As a sign that the night was on the right track, when we walked into the restaurant for dinner (Station 22 in Provo.  Locals, it's tasty.) Squirrel Nut Zippers was playing.  Man, we loved that band in 1997.

3.  When I was a student at BYU and working on campus, Education Week was the second worst week of the year (the first being Women's Conference.  You have no idea how mean a pack of Mormon women can be.) So when my dad asked if I wanted to go to the Tuesday devotional I hesitated.  I mean, the crowds, and the pushing, those flashbacks of trying to buy my books at the bookstore and nearly being stampeded as I crossed in front of the candy counter. But I went (super glad I did.  It was great), and then I went to my dad's class, and we even gave the bookstore and the CougarEat a shot, and we survived. I didn't have to punch anyone in the face.  Also, I love being on campus.  It's pretty and filled with good memories.
4.  Speaking of campus, as we were passing by the Jesse Knight Building (formerly the Jesse Knight Humanities Building and my home for 3 years since nearly every class I had was held deep in its basement) Dad informed me that Jesse Knight was a mining baron who used his fortune to help the school.  I felt a real connection to him since I too spent my years there toiling underground.

5.  Casey has mono, for the second time.  Sam had Early Onset Kidney Stones (like father, like son), and Eliza was barfing.  Get a grip, Knechts! 

6.  Let's just look at my nieces and nephews for a sec. Could you just die over how cute they are?
Ben started the first grade (ugh!), Tom spent about an hour telling me all about Pokemon, Eliza helped me make waffles, Levi actually sat in my lap, and Addie is too cute for words.  They're all so funny and I love them.  Also, their parents are my favorite people.  I loved hanging out with them for a few days.  Give them back to me Utah!  Or else!
Here's a parting shot for you:
See, Gina, I didn't post it on Facebook.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A shorter roadtrip than planned

In the spirit of "there are no bad events, only good stories" I share with you Birthday Adventure '013: Is There Morphine in this Roadtrip?

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

Saturday=Slurpee Day

You know what Saturday is...

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

A Wrinkle in the Door

Do you remember a few weeks ago I mentioned that I had to finish reading A Wrinkle in Time for book club?  Well, I was more than halfway done and the whole time I kept thinking, when does the father disappear? Because I've read it before and the only thing I can remember about it is that the dad is missing.  But halfway through the kids still weren't looking for him.  And then I really started worrying about my memory.  I mean, I know that I have a bad one, especially when it comes to books.  I could love a book, read it repeatedly, have multiple copies, and I still would struggle to remember the plot and characters.  Unless a book really, really strikes me I'm going to forget about 90% of it as soon as I shut it.  It's a curse.  But this was kind of ridiculous, that absolutely none of it was ringing a bell.

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

I'm with the band

I called Casey & Kylea to say, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THAT BLOG?!" (Go!  Go to that blog.) Sweet land of liberty, Addie is the Queen of All Cute Things.

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

One down

I did, in fact, get my upstairs neighbors evicted.  Well, actually, I like to think that they got themselves evicted.  I just ratted them out for dumping their bong water out of the bedroom window.

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.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I'd go to that Convention

There's a Knights of Columbus convention going on in San Antonio this week and it's on TV.  How do I know?  Because both my dad and dear friend Andrea let me know about it.

What a horrible week to give up cable!

But also, how awesome is it that when those nearest to me see anything to do with the KOC they think of me.  That is love. Now, if only I could get people to see a 7-Eleven and buy me a Slurpee every time.

So I missed the televised mass (Dear Hulu and Netflix, this seems like a totally appropriate thing to stream.)  My dad said that it was very regal and we chatted for a bit about how the Catholics really know how to do Pomp. Just try and top them in scarlet robes, in gilded candlesticks, in satin capes and braid sashes, in incense and processionals. You can't!  They're going to beat you in ceremonial panache every time!  They've been perfecting it for 2000 years.

It makes me a little sad that Mormons aren't just a bit more flashy.

Monday, August 5, 2013

L7 Weenie!

Summer is winding down and my weekends are packed with fun summery adventures:

1.  Katie, Angela and I took a mini adventure to exotic San Pedro.  You know all those trucks you see on the highway with the shipping containers?  And the trains with a hundred cars chugging through the desert? They all start in San Pedro at the Port of LA.  So by exotic I really mean mind blowing for the shear number of colorful containers from Taiwan and Bangladesh and the Philippines.  I'm talking thousands upon thousands. I wonder how easy it would be to stow away on one of those ships.  And what happens if there's a storm and the containers tumble into Pacific?

But that's not why we went.  No.  In addition to all those containers holding cheap junk for Walmart, San Pedro also has a year round indoor craft fair called Crafted.  I'm such a sucker for craft fairs.  All you basically have to do is tell me there will be hand made soap and I'm there.  But I also love how varying they are. You can get anything at a craft fair.  For example, I picked up some soap (of course), salsa, and two scarves.  So it's basically like Target, only you get to meet the person who made it.

There were clusters of colorful Chinese lanterns all over the place.  Don't you think your life would be better if you have this floating over your head all the time?

We walked into a booth of wooden artsy stuff and Angela saw a display of wooden glasses frames and the very first ones she tried on were MADE FOR HER.

Here's the soap.  It's wonderful.  And Katie picked up some body butter from them that made our skin feel like it was draped in bunnies wearing cashmere sweaters.

Once we left Crafted we began the food portion of the adventure.  Lunch at the Green Onion for the best burrito of my life (I'm still making my way through the leftovers).  Then on the way home we made a pit stop in Claremont for the Cheese Cave and then ice cream at Burt & Rocky's because Angela had never been. She got bubble gum ice cream.  I truly did not even know that they made that anymore.  

2.  Saturday night we headed out to Grand Park in downtown LA to watch the Sandlot in front of City Hall. There were food trucks and good friends and a really, really funny movie.  Not a bad way to spend an evening.

See that greenish section near the top of City Hall?  That's an observation deck. We did some research and discovered that you can go up anytime during business hours for free.  It's officially on my list.

And in case you're wondering, the Sandlot is just as great as when you were a kid.  It totally holds up.