Thursday, January 30, 2014

Yo bebo leche

1. Have you guys discovered DuoLingo?  It's a language learning app and it's FUN! You pick a language and it gives you little quizzes with basic vocabulary and conjugations.  I'm doing Spanish right now and so far I can say, "La mujer come la cebolla" and "Yo bebo leche." Both phrases are sure to come in handy.

2. Lindsay, Camille and I went to the El Capitan Theater on Friday for a Mary Poppins Sing-along.  (Do you get tired of hearing about all the sing-alongs I go to? Too bad.  I'm not stopping!  I love them!) First of all, Mary Poppins is a great sing-along movie because you know all the songs and they're really entertaining.  Particularly Sister Suffragette. And the El Capitan is a beautiful old movie theater in Hollywood that Disney bought and restored. We sat up in the balcony and ate popcorn and sang with gusto. I really love watching old movies that I've seen a million times with a large group of people.  It's nice to hear others laugh at the same parts you do.

3.  Speaking of movies, Katie, Allison and I went out to dinner last night with our friends, The Burkes, and then over to see their new home. Larry wanted us to experience the surround sound so he popped in Top Gun.  Holy Flashback!  I have not seen that movie since I was in high school.  And it was in German with no subtitles because Herr Baker would show it to us every year as a special treat. Remember how we all used to be in love with Tom Cruise and then he turned into a lunatic?

4.  It was dark and foggy when I left for seminary this morning.  In the distance I saw a lone figure, back lit by a streetlight, his shadow cutting dark lines through the fog.  He was lurching.  I think the whole fascination our culture has right now with zombies (and by extension, all things undead) is the Dumbest Thing Ever.  And I truthfully don't know anything about them other than they eat brains and they lurch.  What I saw this morning was straight out of a zombie horror flick.  It could not have been more perfectly staged if Spielberg was there directing it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Next Up, Mt. Whitney

I lost my mind on Saturday and went for a hike.  A hike! In the wilderness!  With bugs and dirt and stuff. And lots and lots of uphill walking. I am not, as you might imagine, much of a hiker.  I'm barely a get-off-my-couch-and-go-to-the-gym-er.  And I've only ever hiked under extreme protest.  I love being outside in nature but walking uphill has never made sense to me.

Who knows what came over me.  It was just so beautiful outside when I walked out to go to the gym and I couldn't bare the idea of being inside so I stopped at a gas station to get some sunscreen (because I didn't lose my mind entirely.) and went to the Claremont loop, which is wilderness-ish.  It's a well maintained trail (well, really a fire road) through the foothills and it's very lovely.

If it didn't involve gasping for air I can see how hiking would suit me.  I'm a solitary person by nature and being alone in the wilderness is heaven for me. Well, alone in the sense that I was walking by myself, but really, there were a ton of folks out enjoying the fresh air. Like these folks:

1.  People who run uphill.  They would zip past me and I'd think, "Oh brother, there must be a bear coming.  I should act like a rock or something," and then turn around and see that there wasn't a bear.  They were just running.

2.  This girl who lifted up her shirt to adjust the PLASTIC WRAP she had around her stomach.  Um? Can you imagine how uncomfortable this must have been?  And expensive.  And also, pointless. Unless she's a jockey and had a weigh-in that afternoon, in which case, go for it. Have you read Seabiscut? Jockeys have done way worse to lose water weight.

3.  Every single person who passed me said hi.  Everyone.  There was a man who was walking behind me for a while and he literally said hi to everyone walking the other way.  You're super friendly, Claremont Loopers, and I appreciate that.

4.  I was walking the back way so the first mile marker on the loop said, "mile 4" (because it's 5 miles) and as I was resting and enjoying the view several groups were doing the same and all of them commented, "Hey, we made it 4 miles! Only one more to go!"  Except that they had all come the same way I had, which means they had made it 1 mile. They're going to be really disappointed when they realize they're not doing a 4 minute mile.  Even those runners who weren't being chased by bears were not hitting that mark.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Unicorn!

A unicorn, as promised:

And now for some Friday Fun.

There's a new NFL Bad Lip Reading out.  And it had me doing the ugly laugh.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ways to Die That Are Not the Plague

Have you seen this? It's a Bill of Mortality from London during the week of August 15-22, 1665.  It shows how many people died and from what.

It's during the Great Plague so there were 3880 deaths that week from it (Knights of Columbus!)  But if the plague didn't get you there were many other exotic ways to die.  Can you imagine some poor fellow walking through Ye Olde London Town thinking, "Well I made it another week without getting the Plague," only to be felled by rickets. That's a bum deal if ever there was one.

Some of my favorites (with what they would be today):

Thrush (a yeast infection in the mouth.  Bleh! Also, I literally just learned this still exists and it's still called this.)
King's Evil (a skin condition)
Dropsie (swelling from water retention, probably from congestive heart failure)
Flux (dysentery)
Frighted (ghosts? clowns?)
Stopping of the Stomach
Griping of the Guts
Tissick (a cough)
Strangury (not being able to pee)
Rising of the Light (either croup or hysteria)
Surfeit (which seems like it just means drinking yourself to death.  What with the plague breathing down you neck and all.)

Naturally I'm going to start referring to all diseases by their medieval names.  Maybe my dry eyelid thing is the King's Evil! And a million imaginary points to the first person who says for a stomach ache, "Ugh!  I have a Griping of the Guts.  I hope my stomach doesn't stop."

(note: Cockroach poop? Death? My last few posts have been on the dark side.  I promise unicorns in the next one.)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So long

Sad news from Las Brisas.

Flo (former apartment manager and owner of the best pair of 80 year old legs) died on Monday.  She was old and sick and we knew it was coming but it still breaks my heart a little. I know a lot of you former Las Brisians read this and I thought you'd like to know.  Tonight you can raise a glass to the old girl (quietly because this is not one of those tenement houses, honey.) and reminisce about all the times she told you to fix your own shower.  She was a great gal. What would we do without all of our Flo stories?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Gross, but we're going to be fine

We were talking about germs yesterday over breakfast.  Our waters came out and Denise asked for a straw because, "I don't drink out of glasses." I get this.  I've seen plenty of glass cups with lip marks on them that were not mine. But I also think that hands are dirtier than lips. Teresa told us about her family who cleans their own silverware that they pulled out of their own drawers before using. Now that, I don't get

I'm not a germaphobe by any means.  I like things clean but I'm of the mind that we live in the world and the world is messy and washing our hands often is a good remedy for most things. We're surrounded by grossness all the time and look at us, thriving like a bunch of healthy things that thrive.

This reminded me of a conversation I had with Cynde's dad Al.  I asked him how he was doing and he said he was alright but his allergies were really bothering him.  He had been tested and learned that he was allergic to a number of things like eucalyptus trees and cockroach feces.  I had to stop him because how can you mention cockroach feces without your face melting off?  But he said that the Arizona desert is filled with billions of cockroaches and their poop dries up and crumbles in the wind and is carried to the city.

"So you mean we're breathing cockroach poop right now?"

This is what we have to live with!  And most of us are totally unaware and also, totally fine.  Except Al, who has to take pills for it.

Have you been to the beach? Do you know what the beach is made up of?  Bird and fish poop.  If you touch the water or the sand you're touching bird and fish poop.  That's just the facts.  And we're all having a great time there! I think we have a bigger chance of being stung by a jelly fish than we do of contracting some weird disease from swimming in poop infested water.

I'm not trying to freak you about with all this poop talk.  I'm just trying to show you that we're going to be fine.  And we can still have our weird germ hang-ups.  I won't ever bring something into the bathroom that does not belong there.  Like food or my phone.  And if I touch some one's hair I have to wash my hands immediately. And I'll swim in the ocean and walk on the sand but you will not catch me walking on a pier barefoot because people clean their fish there and that's just gross.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rock and Roll Name

Camille and I are trying to win tickets to next year's Australian Open.

The following IM convo happened this morning:

Camille: they say it's 107 degree there right now. Are you sure we want to go?

Me: YES! As long as they have frozen lemonade or some alternative slushie bev then we're set.
Slushie Bev is my new rock and roll name!!!!!!!!!

You know friends, some people spend their whole lives looking for perfection and then it just drops in their laps like dew from heaven. I want it embroidered on the back of a gold lame jacket.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Maybe blepharitis

There's something up with my right eyelid.  There's been a small dry patch on it for about a month, and now it's a little pink and swollen.  My eyeball is fine so I don't think it's conjunctivitis or shingles (so help me, if it's shingles I'll DIE!!!!)(Also, 38 is turning into the Year of Weird Skin Stuff.  What's next? Scabies? Impetigo? Leprosy? Sweet Land of Liberty!  What if it's leprosy?) Obviously I'm going to wait until it grows a mouth and starts shouting at me before I go to a doctor to have it checked out but for now I'm just doing moisturizing and not wearing make-up.

I don't have a problem going out in public without make-up on.  But I normally don't.  I almost always have on at least mascara. And for work I put on a little shadow and liner.  But today I don't have any of that and I'm prepared to hear, "Are you okay?  You look really tired."  I have squinty eyes, okay! Why don't you just back off!

Naturally I took to the internet to see if I could figure out what is going on and I came across this:

  • Blepharitis – The inflammation of the eye margin mostly caused by a bacterial infection or a skin disorder.

Okay, that's a funny word, right?  Go ahead and say it out loud.  Hilarious! I think it's just eczema (I get it sometimes in the winter) but that won't stop me from hoping for this conversation:

"What's up with your eye?"

"I don't know.  Maybe blepharitis."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Leisure Week This and That

Oh, poor neglected blog.  It's not like I've been ignoring you, it's just that I've been too busy lounging and my laptop is heavy. And not having to prepare a seminary lesson every night kind of went to my head.  I could read more than one chapter in a book before falling asleep. Or watch two episodes of Chuck IN A ROW! It was the Life of Elegant Leisure every day!

So here's some stuff:

1.  A true Knecht New Year's Eve involves staying in.  If I ever write on here that I went out that means I was abducted and am being forced to type lies. There's also probably a very large ransom.  Alert the Wealthy Benefactor! So we stayed in and we painted. For real.

2.  Back to seminary this morning.  I've missed those kids, even the ones who just sit there doing their best impressions of a pile of marshmallows wearing hoodies.

3.  It's also nice to have students back at the Institute because the weeks of Christmas break are a huge drag. It's great to work on bigger projects uninterrupted but there were several times where I'd look out into the empty building and sigh and then contemplate whether or not to play air hockey with myself.

4.  Does anyone else feel like you have to have chocolate in your mouth at all times throughout the holidays? Like if you're not eating chocolate at every moment of the day the Magic of the Season has died and it's all your fault?  Well, this is how I have felt so don't worry, I saved Christmas for you and yours by eating all the chocolate.  This has proven challenging for Day 1 of Stop Eating Like a Garbage Disposal, Rachel: I Mean, Why Don't You Eat a Carrot or Something.

5.  Speaking of which, I was at the gym last week on the stair climber and the girl next to me finished up and said, "You look great up there, girl!  You keep it up!" and I may or may not (may) have burst into tears because if there is one thing you need to hear when you're on that stair climber is that you don't look like the sweaty, blotchy, crazy-eyed monster you're staring at in the enormous mirror in front of you.  Why with the mirrors!?! Also, thanks, Lady.  You're my new hero.