Saturday, August 23, 2008

Not this again...

Another partial weekend recap. I had kind of a busy day today. At least for the first half. I dropped Penny off at the groomers at 8:30 then had breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants on the other side of town - a fun French cafe/bakery called Ghini's. I pronounce it "Jee-neez" but I'm not sure if that's accurate. Anyway, I got a delicious egg/basil/tomato concoction, sourdough toast, and a fresh squeezed orange juice. Then I checked out the World's Lamest Farmer's Market which had about ten vendors, only one of which was selling produce. Within ten minutes I was back in my jeep heading to the mall for a little bit of shopping. Then I may or may not have gone to see the House Bunny, which may or may not have been really lame. In my defense, my favorite movie critic Eric Snider gave it a B and said it was super funny. This is the only time he's led me astray. (PS - if you haven't checked out the link to his website that has been on my blog's side panel since its creation, I suggest you do. If I were you, I'd start with this article, then follow it closely with this one, then maybe top it all off with everything else on his website.) Anyway, the best part about the House Bunny was a song on the soundtrack. Google research has taught me that it's called "I Just Want To Be Okay" by Ingrid Michaelson. Don't worry if you haven't heard it yet - it will definitely be playing like crazy all over the place shortly and we'll all hate it within a few months. For now, though, it's fun and catchy and folksy. My kind of song. Anyway, I did some grocery shopping on my way home, reheated some pasta for lunch, then went and picked up the dog. She always looks ridiculous after a haircut. I think she knows it. And now I'm just watching the Olympics and waiting for Jon to walk through the door. Could be any minute...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Office Bugs

We’ve got about fifteen thousand of these little bugs marching around our office.

This picture was almost impossible to capture. The exterminator needed a photo to reference before they could come out and evaluate the problem. Our new office camera is more high-tech than any other I’ve ever used, and I spent a good ten minutes taking blurry images and letting out exasperated sighs before a coworker stepped in. Two phone calls to his wife later, and here you go. A picture of the bug. Definitely some sort of beetle. Kind of cute, but I took to murdering them when someone started the rumor that they bite. Plus, they were getting underneath my reports and as I added more paper to each stack, they’d get crushed. Beetle blood all over my work. Does anyone else think it’s weird that beetles have red blood? Anyway, a real problem. So I called the exterminator and they asked me to email the photo we’d taken. But the lady’s inbox was down, so after two failed attempts she had me fax the picture. Faxing photos typically doesn’t work, so I made the lightest copy I could, drew in the red markings, and sent it along. Try convincing these people that this isn’t a roach. Seriously, try. No matter how many times I told the lady it’s just a little beetle (no more than a quarter-inch long) she wouldn’t believe me. When the guy showed up today to check things out, the first words out of his mouth were “I’ve hear you guys have a roach problem!”. Holy crap, people, they’re just beetles. I picked a dead one off the floor for him to examine. The verdict: Apparently they’re called cinch beetles and they tend to invade buildings during the monsoon season. I learned a lot more about them than I ever cared to, to tell you the truth. The life cycle, explained over and over for ten minutes. I seriously almost fell asleep. People think I care more than I do. All I want is the bugs to be gone - I don’t care how you do it or how long they’re in the pupal stage of development. Then he moves on to talk about crickets and earwigs and other pests that we sometimes see. They live in the walls from the time the building is constructed, feeding on fecal matter over and over. Exterminator Buddy thinks it’s absolutely AMAZING how recyclable fecal matter is. Oh my. After the overall examination and a few more lectures, he gave me a quote and was on his way. And PS- As it turns out, cinch beetles don’t bite.


A side note, but along the same lines – I took this picture the other day of a praying mantis that was perched on the outside wall of our office.

Are those dark spots his eyeballs? Is that a stupid question?

Barn Stories: Episode II

The lady that owned the barn where we kept our horses for a while had a little Chincoteague pony named Katchina. She was untrained, unruly, and semi-dangerous (I’m recalling an incident where I narrowly avoided a kick to the head by ducking and rolling under a fence). But my sisters and I loved her like crazy and adopted her as our own, doing our best to teach her things like how to be ridden, how to not be a butthead, and how to “shake hands”.

Unfortunately, when the owner’s husband lost his job, they began minimizing their costs by selling off some of the animals on their farm. Knowing how much we Sweet girls loved little Katchina, they did what they could to avoid having to get rid of her. Other horses were sold at auction first, but eventually when push came to shove, they simply couldn’t afford to keep her around any longer. We were all devastated when we found out that our favorite little pony, the one we had spent so many hours training, would soon be sold to the highest bidder.

Little did we know, our parents were scheming. When we sadly arrived at the barn the day the auction was supposed to have taken place, Annie was the first to notice the big red bow on Katchina’s stall door. A card, slid into a crack in the wood, explained that the three Sweet girls were now the proud owners of their very own pony.

The goal was that we would share her nicely. It worked at first, because we were just so grateful that she was finally ours for good, but eventually things went downhill. We fought over who got to ride first, who got to pick out her feet, who had to clean her stall, who snuck in an extra ten minutes’ riding time, blah blah blah blah blah. I remember a specific fight that I had with Annie, where I fiercely reminded her that Katchina belonged to all THREE of us, meaning we each had a part, meaning I had her front end, Corinne had the middle, and Annie had her butt. I was such a brat, I swear. But so it went, on and on and on. So many tears, so many hurt feelings. My poor mother had to listen to all this for YEARS.

But somehow, despite all the fighting, we managed to get her trained up enough that we decided we were ready to enter the show world. We signed up for classes at a schooling show in Spotsylvania, and I dreamed in blue ribbons for weeks beforehand.

We planned to arrive at the show couple of hours early in order to get in sufficient warm-up time. Knowing that the horses would be nervous in a new place, this time before our classes would be essential to getting them used to the venue before putting them in the show ring. Unfortunately, we had some hitches in our plans that placed us at the show location with only minutes to spare. All together, horses and people, we were a tangle of nerves. In my first class, all of my energy was spent trying to steer Katchina away from the other horses. She flattened her ears and tried to kick each and every one of them as they moved past us. In our defense, we had tied a red ribbon in her tail (the universal sign of a kicking horse), but none of the other riders seemed to have a clue what it meant. I was already exhausted by the time the judge asked for us to canter, and by then, Katchina had had enough, too. She took off from the far end of the ring, straight down the middle, and would have trampled the judges if it weren’t for their superb leaping skills. When she finally came to a sliding stop at the gate, I was unseated, and ended up perched in front of the saddle with my arms wrapped tightly around her neck. …The same exact thing had happened to Annie the class before.

My pride was damaged even more later on in the day when I returned from a trip to the PortaPotty. Corinne was beside herself with joy when she pointed out that I had about four feet of toilet paper tucked into my breeches and wrapped around one leg. Who knew that even happens in real life?! She got what was coming to her for being so amused by it, though, because later on in the day she was riding our pretty black Quarterhorse/Standardbred cross, Quincy, in a hunter-jumper class when he stopped directly in front of the judge to pee. By the time he was finished, she’d missed half of her class.

All in all, it was pretty much the worst day ever. For all of us.

Luckily things went more and more smoothly with each show we entered. Annie was a machine– her bedroom walls became lined with ribbons over the next couple of years. Lots of them were blue, and a few were Champion and Reserve Champion. I was so jealous. I had a couple each of reds, yellows, and greens, but throughout my entire show career, I only ended up taking first place a single time. And as luck would have it, they handed out the last blue ribbon of the day to the winner of the prior class, so all I got was a stupid silver dollar. You can’t hang a silver dollar on your wall, so the next time we showed at that venue I took my coin with me and attempted to trade it in for the real thing. They didn’t believe me at first (it must have sounded just as stupid to them as it did to me, running out of ribbons and handing out silver dollars), but I finally got my way, and hung that ribbon on my wall with pride. Never mind that there had only been one other girl in my winning class, and that her horse had been unusually finicky. Once I had that blue ribbon, I was complete, and I had no desire to ever show again.

I still rode occasionally, and I still do when I visit my parents, but strictly for pleasure. I decided that I only want riding to be fun, and to me that means no show nerves, no competition, and no pressure. And no fighting. And no falling off of crazy horses. And no breaking the ice out of water buckets in the dead of winter. Just being honest. The end. Here are some pictures.

Corinne and Quincy.

Annie riding Katchina bareback. If my eyes don’t deceive me, it looks like she’s preparing to take a jump with no saddle. I really hope her crotch was okay afterwards.

Me after a class at the Aquia Harbor Stables in Virginia.

Annie and Katchina.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lazy Weekend

This is what the majority of our weekend looked like.

(labels read "Adorable Ms. Phelps", "Stacks of DVDs", and "Saturday's Mail". Not sure why this didn't quite turn out how it was supposed to...)

We camped out on our air mattress in the front room and watched the Olympics and played Scrabble. It was the best weekend I’ve had in a long time – so cozy and fun.

I scored 91 there on "Pastured" and "Razors". It looked as though I would win until Jon threw down "Kindling" near the end of the game for 92 points. He ended up winning by 5. THIS time. Oh, how I love Scrabble!

Somewhere between board games and Olympics, we fit in a trip to the grocery store for blackberries and ice cream so that I could make this little treat:

…which was delicious. I also made a German pancake on Saturday morning. It’s one of our favorite things. Like a crepe-meets-popover - you bake it, and it puffs up. We eat it with an entire layout of toppings... Jams, nutella, lemon juice, powdered sugar.

(I’ve discovered something about myself, by the way. I used to think that I hated cooking/baking, but it turns out that I just hate making something when I don’t have good ingredients to make what I REALLY want to make. When Jon was in school, I HATED the thought of cooking because it always involved pasta, some sort of canned soup, frozen chicken, blah blah blah. Boring, cheap stuff. But it can be fun when you’re making something yummy with delicious ingredients. What a breakthrough!)

Also this weekend, we peeled ourselves away from the TV to go see Dark Knight which… I’m almost afraid to say, did not live up to the hype for me. I’m sure it didn’t help that I had my eyes closed during the entire last hour (if you’ve seen it, and if you know me, then you know why). Sure, it had great acting, and it was dark, but in the end it was still just another comic book movie for me. I’m sorry! Pretty much everyone else I know that has seen it thought it was AMAZING, and I wish I felt that way. I really do. It was good, but I wouldn’t say it was great.

We also discovered THE BEST gelato shop called Frost. The display is a work of art. Each tub of gelato is sculpted into pretty shapes and garnished with things related to that flavor. I got kiwi, peach, and coconut (which was my favorite). Please come visit us so that we can take you there. Thanks.

…and that’s about it. Sorry it’s been so long in-between posts. As you can clearly see, I’ve been too busy laying in front of the TV eating potato chips to post on my blog.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Representing the USA...

Had to fit in a quick five minute photo op/icanhascheezburger break during the springboard diving tonight to build a little something for my blog.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday Update. And then some.

Jon was in Toronto when I “had my fall” (as you’d say if I was ninety years old). When I told him over the phone what had happened, I could almost hear him shaking his head on the other end of the line. He seriously thinks I’m retarded. An update – the wounds are coming along nicely. My lip is completely back to normal and my rug burn has lost much of its overall scabbiness. In fact, thanks to cover-up and strategically placed hair, only one person two people at my office has have noticed anything unusual without having previous knowledge of the incident. I had lunch with my friend Angel today, though, and I was in the process of walking up to her and saying hi when she interjected, “Did Jon hit you?!?” No, but thanks for your concern.

The other day, I saw a nerdy ten-year-old white kid walking down the street wearing a do-rag. One of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.

Sorry for the random post, but my friend Brittany recently blogged about cleaning out her text message memory. She posted her favorite messages, straight out of the phone with no names or context whatsoever, which was HILARIOUS and has inspired me to do the same thing. Enjoy.


“His original wife was fugly”

“Oh my gosh! I just got cussed out by my black roommate, Sheena, for using her pan and ‘being loud’! She said she was going to fight me!”

“If I tell you it will make you think your name is JERRY”

“I just saw the most flagrant neckbeard of all time! Can I use flagrant in that context?”

“Coo. We havin steak”

“I’ll maybe buy some jeans or a new banana hammock”

“I like to spell it like this, though: Vadge. It just feels more right to me.”

“Holy hell I saw TSJ today at CV2. I crapped my pants! She has two kids and is getting married soon. All I could think of was her farting noise!”

And my ultimate favorite texted discussion so far this year:

Her: “I hate RS”
Me: “Are you IN Relief Society right NOW?!”
Her: “Yes and it’s horrible. Lots of women crying”


Feel free to place your guesses on who said any of these things. But I’ll never tell.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Tracking the Damage: Six Hours Later

It has been six hours and one trip to the movie theater later, and my face still looks like a battered housewife's.

This is me, trying to look sad. As you can see, the rug burn on my face is getting more and more noticeable as time passes. The exact opposite of what I'd like it to be doing.

At least the swelling has gone down a bit on my lip. I'm sad I didn't know about the "macro" setting on my camera earlier today, or the first portrait of the damage would have been even more frightening. I've been complaining about how terrible our little camera is ever since we got it, but it turns out I just don't know enough about the different settings in order to take a decent picture. Ha.

Anyway, Get Smart was okay. It wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't bad either. I laughed out loud a couple of times, so it definitely wasn't a waste of money. Going to Safeway later. Neosporin is at the top of my list.

A Harrowing Experience

There was an unfortunate turn of events this morning. I had just barely hit snooze on my alarm (if I don't set it on Saturday mornings, I'll sleep 12 hours straight, then feel like crap the rest of the weekend) when I heard Penny beginning to throw up. Let me tell you, this dog is incapable of just throwing up out of the blue. She makes a big show of it. The gagging begins at least two minutes before anything ever comes out of her mouth, giving me plenty of time to pick her up and run her into the kitchen where the linoleum makes for easier cleanup. This is something I've done a lot. Well, apparently little Penny forgot, because as I came flying at her and scooped her up, she let out a horrifying squall and twisted this way and that, causing me to drop her in surprise. By this point, however, I was already nearing full sprint, and as she fell, she impeded my forward motion. You can see where this is going.

My hands failed me. Hands, where were you?! You weren't out in front of my face, catching my fall, I'll tell you that much. Maybe they were trying to move Penny out of the way. Well turns out I didn't need them, anyway, because my face performed the task of hitting the floor first very nicely if I may say so indeed. Yes. My face. I skidded on my face along the carpet, arms pinned to my sides, for at least two feet. And there was considerable damage.

Here's my right cheekbone. It's all shiny because of the ointment I put on it, but you can definitely see the rug burn. PS- Jon still doesn't believe that I have green in my eyes.

And here's my fat lip. The old Canon Powershot A520 is incapable of taking in-focus closeups, but you get the idea.

Falling down isn't anything that's new to me (see here), but I realized that this is the first time I have actually sustained injury from a tumble. Anyway, that was my harrowing experience.

Last night I watched Unbreakable (for the first time) and it was kind of cool. I don't know. Not as great as I was expecting it to be. The twist at the end didn't blow my mind like I was expecting it to. OH - but I thought of something that would be AWESOME. Wouldn't it be the CRAZIEST TWIST EVER to find out at the end of a movie that the entire thing has been moving BACKWARD, not forward? Someone would have to be a crazy-awesome writer in order to pull that off. I don't even think it would be possible, but seriously, imagine how you would blow peoples' minds if you could do it. M. Night Shyamalan owes me for that one.

Anyway, have a great weekend. If you'd all like to fast for my facial injuries, I'd really appreciate it. It would be great if I could heal up quickly. Thanks, guys.

PS- HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 08, 2008


So I've decided to give in and join Twitter, though I'm still not convinced that it's practical for anyone that doesn't network and share links for a living. But I figured that it might be a good outlet for random thoughts and happenings that don't warrant an entire blog post on the subject, so check out my feed on the right-hand panel every once in a while to see what I'm up to. If you want. No pressure.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Rest of the Weekend

First and foremost – go rent “Waitress”. It came out last year and was betrayed by whoever was supposed to be marketing it. Jon and I watched it last night and it was one of the best movies that I’ve seen in a while. I liked it as much as I liked Juno, except I have the feeling I’ll love this one more and more each time I watch it (I still love Juno, but some of the dialogue gets tedious the second and third time. Don’t you think? Anyone? Anyone? No? Maybe?).

Second – I let Jon pick the movie this weekend and he chose Hellboy. Which ended up being pretty much just what I expected (very fantastical, but otherwise not even worth another word)…but I’d just like to say that if you’d like to wet your pants in terror, then look up a trailer for “Quarantine”. The preview played before our movie and it took five years off my life.

Third, I got released from my calling on Sunday. I was only in Young Women’s for about six months, but the rest of the presidency has been in for a couple of years, so they released us all. No new calling yet, but I’ve been told not to get “too comfortable”.

And fourth, we spent some time in Borders the other night, a day or two after “Breaking Dawn” was released (The fourth and final installment of the Twilight series) and just for fun, I picked up a copy and flipped to the end to see if I could find out the finale by skimming a couple of pages. I KID YOU NOT, I opened the book up directly to THIS PAGE.

Sorry for the blurriness, but please look at the FIRST WORDS on the FIRST (and only) PAGE I LOOKED AT. Thank you, Stephanie Meyer. Thank you. Really. I mean it. You made my night. You really did.

PS- I don't think "chuckle" means what she thinks it means. Is it really possible to "laugh inwardly or quietly" "expressing great joy or triumph"? Hm. You decide.

And I promise that this is the last time I'll mention these books.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Not only is this my first post in August, but it's also my ONE HUNDREDTH POST. Hooray! To celebrate, I'll give you a little glimpse at what I've been up to this weekend.

1) I successfully avoided having to teach a lesson in Young Women. Our church building is under repair, so we're combining with another ward at the Stake Center (Sacrament meeting only).

2) I discovered these chips --- they're amazing.

3) I played a rousing game of Minesweeper to the tunes of Mika.

If you've never listened to his music, it's imperative that you do. The one embedded below is his most famous (in the UK), but you should also check out "Grace Kelly", "Lollipop", and "Big Girl" if you know what's good for you. Also, if these songs don't make you happy, we can't be friends anymore.

Mika - Love Today

Found at

4) I did laundry and cleaned the bathrooms to the tunes of Andrew Bird. You guys are all jerks for not telling me about him sooner. He's great.

and 5) I went shopping. Then I got heatstroke on the way home because I wasn't able to find a covered parking spot at the mall.


Sidenote: When I uploaded these pictures, I found one from last weekend that I forgot to post. I was at my aunt's house on the phone with my friend, Christa, when I stepped on something crunchy.

It was already dead, thank goodness. And shoot. I just realized that I forgot to get rid of it. So it's still in their house. ....Sorry!

Anyway, Jon will be home in a few short hours and I suspect I'll make him take me to dinner when he gets here. Happy August!