Saturday, April 28, 2012

11 Reasons Why You Need a Dog

Jon asked the groomer to give her "the Dobby"...they nailed it.

Watching Mary Poppins

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My first guest post!

Ignore the facts that A) I practically begged this person to allow me to post something on her blog, and B) she’s my sister-in-law. IT STILL COUNTS. The post is something I wrote a couple of years ago then forgot about once I decided that my own blog wasn’t really the place for it. Jon’s sister Kelsey jogged my memory by launching a new site called ‘Modern Healthy Mom’, and I thought my neglected post would be right at home there. (Even though I am not a mom... and I wouldn’t consider myself particularly modern… and I’m only marginally healthier than the average American. It was nice of her to allow my post to see the light of day, is what I’m saying.)

Read it here! kthxbai

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's okay, I'm sure you can't help it.

This morning I sent the following email to our apartment managers:

and this was their reply:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Prepare to fall off your chair.

Jon took Penny outside to pee yesterday morning and was chatting with two neighbors, one of which had a chihuahua on a leash. The chihuahua attacked Penny, who ran in a circle around Jon, somehow causing his tear-away athletic pants to FALL COMPLETELY TO THE GROUND. He was just standing there in his underwear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Additional reading:

1) The woman with the naughty dog screamed, "I'm so sorry! I promise I didn't look!!" and Jon casually remarked, "What? It's just underwear...", collected his pants and snapped them back together.

2) Every single snap had come undone except for the two at his ankles.

3) I said, "So I guess this means you're never wearing those pants in public again" and he goes, "Huh? was just a freak occurrence."

4) He didn't even wake me up to tell me!! When I staggered out of the bedroom bleary-eyed, I found him checking his Facebook.

5) The retelling went something like this:

Jon: So, I took Penny outside this morning, was talking to our neighbors, and a chihuahua attacked her.
Me: [gasp] What????? Is she okay????????????
Jon: That's not the end of the story. Penny ran around my legs............[dramatically rips his pants off, drops them to the ground]
Me: [crumples, maniacal laughter mingled with apologies, screaming incoherent sentence fragments, rolling]

6) This blog post has his blessing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Jon and I are major procrastinators when it comes to taxes so it was no surprise that my weekend to-do list included heading to H&R Block. (We always have them prepared for us. The only time we didn’t we ended up owing and it was not fun. Also, ours are never complicated so it costs hardly anything for someone else to prepare them. Also, they are PROFESSIONALS and they get you more money back than you could find on your own, even when you factor in the cost of the service. This is me defending our decision to have someone prepare our taxes for us.)

This year our preparer was an adorable old lady named, in typical adorable old lady fashion, Beverly. She looked just like that little old lady in the Wedding Singer, or at least she does in my mind, four days later. She was an absolute joy and I very nearly kidnapped her on my way out. Anyway, she frequently thanked us throughout our meeting for ‘allowing’ her to prepare our taxes, then this morning she left me the most delightful voicemail. Here is the complete transcript (emphasis mine):

Hi Jessica, this is Beverly at H&R Block and I just wanted to call you and thank you for coming in to H&R Block and letting me prepare your tax return; I appreciate that. And also I just wanted to wish you good luck in your new jobs and your careers and I will think of you often. I hope to see you next year and see how things are going for you. Thank you, buh-bye.

No, thank YOU.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Six things

1. I. ALMOST. DIED. I was on my way to work when the truck in front of me kicked up a giant rock, dare I say a boulder, and flung it at my head. Luckily it first hit the hood of my Jeep, then the wiper joint, before rolling up the windshield and off the roof, otherwise I'd be dead for sure. I saw it coming and ducked - how I didn't go off the road, I don't know. Scared the b'something out of me, especially since a guy from my husband's hometown recently received a massive head injury when a rock came through his windshield.

First impact: hood

Second impact: wiper base. Note the SHAVED METAL I've so resourcefully identified for you.

2. I had a bunch of dental work done last week. I don't deal well with any sensation of numbness, so I arranged ahead of time for sleeping pills. If you have to go through the discomfort of dental work, you might as well book a late appointment then go home and sleep for twelve hours til it's time to get up for work the next day, good as new. No nauseating numb feeling, second in awfulness only to the tingly sensation of the Novocain wearing off. Anyway, all of this to say that apparently Jon woke me up around 8 that night to spoon feed me my 'dinner'. I had no memory of it until the next morning when I looked in the mirror before my shower and discovered dried chocolate pudding all over my lips and face. Not so fast - I'm taken.

This is Jessie on drugs.

3. This happened:

4. I observed this picture on Facebook (as in, I don't know who posted this, but we have a mutual friend who "liked" their picture. Is there a word for that yet? Facebook eavesdropping?) Anyway, just imagine how pants-wettingly scary the movie would be that used this image as its poster:

Caption: "It's a girl!!!"

CUE HORROR MUSIC. And would you believe that in all 30-something comments, there wasn't a single word on terrifying womb-parasite monsters?? (Note to future self - the three-quarter profile isn't the best look on a fetus.)

5. This, because it's pretty:

6. Jon was abandoned in the Costco parking lot while I went all paparazzi on this dog. It might actually be illegal how many pictures I took of it. IT WAS MY FIRST EVER PULI, CAN YOU BLAME ME??

Could use a grooming for sure.



I just discovered the joy of pulis jumping.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

My Poo-Free Experiment

If I told you I've shampooed my hair recently, I'd be lying. I haven't touched the stuff in over three weeks, washing with a baking soda slurry instead, and conditioning with diluted vinegar.


This site has tons of information, so instead of rehashing it all, there's a link, and here's a summary:
There are a shload of chemicals and detergents in shampoo that are designed to strip your hair of its natural oils, plus it's cheaper and greener to use natural cleaners.


My motivation had less to do with cost (how much of an expense is shampoo, really?) and helping Mother Nature and more to do with my own vanity. My hair was sick. It was limp, it was greasy within minutes of a blow-dry, it was unstylable. I started looking into how to breathe a little life into it, and that's when I came across this idea of ditching shampoo. The major selling point is that people who go poo-free are able to get two, three, four days out of a single wash, which would be the best thing to ever happen to me. In addition, people who don't use shampoo claim that their hair is fuller, shinier, healthier, and easier to style than it was before. This is the day I officially decided to go for it:

First thing in the morning at work - about an hour after blowing it dry. Flaccid, greasy, awful.


Mix a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of baking soda for shampoo. Apply to roots, scrub and rinse. (It's super weird to wash your hair with what just feels like plain water. No lather, no squeaky clean feeling - which supposedly is the result of crap in the shampoo, not really the feeling of super clean hair.) Use the same ratio of water to apple cider vinegar for conditioner and apply to the ends of your hair. 


It became clear, even after the transition period (more on that in a sec), that a tablespoon of baking soda was not going to cut it for my buttery mop. I doubled it and that did the trick. The apple cider vinegar was wayyyy too moisturizing, so after a little research I switched to white vinegar instead.


You guys, it was horrible. Once you cut out that waxy stuff in shampoo, your scalp freaks the H out and reacts by overproducing oil. I read that transition periods can last anywhere from a of couple weeks to a couple of months, and if mine had lasted any more than 2 weeks, I would have given up. Have you ever petted a lab? THAT WAS MY HAIR. This is no exaggeration: touching my hair during those first two weeks left a coating on my finger tips that I could scrape off. I got through it only by way of slicking my wet hair into a low bun for work every single day.


And I could finally see how this was changing my hair. I haven't quite gotten to the three-and-four-days-from-a-single-wash point, but with the use of a little dry shampoo and ponytails, I can go two. My hair has ridiculous volume:

Right after blowing it dry

and I can put it in all sorts of updos, including a puffy-top polygamist braid if I wanted (I NEVER thought I could achieve the volume for THAT). But this, unfortunately, leads to me to


While I love what the baking soda does to my roots and scalp, I hate how the rest of my hair feels. I even introduced conditioner back in, because like I said, this had less to do with saving the earth and more to do with fixing my nasty hair. That didn't help. I can't even really describe the hair went from sleek and silky (albeit greasy) to coarse and tangly. I can't run my fingers through it; somewhere partway down, they just stop. And while I can do great things putting my hair up, I've still been unable to wear my hair down a single day since I began. I tried on Friday and it was a staticy nightmare. 

Static. The bane of my existence, and the final nail in the coffin of my poo-free experiment. I've always been prone to it, but something to do with the baking soda has multiplied the static by a thousand. A little research told me that that's not uncommon - information that would have been useful to me three weeks ago.

All of this combined is why, after giving it a fair shot, today is my last day of the experiment. The pros do not outweigh the cons. 

I need to figure something else out - no-poo isn't my answer. BLARG!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Social Dilemma

Something happened at a Banana Republic a couple of months ago that has been swirling around in my head ever since. I was thrust – THRUST I TELL YOU – into an awkward social situation that could have happened to anyone, and I certainly didn’t handle it as gracefully as I might have.

It went like this.

I was perusing the after-Christmas sales at the Gateway Mall in Utah (Jon, my mom, my dad, my grandma, and my sister Annie were all there. They have nothing to do with the story, but I think they’d like to be included). The girl that let me into my fitting room was in a wheelchair. This is a key element to the story. Do not forget that the girl was in a wheelchair.

The shirt I tried on got the green light from my shopping companions, so I made my way to the register. When the cashier asked if any employee had assisted me with my purchase, I realized with horror that I didn’t know the girl’s name, and the only defining characteristic I could think of was her wheelchair. Obviously I couldn’t say, “The girl in the wheelchair” (or could I have?), so I wildly glanced around the store, willing her to roll into sight so I could point her out to him instead. He recognized the panicked expression on my face and said matter-of-factly, “Must have been Marissa”.

So now, I ask of you. Aside from paying careful attention to her name, what could I have done differently? Are you hyper-vigilant in committing wheelchair peoples’ names to memory in the unlikely event that you’ll be asked to recall it with no warning? How would you have handled the situation? What could SHE have done to help? (“I’m Marissa. MUH-RISSSS-UHHHHH.”)What if it had been her first day on the job, and the cashier wasn’t yet familiar with the uncomfortable reactions to that seemingly benign question? What if he had never saved me by his knowing response???

And in that case, would it really have been THAT BAD to have eventually said that other thing, the first thing that came to my mind? Certainly no worse than Jon’s suggestion of, "It know...the girl.... [wheelchair locomotion gesture, 'yikes' face] "

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

NAMES 2011!

Every year I worry that Southeastern Idaho won't supply an ample list of truly horrendous baby names for my annual post, but it always delivers! Case in point, the anthology:

Names 2010!

And last year was no different. LET'S JUMP RIGHT IN. Here are the best of the worst names published in the "Born in 2011" newspaper insert for the Rexburg area (thanks again to my mom for mailing it!):

Up first, as always, is the Mix-N-Match category. Choose a first syllable that suits your fancy and pair it with an incompatible second syllable! It keeps people guessing! Everyone will admire your ability to string together random sounds!

and THREE babies named Brynlie (same exact spelling)

Next, the Sound-it-Outs. Do these resemble real names (or cities) phonetically? You'll have to sound-it-out, and sometimes bend pronunciation rules, to see!

Ella Jaculyn (Jack-ewe-lynn?)

Invasion of the Ks (continued from last year):
Khloe LoAnn

Her mom's a 'Bachelor' fan!
Tenley/Tenely (yep, two)

Hopefully just a typo:

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose:
Riggins (middle name Klyde)


Aaaaaaaand, the "What the EFF??????s"
Reggie Tayzlie
Blyss (AGAIN!! There was a Blyss last year! People really ARE looking for name ideas in this thing!!!)

And let's have a moment of silence for the little baby boy named Boen. BOEN!

(Do you suppose it's pronounced 'Bowen'? Do you think kids on the playground, and in college, and by the water cooler will actually pronounce it that way?)


Point 1: One of my favorite parts of doing this each year are the anonymous comments I get from disappointed people outing their friends and family members as terrible namers. Keep doing that.

Point 2: I just thought of a possible inherent perk of invented naming - in five years, when little Razdyn wonders the meaning of his name, his mom gets to make THAT up, too!

Point 3: I feel sorry for the grandparents. A few months ago I sat in front of an older woman on a flight who was cheerfully explaining to her seatmate that she was on her way to visit her new grandson. When the lady asked what the sweet little dear's name was, the grandma clammed up and replied reservedly, "Slate." To some degree, his name diminished her joy. (It came out later that Slate was the younger sibling of Crimson, Indigo, and Sage.)

Point 4: Each name is accompanied by a photo of the poor child, and you've never seen more crocheted owl hats in your entire life. My mom included a note urging me to seek out "the baby with a giant lavendar cabbage on its head" and I think I found it: