14 December 2010

Possibly the worst greeting card ever

Greeting cards are pretty bad, usually. But this just might be the worst:




Created by yours truly.

08 December 2010

professional cleaner, professional editor

You know how communal spaces don't stay clean? (Think of the apartment you shared with five strangers. Now think of the kitchen. I think you know what I mean.) No one is willing to take responsibility for the upkeep of those sorts of spaces, unless they're getting paid.

Call me a neat freak, call me OCD. Call me what you will. (If that thing you call me is mean, though, please don't tell it to my face.) I admit that I am frequently the one who takes the responsibility for maintaining cleanliness of shared spaces. My roommates loved me! I often cleaned the kitchen, the living room, and my room (which was always shared).


Former roommates, back me up on this.

I love having my own place now where there are no neglected communal spaces. But at work, the communal space problem is ever-present. There are plenty of neglected areas around the office. And I have been known from time to time to be the one who cleans those areas.

Consider the following:

An "award" given to me at a work retreat:


An old Facebook status update:


So yesterday, we got a memo saying that the services of professional cleaners have been secured to clean the break rooms weekly.

I fully support this, but I seriously want to submit an application to the VP of HR, who wrote the memo, for this job. In my cover letter, I might say, "I've cleaned the break room on my floor from time to time. Please consider contributing the money you might devote to a professional cleaning service instead to an increase in my salary, and I will then consider adding weekly break room cleaning to my job responsibilities. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you!"



incredible employees deserve Mickey D's

In our department at work, they asked for nominations for "incredible employees" as part of an initiative to make this place a great place to work. A nice coworker anonymously nominated me and I was selected.


(I think they really didn't have a whole lot of nominations. I know I sure didn't nominate anyone out of laziness/forgetfulness. So it probably wasn't much of a competition, but it was exciting anyway. I win!!!!!!!)

I was informed I would be getting a small reward shortly after the meeting in which these "incredible employees" were recognized. The e-mail was to make sure the addresses they had on file for us were correct.

Yesterday was a momentous day. The reward came in the mail. (I win!!!!!!) Tim called me up and told me about it. He read me the letter, and then he told me what the reward was.

"I've been waiting since Friday to know what this is!" I said.

"It's a $15 McDonald's gift card!" he replied.

Awesome.

P.S. The last time I ate at McDonald's was on October 13. I remember the day clearly. I was driving back from Boise, Idaho (by myself), and was famished. I stopped in Burley and ordered a McChicken and small fries. Even though the meal cost $2.13, it wasn't worth it. My stomach was having issues the remainder of my drive home. I just can't handle processed foods that well, and if you thought I was a snob about food, that might be part of the reason. Also, I'm kind of a snob about food.

07 December 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I really love that I got two days of vacation for . . . what? A holiday devoted to food? Yes, please! (And I'm convinced that the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday goes no further, as shameful as it is.) I'm a big fan of food, generally. If I were to make a menu for my own food-related holiday, though, it would not involve traditional Thanksgiving fare. Just saying.

02 December 2010

Dennis Peacock



I just think this is really funny because the quote is attributed. So every time someone says "life is good," if they're not saying "Dennis Peacock said that," then they're totally plagiarizing.

Am I right?


30 November 2010

1:01

Last night I was setting the alarm clock. After I had done so, I looked at the clock and it said 1:01. "One-oh-one? Countdown? Is that like a time? What?" I thought. I guess I was pretty tired. And I'm pretty sure that I have not been up that late since who knows when.

19 November 2010

and she opined

Such shifts in meaning based on an initial misunderstanding are common as the language evolves. Sometimes the derived use becomes so widespread and accepted that it’s pedantic and pointless to insist on only the original sense. For instance, not long ago we dropped our stylebook’s longtime admonition against using “careen” — rather than “career” — in the sense of “lurch along wildly at high speed.” The original distinction had eroded so completely that there was little to gain in clinging to it.
(via)

Call me a language purist, but I dislike the trend in usage where misconceptions about language become acceptable just because a lot of people have the misconception. (By the way, I have never heard of that definition for the word career.)

In any case, I feel like when you're just giving words these meanings that are very similar to other words, it just makes language more muddled and imprecise.

Why do we need to define bemused as "to cause to have feelings of wry or tolerant amusement" when we can use the word amused for that? (P.S. I got that definition from m-w.com's entry for the word bemused.) Just because people are confused and cannot very well distinguish these words in their minds (me included, I'll be honest) doesn't mean language should lose the distinction too.

10 November 2010

cheap gas fail

I get these alerts from BillShrink about cheap gas. It's kind of cool because it tells you where the cheapest gas is and also calculates the cost of the detour from your house or work or wherever. I have not really used it that much, but I got an alert in my e-mail on Monday. It said the cheapest gas was $2.53 a gallon at a station in West Valley. I'm thinking, "Wow, that price is almost a full 20 cents cheaper than everywhere else right now!" The only problem is that this particular gas station is about 15 miles away from home.

On Tuesday, I was with my friend Meredith. We went grocery shopping at WinCo (which is significantly closer to said gas station, but getting gas there would still be a big detour). Meredith was driving, and I told her that there was gas for $2.53 and "we have to go and get really cheap gas and save lots of money!"

When we finally arrived at said gas station we pulled in and saw the price: $2.70 per gallon. THE EXACT SAME AS EVERYWHERE ELSE.


Post-publication addendum: Meredith tells me that it was $2.72/gallon. I consulted BillShrink to find the updated price on Wednesday and it said $2.70/gallon. BillShrink lies!

I just got my nails done. So I really shouldn't be typing this at all.

This morning a really friendly middle-aged lady who works in my building got here around the same time I did. She came in the same entrance a little before I did and she pressed the button, you know, the one for people in wheelchairs, so that the two doors would open automatically.


She said "I just had my nails done so I can't open doors!"

At the elevators, she pressed the button and stood there with her hands splayed, examining her hot-pink fingernails (I really wish I knew an alternative, awesome word for nails right now) and saying again "I just had my nails done. They're still a little . . . tacky." I think she meant that they were tacky in the sense that they were sticky. But I agreed they were tacky. In the sense of, this woman has a complete lack of good breeding (merriam-webster.com consultation).

But guys, she was friendly. Here she is chatting me up about her nails and she warned me in the elevator that it's slated to snow today, and said good morning when she was walking in the doors to the building, and "have a good day" when she got off the elevator before me (on the third floor). She also told me about how she was relieved her tights were the right color to coordinate with her outfit because she's grabbed the wrong ones before.

But all I could think about her was things like "I wonder if she'll be incapacitated at work today because of her nails," and "Did she go get her nails done at 6 this morning?" and "Ridiculous." I was judging her harshly.

Here's the kicker, though: I totally use that automatic door opening button when I walk into work. I don't even have a good excuse like this woman does. I'm just WAY lazy.


09 November 2010

cheese juice

You know when you have string cheese and you take it out of the fridge and the texture gets kind of weird and it's not quite as stringy? And it starts getting slimy on the outside?


This happens to you, right?

I know it happens to me, so when I brought string cheese to work today, I told myself to refrigerate it. But it never happened.

And then I foolishly tried to eat said string cheese in the car on my way back to work from lunch, and you know what happened? Cheese juice leaked all over my pants.

I wasn't quite sure what to do about it but I ruled out visiting the bathroom in an attempt to wash it off because I figured I can avoid other people for the remaining two hours I have left at work, and I would rather avoid looking like I have just wet my pants.

I am pretty sure this was the right decision.

03 November 2010

Are you a parent?

So my friend Britney issued a call for responses on her blog about the question of marriage. i.e., She wanted her blog readership to respond to the question, "Why get married anyway?"

Her blog post inspired me to do something similar. My question is a bit different: Why reproduce?


I am interested in people's thoughts about their personal reasons for having kids. Hit me.

27 October 2010

the travesty




Alright Costco, I don't know why you're selling caskets in the first place, but "The Mother Casket"?


For shame. I do understand that there is the word Mother embroidered on the casket, and the name seems obvious, but let's think about this a little more.

Furthermore, the interior description says "Nude crepe."

Right after it says this:

THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC OR OTHER EVIDENCE THAT ANY CASKET WITH A SEALING DEVICE WILL PRESERVE HUMAN REMAINS

(In all caps because Costco wants to ensure they are not held liable for decomposition of loved ones' bodies.)

Maybe this blog post is in poor taste, but so is the name of this casket model, admittedly. It gets good ratings, though, which is saying something for Costco's online storefront, where reviews are hard to come by.

Also, when I'm dead, please don't spend a lot of money on my funeral and casket. That will be of no use to anyone.

20 October 2010

another one of those posts

I used to write in my journal a lot. I don't much anymore, and ever since I stopped writing consistently, I have mourned the fact that I don't. (Yet I haven't done anything about it.) I think it was important for me in many ways. Among them, it gave me a chance to work through my feelings and often, to bring a new perspective and understanding to those feelings and ideas. It gave me a chance to respond. To think about all of these stimuli that bombard me constantly.


The lessening of my journal writing seemed to correlate with the beginnings of a committed relationship (which resulted eventually in marriage; if you hadn't guessed, I'm talking about Husband). I wondered if the relationship between lack of journal writing and presence of commitment was meaningful beyond the correlation. I think in a way it is. This makes me feel a little better about not journal-writing these days. I have found a replacement, in a sense—a safe place to express myself.

It's sort of a trade-off though. Communication with a human being is dynamic and communication with a piece of paper (no audience intended) is not. I gain some love but I lose some understanding and perceived self-actualization in the process.

I haven't been reading Saussure (was I supposed to read him as a student of English language/linguistics during my undergrad career?), but Husband has, and from this secondhand reading, I interpret language as a means to thought. In fact, I've got a blog titled that (By the way, this blog is where I post poetry I write, which is another thing that I haven't done for quite some time—related?).

Meaning.

I find my thoughts in the expression of them.

I think Saussure might support this.

I cannot think of anything I love more than doing it (communication) well, or helping someone else do it well, or reading someone's words who has done it really well. It's why I love writing, editing, reading. When that understanding (that understanding: the understanding that goes, oddly, completely beyond language) is achieved between two minds, two souls—that is an incredibly beautiful moment. And nothing is more eminently frustrating than miscommunication, language failure, and disconnectedness.

I wish I could talk better with people and narrow the gap between souls more often through conversation. I am not very good at conversation. But when I feel like language is transcended and understanding is achieved between another person and me . . . well, the word that comes to mind is love, and that can be felt in so many ways.

Funny that this love is both found in and destroyed by language. One of my favorite songs by Modest Mouse is "Blame It on the Tetons," and there is a line in there that goes like this:

Language is the liquid
That we’re all dissolved in
Great for solving problems
After it creates the problem
I feel like language is a perfect analogy for life that way. So amazing and so imperfect and so inescapable.



19 October 2010

in no particular order

My coworker Margaret and I traded computers at work today for a little while. When I received my computer back, my desktop background was set to a slideshow of these lovelies:





(The file name for the above artistic masterpiece was "future.jpg.")










(Sorry for you single guys out there. Margaret is already hitched.)

13 October 2010

how I feel


I feel like this today. (The picture is accurate: I did wear my hair curly today. And it is shedding all over my black sweater.)

27 September 2010

another post about grocery shopping

This weekend I was really looking forward to going to Costco and Winco and doing a price comparison on some items I commonly buy (and especially those I sometimes get in bulk from Costco). It was the most exciting weekend activity EVER. (Nerdy, I know.)

Since I know you're all as interested as me, I shall tell you the results. I was somewhat surprised by my findings, perhaps naively so. I really love Winco's bulk foods section and love that you can get however much you want or need of whatever it is you want or need. And I have noted that the prices of the bulk items per pound are cheaper than other places I've seen items sold by weight. I'm less impressed when I compare other areas of the store, though; however, the sales are often pretty good. Most of the items I compared were items you could find in the Winco bulk foods section.

Costco's worthiness was demonstrated in the comparison. (The comparisons are not all fair, I should say. Costco has better quality goods, generally speaking, but I tried to match the products as closely as possible.) Here are the results:


Costco

item

Winco

1.08/lb

whole wheat spaghetti

.98/lb

1.06/lb

penne

.76/lb

1.96/lb

egg noodles

1.10/lb

2.22/lb (organic)

peanut butter

1.48/lb (non-organic, self-churned)

3.57/lb

almond butter

3.96/lb

1.66/gallon

milk

1.88/gallon

6.29/lb

pure maple syrup

8.85/lb

1.76/lb

semi-sweet chocolate chips

2.21/lb

2.33/lb

dried cranberries

3.67/lb

2.21/lb (name-brand)

honey nut cheerios

1.79/lb

.75/lb (organic)

apple sauce

.54/lb

1.16/lb

short-grain brown rice

.74/lb

.28/lb (for 25 lb bag)

long-grain white rice

.45/lb

2.50/lb

quinoa

3.52/lb

2.00/lb

honey

2.24/lb

.69/lb (10 lbs)

oats

.51/lb

4.22/gallon

soy milk

5.12/gallon

4.60/lb

walnuts

3.30/lb

5.28/lb

pecans

8.50/lb

3.33/lb

almonds

3.78/lb

.24/lb (for 25 lb bag)

all purpose flour

.27/lb

.61/lb

sugar

.46/lb

.81/lb

brown sugar

.97/lb

18.62/gallon

olive oil

28.62/gallon

5.96/gallon

vegetable oil

6.27/gallon

6.32/gallon

canola oil

7.18/gallon

.62/lb

tomato sauce

.80/lb

1.32/lb

tomato paste

1.68/lb

1.06/lb

diced tomatoes

1.02/lb

Some of the results were interesting. For example, although pecans and almonds are cheaper at Costco, walnuts are not. Pecans are significantly cheaper at Costco. Granulated sugar is quite a bit cheaper at Winco, and flour is comparable (I probably will still buy from Winco to avoid dealing with the 25 lb bag, though). I did not realize that canola oil is more expensive than vegetable oil. Brown rice is cheaper at Winco. Peanut butter is too, but almond butter is cheaper at Costco. I compared S&W canned garbanzo beans and black beans as well, and it turned out they were the same at both Costco and Winco: .68/can.

I hope you appreciated the results of my experiment. I guess shopping at Costco does save money after all. Which makes me feel a little better about paying to shop there? Hmm, I didn't factor that into the prices . . .

14 September 2010

vacated houses

(Disclaimer: I'm posting this on my personal blog in order to disassociate Tim from it. He takes no responsibility for the events narrated herein.)

First a little background:

Our current apartment is a basement apartment. When we moved in, the house above was being rented. We didn't get to know our upstairs neighbors a whole lot, partially because they were not letting the apartment. (That is to say: our landlord lives somewhere else.)

Recently, something strange happened, and the events still are shrouded in a cloud of mystery. There seemed to be intimations of an upcoming relocation in the house upstairs. This lasted a few days. (Glimpses of our neighbors with luggage, coming in and out of the house frequently, weekly yard sales, etc.) Then there were no people up there anymore, just things.

Around this same time, someone came by our apartment asking for the landlord's contact information. She said she was a friend of the family who had been renting the house and that there was a "family emergency" (one which demanded a sudden move, apparently), and she said that she needed to let the landlord know that they had moved out.

Being curious, we walked through the house. You would, too, wouldn't you? (Our tour was facilitated by a door in the basement that is broken and won't latch, let alone lock.) The house was a complete mess. I felt like we were walking through a house that had been vacated due to some sort of apocalyptic event that no one told us was happening. (Should we pick up and run, too? Were we in danger?) You know, take what you can carry and then leave the rest, and also maybe trash the rest of it, too, just for fun? There was spray paint in some areas of the house. Half-eaten cream pie was rotting in the kitchen, the garbage overflowing. It looked like the floors hadn't been cleaned in years. Ripped-out pages of a questionable magazine was lying about in one of the bedrooms. In another bedroom, marker writing appeared all over the walls.

The scariest thing, though, was this, which you see just as you open the broken door to enter the house:


What kind of sadistic decorations are these? SO CREEPY. (Or am I the creepy one? I'll let you be the judge.)

But there is a bright side to all of this. The landlord came with his family and extended family, prepared with a trailer and hundreds of large black garbage sacks, to remove most of the remaining junk. But not before I could score a decent vacuum off of our dear neighbors! This is actually the second time we scored off them, because a few weeks before, we'd bought a kitchen table set for $50 from them at a yard sale—no matter that we can't actually fit it in our apartment. (I think they'd want us to enjoy their vacuum. They seemed like nice people.)

Also, now that it's a lot less creepy to go in this vacant house, I've been doing laundry for free there. (Beats going to a laundromat. And no, the landlord doesn't know, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't mind, because he seems like a nice person. And yes, I'm a terrible person. But Tim isn't.)

The end.

NOTE: To the landlord or former renters of the house, if you happen to stumble on this obscure blog, I will relinquish the vacuum upon request.

20 August 2010

Awkward Babies

Awkward Stoddard was awkward with babies.

Awk-Rowan is also awkward with babies.

I have met three newbies (you know, newborns?) that I've spent a little time with lately (not a whole lot of time, really, but it's a lot for me, because I'm hardly ever around babies, and hardly ever holding them, but I held all of these babies). What I have learned from this experience is that I am a tiny bit terrified that I will have no idea what to do with a baby if I ever get one.

28 July 2010

Food Processor: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways . . . (a.k.a. Post for Kristen)

So I think I have already raved about how much I love my food processor. It’s so versatile and it has really broadened my cooking horizons. My first experiences making pie crust, freezer jam, hummus, and homemade peanut butter were facilitated by this little machine. I have used it to cut up all of the lovely CSA squash and veggies I get. I can use it for many of my slicing, grating, shredding, grinding, and mixing needs, and I there is more that I probably haven't tapped, too. It's great to chop onions, slice tomatoes and squash, shred potatoes, grate cheese, etc.

So if you have a food processor, please make the following:

  • Hummus (When I make hummus, I just throw together the following into the bowl of the food processor: a can of drained garbanzos, with a little bit of the liquid from the can, about a tablespoon of garlic, a tablespoon of tahini, a teaspoon or so of olive oil, some freshly squeezed lemon juice, maybe some seasonings, then process away!)

  • Peanut butter: I used this recipe from Alton Brown, except I didn’t add any honey—I didn’t need it)

  • Salsa or pico de gallo

  • Guacamole

  • Tofu balls (I haven’t cooked a lot with tofu, but I tried this recipe with slight alterations—I browned the outsides in a pan on the stove, and then baked them in the oven.)

  • Falafel (I have tried this recipe with moderate success. How do I keep falafel from not falling apart when I fry it, anyone know?)

  • Freezer jam (I used the processor to puree the strawberries for the jam. You can pulse them to chop if you want it more chunky, though.)

  • Pie crust (I love Ina’s perfect pie crust recipe here. I have used it a lot to make chicken pot pie, though not apple pie.)

  • Bread dough and pizza dough (I love this recipe for regular pizza crust and this one for whole wheat pizza. I'm not sure why, but I have had varying results with bread [Then again, what's new there? My results with bread always vary even if you don't factor in the food processor.] So not all of my bread dough has worked exceptionally well in the food processor, but it seems like it is usually pretty good, especially when I''m not making a lot of dough at once. I found this multigrain bread dough recipe at America’s Test Kitchen. You can see it here [you can also find it for free on America’s Test Kitchen website, but you have to register]. I have made 5 loaves of it already in the past week and a half and have been subsisting mainly on bread slathered with freezer jam and nothing else. Yummy. Didn't work so well in the food processor, though, unfortunately.)

  • Cookie dough (Just add the chocolate chips after the dough is already mixed if you’re making chocolate chip cookies so that they retain their shape.)

  • Honey butter, or any kind of specialty butter

  • Soup (Have you tried Ina’s chicken chili? Sarah introduced it to me, and it's just delicious. I use the food processor as she recommends in the recipe.)

  • Ground meat (I made this chicken thing in the food processor a while ago: ground chicken, tomato sauce, some spices, and pan-cooked. We put it in burritos.)

  • Bread crumbs or graham cracker crumbs (Have you ever used ground oatmeal as a substitute for bread crumbs, or flour for that matter? We tried it in falafel when we made it with our gluten-free friend, and it worked surprisingly well!)

  • Waffle batter, crepe batter, cake batter (I used it for banana bread, which is more of a cake batter, and I really liked pureeing the bananas to make them smooth before adding the rest of the ingredients when I made this recipe. Also, Tim and I landed on a waffle recipe very similar to this one that we use almost weekly [waffles on a Saturday morn, anyone?].)

  • Chop nuts

  • Zucchini (this one is for you, Kristen): I like chopping or grating zucchini with the food processor. I really like this one pasta with zucchini and chickpeas/garbanzo beans, similar to the one here (I also saw it on Real Simple originally as well); you can adapt it however you want, but it is a really quick, easy meal. You could also grate zucchini and make zucchini bread/muffins.
The end . . . or just the beginning.

22 July 2010

Basil couldn't take the fireworks.

I regret to inform you that my basil plant was overturned from its home on the windowsill on the Fourth of July. Though best efforts were made to put everything back into the little container, it did not survive the trauma.


Sad, sad day.

14 July 2010

A/C update

Thank you, sympathetic friends, for your kindness.

The landlord sent someone to fix the air conditioning yesterday afternoon shortly after I got home from work. Coincidentally, I knew the guy: he used to be in our ward and was the elders quorum president before he and his family moved away. He checked to make sure everything was working satisfactorily inside, and said that it was, then told me he'd have to get on the roof to fix it. But he couldn't do it right then because his truck with his ladder was in Wallsburg (at least I think that is what he said, but I'd never heard of the place, so I can't be sure). He didn't explain why it was there, but I bet it was a really good story.

Thus we were off to Payson again for yet another night in the twin bed.

So apparently I can't manage any alarm clocks other than the one I'm used to using: I tried setting one on my phone, but it didn't ever go off, so I didn't wake up in time to get to my carpool, so I took the bus, which was awesome, most especially because it took two hours.

I hope this post elicits even more sympathy.

P.S. Why is it still 70 degrees in the middle of the night in Provo?

13 July 2010

Pity me!

I'm not garnering much sympathy via Facebook status update, so I'm hoping to have more success here with the following sob story:

I was really excited back in . . . whenever it was . . . when we decided to move to a new place one block away from our old apartment for the summer only. Our decision was based on just a few factors, and the foremost among them was AIR CONDITIONING. (We had a window unit in our old apartment, but it just did not do the job.) So this summer has been glorious. Glorious, I tell you!

Until yesterday.

I got home from work and was immediately overpowered by a wave of heat and mugginess. (I like the word muggy. Do you?) It was incredibly awful. So I tried adjusting the A/C. Then I left for my water aerobics class, picked up groceries, picked up Husband, and came back to the apartment to bask in the heat and the mugginess, which had only increased since I'd left.

We turned the A/C off, pronto. That helped the mugginess a little. Then we did the dishes (which didn't help the mugginess) and tried to use a recently purchased vacuum (purchased from DI). I turned it on and the motor made an awful noise. So I turned it off, but then turned it back on, thinking maybe the hose worked. (Just troubleshooting, I guess.) It was at this point that smoke started emanating from the base of the vacuum. Husband alerted me and, though I was tempted to keep it on because I was really curious about what would happen next, my wits returned as the horrific smell followed the smoke. I turned the vacuum off and took it out of doors, but it was too late.

The apartment reeked. And it was hot and muggy. Have I mentioned this part? HOT AND MUGGY. We simply could not stay.

The night ended with Tim and I sharing a twin bed (on an unusually uncomfortable mattress, no less) in a house in Payson (not just some random house, Tim's dad's). We slept through the night without much difficulty, surprisingly, and then woke up and left again at the unholy hour of 5 am so we could get ready for the day in Provo and I could make it to my carpool at 6.

Back in the hot and muggy apartment again, while assembling lunches, I noticed that there seemed to be a higher concentration of heat in one corner of the kitchen. Strange. Upon investigation, I realized that the oven was on. I had last used the oven approximately 36 hours before discovering this. SOB. I am fairly certain this did nothing to help the broken A/C problem.
The end.

08 July 2010

fresh!

So I think I already mentioned that CSA for Jacob's Cove farm that I signed up for? It finally started! The only problem is that, because it started so late, it will end late too. Late September (most likely). And that's too bad, because it's in Utah Valley and Tim and I will be moving to Salt Lake Valley next month. So if any of you would like to buy the share off of us, let me know. (Price info is on the website.)

In this first installment, I got some radishes, kale, squash, red heirloom lettuce, and snap peas.

So I made that thing that is pictured above, which involves radishes, kale, potatoes, red onions, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. It's in the oven right now.

In other food adventures, I cooked and ate tofu for the first time recently. We made tofu balls with spaghetti and they were a success. Although less tasty reheated.

And yes, the food processor has been involved in the making of both of the things mentioned. I feel good about that. What a versatile machine. Best wedding gift ever!

01 July 2010

No one told me.

I had an obstetric/pelvic ultrasound recently. You know, the kind you get when you're pregnant? (No, I'm not pregnant, and no, this is not an announcement.) The doctor's office called me to schedule the appointment for said ultrasound over the phone. Whomever I talked to neglected to mention an important detail: you should have a full bladder when getting this kind of ultrasound. (So for all of you pregnant ladies or ladies who plan to be pregnant, just tuck that away for your information.) For some reason it helps them see stuff? I don't really get that, but I'm also not an ultrasound technician. It might be kind of cool if I were one, though.


I arrived for my appointment and they asked, "Do you have a full bladder?"

"I kind of have to go to the bathroom, and I haven't gone for a while," I replied. (Why are they asking me this? I feel kind of weird about telling this to the receptionists, I'm thinking to myself.)

Then they laughed at me a little and had me take a seat to wait.

I went into the ultrasound room and the tech asked me about my bladder level, too. Weirdo. So I told her that no one mentioned I should have a full bladder, but I didn't say this until after she had already squirted the warm gel (I always thought that gel was supposed to be cold?) on my abdominal area. Then she asked me about my schedule and told me I should maybe drink some more fluid and come back in about 20 minutes for another go at it.

At this point, I commenced my search for water. I didn't have my water bottle, sadly, so I couldn't really utilize the drinking fountain for my needs. I thought the search would be easier! In the pharmacy, they had bottled drinks but no water. I didn't want a bottled drink other than water, so I left and walked around the building more, considered asking someone in one of the offices for a cup, considered driving home to get my water bottle, and then I went back to the pharmacy and bought a grapefruit juice drink (not juice, which would've been my first choice) for one dollar, drank it, refilled it with water, drank that. Refilled the bottle (clearly labeled Do not reuse.) with water again, and drank that.

Needless to say, when I got into the ultrasound room for the second time, I felt a little bloated.

Moral of the story: Know before you go.

Second moral of the story: I sort of hate going to the doctor.

30 June 2010

Murray's is not the cutting edge of Costcos

I know you were all really wondering about this, so I'll just break it to you now.


Murray Costco doesn't sell gelato.

I am disappointed.

28 June 2010

breaking news update

The gelato machine at Orem Costco broke down under the pressure of an apparently overwhelmingly demanding weekend.

I'll keep this blog maintained with continual coverage on this dire situation.

P.S. The gelato is sold at the food court. FYI. (Though not currently.)

P.P.S. I used my supreme journalistic prowess to interrogate an employee who would like to remain anonymous. She said it would be back up on Wednesday. You can bet I'll be on the scene.

26 June 2010

this just in!

Costco now sells gelato.

Of the pistachio variety.

!!!

22 June 2010

Growth

My herb garden is growing! I only really cared about the basil, and the basil seems to be the only one that is flourishing. So that is good.

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cravings much?

I usually don't (a) have strong cravings or (b) interrupt valuable sleep time to fill such cravings, but last night was an anomaly that way. I had an exceptionally strong desire to eat pistachio gelato, maybe combined with chocolate gelato.

Where to get good gelato in Provo? The only place that I even know of that sells gelato is Gloria's Little Italy. We tried there, but unfortunately it closes at 9, which is almost exactly when we were searching for it. I texted ChaCha, and ChaCha didn't really have anything for me. ChaCha suggested Spin Cafe in HEBER CITY. First of all, I don't want to drive 30 minutes for gelato, or I would go to Salt Lake where I know some places. Second of all, it was closed even before Gloria's was closed. Lame. I also texted Google, which suggested Maestro's, which is currently closed.


We went home, me feeling defeated. Then later, I made us leave again (wow) in search of ice cream of the pistachio and chocolate varieties. It was like 11 by that time, which is way past bedtime, and it was ridiculous, but also wonderful that we were doing this. We went to Smith's, which didn't really put out either, then drove all the way to WinCo and finally had success.

I'm enjoying some pistachio and chocolate ice cream now.

15 June 2010

calculus

So I have several boxes that were in perpetual storage that I've been going through lately. Call it a summer project. There were a lot more boxes than I remembered, and I don't think I missed many of the things in the boxes in the years that I didn't have them. There are a few things that are fun to see and remember, but the vast majority of that stuff is garbage—including many of my copious high school journal-writings, which is kind of sad to say, but true. (I didn't throw my journals away, though, because interspersed through the garbage might be something of value, and they represent more than the other useless things I kept. Maybe?)

Tim was helping me sort the garbage into recycling piles (my past is now giving back!) and I went through my AP calculus binder, where I had all of my notes and assignments and all of that. And do you know what I was thinking? I was thinking that I haven't really done any math since that class (over six years ago), and I don't think I would have any idea how to do it these days. I have forgotten it all. I have never used what I learned in calculus. So what was the point of all of that? I want to know. Apparently I thought it might someday come in handy, because I kept it all for so long. Now with the benefit I have of retrospect, I see that it never, ever was.

Funny, though, because back then, I kind of liked it. Isn't that sick?

07 June 2010

the new technological world

I wouldn't say this blog has a particularly pensive character, but this post is in that vein. I've been thinking a lot about this subject today for a few reasons (this, this, this) and wanted to express some of my thoughts related to it. Bear with me. (Or don't. Up to you.)


The article in New York Times called "Your Brain on Computers" was interesting, and the interactive features were entertaining (test your focus and your task-juggling skills). It was also scary. Research has found out a lot about how the brain changes in response to technology use, and some of these changes seem positive; others, not as positive. It seems like a couple of things happen when we are bombarded so heavily with information (and with instant access to it). For one thing, we lose our ability to discern what information is valuable or even true. Why? Our brain automatically responds to new information, and with so many stimuli, we can miss important things because we don't have any hierarchical criteria for classifying this new information. So we try to pay attention to everything.

Another thing that's scary about this phenomenon is that we lose our ability to be real. Again, from the article:
Mr. Nass at Stanford thinks the ultimate risk of heavy technology use is that it diminishes empathy by limiting how much people engage with one another, even in the same room. “The way we become more human is by paying attention to each other,” he said. “It shows how much you care.” That empathy, Mr. Nass said, is essential to the human condition. “We are at an inflection point,” he said. “A significant fraction of people’s experiences are now fragmented.”
For many of us, it is so much easier to interact with a lot people electronically, and I think part of that is purely due to physical distance. It's less powerful than communicating face-to-face. If you're writing an e-mail or a chat, you hardly even have to think about the other person, because that person is only an electronic presence.

And I'm not interested in delving into the vast problem of pornography in this post, but I think it could be said that this form of media dehumanizes relationships in similar ways.

On a similar note, Tim and I were discussing another interesting phenomenon: road rage. I told him about feeling irritated at having to slow down to avoid a pedestrian. Would I actually rather endanger another human in order to not be inconvenienced in my commute? No, I really don't think I would. But it's interesting how much anger I can feel toward this completely innocent person. Why is that so easy? This person can't hear me. And I'm alone in my car. So it seems like it's pretty harmless to shout "You idiot!" and get all worked up over it. And yet, is it harmless?

Online relationships seem to be the same. Because of the distance (emotional, physical, whatever), my interaction with other people when I'm communicating (or not communicating at all--just Facebook-stalking) is so limited that I don't even attempt to control my reaction to their behavior. Things are black and white, with no gray area. Someone is brilliant or daft, but usually daft.

03 June 2010

i'm into this too

Something about blogging about the things I'm excited about makes me more excited about them. And it's even better when you have a nice little camera to render their beauty more strikingly. (I just need to learn how to use a DSLR, now that I have one.)

I forgot to tell y'all about the other culinary loves I have of late. I realized that I haven't been acknowledging the potential of my food processor, which is really quite limitless. I've been using it a lot lately, and I've tried a few new things in there, and I've discovered that it is so great.

Recently, I have made pie crust (which I had never made, and which is really not that hard), and homemade peanut butter (also amazingly simple and delicious). Hummus, of course. (That's not new. We love hummus.)

And currently, I adore the food processor for bread dough.




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