Saturday, December 22, 2007

In Case You Were Wondering....

I have been out of school for about three weeks now and have only posted twice since then...I realized that blogging is a form of procrastination for me, usually to avoid school. And since I haven't had any school...I guess I've just been, well, living and enjoying myself. Now I am writing to avoid getting ready for work. Which means I have just twenty minutes. Ready set go!

We've been able to go to Christmas parties, the Colorado Symphony, catch up with friends we haven't seen in a while, put up Christmas decorations, drink hot chocolate, and clean up some clutter.

Here are some random highlights:

1.) We made gingerbread houses out of graham crackers, candy, and super sugary frosting at cubscouts last week. For those of you that don't know, Brandon and I are Webelos (10 year old Cub Scouts) leaders for our church. For the activity, though, we did it with all the Cub Scouts (seven total). It was fun, although we were so busy helping the kids, we didn't get a chance to make our own. Not to mention, we've eaten a PURE SUGAR DIET since Thanksgiving and didn't need the extra cavity inducers in our home. Here are some of the creations:

Fun, eh? Despite all the mumbling we do about Cub Scouts, it is actually pretty fun and rewarding.

2.) Brandon finished finals on Thursday! He just has one semester left of academic classes (and then a whole year of rotations). There is light at the end of the tunnel...even if he can't quite see it yet.

3.) I got nostalgic for Christmas music of my childhood and actually bought the Carpenter's Christmas album from itunes. I couldn't believe I didn't have it on my ipod and couldn't bear to not have it anymore. Luckily, it was on sale for 7.99 AND I don't have to deal with the crappy plastic casing since it is all digital. Now Brandon and I are trying to stop this love affair we have with Karen Carpenter because she's dead.

4.) I got a pager and a tape recorder to use at my internship. Not only can my clients get a hold of me whenever, but my supervisor can review what I say in my sessions for all the quality assurance and professional development stuff. While those things sounds like a drag, I am happy about it. I love what I do and love growing into my role as 'theapist'--I am finding my niche and it feels GREAT. So satisfying.

5.) In addition to all the candy we've been around lately, I made two batches of cookies that were, to put it simply, THE BOMB. I brought some to my internship, set them on a table during a meeting, and watched people reach for seconds, thirds, and even fourths. Finally, one of my supervisors turned to me and said, "What did you put in these, crack? I cannot stop eating them!" I inappropriately replied, "If you put a lighter underneath them, let them get all warm, and then inhale, they are even better." We are a drug and alcohol treatment center, so we are allowed to joke about drugs. I guess. But them cookies--I promise you, they was gooouud.

6.) We'll be in Rocky Point (Puerto Penansco) in less than a week!!! Here we come beach. I finally get to introduce Brandon to quirky Rocky Point, eat fresh tortillas, and watch that tide move in and out. Can't wait.

7.) I have to work Christmas Eve. :( In retail hell, too. I am paying my dues, though, since I missed Thanksgiving, am missing the week after Christmas, which is even busier than the week before, and escaped pretty much ALL of last year's Christmas season. They essentially pay me to do my homework at night and allow me to work less than everyone else. I guess I have to make it worth their while to employ me. Hopefully I won't sulk my way through it.

8.) We passed our six months of marriage mark! And it has been the BEST six months.

If we don't write again before the holidays...peace and goodwill to all. XOXOX

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Streak is Over

Twelve days ago Alison decided to learn how to rehydrate black beans, because she had never done it before. It turned out to be a major success. After a night and a day of soaking beans, we ended up with enough beans to run a Taco Bell for a day. As a consequence, we've eaten black beans at least once a day for 12 straight days. This is a personal record for both of us. I killed the last few off today with some cheese and salsa. It kind of looked like this:
I know that this may not seem extraordinary to those who have spent time with our neighbors to the south, but I'm still really proud of it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

After Thanksgiving We Robbed a Bank

Just kidding. But by the looks of this pictures, you would have thought so, eh? This was actually taken just before we (all my siblings and their spouses, minus the one that is on a mission) went go-cart racing in Davis County. I had never done such a thing before, and I have to say it was fun. But I'm not all that into going fast. Leslie and I had a good time dinking along, trying not to lose control, while everyone else had some good ol' fashioned competition. Here we are afterward.
Aren't we all so cute? I certainly think so.

This post is basically a travelogue to explain that Thanksgiving was a nice time. I came home feeling exhausted--it wasn't really the most relaxing vacation and I never really got a chance to recover from busting my tooshie during finals. But the chance to spend time with my family was wonderful and much needed.

Aside from the go-cart racing, some of the highlights included visiting the Nature Conservancy's Nature Preserve at the Great Salt Lake. While that landscape is stark and sometimes buggy, I find it intoxicating and beautiful. Perhaps you need to grow up in the desert to really appreciate it or just have that need for open space, because I know many that just don't get it. I miss the many walks and runs in Farmington Bay and along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail that I used to take while living in Utah--they always yielded me the best views, fresh air, and that needed respite from daily living.
Later that day, we went to Temple Square and saw the lights. There is nothing like visiting the Salt Lake Temple, I always find myself holding back tears when I look up at the spires. The glimmer of the Christmas lights made the ambience that much more meaningful. It was really cold, though, so it was a rather rushed enjoyment.
I unfortunately don't have any quality pictures of Thanksgiving itself...but I bet you can imagine what it looked like. Food, family, and smiles. Melanie--your stuffing was A-MA-ZING (Brandon is a convert) and Mom, I want that sweet potato recipe. I want to try that for Christmas, maybe. Our trip to UT also enabled us to visit Brandon's brother Justin and our friends Kersten and Tai. We pretty much got to do it all...and I'm still thinking about what a nice time it was. What more of an indication do you need that your Thanksgiving was practically perfect?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


While there were many wonderful things that came out of our nice holiday jaunt to Utah, there was one particularly paramount comment that changed everything. And I mean everything.

On our way home from Utah, we stopped at Brandon's parents' house in Loveland, CO (and ps, how can you not adore a place called 'Loveland'?) and hung out for a bit with Brandon's friend, Seiji. When the conversation turned to television, Seiji mentioned that you can watch Lost Season 3 on

This is what happened next:

I was all: "No you can't" in my most know-it-all-tone. Then Brandon was all: "Yeah, you can only watch the last six episodes." Then Sieji was all "Oh, that's weird" and the conversation changed subjects.

Cut to Monday, the next day.

I get this text from Brandon that was all, "Seji was right, all of Lost season 3 is online." And then suddenly I was all, "Yes! This is incredible!" and bolted home as quickly as my little red neon would go without breaking the law.

I also call that section, "All: A Literary Experiment."

Now, here we are, three days later. Brandon and I are watching L O S T obsessively. Several months ago, Brandon's friend Ryan told us about a site where we could watch L O S T but it just didn't work out. The resolution was crappy and it wasn't worth it. But L O S T on is a gem. So thanks for the link Ryan, we are just resolution snobs.

We have probably watched five or six episodes since Monday and right this very second, I am anxiously awaiting Brandon's return from hometeaching so we can watch more. I am blown away by Desmond, not to mention the whole surgery incident and can't wait to find out what happens. I find myself constantly raising my hands to the ceiling during these episodes and saying, "This is SO awesome" in my most impressed, definitive voice. This is embarrassing, but I am also tempted to read all L O S T message boards and learn what the geeks are hypothesizing about. I think we've just been in L O S T withdrawal since we finished season 2.

Watch out for the Others. They are evil.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tag. I'm it.

I just got "tagged" by my homeboy Ryan to share a little bit about myself. This requires me to answer four simple questions. So here we go.

Question 1: What is your favorite t-shirt that you own?

I have a bounty of wonderful t-shirts which makes this question difficult. Currently, I would say that my favorite shirt is one that says "Eagles are Forever" and also features a picture of an eagle. I like it because it looks cool and is soft. Here is a picture of me wearing the shirt and a monkey:

My favorite t-shirt which I don't own features the Cobra Kai logo and says "Sweep the Leg":

Question 2: Who is the most famous person you've ever shaken hands with?

Funny you should ask. During the summer of 2002, my boyhood hero Jim Rome came to visit the Mile-High City. A little smooth-talking scored Ryan and I some tickets to the "Meet and Greet" session. That is where I met Van Smack. Our hands embraced for a brief moment and he wrote something really fast on a picture for me. It was awesome. Not too many people get to meet their boyhood hero, so I feel lucky. Here's a graphic depiction of the event:

I met Rick Majerus and Urban Meyer and some Utah athletes.

I also met Marc Brown, creator of Arthur the aadvark. He came to my elementary school and I got done with my work so I got to go to the library and meet him. It wasn't really cool at all when you think about it.

Question 3: What are the coolest nicknames you've given people?

Hmmm...let's see. When my roommate's ladyfriend, Jen, crashed a gigantic foam airplane into my eye, I named her Jen Ladin. I also have a friend named Mattle who I named "Frattle" because he joined an LDS fraternity. Also, during our non-affiliated undergraduate years, I addressed my wife as Mohammed. There was also Evil Joe, Krusty, Lyn Ladin, Karl C, Robot, Rawd,, and Rawdimir among others.

Question 4: What is your favorite memory from your undergraduate experience?

My undergraduate experience encompassed four entire years. It's hard to say which is the best, but here are the candidates:

I got to help pull down the goal post after Utah's undefeated football regular season. Not very many people get to be that guy.

I got my first Speedo modeling gig. This work was published in a major periodical.

I shook my booty for the "Arctic Circle Shake" and placed in the top three.

My brother and I scared the neighbor with the gift of a snake in a box and then blamed it on Evil Joe.

This list could go on and on. I would have to say that my undergraduate career was truly prolific in many ways.

So now everyone knows a little bit more about me. Yippee!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Things That Will Make Your Life Better

1) Homemade leftovers, especially during finals week.

I know you are probably thinking "finals week? We haven't even had Thanksgiving yet!?" My program, however, is on the quarter system which means it goes super fast and we start and end at odd times.

But back to leftovers, they are seriously the best. A couple weeks ago we made a gigantic thing of a super yummy taco soup because we had the missionaries over for dinner and ended up with tons extra. That soup satisfied us for the whole next week.

This week we have been having an endless supply of yellow curry, with a recipe supplied by Leslie. Seriously, each time I eat it, it gets better. I don't know if it is because I am so frazzled, busy, and in desperate need of a meal at the end of the day, or if it is that good. Probably both.

So, if any of ya'll have good recipes that make for great leftovers, send 'em our way. Now I gotta go...our Relief Society is having their last free yoga class of the year. I can't miss it!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Things That Will Make Your Life Worse

1) Group projects for school.

Enough said.

I'm sure I could come up with more--actually canned peas, dog poop in the stairwell by our front door (true story, happening right now), and the local 10:00 news just came to mind.

But group projects. They really suck. At least the only one I had this quarter is finished. AND--I got through it without gouging out my eyes.

Monday, November 5, 2007

If you don't like hearing about mundane things, don't read this

As Brandon and I reflected on our recent blog entries, we both realized that the most blog-worthy events that occurred in our lives over the past two weeks were 1.) not getting Rockies tickets for the baseball world championships finals 2.) Brandon's handlebar mustache and 3.) Kevin Federline. Man oh man, aren't our lives exciting? I know you are all jealous!

Now: on to something more exciting.

Its official. I have gotten over my fear of crockpots. Yup, and I bet you are jealous. Prior to this week, I would think about using the crockpot and get this sinking, anxious feeling. I was worried they would burn our house down or that I would somehow be the only one in the history of crockpot users to mess up. Plus, I actually enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes and somehow irrationally concluded that if I were to start regularly using a crockpot, we would be on the downward spiral to only eating casseroles with cream of chicken soup and ground hamburger.

Alas, none of that has happened. Our house is still standing, the food never burned, and I still have an interest in cooking. We used the crockpot to make tortilla soup a week ago and then yesterday to make some pork sandwiches (yes, believe it or not, I ate pork, enjoyed it, and will probably do it again. Walls may just start crumbling). Actually, Brandon was in charge of the whole pork thing so if I ever have to do it by myself, that nervous feeling might come back.

Other ridiculously mundane things in our lives include:
1.) We saw The Darjeeling Limited on Saturday night. We enjoyed it. If you like whimsical details, underplayed humor, and watching dysfunctional families reconnect, go see it.

2.) Brandon bought a ridiculous amount of Halloween candy when it went on sale Nov. 1. While he got some of the good stuff, we now have a giant bag of the Willy Wonka candies--laffy taffy, nerds, runts, sweet tarts, etc. All the stuff I thought you grew out of by age 12. This morning, though, I did hear some pretty good laffy taffy wrapper jokes.

3.) We get to activate a Costco membership this week.

Stay tuned for more nail-biting excitement. You won't want to miss what we have to tell you next.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

K-Fed Update

We are sitting here reading celebrity gossip/crosswording (guess who's doing what) and we stumbled upon this gem:

We also found out how much Britney and K-Fed spend each month.

Courtesy of

Britney's Expenses:
• $102,000 on entertainment, gifts and vacation
• $49,267 on mortgage payments
• $16,000 on clothes
• $4,758 on eating out
• $2,500 on phone bills

Kevin's Expenses:
• $5,000 on entertainment, gifts and vacation
• $7,500 on rent
• $2,000 on clothes
• $1,500 on eating out
• $750 on phone bills

Kevin the Moustache is currently traveling through the waterworks, because he got removed from his facial home and washed down the sink this morning. Maybe he'll fall into mutagenic ooze and meet up with some sewer rats like Splinter, the leader of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maybe he'll become a ninja moustache.

Just thought you should know.

Monday, October 29, 2007


What? That's not an actual photograph of me?
My favorite part of that picture is the implication that my ears and nose are made out of hair. It prety much rocks. I wish I could get that on my driver's license or ward website.

While Alison's description is pretty accurate, I can't attribute the -stache to any of those things (motorcycles, Mountain Dew, etc...) I will say, however, that the men below probably had an influence on my current facial hair format.

I know that no Guns or Roses have moustaches. You see, I was having a tortured internal debate about whether I should be Axl Rose or Slash for Halloween. I thought that maybe watching Guns N'Roses videos on YouTube would help me to decide; but, alas, my decision became even more difficult to make. I realized that I was in over my head and reacted as any rational person would: I shaved my two weeks of full beard into some handlebars.

All of my years watching comedy films have convinced me that not only is my moustache stylish, but it's also a great career move. I could easily become an orderly, a wrestler or a race car driver. If nothing else, my current job is now more extreme.

Anyway, I decided to name my moustache "Kevin" in honor of Kevin Federline. The Britney Spears saga has been awesome. She's an unintentional reality TV show. I can't wait to see what will happen next. I'm hoping that maybe she can team up with fellow fallen-from-grace redneck Tonya Harding for some hijinks. My favorite moment in the past few months, though, was when K-Fed reportedly showed up to court wearing an eye patch. I like the statement. Losing an eye (or getting pink-eye in K-Fed's case) wouldn't be that bad if you got to wear an eye patch around. It turned me into a big fan. That's why my moustache is named Kevin.

Handlebar Mustache

Brandon had to leave for work earlier than I did last Saturday. I heard him bustling about the bathroom, giving himself his routine haircut and shave. He hadn't shaved for about two weeks, which I don't mind. I think he looks cute with scruff. Anyways, when Brandon was finally ready to leave, he came in our dark room to give me a kiss goodbye. As I opened my eyes, I saw something that a HANDLEBAR MUSTACHE??

Indeed it was. I didn't get a good view of it, however, since I didn't fully recognize the atrocity until he was already out the door.

And sure enough, I get home Saturday night to see the mustache in its fullest. While mustaches scream 'Eek! Child Molester!', this one just grates your eyeballs and makes you mumble under your breath: 'I bet that guy loves his motorbike, Mountain Dew, hockey, and shotguns.' No offense to those that simultaneously love motorbikes, Mountain Dew, hockey, and shotguns, I just don't relate and don't really care to. I asked him if it was part of some Halloween costume and he unfortunately said no. Someone at church asked him about it and I think his answer was something along the lines of, "I don't know, it just happened." Ha, ha.

I haven't yet had a chance to take a picture of it yet, but this image is strikingly close.

FYI everyone: I do freelance art. Microsoft paint is my medium of choice. As you can tell, I'm especially talented.

Back to the mustache: He can keep it as long as he wants. He cleans the microwave and lets me put my cold feet between his legs. Not to mention the fact that I just genuinely want to spend all my time with him. I might just poke fun at the handlebar mustache every now and then. Come to think of it, that'll probably just feed his joke even more. ;)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Monday and No Rockies Tickets

Mondays are always long days. We always get up fairly early to get a head start on studying. Brandon usually spends the morning studying for a test that he has later in the day and I usually spend it getting caught up on reading.

I usually get to school around 11, do work study for four hours, then have six straight hours of class and get home around 9:20. Its a long one. Luckily though, I have my two favorite classes on Mondays--Mental Health Assessments of Adults and Trauma and Recovery. I think all my classmates think I am the biggest geek because sometimes I cannot shut up. I am a commenter. Luckily (part ii), Brandon and I don't have class together. He as a non commenter and generally thinks that the less comments the better because it increases the chance that a.) class will end early and b.) he won't have to hear someone say something stupid. My philosophy is: I'm paying for this + I'm interested in this + these are pretty serious issues x I'm actually a big academic nerd=You better believe I'm going to get a lot out of this class.

This morning was a nice exception. I just really didn't feel like getting up early, so I slept in and even convinced Brandon to sleep in too. Around 9:15 I made waffles with our new waffle iron that we got for our wedding. It was a nice morning

At ten o'clock we desperately tried to buy tickets for the baseball world championship finals. You can tell how much I know about baseball because I don't even know the right name. I do know, however, that the Rockies and the Red Sox are going and it is a pretty big deal.

Unfortunately, ticket sales didn't even begin until 10--meaning that we were trying to buy tickets along with the ENTIRE UNIVERSE at the EXACT SAME TIME. As a result, we kept getting 'problem loading page' messages and are empty handed. Sorry husband, we tried! Maybe you can mug this guy and get in and see the games. No one will ever know!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Weekend Away

Sometimes you need some good friends to get you out of your routine...
Our excellent friends, Kersten and Tai, decided to vacation in Vail, Colorado last week. I'm sure that one of the reasons they decided on Vail was because they knew they had a better likelihood of having us join them there than in say, well, anywhere farther than two hours away from Denver. That's the unfortunate truth. With both of us in grad school, our time and cash is fairly strapped meaning that our idea of fun is usually a nice hand-in-hand stroll around the neighborhood or ordering Papa Murphy's and watching Scrubs on DVD. Don't get me wrong, those times together are a precious few and ones I wouldn't trade, but getting out and doing something different is always fun. Especially when mountains, good friends, amazing food, and cozy hotel rooms are involved.

So thank you dear friends for making the effort to see us and helping us have a fantastic time up in the mountains. And Rachel--Thanks for joining us Saturday night! It made everything even better.

I knew the trip was going to be fun when a.) we got a screaming deal on a cushy Marriott hotel room via and b.) I went to the store to purchase snacks before the trip and ended up with chips, oreos, gummi bears, and snickers. Brandon and I have been watching our diet lately so I had fun splurging, obviously. We didn't get a chance to actually eat much of it at all, so now all that junk is taunting us. "Eat us and get fat" it says. "It will taste so good and make you avoid vegetables!" So so tempting. I succumb every now and then but Brandon is remaining strong. The oreos are just too good.

Colorado is truly a beautiful place. While Utah's mountains are more accessible, Colorado's are bigger and more striking. And the fall season combined with staying in a small town nestled in a ravine made the grandeur more apparent.
When we drove home on Sunday afternoon, we were well aware that winter is literally a hop skip and a jump away. Perhaps even closer than that. A snow storm had come during the night, making the roads slushy and the trees covered with white fluff. While I might complain about the snow and the hassle, there is no denying how beautiful winter in the mountains can be. Bring it on, I suppose!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It Felt Like Moving

As many of you know, the building we live in was recently sprayed for bed bugs. Luckily, we have not had a problem but we had to take precautions just the same. We pretty much had to pack up everything and put it on the balcony. This is what it looked like:
This is how Brandon felt about it:

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Kilt Update

My eyes have been opened.

I was discussing the man in the kilt from my previous post with my brother Jake and he casually suggested that the man may have been wearing a "work kilt". Apparently there is a kilt revolution afoot. I did some investigations and found the Utilikilt website.

This website is tremendous for several reasons. First of all, it exudes masculinity. The manliness of the site demolishes the "kilts are just skirts, which are for females only" argument. Second, under the "Utiliclan" tab there is a lengthy list of convincing reasons to wear a kilt. Third, the photo gallery is hilarious. Fourth, they sell a track-style kilt (right) that cracked me up. It's the kilt equivalent of gym shorts. Imagine playing basketball in one of these and also being a "skin". That's about as free as you can get. Fifth, they have work kilts that are basically their own tool belt. This makes me think of when I work for my uncle and need to carry around tools and also stand on a ladder. Awesome.

I'm now a closet kilt fan. Some may say that the admission that you're in the closet over an issue is tantamount to coming out of that same closet. This argument doesn't apply to me.

I think the kilt revolution should join forces with the bow tie revolution. It could be synergistic. Imagine wearing a kilt and a bow tie to church or work. That would be hard-core.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Highlander

The fall scenery in the mountains was even more beautiful than Alison wrote. One of the first people we saw when we got out of the car was this dude:

That's right, it's a dude. That's a leathern kilt, not a skirt, that he girded about his loins for his autumn adventure. I also believe that he's wearing some scissors in that sheath and some really high-laced work boots. I didn't have the opportunity to talk to him, so I don't know the status of his comic book collection. I have been having a good laugh at this dude for several weeks now. Don't feel too bad for him though, because he does appear literate and he was escorted by a person of the female persuasion.

I also want to share the news about the chupacabra. According to these folks, the chupacabra is really a mutated dog. Maybe the sasquatch is just a mutated dude. DNA tests on the chupacabra corpse are pending.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fall Leaves and Our Lives in Brief

Happy Fall everyone! Denver has just about the perfect weather right now. It has been getting up into the high seventies during the day and then the low forties at night. Just cool enough to put on a sweater and snuggle at bit closer.

These pictures are from a recent Sunday drive up into the mountains to a place only an hour away from home called Kenosha Pass. As you can see, we timed it just perfectly and the leaves were gorgeous. Couldn't have been a better afternoon. I love that picture above this paragraph...we finally figured out how to work the self-timer on my camera. The picture is a little crooked, though. Turns out that car roofs aren't flat.

Look at those dimples!

We had a limited amount of time to walk around but it was worth it. The air was crisp and cool and everywhere you looked was just a burst of color.

Hope everyone is doing well. Since neither one of us have too much time to write these's a run down of the top five events occurring/have occurred in our neck of the woods:

1.) Our condo is being sprayed for bed bugs tomorrow. Supposedly our building has had a terrible infestation that has spared us. That is a huge, blessing, by the way. Tonight, however, we'll be spending a couple of hours tearing our place apart to get ready. We have to put ALL of our clothes, bedding, books, and anything else that is on the floor out on our balcony. Yuck. We did find one poopy bed bug though ON MY PILLOW the other night, though. I suppose this mess might just be worth it.

2.) The Colorado Rockies made it to the baseball world championship (my special name for the event). Like we've mentioned before, we don't have cable and all the games are on TBS. But now, Brandon has discovered the joys of watching TV on the Internet.

3.) We have started watching Scrubs season 2 on DVD. It is such a good 22 minute break from homework and daily life stress. We recommend it. One of our favorite lines from that show is, "Sometimes I cry at night because I don't know if there is a kitty heaven." Just awesome. Jeff Williams, if you are reading, thanks for the introduction to that show.

4.)General Conference is this weekend! Brandon and I both took Saturday off so we can watch it (on the Internet) together. We are going up to his parents house on Sunday to actually watch it on TV. It should be a great.

5.)Brandon brought home some chocolate covered cinnamon bears the other day. How did he know I loved them so? They were even the yummy ones you can by in bulk from Sunflower market. We have been eating just a few each night after dinner to soothe our sweet tooth(s).

That isn't very exciting, I know. But we are happy and doing well. Enjoying fall and each other. What more can you ask for?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dahlia Update

Remember this entry? Well, here's the update on the darn dahlia:
Yup. Mostly dead. That new little sprig of life just popped up last week and I know it isn't going to last a lick. All that mite spray didn't work AT ALL. The poor poor dahlia has actually been sitting dead on our balcony for over a month. I don't know why we haven't done anything with it. Needless to say, I've written it off. Out damn spot, out.

But my tomato plant, on the other hand, is thriving.
Look how tall and green it is! Isn't it just a gem? There is one problem, though.

It is nearly October and it hasn't produced ONE tomato. I don't get it! Is the pot too small? Not enough fertilizer? Just a lemon of a plant? What's the deal??

In all fairness, though, my lovely tomato plant is working very hard to produce these two little puppies:
I'm trying to remain optimistic that other ones will grow, two new flowers just sprouted at the top over the weekend. Hopefully the first frost won't come and ruin it all. We deserve at least one tomato sandwich, even if we have to share it.

Gardening advice accepted.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


This weekend I met a friend of a friend who works for a women's athletic-wear company named RYKA. In addition to their catalog sales, they sell stuff at Title 9 and sponsor women's triathlons. My new friend is pretty much the marketing hotshot for the company and I had the opportunity to help her with a promotion RYKA is currently doing. It was such a good experience and I gained so much respect for the work that she does. Their little seven member team has accomplished so much over the past couple years--it's amazing! So, in the midst of my inspiration, I want to tell all you ladies about this RYKA promotion.

Here's the deal: They are giving away 50 pairs of shoes and 50 tops for 50 days. All you need to do is is go to and sign up; you only have to do it once. I gotta say that I'm impressed with my RYKA gear. I got some great shoes and great athletic clothes. Check it out! And help this little brand grow.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I probably should be studying right now, but I can't stop thinking about this.

Have you ever sat around with your friends wondering who would win in a fight between a lion and a bear? Or maybe between a tiger and a moose? I know that I have--a lot. There are thousands of different beasts that can be matched against one another in mortal combat in your mind, especially when you get bored. In fact, I love this conversation. I could analyze these scenarios all day long even when I'm not bored. Take the latter scenario for example, the tiger has tremendous teeth and claws, but what if the moose just kicked it in the head? You get the picture.

The ancient Romans have long gotten a bad reputation for decadence and violence; but you have to chalk some points up for them here: they actually went out and got the animals and made them fight each other. Maybe they were violent people, or maybe they were just trying to settle an argument.

You might wonder who would win in a fight between a lion and a leopard. What do you get though, when the animals aren't fighting, but loving? In the case of the lion and the leopard you get a "leopon":

The topic of animal hybrids is just as interesting to me as animal fights. My favorite is the pumapard because it's super fun to say. You may have guessed that the pumapard is a cross between a puma and a leopard. They look pretty cool too:

Animal hybridization is not restricted to the big cats. There are known crosses between a camel and llama (the cama), a whale and a dolphin (the wolphin), a zebra and a donkey (the zonkey), and many more.

This gets me to my story. Yesterday (when I should have been studying) I was doing the LA Times crossword. I came upon a clue that was something like, "relative of the aardwolf." I'm sure the wheels in your head are now turning just like mine were. A wolf and an aardvark? (I'm laughing just like I laughed yesterday.) Could it be? I had to know. The crossword answer turned out to be "hyena". As you can imagine, this didn't help a lot, but really just raised more questions.

A very short internet search produced the answer:

Apparently, the parents of an aardwolf consist of other aardwolves. An aardwolf is a varmint that lives in Africa. It looks kind of like a hyena and is taxonomically placed in the same family as hyenas. An aardwolf probably could not win in a fight with a hyena, however. They are insect-eaters like aardvarks and are non-ferocious. They eat a lot of termites, which in turn eat a lot of houses. This places them higher on the food chain than Wesley Willis' log cabin. Their resemblance to hyenas is believed to help protect them from destruction by other animals, kind of like how pigeons look like birds instead of like the cockroaches that they are.

Now you know and knowing is half the battle.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Great Chapstick Dilemma

I just started this new internship (which is going fantastically so far) and am lucky enough to intern with two fellow classmates. One of my fellow interns is admittedly very anal, which makes things humorous and fun. Several times a day, my anal intern friend whips out a tube of Aquaphor.

She then frantically pops open the lid and applies it to her lips as if it were a tube of chapstick. It is kind of an odd sight. I mean, the tube isn't small and she is very manicured. It is kind of incongruous. So after two weeks of the other intern (Boy Intern) and I watching her do this, Boy Intern breaks down and says, "What are you doing?"

I, thinking I may know, say, "I love Aquaphor, but it is kind of greasy. Is that why you don't want to put any on your fingers?"

Girl Intern immediately retorts, "Hello...germs!" Boy Intern and I look at her perplexedly and she continues, "Do you know how dirty fingers are? That is so disgusting to put your fingers to your mouth without washing them first. Just think about it."

And so we did. And then I got worried. I never thought about this issue before. Dirty fingers applying chapstick--hmmm. I am a fan of the finger application forms of chappie. Here is one kind I carry with me everywhere--Rosebud Salve:
It has such a cute container and it smells like roses. It is clear yet glossy and I feel girly everytime I use it. So I use it a lot. Brandon has even become familiar with the Rosebud Salve. Sometimes, when I get home and we have our happy reunion kiss, he says, " smell so Rosebuddy." To which I nod and say, "I know and don't you love it?!"

And then, I have recently added this finger-smearing chapstick to the chapstick rotation:
A friend gave this to me because she was worried I was becoming addicted to the petroleum in Rosebud salve (And the fact is I may be. I do feel unnecessary urges to use it). This Benetint stuff is fabulous. It doesn't work as well as the Rosebud but it smells even more rosey (I should have said 'rosier', I know) and has a very light tint to it. The Benetint has a certain glamour to it that I can't quite figure out. Sometimes I use both of them at the same time, just because I love them so.

But, these are both finger-swipers. Have I been going about lip moisturizing wrong this whole time? Have I unknowingly put tons of bacteria to my lips just because I love the faint smell of roses?

After contemplating this most serious issue all day, I relayed this story/concern to Brandon when I got home last night. He didn't see the severity of the issue at all. In fact, he laughed. "The mouth," he says, "has way more bacteria than fingers."

I, not being, convinced, say, "Even when you haven't washed your hands in while? Plus...she isn't putting the tube in her mouth."

Brandon just shrugged and said, "I don't know, probably. And while she isn't putting it in her mouth, putting the tube directly on her lips is transferring bacteria."

I contemplate telling this to Girl Intern just to see her reaction. I bet she won't believe me but it might be lively discussion. That is, when we aren't learning how to get pee samples from substance abusing teenagers.

And while I am not yet sure which chapstick is dirtier, or how invested I am in the issue to actually make a change, I will think twice about where my fingers have been before using my beloved Rosebud Salve or Benetint. Stupid germs.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


The recent acquisition of an eternal roommate has caused me to reflect on past roommates which I've had. An event which occurred last spring have brought this topic more powerfully to mind.

During my freshman year at the University of Utah, I lived in the dorms; more specifically, I lived in the now defunct Austin Hall. Because I didn't know anyone else who planned on living there, I was randomly matched with a roommate. This came with a certain amount of risk, but also some potential for reward. I hoped to make some good friends who also lived in the dorms, and who better to be your friend than your roommate? The potential did prove to be there. In fact I'm still in touch with many of the people that lived on my floor with me even 8 years later. Several of them are among my best friends now, and I am eternally bonded with a select few by participation in a fresh spittle-covered handshake ceremony. (No offense, but I nearly hurled when, despite seperating our hands, there was still a strand of spit connecting them.) While I expected to have long-term friendships with many of these guys, I never expected to see my roommate again after moving out of the dorms.

My roommate was a beauty. His name was Jason and he was of the Hawaiian persuasion. Things started off pretty smoothly. He was there when I moved in and had already neatly organized all of his possessions, which was very necessary because of the small size of the room. He was very polite and friendly. Things pretty much went downhill after this.

I think a few stories will illustrate our relationship. Let me clarify one thing right now. One of my friends from high school nicknamed my roommate "Creenay". This name stuck mostly because nobody else on my floor was willing to approach the young man and therefore received all of their information about him (like what his name was) from me. He was a local celebrity though, and deserved to be known by only one name like Bono.

The most widely circulated story about Creenay occurred several months into our relationship. By this time, all of the clothes that he owned in addition to his text books, two weeks worth of newspapers, and a miscellany of other items were piled on his bed. I was laying in my bed reading when he walked in. He came in and undressed a little. Then he went into the dorm kitchen and microwaved a burrito. Upon his return, he shimmied underneath the pile of junk on his bed, unwrapped the burrito, ate it, closed his eyes, and fell asleep. It was strangely hobo-esque. I wondered if he was coming home so late because he had been out roasting a can of pork and beans over a fifty gallon drum.

Creenay had capitalized on special college student pricing of Playboy magazine. During football season, he accompanied my friend Ryan and I to a football game. We got there early to get good seats. At this point, Creenay whipped out the most recent volume and started perusing-in full public view! Only our threats to move over to the next section got him to put it away. Another illustrative incident occurred a few months later. This time I was returning late on a Sunday night. I came home to discover that Creenay had collaged many un-Christian images of young women from his magazines all over the wall. He justified it to me by saying that it was only in the space between the bunked beds and since he had the bottom bunk he owned it. I got him to take it down by threatening to destroy it when he was gone.

With a couple of months left in the school year, I made arrangements to move into an empty room across the floor, thereby ending the constant stream of events like those documented above. I rarely saw Creenay after that; and when I moved out, I thought I would never see him again. That was where I was wrong.

After returning from my mission, I ran into Creenay on campus of the U of U. I thought that he would be near graduation because of the two years that he would have spent matriculating. I asked him if he shouldn't probably be graduating soon. He replied, "supposedly." This word very soon became a huge part of the Creenay legend because of his sloppy lisp like unto that of Sylvester J. Pussycat Sr. I got his address and tried to visit him with my homie Clark, but he wasn't home after two or three attempts so we gave up and decided that was it. We would never see him again.

Many years passed, and I graduated and relocated to the Mile High City. I occasionally ran into people from my past, but this was either intentional or through the "small world of Mormonism" effect. I had been living here for nearly two years and had grown comfortable with my new friends and sorroundings. One spring day, as I was walking home for a break between classes, I saw a young man standing on the corner of my block. As I got nearer, he began to look amazingly more and more like Creenay. When I got within 30 feet or so, I knew that I was not mistaken. I approached him and we talked. He ended up moving into the building next to mine. To me, the chances of this happening were microscopically small. It was amazing.

Let me say here that Creenay has really made a life for himself. I'm impressed. He became a surgical technician and has had a steady girlfriend for more than a year. Anyway, I took the opportunity to get a photo, Behold the joy on our faces:

I don't apologize for the wife beater tank top, because how could I? I would wear one every day if I could. I do question my judgment in wearing it on such an epic occasion. My mind was obviously clouded by the intense excitement I was feeling at the time. Maybe Creenay is the Sith Lord and his dark side force interfered with my Jedi force.

Brandon/Creenay 2007 was a tremendous event. We hung out a few times, but I haven't seen him for awhile. My greatest hope is that he'll call me or drop by someday. I think that he will, because we obviously have a connection that transcends space and time.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Week of Not Getting it Right

Does anyone ever feel like they are stuck in this thick, frustrating funk where they have to redo everything they do, at least once? Or, they consistently get in messes they intentionally tried to avoid? It has been a little like that around here.

I think it all began last Saturday night, when we rented Terminator 2.
I have to admit, it is one of my favorite movies. And since Brandon has a thing for time travel movies (Brandon: if you aren't going to write an entry about Britney parading around without pants on, you should at least write one about time travel theories as depicted in movies), it was a good excuse to re-watch the series. I especially love how hard-core and crazy this character is:

Isn't she great? A lot of people get weirded out by how over the top she is, but if I had been chased by a Terminator, impregnated by a man from the future, and told all about how my future son would save humanity from the aftermath of a nuclear war and wage a war against the machines, I'd be a little tightly wound, too.

Anyways, we rent T2, bring it home, and start playing it. We ended up having to stop and restart the movie at least seven times because we rented some x-treme version and couldn't figure out how to play the movie without having these wierd subtitles pop up, telling us how certain scenes were filmed etc. I am not THAT big of a T2 fan, geez. After fiddling with the DVD menu for about 1/2 hour, we concluded that we would have to watch the movie with the geeky subtitles. It wasn't a big deal, but it became a symbol of what the week was to become: Irritating.

Next in The Week of Not Getting it Right, Brandon realized that he had been incorrectly saving his VERY important school presentation and had to redo a significant chunk. Doesn't that just send a shiver down your spine?? It does mine.

Then, I thought I was all on top of it and ordered my school books a full week ahead of time. When I got the confirmation email from, however, I realized I had the books sent to my parents house in Tucson. Grrr. There goes the getting-books-in-advance plan that I was so excited about, not to mention the free shipping.

On Wednesday, I misread my work schedule and had someone call saying, "Um, did you know you were supposed to be here right now?" Ooops. Luckily I was already on my way, I just though I had to be there at 5:30, not 5:00. Irritating, nonetheless.

Thursday I dealt with a hold on my school account that I didn't know about; it ultimately took several hours of phone calls to get cleared and prevented me from registering for a class I really need to be in. At least I am the only person on the wait list.

Friday, I rode my bike all the way downtown to the grody, creepy Social Security office to change my last name. Social Security offices are horrible places. Filled with grumpy, unhealthy looking people, screaming children in poopy diapers, no where to sit, and a line that should be illegal because it is so freakin' long. After about ten minutes, I realized I brought the wrong paperwork and had to leave. While I didn't wait too long before realizing my mistake, the trauma of knowing that I have to go back to That Gross Place is still drilling a hole into my head.
Ow, ow, ow.

Saturday, Brandon made his second attempt to get a new library card and was promptly denied for not bringing the correct documents. What is it with documentation?? It isn't that hard, yet anything dealing with government bureaucracy pretty means you're gonna have to go down to their offices several times before you have all your ducks in a row. Get that in your head, children--filling out government applications will always be a Royal Never Ending Pain.

The week is over and we celebrated by eating those yummy store bought sugar cookies with the thick layer of pink frosting on the top. They have sprinkles, too. I'm usually all about the homemade, but those are such a guilty pleasure of mine. I also managed to squeeze in a new haircut and a fun solo trip down to the outlets for absolutely necessary new clothes.

In the upcoming weeks, I hope to write you all about the swimming pool situation we have here at Cadillac Condominiums, give you an update on my dahlia, and tell you all about our new bikes.

Until then, ya'lls, peace be with you. And beware of The Week of Not Getting it Right. It'll happen to you if you aren't careful. XOXO!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Mt. Bierstadt

Can anyone believe it is September?? Time is FLYING. Brandon has already been in school for a week and I start a week from tomorrow. Our first summer of wedded life is over. It was a grand time. Filled with the advent of starting our life together, surviving a camping trip, riding our new bikes around town, and eating way too many sweets. Now, the next chapter.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, we want to tell you about how we ended the summer: We hiked a 14, 060 ft. mountain!

Colorado is known for its plethora of peaks over 14, 000 ft. Accordingly, there are 53 of such peaks here and every now and then you hear the term "14er" casually thrown around, making you realize that Colorado's Rocky Mountains are just park of the day to day culture here.

Anyways, I for some reason, was interested in hiking one of these peaks before the summer ended. I have a really really exploratory personality and just HAD to see one of these 14ers up close. Not to mention, I also really wanted to see what the I-70 looked liked past Idaho Springs. I'm that curious.

So, we decided to attempt this venture on Brandon's last day of summer vay-cay. We just happened to both have the day off with no other obligations and choose to hike Mt. Bierstadt--one of the 'easy' 14ers.

The night before our hike, I tossed and turned, thinking about altitude sickness, envisioning Brandon rolling his ankle, and wondering how often helicopters do rescues on such trails. The trailhead was already higher than I had ever really been--11, 600 ft!

Anyways, things began flawlessly. I mean look:

How cute is that picture of us?? It is one of my favorites.

We began hiking. Although it was only a 3.5 mile hike, we took it step by step the entire way because we didn't want to get too intimidated too quickly about the task at hand.

After about 45 minutes, I started feeling the elevation--mainly in my lungs. I felt like I could never catch my breath. Pant, pant, pant. So we took frequent breaks. Brandon was great about never making me feel weak.

As the hike progressed, I started to feel headachy and sometimes a little light headed. That just meant more breaks. Even pausing for 30 seconds helped. Brandon said he never felt the elevation in anything other than having a harder time breathing. I believe him--he was a champ!
Of course, the hike got harder and harder. It was ridiculous, really. I never worried that I wouldn't be able to finish it, but I did worry that it would take me so long to finish that a giant thunder storm would come and trap us on a very exposed mountain face, putting our lives in extreme peril. Luckily that didn't happen.

I had to take this picture to prove to my pounding heart that I'm not THAT out of shape. It really was a steep trail.

But we finally made it. It took us about two hours and fifteen minutes and it was SO worth it and only one person passed us on the trail--she was an older woman, maybe around 65, all by herself and as nice as could be. Small and thin and just charging to the top.

Anyways, the top was awesome. It was a very gratifying feeling to be on the top. I was so excited about it, that I have the silliest smile on my face in all the pictures.

There were several hikers already at the summit when we got there. Most of these folk were very versed in 14er life and kept pointing out all the other 14ers you could see in the distance. It was quite a view up there....

Brandon and I were mainly just happy to have made it!

Alas, it was quite chilly at the top and not really a very inviting place to just sit and enjoy the view. Look how cold my dear looks in this photo:

The descent was tricky, too. Although we could feel the burden on our lungs easing with every foot, it was pretty killer on our joints and muscles. Instead of 'pant, pant, pant', it was 'ouch, ouch, ouch.' We determined that the last mile of pretty much any hike sucks. You just want to be done, you know?

When we finally got low enough to actually see the mountain that we just climbed, we were pretty impressed not only with ourselves, but with the impressive mountain that Mt. Bierstadt actually is.

Even though we were off the mountain by 12:15 or so, we were both pretty much exhausted the rest of the day. It was a great hike, though, and we are proud to now be unofficially a part of the Colorado 14er's club.