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.