Sunday, November 8, 2009

October/November Top 10

How is it suddenly November? I know it is because the sun has been rising and setting each 12 hours but yikes it seems like the Earth has lately been rotating at top speed.

This is a lazy countdown (and a no particular order countdown) post because I can't think of anything to focus on but still want to write. Here's what we've been doing:

1. Last night we went to see District 9 at the cheap theaters and right before the previews there was a commercial for mayonnaise. They tried to make it look appetizing to put mayo on your green beans and let's just say it didn't work. It just made Brandon laugh really hard.

2. The temperature. It now drops into the 40s and 50s at night and hallelujah we can sleep with a blanket rather than just a sheet. Plus, we haven't used our air conditioner in several weeks and have already noticed a difference in our electric bill. We are finally entering the weather that makes Arizona awesome. While I'm bummed we missed out on Denver's recent snow days, I don't miss driving in that crap or scraping my windshields in the morning!

3. Brandon has been started running a few miles with me every now and then and he hasn't died.

4. We recently went up to Mt. Lemmon to see some fall foliage. Mt. Lemmon is a 8500 foot mountain about 30 minutes outside Tucson. It is close enough to be a quick and easy respite from the heat and city. We were a little late for the leaves but I found the perfect heart rock, Brandon found a burly log, and we managed to find a pretty spot to document the changing of the leaves. We also couldn't help but reminisce one our leaf excursion last year where our friend Morghan howled at some mease (aka mooses). (Looking forward to seeing you in December Cheneys!)

5. I have been nurturing my fondness of Life cereal. I bought five boxes of it the other day cause it was on sale for a real good deal and now have to hold back whenever I'm hungry because that is my first instinct. I've also been wondering if I'll ever tire of eating cereal. It is always one of my favorite moments of the day.

6. I finally made freezer jam and found out it really isn't that hard. I felt very domestic.

7. We actually went to a concert the other night. You know you are old and unhip when you find out about bands on NPR. That being said, we had a great time and we glad we made the effort to go. The band was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Here's the song that initially got me hooked and still makes me want to run off to a hippie commune every time I hear it...

Although I should mention the lead singer looks homeless in real life as evidenced by wearing a nasty tank top and sweatpants while performing.

8. Brandon saved the day (and our wallets) this week when he replaced the alternator in his car. It went out on him while he was driving and he did all the diagnostics and labor himself. I was very proud (and I think he was too).

9. There was this one time that we drove the 2 hours to Phoenix to attend the temple (something us Mormons do from time to time) and upon arrival found out it was closed for cleaning. Shoot! To compensate for our time, we ate at the Cafe Rio in Gilbert, went to Ikea, and drank about 88 oz of diet soda between the two of us.

10. One of Brandon's fantasy football teams in almost the worst in his league. Send him some good luck vibes so he doesn't get completely dominated.

That's all for now folks...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Internet Truths

This evening I've been watching this music video on YouTube for one of my favorite songs, Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Here's the link to the video in case you want to hear it. It is a little punky, maybe a little whiny, and perhaps a little romantic. You might not like it but maybe you will.

Anyways, I've always loved the song and reconnected with it when it came on my Arcade Fire radio station on (which is a life saver at work btw). To feed my renewed interest, I naturally came home from work and watched the video about five times on YouTube. And like all good obsessions, I scrolled through the YouTube comments and happened to find one that explained the meaning of the song. Supposedly "Maps" is an acronym for My Agnus Please Stay; according to YouTube comments, Agnus was the singer's boyfriend who left her and broke her heart.

Intrigued by the concept of having a song based on an acronym, I checked my facts on Wikipedia and found that this was indeed a fact which also meant that my intrigue was legitimate.

Just as I verified all this info, Brandon asked me what I was doing. When I told him, he said, "So you're saying that you're excited about something you learned from a Random Joe on YouTube because it is supported by the Encyclopedia of Random Joe?" "Absolutely!" I responded.

Anyways, everything I ever needed to know is on the Internet and that's a fact because now the Internet says so.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This is the Place

I've been thinking--if I ever become sick with an incurable disease and need a place to celebrate life, say goodbye to my loved ones, and then gracefully die, I want it to happen at Casa Alhaja. OR, if I ever win a big art endowment and need a hideaway to collect my thoughts as I write the great American novel, I'll rent out Casa Alhaja and live there for a year. The ocean, sand, tides, and migrating birds are exceptionally suited for either task. Until those things happen, though, I'll take a weekend here and there whenever I can get it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Its that Time of Year...

Football season. In other words, Brandon is in heaven.

Last year, I joined my work's fantasy football league in an effort to help me bond with Brandon and get in on some playful work banter. Let's just say that the part about it helping me bond with Brandon didn't really work. My interest lasted about two seconds and then I had Brandon do everything for me. Actually, I did two things. As he did all the drafting etc, I named the team and searched the Internet long and hard for an avatar to represent my team in the league.

I ended up naming my team The Cookie Monster Riot and chose this avatar:

Both of those things got me plenty of playful work banter and indirectly and innocently proved that football will never be my thing.

Anyways, I have a point. It is football season again. Brandon is enthralled and loving every second of it. I'm not in a fantasy league (Brandon's three leagues cover this house pretty well) and I don't like it any more than I did last year. BUT something strange has happened. Instead of feeling this twinge* of annoyance when I hear the TV blaring a game, there's a piece of me that is actually pleased that Brandon has something so enjoyable to do. He's working pretty hard these days and lets me do my own thing without batting an eye, so why not let him soak up all things NFL? This revelation has left me feeling so mature and a little like the Grinch whose heart grew three times in size after he let the Whos have Christmas. I just had to share. That's all.

*OK fine. That 'twinge of annoyance' part was a bit of an understatement.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


A few days ago, I pulled into my parking space after a long day of being really bored at work. As I pulled my keys from the ignition I noticed a new sight. TWO new garbage cans.
Actually, one of them (the blue one) had been there for a few days and to be honest, I was a little irritated about it. This new garbage can has a drop down lid whereas the last model had a window that you slid open. Although the window version was way less sanitary (the door would always stick forcing you to touch it more. Sick!), it was great because the door was usually left open and our 8 billion kitties would meander in and out their hearts content. This meant that I got to see them in all their glory several times a day. It was a little like this:

Ok, so it turns out you have to click on my art work to see it better.

Anyways, the trash management people switched everything up and all of a sudden everything has changed. I mean, how will my kitties get into the trash now? As I sat in my car, trying to figure out what the people around here have against my precious kitties, I slowly realized that there was something very very different about the second bin....

A recycling bin! Only the devout will remember that I have a conviction about recycling but have never had a curbside recycling service. As a result, I have been diligently driving across town for several years now to properly dispose of my recyclable waste. Once I realized that I would no longer have an embarrassingly large pile of recycling in my kitchen, a radiant smile spread upon my face and washed away my sadness about my job that is slowly killing me and the passive-aggressive way my neighborhood is trying to rid me of our kitties.

That smile, though, disappeared the next morning when I didn't see any of the kitties prancing around the parking lot. They've officially jumped ship to forage in greener pastures, I'm afraid. So now I'm torn. While I can breathe a sigh of relief that I can now live my conviction with gracious ease, how am I going to replace that void that our kitties once filled? Perhaps I need to put out that water bowl I was musing about a few weeks it possible that they would then trickle back and I could have the best of both worlds?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This Post is Kind of Contradictory

I haven't written in a while, namely because I have been trying to spare you from marginal topics of conversation that have been running through my head over the past few weeks. I know the whole concept of blogging in general is marginal but my current inner ramblings are exceptionally so.

Let me prove it. These are the topics I could have told you about over the past few weeks.

1.) I got a new job (yay!) but it is really really boring (grrr) and every day I come home wanting to bang my head really hard against a wall to try and revive my soul. Call me prideful, but I didn't want to tell ya'll that I'm dying a slow painful death at work. I can now, though, because I think things will get better since I'm almost done training. The risk of me getting a traumatic brain injury is decreasing with each passing day.

2.) My kitties. I've discussed them before, although last time I thought there was only my precious kitty, Deliah Garrity. We've since figured out that our next door neighbor has about 8 billion kitties living in a dilapidated shed and they pretty run the roost around here. I am oddly obsessed with them and spend way too much time telling Brandon what I saw the kitties (and by kitties I mean full grown cats) doing and how it was so awesome. I even have a high-pitched obnoxious voice that I use to endear them to me when I see them and started to draw ya'll one of my famous 'Windows Paint' pieces to illustrate some of their key concepts, but then got bored and quit. So if I get bored mid-Windows Paint, how could I ever formulate an entire post?

3.) Yoga. I'm becoming obsessed and often have to restrain myself from telling everyone I know about how there's this studio near my house with $4 classes that will seriously rock your world and won't you please come with me? I try to go twice a week and love it when my mat pitter-patters with sweat about half way through the class; my heels now touch the ground when I do down dog which is a big deal for me. I hope to one day do arm balancing poses but that's probably a long shot. Are your eyes glazing over yet? Brandon's are getting that same look as when I tell him about shopping (and come to think of it, the kitties, too). Don't worry, I'm not offended. You are lucky you got the short version.

4.) The serious stuff. And no, I'm not trying to elicit sympathy or curiosity or worry. I'm just feeling a need to be pragmatic and talk about how blogland is so shallow in the sense that it is mostly about our (collective) awesomeness when in reality, there's all this serious junk floating around in all of our minds that is often more important than the stuff we post. The shallow stuff though is a fun, dandy, and innocent way to escape and 'stay connected'. I am SO guilty of it (this is like our 110th post or something and the list of blogs I follow is way longer than the outdated list on our sidebar). I don't think that's a bad thing, either. But you know, sometimes you are just not in a clever, show-offy mood. And since this is not the Dear Diary sort of place, the blog just kind of sits sometimes.

I can't end on such a Debbie Downer note so here's the final reason why I haven't been so bloggy-bloggy lately.

4.) Friday Night Lights.
BEST SHOW EVER. SERIOUSLY. (a whole post on the show, though, is not the best idea ever). We have pretty much spent the whole summer watching all 3 seasons of it and it has gradually started to consume our thoughts. Brandon developed his first 'man-crush' and I have actually looked into purchasing Friday Night Lights merchandise. This show is also the reason that I've used the phrase "ya'll" several times in this entry. We are both officially in love with small town Texas high school football. We have each had dreams about the characters and have been known to lie awake at night wondering how season 4 will ever compare to seasons 1-3, lamenting about characters we no longer see, and trying to predict what will happen next. And while I've talked a lot of TV on this blog (which in and of itself is a little weird), this show tops them all. Yes. It is better than LOST. I feel like a traitor but this show is A-MA-ZING. So there. I told you all about FNL. Did you feel it was a little gratuitous? I did.

All right. Now you are caught up on all the stuff I tried so hard to hold back. Maybe next time I write I'll be a little more concise and purposeful. Maybe.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Good Deal

We all love them. This one (buy one get one free at Jamba Juice) is good until Sunday...

Kind of a weird thing to write about, but it is so fun and summery, why not?

Maybe if you get one, you can go with your sweetie and ride your bikes to the closest one so you won't feel guilty about having only sugar for dinner. If you are like me, you will probably ride much slower than your sweetie, even though you really are peddling hard and are sweating profusely to prove it. If you are like Brandon, you will probably ride much faster than your sweetie but kindly offer to let the slower one ride first.

When you get there, be careful not to spill a good portion of your buy-one-get-one free smoothie all over your leg that is propped up on your sweetie's chair because you will come close to saying a swear and then your leg will be sticky sticky sticky (and a little pink), despite all the napkins you might use to clean it up. If that does indeed happen, it won't really be tragic because you'll still have plenty left and you can always taste test your sweetie's flavor. This time, it will be hard to determine which one is better. They each seem to perfectly satisfy.

Also, perhaps your ride home will be a race against a dark monsoon storm with quite the lightening storm. There is horizontal lightening with wirey hands on either side, threatening its fingers at you. Don't worry, though, because the approaching storm will bring gusts of wind that smell like rain and are refreshing against your sweaty self.

Your sweetie will likely beat you home but wait for you so you can be close by as you each haul your bikes up to your second story apartment and plan the rest of your evening. Showers, reading, and an episode of that one television show you both love are agreed upon and in that order. It will be a good night.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Brandon felt a little guilty on Saturday when he got his Arizona driver's license and license plate. Especially since he tells me every chance he gets that he HATES them because they are so ugly.
I really don't think they are bad at all, but like I said before, I am partial to Arizona sunsets. If it wasn't 108 today, I'd be toying with the idea of taking a post-dinner walk to look at the setting sun right now. Instead, I'm going to stay inside and watch the season finale of The Bachelorette.

But, I understand where Brandon is coming from. One of the reasons we work so well together is that we are both very loyal to the people, places, and things that we love. That is why I haven't actually thrown out any of Brandon's old shirts (despite my threats) and Brandon patiently waits while I make a way too complicated Cooks Illustrated recipe (even though he quietly thinks that I could just use a mix). We understand that the deep attachment to our idiosyncrasies is part of the fabric of our personality. Forcing a change on the other would cause intense discomfort and probably a little resentment that just isn't worth it. That's how we work it, see?

So the license plate. It was as if we officially turned our backs on Colorado, I suppose. Luckily, things are going well enough here for us that we might feel the same way about switching out our Arizona plates if we ever have to move from here. Brandon is enjoying his residency and frequently gives thanks that he isn't standing behind a counter like many of his peers. I am still jobless but don't yet mind the ample time I have to swim laps in the middle of the day and read novels on a freshly made bed with daylight streaming through the window. XOX

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This is What My Life Has Come To

And I'm not complaining. But seriously, why I am writing limericks? And then sharing them with the world wide Internets? Maybe so that the entry about our kitty cat won't be at the top. Update on that one: Brandon says the kitty cat is named Professor Cornelius. Lame right? I told him that and then told him that I changed the cat's name from Delilah to Delilah Garrity which is kind of a tribute to our favorite show, Friday Night Lights. Brandon kind of paused at that one, because the real Lila Garrity is awful purty but then decided to just be stubborn and stick with Professor Cornelius.

Anyways, limericks. They are unexplainable, but I wrote these today. Just for you.

Ode to the Washer

There once was a girl who liked her clean clothes
But she didn’t have a washer which gave her some woes
Then she moved from her city
And she don’t want your pity
Cause now she washes at home; its so fun dontcha know?

This is Probably Why I’m Writing Limericks

Alison’s in Tucson looking for a job
But she don't want one that'll make her sob
Just pay her the big bucks
And don't tell her it sucks
Or she’ll stay on the couch like an ol’ blob

Yup Tucson is Hot

They say that Tucson is hot in the summer
Everyone and their dog thinks it's such a bummer
But actually you lay by the pool
Sipping drinks that are so cool
Now tell me what else could even be funner?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kitty Kat

No we don't have one. I'm allergic to 99% of cats and Brandon keeps reminding me that in this stage of life, he is only willing to commit to 15% of the overall maintenance of having a pet. How would you even quantify that anyway? Do all pet tasks hold the same weight? I'm not pushing for definitions because I don't really want a pet either, but still, what does 15% actually mean?

However, there is this little kitty cat begging to be adopted. We frequently see it sleeping outside our apartment door, sleeping on the steps leading up to our apartment, circling the trash can in the parking lot near our cars. We see this little kitty cat so much that Brandon and I have started fighting over whose cat it is. Example:

(Upon pulling up to our apartment)
"Oh look, there's my cat."
"That's not your cat, that's my cat."
"Na-uh, I already named it Delilah."
"Delilah? You cannot name my cat Delilah."
"Yes-huh, after the radio show. We both love that show and you know it. Perfect name for a cat. Perfect name for my cat, I mean."
"Whatever. It is my cat and its name is not Delilah."

And so the conversations go.

Lately though, this little kitty cat no longer dashes away when it sees us. It still won't let me pet it or get too close, but it now just backs up a few steps and stares at me. The other morning when I left for my walk in the 95 degree misery, it even followed me for a bit! Also, I think it even pooped on our doorstep. A secret: I haven't cleaned it up yet. Yeah, there is a little turd drying up in our arid climate, gathering dust from the occasional monsoon winds. That's kind of embarrassing, but I don't really want to touch it or get cat poop on our dust pan, plus it would be rude if I kicked it off our balcony onto our downstairs neighbor's stoop. I'm stuck, see.

So, what do we do? This cat could be struggling in the tough Tucson conditions and one day we might find it dead on our doorstep from dehydration and starvation. I could never forgive myself.

What happens if we feed it though? You know, if you give a mouse a cookie it will ask for glass a milk so does that mean if you give a cat some food it will start demanding command of the remote control and want the whole top shelf of our refrigerator for dead mice and catnip? What if I have to tell it: "No kitty cat/Delilah. Snack Pack Puddings and Sprite Zeros go on the top shelf, not dead mice." Will it kill me in my sleep?

I'm going to stew about this for another week or so and if I still see my cat around, then maybe I'll put a bowl of water out there to see what happens and...then we'll just go from there.

Maybe the little kitty cat is this kind of cat:

That wouldn't be so bad would it?

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bathroom Stalls

So I'm still unemployed which means that I have endless time to watch the Michael Jackson funeral coverage and rearrange our bookshelves to my heart's content.

This morning as I was doing both of these tasks, I randomly remembered something I saw on one of the many pit stops that we made on our drive from Denver to Tucson.

I need to preface this by saying that I love tacky roadside stops. The more souvenirs the better, even though there is a high likelihood that I saw the same souvenirs at the last stop. I can endlessly wander through the aisles and look at the cheap turquoise jewelry, the Native American blankets, magnets in the shape of states, postcards with silly sayings on them about cowboys and hunters, lollipops with scorpions in them, t-shirts with the American flag or wolves ... Don't you just want to be there right now? Can't you just smell the old hot dogs basking under the hot lamp, see the pork rinds neatly clipped onto the corner of the snack aisle, and hear the swamp cooler humming in the background??

Anyways, so at this particular stop, I got out of my hot sticky car and pranced into the gas station so I could quickly do my business and have optimal time to browse through the junk before Brandon finished gassing up the truck and going potty. He's not so much into the souvenirs. He's more into the "Let's see how quickly we can get in and out of here" approach to roadside stops.

This stop actually caught me off guard because for once, there was actually something in the women's bathroom that totally caught my attention. Now, I know most of us can't help but notice the lovely scrawls people carve into bathroom stalls. These are usually very strong declarations people are compelled to immortalize on the dirty walls of No Where USA with names, dates, insults, crass sayings you pretend not to notice, and words of advice or philosophy.

This particular stall had the best phrase ever: "Toy Story 2 Was OK."

If there was ever a strong declaration that needed to be immortalized, that was it! I'm a little confused by the timing of the message, however. Toy Story 2 came out in 1999 and those particular bathroom stalls had clearly been repainted within the past few years. I've developed several ideas as to why someone between 2005-present would want the whole world to know that Toy Story 2 is mediocre at best but I will spare you my speculations and let you come up with your own.

Anyways, I chuckled all the way through my potty break. As I washed my hands, I thought "I need to tell Brandon!" Unfortunately, I was instantly distracted by the $7.99 eagle t-shirt rack and promptly forgot. Several hours later, however, at our next stop, the bathroom stalls actually had butcher paper on the walls so people could write their words of wisdom in an Easy Clean format. So guess what I wrote? "Toy Story 2 Was OK."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Proof that We Moved

Like I said earlier, we had wonderful support as we left Denver. They even supported Brandon's deepest desire to hurl our home sweet home objects off our balcony.

(Brandon's dad, Bob, and our good friend Duke did the mean lowering. Brandon's brother Bryce kind of helped.)

(Brandon, his brother Josh, and Duke's dad are waiting to get crushed)

At first I was scared that our couch would get damaged, but when I saw this, I worried that my husband and a few other husbands would get damaged in the process. Luckily everyone came out OK. Even the couch.

Empty apartments look so weird. Especially after you've lived in them for 2 years.

I was a little sad about that.

Our caravan in all its glory. Look how big that moving truck is! And yes, it is towing a car. And that red car behind it is my car. (That's the abandoned hospital behind us. Now that you see it, don't you totally agree that the I am Legend vampires are living there?!)

I kept such a good eye on the road.

We both breathed a sigh of relief when we crossed this state line.

Getting even closer...

Southern Arizona is pretty, I promise.
We fulfilled a childhood fantasy by stopping at The Thing. I won't tell you what it is because that would ruin the surprise when you are fifteen miles outside of Wilcox, Arizona, have been in the car for about 17 hours, and need a break. But I will tell you that it was certainly worth a dollar.

I'm not sure if Brandon agreed. He was tired of driving that stupid van.
Of course, the couch was also the hardest thing to move in and required all the male help we could muster. I watched and tried to look pretty.

My 6'5 bro looks kind of funny squatting down to get that couch in, don't you think?

We made it. Time to eat.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Move

Brandon doesn't know this yet, but I bawled as we drove out of Denver. I felt like I was creating a new version of the children's book, Good Night Moon as I passed intersections and other landmarks that led us out of town.

"Goodbye 12th and Colorado--this intersection that I hated crossing every morning because you took so stinkin' long to turn green. I'm sorry I was so impatient."

"Goodbye old School of Pharmacy building where Brandon went before it moved to the new campus. Now you just kind of creep me out because I think the creepy vampires from I am Legend are living in your abandoned halls."

"Goodbye Starbucks where the half-crazy man from our apartment building went to drink his coffee all day every day. I'm glad you let him come to you because I always felt uncomfortable around him."

"Goodbye 24 Hour Fitness Colorado and Alameda. I loved working out at your facility but please don't feel betrayed that I abandoned you for the 24 Hour Fitness in Lowry. I don't know if I ever lost any weight working out there, but you sure helped me feel better about many things."

"Goodbye movie theater where we saw Ratatouille on my birthday the first year we were married. The movie sucked but I liked your steep escalator at the entrance."

"Goodbye Dave and Busters where Brandon let me play about three games of Ms. Pacman in a row and didn't even care that I had no interest in the your other games."

Now on to the freeway...sniffle sniffle

"Goodbye hotel at Hampden and I-25, where Brandon's parent's would meet us to carpool down to Colorado Springs."

"Goodbye church where all my work trainings were. You have kind of a funny smell and a terrible climate control system, but you are where I started to relish how well that job and my coworkers suited me."

"Goodbye Arapahoe Road. I hated you for such a long time because your traffic was always so terrible but I had many good experiences on you. Right where you meet Potomac is Arapahoe County Juvenile Court and Detention. Some eye opening and career defining moments there. Thank you for those. Also, please make sure that muffin place stays around. Those are seriously so delicious. I'm tempted to get one every time I drive by."

"Goodbye Maggianos Restaurant where we had our wedding luncheon and returned a year later to celebrate our anniversary and stuff our selves silly on their family style dinner and chocolate cake."

"Goodbye Park Meadows Mall. You were the best mall in Denver but I never went to you enough because you were far away and were actually so big that you made me tired before I even got there. You did introduce me to Sephora which is now the only place I like to buy makeup (but then never wear)."

Leaving Denver...still sniffle sniffle

"Good bye Douglas County Court and Castle Rock Outlets...I dreaded this area for so long because I had to come here for work and it seemed unreasonable that work would assign me clients that lived 30 minutes away. But now I will miss those messy client families and the wonderful people that made up my treatment teams. And of course, what will I do without the outlet stores when I have a few minutes to spare (or need to forget a particularly stressful appointment)? Good bye..."

Even further south...
"Goodbye Colorado Springs. I thought you were kind of eerie at first because there are so many evangelical Christians that live in you, but now I just associate you with playing endless games of Blockus, Sequence, and Rummikub after eating a too-good-to-be-true homemade dinner with Brandon's grandparents."

Goodbye Denver.

Oh Denver was good to us. For some reason I personify the cities I've lived in based on my experiences there and right now, Denver is about at BFF status. It was a giving friend who had a gentle and inviting way of giving us new experiences that were challenging and yet very meaningful and rewarding.

The past week was full of last meals at favorite restaurants, last bike rides on our favorite routes, regrets that we didn't do certain things more often, and of course, many hard goodbyes to family and friends that were so kind and supportive of us. Change is always hard.

Nonetheless there are many "fortunatelys" to keep in mind.

Fortunately, we made it to Tucson in one piece. NOTHING was damaged in the move and the drive went smoothly. THANK YOU ALL THOSE THAT HELPED!! YOU GUYS DID SUCH A GREAT JOB!!!

Fortunately, we were met with family that brought us cookies, cold Diet Cokes, a nourishing lunch AND helped us unload the truck in the middle of a hot summer day. Wow.

Fortunately, I have gotten to meet my newest niece that is just barely one week old but will soon be moving with her mommy and daddy to Washington DC. Seeing her for the first time was almost shocking because she actually looks a little like me. Good job Chase and Cait!

Fortunately, our apartment is new and nice and clean and will suit us just fine while we are here.

Fortunately, Brandon is excited about starting his residency and we both know that is the right thing for us to be doing.

Fortunately, it feels good to be back in Tucson. The heat is oddly comforting and it is nice to already know my way around. Not to mention, I will always love the way Tucson looks at sunset.

Leaving Denver has been hard. But we made it to Tucson and it feels good to be here. I'll post some pictures of our move in a few days (since I'm still unemployed) and will continue to sort through our Europe pictures.

Xoxo A (+B)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Paris Day 2

For some reason I haven't yet gone through the photos for Paris Day 1. But that doesn't make this batch of photos any less fun (for us at least). There are some typos in the video and like the last one, the resolution gets kind of crappy when you enlarge the movie.

And as for what we have to say about Paris: We loved it! Our stay there was one of the highlights of our entire trip and we could have easily spent another week there. There was so much to do and we didn't even to do 1/2 of it, which means that we'll have to go back! It was probably the neatest city I have ever visited and it had this intoxicating aura about it...I found myself wanting to know what everything was and soak in all things Parisian. As we walked through the city, I was constantly asking Brandon what things were because everything was beautiful, historic, or interesting. Eventually, Brandon just had to say, "I don't know what that is--this is just Paris! There are incredible things everywhere--if they were anywhere else, they would be the center of attention, but in Paris, they are meaningless."

One of the neatest things, however, was seeing the city with Brandon. He served in Paris for six months on his LDS mission. He still remembered the layout of the city and his French language skills came back to him without a problem. He showed me some of his favorite places, introduced me to heavenly French pastries, cheeses, and baguettes, and I could tell he was in heaven being back.

We were blessed to be able to stay with a friend of Brandon's...Kiki was an amazing hostess who fed us delicious French food, let us crash at her house for 3 nights, and even took two days off work to sightsee with us. Thank you Kiki!! Tucson, Arizona is in no way near as cool as Paris, but if you ever want to come, we are happy to return your gracious favor.

So with that, here's another video.

On another note--we have only 3 more nights in Denver. At this point, my anxiousness with getting this move over with is outweighing my sadness about leaving. Our apartment is a disaster and just as it seems like we are almost ready, we realize there is more to pack, clean, toss, donate, or fix. Yikes!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Burg Means Castle in German

I'm unsure how to start talking about our two week vacation in Europe. Do I brag about our experience by using all the synonyms for 'amazing' and 'beautiful' as I list all the sites and countries we visited? Do I tell you all the things that went wrong? Do I describe everything all at once or break up into small pieces? And if I do break it up into small pieces, how many do I realistically have the energy to do? How many segments do my readers have interest in?

Who knows. I'll probably do a combination of all the above. Come to think of it, knowing me, there's a good chance that this is the only post you'll get.

Yesterday, as I contemplated how to organize our photos and thought about whether I wanted to blog about our trip, I discovered that the newest Picasa has a moviemaker feature. I spent some time (won't tell you how much) figuring it out and made the below movie. I chose to start with this Europe experience because: 1.) It was one of the first things we did on our trip 2.) It was a pretty incredible place to visit and 3.) One of the funniest things of the whole trip happened there.

Soo...Burg Eltz was a castle we visited in Germany the day we drove from Frankfurt to Paris. That day was certainly the introduction to many things, namely the craziness of driving in Europe (i.e. it is impossible to get anywhere without getting lost) and how unbelievably cool/beautiful/interesting the sites are.

Here is the movie (the resolution gets kind of crummy if you enlarge it):

Here is the funny thing:

To see the interior of Burg Eltz, you go on a tour with a bunch of other people. Luckily it was an English speaking tour. Anyways, in the kitchen, our guide pointed out the oven, the stove, and some of the cooking equipment. Keep in mind that this was a medieval castle--as in 700 years ago. After the tour guided pointed out everything he felt was significant about the kitchen, he let people ask questions. As people are looking around, soaking everything in, this older lady points to these pans and says,

(actually, this particular pic was taken at another castle, but same general idea).

"What were those used for? Jello?"

Hahahaha!! Jello!? So classic. Brandon and I look at each other and quickly have to look away for fear of completely loosing it. The tour group was awkwardly silent; I don't even know if our German tour guide knows what Jello is but he eventually said, "Those were used for bread."

"Oh, I see" says the woman.

Then we saw the woman's daughter, who was probably 5-10 years older than us, turn away to meet eyes with her husband (who was standing by us) to share a secret laugh.

Writing this out makes me feel mean, but honestly, Brandon and I laughed about it the whole trip. It was sooooo funny picturing the castle servants preparing Jello as they shivered by the fire while the prince jousted in the court yard and the princesses painted porcelain.

Well, maybe I'm mean and maybe that video was a little too amateur, but that was Burg Eltz. Definitely a place worth visiting!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

In The Airport

Yes, I am blogging from the airport. Our plane leaves in about an hour and I don't want to sleep for fear that I'll regret sleeping in Denver when I'm jet-lagged but wired in Germany.

Germany sounds like Jabroni.

Germany, not Jabroni, is the first stop on our trip.

Also, Europe is the 5th largest continent. We actually don't know, but that sounds right.

In other news, Brandon and Harry Potter exchanged wardrobes a few days ago. I don't know if it was the robe or Brandon's manly athletic abilities, but he totally kicked Harry Potter's tooshie in Quidditch after the hooding ceremonies.

For some reason, the airport wireless connection doesn't want us to upload pictures, so you'll have to use your imagination and google Jabroni for some answers (that's what I had to do).

Sorry this post wasn't more fulfilling...I had visions of giving everyone a special treat before we headed off on our European vacation, but it didn't work out.

Thanks for everyone's support and well-wishes over the past few days as Brandon graduated and I quit my job; we feel blessed and excited to move on in our life adventures.

Monday, May 18, 2009

This Week

Monday--Nothing special except for the oodles amount of work I have to do before Thursday. That's why I'm blogging. Makes perfect sense.

Tuesday--Brandon's last day as Webelos Scout Leader (he's been doing this for our church for about the last two years). He actually enjoys working with the boys and he does a really great job keeping them entertained and earning their badge requirements, but he's ready to move on. Two years is a long time to work with 10 year old boys.

Wednesday--The American Idol Finale. Does it suprise you that I have this on my calendar? It shouldn't. I am the queen of crap TV. You should all know this by now. Anyways, go Kris! I'm really not a homophob but Adam creeps me out and has a weird robot stance.

Thursday--My last day of work. Eek! Lots of emotion tied to this one because I love my job and my coworkers. Plus I have to have all my files etc ready to hand off to my coworkers that are taking over my cases and nothing sounds off the anxiety bell more than the thought of handing off incomplete work...
Also: My mom flies in.
Also: Fancy, school sponsored, graduation dinner.

Friday--Brandon graduates with his PharmD!!! There will be lots of picture taking, eating, and congratulating on this day, no doubt.

Sat--Take mom to airport, pack for trip, last minute errands for trip, prepare house to leave for trip, attend friend's wedding in the PM.

Sun--Leave for Europe!

Monday, May 4, 2009


So I can't fall asleep because I have a ridiculous Lady GaGa (seriously, that's her name?) song running through my head along with visions of Craig's List apartment listings. I guess I just diagnosed myself with audio/visual hallucinations. Psychosis here I come...

But the conversation I am really going to write about took place a few days ago as Brandon and I were falling asleep. It is more or less as follows:

Brandon: My feet are so sore.
Alison: Yuck, I'm sorry. Let's get you some new shoes.
B: No, the ones I have are fine.
A: But you complain of sore feet every day!
B: I'll just get some insoles.
A: Noooo....It'll be nice to have them when you start your residency.
B: Come on. Insoles will be fine.
A: (getting frustrated) You've had those shoes for two years, it's time for some new ones.
B: No I haven't
A: YES YOU HAVE...I bought them for you. I remember.
B: That's impossible.
A: Not even. (starting to get shrill) I was an intern when I bought them. I had a gift card to Kohl's...that was TWO YEARS ago.
B: Agggh (playful whining)
B: Ok. I'll get new shoes.
A: What?! You will not get new shoes. You are lying to me.
B:Look at yourself! You are getting so worked up over shoes! No wonder you can't sleep at night. You stay up and freak out about my shoes. I'll get some new ones so you can relax.
A: Huh?
B: Really, we can get me new shoes.
A: Oh, OK. OK, well thank you. That'll be good.
B: Feel better?
A: Yeah. That was weird.
B: You're telling me.

Anyways...there you have it folks. Conversations between Control Freak and Captain Thrifty. Luckily Captain Thrifty knows when to throw in the towel. I'll let you how the shoe shopping goes. The last time we did that, Captain Thrifty almost had a melt down. There were witnesses.

Monday, April 20, 2009

These Two

These two people are my parents. Today is their anniversary. I love them a lot. I love them individually and also adore how their relationship as been an example of love, support, fun, decision-making, and togetherness for me and all my siblings. Happy Anniversary! 30 years!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Shire

For some reason, we named our apartment The Shire when we moved in. I don't really remember how that name came about (other than the obvious LOTR reference). Anyways, now that we are getting close to moving out and in the midst of looking for a new place to live in Tucson, I find myself frequently thinking of our building and this apartment.
Our building. FYI, it is on the ugliest block in all of Denver. But, we both knew as soon as we walked through the apartment that it was the one for us. And we've never regretted it.

Some things:

I caught the janitor of the building smoking the other day. He's a super nice church going man always telling me about his grandchildren and garden. I kind of felt betrayed when I saw him smoking. I also think he was trying to hide it from me. Isn't that weird that I was so disappointed by it?

The crazy (literally) lady downstairs was found dead in her apartment last week. She used to wear hats and jackets even when they weren't in season and was known to say, "Get the hell away from me" when crossing her path in the hallway. A few times she asked me to help her take the elevator to the third floor so she could visit David (her equally crazy friend). Once I saw her and David kissing in the hallway. The last time I saw her she told me to "Get the hell away " while I was getting the mail. I told her that it made me sad that she would speak that way to me since I thought we were friends. She just looked at me and said, "Oh." I hope she didn't kill herself but I don't really want to find out either.

Our building also has a history of bedbugs. Sick! We've never had a problem and we both think it is divine intervention. Remember this?

Our kitchen is carpeted and has hardly any counter space. I hate it because it makes simple spills hard to clean. Every time I look at ads for apartments in Tucson I think, "Well, there's no carpet in the kitchen so that's a bonus."

The other thing about our kitchen: Brandon and I have learned that it is for the benefit of our marriage if only one person is working in the kitchen at a time.
Only counter space (I have no idea why I took it this picture. Probably because I was really proud of myself for doing the dishes or something).

We do have awesome closet space. Considering I'm a pack rat, we have never felt too cramped in our one-room apartment. There is so much closet space, in fact, that Brandon and I are both able to fit two dressers and two laundry baskets in our non-walk-in closet without losing too much space for our clothes and shoes. I doubt we'll be able to have that in another apartment.
This is an old pic of me (with long hair!) that illustrates a wall of closets (and a messy night stand).

Needless to say, I am looking forward to finding a new place. I know this sounds crazy, but we are thinking about splurging and going for a two bedroom with a washer and a dryer. The renter's market looks pretty good right now so I don't think we'll have to settle for a carpeted kitchen!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We Were Sick Today and Wanted a Laugh

We can't figure out if it is something we ate or a nasty virus one of us picked up somewhere, but we've been pretty sick and sluggish for the past 24 hours. We both stayed home from work and spent the day sleeping and trying to drink juice. Anyways, a few hours ago we finally felt good enough to at least sit up, eat some mac-n-cheese and pretend to be coherent. I made Brandon look up this video for me because I wanted a laugh. Many of you have probably seen it--if so, do yourself a favor and watch it again. I love it when the little boy roars like a lion. Sometimes I wish I could do that.

I'm pretty sure we'll be fine tomorrow, which is good because we can't take much more of this mopin' around.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This past week was a big one...we found out where we are going for the next year.

Brandon is doing a pharmacy residency so that he doesn't have to worry about going postal on the nincompoops that come to the pharmacy counter at Walgreens. Anyways, this process is a tad stressful because you don't get to choose where you go; instead this outside company looks into a magic pot while waving a wand before "matching" students to hospitals.

Luckily, we ended up in Tucson, AZ which for some reason is also known as the Old Pueblo. And since I am starting to fret that I won't be able to find a job because my Spanish skills are essentially non-existent, I am trying to brush up on my espanol, which is how I ended up with that blog post title.

But that's besides the point. The real point here is that we are moving very soon--probably mid-June. We both feel good about this turn of events but can't ignore that it is definitely bittersweet. Colorado has been very good to us.

Tucson is great because:

1.) The program will be perfect for Brandon in many ways. They showered him with flattery, offered to take him javelina hunting, and showed him that they like to have a good time.

2.) My parents live there and I haven't gotten to spend nearly enough time with them since I left the Old Pueblo, 10 years ago.

3.) You rarely have to worry about things like scraping the ice off your windshield or snow storms ruining your commute to work.

4.) This restaurant:
It is amazing and I'm not even going to explain why.

5.) Sabino Canyon:

It is less than a mile from my parent's house and I have spent many many many hours there hiking, running, swimming etc. I look forward to more trail time. You'd think it'd be easy to get that in the Rocky Mountain State, but it really isn't.

We are very sad, however, to leave Colorado because:

1.) We'll be moving away from Brandon's parents who have spoiled us for the past few years with advice, good conversation, their comfortable guest room, relaxing weekend getaways, fresh cookies, food storage, game nights, and of course, their laundry room.

2.) Great friends that have entertained us with dinner parties, book clubs, and other types of fun.

3.) This is the place where we fell in love and got married.

4.) I'll miss my job.

5.) We'll miss Denver's great parks (City Park, Cheeseman Park, Washington Park, Kent School) where we love to take our Sunday afternoon walks.
I mean, let's face it, Tucson is stinkin' hot most of the time. We won't be able to enjoy flowers, distinct seasons, giant trees and their canopies of leaves for a long time. Oh well...

BUT, now we know where we are going and feel blessed that things worked out so well and that we are going to a place with so many perks. Not to mention the fact that the waiting is over. Now it is just time to pack up all our stuff, get mad at ourselves for having so much stuff, find an apartment, say goodbye, and start all over in a new place. Can't wait!

Monday, March 9, 2009

You Know What I Meant

We got home from our quick weekend trip to UT late last night. Please do not take it personally if we didn't call you as we were there for less than 48 hours and were primarily there to see our new nephew.

Anyways, I slept like brick last night. It was one of those nights where each time I stirred I thought, "This sleep is amazing, I never want to wake up again." Brandon has to leave earlier than I do in the mornings and makes a big effort to be quiet while he gets ready. When he's finally ready to go, he always comes back in the bedroom to say goodbye. This morning I was so out of it that I said, "Sleep well, honey" when I got my goodbye kiss. I vaguely remember Brandon chuckling as he made his exit.

Luckily I had the luxury of sleeping for another hour and now feel a little more coherent, at least to enough laugh at myself.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

5280's Gone M.I.A

Do you guys like how I said I was going to do a weekly installment and I couldn't even keep it up for one week? Sheesh.

I actually sat down to write about how Denver has this really awesome event called 5280 Week where all the fancy expensive restaurants have amazing deals where two people can eat a 3 course meal for $52.80.

We went with our good friends Duke and Morghan to celebrate the end of residency interviews (ie blood, sweat, and tears) and decided to do something especially adventurous and go out to sushi.
Sushi really isn't that adventurous, but when you are super cheap, you don't want to blow your Benjamins on something that *might* make you throw up in your mouth a little and then leave you hungry later. Anyways, the evening was a BIG hit. Here we are, almost a week later and both Brandon and Duke still frequently bring up how amazing that dinner was. If you ever get the chance to go to Hapa Sushi....go go go! You won't regret it.

I would go on and on about what a great deal it was and how I ate this thing that had an incredibly seedy name that totally lived up to its title and how we're a tad bummed that we didn't know what 5280 Week was until it was almost too late (meaning we could've tried more of the restaurants!)...

BUT that was before Brandon decided to make a mix tape for an upcoming road trip and started playing my newly discovered favorite song and got me all in a twitter. I can hardly focus because I want to listen to this song and wave my hands in the air (that's about all the dancing I know how to do).

A friend of ours recently made us a CD with this song on it. The first time I heard it I was like, "What the crap?" but then it slowly started to grow on me. THEN...I saw this girl on the Grammy's and was completely blown away because she was literally 9 months pregnant, wearing a teeny-tiny black and white ladybug outfit, and was dancing with all the mac-daddy rappers like it was nobody's business. It was awesome--completely over the top and a bit ridiculous. So ever since has been in a pretty regular rotation, including me watching the video several times a week (always visualizing myself in her crazy outfits and wondering how I could manage to pull off just a fraction of her spunk). However, I kind of forgot about that song this week until JUST NOW.

So now I present M.I.A's Paper Planes:

And don't worry, I recognize that this song doesn't appeal to a large majority of the population and that it may be a tad inappropriate but it is my blog (and Brandon's) so pardon me while I indulge!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Friday

Since I haven't really done any posting lately, I thought that maybe I would try a weekly installment called Happy Friday where I talk about something happy. Cause you know, for all of us working folk, Friday is usually when you let out that sigh of relief that says, "I made it."

So for my first Happy Friday piece, I thought I would talk about chocolate. My mom's side of the family has a thing for fancy (and expensive) chocolate, mostly because my Aunt Stacey is a bona fide professional chocolatier that makes these a-ma-zing truffles and wedding cakes. She's essentially a legend. Each year, Stacey buys oodles and oodles of this especially fancy chocolate made by a company called Callebaut and then all my aunts buy it from her by the pound.
We pull it out when there is a special occasion or when we need a fix. I happen to have a couple pounds of it myself and lie in bed at night dreaming about what to do with it. Luckily, last weekend Brandon and I went home to Tucson for a few days and it was considered a special enough occasion to pull out the Callebaut and have ourselves some fun. My mom happens to have this fancy machine called a chocolate-temperer that melts the chocolate just right and then keeps it at the perfect temperature so that you can dip whatever you want and to your heart's delight without the chocolate getting hard, lumpy, or changing color after it dries.

In other words, my mom had all the right equipment and had ourselves a fun sexy time dipping candy, fruit, nuts, and pretzels into chocolate and then gorging ourselves silly on it. See for yourself:

This is Mom, the mastermind of it all....

Brandon's getting a little giddy (click on the photo for more proof). Leslie and Clay (sis and bro-in-law) are barely managing to contain themselves.
Scraping the bowl...
Some of the finished product (sorry for the blur)

Happy Friday everyone! Go have yourself a treat. You deserve it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

23 Hours in Reno

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the "Biggest Little City in the World" for a job interview. My visit did not abound in time as it is measured unto men, but it was nonetheless rich.

After the interview I had the occasion to gaze upon the largest alpine lake in North America. Lake Tahoe was originally inhabited by the Washoe tribe who called it "dá’aw" which means "lake". John C Fremont was the first paleface to gaze upon the rugged beauty of this natural gem. A cursed Native American treasure exists underneath Lake Tahoe which will be discovered by either Nick Cage or Jack Sparrow in the forthcoming film: "National Treasure vs. Pirates of the Caribbean."

One of Reno's finest young men recommended that I take supper at the Nugget Diner to partake of this culinary delight known as "The Awful Awful" (awful big and awful good):

The Awful Awful lived up to its name. Also, the fries came with it and there were so many of them that my arm got tired in the middle of eating them (I was eating rightie) and I had to switch arms. The change was fluid and imperceptible to those around me because I'm a switch-eater. Not too many people know this, but switch-eating or "ambi-eating" is something that I've been dabbling in for quite some time.

The company at the Nugget Diner was just as delightsome as the cuisine. One young employee whose pregnancy was masked by her adiposity decided to partake of an alcoholic beverage while working because, as she remarked, "the baby has to get drunk somehow."

This inebriated derelict was practicing an ancient star-worshipping ritual (he really was worshipping that star or planet). He invited me to join with him, but I respectfully declined. I was sad that I couldn't be with him and bask in the warmth of the street culture. The hobo culture has never really been accepted and has often been portrayed negatively. Hobos live very economically and have a lot of good ideas, but they just aren't listened to. I don't think that I'll ever see the day when we as a nation will be open-minded enough to elect a hobo president.