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February 28, 2007

Be thankful for your mind....

I just spent the last 15 minutes writing an entry. It sucked.

So since I am feeling less than inspired (ha! Inspired......that would imply that I'm inspired SOMETIMES....psh...) I'm going to post some of my favorite weird stories of the day.

I love News of the Weird. Just love it.

President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia (Africa's smallest country) has long believed he had mystic powers, but he said a vision received on Jan. 18 makes it possible for him to personally cure AIDS and asthma, though only on certain days and for a limited number of people. The vision gave him recipes based on seven herbs mentioned in the Quran but authorized him to treat no more than 10 AIDS sufferers, on Thursdays and Mondays, and not more than 100 asthma patients, on Fridays and Saturdays. (Not surprisingly, the government self-reports success.) Jammeh's previous visions included making Gambia rich by exporting oil, but so far no deposits have been found.

and another...

Chilean artist Marco Evaristti, serving dinner to friends at a gallery in Santiago in January, presented a dish of meatballs that he said had been cooked using liposuctioned fat from his own body. "The question of whether or not to eat human flesh is more important than the result," he said. "You are not a cannibal if you eat art." (Evaristti is the artist who once put live fish in a blender at a gallery and invited guests to push the button.)

this is a good one....

The Atlantic Theater in the Jacksonville, Fla., suburb of Atlantic Beach planned to stage several dramas this winter, including Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues," but following an undisclosed number of complaints from parents who said they were uncomfortable seeing that title, management changed its marquee to "The Hoohaa Monologues." (The change lasted one day, until management realized it was barred by contract from calling the play by another name.)

and because I now live among these freaks...

For two years now, Estrella Benevides, 46, has been painting messages on her house in San Mateo, Calif., and her prolificness has escalated to the point where all outside surfaces (including the roof) are covered with cryptic references to the Bible, conspiracy theories and episodes from her own life, and a local community board gave her a February deadline to remove the writing or pay a fine of $50 a day. Benevides has said she can't remove the messages because they come from God and expose a worldwide mind-control cabal that uses witchcraft and technology, and that this is the only way she knows to warn people.

and because I USED to live among these ones...

Patrick Burr, 36, and his wife Heather, 33, were arrested in Provo, Utah, in December and charged with conspiracy to rob the Utah Community Credit Union, after an ex-partner turned them in. The informant said the Burrs had planned to make their getaway by floating on inner tubes down the Provo River, but that plan collapsed after their car (containing the inner tubes) was impounded.

Happy Hump Day everyone!

February 27, 2007

The Final Chapter - Fancy green ice cream

So.....I never finished telling our Vegas story. I know that you all care. So. Here goes.

The final day of the convention always ends with an awards ceremony / dinner. The "Big Night". This is when Abby and I try and dress up all fancy-like on our not-so-fancy budgets. We fail miserably to match up to all the older women in cocktail dresses, but we have fun anyway. Really, we've just learned not to care. Which is quite alright with me.

The morning began well, I didn't roll out of bed until oh, 11ish. Sleeping in was pretty much the only thing I REALLY wanted to do on the vacation (for me...sorry Cabe...) and I'd say it'd be fair to check that off the list, right? Right.

Abby and I took our bazillionth cab ride to Mall #2 of the trip, and on the way got a lecture on how exactly to decode any and all cab drivers. From our cab driver. Know their names, always threaten them with The Taxi Association or something. 'Cause them cops don't have no control over them. No suh. You got that right.

Then imagine a mad dash all over the mall in search of acceptable impressing-attire, and a $10 meal at Subway. That's right, $10. It cost more than my skirt. My Banana Republic skirt. Maybe we passed some country line or something. That's the only explanation I can think of...

The theme for the night was decidedly Asian. Salmon, which was delicious, bok choy, which no one at OUR table touched, and...something else. I really don't remember anything except the dessert, which is fairly normal right? Dessert is really the only course anyone wants, right? And this dessert looked fabulous - mandarin orange cheesecake next to a single scoop of green ice cream. Not mint green, no, it was GREEN green. Like grass. It was all very aesthetically pleasing, and everyone delved into the cheesecake.

Then we tried the ice cream.

Kinda rolled it around in our mouths, our eyebrows pulled together.

What....IS this?!

"It tastes...earthy."

"Like vegetables."

"Maybe it's lettuce?"


Seaweed ice cream. I did not love it. And I don't feel too bad, because I saw several plates as they passed by, a puddle of green seaweed liquid slowly covering them.

After dinner, we had a Chinese Auction. Never heard of it? Neither had we. It goes like this, everyone in the room is given a sign with a number on it. The auctioneer runs around the room calling out the numbers he sees, and is stopped when a blind-folded volunteer bangs a ginormous gong. The person who's number he called out last, wins the prize. Simple enough. We all got excited as we read the prizes, Ipods, gift cards, trips to exotic locations.... However, we sat with Caleb's dad, one of the owners of the company, at the front of the room and never had a chance. Ah well. We had a great view - by this time, most of the people were drunk, if not a little tipsy, and several women actually CHASED the auctioneer down. Well, hunted was more like it - one woman had at least six signs in her hand, and was RIGHT BEHIND HIM at every turn. She could have stuck out her tongue and tasted the sweat pouring off his brow. Seriously. I wish I was kidding. The only thing that would have made the night better would have been if one of the volunteer-gong-ringers had been on the large side, and hit the gong so hard it fell crashing off the stage.

Oh wait, it did.

Anyway, we didn't win anything, but we had a great time. And after? We wandered over to the ice cream shop so conveniently located in the hotel. We'd been teased.

Not fancy. But okay with it.

Caleb, The Photographer.

Ready to party.

Curling up next to the Blackberry after a long night....

February 26, 2007

The IKEA that saves...

On Saturday Caleb and I decided we'd do something productive. Novel idea, right? We started off by sleeping in until 11.

Great start.

But seriously, we were productive, after that. Caleb shaved the mutt. It's quite a process, as I've previously said. It is not Bear's favorite thing, nor is the bath that always follows. He also doesn't like the hair dryer, but I cannot be bothered by a wet dog. They stink. They squirm all over the floor, leaving wet dog hairs in their wake.

When we had The Chore done, we scurried up to IKEA to spend all of our garage sale money. We need everything - couch, chairs, kitchen table, bed frame, accessories. See, Caleb and I, we're very easy going. We're content and able to deal with it. Things need to be fixed, we know that, but we're not frantic to do anything. Me, because I am a born saver, and Caleb because...well...he's got other things on his mind. Like work. And his dog.

Take for instance, Caleb's car. Two years ago, just before we got married, Caleb's car was broken into for the 30th time. They ripped out his CD player, thus ripping out the entire center console thingy on the dashboard. You know? The area where the cd player goes?

Don't you love my techy-terms?

For over a year we did nothing. Caleb didn't even have a radio in his car. He had a hole. My dad finally sent us up his old OLD cd player, the kind with the little jackets that holds up to 6 cds? You know the kind. That's about as far as we've gone. There is still a hole. There are no vents for the air conditioning / heater, so the air just kind of puffs out directly into the face of the passenger. I hate it. Yet we've done nothing, even though it's been on our List of Things to Do for...two years now.

Anyway, we're slow to better our material things. But put us in an IKEA, and we go nuts. Needless to say, we've started to fix up our place. Get rid of the leftovers from our two garage sales.

And I don't know if the fact that we have three computers, two desks, two tv's, and a portable air conditioner means we've made any progress.

But MAN the new drapes look nice....

Drapes? Does that date me? I meant curtains....

Must go check for wrinkles now........

February 24, 2007

A lofty goal

I've been thinking a lot lately about marriage. It's a tough thing, you know? A constant struggle. It's becoming so rare, so fleeting. Actually, my friend passed on some crazy fact she'd heard on the radio, that something like 64% of people think it's okay to have an affair every once in a while.

Every once in a while.....right.........

It's sad to me that cheating or divorce has become the "easy way" out for so many people. An easy way to not have to deal with our problems, or with each other. Obviously there are circumstances when divorce is necessary, but I don't think that is the case with so many of the divorces happening today. I just read an article in Self Magazine where the author, who'd grown up with divorced parents and was discussing the idea of marriage, put this idea so perfectly:

"Here we are, fast approaching or recently past the seven-year-itch mark. We're sick of our spouses and they of us. We have created bad habits, avoided fixing our own and now find ourselves wondering mightily how in the world we'll last the rest of a lifetime with this person. In a culture that breeds divorce, how does a marriage survive? What are the tricks? These questions interest me because I decidedly do not want to get divorced. Sure, I have the fantasy of a clean slate and someone new. But I know the wreckage divorce leaves. I couldn't stand to live that pain. I don't want my children to experience it. And the complaints I have about my husband aren't extreme enough to warrant divorce. Perhaps my marriage corrects the marriage of my parents. I get to live out and finish what they could not..."

I'm no where near the seven-year-itch mark. We haven't quite hit our two year mark yet actually, but I've seen first hand how easily it is to assume that since you're unhappy with one aspect of your life, that automatically means everything in your life is wrong.

I do that a lot. Mostly because I internalize, internalize, internalize. Stuff it in, pretend to forget, move on. This has always been my way of dealing with things, and really, until I got married it worked pretty well. Usually because the things that bothered me weren't permanent. I knew that. I'm the kind of person that always needs to know that there is a way out of something. When I had decided what college to attend, my Dad and I drove up one Saturday to find me an apartment. About 20 minutes into the hour and a half drive, I burst into tears. Bawled my little eyes out, telling him that I just couldn't do it. I didn't want to go to that college, and no, I really didn't know why. I switched colleges that day.

Marriage is the first decision I've made that I couldn't get out of easily, at least not without severely hurting the people that I love most. And if I let it get to me, it's a scary thought.

Even scarier is the prospect of divorce.

It's easy when you're down to continue to fuel your thoughts until you've become so lost in the darkness that you can't even imagine what it was like to be happy, to be satisfied. For me, this is much easier than trying to pull myself up. But as with so many things, the easy way out will hurt you in the end.

The author ended her article with a word that she had learned in Morocco, inshallah, meaning "if God wills it". And while I know that there is a God and that he knows what is best for us, I also believe that we have our free agency. That we are in charge of our situations, held accountable for our actions. And I want to be able to say that I did everything I could to be happy, to have a healthy relationship.

And if that means traveling on a difficult path for awhile, I'm just going to have to suck it up and push through. Because the goal is worth it.

February 23, 2007

Garlic smothered irony......


n. pl. prob·a·bil·i·ties
1. The quality or condition of being probable; likelihood.
2. A probable situation, condition, or event: Her election is a clear probability.
3. a. The likelihood that a given event will occur: little probability of rain tonight.
b. Statistics A number expressing the likelihood that a specific event will occur, expressed as the ratio of the number of actual occurrences to the number of possible occurrences



n. pl. i·ro·nies

1. a. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
b. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.
c. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect.
2. a. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs:
b. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity.

Last July the estimated population in the world was 6,525,170,264. That's a lot of people. So, what are the chances that someone you know, maybe the last person you expect (want...) to see, someone who lives in a completely different state, will decide to eat at the exact same restaurant as the one you've just NOW decided to try for the first time? Honestly, I'd like to know. I am not a mathematician. What are the odds?

Cause......we beat them tonight, all while consuming the most garlic I've ever had in one sitting.

Exhibit A: Garlic french fries. Not lightly sprinkled with garlic salt or garlic powder. No, that's not NEARLY enough garlic, what were you THINKING!? No, these fries have garlic CHUNKS on them. Big white garlic chunks with enough bite to power a small vehicle.

Exhibit B: Garlic mashed potatoes. In case the garlic hasn't started to seep out of your pores just yet. In case you could still taste your meal. In case there was any chance you wouldn't be tasting garlic the next morning.

Irony and garlic are hard to swallow, people.

February 22, 2007

Recipe #4 - Frosted Butterscotch Cookies

Because most of the people that trip over my blog are really just lookin' for some good food....

These are one of my favorite cookies to make because they look fun and fancy, but are super easy. And really super good.

Frosted Butterscotch Cookies


2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar (do you ever NOT pack brown sugar?! Come on!)
1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
2/3 c. chopped walnuts
Brown Sugar Frosting
Walnut Halves (optional (but they're not people. You need these for the aforementioned fanciness))

Ahem. Let's get going.

Grease a large cookie sheet & set aside. In a bowl, stir together first 4 ingredients and set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat the (packed...always packed..) brown sugar and shortening on medium high speed for 30 seconds (I never count..just beat the stuff). Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Make sure to scrap the side of the bowl. Duh. Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream , beating well after each addition. Stir in chopped walnuts with a wooden spoon.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart (small I know, but they rise and spread!) onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 - 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Frost with the Browned Butter Frosting, and top with a walnut half, let dry. Enjoy. And yes, you will.

Browned Butter Frosting


1/2 c. butter
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
5 tsps. boiling water
1 1/2 tsps. vanilla

In a heavy saucepan heat & stir the butter over medium-low heat until golden brown (Do.Not.Scorch). Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar, water, & vanilla. Beat to make a smooth spreadable frosting. Immediately frost cookies and add walnut.

*This is a cookie that has been around for a while. And while they ARE cookies, they're really more cake-like than Oh, one tip, if the frosting gets a little stiff before you're finished icing the cookies, just stir in a small amount of boiling water and stir until it's all creamy again. And when it says "frost" it really means "drop a spoonful on the top of that cookie and let it slowly drip down the sides, like it's slipping into a deep sleep". Okay? Got it? Now, GO TO. MAKE THESE COOKIES and YOU WILL BE LOVED. And perhaps have your homework done for you in return for a batch. That can't be bad, right?

(Fyi, these pics were taken with the OLD Duct-Taped camera. Forgive them. )

I've already posted this pic, but um. I love this mixer. And it's fairly new, so I can still be excited, right?

A little washed out. And see that frosting? That is NOT how it should look. This is how it would look if, say, you were running late to church because you can't get up before 11 am. And have absolutely NO time to add boiling water because HOLY CRAP, you can't go to church without MASCARA. The poor souls at the little get together after church had to deal with cookies that were not quite as aesthetically pleasing as they should have been.

Not that I'd know. But fyi? If you need to make cookies, wake yourself the freak up.

See that frosting? That's an abrupt edge. It should be a DRIP.

(Pst! Don't tell anyone...but they tasted the same...)

February 21, 2007

Break out your game paddles people...

Ever since we got married Caleb has taken over the role of Driver. I used to drive all the time. Now? Not so much. At least when we're together. And since I'm not driving I take the opportunity to totally monopolize Cabe's Blackberry. Usually Cabe gets bored of the silence and begs me to read him the headlines on MSNBC, or CNN, or AFL, or NADA, or ZILCH, know. News stuff. He likes news.

Today I was driving though, I insisted, and we ran across an INSANE article. I nearly ran us off the road thinking about it.

So this Florida teenager's walkin' around and finds some bones. Big bones. They turned out to be mammoth tusks. A big 'ole mammoth tooth just chillin' on the ground. They (who IS "they" anyway?!) sent some experts to check out the site and they uncovered PILES of bones. The place was a veritable graveyard of extinct animals.

"Paleontology and archaeology experts have confirmed the find, and recent digging at the site has turned up teeth and bones from a second mammoth, giant sloths, camels, turtles with shells up to 6-feet-long, saber-toothed cats and giant armadillos the size of Volkswagen Beetles."


6 foot long TURTLES?! Armadillos the size of CARS?! Are you KIDDING me?!?! My Dad's six feet tall. He could be a turtle.

It's like "Big World" on Mario Brothers.

"Big World" was always my favorite level.

February 20, 2007

Light a candle...

Happy Blogiversary to me!! I'm surprised that it's been an entire YEAR since I first starting spewing my thoughts to any bored soul out there to peruse. A YEAR. 52 weeks. 365 days. I have to say, I'm a tiny bit proud. Dedication, right?!

As I'd first confessed, I'd started several blogs only to leave them hanging. They're still hanging...somewhere. I don't know why this one stuck. Or what made me continue to post. I do know that after a year, I'm still feeling that same wistfullness as I was back then. A desire to DO something. BE something. I've only made a little progress. I still have no idea what I want. No idea what direction to go. There are moments when I'd give anything to start over with a clean slate. Nothing in front of me. It's said that the "gates of history swing on small hinges". They do, they really do.

I hope that by next year I'll be humming a different tune. I've got 364 days left. Better get goin'.

February 19, 2007

A Lovely Scavenger Hunt

A lovely end to a lovely weekend. You wanna know what I did today? I slept in until...oh, 11 ish, only getting up to make a little sack lunch to take down to the pool in our apartment complex. Isn't California awesome?!?! And granted, I spent most of the rest of the afternoon cleaning the apartment, but for me? Well, it's therapy. Sad, but true. But this was just the end!

You want to know the beginning?!

All week long Caleb had been teasing me about this "big plan" he had for the weekend. No hints. He'd send me funny emails at work from my "secret admirer". On Valentines Day I came home to find a note on our front door, telling me that my "secret admirer" had hidden something in the hallway for me. It turned out to be a DHL envelope with the instructions that I could not open it until Friday after work. Yeah! A Suspense Gift! :)

4:50 on Friday rolls around and I rush out the door to drop off the deposit on my way home. I'm sorta giddy. What could it be?! During the day my "secret admirer" had sent me an email telling me to get my swim suit ready. He really knows how to uh, reel me in.

I get home, after a rather quick drive home, and find the very same DHL envelope sitting on the chair. I open it and find a copy of The Clipper, the local newspaper for my hometown in Utah. Very curious. There was a note inside that read:

"That's right Kimba....THE CLIPPER! I know how much you love to see who got fat and had a baby, see who just got home from their missions (for our church), and see if there are any quotes from your father (he's on the city council).
That's great and all, but if that's all you're looking at you're missing out! The Clipper has so much more to offer, ESPECIALLY in the should check them out."


So I rip through the paper, a silly grin on my face, and find them. And start looking...and looking...and looking. Silly me, I was looking for extra writing on it. I even shouted out "Caleb! What am I looking for?!" No answer of course. Finally, something catches my eye. It's an actual ad that reads:

"Kimba, right here! Babe, your Valentine's gift is hidden somewhere in the kitchen! Can you find it? Ready set go!"

I'm not kidding. An actual ad. I'm sure other devout Clipper readers out there were a little weirded out. I still had that silly grin on my face. Couldn't wipe it off.

So I immediately head for the oven, because DUH. Big present! OVEN!

I find a suitcase.

I open it. Find note #4.

"You found it! It was super hard right? Happy Valentines Day! I gave you an empty suitcase! I hope you love it. Not really, as great of a gift as an empty suitcase would be, I don't stop there! Check the dryer for your next clue - Now while you're reading this you need to walk towards the dryer....READY?? GO!!
Okay, you're getting warmer...warmer...HOT!! SUPER HOT!! (you didn't do it did you? Psh, I figured you wouldn't!)"

He figured right. I totally didn't move until after I read that. He knows me.

In the dryer is a whole SET of notes. The top one reads:

"Hi again....take the suit case you found in the oven and go pack enough clothes for a 2 day, 1 night stay! Pj's, clothes, toiletries...(and then there's this entire sentence that the Internet really shouldn't read. Really. But you can guess...) Sorry honey, I already took the XXXL suitcase, and the second largest....and then the other one, BUT that one's just for my hair products so it doesn't count!"

And people, as much as I'd like to tell you he was kidding, he only partly was. He always needs the larger suitcase between the two of us. And then he always needs to put a few things in mine, because he's over packed again. I wish I was kidding.

The next few pages told me to follow the directions to a hotel near us, a very fancy Kimpton hotel that I LOVE. Remember this? Yeah. And the Aveda products. Let's not forget those. The directions ended with this:

"Go in and ask the Front Desk for the room number for one Mr. Woody Johnson (and try not to laugh when you say that) and have a hot weekend with your secret admirer!"

And silly me, I did just that. I walked up to the front desk and thought about every sad thing I could so that I wouldn't burst into a fit of giggles. He told me to, right?! So I say in my most professional voice, daring her to question me, "Can I get the room key for Mr. Woody Johnson?" And she starts to look through the computer..."Hmm...Johnson you say? I'm...not...seeing one...."

This is where I silently beat myself up for actually doing as he said. STUPID! STUPID!

Then I make up some lame excuse, "Oh, I thought it was under his boss' name, try this..." Which probably made it worse, because she grinned, handed me the key and said "Enjoy your weekend".

And I did. In a complimentary leopard print robe.

He's a keeper, right? Yup. Thanks Cabe! It was insanely lovely. Best Valentines present ever.

February 18, 2007

Chocolate Sheet Cake - Doggy Style

Yesterday I mentioned that we'd gone to the local Egyptian museum. When we got back home from our lovely educational afternoon, we did the usual routine. Caleb and Bear jump all over each other like they haven't seen each other in a year, and I take my shoes off and quickly scan the apartment. Garbage? Check. Couch? Check. Phew. No mischief from the mutt this time.

Yesterday however, was different.

During my "check", I noticed that the saran wrap wasn't covering the ginormous batch of chocolate sheet cake I'd made the other day. (Chocolate cake made with no less than 8 heaping Tbs. of baking cocoa. Dark chocolate, people.) This in itself isn't that suspicious, it would be just like Caleb to "eat and run". Except that I could see little spots of chocolate on the counter, and while I sometimes wonder if Caleb and Bear are a little more alike than I'd originally thought, Cabe isn't THAT messy when he eats. :) I walked up to it and saw that the entire half of the cake had been licked until there was nothing left. I say licked and I mean it. I don't know how the dog does it, the pan certainly wasn't sitting on the edge of the counter, but the cake didn't have any bite marks. Also, there were tons of flicks of chocolate on EVERYTHING. The wall, the KitchenAid, the spice rack, the canisters, the fridge, the counter, the floor. Everywhere. And when I lifted the pan a long string of drool came up with it. Long, thick drool. I nearly lost my turkey Subway sandwich right there.

After a rather large scolding (Cabe actually lifted the mutt up. Highly impressive...) Bear scooted off onto the deck without any prodding from us, and stayed there for an hour or so. He knew. He always does. Usually we can tell he's done something wrong the second we walk in the door, because his back gets all hunched and his little tail nubbin' is tucked under, and he's only half wagging his butt. This is The Sign.

You might like to know that Bear never exhibited any signs of sickness. This is because he's already had more than his fair share of chocolate in his life. Entire packages of Double Stuff Oreos. A package of Chips Ahoy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, a pan of homemade Baklava, an entire bowl of Halloween candy. But that's an entirely different story in itself. We'll save that for another day.

Needless to say? This dog has an iron stomach. And still hasn't figured out that getting into people food means TROUBLE. BIG TROUBLE. Lots of yelling. Isolation. Possibly a night on the porch. Persistence, man.

February 17, 2007

Hey Nonny Nonny

So much to say. Caleb surprised me yesterday with a belated V-Day present. It was fabulous. Super fun. More later, I promise.

It was 78 degrees today. We walked to Subway for lunch and it was HOT outside. HOT. There was a baseball game going on at the baseball field that just so HAPPENS to be in our "backyard." We could watch the hole thing from a balcony near our apartment.

Went to an Egyptian museum today in San Jose. Apparently it's fairly famous and has a lot of very old artifacts. I saw a mummy. A real live dead mummy. With teeth. Fingernails. From EONS ago. It was insanely fascinating. Bones are one thing, but when you get to actually see how well preserved these are after thousands of years?! Well, it just made me think you know? I found myself in front of one of them, staring, wondering about their life. My second favorite part was the exhibits that talked about their vanities. The Egyptians LOVED makeup. They wore hair extensions. They used "eyeliner". Green eyeshadow. They used tweezers religiously. It really made me realize that they were actually PEOPLE, you know? Which sounds silly, I know, but you hear about them on documentaries, read about them in school. They seem so mysterious, and get tossed up on a pedestal and immortalized, but they were just like us. Wearing jewelry, makeup. Wanting to make their hair thicker. I loved it. I could hang out with Nefertiti. We could chill.

And to end this perfect day? I actually convinced Caleb to watch "Much Ado About Nothing" with me. Yeah for balmy Saturdays.

February 15, 2007

Cool Things About the New Job

1. Small Office = No Office Politics.

2. Transient Office = lots of "alone" time.

3. Music (low of course, unless no one is there...) is allowed. (see above)

4. Money. Extra money. Money to save. Money to spend. Enough that I can start buying NAME-BRAND PRODUCTS at the grocery store. BONUS.

5. JEANS. Every day of the week.

6. Helping the people that we support. REALLY helping. Giving confidence. Friendship. It's lovely.

7. Close. As in, no need to tackle the brier patch that IS the Bay Area Freeways.

8. Lunch today? P.F. Chang's. Not paid by me. For two hours.

February 14, 2007


Happy Valentines Day everyone! I spent it working, and then um, working in the kitchen! Yeah!

Actually I was excited to make dinner, I was using both recipes that Pioneer Woman posted on her site. It was perfect timing really, I needed a nice romantic dinner and just two days prior to the big V-Day, voila! Dinner! Since both dinner and dessert were made-from-scratch recipes, we didn't eat until, oh, 8 ish. Dessert was at um, 10 ish. Now we post, then we hit the hay. And so ends this lovely red day.

(Read one too many Hallmark cards.........)

Now normally Caleb is very Anti-Valentines Day. Last year we didn't get each other much (I can't remember what it was actually...) and Caleb bought me flowers the NEXT day, because he didn't want them to be for Valentines Day. He feels like he doesn't need a holiday to show his love I guess. For me? It's all about the anticipation, preparation, decoration, and um....all the pretty colors.

So I set up the table all pretty, lit some candles, and we both basked in the lovely aroma and soft candle light. 7 minutes later, we'd shoved our plates aside and were frantically.................snapping photos of the table, the food, the decorations, the candles. Ya know. Anything even remotely interesting. That's how romantic we are.

Mmm! Dinner!

Well, that was good. Time for pictures!

M&M's: $2.29 Red Kiss Plate: $2.50 Valentines Day dessert? Priceless.

Ooey, gooey chocolate-y deliciousness. Happy Valentines Day.

February 13, 2007

Hot Italian Sausage Please?

I went to the grocery store tonight to pick up some ingredients for tomorrow's Lovers Day. Singles Awareness Day. Heart Day. Red, Pink, and White Day. Whatever.

It took me exactly 30 minutes to find the hot Italian sausages. Honestly. And another 20 to find two stupid cans of whole tomatoes. Not that either were HIDING, or hard to find, I just walked past them 65 times.

In the mean time, I managed to throw another 23 items into my cart. Isn't that how it works though? Despite your best efforts? I find it impossible to stick solely to my list. I always manage to talk myself into it, "We absolutely NEED baking chocolate. NEED Caleb. I promise."

When I was unloading my goodies at home, I discovered that the Dum-Dum I'd seen on the conveyor belt had been deposited into my grocery sack. It wasn't mine. It wasn't even the kid's before me. I wasn't charged for it. And the GUILT!!! It tasted so GOOD!!! I can't help it if I have a weakness for Cherry-Cola Dum-Dums.

February 12, 2007

Chillin' out maxin', relaxin' all cool...

Day Two of our Vegas trip: Mission Relax. Abby and I got up and made our spa appointments and went to lounge by the pool while we waited for our appointed relaxation time. The weather was perfect, warm and breezy. No boob sweat here! We read, we lay there pondering our existence. We unwound in the hot tub which had a centerpiece of rocks, waterfalls, and a single palm tree. Heaven! Oh wait! There's more! Our massages began at 3, but we had the choice to go sit in their lovely lounge room, which is quiet, dimly lit, and complete with snacks, magazines and a flat screen (read: Oprah). Or, we could relax in their sauna, or hot tub, or just lounge in some chairs and listen to the water drip down the walls. Fall half asleep and sip lemon ginger herbal tea. Or something.

The massage itself was lovely. I chose a coconut lotion because after the massage was over, I'd also chosen to have the "Castaway" treatment, where they pour hot coconut oil all over your body. By the time she had me turn over, and placed a hot towel under my neck and over my eyes, I was in some sort of forced trance. If Brad Pitt himself had walked into the room, I would not have been able to open my eyes. THAT'S how relaxed I was. And the coconut milk? Heavenly.

When it was all over, and I was recovering in the lounge area, we were very rudely brought back into reality when we discovered that Anna Nicole Smith had been found dead in her hotel room. I don't know why, I never saw her as anything but certifiably insane, but I was sad. The lady needed to lay off the heavy drugs and alcohol, but she was a person, and a mother. Hopefully her little girl will be able to grow up and have a normal life. So....that's how I feel about that.

Anyway, after we were able to move, we got up to get ready in their fancy showers, and use their fancy salon products. They had about 8 showers, and each one had it's own fragrance - shampoo, conditioner and body wash. So many choices! How to choose! When we were ready, glowing and primped, we met our hubbies to hit the strip.


So then we made a grossly huge mistake by asking the cab driver to take us to the P.F. Chang's in the Aladdin casino. The only restaurant open that late on the strip. I maintain it was because we were too hungry to think clearly. I literally sucked down every last ounce of my water before the waiter had even left. We must have all been a little um, retarded, because Caleb bit into some itty bitty pepper, despite Abby's warnings, and spent the rest of the meal wiping his watering eyes and lamenting about how "freakin' hot" it was. Then Brian, not to be outdone, did the same. He tried to be all manly, but his eyes watered, I saw them. Then I thought it would be a great idea to pick up the lovely piece of chicken over there, with my chopsticks, and managed to drop it squarely in Abby's water. So, uh, three strikes. We were outa there.

But the Chinese exhibit at the Bellagio? Absolutely gorgeous.

Beautiful hot tub, no?

Ah, serenity!

I can't take credit for this one - it's Cabe's - gorgeous, isn't it?

February 11, 2007

Breakin' a Leg

So it's officially a "school night" for me. I hate that phrase. It was always said to me when I was in the very peak of excitement, usually begging my parents to PUH-LEASE let me stay out just a little bit longer! Or when I was at my grandparents house playing with all of my cousins, just getting another round of Steal The Flag started, when I'd hear my mom call out into the darkness "Kim! We're leaving! It's a SCHOOL NIGHT!".

Not that I'm actually going to school tomorrow, rather, I'm starting my new job. It feels the same though. A little nervous, excited. Slightly dreading it, wondering how it was going to change me. Worried that since I needed to go to bed early, get a good night's rest and wake up on time, I'd lay awake for hours not being able to.

So in lieu of a fabulous, oh-so-exciting Vegas story, I'm going to post some pics from the 80's Party. Because we all know that self-humiliation is something that needs to be shared.

Ohmigosh! A bus ride! We are so excited!!! And um, it looks like Cabe is wearing lipstick. He's not.....I swear it.

This would be Club Rain. All smokey, dimly lit. Right before the fire spewed out above us. If you squint you can see my dancing self, all red and stuff.

Takin' a dance break, surrounded by fog, with our Fiji water. Nuthin' but the best, right?

Sweet hallway, right? All gold and glittery!

Phew! All danced out. Like our leggings? See me nursing my poor ripped up heels?!

February 10, 2007

Yeah, I Wanna Dance With Somebody!

Wow! It's like I took a vacation....ON MY VACATION. And ya know? I felt sorta guilty! Sad, isn't it? Actually, the REAL reason I haven't even logged on to the internet since, oh, Tuesday, is that our hotel decided that free wireless is like, SO 2006. $11 for internet access? NO FREAKIN' WAY. And not really because $11 is too expensive, it's the principle, you know? Like how I only went to the gym once during the trip because it ALSO wasn't complimentary?! I was let in the one time by an old guy because I am the QUEEN of the "Help Me, I Don't Know What I'm Doing" look that we women are known for.

Anyway. Since there are lots of fun stories to tell about our fun little Vegas trip, I think I'll break it up into nice little bite sized chunks.

So where was I? Oh yes, 80's Night. Hehehe.

Abby (one of my best friends / my husband's business partner's wife) and I woke up at the early hour of um, 10, and got ready to hit the nearest outlet to find some fun, funky, yet totally re-wearable 80's gear. After we were officially ripped off by a cabbie (oh I LOVE when people take advantage of me!) we began our search. I was a little worried about trying to find something I wouldn't feel totally foolish in, AND something that I could wear again. And really, finding anything 80's at all. Then we walked into "Wet Seal". They had just a few...thousand 80's items for the taking. Large belts, large plastic jewelry that Wilma Flintstone would covet, and very teeny tiny leggings. Both Abby and I found some great outfits - leggings, long dresses, and flat shoes. On the way home we decided we'd beat The System and take the trolley home. Cheaper, and went straight to our hotel! Bonus!

Except that the 8 minute drive down the street turned into an hour long tour of every neighboring hotel and store along the way. OVER AN HOUR. We could have walked the 8 miles and got back in time to watch Oprah before that trolley meandered into our casino.

When we finally got back we hurried to get dressed in our fancy new clothes. We had to be ready in time to take the chartered bus to....dun dun dun....The Palms' club, Rain. The company had rented out the club for the entire night, and along the way we were told by several people that supposedly this Rain club is super hard to get into, and has some ridiculous cover charge. I'm definitely not a "clubber", but I was intrigued. By the time we'd finally arrived at The Palms, we were all buzzing with excitement. And I was already limping from the newly formed blisters on my heels, thanks to my new white shiny flats I'd purchased. We went inside and were just FEET away from the entrance before a very large black dude in a fancy suit, hands crossed, asked us for our ID's.


Um.................(cough cough) Right. Club. Alcohol. ID.

What if we promised we wouldn't be drinking?! At all?!

Yeah, we had to get BACK on the bus, endure a 15 minute Rolling Stones memory trip from the very energetic driver, run through the casino (remember the blisters?!) up the elevator, to our rooms, grab our ID's, back through the casino, and onto the bus. Driven by the nicest and biggest Rolling Stones fan I've ever met.

Did I mention he liked the Rolling Stones?

We arrived just in time to get a good look at all the fancy food everyone who'd thought to bring their ID's had enjoyed, just as they whisked it away. Bye bye dinner! It smelled great!

Anyway, the club itself was pretty sweet. They had a huge wall on one side with cascading water, several rooms up stairs with fancy couches, candles, and pretty red lights (pretty...I know what they're for. I'm not THAT out of touch!). In the middle of the room was a big raised platform. It looked like a boxing ring. Of course it was a dance floor, and was equipped with one of those smoke-makers and also occasionally blew fire. And yes, we danced our little 80's hearts out (blisters?!).

Did ya hear that Paris Hilton? 80's music! On Rain's dance floor!

And when I finally crashed onto our bed that night and slowly pulled off my cute but oh-so-cruel flats, I discovered that not only did I have blisters, but my BLISTERS had blisters. And their blisters had baby blisters, and those baby blisters were 9 months pregnant. With twin blisters.

But OH was it worth it!

(Pictures to follow...probably tomorrow. When I'm not so dead tired.)

(Not pictures of my blisters though. No need to frighten anyone....)

February 6, 2007

Mi Casa! Es...mui...grande?

Ah, Vegas. The lights, the sounds, the buffets, the smell of 30 year old second hand smoke....isn't it great?! I'd forgotten how prevalent smoking is here. I walked into our hotel and my mouth dropped open as I watched several people casually smoking. Then I remembered that this wasn't a crime here in the great state of Nevada. Smoke on homies! I'll just uh, keep walkin'. Hold my breath a bit...

Not that I have a beef with people who smoke. I don't. I just don't prefer to do so, and am not in love with the smell. Or what it's capable of.

The hotel itself is HUGE. Even bigger than I had imagined. It's really it's own little world! It's not on the strip, which I think they secretly (okay, maybe not so secretly...) did on purpose, so that the poor little vacationers (us) wouldn't have an excuse to leave the hotel. Want to shop? We've got outlets! Want to go bowling? We've got an alley! Want to see a movie? Come check out our ginormous movie theatre! Sushi? Right here! Steakhouse? Right over there! Want to watch a horse race? Oh! We've got a race track! Arcade? Sure! Spa? You bet! Ice cream parlour? OF COURSE WE HAVE THAT.

As I said, my husband's business partner's wife (got that?) just so HAPPENS to be one of my best friends. We met up today at the hotel and our husband's had a surprise for us. They both stood up in front of us and explained that since the business had done so well this year (see yesterday's blog about the hotel last year compared to this....) they wanted to thank us for um...well, pretty much sticking with them. :) Not going off the deep end? Running away screaming? Going "boneless" and throwing a fit? I kid, I's really not been bad. But they wanted to thank us anyway, and gave us both gift certificates to the hotel's day spa. I have never been to a day spa. What to do? Anyone? Massage? Facial? Pedicure? They all sound so fabulous...

Tomorrow? The company is celebrating it's 20th year in business. There will be a party. An 80's themed party. At a club. And yes, I will be taking pictures...and posting them. Because well? What happens in Vegas? It can't ALWAYS stay in Vegas.

February 5, 2007

Leaving on a jet plane...

So! The Superbowl! Pretty exciting, right? I love to watch football, but usually I'm most excited for the commercials. This year though, what really kept my attention was Prince's halftime show. Now I enjoy most of Prince's popular music, I'm no avid fan though. But WOW he puts on a show! I couldn't take my eyes off the screen the entire time! Was it just me? Why did I love that so much? I don't even know but I've re-watched it a few times (thank you DVR), and I was still riveted.

After the halftime show? I picked up a new book and began reading. And kept reading. Read some more....right up until I finished it around 1 am. It was over 400 pages! What is wrong with me! This Jodi Picoult, she sucks me in! And also, I was planning on reading this book on our trip this week.......guess I'll have to find another.

Trip!? Trip you say?! Why yes, that would be nice. Tomorrow we're headed to Las Vegas for Caleb's work convention. This happens to secretly be one of my favorite little getaways, only because it means that I get to spend several uninterrupted days relaxing by the pool and shopping with one of my best friends, who happens to be his business partner's wife. Lucky us! This is only our second year in the business and it's been crazy to see how well these two boys have done. Last year we stayed at a cheap little hotel (read: the WORST hotel...), but THIS year we're staying at the hotel that the convention is being held at. Ahem. There is a plasma flat screen in every room. The hotel has a bowling alley, an equestrian center, a spa, and a movie theatre. It should be fun...

Plus? Since the mutt is being boarded THEY get to bathe him, THEY get to shave him, THEY get to clip his nails, and THEY get to um....empty those anal glands he has.

If you don't have a dog (or a cat...they have them too...), and don't know about these anal glands they have, you should consider yourself lucky...VERY VERY LUCKY.

February 3, 2007

Have Camera, Will Travel

Since we threw away all of our retirement money on a new camera (ha ha...thankfully that's just a joke...), we decided to try it out today in San Francisco. And since our LAST trip to San Francisco ended in arguments, frustration, and lots of yelling things like "No! Turn LEFT!", and "I can't TURN LEFT HERE!!", or "DANG IT, why is everyone driving so FAST?!" and an occasional "HOLY CRAP YOU NEARLY KILLED THAT GUY", we decided to actually have a destination in mind. Maybe even a few directions. Which was a fabulous idea, I think.

Then we conveniently left the directions on our kitchen table.

Thankfully we had Caleb's Blackberry, and really. How many times has that little black thing saved our butts? More times than I can count. So things were great, we had even found a parking spot ON 24th STREET, THE STREET WE WANTED TO BE ON. And granted, I've only lived here a few short months, but I think I can safely say that it is nearly impossible to find parking on the street, let alone in the few parking garages the city has so generously sprinkled around.

Ha. Anyway.

We were headed to this cute little old fashioned soda fountain shop which was built in 1918, the oldest in San Francisco. Oddly, it's right in the heart of the Mission district, which is the Latin / Mexican part of the city. The area is gorgeous really - large professionally done color murals cover nearly every blank wall, and the air actually smells like a taqueria. I was a bit worried at first that we'd have a hard time navigating, but it turned out fine. (We weren't NEARLY as outnumbered as we were last night when we picked up our Indian take-out. We were two of the 4 non-Indian people in there. Which is fine really, I love to just be absorbed like that. It was just SO authentic, and I have a hard time pronouncing their words. "Um, I'll have the uh... Saalaaa.....Number 4? With a piece of...Na-hn? Nan? That lovely flat bread?!")

I really loved the soda shop itself, it was a strange mix of old and new. It is clearly dated, with the same wood, same stools, same machines (for the most part), even some of the same old-fashioned candy. Yet the workers were Caleb even commented after that he felt more out of place there than at the aforementioned Indian restaurant, because all the employees were Very Indie-grunge. It was odd, but I don't know what we expected. Grandfatherly men with big grins, dressed in red and white stripes?

After leaving "Spanish Town", we parked our car in the heart of San Francisco, and began to wander. Ah! The shops! Louis Vitton, Kenneth Cole, Bloomingdale's... The crowds and concentration of fancy stores reminded me of my time in Sydney. For some reason I LOVE to be smack dab in the middle of these big cities. I love to stand on one side of the crosswalk, totally immersed in people. All the city-folk have it down, and most begin to cross even before the green man starts flashing. It's like one of those classic movie scenes, when one gang is about to go head-to-head with their rival. Both sides stare at each other and then when the whistle blows they push forward until everyone is intermingled. It just makes me feel so...independent. Strong. Capable. I don't exactly know why.

Our wandering led us directly to Chinatown. It's amazing to me that in a space of just a few minutes, we could go through so many extremes - Mexico, America, China. I love it. We bought some almond cookies from a cute little bakery, wandered through rows and rows of Happy Buddhas and Lucky Cats, and listened to several old men play what looked to be an old-fashioned Chinese guitar of sorts.

So here are a few photos from the day. I tried to play with them in PhotoShop, but gave up. I need more lessons. Yeah, definitely need more lessons...

Pretty windows!!

Because nothing says San Francisco like a large mural of a woman in labor.

City children's park.

Mmm....Orange Italian soda.

A setting sun on our day in San Francisco...

...and just so that we don't end on an insanely cheesy note, I'll finish by saying I watched a grown man walk up to a building and pee in the corner. The best part? He was with a girl. "Hey, wait up! Lemme just finish this...."

February 2, 2007

Swan Song of Mr. Duct-Tape Himself...

The last pictures our precious Duct-Taped Camera will take (hopefully - I have this fear that since we've spent so much monies, in three days it will explode - one tiny puff of smoke and that's it...):

Ohmigosh. So.Much.Money.Spent. Hyperventilating.....

I was consoled for a little while, reminding myself that we have been saving up for quite some time. Then as I was standing around waiting for the Costco worker bee to find our camera, I watched a little program on a very large big screen tv. Touching, about the book "Marley and Me". Then I noticed the price tag attached to this 67" HDTV w/ stand - it was only $1,000 more than our imminent purchase.

Can someone pass me a brown paper bag please?!

February 1, 2007

Let's Give 'Em Somethin' to Talk About

Just finished up a nice healthy dinner, thank you As I was finishing up my salad I picked up the dressing bottle, admiring the label. This particular salad dressing was Newman's Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette. I was first drawn to it because of the label - Paul Newman's happy smiling face while he wore....something a poodle would covet with a jealous rage. I discovered though, that the dressing can speak for itself - it's very fabulous. I turned it over and found that his lovely collar wasn't the only....neurotic thing about my most favorite dressing of all time.

And now, a story, from Mr. Paul Newman:

(I must say that the following is from the back label, and is WORD FOR WORD. I don't have that kind of imagination....)

The Great Salad Dressing Balloon Race. An armada of balloons loaded with Light Balsamic. The starters gun - Bazoombah! They all rise majestically into the air. Newman's Own Balloon, with fewer calories, more taste, and secretly propelled by charity, flies faster than Kraft, and further than Wishbone. First across. First on the ground. El Piloto quaffs mucho quaffs of Newman's Own Light Balsamic in victory. A medium light Italian starlet, daughter of Butch Cassidini, named B*tch Cassidini, leaps into the balloon basket, kisses Piloto, her lips smeared with Newman's Own Light Balsamic, she murmurs, "You taste of Sicily, of Vesuvius, of Naples, baby", and patting his fanny she whispers, "and no fat."

Uhhhhhhhhhh..............I don't even know what to say.

Quaff? I had to look it up. It means "to drink a beverage or liquid heartily". Now, as I said, I love the stuff. But could I heartily quaff it up? I don't think so. My heart goes out to anyone who could guzzle balsamic vinegar. Their pour throat.

And another thing. B*tch Cassidini? Wha? Need they tell us her name? Need it be THAT? I mean, come on. Am I supposed to enjoy it MORE knowing that some male chauvinist is fulfilling his sexual fantasies? Shouldn't they maybe cater towards the female population, you know, the only ones buying this stuff?! Give her a feminist name!

And fanny? I think that one's pretty much self-explanatory.

Great dressing Mr. Newman, but um, next time? Maybe have someone oversee your "creative" writers. Preferably a woman.