Sunday, November 29, 2009


I really do like to try new hobbies, taste new foods, learn new skills, meet new people, and so on. But on the other hand, I definitely like the security of known things. I usually only end up trying new things when other people initiate it. And I love nearly everything I try. When I was in Houston, my coworkers introduced me to Japanese, Thai, and Korean foods. I liked it all! Well, except the pickled ginger. I usually don't eat that, but I have tried it and don't hate it. There's a Thai restaurant nearby I've always wanted to try. I know I would like it. But I always find myself going to the same gross fast food places when we're out. (I think I've eaten more fast food in the last month than I did in the last year or two. Must remedy!) Today at about 2 pm I realized I hadn't eaten anything except 2 pieces of toast and a piece of fudge all day. I didn't have the kids with me, so I could go ANYWHERE I wanted. But I decided to just be boring and go to Wendy's. Unfortunately, I did not realize there was a BYU football game, so it took me 25 minutes to make a 10-minute trip and I didn't have time to go to Wendy's. Later I did go to the Thai restaurant for take out, and as I knew it would, it tasted fantastic. (Though I spent 5x what I would have at Wendy's.) Why don't I branch out more often?!

I watch the same movies I've always liked. I listen to the same songs (or at least artists) I've always liked. Repeat ad infinitum.

When we got married 9 years ago, I got eggplant purple sheets. I am 90% certain that I had the same color sheets my first year of college as well. Three years ago I wanted to totally change everything, so I bought some cheap scratchy green sheets. But the eggplant purple/pink (from bleach) sheets stayed in rotation. I went to ShopKo on Friday. They had $90 sheets on sale for $30. Luxuriously satiny sheets! I decided that I deserved and needed brand news sheets. I looked at all the beautiful colors in front of me and spent several minutes deciding which ones I wanted. I chose the eggplant purple set :-D Why wouldn't I? It's absolutely gorgeous and I love it, even after 10 years of looking at it. It is the color of royalty, after all! As the family queen, I figure it's fitting :-)

So anyway, though I'm satisfied with the things I do, I want to try more new things. I have always had good experiences trying new things so there's really no reason not to. Oh, except that pesky problem of me being very introverted. That makes it a little more difficult.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More Fun for Country Fans

A couple of days ago I didn't feel like listening to all the peppy (country) songs in my playlist, so I cleared a bunch of songs out and added a ton of others in. After listening to them for a while I realized that I ended up with a half lovey-dovey and half depressing playlist! Slow country songs are either totally lovey-dovey or totally depressing. I think I am getting a little bit 'down', but I'm definitely not depressed. I'm just taking this lull as part of the cycle of life -- it's all good!

One of my all-time favorite songs that ended up in that playlist is this classic hit by George Strait -- Amarillo By Morning. I love it SO much. I'm not sure why. I think it's mainly because of the absolutely gorgeous violin part that is prominently featured throughout the song. The song itself is alternately hopeful, wistful, and sad. It's about a cowboy who has lost everything (possessions, saddle, leg, wife, girlfriend, money) but is still traveling from rodeo to rodeo, glad that he's free even though he hasn't got much.

One problem with listening to George Strait (versus other country singers) is that his songs really make me miss Texas :(

I didn't think it was possible to improve George Strait's singing, but might I dare say that Kenny Chesney's version is just as good and possibly 0.1% better than George Strait's? Kenny has just got a little 'something' to his voice that is spectacular on this song. But Kenny - what the crap is up with the sleeveless shirt in this venue? This was taped at an awards show, and you can tell they're trying to look nice because the band is wearing suits. And Kenny still wears a sleeveless shirt? Come on! I just found out he's a shorter guy -- 5'8" -- so maybe he's afraid people might not know how manly he is if he doesn't show off his arms.

I did find a Youtube version of a George Strait concert that Kenny went to as a spectator. George invited Kenny up on the stage, and they sang together. But the sound is terrible on this (unless you like listening to screaming).

Oh, here's the original from 1987. The sound has changed a little over the years, which is why I linked to the live version up there.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I get 2/3 of the way through NaBloPoMo and then forget to post? Really? Oh well. With my new goals of practicing for The Messiah and getting to bed on time, there wasn't much time for blogging/internetting anyway!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A hippo? With Noodles?

I know this is a total cop out, but in case I don't have time for a real post later, I'll leave you with this. My kids absolutely love this. I have never figured out if it supposed to be about something (probably something inappropriate, as most humor is). But in the meantime, I think it's really funny.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Heels Experiment

I wrote about wanting to try to wear high heels a while back. I did wear heels every day for a week and continue to wear the brown ones occasionally. They only hurt 65% of the time instead of 100%.

However, I declare the heels experiment a failure. There are several reasons:

1) Discomfort. I refuse to be that uncomfortable. Someday if I get some better shoes maybe I can overcome this problem, but in the meantime I am not willing to sacrifice comfort for (theoretical) looks.

2) Health. I am not interested in ending up with deformed feet/legs/back due to heels.

3) This is the most important of all -- loss of stealth capabilities! You might not realize this, but I am a ninja. Now, they say that a REAL ninja wouldn't tell anyone they are a ninja. Whatever; that's a total myth. (I will likely have incontrovertible proof that I am a ninja soon.) It's very difficult to be all stealthy and ninja-like if you are wearing loud high heels. In addition to being a stealthy ninja, I am a total INTROVERT. I sneak around silently so as not to draw any attention to myself. Heels have the opposite effect - usually they are very loud (my brown ones have rubber soles, so they aren't as bad). Also, I would be the only one at my company wearing them, so they draw undue attention. Drawing attention to myself is rarely on my list of goals for the day. Avoiding everyone is more like it. Remember the swine flu video? Engineers despise public. So true.

Monday, November 16, 2009


16 days into NaBloPoMo, and I almost forgot to post today.

I'll tell you about my budgeting fail. One of my major rules for following a budget needs to be "only go to the store once a week, and FOLLOW the list." Tonight we stopped by the store to get milk, bread, eggs, and raisins. The milk was the most important thing we needed. I exited the store $51 lighter. How did that happen?!?

When we walked in, I saw the Rice Chex, on sale for cheaper than the generic brand. That's YoungestSon's favorite cereal, so I stocked up. Then I remembered that I want to make my sister some cookies (sssshhh, she reads this blog and it's a secret, so I have to whisper), so I bought some good chocolate chips and some hopefully non-rancid walnuts. Then on the way to the bread, I saw the Hickory Farms display including Summer Sausage and mustard. It's my dad's birthday, so I picked up some of those. Then, bread was on sale, so we got 3 loaves. On the way to the dairy case, I made the brilliant decision to go down the toy aisle. I've been wanting some more dice, so I grabbed a pack of those for $2. The kids saw some sticker books for $1.25 each, and I was feeling very generous, so I got 3. Finally we got to the eggs, and of course I had to add in some butter for the cookies. But I forgot the milk.


Fortunately the budget isn't totally blown. I still have $16 for the rest of the week and plenty of stuff to cook with here at home. Except no milk for the kids. I have homemade almond milk for myself, but they're too chicken to drink it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

30 by 30

I'm pretty bad at goal-setting. I have all these fairly nebulous ideas of what I want out of life (loving husband, being a stay at home mom, house with white picket fence, financial freedom, etc.) but I'm scared to commit it to paper and determine the actual steps I will need to take to reach these goals. There's a pretty obvious explanation -- if I never actually set the goal, there's no sense of failure or disappointment if I don't achieve it. I am realizing that I am very scared of failure, and that in some areas of life, I set the bar as low as I need to in order to ensure that I don't fail. It's honestly pretty sad.

I thought that putting together a list of 30 Goals by Age 30 might help kick-start me into a goal-setting and achieving mindset. I have just over one year to complete all of these, so they are fairly simple, nothing dramatic or crazy.

(I will strike through the goals as I complete them!)

1) Make Nie Nie's Mud Cake Magnifique (I wanted to make this for my birthday this year but didn't get around to it. I'll make this version.)
2) Begin a set community service time at least twice monthly with the kids, such as visiting a nursing home
3) Complete all 30 days of the 30-Day Shred
4) Run a 5K race
5) Run a mile in under 10 minutes
6) Read 6 books (I used to read about that many in a week or two)
7) Go on a date
8) Take the kids sledding (I avoid being cold as much as possible)
9) Systematically declutter the entire house
10) Take a family vacation
11) Make a treasure map/vision board (astrologists say the best time to do it is Aries New Moon, not January 1st)
12) Make plans for my life on paper
13) Learn how to knit in a relaxing manner (it tenses my shoulders up badly)
14) Have a Lord of the Rings marathon (or Star Wars could be substituted if I wnt to involve the kids and they can't handle LOTR)
15) Give blood twice (have done once)
16) Go to a country dance
17) Have a (pint or larger) green smoothie every day for a month
18) Clean the house and stick to a program/method of keeping it relatively clean and clutter free (probably Flylady or some variation thereof)
19) Maintain an Emergency Fund savings account of $1000 and replenish it each time any is used (I wanted to do a debt-reduction goal, but this area of my life is SO up in the air right now)
20) Take the kids on a picnic
21) Get a house/dwelling with a backyard and have a successful garden
22) Organize my recipes
23) Go to a concert, opera, or play
24) Start digital scrapbooking (I have software, lessons, tutorials, kits, and Quick Albums already)
25) Start a business
26) Avoid getting married (I have nothing against getting married eventually but I need to be smart about it and not rush into things this time)
27) Determine, accept, and move forward courageously with my religious/spiritual beliefs
28) Become licensed as a professional engineer
29) Make friends with a real-live woman (not just on the internet), including actually doing something with her face to face (outside of Visiting Teaching, Relief Society Meetings [fka "Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment", fka "Homemaking Night"], etc.)
30) Get my kids in bed by 8:30 for 30 days, use the time in the evening to work on these goals or do something for myself (NOT including mindlessly wasting time on the internet), and go to bed early enough to get 8 hours of sleep (this goal might directly conflict with #25)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Can You See Me Now?

Sometimes I attempt to wear makeup. I am never consistent about it though. I think when I worked in Houston for 2 years, I wore it the whole time, but that's probably my longest run since age 14. I had to wear makeup for an interview on September 30th of this year, and I decided to keep wearing it afterward. So I've worn it every week day since, except the day I had that big 8-hour test. That day, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought "Wow, I look SO different without makeup. I look sickly and pale."

Now, it's entirely possible that the makeup had nothing to do with it, and I did look sickly and pale, because that was an awful day and the bathroom had very unflattering lighting, and on average I've been getting about 5 hours sleep per night. But I was a little annoyed that after just a month of wearing makeup, I already felt like I had to have it to look decent. I have decided to continue wearing it, because I do work in a professional world, and statistically, women wearing makeup get a better response professionally, including in their amount of pay. I know a lot of women think makeup is really fun, and I TOTALLY get that (that link takes you to Wisely Chosen's absolutely fabulous and gorgeous makeup pictures), but it's just not me. Stuff like that just doesn't come naturally to me. I'd rather spend my time doing other things, and keep life as simple as possible. Buying makeup, learning how to use it, maintaining it, keeping it out of the kids' reach (or helping them use it safely), and spending the time to use it and remove it each day is NOT simplifying my life.

Darn it, I meant this to be a lighthearted picture post, not a rant about society and makeup. Oh well. Writing is therapeutic for me, so I just go with what comes out my fingers.

The mascara is the main feature for me. My eyelashes are pretty much invisible without it. I wear brown-black mascara. I sometimes wear brown eyeliner, but lately I've been leaving it out because I just can't get it right, even after attempting it for 14+ years. My eyebrows are also mostly invisible (as far as I can see), and someday I intend to learn how to put some color on them, but I don't do that now. I have never, ever in my entire life, plucked my eyebrows, since I think they're invisible. I hope I'm right!!! I did get them waxed once before my sister's wedding.

I own four colors of eyeshadow - white, tan, brown, and pink (not like this). I do know how to use it, kind of, because I had my makeup done professionally by a salon owner/artist when I was 14, and she showed me how to do it. But the high-quality brushes don't work with crappy grocery store makeup, so I just muddle through and hope it doesn't look too bad.

In the past I've attempted wearing blush, lip liner, and lipstick, but that's long in the past. I did buy some pale/nude lip gloss a while ago. I really don't know how to wear lipstick/lip gloss. It's always gone within minutes. I always bite it off. I have never worn foundation or concealer, and hope to not have to. But if my face doesn't get the memo that we are no longer 15 years old, I may have to think about it. But I DO NOT WANT to cover up my freckles AT ALL, and I am not sure that's possible unless I wear an extremely sheer foundation, and then what's the point of wearing one? I do need to get some moisturizer or start using coconut oil or something. I am going to have fabulous wrinkles when I am old, and I am not interested in doing anything other than wearing moisturizer to stop that process.

----> OK, this is where the post was SUPPOSED to start. My coworkers the other day were talking about makeup. I said that my sister says my makeup is too light to see. My coworker said she couldn't see mine! So I took some close up pictures to see if she was right. I guess she was!

Sorry that some of these are so blurry -- I wanted them to be done without a flash, and it's difficult to get good pictures that way, and I'm too lazy to redo it.

No makeup:

Wow, with all that purple under my eyes, people probably think I'm a vampire or something!

With all my makeup (there's even eyeliner):

You can definitely tell a huge difference with the mascara, but the rest isn't all that different.

I decided to do one with the flash. The difference in what shows up is amazing. I wonder which picture is more accurate to what people see in real life, indoors or out?:

Friday, November 13, 2009


I posted almost the exact same thing 2 months ago, but this one is even better:

What happens when people with curly hair brush their hair:

I had several inches trimmed (at the longest point), and here's what it looks like now:

It looks SO short to me!

Also, looking at that picture is driving me crazy -- it's so uneven on the right side! The problem is that it was trimmed while pulled straight, and the curls all shrink up differently when dry. It should be trimmed curly, not straight. Which is why curly girls need to pay $$$$ for special hairdressers trained in curly haircutting techniques.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another Experiment

Today's experiment is totally different, but also food/beverage related. The other day we had salmon and potatoes for dinner. After dinner, I made up a container of leftovers for work, and put all the remainder back into the casserole dish. The work leftovers made it into the fridge; the rest didn't. It was left out for an unspecified length of time. But I couldn't bear to throw it away! I mean, it's salmon! It's so tasty, and so expensive. I decided not to let the kids have it (sad, because they are the ones who need it most), but that I would give it a try. So, I'm eating it today. If this blog goes un-updated after today, you'll know why. I've heard of college kids eating several-days-old pizza and being fine. I've also heard of someone eating a baked potato that was left out and getting very sick. Perhaps the college kids were protected by the vast quantities of alcohol flowing through their systems. Good luck to me!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Caffeinated Soda Experiment Concluded

OK, I went for the diet mtn dew (usually I would type ‘Diet Mountain Dew’, but ‘diet mtn dew’ is how it’s written on the label – absolutely ridiculous), because it was a 20-ounce and I figured I might as well go for the largest amount of caffeine possible.

(10:30 am) First reaction – it burns!! I don’t know if I’ll be able to do more than sip daintily at it. It burns my tongue and throat and my eyes are watering. Also, it tastes totally gross. I like the citrus flavor, but the nasty fake sweetener grossness is overpowering. Ew. I’d probably have the same problem with a non-diet drink, because high fructose corn syrup tastes really fake and gross to me too.

I wonder how much I have to drink and how long I have to wait before I feel a difference? So far I’ve got about 1 tablespoon down.

(10:50) Still haven’t had more than 1 tablespoon. At this rate I’ll have gone through about 3 ounces by tonight. I’m going to just go for it.

Ugh. . . . that does NOT feel nice. Everything is burning!

OK, now I feel like I’m going to throw up. My stomach is protesting.

Uh, so what am I supposed to do with all the carbonation that wants to come back up? Just burp a lot? How attractive.

Ugh, I don’t know if I can get any more down. I’ve had about 8 ounces.

(11:00) I can see why this is called ‘diet’ mtn dew. The way my stomach feels, I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to eat anything ever again. I do feel more alert. Is that because I got up and walked around for a few minutes, or because we're busy today, or is it because I’m engaged in writing this terribly interesting diatribe, or can the caffeine do that this quickly?

Yeowch!! Apparently it burns on the way back up too (burping). Except this time it was all through my nose because I had my mouth closed. That smarts!

(11:10) Feeling queasy. I’m going to try a bit more. . .

It’s burning a little less on the way down now. Oh, weird, it’s almost like I can actually feel it burning in my stomach though. I didn’t notice that so much before since the other burning sensations were so strong.

(11:20) Aah, a drink of refreshing water. Why would anyone drink anything that is so difficult and gross to get down when you could have easy, clear, refreshing water instead?

(1:00 pm) I went to talk to my friend upstairs and was telling her several funny stories about TheEx. (Several months ago they would have been tragedies; now they’re hilarious.) I also told her about my caffeine experiment. She said “oh, is that why you’re so chipper today?” I realized I was acting a bit crazy/hyper. Also, I am a little bit shaky. But I was shaky before I had the caffeine, because of the tiredness. My stomach may be calmed down enough to have a little bit of lunch.

(1:45) I still have about 8-10 ounces of the 20-ounce drink left. I can’t even stomach the thought of drinking it.

(3:25) Feeling tired again. My stomach turns at the thought of finishing the mtn dew.

(4:00) More tired. I might just go for it again. It’s been sitting out all day though and is probably warm by now. Although I suddenly feel like throwing up at the thought of drinking it. Oh well. Bottoms up.

Blech!! Such a gross, slimy aftertaste. I’ve heard that people have to force themselves to learn to like the taste of cigarettes and sometimes alcohol. Is it the same with drinks like diet mtn dew? Does anyone actually enjoy this taste their first time? (That’s what she said!) [I hate that joke, by the way; I think it is so dumb. I've never even seen the Wayne's World skits on SNL, which is apparently where it originated.]

(4:20) OK, about 4-6 ounces left. I am going to bed early tonight, so I’d better finish this off soon in case it keeps me up later.

(4:30) Never mind. This is just too gross. I am not finishing it. I have had about half my normal amount of water today, so I’m done with the diet mtn nastiness and am refilling my water cup!

(4:35) OK, the diet mtn yuck is in the trash. Experiment OVER!

That was so gross. Just so, so gross. I can still taste it and feel it in my mouth, no matter how much water I drink. Yucky. I can’t even tell if it made a difference. On slow days at work, I am really tired. On busy days, I am not tired. Today was busy. So was it the caffeine helping me feel less tired, or because today was a busy one? I have no idea. And I am certainly not willing to try the experiment again to find out. Oh, if I really wanted to, I would be willing to try other forms of caffeine, like caffeine tablets or yerba mate, but I don’t even want to do that. I have a very addictive personality, and I am sure I could get addicted to caffeine quickly. Look at the tagline of this blog – “whining about sugar since 2005”. I am totally addicted to sugar/chocolate. I am sure caffeine would pull me in just as quickly.

So, conclusion: Soda is gross. Especially diet mtn dew with no capitals. Don’t try this at home.

An experiment

I never drink caffeinated drinks. It has little to do with perceived LDS doctrine (in case you were wondering), it's that I have always hated soda pop of any type, caffeinated or not. It hurts my stomach and my nose. I have TASTED caffeinated drinks, but never guzzled it like some people. There was one time I remember drinking a soda quickly. It was the middle of summer, deathly hot. We'd been in the car for a long time for some reason. I got a Welch's Grape Soda and drank the whole thing down. I also do not drink soda of any type for health reasons (all that sugar or artificial sweetener), and I don't drink caffeinated because I know I'd get addicted.

There was one time I did have some caffeinated drinks. I get drowsy so easily when I drive, so I was terrified to drive from Houston to Provo. I figured that was as good a time as any to try energy drinks. In one morning, I had a 16-ounce and a 24-ounce Rockstar Juiced Mango. That adds up to 400 mg of caffeine. Your average soda has 40-55 mg. So I pretty much drank the equivalent of 10 Pepsis. I ended up feeling all sick and jittery and had to sleep it off at a park in Colorado for a while. But I didn't fall asleep in the car! I'm not sure if that time counts since it was so much all at once.

OK, wow, I can turn the tiniest statement into a whole slew of paragraphs. What I was trying to get to is this -- last night I got 4.5 hours of sleep. So I'm not really doing so well at this 'staying awake' thing today. So today is the perfect opportunity to try a caffeine experiment. Our drink machine has Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Diet Mountain Dew, and Diet Coke. My first inclination is that the diet drinks are automatically out. Artificial sweeteners, no thanks. But why not? The ingredients in Pepsi/Dr. Pepper aren't too great either. I have tasted Pepsi, and I know I like that. I don't really remember what Dr. Pepper tastes like, but I'm thinking it will be way too sweet. Probably all of them will, since I'm used to drinking water or stuff like almond milk, which is a little bitter. Diet Coke - I have no idea what that tastes like. I think I have a vague idea of what Mountain Dew tastes like, but I'm not sure. The Diet Mountain Dew has the most caffeine, so I am thinking I might go for that. It's either that or Pepsi. I will let you know what happens. I have to sneak over to the vending machine when no one is looking - I am supposed to be the 'health nut' at work, not the caffeine swilling HCFS addict.

Not Cool

Today, OldestSon was sick (threw up on the way to school!), so I stashed him under my desk at work all day. Seriously, I really did. We had dentist appointments in the morning, so I stuck him under the desk, where he slept until we went to the dentist. After the dentist, we brought back a load of blankets, pillows, books, & the computer and DVDs. He hung out, watched DVDs, and slept until it was time to leave. Of course I didn't ask permission -- I'm the 'do it and ask forgiveness later' type of person.

Something very sad happened though. I encouraged OldestSon to watch Napoleon Dynamite, which he readily agreed to. But during the part with 'Do the chickens have large talons?' he didn't want to watch it any more!!! He switched to Wall-E instead. I guess not everyone can appreciate Napoleon Dynamite. Or maybe it takes a really big dork to appreciate the dorkiness.

I found out about Napoleon Dynamite before it was ever released. A woman in our ward was a relative of one of the writers or something. She kept telling us about this awesome movie and I was like 'uh, whatever'. I don't remember when I finally saw it, but I was hooked immediately. I've probably only seen it 3 times but have most of it memorized.

I should probably start taking friends' recommendations about new movies and books seriously. I had another friend who kept telling me about some really weird-sounding vampire books and putting weird vampire quotes in her signature line long before Twilight became really popular. She is a relative of Stephenie Meyer's. I could have totally been the first on the Twilight bandwagon, and started a Twilight store and made billions, but I missed the opportunity. My friend did end up running a Twilight business which made a full-time income for her and her husband for a while.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yes!! I am safe!!

Edited to add: This video plays automatically and I can't figure out how to stop it, so I'm removing the embedded video and putting this link up:

Some of it is REALLY funny; you've got to check it out.

Letter to Me

Dear Face,
We are no longer 15 years old. I just thought you should know, because apparently you didn't get the memo. Please take care of this immediately. You really aren't that stressed, are you?


Monday, November 09, 2009

All Year

Well, my plan to go to bed early tonight was derailed, again (by me). So, why not post on my blog since it will count for Monday? So far my November posts have been between 12-4 am, why break the run now?

So, as I mentioned, I love trees. They are so beautiful, most of the year. But then they lose their leaves and look sad and ugly. Of course I notice the beauty of the evergreens more during the winter; that's one benefit of the other trees losing their leaves. And all snow-covered trees are gorgeous, but that's relatively rare. So I have been sad thinking about the pending winter and the pending ugliness of all the trees. I was supposed to be in Houston by now, where trees don't look barren and sad all winter long. That makes facing this winter all the more difficult. But then I thought, hey, why accept the loss of tree-beauty during the winter? Why not learn to find beauty in leafless trees instead? So that's what I've been doing. Most of the trees are still fiery and beautiful with their rainbow leaves, but a few have lost all their foliage already. I have tried looking at them with a new eye, trying to find the beauty in them. You can see their lines and shapes easily, now that they aren't covered by leaves. They are fairly monochrome, which is actually quite interesting. I suspect that now that I've decided that leafless trees are beautiful, I'll begin to see them as such.

(Unfortunately my 'appreciate what God/Nature gave me by not shaving' experiment isn't going so well. I still gross myself out occasionally. It's only been 3 months; I'm not sure if I should stick with it or say 'hey, at least I tried!')

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I Have Skills

Don't look at the timestamp on this post. Tomorrow (today?) is going to be absolutely miserable. So much for getting to bed earlier. I'm getting later by the day. And this post totally ended up all stream-of-conscious, which I guess is to be expected, given the time.

My kids had wanted to go to Crap-Mart Wal-Mart to waste spend their allowance, and I decided that if they had the Napoleon Dynamite DVD for under $10, I would buy it. They did have it, for $9. But then I had the brilliant idea of buying 2 workout DVDs too. Remember how I said I have had my Netflix DVDs sitting on my shelf for ELEVEN MONTHS? I finally bit the bullet and bought the 30-Day Shred and a TaeBo workout so that I could finally send those stupid DVDs back guilt free. So I spent $30 on DVDs, which is a big splurge for me, and really not what I should be spending my money on right now. But at least Netflix and I are back together again.

However, I realized I have failed my kids. The front of the Napoleon Dynamite DVD case says 'Vote for Pedro'. OldestSon looked at it and said "Who is Pedro?" I couldn't believe he didn't know. Obviously I've failed them -- they should have Napoleon Dynamite memorized. Actually, that's the exact reason I haven't bought it until now. There are way too many names in the movie that I knew my kids would pick up on if they watched it a lot. Like "Tina, you fat lard" for instance. So it might have to remain an 'adult' movie.

Can you tell I'm writing this at 3:30 am?

Oh yeah, the main purpose of this post. Earlier, my kids watched Pearl Harbor (which also has a whole slew of fun words for them to copy). I've read reviews that said it is a terrible movie, but I love it. It has Ben Affleck for one thing. And Kate Beckinsale. And the Goose guy is really funny. It really hits me emotionally too. I thought it was very well done and captured some of the emotion you feel when thinking of our soldiers being attacked. But then I thought of the atomic bombs. I showed OldestSon some pictures of what Hiroshima and Nagasaki and some of the survivors looked like after the atomic bombs. Sitting there thinking, I just couldn't believe that humans have used nuclear weapons against other humans. It really is incomprehensible. 220,000 or more people, mostly civilians, died. That number is also incomprehensible to me. That's like half the people in my metropolitan area dying. And to think of the effects of radiation sickness? I don't even want to go there. I've studied that some in the past (like in high school), and I didn't even look it up today.

I was thinking that I'd like to study World War II and Pearl Harbor and the atomic bombs in a lot more detail. Then I thought, no, I really don't want to study that. I don't want to understand where they were coming from. I don't want to understand why all the countries involved thought they had to kill thousands or millions of people. I read on Wikipedia that US and Japanese officials both still agree that the atomic bombs were necessary. Some say that if the atomic bombs hadn't been used, Japan would have been invaded, which would have caused greater loss of life. I have no idea what's true. The whole idea of war is just ridiculous. We really think that whichever side kills the most people or causes the most damage is the winner? Again - it's almost incomprehensible. I get that we need to defend freedom, but I wonder how often wars are truly fought for freedom. How much more often is it for monetary gain by the ones in power? I don't think we can ever know what they were thinking until we die. So, yeah, I'd like to study these wars and see what all the reasons were. But on the other hand, I don't even want to know what kind of things go through our leaders' heads when they decide to bomb and kill for what they feel is the greater good.

Oh yeah (again) -- the reason I titled this post as I did is because when I was reading about the atomic bombs, I came across a sweet publication called Nuclear War Survival Skills. Sounds like a must read to me! The word 'skills' in the title got me thinking of Napoleon Dynamite, which is why I related that story first.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

NaBloPoMoing It

Did you notice that I've been posting every day? I decided to try NaBloPoMo this month. I did it in 2006. I was going to try in 2007, but on November 2nd I forgot to post, so that ended that. In 2008 I forged on despite being sick and having to use a Blackberry to post while in Washington, D.C. for my sister's wedding (I have no idea how people type on those things). But then I missed a day and didn't realize it. So that was over. I figured I'd give it a go this year. I think I'll donate a prize, if I can think of something awesome. Or maybe I'll donate something really dumb as a white elephant sort of prize.

The other night I had another weird dream. I was driving on the freeway and there were some parachuters in the sky. A yellow parachute had a hole blown through it and it was trailing black smoke and falling fast. I saw the person hit the ground right off to the side of the freeway, and no one was stopping. I didn't want to stop; I wasn't sure I could handle the gore*. But no one else was doing anything, so I stopped. Off to the side of the freeway there were jagged lava rocks covering everything, including where the parachuter had landed. I went over to her. She was completely covered by her parachute. I took a deep breath, pulled back the parachute. . . and she was fine. No blood, no gore. She was disoriented and upset, but not seriously injured. I think I stayed with her and kept her talking, but I don't remember what else happened after that.


*When I was in high school, I thought I wanted to be a doctor or medical professional of some sort. I ended up deciding on being a veterinarian. I took a health occupations class and was not bothered at all by the blood/guts they showed us on slides and stuff. My football-player boyfriend passed out during a presentation once, but I was totally fine. I took a summer course at BYU and got to see a cadaver. That was awesome, and I was totally fine.

The first sign of trouble was when I went to a veterinarian's office to observe for a day and passed out. They weren't even doing anything gross! There was a dog with pneumothorax, and they had a tube going into the chest to draw out the air, but that wasn't gross. Maybe it was the medical smells that did me in. Now that I have kids my tolerance for blood/guts is a lot lower, so I guess it's a good thing I didn't go that route. Or maybe I would have just gotten over it.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Why People are Frightened by Nourishing Traditions

Nourishing Traditions is a cookbook/diet (way of eating, not weight-loss diet) book by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. Some people are scared off by some of the recipes in it, this likely being one of them:

Fermented Fish Sauce

(I'm scared of the copyright, so I'll just tell you the ingredients)

small fish, including heads, cut up
sea salt
filtered water
bay leaves
lemon rind
tamarind paste

You put the fish and salt in a jar and press it down with a pounder/hammer. Put the rest of the ingredients over it, plus enough water to cover. Cover the jar tightly and leave it out for 3 days. Then leave it in the fridge for several weeks. Then you strain the liquid and store the sauce in the fridge.

Doesn't that sound appetizing?! I think it actually sounds like a good idea to make this frequently. I mean, think of all the possibilities. An annoying visitor/relative comes to see you? Just ask if they'd like some fermented fish heads and I bet they'll be gone in an instant! A burglar tries to steal something? Open the jar and throw it on him and he'll be gone too!

Now, I shouldn't be so rude -- I haven't actually tried this recipe. It probably tastes great. I bought some Thai Kitchen brand fish sauce for a recipe. It is the most vile-smelling thing I have ever smelled. It smells SO gross. I can't remember which recipe I bought it for, but I think that I should have reduced the amount or left it out. I also have Thai Kitchen green curry paste. The coconut curry recipe on the back calls for the paste, fish sauce, and brown sugar. I tried the full amount of the fish sauce in the curry, and it tasted fine. But I'm still scared to leave fish heads in a jar on my counter for 3 days. I can only imagine what the kids would do with it if they found it. The house would smell for weeks.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

More Beauty

This is a tree that I am privileged to see every day when I leave work. It is stunning in the spring when bursting with white blossoms, gorgeous in summer when verdant and full, flamboyantly beautiful in fall when it's a fiery rainbow, and dazzling in winter when covered with snow and ice. I keep meaning to take pictures of it every season and make a montage. I know I've got fall covered, but I'm not sure which other pictures I've taken of it. This picture is 2 years old, but it looks very similar right now. I will try to get a new picture of it tomorrow to compare to.

This post brought to you by Not really, they didn't pay/sponsor me or anything.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


We have a calendar that's been on June for 5 months. Today my mom turned it over to November, and guess what the picture was? Three rainbows!!!

Complaining Again, Oops!

If I write my complaints in really small letters, does it count as complaining? I'm trying to think positively, but some things still really get to me. OK, I can't help myself -- I'm going for it. I am very grateful to have a refrigerator, but I really hate the way ours works. It drips water inside. I have a plastic jar that sits under the drip to catch the water. I would say it drips about a quart every week or two. This begs the question -- where is the water coming from? The fridge is not hooked up to a water line. Do refrigerators remove humidity from the air? I have no idea. Nevertheless, every week a quart or so of water appears. When I complained to management, they told me this is just how this brand of fridges are. The dripped water freezes into pretty layers in the jar. If I forget to empty the jar (by running it under hot water until the ice starts to melt and slides out), the water collects in the bottom of the fridge until you open the door, at which point it falls out onto the floor and gets tracked all over the kitchen.

Also, the fridge freezes everything, unless it is perched on the very front edge of the shelves or in the door. When I first noticed it was freezing things, I turned the temperature up (duh). Which led to the freezer thawing. I try to pay attention to which foods I don't want to freeze (sour cream and eggs are the two biggest concerns), and try to always keep those right at the front. It's kind of difficult to keep EVERYTHING at the front though. Inevitably something will end up getting shoved back, and then I'll decide to make fried eggs for breakfast, and will pull out the eggs only to be greeted by a box of frozen and/or exploded eggs. I really, really hate that. Fortunately most foods can be used after being frozen, even if it wasn't the way I originally intended. Sour cream can be used in a heated meal like stroganoff, instead of as a topping. Greens can be used in smoothies. Eggs can be thawed and used in anything, even as fried eggs, but they're not exactly the same. The one thing that cannot be rescued after being frozen is hard boiled eggs. They are destroyed when they are frozen. All the water comes out of the egg white and collects in between the white and the shell. When you shell the egg, you get a layer of ice, with the destroyed egg underneath. Here is a picture of a shelled frozen hard boiled egg from December 2007 (I don't know why the camera timestamp says 2006).

OK, as penance for all my complaining, I will share something really funny. I don't remember if I've posted this here before. This has nothing to do with taste in music -- it is just hilarious. They've taken a music video (Total Eclipse of the Heart, in this case) and changed the words to describe what is happening in the video. They've got a whole series of them, but this one is my favorite. It was hard to pick just two, but my favorite lines are "Emo Kid is throwing Slo-Mo Dove in my face. I guess that means that he just flipped me the bird." and "I walk on to a terrace where I think I'm alone, but Arthur Fonzarelli's got an army of clones."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sunshine and Rainbows

Man, I've been all sunshine and rainbows lately, ha ha. It seems like everything I encountered yesterday was meant to tear me down or test me to see if I could withstand it. You saw my post about the LDS Gems quote I got. Then I opened my email and Carol Tuttle (who is supposed to be inspirational) asks me, "Are Your Limiting Beliefs About Money Ruining Your Life and Your Children's?" Why yes, Carol, they are! Thanks for asking!! So nice to hear from you ♥ The day got worse from there.

Anyway, I decided that I've turned into one of those friends who always has to be focused on their own tragedy and sorrow when you try to talk to them or help them. I know I've fallen into the victim role over the last 3 years. Now I just need to figure out how to get away from all that.

To start with I will share some of the world's beauty -- a real rainbow!!

We saw this rainbow a couple of weeks ago. It was an absolutely gorgeous double rainbow. You could see the entirety of both rainbows. I LOVE rainbows, real ones, as well as anything in rainbow colors. I could stare at a real rainbow for hours. They are fantastically gorgeous and magical. Of course I've studied (meaning I briefly stared at the webpage then closed it without actually attempting to understand it) the science of why rainbows appear, but looking at all those angles and rays? Naah, it's just magic!!

The kicker is that this was repeated for us last week. We walked out of the daycare and were greeted by an even more brilliant double rainbow. I don't even know when was the last time I saw a rainbow, and then to see two double rainbows in two weeks?! Wow! I wish I could bottle up a real rainbow and keep it in my backyard (if I had a backyard).

Speaking of rainbows, you have to see these pictures.

Happy rainbow hair!

Wisely Chosen is my hair idol. I found her photos about a year ago. I think I had googled 'wild long curly hair'. As you all know (ad nauseum), I want really long hair like Dawn's. The first picture I saw of her was with nearly regular colored hair, or at least I didn't notice that it was colored. She already would have been my hair idol because of the length and beautiful curl, but when I saw her rainbow hair, her hair idol status was forever guaranteed!

I don't know the laws of Flickr, so I'm not going to put a picture in here, but you've really got to check it out. Dawn gave me permission to post these pictures! Check out her Flickr photostream for tons more. I promise you will be amazed, shocked, or something similar. At first I thought that her hair must be Photoshopped, but if so, she must spend hundreds of hours on Photoshop and have amazing skills at making it look realistic. By which I mean that it's not Photoshopped!

I Have A Big Pink Bush

Force of nature

It's hot outside again

I can't figure out my real personality. When I see Dawn's rainbow hair, something inside me says "YES! That is perfect! That is totally me! I want that!" But in real life, the most dramatic thing I've EVER done to my hair was a henna gloss, and since henna is RED and my hair is REDDISH, yeah, no one even noticed. So maybe THAT is my true personality and I just like to imagine that the rainbow me is the real me. Whatever. Rainbows and rainbow hair forever!

Oh, I forgot to mention -- if I ever get my own world, everyone is getting rainbow hair by default. I haven't decided if everything (trees, grass, animals) will be rainbow -- that might be visual overkill. But at least the hair will be rainbow.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Post-Halloween Hilarity

YoungestSon was absolutely hilarious today. I stayed up violently late last night, so I was trying to sleep in this morning. MiddleSon and OldestSon keep YoungestSon safe and happy, but they don't prevent him from making messes or from making bad nutritional choices. Eventually, YoungestSon came back to the bed and asked for snackies (nursing). I said no, that the snackies were closed. I told him to cuddle with me instead. He cuddled with me for 2 seconds and then said "Snackies now?" I said no, and he cuddled 2 seconds longer. Then "Snackies now?!?!" 2 more seconds of cuddling, and "Snackies now??????!?!!!!?"

Then he started pretending to bite me and he was saying "Pizza! Chicken!" Then he was making really funny faces and rolling his eyes back and stuff. It was really hilarious; I guess you had to be there. It turns out that all three of them had pretty much eaten all of their halloween candy by the time I got up. It looked like someone blew up a Hershey's factory in our living room.