Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ring Out The Old

As the last few hours of the year melt away I am a little bit sad, a little anxious, but mostly hopeful.
Hopeful that 2012 won't be as stressful as 2011.
On a global level; I hope we all can learn to get along. I get that every culture has their own history and holidays and traditions, but so many traditions come from other cultures originally and since we all started in a pond somewhere in Africa so it shouldn't be a big deal to let the small stuff go, right? I hope we can see the evidence of that this year.
At the national level; I hope we can become more responsible. Bring the factory jobs back to our own country and employ our own people rather than send all our money and jobs out. I know it makes more money for the board of directors but it doesn't help the economy in any way.
For the state; I hope we can figure out how to balance a budget. I don't understand why a problem that has taken years to create is expected to be solved in six months and I hope to see a measure of moderation in the cutting that needs to take place.
City-wise; I hope we will stop being a gigantic pile of selfish, greedy, stupid people and take an interest. Not in a solve-hunger-in-Uganda kind of way but in a care-what's-happening-with-our-neighbors-in-the-house-next-door kind of way. The 'think global, act local' adage is cute but means nothing unless we let the lady with two kids get in front of us in line and worry less about what the media tells us is cool and read a book. Or look at what the political candidate means rather than just what s/he says. I hope to see a rise in intelligence and kindness.
Familial; I hope we can communicate more, talk less behind people's backs and complain less.
Personally; I hope to be more organized and waste less time this year. I have a lot to keep track of and I really need to be on top of it all. I have felt one step behind a lot this year and I don't like it.
Those are my hopes and dreams for 2012. Of course, if the Mayans are right we don't have to think about any of it. If they aren't then we're going to be in the exact same place 365 days from now.

This is me and HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Not A Creature Was Stirring

There has been a lot going on and I will get to it and tell you all about it, but tonight I need to remember Christmas; the calmer Christmas Eves of my past when it was all twinkly lights and pine fragrance, (some) presents and carols. My brothers and sisters and I would get in our pajamas, sit around on the floor and listen as my dad read a story to us out of the big, red "Christmas book."
Then out of the Bible we'd read the account of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem and all the visits of that one night so long ago. We'd have "snack," say our family prayers, we'd brush our teeth, hang our stockings and settle down, too excited to sleep and wanting to so much so Christmas would come.
Things have changed significantly since those days. People coming from far and near, arriving and departing at different times, jobs, spouses, kids and all that.
I love my life and I love the changes but sometimes I wish I could go back to that time when it was just me and the tree and a cookie and the itchy, magical feeling that comes the night before Christmas...

This is me wishing everyone a feeling like that tonight.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 19, 2011

I Did Most Of The Falling

Do NOT laugh.
But.
I think I sprained a thigh muscle yesterday at church, playing ring-around-the-rosy in the Nursery.
...
In my defense, I was wearing three inch heels, there were three of them and we played over and over and over for 25 minutes straight.
How does one say no to three angelic faces begging " 'gin!, 'gin!"
I couldn't, obviously, but now my leg really hurts when I get up and down from a chair or in and out of the car or any other sort of seat.

This is me and I know I'm not in the greatest shape, but really?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We Belong

'Tis the season and all that - I will have to mail 4 or 5 boxes myself later this week - so I shouldn't have been surprised when mysterious packages started arriving on our doorstep. There hasn't been a note on any of them though and after I opened one - almost spoiling a Christmas surprise - I've just been piling them in a corner of the living room.
Hopefully none of them are perishable.
Then, last night, I overheard Tarzan on the phone asking about a membership kit that was supposed to have arrived. We rifled though the stack and, fortunately for the guy on the phone, came up with it.
See, we had joined the Fridgetop Root Beer Society.
Tarzan really likes root beer and over Thanksgiving he and Floyd did some talking about ways to spread the love. It's still in the embryo stage but he's having fun networking with the owner/CEO of the Root Beer Society.
(Tarzan joined Facebook! That's how much he's into this.)
They've exchanged emails over the wonders of the new flavors that are in the membership kit - the Sprecher was super smooth, the Gray's a little zippier.
Also included in the kit; two "official" membership cards, a cute mug that can be frosted for crisper tasting, the history of the company which is a really funny read and a bottle opener which comes in handy for people who don't use their shirt to open a bottle cap. All profusely stamped with the name of the ccompany and the website.
I think we're lifers.

This is me and I'm contemplating how Tarzan would take it if I framed his member's certificate for a Christmas present...

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Good News

On a lighter note, my USC Santa hat does keep my head really warm while out and about:


This is me, keeping positive.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Multiplication

I'm about half done with the Christmas shopping - which I love to do, pick out gifts I think others with like, plus it's shopping with zero guilt - but there's still the wrapping and the shipping and as soon as one thing gets crossed off the list three more appear. I don't know how it happens. I try to schedule things out. We started working on the Sunday Christmas program almost two months ago but now we're down to two weeks and Tarzan hasn't even looked at his piece yet. The guy whose supposed to be playing the guitar - acoustic - hasn't been there the last two weeks so I don't know if he has time to learn his song. The kids are way more interested in presents than singing.
And I know it will all work out. The presents will get bought, and delivered, and the program will be good.
It's just the anticipation that makes me antsy. Timing is not my gift and I really worry about forgetting something serious.

Like sending the outline to the lady who does the program so she can print it out.
Or asking the guy to play Santa at the party this weekend! That's what I was supposed to do this afternoon. Oy.
Send some good scheduling thoughts my way.

This is me and maybe I should develop a mantra; "it will all work out...it will all work out..."

Monday, December 05, 2011

Star Wars: Fodder For Anyone

QC sent this to me a (long) while ago:


I only just got around to clearing out the Inbox of that email account and found it just as amusing now as I did then.
(That's my measure for whether things are really funny.)

This is me and this movie is good for so much stuff.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

'Tis The Season

I loved my iPhone before, but now it is getting serious.
Over Thanksgiving with Tarzan's family I was lamenting the fact that there weren't any good ring tones on my iPhone and I didn't want to spend money to get any. Floyd mentioned it should be possible - I just had to trim the song to the right length and find out the file extension to change the song to.
And it worked.
(Floyd is a genius. If you ever need to know anything, he is the man.)
So tonight, following these instructions, I took my favorite 1:53 of Jupiter, cut it to 0:40, changed the extension and voila! I now have it as a ring tone.
Awesome.
Then I got a little crazy and did a Christmas one too. We will see if Mannheim Steamroller's God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen will wake me up in the morning.

Link
This is me and the magic of the iPhone never ceases.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Where Does It Go?

Why do my best ideas for this blog come to me when I am laying in bed and have no access to a writing utensil or even my iPhone?
(I leave my iPhone in the bathroom, charging, so that when the alarm goes off in the morning I have to get up and go in another room to turn it off. I am much less likely to ignore it and go back to sleep that way.)
Last night, for example, I was all tucked in, the kittens were snuggling on one side and Tarzan was on the other and I thought of a brilliant topic for discussion. I considered getting up to write it down, but it was so warm and comfy and the kittens won't come back if I disturb them so I thought I'd leave myself a reminder for the morning. It was a good idea, I promise. But whatever
cairn I left for myself was all over the floor when I got up today and of course I don't remember what it was about.

This is me with curses for my inferior memory and lack of a pen.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Unexpected

I have to say, DaddyScrubs.com sounded WAY cuter on the radio commercial.
Also, the text on the website is suggesting these are a MUCH bigger deal than they seem.
I could MAKE these things myself, with some old hospital scrubs - don't ask how I have them - and a fancy marker.
Bing, bang, done.

This is me and what am I missing?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Suggesting To My Mind

So, the human mind is a weird thing. (As I am sure you are aware from my multitude of Weird Dreams.) But beyond my nightly brain dumps are the images and sensations that develop over the years and we aren't even aware of it.
Take tonight for example. It wasn't a cold day by any means, not baking but in the mid-60's. Fine for the last day of November in The Jungle. Even when the sun went down it didn't get too chilly. But right around 7pm this wild wind picked up and started blowing things around. Fairly heavy things, boxes, cans, chairs, trash bags. It blew and blew for almost an hour. (Poor outdoor kitties had their water bowl all filled with leaves and dirt and rocks and stuff.) As soon as the wind started howling - and it was howling, which is weird for here; there's not much room to pick up speed for a howl - I got really cold. Even being in the house, where it was warm, in my sweats and eating warm food, I was chilly and shivering. I can only suppose it comes from my time in The Frozen North where winds like that brought ice storms and blizzards and things like that. Don't know. But it started me thinking; what other sensations come from our past but trigger vivid feelings?
Does fire make you extremely warm too? Even if you're outside and taking two steps from the BBQ pit will start the ice forming on your nose does the feel of the fire make you think of July and heat waves?

This is me and am I just totally nuts?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winding Down

I'm about out of steam for this year's NaBloPoMo. Thankfully tomorrow is the last day of the month. I do have some handy iPhone pictures to share with you for today. This is Tarzan and me waiting to board the plane to come home Sunday very early in the morning: I was exhausted and went to sleep as soon as I sat down. Didn't even notice when we took off and didn't wake up for drinks and snacks, which is unusual. (Hey, if I'm paying that much for an airline ticket, I'm getting all the orange juice and Sprite they will give me.) Upon landing, and waking, I thought the pilot was kidding when he stopped the plane and said we were getting off here:He wasn't.
Sure didn't look like a normal gate. I think that was the longest hike from plane to baggage claim ever.While we were waiting to deplane I captured Tarzan's errant eyebrows, just so you know I wasn't making it all up:There you go, proof positive.

This is me and I am so scrounging for material. Is it obvious?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Noticed In The Bathroom Mirror

Whenever someone in a movie or on TV brushes their teeth I comment that they must not be using real toothpaste because there isn't any foam. (I'm a stickler for details like that.)
Then, this weekend, as I was brushing my teeth at Tarzan's parents house I noticed *I* wasn't getting any foam. Same technique, same brush, same toothpaste as I use at home. Different results. And again in the shower; my shampoo just didn't have it's
usual suds. By that point I was paying attention and tried to make lather. It took some effort and it wasn't as airy.
Does anyone know if it's an altitude thing? Or an ocean thing?
Last night though, as I was getting ready for bed, my toothpaste was super foamy and that made me feel better.

This is me and things are back to normal now.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

USC vs UCLA

Yes, yes, the game was yesterday. I know. But it was a night game locally, which made it even later at Tarzan's parents house - this is partly why the PAC-12 gets no respect, no one on the East Coast can stay up to watch our games - and we had to get up in the middle of the night to catch our airplane home. So we had to hold on and not read the paper or listen to the radio until we got home.
Oh boy was it hard keeping the people at church from telling us what the score had been. It was a good one.
And if this had to be the last game of the season, I can think of no better way to end it.
USC: 50
UCLA: 0
That's correct. 0 points. That's what's called a shut-out.

This is me and it didn't look hard to do.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Muppets

Gamma was a doll and took the entire family out to see The Muppets movie this afternoon.
So. Much. Fun.
It was really cute, funny, not too cheesy - the bad guy rap was a little much - and it had all the best Muppets in it. Kermit, Miss Pigggy, Gonzo, Beaker! I did miss Animal doing his "Aaaaaaniiimaaaaallll" fit, but he was awesome still. I don't really understand this new Walter character, but I guess there had to be a catalyst for the whole story and he was it. The Swedish Chef with the flamethrower was classic.
Jason Segel and Amy Adams were not overly involved but enough so the dancing was not out of place and it allowed some of the things Muppets just can't do. Jack Black's part was minimal which was a sad, but I get it was about the Muppets not the people. (He's also uncredited, which I don't understand.)
And Mickey Rooney. So fun to see him in a cameo.
A ton of other stars made cameos, including one of my new favorites, Jim Parsons, from The Big Bang Theory.
Not a complicated story and so it was the real talent of the Jim Hensen company and the puppeteers that came through. If you're looking for some way to spend $12, go see The Muppets. So worth it.
Thanks Gamma, that was excellent.

This is me with a great end to a great vacation.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Awesome Squared

The other thing I forgot about Tarzan's family is the concert after the sushi party the day after Thanksgiving. Despite all the leftovers in the fridge, we get out a bunch of rice and seaweed, fish and vegetables and make a bunch of sushi. We invite over friends and talk and eat and laugh. It's awesome.
Then all those who play instruments pull them out and they play for us. There are many great videos from this evening's performance. Phatfiddle has some flying fingers, Sunshine is learning violin, Teaq played the theme from Star Wars...so much fun.
But my personal favorite was Tarzan's piano duet with his brother QC. Every year we have been married whenever the family gets together they ask to hear Jubilation, a duet the brother learned in middle/high school and won some competition with. It's been so many years since they played it together though that one or the other invariably misses a part or forgets a bit and then it all falls apart. I have never heard the piece through entire.
Until tonight.
Tarzan has been working on it for the days we've been here and I figure QC has too because they finished. It was excellent. And I was prepared enough to be able to share it with you:

video

If you didn't know, he's the one on the outside end in green. My only regret is that the video cuts out before you are able to see Gamma through her hands in the air in celebration of their feat.

This is me happy to be married to that talented man.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

It is that time of year again when we pause for a moment, eat a lot of turkey and sides and hopefully count our many blessings. My three kernels this year are:
  • Tarzan. It's a little cheesy and I get groans at the dinner table because I say it every year but it's true. I am thankful for him and for his willingness to do whatever is necessary. And without complaining, whining or shirking his duty. It's a little amazing.
  • My education. Not my formal education at USC - though that was awesome - but the practical one I received from my parents wherein I learned to desire to learn. I know what words mean in a regular conversation and I don't have to take a calculator to the grocery store. I know enough to know more and that is something I am very thankful for.
  • Family. The ones we are eating with this year, the ones back at home, the ones that live on the other side of the world. I am thankful that we are given families on this earth, to come to, to grown on our own and to continue on.
This is me and I hope your day is spent with lots of people you like and good food. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Whirlwind

I'm not sure why I don't remember that visits to Tarzan's family are always filled with adventures and PLENTY to do. From the moment we landed early this morning we've had places to go and things to do.
Tarzan, his father and the other men sleeping in the house this weekend had "guy things" to do. The girls and the kids went to the park and then the mall wherein we took about a thousand pictures of the small ones riding the indoor train. Too cute. I'll get some up here as soon as I figure out whose camera we were using. (There are so many.)
Then it was lunch and naps and a tree came down in the backyard. (It's also one of the things I forget; when we come here there are tree branches that need to be sawed off and piled up.)
Dinner was across town at QC's house and it was lovely. We all ate so much we didn't fit in the cars to come home again.
Then it was some family history notes and I scoured Gamma's brain - and piano bench - for music for our Christmas program.
Because we hadn't done enough yet today we watched Coraline - which I liked more than I thought I would but don't know if it was such a good idea to do so right before sleeping - and now I am off to bed because we only got four hours last night and I really don't know what time my body thinks it is now.

This is me and it's a whirlwind every time. I should send myself a memo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Change Of Pace

We're leaving tonight to visit Tarzan's family for Thanksgiving. Rather than leave early in the morning - as with other trips - we're leaving late at night and arriving way early in the morning.
MusicMan is a sweetheart to come and get us.
I don't know that I could do it.
But we're the last of his siblings to arrive (two live nearby making that way easier) which means the welcoming committee ought to be epic.

This is me and more exciting posts to follow.

Monday, November 21, 2011

In The Dawn's Early Light

It was a clear, crisp morning in The Jungle. Bright and sunny and cool, a typical November day. ATL and I headed out to the car preparatory to taking her to work. As I rounded the rear of the car I noticed the result the combination the torrent of rain from the previous night and morning, the black fabric roof of my car and the early morning sunshine had made:

This is me with my iPhone coming in handy again for pictures.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Reflections On The Fifth Year

Happy 5th Blog-iversary to me!
That kind of sounds like a long-ish time to be doing this. Putting my real life on the Internet for anyone to read that is. I attempt to walk that fine line between Too Much and Just Enough Information. And it's been a fancy dance since November 2010.
Well, everything has been stressed this last year, no question. Three new babies in the family, a new job, my parents' business, the nonsense with Tarzan's job, plus the usual work, church and family stuff. It's been crazy to the point that I feel like I'm missing two months. (I can't figure out why it's so dark by 5:00pm if it's only September.) And my posting has totally suffered this because of the craziness, and I apologize. I expect that's why truly busy people don't blog.
And still in all this time I haven't figured out what my 'voice' is going to be.
Certainly not a mommy blogger. I assume one has to have children for that to be feasible.
There are so many infertile blogs and they're all way funnier with lots more information and movement than mine.
I could blog about TV but then it wouldn't be as fun to watch. I think I learned that lesson from the DWTS situation.
I'd love to be an online psychologist or help desk or something but I have no credentials for that.
So I suppose I'm a random, which is hard to find a niche for. Of course, if I had a niche I'd be obligated to write more and we all know how that works out.

This is me and it's better if I blog because I like it.
This time last year: Reflections On The Fourth Year.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

USC vs Oregon

Once again, especially given last week, I expected a rout.
It sort of was, but we mostly routed ourselves in the 4th quarter. Previous to that point, USC scored 21 points smack out of the gate. Recovered a fumble right before the half. Blocked a punt right after. Barkley was on fire. That was nice.
Of course, next to those images are the shots of our guy jumping up and down on their running back. And then cheating a touchdown in. And taunting the fans. So that wasn't good.
On the other hand, that play was totally holding and pass interference. And the line judge at the end zone REALLY needs to get his eyes checked. Seriously.
On the other hand, we can't even hold onto the ball - sometimes at the MOST inopportune moments.
On the OTHER hand, dude biffed the field goal to tie the game. Wow.
Final score;
USC: 38
Oregon: 35

This is me and that was amazing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Throw Back

Because today was not a red-letter day.
But this is a red-letter dress:
This is me with us, circa almost a year ago.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Big Bang

I've mentioned how I watch too much television. And how I am every broadcasting company's target audience.
I've picked up another one.
I know, I know, but before you get too disgusted with me I have good news. ATL and I got serious this fall and weeded out all the series recordings of shows that are stupid, that we don't really like and the ones that have been canceled. As a measure of how serious we got, we stopped recording Dancing With The Stars.
(Yes, that's right. It was a tough decision but it runs thee hours over two nights and it's just too reality show-y to make up for the cool dance numbers. I miss Seasons 3 and 4 before it got so big.)
So reduced are we in our television view-age that we're actually on top of it and many nights are watching the show as it records because there's no back log.
For ATL and I this is huge progress. HUGE!
Tarzan still thinks we're weird and plays his computer games in the corner with headphones so he doesn't have to participate. Except for Burn Notice. He watches that one with us.
But the new show. It's not new to most of you, I am sure but I finally watched an episode of The Big Bang Theory for kicks because there was nothing else on and now I am hooked.
I was interested at first because of Johnny Galecki but it is Jim Parsons who is my favorite now.
Sheldon is just hilarious.
It's the point of the show, I am sure, but I feel smarter for watching it AND I'm extra pleased when I actually understand what they are talking about. That doesn't happen often.
I could continue to tell you how funny it is but until you have heard a rejoinder between Sheldon and Leonard, it just won't be the same.
It doesn't hurt that one of my favorite groups composed and sings the theme song either.
"...We built the pyramids..."

This is me and it is a really funny show.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

George - My iPhone

This is my iPhone - I call it George:
It's the iPhone3 - and it was free. My cell phone was due for an upgrade - yes we're still on one of those contract plans but it works for us - and Tarzan ordered this for me for my birthday. I was fairly certain I would not like it and did not need a 'fancy' phone. All I use it for is texting and calling, right?
Well not anymore.
Firstly, texting is SO MUCH EASIER with a full keyboard and it's not even annoying anymore to to turn the phone sideways to get a wider display. I do miss the arrows of a regular keyboard though. Inserting is very difficult.
Calling is slightly more annoying than I would have thought. I've accidentally dialed people more often with this phone than all the others combined. The Contacts screen is a little touchy.
(Touchy - hee hee hee)
And it took me all of a day to decide that keeping notes and things on my phone was handy. How many times have I left the grocery list at home, or mailed it, or lost it? More times than I have forgotten my phone when going to the store, that's for sure. Also, deleting and writing another list? So handy. Saving the trees.
And then there are the games. I miss Tetris from my old phone. I still hold out hopes of being able to get it transferred because I paid for it once, but we'll see. But there are so many others to play.
The Internet. Love the Internet on my phone!
I hate to admit the number of times I have dropped my iPhone already though. It's like there's holes in my hands sometimes. I've had to exchange my SIM card too, though that's not a bad thing when you consider the one I had was the first one I ever had, so old it was still printed with 'Cingular.'
The camera is nothing sort of spectacular compared to my old one and being able to download the pictures to my computer is so convenient. I just need to learn how to make my own ring tone now and things will be perfect.

This is me and I have a iPhone and I like it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Seasons

Some people say we don't have seasons here in The Jungle.
I offer proof that we do:



This is me, and we had hail last year...for about an hour. It was enough.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Last Meal

One of the writing prompts for NaBloPoMo has me pondering - which I suppose is the point - about my last meal. What would I choose for my last meal?
Which begs the question; why is it my last meal?
If, like they always show in the movies, I'm in prison and about to be executed, there is no way I'd eat. I'd be too freaked out to swallow anything. (It makes my throat close up to type it, let alone live it.) So, no.
If it was some operation thing, where my jaw was being wired shut for mouth surgery or whatever - it happened to my uncle when he broke his jaw - then it'd be all the chewy things I could think of. Steak and fat french fries, asparagus, carrots and apples. Food like that.
If I didn't know it was going to be my last meal, before I died of natural causes at 101 and I still had my teeth, I would have Asian food. Some Thai soup, good spring rolls, BBQ pork, an exotic vegetable mix, bao.
And there would be ice cream cake.
The right ice cream cake, not the one they messed up for my birthday this year. (So annoyed about that. Chocolate curls and graham cracker crumbs do not look the same, ever.)

This is me and it's a tougher question than it initially seems. What would you have?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pantry / Linen Revival

I feel almost like I'm breaking the Sabbath by posting about cleaning and work that I did YESTERDAY.
Is that true or am I paranoid?
Don't answer that, I think I know already.
So, YESTERDAY, neither ATL nor I had any commitments which is a huge thing for a Saturday. We decided to tackle cleaning and reorganizing the pantry and linen closets which are in the alcove off the kitchen on the way to the master bedroom.
Yes, I know, not exactly the way most of us choose to spend a day off, but it needed to be done and ATL was very insistent. (Don't tell anyone but her boy.friend is coming for Thanksgiving and she would remodel, redecorate and then clean my entire house if there was time. She's settling for the cleaning.)
Now, I show you these pictures only because it is not the final picture and I know we organized it all nice. This is the 'before' picture, pantry on the left and linen on the right: We took everything out of both cupboards, wiped the shelves down and put it all back in.
The pantry, in a nice orderly fashion:
The linen closet; and it is amazing how much space one has when everything is in it's place:
This is me, though I doubt he will look in my cupboards.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

USC vs Washingon

I would like to say it was a great game today.
Maybe it was.
We won so that's a plus. But I forgot to record it while Tarzan was at work so we only saw the last quarter wherein USC did not score any points. So all I really know is the final score.
USC: 40
Washington: 17

This is me and I hate it when I forget stuff.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day 2011

No matter where I live or what the local traditions are for November 11th, I always start looking for poppies. It's what we did where I grew up. The weather meant we were wearing coats all month long and it was grey and dreary so the bright red flower really pops: We don't have that kind of celebration here in The Jungle, and it sure isn't cold enough for a coat, but I miss the poppies. The poppies and the poem; In Flanders Fields. I posted the poem itself once, a few years ago. This time I thought I'd share the poem set to music. It was probably the first piece of music that really moved me.
This isn't exactly the way I remember the song from the poem after so long - my memory isn't all that apparently - but this is a sweet rendition and the images are touching. They remind me of my grandfather somehow, though he was barely born when WWI was raging.
It says Remembrance Day to me:








This is me, lest we forget.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Contest #2

I will send you one dozen cookies of your choice if you have a movie/episode/show saved on your DVR/TiVO or older than I do.
Leave the show, the date and your favorite cookie variety in the comments for our enjoyment and then email me as well so I can respond and tell you why I win.
tempest30ATgmailDOTcom


This is me and the contest is now open.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Neti Or No Neti

This is definitely entering the Way Too Much Information phase here but I have had a neti pot recommended to me a few times in the last two days and I wonder what you think of them.
First, how do I keep from drowning? Having Tarzan tell me to stuff some salt water up my nose "but don't snort it" sounds like a good way to drown myself.
Second, though I suppose this should be first, second, does it just help my sinuses or will it work on my constantly popping ears and my AMAZINGLY sore throat too? (I think my tonsils are getting involved here. I really should have had them out years ago but I did not. And now they hurt a lot when I get sick.)
Third, does it fix my nose dripping forever, only for this cold or just for a while? And if not forever, how long can I expect to have relief? Do I have to snort salt water several times a day or just once? Does it last overnight?
In short, now that I am sick for sure, is it worth the effort to get a neti pot or should I continue laying on the couch reading blogs and playing Mafia Wars?

This is me and what do you think?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I Try To Use It In Real Life

Every time I have a cold I am reminded of an observation my friend Cogent made years ago; part of the fatigue one feels when ill is because one is required to blow one's nose every 90 seconds.
So true.
And because it hurts my head to think too much, I am falling back on one of the provided prompts for this month.
Why do I like writing?
Two words: delete button.
Writing is so great because, whether texting, typing, emailing or IMing, the delete button let's you edit what you are about to say so it comes out the right way, rather than the first way you think of it. My first thoughts are not always the most coherent and 'delete' lets me fix it.
The down side to this self editing is that I try and use it in real life. I can't count the number of times I've cut, or dropped or said something I wasn't supposed to and tried to 'control Z' it.
Doesn't work and people just look at you weird.

This is me and I think we should petition for 'delete' to be allowed in real life.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Oh Dear

I think I'm getting sick.
For the second time since September.
And it's all the houseboy's fault.
This houseboy at Aunt Richie's, let's call him Speedy - as in Speedy Gonzalez from the cartoons. Stereotypical? Perhaps, but accurate - comes six days a week to clean, cook, feed the cat, maintain the cars, assist the gardener - who also comes six days a week - speak Spanish to all the vendors who come to the door and generally do whatever she needs.
About two weeks ago I came in to work and he was sneezing, sniffling and snorting all over the place. I told him not to touch anything but he did anyway, insisting he wasn't sick. That day I must have washed my hands 20 times and I started taking extra vitamins, with echinacea and zinc and anything that said it improves the immune system.
I thought I had escaped the germs when last Monday I had a minor sore throat, some sniffing and then it went away.
Not so fast, Jane.
Then last week Speedy came to work. Sick. AGAIN. What does the boy do that he can get sick again that fast?
Don't tell me, I don't want to know.
I upped my vitamins again, washed my hands so often they're raw and now today my throat REALLY hurts, as does my head, my nose is running and I'm so annoyed.

This is me, and everyone who's sick can blame him too.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Homemade Soup

I don't usually like soup. The whole broth business is kind of pointless. If I wanted to drink, I'd put it in a glass.
The exceptions include hot and sour soup - from most any Chinese restaurant but specifically the grungy little dive down the road from our house where I wonder if they've ever met a Chinese person but the soup...the soup IS SO GOOD - or, well, really that's it.
Until I made soup tonight.

It was raining super hard today and it was cold. Not really cold, cold, like places where it snows, cold, but indeed colder than it usually is around here.
Especially when one's house is not equipped for that unusual cold by having things like heaters and insulation.
So I made soup.
Chicken soup with cheese tortellini.
It was a hybrid of what I had on hand and a recipe Aunt Richie gave me. Now I did sort of cram a lot of vegetables into the pot compared to the amount of chicken stock - see above comment regarding broth - but it couldn't be called anything other than soup.
I thought it came out rather well.
I would eat it again and that's a big deal for me and soup.

This is me and it might not be as good tomorrow. Today was Fast Sunday and have you noticed everything tastes better on Fast Sunday?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

USC vs Colorado

Yes, the game was last night but there were other subjects to occupy my posting yesterday, so football got bumped to today. (Post twice in one day? Are you crazy? This is November. Posts with legitimate reasons are rationed.)
Why are we only as good as the team we are playing? Before last night I would have bet on our team to totally manhandle Colorado - despite the buffalo - but the opening quarter was was not so impressive.

It got better to be sure, but interceptions never make me happy - unless we're catching them - and again with the penalties. Oy.
Still, we pulled it out - the two blocked field goals were nice - and a win is a win is a win.
USC: 42
Colorado: 17
Also, our fans sure don't know how to dress for 41 degrees.


This is me and at least it wasn't raining.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Ode To Eleven Years

I am not a sappy sort of person - much to Tarzan's consternation - but one thing every year is able to make me a giant ball of mush.
Our anniversary.
Maybe because we started out with such a tentative, nervous celebration - oh, if I could do the wedding over again it would be so different - and the first few years were touchy, blazing the trail of sharing between two families.
Maybe because it's one time it's obvious how long we've been together and how much my life would stink without him.
Maybe because there's only the two of us and each year I value Tarzan more.

Today celebrates eleven years that we have been married. Eleven! That's a lot of numbers.

Eleven years ago we were sealed for time and all eternity.
As the days tick by and it seems we two are all there is going to be in this union it becomes more important to me that we want the same things and do the same things and make it perfect.
I have learned I am a control freak. A high maintenance control freak.
It's a good thing Tarzan is easy going and likes to have work to do...
In addition to those qualities here are some reasons I am glad he likes me a bunch.
I love his being willing to work so hard every day and not resent it.
I love his ability to make me laugh. Makes every day easier.
I love his (truly) not caring what others think. Some kind of confidence.
I love his focus. Nuclear bombs couldn't disturb him when he's in the zone.
I love his concern for his students.
I love his knowledge. Brains are sexy.
Happy Anniversary Tarzan.
I love you.

This is me and eleven years is one less than a full dozen!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Bonus!

It's November 3rd.
Where I grew up we would be shoveling snow for perhaps the 3rd or 4th time this season and preparing for a long haul of more of the same.
Here, in the Jungle, it's 78 degrees.
Do we have a lot of people here? Yes, we do.
Do we have a lot of traffic here and does it drive us insane? Yes we do and it does.
Do people freak out and forget how to drive when it rains four times a year. Absolutely
But right now it's sunny and warm and there's a breeze and half of the rest of the country is buried in white stuff already.

This is me and that's why we live here now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

What's Inside?

It just can't be safe to have all this hanging off the back:
I really worry about that bottom right box.



This is me using my iPhone for pictures again.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

It Should Make Him More Aware Of His Surroundings...

As you may have noticed my posting this year has not been as stellar as other years. Timing and scheduling have not been my friends. I'm thinking of sending them a fruit basket by way of a bribe and maybe they might be nicer to me in the next eight weeks.
Still, I am game to try this NaBloPoMo thing again. It's a great exercise for writing, I can usually come up with something to say - you might get some really random stuff, today for example - and it's an achievable goal, so when everything else is falling apart and people start canceling on my Christmas program - which has happened already - I can feel good about posting every day for a month.
Today's subject; Tarzan's eyebrows.
Usually they are a very benign substance. They aren't bushy or sharp, there's no threat of a uni-brow, they're the same color as his hair and they stay in place. But every few months I notice that one of two of the hairs have gotten really, REALLY long. Long enough he can pull them straight and look at them. Long enough he can poke himself in the eye with them. And they always seem to come from the same area of his eyebrow. Not the middle, or the inner side, but right above the fourth lash from the edge of his eye, that's how precise it is.
Is that uniquely freaky or do other people's husbands have the same situation?

This is me and it's day one of thirty.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Benefit Of My iPhone

At the risk of going backward in my narrative I relate that ATL and I went to see Celtic Thunder in concert last Wednesday night. (It was more of a companion thing on my regard, like when she went to see Wicked for the 133rd time with me.)Mistake me not, those boys can sing and they are surely amusing, but it's her thing and I am the ride.
But speaking of the ride, I met ATL about halfway between our house and the theater because of where Aunt Richie's house is relative to the other two places. I had to traverse one of the most famous streets of the Jungle and while waiting for a red light these fine gentlemen wandered on by my car:

No one else even seemed to notice, let alone care. There was no apparent reason for a horse to be walking down the street, it's not like it's normal here or anything. And I appreciated that I was stopped and that I had an iPhone to take a discernible picture with.

This is me and that was worth the price of admission.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

USC vs Stanford

That was not the shut-out I had expected it to be.
And that's a good thing.
After last week's tromping of the University of Washington by Stanford (65-21, ouch) I did not hold out great hopes for our game tonight. We're a young team, sanctions, lots of penalties, blah, blah, blah.
But it was a really good game. We didn't make a lot of mistakes - that taunting penalty was dumb but not hurtful really - and we looked solid. The interception in the fourth was just beautiful.
We were doing really well until that last Stanford drive and the personal foul penalty. So, try as we might to stop it, overtime.
We don't, however, do well in overtime. And we had to play three of them. That's right, three overtimes.
It was a valiant effort but we got tired first and fumbled the ball. Which resulted in a touch back and that was the end of that.
Final score,
USC: 48
Stanford: 56

This is me and my random realization of the game; every team appears to have a dude who is much smaller and littler than the others. I call them the team midget.

Friday, October 28, 2011

On The Bulletin Board For Sure

Tonight was our ward Halloween party. It was planned sort of last minute because *I* didn't want to be in charge of it - October is a hard month for me; every single year there is SO. MUCH. STUFF. PLANNED. - but a delegation of parents came to me two weeks ago - I'm the Primary President remember - and begged me to have party so their kids would stop begging them about when it was going to be.


(Between school parties, stake parties and the actual Trick-or-Treating I figured they'd be good. I love me some chocolate no question, but how much candy do kids need?)

So a party date was set, decorations purchased, refreshments brought. We thought it'd be easier to have just desserts - because there wasn't enough sugar going around - AND other than the costume contest, the raffle - which was planned and executed by someone else and I didn't understand the purpose of it - and the trunk-or-treating we had only one game. It's one of Tarzan's favorites and I have to bless him for planning, buying and running it.

(Working at Aunt Richie's makes it so I can't get anywhere anymore. The party was half over by the time I got there. Thankfully it was a half day for Tarzan's school or he wouldn't have made it either.)

Anyway, it's the donut-on-a-string contest if you haven't heard of it. Sort of like bobbing for apples, but a lot less heavy and messy. Anywhere from 2 to 100 people can be lined up - it all depends on the strength of your string and distance to cover - the donut is tied at mouth height-ish and then whoever eats their donut first wins. No hands allowed but all else is legal:

The missionaries really like this game:

These pictures are from my iPhone so they aren't what I'm used to but it conveys the spirit of the evening I think:

For the first time possibly ever - I was coming straight from work - I did not dress up for the party. And because I usually have to make Tarzan do it, he didn't either, so no fun pictures of us.

Maybe next year, if October doesn't try and kill me again.


This is me and only three days left.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

USC vs Notre Dame

I think I've figured it out.
When watching football - or other sports, though I don't watch anything religiously other than college ball - I root for the opposite team from the announcers. I've noticed before that my allegiance can change mid-game when watching non-USC teams. I couldn't figure out why until today. It's because the announcers are so annoying that I want to be on the opposite side from where they are.
Now USC gets a lot of crap from the sportscasters - and I love my team - so it's not hard to keep rooting for them but today...while watching the game, the voices in the TV were really ragging on the Irish quarterback for allowing that fumble run back for a touchdown - it was cool - and I found myself feeling sorry for the guy and cheering when he made a good pass. And then his coach started yelling at him too.
[And I do not cheer for Notre Dame. (One should not pray to win games. Pray for a clean game, for good weather, for no injuries, but do not pray to kill your opponent. God does not care who wins at football, I guarantee it.)]
Otherwise, it was still a good game. When we play clean - as in no turnovers and stupid penalties - we do pretty well. We seem well placed and mature. Our quarterback got a lot of praise tonight and he was solid. I like it when that happens.
USC: 31
Notre Dame: 19

This is me at odds with myself because I don't like the sports announcer guys.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween In My Car

And there was no chocolate. So it's not the good kind of Halloween.
I kid you not, it was just like one of those cheesy horror movies.
I left work late and because it's October the light was already fading. I was discussing dinner and weekend scheduling with Tarzan on the phone - brand new hands-free earphones and microphone in place - as I came down the side of the hills and right into a bank of fog. The wind was blowing and things were scratching, the lights from on-coming cars were glowing. The sun went down and it got super dark just as my earphone fell out, another call came in and traffic got extra congested. Somehow I put Tarzan on hold, answered the other call, made the left hand turn, started a text message to I don't know who and didn't get in an accident.
Don't ask me how.
These iPhones (yes, I got an iPhone for my birthday! That's a whole other post.) are not as stupid-proof as they claim to be. It is possible to butt-dial from an iPhone.
So, rather than tempt fate any more, I pulled over to cancel the text, hang up on the telemarketer, finish Tarzan's call and turn my lights on. Just as a dude knocked on my window and scared me out of my mind. He wanted to know if I wanted him to repair the paint on my bumper.
I said no, I liked it that way. He then got all rude and I left.
I drove the rest of the way home without further incident, other than it being 7:30 before I got there.

This is me and the only thing that kept it from being a real horror flick was that I was totally clothed the entire time.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ode To A Fabulous Chick

I'm a little nervous to try an ode now...Rocketgirl posted this yesterday - and it actually rhymes, with iambic pentameter and EVERYTHING. I don't know if what I do can be called an ode. Maybe a tribute is better?

Here we go then, a tribute to Rocketgirl, my first sister-in-law and a very fabulous person. Beauty, brains, talent, gorgeous, genius children, a great house and a killer personality. She's charming and fearless and I wish I could be more like her.

For your viewing pleasure:

I get to hang out with her regularly. It's amazing.



This is me and she's as awesome and fun as she looks.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Plus Five

Gah, now I sound old even in the fake terms I use to describe it on this blog. Having to explain to a 10-year old I was "two times fifteen plus five" didn't improve my mood about it either.
I begin to see why adults say birthdays don't matter. When I was younger I thought they were being modest or dwelling too much on the age thing. It's more a matter of time. Who has enough to spare? I was running around all day with errands and getting stuff ready for church tomorrow and returning mail to and collecting mail from neighbors since our postman can't seem to get it right. I nearly forgot what day it was. Besides, I'll always be 24 in my head.
Still it can be a good time to reflect on one's life and accomplishments.
These are the highlights of my last twelve months:



  • Opened a business with my parents. THAT's been an adventure.

  • Learned to drive a fork lift.

  • Celebrated 10 YEARS of marriage with a romantic get-away.

  • Got my thumb cut open to fix the tendonitis. It appears to have worked. I can bend my thumb with no problems anymore AND I don't have a scar at all which I had not expected.

  • Had three, 3! new nephews born into the family. There's going to be some testosterone flying when they all reach teenager-dome at the same time.

  • Traded in my Saturn for a convertible!

  • Improved my skills with my new knives so I don't cut my fingers anymore.

  • My blackberry vines blossomed, got cut by accident and grew out again. We actually harvested some.

  • Saw Celtic Thunder live in concert.

  • We had our house tented for termites and didn't lose a single cat to the process.

  • Learned the importance of proper attire when leaving the house.

  • I found the swimsuit I thought I had lost four years ago.

  • My second youngest brother left on his mission.

  • Tarzan's father came for a very memorable week.

  • Celebrated four years of blogging. I can't tell if I'm getting better or worse.

  • Had and am still having formatting issues with the blog engine.

  • I totally flaked on the second contest of the blog. Maybe we can make that up in the coming weeks. There was only two entries so they'll likely both win. I'm easy like that.

  • Canned a few dozen bottles of applesauce and pie filling.

  • Spent a lot of time commuting back and forth between my house and my parents' house.

  • Replaced our water heater, right before it broke and flooded the laundry room.

  • Almost got called to serve on the jury for a death penalty case.

  • Started working for Tarzan's Aunt Richie.

  • Attended QC's college graduation in Salt Lake City.

  • Walked on the bottom of the ocean.

  • Attended the county fair.

  • Of the class I was helping teach for the Academic Decathlon team at Tarzan's high school, one of the kids won a medal at the regional competition. It was a proud moment for her, for me and for the school.

Is that a longer list than I've made for other birthdays? I forgot I did most of that in the last year. I suppose it could explain why I can't remember April.

This is me, 35.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

USC vs Cal

It is very odd to be playing on a Thursday evening. Our team is out of favor with the TV gods because of the sanctions and new coach and young team and all that, so they aren't giving us good slots to play in. Plus the other team's field is being renovated so we had to borrow from a third team and they wanted to play on Saturday or something. Whatever.
It wasn't a bad game - we won - but it wasn't as much due to our team as it was to theirs. We intercepted the ball 4 times. That's a lot.
USC: 30
Cal: 9
As a side note, the pretzels with caramel were a random and excellent combination.

This is me and it's a sad day when the refreshments are more exciting than the game.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ode To The Sunshine

Not that Sunshine has a lot of spare time to read my blog, but her mother sometimes does and I just wanted to say how happy I was when she was born because I only had nephews at that point and so a girl was super cool. She is sweet and happy and always excited for everything and as a fellow Libra I totally get her desire that things be fair. I truly do.

This is me wishing Sunshine a super duper HUGE Happy 5th Birthday!

Weird Dream #39

I have to wonder if some of my dreaming near waking - thus enabling me to remember my dreams - comes from the amount of sleep I am getting. When I was working full time with long hours I didn't dream as much as I did when not. Then, since I started at Aunt Richie's house I haven't had as many weird dreams and few that I remember completely.
But I had one this morning.
I was back at school - where I haven't been in over eleven years - the same school as my brother - who is 12 years younger than me and away on a mission right now - and I was taking some random "out of the box" kind of class where we were looking for irregular solutions to problems - kind of like in Ender's Game - only in a medieval kind of setting, sand and castles and horses, rather than space. The class was taught by Matthew Morrison - now starring as Mr. Schuester on Glee and the teacher's assistant was Ashley Fink, also from Glee. I was sharing a dorm room with a girl named Ava - who came to the first class and then we never saw her again but on the day of the test - after doing an exercise where we had to tie things together with a rope that was too short - I heard my mother calling me from down the hall and I had to run to my room to get a pencil, only to find my father sitting on my bed putting his shoes on and saying my roommate was evicting me because I was never in the room, all the while David Blue - from Stargate Universe - was sitting at the piano in the corner of my room trying to play a song he'd heard. (He actually reminded me a lot of a boyfriend from high school, who WAS a talented pianist.)
Then I woke up.
I'm not sure if I should be concerned with the amount of television I watch or be impressed with my recall skills...

This is me maybe wishing I lived where they write my lines for me?

Monday, October 03, 2011

Ode To The MIL

Her birthday is not for two months but her thoughtfulness and sweetness deserves an ode right now.
There are a lot of jokes about mothers-in-law, especially regarding the relationship between the wife and his mother, but Tarzan's mom does not embody the stereotype at all, at all. No resentment for "taking her firstborn," no judgements on my housekeeping - or lack thereof. She has welcomed me into the family and never looked back. She takes an interest in my likes and dislikes, she tries to accommodate my needs - more than Tarzan in some cases - and be helpful. I am very thankful for her and her talents, she has helped me out of a tight spot a number of times and two things in particular in the last week need to be shared.
I got a call from Gamma earlier this weekend inviting me to a performance of Wicked this holiday season when she -and it - is in town. Awesome! On so many levels. She remembered that I love the show, is coming to me to see it and thought to invite me.
Then, she called today to let me know she, Tarzan's father and assorted other family will be in town over Christmas to assist with family matters - two cousins are getting married - not to each other you weird people, but the same week - and house stuff. She did not call to tell me that though. She called to offer everyone's talents and services for the Christmas program in our ward which I am in charge of each year. (Partially because I'm the only one who wants to spend the time harassing everyone into rehearsals.) The first Christmas we were in the ward - nine or so years ago - Tarzan's family helped with the program - Christmas was a Sunday that year too - and it was lovely. I've had people ask me every year since if they are coming back to play again, and this year I can say YES! YES! They are. It's like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. They will come and it will be awesome. I am so grateful that she remembered and is so thoughtful to spend the time with us in a ward with people they don't even know when they could be elsewhere with Tarzan's other uncles and cousins.
And that's just been this week.

This is me, thinking that THANK YOU GAMMA! is woefully inadequate.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Revelation

A lot of people post about General Conference. And while I agree totally with their reasons for loving to watch Conference - the Spirit, the messages that seem personalized, getting to see/hear the prophet and all the General Authorities - none of those is my favorite part.
Let's back up a little bit. When Conference time comes around - every April and October - some one stands at the pulpit on a Sunday and reminds us even though there aren't meetings in the usual place we should not consider Conference as a vacation from church but find a way to see or hear it, TV, radio, Internet or the big screens at local stake centers.
All well and good, and I know what the point they're making is, but for me, Conference weekends ARE a vacation.
If we look up vacation, the online dictionary tells us it means:

  1. a period of suspension of work, study or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday

  2. a part of the year, regularly set aside, when normal activities of law courts, legislatures, etc. are suspended

  3. freedom or release from duty, business, or activity
And that is just what Conference is for me. A day set aside, for rest and complete freedom from regular Sunday duties, business and activities. No early morning meetings, no lessons to prepare, no teachers to find substitutes for, no rushing from one place to the next, no talks to give, no music to plan and conduct. No stress.
Just peace and the calm words of 70+ G.A.s who know what it's all about.

This is me and Conference is a total vacation. Sorry Bishop.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

USC vs Arizona

Although it started off with a bang, that was not the ending I could have wished for. We won, yes, but not by the margin it looked like it might have been. Which is really the story of the team right now, would-a, could-a, should-a. We need some consistency and the offense needs to let the defense rest a little between shots.
USC: 48
Arizona: 41

This is me and I miss being a second half team.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Whine To The Lot

I know, I haven't been posting much other than football scores and I'm sorry. There's a litany of things I'm working on; the patio in the back yard - and it's ALMOST done - the Primary Presentation for church, cub scout scheduling, I've got a really sick kitty - poor thing has a mouth disease and the cost of MAYBE fixing him is a lot, so we're trying to decide what to do - Tarzan's district just dropped all library aids so he's all alone at school and super stressed over it - he comes home just exhausted - plus there's my job too and this commute is just killing me. It's not the worst one anyone has and sometimes the radio station gets a good series going and I don't mind as much. But then other days the President of the United States comes to visit, closing one of the major streets I have to cross to get the freeway to get home for an ENTIRE HOUR which made getting out of work a 1/2 hour early a moot point.
Add to all that the whole mess of my posts that Blogger keeps making - I can't even comment on all my friend's pages anymore because of the whole "pick a profile" option and it won't let me choose, keeps giving me some HTML error I don't understand - and the motivation just isn't strong enough to make me turn the computer on. I'm neglecting Mafia Wars and Frontierville too. That's how bad this is.

This is me wondering how you do it?

From Whence You Cometh