Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Readership hit an all time low two days ago with only one visit. I've been ignoring the blog for a couple of days because I have something new to distract me: an awesome new computer.

Many of you probably know that I was an Apple person for a time.

But then I realized that I was overpaying for stuff I didn't need. Sure, there are things that are better about Apple computers: the amazing built-in software package, the UI experience, hardware that works together seamlessly and fits into an incredibly small package—you Mac Folk know the drill. Also, nobody's making rampant malware for Macs. With the relatively small worldwide proportion of people who use Macs, it's just not worth it.

Anyway, I found that I never used any of the included software package. I looked at it, said, "Wow, look at all this cool stuff," and never opened it again. I used my iSight about four times. I never used Bluetooth. The wireless kinda' sucked. I did use exposé extensively (it is extremely useful for looking at web design elements in separate files together while working in Photoshop, and for switching quickly between however many Adobe programs I have open at once).

Well, Tim got my computer to do just about everything my Mac could do (and then some) for a little over half the price. Plus, I now have a full 7 inches more diagonal monitor real estate. Boo-yah. Oh, and if I ever feel the need to use a webcam again, my new monitor happened to have one of those, too.

If you're a PC user who's insanely jealous of Mac docks, I have just the thing for you: RocketDock. Seriously—go to the website and watch the video. I love my RocketDock. It also gives you WAY more control over things than Mac's Tiger dock does.

Besides a totally awesome and huge monitor, my sexy new rig sports an AMD Phenom 9950 Black Edition—that's four cores of animal power. I'm running Vista (which really isn't as bad as everyone thinks, though it's not my favorite), because as a 64-bit OS, it allows me to get a performance increase from my 4G of 1066 RAM (that means it's faster than your RAM). The graphics card isn't phenominal, but it's nothing to sneeze at either. I traded my new terabyte for Tim's 250G HDD so our media computer has more storage space for music and videos.

And how much did this gorgeous beast cost? I won't say outright, but it was a great price, since Tim put the whole thing together himself. It also runs super quietly—especially compared to the ridiculous grating of Mac's optical drives.

This new computer, in all it's massive-widescreen glory, is just one more evidence that Tim is the most awesome husband ever for finding all the best parts, buying them, and putting it all together for me. He makes me proud to be a lady-nerd.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I Wouldn't Mind a Little Security, Myself

Did you guys ever see the episode "The Alliance" from the first season of The Office? If you haven't, go watch it. I can't find it online for you at the moment, but I'm just feeling the ridiculousness of office life today.

For those of you who have not yet entered the workforce, I'll just tell you now that you'll be shocked by how ridiculous real life can be. Here are some tough lessons you'll wish you learned beforehand:
  1. Take criticism even when you are in a position to give it. You'll get it anyway.

  2. Amazing performance will probably raise your boss's expectations, but it is unlikely to raise your salary or offer you any type of job security. Keep a steady pace.

  3. Watch Survivor. If you can't handle that kind of weird crap, you'll be as shocked as I am at how immature "grownups" are. In school you work with the best of people—think of every group project problem you've ever had, and be prepared for much worse.

  4. There are no fair grades. The semester never ends. Right answers keep you at zero; wrong ones count as negatives against your total score.

  5. Your position on the curve is not objectively calculated, and even public opinion cannot save you.

  6. A real job is less about living your dream than it is about jumping through hoops, playing social games, and making sure you're good looking enough that people like you, but not so good looking that people are jealous.

  7. If you don't know who your friends are, you don't have any.

  8. Trading happiness and good relationships at home for success at work is about as likely to bring you joy as your childhood fantasy of running away with the circus.

  9. And in your job circus, the executives aren't the lion tamers. They are the lions.

  10. You will love a regular paycheck, you'll have much less homework, and debt is easily avoidable. On the downside, the monotony may kill you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How Awesome is Tim?

Not a lot besides me gets any love on this blog. I think I showed some appreciation for yogurt back there somewhere, but you know who deserves praise way more than yogurt does? Tim.

Yesterday, I was having a somewhat crappy day. In the middle of the afternoon, Tim brought me a Costa Vida salad (just the way I like it!) and some chocolate. Real men know that food always helps. If that wasn't enough, he had wrapped up a little present for me and had it ready in the car when he picked me up from work. Awww.

It turned out to be Set (you know, the MENSA game?). Apparently Tim's thought process went something like this:

"Hmm, Amy is having a bad day. What would make her feel better? Oh, I know! Beating me at a game would make her feel much better!"

What woman could ask for more in a husband? For a guy as competitive as Tim (yeah, even nice guys can be competitive), it was a big sacrifice to keep a game in our home that he will probably never win. What a trooper.

For those of you who didn't know I was a flipping genius—now you know. Unfortunately, my genius extends only to the midpoint between rocking at a MENSA card game and producing three lines of ActionScript. Things like cooking, cleaning, and remembering to wash laundry on a regular basis tend to escape me.

And you know what? Without complaint, my courageous, StriplingWarrior-tastic husband washes the dishes, cooks dinner, and reminds me gently every time he runs out of clean clothing to wear. If it weren't for him, I would never eat, I'd live in a pit of my own filth, and instead of washing clothes, I'd cycle through my dirty ones until I lost my job because of my horrible stench, at which point I'd stop wearing clothes altogether.

Nobody but Tim could cheerfully endure the torture I have inflicted upon him over the last 2.5 years. I've really put him through the wringer, and the results are in: Tim is the man. He doesn't complain. I know I'm lucky to be married to him, but he always makes me feel like I'm 100% worth his time and all that we've been through—now that's a huge compliment.

I could go on and on about how great Tim is. I could tell one story of his patience and kindness for each day we've been married (and then some). But you still wouldn't get how awesome Tim is, because I'm the only person on Earth lucky enough to be his wife.

Is It Friday Yet?

It's five-minute freewrite.
I've nothing to say
and not much to do
on this chilly white day.

My stockings are on,
and my pants are on, too.
It sucks to be dressed,
and the rhyming word's "moo."

For that's what the cows say
whether they like it or not.
They moo when it's snowing
or icy or hot.

And now Chris is talking
on the phone like any day,
and I'm only eavesdropping
because he's loud and "Wait! Hey!"

It's just about Christmas;
I've almost forgotten!
Forgetting a gift exchange
gift would be rotten!

Toothpaste or chocolate
or Winnie the Pooh?
Oh what should I get?
Oh what should I do?

For nobody likes
an un-well-thought-out gift.
Yet it's hard to be clever
and still to be thrift.

Can you help me, my readers,
with my work gift exchange?
I don't have good ideas—
but at least I have change.

Four pennies, a nickel,
three times, and a slug.
Not even enough
to buy someone a mug.

A five-dollar bill—
now that's something, I think.
But I was going to use it
at the ice skating rink.

This whole time I've grasped
for some terrible rhymes.
I know I annoy all my readers

But it's five-minute freewrite,
and nothing's as swell
as giving you all
just a small bit of Hell.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

PMS is Eroding my Esophagus

I can't find the words today to describe my PMS, so I'm going to provide you with a few illustrative pictures and videos.





Yeah, I'm getting PMS for my next period, and my last one hasn't even ended. By tomorrow evening, the PMS forecast predicts Maleficent-level storming, with freezing temperatures overnight. Make sure to winterize your car in preparation for the Cruella Crazies expected for Friday, and we're up for a change on Saturday with a Paris Hilton heat wave—so watch out for your standard evil glare.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hot Asian Girlfriend Stock Plummets as Supply Increases

This guy actually made himself a ladyfriend out of android parts. Because every man needs an electronic woman who will halfheartedly shove him away when he gets fresh.

FOXNews' article:
A Canadian man, apparently unable to find the perfect woman, has done the next best thing — he's built himself one.

Le Trung, a 33-year-old software engineer who lives with his parents in Brampton, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, says he's spent about $20,000 so far on Aiko, a 5-foot-tall female android with clear skin, a slim if shapely figure and a wonderful disposition.

"She can recognize faces, she can identify medication, she can even butter your toast," Le Trung tells the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Not only that, but Aiko speaks — in both English and, for some reason, Japanese. (Le Trung has a Vietnamese name.) She can also read.

"Aiko is what happens when science meets beauty," Le Trung tells the Sun of London. "Aiko doesn't need holidays, food or rest, and will work almost 24 hours a day. She is the perfect woman."

She still can't walk, however. That will take a lot more work and, Le Trung tells the Globe and Mail, a new round of funding. He hopes to create and sell more pretty female robots in the future.

But, ahem, is there more than just companionship involved?

"Aiko is still a virgin, AND NO I do not sleep with her," he writes on the Project Aiko Web site, though he admits that she "has sensors in her body including her private parts, and yes even down there."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Leaving Things Behind

There aren't many things I'm good at. I am probably the least talented or accomplished person I know. I'm not even good at listening or walking gracefully or writing—even though it's my job!

But as I pondered my past, I realized that there's something I'm really good at: leaving things behind.

And while I consider myself a realist—today I'm a realist who starts each paragraph with a conjunction—I think that being able to leave things behind puts me in a class of optimists. I often look forward to the future with so much excitement for what it might hold that I have little problem abandoning my old ways.


I didn't mourn moving away from the house I grew up in, never to see it again. My last Christmas there I asked for luggage. I've always been excited to move to a new apartment and decorate it in a new way. Even now I see my home as some future place more permanent than where I live today.


I've left behind gymnastics, martial arts, acting, playing the cello, and flirting.


I don't miss any of them.

This Post

I am already insanely bored with this post. I'm usually not super introspective, and now I know why. "Introspective" is just another word for "completely self-absorbed, boring, whiny, unlikable, and annoying." If I keep looking analytically at my past, I'm going to throw up. And I'll probably forget about all of the things I'm supposed to be doing now.

This may be the worst post I've actually published. Consider this an example of what blogging shouldn't be. Nobody wants to hear about your inner self. At least nobody wants to hear about my inner self—including me.

My Inner Self

Man, that inner self was a serious pain in the inner.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Stupidest Holiday Idea:

"Hey, let's show everyone how festive we are by putting a giant inflatable marker of bad taste on our front lawn!"

Stupidest Movie Cuss:

In My Best Friend's Wedding, Julia drops the F-bomb at the most random, inappropriate time. It makes her like a million times less attractive and about a billion times less likable. I think that F ruined the movie. Then, the restaurant singing scene was pretty lame too.

Stupidest Person I Know:

You've been reading this blog for a while. If you don't know who the stupidest person I know is, it must be you.

Stupidest Neighbors:

Mr. and Mrs. Upstairs.

Stupidest Fashion Statement:

When I was in high school (and this will probably tell many of you how old/young I really am), wearing thong underwear that stuck one to two inches out of your pants and was left uncovered by your midriff shirt was a popular practice. I'm not sure how these girls managed to get decent grades in classes they sat through with massive wedgies. Heck, I got a B on a physics test once just because I really needed to pee.

Stupidest People in the Medical Establishment:

I've seen a lot of doctors—I'll be adding two more to the list next month—but the least competent professionals were definitely those at Provo OB/GYN. Also, it's not so much GYN as OB, since they didn't even let me see a real doctor, because I'm not pregnant with anything but pauses. You know what? I already complained about this.

Stupidest Internet Business(es):

PayPal and eBay have given me way too much grief over the last two weeks. From canceling my auctions for no reason to somehow forcing Buy.com to refund my money and undo a purchase for NO REASON, they've been a major pain in my well-proportioned behind in so many special ways. Tim and I bought a 24" monitor for $200—we're such bargain shoppers—and once PayPal decided to refund our money, claiming that our account and address were unverified and unconfirmed (they are both verified and confirmed), there were no more of those monitors and no comparable models anywhere near that price. I hate you, PayPal.

Your Stupidests:

Feel free to insert your own in the comments. In fact, consider today's comments area to be a "doghouse" for anything you feel to be a stupidest something, someone, or somewhere. Well, that seems to limit it just to nouns. If you have a stupid adjective, adverb, preposition, affix, article, phoneme, syllable, or other language particle that you'd like to put in the doghouse, those are welcome too.


I recently set up analytics on my websites. For you non-techies, that means I'm watching you.

First of all, I'd like to congratulate you. As of today, 69.53% of you are using Firefox as your browser when you visit. Thanks! You're all making an excellent browsing decision by using a standards-compliant browser. The single Google Chrome user gets a slight nod. My Internet Explorer and Safari users, however, get the full force of my disapproval. Get Firefox. You're welcome to continue visiting through your inferior browsers, but for the love of all that's W3C, get Firefox.

I'd like to pat myself on the back for a moment over having a blog that's read internationally . . . on occasion. So far I've had visitors from the following countries:
  • Canada
  • Italy
  • India
  • Hong Kong
  • Norway
  • Germany
  • Maldives
  • Phillipines
  • Indonesia
  • and of course, the good ol' USA
My plan for world domination is . . . not doing so great.

Here in the states I have readership (or at least stopped-on-the-site-for-three-seconds-ership) from California to New York.

Anyway—Yay us!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I Love English Grammar

My most passionate love (for a nonhuman) is for form-class grammar. Everything has a place based on its form, and every form has its place. Those who have seen complex diagrammed sentences know the beauty of which I speak.

Like a river that divides itself to feed many villages, diagrammed sentences separate each piece for separate enjoyment in its assigned place. In a sentence, everything belongs somewhere. It's made for it's place. Sometimes it's made for two places, but even unnecessary words have a place, even if it's a floating dotted line.

The floating dotted line upon which I spend my career teeters perilously over the causes—important well-formed words of substance—for which I claim to work so hard: invisibly helping nothing above the overstretched clouds of a writer's salary.

Oh to be a colon, semicolon, or a snark! To fully escape the constraints of a diagrammed world where I am less than an adverb. Nobody would miss me—not a poor little dot, with only a tail or accompanying spot.

But where the real world falls and rises, the people there will need me. In a place where nothing is meaningful, I am a savior. Yes, in the real world I must mean something.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Hate eBay

I generally dislike anything that capitalizes its second letter but not its first and starts with a vowel, but eBay in particular has attracted my fury today. It's another five-minute freewrite, and today I do have something to write about.

I'm trying to sell my iMac and my Mac software in order to raise the money for a new PC. It turns out that a fully customized machine will work better for my needs. Anyway, I posted my Adobe CS3 Design Premium on eBay, where it gained four watchers in the first 24 hours of the five day auction, at which point some company came along and said I was in violation of their copyright ownership. WHAT!?

I'm fully within my rights to sell my full retail version (which I haven't used to get any upgrades) and transfer the license (per Adobe's instructions) to the buyer. So again I'm stuck contacting some mysterious company (BSA) that wrongfully accused me of criminal activity, while in the meantime I deal with eBay's "customer service."

Now, I'm relatively sure they have actual people manning the customer service desk, but for the sake of Pete, those people don't actually read the emails you send them. They could spend a lot less money and get an automated system that's just as effective. Anyway, my request for my listing fees back was ignored.

Additionally, in my email to them I mentioned that I had already contacted the BSA.
My email was like three lines long. Not that hard to read, right? And yet, their main recommendation was for me to contact the BSA. GAH!

A couple of years back I tried to sell a computer on eBay (which ended up being a MASSIVE failure due to eBay's total ineptitude, which could fill a few more blog posts), and I avoided selling on eBay until just recently, so now they've decided to remind me why I stopped selling with them in the first place.

Up yours, eBay.

Barack Obama Uses a Zune

Yes, that's right, the president-elect and I use the same portable media player. We both rock Microsoft's relatively unpopular, clunky, totally unsexy Zune. Now, besides the whole unpopularity thing, those are adjectives that Obama and I have in common. Of course, I'm pretty sure it's a requirement that US presidents be devastatingly unhandsome. Look at the last few:

Bill Clinton:

George W:

George Senior:

I mean, we know Billy thought he was God's gift to chubby women, but EW. Back in the day we had Kennedy and Reagan, who had some serious appeal before their faces started to droop with the weight of presidential years. Now we're getting Mr. Obama, who, though still young, is just not a hottie. How in the world did he get that gorgeous wife of his to marry him? I suppose we all know he's a very charismatic and intelligent guy. Really though, Mrs. Obama is the hottest first lady in a long time.

I definitely agree that Barack is better looking than a lot of presidents, but let's face it, at his age he should be much better looking. I know, not everyone is an Usher or a Tim Gordon, but a few trips to the gym and some expensive hair and skin products can go a long way. A very long way.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Free" Write

Every day, writers at my work are asked to spend five minutes in a "freewrite." Of course, somehow "free" means something entirely different from what you'd expect. I'm free to write about whatever I want to, but not free to stop and think while writing. Now, for someone like me—someone who rarely thinks before she speaks—I enjoy measuring my words with careful thought before I spill a drop of ink. Here I am, stuck with nothing but ample use of the backspace key to save me from revealing my own stupidity— and that's not much considering the sheer volume of stupidity the dam of my pinky finger on the backspace key is trying to restrain.

So "free" ends up meaning free for all on my boring thoughts, free reign of my fingers to divulge my inner feelings, free speech for that part of me that is constantly forcing the rest of me to apologize for its behavior—oh yes, this is free writing in its purest form.

Lucky for me my feelings today have more to do with my fears of freewriting than they do with (a) how annoying I find something or (b) my secret crush on Batman. Not the cartoon Batman, though. Speaking of Batman, is it just me, or is "Robin" just the epitome of sidekick names? It calls a young man an effeminate name after an effeminate creature which, by the way, is small and completely unfrightening. Poor sidekicks. They might as well have called him Batman's kid sister.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Today seems like a good day to share with you some of the music that makes me happy. Doesn't that sound nice? I put together a playlist to songify your experience on this blog post, but there was one favorite that couldn't make it: "Painkiller" by Jim Bianco. I don't like a lot of his music, but this song has the effect of three heartwrenching chick flicks. See the YouTube video below.

Totally worth the buck on Amazon! In fact, you can find basically all of this music on Amazon or emusic (I've done emusic: it's cheap, legit, and great). I won't hold it against you if you come back to this post only to listen to this music. Then again, you may not share my tastes. Happy listening.

Special thanks to Shar for the idea of putting a playlist on the blog and for the link to the service. You're awesome!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shoot Me Now

The last neighbors that lived above us were occasionally annoying. It's inevitable, though, when you have a child. And hardwood floors. Those hardwood floors conduct sound better than Bose speakers. When I find out who came up with the bright idea of putting wood flooring in a second story condo, I will shoot him in the face. In. The. Face.

Anyway, the last occupants of the overhead apartment would let their child run in shoes through the apartment at all hours of the night. I mainly wondered how they could stand having a child who never seemed to sleep.

The Part Where I Complain

I would rather have Tap Dogs living upstairs than the guitarist and groupie wife that moved in a couple of weeks ago. They are the worst kind of people. Between last night and today, Mr. Upstairs spent no less than 24 consecutive hours playing ONE SONG on his guitar. The good news is that he went from sounding like a cellotarist (someone who tilts a cello sideways on his lap and strums it) to sounding like a wannabe guitarist.

Apparently the encore to his incredibly long performance was his rendition of a song he wrote himself. Hooray. And while he's busting a tonsil trying to sound like Dashboard over the kitchen, Mrs. Upstairs is in the bedroom jumping on the bed—yes, jumping on the bed—like a twelve-year-old at a slumber party screaming along to a cover of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. The screaming of lyrics has yet to stop.

The Horrible Singing

It wouldn't be so bad if this were a one-time thing. Oh how I wish that were the case. Groupie girl makes a habit of blasting [insert name of current talentless girl band] and shouting along as she does her hair in the morning. It's spurred me on more than one occasion to forgo blowdrying and flee to work earlier than usual. No offense to my former roommates, but one of the perks of getting married was not having to hear pop music ever again.

She sings as if nobody can hear her, but I can. I'm sure it would mortify her if I walked up there, knocked on her door, and said, "Hey overgrown tween groupie! I just wanted to let you know that when you're screeching along to the tunes of Lillix, I can hear every brain-pulverizing note. And yes, you really sing terribly. It's so bad I feel like buying a gun so I can put it in my mouth and let the last sounds I ever hear be the double click of a cock and a really loud bang rather than your talentless singing."

Was that too far? I think the gun thing was too far.

Good Noise

The sound of the trains that go by, the crying and stomping of children, the sound of Chris grumbling and mumbling about people/computer/project problems—these are things I can stand. In some ways they are the comforting noise of my life's routines, constantly reassuring me that I haven't drifted into that episode of The Twilight Zone where everyone on Earth suddenly disappears except me.

So What Do We Do?

To wrap this up, I'd like to say this about band guys: I hate them. I made the mistake of dating one once. Boy did he turn out to be a nightmare. When band guys aren't producing music that may or may not be worth hearing, they're usually making the world a more disgusting and disappointing place to live. That's why we should keep them all in soundproof cells in Music Prison, where their good products can be exported to the listening world, and their bad habits and bad music can simply soak into the padded walls.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm Hot = MIT Ho.

No, I'm not an MIT ho. And you probably already know I'm not hot. But today, someone accidentally called me hot, and I found an interesting anagram generator and decided to anagram myself. Here were the most interesting ones:
  • Monogamy Raider
  • Diagram Ye Moron
  • Manage Miry Odor
  • Merry Mood Again
  • My Eroding Aroma
  • (My favorite) Gray Moor Maiden

  • (just my first and last names)

  • Mangy Odor
  • Angry Mood
Wasn't that fun? Go find your own anagrams!

As a disturbing side note, there were many more anagrams available, almost all of which had to do with (a) violence, (b) body odor, (c) cows, or (g) orgies (pardon the word and adjacent wordplay, please). I didn't think those would be nice to include.

Monday, November 17, 2008


We all get grumpy every now and then. Right now, I'm grumpy.

I'm grumpy at Texas for not linking its language arts standards in any kind of sensible way, thus causing me to waste hours of work on a correlation that will be out of date in 9 months.

I'm grumpy at whoever runs the heat in my office building because it's so hot my head could explode.

I'm grumpy at the Relief Society for having a "good news minute" every Sunday that might as well be called the "announce your pregnancy minute."

I'm grumpy at my hairstylist for giving me too many highlights.

I'm grumpy at my body for not being able to act normal for more than 24 hours.

I'm grumpy at the endocrinologist for being booked halfway through January.

I'm grumpy at . . . actually, I think that's it.

I'm kind of relieved actually.


Thursday, November 6, 2008


I just read a talk by Elder Maxwell given at BYU 30 years ago (well, 30 years minus four days). I highly encourage you to read it. I can't email it to everyone, but I found it so comforting and inspiring, I wanted to share it with those of you who would appreciate it.

I haven't yet written about all of the amazing things that happened the weekend before last. I spent the weekend with my mother—a woman who knows me too well and still wants to be my friend. I saw my friend Eileen endowed and sealed to her husband and daughter in the temple. I visited my friend Miriam and her day-old son in the hospital.

The weekend was filled with the kind of precious experiences that I will never forget in all of the eternities to come.

I mentioned over a month ago my quest for healing. As happens so often, I was surprised by the way things unfolded. Above all, I know that my life and my health are in the Lord's hands, and with that conviction, I neither fear nor doubt the future, or God's plan for me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I have a few favorite snacks that are pretty easy and delicious, and I thought I'd share them with all of you.

My first snack is extremely simple—easy enough to make at work, for a fast but wholesome breakfast, or when you're craving something sweet but not too sugary. Take some Just Bunches (you know, the newish cereal that's like Honey Bunches of Oats but with no flakes)—make sure they're not caramel flavored. Yuck. Anyway, use a little less than you would eat with milk, and pour a few spoonfuls of Stonyfield Farm Fat Free Organic Yogurt (French Vanilla flavor is the best) over the top. Mix it up to coat the bunches, and TADAH! You've got a darn good snack with calcium that WON'T make you sick if you're lactose intolerant, soy intolerant, too poor to buy almond milk, and a staunch hater of rice milk. In fact, it's better than cereal and milk. I know I'm not the first person to think of putting granola in yogurt, but I thought I'd remind you all how wonderful it really is. Also, the Paradise Bakery and Cafe makes an excellent strawberry yogurt and granola parfait, but theirs did make my lactose intolerant tummy rumble quite a bit.

My second delicious snack works well as an hors d'oeuvre. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll tell you now it's not healthy at all. All you need is a package of Boursin cheese (if you've never had Boursin, eating this tasty morsel is one mouth-watering experience you can't live without), six strips of your favorite bacon, a green bell pepper, and a can of crescent rolls. Cook up the bacon and break it into one-inch pieces. Cut the bell pepper into strips about 1/4 inch wide and one inch long. Open up the can of crescent rolls, rip each triangular piece of dough roughly in half, and place one piece of bacon, one slice of bell pepper, and a half-teaspoon or so (hey, go nuts, it's your expensive cheese) in the middle of each piece of dough. Wrap each pile up in the dough, put them on a baking sheet, and follow the baking instructions on the can of crescent rolls.

What I like most about these recipes is that there's no measuring involved. Who needs to dirty a bunch of little plastic scoops every time they cook? Not me!

In Other News . . .

For the sake of not writing another post, I'll tell you here that I finally got an appointment with an endocrinologist. Unfortunately, they couldn't get me in to see her until the middle of January! That's in TEN WEEKS! But at least I'm in, and I can put off the disappointment that's likely to come with whatever the good doctor has to say about my condition.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Zune

I have a Zune. I own, use, and love a Microsoft Zune 30G PMP. It may be a little chunky, but hey, so am I! I also own a Mac, which makes me one of like eight people in the world who have used a Zune with an Apple computer. Anyway, today I've been missing my Zune. It's somewhere in the car or under my bed or something. Since I've been sick and relatively non-mobile the past couple of days, I haven't needed it, but I was craving some election day radio at work, and it wasn't there. Anyway, in honor of my 30th post, here are seven reasons my Zune is awesome:
  1. Radio—The Zune comes with a built-in FM tuner that will show you what song you're listening to on the radio. It even lets you tag it so you can buy it later.

  2. Wireless Store—I can shop for music anywhere there's wireless, so if I find a song I like, I can buy it next time I'm in a hot spot.

  3. Wireless Syncing—I can sync my Zune anywhere in apartment! Tim set up our computer to be a DVR (like TiVO), and he configured it so every show we record automatically converts to a readable format and syncs to my Zune. How cool is that? Next time I'm bored (which hasn't happened too often lately), I can just whip out my Zune and watch last night's rerun of Say Yes to the Dress.

  4. Awesome Interface—The Zune interface is the peak of usability. I know some of you will disagree with me there, but I believe it to be a gorgeous and incredibly intuitive system.

  5. Custom Background—A huge part of the interface's beauty is the fact that I can choose my own background image. Also, the screen is big enough that having a background image doesn't make it a huge mess. Right now, my background is a close-up of drops of water on the edge of a leaf.

  6. Big Screen—The screen is turned sideways, so there's more room. I can't believe nobody thought of that before.

  7. Sentimental Value—My Zune was Tim's big gift to me for our first Christmas as husband and wife. I unwrapped the package and found a Chex cereal box. I was in the middle of thanking Tim for his thoughtful gift of one of my favorite cereals when he pointed out that there weren't any Chex in the box.

The joys of Zune ownership are many.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sick Season

Cold Season. Flu Season. Winter. The reign (and rain) of germs. Whatever you like to call it, the time to be cold and sick and miserable is here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Blues are Still Blue

My mother always said that people will be true to their natures. Tobias Fünke said of feelings, "You can keep them bottled up, but they will come out, Michael. Sometimes in the most unexpected... Hey, where the bleep are my hard-boiled eggs?!"

This type of accidental self-revelation in language or psychology is called a Freudian Slip. In essence, it's unintentionally saying something you're really thinking but shouldn't say out loud.

The remainder of this post has been removed for CYA purposes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Tribute to Cousin Love

I was a bit grumpy after a long and frustrating (that's my polite way of saying crappy) day at work, but you know what cheered me up?

I mean besides imagining the document on my desk punctuated differently (tee hee).

Yes, that's right: cousin love!

When they mention "the hair," it's because they're talking about everyone's romantic life boiling down to (a) the dorky bald guy or (b) the thick-haired hottie. Just so you know.

And that reminded me of some of my favorite parts of one of my favorite TV shows.

This episode isn't the funniest, and you probably won't get a lot of the inside jokes. If you don't know Arrested Development, you could just start at the beginning on Hulu!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Possibly the Scariest Thing Ever

I've been in the mood for a scary movie for a while now, so tonight Tim rented "The Thing" and loaded it up on the ClearPlay.

Holy Crap.

I've seen some scary movies, but I think "The Thing" wins for the most enjoyably frightening monster/alien flick. The filter on the ClearPlay took out all of the cussing and a good amount of violence, but the mutating monsters and "fungus among us" suspense were enough to make it to the top of my horror list. I'll admit it: I love horror, but I'm the kind of person who loses sleep for days over really scary ones. "The Grudge" was so awful I spent the night sharing one of my roommates' twin beds (thanks again, Melissa). After seeing "The Ring," I wanted to carve out the part of my brain that stored the movie's horrible images! But "The Thing" was everything horror should be, minus anything that would get you hyperventilating over its memory a week later.

For something that came out two weeks before "E.T.," it had surprisingly good special effects. Either the FX actually were really well done, or the intensity of the film just gave goop-covered animatronics and stop motion animation their fair shake in the visual effects world. Either way, "The Thing" was definitely worth watching.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ooh, Look—Flowers!

You may have already noticed, but I made some changes to the blog. I hope you like it!

Oh what's that? You love it? You're too kind.

Why yes I did create that image myself.

Haha! Go on.

Now wait, that's going to far!

Hey, don't bring my mom into this!

What is your problem!?

Gosh, the voices in my blog are getting mean.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Promised Pictures

For a long time after we moved back to Provo, I couldn't find the card reader. I refuse to plug my camera into the computer because stupid Mac OS believes that since I own a Canon, I must want to use iPhoto, and it gives me no other options. I will not be bullied by my computer this way.

Yesterday, I finally found the card reader (in plain sight, of course), so pictures are here! I know how long you've all been waiting to see pictures of my grand adventures. Without further ado (well, maybe a little—I'm an ado-y kinda' girl), Denver:

This one's crooked, but I'm too lazy to fix it. It's downtown Denver looking toward the 16th Street Mall.

Next is a little further up downtown. Below those buildings there is a shop with wonderful cookies . . . or so they tell me.

We spent a ton of time walking around downtown. We saved gallons of gas just enjoying the scenery and entertainment within walking distance. I certainly didn't lose any weight from all of the walking, but it was good clean fun. Yep. Good and clean. Clean and fun. Good and fun. And clean.

Okay, I'm already getting bored of this post. I mean, I already exposed my demented inner self today (Come on! "Capping Be Verbs!?" How is that not both obvious and funny?).

Anyway, blah blah blah, lots of shiny buildings and crap. Now for the less shiny things (I like to think of myself as glowing, thank you very much).

There you go: fake rock climbing and dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (or maybe a few too many dinners, judging my my chubby cheeks and chins).

Oh, and here's a pretty church:

Mental Picture

Occasionally I have a moment of extreme right-brainedness. I'll see something completely mundane and giggle hysterically over a ridiculous association. I'm sure all of you have had something similar happen.

I had one of those right-brain moments today, when I was copied on an email about an editing issue at work. Lisa sent an email that started, "I like capping Be Verbs," (obviously referring to an issue of capitalization). Naturally, this is what popped into my head:

As I suspected, it looked even better in Paint.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Tim and I got this sweet new shredder. It automatically detects useless paper and shreds it into tiny, identity-theft-proof pieces.

It's also very cuddly.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I'd really wanted to wait to call another doctor. I hesitated to build up the hope it would take to devote time and effort into a new doctor. These appointments take a bit of preparation: recording my symptoms, writing down everything I want to say or ask about, trusting the new doctor to actually give a crap.

After the last couple of days' splitting headache, intense nausea, and other aches and pains, I'm ready to make that appointment now. Here's hoping the endocrinologist Tim's calling will be the answer to my prayers.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Playing Dress-Up

It's been a few years since I had a real Halloween costume, and I'm desperate to dress up this year. Unfortunately, the only things I can think of to dress up as are
  1. A vampire (which couldn't be more overdone)
  2. Little Red Riding Hood (I look good in red . . . kinda)
  3. Snow White (everyone likes comparing me to Snow White as a way to point out how pasty pale I am and mask it as a compliment)
  4. Drucilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes, also a vampire, and yes, a very old reference, but at least she made pale and sickly sexy)
I am super desperate for a great costume this year that I can wear to work. Preferably, it's something so great that I throw a Halloween mixer—minus the booze—just to show it off.

I thought it would be great if Tim and I could do some kind of couples' costume, but most couples' costumes are either (a) classless metaphors for sex or (b) terrible, terrible puns. If I were Snow White, he could be the prince; if I were Red, he could be the Big Bad Wolf; if I were Drucilla, he could be Spike. I'm just not in love with any of those ideas. There just isn't that much to choose from for a blond guy and his brunette wife. Halloween costumes in general are boring, repetitive, cliché, or disgusting—or they're costume lingerie gone public in a nasty way.

For the Halloweens of my youth, I tended to wear things like Dad's old fatigues or my gymnastics leotard. My dad and I both used to be skinnier. Now, I find myself living in a potential-costume-free zone. In a crisis like this, I find that the only solution is to call my mother.

* * *

Okay, so my mom suggested the following options:
  1. From Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Sarah Connor or Cameron
  2. Sarah Palin
  3. From X-Men, Rogue
Votes (or better ideas for your pasty friend) in the comments, please!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


There are several reasons I dropped my editing minor in my last year and chose to pursue a career in "something else." That something else turned out to be writing. I like writing. Unfortunately, every writer is also an editor in some sense. Today, my editing task has violently reminded me of all of the reasons I abandoned editing as a possible life path.

I'm generally patient with errors in grammar and punctuation. Everyone makes them, and that's why the world needs editors. Royal Skousen—genius, BYU professor, and all-around curmudgeon—taught me the concept of leakage. Essentially, leakage is the errors that a person makes even though they are fully aware of—and prepared to use—the principles that govern a grammatical decision. Leakage is inevitable and must be forgiven.

I believe, however, that there is a difference between leakage and total abandonment of thought during the writing process. A missing comma or dangling modifier here and there can count as leakage, but random capitalization, inconsistent use of single and double quotation marks, inappropriate italics, and what can only be called abuse of the thesaurus—these things witness a disturbing disrespect for the English language.

When a piece of writing displays such patent hatred for the reading public (and for the poor soul underpaid to edit it), I find it difficult to apply forgiveness the same way. For this reason, editing bad writing is a frustrating project for me. I am continually amazed by the inability of people who speak excellent English to produce a coherent sentence on paper. Somewhere is a tall wall between spoken English and written English. Some step over it without difficulty, while others spend lifetimes failing to scale it.

I'll accept that spoken and written English are vastly different. I'll even accept that many of the principles of the language that, when broken, drive me crazy are arbitrary historical and societal assignments that have little impact on meaning. However, when as an editor I'm asked to fix these things, I can't help but resent the fact that a little effort on the part of the document's author would save me significant time.

These unthinking authors simply vomit their thoughts onto paper and imagine that a wave of my magical editing wand will turn it into cake. Next time someone says their document needs my "magic touch," I'm just going to walk away.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Update: Time for a New Doctor

Before I say anything, I just want to thank all of you who have sent me notes, made comments, or kept me in your thoughts and prayers. I can't tell you how much it means to me that you're sharing my frustrations. Though I'm still not sure how to move forward—or even where to go for medical help at this point—I've felt so much peace for the past few days. Thanks for that.

I'd also like to warn anyone squeamish about "woman troubles" to just stop reading now.

My test results showed normal insulin, glucose, and testosterone levels with no sign of hyperinsulinemia—I'm not insulin resistant. The nurse told me over the phone that my options for managing my symptoms were to either take birth control or have a baby. I explained to her (as I've explained to about 500 nurses, technicians, receptionists, and doctors over the past two years) that birth control makes me really sick and crazy. She said that the best time to conceive was right after getting off of birth control.

Wait, what?

I've heard a lot of things about fertility, birth control, and conception, and that's not one of them. Well, anyway, Tim refuses to let me get back on birth control at all, because it turns me into a frighteningly ill person. Also, I'd like to continue having both a job and friends. So I start talking to her about option two:

"What would you prescribe if I wanted to have a baby now?"

"Nothing, you just wouldn't take birth control."

Hold the phone. That's exactly what I've been doing! And if anything is clear about my condition, it's that I'm not ovulating! So she just says if I don't get pregnant after a while they'll give me fertility pills.

Oh, thanks. Great. Yeah, I'll just keep having two- and three-week-long periods and random bleeding. I'll just keep passing out in the middle of these ridiculous bleeding stints. I'll just keep feeling like I have the flu for weeks or months on end until you people feel like I've suffered enough!

I've seen around seven different doctors over the past two years. Not one has cared enough to figure out what's wrong with me. All they do is say, "Yeah, something's definitely wrong with you," do a few tests, and then give up when they can't figure things out. I don't even know where to go now. How do I find a doctor who will actually commit to fixing what's wrong with me? How bad do I have to let it get before they'll diagnose me with something—ANYTHING—that they can treat somehow?

I hate being so far beyond frustrated, and I hate putting the people I love through worrying about my malfunctioning body when it seems like nobody on earth can do anything about it.

So while I halfheartedly search for an endocrinologist (my last hope in legitimate medicine), I'll be looking Heavenward for help and answers.

(This is the part where I wax spiritual.)

I've always felt like God answers our prayers and blesses us using a lot of everyday things, like doctors or medicine, or like sending a neighbor or visiting teacher rather than an angel. But now I really need a miracle. Doctors have been careless, rude, and unhelpful. Medicine has made me even sicker. I feel like I've exhausted the powers of man, and now all I can depend on is the powers of God that He's given to man. I know God can heal all wounds, and I believe that Jesus walked the Earth and healed the blind, the crippled, the ill, and the dead. The power of God, or the priesthood, can tear things apart or make them whole. I know that God can heal me.

I also know that he will only heal me if that's what's best for me. I trust him to leave my body broken if that is what will make me more ready to come home to him someday. As I seek this miracle, please keep me in your prayers. I know that no matter what happens, your prayers will always have the power to lift my spirits and support me each day.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hooray, Pizza Day!

That writer who couldn't be quiet,
She recently went on a diet.
But what can she say?
Today's Pizza Day!
She must, at the very least, try it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It Could Always Be Worse

In June, when Dr. Arrigo looked me in the eye and said, "I think you have PCOS," I was devastated. However, after my umpteenth round of blood tests—none of which has ever made clear what was wrong with me exactly—and my fourth imaging test, it seemed that everything was pretty darn normal. Now, for most people, normal test results are a thing to be celebrated. For me, on the other hand, I would rather get a positive. A negative for me is not so much "Yay! I don't have a disease!" as it is "Crap! They still can't figure out what disease I have!"

So far I don't have the following conditions:
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Celiac disease
  • Excess DHEA
  • Too much Prolactin
  • GERD
  • Ulcers
  • H. pylori infection
  • And MORE!

Which I suppose is good news . . . or it would be if my body functioned properly!

Anyway, I followed up with a doctor here, who sent me to a different clinic, where they decided to do an oral glucose tolerance test.

After chugging my favorite sugar-laden beverage, I did the blood test and hoped for the best (worst). They said the results would be ready within a couple of days, so two Fridays ago I called them for my results. Yes, I realize I'm being a little impatient, but you would be too if one easily solved problem were at the root of all your health and beauty ills and you were just waiting for the doctor to tell you if it's true! They put me on hold for a really long time, transferred me three times, and then told me to call another number. I waited until the end of the day to call that number, got their answering service, then called back Saturday morning, when they were supposed to be open. Then they tell me I need to call back Monday. I call that same number on Monday, and they send me back to the first number I ever called. Exhausted? Well, I'm not done yet.

I called that first number again, then was put on hold for about 10 minutes before I was cut off. I called back, got shuffled through call transfers more times than I can count, and finally reached a person who pulled my file and read me my test results. I'd told them about fifty times at the test and on the phone that the tests the doctor ordered were insulin, glucose, and testosterone. I was a little surprised when the girl on the phone said, "Let's see . . . your hematocrit is great! It's at like 40!"

"What's that?" I asked.

"The iron levels in your blood."

"But I was only supposed to have insulin, glucose, and testosterone labs done."

"Oh," was all she had to say.

"So what were the results of the rest of the tests?"

"Well, your glucose was a little high, so you'll need to go down to the hospital where they'll do the three-hour test. Then, they'll probably diagnose you with gestational diabetes and keep an eye on you for the rest of your pregnancy."

All I could say was, "I'm not pregnant." That phrase looks all innocent with the period at the end, but it certainly wasn't an exclamation point sentence. It came out in a voice so angry it could barely be classified as human. I suppose that I shouldn't have been shocked when the girl replied,

"Uh . . . " and then paused for a full minute. But I was.

"What were my other test results?" I said.

"Um, this is all we have. You'll need to wait for your doctor to call you. Bye!"

I was so pissed, I left work, stopped at the store for some groceries, picked up a box of donut holes, then sat in my car in the parking lot until I was ready to drive without intentionally smearing nearby puppies across the pavement with my tires. Seven to ten donut holes later, I was ready to face the drive home. After a two-hour angry nap (a habit Lindsay Bluth and I share), I whined to Tim about it. After a night's sleep and a day's work, I felt better enough to joke about it. To this day I'm still shocked at the amazing insensitivity it takes to assume someone is pregnant when in reality they're being tested for one of the leading causes of infertility. Anyway, I began to suspect that they had done the wrong tests from the beginning, and that the lab tech had assumed I was preggers when she took the tests and just took the wrong ones.

So last Tuesday I called the clinic again and asked for some follow up on my results. I finally talked to a competent nurse, who did a little research and got back to me. Yep, they did the wrong tests, and I'd have to do the whole freaking thing again. The nurse I went to see the next morning was really TO'd over the whole thing. Her indignation made me feel infinitely better. She decided that they'd salvage the data from the last test and do another one. I still suspect that depending on my results, I'll have to take more tests.

They promised to call me back today, but since their phones roll to the answering service in 35 minutes, I'm willing to bet that's not going to happen. Oh well. It could always be worse:

Oregon Hospital Tells 71-Year-Old Grandfather: 'We Know You Are Pregnant'

PORTLAND, Ore. — John Grady Pippen of Gold Beach doesn't look pregnant. And he's not.

But after a hospital visit earlier this month, the staff gave the 71-year-old grandfather pain pills and paperwork explaining his delicate condition.

"Based on your visit today," the paperwork told him, "we know you are pregnant."

The retired mechanic and logger had sought help for agonizing abdominal pain at Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach.

Hospital administrator William McMillan says an errant keystroke caused the hospital's computer to spit out the wrong discharge instructions.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I've been having a violent internal battle about synthetic fabrics. I know they're cheap and unfashionable, and I know they supposedly don't let your skin breathe. Every now and then I watch "What Not to Wear" and hear Stacy and Clinton rail against evil synthetics—particularly polyester.

It's likely that my daily dose of WNTW this summer has distorted reality for me forever. I cannot deny the tearing guilt I feel over the sins I now confess.

My wardrobe consists exclusively of polyester, nylon, and cotton-poly blends, with the occasional addition of spandex. I own one item of wool clothing, and it's a pea-coat that is currently stored with my other winter clothing. Most (possibly all) of the pure natural-fiber cloth in my wardrobe resides in the lining of my underwear.

In spite of my deep remorse over this gross overuse of synthetic fabrics, a part of me insists on defending my actions and my wardrobe.

What is really wrong with polyester? It's relatively wrinkle resistant, washable, inexpensive, and easy to find and wear. I don't feel like my skin is suffocating in it, so what's the problem? I also happen to be spending lots of money on my PhT (Putting hubby Through) at the moment, and definitely can't afford to buy too many expensive items. Considering that my current wardrobe would be considered "low class" by scorners of synthetic apparel, it seems like mixing in quality items one by one would simply serve to emphasize the cheapitude of my current clothing selections.

My TV-inspired-guilt-ridden half has been trying to buy a pair of cute wool pants from Express for the past couple of months, but to no avail. Either I have no time or money, or the store has no pants big enough to cover my increasingly round Hispanic booty (and yes, I'm even prouder of my behind than I am of my Spanish hair).

Now that I'm on a weight-loss regimen, I'm even more hesitant to purchase new clothing. I've already lost almost a full pants size, but I'm hesitant to make purchases because I can't be sure how far my hips will really shrink, where my waist will end up, and how long I can hold it all together. I'm fully ready to take my entire wardrobe to a tailor for a better fit, but I just can't bring myself to do it when I'm moving steadily toward the "off the rack" body I used to have—well, off the rack except for the short legs.

All of this talk about weight loss and the painful situation of my wardrobe has gotten me depressed. I'm going to go home and hide in my closet with my synthetic security blankets.

Mustard, Mayonaise, and . . . What's That Red One Again?

It's been nearly two months, so it's time to catch you all up on my recent adventures. If you didn't get the pun between the title and the first line, leave now. I'm in no mood to deal with people who can't read my mind. And you're all just going to have to live without pictures for the moment because I'm at work writing this while Adobe Acrobat is installing and I can't do much else.

August 9 and 10 (I think):
Tim and I packed our entire lives back into our '93 Rustbucket (just one of many benefits of having to pay graduate tuition on a writer's salary) and moved back to Provo. On a less whiny note, I genuinely love our new apartment. We got some new furniture from IKEA. When my mother-in-law and I finished our list of things we wanted to pick up and made our way to the "self-service area," I found myself in a massive warehouse that I have seen in my nightmares. I'm not kidding. I've had three or four nasty dreams set in that exact warehouse. Of course, none of them was as terrible as actually having to haul all of the crap I was buying from the shelves, through checkout, and all the way into the car in the tiniest little cart known to man.

A Few Weeks Ago:
I spent several hours of Tim's last free weekend before school writing a huge proposal for work. Fortunately he had some homework by the time I was in 15-hour-day mode. I lost a pants size writing that puppy. If that happened every time I worked 15-hour days, I'd get a more stressful job. As it is, I'm loving this one just fine. When I got back I moved into a different office. Now I share with Chris, whose only funky habits are groaning over things that don't work and . . . well, he's not the most entertaining officemate I've ever had.

A couple of weeks ago:
A wonderfully passive aggressive sign came down from our neighbor's road-facing balcony, but not before both Tim and I had memorized the stenciled words: "Brent Brown is committing fraud and criminal acts against his customers. My wife is very hurt by this. Proven in court." That last bit was written in marker as an afterthought. How precious.

I had to consume 10 ounces of "glucose drink." It was only slightly more disgusting than the Chilly Willy that turned my mouth blue Saturday night, but I felt a lot sicker afterward. It could have been worse. If they make me do it again, I'll survive. I hope they don't. Just so nobody asks, I'm NOT pregnant. For you technical folk, that's a negative on the hCG. My doc thinks I'm insulin resistant. I tried to tell her that I would never resist insulin—I'm not a very resistant person—but she wasn't buying it. Two days later I was chugging what I'm fairly sure was modified Orange Crush soda syrup.

18 Hours Ago:
Tim and I were reading The Host. We're both really enjoying it, though Meyer has a few writing idiosyncrasies that I hope she overcomes within her next book or two. I just can't stand how she builds suspense over things that don't turn out to be a huge deal, but she's so obvious about what they are, it's just no fun when you figure it out. It's like in Breaking Dawn when you find out *SPOILER ALERT* that Bella's pregnant *END SPOILER ALERT*. It couldn't have been more obvious what was going to happen, but leading up to it she wrote it like it was supposed to be this huge shock. It wasn't. Back to The Host, though. The story is pretty dang brilliant—probably the most stomachable book about aliens of all time.

Two Hours from Now:
Someone from the ward is coming over the give me a calling. I'll let you know how that turns out on Sunday, I suppose. My first guess would be ward greeter (they always ask the weird ones to do that). I'll be happy if they don't make me any kind of music person. My first calling in my Wymount ward was Relief Society chorister. I didn't even know how to lead music. If they were aiming for a way to embarrass me in front of twenty people once a week, they did a great job. Hiding out in primary was just what I needed after that.

Well, I hope you're happy with the ketchup. I'll probably do a picture post later. I know how much Sarah wants to see Denver and how much the rest of you miss my ugly mug. I wish I'd taken a belly picture so I could do the opposite of the pregnancy shots and show you all my weight loss over the next bit. Michael (my super-muscular body-building brother) made me up a diet and exercise plan, and I'm on my way to being fit. Or at the very least I'm on my way to being very tired of rice.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whole Foods "Two-Bite" Cafe Scones Not Really Two Bites

I'm a person with a fairly large mouth. In fact, when I had braces installed in my mouth at age thirteen, my molars merited bands three sizes larger than that of a grown man. So when I buy something that claims to be "two bites," I expect that it will take me approximately two bites, and possibly fewer, to consume the morsel.

Therefore, when I purchased some "Two-Bite" Cafe Scones at Whole Foods, I was quite surprised to find myself taking an obligatory third, fourth, fifth, and even sixth bite. Could it be magical scones? Certainly it couldn't be a misnomer! I mean, it's not a "how many licks does it take" situation by any means. Bites are much more measurable, and yet they were off by four whole bites, or 200% of their bite claim.

I can only conclude that Whole Foods expects me to wholly stuff my face. There can be no other conclusion. Why else would they advertise such innocent scones with a phrase that would otherwise be so patently false?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Amy and the Imagilympics

In the spirit of team building, motivation, and fun, Imagine Learning—my employer, my taskmaster, my secret lover—hosted Vision Conference 2008 complete with the Imagilympics. You guessed it: Imagine + Olympics = Imagilympics. And that wasn't the only questionable word-wrangling going on! The theme this year was "Faster Stronger Englishier." Also, someone asked me if prettify was a word. I said yes, and if you're wondering why, it's because you can add derivational suffixes to words to change the part of speech, and that's okay. I mean, you can change beauty to beautify. Plus, you know people say prettify all the time, and it fits quite comfortably within English phonotactic constraints. Anyway, some people tittered when I confidently declared prettify a word, and lest any of you think I have a sense of humor, I wanted to clarify my completely unfunny reasons for accepting such a strange wordification.

I've been waiting to blog about this exciting event because, though I brought my camera, I neglected to take a single picture of any of the exciting things I did all week. Of course, I knew that pictures would be coming from all of the people running around with cameras while I was busy having the best vision conference of my life. What I didn't realize was that any pictures of me would turn out more like evidence of the existence of the elusive Sasquatch Gordon.

Like you might be able to tell from the picture above, the six hours of speakers and presenters were a little much for me. Unfortunately, what I missed during my nap was the entire company catching someone else (much more important than me) taking a snooze too! The reason I was so tired was that I'd had so much fun spending time with buddies every night that week, from shopping, to dinner out, to video games! I really appreciate so many of you getting in touch with me and making sure I wasn't bored or alone. It was so good to see my awesome friends!

For the Imagilympics, we were divided into teams. I was the token female on Team Tahiti. We ended up being one of the "less enthusiastic" teams, especially compared to Mexico's mustaches and sombreros, France's scarves and baguettes, and Taiwan's ability to speak another language. Our prior planning consisted almost solely of wearing plastic leis. Our team was unremarkable in almost every way, which is my excuse for why Mexico and France had so much more photo coverage than we did. Either that, or the photographer has a secret crush on someone who just happened to spend more time with those teams.

We failed miserably at most of the activities, until it was time for the Integrity Challenge, which consisted of building a very tall tower out of a box of random stuff: paper, tape, straws, chewing gum, plastic cups, and the box itself. We beat the next highest score by three quarters of an inch, and took second place! The Integrity Challenge was probably the most fun of the events, and it was the only one in which we placed except for Human Foosball. Those of you who know me well realize that I have a serious sports deficiency when it comes to all games involving round flying objects. What I discovered during Human Foosball was that when I'm tethered to a sliding PVC pipe, my suck ratio decreases from 95% to 83%. My ridiculous face ratio, however, remains the same.

Team Tahiti took the silver medal in Human Foosball, and it ended up being tons of fun. Though certain moments were reminiscent of high school physical education classes, most of my coworkers behaved much better than sixteen-year-old boys.

After an evening barbeque and a good night's sleep, it was time for me to return to Provo. It was so hard for me to leave the old and new friends I'd so much enjoyed spending time with during that week!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Anniversary Number Two

Since I know you're all dying to hear about how our fabulous anniversary plans went, I'll take you on a photo tour of our romantic evening. First, Tim showed up with flowers.

A dozen roses really go a long way. Well, they do when your cat doesn't spend his non-napping hours trying to eat them. I understand his attraction to shiny things and unattended meals, but roses? Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I'd stopped by the salon to have my hair done, since I left all of my styling tools in Provo (oops!). Unfortunately, after the walk back to the apartment all of the curls had fallen out. So much for my Victoria's Secret model hair—the only part of a VS model I would dare attempt to imitate. Once I'd completed throwing the rest of myself together, I looked something like the photo below.

I'd had to actually remove my nail polish while my hair was being done, since the two-dollar bottle I'd purchased the day before turned out to be almost entirely worthless: it went on clumpy, dried too quickly, and chipped within a few hours. I didn't even have time to replace it with the bottle of trusty Sally Hansen I'd purchased on my way home.

After our hurried departure, we had to pay $12 for parking for the evening! Twelve American dollars! Then we had to find the extremely well-hidden entrance to the restaurant. When we found it, however, we were not disappointed. Suddenly we were transported to a quiet Summer evening in a French bistro far away from the noise of city life. After a divine soupe à l'oignon, our waiter consented to take our picture.

I had to keep stealing Tim's frites since they were so delicious I told him I'd have to leave him in order to marry them. This confession elicited the following mental picture for both of us:

Cue newspaper montage

Woman Kills and Eats Husband on Wedding Night

Denver, CO—Friday night a young woman was caught in the act of consuming the fried remains of her second husband, whom she had married just that afternoon. Since this gruesome end to a very short love affair cannot exactly be called cannibalism, the woman was allowed to go free. When asked for an explanation of her conduct, she had no comment, but her eulogy at Saturday's quickly planned funeral gave friends and family some insight into her feelings: "Though my beloved husband died last night, he has not really passed away. He remains in all of us. At least in me. For the next few hours."

With the best wishes of the restaurant staff, and a promise of free desserts the next time we visit, we left the restaurant for a pedicab ride up the street to an evening at the theater. No photography was allowed inside at all, so you'll have to live with my description of the event. The theater was huge (and packed, from what we could see) and we had wonderful seats. Sweeney Todd, however, was a disappointment. The singing was amazing, but the show was inappropriate. The really shocking part was that there were kids behind us! I mean, even we knew that it was a bloody show. Also, I think I have hearing damage from the high-pitched squeals that accompanied each murder. I'll be doing a bit more research next time I want to go to a show.

On our long walk back to the very expensive parking lot, the most expensive shoes I have ever purchased were badly damaged when one of the spike heels wedged itself stubbornly into a crack in the sidewalk. I suppose people who pay that much for shoes don't walk too much! I felt like Cinderella falling apart on her way home from the ball, so we hurried to the car before it could turn into a pumpkin—which would have been much harder to remove from that dear parking spot.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Looking Like a Thousand Bucks

I've been looking for the past little while for a dress for my anniversary (this Friday), and since we'll be attending the opera after a little fine dining, it had to be something at least a little fancy. The Sixteenth Street Mall failed me; the most appropriate attire was at the Dress Barn. I generally refuse to wear anything that comes from a barn unless it was once the skin of a cow.

Anyway, today Tim took me to an outlet mall. We managed to park near Neiman Marcus, so that was where we first searched. Besides having an impressive selection of cocktail-style dresses, the sales were massive. Here's what I found:

$360 Slinky Deep Teal Dress: $31.50 on sale at Neiman's! It needs a few alterations to be modest, but at that price, it's totally worth it. Yay for cheapies!

$695 Strappy Dark Gold Stilettos: $78.00, also on sale at Neiman's. I guess when a few seasons go by these puppies find their way into outlets and get marked down over and over again until someone like me can afford them!

Gold Concentric Circle Earrings: $7.50 at Claire's. Not everything in the mall can be on sale. And yes, I do find it appropriate to shop in the little girls' section, but only for jewelry! They were cheap, but simple enough not to look too shabby with the whole ensemble.

Looking like $1,062.50 for only $117.00: Priceless!

I haven't felt great lately; Thursday's appointment with Dr. Arrigo has spawned another rigmarole of tests, but she has her suspicions already. I suppose worry—and being sick and tired of being sick and tired—has taken its toll, and looking good again really got me feeling good. And of course, nothing quite heals like retail therapy.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Coordinated Frump

Today I woke up wearing my husband's "I'm a Pepper" t-shirt. It's large, short, and—at best—unflattering. I work at home, so I decided I might as well have a frump day. It's Monday after all, and in my fuzzy thoughts I figured I'd shower eventually. The road to gross is paved with hygienic intentions.

But in all of my morning logic fog, the most illogical conclusion I came to was to choose the snowman sweatpants over the giant black ones. Why? Because the red spots in the pants go with the red shirt.

It was later in the morning when I looked down at my self and thought hey, this outfit really does match that I realized that I am in grave danger of never looking good again.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Romantic Plans KILLED by the Real Terrorists: Airlines Themselves

Tim's coming home tonight, and I haven't seen him since Tuesday morning. Needless to say, I'm painfully eager to see him for several reasons, most of which I won't go into any detail about. Anyway, I was so excited about Tim coming home tonight at around 9:00 PM that I decided to make a nice dinner, bought dessert, made the apartment look immaculate, DYED MY HAIR, and had a whole fun romantic evening planned! For the last two days I've been calculating all kinds of fun schemes.

BUT . . .

Just now Tim called to tell me his flight has been delayed until 10, and he won't even arrive until probably midnight! MIDNIGHT! Now, instead of me making him a gorgeous dinner, he has to eat a $12 bowl of rice in the airport. Instead of him seeing my fabulous new highlights and haircut, he'll see the messy bedhead remains of my salon style! Instead of rejoicing in the bliss of reunion after a long time apart, we'll probably have an extremely short conversation before conking out. ARGH! Can you understand my frustrations here? I mean, a woman can only go so long without her husband without getting a little "pissed that he's not around", and for goodness' sake, NOBODY likes making elaborate and sexy plans only to have them RUINED by STUPID STUPID AIRLINES!

It's summer. What could their excuse possibly be for ruining my romantic evening? Do they realize the danger they're in? Because this is the real terrorism. Bush is going to have to declare war on ridiculous flight delays that level my carefully built plans. I mean, there must be some crazy masochist in Dallas who's not getting any, and decided that I must not either. And when the time comes for his romantic evening, I'm going to walk to Dallas and CASTRATE him.

I may be getting a little paranoid, but there's an important lesson to be learned here:

[Please leave the gist of whatever lesson you learned in a comment.]

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Tonight, for the second time in the history of my marriage, I spend the night alone. In about an hour, Tim's flight to Texas will leave, and while he's busy training for his fancy new internship, I'll be spending three more days with people I don't know, in a town I've seen twice before, in a state I've never lived in, completely alone.

Tim's aunt and uncle are nice, good people. I won't go without food and shelter. It's just that I'm suddenly realizing that I don't feel comfortable asking for anything from these people to whom I must be nothing but an occupied room. It doesn't help that this morning I woke up ill—unable to see my hubby off at the "light rail" station—and feel like a total slob holed up in this little room wearing yesterday's sweatpants.

At least tomorrow I get to move into our new apartment—if I can find it. I suppose I'll figure it out in the end, and somehow I'll lug the ridiculously heavy bags and boxes that fill the entire back of the car into a new strange place, where I can at least be alone in my aloneness.

I can't help but think how much more I would like to be alone in Europe. I just graduated from college. Shouldn't I now be backpacking through France, using my 200-level, half-forgotten vocabulary to find the Louvre? I feel like I've made a good choice in a choose-your-own-adventure book, but now none of the options take me to the Tower of London.

Where to next? The more I think about it, the more I feel far too young and immature to have children. Hormones and the "everyone's doing it" mentality really do a number on a 22-year-old girl who's lived in Provo far too long. I see my friends getting pregnant (no, not the act itself, you dolt) and something in me cries out for receiving blankets and nursery furniture of my own, as realistic as I am about the not-so-charming reality of raising children.

I'm left to waste away my best childbearing years working. As a writer. AH! The phone.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

New Dollar Coins - "In God We Trust"

Some of you might expect this to be about there being no "In God We Trust" on the new dollar coins. It's not. In fact, the new dollar coins have the controversial words printed—along with some other important information—on the edge of the coin, as you can see below.

So if you get an email forwarded to you with the subject "Don't accept the new dollar," feel free to toss it immediately. Nobody is threatening your "freedom." I'm not going to go into how little I care what is inscribed on our money, but I do believe that these dollar coins should be forced out of circulation.

The only people who care about these stupid things are coin collectors with nothing better to do than collect money and not spend it. So the ultimate fate of these coins will be that they become a total annoyance to anyone who carries cash, then they'll get sold for slightly more than they're worth on eBay.

More importantly, we need to get rid of cash altogether. It's a disgusting way of spreading disease! You already know that cash is covered with viruses, bacteria, and skin cells from a billion other people's hands—don't put up with it anymore! You shouldn't have to accept germ-encrusted papers and coins from anyone. Insist on plastic or nothing.

On a less revolutionary note, change (jingle) is no longer a welcome part of the American lifestyle. It doesn't fit in your wallet, so it probably clangs around the inside of your purse, pocket, or car until you lose it or forget about it. We shouldn't have to put up with them trivializing our dollars. Coins, in themselves, are almost worthless. They buy nothing on their own. So we throw them away, even though it may add up to and lose us many dollars in the end. Say no to the dollar coin.

Now, our government has made attempts at dollar coins before. We know there are problems with them. First, there's an issue with vending machines. If you're like me, vending machines are probably one of the few ways you even have to get rid of that annoying jingle. But guess what? Vending machines don't automatically update to accept new dollar coins. So you won't be able to spend new dollar coins except at other places. Then you have to deal with retail associates getting used to the new coinage.

The desire for coins is an illness shared by sadistic government officials and lonely coin collectors. Don't be infected—ask for real cash!

PS Did you know you could buy 250 dollars for only $319.95 plus s&h? What a deal!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Romantic Message - An exploration of my inner neoluddite

I just started to wonder whether romance wasn't better before cell phones and email became popular. I thought of mailboxes and messages on answering machines, and the suspense of a blinking red light or a visit from the mailman—back when we were allowed to say mailman instead of mail carrier.

The constant access to a romantic interest may be convenient, but where's the romance? A cell phone call, instant message, or email does allow instant gratification for the need to hear a voice, apologize, or leave a love note. But since when has instant gratification been good for the human race?

One might ask why a letter delayed days in the mail or a missed phone call might be any more romantic than the instant version, and I'll tell you why. A sweet sentiment can be captured in a note or a phone message completely unqualified—alone and without the clutter of an entire conversation about other things. One receiving it can know that their admirer was thinking of them days before, and might be thinking of them still. It's the joy of an unexpected and pure expression of love that emails and phone calls cannot deliver.

No girl can help but feel special when in a private moment she finds a simple note, or when on a busy day she comes home to a message from one she loves. Anyone can call and interrupt your day, or send you something that cost little time and no money to prepare, but a real lover will take the time to give a simple gift that with subtlety will find its way into a girl's day when she least expects it. It's a way of saying, "I'll take the time to write you a letter so you don't have to take time out to talk to me." Now that may seem too giving, but it's that attitude that is missing from the modern romance.

As I've expressed above, romance is only made better by waiting. A few days' or hours' delay will only make a message sweeter. And even if you cannot be bothered to waste time on antiquated modes of communication, remember that unconventional things are the most romantic. Everyone wants a unique romance, so be a real lover who writes letters in the age of email—a true romantic who will wait patiently for love to arrive as it should.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Another Year Off for Good Behavior

Today was my birthday. Tim took me to P.F. Chang's for dinner, and we had tons of fun taking glamor shots of one another with the new camera he got me! Yay for Canon! Before, I used a Kodak. It had 10x optical zoom, but it couldn't focus, so I'd get amazing pictures of fuzz, up close. In any event, I know you want to see some of our glamor shots.

At right, you can see me panicking trying to do something photo-worthy before the last timed shot went off. Success? Nah, I didn't think so either. I look like my head was pasted into this picture later by aliens unsure of what the human body actually looks like. I think that soon I'll make an appointment to get actual pictures taken of Tim and I, by a professional. I figure a few years down the road when we have three kids and we're both all double-chinny, we'll want to remember what it was like before. I'll be honest - I can only stick around in this weight class for so long.

At left, you can see my hottie husband! How did I get so lucky? Anyway, we've recently been enjoying some shows on Hulu, including the Tick. It's surprisingly funny, if a little "off." Hey, I'm a little "off," too. In any event, a character named "Captain Liberty" looks exactly like a human version of the animated human Ursula (Vanessa) from the Little Mermaid. Really. We've also been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I realized that a good portion of the plot of the episode where *spoilers* everyone finds out that Angel is a vampire *end spoilers* seems to have directly influenced Stephenie Meyer's idea for Twilight. Coincidence? Probably. I can't imagine a self-respecting writer watching Buffy—except maybe me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"There is Sunshine in my Soul Today"

I complained enough about winter when it was snowing buckets (can it do that? I'm used to raining buckets), and I think that for the sake of balance I must now sing the praises of spring.

First, being able to go outside with only the most minor preparations (putting some clothes on) is probably one of my favorite things. I no longer have to worry about whether my jacket coordinates with my scarf and my blouse. I can throw on whatever is lying around my bedroom and just walk out the door to enjoy the sunshine.

With the coming of spring, I get to enjoy one of my most favorite simple pleasures: reading outdoors. I can toss out a blanket and just lie in the grass, listening to the sounds of the weather and the neighbors' children. It seems like a stupid thing, to sit outside, especially for someone who deplores insects and arachnids the way I do (really, I can't stand anything with more than four legs). However, it's hard not to appreciate the absence of a few of my least favorite sounds:

(1) The water heater. Every time we run any moderately hot water, the cat that the previous tenants must have trapped inside starts bouncing off of the walls of the tank.

(2) Computers. Especially since Tim got a new computer, the sound of CPU and case fans has been maddeningly loud in our whole apartment. Outside, there is only the sweet sound of cars swishing up and down the road (yes, swishing).

(3) The Refrigerator. Wymount was kind enough to give us a new "energy efficient" fridge sometime in the last year or so, but it's really quite loud.

In other words, there is an entire chorus of noise in my apartment that I can finally escape each spring.

Of course, there's more that I love about spring than just being able to leave the house without mummifying myself in insulation. Several summertimey activities regularly add a spot of joy to my day:

(1) Getting in the car when the sun has heated up the inside to feel like an oven. I find the feeling of baking relaxing.

(2) Nighttime walks. Taking walks at any time of day is at best unpleasant during winter, but in spring, walks are irresistible. Besides, any woman knows that a walk on a warm night is the most romantic thing you can do outside for free.

(3) Being back in touch with old friends. Even if it just means an extra email in my month, it really cheers me up that once school ends, I have a social life again.

I realize I'm not alone in thinking spring and summer to be the most pleasant seasons. Picnics, outdoor plays, capri pants, and the return of the pony tail are just a few of my favorite things. What do you do in the summertime?