Thursday, December 30, 2010

spanglish quoting

Dear Senora Showalter,
I will never forget you and how you worked for 2 years at being my spanish teacher in Jr. High. Aside from the spycams and the fake money you passed out, the thing I remember most about your class is the word, "muy." Not only did I learn that muy = very, but I also learned how to say it. Like a cow says moo. Plus eee. Together this makes. Moo-eee. Or, alternately, mooie.

P.S. Your flowy pants are also extremely memorable. And the apron where you kept the fake money.
I am inventing my own Spanglish phrases to use. They are muy helpful for sounding like a gringo/(a). The first phrase (the only one so far that I have remembered, at least) is:

many hands make muy rapido

this is code for: many hands make light work.

I think after two years of church in Spanish I can finally say that my Spanish has improved a sliver of a fragment.

Monday, December 27, 2010


(Read this older post for the story of the soap)

Dear Soap:

You have lived 2.5 years now. It has been a good life. You have proved to be the most long lived of your kind. Never will we meet another like you. We have not treated you gently. We used you many times a day. But your purpose was good and noble. We have clean hands.

Let us not be overcome with sorrow. You may have broken your wing, but you will rally again. Our hands are still clean.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

brilliant solution

I have come up with a brilliant (yet obvious--possibly so obvious you don't think of it?) solution to solve my lack-of-doing-dishes-motivation woes.

The solution is...use fewer dishes!

Thank you very much, it only took me more than 2 years of complaining to think of it. (I say two years because, while I've done dishes by hand for over 5 years now, I've done significantly more cooking since marrying DH (hence more pots to clean) and lets not forget the million bowls he uses.)

The best part of this solution is the implementation strategy. How to use fewer dishes? The answer: Get rid of all but two bowls, plates, and sets of silverware! Yes. This might work. ("Get rid of" can be loosely interpreted, of course. My version of "get rid of" is to put extra dishes in a slightly inaccessible cabinet with my China plates.) Now we will not be tempted to grab the clean bowl instead of cleaning the one in the sink, because there will be no other choice.

Let us cross fingers now.

Monday, December 20, 2010


DH and I had Hanukkah last night. We ate:

potato latkes (deep fried! I've never deep fried anything before.)
eggnog (store bought, but tastes like homemade. )

and watched:
Christmas Everyday

and listened to:

It rocked.

We like celebrating all kinds of holidays. We are going to get a Menorah for next year.
An aside: For those of you who know me on Facebook, I posted our family Christmas newsletter a couple days ago if you are interested in seeing it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

most unlikely conversation

Setting: the steps in the church foyer
Date: two Sundays ago
Parties Present: me. Anna. Six missionaries.
Anna doesn't speak English (picture a sixty something Salvadoran grandma). I don't speak Spanish. I do keep a spanish/english dictionary in my church bag though. Our weekly ritual is to sit on the steps of the foyer before church and attempt to have a conversation. I am there early because DH has meetings. She is there early because she feels like it..I guess.

Today I was attempting to explain that I like my glasses, but I don't like wearing them. My dictionary wasn't that helpful in figuring out how to say "wear" but we finally figured out it is llevar. Then luckily the six missionaries that serve in our ward boundaries showed up (early for their ward council appearance) and I immediately asked them to assist.

Me: "So I thought that llevar was to carry, not wear?
Missionary 1: "Well it means both."
Anna: "No me gustan sus zapatos."
Me: "Apparently she doesn't like my shoes."

At this point the dictionary has fallen open to a very special page. The words at the top of the page caught my eye--"bathing trunks." So naturally I ask the missionaries (one of which is a native spanish speaker) for more information. While most missionaries in the area learn Spanish, the native speaker has learned English.

Me: So what are bathing trunks? Taparrabo? Is that like swim trunks?
Missionary 2: {laughter...followed by incomprehensible rapid spanish}
Missionary 1: I think it's the word for speedo.
Me: like they bathe in a speedo?
Missionary 2: no, but it's like Tarzan's outfit.
Anna: Taparrabo? Tarzan? {cackle cackle}
Missionary 1: or like a loincloth

Then we all laughed for 10 minutes and they all learned that I cry when I laugh too hard.

Later DH told me that Missionary 2 told him to ask me what word I learned today.

Now I can say "loincloth" in Spanish and know that I learned it from a missionary.

Monday, December 13, 2010

haiku for janie

you are my heart friend
with or without sliding doors
we are forever


Posting frequency note: I have started blogging more frequently of late. Instead of letting my blog languish for long intervals of time (as I have previously), my goal is to post twice a week from now on, probably mondays and thursdays.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

more hangman, a morbid affair

I made a hangman post a while back about its popularity in the primary class I teach.

But there is more to say.

Latest developments:
1) One kid (ok..its Hyrum) always guesses X and Z. Nearly every time. I think he's trying to murder the poor victim.
2) Now we are experimenting with the hangman victim. Last week everyone wanted it to be an old lady. She had wrinkles and reading spectacles.

I am teaching tiny impressionable tots about murder and cruelty to the elderly, it seems. Oh well. At least they'll be able to spell.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

my laundry list

In my favorite movie ever, Northanger Abbey (1986, the one with Peter Firth--no relation to Colin Firth for those wanting to know), Catherine finds some "old laundry lists" (or were they bills? either way..I've always thought of them as lists) in a secret compartment attached to a desk (i think a desk..). What could possibly be on a laundry list though?

1) wash clothes
2) dry clothes


1) do laundry


1) hand wash Ann Taylor silk top
2) drip dry libby's $5 shirts
3) wash everything in cold water

Or not.

No, my laundry list is a list of YouTube videos that I play while folding laundry. Please don't judge me too harshly here. On YouTube my laundry list is called "Dance Mix." For obvious reasons.

1) Rick Astley -- Never Gonna Give You Up
2) Lady Gaga -- Poker Face (yeah yeah, ha ha already)
3) Robbie Williams -- Millenium (it rocks..and he laughs in the song, which makes it more awesome. Also DH does a great imitation of his "i'm cool" nod too)
4) Ke$ha -- Tik Tok
5) White Gold --One Gallon Axe

The end.

Monday, December 06, 2010

how to hold a sandwich

David and I have a favorite argument. He holds his sandwich with thumb on top, palm underneath. I hold my sandwich the opposite way. He claims his way is more stable and far superior. (I like to try to get him to drop his sandwich to test his claim.) He has to twist his arm and his elbow pokes out in order to hold the sandwich that way. I've never seen anyone else eat a sandwich upside down like that. We always argue about the right way to hold a sandwich. My way is the right way, of course, and his way is upside down. (Thumb underneath is the right way to go. If it is a big sandwich, you can use two hands. There is no way to use two hands doing it his way.)

Then one day I remembered some incriminating evidence I had in my possession. While on our
honeymoon, we went to an awesome sandwich place called Logans Heroes. Not surprisingly, DH ate a sandwich there. And I took pictures.

See this picture. He is caught red-handed, as it were, holding his sandwich my way--the right way. His cover is blown.

Friday, December 03, 2010

fear of public speaking

I hate public speaking. I can guarantee that

1) I will never ever become a motivational speaker
2) I will never ever volunteer to speak in church
3) I will always make sure my husband speaks after me so he can use up extra time (speaking thrills him..I can't understand this, but I accept. Gratefully)

I also hate giving presentations. I can't make coherent sentences on the fly. I say things like, "hi welcome to i can has cheezburger presentation this is laura"

Or rather I just did. Good thing I was just practicing.

I have to practice presentations like 10 times minimum. Around time 4 or 5 I start to develop a pattern of phrases and transitions that sound semi-intelligent, so repeat them in the next practice runs. Once everything I am saying is a semi-intelligent repeat of something I said in a previous run, then I know I am safe. Until next time, that is.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

pyre of American History

I have this memory from high school of my friend Jay L. standing over a pyre and burning his AP American History workbook. I only saw a picture of said event, but it was memorable. (I still remember it must be!)

To this day I still have my workbook. I think the textbook was called An American Pageant. Or something. I don't have the textbook, unfortunately. Just the workbook. Lugging it move after move. Saving it along with every page of math notes I ever took from 7th grade on. Not much else has survived from my high school paper stash. I used to wonder if I would ever burn my workbook too. Maybe one year I'd be really cold and use it as fuel. But considering how unlikely it is I'll ever have a real fireplace (let alone a gas one), that scenario is pretty far fetched.

So what should I do with my AP American History workbook? It represents many hours of laboriously scanning the chapter I was supposed to read to fill in the blanks, do short answers, and other tricky time consuming tasks that I was loathe to do. No wonder Jay burned it.

I remember 3 things from that class.
1) Tariff of Abominations, 1928
2) Battle of Wounded Knee, 1890
3) The Louisiana Purchase, 1803, purchased for 15 million dollars at 3 cents per acre.

And that remains my sum total memory of the class.

So Should I ...
a) burn it on my next camping trip
b) bequeath it to Jay in my will
c) be buried with it?

Important decisions here. Tricky. Very Tricky.

the invisible spider

There is a spider that lives on the wall above my desk. Sometimes when I'm using my computer, I see it out of the corner of my eye. Then I turn my head super fast and it is gone.

Possible explanations:

1. my eyebrow --could it be bushier than I realized? I am not a tweezer, after all. (While at the last ward camp out, I was trying to figure out what a bunch of ward ladies were saying (in Spanish) and I finally figured out they were talking about tweezing eyebrows and makeup tattoos. Ha. Some topics are more cross-cultural than I realized.)
2. my eyelash (but I don't think it is long enough to take the blame, alas)
3. a wisp of hair
4. a dent in the wall that is haunted
5. an invisible spider

It must be an invisible spider that turns visible every now and then to distract me. Except it never moves. Dumb spider.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

intervals + super awesome watch

While visiting Janie in Seattle 3 months ago, I witnessed the use of a miraculous devise.

It is known as the Ironman Timex Ladies watch.

And now I have one too. yes. YEEESSSSSSS. Before this purchase, I was not in possession of a single functional wrist watch. They all lay in my watch graveyard, gathering dust.

It's all about the interval setting. Janie was doing 4 minutes run/1 minute walk. I do 30 seconds sprint/30 seconds jog.

It rocks. And so does my work out.

ps. It was 34 (F) degrees during my run last monday. I was always in awe at people who could run in the my uncle Craig. Except he's like 40 years older than me. So that makes him even more awesome. But I am excited that I can handle the cold temperatures, especially since I have asthma. So yay for me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


is the word

Monday, November 29, 2010

we can all has cheezburger

I am currently taking a vocabulary design course. The final (group) project of the semester is to select a website that needs reorganization in some way. I suggested (thanks to being married to a vocal fan of the website) Yes. I am creating a metadata schema for this website. It is by far one of the more entertaining subjects I have studied of late.

One of the metadata elements my group has created is for humor. The values are terms that answer the question, "why is this funny?"

This question is, to say the least, hard to answer.

One question we might ask is this: Why is Dave Barry funny? Some may argue that he is not funny. I am one of these people. Anyone can make fun of current events. (In fact, I have a draft post entitled "my Dave Barry post" that is in the works.) My husband, however, is extremely (extremely!) pro Barry so I answer the question for his sake.

Dave Barry makes fun of life. Life is hard. So we laugh. Laughter is just a mechanism for survival, however, so he is only funny technically (because it triggers laughter in a roundabout way).

Dave Barry, the "technically" funny guy. I am prepared for Barry lovers to now throw rotten fruit at me.

(post tone: sarcastic)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

things muy interesante

Item 1: David always has the most stuff crammed into his pockets as physically possible. When we sit next to each other, it stabs me in the leg and I make him empty his pockets. It also makes for an unsightly bulge. See below:

Item 2: Look at the yolkless wonder. I have never before encountered a yolkless egg. Until now.

That is all for now. The weather continues charming.

Friday, October 22, 2010

names of pets

Many years ago I decided that I would be a cool spinster that lived alone with two dogs and two cats. I was picturing late twenties. And I had their names all picked out.

But it was not to be. I am now inarguably in my late twenties. Getting later. Which is fine. And I have no pets. Which is also fine. And I married a man who dislikes dogs. That is ok because I'm not the biggest fan of dogs. So long as they don't try and lick me. I hate that.

The imagined ownership of two dogs and two cats was nothing more than whimsy. Especially coupled with the names I chose.

Dog #1: Picture a tiny but loud dog. This dogs name is:

Dog #2: Picture a giant, possibly scary-looking but secretly nice and lovable dog that does not drool or lick me. This dogs name is:
Sir Snufflepuff (and no this is not in anyway connected with Hufflepuff House).

Cat #1: Picture a cat. This cat's name is:

Cat #2: Picture another cat. This cat's name is:

At this point in life, I have used 1 of 4 names. I named my wireless network Confucius. At some point I hope to use up the other names. Stay tuned. And if you for some reason want to use these names because of how amazing and awesome they are, I won't hate you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Emily Dibb's Hair

Emily Dibb was in 7th grade orchestra with me (and more..). I adored her hair. I told her I would devote a chapter of my book to her hair. (That is, the book that I was going to write eventually about random stuff. It hasn't been written. YET. Don't give up hope for me.)

Poor Emily has been waiting so long. She likely does not even know that I still think of her--or her hair--quite often. I doubt she remembers it was going to be a chapter in my book.

Here is my 1st mini-draft. For Emily.


Emily Dibb's Hair

Emily's hair was like nothing I had ever seen. Thick. Curly. It was long. Like mermaid hair. Long enough that you wonder how long it really was when it was wet. Emily told me once that she didn't like it. Was even poked fun of for it. I forget the exact word she said was used against her, but I would not repeat it if I remembered! Emily's hair should bear no false names. Not even in memory.

But I adored it. And still do. The tiny curling wisps that frame her forehead. The bangs that come and go. Always thick and curly. I wanted it for my own.


Emily Dibb's Hair.

Friday, October 15, 2010

worlds of possiblility

I know how they do it.



For all of you who have tried and failed to take dried black beans and cook them up into what you'd hoped would be a tasty equivalent to canned but then realized you'd failed beyond the extent of comprehension...I feel your pain.

Yes. Pain. Black beans are hard to make just like they come in a can. One might say painful. Or impossible. First, they taste bland. Second, their skins split. And they take forever. You have to soak them for at least 8 hours and then boil them for 2. So how does S&W do it?

Probably just how I did it. They use FRESH black beans. My Salvadoran friends gave me a bag of freshly picked black beans a few days ago. She said not to soak them. Just cook for 30 minutes in boiling water with salt and garlic.

I looked at the beans in the bag. I tried to squash one. They felt hard as rock. I should have stomped on it to check, but I missed my opportunity. After questioning her, I discovered that beans come out of the pod looking the exact same way we buy them in the bulk bins. Except the older they get, the drier and harder they get. Wow.

So I just made perfect beans. Yay for me.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

urban slang to the rescue

"I don't know many office managers who would take a punch for somebody"

"I don't think he meant to"

"He clocked him"

"He punched him out?"

"No, clocked"

"Whats a clock"

"Maybe lets do a demonstration"

Apparently "clock" is not the same as "punch." Urban Dictionary says "to hit someone."

Unfortunately the demonstration came to nothing. For the record, I was not a participant in this conversation. Of course I have never used clocked in a sentence though. Yet.

Friday, October 01, 2010

for the cause

I signed up to STOP breast cancer before it STARTS. Have you? Join today at

by dint of the force of the dint


I think I have never used this word in a sentence. And yet, I know it. Five years ago I could have told you the definition of several hundred GRE hit list words. I even tried to use them in sentences. But I forgot them all. Mostly. I still remember:





Many of them did leave a mark in my brain though. Often when I hear a vocabulary term I don't know, I remember that I USED to know it. Is knowing I forgot what it meant better than never knowing it at all? Hopefully.

And yet, suddenly I was seized with the notion that I must write about the word "dint" and even felt compelled to use it in the title in some witty way.

My first thought was to title the post, "by dint of reflection." I was then going to lament how I often recall 3 barefoot steps into the kitchen that I am supposed to be wearing shoes. The kitchen, at the moment, is home to many tiny shards of glass that I am ignoring for a while. Vacuuming and sweeping are tasks I avoid as long as possible. While I did sweep and vacuum the morning following the great glass explosion, I'm guessing I will not do it again until we have people over for dinner. A few weeks maybe. That's the only motivator I have to clean. Probably, there is not much glass left.

Yeah. Hence the shoes. The glass shards will be left in peace by dint of my shoes. Maybe I should re-title this blog "the slovenly housewife." Too bad the blog name is already taken. ( I could give have given techniques for how to avoid dishes.

By dint of reflection I have decided to create a new tag. Slovenly housewife. It so rocks. There must be a dozen posts so far where I comment on my slovenliness. Now I can revel in it too.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

my secret life

So I sort of haven't blogged about much lately. Thus my secret life.

I was never a journal blogger. Sorry.

But I will give you a few tidbits:

Tidbit #1: My Birthday. It came and went. I am now 27. Here are pics:

Note the binary number candle arrangement: 11011. Yellow is for 0, Green for 1. DH sort of rocks like that. And that is Rhubarb Crisp bytheway.

My favorite shirt. I wear it a lot.

Tidbit #2: I rode light rail in Seattle during (or rather at the endpoints of) my visit to J the magnificent. We watched the complete first season of Lois and Clark. (it so rocks.) It is on netflix instant play now. Janie still had my engagement photo on her fridge so we did a re-enactment.

J's husband has passed away, hence the visit. We were sad together. Love you Janien.

Tidbit #3: I made pupusas twice. Amazingly, while at the store buying maseca for the dough, I overheard a conversation about a nearby Salvadorean restaurant and how they have great papsies. Pipsies. The woman couldn't quite recall. Good thing I was there to supply the correct name. Pupusas. They rock.

Tidbit #4: My most recent mishap was the complete shattering of a glass shelf from our fridge. What joy is mine. That is now the second part from our fridge that will have been replaced. One of the door shelves broke off last year. Alas.

Tidbit #5: I witnessed the super secret arrival of a VIP to Stanford Campus. A couple years ago GW Bush tried to visit Hoover Institute on Stanford Campus. He didn't quite make it. yeah. A bunch of students caused a near riot with their protests and prevented his visit. He ended up giving his prepared remarks at someone's house--George Schultz.

Last Saturday I was helping DH move cube (poor guy. As a sixth year grad student, he now has LOWEST priority and lost his prime cube spot. He is now the scum of the econ department.) We were just outside the Econ building when at least 6 police cars escorted some Mysterious Visitor to Hoover. There were policemen on the street as well. I haven't discovered who it was yet. Who has a high enough profile to get a 6 car escort? Not many. Probably not Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maybe. And I was one of maybe 5 bystanders who saw it happen. 11 am on a saturday?

Monday, August 23, 2010


Today is my n=3 birthday.

n^n is a special day.

I will cherish this year of mathematical perfection.

Congratulations to my nephew Alex who is n=2.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Jane Austen's Fight Club

I must admit I am currently reading Fight Club. I've never seen the movie. I did watch the preview on youtube though--a must see if you are going to fully appreciate the "movie" preview I've embedded below. It is definitely a strange read and pretty deranged. It reminds me of Clockwork Orange (the book) in the way that you don't know what's going on half the time and everybody is crazy.

DH found this clip and sent it to me--apparently filmed by a young single adult LDS ward. Ha! Good for a laugh.

the glory of rice pudding

I worship rice pudding. It is true. I don't recall ever eating rice pudding before moving to California (Going on 5 years!). It might have been one of those buffet dessert items at Chuck-A-Rama, but I don't remember trying it (or if I did, it was not worth remembering!) BUT then I started to shop for myself (after leaving home) and there was that one magic day in Safeway when I saw Kozy Shack brand rice pudding next to the sour cream...and I bought it. My life would never be the same.

Then came the many attempts at making rice pudding. There was the baked puddings, the stovetop puddings, the one time disaster of a crockpot pudding, and finally more precise puddings that used a thermometer. Some would curdle*. Some would be fantastic. But nothing could match the consistency of Kozy.

*Curdling is a thing of the past. The blessings of living at sea level combined with the delicate egg yolk conspired against me for too long, but now I have outsmarted them. I just keep the heat down:) (Custards are supposed to stay between 185 and 190 F during cooking time to prevent curdling.)

Then came the time when I bought Kozy pudding and it was awful. Yes. It tasted totally off. Then I was afraid to buy it for a while. Suddenly I wondered if Kozy pudding was really the ultimate.

Now after being in El Barrio going on 2 years, I have discovered Salvadoran rice pudding. There is a couple in our ward who like to make it to serve after baptisms (and sometimes go crazy and give it out after church--like last week!). They use a combination of sweetened condensed milk, regular milk, cinnamon sticks, and a lime--rind and all! No eggs! Fancy that. It is quick to make, none of the hours of reducing milk or anything laborious in that vein. Lucky is the one who chokes on a piece of cinnamon and finds part of a lime in their cup. Eat with caution. Oh, but the delight of rice pudding!

Incomplete LIST of rice pudding recipes attempted:
1. The baked rice pudding recipe I used comes from Betty Crocker Cookbook.
This one I made notes. They go like this:
Turned out great--much more creamy than baked rice pudding. I kept the heat below boiling like she said, and the egg did not curdle. I think I will try sweetening with honey next time (less than 1/4 cup).
SO good. Try with 1/4 cup arborio next time, it was VERY thick. I put raspberries in it and it was so divine.
(I should point out that I used arborio rice instead of the short grain white the recipe called for. Had I used short grain white, it would not have turned out so thick.)

it curdled. Using high heat after putting the egg in was a mistake--it might work on low, but I'm not sure I want to try it again when I have another rice pudding recipe that is great. (simply recipes)

I can't exactly recall how this turned out. I think it worked ok, but by this point I had been trying to cut back on rice pudding (since I inhaled it at ludicrous speed) and only made this recipe one time.

5) This one is untested, but highly recommended by some people in a chowhound thread:
I need to make this one.
As a final note, I must remark how much I adore puddings and custards of all kinds. DH doesn't care as much about pudding as I do, but we try not to let that be an issue in our marriage. But he can surely attest to the fact that more often than not when I'm feeling like dessert I'll say, "I want a pudding."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


My Vibram FiveFinger shoes sold on ebay recently. I was glad they could find a new home. It was actually the first time I've ever sold something on ebay. I think I've sold textbooks on, but nothing on ebay. Now I can say I've truly lived.

I went to Fleet Feet in Menlo Park to buy new running shoes. The staff do a great job at helping you pick the right shoe. Oddly enough, I ended up buying the exact same shoe that I already had (except a newer version). I went from Saucony Hurricane version 8 to 11. And now my feet are happy again.

I finally convinced DH to get real running shoes as well. The shoes he used to run in when we got married were dismal at best. Over the past two years of our married lives, with each new shoe purchase I have managed to persuade him to get higher quality shoes. And now he has graduated. Congrats DH. Your knees will be grateful.

We've been trying to do weekly sprints around the neighborhood so he can increase his speed for ultimate frisbee. It is a 1.5 mile loop. I try to maintain full speed the whole time but it is just not happening. It is even harder that the first half is slightly uphill. I can keep up with DH for about a third of the way and then start lagging behind. How is it that he can run faster/longer than me when I have been running regularly for over a year and he has barely run at all?


Sunday, July 04, 2010


Hangman is a favorite game in my primary class. There is one five year old girl that speaks so quietly I must strain my ears to make out what she says. Then there are usually five rowdy boys that are six or seven years old who have all manner of noisy things to say. But on one front they are all united. Hangman.

The construction of the hangman platform has become nearly as important as solving the puzzle. First, I draw the hangman platform. Next, I add wavy lines underneath to indicate hot lava. The hot lava was the first modification requested by my morbidly creative charges. It has become a regular addition.

Today, instead of guessing a letter, several kids wanted to come up to the board and further imperil the hangman. One boy came up and drew a shark with lots of teeth jumping onto the platform. Next, another came up and drew an electrical storm. One very large cloud overhead with several zigzag lightning bolts reaching downward. But he did not stop there. He added spikes to the base of the entire platform except for a tiny area large enough for him to slip through into the hot lava.

I can't wait for next week.

wind in my hair

Short hair has serious advantages.

First, it looks awesome on me. Lets not mince words here.

Second, my husband has a thing for short hair. This is a delightful coincidence, considering that I will Never Have Long Hair Again. Ever.

Third, when I'm on a bike, the wind whips through my hair and it flies out like a fairy's wings catching the spring air on the way to meet its sweetheart. (The spring air is meeting the sweetheart here, not the fairy. There is only one sweetheart of spring air. It is called San Francisco Bay.)

Fourth, my hair has volume. This long sought after effect has been the result of a lifelong struggle.

Fifth, everyone (female) tells you that the secret desire of her heart is to have short hair but she thinks she will look ugly. Then I say, Psha. Whatever. Take the Plunge. (Although I must confess I did cry a little before going to the chopping block six years ago when my hair was freakishly long.)

Sixth, when you get a hair cut, people actually notice.

so, yeah.

pralines are the thing

This blog post is about my favorite ice cream flavor. In this post I will lament certain things. And then it will be over.

Main text:
My favorite ice cream flavor is Caramel Praline. Sometimes known as Pralines and Caramel. Also sometimes known as Pralines and Cream. It is readily available in Utah. But is it available in California, the state in which I have resided these 5 years? NO. It is not. You can't buy it at the store. You can buy it for 5 dollars per scoop at Haagen-Daz. Does Haagen-Daz make this flavor to sell at the grocery store? No. Grrrr. That is my grrr sound. Like GRRRR you know. It is a mad noise.

I thought my troubles were over when I discovered what is known as Caramel Praline Crunch frozen yogurt made by Dreyers. But it is much inferior, I am telling you there is a serious lack of pralines. Also it is frozen yogurt so there is a failing already. Also, the pralines that do exist are not even crunchy. Grrrrrr.

I want crunchy pralines. Utah is so Farr away (hehe).

Saturday, June 19, 2010


DH and I have now achieved: Marriage 2.0.



Oakland Temple, May 22 2010, following Reija's wedding. (pic courtesy of Heather Hammond)

Monday, June 14, 2010

running the distance

Here begins the story of my runners heart (beware the long post!!). Growing up on a mountain in a steep neighborhood with freezing snowy winters and boiling summers, running was not something I considered for a long time. Though I walked up that hill many times after school, running up that hill (like Kate Bush!) in the heat never entered my mind.

Here is a glimpse of my life through the runners lens:
  1. Summer before 8th grade: I went to a fitness camp. I think I worked up to running about 2 miles each morning by the time I left.
  2. 8th grade. I was the orchestra nerd who did zero sports. But then I decided to become awesome and be a track star. I joined the track team and was so excited. I was there for the track team photo that would end up in the yearbook. Then, in the first week of practice, I pulled my quadricep during a 100 meter dash warm up. I could barely walk after that and limped off the field, never to return. I think it took weeks before my leg felt ok again. I never tried out for track again either (that was lame on my part though). Thanks to the yearbook photo, at least I could pretend I was cool and had an extra page listing under my name in the yearbook index.
  3. High school. I have this vague memory of running on the treadmill while reading "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead." I think that was senior year. J, is that right? Anyway. Around that time, I tried to run a few times a week on the treadmill. It didn't last. Most books require hands to keep them open. My parents had a treadmill with a tv above it in their bedroom that I also tried using. The tv would shake a lot if I started running though. Lame. Super lame. Hence, my brilliant running career was postponed.
  4. College. Behold the indoor track at University of Utah. Fear it not. The last two years I was at U of U I ran on the track for about 40 minutes 2 or 3 times per week. It took a while to work up to running steadily the entire time. There were three lanes. The (clockwise) outer lane is for slow people. The middle lane is for passing. And the inner lane is for the non-stop I-rock-and-you-don't runners. They even run counter-clockwise so you can admire them more frequently as they pass you by. I wanted to be cool like them. I did eventually achieve semi-coolness and began running on the inner track, yet I was still frequently lapped by the speedy ones.
  5. Then I moved to sunny Bay Area, land of perfect weather year round. I started my masters degree and began stressing. I actually did homework on saturday nights. (I somehow managed to avoid doing homework on friday and saturday nights until this stage in life.) One saturday night in October I got really mad and decided to storm out into the night and run. Not the wisest thing to go out running in the dark alone, but I ran the 4 mile campus loop for the first time that day. And I kept doing it several times a week for the next two years. It wasn't always consistent, but I tried. I ran in the rain. I even tripped and rolled into a bush once. I rock.
  6. Meanwhile during #5 I bought a pair of running shoes I saw in a magazine. (Probably the most I've ever spent on a pair of shoes..but money well spent.) I still run in them 5 years later. I am seriously overdue for new shoes. But I have tried and failed to find the perfect ones as yet. My pair of Vibram FiveFingers which had so much promise turned out to be too big. I should have worn them for a few miles on the treadmill to be SUPER SUPER sure about the fit before taking them outside and rendering them non-returnable. I am trying to sell my pair. If successful, I might try again with Vibram. Next, I purchased a pair of Adidas at Nordstrom Rack. But it turns out they make my feet hurt. Serves me right for trying to buy running shoes at a discount price.
And now we have reached the near present. Last spring (09) I started running three mornings each week. It became a habit. Yay! I love to use gmap-pedometer to design running routes of sufficient distance. I am trying to gradually increase my mileage and have several routes to choose from for variety. Today I ran 4.25 mi. Hooray!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

excessively important comparisons

A group of students at U of Washington made the following video, a parody of Lady Gaga's Poker Face. See below.

Librarians Do Gaga:


VAC: This is the cost code I use to charge vacation time at work.

Vacaville: Very important city on I-80 in CA. I think they've got an In-N-Out too.

Vacation: what I did last week. sortof.

DH and I partied with the family in Utah. A lot of partying. Good times were had. And now that we are back in P-town, it feels like the vacation has finally started and we can lay around:)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

mr photogenic

DH is so cute. Even when smirking. I adore him. :)

He is now 29. This is his first prime number in 6 years. Poor guy. He's had to wait so long.

yes, that is a mini cheesecake. courtesy of moi.

Friday, May 28, 2010


You may be aghast at the inexplicable increase of posting lately. Three days of consecutive posts compared to a lot of nothing.


Let me tell you the reason.

The reason is:


Can you guess?

(the capitalized letters above happen to spell BUS. Did you notice? This has nothing to do with the reason though. Ha. I'm super tricky like that)


the oBvIOuS reason is...

(that time the caps spell BIOS. If you don't know what BIOS is, then consider yourself lucky)

school is out and I am a free woman till fall!


Now I can watch this video over and over with no time restraint:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the decline and fall of the british empire

Is a book. DH is reading it. This is the cover:

4 words:
this photo is hilarious

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Egg: one eternal round


Have you ever noticed that the majority of recipes that call for an egg yolk (minus the white) are for dessert?

And another thing.

Have you ever noticed that the majority of recipes that call for an egg white (minus the yolk) are for dessert?

Yes. I have noticed both these things.

Macaroons. Angel food cake.

Pudding. Flan. (Hollandaise sauce is not in this listing. Nor is mayonnaise.)

If one is trying not to waste part of an egg, one is forced to make two desserts. This might be considered a hardship by some. Others might toss the half they don't use.

To this end, I actually spend time looking for non-dessert recipes that use egg whites. If you have some, please share.

I recently discovered that you can freeze egg whites for 12 months and they turn out ok. Egg yolks, not so much though.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

more applesauce

I must point out that there are many inaccuracies in my previous post. Trader Joes, I have recently discovered, has more than 2 kinds of applesauce.

At least now you all know how much I think about applesauce.

I also think about grapefruit. A lot.

The end.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Applesauce: important things to know

I adore applesauce. It is my favorite thing to put on top of waffles/pancakes/french toast. It is so refreshing. Sigh.

But not all applesauce is created equal. Safeway, Treetop, and Motts all fall short. Trader Joes actually sells applesauce that is still crunchy! Ew. I made the mistake of buying it again (even though I knew it was evil) and am now repenting while I cook it in a pot on the stove so the chunks become fully cooked and soft. (I must point out that they sell two kinds of applesauce, and their "Big and Chunky" style is tolerable, however, but pricey.)

Sweetened applesauce? What is this world coming to? Would you sprinkle sugar on an orange before you eat it? No. Ew. In the applesauce world, "regular" style applesauce is code for sweetened. Beware!

If one must make due with inferior applesauce, at least make sure it is unsweetened.

But I have made a remarkable discovery. Something so vastly important that I will make a special trip to the store just for applesauce. This remarkable discovery is: Whole foods, 365 brand unsweetened applesauce. The texture is incomparable and amazing. The taste is delicious. Even the glass jar is attractive. It is slightly more expensive than safeway brand, but less expensive than Trader Joe's tolerable "Big and Chunky" style.


Friday, January 29, 2010

scary movies: the importance of having a pillow

I'm not a fan of violence. Not a fan. Not in real life, or in movies.

The pillow is my constant friend during movies. I can hug it, lean on it, or more often bury my face in it so I can't see what's on screen.

Creepy villains are the worst. If there is any hint of creepiness or nasty unknowns lurking in the shadows, then I grab the pillow. I'm pretty sensitive. Sometimes I even have to go hide in another room. Like that "I am Legend" movie that came out last year? Ew. I went and read a book for the last half hour. Poor DH. When I leave the room I leave him my pillow though. Maybe that helps him get through it.

And yet, in spite of all my avoidance of violent nastiness, I find my eye drawn to roadkill on the freeway. But when I get close enough to see any detail of what it might be, I realize I didn't want to be looking in the first place. I am weird.

Monday, January 18, 2010

LRH recipes blog

I've started a new blog for my own use in cooking and keeping track of what I make. I also embedded a calendar that I'm using in an attempt to plan meals in advance.

wedding follow up: vendors & venues-- part 4

Continuing from part 3...

Hair can be really tricky. It was especially tricky for me because I'd been wearing my hair really short for several years and had just gotten it cut really short again the month before getting engaged. (See below--no ring yet!)

Aside: I've let it go longer lately only because it is expensive to maintain (at least when you pay what I do for a cut!).

I wanted my hair to look longer at the wedding, so I let it grow for 6 months without trimming it. But I had no idea who to have style my hair. I'd been living in California for 4 years and didn't have any great recommendations for a stylist in Utah. That is, until I asked my amazing friend Jillian (who now has an awesome B&B in Oregon!). She recommended Sean at Aveda Landis. He was AMAZING! Thank you Jillian!

Sean wanted me to come in for a trial run so he could get a feel for my hair and what we would do. So I went in two days before the wedding and was there for about 30 minutes. He didn't even charge me for the trial! Also, he had no problem with an 8 am hair appointment the day of the wedding--in fact he was the one to suggest starting so early! (I'd originally suggested 8:30 am, and I was supposed to get the Salt Lake temple by 10:15 am.)

The early time turned out to be really helpful since I needed all the extra time to get to the temple and park. I was by myself that morning trying to carry my dress, shoes, temple bag, and purse in one trip. I'd gotten all the way out of the parking lot before I remembered to go back for something else!

He did a fantastic job. Thanks Sean!

Make up artist: ME.
I'm not a pro, but didn't want to bother with a make up artist. I just wanted to look normal. Wearing ANY make up at all was a pretty big deal for me anyway. (Especially considering that I haven't worn any make up since the wedding day! Well...I did wear mascara for a family picture recently.)
I was short on time before the wedding ceremony so ended up getting married sans make up. But I liked it that way. I got married in a simple temple dress, so I thought it was fitting. However, everyone who was waiting outside after the wedding had to wait not only for me to change into a different dress, but also to put make up on. AND sunscreen! I was so not getting sunburned. Also, I had a little mishap with the sunscreen...which required some fancy footwork on my mom's part. Sorry for making everyone wait forever!
To be continued in part 5...the honeymoon!

snapshots of christmas

We went home for Christmas this year, as usual. Here are a few pictures from our trip:

David was cold while waiting at the airport.

Ah, it's me in my 10 year old coat. It's not even that warm, but it serves as my Utah coat.

Nephew Alex really bulked up this Christmas.

This is the ONLY picture we have taken of DH and me together. Apparently we were excited about eating the kids snacks.

Alex, flying.

DH and I went to see the Nutcracker. It was the "Nutty" Nutcracker, where the ballet was tweeked slightly and it was really hilarious. There was a Where's Waldo wandering around the set, a disco ball, performers wearing the wrong costume, rollerblading instead of dancing, and more. Thanks Heidi and Brian for the comp tickets!

Ah, the cute Naked baby Luke. His fat is so cute. I had to touch it.

This is the game invented by the Hansen family nephews and nieces. You close yourself in the closet, then open the door and pop out!

The end.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Letter to Alexander Mccall Smith

Dear Mr. Mccall Smith,

I adore you. Well, not really you actually (no hard feelings!), but I adore the books you write. However considering how delightful your books are, you must be at least somewhat delightful too. Did you know some libraries mistakenly shelve your books under 'S'?

Thank you for writing so many books. The rate at which you publish books has been increasing of late, but there is still room for improvement. I have made this plot for you to illustrate this point. (this plot was made possible by none other than my favorite website ever,
Please write more. I'm glad you are only 61 because that means you have at least 40 more years of writing to do. I'm only 26 and I expect you to keep up with my reading demands until I'm at least 65.

That's all. Happy New Year.

-an adoring fan

So long, and thanks for all the fish.