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.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.