Monday, December 19, 2011

Presidential Cabinets

David has some issues with our kitchen. It has more than twice the amount of cabinets and drawers that our kitchen in Palo Alto had.  He claims not to understand when I tell him where something goes. If I say "it goes in the left corner cabinet" he things there are just TOO many cabinets where that description could apply. 

So one day he takes some of my post-it notes and labels each and every cabinet and drawer in order of the US presidents. Starting with Washington.  He calls them the Presidential Cabinets. David is enamored with puns. (obviously).  

These new labels have their own difficulties. First of all, I don't remember which president goes with which cabinet. And the labels are too small so I have to lean forward and squint (since I never wear glasses in the kitchen).

Clearly our camera is not good at closeups. But if you squint you can sort of read the labels.

The "Grant" cabinet

The "Johnson" cabinet

etc, etc. There are 20 cabinets/drawers total, labeled in sequential order going from left to right around the kitchen. Just FYI, silverware is in Madison.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

still empty...

DH likes to look inside the car seat cover when he gets home each day. I've been meaning to put something in it for a joke, but keep forgetting. Meanwhile...

It is still empty!

More side views with the standard control group

This is a continuation of this post:
34 weeks and 4 days along. (11/12/2011)

We forgot to take a control picture of DH, so here we are the next day:

34 weeks and 5 days along. (11/13/2011)

Notice how DH remains in control. And how happy he is about it:)

37 weeks and 4 days along. (12/03/2011)

This style of skirt should look familiar! Its all I wear...

In control and SO excited about it...

DH and his bro, looking a touch lopsided.

38 weeks and 5 days along. (12/11/2011)
Note the slant at the bottom of the dress. This is what happens when you pretend your dress is maternity...

 Still in control...but not QUITE as thrilled about it...

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

the mustache: a thing of mystery

Once upon a time David tried to grow a mustache. It was very short lived. It died at the end of September 2010. The mustache was a bit sparse, to say the least, and grew very slowly. I hated it. So did he. He grew it for 4 or 5 weeks. The last couple weeks of growth occurred while I was in Seattle and so I arrived home to find this:

He looks like a deadbeat in the 2nd photo, which somehow seems appropriate. We cherish these photos, because DH probably won't ever have another mustache:)

I posted this video on my blog over a year ago, thanks to my friend Rachel. But it still rocks and should be revisited. I asked DH to contribute his own thoughts on what it is to have a mustache (so he can be cool like the dudes in the video). It goes like this--DH: "having a mustache is like ah.. driving a Ferrari. Um..its less comfortable than you would think"

Apparently Indian police officers get paid more if they have a mustache.

The end.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Running as the pregernaut + ironman delight

So I kept up with my running schedule (with lower intensity/distance) until the end of my 2nd trimester (around week 27). At that point I started to get side aches and would have to slow to a walk. I wasn't even running that fast, just jogging and plodding along. I was hoping to run longer into pregnancy, but oh well. Being in good shape before and during pregnancy and having strong abdominals has made it so that I haven't had any lower back pain. I think having good posture has helped too.

After I stopped running I was planning on walking for exercise or going to a gym to use their machines if walking didn't do enough. Unfortunately I got really sick right after I quit running and that lasted for 2 months. I am finally well enough now to expend energy on exercise and so am wanting to start up again with something.

I am planning on running a half-marathon next summer sometime. I think I need a goal like that to help myself get back into the running habit and get back into shape. I am really excited to use the running stroller I purchased. I got it used and at a discount (yay!). It also has an awesome name: THE IRONMAN.


Monday, November 14, 2011


David and I have been thinking about Christmas much earlier than usual this year. With the baby due on Dec. 20, it is probable it will arrive before the holiday. The men in David's family have a tendency to go Christmas shopping at the last minute. (like Dec 24...) I pointed out to David that this tendency may be inconvenient with the expected arrival date of our tot. He agreed and did the uncharacteristic thing of buying presents 6 weeks in advance. (Some of them, at least. He is not done yet..)

Because of this early Christmas movement, David is getting in the Christmas spirit. I am definitely a Grinch, so he is deprived usually. He wore a Christmas tie to work last week. And he is using a Christmas mug for his peppermint tea. And he sings Christmas songs all the time now. And he giggles about it (in a manly way). We might even put up the Christmas tree in November instead of the week before Christmas. (This may cause all who know of my grinchness to faint with shock).

But I must point out that it does not bother me at all to have my husband sing Christmas songs around the house. It only bothers me when other people do it. Like Celine Dion. But clearly I am biased. (Although I cannot understand why anyone would prefer Celine Dion to DH's tunes.)

the end.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Study Carrels and Bathroom Stalls

The Green library on Stanford University campus has some fantastic study carrels. They are big, cozy, old, and made of wood. They are also covered in graffiti. You can find practically anything in a Stanford carrel: poetry, math, scavenger hunt hints, love notes, and of course all topics related to sex education. You may find yourself staring off into space during a study session and realize you are staring at something written on the carrel. It was kind of amazing how so many people added to existing notes over time, making the graffiti sort of artistic. I did not spend a great deal of time in these carrels, but since they were so cozy and entertaining, I did enjoy the time I spent.

When we moved to Provo this past August, one of my top priorities was to finally get a look at the BYU study carrels. I feel like I've heard a lot of talk about the BYU carrels. Some people would talk about their old BYU study carrel as a lost loved one. Apparently they were very attached. The first week of school this fall, David took me to a new faculty breakfast on campus. Afterward we went into the library for a bit. And then I forced him to show me some study carrels.

Now I may report on the sad state of the BYU study carrels. They are exceedingly dull and small. I had high hopes of finding colorful material written in secret inside the carrels, but I looked in at least six of them and there was not a single thing written. NOTHING. The comparison between Stanford and BYU carrels is disheartening. I was looking forward to seeing what BYU students saw fit to write in their carrels. Apparently they have nothing to say. There weren't even any favorite scriptures etched into the plastic.

We also attended stake conference the 3rd or 4th sunday after the move. We were supposed to go to Provo High School's auditorium for it, which I thought really weird. But I sensed another opportunity to inspect the creativity and personal expression of the local students by inspecting their bathroom stalls. After using the facilities during my visit, I can say that Provo high school students either have zero personal expression in bathroom stalls, or the stalls have all been recently replaced. I remember plenty of thrilling material to read in the bathroom stalls during my time at Bountiful High 10 years ago. Bountiful and Provo are both pretty conservative, but Provo takes the cake.

Poor little Provo / BYU students. They don't even know what they are missing. It could be I am wrong and simply looked in the wrong carrels and bathroom stalls. Or not.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dreams + Weird Al's Birthday, observed

So Oct 23 was Weird Al's birthday. To past readers of this blog, you  know that Weird Al has a special place in my husbands heart. And every year he partakes of the twinkie wiener sandwich in honor of Weird Al. See this post from last year.

This year was slightly different. First of all, he did it a day late (shocking!) due to lack of necessary supplies. Second, the brand of cheeze whiz and hot dog was different. (The newly purchased "Easy Cheese" for 2011 expires in 3 months, unfortunately. I keep hoping that someday he can reuse the can of cheeze whiz at least once. NOT that I am encouraging the use of cheeze whiz. Because I am NOT. It is gross. Just want to make that clear.) Third, it took place in Utah instead of California. Oh, how I miss the Palo Alto air. And our old apartment. I SO miss the fridge. And I even miss having no space and the noise of the old wall heater that groaned like the ghost of last Thursday as it turned on and off. Fourth, I was unable to get a picture on his first bite. My camera kept turning off instead of taking a picture. So after two attempts, I changed the batteries and had him do a pretend-eating pose so that there would be some hot dog left if it turned off again. Fifth, David put on his new Weird Al t-shirt in honor of the occasion.

Here are some action shots:

The application of the new cheese. He opted to go with "cheddar" flavor. There were other flavors, but I think his choice was very wise.

This is the pretend-eating moment. I think he overdid it a little.

And here he is looking absurdly happy with his celebratory sandwich. And yes that is twinkie filling on his face.

And now for the really strange part. The final reason this Weird Al Birthday celebration was different from last year's was that this year I HAD A DREAM ABOUT WEIRD AL. Yes. It was technically in the very early hours of the morning on Oct 24, but it was close enough to his birthday to count. Weird Al had invited me and someone else (who I forget) to his house. It was like a special tour. And there was a race track around it. We drove really fast in the car. And his wife looked exactly like Steve Young's wife. (Which is to say, it WAS Steve Young's wife. I know what she looks like because we were in their ward for a while in Palo Alto, whereas I have no clue what Weird Al's wife looks like.)

Now that we are on the topic of Steve Young, I may as well say a few things. I really don't think he should be revered. He is a normal guy. He forgot his tie once at church. And I once saw him holding a diaper bag. I am thinking it probably had a dirty diaper in it too. Or three.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shakespeare + important evidence of game loss

David and I went to the Utah Shakespeare Festival last weekend. Unfortunately I was sick. But we still had a good time! We saw three plays and got to sleep in a king sized bed, which is so so nice. It is the first trip we've gone on in over two years if you exclude visiting family. And it is probably the last trip for a while because of the alien invader. Here are some pics of us around the festival statues/benches:

This is what happens when you put the camera on a table and try to do a timed shot.

In case you are wondering, David is pondering Yorick's skull. 

I forget the inspiration for this shot. But this is the "Women of Shakespeare" bench and they are all very scary women. And I think I'm supposed to be dead.

David rents his shirt like King Lear. Yeah. (or is it rends?)

And remember how Utah won the BYU/Utah football game? Well, David and his brother Jonny always do a tie exchange depending on the game result. With this year being a loss for BYU, David was lucky enough to get to wear the Utah tie bestowed upon him by the noble Jonny. David wore it to work (at BYU) on a day he teaches two classes! I was hoping he'd get a few dirty looks, but he says not. Psha. But clearly he is VERY excited to be wearing the tie:)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Long Lost Cup

Nearly three years ago, tragedy struck in my kitchen. My long adored mug broke.

It was special. I got it at Los Alamos Laboratory.

Occasionally I would search for it online. One time I saw it on ebay. I cursed myself later for not buying it.

And then I FOUND it again! And bought it immediately. Some things are just TOO important to pass up. Now me and my cup are together again. This week has been like a family reunion--uniting me, Nigel Clarence, and my favorite cup. Together at last.

You may recall this old post about another favorite cup. I would like to inform you it is now my second favorite cup, and this toxic waste mug has now been given back its former position as #1 favorite cup.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nigel Clarence comes home

I went to the Provo DMV last monday to register my car. But it was like no DMV I have ever been to (which are all in CA). There was no line. There was not even time to sit before my number was called. I was in and out in 10 minutes. And the best part is I got to use my old plates!

I like to name my car. Whenever possible, I try to use the letters from the license plate to make the name.

The first car I drove was called Gina (GNA). The next was Lamar (LMR). After that I borrowed my dad's car  for a while, and called it Sir Gallahad (which came from the model of the car, Gallant, and not the license plate. This is because of the unfortunate circumstance of all arches license plates beginning with the letters z, y, x, or w. Very few names start with those letters!).

And then I bought Nigel Clarence, as in NGC. He was my very own. And I took him to California where he had to be reregistered with new plates, alas. But, I brought my old plates to the DMV with me hoping they would let me use them and they DID! I never thought going to the DMV would make my so happy.

Nigel Clarence has even had 15 minutes of fame. When Google first instituted the streetview option, they got Nigel Clarence in the picture of the house I lived in at the time (in 2006). Woot.

So this post is totally lame and nerdy, but I am excited to have Nigel Clarence be official again. Yaaaaaaay.

Monday, October 03, 2011

the curse of the ex-boyfriend

Once upon a time I was 19 years old. It was at that age that I began to date whom I now refer to as "my semi-pittance of a boyfriend."

This boyfriend, who was never actually acknowledged as such (except in retrospect, hence the title "semi-pittance"), was in MENSA. You know, "the high IQ society." Well. Among other things, this boyfriend was always talking about it. MENSA this, MENSA that. Uh huh. He said he wanted to bring me to their activities. (Let me bring you to my spaceship...)  One of these activities was a regular dinner at The Belgian Waffle (a restaurant in Salt Lake City area). I was semi-interested because it was waffles, and I am somewhat obsessed. But we never went.

So anyway, we dated 3 months and then I was dumped. To be precise, I was dumped onto the sidewalk east of the Merrill Engineering Building on University of Utah campus. Just so you can get a picture of it in your head. I was sad at the time (in my stupidity), but it really was not meant to be. The sole reason he asked me out in the first place was because I knew why the sky was blue (and told him so) and crushed his error-ridden theory relating to the excess of Nitrogen in the atmosphere.  One time we were driving somewhere and he started talking about how he couldn't believe there were people in the world who did not know what "hiatus" meant. I immediately replied that I had forgotten its meaning. (Apparently though since I had only temporarily forgotten its meaning, I was forgiven this grave offense.)

After I was dumped (picture the sidewalk), I had this perverse inclination to take the MENSA test. According to the semi-pittance of a boyfriend, I was definitely fit for their elite status. (But I don't think MENSA is very elite, and is more along the lines of total crap by the way). So I registered to take the exam. I took it. There were 30 people in the room with me in the Salt Lake City Public Library. I found out later that 25 out of the 30 passed. And I was one of them. Lucky me. I guess I passed your stupid test, Mr Hiatus. Passing that test made me feel good though. Not only was I "smart" enough to get in to the supposedly super exclusive MENSA society, but doing it as a sort of revenge against a somewhat snooty ex-boyfriend was a nice touch. (I know this does not seem like revenge. But to someone who was just dumped, it was like a "so there, Mr. Hiatus. I made it into your lame club but couldn't care less.") But really, 25/30 got in? That seems like a lot, even taking into account the type of people who register for a test like that (that is, people who think they're the bomb). One of the questions on the test was for me to identify a spark plug. How is that relevant? I guessed on a ton of the questions. (I had no idea what a spark plug was. I asked someone afterward and realized I'd guessed wrong). (As a side note, the boy sitting next to me at the test wrote down part of my name (after looking at my paper on the sly) and got my information off of the university directory. Word to the wise: a MENSA test is not the best place to meet people. But that is another story.) And MENSA is definitely not as exclusive as they like people to think. I think they advertise that people with the top 2% IQ scores in society get in. Whatever.

So that was almost 9 years ago. My membership lapsed many many years ago and I still get their emails and mail. Please renew your membership. We are desperate for your money. And in retrospect, I realize this is the curse of the ex-boyfriend. I will be forever plagued by MENSA begging me for money.  Thanks a lot. I think I'll change my name and move. (Except I already did that.)

(My apologies to anyone reading this who thinks MENSA is amazing and takes offense. I hope you at least got to eat some waffles.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weird Al in concert + my husband the dairy farmer

A few months back David mentioned to me that Weird Al Yankovic would be performing at the Utah State Fair in September. And we were totally going to be living in Utah at that time! So naturally he bought tickets. The concert was on September 12. 

We drove up to Salt Lake City a couple hours early to see some stuff before the concert began. Naturally David was most excited about the livestock. He did grow up on a dairy farm after all and tells stories about birthing calves and crazy cows with attitude. There were two large barns holding cows (one for dairy and one for beef breeds). DH knows his cows. He was saying stuff like, "that Guernsey is really beautiful," or "that looks just like such-and-such cow we had growing up." There is a large cow pasture on 280 that we would pass on the way to Redwood City in California that had black cows with huge white stripes (like an oreo). Naturally DH had to find out what they were called. They are called Belted Galloways, and he would always look wistful when we'd pass. I saw on a friends blog this week her report of going to a state fair in Washington. She has a picture of a little girl hugging her 4-H cow. It made me think of DH hanging out with the calves as a child. Plus it is just sweet. 

So we had dinner and got in line to get into the concert. Never had DH been surrounded with so many die hard Weird Al fans (like himself). You might recall how DH likes to celebrate Weird Al's birthday with a "special" hot dog. Yeah. While we were in line he commented several times that he felt like he had found is true people. And he really had. These people are one of a kind. 

So we watched the concert. It was so great! Weird Al really puts on a show. He is so energetic--jumping around the stage, changing outfits for almost every song, dancing and generally acting weird. I had a really good time and I'm not even close to obsessed, though I do like some of his music. One of my favorite parts was when Weird Al sang "White and Nerdy." If you watch the music video on youtube then you can witness younger Donny Osmond dancing in the background of a several shots (I think as an example of someone White and Nerdy). (And if you want to see the first take of Donny Osmond dancing NON-STOP through the entire song, watch this. It is so hilarious.) At the concert there was a huge screen hanging at the back of the stage. Weird Al must have gotten Donny Osmond to do some more dancing many years later, because on screen there was an aged Donny doing more dance moves. It was really entertaining. Another great part of the song was that Weird Al came out riding a Segway and drove it all around the stage for the first part of the song. Those things are heavy and expensive! But definitely a great prop.

David bought a poster and t-shirt at the concert. This is him in his new shirt. The shirt advertises the 2011 Weird Al tour. I think going to this concert totally made his year. And it was baby's first concert too. It was a memorable night!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Divided House

Last Saturday was the Utah-BYU football game. I am a Utah fan and David is a BYU fan. Naturally it was important for me to wear my red Utah shirt and David to wear his blue BYU shirt. We had a bunch of errands to do that day, and we got some hilarious comments from random people in the town. I've never been in "enemy" territory like I am now, and I really enjoyed dressing up in my Uteness.

Here we are in our abode:

And here we are at the game. Look at all that blue behind us! I was one of a handful of Ute fans scattered throughout the faculty section at the stadium. People were nice to me anyway since I wasn't particularly irritating and I looked pretty harmless with my big belly and all. It was fun getting attention.

 David thought this was important to get a picture of. It's the biggest flag ever!

I had two favorite parts of the day. The first was when we were at Walmart and we passed an older couple in the aisle. The husband looked at us and said, "the red one is the smart one!" We laughed and then watched his wife swat his arm and tell him he was in big trouble. Ha! It was like a vision of the future, me and DH 40 years from now.

The second favorite part was near the end of the game. A lot of people had left early (due to BYU's lame performance) and we spotted a couple with a baby a few rows down. The wife was in blue and the husband in red. David and I had been discussing how we should dress up our baby at future Utah/BYU games. I thought a purple shirt would suffice (you + blue = purple) but david liked the idea of a half red half blue onesie (but which is unlikely to be sold anywhere). But this couple we saw, they had their baby dressed up in a red and blue stripped onesie! We thought it was genius.

the end. (+ go Utes!)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

belated birthday pics

I wanted to write a follow up post about my birthday this year (original is here). First of all, I mistakenly thought that 28 had no mathematical beauty, but it is actually a perfect number. DH and J the magnificent enlightened me:)

This year I went to my friend Libby's house and shared my birthday with her now 1-year-old daughter, who was born on my 27th birthday! Libby made a tiny cake for her and a big cake for the rest of us to share. Here are some pictures (and her own blog post from that night):

This is me. Just in case you were confused. Libby gave me a present:)

The end.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

pregnant: the side view + the control group

David has taken three pictures of me so far while pregnant. And he chose to use himself as the "control."  (HA!). So whenever I remember, I prompt him to take a picture of me, and then I take one of him. Here is what we have so far:

17 weeks and 3 days along. (07-15-2011)

Here I am from the side. 

This was the day Harry Potter 7 part 2 opened in theaters. Hence my special shirt!

And here is DH. The "control" group. 

20 weeks and 5 days along. (08-07-2011)

I'm in a dress so I don't look that much different than before. And my facial expression is definitely on the weird side.

DH again. In control.
25 weeks and 2 days along. (09-08-2011, today)

Yes my hair is still wet. 

And here is DH maintaining control, wearing an AWESOME pink shirt.

And that's all for now. According to one of David's colleagues, I am "great" with child (and that was 2 weeks ago!). I can only imagine what I'll be at the end. Probably magnificent with child. Or titanic. We shall see.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

laundry woes

I have discovered a new aspect of my slovenly housewifeness.

For the first time ever, I have my own washer and dryer. I share it with no one (except DH, but he doesn't count). No one will be annoyed if I leave sheets in the dryer for a week. No one will be annoyed if I leave piles of clothes in the laundry area because I am avoiding folding them. And, finally, no one will have clothes that are put away.

In my previous existence as a tiny 1 bedroom apartment dweller, I would do laundry on the day that DH was going to run out of underwear. Or he would. (Actually, that is the grand strategy. Make sure you have more underwear than your partner and then they are forced to do laundry. Hopefully.)

So in this previous existence, on laundry day, I would scope out the laundry hut (because it was sort of like a hut) to make sure none of my neighbors was using it. We had an agreement that it was ok to move each others stuff. These agreements are IMPORTANT. I even mentioned it to each one early on to make sure there would be no issues. (Some people have issues.)

If available, I would haul out the first load of laundry and put it in the washer. Then I would come back in and set the chicken. (In our house, the timer is in the shape of a chicken. Thank you Karren! Although I am worried it might have met its end by being dropped one too many times. But I have not given up hope that it will once again become reliable.) 45 minutes later, the chicken would ring. And I would go outside, move the stuff to the dryer, put more stuff in the washer, etc. And then repeat. After each load was dry, I would come inside and dump it on our bed. We only have one laundry basket. I intend to keep it that way. It is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for preventing the laundry basket syndrome that has befallen THOSE WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS. Who live out of laundry baskets. Or used to. Anyway. Moving on. I had to set the chicken (timer) for fear that I would forget about laundry and one of our neighbors would try to use the washer and find our wet underwear instead. This was not ok. Or, they would interrupt my laundry groove by assuming I was finished when I was not.

So to jump to the end of the story, we would end up with piles of laundry on top of our bed that had to be put away before we could sleep that night. And so it was put away. Now, unfortunately, there are many other places besides the bed to put laundry and leave it. There is the washer. And dryer. And couch (recently acquired). Or on top of the dryer. Or on the floor. I could go on.

In order to prevent such laundry woes and attempt to decrease my slovenly housewifery, I must figure out a way around this "problem" of not having to share a washer/dryer. I could pretend someone else used it each night. Or I could pretend that anything left in the dryer grows mold (I don't have to pretend this for the washer, which is why it is less likely to have stuff in it for too long!) Or I could just give up and be grateful that at least I only have one laundry basket. Whatever happens, I'm thinking I might just continue with my trusted method of dumping it all on the bed. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

wearin' o' the Ute

Today is the first day I feel semi-normal after the move.

I must say that I do not recommend moving during pregnancy. The phrase most commonly used by me in the last 10 days was: "my poor little feetsies." And they were oh so poor. I got to enjoy swollen ankles for the first time as well (which are finally back to normal, thank goodness).

DH and I were both so exhausted, with the peak occurring the day we had to drive to Utah, a week before last thursday. Not the best timing! You know you have had no sleep for too long when the sight of Sacramento turns you into a blubbering buffoon. (Although this might be normal for some people...)

Anyway. We were exhausted for a few days. Then when I was feeling better, I got stomach flu. David asked me, how do you know if it is stomach flu instead of pregnancy nausea? I'm not quite sure. Maybe because I only threw up once during the "morning sickness" bit? That was last wednesday. Then, yesterday, I was exhausted again from lack of calories. I figured out late on stomach flu day that eating popsicles didn't make me throw up, but they didn't make much of a dent in my intake for the day.

And finally, today came. I woke up. The sun was shining. DH kissed me goodbye. And I knew I was feeling good because I wanted to eat some leftover birthday cake with my breakfast. And I wanted to go running. And I wanted to wear one of my Ute running tops.

So there I was. Running down the street in my red sleeveless Ute shirt. I was hoping to get some dirty looks. But I didn't get a single one! Someone even said "hello" in a pleasant tone of voice. Granted, it was a bit late for the running masses and I wasn't out very long, but still. So then I decided to take my bike to get aligned (my poor little bike was abused by the moving truck) while still wearing my running garb. I walked over to a shop (Mad Dog Cycles), maybe half a mile. On the way there, a girl DID look at my shirt and grimaced ever so slightly. FINALLY. And I was not refused service at the bike repair shop for my wearin' o' the Ute. They did not even comment. And they fixed my bike in less than 5 minutes. Woot.

Maybe my expectations are a little off. Maybe I am imagining what would happen if someone ran through the University of Utah campus wearing a BYU top. And I was not actually running on campus, so had limited exposure. Or maybe I just need to run through BYU campus wearing it the morning of the BYU-Utah football game.

Yes. I am twisted and derive satisfaction out of ridiculous things.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

birthday + early provoness

Today is my birthday. It has been weird so far. Usually I remember my birthday is coming up at least a month in advance. And then I might think about it once every couple days. And then the night before, I would go to bed thinking that the next day is my birthday. And I would remember it the moment I woke up. This year, I was so distracted with moving that I barely noticed my birthday was coming. I didn't even think of it yesterday until someone wished me an early happy birthday on facebook.  I didn't remember it was my birthday for a whole hour after waking up this morning. I am not sure what is normal for most people, but this year has definitely been unusual for me.

Another possible reason I did not anticipate my birthday is because there is very little mathematical significance about the number 28 (my new age!). 28 is 7 times 4. But it is not a prime number, or a cube, or anything like that. So it is definitely lacking in the math thrills department. I am excited for next year when I am 29. First prime number since 23. Yes, I am nerdy. This is no surprise.

So far I have been in Provo since Friday morning at 7:15 am. That makes it 4 and a half days so far. Our ward appears to be pretty good, based on my experience last sunday. There are the old ladies in Relief Society that know all there is to know. There is the old man handing out programs with a smile. The only thing that was decidedly provo (to me anyway) was the signup sheet in the attendance binder sent round Relief Society asking if you were expecting, and if so, to put down your name and due date.

I have been on campus twice now. Both were for free breakfasts for new or continuing faculty. Today DH took me into the BYU bookstore. There is a shelf called "Forgotten Classics" that I mistakenly thought would contain things like Agnes Grey or Around the World in 80 days. But, no. They mean LDS classics with long names. I was also amazed at the amount of junk food sold in the bookstore. Wow. I mean. Wow. And they actually sell clothes that are not BYU items. DownEast Basics is sold there too. This astounded me.

So far I have accidentally stumbled onto only one lovers tryst. I was trying to walk home (by myself, after David ditched me) without knowing anything but the general direction. I found myself entering a garden like area. I went down a few steps. And then I was at a dead end. But I was not alone.

Also on the same walk home, just after I parted with DH outside his office building, there was a group of people walking behind me. These were university faculty and staff streaming out of the same meeting I had just attended with DH. I kissed DH goodbye (on the lips), and went on my way. Then not 10 seconds later I hear someone say behind me, "And there is a great example of student/professor relationships." I was somewhat shocked but also thrilled that I could add this comment to my collection of strange provoisms. I turned around and looked at them to make sure they knew I'd heard, and also to make sure they were talking about me. I forget what they said after that (something about how they were kidding, and enjoyed the display), but I entertained myself thinking about the exchange on the way home, at least until I discovered the tryst and realized I was lost in 90 degree weather. Sigh.

Sorry for this long post. Or not.

Monday, August 15, 2011

moving + the end of the endless soap

We're moving this week. That means we procrastinate packing until the last two days before movers come and get our stuff. (I am so thankful BYU pays for movers!) But I am tired from just thinking about two solid days of packing...

I have been trying to use up everything in the fridge/freezer and have done relatively well. I had no idea I had so much ham. Or pork. I think I will avoid ham and pork for a while.

Some things are working out perfectly. Out of the 48 toilet paper roll pack I bought some time ago, we now have 2 rolls left. We have maybe 1 cup of laundry detergent left. Unfortunately we ran out of peanut butter a couple days ago. I will probably have to buy more. Alas.

BUT the most amazingly timed event ever is that we FINALLY used up the last of the soap. You know. The soap I have written about periodically for the last 2 years. Here and here and here. I know you will be SO sad to know that this could be the last soap post. David did suggest that we hunt down another bar of that soap (if Walmart still sells the same bath kits) and test out how long it lasts by using it only in the shower (since the last one was used solely as hand washing soap in the bathroom). I am not sure how I feel about repeating the soap experience. While definitely entertaining and amazing at times, it really was quite irritating having endless soap that doesn't lather. I'm not sure I want to do it again, even for the benefit of science.

But my birthday is coming up, and if DH gets me a Walmart bath kit (highly unlikely, if not impossible) then I guess we'll have to see:)

Monday, August 08, 2011

ja vi elsker dette landet

I was maybe 8 years old when my entire family got Norwegian flag t-shirts. I'm talking about the standard white t-shirt with a flag printed on it. It had "ja vi elsker dette landet" printed below the flag, which is Norwegian for "Yes we love this country" and is the national anthem of Norway. I forget the occasion for the group purchase, but the point is that we are Norwegian. I'm like 45% ish. Or whatever. So I was watching this music video, which is sort of addicting. I want to watch it over and over. (its the Pop! song with Hugh Grant...) Anyway, there is a guy in the video wearing one of those British flag t-shirts. I'm not talking about the white t-shirt with a flag on the front, but where the entire shirt is the flag. So that got me thinking that I really need to have one of those. Except I want the Norwegian flag on it.

After searching for a while on the internet, including using both english and norwegian search terms (norsk flagg skjorte), I now know that they are almost non-existant. The closest thing I found was this:

But unfortunately, it does not come in anything other than standard male t-shirt sizes. But I will not give up. Someday I will find one that is perfect, and then I'll wear it with a leather jacket.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

It's a girl!

David was right. Though I'm sure the baby will love blue towels:)

My family is especially excited since it's the first granddaughter after a slew of boys. Woot!

The end.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


So. Tuesday is the day DH and I will find out whether there is a little emperor or a little eppie growing inside me.

As fun as we thought it would be to leave it a surprise, we are now going to find out what IT IS. I still think of IT as an alien invader, living in my body and making creepy, sneaky, fluttery movements that I always assume to be gas. If I let myself think it is not gas, then it sort of weirds me out and makes me feel like I ate a spider or something. Ew. Yeah. So, I admit to being less than maternal. But I also admit that it is probably a human fetus.

And now for the requisite predictions. Boy or girl? For the sake of having a prediction (which DH insists is very important), I am going to say it is a boy. And also for the sake of the prediction, DH has agreed to do the opposite and say it is a girl. So there it is.

I do have some reasons for thinking it might be a boy. First and foremost, it is because of Elaina's towels. Elaina is a good friend I have from my geophysics undergrad. Together with Jillian, we were up to no good. And then I got married, and Elaina gave us a present. Part of that present consisted of a set of smallish blue towels, which she said were for our first child. She said she had a hunch.

The second reason I predict a boy is because I have often pictured having a baby that was a mini-David. In the first years of marriage when I was definitely not ready for kids, I did have an occasional glimmer that if the baby looked just like him, then having one might be ok.

David told me he thinks it might be a girl just because he's thought more about having a girl than a boy.

So we will find out soon enough!

Special Announcement:
After learning I have zero intention doing the "mommy blogger" thing, David decided that he wanted to be a daddy blogger. And here is his first post: I'm not sure how crazy he is planning to get, but it is likely there will be more baby stuff on that blog than on this one.

Monday, July 25, 2011

kitchen lessons

I've started cooking again. Occasionally. I didn't cook at all during my first trimester of pregnancy, and now I am starting to cook again and trying to empty the fridge/freezer. We are moving in three weeks.

I thought I'd put down a few things I learned about cooking so I can remember them. I'm sure there is a lot more to this list, but for now I am remembering just two things.

1) For sauces and soups, use white flour. (Gravy is an exception; whole wheat flour works fine in it and just makes it a bit more gritty. I usually use whole wheat flour when making sausage gravy for a biscuits/gravy meal.)  I created this rule for myself after using whole wheat flour as the thickening agent in some kind of soup. It turned out really strange. I wish I could remember what it was. If it is bread product, whole wheat flour works fine. But if its just used as a thickening agent, the results are unpredictable and might be less than delightful.

2) Don't assume that anchovy paste/fillets can be interchanged with sardine juice. I know I might be an oddball in liking sardines. Before I was pregnant, I was on a sardine kick and loved eating them on rye toast with cheese. There is always some sardine "juice" left in the tin after all the sardines are taken out. At first I dumped it in the sink, but then I got the idea that I should save it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for some future use. David is not a huge seafood fan, but I have made a fish-base soup once or twice. Or maybe just once. I thought the sardine juice could go in something like that. So I accumulated leftover juice from 3 or 4 cans, adding up to about 1/4 cup.

Meanwhile, I read in cooks illustrated that adding tomato paste and anchovy past/fillets to a beef stew will add depth to the beef flavor (without making it taste like fish). There is a very good beef stew recipe that uses these ingredients and it is super awesome. As I said before, I am trying to use up what is in my freezer. Recently I was making another beef stew recipe and decided to throw in the frozen sardine juice. BIG MISTAKE. It made the whole kitchen smell like sardines, and you could definitely taste it in the finished product. It was still edible and tasted fine, but the sardine flavor ruined the dish in my opinion. Perhaps if I had used only 2 teaspoons of the juice it would have worked out perfectly. (The stew recipe that calls for anchovy fillets says it is 2 teaspoons worth.) But I probably won't ever try it again.

3) This is more of a complaint against blogger and its search engine. I have discovered, to my dismay, that when searching my recipe blog, the title is not searched, only the body of posts. HOW LAME IS THAT? Super duper lame. This means that I have to rely on my tags to find certain recipes. Or, I should just repeat the post title in the body of the post so it will be searched. I might go back and do that for all the posts.  Grrr.

Monday, July 18, 2011

the pregernaut + the importance of the star trek title sequence

I am the pregernaut.
Boldly going where no man has gone before.
When I was young(er) (12 perhaps?), my parents always watched Star Trek reruns that showed at 10pm on weeknights. I think it was the James T. Kirk, but might have been Next Generation. Either way, everytime I'd walk by my parents door around that time at night, I'd hear the opening title sequence, or bits of it (this one from Kirk):
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Soon, I had it memorized. One day I typed it up and put it on the door of the refrigerator. My father was studying Latin at the time, and within a few days the Latin translation of the title sequence had shown up on the fridge also. It became a family joke. My parents are pretty big Star Trek fans. My mom even has some framed star trek picture with Leonard Nimoy's signature (you know, Spock). Whoa. And lets not forget the Christmas ornament in the shape of a shuttlecraft that, when you press the button, says (in Spock's voice), "Shuttlecraft to Enterprise, shuttlecraft to Enterprise: Spock here. Happy Holidays. Live long and prosper."

Meanwhile, time passed. I discovered the changes in the wording used in the title sequence for Kirk's Star Trek versus Next Generation. The most important part being, "to boldly go where no one has gone before." Apparently "one" is more politically correct.

The Latin translation was semi-forgotten. Then one day, out of the blue, a new Latin translation shows up on the fridge. My dad had a lot more Latin study under his belt, and had decided that his first stab at translating the star trek sentence was sub par. We wouldn't want that.

And thus, the story of the Latin translation of "Space, the final frontier..." earned its place in family legend.

the end.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

provophobia (noun): fear of living in provo, utah

provophobic (adj) - suffering from provophobia
provophobe (noun) - a person with provophobia

Reasons for provophobia:

1) the people there have gone round the bend, as it were. (also known as the point of the mountain). teeheehehe
2) the zip code is very dull. not poetic at all. 84606? Psha. 40404 is poetic. Such beautiful symmetry...
3) there is only one public library. Palo Alto has 5 (though they don't have near as many books as Provo).
4) it is overrun with scary undergraduates. With cars.
5) there is no mocha ice cream flavor at the BYU creamery.
6) you can buy caffeine free diet coke in vending machines
7) University of Utah is where my heart is
8) BYU is in provo
9) The mountain has Y on it. As in, "Y are you a nutcase?" This makes one ponder self-worth. The U on the mountain behind the University of Utah is much better. It says, "U are a nutcase" and there is no need to think about it.
10) No Milk Pail grocery
11) pollution
12) weather extremes. How will I run in the snow?

And so forth. The last three are mainly complaints about Utah in general, or how I will miss the the lovely Bay Area. And I will definitely miss it. A lot.

I am consoled in this upcoming move by contemplating that my family will be nearby. It will be so nice to be able to see them more frequently. I am also consoled because after this move, David will start getting paid at a "real" job. Woot!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

pregnant thoughts

Of all the unusual (and mostly unhealthy) food I have consumed in the last 3 months, it wasn't until I wanted to eat a baked potato that made David exclaim, "are you a different person?"

apparently so.
Yesterday I got a surprise delivery from my friend Jennie. She gave me my first baby present! It was so exciting. Presents! In July! Totally unprecedented. 

I would like to state that I have no intention of turning my blog into a mommy blog. That is just too much effort, and it is too much like scrap-booking (which I loathe). So you can all either make a gasp of horror or relief. Depending on your preference.
The people in my Spanish speaking LDS ward have been waiting impatiently for 3 years for me to be pregnant. The first year and a half in the ward, everybody asked me if I was pregnant. Even men. I wondered if it was because of the high-waisted dresses I was wearing at the time (I have worn nothing but skirts the last year and a retaliation). Then they all finally clued in and then stopped asking me if I was pregnant. Instead, they started asking me when I was going to have a baby. Or they would ask David. The joys of el barrio. Sigh..

So now I finally am going to have a baby, and I can finally fulfill the dearest wish of apparently every person in my ward. How nice for them. But I did enjoy finally being able to use the word "embarazada" in a sentence. Not that I can say much in spanish, but I DO remember that embarazada does NOT mean embarrassed. It means pregnant:)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Napa trip

So I am finally getting around to reporting on a trip DH and I went on last February. To Napa. The land of wine and grapes.

We had some friends who invited us and another couple to help them use up some "points" that were expiring on a hotel package. Napa is about an hour and a half from Palo Alto. We had three rooms, one of which had a full kitchen. We stayed there Sunday and Monday nights, ate lovely food, even visited a winery!

Napa Valley is all about wine tasting and tours. We didn't want to pay to go on a tour when we were mostly paying for the wine tasting at the end that we wouldn't be tasting! We ended up visiting a winery and doing a short self tour. The shape of Napa Valley reminded me a lot of Cache Valley in Utah (minus wine and vineyards!). There is literally one vineyard after another. There are SO SO many.

Here are some pics while at the vineyard:

I'm inside a wine barrel!

Me, Christine, and Silas

1120 gallon barrel!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

3 years of love and soap

Happy 3rd Anniversary to me! The soap saga continues. For earlier episodes, read here and here.

Our soap has survived 3 years in the Hansen bathroom. We use it many times a day. It is amazing supersoap. (I think it is because it is a low lather soap that it has lasted so long...that and it was huge to begin with).

Poor little soap. You have broken into tiny pieces. But you still live. For now. We thank you, soap. You have been good to us. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

David the Graduate + no more secret

Yesterday was David's graduation from Stanford. He looked super awesome in his special outfit.

You might think there is a degree certificate inside of that thing he is holding. But, no. Instead he has a certificate that says, Congratulations, You're Almost Done! (David won't actually defend his dissertation until early August.)

My parents and David's mother came to the ceremony. It was great! The commencement speaker put in all sorts of economics jokes which I even thought were funny. I guess I've been living with an economist for three years now:)

Another perk was that they gave us food. As a response, David said, "Economists know that hungry people don't donate as much money." Right. Economists are smart.

You can watch a recording of his "hooding" here:

As for the SECRET, it is no longer a secret. Because we are telling it. Hence, no more secret. I am having a baby and it is due December 20th. We alternate between calling it the "poor little christmas baby" and "Emperor Palpatine." :-)

So long, and thanks for all the fish.