August 31, 2010

I'm wearing my new jacket today

Love it. And it was like $3 at the thrift store (half-off day).

(Ignore the red nose and crappy hair...I'm sick, a'ight?)

Home Life. Or, How Pooper Saved the Universe.

As an aside, I don't condone domestic violence. These are trained, professional hellions. So, uh, don't try this at home.

(If you're really curious about what was actually happening during the above photos, Keene was making the children (and cat) dance in the air.)

August 30, 2010

Grocery store: good place to hit on a chick?

Keene and I got into a debate about an article I'm writing.

He says a grocery store is a great place to hit on a woman (albeit, subtly and tactfully). He says it's because people aren't just there to hook up, you meet normal people, and you can talk to them without it turning into something more (such as just asking if they know how to pick out bell peppers).

On the other hand, I am very much on the defensive. I don't like to be approached at the store, whatsoever. I am there, running errands, not just wanting to hang out and chat with someone. Plus, I don't want someone intruding on what is kind of a personal thing. Furthermore, I'm just sick of guys hitting on me at the grocery store.

So, where do you stand, assuming you were single? Grocery store pickups: yay or nay?

Making Dresses, Rocking Out, and Winking Like a Pirate

Have you ever seen the blog, New Dress a Day? Basically, this cute chick buys a hideous item from a thrift store, models it, disassembles it, rebuilds it with her sewing machine, and it winds up looking like a hip, runway piece. Amazing.

Anyhow, Kaci and I discussed the blog at length (as silly girls are wont to do) and decided to try out the concept for ourselves. On Saturday, Kaci provided the chic apartment and wide assortment of wine. Kortney provided the camera and the delicious peaches-and-goat-cheese appetizer. And I provided Kortney (via my car) and the occasional comedy relief. What, it totally counts!

Prior to the dress-making party, Kort and I swung by the thrift store to find our starter dresses. Instead, we got distracted by the half-off sale and the loads of cute clothes waiting to be purchased. Instead of finding a dress, I found a cute skirt which didn't quite fit right. Damn you, bubble butt!

While I might have resigned to never wearing the $2.00 skirt, Kaci came up with the idea of turning it into a strapless top. Kort and Kaci tinkered with ribbons and safety pins, while I drank more wine. Yeah, I'm that friend.

After sewing the adjustable ribbon on and cinching the hem into a "sweetheart" neckline (I think that's what they called it), my new top was adorably hip:

Meanwhile, Kaci's hot friend, George, had found an awesomely-80s dress in a purple and turquoise paisley pattern. First thing, she cut it in half:

Then, in a moment of pure fashion genius which I cannot comprehend, she sewed the lower half onto a turquoise tube top, then topped it off with a wide belt. Zang!

At some point during the crafty affair, I took the yoke (again, I think that's what they called it) from the front of George's dress, affixed it to my plastic bead necklace, and made...

A pseudo-pearl thong! See, you guys aren't the only ones with mad-crafting skillz!

Okay, so I may have had a little too much to drink at this point.

Fast-forward another few hours of silliness, it was time to head to Bushwhacker's to see Keene's band perform.

The band, A Reliable Source, played a fantastic set, as always.

(I was going to mention something about watching three sexy, talented guys rocking out right here, but then decided it would probably be awkward to call my boyfriend's buddies sexy, so let's just stick with talented...)

As an aside, check out Keene's awesome fantastic (dang, I need to increase my vocabulary) radical vintage shirt.

A quick story about the red hat I'm wearing. That morning, while picking out my outfit for the day, I decided I wanted to emphasize the red trim on my polka dotted tank top. "Do I have a red hat? No? Why the hell not?" So, while eating breakfast, I quickly crocheted a coordinating hat for my outfit.

Crocheting: a handy craft for any hat-wearer to learn.

A group shot, featuring Hunter, Kaci, George, George's new dress, Keene's sister Rachel, and me giving the famous pirate wink. (This is when you squinch up your face like a pirate, close one eye, and say "Arr!")

Here's a snotty-nosed version for clarification:

Trust me, it's sexy as all get-out.

August 27, 2010

Choosing an Engagement Ring to Fit Her Style

Adorable Relationship Picture...double whammy.


(Reposted from Ask Dan and Jennifer)

Good news, guys: the hard part is over. Finding the perfect engagement ring is so much easier than finding the perfect woman. (Presumably, you have already found this perfect woman, right? Because I might suggested holding off on purchasing the former until you have secured the latter.) But you’re not in the clear just yet. This is kind of like a test…or a midterm, to be more accurate. How well do you really know your girlfriend and, subsequently, her tastes?

If she is…

Traditional: opt for the classic engagement ring style: the solitaire setting with a round- or princess-cut diamond. The solitaire has been a consistently popular choice for decades because of its simplicity (but with the right diamond, it can be stunning). More recently, three-stone settings (one center stone, with two smaller side stones) have become more common, without becoming a fad.

Trendy: does she have to own the latest gadget? Does she read fashion blogs obsessively? Then you will want to choose a modern ring, and these days, glitter is in. The more sparkly (almost outlandishly so), the better. Look for a ring with a sparkly center stone, yet is also surrounded by more diamonds: on the setting, on the band. The cocktail-style ring is a good example of this: it is just shy of being gaudy, which is fashionable at the moment (go figure). Another current trend is the “tension mount” setting. This ring has the diamond attached, not by a traditional prong setting, but because it is basically squeezed between the two ends of the ring.

Environment-friendly: choose a conflict-free diamond. This is a diamond which is certified as having been created without a history of bloodshed, theft, or any crimes that are typical of the treacherous diamond trade. It also means that the profit is not funding a military organization or the weaponry trade.

Unique: does she shirk the idea of “fitting in” or being the same as anyone else? If so, a good option would be to stay away from diamonds altogether. Look into other stones, such as a pearl, emerald, onyx, or even turquoise. However, if she likes diamonds, look into colored variations, such as pink, blue, or even black.

Rugged: nothing is worse to an adventurer than having to worrying about losing the stone while you are hiking or climbing trees. For the adventurous woman who doesn’t want to accidentally break her ring, try the bezel, baguette, or etoile settings. This means the diamond is set into the metal, flush with the edge, which gives it a smooth surface. This also ensures a hassle-free ring to fit her lifestyle.

Frugal: it’s true, some women cringe at the idea of their boyfriends spending so much money on a ring. (Lucky you!) To ease her horror (and that of your bank account), choose white gold instead of platinum metal. It looks the same, but is much cheaper. Also, one up-and-coming idea for saving money is by buying a lab-created diamond, instead of a natural one. It, too, looks the same (and many times, even better!), but is drastically less expensive.

August 26, 2010

I found this shirt at the thrift store last night.


This is the End, My Mormon Friend. The End.

Dear Sister Petersen,

This letter is to notify you that, in accordance with your request, your name has been removed from the membership records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Should you desire to become a member of the Church in the future, the local bishop or branch president in your area will be happy to help you.

Gregory W. Dodge
Manager, Member and Statistical Records

What? That's it? What about this long, drawn-out process I read so much about? What about the home visit? The demand for you to present your case to the church court?

Everything I had read illustrated very specific steps in which the church would make sure you truly wanted to quit. Yet with me, they jumped straight to the conclusion. Part of me wonders if someone contacted them, informing them of my devious plot to blog about the process. Maybe they just knew I was a lost cause, that they wouldn't get me back. Maybe they ran out of banana bread. Or maybe, with the economy, they can't afford the man-hours needed in saving a wayward soul.

Regardless of how the outcome transpired (and my disappointment in not getting a bishop to pose with me for a picture), the end result is that I am no longer a member. I am now officially a heathen in the eyes of God. But really, if there is a God, this should come as no surprise to him/her.

And we all know heathens have more fun.

Note from the Future: I've had several people ask if I could post that picture for them to thoroughly analyze the awesomeness that is Utah circa the early '90s. So, here you go.

August 25, 2010

Attention: Tarantulas are Real.

I always assumed tarantulas were fake. I have seen them at the zoo and at pet stores. I even saw one at the Butterfly Pavilion in Denver, bravely being held by squealing kids. However, subconsciously, I assumed they didn't exist beyond these environments, unable to survive outside of protective glass enclosures.

So that is why I was shocked when Keene found one walking around the campground's restrooms in California. He ran back to the car where we were waiting, knocked on the windows, then beckoned us to follow him. We chased after him, turned a corner, and saw this:

You want to know why its butt is raised up in the air like that? Because Keene poked it with his phone. He poked it. The monster spider.

Clearly, common sense is not a prerequisite for intelligence.

You can tell how far back I stood, lest it be one of those tarantulas that can jump to catch its prey (or a bystander's nose, I'm just sayin').

Don't worry, though. Tarantulas cannot climb walls. They are too bulky. Besides, the possibility of such a mammoth spider being able to climb walls, and therefore, able to crawl through an open window or to drop down one's chimney is far too scary to be real--

Oh wait, never mind. They can.

Tell me: what kind of world do we live in where these little demons are just freely strolling about? I feel like life will never be the same.

A Passing Tour of the Hoover Dam

Here are some things you should know about the Hoover Dam:

1. For many people, the Dam alone is not worth a road trip. "Wha?!" I'm sure you're screaming at your monitor. It is a historical site of great importance, to be sure. And hey, still in working condition! It's impressive to see. Yet, a quick drive-by--maybe a behind-the-scenes tour--is probably enough for the average tourist. Of course, I am excluding Keene from the "average" group, since he is fascinated by things like power lines and generators and all sorts of other functional components which make Hoover Dam like Disneyland for him.

2. It's in the middle of the desert. I'm sure everybody knows this. Anyone planning to visit should know this. The day we visited, it was 107 degrees. You could probably slow-cook a chicken at 107 degrees. Especially if you also made the chicken walk up hundreds of stairs first, which leads me to...

3. In order to get a good look at the dam and spillway, you have to park far away and walkwalkwalkwalkwalk and go down many stairs, and most importantly, go back up many stairs. In 107 degree heat. And if, like us, you don't think ahead and don't have water, this is a miserable feat.

So, because of this, I'm only going to present pictures from a drive-by of the Dam. If you're disappointed, I demand that you re-read the three bullet points again.

You didn't think the area around Hoover Dam was pristine, like it had been embedded in a mountain while maintaining the natural beauty of the surrounding area, did you? Power lines, everywhere.

Daredevil power lines, even.

When finished, this enormous bridge will give tourists an unimpeded view of the dam--and, hopefully, will not cause distracted drivers to veer off this impossibly high ledge.

This is where we got out to get a better look at the spillway and the pretty reservoir.

Now, just because I said the Hoover Dam alone wasn't enough to warrant a road trip, I do wish we could have stayed longer, taken that tour. As it was, we were tired, hungry, thirsty, hot, and ready to be home.

And thus concludes our California trip.

August 24, 2010

I'm a mean stepmom.

Last night, I was laying in the hallway, kicking my legs out to block anyone from passing. If a kid tried to get past, I would tackle them with my feet. That's just the kind of shit we do at home at any given time.

Anyhow, I kept saying, "Maia, you need to get ready for bed. Go brush your teeth. Maia, you're going to be in trouble if you don't listen to me. I'm serious. Go to the bathroom and brush your teeth now!" then I would foot-tackle her when she tried to pass.

I thought it was hilarious.

Car Troubles in Death Valley

Okay, where did I leave off? Disneyland? Right, happiest place on Earth. Okay, so, the next morning, we packed up quickly and drove east. After a few hours, we hit Baker, California--home of the world's tallest thermometer!

(Did you pee your pants just then, too?)

I hate to disappoint you, but this thermometer isn't filled with mercury. It's digital, like the kind you stick in a baby's armpit or in Pooper's pooper. Not as impressive to behold as I would have thought. Nevertheless, I have decided to collect photos of the claims-to-fame of small towns. Such as Christmas Town in WaKeeney, Kansas. (I actually have a picture of said Christmas Town, but haven't made a post for it yet.)

So, our plan was to drive north, look at Death Valley, say, "Welp, that's Death Valley," then we would turn around, and head back to Baker. It didn't quite turn out that way.

From Baker, we drove north on Highway 127 for maybe a half-hour. Then, Keene realized there was another highway farther north which would lead us directly to Las Vegas. Well, hell, we would take that road and cut out some drive-time!

So we drove through Death Valley:

In these pictures, you can see how hard the wind was blowing:

No, I didn't upload the same picture three times. This is just what the desert looks like: the same as the last time you checked.

It was around this time that I glanced down at my temperature gauge (you know, the little oil can icon sitting between the big H and C). It was rapidly ticking upward. I was familiar with this worrisome gauge.

Once the summer months had hit, I realized that my car didn't like providing air conditioning while sitting in traffic. However, that had never been a problem while driving on a highway. At 75+ mph, the marker was still lifting.

"Houston, we have a problem," is what I didn't say, but what would have been so cool if I had. Instead, I said, "Um, uh, this isn't good. Keene? Keene? Why is it doing this? Uh, what should we do? Huh? Huh?!"

For a moment, I thought maybe we should pull over, stretch our legs, and let the car rest. Then I saw this:

Um, screw that idea.

Plan B: turn off the air conditioner, drive faster, and eat all of my fingernails while staring at the gauge.

After maybe fifteen minutes of tension, the gauge began dropping. Apparently, the car had been climbing altitude, yet we didn't notice until we were descending. Feeling relieved, the AC was turned back on with a vengence.

Just outside of Shoshone--a small town that likes to exploit desperate travelers of Death Valley by charging over $4.00 per gallon of gas--we began to see signs of civilization again:

Pfft...Shoshone. Luckily, we weren't desperate. Well, for gas, anyways.

From there, we passed into Nevada, through a town called Pahrump. The name reminds me of that song from Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Pahrump-a...chick, chick-a-chick-ah!

Anyhow. Last stop: Hoover Dam. Tomorrow. Because I'm busy. But mostly because I forgot to upload those pictures.

I'm starting to think I'm a high-functioning ignoramus.