Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Art for Art's Sake - Typophile 4 Film Fest Opening Credits

Ok, so I know that this has been out for awhile already, but I just had to post it for those who haven't seen it. I like to watch it every once in a while just because. I get a little weepy every time I watch it. Not just for the beautiful story that it tells, but for the gorgeous visual imagery. And the music really drives the story. And the attention to detail. Ok, it is just amazing. Correct me if I'm wrong (I can't remember which blog I saw this on), but I believe the husband of The Wonder Years was part of the team that worked on this?

For those of you who might not know what typophile is, it is a film festival that shows films that are related to typography (think fonts), animation (think stop-motion) and other cool edgy forms of art. There are some really cool short films that have been shown there.


Monday, September 29, 2008


More to come later.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Indulge Me...

I've had a bad couple of days and have not felt well, and, well, I think the craziness level is getting a leetle too high right now. So, indulge me.

When I was in college, I was a DJ for the college radio station - KWRS, Spokane's only Pirate radio. We used to joke that it had less wattage than a light bulb. You could hear the station on campus, several blocks away from campus and on a good day, from Mt. Spokane. It was awesome to play radio DJ for a couple of hours a week. I still have some old cassette tapes (just saying the word makes me feel old) of my shows. I loved my show, it was called The Happy Hour. But that is besides the point. I was introduced to a whole new world of music that I had never been exposed to before. People like Michelle Shocked, Ween, Barenaked Ladies, Bjork, Rusted Root, Dar Williams and Ani DiFranco. One song I heard made an impact on me, 32 Flavors by Ani DiFranco.

I had been struggling with identity issues for quite a while. You could say that the teen years had been difficult for me, and the jump from high school to college was even more so. In high school I was easily defined by what I did. Smart kid, band geek, Christian, yearbook editor, swimmer, over-achiever. Each of those things firmly defined me and shaped who I was, what I did, who I was friends with, etc. But there was conflict in some of those terms that I struggled to reconcile. I thought every aspect of myself had to fit into one neat, tidy package.

When I came to college everything that defined me was stripped away one by one. I was average now, one of many over-achievers and I found it not so easy to juggle activities and my responsibilities. I also questioned heavily the concept of being a Christian and God. I heard 32 Flavors for the first time my sophomore year of college while I was deeply unhappy with myself.

I love this song because it has quite a few different messages that I get out of it. What I think I love the most about this song is the message about self-realization/acceptance. A woman is a complex creature, and I am amazed at all the things women are capable of doing. We have layers (flavors), some so deep inside us that most people (including ourselves) don't get to see them often (if ever). We need to embrace and celebrate the flavors that make us unique and create contrast in us - those things that make us individuals. We need to accept that we are not perfect, that we are flawed. Not to let that inhibit us, but let us grow and move forward.

So, this song was covered by Alana Davis in the late 90's, it might sound familiar. As for Ani, she looks pretty scary. Someone should have told her fake fluorescent feathers is not a good hairstyle for her. You know, the kind that come attached to cheap cowboy hats. (How judgemental of me, bad, bad, bad.)

As for the present day, I don't struggle as much with the things that define me. I spend less time trying to reconcile them and more time embracing them, realizing that I am complex and flawed. And wonderful.

This song is called Present/Infant.

This song embodies what I think causes so many women to have struggle. As a mother now, I hope I can instill in my daughters such self-confidence, acceptance and strength that they will make it through the difficult years joyful and confident. That they will not let the world outside try to project the idea that you're never pretty enough, popular enough, thin enough, clever enough..... That they will be content to smile and enjoy themselves the way they are. That they'll never be caused to doubt themselves and their true divine nature. During General Conference (bi-annual general meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gave a talk called, "Concern for the One". I was supposed to teach this talk in Church on Sunday, but I just am not able to pull it together in front of a whole class of women right now. Which is probably why I'm rambling right now. I really loved this talk and really wanted to teach this lesson. Aneeewho, enough. Something Elder Wirthlin said has stuck with me this last six months and I have really tried to embrace it.

He said "Some are lost because they are different. They feel as though they don’t belong. Perhaps because they are different, they find themselves slipping away from the flock. They may look, act, think, and speak differently than those around them and that sometimes causes them to assume they don’t fit in. They conclude that they are not needed. Tied to this misconception is the erroneous belief that all members of the Church should look, talk, and be alike. The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole. This variety of creation itself is a testament of how the Lord values all His children. He does not esteem one flesh above another, but He “inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; . . . all are alike unto God."

Here is a link to the complete talk he gave.

So, like I said, thanks for indulging me and letting me get the craziness that is floating around in my head out.

The End.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Look what I found when I went out into my garden today! They are completely unmarked by the squirrels. I was harvesting all the nasty, nibbled on zucchini and found these three! I generally like them a little larger (Who doesn't?), but I wasn't about to tempt fate. This was a gift from above, so I took it. Nothing like a little zucchini to bring some sunshine into my soul today. And I already have plans for these little beauties. Chicken Pesto Pizza. Yum.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Me: How much do you love me?
P: All around the world and the tunaverse.

(Driving in car)

R: Mommy, where are all my rubberbands? (She had at least 30.)

Me: I took them back inside the house because I needed them.

R: But I was saving them so when there was a volcano I could save all of our food.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Children of the Corn

I am speechless. And angry. I saw this commercial on tv yesterday and just about flipped my lid. I'm still trying to process it. I thought I was hallucinating. The Big Fat Liars. We KNOW it isn't good for us. Don't lie.

The big jug of purple mystery juice made me laugh however. Have you ever tasted that stuff?

In our house we drink water. So far I haven't been told that it is bad for us, so I guess we'll stick with it until further notice.

Guess What I Am Wearing Right Now?

Yep, my new pyjamas. They definitely don't qualify as new now. But here's the best part. Do you know why I'm wearing them? Because I have found someone to CARPOOL with. I know, I'll give you a minute to you settle down. I am ecstatic too.

I have been bound and determined this year to find carpool, especially because I am not well. Driving to school isn't my favorite thing, but I'll do it if I have to. It also hasn't helped that I don't like driving right now. I'll do it, but then I need a two-hour nap afterwards. So I found out through a friend (of a friend of a friend) that there was a women who had a daughter going into 1st grade just like R. But she only knew the daughter's first name and that they lived fairly close to us.

Side note: We have shipped R off to another school district because we just liked the other school district better.

So back to my super-sleuthing. I was bound and determined to find this child. So I got out R's yearbook, found this girl, found out what class she was in, and watched day in, day out for her when school let out(I wasn't stalking). Unfortunately, her school picture wasn't that great, so I wasn't sure what she really looked like. Then one day it happened. Just by chance, she happened to be walking down the hall with her lunch box and HER NAME was written on the lunch box! (She looked nothing like her picture) Oh joy! I had found her. So the next day I waited around, followed her (I wasn't stalking, I was determined), and met her mom. She had a car big enough to fit not just R but P as well (I know that is next year, but a girl has to have something to look forward to). The rest is history.

The blessings continue. I have a friend at P's preschool who is willing to bring P home for me while I am convalescing.

Grand total: So now instead of ten trips to R's school each week, I only have to make five. P's school? Three less trips. I went from thirteen trips a week to five trips a week. But who's counting?

More jammie time for me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Illness, or Check Out the Souvenir I Brought Home From Mexico!

Please don't think that this is a whiny "I want attention and sympathy post." This is cathartic for me and is helping me to get through what I am dealing with currently.

In July our family went on our first "real" vacation. Ie, somewhere we had to fly to. We choose to go to Cancun & Cozumel. I was excited, but was nervous for a variety of different reasons:

I hadn't flown in 8 years.

The girls had never flown before.

It was a long flight (8-12 hours). Would the kids melt down?

It was a foreign country, with kids.

I don't speak Spanish. Je parle francais.

Um, tourista? (the fashionable new term for Montezuma's)

Someone would kidnap my children. (Seriously)

All this from the girl who lived out of a backpack in France for 3 1/2 months. Mainly it was about the kids, though. As many of you know if the kids aren't happy, well, you know....

I prepared, got every medication possible, got a couple of guide books, a mini-dictionary and read every warning about travelling in Mexico. The biggest thing I prepared for was "tourista". I knew it was a possible vacation-breaker, especially if the kids got it. I had the ways to avoid getting it ingrained in my head:

No fresh fruits or veggies. That meant no ceviche!

Bottled drinks only.

No tap water, don't even brush your teeth with tap water.

Eat only cooked food. Again, no ceviche!

The one exception was that you could drink tap water if it had been boiled for something like 15 minutes.

Enter Chichen Itza.

We took a tour to Chichen Itza (a Mayan pyramid complex). We had a fabulous time, a great tour guide (Senor Tortuga) and would recommend for others to go see it. I am a history geek, so this hit the spot for me. Human sacrifice, ancient history, plus it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Seriously, how cool is that? Oh, and we saw a rattlesnake.

Side note: the kids were not really interested in the tour (big surprise!) so they pretty much layed on the ground in the shade. Our tour guide talked & talked & talked for two hours. He talked about human sacrifice at one point and used himself as the example. At the end of the tour, R asks me if he was really going to climb to the top of the temple and sacrifice himself. Glad to know she retained something. I think she was a little disappointed when I said he would not be sacrificing himself.

So after we were done, we got to go to this amazing restaurant for some regional Mayan food. Yum. And weird. Mainly yum. So in my head I am going through my mantra, "no fruit, no veggies..." you get the point. Well, at one point I had some soup, which had definitely not been boiled for 15 minutes. In my head at this moment, all I'm thinking is "yum, more food." No warning lights are going off. It was to be our downfall. Thankfully the kids wouldn't touch the stuff.

My "Last Supper"

In the wee hours of the morning it hit me. Oh joy. So at one point I was sitting down, and I pass out. And land on my head. Thankfully I landed in a pile of clothes and wasn't hurt. Just unconscious for who knows how long. I landed with my head kinked and hiney in the air. How undignified.

Thanks to my super-mom genes I was only sick for about 12 hours.

So for the rest of our trip I was ok. I had mild motion-sickness which I attributed to being in/on the water a lot, the airplane ride, the heat and being super busy. So we came home and I figured it would take a little while to recover, but I kept getting progressively worse. It started out as major fatigue, occasional dizziness and occasional ringing in my ears. Over the weeks it has gotten worse. Constant dizziness and tinnitus (the fancy word for ringing in your ears) and I have seen 4 doctors and all the fun stuff that comes with seeing them. Results: uh? "It's not a tumor." (Say it with an accent, it helps). They still don't know what is wrong with me.

I have only recently received some relief in the form of medication. It helps with the dizziness quite a bit, but not the ringing in my ears. Which is great, but it also makes me a super tired sleeping blob and I still have a hard time sleeping at night. Oh, and I can only use it for a couple of weeks. Go figure.

Which is why I decided to finally start this blog. I needed an outlet. And to find humor and lessons from this all. And something to occupy me at midnight when I want to sleep but I can't because I took a four hour drug-induced nap (true story). Insomnia rocks.

Side note: I went and bought myself the most comfortable pajamas I have EVER owned. So I could at least be comfortable in my misery. I have worn them everyday for the last week and a half. They are that good.

The End.

Me in my new pajamas and a can of brown paint in the background.

Don't you want to know what it is for?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thai Shrimp & Asparagus

I made this for dinner the other night. It was so yummy & easy to make I just had to share it. My grandmother routinely shares her Good Housekeeping & Ladies Home Journal magazines with me. Thanks Grandma! (She's internet-savy.) And normally I ignore the recipes, they never look good or look too weird. But this one spoke to me. Shrimp. Asparagus. Coconut Milk. Brown Rice. Yum. How could it go wrong?

1 lb shelled and deveined shrimp
4 teaspoons green curry paste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb asparagus, cut in 2-in pieces
2 limes
1 (13.5-14 ounce) can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons reduced sodium fish sauce
2 (8 7/8 ounce) packages precooked whole-grain brown rice

1.In medium bowl, toss shrimp with curry paste to coat. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes or just until pink, stirring. Transfer to large bowl.
2. To same skillet, add asparagus and 3 tablespoons water; cook 4 minutes or until asparagus is tender-crisp and water evaporates, stirring often. From 1 lime, grate 1 teaspoon peel; cut remaining lime into 4 wedges.
3. Add asparagus to shrimp in bowl. To skillet, add coconut milk and lime peel; heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
4. Return shrimp mixture to skillet. Stir in fish sauce; heat through. Heat rice in microwave as label directs; serve with shrimp and lime wedges.

Ok, so here is where I deviated from the directions.

I used Costco's frozen asparagus and it tasted fine. I think I will try fresh asparagus to see how it differs.

I used regular fish sauce and it was fine. I just reduced the amount to somewhere between 1 and 1 1/2 tablespoons.

I added about 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

I only used 1 lime. Who cares about presentation? Not me, I'm too cheap.

We added fresh cilantro as garnish. Yum.

It is very important to use light coconut milk! I messed up another recipe before by using regular coconut milk. Yuk. I use Trader Joe's light coconut milk because I know I can count on the consistency of the coconut milk.

I also used Trader Joe's Frozen Brown Rice. I keep a box in the freezer for when I need to make a quick meal.


Thursday, September 18, 2008


We went to Chelan last weekend to make up for our mostly pitiful summer. We found this great little cabin on the lake. We left early Friday, (yes, R didn't go to school.) I didn't really care about keeping R out of school, since there was no way she was going to get the perfect attendance award when she graduated from high school anyway. Really though, with how crappy I have been feeling the last couple of months, I just didn't care. We (I) needed a vacation.

Once we got settled into our place we rented a boat and headed out onto the water for some fun. We took a wake board along with us, but no one seemed to be able to figure it out.

So, we pulled out the inter tube for a fun game of "See-How-High-You-Can-Make-One-Another-Fly." I did not participate. We even got R on the tube for about 30 seconds. Way to go girl!

P even got in on a little of the action. She was so cute driving the boat.

So all the fun and games took it's toll on me and I took a little nap in the front of the boat while my family tried hard to inflict bodily harm on one another without damaging relationships.
That night we played a fun game of "See-Who-Can-Kill-The-Most-Fruit-Flies-Without-Breaking-The-Windows." We have the best games. We were invaded by several hundred fruit flies. Nasty. Needless to say we got some good anger management therapy out of ending their lives.
On Saturday we rented a jet ski. Let me interject before you think we are loaded. Chelan in the off-season is pretty affordable.

So we hung out on the beach all day and everyone took turns going out on the jet ski. The girls had the best time on the jet ski with their Aunt C, they kept begging her for more. I wasn't feeling too great so I crashed in a very comfy lawn chair for a large majority of the day. Like the view?

We had dinner at what used to be a Mexican restaurant but is now a "Latin Free-style Fusion" restaurant. Whatever. It was delicious.

On Sunday, we headed back and stopped at Lake Wentachee for a little swim. Lake Chelan is a great lake, but not very swimmer friendly unless you are in the designated swim areas. Lake Wenatchee is the exact opposite. R, P & I swam.

What a great way to end the summer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And Then There Were Four. Or, The Circle of Life. And Cannibalism.

R: Mommy, why does our goldfish have a beard now?
Me: That's not a beard, that's a tail.
R: Whose tail?
Me: I'm not sure....
At this point she realized one of the other goldfish was missing. I left it for what it was. She has seen enough of The Lion King & Animal Planet to know that animals eat other animals. She also understands that we eat animals. I was not about to get into a discussion about cannibalism at 7am.
I think that musical number in The Lion King never made it off the storyboard. Maybe it's a bonus feature on the special edition 2-disc DVD set.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary....

Mary Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and rusted nails
And pretty maids all in a row.

Check out my bumper crop of rusted nails! I'm not sure whether
I should can them or make a pie. I'm open to suggestions.

I do really like to garden, but sometimes I am so perplexed by the randomness of it all. Such as my inability to grow zucchini, but to have such gorgeous dahlias.

But seriously, I have no idea how these nails got into my garden in the first place! This is not the first year I have had a vegetable garden, and I have spent hour after hour on my knees weeding, so how come I am finding them now?? Do they drop from the sky? Are they a gift from the squirrels? SERIOUSLY. My grandfather was the person that built my vegetable garden and I know he wasn't THAT crazy. He was an amazing gardener and had "The Knack". That, and the time.

I have neither. But I try.

Seriously funny!

I'm trying to figure how to add video clips, so bear with me. I loved this clip, which I am sure everyone has already seen, but I still thought I'd share it. I thought that Tina Fey pegged Palin and, well, Amy Poehler is awesome. If anyone has any advice or instructions on how to embed, make links etc, it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sweet Feet

Bear with me as I experiment some more on how to add things to my blog. I am a sucker for little toes. I think they are the cutest. I want to squeeze them, tickle them, and hold them. I'll stop myself at nibbling them. Ewww. These are P.P.'s feet at some random beach in Sequim.

Where is my zucchini? Or, why I hate squirrels.

I want to inflict some serious harm on these little buggers. We have an ongoing battle at our house with them. The last few years in October, I put our carved pumpkins out a few days before Halloween and they would gnaw the faces off within hours. Why? I don't know. Last year I put our pumpkins out the day before Halloween and put clear fingernail polish over most of the pumpkin. Results? Only one little nibble.
Last summer, I planted in my garden for the first time zucchini, pumpkins, corn and edible sunflowers. As we watched our plants grow, I noticed on each of the zucchini plants and the pumpkins there would be a small spot that had been nibbled. That's it. They didn't even have the decency to take the whole plant. I wouldn't have even dreamed of eating them after a squirrel had nibbled on it. All I could think of was rabies (I know I'm paranoid). It made me so mad to see our hard work wasted. As the time came close to harvest our corn (which looked beautiful), I had the joy of watching the squirrels climb the stalks and have themselves a feast! I would yell at them from the deck of our house, chase them and throw various items in their general direction (I promise no squirrels were harmed!) Then the sunflowers...same thing. Oh, the pain I suffered.
Fast forward to this summer. No corn, no pumpkins (the plants died), only unedible sunflowers, but I couldn't resist trying to grow zucchini again. The thoughts of stir-fried zucchini, zucchini bread, raw zucchini, grilled zucchini - it called to me. I had to have it. Well the little buggers tried a new line of attack to throw me off. They dug up ALL of my green bean plants. WHY? I have not a clue. They just dug them up and left them where they were. Grrr.
So, back to the zucchini. Same approach as last year, a little nibble here, a little nibble there. I am "supposed" to be overflowing with zucchini right now. I am "supposed" to have more zucchini that I know what to do with. I am "supposed" to be trying to pawn it off on unsuspecting strangers.

Harvested zucchini count for the summer - 0.

It's too much for me to handle.

It's war.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Clean Floor Theory

Why is it that whenever I feel inspired to clean my kitchen floor (which isn't often), within several hours, someone - no names here (P) undoes my hard work. She is the reason I gave up cleaning the stupid floor in the first place. I couldn't handle the stress of it. She invariably makes a huge mess unlike any of her regular messes within hours. Case in point- today I gave her a treat after lunch. One of those yummy lik-o-stiks I used to love when I was a kid. Remember that pure sugar stick with all that yummy sour powder? Heaven. Well today I was thinking about ways to avoid a mess and put the powder in a cup. No point having her deal with that awkward package right? This way she can't make a mess right? Wrong. For some reason which I still don't understand she decided to pour the powder onto the table and swirl the stick around in the powder. Which then proceeded to fall on the floor. And was very sticky. And highly invisible. I found out later when I came into the kitchen in bare feet no less. Gross. So guess what I got to do again? Yep, clean that stupid floor again.

32 Flavors...and then some

I did it. After much harassment from people that I was blog stalking for too long. Now let's see how long it takes me to get this up and going - and see if I can keep it up. My average in between journal entries is approximately 3 years. I kid you not. I will write 2-3 times over a period of a month or so and then I give up. I have entries from '99, '02, '05 and '08. Sad I know. My journal is glaring at me right now from under a pile of junk next to my computer even as I write this. So, I hope you enjoy reading about the inner workings of my mind and the craziness of my life as I attempt to record...something.