Thursday, January 31, 2008

flu x 2

this is the second time this month i have come down with some sort of influenza-like sickness. Eli is sick too, but so far Dan & Paul have been spared. i am very, very tired of being sick. anybody want to come over and clean my house for me?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Quit!

My job, that is. I just could not make it work, and Eli hated hated hated it. So I'm off the hook, and I learned what a funny guy Brother D (my ex-boss) actually is. I liked working for him, but the job made nothing but trouble for me. Well, it also made me $900, which should cover the costs of converting the Suburban to run on vegetable oil.

Speaking of the 'burban, it is now legally registered in CA. Two horrible hours at the DMV with Eli. I need Valium. Or maybe Eli needs it. Now we just have to call around to the local converters and decide who we're going with. I am disheartened that whoever runs Greendiesel doesn't seem to return phone calls or emails, but maybe he's out of town or something. He's not the only game in SoCal, so I'll try one more time and then move on to somebody else.

Yesterday we went on a hike of the San Juan Loop. We stopped at the mid-point for snacks and Eli insisted on walking (instead of riding in the child carrier). He did much, much more than I expected him to and kept a surprisingly good pace. He was very proud of himself and kept saying "I'm hiking outside of the backpack!" Paul was excellent as well, with absolutely no whining and a very solid pace. He loooves to drink water from a hydration bladder with a tube, and polished off at least a liter on this hike. Eli loves it too - if you ever have trouble getting your kids to drink enough, let them drink out of a bladder tube. They'll guzzle it. The weather was PERFECT - clouded over, cool and mildly windy. We didn't see a single mountain biker and very few other hikers. Afterward, we went over to the Ortega Oaks Candy Store, only to hear the sad news that the store was closing and this was its last weekend. The employees said the store would re-open, but under new management and they had no idea when, or what direction the store would be taking. We will miss the hand-made goodies, baked goods and the BEST chicken salad I have ever tasted.

Oh, and remember Brother X, who used to teach the "manual optional" church classes? I invited him and his wife to dinner this week. I used to have a project going where I would invite somebody we didn't know as well as we wanted to over to dinner, but I let it die. I've been wanting to re-start it, and the X's are excellent candidates.

Monday, January 21, 2008

23 hours of AZ

if ever i needed additional proof that i am not 18 anymore, last weekend was it. we flew to Phoenix Friday night, landed at roughly 7 pm, socialized until 2 pm Saturday (we slept roughly 6.5 hours sometime as well), got in the "new" 1989 GMC Diesel 4x4 Suburban, drove back to CA, and were home in south OC by 9 pm or so. astonishingly, we did not fall asleep immediately upon arrival home.

it was a great weekend and was marred only by the fact that it wasn't long enough and that the phone # i have for Nicole is no longer working. So i got to see almost everybody i wanted to see, save Nikki. We stayed with my cousin Don, his wife Lee, and their three awesome kids. They are such a cool bunch and i hate that we don't live closer or keep in better touch. Don actually checked out the Suburban for us, since it was for sale in Mesa. then he bought it for us as our agent (which involved me waiting outside the bank last Saturday morning so that i could deposit $1500 cash into his account ASAP) and held it at his house until we could come pick it up. THEN he picked us up at the airport, bought us Vietnamese dinner, and hung out with us until after midnight. You don't get much better friendship than that.

saturday morning we got up at 7 to go meet Stephanie & Carl for breakfast in Phoenix. we were groggy, but it was beyond great to see them both again, and at the same time! i feel a level of comfort in their company that i rarely feel anywhere else. the conversation was a mix of re-hashing memories and updating each other on current events. Stephanie's husband John (who we also went to high school with) came, as did their daughter Annie. Lora (Carl's wife) and their six kids did not come, and I can hardly blame them for not doing so, as it would have been a long drive for them, and a very early hour. Carl has a Saturday job and we met him at the IHOP next door to it. Afterwards we went back to Don & Lee's house and hung out with them until 2:00 or so. the time flew by.

I typed a little bit about Stephanie before, and now i will type a bit about Carl. We met in summer school, in art class. i was a spectacularly lousy student in high school, so of course i had to make up multiple credits. my "very special friend" James had managed to get into summer school with me as well, and we spent most of the time mooning over each other and making art to give to each other. I dismissed Carl as a crazy long-haired hessian who owned too many Anthrax t-shirts. But then one Sunday we spotted him in the foyer at the Chino Stake Center! Somehow we struck up a conversation and before i knew it i had one of my best high school friends. Carl and i ditched school together (yeah we were model LDS youth) and engaged in constructive behaviour like setting things on fire in his bedroom. we were also in drama together and laughed ourselves sick an awful lot. i wish i had kept a better diary, we had so much fun together. Carl was instrumental in getting me romantically involved with Daniel as well - i sought out his advice and he very seriously told me he thought Dan was a great guy and i couldn't go wrong in dating him. So thanks Carl! i owe you more than you know.

as for the Suburban, i really feel that for $145o we got a bargain, even with the cost of the plane tickets and the gas to get it back to CA. there is some body rust and it could use a new paint job, but it runs great, the interior is in surprisingly good condition and everything seems to work as it should. the one funny discover we've made is that it was originally a tailgate model, but somebody swapped out the tailgate for barn doors. So right now we can't lock the rear doors (different lock), but hopefully that can be fixed. next step is to get it registered in CA and get the conversion done so it can run on vegetable oil. we'll probably go with a Lovecraft-style conversion since we live in CA and don't really need to worry about sub-freezing temperatures.

yee haw! domestically-grown fuel, here we come!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tag, I'm It?

hmmm, it seems Stephanie has tagged me. For those of you who may read this and do not know who Stephanie is, she was/is one of my greatest friends of adolescence. We are not in regular communication, except through our blogs, but we have a great deal of love for each other. She was there for me during my excruciatingly painful first love and for that she will always hold a place of great esteem in my heart. I don't know if this "tagging" business is a blog thing, or an email thing that has gone blog, or some sort of Relief Society tool gone wrong, but what the heck - Stephanie is one of the roughly five people that read this, so i will accept. Seven random things you may or may not know about me.

1. I have a homemade tattoo. I used to self-mutilate in high school & young adulthood, and one time i thought "What would happen if I rubbed some india ink in it?" What happened is that I have a vaguely blue scar that I have to explain every time a doctor sees me half-naked. Since our insurance changes just about every year, that's been a lot of doctors.

2. I've always wanted to go to Iran. I read Richard Halliburton's Second Book of Marvels: the Orient as a little girl and it pretty much ruined me. If I had been born male I would almost certainly have lived a very different life, but I had too much fear drilled into me about being a single female traveling around, and too much responsibility for others drilled into me as well. But I've always wanted to go to the Mysterious East and travel the deserts and the mountains. Obviously political and economical changes have occurred since Mr. Halliburton ventured into the Orient, and so even though the place still calls me i am afraid to go.

3. I'm kind of afraid of snow. Not all snow; I'm afraid of deep snow and snowstorms in the high mountains. That kind of stuff kills people! Being raised exclusively in the dry southwest didn't help much.

4. My most selfish and vain desires are: to have some sort of skin-smoothing chemical treatment done on my acne scarring, to get some unwanted hair lasered off, or to get really good hair extensions. My hair is dense and fine, and I can't do a dang thing with it. But those are all vain wastes of money.

5. I have Pica. My favorite smell is the smell of wet concrete or dirt, just as it's beginning to rain and sometimes the smell lasts even after the rain has stopped. I love it and my body tells me "Eat that!" But I can't exactly get down and lick the ground. I know I'm almost certainly iron deficient (apparently this is the #1 cause of Pica) and have been trying to remember to take my daily vitamins. But still the desire to eat clay or cement or whatever continues and occasionally drives me to distraction. Yup, I know it's weird.

6. I've had hypothermia. I got it while attempting to cross through Donohue Pass on our ill-fated attempt at hiking the John Muir Trail, back in 2003. We got caught in a hail/sleet storm, i got soaked to the skin, and was shivering uncontrollably within 10 minutes. Dan totally saved my life - got me stripped, got warm food into me, and kept me warm all night as i shivered.

7. I'm a heretic. A loyal heretic, but heretic nonetheless. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say I'll almost certainly never be called to teach Gospel Doctrine at church. We have this one guy in our ward (we'll call him Brother X) who used to be one of the GD teachers. He would never stick to the the manual, and he gave these lessons that were so totally outside the range of what you typically get in our church - esoteric, philosophical, cross-referenced with obscure sources. I LOVED it. But people would grumble about it, and one deliciously hard-nosed old lady said "He's on the path to Hell and he's bringing us along with him." He isn't assigned to the GD class anymore, but still occasionally teaches in priesthood, and Dan comes home to tell me all the things people muttered about him during the lesson. He knows it makes me laugh and laugh. I've never really talked with Brother X, so I don't think he knows I'm sympathetic. We may have completely different opinions & takes, not be the same kinds of heretics at all, but I'm always sympathetic toward my fellows. I think God is big enough to handle differences of opinion - it all gets sorted out in the end.

Gads, that was hard. I'm not going to tag anybody, because I don't like to perpetuate internet phenomenons, and because I'm not sure that many people actually read this, anyway. I'll just close by saying we have found the diesel suburban we've been looking for. it's in Mesa AZ and my wonderful cousin Don is buying it for us. We'll fly out to Phoenix next Friday night (are you reading this, Steph?) and pick it up.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

new year randomness

i didn't realize that my settings prevented non-Blogger-registered people from posting comments. I have fixed this, so now anybody can post me a note. You can even insult me anonymously.

i have finally gone back to the gym. i haven't been since before the Boy Scout backpacking trip last August. it's not a New Years thing, just a thing i've been putting off for way too long. I look fine with clothes on, but i know i have declined in fitness, even with all the physical work of moving and fixing and cleaning. And since Dan has become Scoutmaster, our family recreation time has suffered and we haven't been hiking much at all. This must change!

Our cable/internet/phone was going out every night for almost the entire month of December. The WORST part of this is that I have not been able to watch any Project Runway, which I am mildly obsessed with.

The New Year's Eve party was a bit of a failure. Two couples showed up, and for them I am very, very grateful. Paul was very disappointed that none of his friends came (I had invited almost all of their parents). I don't know if the problem was that the party was kind of last-minute, everybody already had plans, that my ward is full of lame people, nobody really wants a kid-friendly party, or that everybody secretly hates me. Among those i have polled, the consensus is that my ward is mostly lame. They may very well hate me too, but they're still lame. ;)

I have been offered a job. A gentleman in my ward is a contractor and likes to have an at-home mom act as his scheduler. The latest gal has left the job and he thought I might be a good candidate. I'm not sure about it, but i told him I'd accept on a trial basis. i would be provided with a company cell phone and would have to take calls, schedule appointments for estimates, and email him his appointments once a day, all in exchange for a flat weekly pay rate. Not too bad. The pay may or may not be good, depending on how many hours of work it really shakes out to be. I feel as though the job should be offered to somebody who needs the money more than I do - even though i'm cheap, we aren't poor and don't need the extra money. I already mentioned it to one friend but she said she probably couldn't make it work. I'm not sure if I'm being offered charity. If I am, that's kind of funny.

Just bought three tickets to see Siouxsie Sioux play at the House of Blues in Anaheim (one for me, one for Dan, and one for Stephen). Well, I'm not going for Siouxsie so much as I'm going for my Melora (of Rasputina, my favorite band). Rasputina is the opener for Ms. S on this tour, so i view this as a chance to see my girl Melora (haven't been able to see her for a few years now) with a bonus after-show of Siouxsie. Hmmm, guess I should get S.S.'s new album. sadly, I am not enraptured with Ras' newest album, but that's not enough to diminish my overall love for them.

oh yeah, my Dad has cancer again. I actually wrote a full entry on it, but decided not to post it as it just got too emotional and revealing. He had a large tumor removed from his jaw last month and has pretty much all of the unpleasantness that you can imagine might result from a large hole being made in one's jaw. He was supposed to start radiation this month but his PET scan found another suspicious spot so everything is on hold for 10 weeks until he can get another scan or test or whatever, which will hopefully tell us if Dad has skated through yet another potentially fatal illness or if he's at risk of dying AGAIN. For those of you not in the know on Dad, he's had three heart attacks and this is oral/jaw cancer #2. I have to not think about it very often, because it just sets off a chain reaction of anger and hurt and threatens the very fragile emotional lid that i keep clamped on myself. I can only resolve from this that i will do my best to never engage in behaviours or make choices that threaten the security and stability of my own family. 'Nuff said.