Monday, December 31, 2007

Chick Lit?

A few years ago in Portland I went to a lecture at McMenamin's Kennedy School by Whitney Otto, who wrote How to Make an American Quilt. (There was also another female author lecturing but I don't remember who she was). I had seen Whitney the year before at Wordstock and she was funny so Lizzy and I went to see her again. Well, the discussion turned to books by female authors that are most often read by women. The question - Is Chick Lit a derisive term? They wondered why there wasn't a similar term for books most often read by men? If there were a term, what would it be? Dear blog readers, will you be offended if I tell you that the best suggestion was for calling it dick lit?  Or is it that most books are either read by both genders or women only.  Does the category read mostly by men only already have a name - comic books?

Anyway, I just read Austenland, by Shannon Hale. It's about a girl obsessed with Mr Darcy to the detriment of her own love life. Her grandmother sends her to a "camp"in England where you get to spend 3 weeks acting and dressing like the Regency period. The book was cute and if you too are obsessed with Mr Darcy, Colin Firth, Pride and Prejudice, or Pride & Prejudice, it's worth reading. But here's something interesting I noticed in the front of the book, in the Library of Congress info where they categorize the book, did you know there is a category for Chick Lit?


Thursday, December 06, 2007

More Homemade Ideas

I just finished my current work assignment yesterday and don't have a job until Jan7. I do still have to pack up and drive to SC. Lots to do, lots of gifts to still figure out. So here are a few more ideas for homemade gifts, these are quick and easy.

A mix CD/tape
The mix tape was such a high school/college endeavor. Nowadays, I love my iPod and the ease of click-and-drag mixes, that the space is relatively unlimited, that it's so easy to skip a song or set it to random. But there is something to be said for a tangible mix CD/tape. Thinking back on mix tapes, more thought had to be given to them. A mix tape, with only about 20 song choices had to be concise and each song had to have a purpose. Taking time to choose each song, did it say enough, did it reveal too much? Then trying to put the songs in the right order and give the mix a cool name. Well, thanks to Chelsea at {frolic!} you can have the best of both worlds, digital music with attention to detail of a mix tape.

Make necklaces or bracelets for people. These necklaces are OK but they are fairly generic. I really like idea of using cross-stich thread or something like that and finding charms and writing cards that are specific to my friends and their loves/needs/dreams. Like this cute eyeglass charm to help someone better see their future. An acorn to remember what can grow from a small seed. Lots of options! And depending on what type of friends you have, there are other charms like bedpans and spark plugs.

Still looking for more ideas, check out buyhandmade, where people pledge to buy handmade (duh) and share ideas.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Need Some Design Ideas?

I love this image of a tree made of books. I wouldn't mind finding lots of books uner my tree this year. For this images, other great Christmas images and other amazing design ideas, check out this Dutch site.

WARNING: But don't click unless you have several hours to go through all the images they have because the temptation and beauty will be too great.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Love Reaffirmed

I love NPR. And here in DC, although it's a big city with lots of colleges, the radio stinks. Which means I listen to NPR almost constantly in my car. And today, while driving to Trader Joe's (about half my credit card bill is there every month), I was reminded of why I love NPR. Here's something I never thought I would see together in a sentence - NPR reviewed the new album by Britney Spears, and actually gave it a positive review. Hearing this reminds me of what I love about myself and also so many of my friends. The intelligent, serious, responsible side that also holds a funny side that loves pop culture. Nothing like hearing the Fresh Aire credits being read over a little Britney.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Homemade Christmas

I love this season. I love the spiritual side of it and all that means. But I also love the chill in the air, the hot chocolate, the sweaters, the lights in windows and on trees, time with family, cooking big dinners, and the music. But one thing I don't like is the overconsumption. It doesn't affect me too much since I don't have any kids so I'm not tempted/guilt-tripped into buying lots of plastic toys that will only be used for a few days. I'm single, and while there are plenty of things I don't like about that, one good thing... it is much easier to make changes in my life, to become more like the person I want to be, because I am the only person who has to make the effort and the change.

So, this year, I want to make/buy more homemade gifts for Christmas. I would love to have it be a completely homemade Christmas but I really want an iPod dock and I don't know any engineers who can make me one...

This year with stores like Etsy and about a month till Christmas, I have plenty of time to make/buy some homemade things, and so do you!!!

So many ideas for a homemade Christmas...

Cute garlands made of fabric leaves from wisecraft. You could also do garlands of trees, ornaments, wreaths, spell out "Merry Christmas" or lots of other things.

A velvet/ribbon belt would be so cute with a simple dress, you could make a headband instead or to match. Or modify it to wear with a flannel belted coat.

This super-cute little photo album. You could make one for each person as a place card. You could make it a book of Christmases past or "a year in review" of family events.

Make beeswax candles, all you have to do is roll them, so easy. Order wax sheets here, or skip all the work and order handmade candles on etsy.

Sew, Mama, Sew has too many good ideas to list them all, so go have a look. Some of my favorites are the Aprons (Nov 1), Tote bags (Nov 5), Fabric ornaments (Nov 9), Sachet & Therapy Pillows (Nov 24), and Embellish! (Nov 26).

I love Advent calendars. Every year my grandma used to send me a cardboard one with a chocolate piece behind each door. has lots of ideas for making them.

Help a friend, offer to paint a room, decorate something, hang curtains, make them some throw pillows, whatever. Everytime they see the room, pull open the curtains, or curl up with the pillow, they'll be so grateful and happy.

And while not quite in the homemade category, I think books and magazines that inspire you to dream, be more creative, or learn new things should be allowed. Here are a few I would like...

Eat, Pray, Love
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Dwell Magazine
Domino Magazine
Real Simple Magazine

Any ideas out there?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Line That Divides Man and Bum

Am I turning into George Costanza?

I live in a large apartment building with a big wall of mailboxes and a big trash can for unwanted mail for those who don't recycle. Yesterday, I checked the mail, and sitting on top of the trash can was an issue of The New Yorker and an issue of Elle Decor. They were on top of the can, not in it, not sitting near the top but technically below the brim, but ON TOP. Anyway, they aren't there anymore, they are now on my bedside table. Is that gross or just environmentally conscious since I'm reusing and I'll recycle them when I'm done?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My So-Called Almost-Lost Weekend

I just got this in the mail today. I have fun plans for the weekend so I won't get to watch too much of it, which is good. I am very tempted to watch it all in one long marathon.

Mmmmm, Jordan Catalano, even with his reading problems and calling Brian, Brain.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


This website of amazing photography reminded me of three things.

1) William Fitchner should be added to weird crush list.

2) Zachary Levi should be added to the totally understandable crush list.

3) Overall, people are beautiful, I realize these are celebrities styled for photos but still there is something in the eyes of anyone in a photograph like this, that tries to capture their soul, their desires, their strength, and gets at least some of it.

And that Eugene Levy photo on page 3 of celebrity is priceless.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Honk! Ooops, Sorry I'm Not From Around Here

So I have Utah plates on my car which is nice when I do something stupid on these crazy Northern VA roads.

This week I worked W, Th, and Fri nights, meaning that I left work around 7:30am the next day.

Thursday night, going to work, my car was acting a bit funny and I realized I hadn't changed the oil since driving here. So Friday morning, I wanted to stop on the way home and pick up a few quarts of oil to get me through the week till I could get it changed. In a combination of sleepiness and being new to the area, I took the exit before mine, thinking I would pass a store on the way home. Then I remembered I had done that before and there is nothing on that road. So then I turned around and, long story short, spent almost 90 minutes driving around, figuring out where I was, using my trusty map, buying oil, and getting home.

The next day, Saturday morning, on my way home, I thought it would be nice to swing by the farmers' market in Old Town Alexandria. The best way to get there is take the exit just past mine. Well, somehow I missed it, and it's the last exit before you go over the Potomac river into Maryland. No problem, I'll just take a Maryland exit, turn around, and take I-495 back over the Potomac into Virginia. EXCEPT...the traffic in that direction was backed up for at least 5 miles, completely stopped. That pretty river I like on almost every other day means you can't just take side streets back, you need a bridge. So again I turned to my trusty map, took a side road up into DC, onto the 395, over the Potomac in a different spot, and came down Route 1 into Old Town and to the farmers' market. It was small but nice, bought some eggplant, peppers, and apples.

But I have now resolved no pit stops on the way home from work unless I know exactly where I am going.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I'm Getting In Late But I'm Still In

Apparently November is National Blog Posting Month. I've been quite the blog slacker lately and this may be just the kick in the rear I need. Lots of people are celebrating by posting everyday. Well, I've already missed the first few days and probably won't post everyday with my work schedule, but I am going to try to post more. No guarantee I won't sacrifice quality for quantity.

P.S. I also updated my blog's color scheme in honor of my new determination.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Top 5: Ridiculous Crushes

Sure, I could tell you about my sensible crushes, although "sensible crush" may be an oxymoron. But you know what I mean, the cute/hot guys that every girl would like. But if every girl would like them, what's exciting about that? So here are a few of my ridiculous crushes...

1) David Letterman - He's in the #1 spot because I've crushed on him the longest, you could ask my college roommates, this crush has been around since I was about 19. It makes very little sense. He is funny, sarcastic in an endearing way (while it could get annoying very quickly, I only get to spend short bits of time with him and it's a very one-sided interchange). But he's also quite a bit older than me, he's even older than my dad! Call me crazy but I love the gap in his teeth, the amazing suits and ties, his funny political humor and can even overlook the white socks with black shoes. I know! He's the only one who can do this. Not sure if the crush could withstand a short-sleeved dress shirt Dave, so don't push it. Plus he was the executive producer of Ed, starring a more-sensible crush, Tom Cavanagh, as Edward J. Stevens.

2) Philip Seymour Hoffman - He's not cute, he's not handsome. He often plays schlubby, slightly rundown characters and yet he's one of those actors who seems to look best in films and even more scruffy and "auto-mechanicy" in real life. And yet, there's something there. Maybe it's because he's such a great actor, maybe it's his voice, and maybe cliches become cliches because they are so often is blind.

3) The Verizon Guy - A friend of mine worked for Verizon when this campaign was new. She told me that I would like the guy in the new ads. And yep, she was right. Give me a dark-haired, nerdy guy in glasses and I'm happy.

4) Clinton Kelly - This crush is ridiculous for different reasons. Clinton Kelly is "really, really good looking," he's just not that into girls. But I still love him. He's a great dresser, his website makes me swoon and laugh all at the same time. Those photos of him in the intro are so perfect, the cowboy in the arctic, the suit and cell phone in the jungle. The interview with himself is so funny. In contrast to Stacey London's sometimes shrill, harsh comments, he's the voice of kindness, reason, and humor on What Not to Wear. I can't even imagine how fun it would be to spend 2 days shopping with him.

5) George Clooney - Ok, Ok, I know, this really falls in the category of lots of other girls think he's hot too. I'm not breaking any new ground here. But when I'm more realistic, this is a pretty ridiculous crush. He's George Clooney!!! He's famous, rich, and lives in Italy. He's smart, a humanitarian, seems to use his celebrity status to do some good. And just when the news broke that he's dating a "normal" girl, they had to go and mention that she's only 28.

Any secret ridiculous crushes out there???

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Glad I Wasn't a Pioneer - It Was Long Enough Just Driving It!

Day 1 (9/4/07) - Utah to Hays, Kansas
Not much to report about this day except a cruel twist of fate. I haven't had a date since October but in the middle of Colorado, my phone rings; it's a guy from my ward asking me out. Of course, the day I move out of the state, I get asked out.

Day 2 (9/5/07) - Hays, Kansas to Memphis, Tennessee
You know you are in Middle America when most of the stations you can find are country music, Christian music, or sermons. Later, flipping through the stations I caught the farm report 4 times. I also heard a nice mix of Poison, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Guns n Roses, and several other songs by hair bands. You would never buy the album but you know every word. Towns have signs off the highway declaring that they are the birthplace of Bob Dole or some other politician. I wonder if any Democrats were born in Kansas and the towns just don't claim them? Plus I got to Memphis...

Day 3 (9/6/07) - Memphis, Tennessee
We spent the whole day in Memphis. We stayed in the Artisan Hotel. It's filled with fountains, ornate furniture, and replicas of paintings on every surface, even the ceiling.

First stop was Graceland. I want to post every photo but will limit myself (but it's still a lot). I bought a few souvenirs, a postcard with a recipe for peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and the new, limited edition, Peanut Butter and Banana Creme Reese's. The house wasn't as big as I would have thought but each room is different and one-of-a-kind. The entryway and stairs are paneled in mirrors.
Then around the corner is the jungle room with green shag carpet (on the floors and ceiling), plants and a waterfall.
Downstairs, there's the TV room with blue, yellow, and white decor, and a few ceramic monkeys.
The billards room where every surface is draped in fabric (and not a boring solid fabric either)
And then we got to the part that's more of a showcase of awards, lots and lots of awards, gold records, grammys, and more gold records.
We bought the deluxe tour so we could TCB (take care of business) and see more...
The cars
The planes (those seat belts are 18K gold plated)
And, most importantly, the jumpsuits.

We went to the Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. This is where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot in 1968. It was amazing, lots of information about African Americans from the 17th century to present day. So many powerful, moving displays about slave rebellions, the Underground Railroad, Rosa Parks, the bus boycotts, sit-ins at lunch counters, and the March on Washington. And also an exhibit about human rights and Gandhi. No photos were allowed inside so this is it...

Then on to Sun Studios.
While I was excited to go to Graceland and the Civil Rights Museum, this was the highlight for me, and not just because of our cute tour guide.
When I was 19, I dated a guy who served his mission in Memphis and he had a Sun Records T-shirt. I really, really wanted that shirt. I do realize, I could have just bought one online but it's not authentic unless you go there to get it. The tour was great, we got to hear recordings of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and some other people that I had never heard of. Our tour guide was adorable and played guitar for us. He also let us take our pictures with a microphone that Elvis used.

We went to Beale St for dinner and Kaylyn got ribs. I just got chicken since I don't eat mammals. It was a fun street to walk down especially at night with all the neon lights.

We then drove a few hours to Nashville and happily crawled into our beds for a good sleep.

Day 4 (9/7/07) - The Nashville Nightmare. While we could have gone to see the Grand Ole Opry or some other tribute to country music (which is low on the list of my music choices), I got to spend several hours in a public health clinic waiting to get an MMR booster shot so I could start work on Monday. As you can imagine I was more than a little annoyed by this. My agency didn't tell me I needed this till I was already driving and I had to have it before I started. The nice lady at the clinic made up an address for me since they only treat people from the Nashville area. And I convinced my agency that they need to reimburse me the $50 it cost. But what about the 3.5 hours we lost. I guess I needed to learn some patience and also some gratitude for having insurance and not usually having to rely on clinics for my healthcare. So after that, we just drove to Staunton, Virginia and spent the night, very excited to have crossed the Virginia state line. One highlight of the day, I found an NPR station playing a tribute to Johnny Cash and the station stayed static-less until the end of the program.

Day 5 (9/8/07) - The Last Day, Staunton, Virginia to Alexandria, Virginia
Not too much happened on the drive except I do have to say, the mountains of Virginia are beautiful. I can't wait to get a cabin for the weekend and see all the leaves change color. We got to Alexandria with only about 2 U-turns. The apartment is huge which is another cruel twist of fate, I finally have a giant apartment with lots of closet space and I don't have any stuff. But I did fill some of my pantry with my first errand...

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Epitome of Superfluous Verbosity

At work last night I noticed that, by the sink, right next to the soap dispenser, there's a lotion dispenser. That's very nice since I have to wash my hands so much they now look like I'm an 80 year old woman who spent every day tanning leather and mixing acid without protective gloves. But the dispenser was covered with unnecessary descriptors. "Ecolab" "Endure 500" "Skin Synergy" "Dermatology Management System". When did the universally understood "Soap" and "Lotion" become so passe?

PS - I promise a cross-country drive and first few weeks in DC update is coming soon.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Devil's in the Details

The worst part of moving is the last minute details. Going through my closet is easy compared to the boxes under my bed full of stuff I hardly ever use. How do you get rid of a glue gun? I'm a Mormon girl, I think I got it as a free gift when I bought my scriptures.

Plus today, I had to go to the social security office and apply for a replacement card. The 1 hour wait was made only slightly tolerable by the people watching. Most of it was your average disability claims and other people who'd lost their cards. But there was a group of 3 guys immigrating from Africa. And my favorite was a woman who wanted a new SS number for her daughter because her current number had 666 in it.

I'm excited to move but still have to make it through the rest of the packing, a visit to the mechanic, and a trip to the DMV.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Top 5: Movies About Music

Having recently seen High Fidelity, I was reminded of how much I liked the "top 5" thing he does throughout the movie. So here's my top 5 of movies about music (in no particular order).

1) High Fidelity - Duh, of course this had to make the list, it inspired the list. John Cusack back when I would have still wanted to date him. It takes place in a record store. It's a love story not only about his girlfriend but about music.

2) Almost Famous - I like the scene after Russell (Billy Crudup) went to the party and jumped off the roof and the whole band is back on the bus, mad at him. Tiny Dancer comes on and, one by one, they start singing and the anger fades away. I like when Elaine (Frances McDormand) has a breakdown in front of her class and says, "Rock stars have kidnapped my son!" I swear I don't really like Elton John all that much but this movie does include one of my favorite songs by him, "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters." Overall, I like music from the 70s, it's what I grew up on. And I think Patrick Fugit is adorable.

3) Pretty in Pink - More of a teen drama than specifically about music but this was probably the first soundtrack that I loved. And it's still great. I remember I wore a pink satin Esprit shirt to see it and of course, all day, I was obnoxious saying I was Pretty in Pink. Favorite lines:
Blaine: "That's it, Stef. She thinks you're $h!t. And deep down, you know she's right."
Duckie: "His name is Blaine? Oh! That's a major appliance, that's not a name!

4) Singles - About people and how their love of music ties them all together. I once told a guy I would marry anyone who could play me Waterfall by Jimi Hendrix on guitar. I love the scene in the grocery store when Steve (Campbell Scott) is buying a pregnancy test, the cashier is Doug Hughley (Jeremy Piven) who recognizes Steve from his college radio show and starts mixing Public Enemy and Elvis Costello, "What's so funny about peace, peace, peace, love and understanding, death row, what does a brother know." And the cameos - Eric Stoltz as a mime, Eddie Vedder as a terrible musician "A compliment for us is a compliment for you", and the one scene with Chris Cornell. I remember before I saw this movie on a date, my friend, Christine, told me to sneeze and see what my date said. And after the movie, I still think of it every time I pull up someone's car door button. Remote power locks have ruined this display of love. And I'm pretty sure every girl anywhere near my age would love a boy to stop by their house and say, "I was just nowhere near your neighborhood." Favorite attempt at a pick-up line: "There is so much life in you and so much emotional larceny in these others."

5) Josie and the Pussycats - OK, I'm just kidding....

5) This Is Spinal Tap - "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever" and luckily this movie is on the right side of that line. From the many cameos including Paul Shaffer, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, and Fran Drescher to the eternally quotable lines. This movie is the original and ultimate mockumentary. If you love Best in Show and A Mighty Wind but haven't seen this, see it tonight, it's the grandfather of all the others. And these guys actually toured and even had a reunion tour. Favorite lines: When Nigel freaks out about the small bread and large cold cuts and how he can't fold the bread.
And of course the classic:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Like Sands Through the Hourglass...

34 years ago at this moment (5am SC time which is 3am UT time), I was born.

So far it's been pretty good, I spent Friday with my mom, we got lunch, saw Becoming Jane, went to IKEA, got all new bedding, and had dinner. The new bedding:
My dad sent me a woodcut by Kent Ambler that I had seen on my June trip to SC and loved. I already mentioned this when I guest blogged on {frolic!} but I love it enough to mention it at least a few more times. The woodcut:
Saturday I went to the Farmer's Market and Italian Festival with Lena, where I had some gelato. I'm pretty sure it didn't remind her too much of her recent trip to Italy but it was still fun. That night I went to Market Street Grill with friends from work and to see Stardust. So good!

Tonight, Liz is hosting a party. Should be fun.

I like to think that 34 is still "early" 30s but I know it's not. My dad, on the other hand, likes to bring up how I am now in my 35th year. Does he know this makes him older too?

Either way, Happy Birthday To Me. This should be a pretty exciting year. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 10, 2007

See, I Told You

At the end of my Life Is Good post, I said I knew even better things were on the horizon. And I was right!

I just got my first assignment with my travel nurse agency. It's been in the works for a while, 1 1/2 years, 3 months, or just a few weeks depending on how you look at it. I wanted to travel right out of school but you have to have at least a year of experience so I moved from Portland to Salt Lake for a change while getting that experience. 3 months ago I mentioned this to Kaylyn, a nurse at work. She wanted to travel too so we decided to try for September. A few weeks ago, I called an agency and started the process. A few days ago, I had an interview. And today, I got an offer!

We originally wanted to go to Boston or Austin but neither of those worked out for various reasons. So we expanded our search and I now have a place to live in September.

My first assignment is in Fairfax, Virginia, just outside Washington DC. I'm so excited. I really think this a perfect first assignment for me. My friend, Emily, lives there and we've been friends since we were 7. I have a cousin there too and a few friends from Portland have moved there. Plus Kaylyn got an offer to the same hospital. I wouldn't have known anyone in Boston. This will be a big change so it will nice to have a few friends immediately.

It's always reassuring when my risks turn out to have been worth taking. I gave notice on my apartment 11 days ago and at work too so I would have been homeless without a job.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Life Is Good But This Is Gross

I don't eat red meat or pork but back when I did eat bacon, I always liked when the syrup from the pancakes got on the bacon, but this is a bit too far. It's like the entree and dessert all in one meal.

Life Is Good

Why is it good? It's the simple things...

Most of my stuff is already sold which is a huge relief and a nice bit of extra $.

My landlord came and put a window AC in my kitchen. Who knew 3 cubic feet of plastic and electronics could make me so happy!

And I know even better stuff is on the horizon. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 06, 2007


So I finally saw Once today. I really enjoyed it. I liked that it was basically a musical, the songs last much longer than in a non-musical. I liked the way their lives wove together through a chance meeting. I liked the lead "girl," Marketa, and how she encouraged their relationship just by being herself and by asking somewhat presumptuous questions like if this stranger could fix her vacuum. It was so real, nothing in it felt faked or just put in the movie because someone had a good idea for a specific moment that, in the completed movie, seems out of place. The movie feels like the perfect glimpse into these real and beautiful lives.

But why am I such an American? Why do I feel like a movie's not over till Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are together in the end?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm Moving! Buy My Stuff!

So I have a new temporary blog. I'm moving and I posted all the stuff I'm selling on the new blog with photos and descriptions.

Check it out. And buy something!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Commandments For Sale

I've been posting over on {frolic!} and for ideas I have been going through sites I had bookmarked. Lots of design, jewelry, art, and music sites. I found this one that has lots of fun, very original jewelry. One particular series was especially intriguing. It's a necklace made with 2 chains, one chain had a number pendant and the other chain had a small disk engraved with one of the 10 commandments to match the number. So basically 10 versions were available. 9 versions have sold out, but one, #2 is still available. I wonder why that one is still around. No takers on avoiding graven images. Did no one think it amusing that the one about graven images is engraved on a necklace?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Wondering Where I Am?

This week I'm a guest blogger over at {frolic!}. Check it out.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Some Thoughts

No special title for this one.

I had a patient die last night. It was expected and she was as comfortable as she could be, whatever that means. Her family was around her all night, sleeping in chairs, draped over her bed. She was basically unresponsive all night but there was no way she didn't feel the love in that room. She was young, about my age. Through reading her history and physical I knew the whole unfair story of her disease and was witness to her death.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this, I can't go into any detail about her. And it's making me cry so my eyes will be red and puffy at work tonight, again (they were already red and puffy last night). But I guess the little I know about her told me she was loved, she reached some amazing goals, she continued in the face of despair and even after she knew how it would all end, she lived as if it wouldn't. I guess I just think I have a lot to learn from her, this person I only knew for 12 hours.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Happy Pioneer Day!

Yesterday was Pioneer Day here in Utah. I remember when I worked for Washington Mutual in Oregon, the yearly list of holidays showed "Pioneer Day (Utah only)." So sad to know other people are getting a holiday and you aren't. Well this year, I was one of the cool kids! I got the holiday!

Liz had a party on her balcony up on 6th Ave overlooking the valley and the fireworks. Great food, fun people. I wanted to make a pioneer-themed dessert but what did they eat? Hard tack with syrup? So I made this...

And in honor of my roots, the recipe is from Southern Living. They call it Mississippi Mud Cake. I called it Oxen in the Mire cake. See all those little marshmellow oxen stuck in the mire of the frosting...

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
1 (10.5-ounce) bag miniature marshmallows

Whisk together melted butter and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in flour and chopped pecans. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 inch pan.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; top warm cake evenly with marshmallows. Drizzle chocolate frosting over warm cake. Cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting
16 oz powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 cup butter, softened

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Wrapped Up In Books

I like to read. See there on the right, the very first thing I list is the books I like or am reading. I keep a journal of what I read. My dream house would have a library with extra-tall ceilings so I would need one of those rolling ladders to reach the top shelf. So it makes sense that Kelly just invited me to join and I love it. You can find books you have read and rate them. You can "linkup" with friends and see what they have read and how they rate those books. And they have book groups so you can join groups with similar interests and see what they are discussing. And it's all FREE!

P.S. That picture used to hang in my room when I was a little girl.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Let The Music Play

Some friends and I have a music club. Each month one person gets together a CD-worth of music, uploads it to something like and then forwards the link to everyone else. So each month you get new music. Here are my choices. Not all of the songs are new but they all make me think of summer, relaxing and avoiding the heat or ignoring the heat and dancing anyway. If you like the mix, click here to download it for your very own.

Butterfly Nets - Bishop Allen
Chariot - Page France
Just Like Honey - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Suspicious Minds - Pete Yorn
Tonight I Have to Leave It - The Shout Out Louds
Uh - Fijiya & Miyagi
I Wish - Stevie Wonder
AM Slow Golden Hit - Hotel Lights
Sunshine - Matt Costa
The Thanks I Get - Wilco
Heartbeats - Jose Gonzales
Can't Stop the Rock - Sister Vanilla
Got To Give It Up (Part 1) - Marvin Gaye
Oh Girl - The Chi-Lites
Ice Cream Man - Tom Waits
7 Stars - Apples in Stereo
Trapeze Swinger - Iron & Wine
Nightswimming - REM
Inside & Out - Feist
Ooh La La - The Faces

And if you really want the Shannon song mentioned in the title, click here.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who's the Boss?

Well, not quite the boss...

I have to go to bed but I needed to mark the occasion. I just survived my first shift as a charge nurse! I felt silly asking people if they needed my help when I was the second-least experienced nurse at work but all in all I think I did a pretty good job.

Monday, June 18, 2007

But I Still Can't Moonwalk

So the weather has been rather warm lately and I don't have AC. But I do have windows and a fan, not too bad so far. But now, every morning when I get dressed, the fan blows on me and I feel like this... (why is this image in my memory banks?)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'm Not a Player, I Just Crush a Lot

I have a crush...A big one

A crush that makes me blush

A crush that makes me smile when I say his name

A crush that makes me rearrange my schedule to increase my chances of seeing him

A crush that gives me butterflies in the stomach on days I know I might see him

A crush that make me an obnoxious friend because I talk about him too much

A crush that makes him the first thing that pops into my mind

A crush that makes me wonder what type of music, books, movies, etc he likes whenever anyone talks about any of these.

A crush that I hope I will run into almost everyday if I'm out running errands or out with friends

A crush I would love to become more than a crush

It's fun!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My New Glasses

I love glasses. Most of the guys I have dated wore glasses. In 8th grade I lied on the eye exam to get glasses, big red frames, a la Sally Jessy Raphael. I also own a pair of much cuter fake ones from Urban Outfitters.

Well I now have a new pair... Onion goggles.

I have now used them and can testify that they really work. I am extremely sensitive to onions; my eyes water and hurt for hours after cutting them. But not today, today I wore these awesome pink goggles and my eyes feel great. As an added bonus, the guy who sold them to me at In Good Taste told me he wears them on his bike to keep the wind and dirt out of his eyes. And since I bought the pink ones, part of the proceeds go to breast cancer research.

Mmmm, cucumber tomato salad and my mascara's intact; it's a good day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bad Grammar Makes Me [Sic]

I recently visited friends at the Jersey shore and all along the boardwalk were examples of bad grammar and spelling, jalapeno popper's, ceaser salad, etc. We were delighted. So imagine my joy when driving home yesterday, I saw a car with a Westminster College sticker and a license plate frame that said "Yeild to the Princess." Way to advertise your education and call it into question at the same time.

I like grammar but know I make my own fair share of mistakes. One of the worst is that now, after learning French on a mission, a language where "there is" and "there are" are the same, I make that mistake all the time in English.

But the bright side is, I know how to use the subjunctive tense.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My 2nd Hometown

I grew up in Charleston, SC, a beautiful town. But I spent the last 7 years in Portland and got to go back last week.

When I landed in Portland and went to get my rental car, they told me they were out of compacts and would upgrade me for free. I guess most people are excited about this option but I like small cars especially in a town with lots of parallel parking and expensive gas. They gave me a choice of a Ford Taurus or a PT Cruiser. I don't really like PT Cruisers and my dad used to have a Taurus, so, knowing I could drive it and park it fairly well, that's what picked. I later saw this and wondered why I couldn't have gotten this Taurus...
I stayed with Chelsea in this adorable house with green grass, trees, and rhododendrons.
Friday I met up with Kathryn and went to NW 23rd, a super-cute street right in my old neighboorhod. It's lined with shops and restaurants, a good mix of chains like Urban Outfitters and Pottery Barn and independent music stores, bookstores, and designers. Had lunch at a little crepe stand, a buckwheat crepe filled with creme fraiche, feta, tomatoes, spinach, and walnuts, mmmmm. I was a beautiful day in a beautiful city. I love that the downtown is so walkable and that there are always people out on the street.

Friday night, I invited a bunch of friends to Everett Street Bistro so I could be sure to see everyone on my short trip. The food and company was great. It's the same place I went for my post-graduation dinner last June. Elizabeth wrote more about the restaurant on her blog. After stopping at Mio Gelato for a scoop or two, we said goodbye and went home. It was so good to see everyone. Thanks Kelly, Dylan, Sara, Jaime, Laura, Chelsea, Kathryn, and Elizabeth for joining me.

Saturday, I had breakfast while wandering around one of my favorite places in Portland, the Farmer's Market in the South Park Blocks. They have great baked goods, veggies, organic cheeses, and so much more. Plus food tastings by local chefs and local bands playing while you eat lunch. The people watching is also top notch. But the best part is the flowers, so many, so beautiful and so cheap. Just a few more pictures of the market and a school on the park blocks that was just so pretty with the yellow flowers hanging around it.
Then I went over to the Pearl District, met up with Laura, and got lunch at Silk, a delicious Vietnamese place. Love the honey grilled chicken, rice noodles, and veggies. Then some more window shopping and walking around.

Later that night I went to Kathryn's farewell party. She's joining the Peace Corps and leaves in a few days for Armenia. Can't wait to hear more of her adventures and hopefully go for a visit next year.

Sunday I went back to the airport, turned in the Taurus, and flew back to my life in SLC. Must be a month of homecomings since I leave for SC in a few days!

Some other reasons I love Portland.

A monkey-tail tree, I think these only exist in the Pacific NW.
Newsbreak...Elvis sighting!
No idea what this is about but still funny:
It's nice to know that those who want to "Keep Portland Weird" are succeeding.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Funny Things from This Week

The past few nights I had a patient with TB. It's not as scary as it sounds but it does require all sorts of warning signs on the door, a special negative pressure room that sucks in air so his infected air doesn't go out into the hall, and since I haven't yet been fitted for a mask, I get to wear a filter strapped around my waist attached by a tube to a big plastic hood over my entire head, that's hot! As funny as that mental image is, what made me laugh was the poster in his room. He's a young guy and obviously has a good sense of humor about having TB and being in the hospital.
Then today, I went to the library to get a funny book, Naked by David Sedaris, for my flight tonight. While on the elevator I overheard this gem of a conversation:

Guy with questionable taste in music: "So do you know Savage Garden?" My friend said I could borrow some of his CDs. But I'm not sure I want to listen to 90s pop."
Musically clueless girl: "I'm not sure about that but the 80s did have some good music."
GWQTIM: "Oh yeah, like what?"
MCG: "Simon and Garfunkel."

And then they stepped off the elevator before I could educate them. I realize Flock of Seagulls had some crazy hair but did she really think anyone in the 80s would have had Paul's mustache or Art's Jewish 'fro?

Nurse's Week - Fifth and Final

So this post is a day early becuase I am going out of town tonight. More on my trip to Portland later. Nurse's Week was good, my patients were fairly healthy and the management bought us pizza.

I feel I must make one confession/clarification; I don't actually own these books, I was looking for an image for Nurse's Week and found a few of the covers and they led to this website, more for your enjoyment there.

"The tall, leggy blonde grinned at Poppy. 'Frankly - I was so glad to get out of that Alice-in-Wonderland outfit that I bought myself ten new uniforms!' She stood up. The nylon uniform hugged her curves like skin. 'Who'd like to take bets on whether I marry a rich patient or a rich doctor?'"

"You nurses make me sick to my stomach," she snorted. "Letting on that you're so much better than other people. Money doesn't matter to you. You're only interested in being noble and dedicated." Her voice mocked. "Everyone has his price, sweetie. What's yours?"

Nurse's Week - To the Fourth

"Oh, I gave him the brush-off tonight,” the blonde nurse declared. “Big car, big talk—and big promises, none of which, I found out, he had any intention whatever of keeping. It seems to be the story of my life, getting stuck with such crumbs. I wish there was a lab test that would show up the fakers and chiselers—or are there any other kind, where men are concerned?”

"It isn’t as simple as that!” “No,” he said quietly. “It isn’t. Because love has to be a little of both. It has to be idealistic, yes. But it has to be physical too. One is no good without the other. You can’t love a man with your mind.”

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Nurse's Week - The Third

"As the aimless days passed, Laurie asked herself why she had ever joined the ranks of beach players. Was the fleeting hope of Ron’s love enough to compensate for the hospital, the patients, the nursing career that had given her life its meaning?”

"I don’t dig that medicine jazz, sweetie. I want my woman warm and soft and smelling of perfume, not antiseptic.”

. . . “I can’t go, Johnny,” she said. “I can’t give it up.”

“That nursing jazz?” he grinned. “What’s to give up, honey? I’m offering you the world, glamor the works. And me thrown in for good or bad measure.”