Friday, October 29, 2010

Crabby lady is crabby

You know that cadence that newscasters have? I hate it.  It's impossible to describe. It's like they overemphasize the wrong wrong words. It sounds so fake, so unconversational. There's a woman who does the on-the-scene reporting for the local Fox channel who gets on my nerves so much that I have to change the channel when she comes on.

I've recently added to my list of annoying broadcaster traits the tendency of radio DJs to segue the title of the song into whatever they want to talk about, no matter how unrelated. "That was Chicago with 'Hard to Say I'm Sorry.' Also hard is trying to find the perfect Halloween costume!" They're the most graceless transitions ever.

I guess I'm over-tired, because everything is SUPER annoying to me. In my head, to the driver who doesn't know where to take the ticket to get into the parking garage: "Can you not see the big red sign that says TAKE TICKET HERE?"  To the person driving up to the gate at 2 miles an hour: "You know you don't have to stop until you actually get to the gate, right?" To the woman walking slowly in the middle of the sidewalk: "Yes, if you're going to walk slowly, you should definitely do it where no one can get around you."  I think I need a nap.

Also, it looks like the printer cartridge now has fewer than 900 pages remaining. I'm so scared.  Why, come Valentine's Day, I might actually have to replace it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A far too in-depth look at my utility bills

Because I'm a dork and like playing with charts and graphs, I made one showing my total utility costs since I moved into my condo:

But I decided that didn't provide enough information.  See, my family visited each July, and they like things a lot cooler than I do, so the air conditioning was on pretty much full time. The power bill in August isn't reflective of my normal usage.  So I broke it out by utility type:


Much better. See how the August electricity bills are clearly outliers?  And look at September '10. The power bill is considerably higher than the previous year. Why is that? Well, I wasn't married last August, and my fabulous husband and I differ on ideal temperature. Plus he was home more during the day, so I couldn't let the temperature go as high as I otherwise would have. If I were really industrious, I would compare the average temperatures to see if this August was warmer, but I'm not. Anyway, we ran the A/C more in August versus the year before, hence the higher September bill.

But wait. Look at the May '09 gas bill. That's way too low.  Oh, right, everyone got a rebate that month, bringing my payment to practically zero. Let's try that again.


Much better. Now, one more for good measure, so we can see the trending for each utility.


This one makes it obvious that our electricity usage peaks in summer and our gas bill in winter--electric a/c and gas heat.  But the power bill doesn't seem to trend as seasonally as the gas bill. It peaks in summer, but we're getting a rise in the winter months, too. We rely on a space heater to heat our bedroom, rather than cranking up the heat throughout the house, which is quite the electricity hog. I guess we could forgo that and I could put my pajamas on in the much warmer bathroom. It's hard to change your clothes when it's cold.  But cold bedrooms are no fun in general.

I also pay $6 a month for sewer, which they bill every two months, but I go the proactive route and just pay the whole $72 at the beginning of the year. It's a lot easier to just do it all at once and not worry about when I last got a bill. I'm pretty tempted to start paying my HOA fees a few months at a time, too. Especially now that it's cold, it would reduce the amount of time I have to be outside by minutes per month. Minutes!

Anyway, yeah. Utility trends. I have clearly struck rock bottom of blogging topics, but these are the things I find interesting.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Delta hates me

So my husband is coming to town for the weekend. My parents took pity on us and are reuniting is for a few days.  Unless Delta gets their way, I guess.

He got to the airport, and his flight was delayed.  He doesn't have any checked bags, so they moved him to the earlier flight, which had also been delayed. He should have gotten in about 15 minutes earlier than scheduled.

But he just called me--now there's a maintenance light coming on, so they're delayed again.  I'm not really sure when I'm going to see my husband tonight, but I'm really short on patience tonight.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Neighbor gifts

I just read about a product that would be "perfect for neighbor gifts or stocking stuffers for coworkers."  Whoa, hold on. Why do I have to buy these people presents? Because I happened to get a job at the same company as them? Or moved near them?  It's one thing if I'm actually friends with someone, but why am I socially obligated to buy things for people simply because of their physical proximity to me?  It just seems like a big ball of stress-making. I'm really going to try not to get roped into this kind of stuff. I have enough trouble mustering up the holiday spirit to buy gifts for my friends and relatives, now I have to come up with something cute and clever and cost-effective for everyone I routinely come in contact with?  No thank you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

How to make me not want to read your blog

Center justification does not make your blog creative.

Neither do a bunch one-line paragraphs.

You're still writing a boring paragraph.

It's just one line at a time.

Bad poetry
is just bad prose
with line breaks.


In fact,  all unusual formatting  
masks
the lack of quality writing.

Even if you go for good ol' normal paragraphs, there are still plenty of ways to pretend that your writing is important. For instance, you could make random words large or in different colors. And if you're extra talented, you can even do both. It's a great way to add emphasis without resorting to crazy things like rhetorical devices or a well-crafted sentence.

If all else fails, just throw in an exclamation point! On every sentence!  I'll know how important what you're saying is! Lots of them doesn't dilute the importance! It means everything is important! ...Right?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

More movies

I remembered a couple more. People are shocked that I haven't seen the Goonies. And our neighbor recently insisted we watch Ghostbusters, because I don't remember seeing it. I may have as a kid, but had zero recollection of any of the plot. Of course, by that definition, I was so young when I saw E.T. that I effectively haven't seen it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mystery plant

Any idea what plant this is? I think it's some kind of lily; it's only bloomed twice in the three and nearly a half years I've worked here. All I know is that it seems to be indestructible. It lives on despite a total lack of natural sunlight and alternating periods of under- and overwatering. This is the kind of plant I need. Imagine how it would thrive if it had sunlight!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tiny vampires?

I'm not really sure what happened, but I don't remember seeing this when I went to bed last night:


(Please excuse my ragged cuticles.) Sure, it may have been there all along--I frequently injure myself and don't remember it--but who can know for sure that it wasn't miniature vampires? It's a nicer thought than bug bites.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gratuitous Picture of My To-do List Wednesday

Ice cream edition.


Certainly more interesting than a picture of me today, especially since I overslept and am wearing zero makeup. I guess that's what happens when you forget to turn your alarm back on after being on vacation and your husband isn't around to be your secondary alarm.

Movies people are shocked I haven't seen

The original Star Wars trilogy
Footloose
Miracle on 34th Street
Rocky (though I did recently see Rocky Balboa)
The Dark Knight (I didn't think much of Batman Begins)
Raiders of the Lost Ark

There are probably more. I don't really make an effort to see these things.  But sometimes people take it into their own hands....

Movies people have made me watch because they were shocked when they learned I hadn't seen it:
Top Gun
It's a Wonderful Life

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Anyway, I figure if people are truly scandalized that I haven't seen something, they'll make it happen.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

29

I turned 29 yesterday! For real 29, though, not "don't want to be 30 because of some crazy neurosis about aging so I say I'm 29" 29.

Since I turned 28, I...
got married!!
got my tonsils out
was on antibiotics six times
had both my grandparents died
went to Arizona a couple times
spent a week kicking around southern California
decided it's time we start multiplying and replenishing
decided that no child of mine will be born in Utah
have had arthritis symptoms of increasing severity
drove a van (again)

Still, not a bad year.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A few random thoughts

My birthday is on Monday. I'm going to be 29! Next year, though, I'm going to turn 30, which wouldn't be a big deal except that next year my husband turns but 26.  Sigh.  Oh well.

I wish I was one of those people who just pop out of bed when the alarm goes off.  I'm at the point where I only hit snooze twice, which is an improvement over my younger days.

It's cold in the mornings now. I don't want to break out my gloves already, so I take a mug of cocoa in the car.  Plus...cocoa.

If you're making a U-turn from a left turn lane onto a road with three lanes going your direction with a parking lane (so essentially four) and you STILL have to encroach into the lane next to the turn lane, you are a terrible driver and your car is too big.  Or else you're just a selfish jerk. Based on what I've seen of Utards, I think it's mostly just selfishness.  Heaven forbid I wanted to drive in the lane next to you; apparently that's your lane too.

The only thing worse is city buses. They drive like they're the only vehicle on the road. It's frequently very scary.

I found a couple very cute craft projects that I want to do.  Me.  Crafting! It helps that the projects don't seem to require any significant skill. One uses whimsical hand whipstitching and the other uses hot glue.  Sewing machines and non-visible stitches aren't really for me, but I can do hot glue!

Where does one buy wool felt? Besides the internet?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Drowsy Chaperone

Do you live in Utah? Will you be in Utah any time before November 28?  If you answered yes to either of those questions, might I strongly suggest you go see The Drowsy Chaperone at the Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley?  It is good fluffy fun with lots of singing and dancing, including a tap number.  TAP DANCE, people!  Everyone loves tap dance!  There are all sorts of fun things that I would totally tell you about, but don't want to ruin the surprises if you do end up seeing it.

The cast is great--I think there are a few who don't have a degree in Music Dance Theater?  (I keep saying we need to move somewhere with less talent so I can get cast in shows.)  Half the cast is single-cast, which means they basically do every show.  I've never seen a show with so many people single cast.  It's a huge commitment, doing 8-10 shows a week for eight weeks.

 The best part, though, is Greg Barnett, who plays the narrator, Man in Chair.  I've seen him in quite a few shows (he was quite delightful as Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest) and he never disappoints. But as Man in Chair he is funny and sarcastic and fey and charming and really just remarkable. And he teaches third grade in real life.  And with the exception of about two minutes near the beginning of Act 2, he's on stage the entire show.  He's the linchpin that holds it all together, and not just anyone could pull it off.

So, yes.  Go see it.  GO SEE IT!  "The spit-take scene is lame and the monkey motif labored, but it does what a musical is supposed to do!"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another kitchen tool infomercial

I have mentioned before how much I love my strainer, but you know what I've been loving the last eight months or so?  My food hammer.  Or as they're more properly known, a meat tenderizer.  (This isn't my exact one; I inherited mine from my grandma. But I am a fan of Oxo.) But "meat tenderizer" is all wrong!  They do so much more than tenderize meat!  Need a broken up toffee candy bar for your latest dessert creating? (A good idea and may I have some?)  Just bash it with your food hammer!  I use it to make breadcrumbs, break up bags of ice--no more flinging it to the floor!--break up pre-cooked ground beef for better portioning...really it's good for breaking up most things.  I also used it to gently hammer in the pin that was coming out of my stand mixer.  Closely related to meat tenderizing but still a distinct usage is meat thinning.  Sometimes a recipe will call for you to pound a piece of chicken, which I've tried with a frying pan but not with a ton of success.  Enter my food hammer!  Honestly, I never realized how many things I could do with a meat tenderizer.  Much like the old adage that every problem looks like a nail when you've got a hammer, everything looks like a piece of meat when I've got a tenderizer.

(Also, have you noticed that everything looks like a hammer when you've got a nail?  I've used a shoe, the handle of a screw driver, etc. Not yet a meat tenderizer, though...)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"More photos of the fireplace at Rosings"

I'm very much enjoying Mark Brownlow's series of famous inboxes. I think the best is Elizabeth Bennet's, although that may just be my fondness for Pride and Prejudice.  They've all got some great ones, like Darth Vader's "Re: Left lightsaber on bus" or Voldemort's "Lucius Malfoy is now following you on Twitter!"  It's a fun way to waste a few minutes.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tension builds slowly

A while ago--as in months--the printer at work started showing the message "Order new cartridge."  I didn't. I figure I'll get a new one when it actually tells me to replace it, seeing as I just have to walk across the parking garage to pick up a new one.

After several weeks it said warned that there were less than 1800 pages remaining.  Then 1400.  Now less than 1100.  It's been months!  We rarely print more than a dozen pages a day, so we probably have a good many more weeks before it becomes critical.  I suppose if you print hundreds and hundreds of pages a day it would be helpful, but I find it very anticlimactic. If anything, it makes me less inclined to worry about it.  The printer that cried wolf, I guess.  Or maybe I just don't care about my job so much.  I'm a little burnt out.  It reminds me of an oft-referred to (in my family) passage from The Simpsons:



Lisa: Uhh, excuse me?  Isn't there anything here that doesn't have meat in it?
Doris: Possibly the meat loaf.
Lisa: Well, I believe you're required to provide a vegetarian alternative.
Doris: [Picks up a hot dog in a bun, shakes the weiner out, and slaps the bun down on Lisa's tray.]  Yum.  It's rich in bunly goodness.
Lisa: [Drolly.]  Do you remember when you lost your passion for this work?
Lunchlady Doris removes the cigarette from her mouth, reaches under the counter and presses the "independent Thought Alarm" button.  Cut to Principal Skinner in his office.
Skinner: Uh oh.  Two independent thought alarms in one day.  The students are overstimulated.  Willie!  Remove all the colored chalk from the classrooms.
Willie: I warned ya!  Didn't I warn ya?!  That colored chalk was forged by Lucifer himself!
Maybe you just had to be there.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I made it through the rain

Well, it has been raining this week, but I don't really mind that.  Contrary to what you may have heard, I don't melt in water.

No, I'm just glad to have made it through the week.  See, weekends are when I catch up on all the sleep I didn't get during the week.  Take a weekend away from me--by having to work maybe?--and I'm increasingly miserable as the week goes on.  I've had waaaay too much soda this week. So much that I have gotten a couple bouts of the weird "too much soda, not enough food or sleep" jitters.  Hate those.

Anyway, yeah.  Weekend!

Also, Barry Manilow is awesomer than you probably think.  See entry title.

All rights were reserved

You guys, I want this so, so much.

I considered putting the picture in, but I want you to have the joy of clicking through and seeing it. Besides, I wouldn't like it if someone took my picture for their blog, even if they linked back to me.  It's still kind of stealing, even if you do credit them, because you didn't ask first.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

You'll all be wearing gold-plated diapers

Name the pop culture icon that is source for this entry's title and you win 50 Internet Points!*

I've got baby fever.  Every time I look at this picture...
 ...I get all squeal-y.  For one thing, that's just a really cute baby.  But also, that's my husband! Holding a baby!  Like it's a real baby and not a bomb or something icky!  (He'd never held a baby before Miss C here, so he was a little nervous at first. But he got the hang of it pretty fast.)  He could totally be standing in that same room in that same outfit, holding our baby. How awesome does that sound?  Sigh.

In addition to that baby who is turning into a great big girl and not really a baby anymore, our good friends have a two-month old baby who is so cute even when he's crying for no good reason.  Plus everyone on Facebook seems to be expecting.  Plus a couple of my friends are "trying" or getting to that point.  There are babies everywhere and I want one! I may not buy into shoe trends or "it" bags, but this is something I can get behind.

And speaking of fevers, it feels like the injection site on my arm has a fever. I always forget how uncomfortable flu shots are for the first few days.  I much prefer baby fever to localized flu shot fever.


*Internet Points are utterly useless and redeemable for nothing, other than knowing that you're awesome.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Making up

I am down to the last dregs of nearly all my makeup. I don't know how that happened; I guess it's like when the car in front of you has a blinker that's faster than yours, but for a few blinks they are synchronized.  I'll probably wind up getting what I always get, but sometimes I like to imagine that I'm going to try the new greatest thing and find something so much better than what I've been using.  Usually, though, I'd rather not risk it.

The nice thing about buying new makeup, though, is that it's easy for me to pick out foundation. I just have to try the lightest color, and if it's too dark, that line won't work for me.  Sometimes I don't even bother to check the shade, and just grab the lightest thing they have.  I guess there are upsides to being albino.  Sometimes when I'm wearing a lot of makeup (so, basically never) I think I look like a porcelain doll, with all the color painted on. It's strange.  That's probably why I don't wear a lot of makeup.  You know what I do love? Lip gloss.  I keep them everywhere, and never two of the same kind. Right now I'm actually loving the dollar-a-pop E.L.F. stuff that I got at the ghetto grocery store.  But I'm always on the hunt for another great gloss.  Any you recommend?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

my everything hurts.

I've not been feeling well lately.  Although I haven't been diagnosed with RA, we're pretty sure that I will have it and probably do already.  According to the internet (everyone's favorite pathologist) it would explain pretty much all my current symptoms.  Even better that the go-to diagnosis of pregnancy! I'd much rather be pregnant, but I don't think pregnancy makes your hand and wrist hurt when you're brushing your teeth.

I'm super not looking forward to winter, because that just makes it ache that much more.  I'm really hoping I'll be in Arizona by then. We've decided that Adam is going to give notice at work and move down in two weeks so that he can start his National Guard application there and start looking for a job.  I'll stay behind until we figure out something to do with the house or I get a job in Arizona, hopefully the former before the latter.  It's a good idea, but it's all very fast and I'm not looking forward to being apart and the uncertainty and the leaping in faith.

So, again, if you know someone who is looking to buy a condo in Salt Lake--or even just rent, if they're really trustworthy--send them my way

Monday, October 4, 2010

Or in other words, "May make you crazy"

Go read this article about the new research "comparing the brains of women on birth control pills with brains of other women and men."  I find it interesting that 50 years after the pill's first version, they're saying, "Hey, we should maybe check into that."  Of course, technology and methodology are probably far more suited to it than forty years ago, but what about ten or twenty years ago?

Anyway, with all the anecdotal evidence of personality change, I do appreciate that there's at least some research being done.  I especially appreciate that the researchers used the word "catawampus" in their report.  I sometimes call them crazy pills, I get so weepy and...well, crazy.  I was never particularly keen on the idea of hormonal birth control methods, for just this type of thing.  What other physical impact do they have that has gone unnoticed for the last half century?  Bleck.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Casualish Friday

The dress I wore today is...not exceptionally attractive or flattering.  (Why is all the Simply Vera Wang stuff so ugly? It's like she phoned it in because it's Kohl's.) So why did I wear it?  Why do I even own it?  Well, it was on clearance, and it's comfy.  So, so comfy.  Paired with these delightful argyle tights, it kind of feels like I'm wearing winter jammies.  And with how cold it gets in my office in the afternoons, staying warm is a particular priority.  Besides, when I left this morning, Fabulous Husband fabulously told me, "You look great."  Maybe his standards are low, but it worked for me.

Best word ever

I just learned the best word: fremdschämen. It's German, obviously, and it means vicarious embarrassment, or as the New York Times put it, "a feeling of cringing embarrassment for the actions of others."


Dude, you guys, I have that all the time.  That's why I hate movies like "Meet the Parents" and the sequel that I refused to even see.  Even sitcoms make me cringe.  I have no desire to watch people embarrass themselves (or injure...I'm looking at you, AFV) because it makes embarrassed for them.


So, yeah, let's work that into everyday conversation.  Fremdsch√§men.  You're welcome.