Friday, September 28, 2007

Flashback Friday VIII

The summer after I graduated from BYU, before I moved to Sugarhouse, I lived with my family and worked in Portland for four months. For some completely inexplicable reason, my face revolted to the thought. Instead, it decided to succumb to the worst case of facial cystic acne ever seen by doctors. I draw the lines of posting photos of how badly it really was because a) not that many photos exist and b) if you saw the unicorn horn begging to erupt from the surface of my forehead, I don't think you'd ever look at me the same again.

But don't fear. This email is not about my history of acne. My acne is only the cause of this memory, now I'll get to the effect.

I kept hoping the acne would go away. I figured my body needed time to adjust to the new climate, or I was just stressed about having graduated and not knowing what to do with my life, or a host of other things. After several months, I decided it was time to go see a dermatologist. Things went as routine, I picked up my prescriptions and went home.

2AM. I wake. Underarm is slightly itchy. I scratch it and roll over. Oh no. Said itch begs to be scratched again. I scratch harder. It's just so itchy. I fumble for the light, turn it on, and see the creepy that is my arm...

Hives. Or better yet, one, giant, enflamed hive. The other arm gets a little itchy. I reach to scratch it and see this:

I only have hives on my underarms. But they're spreading. Before I realize it, they've balooned my entire upper arm. I figure it's time to get Mom. Mom's always know what to do, right?

Mom knew we needed to get some Benodryl. Fast. The idea was good, but the execution was anything but flawless. See, my parents live in a suberb, but it still has a small town feel to it, and nothing, I repeat nothing, is open after 11PM in their town.

So there we are, driving around in the van, me writhing in pain because the itching was so intense. My arms look gross enough in the photos provided, but photos do not do the itching justice. We tried place after place and they were closed. Closed. CLOSED. As a desperate last measure, Mom called 911 to find out where the heck something was open.

The 911 people were wrong. The 24-hour pharmacy was not in fact a 24 hour pharmacy. Arms. Are. Dying.

Okay, cut to the chase. We find a 7-11. I triple dose on Benydrl (photos were taken after medication). Hot shower, more scratching. A call to the doctor. Sleep. Another trip to the doctor and new medication.

I am allergic to doxycycline and the cycline family of antibiotics. Do not give them to me, do not let a medical professional prescribe them to me. This is your obligation of being my friend. (I'm also allergic to prescription nasal spray while I'm at it.)

Hives are bad. Itching is bad. The worst part about this story is I developed another itching infection this same night. And acne was the direct influence of my no good, very-bad, horrible day. And I hate it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Character Acting - The Break Up

There are certain actors and actresses that are cast in similar roles from movie to movie. This is called "type casting." (Are you asleep yet? It's about to get more entertaining, wake up!) But what about when a character plays the same character in exactly the same situation? I've found an actor and an actress who personify the perfect finacee but who are left jilted by their other half to love another.

Bridget Moynahan and James Marsden. The names probably aren't terribly familiar because, let's face it: they're the ones always replaced. Replaced by true love.

Bridget Moynahan: The Un-Blushing Bride

Haley loses her fiancee Jonathan to Sarah in "Serendipity."

Natasha loses her husband Big to Carrie Bradshaw on "Sex and the City."
Moynahan, Bridgetbigcarrie

Sadly, true life sometimes mimics art:
Moynahan loses her fiance Tom Brady to supermodel Gisele.
Moynahan, Bridgetbradygisele2

James Marsden: The Doomed Groom

Harry White loses his fiance Lois Lane to Superman in "Superman Returns."

Lon loses his fiancee Ally to Noah in "The Notebook."

Cyclops loses his love Jean Grey to Wolverine in "X-Men."

So what is it about these two beautiful people that keeps them always reaching for the altar? Is it their winsome personalities? Flawless, glow-in-the-dark smiles? The brown hair? My own personal conclusion is this: viewers don't feel too terrible for Moynahan or Marsden because we know they'll spring back in real life. Playing at the top 1% of world attractivity levels, we're not worried. They'll find love again. They're just too beautiful not to.

So, hypothetical situation: if Moynahan and Marsden were to date, who would leave whom first?

Mental Junk Yard

It's been a long time, and I have some random stuff I need to get out of my head and launched into cyber land.

  • This morning at the bus stop, some kids were walking by to school. The sister called the brother by his name, which was Roogan. Rugan? Mentally, I compared the to Tom Hank's character Jimmy Doogan (Dugan?). This is the second time this month I have blogged about something "A League of Their Own" related. Either way, the name is crazy weird. Crazy Utah weird.
  • I either left my phone charger in Portland or it's packed deep within my still unpacked bags. I haven't charged my phone since Monday night and it's still alive. It's scheduled to die any second here--luckily, I'm meeting Julie at lunch to borrow her charger. I can't believe it hasn't died yet.
  • Speaking of Portland, I stole the picture above from my sister Mallory's blog. Check out her quick recap of my trip. That tie-dye shirt has been passed around the sisters at least three times. Kendall's next I think.
  • Last night, while watching TV (more on that later), I repeatedly confirmed that my laugh has changed. After I complete a laughing bout, on the inhale I kind of snort a lil bit. Not a Urkelian snort, but more of a glottal sound. Listen for it.
  • My work life has been craaaaaaaazy busy. I worked 55-hour weeks the two before my trip home, and this week would be similar if I hadn't missed Monday. I don't mind the longer hours (or OT contractor bonus!), but I don't love going home, changing into scrubby jams, relaxing for an hour or so and then getting ready for bed. My life feels a little like a rinse and repeat cycle.
  • It was 94 degrees yesterday. 94! The night was warm, and I'm reminded again that I'm actually ready for summer's hot weather to be over. I've already broken into my fall wardrobe, there's no going back! I love a blazer and scarf combo...
  • Speaking of scarves, are you watching Gossip Girl (more on that later)? Holy scarves. I think I tried counting last night and lost at seventeen. Part of me wants to be annoyed that the show is so blatantly trying to remind me its characters are fabulously rich and preppy, but the other part of me just loves scarves that much. I'll let it pass.
  • So Gossip Girl. Holy guilty pleasure. I just love it so much. And I can't decide who's the most attractive. The fallen-It Girl? The dopey-eyed "I have no say in my future" Nate? The chiseled Seth Cohen-ish Dan? Dan's Sandy Cohen-ish dad Rufus? I can't help loving this show. I'm kind of pathetic really.
  • So TV. Fall TV is back in style; and with a vengeance! I maybe stayed awake much longer than I should have clearing off some shows from my DVR. I knew I was doing a bad thing, but it felt sooooooooo good.
  • I need to add something to my list of "People Who Know Me Well Know ________": I love love love reality-tv competition programs. I'm not terribly picky (evidenced by my love for all MTV-based RR/RW challenges); I just love talent (open to interpretation)-based competition. This is why America's Next Top Model and the Biggest Loser are on my DVR's playlist. And why I anxiously wait for January's AI return and subsequent SYTYCD awesomeness.
  • I haven't felt like blogging lately. It's been a mixed bag.
  • My hair is driving me crazy lately. Why is it that you can go through periods of love and hate with the same hair?
  • 30 Rock is perhaps my new, favorite 30-minute comedy.
  • The people here at work are obsessed with brushing their teeth. It's nearly impossible for me to walk into a bathroom (more on that later) without someone standing there, brushing their teeth. I guess I don't mind so much, but I cannot stand when there's toothpaste left in the sink. Ohhhhhhhh. It sicks me out SO much. And if there's hair? Ew. You don't want to see the face I just made.
  • The jury is still out on "Private Practice." I'm sure I'll watch, but it's not the best thing ever. Seriously.
  • Are you sensitive about your bed? I guess I was raised in a home where you change the sheets before/after any visitor that comes. Because that's been so ingrained in me, I'm kind of picky about it.
  • I bought the cute cute cute-est boots in the world at Ross in Portland. Maybe I shall debut them at the ward campout in Vermont this weekend. They're a cross between cowboy boots and dressy boots and moccasins. Sounds good huh? Kind of like boot goulash.
  • Every Wednesday, I read the Ausiello Report. It contains baby spoilers for the hottest shows. I religiously read and usually don't give the "spoilers" a second thought. However, for the first time ever, I skipped a spoiler. I'm letting the Friday Night Lights premiere be a complete surprise. I'm rather proud of myself really.
  • OHMYGOSH. I just got word that the bff Krista is probably coming Halloween weekend. Could there be better news?
  • Joe/Nate are coming to stay with me mid-October for Elder Holland's Education Conference. That ranks up there.
  • I work hard. Did you know that? I'm pretty good at my job too.
  • We had our Celtics Season Ticket Holder lottery the other night. I walked away with tickets to twelve pretty sweet games. Any takers?
  • The Office premiere tonight. Jim, Pam, Jim, Pam. How did it end?
  • Sienna Miller is climbing my list of can't stand celebrities (see Cameron Diaz, Eva Longoria, selected Drew Barrymore).
  • WHY are there no good movies at the theater? All I want to do is anticipate seeing something, paying the money, and enjoying the thrill of seeing a new movie. But no. Garbage.
  • Is this the longest brain dump post in NatAttack's history? Probably.
  • The Red Sox are winning again. After watching Fever Pitch when I was home, it made me even more enthusiastic about the Sox race for the World Series.
  • Speaking of Fever Pitch, while watching it in Portland I got excited to recognize so many familiar places. Buildings, bridges, parks, streets, etc. So many of the locations happened so close to my work vicinity.
  • My phone still has battery...
  • I decided to fess up to 90% of the blogs I read. I may or may not know the people whose blogs I have linked, but lurking is so last quarter. I read them, enjoy them to some degree, so have decided to share them. If you read, your blog is linked, and you prefer it not, hollaback. I'll remove it. Likewise, if you read, your blog is not linked, it's probably because I don't know about it. Hollaback and I'll post it. The people listed may or may not update very often. Next month I shall order them in most to least post frequency. Consider this your trial period. Ready..... set..... go! Blog!
  • Also while in Portland, we watched Serendipity. Okay, it's a pretty stupid movie, but I'll be darned if it didn't have some of the most actual laugh-out-loud moments in a movie that I can remember. I don't laugh vocally very easily, so I was surprised. Try to find the devil in the elevator. Hissssss! Cracked me right up.
  • Anyone want to go to Portland with me?
  • My newest goal is to be less talk, more action. It's already been placed into effect multiple times; events are being scheduled; I'm making time for people/things... it's nice to be someone who follows through on their word.

Okay, I think that's it. Nothing left to spill, no secrets to share.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

And a partridge in a pear tree

I went all the way to Portland last weekend, and all I got were these lousy photos.

Okay, that's a bold-faced lie, but if I could have bought a t-shirt with that phrase, I would have. I'm back from P-town. It'd been nearly ten months but it was surprising how little changes. My sister Mallory still makes the best chocolate-chip cookies in the world, our popcorn maker still makes the best popcorn in the world, and watching movies with the sound too loud is still one of our favorite past times.

Guess where I got to eat yesterday for lunch? I'm on the Costa Vida tour. Oregon is set to open six more in the near future--the Costa is growing like wildfire! (Off-hand today at lunch Julie suggested she and I open one. I had to reason with her that we could probably make most business successful, but food service is not our industry...) Geez, I sure hope they open a Costa in my town... I'm already sad (again, like last week!) that I didn't get a burrito to go. Or that our leftover salad remains are sitting in the fridge 3200 miles from where I currently am... sigh. Costa Vida Tour 2007--total count: 4. Which shall we hit next?

Yesterday was the literal shop-til-you-drop day. Mom and I got going by 8:45 and managed to hit three Jo-Ann's craftstores, a Ross, and the Costa before her physical therapy session at noon. After a 2-minute bathroom break/pick up DCs at the house, we broke Mal out from school early, and frequented four more Jo-Ann's and two more Ross stores. We had Taco Bell (my request; there's only one TB I can think of in my state... 25 miles from home) for dinner and took the loot home. Between us we purchased a ton of craft goods, a pair of boots, two pairs of flats, a pair of heels, two iPod cases, a headband, two pairs of dress pants, two shirts, and one pair of headphones. All but a pair of flats were mine. Suffice it to say, I went a few dollars over my vacation budget; but Mom approved of the overspending. I had to capitalize on no sales tax!

Kino and I had a staring contest. He gets me every time.

So that's that! We went to Chevy's for fajitas. My mom made chateau brion; my most favorite kind of meet. There was a roast beef, potatoes and gravy dinner waiting for me when I flew in Friday night--my family was even waiting for me inside the airport! (this is the first time on record I can remember that happening) I was basically treated as an A-list celebrity the whole time I was home. Moral of the story: I should go home more often!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ho HO HO - Who wouldn't go?

Alooooooha from the great state of Oregon dear readers. I'll be out and about tomorrow (Monday) with my dear Marmie and sister and won't be able to give you the quick weekend update. I red-eye back into Boston early Tuesday AM and will be catching up at work and desperately trying to stay awake; so it may be Wednesday before you get a blog of substance. Poor, poor reader.

I'm in a festive mood. A festive holiday mood In September you ask? Why yes, I reply. Last year, I had all my Christmas gifts purchased, wrapped, and on their merry way by Thanksgiving. It's time to get started!

Don't you worry. We weren't playing Christmas music, or gathered around the piano singing songs of yuletide glee, but rather discussing the coming holiday season and the potential gifts we may be giving. I'm approving of some of the gifts purchased for my sisters, and plotting what I in turn will give out. This year, I'm in a position to give gifts of monetary substance, but I've decided instead to give gifts based on a labor of love. That LOL kicked off this weekend. No more details can be given to protect the receivers, but I can guarantee it's better than the tin of popcorn or fruitcake you probably would have received in its place.

While we're on the subject of Christmas, I guess it's time for me to blog about the last time I was in Portland--Christmas 2006. I'm not sure why I didn't recap the festivities, other than a shout out to the good working conditions or the $100 Million Christmas Bet. I'm also feeling a little guilty about my last Flashback Friday post. So, to honor the most wonderful time of the year, I present Christmas 2006. When hair was a little longer, a little blonder, and my sojurn into Boston was only a coming attraction.

Christmas Eve was on a Sunday, so as custom on Sundays (not just at Christmastime), we went to church. Please take special note. All four women in this picture are wearing Christmas tree pins. This is a tradition of the women in my immediate and quasi-extended family (my mom's side). I can feel myself aging and growing more sentimental; I have asked for a Christmas tree pin for my birthday (in early Dec.) to wear for the upcoming Christmas season.

That night, we drove and saw some Christmas lights. The rain was coming down rather hard, so we stayed in our car. Don't we look motivated?
Here, Mal and I are wondering what Santa will bring us. ------>
Why look! Santa dropped off his annual pre-Christmas day pajamas! Santa knows I really love New York.

Us girls, par for the course. ---------------------->
Santa also brought me this wicked sweet cedar chest. It's a most gorgeous piece; I wish I could have it in Boston; but alas, it sits in my parents' dining room just looking pretty.

After the festival of giving was completed, we sat for our most traditional holiday breakfast. "Honeymoon Breakfast" as it's named is an egg, bread, sausage, cheese, combination breakfast casserole that tastes better than it sounds. I've had twenty-four years to acquire a taste for it; good thing, since we eat it at Thanksgiving, Easter, Flag Day, Boxing Day... okay, not really the latter two, but it is a delectable holiday breakfast. Also notice the Wood/Williams traditional family breakfast beverage. Forgive me friends, I was on a Diet Pepsi kick at the time. Also, that is not orange juice in the pitcher, it's a traditional Almond Punch. We're all about the traditions at Christmas.
So there it is. Christmas 2006. In September of 2007. Coming soon... Easter 1994. ALright kids, back to loving labor. Enjoy your respective Mondays.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Flashback Friday VII

Today is Friday. In keeping with tradition, it's a Flashback Friday.

This week has been crazy wild at work. I'm like, in charge. Of a Math/IT department. I feel old.

Long story short, I don't have a long story. I'm busting like mad to get my stuff done today because I'm leaving at 2pm for the airport. I'm going home! It's about time... I haven't been to Portland (OR) since December. Imagine that, Portland (ME) to Portland (OR) in less than a week. I'm a bi-coastal traveler. Holla.

While at home I will rest from the last two insane work-weeks, have some fajitas and the best tortilla chips in the world at our family's favorite Chevy's, cruise Target and capitalize on no sales tax, and enjoy hanging out with my parents and Mal. Also, I will burn a CD full of all kinds of fun family photos. Flashback Friday will never be this boring again.

This photo was taken last (2006) summer in Seaside, Oregon. I can't really remember why Kurt & Alaina (an unborn Adrie), my grandparents and I were all in Oregon. I think it was capitalizing on the Utah's Pioneer Day holiday. We stayed at our traditional adjoining room hotel and made a bonfire on the beach.

Well, the bonfire was actually a Duraflame log and we were 200 feet from the water, but still. We're not really the bonfire type family. Usually the gas flame in the living room is the closest we get...

So, here's the question. Would you rather have a rather uninteresting, filler blog? Or no blog at all...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Got Nothin'

So why my brain takes a hiatus, enjoy these home videos of yesteryear. Random and strange; just the way I like it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Happy Birthday Emoticon! MSN taught me that twenty-five years ago today, you were born. The world hasn't been quite the same since.

Technically, you're two months and twenty days older than I am.

Without doubt, you're more popular than I am--there's no contest there. Please don't think I feel badly about myself, I mean, I do have some clout on the World Wide Web. Not much, but enough to make me somewhat of an international blogging sensation. Or at least read in some places international.

You may not know me emoticon, but I know you. And frankly, I'm not your biggest fan. In fact, I've blogged about you before. Even my friends have blogged about my vocal disdain for your electronic antics. Now emoticon, I know you serve your purpose. I won't lie; I still use you sometimes for clarificative purposes. But I'm trying to cut back. Sometimes, the urge to pop a combination of punctuation at the end of a statement on gChat or email is strong--I clench my fists and talk myself off the ledge. Use your words Nat, use your words, I mentally tell myself.

Emoticon. Happy 25th fake birthday. Those of us in the know are in on your little secret. So quit lying about your age: I'm pretty sure Romans, Numbers, Psalms, Job, and many other Biblical books have been around a lot longer than 25 years.

So you may be more popular than I am, but at least I'm not a liar. Wink.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Maine Event

It's a Monday so you knew it had to be coming, right? And by it I mean the weekend update. I just scanned my blog, and it's been roughly two months since my Mondays didn't start with a WUblog. I used to pride myself on random blog formats and interestingly different ways of telling stories or anecdotes. No more! Long live predictability!

The Great Maine Adventure (the GMA) is the third in the G_A series. You may remember the GCA and the GBA--stay tuned for the GVA at the end of the month as we journey to Vermont for the ward campout. I kind of like these traveling adventures.

And now, on to the Maine event!

As a little background, any one who has roots in Utah is familiar with the Cafe Rio/Costa Vida-line of Mexican food chains. Debate at will which is best; my heart has always belonged to the Costa. Locations are primarily in Utah with a few in other Western states. Would it surprise you to know they have a location in Maine? It should--! It was a surprise, a delight, and the reason we chose to camp/adventure where we did in Maine. Since I'm all about making things happen lately, we combined one of the last camp-outs of the year and an outing to one of my most favorite food establishments into one last summer hurrah.

After a quasi-bumpy start, the drive to Portland was painless. We rolled into our campsite about 8:30; it was dark and quiet and barely a soul was moving. Knowing we'd made a reservation beforehand (we had the reservation confirmation), we commandeered a spot and setup camp. Our time around the campfire was spent in traditional form--hot dogs, smores, guitar playing, singing, story telling, photo taking... it was par for the course as far as campfires go.
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Our true adventure didn't begin until it was time to bunker down for the night. We laid (layed?) down our tarps and unrolled our bags. It was a race to who could fall asleep first. Clearly, I lost that race. Between the snorers, the chatters, and four-whistle train that rumbled through camp at least six times in six hours, the sleep wasn't exactly sound. To ice the cake, the forecast read a 20% chance of rain, beginning at 4am. On the dot, 4am, it started to rain. Having made the grave error to forgo putting up tents to "sleep under the stars," we made do the best we could.

Well actually, most of the others did the best they could. Somehow I drew the lucky card and everyone took most excellent care of me. I stayed in my sleeping bag (as it was dry and warm) until we started breaking camp.
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I felt like I hardly slept that night. However, in the wee hours of the morning, as Kylee and Julie were dragging my sleeping bag (with me in it!) into the center of the tarp so they could fold it over on me for protection, I started crankily disclaiming that they "leave me alone!" In my defense, I remember this, I remember Julie telling me to stop being a brat, and I remember thinking that I thought I was okay where I was, and they were moving me for warmth. (I was plenty warm; had already shed my wool socks long before) Here's my public apology: I'm sorry.

I also need to publicly apologize for freaking out when the cold, green, wet, dirty tarp covered my head and touched my face and I started publicly freaking out. I was in a cocoon and felt trapped! Claustrophobia set in! Panic ensued! Special shout out thanks to everyone who made my cacoon a memorable one--I appreciate your hard work in keeping me warm. And dry.

I think we were all rather happy when the night was over. On to the beach!


Finally, we were wet, cold, exhausted and hungry. Time for the crowning glory of the trip--Costa Vida. Whoop!

And the good news is... they're putting in a Costa at Boston College! Oh my my my. Best news of the quarter! The drive home was rather uneventful and not nearly as chatty as the ride there. Limited sleep and wet underwear will do that to you.

All in all, a quick 18-hour, 1-gas tank trip. Highly recommended.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!