Friday, January 29, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's just not natural

I sat slouched over on the papered examining chair at the doctor's office (has anyone ever sat comfortably on those?) yesterday, finally giving in to modern medicine.

Side note: Am I the only one who pushes off going to the doctor because they feel spending $25 to hear "it's viral, there's nothing I can do, it'll pass" is a wash of $25?

Yesterday, I reached my limit. If you've seen or talked to me in the last two months, while we've both been in Boston (emphasis actually important this time), you've probably seen me wiping my nose, or my eyes, or heard the timbre of my voice three octaves below it's usual tin can warble. I've joked that I'm at Target so often buying DayQuil/NyQuil packs that they're going to turn me in to the authorities on suspect of running a meth lab from my home. (Dear Big Brother: I'm not running a meth lab. BLACKBRIAR.) I leave town, and the head cold of doom leaves. I come back to town, my face weeps from nearly every orifice, and my sanity begins circling the drain.

So, there I am at the doctor's office. (Aren't you glad you just lost three minutes of your life to circle back to this point?) Of course I don't have a sinus infection or something treatable with prescription drugs, but I was instructed to stop using menthol nasal spray (sad! but it creates an echo illness!), keep taking the DQ/NQ combo, try a saline nasal spray, and.... wait for it because it's so awful... a nasal rinse.
People. This is not a joke. You concoct a rinse from water and secret ingredients. Warm. And then squeeze with even pressure until the rinse starts draining from your other nasal cavity. Don't forget to leave your mouth open and breathe. Don't worry if some of the rinse slides down the back of your nasal cavity into your mouth. But don't swallow it.

Um, freak me right the freak out. NOTHING natural about that. So, in my twenty-seven years of wisdom, I grimaced and winced right in the doctor's office, sitting on the crinkly paper with a hunchback (and as uncomfortable as it was, boy was I happy not to be lying on that chair in stirrups). He kind of shrugged his shoulders, said it was up to me, but people swear by the method. Considering he prescribed me no other medication for the stuffiness that may drive me to a padded cell, I purchased the nasal rinse kit at the pharmacy.

Stared at it. And stared at it. The whole thing looks like a purchase from an infomercial. Oh but wait. I guess it was. (Watch an instructional video too!) I finally mustered the strength to read the instructions. Did not nasal rinse. Went about my daily life instead.

Cue bedtime. Still plugged. Can't sleep. Thinking about that darn nasal rinse. Internally cringing, but deciding to give it a go. Warmed up the water. Created the secret solution. Put the bottle up to my right nostril, applied some pressure... squeezed... and yes indeed. I squoze water through my face out the other side. Ironically, it wasn't that bad--but watching that video made me squeemy all over again and dread doing it. As long as I breathed through my mouth and calmed my frantic brain, it didn't last or feel so bad. IT'S JUST NOT NATURAL. (Like having a clamp on your eyeball. Brain. Does. Not. Compute.)

The upside is that my doctor told me to avoid the cold as much as possible, so since I clearly follow everything he says, I'm keeping myself inside, working from home. Being in your pajamas at 2:42 on a Wednesday might just be worth a nasal rinse.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

five quick ones

1. I'm not a fan of word verification captchas to leave comments on your blog. It makes surfing the web while laying on my bed in the dark so complicated.

2. My current tank of gas has lasted 180 miles; the light came on this afternoon. I'd normally be bugged, but considering I haven't filled my car since December 4th, I think I'll let this one slide.

3. The first time I saw "In the Heights", I saw it on the very front row in NYC. I saw it tonight with five of my girlfriends here in Boston and sat on the very last row. Mas excelente from both views.

4. I've been on a bi-coastal flight every month since August with the exception of September. I'm equally torn between the joy of being able to leave my bag unpacked for more than four days and feeling stir crazy not having something major on the horizon. Who's ready to get something on the calendar?

5. Previous to this winter, I can't remember having a head cold. I'm beginning to think my body rebels against being in Boston -- my face is back to its can't-decide-if-it-wants-to-constantly-drain-or-clog MADNESS and it's frustrating. I'm soldiering on, but between that and the 14-year-old cystic acne, I may never leave my house again.

(Orange you glad I didn't say cupcake?)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

matchmaker, matchmaker

Yesterday, I flew home from Salt Lake on a relatively perfect flight. I was due, given my colorful experiences of the trip out of Boston--suffice it so say that I didn't realize I had such a strong affinity for my most frequent airline (Alaskan Airlines. That's right. Weird, huh?) until I had to take another.

I had my own row, a bag of pre-packed pistachios and chocolate covered pretzels, the book "March" by Geraldine Brooks (written by Pa Marsh [of Little Women fame] and his experiences during the Civil War while his family waited back in Concord). Oh yah, and Millionaire Matchmaker.

I didn't feel too bad tuning in to back-to-back episodes of this E! staple. It was a) my first time, b) I spent the commercials reading my book, c) it was an instant upgrade from the back-t0-back episodes I watched of Real Housewives of Orange County, d) I'd already played four rounds of inflight trivia (blast you BUBBA and IRA for always putting me in 2nd place!!) and e) Patty and Millionaire Matchmaker came up quite a few times on my trip to the Mountain West. Why? I don't know. Why am I writing a blog about this? I don't know that either.

But there I am, watching, kind of intrigued. Until I recognize one of the gals who gets chosen to go on one of the mini-dates with the Millionaire. I recognize her. No, it's not someone I knew, or someone I went to school with -- it's a girl I recognize from another dating show. (Dating in the Dark for those who are interested.)

Sigh. For all the reasons I don't have to name, because you already understand. Sigh.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Giving "feed my sheep" a WHOLE NEW MEANING

If "feed an apostle" was on my previously mentioned bucket list, I'd totally be able to cross it off.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Team Cupcake!

If you ever think making 350 cupcakes in 15 hours (minus any sleep you'd like) sounds like a good idea, I beg you to watch this video of this weekend's grand event.

1 oven.
2 caterers* with day jobs.
3 kinds of cupcakes.

Don't try this at home:

*We had a bit more help than just Mallory and I. Special thanks to those who bought groceries, brought in pizza, replenished the Diet Cokes, set up boxes, took photos, and stayed out of the way. We couldn't have done it without our pit crew!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

La Navidad de Mexico

I shouldn't be writing this blog; I'm trying to pack to head to Salt Lake for the week. (Why do I even unpack my bags?) But what can I say? I'm a people pleaser. Be prepared for photos, photos, photos! (And nary a collage in sight.)
(Also, if you're not reading Alicia's blog, you should be. She's very funny. And I don't think she'd mind your creeping.)

Like I said, I'm heading to Utah tomorrow to help celebrate the wedding of my sister-cousin Rachel. (Weddings, weddings, weddings! Welcome to my life.) Before another smorgashboard of photos begins, I must get CHristmas out of the way. (Of note, I still have Mexico City to post as well, but I must not get overwhelmed. Must. Not. Get. Over. Whelmed.)

Christmas! It was awesome. Two weeks out of Boston. One week in Portland (no photos), five days in Phoenix, three days in Mexico. And now the photos with minimal explanation. (This post is for all of you -- those who read every word, those who skim, and those who look for pictures. Every. One. Wins.)

And in no particular order:

Three of us flew into Arizona Christmas Eve morning. Sisters' Christmas Eve lunch at where else but COSTA VIDA! (Note to self: Costa Vida probably deserves its own label.) This should become an annual tradition BECAUSE THERE'S ONLY ONE THING I LOVE MORE THAN MY SISTERS (and caps lock) AND IT'S COSTA VIDA.
We laugh that our family vacations are like the Family Channel: All Family, All the Time. We're lucky my G-parents have a spare few rooms for us to crash in.
Once we got to Mexico, I'm one of the very few people who don't love leaving the compound. This is the one day I left to hit "Rodeo Drive" to scout out the wares. Mallory and I bought the sweetest BFF rings.
Ope, back to Christmas. Look, we got aprons!
The G-parents hire cooks to come into the Mexican compound to cook (O.M.G. Best. Food. In. The. World.). Our last night in town however, we hit a local stand. This is one of my favorite photos from the holiday.

Please note my Gramp playing Rock Band.This is what most nights in Mexico looked like -- our extended family sitting around chit chatting. We introduced two new boys to our family this holiday (Alaina and Rachel's betrothed) -- Brad and Chad. This of course led to many funny quotes and questions (from my cousin's daughter Ashlyn, "Why do they have the same name?") and our decision to title our generations NBR's (non-blood-relatives) "The Ad Boys." (Since they're mostly boys and apparently they mostly end in -ad.)

I basically lived in that chair. And got sunburned one day!
Who wouldn't want to go here? And guess who stares at this every day on their work desktop background? My immediate family stayed in the house whose porch this photo is taken from (we've outgrown the single compound!).
At night, we sat around drinking pure-cane-sugared soda (long live Vita!) and laughing. Or watching Kendall and Josh buffalo kiss, crazy synchronized ball-on-elastic dancing, reading, eating, and basically enjoying each other's company.

I've explained a million times before, but we're double cousins. Our dads are brothers and our moms are sisters. We look equally different and equally the same of each other.

And there's the happy August couple.

Mallory's coming to Boston in May to run the Half marathon with me. Wahooooooo!
And there we are.
Look! Now there are six of us! (Oh yah, my sister Alaina eloped three days after this trip. Huzzah!) I'm sure we'll take too many foursies photos, but these boys are starting to creep into our lives...

Yes, I already posted this photo, but I love it. And it's already hanging in my room.

Christmas Eve! Our family has the CRAZY FACTOR ability to never mismatch. It's virtually impossible. It's actually one of my favorite things to watch for. WE CAN'T MISMATCH.
Oh yah, and I have a niece. (Am I bad aunt for not posting a hundred thousand pictures of her? Umm. No. And? You're welcome.) This is Adrie, DRINKING FROM A CUP FROM COSTA VIDA. WE TRAIN THEM UP EARLY.
So there you have it! Christmas 2009! I hope everyone's was as grand as mine. How many days until Christmas 2010? (Lucky for me! My entire family is gathering again this weekend. We can only be apart 2 weeks apparently.)

((ALso, of note: blogging during American Idol auditions is a brilliant double-duty activity. It's true, January is pretty lame -- but I have a special place in my heart for Idol. Don't hate.)))

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Little Men

I'm having some mild writer's block. Stay tuned, I'll get it together eventually.

So, I finished reading "Little Men," Louisa May Alcott's sequel to her instant classic "Little Women" (perhaps my favorite post.) As much as I liked Mr Bhaer, I just can't get over wishing that Jo and Laurie ended up together. Does anyone else feel this way? Can anyone read those books and not think of Winona Rider and Christian Bale?

(On that note, does anyone take a break from vampire books to read old timey classics?)

This leads me to an interesting topic. Are there famous literary or television best friends you would have like to have ended up together? My other vote is for Veronica and Wallace from that hit show V. Mars.

Thanks for letting me get those off my chest.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Pop, pop, pop music

I fell in love with mash-ups when I was training for my Half last year and have accumulated quite the collection. Some are better than others (Beyonce mixed with Tom Petty? Holla! Madonna and T-Pain? Kanye and Beethoven? Yes please.) Each year, my favorite artist, DJ Earworm, mashes together the top 25 Pop songs of the year. I distributed the 2008 version to everyone I knew and played it on constant repeat throughout the year. Well folks, 2009 is available and I'm officially in love.

My love for pop music runs deep, so I'm sorry if that means we're at odds with each other. Even if you can't feel the groove, you have to give props to DJ Earworm for the talent to weave these 25 songs (and their videos!) together. I'm with Mal, and agree that anytime Beyonce is on is a win.

Song available for FREE (and legal) download

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Ten Year Reunion

Today is a palindrome. 01/02/2010. Nutty, huh?

We just closed a decade. Though it happens on a routine basis, the routine isn't all too often--only ten times every 100 years! (Go math go!) I love end-of-year lists and have delighted in those and end-of-the-decade write-ups as well. I'm not too discerning when it comes to creating my own "best of" lists, but I thought it'd be fun to capture a snapshot of what I was doing every year this last decade. Easier said then done right now, but here we go.

In a rush to escape Arizona, I took extra credits before, during, and after school to graduate high school a year early. Started at BYU summer term living in Heritage Halls. Got a 94percent on my first test in the testing center (take that American Heritage!) and worked a total of three weeks in the MTC kitchen washing dishes. Failed my Tennis class that summer. 17-year-old me blamed the fact I got really really sick (which I did), but 27-year-old me blames the foolishness of taking an 8AM class. (Baby Me hadn't yet figured out the best part of college--late class starts.)

Considered not going back to school that fall (Quote from Alaina: "College isn't for everyone") for reasons I can't remember. Went back and lived in the dorms another year and didn't regret it a second--probably the most social year of my life. Lived with really fun girls (next door to Krista), dated and sent off a missionary four inches shorter than I am, and still couldn't decide on a major.

Volunteered for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and ended up with a 15-passenger van, a gas card, and a cell phone. Personal assistant (aka treated like a slave) to a family who donated $5million to the Games, but it all was worthwhile given the free tickets and crazy stories they gave me. Decided on a Communications degree but still couldn't pick an emphasis. Worked two jobs that summer -- full time at an OB/GYN practice and nights at MSA. Got my first cell phone.

Lived south of campus in a hole in the wall apartment complex that has provided some my funniest college stories (at least in remembrance). Perfected the art of nicknaming other people. Still no set major, but Fall (my fifth semester in) it finally clicked, and I paid the necessary attention to my school work. My family moved to Portland that summer, so I worked as a counselor at a camp in Maine (please don't ever repeat this mistake), and by working I mean either picking lice out of the darkest, thickest, curliest-hair you can imagine or getting fat.

Moved in with Alicia at the Clover Haus, ate a ton of her good cooking and met Melissa. Finally decided to declare and apply for the Public Relations program. Spent the summer in Portland working an insane amount of hours at a sub-prime mortgage lending company. Happy to have played my part in ruining the world economy. Had not a friend to my name in PDX and went to bed at 9 most nights. Waking up at 4:30am, but one of the best summers of my life. Lost a collective 100 pounds with my mom and sisters. Worked in the Academic Advisement Center in the Wilk both Winter and Fall semesters and enjoyed being visit by just about everyone.

Another year at the Clover lounging about as a 5th year senior. Interned at Target for $12/hour (big money in Provo) and found many a great bargain. Skipped more class than I should have, but laying in bed talking to Mel was more exciting than Econ 110. Worked at the same mortgage lending place that summer and moved back to SLC into the Holla House in September. Got a glorified Administrative Assistant position at the D-Mark. Met Stephanie and some other crazy fun people at work.

Early in the year I was promoted and asked if I wanted to change job tracks--from Client Services to Project Management. (Saying yes to that request has changed my vocational life.) Vacationed all over with the Holla House; Cancun to Las Vegas to Wyoming to NYC. Stayed up too late. Threw a "Sugarhouse High" Prom and disco-skated. Started thinking about a life change in early October and decided to move to Boston after the first of the year.

Mom and I drove cross-country in January, met Dad in Boston, set up house and then started the job hunt. Interviewed ~20 times before getting a job at a shady mcshady web agency (but I can thank them for the spike in my salary and the resume experience). As a joke, auditioned to be on America's Next Top Model. Met Julie and a host of other amazing people. Died my hair red in rebellion at being too sick to run the Half marathon I trained for. Quit my job after being recruited to work at Houghton Mifflin. Partied in NYC multiple times with both friends and family. Hosted Thanksgiving for my immediate family. Turned 25 and wore a red dress to celebrate.

Broke my leg in January (watch for icy stairs!) and spent a few weeks in Portland working from home. Traveled (in a boot) overseas for the first time to Ireland and London. Had Celtics season tickets and watched the C's win the world championship--fulfilling one of my previously unmentioned bucket list items. On a lark, applied for a job seen on Craigslist because their main office was in Portland and travel was mentioned. Started in May and haven't regretted it a single day since. Spent nearly every weekend at the beach and created adventures in Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, and Boston. Said goodbye to half the people I knew who were moving back West. Celebrated Thanksgiving week on a cruise in the Mediterranean (Barcelona, Nice, Monte Carlo, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Amalfi Coast, Sicily) with my G-parents and Alaina. For the first time, traveled by myself in Paris.

Traveled to Portland four times, went through the LDS temple (just in time for wedding season!), finally gave running an honest go and ran a half-marathon, czeched out Prague and Zurich over Memorial Day, survived the rainiest summer in Boston history (ironically it was NOT raining when our church burned down), and partied like a high schooler (Vans Warped Tour, Six Flags, etc.). Got brave and spent a long weekend with 50 strangers in New Hampshire for Labor Day, camped with the ward, and helped be crafty for both Julie and Kendall's (individual) weddings. Entertained leaf-peeping visitors in the form of my parents and NYC kids up for Education Conference. Visited the Southern Hemisphere for the first time on un viaje de Buenos Aires and la Ciuidad de Mexico. Celebrated Christmas in Arizona and the last few days of 2009 in Mexico on the beach with extended family.

So there you have it. A pretty full decade by anyone's standards. Penning my experiences of the last ten years has been an interesting exercise. In short form, it doesn't look like much; but when I think of the collective struggle outweighed by the accumulated joy of the last decade, I'm quite pleased.

At 17, while living in Arizona with my family, I celebrated the ringing in of 2000 in Boston.
At 27, while living in Boston by myself, I celebrated the ringing in of 2010 in Arizona.

I think the story here is to expect the unexpected--and look forward to making sense of the whole mess in hindsight. I'm looking at you 2020.

Friday, January 01, 2010

auld lang really?!

I fell prey to the trap of New Year’s Eve again. This was my twenty-eighth new year ringing and naturally unfortunately, another addition to the annual string of year-end memories ripe with failed hype and befuddlement. Surely the opening of a new year, and (like it or not) the feeling of a new start, deserves something more. Conversation with others leads me to believe this sentiment is common, so I don’t feel like a defective cog in the system of life, I just wanted to add my voice to the collective harmony reminding people that New Year’s is lame.

New Year’s is lame y’all.

Driving home from another lame Young Single Adult gathering (though for the record, I was in a location not my home without a core group of friends), I spent a few relatively despondent moments somewhere between pity and disappointment but anchored most closely to frustration. Not loving any of those feelings, I got smart and counted the number of amazing ways I finished 2009.

Sharing the Compound in Mexico with my family, Coke Light, Costa Vida(!!!), Long Way Round viewing party, sharing a room with my sisters, being the first to bed every night in Mexico, playing Rock Band with my Grandpa, getting to know my brother-in-laws, laughing late into the evening with a very overdue (8 years!) high school girls’ reunion where if you know me and at least the name of one other person in Tempe or Mesa between 1995-2001 I can probably give you an update on said person, FREE parking, straight roads, a phone call with a crusty ex-Bostonian whom I infrequently phone who but always makes me laugh, dinner with some old BYU-pals, hours catching up with the family of one of my high school best friends and his cute baby and wife, a belated video slideshow that made me cry, constant repeats of the “In the Heights” soundtrack, so many 69 cent diet coke refills at the QT the cashiers remembered us, more Mexican food than you can imagine (is this me actually getting sick of it? sadly, maybe!), chatting with my BFF grandparents, TRANSFERING CASH MONIES ON MY PHONE (seriously, technology rules), printing the perfect family photos at Costco, and a host of other things.

In the past two days, folks. TWO. DAYS.

Okay, I’m feeling better about 2010 already. And I have a lot of big ideas and plans for the year, but I’m still winnowing down the vast list of improvements resolutions for the year. True, I’ll agree that most formal resolutions never see March, but if I’m self aware enough to make character resolutions (as opposed to financial, educational, vocational, etc.)—I keep those thoughts with me a long time. I’m well aware of the rough areas of my personality needing smoothed; there’s something I love about the 1st of the year and the chance to reinvent.

Hi. I’m in Arizona. It’s been a whirlwind eight days from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day spent in the Valley of the Sun sandwiching four days in Puerto Penasco, Mexico with my extended family (photos coming soon-ish). I haven’t had consistent access to the internet—and it’s been relatively nice. However, I’m out of blogging habit—has this post jumped enough logic trains or what?

Ten years ago I was 17 years old and five months from graduating high school. In ten years I’ll be 37. If the time between 27 and 37 is relative to the distance between 17 and 27, I’d better GET ON IT.

This blog is exhausting my brain. I’m sure I’ll make sense of it in my mind eventually, but this is where I’m at, 27 years old and no discernable months from any major milestones or life events. Yikes. I need some goals. Wiiiiiiiink.

Welcome 2010! I have big plans for you, none of which include better use of segues or thought organization. Resolutions still intact. Take that!

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

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