Sunday, December 30, 2007

In the Marmalade Forest

Today I had the pleasure of attending family ward. Not that I had any choice. It started at 9, but kinda felt like 5:30. It was all dark outside, like the sun didn’t know about today.

This ward has been working on their emergency preparedness. For third hour, they all gathered together, and the man in charge informed everyone that he had split the ward up into sections, based on location of residence. We were given a list of our ward neighbors, and we were suppose to decide on a group leader who would check on everyone in case of emergency, and then report to the man in charge, who would then report to the Bishop, and so on and so forth. There were some jokesters in the audience, who I greatly appreciated. They were not yelled at for having a good time. (I recently was yelled at for having a good time. But not in this ward. We welcome Funny.)

We got our list, and noticed our family was in the “Red” group. After this I kinda dazed out, because they were about to split into groups, and why should I pay attention?

I was soon called back to earth because of my mother.

Well mom gets our list and starts marking on it, and then she gets in the Red group and starts bossing people around. She said, “Okay, I can be in charge of these ten families, I can walk to all of them, and I think you should be in charge of the other ten, because you can walk to all of their houses, and I think we should report to you (she points to a guy who was already agreeing, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know what he’s agreeing to, Mom was just so bossy) and I think you should be the one to report to the guy in charge.”

So mom goes up to the guy in charge and says, “This is what the red group has done, is that okay?”

He nods. “Sure, that is great.”

Mom says, “Okay, I was thinking I will need a code name. How about______?”


Right, I know I didn’t tell you guys the code name, but it’s a code name, so of course I can’t tell you. That is for the red group to know only.
(But if you contact me i will totally tell you.)

So anyway, my mom has a code name, a code name she came up with, and I am proud to be her daughter.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Year of the Magnificent Hurl

It is uncertain if my 12 year-old cousin still believes in Santa Claus. I don't know how to go about finding out. But i think the answer is YES. It is tradition/belief that she sprinkles reindeer dust outside on Christmas Eve. This dust, as far as i can tell, is made up of oatmeal, glitter, and of course, magic. This is my first year participating, so i took a picture of my first sprinkle of reindeer dust.



Everyone looks so smashing in their festive red shirts. It is so nice when families are matching.


The Christmas Table.

You'll probably notice all the greenery. I did that. I cut up a pine tree for Christmas dinner.
My brother was so shocked at my plans that he exclaimed, "WHAT!? There is a sacrificial pine tree in the back yard as we speak?!"
He's not an intense tree-hugger or anything, he just likes to exclaim things.


I think for my birthday I'm going to buy my parents matching stemware.

But none of this has anything to do with hurling, does it? (BTW, we watched Curling in High Def the other day. It was illuminating.) I'm sure you saw the title of this post and have been dying to know about the year of the magnificent hurl.

Well, it begins with these two little guys: Taffy and Tobey.






These pictures are really quite unfair, because that picture of Taffy was when she was a puppy, and the picture of Tobey gnawing on the raw hide bone was taken just the other day, and he happens to be in his awkward teenage years. His growing body is still a mystery to him. He is surprised when he lands on the ground sooner than he thought he should. He really is all legs. He has a habit of running 100 miles an hour to jump into your lap, slamming his 20 pound body into your stomach. He is just always so excited to see you, that he is all over the place in excitement.
Well, on Christmas Eve, i was relaxing back at home after sprinkling that reindeer dust, when the dogs decided they wanted to join me on the chair. So they jump up, and begin messing around. They are always play fighting, and this time, Taffy was not in her element. Anyway, Tobey ends up pushing her over the arm rest. She is flying backwards off the chair, and i wasn't sure if she would be able to turn in time, so i reached for her. She did turn just in time, because right before I grabbed her, Taffy vomited. The vomit goes flying through the air, and magnificently lands only on the tile floor. It could have landed on the Santa rug, or the other chair where my sister-in-law was sitting. Taffy could have landed in her own vomit, gotten scared, and ran all through the house tracking vomit behind her. But she didn't.
It was simple flying hurl, but magnificent in it's simplicity.

It was a Christmas miracle.

After English

The title of this post was going to be "Aftermath" because i wanted to show the aftermath of the Big Doings, but then realized that i hate math, so why should i give it such prominence?


The night started off with this kid eating all the popcorn. She has the two fisted method going for her, which is really very smart. No one knows how she got up on the counter, but we do know she ate all the popcorn.

I had to make more.


The evening progressed with a killer paper snowflake making contest, and also the roasting of chestnuts.
As stated previously, i think chestnuts are gross, but decided to give it another whirl. I can no longer look that "chestnuts roasting on an open fire" song in the eye again. I didn't want to be the only one with this problem, so i served chestnuts to my friends, and am pleased to say that one person, after partaking of the chestnut said, "I have no respect for that song anymore." My plan worked brilliantly.



This Christmas party was complete with karaoke, and here mom and i are singing, "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow," which by the way happen to be the only words in the song.
I had no idea.
But mom had never karaoke-d before, so i thought i might start her off on something easy.
She did a great job.



BONUS PICTURES!!!!!!!!
(of a similar, though unrelated event. This was the tree decorating night.)




Friday, December 21, 2007

Big Doings

We have Big Doings in our household today.

1st: There is a kid who looks about 12 (or 20) in my house right now, tapping on the wall, preparing to put holes in our newly painted living room. Father has decided it is high time to get that new TV on the wall and install surround sound. Might as well, right? I was not looking forward to this, because Father wanted to mount that thing as close to the ceiling as possible. After much discussion about how i think Father is crazy for wanting to put the TV where only birds could see it, it was finally agreed upon to put the TV at eye level, and my panic of an eternally kinked neck was relieved.

So here i am, typing away, as the 12 (or 20 year old) goes about making a ruckus. Interesting side note, he mentioned that he has been "doing this kind of thing for ten years." What does that mean? No matter if he is 12 or 20, i would think 10 years ago is still starting a little young. Unless by "doing this thing" he means, "tapping and then putting holes in walls," i suppose he could be correct.

2nd: I am getting kicked out of my room. This happens every so often, and there is usually a great reason. This one comes in the form of my brother and sister-in-law coming for Christmas.
They are also bringing their two dogs, and i dearly love dogs.
Well, most dogs.
So we are expecting them sometime today, hopefully in time for Big Doing number 3.

3rd: After an interesting slight of hand, i decided to host a host-less Christmas party.

At my house.

Where we are expecting family.

And also the 12 or 20 year old is making holes. (And talking on his phone. This is his third conversation since he's been here. Who knows when he will be done?!)

I have a pretty detailed list for what i need to do the second the preteen is out of here to get ready for family and friends. I am kinda just lurking around, waiting for him to be done, so i can start on my list.

I have spent many minutes looking at numerous websites for the proper way to roast a chestnut. Because what is a Christmas party without the roasting of chestnuts? It just so happened that Father had all the appropriate accoutrements for such a roasting, and I'm excited to get started. I have experienced chestnuts only once, and i think they are horrible. But now that i know proper methodology, i think i might like chestnuts this time around. The guy cooking the chestnuts on my one and only experience clearly did not do his research, because he was being silly about his roasting, and now that i know all about it, if i could go back to that guy, i would offer some free advice. Oh well.

There will also be various competitions at this party, some winners and some losers, and probably some karaoke.

It really has all the makings of a great party.
Stay tuned for the aftermath of all of our Big Doings.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

blaaahg

I feel strange.
I can't put my finger on it.
I just feel off.
I was thinking about complaining to all of you about how weird i am feeling, but decided that since i don't actually know what it is that is bothering me, i would just be talking in circles.
But, we can discuss possible reasons:

1) I am reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. That book keeps me on edge, man. Maybe i am just concerned for the welfare of fictional characters in a book i have read twice already.

2) Church was different today. I hate different church. I like it normal. But contrary to my preference, I didn't have to devise ways of avoiding Sunday school, they came to me. People who have been only semi friendly were suddenly full on friendly.
It was weird, and i didn't like it.

Well that is all i can think of.
In an effort to kick this wonky mood, i toured some blogs, and this one did a pretty good job: http://patricksinventionideas.blogspot.com/

But still, i am slightly wonky.
If anyone wants to call me and try to help me out of this strangeness, please do. I hope you can help.

Sigh.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Houses

A few days before Thanksgiving, mother and i thought it would be a good idea to paint the living room, buy and hang draperies, and purchase an entertainment console. Of course, we were having Thanksgiving at our house, so things needed to look nice. I think it worked out okay:



Some of you history buffs may notice the wall color looks strikingly familiar to another color of another time on the same wall. This is not so. Mother will explain to you that this wall color has a slight tinge of green if you look at it correctly.



Things have changed since Thanksgiving. First, the bowl of California Cuties no longer resides on the entertainment cabinet, and in it's place is a 42 inch flat screen, which basically takes up the space between the lamps. Second, we had a garage sale and ended up getting rid of our couches. Because our new furniture won't be coming until next week, we are currently couch-less, and it is rather depressing.

The day after Thanksgiving included gingerbread house making. It was bunk. It was foolishness. It was sad.

We couldn't find our usual gingerbread house recipe, so we had to settle for another found in Taste of Home magazine. The cookie part of the house ended up more like graham cracker, and the frosting didn't stick. Things were sliding about right and left. You would think you had a wall up, and then you didn't.
Yes, you will see a few houses that made it. We took pictures of those houses. But a few hours later, they were tired and collapsed. So sad.

But we had fun anyway.

Also, Tara is wearing a great towel apron, an apron type i have never seen before. We contemplated making one for grandma to wear when she goes out to dinner, but we figured she would forget it at home, and then cuss about how she left it at home. So maybe she is better without it.







This is mother's fake ginger-bread-more-like-graham-cracker house. You may notice right off the bat that this house doesn't have a door.

Oh, but it does have a door. It's a secret trap door.
Can you spot it?



Friday, November 16, 2007

Death by Job Boards

I am so tired.
I applied to 15 jobs today. All online of course. The most exciting part about the monotony is when you get an email that says they have received your application. So I received quite a few emails today, which made me feel good. Another thing that makes me feel good is when i come across job descriptions like this:

Rapp Collins Worldwide New York is looking for a Copywriter with the exceptional ability to come up with big ideas and the talent for making off-hand pop cultural references. Experience working in all mediums such as direct mail, print and interactive is a plus. A solid understanding of independent music and Japanese films is required (along with DTC pharmaceutical experience). Must also demonstrate the ability to wear black clothing without looking too Goth.

Resume and URL or PDF (2 MB or smaller) should be sent to nyhr@rappcollins.com with “ New York Writer” in the subject line. No phone calls, please. AA/EOE.
I definitely applied. I mean, i have great skill in black-dressing, believe all music should be independent, and i can always Google what DTC pharmaceutical means.
I'm a shoe-in.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Tagged

I have officially been tagged. This means that I must share 3 facts and 3 habits, and then tag someone else to do the same thing. You could be next!

If anyone would like to volunteer, by all means, you are tagged.


Fact: I have oft times wished and hoped for someone to fill up my gas tank during the night, and it would be all ready to go in the morning. Or the afternoon, or whenever I end up using my car.

So I have hoped for a magical GasMan. Of course, I would never need him every night, but I would need him frequently. I like to keep my tank above the half way mark, as I get better mileage that way.

I would love a GasMan.

I hate getting gas. I’m just lazy. I hate getting gas on my way somewhere… because that usually always makes me late. So that means I need to put gas in the tank at some other time, requiring planning and doing. Sigh.

The GasMan would need no payment (although I would somehow pay for the gas… but the GasMan would not charge a service fee.) He would be like Santa Claus, bringing toys to children around the world, or like Big Foot, keeping overpopulation from the wilderness areas of our country.

Habit: I like to clean my room at night. Right before I go to bed, actually. I love waking up to a clean room. Unfortunately, this does not show off my time management skills. I usually get carried away in my cleaning and end up going to bed much later than I should.

Fact: There is a man on our roof.

Habit: I don’t walk around barefoot. It grosses me out. We have never had carpet in the house, so the floor is usually cold, and I think that no matter how often you clean, floors are always dirty. I can’t walk around bare-socked either. My socks end up picking up little bits of dirt, or dust bunnies, and I end up dragging around someone’s hair on the bottom of my foot. That is gross. And then, if I put my feet on the couch, what did I just put on the couch? Yes, little bits of dirt, dust bunnies, and hair. That is gross. I can’t wear slippers either, they are too hot, and any sort of grossness could get in them.

So, I have sandals that I use when I’m walking around the house. They are really quite handy if I want to get the mail, or go out back to get something. Or go to the side door to get something. People may say, “Why don’t you keep a pair of shoes at the door?” and I may say, “Were you not listening, there are a lot of doors to keep shoes at. That would be ridiculous.”

Fact: When friends become too much of a hassle, I want to drop them.
As the Black Eyed Peas said, “No no drama, you don’t want no drama.”
It’s like they were reading my soul. They are right. I don’t want drama.
I don’t know if it is good or not, but I rarely drop friends. I usually wait it out.

Habit: I rarely drink milk. I think milk is shady.

Disclaimer: I think all my “habits” could really fall under the “fact” category. I thought about looking up the difference between a fact and a habit, but then realized once I knew the difference, I would be responsible for doing this assignment correctly, and that didn’t interest me at all.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Denial



Yum Yum hasn't been seen for a few days.
My parents think that she simply gave up on us and went off to adopt another family.
I think that when my parents go out to the garden, they will find Yum Yum's cold, lifeless body under the squash bushes.

I know that squash doesn't grow on bushes...But if you had as many as we had, it sure looks like a bush.

L.A. Temple



The L.A. Temple has been "our" temple for as long as I can remember. For some reason, I don't have any pictures of me next to the sign.
So I made sure to remedy that.

Also, we entered the temple during the day, and came out at night. I have never seen the L.A. temple at night...well.. you know, in person...

It was simply gorgeous. It blew my mind.
My mind hasn't been blown in a really long time.
It was a great experience.
Thanks, Heavenly Father.




This is perhaps the scariest pumpkin I've ever carved.

Everyone told me it was so original.

I carved a shark last year, too.

Radioactivity Day

Mom has been a bit radioactive lately. It was at it's worse in the middle of the week. For safety's sake, Dad needed alternate sleeping arrangements. He tried to kick me out of my bed, but i convinced him that he has been wanting to spend a night under the stars, and he agreed.
I came home later that night and found this:


Apparently, "under the stars" meant "in the living room with the blinds up."
Who knew?

Also included in the month of October was a trip to Oakland. Tara is touring grad schools, and we went up to check out Samuel Merritt. The school was pretty cool. It was also pretty ghetto. Some buildings didn't even have elevators. I don't know how they get away with that. But everyone was walking around with cool identification cards, and they could get into buildings that we had to be buzzed in to. I have no desire to go to Samuel Merritt, but after i saw those identification cards, and how cool they looked, I'm thinking about applying.

Big Bean Vats



Pioneer Day felt like a long time ago. I'm not talking Mormon Pioneer Day, I'm talking Paso Robles Pioneer Day, which was at the beginning of this month. Because of lame circumstances beyond my control, it is kind of a hassle to get my pictures from my camera to my blog.
So, we end up with about 30 posts all at one time, and this post is all about the free beans in the park. Apparently, this is an event rich in tradition that i don't really know very well, but it had something to do with men staying up all night stirring the beans in the city park. And then people came the next day to eat them. Don't ask me. I didn't even know this had been going on all my life.
Although it's origins are shady, i felt like this year was a great year to participate in the free beans.


This is the bean line. We are standing about half way in the line. People show up with large pots to fill up with beans. It's weird.




Oh man! Do you see how close we are to the beans?



The modern day bean men and women, stirring the beans in the big bean vats.
I wonder who cleans those.

I Didn't Know

When i was little, my parents got fancy purified water. I don't really know why, but it seems that we needed fancier water. Or maybe fancy water again? Or a different kind of the same fancy? I don't really know. (My parents don't really tell me anything, nor do they make sense when i ask them questions.) I also didn't know that the fancy water installer man had to go under the house. And i really didn't know that i had a trap door/floor hole in my closet.
Creepy.
I wish i never found out.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Yum Yum

It appears we may have been adopted again.

First, Sally adopted us ... some time ago.
And now Yum Yum has come around. She's been crying at the door for two days now.
The poor thing is so hungry. But it's not up to me to give in, my parents have to give in. I mean, they will be financially responsible for this cat.

The poor thing.....
And i don't even like cats.
But i can't just KILL one.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Terrible News

So tonight was the first ever annual North County FHE Talent Slash Variety Show.

My camera ran out of battery.

I got nothing.

But i did read a super great poem as my "secret talent." Mainly, i was keeping it a secret from Tara all week.. The poem was by Roald Dahl, from his book "Revolting Rhymes." It really is simply a response to literature. Check it out.
No, really, go to the library and check it out. They are especially fun to read out loud.

But, overall, the Talent Slash Variety Show was a huge hit, and if you would like more details, plus a few pictures, and a great surprise Talent Slash Variety Show ending, go to Tara's blog.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The D.I. Dance

Our activities committee decided to hold a D.I. dance that started at 9. This was stupid for several reasons.
  1. We have no D.I.s in the county, and i was not about to go up to Utah to buy clothes for a dance. It should have been called the "thrift store dance" or the "Good Will dance." We have plenty of thrift stores and Good Wills in the area.
  2. The name was confusing. With a name like "D.I. Dance," it required a lot of explanation for all those fortunate souls who have never heard of Deseret Industries.
  3. I am tired of dressing up for dances. The last dance i went to had an 80's theme. I just want to go to a dance without wearing a costume. (also, none of the activities committee dressed up. It was their stupid party, and they didn't dress up.)
  4. The dance started an hour before i usually get ready to go to bed. But i went to the dance, and i participated, and now it is very late and i am not tired all because of the stupid dance that forced me to stay up late. Now i will forever be a night owl.


At least i got this great Muumuu out of it. I mean, count your blessings, right?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Who dat fly girl?


Mom celebrated her birthday in a big way this year. Not only did we decorate, but we put up great signs that said things like, "Who dat fly girl?"



After enjoying the signs for a few hours, we went to lunch, then on to The Tour of the Parks.


Our first stop was the park in downtown Paso, the one with the gazebo. I have no idea if that park has a name. We played Sequence, and mom opened her gift from Judy. I'm not in the picture, but my purse is, so i hope you believe that i was actually there.



The next park was in Templeton, the one with the gazebo. We did a puzzle. We are very intense puzzle do-ers.





The next place we went was the Atascadero Lake Park where we played Rummikub.

We had a thing for gazebos.

Later that evening Mary and i set up a scavenger hunt for Mom. One of her gifts would be found in the garden, as i'm sure you have already deduced.

The first clue read, "In the house, there's a clue beneath the mouse." (Or something like that.)

Well, the clue was really underneath the mouse pad, but under the mouse, nonetheless.

The next clue was a thinker.

One clue led to a gift in the dryer. Mom was so surprised, she popped up with her hair flying madly about so fast that i accidentally cut off her head in the picture.

There was nothing in the shed, but it was worth a look anyway.

Reservoir Canyon


Today i went on a hike that i have never gone on before. Growing up in the Cohen household, i recall many a Saturday that included a hike, so i was pleasantly surprised and a little confused to find myself on an unfamiliar trail.

i found this handy dandy website that told me how far i walked, as i really had no idea. The website also offers nice pictures and an example of poison oak.

http://www.slocity.org/naturalresources/images/trail%20guide_reservoir.pdf

TRAIL FACTS
Year-round 2.5 mile trail with bridges, waterfalls, (I only saw one waterfall) ponds, pools, cascades, and striking geological features. (I must admit the geological features were truly striking.) Enjoy wildlife and native plants but avoid poison oak and ticks, which are common.
The first 1.1 miles of the trail is shaded with easy, mostly level hiking. The remaining 1.4 miles is a moderate to strenuous (straight up hill equals strenuous in my book.) climb ascending 1300’ with little tree cover. The high point is 1,715’ at the end of the trail. Currently at 487-acres, this open space area is owned by the City of San Luis Obispo and maintained by the Ranger Service and the Natural Resources Program. Docents lead hikes throughout theyear; for details please call (805) 781-7302 or 544-1777.


This is the end of the trail. Please note the striking geological features.


My hiking friends, Kerry, Me, and Jamie. I have become a master of the ghetto rigged, timed camera shot. We had to do some quick pressing of two cameras and running to get to this position. Can you guess who actually did the running and pressing?


We found this totally cool bench that someone had built into the ground. I was too lazy to actually come out of my rock comfort to get a better shot...

video
My very first attempt at video. Mostly it is bad, but you'll get the whole scope of the thing. If you don't vomit. It was also blowing pretty hard, so you should know that was the wind, not me. By then i had completely recovered my breath.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pouf the WOW

Today was wear your hair in a Pouf Sunday. So i did it.
I don't think i'll do it again. I'm talking to Tara on the phone. She was begging me to take a picture of the pouf, so there you go, T-Dawg.

Also, this week is the start of Week of Welcome on the Cal Poly campus, or WOW for short. This means that not only the Cal Poly campus will be overcome with people, but so will the entire town. This means more traffic, more pedestrians, and more... more of everything.
There goes the quiet summer...

But it's good for the economy, right?

The 51st Post



Thanks to more free tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I went with Tara and Mary for my 2nd trip in 2 weeks. This time I kissed a fish.




And took another picture near the big whale.



And I got to see more Otters. I am Wild About Otters.
I even found an otter charm for my charm bracelet.

In another area, we saw river otters, and river otters do a latrine dance. This otter got out of the water right in front of us, and started shaking it's booty, and we thought it was so cute, and it got it's whole body in the dance, and suddenly, we saw grossness flung from it's rear! It was shaking the poo out!

We were so shocked and could hardly believe what we saw.

We needn't stand in wonder for too long, because once the original poo-er left, another otter came up and did the exact thing in the same spot. And then another otter came to perform its latrine dance.

It was all really gross.



Tara got caught under the wave machine. She looks happy about it, though.