Monday, October 6, 2008

Hurrah for Costco!

Well, I'm still not sold on Costco, but everyone keeps telling me it's worth the membership fee. I must say though, I love their mini restaurant. And you don't even need an active Costco card. Tonight we dined at their mini restaurant, feasting on pizza and salad. If it had been up to Corbin we would have had pizza and hot dogs and I'd currently be in the queue for a heart transplant. Corbin loves his pig products. On Sunday we had brunch with friends. I seriously believe Corbin ate the entire package of sausage. I believe he will be coming down with a severe case of "hot dog fingers" soon.

After our fine dining, we stocked up on our immediate food needs as well as food storage. Each time we go, we buy a few items for our food storage. This time we purchased canned evaporated milk and stuffing. Corbin promised me that we will have TONS of things to do with the evaporated milk. Let's hope so.

P.S. This is NOT a picture of Corbin for those of you who have not seen him recently. His hot dog fingers have not kicked in yet.

2 Helens agree.

Hurrah for Israel!

A picture, or in this case, a college football rankings listing, says a thousand words. Hurrah for Israel! Need I say more?For those of you who may be thinking something crass about BYU or thinking I'm praising any of the 1-7 ranked teams, you're wrong!!! You're supposed to be saying, "My, I am SO tickled to see that my favorite football team, BYU, is doing so marvelously." Yes, my friends, my alma mater is rocking the college football scene. I'd like to draw everyone's attention to Corbin's alma mater, Virginia Tech. Hmmm, a measly 18. We'll be wearing cougar blue in this least until Corbin manages to post a blog :) And while I'm on my trash talking soap box, I'd also like to bring to everyone's attention that BYU is creaming the apostate school, Utah.

4 Helens agree.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dark Knight

I realize the hype around Dark Night has mostly died down by now, but the legacy lives on. One recent Sunday afternoon, Corbin was lying in bed. I pounced on him and discovered that he was a little grouchy. So I did what any good wife would do, I teased him relentlessly about how he was a grump. Finally I tired of my teasings and left the bedroom. Soon I heard a ding from my iPhone telling me that I had gotten an email. I checked it and found an email from Corbin! The subject line said, "I'm not grumpy." I opened the email and saw this picture.For those wondering, the red text under Corbin's chin says, "Why so serious?" Corbin downloaded an application to his iPhone that allows you to make anyone a Joker victim. Seeing his picture, I had to do it too.

2 Helens agree.

Sunday Pleasures

Last week we returned from our 2.5 week vacation to Portugal. We have got a TON of blog topics ready to post...but one at a time! Hopefully we haven't lost all of our readers. Today has been an awesome Sunday so I wanted to blog about this first before any blogs on Portugal overshadow it.

Sunday has become our day to try new recipes. Corbin and I LOVE to cook. Today we had soup, salad, and bread. Fairly normal sounding but I have to admit, we did this in style, as you can see by the pictures.

Corbin made his awesome carrot soup, which we put in my favorite bowls. You can sort of see that there are lion heads on the side of the bowl. I think the soup tastes even better in these bowls. This is a soup Corbin learned to make on his mission in Portugal, but we didn't actually eat this soup while we were there (we did eat other kinds of soup though).

We had a very untraditional pear salad. And for our bread, I made a very very salty grape and basil foccacia. I love salt but I over did it a bit on the coarse sea salt :)

We really loved our travels in Portugal, but as cheesy as it sounds, there's no place like home or home cooking. This was quite poignant to me as I paused in my reading this afternoon. On my lap sat Papel taking a nap. (Since we've been home he's been very clingy.) Corbin was on the couch learning to play Silent Night on the guitar. And the air was filled with a mixed scent of stargazer lily and baking bread. I can't imagine anywhere else I'd rather be.

6 Helens agree.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mmm, mmm good in the neighborhood!

What do Campbell's and Applebee's have in common? Not only are they both purveyors of fine cuisine, the former from a can and the latter from a butter soaked, wood paneled restaurant with crazy crap on the walls, but they are both owned and operated by world class golfers!

For those of you who are poor and therefore do not follow golf, this week is the US Open. And it is being played right in our own back yard at Torrey Pines Golf Course! I, of course, was among the privileged to be let in to grace that sacred grass with my footsteps. Among the giants I saw play were none other than Michael Campbell and Stuart Appleby. Campbell won the US Open a few years ago and Appleby was leading this year, last time I checked. Both gentlemen, gourmands, gastrologists, and golfers extraordinaire! [For those of you who believe I made a typo with gastrologist, I can assure you I did not. Def: gastrologist (g-strl-jst) - n. a gastronomist who can predict the future of deliciousness.] I do love Campbell's Chicken and Stars and the buffalo chicken sandwich invented by Appleby has no equal.

I am truly grateful for the game of golf, not only for creating a recreational water hazard between us well-to-do and the great unwashed, but also for bringing us such culinary greats as these two, ironic though it may be that golf originated in Scotland, home of the world's worst cuisine.

"Mmmmm. Open faced club sand wedge."

P.S. Neither of these two made it to the final playoffs today. That was reserved for Tiger, ranked 1st in the pro tour, and Rocco, ranked 158th. I spent most of the morning glued to the streaming 18 hole playoffs that ended in a tie and then went to sudden death! It was riveting. Even though sudden death is a misnomer and not quite as exciting as it sounds. Golf. Who knew?

5 Helens agree.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Kessel run in 11.99 parsecs

The engineering school had a 'Junkyard Derby' and we won! We built a working landspeeder out of a pile of junk and managed to make the Kessel run in 11.99 parsecs, just eeking out a victory over Solo for the record. Things to note: we had to reconfigure the engine pods to fit in the track but we did have firing engines as evidenced by the smoke issuing from the pods in the beginning of the race vid. Also, we didn't win fastest racer but 'most unusual' or 'most mechanical ingenuity', depending on which official you ask. All those years of engineering school must account for something.

4 Helens agree.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Adventures in Jury Town

These are just some random pictures I took while on jury duty. We had an hour and a half for lunch every day so I would wander the streets of San Diego looking for odd bits of city life to photograph with my phone. I'm not a very good photographer so I didn't get many good shots, but here are a few.

Apparently six year-olds are totally into graf writing these days, as evidenced by this tag I found on a city corner. It's even funnier than normal in this context, which is quite a feat.

Pirates thrive in San Diego. But on the flip side, rampant ninja prejudice is a huge problem in our fair city.

MJ has been reduced to using public transportation to get around. How bad do things have to get before the government steps in and rescues our nation's floundering degenerate billionaire icons? Don't they know that the solution to all our economic problems is giving Americans juicy celebrity gossip to take our minds off the impending collapse? And they can't do crazy, gossip worthy things if they're poor like the rest of us.

This is an artist's rendering of the 3G PenciL Phone rumored to be announced by Apple sometime next month. Many people complained about the lack of a stylus for the popular iPhone. This is Apple's answer. [WARNING: Sharpening voids warranty]

This is the bus route I took to get downtown everyday. Luckily this was the express route or they would have stopped at EVERY stop and not just the 1400 shown on this map.
This is a picture of inside the courtroom taken on jury selection day. After taking this picture, I found a posting outside stating that it was a crime to record or photograph inside the courtroom. Oops. But what good is having a spy camera on your phone if you can't take super secret photos? Just nobody tell on me, ok. I've had my fill of judges and juries for a while.

6 Helens agree.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

mixed media - ink and pasty white skin

I am on jury duty. But I'm not allowed to talk (or blog) about the case. So I'll just tell you how I feel about jury duty in general.

First, the pay is great. Alice asked me how much I was getting paid and when I told her $15 she was ecstatic.

"$15 an hour! That's more than you make now!"

"No. $15 a day."

But even with the great pay, I'm honestly not in it for the money. I am totally in it for the glory.

I've seen a few episodes of Miami Ink and it seems to be popular to get important things or events in your life memorialized in a tattoo. For instance, if your days in the navy really made you who you are, you might get an anchor tattooed on your bicep. Or if you are an ice salesman you might get 'Mr. Cool Ice' tattooed on your chest, back and arms along with a skeleton doing a cute little pose to lighten things up. My point is, when something significant happens in your life, the first thing you should do is run out and get a tattoo before you have time to talk yourself out of it.

In that spirit, I inked (don't worry, Mom, it's just ball point pen) a rough draft of what I might get after this life changing jury duty. No, I did not start this while in the courtroom, even though I am sitting in the very back of the room where no one can really see me except the judge and she's always looking at her computer. No, I did not gum up my pen with my scraggly leg hairs and pasty skin oils and have to ask the bailiff for another one. No, I did not gum that one up as well and have to find yet another pen during a break. And no, I did not have to go into the bathroom to put the finishing touches on and get a good picture of this awesome artwork. None of those things happened.

Alice will tell you how she disapproves of drawing on one's legs in public, right up there with picking your nose. She just doesn't understand the significance of being an alternate juror. I'm sure a lot of people will not understand my 'art', but that's something all artists ahead of their time have to deal with. I am ready to proudly display to the entire world my commitment to being the best juror number 13 I can be. At least until I take a shower or the case is over, whichever comes first.

5 Helens agree.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Camp Life - Like Thug Life, but slightly more gentle

Last weekend I convinced someone else's kid to get into a car with me and drove far out into the desert with him. I planned ahead and had a shovel, a large tarp, and snacks to help keep my energy up. What was going on last weekend? You guessed it, our ward's annual Father and Son camp out! Seeing as how I don't have a son of my own, I adopted a kid for the weekend and pretended like I belonged. I'll do just about anything for s'more s'mores (Modestmuse, I know you feelin' me). Over the years I've learned that if you act like you belong, people don't question you. Just like the time I went to the bus station and pretended I was waiting for my bus when really I was just looking for a cool place to rest for a little while. I just kept looking at my watch impatiently and waving around a ticket stub I found in the trash can and nobody even gave me a second glance. Works perfect every time.

But back to the camp out. As all mothers know, young boys thrive on violence. And this camp out is the one time a year when, free of the over-protective mothering of the women folk, the men and boys can finally release the aggression that has been slowly building for the twelve months since last year's camp out. The activities at this year's camp out consisted of hitting each other with giant padded sticks (the technical term is 'boffers') a la LARPing, shooting each other with airsoft BB guns, and catapulting ballistic water balloons at each other at near the speed of sound. (Even the little woodland creatures enjoy LARPing as evidenced by this picture.) Surprisingly, the bishop had no problem with any of these activities. The one father who got smashed in the face with an ICBB (inter-campground ballistic balloon) from 200 yards didn't look to thrilled, but that's the chance you take when you go on an all guy camp out. He plans on summoning his Shield of Perpetual Impenetrability next year and calling down a mighty reckoning on his foes.

Besides violence, men also like to destroy things and construct things. I managed to combine these two activities into a fireside demonstration while simultaneously teaching a lesson about the refiners fire. We melted pennies over the campfire and cast the liquid zinc into a coin mold. Destruction, construction, and fire. The divine male trifecta.

Except for the one missing finger that turned out to be just a hot dog, there were no serious injuries. God bless the Father and Son camp out, and I'm sure He does or there would have been more calls to 911. And we all came home filthy, which is the only sure indication to our wives and mothers that we had a good time.

5 Helens agree.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My little stingray of sunshine

It seems this blog is turning into a 'Faces o' Death' blog, what with all our near death experiences. This time it was my turn to almost die. I almost went the same way as the dearly departed and sorely missed Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. I too was stabbed by a fierce, man-eating stingray. Ok, maybe not man-eating, but certainly man-stabbing. And that man was me.

I was out surfing early Tuesday morning when I accidentally stepped on something squishy and skittish. I knew it was a stingray the instant I stepped on it, but apparently he wasn't aware I was dropping in for a visit. He thought I was steppin', which technically I was, but not the way the kids mean it. I tried to 'step off' (both the regular meaning and the 'kids these days' meaning) but I was not fast enough. So he shivved me. Or is it shanked me? I can never remember which one is the verb and which one is the noun. I guess you only learn those all important details in the Big Time House.

Anyway, he stung me right in the bottom, middle of my left foot. If any of you don't know what a stingray barb looks like, they are quite long, sharp and filled with poisonous poison. Luckily this little guy's...I mean this huge monster's barb did not break off inside my foot, which often happens.

So I hobbled back to the shore and checked the life guard stand for help. But lifeguards are apparently not early risers. It's probably safe to say that early morning beach goers are more likely to still have their natural inhibitions and common sense in tact than the late night variety. So I drove myself home with the radio blasting so I couldn't hear myself crying like a little girl.

I had learned that the best treatment for a stingray sting is to soak the punctured limb in water as hot as is tolerable. So I jumped in the bathtub after efficiently spreading blood and sand all over the carpet. Alice and google confirmed the treatment schedule and also found out that the venom is likely to ooze out of the wound and form a jelly like blob. I checked my foot. Yep, jelly blob confirmed. About the size of a quarter and all mixed with sand.

I continued to soak myself in scalding water for two hours. I tried getting out after one hour but my foot immediately started to throb so I got back in the tub. At the end of two hours I finally removed my wet suit and it looked like my feet were sun burned. There was a distinct red line where the wet suit had been. And they remained bright pink until the following day. Nothing like a first degree scalding to take your mind off the pain of stingray venom eating you from the inside out. But I think the severely hot water did the trick because it didn't hurt much after that. It did split open and bleed every time I tried to walk on it the rest of the day, but it's not our carpet so I wasn't too worried.

During this time, I made Alice call our lifeguard friend, call our med school friend, call the doctor/hospital four times, schedule and then cancel a doctor's appointment, reschedule and recancel the same appointment, and read me the entire wikipedia entry on stingrays. All while I chillaxed in the tub with a virgin daiquiri. And she never complained once. She really is a trooper.

In my efforts to capture the moment on film/silicon, I found that what hot rodders paint on their cars is not so much like flames, but more like blood draining in a bathtub. Makes you wonder what they have in those spacious classic trunks of theirs.

Still, I think my new/old volvo would look pretty sweet 'blooded' out. All in all, this has garnered me much sympathy and given me a cool story to tell people I meet on the street or at the grocery store. And so my near tragedy has become the little stingray of sunshine in an otherwise pleasantly sunny and mild San Diego week.

10 Helens agree.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

On the Wii-ngs of Chickens

I found out something new about Alice. She has chicken wings. She's not a Hooter's hostess in her spare time, she really has chicken wings. Or that's how she describes them.

On Saturday night we were engaged in a vicious battle for the title of Wii boxing champion at our friends the Weeds' house. Alice had bravely challenged Becca, another friend of ours who was there. Becca is a certified quasi semi-professional amateur aerobic boxing tae bo enthusiast aficionado. But I had been training Alice, and as Mick/Matthew would say, she was 'gonna eat lightning and crap thunda'.

They squared up with the wiimotes in one hand and the wii nun chucks in the other. They danced out to the center of the ring and the furious fists immediately started flying. Bruce Lee looked like a sloth on quaaludes compared to these girls' blazing blows. They were each taking heavy hits to the head and body, but Becca's little Mii did not seem to be hurt at all.

"I see three of her out there" Alice confessed.

"Hit the one in the middle!"

The battle raged on with both pugilists pulling no punches. But Alice was growing tired. I knew I had to say something to keep her in this fight.

"You hurt her! You see? You see? She's not a machine, she's a, a woman. You're gonna have to go through hell, worse than any nightmare you've ever dreamed. But when it's over, I know you'll be the one standing. You know what you have to do. Do it."

She steeled her resolve. "To beat me, she will have to kill me."

Her hands were like magic bullets that were magically attracted to Becca's head by some sort of magic boxing spell. Watching her fight was like...magic.

But Becca just wasn't going down. What was wrong? They had been brutally beating each other for what seemed like an eternity and neither one showed signs of injury.

And then the Wii ref separated the girls. The practice round that all new wii boxers go through the first time they fight was over. The real fight was about to start.

Alice: "What!?!?!? That was just practice?!?! I'm already dead tired! I can't fight anymore."

Corbin: "Going in one more round when you don't think you can - that's what makes all the difference in your life. All your strength, all your power, all your love. Everything you've got. Right now!"

Alice: "Cut me."

What happened next will go down in the history books as one of the greatest historical fights in history. I don't remember who won so you'll have to wait until said history book comes out so you can read about it.

The next day, Alice was still feeling the pain of the brawl.

Alice: "My chicken wings are sore."
Corbin: "Your what?"
Alice: "My chicken wings. You know these muscles on my side and back. Under my arms."
Corbin: "You mean your latissimus dorsi?"
Alice: "No, my chicken wings."
Corbin: "Oh. Do you want some hot rice for your chicken wings?"
Alice: "Yeah, that would be nice."

The End.

1 Helen agrees.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Near Death Experience

I too am back from the grave, almost literally. This is one of the reasons we haven't blogged in a while. In early January, I had a terrible accident. Since it was so life changing, I think it's appropriate to record even if it's not funny.

Reader's notice, the contents of this blog are graphic so you may want to stop reading now and just post a comment that says something like, "I would have ended up my life had you died," or "All the sunshine in the world would have disappeared had you left our world." Either of these comments will do.

As I reflect on how to begin my tale, I realize my memory is a little shaky. It may be because of the severe amount of blood that I lost and the ensuing loss of consciousness. I had just returned home on a Wednesday evening from a Young Women's activity. I had not eaten dinner before the activity and with the bed time hour quickly approaching, I was trying to find a quick dinner to ease my hunger pains. My dear Corbin had not yet returned from his activity with the young men so I was on my own to scavenge for food in our bereft kitchen. I finally decided on my favorite default meal, chicken salad sandwich and tomato soup.

I pause now to have my readers consider the many options for kitchen fatalities. At this point, what would you consider being some options for kitchen demise? Stovetop/oven burns, can opening, garbage disposal (one of my serious fears in life is getting my hand or Corbin's hand eaten by this nasty beast that eats garbage...what a disgusting and humiliating way to go!), knife wound, falling cookbooks, and the list could go on. Now that you've had a moment to worry about what my injury was and cause you to question ever cooking for yourself again...I'll return to my story.

I had successfully completed the preparation of my meal and had commenced eating it when Corbin returned from his activity. Since I am a wonderful wife, I immediately stopped eating my meal, and begin preparing Corbin's dinner. He went to the bathroom...ok too many details, but it's important to the story. I began to vigorously slice the crusty bread in half for Corbin's practically gourmet chicken salad sandwich when the huge, serrated knife sliced into the deep recesses of my left index finger.

Instantly I saw my life rush before my eyes; I knew we had to act fast if I was going to make it through the night. I called to Corbin that I was dying and he responded, "I'm on the toilet, can it wait?" I had no energy to fight with him on such a tactless response, so I just yelled back, "NO." Out he comes to look at my finger.

While it had only been a matter of seconds since the incident occurred, my hand was covered in blood and as everyone who knows me knows, I don't do well with blood. I managed to stagger to the toilet seat and plop down while Corbin examined my finger. It was deep. He called the hospital to determine what the next steps should be. As my head hangs between my knees, I hear Corbin ask the operator, "If the cut doesn't need stitches, will we need to pay for the visit? If so, we might just wait 'til tomorrow so we don't have to pay the emergency room fee." I will make no comment here in an effort to preserve my marriage. I WILL mention that the sandwich I had to abandon was being casually snacked on by my concerned husband while I struggled to remain conscious.

Since the operator can't make any recommendations over the phone other than, "if you're in doubt, you should come in," we decided to bypass the after hours clinic and go to our friend who's almost a doctor anyway for treatment. Matt and his wife, Malerie, are dear friends to us. This was not the first time Matt has looked at one of my maladies, like the time I had a weird rash all over my body and the other time I had humongous pustules on my feet, but I'll leave that to another blog. They lovingly opened their door to us around 10pm while Matt was studying so diligently still; he's going to be a great doctor. Matt was worried I had lost too much blood and that I wouldn't make it through the night, but he reassured me that I would be ok. He recommended stitches but I refused, so he bandaged it real good and sent me home admonishing me to at least get a tetanus shot.

I made it through the night and I did get a tetanus shot. Corbin well made up for his previous callousness by caring for my finger. I didn't look at my wound for 7 days (seriously); he cleaned it and wrapped it daily. He even washed my hair for me for a week. He was a great nurse. I've posted pictures of my wound from around day 3. I was still unable to look at my wound without getting light headed so when Corbin wanted to take a picture of my wound for posterity, I had to shield my eyes so I wouldn't accidentally see it.

My wound is now completely healed. Here's a word of advice, try to continue to use an injured finger. I didn't use mine at all for a week and when I tried to use it again, it was totally numb and I couldn't bend it. After intense physical therapy by Corbin, my finger has full mobility again. So in the end Corbin became a greater hero in my eyes and I have an awesome scar. He still hasn't replaced my sandwich, though.

2 Helens agree.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

This Week for Blinner

Our good friends the Maynards are moving tomorrow. Jane Maynard is the creator of an oft visited blog called This Week for Dinner. Many of you may be wondering if this blog is all about eating specific calendar intervals for dinner, or maybe a 'week' is some sort of giant asian green onion and that's all they eat in the Maynard household. But actually, there are many mouth-watering recipes for real food on that site. Check it out if you have never. Anyway, in honor of their moving, I will be writing this post in the TWFD style (also because we made an interesting dinner item that is semi blog worthy). I tried to get Jane to be a guest writer, but she refused on the grounds of maintaining her artistic integrity [translation: this blog is not funny or delicious enough for her talents]. So I will have to write this post as if I were her. Here goes.

I found the most amazing potatoes in all the land! They are purple peruvian potatoes, and they are seriously Purple with a capital 'P'. Somehow, I'm always able to find crazy awesome ingredients for my dinners and I get them so cheap, sometimes the stores pay ME to shop there! All you blog readers may not have the time to go searching for delectable delicacy deals, so just look at my mouth-watering pictures. And yes, I do all my own photography, which means I am awesome at more than just cooking [there is no way to fake being a good photographer, so you'll just have to imagine my pictures are as good as Jane's]. Take a gander at these splendid spuds.

I paired these purple tubers with roasted peppers and boneless beef ribs. Yummy! [there is also no way to fake being a good cook, so although the ribs were 'yummy' they were also kind of gristley. I guess that's where the shopping skills come in].

But I am not snobbish or condescending with my awesomeness. I am actually very humble, generous, and down to earth. To prove it to you, I will be giving away one hundred thousand bottles of pure Parisian truffle oil, just for glancing at my blog. All you have to do is take a brief look at anything on my site, even if it's over someone else's shoulder, and I will send you a bottle. I'm that generous.

Nate, my husband, really liked this dinner and said it should definitely be included in my future NY Times best-selling cookbook that I'm sure to write someday. By the way, he is also a way good surfer, much better than most of his surf buddies, specifically this poser named Corbin who he used to surf with occasionally.

Be sure to post your own menus in the comments section. But you'd better hurry up, because the limit is 250,000 comments and this site is so popular they fill up fast!

See you next week,

5 Helens agree.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Grateful to be back from the Dead

Alice and I went on tour with the Dead. We have been living in a VW bus, eating soy jerky and stinking of patchouli for the past few months. Needless to say, we haven't had access to a computer to update our blog. So please, please forgive us.

Will this be us in 20 years?

Actually, we have just been too lazy/too busy to find even a few brief moments to share our lives with our family and friends. I for one have spent every waking moment playing with my newest and most beloved possession, my iPhone. I wish I could surgically implant my iPhone into my brain because then I would be three times as smart as I am now and be able to email my thoughts directly to Dr. Phil, instead of having to type them out every time I need his advice.

As Bradley pointed out, owning an iPhone should not relieve a person of their blogging duties. In fact, owning an iPhone should make blogging easier, with the whole of the interwebs now in my pants. Now that I have thoroughly explored and hacked the heck out of my phone, maybe that will be the case. I am hoping that a third party app will come along that will allow me to easily blog from my iPhone. Then you should see the number of posts skyrocket. Just don't expect corresponding quality.

As I am still not sure if this renewed commitment to blogging will last, I will keep this post short and hope that people won't start checking this again until I have a few more posts up. But I will leave you with a photo of note. This is a picture I snapped of a guy I have dubbed 'Asian Kid (of Kid'N'Play)'. I see him on campus occasionally and his hair always makes me smile. It may not be the best picture, but you can still get a sense of the awesome wonder of his daring hirsute personality.

6 Helens agree.