Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lunch Time Dilema

Problem: your husband is using the only apron in the house, and you are in dire need of another.

SOLUTION:



The Rock graduated on Friday, and I believe this problem was a fine test of his skillz. Plus, now you've seen my Pirate Face. (but I left my eye patch in my room for the photo so I cropped the top of the picture to spare you the awkwardness of seeing me without it.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Cheer

Have you seen the Merry Mix It commercials from gap? There are famous people dancing and singing. And unabashed commercialism at it's best. Now with festive colors and upbeat holiday music.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Red Rock Thanksgiving




The Rock and I spent Thanksgiving in his hometown with his family and some friends and my Dad. I ate enough food for three people, then topped it off with some whipped cream. (Ho Ho Ho! I love whipped cream!)

The day after Thanksgiving, we took my Dad mountain biking in Sedona. The trail was populated by groups of Asian tourists taking pictures, which makes for a different sort of obstacle. I'm used to rocks, cactus and critters, but not tourists.

Although my Dad didn't come with us when we branched off on another trail (he went back to the parking lot and volunteered himself as a picture taker for the tourists. He told a group from Guatemala "Listo? Queso!" (he said thought about telling them to say "pickle-pie" but decided the meaning might be lost in translation...), I was really glad he came.

The trails were pretty easy, and without tourists, would have let us do some fast riding. The Rock commented on the "grippy dirt" (as compared to the not grippy dust of the Tucson trails). Nice, red, grippy dirt. I hope you notice my black socks...I bummed them off my Dad that morning by telling him how cold my ankles were. And I was glad to be wearing them too--it was cold out there, my ears were froze! And my throat was froze. But mostly my ears.

Back in Phoenix, my dad took us to The South Side for lunch at Carolina's. It was a dive, but the food was tasty, refills were free, and atmosphere was aplenty. They caught my whole eating experience on camera (surveillance camera trained at my head) and it was MESSY--can you eat a tostada and NOT be messy?!

Also of note this weekend was a visit from my BFF Marge who added some sparkle to the weekend. Happy Birthday Marge! --Lu

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MishMash: Luxe, Attolia, Bus Speech, Cavemen and John Pinette

I read this today. It's theme is: Luxury is Out because if you are rich, flaunting that in hard times is distasteful. I can't help thinking: I've been living like I'm in hard times BEFORE the hard
times hit. Those purses and luxury cars...I didn't buy them. But maybe I should now. They're gonna hit the clearance racks soon. The question is: Is it poor taste to flaunt luxe items in a recession if you are in the lower class? I say: Cadi SUV here I come!

***
My favorite books of 2008. The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia. Bear with The Thief, it's definitely juvenile fiction. The characters are young and immature. Stay with them. Once you start The Queen of Attolia it will be adult enough for you. It's intense. It's interesting, and it takes some brain power to follow along. The Rock and I read them together. We even stayed up late reading them. I'm the only one who ever does that at our house. The Rock was willing to be tired the next day for these books.

(and take my advice and DON'T read the summary for The King of Attolia before you've read The Queen of Attolia. Maybe you won't care what information they give away but I was distraught.)

***
Random (and probably not very entertaining) Bus conversation:
Guy one: yeah, on that movie you could tell the actors were hammered.
Me: (thinking to myself, Well, if they were playing like they were drunk, then DUH!)
Guy two: They were slurring their speach?
Guy one: Yeah. Slurring their words together. They were HAMMERED! heh heh heh
Guy two: Hmm.
Guy one: But me, even back when I was younger, and I got hammered, I didn't slur my speech. You couldn't even tell I was hammered. Heh hehheh.
Guy two: (awed (or bored) silence)
Guy one: But I don't do that now. I can't do that anymore. You know drunks, they drink too much and they open their mouths and their speech is slurred.

***
The Rock and I went to Peppersauce cave with some friends on Saturday night, and I got all muddy, even in my hair, because my hair was falling in my face, but my hands and clothes were all muddy so I had no way to clean my hand before pushing back my hair. At least it stayed in place after that. I had a hard time after a while in the cave because my back was really sore that day, I don't know what happened, but I was hobbling around like a little old lady (you should
have seen me wincing as I was leaning on my shopping cart at Walmart). So I had gone to the chiropractor earlier in the day (he made my back feel much better), and his parting words were: "Take it easy, okay."
Yeah. Right.

So I was having a struggle in the cave, and I took a little breather, and while I was waiting I heard voices approaching, when I finally saw the people: two guys, wearing only what seemed to be black bike shorts. The first thing they said to me was not, "Hey, how's it going?" instead, they said, "Yeah, um, we wore wet suits because we thought it would be wet. But it's just hot in here, and hotter in the wet suits, so we had to peel them off." That's why they were running around half naked in a cave at 9 o'clock at night. And it's not an easy cave to run around in, my back got scraped up and I WAS wearing clothes. Then they wanted to know where the "lake" was. Haha. Have you been to Peppersauce? Have you seen the "lake"? I wouldn't touch it even if I was wearing a wet suit. There's probably dead bodies at the bottom of that. What else would make the water look the way it does? But don't take it from me, afterall, I'm the one with mud in my
hair.

***
John Pinette. Youtube. Laugh your guts out. And isn't laughter the best cure for so-called recession blues? Skip the NYTimes today, I'll sum it up for you: things look bad, hard times, the government should hand out more moneys, and Twilight is an obsession that some girls (and their moms) can't deny. Spend your time with John Pinette instead.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Taste Test

Powdered milk.

Did you shudder? I did. I hate the taste of powdered milk. At least, I used to. My mom couldn’t pay me to drink that stuff. She had to sneak it into Real Milk. Pure Milk. Yummy Milk.

But, in looking into my food storage, I realized that, yes, I like milk. And if there were a crisis, and I couldn’t get to the grocery store to buy Real Milk, I would need a substitute. Short of owning my own cow, powdered seems the best option. (the cow isn’t really an option. Can you imagine?! I don’t even water the things I fondly call My Plants. I don’t remember to do it. I rely on The Rock to do it. Poor little starving moo-moo. She wouldn’t give much milk.) So powdered milk it is.

Thankfully, in the time since I was a kid, other people have been diligently searching for something not quite so toxic tasting as Powdered Milk. Right now, I’m looking at my very own number 10 can of Milk Alternative. It’s whey based. I bought it at this great little food storage store in Mesa. You should go there. The have stuff that looks pretty yummy. (read: Freeze Dried Raspberries in a Number 10 Can! CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW GOOD THEY ARE? HOW MANY THERE ARE??? A WHOLE BIG CAN OF THEM! Sweet, sweet goodness. I would eat yucky oatmeal every day if it had raspberries in it. My food storage attitude did a 360 when I saw that sweet can full of goodness.)

So. The Milk Alternative. It still tastes like powder. But it must also have MSG because I can’t stop drinking it. No joke. I had a mug of it an hour ago. (and no, it doesn’t have MSG, but if it did, one would expect me to want to drink it the way I want to drink it right now.) If you want to try some, let me know, and I’ll give you some. But don’t say I didn’t warn you that it still tastes like powdered drink. In a taste test, there would be NO confusion as to which was the Real Milk. But maybe, you wouldn’t mind drinking the Alternative.

In other food storage news, did you know you can buy real true cheddar cheese powder? Another thing that made food storage a reality for me. I eat cheese every day. I love cheese. I'm guessing that powdered/dehydrated cheese doesn't quite live up to Real Cheese, but seriously people, this is stuff that can be stored for years without spoiling, it's probly ok if it doesn't quite taste like the real thing. I haven't bought the cheese yet. But when I do, I'll tell you.

Random note: to the person who dared to spell the word "really" as "rilly"--I hate you. You have changed the way I think the word. And I fully intend to hold you responsible when I make a fool of myself sometime, in some official type document when I write "rilly" instead of the real "really." And while I'm on misspellings, how about "ima" as in "ima go to the game tonight" Grr. It's so PERFECT! and so low class--and yet you can get away with saying those misspellings and not be thought a moron. Until you joke about it too much. Like me and Moo. When we joked about being Joe-say (instead of Jose). And then, in a moment of weakness, blind, unthinking weakness, I read a sentence aloud in Spanish class. And mispronounced Jose as Joe-say.

Did you shudder? I did. --Lu

Monday, October 27, 2008

News from The Long Lost Moo

Guess where we went this morning?
I'm going to try and attach the picture [editor note: photo to come later], but the large smoking volcano behind us is Mt. Merapi, one of the world's most dangerous and active volcanoes! Yay! We went there with Carolus, The Geologist's adviser's student from 10 years ago---who's now a professor at the second largest university in Jogakarta. The last eruption was in 2006, and so we're standing on the reminants of the pyroclastic flow (the 'avalanche' of super heated ash, and gas and rocks and boulders). Jojakarta was originally built several centuries ago by the first sultan here in a way that it has never been in direct danger of the volcano. The Geologist asked Carolus if it smoked all the time, and he said "Yes.If it is smoking, we are happy." I take that to mean that a lack of smoking volcano indicates something is wrong and going to happen? The Rock, the mining engineer will now fill in with suitable knowledge. I will pester The Geologist later.

Ah, you should see this place. It's crazy. They drive better here than in Ambon or Saumlaki or even Kisar. Ambon driving is enough to give me anxiety attacks. Drivers honk to keep you from walking in front of their cars, but they like to wait until they're right behind or next to you. Then it's like playing live human Frogger to cross the street---not here though, so don't worry---since there's no such thing as pedestrian right-of-way, and no one exactly uses their headlights after dark. It's fantastic! They also drive on the left side of the road, so I have to remember to not look the wrong way. And to think I used to make fun of my British trainer [editor note: trainer as in, missionary trainer].

So, here, the average price for a whole pineapple is only 5,000 rupiahs---or 5 cents. It's amazing. We had to go buy shirts for church last Sunday and, a tshirt I bought was 2,900 rhp ($3) at full price. CRAZY! It's good quality too. KFC is the big restaurant here. They have several within a few city blocks of each other, and each seats 100+. They're much larger than the typical American KFC, and there's no mashed potatoes---just rice and french fries. The average person orders the rice though. They also have a lychee fruit float, and ooh tasty.

We're doing great. We have lots of stories for when we come back. Right now we're being hosted by the university, and Carolus put us up in a 'homestay' hotel--which is a bed and breakfast/grandma home typehotel in a large old Dutch house in the middlish north part of
Djojakarta. The only really lasting influence of the Dutch here is in the architecture. No one speaks it anymore. Only Muluku, the eastern province we were in, sympathized really with the Dutch, and nearly all of the Indonesians in the Netherlands are from those islands. The
Church isn't there yet, but the majority of the people are Protestant, and are ready for the gospel.
Ok, I best be off. We're going to see the basement rock for the island in the morning along with one of the largest of the Buddist temples here. Or it's Hindu. This city has a complex history. I recommend reading about it. Forgive my mixed spellings of Djojakarta. They spell it at least 3 different ways for various purposes. It's the 'Boston' of Indonesia with 100 universities.
We're coming back on the 4th.
I have been writing now for 30 minutes, and The Geologist has shut himself up in the wardrobe. He says "no." as in no I haven't. He needs attention. So I'm off. --Moo

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cards in the Camper

A few nights ago my friend Em pulled out her family’s card games (they were tucked inside an old, metal Sesame Street lunch box) and we headed out to her dad’s camper. If you haven’t been in a camper in a while (I hadn’t) they’re pretty nice. This one has a full size bed, a fridge (not full size), oven (more like the little Princess Play Oven for kids), stove, bathroom (the whole bathroom is the shower!) and a sweet stereo system. We explored every nook and cranny and ended up fighting over who would get to move in there first. Imagine: no space, so you have to live with just the essentials. Imagine: trailer park life (so much blog fodder!). Imagine: you live in a camper (your coolness factor jumps 10 points or more instantly). Imagine: the bathroom, the WHOLE bathroom, converts into a shower, so cleaning is a SNAP! AND Imagine: your bed is not just in the dining room, it IS the dining room.

***
Random transition: have you heard that couples who do new things together have the same hormones going off in their brains as when they first met and fell in love? (if you haven't, then see this article from the New York Times, "Reinventing Date Night for Long-Married Couples" by Tara Parker-Pope, Feb. 12, 2008). I would call them New Love Hormones. What this means, is that no matter how old you are and no matter how long you’ve been married to the same person, you can still have that Newly In Love feeling (or, if not that, then at least the same hormones that you had when you felt that Newly In Love feeling). All it takes are new experiences. For example: you could move from a regular house into a camper. That would be a new experience. Or, maybe you try out a restaurant you’ve never been to before. Or, you let your spouse give you a ride through the parking lot in a shopping cart. Or, you visit a new town together. Or, you explore the town you already live in—there’s a lot more to see than you may think. (Such as the fence made out of bowling pins and other “found” items. Have you seen that one?).


I used to have a list of things I’d never done but wanted to do (it ranged from vacationing in India to trying eggs Benedict). Making that list was quite enjoyable and doing things on it was even better. When I was feeling stuck in a rut, I would check my list and inevitably, there was something new for me to do. (which is why, eventually, I had to get away from things like vacationing in India and focus on things that I could do in the city I already live in. Such as going to the top of the tallest building in town. Or visiting the quirky little museum downtown. Or riding a bus to the way south side. Or learning to knit. Or making homemade marshmallows. Or growing my own basil for pesto.)

I’ve decided that article about how to keep long term couples feeling Newly In Love works wonders for everyone (in love or not). Because, isn’t the world a more exciting place when you’re trying new things no matter who is trying them with you? And along with that thrill of doing something new, there’s something amazingly creative about thinking of all the things you have left to do in this life—talk about adding a little spice to your life. Imagine what it does to your perspective! Suddenly, the tire that just blew out is one more thing you’ve never done before, so you start to get a kick out of the fact that you are now stranded on the side of a road. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll think about waving at the passersby because, hey! You’ve never done that before.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Enthusiasm for All Things Ridiculous

Confession: I like cheesy, teen girl romances. They have to be of a certain caliber (no Sweet Valley High or something proclaimed as part of a romance series, heaven forbid I be associated with something low class like that). But a stand alone romance once in a while is an enjoyable thing. Somehow I missed this one when it was published. Thank you Bridget for recommending it. Ladies, if you want something frivolous...try it out (Guys, don't bother. Trust me on this one.) Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman.

I also have a habit of liking songs that have the same flavor or feel as that kind of cheesy novel. You could read the book while listening to these songs and you would believe that they had been written as a joint venture. My two current favorites: Crush by David Archuleta and Better in Time by Leona Lewis. Thank you to You Tube for making them available for my listening pleasure. (I can't vouch for the quality of the music videos, I'm just listening. Over and over and over again. I figure, wear the song out and then I won't even want to buy it.)

Since I have the predisposition to like embarrassing stuff like this I might as well ask for your favorites...maybe I'm missing out on something good just because I haven't asked! So let me know other books and music...that is, if you don't mind exposing your enthusiasm for such things.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Call from Indonesia

AN EXCERPT from an EMAIL FROM MY DAD: Out ot the fitful slumber of the elderly a call came @ 0505 from Moo somewhere in the Maluku islands on the Northwest coast of Australia. The Geologist was busy cranking the phone for power and it came in loud and clear.

They are on a small island measuring coral reefs that are now dry land. They are staying in a small hotel and the food is great. They have gekos in their room and they chirp at night. The stars are close enough to grab and they are very excited to be there. They have taught the local kids to place Uno and other card games. Mu is working on learning some of the language...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Add Two More to the List

I nabbed a copy of River Secrets by Shannon Hale from the library on Thursday night. It's classic Shannon Hale: lyrical prose, humor, characters overcoming inadequacies…I love her characters. The key thing that sets this book apart from her others is the main character. He's had some appearances in The Goose Girl and Enna Burning. (the fact that a male is the main character should alert you that this is different from her other books). Razo, the funny, fiercely loyal companion from those books takes center stage in River Secrets. Razo is awesome (and Hale says he is her favorite character. It sounds like that's been true since he first cropped up in her writing). I didn't realize that he was so great until this book, though, because his other appearances have been relatively minor. He has a killer sense of humor, he's frank with his insecurities, and he reminds me so much of one of my brother it's almost scary. This brother misses the obvious sometimes, but he more than makes up for that in his amazing abilities to connect with people, to remember people's names, to care about them, to make people laugh and feel at ease. Just like my brother, Razo does all of those things. Since this brother is serving a mission in Mexico right now and I only get an email from him once a week, I miss him a lot. Reading this book was like reviewing all of my favorite things about my brother. It was fabulous.
Razo is short for his age, gets beat up by his older brothers, is mocked by other soldiers because he isn't good a sword play or grappling or looking imposing—all the things soldiers are supposed to be good at. It turns out he does have some amazing skills though…he just needed a chance to discover them. In the meantime, Razo is racing the clock to discover who is burning bodies in an attempt to incite a war between two countries. Hale manages to pull in some the elements of modern (real) life: people who feel so strongly about their beliefs they are willing to hurt others to make a point. That kind of anger, the kind where you are willing to break the law when it isn't on your side, the kind where you are willing to hurt the people who think differently than you just because they think differently, is scary. It's scary because it's unpredictable. It's unpredictable because those people see themselves as above the rules. They decide what is right and wrong and punish their opponents accordingly—not by the schoolyard rules of challenging you to your face, telling you to meet in the parking lot after school, but sneaky, run in an murder
someone in a crowded street while screaming propaganda kind of rules. There's a little romance thrown in too. Would it be a Shannon Hale novel without that? (you'll have to ask her. As a sort of related aside, she does have this great blog, squeetus.com where she reveals how trying it is to be a writer, and tells you real life things about herself. Check it out.)

The other book I read this weekend is The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison. It would be more appropriately titled, The Prince and the Hound. But I guess they were trying to secure female readers, while precluding a lot of guys with the girly title and the girly picture on the front cover. (guys, you could probably enjoy this too. Don't let the cover and the title fool you). It's a pseudo retelling of a famous fairy tale. If the back cover hadn't told me that, I wouldn't have recognized it (well, maybe I would have, but seriously! Why give away something like that when it's cooler for the reader to figure it out themselves????!!!!) Don't read the back
cover or a summary and instead figure it out for yourself. Anyway, it's a fantasy novel. The main character is a prince. In fact, the princess doesn't get all that much time in the book, that's the NEXT book. (Thank you Stephanie Meyer for reviving what Orson Scott Card started when he wrote Ender's Game from another character's perspective. Now, I guess it's The Thing to do.) Like I said, it's a book guys could enjoy because it's not all princessy. Actually, the princess is sort of an odd girl anyway, so she's not frilly and girly at all. But I digress. The prince has animal magic, something that people in his country highly prejudiced against (so much so that they
burn people at the stake for it). So he keeps it hidden. He's bound and contained by the duties of being a prince and the fear that his gift will be discovered. When he consents to marry the princess from a neighboring enemy country, he's doing it out of duty. But he meets her and is smitten. Now, don't expect a goopy, lovey, chic flick romance kind of story. True, it's a romance, but it's not following the traditional pattern (except that there are two people who you want to be in love). The characters are emotionally scarred so they approach love a lot differently than traditional fairy tale romances. And they are both preoccupied by other pressing matters—like running countries and the horrors of prejudice against people who are different. It was a pleasure to read, but not in a comfortable, predictable way.--Lu

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hobo or Javelina?

My two beautiful little peppers (yellow "sweet" peppers) were picked by an unknown hand (mouth?) last week. The only veggies I can call my own and now they're gone.
P.S. they taste pretty nasty. So I don't think they were worth stealing. Unless it was a javelina. They probly don't care about how sweet the peppers are).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Follow Up

You know how I told you about The Rock's interest in the cover of that one book (about the witches and the evil wizard)? Well, I asked him last night.
Me: What about this cover catches your interest?
The Rock: It's all colorful and cartoony.
Me: Did it ever interest you because there is One guy surrounded by a hoard of girls?
The Rock: [with a touch of disdain] The thought never entered my mind.

And thus we see Lu's ability to read her husband is slightly lacking. (Although, I CAN read books pretty well. Hopefully that has some merit.)

You know how on Microsoft Word, you can pull down a menu, and it shows recent documents you've opened? I use that quite frequently as a shortcut to accessing documents (duh, that's what it's there for). Anyway, there is a document listed that I have NOT EVER opened (or created, for that matter) in my life. And when I try to open it, to see what the heck it says...yeah. It says the filename/path is invalid and to please try again.

BUT I DON'T know what the heck it is! so how will I know where it's stored now. How did it even get on that list if I didn't open it? (and I'm the only person who uses, or, at least, is supposed to use this computer. I have a password! Doesn't that mean something anymore?)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Formatting, Book Picks, Friends and Grocery Bag Man

In defense of the crummy formatting of my blog posts: I don't have consistent access to regular internet. (read: we are too cheap to buy internet, even though I feel disconnected from the world without it. So...I post via email.) And somehow, google's email is formatting my posts in a really crummy way.

It might be my fault for not changing a setting. But then again, it might be google's fault: shouldn't they know that I want them to format in a way that doesn't have returns (the result of hitting the enter key) in places I didn't put them?) I'm going to angrily hit return now. (show them who's in charge of the enter key).

As for when Moo will leave for Indonesia: I don't know. She was supposed to leave Saturday. But then, it was Tuesday. Did she really leave on Tuesday? I don't know. (I know I'm her sister, but did I call her on Tuesday? No. Did she call me? No. At this point it's tempting to make up an answer. Wouldn't that be fun? Making up blogs about what her life is like? I say Yes. If she's not submitting any posts, what's to stop me from doing it for her?)

I have a few comments today, but I'm starting with some recently read books (as per a good friend's request) but there's a bus-type story after the book reviews:

Book number one:

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

This book is AWESOME! I love reading it. And so does The Rock (I'm reading it out loud to him), but he LEFT for a CONFERENCE with 20 pages to go. Needless to say, the book is now a great temptation. It's on my kitchen table begging me to read it.

I've managed to resist so far.

It starts with a kid (I'm guessing 13/14 years old) in prison because he stole something from the king. He's a braggart, cocky, and somehow lovable from the very beginning. He is rudely awoken one night, taken into the palace, and enlisted in the king's service (so he's not stuck in prison the whole book, thankfully) as a thief, to steal the most prized goal for thieves: Hiamathes Gift.

The kid is funny, he's a typical whiny teenager, but somehow the author pulls that off without making him annoying. Instead you like him from moment one. There's a lot of suspense because there are so many unanswered questions. Hence the temptation to keep reading without The Rock.

There are three books in the series (argh. Is anyone else sick of reading series? I love and I hate them.) but don't make the mistake of reading the library summary for book three (or maybe the back cover for that matter, I don't know, because I don't want any more ruined for me!) because it will give away more than you wanted to know. Grr. The library shouldn't post summaries like that.

Book two:

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath

I don't know how I managed to find two humorous books in a row, but it happened. The main character (I never remember their names, shame on me) has a dad who is on a fishing boat, and her mom goes out to retrieve him from a storm. Neither return, and in spite of that circumstantial evidence, the main character insists that they are not dead.

In the mean time, she's moved around in her small town to different caretakers with one odd/funny thing happening after another. The title stems from a restaurant in her town where everything is served on a waffle. Recipes included. The people are so quirky they seem real. You know how all of your friends have little oddities about them that make them even better to be friends with? Well so do the characters in this book.

Book Three:

Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson

The version of this book that I have from the library has a cartoon drawing of a guy surrounded by the faces of 6 or 7 women. The women are UGLY (except for one) and look distinctly like nasty, ugly, gross witches (interestingly, that's exactly what they are). The Rock has taken a great interest in this book's cover since I brought it home. Is it because there is one guy and a gaggle of girls surrounding him? Is it because the witches are ugly? What is the draw? (if he weren't at a Conference, I'd ask him, but on the phone, he'll be evasive, so we'll just have to wait for the answer. So much waiting!)

Ok.

So the guy is a wicked wizard. He does dastardly deeds (but nothing so dark or heavily described as to make you feel uncomfortable. This is a CHILDREN'S BOOK for crying out loud! In fact, mostly the author tells us he's awful, but not enough to really make you feel like he's awful. As a result, you end up sympathizing with him). And why the sympathy? Because he needs to find a wife (isn't finding a spouse everyone's biggest source of agony in life? I bet you already sympathize with him).

So, who are candidates for a wicked wizard? Witches of course. Hence the nasty women on the front of the book. Many shenanigans follow, including one really old witch who frequently, in a moment of forgetfulness, turns herself into an end table. (maybe the front cover should show five ugly witches, one beautiful witch and one end table. Would The Rock be interested in that, I wonder?)

*****

In other news, I now have friends who ride the bus. A guy from church, an attorney, a lady who just started working downtown, and a woman from the IT department. Isn't that a nice contrast to the usual bus stories? I think so.

But, can I tell you a hobo story, and put the nice part of the bus rides behind us? (the nice part was fleeting, I know, but that's symbolic of real life on the bus.)

So, there is a hobo, who I think has come to my bus stop mostly on Mondays. But other days as well (and believe me, I desperately wanted to ask, Why are you here Today? Is it a Special Occasion?, but I refrained, we're not that good of friends (yet)).

But he did tell me about wanting to go to LA. (When he gets the money, of course. Isn't that what's keeping all of us from moving to LA?) His most distinguishing characteristic is the multitude of plastic grocery bags full of his possessions (or are they full of trash? I desperately want to ask about that as well, but...is that offensive? too personal? Ah. What are the rules of etiquette with hobos?).

He carries at least 7 or 8 grocery bags (double or triple bagged for extra strength). That means about four per hand. He walks up to the bench, carefully sets down all of the bags and then, when he sees the bus, he rearranges them so that most, if not all, are in one hand (easier to pay for the bus ride if you have a free hand to hold your change/pass).

So, there he is one fine morning. Bags on the bench, bags on the ground, bags all around (I feel a poem coming on). Anyway, that day I had my regular "purse" bag (although I loathe purses and so hesitate to call it a purse, but...it's a purse-like bag). AND I was carrying two grocery bags. Bags that looked just like his. I felt like the guy's porter. Or little sister. How could I avoid it? There is one bench, facing a main road that leads directly downtown.

So there he and I stood, for the whole world to see our commonalities. I felt embarrassed, then I said, Self, what's to be embarrassed about. If you were driving a car, and saw this scene at the bus stop, you would laugh about it. So, I carried my bags with pride as I followed him onto the bus.

Don't you wish (I know I do) that I could have taken a picture?

I would have labeled it Hobo in Training. --Lu.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Indonesia

Why it's cool to have a hubby who is in a graduate program for Geology: For research purposes, Moo and the Geologist are heading to Indoneisa.

From Moo's email:

"We'll first be in Bali for a day, or leave right away if we can, to Ambon (the old Dutch capital of the Spice Islands---city and island name), from there to the Banda Islands by boat for a few days, then either by boat or plane to Kisar (island) and some of the nearby islands---Moa, Sermata, Leti--which aren't too
far from the bigger island of Timor if you try and find them on a map. We'll probably be at those islands for a few weeks doing the majority of the research. After that, we'll go to Java to the city of Djokjarta to meet with people at one of the universities there. Then we'll go back to Bali and home again.

I'll bring back a monkey and case of malaria for everyone. So just be sure to have a cage ready---I don't think I'll have room to pack those. Jk. We're going to be as careful as we can while we're there, and we're buying all of the necessary medicines and bug and Komodo
Dragon repellants and water purifiers, etc." --Moo

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Observed

Outside of a large, ritzy hotel in downtown San Diego: a union demonstration complete with chants about retirement rights, people in red t-shirts, reporters, posters/signs on sticks, and a person in a
skunk costume.
They had assembled on a street corner just in front of the hotel. I passed by them, cutting closer to the hotel and when I looked up, I saw someone sort of leaning out of a fourth floor window listening to the protesters: a maid for the hotel. I think she was listening to the people who were protesting for better wages for people like her--while she was at work. I wonder if she wanted to join them? --Lu

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Summer Book Review

You know when you like something so much that you get overexcited when you tell people about it? I've been feeling that way about some books lately so I'm posting my thoughts about them. In case you feel inclined to read but need some suggestions, here are mine:

My Life In Dog Years by Gary Paulson. It's a collection of real life dog stories. It's short. It'll make you laugh and cry. I read it out loud to my husband and one story to my Dad (while the power was out. By lantern light. It was like the good ol' days). They laughed too. (They didn't cry. Maybe it's just a Lu thing.) You don't have to be a particularly big dog lover to appreciate them because they're cool stories from someone's real life. Not made up. The author is the guy who wrote Hatchet. And a bajillion other children's books, many (all?) with outdoor survival themes.

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson. Did I write about this earlier? I don't know. It's worth writing about again if I did. The protagonist is youngish, she goes to some forsaken northern state and homesteads. She's believable, she's the kind of girl you'd like as your best friend. This isn't an outdoor survival-just-hanging-on-by-a-thread pioneer story. First of all, it's during World War I. Second of all, even though she's sort of eeking it out on the land, it's a refreshing look at the world. It might make you want to try a little gardening, or just get outside and appreciate the world a little more.
http://www.hattiebigsky.com/

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. I know I wrote about this before but I WANT YOU TO READ IT! I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed this book. It's downright funny. It's unique. It's got cartoon illustrations. The main character has attitude. My husband liked it. You can buy cool tee shirts and such from the website You can read a chapter of the book here: http://www.smekday.com/excerptfromthetr.html. (Just don't read it at work. You'll be laughing and people will look at you funny).

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix. It's short. It's full of energy and frustration and emotion. (I read this one out loud too, and by half way through when the main character was mad, I was mad. I wanted to kick some of the other characters for him. It was great to feel all defensive for him and then remember, He's not real. My husband gave me a funny look at that point.) He's the third child in a time when you are only allowed to have two kids. So he's Hidden. And he meets another shadow child. She's kick booty cool. There's more books in the series, but you could stop after this one. If you want to. But you won't want to. To boost my credibility I turn to The Rock again: he missed our exit on the freeway because he was concentrating on the book. Nuf said.

Star Girl by Jerri Spinelli. One of my favorite books. It's a modern fairy tale that's not all that full of magic or fairies. In fact, there aren't any of either. It's a story about an oddball girl, from the perspective of a go-with-the-flow guy who sort of starts to be interested in her. It's about popularity. It's about seeing people for what they really are. It's about being yourself. It's about looking at the world differently. It's about making your life fun because you can. It's about caring about other people because you can. http://www.jerryspinelli.com/newbery_017.htm

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick. You know with this kind of title it's going to be good. The protagonist is a jr. high schooler. He has a little brother who's cute and fun. Then the little brother get's sick. This is how his older brother sees the whole thing unfold. It shows how a normal kid might deal with something traumatic like serious illness of a family member. And it's funny. Funny I tell you. It's sort of jr. highish, but so what. Go ahead, relive those years.
http://www.jordansonnenblick.com/index.php?r=drums

And to clear the record: I only read three of these books this summer (and one of them I'm rereading again soon). But these are fun times books. I want to share them with you. And, this saved The Rock from having to listen to me rave again about how much I like these books.
(and sorry for the crummy formatting. I know it looks awful. I'll get it fixed as soon as I can) --Lu

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Want You To Get Dirty





Tucson has just boosted its summer coolness factor.  Mud Fest '08: Return of the Mud Monster (yes, there was one last year) happened at Reid Park today.  It was free of charge.  (P.S. I'm writing this from my friend's house and right now she is putting neosporin on my knees (belly flopping into the mud gave me some major exfoliation)...but she had to crawl under the table to do it.  So there's a little voice coming from under the table saying, "This may sting, burn, tingle and/or tickle."  She's right.  It did a ltitle of all of that.)

A highlight of the event was hearing a mom yell at her kids, "I want you to get dirty.  You aren't made of sugar." 

I think the photos give you a good idea of what it was like.  I haven't had such effortless fun in a long time.  I highly recommend it. --Lu

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Friends

One of my new favorite things is wearing my ipod around. I think I've had more conversations with people by wearing my ipod than by not.

Isn't that ironic?

I put it on to tune out people and instead I end up chatting with them. Usually, they say something like, "Kids today can't go anywhere with out one of those things," [ oh, and that's another thing that happens. If you wear an ipod and look even sort of youngish, then you become a kid by virtue of having the ipod on your person]. And then, I'll joke with the person, or say my dad really likes his, or something like that and suddenly, we're into a full blown conversation.

So, thank you ipod, for making me more social.
--Lu

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why I think gormet food and commentary about it is ridiculous

From the NYtimes:
"It has the taste of the forbidden, the illicit — the subversive, even...Eating with your hands, it's pure regression. Naturally, everyone wants it." [can you guess what they're talking about? Of
course you can. It's hamburgers.]

From that same article:
"With smoked bacon, lettuce, dill pickles, mustard, mayonnaise and fries, the burger at Le Dali costs 35 euros, about $56." [of course the bun is made by an exceptional chef, and the meat part too. But ARE YOU JOKING?]

I stopped reading the article at that point. I liked the one from last week about chocolate chip cookies much better. If you didn't catch it I'll tell you the key point: let the dough sit in your fridge for 24-36 hours before baking it. That won't cost you $56 dollars, and you'll probably enjoy it more. --Lu

[The above quotes were taken from: "In Paris, Burgers Turn Chic." If you go now, it's in the top 10 most emailed.]

Monday, July 14, 2008

All that talk about AZ being a Dry Heat...it's a lie!

After church yesterday The Rock and I made homemade oreos. All because the cream cheese's expiration date was getting close. To use up ALL of the cream cheese (The Rock's goal) we had to tripple the batch. By the time we got around to making the icing (the only thing that calls for
cream cheese) the cream cheese was sort of melty (it is HOT in our apartment, thank you Humidity for rendering our swamp cooler USELESS) so The Rock had to add WAY more powdered sugar than the recipe calls for.

So then the frosting was a weird consistency that only is firm when it is cold. Practically speaking that means: the cookies only stay stuck together, with a nice icing filling, when they are in the fridge. Oy. And I've only glued one batch of cookies together into oreos. After that I shoved the icing into the fridge and called it a night. --Lu

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jet Skis

Last Family Home Evening activity with the Fiance's family was to make sure the new jet-skis were properly working. Oh darn. I got to ride behind The Fiance down almost the whole length of Utah Lake. It was great. He goes really fast since he's done it a lot---and then there was me (insert appropriate Moo cartoon) with my turn to learn how to drive: gooOOOooo, stop. GOOOOOooo, stop. goOOOOOOooooo.,stop. Jet ski and Fiance because Moo drives slow: WHUMPH! WHUMPH! WHUMPH! It's best fast since it's not so bumpy. Fiance is patient. :)
Afterwards, you would also have been entertained by me running through clouds, and I mean CLOUDS, of mosquitos. It was all I could do, when I realized what they were, to not dance in one spot and yell with my arms flailing---like the Bryan Regan skit about the little bee, or the invisible spider web, or Sarah when she claimed she couldn't eat the shredded lettuce on her tacos because it would make her run out in the street and yell "TAXI!" --Moo

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bus Ride

I ride the bus. (you can already see where this is going). It's frustrating, and annoying and slow (sometimes). But, during those awful moments, every so often something clicks for me. And then it all becomes extremely funny. Just such a moment happened today. The bus was late picking me up. When we got to the transit center, the driver waited for a while until all the people had boarded and then got off the bus to buy a coke. Even though we were late. But, that's chill. By the time she got back though, there was a person in a motorized wheel chair waiting to board the bus. So that took a while. As she was hooking the wheel chair into place, she couldn't find a place to put the second strap, so she said, "Do you have your brake on?" (she had to repeat that a few times until the person comprehended the question) Wheel Chair Person finally said, "Yeah. I have my brake on."
"Well," she said, "I hope that will hold you." (ack! That is Unsafe!) (don't worry, nothing tragic happens to him). By this time there was a pack of people waiting to get on the bus. After the eternity it took for them to load, there was another wheel chair person waiting to get on. The wheel chair person's name is Reuben, I know because his very loud sister was yelling at him to come and get on the bus. My hopes for making it to work on time were shattered, but before I could sink into despair, enter: Singer.
Singer gets on the bus, with a medium length pole under his arm. He keeps turning around in the isle way, the pole clearing a path each time he moves. Finally Reuben says, "Give me that before you poke someone's eye out." Singer looks happy and hands the pole over.
"Hee," he says. Then, in a loud, almost monotone voice he sings, "Reuben, Reuben, Reuben, my brother. I love him! Reuben, Reuben, Reuben my bro-u-u-ther." Moments later, with renewed zeal, "Reuben, Reuben, Reuben, him look so good, him look so goo-o-o-d." The whole time, Reuben is beaming and looking around. Sister, who had gotten on first and is in the back of the bus, yells out to Singer, Hey where are we going!" Reuben says, "Ask the driver where this place is." Singer tries to do it, but the driver tells him to stand behind the white safety line. Singer loudly chants with a sorrowful look, "Yeah because last time I fell over. I fell over. Fe-e-ll O-vvvv-er."
A guy standing by Singer says to Reuben, "That's where you want to go. In that building, so take this next stop." From the back of the bus, Sister, whose seat buddies are telling the same thing, hollers, "This is where we want! What we just passed. Hey, pull the cord!" (directed to Reuben and Singer)" Singer looks at her with an exaggerated seriousness, his face puckered, his finger to his lips and says, "Shhh."
By that time, we had reached my stop, and as I was hustling off the bus, I could hear their shenanigans continuing. The thought of those three kept me smiling all the way to my office. --Lu

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mr. Good

Disclaimer: I'm writing stories that may not be entirely The Truth. Because, when you write about a teacher who is somewhat of a legend at your school, then it's not always clear what is myth and what isn't.

***

In high school, I had a teacher named Mr. Good. In the years before my time there, some students had gotten their hands on a picture of young Mr. Good. Naturally, they made it into a poster that filled an entire bulletin board. The caption read: He's Mr. Good and there is no Mr. Better.

I read that poster practically every day for a whole school year. I tended to agree with the sentiment. After all, when a coach came to Mr. Good to borrow a desk, Mr. Good demanded to barter. As a result, he acquired a baseball cap in exchange for the desk. Then he proceeded to wear the hat (embroidered with our high school logo) to class for the next few weeks.

Another time, Mr. Good was assigning seats and ran out of desks. (It was probably about then that Mr. Good became self conscious about the baseball cap). So what did he do? He assigned the spare kid to the couch in the back corner of the room. During the next few days, Mr. Good put on a pretense of being sorry about the dearth of seats, but since every other kid in class coveted the couch seat, and the kid himself finally said, "Really, I like it here. I don't need a desk," the couch became a permanent assignment.

And there were other perks to being in Mr. Good's class: bad kids got sent to "the Veranda" (the walkway just outside the classroom door), at Christmastime, we sang songs and put on skits about government, and on bring-your-child-to-work day, his 7-yr-old daughter taught us about the planets (during an entire hour of "AP Government").

So, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that we all agreed: he WAS Mr. Good, and there WAS no Mr. Better.


Fast forward some years. I'm at work, and I hear about someone's client. The last name? Betters. --Lu

***Note: As I'm sure you noticed, there were some "high class" words in there like "dearth" that I wouldn't normally use--that's all thanks to my friend Marge's amazing editing skills. Thanks also to everyone who contributed (knowingly or unknowingly) to the stories about Mr. Good.

****P.S.: That book Moo "recommended"--Love in the Driest Season--is great. Post coming soon. BUT! don't read it if you don't like descriptions of the aftermath of war, BECAUSE, the author was a news correspondent and describes some of the horrific scenes he encountered while reporting. Nothing is described in great detail, but if you are squeemish, be warned.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

overheard

As I was walking past a back yard, a little girl's voice drifted over the fence, loud and clear, "Daddy! Daddy! We found a magic pencil! Look! A magic pencil!"

What does a magic pencil look like, I wonder? --Lu

Friday, June 20, 2008

book-o-rama

Recently (read: since last week), I've been on a reading binge. Big time binge. Why? I'm here, in the same place I was last summer and the one before that and it's hotter than sin outside. And The Rock goes to bed at the unseemly hours of 8:30 or 9. Can adults do that of their own free will? (I know, I know, plenty of people do just that every night.)

So here's a list of some books I've enjoyed in the past weeks, (and a shout out to you if you recommended them):
  • Empire by Orson Scott Card (p.s. I'm not an Orson Scott Card maniac. Just FYI.) You want action? done. You want some political commentary (or at least thought provoking look at American politics)? done. Fast moving, not space alien sci-fi like some of his others. If you read it PLEASE tell me so we can chat about it.
  • The China Study by T. Collin Campbell and son. One man's attempt to prove via gobs and gobs of scientific studies that diet can prevent cancer, heart disease and many other ailments. If you already suffer from those things, his theory is that a change in diet could actually reverse or at least lessen the impact of the problem. There's a section on how food manufactures and lobbies impact what and how we think about food. (does anyone know if this has been challenged? I'm guessing yes...)
  • The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip. A short, sweet and definitely fantasy story. You can read the official summary yourself, because if I give one, it will just spoil it for you.
  • The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm by Nancy Farmer. A mystery/adventure story set in Zimbabwe in something like 2120 (or was it 2021?). The kids of a defense leader are kidnapped and three detectives with special powers attempt to find the kids. The story is mostly focused on and told from the perspective of the kids (so I'm not sure why the detectives stole the title).
  • And Moo, who is refusing to write anything on the blog right now due to a bad case of goo-goo eyes, has recommended Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker--the story of how a couple adopted a child from Zimbabwe. NPR did a story on it, so if you want a summary, look it up on NPR (I'm being lazy about posting a link for you all, sorry). I just checked out the book today, so I'll give you an update when I'm done.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Housekeeping

So, a few of you have sent in comments on the last post...They are great. I love reading comments. HOWEVER, I'm having difficulties with my computer, so the comments won't show up right away, but I am reading them and appreciating them.

As for my real housekeeping issue: there is a smell at my house. It's new, it's exciting, and it's bothering me! It's not a rotting smell, it's not a stinky feet smell, it's a synthetic smell. I don't think it's our bikes (which live in the house, the rationale for which anyone in Tucson will readily discern), and it's not our "new" couch. What is this mystery smell?

Once I had a different mystery smell (my neighbor smoking in his apartment)--the smell itself wasn't the mystery: our apartment smelled like a motel--you know that odor of someone-has-smoked-here-just-not-right-at-this-minute-smell? That one. The mystery was, Where was the smell originating? Mystery solved: the neighbor. During that time, I was wondering if I was imagining the smell sometimes, so I asked a friend if my house smelled funny. She said, "Well I don't know what it smells like in here normally, so I don't know." Good point.

So I'm stuck in the same position once again, except the uncertainty of WHAT is causing the smell is almost more troublesome than the smell. Until I figure it out, I'll be at my apartment taking up-close wiffs of everything it might possibly be (so far I've smelled the couches (twice) and the bikes, and the garbage (ok, I just took it out, because I've already tried that before and regretted it.) What else is there to smell? --Lu

Sunday, June 8, 2008

chicken mania

Once I thought I might want to own some chickens. This started when I was reading the book Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen (I found a copy of it at a thrift store for 25 cents! I love that kind of price!) . (it has a chicken right there on the front cover...subtle indoctrination from the start!) It's a teen fiction book, it's a short, light read, and the main character owns some chickens. And that is where I learned that chickens lay eggs whether there is a rooster or not (I know they need a rooster if you want chicks, but I didn't know the egg laying was spontaneous. Pitifully ignorant, I know.) The book also contains the notion that eventually, hens lose their drive and egg-laying begins to peter out. That got me thinking: Is that true? So I started an unofficial poll. (it's a fun poll to take because you can really catch people off guard by asking, Have you owned chickens?) The answer I've come to is that chickens' desire doesn't drop off just because there isn't a rooster around (if you have had different experiences...let me know because, well, read on...).

And that means that yes, I could own chickens someday. Fresh eggs, little clucky hens with names like Gladys and Marigold = my future.

This future all depends on there NOT being a rooster involved. My aversion to roosters started the first time I met one. When I visited Karl's work (located in a small southern Arizona town), there was a rooster nearby (read: next door). It cock-a-doodle-doo'ed (you try spelling that and see if you fare any better!) all day long. Every 15 seconds (or less) there was another crowing. My nervous twitch started after 2 minutes and 10 seconds. That is how long a rooster would last at my house--because on second 11 I would be rooster hunting.

In conclusion, I'm wondering if this city-girl desire for some hens of my own is something anyone has advice about...please let me know so I can start making realistic plans for my future chicken coop. --Lu

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fantasy Island

So I've been mountain biking for a little over a year now. And there is a "famous" trail here in Tucson, called Fantasy Island. And I've ridden that trail multiple times (including the "bunny trail" which should be renamed the "boring trail" just so you know). There are some sweet spots on the trail, including one called The Shaft. There is a caution sign right before the descent that shows a biker flying off of his crashing bike, and a vulture flying overhead. Some enterprising biker slapped an Air Evac sticker to the bottom of the sign. So that's the setting for the subject of today's post.

Before you watch the classic film I've posted below, I want to say for the record that I have successfully ridden down The Shaft several times. That said, check out the video:

video

Yes, I clung to my bike as if it weren't crashing to the ground. If this video is any indication, this girl would have stuck with the Titanic till the bitter end. In my defense, I have crashed before this and always managed to lessen the fall by ditching my bike somewhere between the upright position and the ground. Oh, and that male voice: that's The Rock right before he came to my aid and sympathized with me (he happens to have similar wounds on his arms too from last week's ride on the same trail. BUT he was attempting a Sweet jump at the time.)

This is my biggest crash. But just as there is shame in the fall, there is glory in the injuries. (thankfully they are all "merely flesh wounds." Another testament to the fact that prayers are answered and that helmets and biking glasses are worn for a reason.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In which a compliation of Moo's emails are set forth

An email from Moo, sent to Lu at 9am today:

It's raining today, and I'm throwing a Sherbert Cake party at 8, and
would you and Em like to come?
The Fiancé is coming home tonight too. Yay!
Cake! Fiancé! friends!
Ok. I go now. I forgot my camera today, or I would send you pictures of the Oscar Meyer Wiener truck that was parked across the street from the Pizza Place last night. A kid in a Scooby Doo costume, (fake head and ALL) showed up at the end. It was great.

Today is Declare Your Own Holiday Day.
Mine is...Sherbert Cake Day.
We can throw it again next week so you won't be left out.

MAAAA!

Love,

Your Koobish (see http://www.smekday.com/ )

AND LATER THAT SAME DAY:
My chest feels all tight and woolly when I breathe really deep. I think I have pneumonia, and boy aren't I glad I paid attention in fourth grade spelling at Franklin. Now I can finally play Invalid, with Wane Cheeks (wheeeeze.....wheeeeeze) And you can bring me white roses from the fields, and Mother, standing in the door will notice the contrast between her sturdy elder daughter with the rosy countenance, and will then look at her thin, skeleton-like younger daughter, and weep without consolation into her apron---for I am doomed to death.

The End. (but say it sad, or it won't work right. none of these exuberant THE ENDS today.)

Good thing I'm going to make the Sherbert Cake of Wellness. Of course this requires walking through the rain and cold wind to get to the grocery store, but bah.

Love you Loo!

you (or Meg) may have my green box with the doves on it if I die.

Moo

[Editor's note: Did everybody follow that? If not, skip to the post o' pictures just below this one. It's pretty straightforward. This is the kind of goodness that comes in email form from Moo to brighten my day. I just love that girl! --Lu]

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Seeing the forest AND the trees

I was looking at a drawing book today on the bus during my morning commute. The guy next to me is covertly checking out what I'm looking at (I know, because I do it too when someone next to me is reading, so I know all the "signs and symptoms"). Finally, after seeing me flip through several pages on how to draw really great trees he says, "So, are you learning to be an architect?" -- Lu

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Elevator Encounter

Where I work, there are public bathrooms on every floor of the building. The problem with the first floor bathroom is that it is public. And there is a lot of Public using it every day. (It doesn't
help that the color scheme is brown and yellow). People, employees and Public alike, have been known to head to another floor to take advantage of the not so well used bathrooms. It also doesn't help that sometimes, usually at the most inconvenient times, the bathrooms are closed for cleaning.

Yesterday, I went to the first floor to drop something off. I got on an elevator to go back to my floor, when two little girls jumped on the elevator with me. The doors closed, and they hadn't pushed a button for a floor so I asked, "Where are you going?" (my idea being that I would push the button for them). They responded, "To the bathroom!" Me: "Yeah, but what floor?" Them: "Up!" Me (in my mind): "Oh brother." They got out with me, because I suggested it, and then I
directed them to the bathroom (they walked right by it, so I guess they couldn't read)--they finally made it in the right door after three different attempts by me to point out the correct door. As an afterthought I yelled after them, "To get back down, push 1." I hope they made it back down without too much trouble...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Frootie O's and Mountain Goats

One time when I visited Moo, we were poor. For entertainment we
walked to the grocery store and bought a box of frootie o's for $1.
Then we sat on the balcony of her apartment (which overlooked the
parking lot) and made froot loop necklaces. The yarn or string, or
whatever you use gets a little sticky after you start eating the o's
off of it. Lately, as I've walked down the cereal isle, I've wanted
to buy some frootie o's and make necklaces. Does Spring make you
nostalgic too?

On Friday Husband (can I just call him, The Rock? It's cooler, it's
more accurate...and it's cooler). The Rock took me on a night hike in
a canyon. Now, the sun was still setting when we arrived, but by the
time we headed back we had to use flashlights (we tried NOT using
flashlights, but at some point it became ridiculous). Best part: the
little bitty frogs that were hanging out in the pseudo-stream (it
wasn't really running water, but in the desert, I take what I can
get). Once the sun set, they started bleating up a storm. Bleating.
Not ribbit ribbit ribbit. No. These guys are more like mountain
goats. No matter. I've never experienced that before--frog noises in
the dark dark dark. It was quite an experience. (Plus, we caught one
mid bleat with the beam of our flashlight so I could see his little
bubbly throat expand and contract with each Maaaa).--Lu

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sparkly Lips

For my birthday I received three flavors (and they are YUMMY flavors)
of sparkly, shiny lip gloss. Not much is more girly than that. And I
have been happily applying lip gloss every 2 to 3 minutes since the
moment I got them. At times, after applying the lip gloss (and I
usually go all out, no little dab for me) I feel slightly self
concious because HEY there are sparkles on my lips. Not enough shame
has hit me yet to discontinue using them. At work, at the store, on
the bus, and at the gym. (and because I still had lip gloss on my lips
when I finished at the gym, I know that this is Quality lip gloss).

P.S. The university just hosted a rap concert. The daily university
newspaper published part of the contract. Along with specifications
as to what furniture should be in the hotel room (including end
tables) there was also a request for (1) connect four game (will be
travelling with one, but it's nice to have an extra just in case).
Yes folks. It really is the simple pleasures that make life
worthwhile.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

green and 100% biodegradable: it's LU!

Today is not only Earth Day, it's Lu's birthday.
This seemed Very Appropriate:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=QMvufEegrzg&feature=related

Just cut and paste.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

-Moo

Monday, April 14, 2008

Why Moo Had a Good Weekend (Part One)

Remember that post where Moo is riding Low Pony and a Geologist shows
up and the sparkle came back to her smile? Well, that same Geologist
just added a new kind of sparkle to Moo's life. As to the manner in
which this new sparkle came about, I'm not sure who will have a bigger
emotional response, all you BYU fans, or non-BYU fans--because I
don't think he could have done it in a more appropriate way
considering the long-standing rumor that on the third time around the
Provo temple, something magical happens. Something magical did indeed
happen to them shortly after that third go-round.

Moo and said Geologist are experiencing bliss (which only lasted until
they called their parents who immediately wanted to know WHEN and
WHERE...ah, sweet questions, musical questions, annoying and terribly
grounded in reality questions) and Moo's left hand is now a pound or
two heavier than when she started that fateful walk (and if not
heavier, it is at least more sparkly).

Congrats little sister! And Geologist: WAY! TO! GO! *I'm hoping
that part two of this post will include pictures.* Hint. hint. --Lu

Friday, April 4, 2008

seen around town...

a middle aged woman coming out of the downtown main library wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and pink slippers. The kind my mom wears.

strolling down a main street: a tall bald man with a large silver chain around his neck, and a paper birthday cone hat perched on his head. --Lu

Monday, March 31, 2008

so many choices

All day long I think of a billion different Good Blog Posts, as denoted by the caps, but I never post them.
Maybe that will be a permanent part of my new and elusive online personality:

Dull.



Now for a selection from Webster's Dictionary:

sfumato

One entry found.

sfumato

Main Entry:
sfu·ma·to Listen to the pronunciation of sfumato
Pronunciation:
\sfü-ˈmä-(ˌ)tō\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Italian, from past participle of sfumare to evaporate
Date:
1909
: the definition of form in painting without abrupt outline by the blending of one tone into another



And a selection from the current Des Moines, Iowa phone book:

All Mart
 228 E Army Post Rd
Des Moines, IA 50315

Curleys Furniture
205 Army Post Rd
Des Moines, IA 50315


The Mansion of The Central Iowa
2801 Ingersoll Ave
Des Moines, IA 50312

(Note: isn't it great how it's THE Central Iowa, not just Central Iowa?)

Well there. If you get a hankering for a nice oak rocking chair while meandering across the Midwest, just remember to mention our ad here on luandmoo.blogspot.com to receive 30% off the marked price.
And if you really DO happen to visit one of these establishments, send pictures.

-M.

Friday, March 28, 2008

biblioteca

I think I was born to be a librarian. I love books. Seriously. I have no trouble locating a book (or two, or more) to buy EVERY time I go to a bookstore (especially if it is a used bookstore). This is the girl who can't buy a pair of jeans because that is too much commitment. I buy and return items at an alarming rate--real commitment issues when it comes to purchasing clothes and home decorations (don't ask my husband about the pillows on our couch, it was a traumatic experience that dragged out over several weeks). Not so when it comes to books.

So I like buying books. That's not enough to show that I was predestined to be a librarian. Add this to the list: I know where books are. You want a cookbook--I know the isle. I even know where to find the crockpot cookbooks, the dessert cookbooks, the southwest cookbooks, the general cooking, the budget cooking. I know that kind of stuff about all kinds of books: travel books, craft books, animal books, self help books, history books, how-to-pass-your-AP-test books, and let's not forget kids books. When you get to the children's section, I not only know where books are, I know which ones are worth getting excited about.

I know all of this stuff because I care about where the books are. I CARE. When I walk down the isles, I'm mentally logging away what type of books are on what shelf. It's almost subconscious. And it's pathetic. I can't tell you what the seven wonders of the ancient, let alone modern, world are. But I can show you to the shelf where there's a book on how to take care of your grandfather clock. --Lu

P.S. I'm pretty sure Moo is quite a library aficionado herself. Maybe we can convince her to post about it. Go ahead, inundate her with email now.

Monday, March 24, 2008

at home with my mom

hi mom. (she feeds me LOTS of easter candy so this post is a tribute to her!) And she took me to the best used bookstore. The store is small. There are books piled everywhere. Thankfully they are sort of organized by category. Half the fun is seeing all the crazy books that people have bought and then disposed of. --Lu

Sunday, March 23, 2008

why life is good


hoorah for san diego. --Lu

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

First gold star goes to...

In my roaming around the wilds of the internet yesterday, I found this:

http://www.lets-pez.com/


Yessirree folks. Those little candy rectangles have always made up for their sugar overload with shnazy cartoon character packaging, and this time is no exception. I give them a gold star for creativity. So visit, and print yourself off a nice colorful nameplate under the kids menu.
-Moo

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

laughs a lot

You know how there's a funny-ha-ha?
Is there a funny-boo-hoo?
Like when you've finally worked out a system for sending large faxes through your Oh-So-Finicky fax machine and then it jams on page 89 of 120 and you have to start all over again? --Lu

Monday, March 17, 2008

But then I'm Taller

Once upon a while ago,
Lu turned 5. And mocked me that she was not only 5 and I wasn't---but that she was taller too. I retorted that one day would I show her. Three years later I could not only see over the kitchen counter tops, but also over her. Maybe our parents pitied me more since I looked scrawny around the edges (see above photo--kid on the right), and gave me more seconds at dinner. In any case, no hand-me-downs!

So this is the first post from Moo.
Words are Lu's super skill, not exactly mine, so pardon if the occasional outline of a hand or large no. 5 in crayon on a paper plate appear as posts. I don't have any paper plates at the moment, so that one will have to wait to be realized.

Happy corned beef and potatoes day!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

too good to be troo

In the book Ella Enchanted (a twist on Cinderella) one of the "wicked" stepsisters is a terrible speller. She writes a letter home to the evil stepmother in which she tells that she has been "feeling poarly all week." After reviewing the sloppily written letter, Ella comments, "Poar Olive."

I can't help but think of that spelling when I talk about other people...such as, "Poar Jane, she lost her life savings." It's like a secret--because only you know you are really saying "poar" and not "poor." Or maybe it's just a small way to finally fight the man.

because I'm older...

I was born first. So that is why I get to write the first post for our first blog. (Really, there aren't that many perks to being older than your sister, because inevitably your mom turns to her first and says, "Because you're younger (and presumably have had fewer benefits in life and are tormented incessantly by your Dictator Sister) you get to choose [name your favorite kid treat] first. " Totally unfair, and it really happened. The most vivid memory is when she got to choose between the Rainbow Bright coloring books first.).

This blog is a joint effort because neither of us wanted the sole responsibility for our Own Blog; it's ten times better to have a blogging partner. That way, when your blogging juice is running low, you can delegate (pawn) the responsibility on the other person.

So, we've chosen what our dad would call "flakey" nicknames to mask our identities and create ultra cool blog status. This boils down to our lifelong desire to have alternate identities. (we just thought they'd be a tad more impressive, like Ice Crusher).

With that, we welcome ourselves (and you) to our blog.