LDS Singles Sucka Tour, DC-Style

So I'm back from my vacation with Switchback, AKA Julia. (She started a blog, people!) My mother told us to change the name of the [vacation] so we changed it to "LDS Singles Sucka Tour, DC-Style." And lots of LDS Single Suckas participated with us, so that was an appropriate name. I'd like to present you with the highlights and lowlights of the vacation. Since every highlight has an accompanying lowlight, you might assume that the the end result of the vacation was neutral, but the greatness of the highlights far exceeded the lowness of the lowlights.

1. HIGHLIGHT: When we picked Julia up from the airport, a policeman pulled us over as we were driving away. He took his time coming to the car, and Julia told my mom not to worry---that they'd gotten a ticket at the beginning of her recent Costa Rica vacation and it turned out to be her best vacation ever, so a ticket would only be a good sign. The policeman came to the window and told my mom that she had a burned out headlight that needed to be fixed. He gave us a fix-it ticket. On our way back home, we were pulled over once more, pretty much guaranteeing that this WOULD be the best vacation ever.

LOWLIGHT: We never got pulled over again, even though Julia was all ready with her camera to capture the moment on film. Alas, we have no photographic record of us dealing with the police on this vacation.

2. HIGHLIGHT: Staying with my family. My family is just so cool and so much fun. I love spending time with them.

LOWLIGHT: My mother doesn't actually love me. My cousin arrived a few days before me and my mom took a day off work to spend time with her. (NOTE: My mom works for my dad.) My mom's boss did not allow her to take any days off while I was in town. (That's partly a lie---she was able to take a half a day on Monday.) When my mom found out that I was leaving early Tuesday morning and Julia was leaving Tuesday evening, she said, "Ooo! I can take the day off and we can go and do something together!" That was before she took the half day off for me. I think the half-day was my consolation prize.

3. HIGHLIGHT: Spending time with Julia. We don't get to see each other that often, so getting together was a lot of fun.

4. HIGHLIGHT: Seeing all the sites. We packed a ton of stuff in during this trip. We saw the National Art Galleries, the White House (from a distance), five monuments, the National Archives, the Natural History Museum, Kabab Palace, the National Zoo, my friend's wedding reception, Columbia church services, Annapolis, Mount Vernon, and the mall.

LOWLIGHT: Trying to make my legs keep walking when really I just wanted to curl up on the sidewalk and cry.

5. HIGHLIGHT: We used tons of calories.

LOWLIGHT: We consumed two tons of calories.

6. HIGHLIGHT: Kabab Palace. On Friday night, we met up with Rice and she took us to her favorite restaurant, run by Afganis, "Kabab Palace." The food was great. It also came with little to-go boxes that had American flags on top and said, "Pride in America." This translates into "We're not terrorists."

LOWLIGHT: The food terrorized my innards the next day. The next day was zoo day (the only day I specifically requested) and I had to buy a map just so that I could know the location of the bathrooms at all times. Later that night, the food terrorized Julia and Rice's sister as well.

7. HIGHLIGHT: All the food. We ate at some really good restaurants, including Old Ebbitt Grill and Potbelly's and Mai Thai.

LOWLIGHT: All the calories. All the calories!

8. HIGHLIGHT: Julia brought her own pointer on vacation (she warned me that during museum tours, she would be taking notes---she's that kind of tourist). We whipped out the pointer on many occasions, and as soon as we started tapping things with the pointer and talking, people started to pay attention to us.

LOWLIGHT: We're both incredible geeks and will never ever get married.

Okay, well, I think that's enough for now. I'm sure in the next few days I'll post a few more vacation stories. Also coming up on my blog: How I've become a fashion designer, and Why Redras is still my number one all-time roommate.

There's No Bunny Like Snow Bunny

Yesterday I had the privilege and the pleasure to go skiing at Deer Valley with El Senor. This winter, my boss gave me ski tickets that he had won. He couldn't use them because he is a snowboarder and skiing is too rough on his knees. I don't know which resorts around here are good and what not, so as soon as I got the tickets, I got onto Google Talk to ask El Senor if Deer Valley was a good resort:

me: Have you ever gone skiing at Deer Valley?
El Senor: Nope. I'd like to, but it's expensive and I haven't had a chance till this year because they are a skis only resort.
me: I have two free passes. Want to go?
El Senor: Yes yes yes yes. Now I just need to figure out who to take with me.
me: You're a jerk.
El Senor: Through and through.

In the end, El Senor did choose to take me! I am so lucky to have him as a brother.

Skiing yesterday was a whole different experience from what I'm used to. The last time I went skiing was probably a decade ago. I skied for a couple of years when I was 14 and 15 at my local ski resort, Kamiskotia. Now, Ontario doesn't have any mountains. So Kamiskotia is really just a little ski hill. You get to the peak and choose which way to ski down, and you can be to the bottom in less than two minutes if you just go straight.

Deer Valley was different. First of all, it's the end of March and the temperature outside was in the 60s and 70s while we were there. I saw a woman skiing in a bikini top. You baked in the sun on the lifts and you had to ski fast to cool yourself down. By the afternoon, I ditched my toque and gloves. At about 1:00, El Senor asked if I wanted something to drink, saying, "Normally we'd get a hot chocolate..." I said, "Diet Coke! Please for the love, get me a Diet Coke! Something cold!" Compare this with skiing in sub-zero temperatures at Kamiskotia. As long as we're comparing it to Kamiskotia, however, I will say that skiing makes you want a poutine like none other, and Deer Valley, among all the delicacies that they serve, does not serve poutine. It's so unfair.

Second of all, somehow there are LOTS of peaks that you can ski down from, and LOTS of lifts, and you need to use maps and stuff. Or, in my case, you just need to follow your brother around because he just knows where he's going. (As a side note, when he was three years old, my mom would take him blueberry picking with her and she wouldn't pay attention to where they were going because she knew that no matter where they went, El Senor could always show her the way back to the car. He's just like that.) At Kamiskotia, all the lifts (all three of them?) lead to the top of the hill. Then you ski down the hill. Then you take a lift to the top again. It's easy.

I'm sure there were a couple other differences, but now I would like to report on what a world-class skier I am. El Senor tried to start me out with snowplowing and snowplow turns. But I discovered that skiing is like riding a bike---it actually just comes back naturally, so it was much more natural for me to make parallel turns rather than snowplow turns. I felt in-control and confident on all the green runs that we started out with (we took a piste called "Homeward Bound" to a piste called "Ontario," which I thought was very appropriate). I was thrilled by the fact that after the first couple of hours, El Senor had fallen but I hadn't. At all.

Of course, if I hadn't fallen at all during the whole day, that would have meant that I didn't challenge myself. But I did challenge myself. Again and again and again. And every time I "challenged" myself, El Senor just stood back and laughed. One time, one of my skis popped off, and a very kind six-year-old stopped by my lost ski to make sure that I could get to it without any difficulty and to make sure I was okay. That was kind/humiliating of him.

When I had challenged myself enough, El Senor decided to challenge me a little. Like this one time, when he didn't say anything but simply skied over to a double-blue-square piste. I think he thought that he'd just slip it past me, but I noticed right away. I also noticed when I fell and rolled and spun and rolled and fell for a good 200 feet. Another skier caught up to me and said, "Wow. You were going faster than I was!" I said, "Yes. I took the shortcut." After falling two more times on that same piste, I felt like a master.

Not master enough to do a black diamond, however. El Senor said, "You should do a black diamond just to say that you did a black diamond." I told him I had no interest in telling people that I'd done a black diamond. Then we took the lift up to the top and El Senor told me to "turn left." So I turned left and all I saw around us were black diamonds. But he took out his camera and said that he just wanted to take a picture. "Go a little farther!" he said. "Go a little farther!" So I went to where the picture would be most scenic. We snapped the shot and then El Senor continued in the direction of the black diamonds. I told him that they were all black diamonds over there, but he said that we'd check to see if there were any double-blue-squares, which, to be honest, I wasn't that interested in, either. In the end, we were at the top of a black diamond (no double-blue-squares in sight) and if we were to get to any of the easier trails, we'd have to climb back uphill a little. El Senor thinks that he's so smart, but the truth is, I KNOW he did it on purpose. He didn't slip anything past me.

Since going down a black diamond had to be better than climbing up ten feet to get to the other trails, I told him that I'd go ahead and do it, but if I was injured, he had to pay anything that my insurance didn't pay for.

But you know what? I didn't actually fall as much on the black diamond as I had on the double-blue-square. I only fell once, and it was only for 100 feet. And I had lots of chances to get off the black diamond and go on a double-blue-square, but I figured as long as I was already doing the black diamond and not dying, and as long as El Senor was going to cover the medical bills, I may as well keep doing the black diamond. Move over, Kathy Kreiner. I'm a pro now.

I Lost Two Pounds on the Daltongirl Miracle Diet. Ask Me How.

By following these easy steps, you too can lose two pounds of pure body fat on the Daltongirl Miracle Diet.

Go over to Daltongirl's house. Eat her food and touch her baby chickens.

Fast for 24 hours. Or, you know, 20 if you're a wuss.

By midday you should receive an email from Daltongirl to ask if you're puking like she is. If you're not, that's okay. The diet is not working yet.

Break your fast by eating three large pieces of El Senor's cardamom bundt cake, made with sour cream that expired two months ago.

Go about your daily routine. Notice the queasy feeling in your stomach. This is the diet starting to work.

Take the edge off the queasiness by eating a large, spicy salad. If that doesn't work, top it off with several cinnamon gummy bears.

Return home; you may even choose to leave work or your regular routine an hour early. Once home, if you choose a shot of Pepto Bismol instead of the last piece of El Senor's cardamom bundt cake, the diet is working.

Nap for three hours.

If you still don't want that piece of cardamom bundt cake, you're on the right track.

Watch an hour of television.

Go to the bathroom.

Vomit. Repeat three times.

Writhe and moan in your bed. Eat nothing.

Weigh yourself. You should have lost at least two pounds.

This diet is also doctor-certified. Or almost-doctor certified. Because it was certified by Rogers Rice, almost-PhD. Please review her findings in an exclusive google talk interview:

Dr. Rice: So tell me about this miracle diet.

Cicada: It's GREAT. I ate at my friend Daltongirl's house on Saturday. And then she called on Sunday to see if I was puking b/c she was puking all night. I wasn't. But I puked MONDAY night. So I think instead of food poisoning me, she just gave me some bug.

Dr. Rice: Awesome. Puking will help you melt off the pounds for sure.

Cicada: But hey---it got rid of those two pesky pounds I've really been wanting to get rid of.

Dr. Rice: Sadly, its just water weight.

Cicada: No. No it's not. It's fat. Pure fat. I'm sure of it.

Dr. Rice: I believe, Cicada.

Cicada: Don't burst my two-pound bubble, Dr. Rice.

Dr. Rice: You puked up your own fat.

Cicada: If throwing up weren't a key to weight loss, bulimics wouldn't have such success.

Dr. Rice: I can't argue with that logic Cicada.

Cicada: And YOU're the one who's getting a PhD. Ha. Just call me Dr. Cicada.

Dr. Rice: Done and done

Nem's Men

(It's a palendrome, in case I need to point out to you how clever I am. On Saturday, El Senor and I were looking at lighting fixtures. There was this racecar light fixture and an airplane light fixture. El Senor said to me, "Do you know what racecar is spelled backwards? ---Racecar." I looked at the airplane and said, "Do you know what airplane is spelled backwards?" El Senor said, "Enalpria.")

This weekend I had the occasion to have two slumber parties with Nemesis, whereat we tickled each other, braided each other's hair, and told each other our deepest, secretest secrets. Saturday night, I had already invited our friend Kit over for crepes (pronounced CRAYPES) and Nemesis and I were already planning to hit a matinee on Saturday, so I decided to invite Nem down for crepes and a sleepover. Then Saturday after our matinee, we went down to visit the Daltonclan, not only to see the chicks and share a chicken-free meal, but also to be gay. (While we were there, we saw a copy of some ancient manner book for teens wherein we read that guests are not invited over to eat food, they're invited over to be gay.) On the whole, it was a wonderful weekend that kindof made me feel like I was back on my mission because I had a companion, but kindof didn't make me feel like I was on a mission because of Nem's men, who were basically the whole point of the weekend. (Unless, of course, you count getting together at Daltongirl's house as the whole "point" of the weekend, which basically it was and all other activities were planned around that point, but the point of this post is Nem's men.)

Let's be honest. Sometimes I look at me and Nem and I wonder why we're both still single (however, as gay as we are when we get together at Daltongirl's house, I think that we're both still looking for men). Then I spend a weekend with her and Mr. Rochester and Mr. Wilberforce, and I realize that we're both single because no men actually compare to the Mr. Rochesters and the Mr. Wilberforces. And the Mr. Darcys and the Col. Brandons, and the Mr. Knightleys. And as long as we keep watching and reading men written by women (with the fine exception of Mr. Wilberforce) then we'll never make any real progress in our love lives.

I think that we can remedy this, however. I recorded The Sixth Day, an Arnold Schwarzenegger film, this weekend. It's a movie about a man, written by a man/men. And I lent Nemesis the book Eve's Apple, which is about a man, written by a man. I think that coming to love male characters created by men will help us develop more realistic expectations for our lives. And if I spend enough time at the gym, I may just happen to find my own Arnold. One can dream.

I'm Number 698629!

It is time for me to do some shameless plugging of my favorite t-shirt site ever. If you've never visited, now's the best time as they're having their $10 t-shirt sale (till March 12). I go to this site regularly to see their new shirts. It's pretty much a given that one of my brothers will receive a Threadless t-shirt from me for Christmas (they have a $10 sale before Christmas).

Additionally, I use their t-shirt designs as trendy desktop wallpapers. I have a folder just for Threadless designs and when I feel it's time for a new desktop, I just go to the folder and choose another design that I fancy.

Today, after I placed my order, the site happily announced that I am number 698629. I bet you're dying to know what I ordered...

This one is called "Lions Are Smarter Than I Am."

This one is called "mP3."

This, from my last order, is called "For the Birds."

And this, a classic (I'm wearing it today) is called "Ctrl-Z."

I take it back.

Several months ago, shortly after I inherited Clicky, I wrote a post complaining about radio. Because Clicky's CD player didn't (and doesn't) work, I was forced to listen to the radio or nothing while I was in the car. Well, I'd like to take back what I said and update my opinion of radio.


First of all, there's the talking. Previously, I complained about it. That's because I was only listening to X96 and refused to flip between channels. Their morning show, Radio from Hell, is aptly named. I suggest you avoid it at all costs. In fact, I discovered that a lot of things I hated about radio were things I hated about X96. I just applied it to all radio because, as I said before, I refused to flip channels. After a couple of months, I discovered My 99.5, which is great because there's no talking. Sure, you have to listen to random voice mail messages, some of which are really annoying, but they're very low on talk, very low on commercials, and very high on music.

Then, there's 101.9 The End, which is great because their talking is actually good. First of all I was converted to Chunga and Mister. I actually usually prefer listening to them rather than music while I drive to work. I ususally am on the road for top news stories and Hollywood headlines. I've considered getting a radio in my bathroom to listen to them before I go to work, but it hasn't gone that far yet. And I can't listen to them at work because I actually have to concentrate when I'm at the office. But they're seriously funny. If you're not convinced, you haven't listened to this.

Recently, Parker has joined The End as an afternoon host. The Boy was questioning people's willingness to listen to talk radio in the afternoons, but he's not so much talk radio. He actually plays really cool music and introduces you to new stuff. I like his style and I like what he plays. And I actually like his interactions with Wendy, too. Last week, they played this song, which hasn't been released yet. Not usually my style exactly, but that's what I like about Parker. He plays things that take me out of my musical comfort zone, in a good way. I haven't gone out of my way to listen to him while I'm not in the car, but I might. On several occasions, he's made me sit in my car just to keep listening after I've already reached my destination.


Previously I said that I refused to flip. I've since become a radio flipper. I usually refuse to listen to commercials now. I mainly flip between 99.5 and 101.9 but sometimes I'll go to Jack FM and sometimes I'll go back down to X96. (But can you believe---both times I flipped to that channel in the past several months, I happened to tune in just in time to catch "Lump." Why? Why??) I have retained Captain Fabuloso's radio presets because I don't know how to change them and I'm not really interested in trying. So those stations are basically it for me.


Okay, so radio commercials still suck. That's why I've become a flipper. Flipping is preferable to listening to radio commercials. I don't take back ANYTHING I previously said about radio commercials.


Finally, there's the music. I've recently bought three songs, all of which I heard on the radio. ("Grace Kelly" by Mika, "Read My Mind" by the Killers [the first song of theirs that I've really loved], and [I'm really embarrassed about this one] SOS by Rihana. ) Sure radio has its hits and misses. I hate The End's 80s party Sunday, but I love the Sunday morning End Zone performances (recordings of accoustic End Zone performances). Unfortunately I have 1:00 church, so I always miss the End Zone performances and am stuck with 80s party Sunday (I just flip to 99.5 instead).

So there you go. Don't ever say that I'm too proud to take back something that I've said before. I got an iPod and I got an iPod radio transmitter and yet I still choose to listen to the radio. Crazy, I know.

The To-Do List

So I've checked a few things off my to-do list. I got drapes and blinds. And I got a chair. And I made a pillow for the chair. Good news about the pillow? All I had to do was buy a cool placemat and sew it together. So $4=cool new pillow. Ready for the updated pictures?