By the way, did you see the Loveland Miscellany giveaway over at Petit Elefant?

And did you know that there are new April and May Illustrator and Photoshop classes? Not too late to sign up for either...

Sassy + Attitude

So I've been unhappy with my hair lately. I am not a fan of longer hair on me. I like short hair on me. Murray has seen mission pictures of me with longer hair and he thinks that I look great in them. I'm more inclined to believe that it's the fact that I'm missing an extra 35 pounds in those pictures... How cruel post-mission life has been to my body!

I have been considering a haircut and I finally made the decision when Switchback was in town. I asked her opinion on my hair, she told me the truth (that it was boring, lacked punch, and did nothing for me), and I scheduled a hair appointment.

I got it cut short and sassy. It's even a little extra sassy because there's an extra length on one side. I'm adventurous like that. I like how in this picture, the shadow makes it look like the long piece goes down to my shoulder. I'm not THAT sassy. I don't have a side rat tail.

Third time's a charm.

(For those who have expressed concern, yes this picture is completely doctored. Forgive the pun. I wanted it to look like I was rotting.)

For the third time in a month, I am home. Sick. This is ridiculous. I have never been sick this often in my life, and March 2008 will forever be known to me as the worst month of my life. Healthwise, I mean.

I started feeling under the weather again on Saturday, day 3 of Switchback's visit. Despite my under the weatherness, we were able to engage in some awesome activities. Such as, we went on a walk and saw a rocket, and walked on two freeway overpasses and one frontage road. And we taught Murray how to speed walk and he's really really good at it.

On Sunday I was feeling worse, so I stayed home from church because I am a responsible person who does not teach sunbeams when she is possibly contagious. Switchback, as promised, delivered on her Easter Egg hunt, but we scheduled it for the afternoon. When she asked where to do it, I was kindof confused because I thought that the answer was obvious. You see, having been raised in Canada, it never even occurs to me that an Easter Egg hunt might happen outside. To me, Easter Egg hunt means searching through drawers, couch cushions, cupboards, ovens, blankets, or any other main-floor hiding places. So this year, Switchback did her first ever indoor Easter Egg hunt and I'm telling you, she's a pro. And I think that I've converted her to the indoor Easter Egg hunt. First of all, there's lots of really great hiding places. Second of all, you find Easter Eggs months after Easter and that's just awesome. Unless they're real eggs. Which is not so awesome. She assured us that we didn't find all the eggs, and she's happy to let us discover them ourselves over the next little while. Yesterday we even saw a couple eggs hidden on top of picture frames and such. She's so clever. Every time we discover a new egg now, we laugh and think about how much we love Switchback.

So back to me being sick, though. When I woke up Monday morning, I realized that working would be impossible. My throat was the most sore it's ever been in my entire life and I wanted to die. And I'm certainly not one to go to the doctor for a sore throat but first of all, it was SO sore, and second of all, it was the third time in one month that I called in sick to work, so I decided that something HAD to be done.

I have to mention right now that I really like my insurance company. I called member services and on my behalf, they called around to all the doctors in the area until they could find one close to me. Then, they patched me through and remained on the line as we scheduled the appointment. They supplied info that I didn't have handy. Isn't that awesome?

The doctor's visit was actually pleasant. I really liked the nurse. She was really personable and friendly and chatty. She did a throat swab to see if I have strep, and left it on the counter for the doctor. When the doctor came in, he looked at the strep test and said, "Pregnancy test today?" Then when my eyes went wide, he said, "Juuuuuust kidding." That was my first sign that I had a great doctor. His bedside manner was great. Although we didn't exactly determine what was causing me to be so sick, he did determine that it's not strep. He gave me a prescription and told me a couple over-the-counter items I needed to get, and sent me on my way, telling me to call him if I didn't get better.

Today I am feeling MUCH better. My throat is still sore, and I'm still home from work, but at least today I can swallow without wincing. That's priceless.

It's a Small World After All

Today has been a good day so far with Switchback. We slept in this morning a little and then got ready for our day-o-fun. Our first stop was to drop off the vacuum cleaner that broke while we were cleaning for Switchback. Apparently smoke and burning stench are not indicators that your vacuum is completely beyond repair. Let's keep our fingers crossed. The broken-hearted Hoover fixer sucker guy told me that he wouldn't be able to look at the vacuum until next week. I told him that means I don't have to vacuum, so he can keep it as long as he wants.

After that, we stopped in at the DI to buy some books to recreate a display that Murray and I had seen at Anthropologie last week. I also picked up a cool globe that has the USSR on it. Rad. I managed to leave without buying a chair, although there was one that tempted me sorely. Maybe I just need to learn how to upholster, and then I can just run my own reupholstery business, and then I can always buy a used chair whenever I see one. They are my weakness.

(Display from Anthropologie.)

After the DI, we hit up Xpedx, Bed Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom, and Banana Republic. Our last shopping stop was Charlotte Russe where we both bought some gaudy, cheap jewelry.

Then we went to meet Murray and Switchback's friend J for their lunch break at Pizzeria 712. Working is for suckers. While we were waiting to be seated, I found a patch of melting parking lot snow and made good on my promise to take Switchback snowshoeing. Maybe she didn't actually have snowshoes, but try to tell me that this looks like a girl who's not having a good time.

Lunch was great, as it always is at Pizzeria 712. It was fun getting to know J and he even gave Murray and me some small business advice. We found out that there are certain advantages that women business owners get, so we bounced around the idea of me owning 51% of our company and being Murray's employer. Murray visibly deflated at the very suggestion (he's so old fashioned) but we made sure to deflate him even further by making more and more jokes about the idea of me being his boss. Like, "Go stock the company fridge" or "It's time for your performance review... I'm not sure if you're getting a raise this year" or "The thing about living with your employer is that your employer knows when you've been up all night watching TV and are therefore not giving 100 percent of your abilities on the job the next day." (That third one was actually a direct quote from my dad to me when I was working for him and falling asleep at my desk.) Of course, I let Murray know that as his boss, I would encourage sexual harassment. I still don't think he's that excited about me being the boss of him.

After lunch we went to Lindon to test drive lo Smart Car ("lo Smart Car" is Italian for "the Smart Car"). I can't believe I didn't think to take any pictures. Test driving was a lot of fun, and it was also great to do business with our salesperson, who is a girl our age. During my test drive (because there are only two seats, Switchback and I had to take turns test driving) the salesperson talked to me about how I met Murray and I think that she's in love with our story. Then we talked about dating in general. There was no pressure about buying the car or whatnot. In short, it was awesome. Also? I kindof want to hang out with my Smart Car salesperson now. She was that cool.

Anyway, I really want one, to tell you the truth. It's so darn cute and awesome. Of course, my next car purchase will be a minivan, and I'm not sure that a Smart Car will ever be practical before Murray and I are empty-nesters. Or maybe we should just toss the whole procreation idea out the window and use all our money to buy all the things that we want. Like two Smart Cars.

Our test drive left us hungry for gelato, as test driving often does, so we made a trip to Maestro Gelato where our server was very impressed with our willingness to pronounce the gelato flavors correctly. There was some confusion about who was paying which resulted in Switchback pretty much yelling "It's TOGETHER" and pushing me out of the way of the cash register when I was just trying to get them to stamp my gelato card. I choose to love her anyway.

There's this one seating area at the front of Maestro's that overlooks the street so we chose that one. The funny thing is that you actually look like you're on display. We hadn't really thought about that until an old man came up close to the window and started waving at us. When we waved back then he started laughing and we started laughing and he walked away. Then we thought that we must have looked like some high tech animatronics, and we had "It's a Small World" in our heads for... well... it's still in my head. Here are pictures of anamatronic Switchback.

Right now, Switchback is napping from her exhausting day. Did I mention that working is for suckers? I did the book display and I am really happy with how it turned out, but I'm hoping that my actions have not offended my librarian friends.

I can't wait for Murray to get home. I thought he said he'd be home around five, but it's after six now. I miss him.

Is it Friday yet?

Almost every day this week has felt like Friday. I'm not quite sure why. Usually I don't work on Wednesdays, but I worked yesterday so that I could take Friday off to spend time with Switchback who came into town yesterday.

Switchback hasn't contacted any of her other Utah friends to let them know that she's here, which is really flattering, and I will take that secret to the grave.

Today, she has a wedding to attend in Salt Lake. There was no way for us both to get up to Salt Lake (from Springville) today and both have cars, so I made today Take Your Friend to Work Day. It was fun. We came to work at 1:00. I should do that more often. She did homework in the cafeteria until the cafeteria closed, and then she came into my office to do homework. She wasn't chatty or needy, which was nice because I was actually able to work on work.

And I'm still working on work, by the way. It's almost 9:00. Switchback is just supposed to come get me when she's done with the wedding reception. This is the downside of coming in to work at 1:00, I guess. Except that it doesn't seem that late at all to me, and the workday has gone by really quickly, and I'm getting a lot done. (I'm still getting stuff done, by the way, but my computer is doing all my work for me and I have to wait till my computer is done doing my work until I can make it do more work.)

These are pictures of Switchback in my office. Isn't that a trip? In the first one, she doesn't know that I'm taking her picture. I'm sly that way.

(I have crazy eyes in the picture, but that's just me thinking, "I sure hope that Switchback stops flipping off the camera before this picture gets taken because this is my work computer and I don't want a picture of someone flipping the camera off to be on my work computer.")

If you're getting an eerie sense of déjà vu right now, it may have something to do with the fact that last year, Switchback and I got together right after I wrote my Threadless post, too. That year it was a Singles Sucka Tour. I don't know what it is this year... If she had told me last year on our Sucka Tour that next year she'd come and visit me and my husband, I would have thought she was crazy, and I would have added that I'm not the type of person to meet and marry someone in less than a year. But of course, when you know you've got a good thing, why wait?

On our agenda for this year's reunion is the following:

Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes (done last night)
Tour of Murray's work place (done this morning)
Tour of my work place (done today)
Test driving a Smart Car
Snowshoeing or other playing in the mountain snow
Pizzeria 712
Maestro Gelato
Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored and prepared by Switchback
One or several Muppets movie(s)
Birthday dinner for Murray with my siblings

I love our vacation traditions. Be prepared to get déjà vu again when we get together with Switchback for Pioneer Day.

Should I be concerned?

My coworker just gave me two packages of a fine, white powder and asked me to deliver them to her brother (whom I've never met).

I joked with her about making me deliver drugs, and then I read the label, which says "A complete line of supplies for wine and beer."

She claims that if you mix this stuff (Tartaric acid) with heavy cream, it makes marscapone.

Of course, her brother will only be able to make the marscapone if I don't find a higher bidder before him. I'll sell at $2000/oz.

This actually reminds me of the time that I found a small bottle with small white pills in it just inside my apartment door. I had no idea what these pills in this unmarked bottle were. First I wondered if my roommate was doing drugs. Then I started going through the list of all of my friends who had been to my apartment that week, and I tried to imagine all of them doing drugs. I'm sorry to say that I even narrowed it down to the two most likely candidates. (Magoo, Rags, if you're reading this, I'm sorry for ever suspecting you of drug use.) And I really felt that I was in a horrible sort of moral dilemma.

Then I found out that it was my landlord's nitroglycerin for his heart condition.

I'm number 1243100!

Last year, right around this time, Threadless had their $10 t-shirt sale. This year it's a little different. It's a $9 and up sale, which isn't as catchy (and I can't help but notice that it's not the girl's shirts that are $9...). But I can't complain.

Last year, I posted my order number on my blog and wrote a little blog post about how much I love Threadless.

This year, I must repeat the post with even more love and even more gratitude towards Threadless. You see, last year's post was the first blog post that Murray ever saw, and he thought that he could really like a girl who had such cool taste in t-shirts.

This year, I'm buying Threadless t-shirts for two. If that isn't the happiest success story there is, I don't know what could possibly be happier. (Except for Murray's and my plans to submit a couple designs together this year, and for those designs to get accepted, and for us to earn $2000 per design.)

Here's our order today. Thank you Threadless, for bringing me and Murray together and for outfitting us with great clothes. I will heart you forever.

Happy Birthday Murray!

Murray's birthday was yesterday. He's now 31. Last year, his birthday led him to reflect upon his life (and how he was single) and that reflection led him to find my blog and fall in love with me. Boy, am I glad! This year, instead of reflecting upon the past, I think that he did a bit of looking forward to the future.

We celebrated the great day all weekend. On Saturday evening, we went to see 1964, a Beatles Tribute Band. I think that we should make this a yearly tradition. When I was buying tickets for it, I asked Murray how close he wanted to be. He said that if you're up close, you can tell that it's not them. So I got us cheaper seats further back and right in the middle. It really was a great show.

Murray got a few smaller gifts from me this year, but the big gift was a bike to match my bike so that we can go on leisurely bike rides in the country. And have picnics. Basically this is going to be the best summer ever.

And now that my one and only true love is going to be biking on the streets, I'd ask you all to please watch this.

Editor's Note

Every now and then I get a reminder that my dad reads my blog. Here's his email to me today:


"My Forray into Photography"

Here is Webster’s dictionary definition of forray


\For"ray\ (? or ?), v. t. [OE. forrayen. See Foray.] To foray; to ravage; to pillage.

So are you foraying, forying or hurrying to foto Murray? Are you ravaging or pillaging?

My real question is; what is the correct spelling? I always thought it was foray. Anyway Dollay, have a great day and I love you any way and so does mommay as does Murray. So you are very luckay eh? J

My Forray into Photography

So I've never been that great of a photographer. But right now I'm taking Nicole Hill's photography class and I'm at least learning a few things to make myself better. I think I'm going to need a lot of practice to take the types of pictures that I like, but here's at least two from my first week of practice that I'm happy with. (Of course, I'll be in love with any adorable photo of Murray...)

My Mom Is Cooler Than Me

So yesterday I was talking to Dr. Rice, who told me that she'd just finally signed up for Facebook to see a friend's pictures this week. Then she asked me to guess who the first person was to add her as a friend, write on her wall, and welcome her to Facebook.

My mom.

That's right everyone. My mom is cooler than I am. Dr. Rice also added that my mom has lots of friends. When I talked to my mom about it this morning, she admitted to me that she wrote and erased her message to Dr. Rice about fifteen times, because she wanted to write something clever, but couldn't come up with anything clever, and she was crippled with fear because she'd just read an article in the Washington Post about how kids hate it that their parents use Facebook and add their friends and stuff. But really, it was talking about high school kids, not PhD graduates. After agonizing over what to write on Dr. Rice's page, my mom finally settled with "Welcome!"

I don't even use Facebook. I know that it's slowly taking over the world, but I reserve my right to resist that as long as possible. I actually did have a brief stint on Facebook. I tried it out for one week, and it was the most awful, agonizing, painful week of my life. Here are the reasons I don't like it:

1) It seems like it would be a time sucker. I have enough problems keeping up my blog and emailing people back who email me. If I have a Facebook page, that's a whole new thing that I need to maintain. And during my one week Facebook experience, it invaded my entire life. Every time a Facebook notification would appear in my email, I'd cringe. People were adding me right and left and I couldn't keep up. I couldn't imagine maintaining such a beast on a full time basis.

2) It breeds and grows and breeds and grows. Suddenly, during my one week on Facebook, I found myself connected to people with whom I'd lost all contact, or with whom I'd never had much contact in the first place. I was unable to reject people who wanted to add me as a friend---how could I be so rude? And then I became increasingly panicked about Facebook's ability to increase my chances of offending someone. What if I added them as a friend, but never wrote on their wall? What if we viewed our friendship differently, and they were so pleased to be reconnected with a long lost friend and I was not actually all that excited? It seemed to me that while most of the people I was more than happy to be reconnected with, there would come a time when people that I no longer wanted to be connected with would try to add me as a friend, and I didn't actually want to be put in that awkward situation.

3) It gives everyone I've ever known information about my whole life. At the time that I tried Facebook out, I had not yet met Murray. And as more and more people I'd grown up with back home were adding me as a friend, I couldn't help but think about the fact that of my age group in church, I was still the only one who was not married or in a long-term, committed relationship. And I hated the fact that anyone I'd ever known could look at my page and say, "Oh, yeah, Cicada. She's still not married and she's not dating anyone either. And she's gained weight." Because let's be honest. People say and think those kinds of things. I also didn't like that when people added me as friends, they could list their type of relationship with me. An old boyfriend listed me as "We used to date, but we're now just friends" or something like that, and I really didn't like the idea that people who I was barely connected with anymore could just look through my friends and figure out my dating history. Or figure out any sort of history. What if one day my professor added me and said, "I used to teach her editing. She never came to class and I gave her a D." (That last one is facetious, but you get my point.)

After trying it out for one week, like I'd promised a friend I'd do, I erased my account completely. They don't really allow you to do that easily---I had to email them and ask them to delete all my account details so that my account was gone, not just dormant.

There's a part of me that is afraid that I'm going to have to get back on some day. It's growing and taking over the world, and I think that I might not be able to avoid it forever. The new generation---those kids who are still in high school---value networks and connectivity. This is their culture, and it's spreading to everyone.

If I resist, am I going to be like old people who refuse to learn to use computers?

Friday Treat

Since it's Friday afternoon, I figured I'd share with you all one of my favorite stories from El Senor.

El Senor once worked in a place where there were computers out in an open workspace. When everyone was done for the day, they'd pack up and go home, leaving the building to be cleaned by maintenance workers.

One day, a coworker was using her computer, started laughing, and called everyone to look at her screen.

She'd been entering a google search. When you start to type something in the google search field, your previous searches that match the letters automatically pop up. After she had typed the letter J, the previous searches came up.

Someone had tried to google "jiggly boobs." But they didn't know how to spell jiggly, so they tried about five different spellings:

jigly boobs
jiggley boobs
jiglie boobs
jigglie boobs
jiggly boobs

Now, was that one of the chemists, or one of the ESL maintenance workers? You decide.

(I now realize that I'm going to bring a whole new type of traffic to my blog...)

Lucky Guy

Murray Terreno di Amore is the luckiest guy on earth. See Exhibit A.

Exhibit A: The Wife.

That's right. He's married to me. The lucky sucker!

I'm at home sick today. Hey, wasn't I at home sick last week? Why yes, I was, thank you for asking. Last week, it was pounding headache, sore throat, fever, and body aches. But that was so last week. This week, probably due to not giving myself time to get over being sick last week, it's fire lung (the official medical term to describe how my lungs feel), no voice (which is kindof fun and at least gives absolute authenticity when you call in sick to work), and constant cough. Plus Nyquil addiction.

Today I'm treating myself differently than I did last week when I was sick. Last week, I decided to be productive despite my sickness, and even ventured outside the home a couple times to run some much needed errands. Even though I was sick, I technically put in a good 15 hours of work between the two days I stayed home. Today I'm trying a completely different way. I have had---count 'em---three naps today. I cannot possibly remember the last time that I had three naps in one day, but I was probably still wearing diapers at the time. I've made lots of progress on my book club book (A Conspiracy of Paper, which I already recommend, not having yet completed it). And I talked (whispered, really) to my mom on the phone. That's about it.

Through it all, Murray has taken great care of me. I can't believe he hasn't gotten sick yet. Last week he brought me soup from Rumbi's. Today for lunch, be brought me soup from Zupa's. This guy's got good taste! Most of all, he's been great at being affectionate, doting, and loving, even though I look like crap. (See Exhibit A again.)

(Although I will be staying home from work tomorrow too [which is my normal day off from work] I make no promises not to start cleaning up and organizing the guest room/storage room in preparation for Switchback coming to visit in two weeks.)