Dr. Rice, you were my only hope.

So my no-longer hero, Dr. Rogers Rice, is no longer working on a cure for diabetes. Before, I looked up to her as a health pioneer, kindof like Marie Curie. Now I look down on her as a quitter, like Hillary Clinton or Britney Spears.

(AN ASIDE: Our Puerterican neighbor told Murray that someone in Cuba has developed a cure for AIDS and will sell enough vaccine for ONE PERSON to Americans for $50 billion. I think that the American taxpayers can spare another $50 billion to save one person from AIDS, don't you?)

Back to diabetes. It turns out I might have them--the gestational kind. At least Dr. Rogers's previous efforts at curing diabetes have taught me to refer to them as LIVAbetes. That gives me hope.

When my mom asked me today if I can name the people in my family who have diabetes, I immediately named my grandpa, whose diabetes have been the family joke for quite a while now. He was told by a doctor that he had a pre-diabetic condition, or something, and so he needed to change his eating habits. My grandpa likes a good meal, and likes a good dessert to follow the meal. After the diagnosis, he'd help himself to a quarter of a blueberry pie (instead of half a blueberry pie) and let everyone know that he was cutting back on sweets "on account of me diabetees." Of course, when he was in a senior's center for a while, he told them about his diabetes so that he could get special treatment. Unfortunately, that special treatment was them rationing his sweets in a proper manner, and suddenly Grandpa was miraculously cured of the diabetes! But when he stayed with my parents for a while, and was fixing himself a large breakfast on Fast Sunday, my mom asked him why he wasn't fasting and he said that he couldn't fast, "on account of me diabetees." My mom said that she thought he no longer had diabetes, and he told her that he never could be too careful; they might come back!

So this is a picture of me drinking my orange soda before the test. My mother-in-law was very interested to know what I thought of the drink, and she kindof made me think that I was to expect something awful and nasty. What I got was a fairly potent bottle of orange soda. Kindof like drinking carbonated melted orange popsicles, and since when was that a bad thing? I offered a small taste to Murray, but he declined, saying that he'd rather not drink a pregnant women's drink, for fear of spontaneously sprouting ovaries.

Notice the look of confidence in my eyes. My pregnancy has been a breeze so far. So I was expecting to pass this test as easily as I have passed all the others. Let's review my pregnancy, shall we?

Number of times I've thrown up: 1 (before the pregnancy test was even positive; this may not have been pregnancy related)

Number of pounds gained: 10ish. And I'm at month 6. I figure I'm doing pretty well.

Size of belly: Manageable. I can still fit into my normal jeans if I want to. I'm not that large, due mainly to my long torso with lots of room for baby and my soccer-ball-sized uterus.

Swelling of extremities: Manageable.

Hip and joint pain: Manageable. Sometimes uncomfortable, but nothing that slows me down too much.

See? It's been a good pregnancy so far. And I've felt pretty much not-that-pregnant for the whole thing. So now to find out that my pregnancy might not be perfect?? It's a little bit weird.

I get to go back tomorrow and do a longer version of the test, and drink a more potent orange soda elixer (yipee!!). So I'll know more about it then. And if it turns out I have gestational diabetes, I think it just basically means that I have excellent incentive to make very positive lifestyle changes.

What I know for sure is that I can't count on that quitter Dr. Rice to cure me diabetees.

My Mountain Man

I promised you all that I'd share the tale of Murray the Mountain Man as soon as I had pictures, and now I have pictures!

As part of our family vacation two weeks ago, we spent a couple of nights at my sister-in-law's family cabin out in Weber County. The time spent at the cabin really helped us feel like we were actually getting away on vacation. No phones. No internet. It was blissful. Well, it was blissful for me, who stayed at the cabin at all times to gestate my fetus and to sometimes take care of my niece and nephew. Others had a less relaxing time, as they packed their days with rigorous, rugged activities. And where there was a mountain experience to be had, Murray was always at the front of the line volunteering.

Almost as soon as we arrived at the cabin, my dad and Captain Fabuloso got ready to go fishing. They invited Murray along and he readily accepted that invitation. Unfortunately he had the wrong footwear, so they outfitted him with a pair of cowboy boots and gave him a fishing hat to make him official. He proudly wore the fishing hat for the rest of his mountain activities to show the change from "City Murray" to "Mountain Man Murray."

Here's Murray and Dad and Captain F back with their catch. What a catch!!

Here's Murray cleaning the fish.

From this picture, I bet you can guess that Murray didn't participate in the licking of guts like El Senor did.

The next day, almost everyone went out on the horses, and Murray, who had never ridden a horse on his own before, also participated. Once again, I stayed home and gestated. Please note that he is still a mountain man because he is still wearing the mountain man hat.

During the horse ride, my sil told my mom about Jim Bridger's cabin, that was 3/4 the way up the mountain side. He'd built it with a couple of men who wanted to trap with him. They chose their strategic location because it was too steep for horses to access, and it would give them a lot of time to prepare in case Indians ever wanted to go after them. And to my understanding, the Indians were never that dumb anyway.

My mom absolutely wanted to hike to Jim Bridger's cabin herself, and Richie decided he'd go, too. Murray, not to be outdone by his mother-in-law (grandmother of 2.6), signed up for the adventure, too. My sil warned them again and again that it wasn't a nice little hike, and there was no trail, and that it was pretty awful. But the party insisted on finding the cabin, so we let them go.

Several hours later, they came back with their tale to tell. Richie was the only one who ever made it up to the cabin. By the time the mountain slope got to be about 80 degrees, my mom and Murray were exhausted and no longer really had the desire to conquer the mountain or see Jim Bridger's cabin. They'd been gone for hours, and the hike up to the cabin would take another hour at least, of simply scrambling up the mountainside.

The return trip wasn't as easy as they thought either, since the mountain was so steep. Mom and Murray came down the mountain mostly on their butts.

After his mountain adventure, though, I was able to care for and nuture my manly mountain man. He deserved all that pampering and more! I am now certain that if Murray and I were lost in the wilderness, he'd be prepared to take care of us and fight for our survival.

So delinquent!

I apologize for the lack of posts. Life has been pretty busy! And for the past three workdays straight, I feel like I've been doing nothing but emailing. Not the friendly chatty emailing but the productive work emailing. And then I get sad because I don't receive money per email I send or anything. Maybe I should raise my rates...

(By the way, I'm emailing so much because I'm accepting enrollments for the Photoshop and Illustrator classes. Remember those? If you're interested, you know where to find them...)

But here's a summary of events from our recent happenings:

* Had family vacation with my parents and Ricky in town. Will post about some of those activities if I ever get photos from my mother and video from my brother.

* Learned that Murray is a true mountain man. Will report on all the details (including the scratch on his bum that ripped through his underwear and drew blood) when I get pictures from my mom. (Pictures will not include bum scratch, which is for my eyes only.)

* Clicky has potentially died for good, but maybe not, but because of the near-life threat, we've been car shopping. And guess what I've found out I prefer to car shopping. I prefer having ONE car and not even having to deal with buying a new one. So maybe I'll start advocating being a one-car family! Or maybe we'll just get Clicky into the shop and find out that she's doing just fine. She's just a little smoky.

* Murray and I attended the Monet to Picasso art exhibit at the U and almost got kicked out because Murray slyly tried to take a photo with his iPhone. The security guard got on his case immediately (I swear we looked for signs, and it's not like it's flash photography, and all the paintings are public domain, so what's the big deal?). I heard the security guard call in to all the other guards telling them about Murray. Then as we continued our way through the exhibit, I saw the guard approach every guard in every new room we entered, telling them about us. I know because they were all staring at us, and I heard him say, "...taking pictures with his phone..." and I saw him mime the action of taking a sly picture with an iPhone. Anyway, besides that little bit of humiliating unpleasantness, I maintain that Murray is the best person to go to an art show with. His knowledge about all the artists and all the pieces really blows me away. (If you remember, he scored major points during our second date at the BYU art museum where he acted as my own personal tour guide.)

* Murray and I gathered all the artwork in our home to finally decide what is going to go where. And while all the frames and artwork were out, I was carrying a frame and dropped it on my big toenail. The toenail got all black, and it was pretty much the most horrible pain ever. Then Murray learned that to relieve the pain, we needed to poke through the nail with a red hot needle to relieve the pressure. So Murray and I together performed an at-home surgery. And it sucked. But my toe is feeling much better now, thank you.

That's a good enough update for now! We'll see what I can do about the mountain man post. Mom? Pictures?

Cable Tales

One of the benefits of having a brother who is a cable installer is getting our cable on the main floor configured so that the TV can actually be on the wall I want it to be on.

Another benefit is being able to hear endless stories about other people's homes and other people's lives and other people's general disgustingness. The Boy has seen it all. In fact, he recently coined the term "Nerd Trash" which is a lot like white trash, but it's a person who lives in absolute squalor but whose rat nest is filled with all the latest technology: huge-screen television, dual 30-inch monitors, loads of computers and accessories, all the right gaming consoles. You get the idea. Nerd trash. I think it'll catch on.

Recently, The Boy, pictured here with his new fridge in his new house, went to install cable in a particular home. A very large woman was on the couch (he describes her as a whale, manateed out all over the couch, and although it's a mixed metaphor, I think it does the job). She was missing half her teeth. And as The Boy worked on her cable, her six children scurried around the filthy house.

Then, another woman---he assumes it was the manatee's sister---came into the house. She took one look at The Boy and said, "Let me guess. He's staying the night."

Wow. I mean, I don't want to think of a slew of men staying the night with this toothless manatee (point of interest: manatees regrow a tooth every time they lose one, so from an evolutionary standpoint, this woman may be slightly behind manatees), but why else would the sister jump to that conclusion. Ew.

Poor The Boy. In telling this story, he said, "I admit that I'm not the most handsome man on the planet, but I think this," (here he motioned to his face) "is worth at least a full set of teeth."

Video Phones?

We all remember well the phones that they had in Back to the Future. The image of the person you were talking to appeared on a gigantic screen on the wall. Video phones. They were the future. (Among other things.)

Today video phoning seems well within our grasp. In fact, Murray informs me that it's fairly common in Japan and Korea, but that Americans are a little resistant to this new technology. Murray suggested that people might be uncomfortable with the fact that they can't lie about where they are. If you call, you see the surroundings of the person you're calling. (Ever take a call while you're on the can? "Echo? What echo? Oh... yeah, I'm in a hallway of a big building...)

But I have started thinking about it as it applies to my situation as a stay-at-home professional. Although I have standards and ideals, I don't always live up to my own standards and ideals. For example, ideally, I should shower before I walk across the hall and go to work. But often I go into the office in my pajamas (read: underwear) and work for a few hours. Today, my computer needed an update that required restart, and that (combined with my own stench) convinced me that I should get up and take a shower. So now I'm back in front of my computer, but I haven't done my makeup.

If I lived in a country where video telephone calls were standard, I'd have to reevaluate how I do things. Take a look at this picture. My shirt looks sloppy. I need makeup. I told Murray that the back of his chair is an appropriate place to keep his painting tshirt, but if clients can see it, it's sloppy and unprofessional. (Murray, until the standardization of the video phone, I still approve of you using your chair as painting shirt storage.) I'd need to make sure that my office is tidy every day. I'd need to evaluate what art projects are on the peg board. In fact, I'd probably have to do away with the peg board altogether and put up something more professional like bookshelves.

So right now, even though the video phone seems like a next logical step, it actually would make my life less convenient right now. And for the rest of the growing number of telecommuters and work at home professionals as well, I think!

Murray and I have been talking about creating a time capsule of 10- (or 15?) year predictions of what the future will be like. I'm going to have to consider the idea of the video phone very carefully before I add it to my list of things I expect to see in 2018. Maybe in 2018, from my well-organized perfectly tidy office, I will (in full dress and makeup) be rereading this post and laughing at my reticence to accept this new techology.

Like Sunscreen for Your Insides

One of the things that I love about being married to Murray is that we get to pick apart and criticize billboards together. I specialize in the words and graphic design. Murray specializes in the photography. Heck. Maybe we should just open our own billboard company.

Here are just a few brief examples:

* A billboard that says you can get dirty or something. It shows a left-handed mouse user with dirty hands. PROBLEMS: 1) Never show a left-handed mouse user on a billboard. It looks contrived and is unnecessary, and we all know that you did it because you felt it fit your design better. 2) The idea of getting dirty and the image of a dirty hand on a mouse looked more like a metaphor for pornography addiction. In actuality, the billboard was advertising some outdoorsy program at UVSC (now UVU).

* A billboard for some charitable sort of thing that has a portrait of an African on it. The portrait got your attention for sure, but unfortunately the font size and layout of the rest of the billboard was too small to read while you were zooming past on the freeway. These billboards were all over the place, which indicated that the charity spent a lot of money on the campaign, but due to illegibility, most of that money was likely wasted.

* DearElder.com. This example requires a little more background. First of all, you have to know who Kirby Heyborne is. He is a Mormon actor who was in a lot of Mormon movies. Second, you need to know about stock photography. If you are a stock photography model, your image can be bought and used by anyone. Remember that Friends episode where Joey is the poster boy for VD? Right. Well, before Kirby Heyborne got "famous" he modeled for some stock photography. And after he was famous in the Mormon community, other companies were able to buy the rights to his portrait because of his stock photographs. Basically, they could get celebrity endorsement for cheap. One of these companies was DearElder.com, and they proudly displayed Kirby Heyborne's face on their DearElder billboard for years and years. And years. As he got greener and greener in the forehead. Poor, poor Kirby. Recently, the DearElder.com billboard was taken down. But a few months later, it was back up on the Southbound I-15. But then something fishy happened. Suddenly the billboard the DearElder.com had paid money to put back up was replaced. What? Kirby Heyborne's face no longer endorsed the company. What changed? They'd just paid good money to put Kirby BACK UP? Could it have been this beer commercial where Kirby has two lines? "West?"

Maybe. All I know is that the beer commercial came out, and suddenly Kirby went down and DearElder's new billboard was campaigning for a NEW FACE to represent DearElder. Hopefully a non-beer-drinking face.

The billboard looks something like this, which is from their website:

My final example and the title of this post comes from a billboard that Murray and I saw while driving through Las Vegas. It was so nonsensical that I had to pause the podcast we were listening to and focus all of our combined attention to figuring out what Coca-Cola might have meant by this campaign. The billboard said: Coca-Cola. Like Sunscreen for Your Insides.

Excuse me? Let's think about this for a moment. In what way is Coca-Cola like sunscreen for your insides?

PROTECTION: Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun. Coca-Cola.... um.... rots your stomach lining and probably causes cancer or something.

REFRESHING: Coca-Cola is refreshing. Sunscreen.... um.... goes on your skin like lotion.

ABSTRACT/VS. TANGIBLE: Coca-Cola is a tangible thing. Sunscreen is a tangible thing. Your insides are a tangible thing. So maybe Coca-Cola would have done better to throw in some abstract concept there. Like Coca-Cola is like Sunshine for Your Insides. Coca-Cola is like Happiness for your Insides. Instead, Coca-Cola is compared to suncreen, another liquid, which make me and Murray imagine ourselves drinking sunscreen. For our insides.

So basically, if you are going to put up a billboard any time soon, consider contacting me and Murray because we can help your billboard not to suck. And we'll only charge you $4000 for our non-sucking services.


I was telling Murray the other day that April, May, June, July, and August all fit together to me. But the jump from August to September is always really sudden. I know that it's because of seasons, but still. September is a really, really big leap for me to make every year. (Also, it can't help that because of my Northern Ontario upbringing, September to me is a really cold month.) But the great thing is actually that fall is my favorite season (it seems to last about 4 days each year here in Utah, but those are a GREAT four days). And fall is my favorite season for fashion, too.

This year fashion will be a little bit different because I'm dressing for two. I've fully embraced my right to wear pajamas (gaucho pants) in public most of the time, and I'm really enjoying these loose fitting clothing items that I have acquired. My most recent acquisition is a fall item that will work great for maternity, but will also be equally as useful (maybe MORE useful) after the baby comes. It's a poncho.

For some reason, I started noticing ponchos recently and being sad about the fact that I didn't jump on the poncho band wagon a few years ago when they were really popular. So when I saw a poncho in the store the other day, and it was a super trendy cool store, I was assured that they must be back, and that now is my chance to finally have one. And in my mind, it looks even more adorable with my expanding baby belly (it's expanding in my mind faster than it's physically expanding, but in case you're wondering, my uterus is right on track). And AFTER the baby comes, is there any better clothing accessory for breast feeding than the poncho? I don't think so. Perhaps I'll make myself a poncho collection with a new color for every day of the week.

Even better still? I hear it's impossible to be unhappy in a poncho.