Sunday, July 31, 2011

Love in the time of Cholera

Ah, my belated Book Club Blogger's review.  This month's pick, Love in the time of Cholera, was chosen by the lovely Katie (of Doctors Terry).

I had a hard time getting into the novel at first... There are so many side tangents it's like watching Family Guy.  However, it slowly grew on me.  Mid-month, I found myself actually excited to ditch my day-to-day troubles for the quiet calm of their lives.  This work differed from so much of current mainstream media in that it had no nail-biting, adrenaline pumping M. Night Shyamalan twists and sucker punches.  It flowed.  Much like life... with the normal ups and downs of course.  It's not like nothing happened, but none of it felt gimmicky. 

This book satisfied my voyeuristic longing to follow a character (or characters) throughout the whole of their life (am I alone in thinking one of the best parts of the Harry Potter series was getting to check in with him year after year?). Unfortunately, in this case I didn't care much for the characters.

I got along with them alright for awhile but as I grew to know each of them better, I liked each one less.  The kicker for Florentino's dramatic fall from my grace comes near the end of the novel so I wont spoil it for those of you who haven't yet finished.  I think you'll know the spot when you get to it.

The weird thing is, despite not particularly liking the characters, I found myself strangely attached to the book.  Usually when I don't like a book or a movie, I have to put it down or I feel like I'm wasting my time.  I don't regret this read at all... it felt like it enriched my life in a way I can't quite put my finger on.  So while I'm sorry I can't say I loved it, I do honestly thank Katie for picking it.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Awkward / Awesome Volume 8

It's Thursday! The day we air our shameful awkward moments and awesome triumphs!

I have NO idea how I forgot to put this doozy in last week's round up...
Awesome: The first 5 minutes of my Tahoe vacation.  Ahhhhhhh.
Awkward: The call from my boss in minute 6: "Um... Your subject is here? She said you scheduled her to come in today?"

Awesome: Having Brutharrr back from Comic-Con.

Awesome: All those times I drew hearts tiny personal messages on the inside of the lid or the bottom of the cup of the person whose drink I was preparing (I used to be a barista and did this for people who looked interesting).
Awkward: Watching them drain the dredges and throw the cup away without noticing.
Awesome: Having a cute barista draw a small smiley face on the bottom of my cup yesterday (I didn't even notice until 4pm).

Awkward: Exiting the bus and emptying the contents of my lunchbox up and down the sidewalk.
Awkward x 2: Since everyone exiting had already left and everyone entering the bus was already seated, no one offered to help.  Instead, I was just 10 seconds of scrambling entertainment for the passengers before the vehicle slowly pulled away.

Awkward: Accidentally leaving my dad's evil dog on the front deck while we ran errands.
Awesome: Fortunately, the front deck is gated (she's been known to rip the spleen out of passing dogs). 
Awkward: After destroying everything on the deck (plants, my yoga mat, bags for goodwill, bagged food for donations...), she dug her way out.

Awkward: Getting midnight hunger cravings.
Awesome: Having a box of cereal near my bed.
Awkward: Trying to (a) open the box, (b) unroll the crinkly bag and then (c) eat the cereal quietly so as not to wake your roommate.  Impossible.
***CRUNCH..... CRUNCH***

Awesome: Finishing a full data set on my first subject.   
"Thanks so much, subject person! You don't need to come in and be tortured anymore!"
Awful: Having boss lady point out we're missing one block of data.  
"Um, I'm really sorry subject person, could you come in again?"
Awkward AND Awesome:  Finding out we DID Have that block of data... I had not only failed to transfer the file but failed to realize that as a possibility when searching for it. 
"Sooo, um, thanks for rescheduling your day but now could you actually NOT come in? Thanksssss."

Awkward: These two bottles look way too alike (especially with my contacts out) to be so close together on the counter.
Awesome: Knowing now why I have a dry face and pimple free hands!

Awkward: Parking in the city
Awesome: Having a friend give me a private, residential garage spot FOR FREE!
Awkward: Having to give up said spot while friend was traveling and go back to parking in the city. It's soul sucking.
Awesome: Having friend return!
Awkward: Finding out my new car wont fit in the spot.

Awkward: Not hearing back from a friend after several attempts at checking in.
Awkward x 2: Growing increasingly anxious and moving on from texts, to facebook messages and finally voicemails.
"I hope I haven't offended you in any way.  Your friendship means a lot to me..."
Awkward AND Awesome: Finally realizing friend is in London, away from all communication.
"Oh.  Heh."

Awkward: It was uncomfortable the FIRST time  my local barista pre-made my 'usual' and I didn't want the 'usual'.  (I put usual in quotes because I only come in on the occasional Saturday and rarely order the same thing).
Awkward x 2: She STILL does it. Despite repeated conversations of the type below: 
Her (without a smile or hint of friendliness): I got your breakfast wrap all ready.
Me: Um, no thank you, I already ate today.
Her (cold): Well.  It's ready.
Me: ... No thank you.  But thank you...

Awkward AND Awesome: Stepping into this elevator....

... and promptly making the *in my opinion* obligatory pun about Schindler's Lift.

Leave your cringe-worthy moments in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Tidbit - Brain Droppings

 Yup, that's actually my brain

First off, maybe I should have said this in the inaugural post but I got the idea for this weekly feature from visiting Lindsay's blog (Delighted Momma).  I love that when I go to her page, I often end up learning some cool new fact, trick or recipe.  I wanted my blog to (at least occasionally) be a place of learning something nifty also.

This week, I'd like to discuss the animal responsible for the most human deaths per year in Australia...

 The wombat. 

Now, this would be quite the claim to fame anywhere but in AUSTRALIA? Notorious home to Great Whites, gnarly spiders and intensely poisonous snakes? Before you accuse my pants of being on fire, hear me out.  Strangely enough, this dubious honor is due in large part to their bums, which will be a large focus of today's discussion.

With their low center of gravity and amazingly tough backsides, when they cross the road they don't become pancakes, they become launch pads.  Sad but true.

Take heart though, those fannies don't just produce tragic deaths, they also churn out square poops.
Yup.  The wombat behind contains special bones that shape and slice their excrement into little cubes.  These creations were used as dice by the Bushmen but the original purpose was for marking territory (traditional poo has a pesky way of not staying put you see).

Oh, one last thing... While these stumpy guys are most oftenly seen awkwardly waddling (like me exiting Chili's) they ARE capable of hitting up to 25 miles per hour (for reference, that's faster than any Olympic sprinter).

Well, that's all for today's lecture.  I promise they wont all be animal related.

P.S. Vote plz... Should I call this weekly feature 'Tuesday Tidbits' or 'Brain Droppings'?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hour-By-Hour vol 2

Last time I posted an hour-by-hour, you got to see a workday.  
Today, I documented my relaxing Sunday.

7 am
Admired my amazing 'windswept' hair. 
(I swear I didn't have a fan on)
People pay big bucks for products that achieve this level of styling mastery!
And all I do is sleep.... No wonder they call it 'beauty rest.'

8 am 
Worked out with a buddy
My favorite bird - the Mourning Dove

9 am
Bible time in a comfy coffee shop chair

10 am
My guilty pleasure... Reading magazines with a cup of caffeine.
I cut out articles I like.

11 am
Added some spice to my americano and ran some errands

12 pm 
Caught up on blogs, while the pups chillaxed
 The evil one

The sweet one

1 pm
Greek yogurt with frozen banana, honey and whole grain flakes.

2 pm
Craft time

  More on this project tomorrow

3 pm
Visited my grandparents

4 pm
Listened to stories
5 pm
Said goodbye

6 pm
Admired the desserts at the grocery store

7 pm
Cantaloupe, carrots, pesto and pumpkin bolani bread.

8 pm 
Back in PJs... It's getting sleepy around here

That's all folks! 

P.S. Comments... I'm finally getting better at answering your questions in the comments section.  Does that system work? Do you check back?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Buh bye!

I've had goodbyes of all sizes recently.

Some were small...
Goodbye hair!

Some were bigger...
Goodbye apartment in the city!
(hello long commute from Dad's)

And some were real traumatic...
Goodbye car I've had since I was 17!

Don't worry...
Faja and I went car shopping and picked out somethin' real special.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Awkward / Awesome Volume 7

It's Thursday! Make yourself feel better by reading about my mistakes!

Awesome: Feeling 'green' by using my one paper towel to pull out roughly 35 other used paper towels from the garbage and putting them in the compost outside the bathroom door.
Awkward: Looking very un-green to my passing coworker who only saw me dumping 35 paper towels after my trip to the loo.

Awesome: Feeling comfortable enough in my own house to walk to the kitchen while changing.
Awkward: Not realizing we had guests.

Awkward: Setting the departure date (my quitting date) with my boss. 
"Well, when do you want to leave here?" 
"I dunno...when do you want me gone?"

Awesome: Remembering to bring home the extra food we bought in Tahoe.
Awkward: Bringing home food that wasn't ours....

Awesome: Dad letting me borrow his car for the week after declaring mine a death-trap.
Awkward: His fuel gauge reading 'empty' AND his car only takes fancy-dancy premium (read: expensive) gas. 
Awesome: Being given gas money.
Awkward: Filling his car with $60 of the wrong gas.

Awesome: After 6 months of searching, finally finding the perfect fairy shoe.
Awkward: Having the shoe sell out during the less than 24 hours it took for me to exchange an email with a rep about which size to order. 
Awkward x 2: Having the rep tell me they'll never, ever stock this shoe again.**

Awesome: Deciding to quit gambling before I lost ALL of my $11.
Awkward: Only having a $0.20 voucher to cash in.
Awkward x 2: Feeding aforementioned voucher to the cash machine and being given only $0.15 back!
Awkward AND Awesome: Flagging down an attendant and collecting my last 5 cents. 

Awkward AND Awesome: Bunk beds. 'Nuff said.

Awkward AND Awesome**:

Make me feel better about my blunders by letting me know your awkward and awesome moments in the comments below!

*I give up, I'm officially asking for help.  If you know where I can find fairy gold flats, let me know!

** A few of you asked if I liked the new Harry Potter.  YUP! Definite yes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Detergent Conspiracy

I originally titled this 'Slow News Day' but now, after reading Molly's blog and discovering 'What the hell?! Wednesdays', this post has found a home.

Let's play a game, it's called spot the type of product. 
In this case, the word 'detergent.'  
Ready? Go!

Exhibit A: 

Has anyone else noticed this?
What the heck? (This doesn't seem like a critical enough situation for 'hell').
It's like the detergent companies didn't want you to know that it was a cleaning agent but the government stepped in and forced them to place the name on the bottle.  And in retaliation, they printed it as small as possible. That's my conspiracy theory at least.

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

Exhibit D:
And now you know what kinds of things I think about all day.

Join in!
What's made you say, "What the hell?!" this week?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Tidbit

I love acquiring random facts and I recently learned about poodles, so now you will too!
Illustrated by yours truly.
Like me, you probably thought of poodles as the height of bougie boredom.
I mean... LOOK at them!

What if I told you that those ridonkulous poms - at least at one point-
served an actual purpose?  Allow me to explain.  

Poodles were bred for hunting water fowl.  They're amazing at it.  But what happens 
when a big ol' fluffy canine goes crashing into the lake to retrieve it's prey? 
It gets bogged down by that heavy mess!  

So, they tried shaving all that fluffy hair off...
But then they were cold in that icy water!

So, the hair was cut to reduce heaviness and snagging but 
bits and puffs were strategically left to keep their joints warm.

Of course, now it's pretty much all for show but at least you know there was logic once. Nifty, eh?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mini Summer - Tahoe Day 2 & 3

Yesterday, I did pretty much nothing...
Sure, I wandered around some shops, wrote some postcards and ate food.
Oh, and took photos of food (bringing my grand total of accomplishments to four).
Faja's tacos
While the down time was much needed, I do believe such a high level of unproductivity was a contributing factor in last night's insomnia.

Today, I....
...Scouted the land...
Photo by Faja
...Spotted a photographer in the wild...

...Made friends with Sophie the bearded iguana...

...And was part of the miracle that is all three of us in one photo!
Photo by my aunt
Do I smell a Christmas card?
(And no, I don't know what I'm doing with my arms either)

Activities not pictured: 
Gambled $11
Played Loaded Questions with the fam
Saw Harry Potter!

Have you seen Harry Potter yet?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mini Summer - Tahoe Day 1

Another mini-summer vacay, this time: Tahoe. 
I'm not gonna lie, work's been kinda rough recently and despite how recent my last getaway was, I definitely felt I needed this. 
My uncle rented the most amazing lodge for my aunt's 60th and we're piggy-backing on their splurge.  Big time.

Check out our pad....
The view!

The kitchen!

The roof!

Our bunks!

Yesterday was nice and slow... We got groceries, went on a walk, made dinner together..
 Dinner was: 
1. Dad's AMAZING whole wheat sourdough garlic bread
2. Uncle added chunks of garlic and bell pepper to the marinara
3. Aunt's yummy avocado salad 
4. Whole wheat pasta.
5. (Not pictured) We also had zucchini pasta! So good!

This is exactly the kind of relax time I needed right now.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Awkward / Awesome Volume 6

Awkward: Being told to have a good rest of my life.

Awesome: Summer
Awkward: Summer in San Francisco (hello rain and fog and wind). 

Awkward: Being late to meet someone.
Awesome: Being less late than the other person.

Awesome: Meeting bloggers in real life.
Awkward: Blogging about it.

Awesome: Participating in my coworker's reading study. 
Awkward: Being disqualified from my coworker's reading study.
Awesome: Being disqualified because I read too fast.  Booyah.

Awkward: Not finding the original set of keys to my apartment in time for my move-out walkthrough.
Awkward x 2: Wrestling with the moral dilemma of whether or not to draw the landlord's attention to the missing set (thus incurring those hefty lock replacement fees my lease promises).
Awesome: Finding out that they change the locks as a protocol so it doesn't matter.

Awesome: Knowing the answer to a question that came up at a dinner party (specifically whether feta refers to goat or sheep cheese).
Awkward: Having to back down from that knowledge at the risk of offending the host who's sure she's right.

Awesome: Having someone to listen for 20 minutes to the minor trials and triumphs of my day.
Awkward: Finally asking, 'So, how are YOU?' and finding out they're not good.  And dealing with REAL problems.

Awesome: The idea of watching a movie outdoors.
Awkward:  The logistics of watching a movie outdoors.
(Having to wait until dark to start meant I couldn't stay for the whole movie because of my early bedtime and the outdoors is cold!)