Thursday, May 30, 2013

St. Louis Bound! (In about 12 hours....)

Last night Brandon and I headed over to Ab's Drive-In for dinner. I wasn't really in a hamburger mood so I went for the fish sticks and fries. The fish sticks were pretty typical, but the fries were absolutely delicious. Brandon sported a t-shirt and shorts with dress shoes. Shnazy. ;)

Sewing on the sleeve.

Tonight we head for St. Louis for my cousin Missy's wedding. I finished the green dress I was working on (pictures to come from this weekend hopefully) and I'm all packed and ready to go. There are three direct flights today and I'm shooting for the last one (the one which Brandon has a ticket on). It's always a little risky going for the last flight, but there appear to be plenty of seats and I'll honestly be really surprised if they all fill up. It's just hard to imagine that there will be a huge rush from Salt Lake City to St. Louis on a Thursday evening. But you never know...

I get to see my family in just a few hours! :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On Being an Exctotherm (and an Ant)

Introduction:

Quote from Brandon on May 19th: "I'm dating a reptile."

Quote from Brandon on May 21st: "I've never dated so many animals at once."

Explanation:

I am...frequently cold. Or rather, I have a very specific body/environment temperature that I attempt to regulate in order to be comfortable. Most of the time, this means I'm cold. Occasionally, I'm hot. I vastly prefer being cold to being hot. As a result, I constantly employ the use of blankets/sweaters/coats and frequently the use of heaters (I live in a basement and my workplace reflects a similar air temperature to that of Siberia). And with the addition of such amenities to my life, I carry on quite happily. (The most recent addition to my wardrobe - a pair of thick sweatpants - has made such a difference in my warmth level at home! I wear them pretty much constantly when I'm at home...and I maybe take them over to Brandon's when I know we're going to be lounging....)

On the 19th, we'd just finished hiking down to Supai and we were taking a break after checking in. We'd only been sitting/standing there for a few minutes but the sweat on my back had quickly began to cool and my general body temperature (or at least the body temperature that I'm aware of) quickly dropped along with it. Here we were, freshly off from a several hour hike on a nice sunny day and I had goosebumps. Ridiculous. That's when Brandon said, "I'm dating a reptile," with a grin on his face. Zach made a similar comment to the same effect not five minutes later.

Just out of curiosity, I looked up reptiles and then cold-blooded on Wikipedia and was somewhat shocked at how good of a description "ectotherm" is for me:

"An organism in which internal physiological sources of heat are of relatively small or quite negligible importance in controlling body temperatureSuch organisms rely on environmental heat sources. Many species habitually seek out external sources of heat or shelter from heat; for example, many reptiles regulate their body temperature by basking in the sun, or seeking shade when necessary in addition to a whole host of other behavioral thermoregulation mechanisms."


Me, in a nutshell. ;)

The second quote came as we were ascending the first string of hills out of the camp, just past Havasu Falls. Brandon has often compared me to a long line of animals - including but not limited to cat, dog, reptile, and dragon. Added to this list on the 21st was almost "pack animal" but quickly shifted to "ant," as that seemed to fit the proportions of me to my pack a little better than the first guess.


And there you have it. It will be fun to see what other animals are added to the list as time goes by. :)


And here are some dried flowers - because they're pretty. :)



Monday, May 27, 2013

Quick Recap on the Weekend

Friday: Cheesecake Factory! No pictures of this as it was far too dark in the restaurant, but Brandon and I finally used the gift card I got at work several weeks ago. Delicious food and cheesecake! We also wandered and I bought some rock sugar from Teavana (to go with my delicious Berry Kiwi Colada tea!)



Saturday I spent a great deal of time working on that gold dress. Turns out that I made just a few too many risky guesses and the proportions are still a bit off. It still needs some work. But I'm mostly interested in trying with the green dress first and coming back to the gold. I've been watching Doctor Who again with my sewing and it is quite enjoyable. :)

In the evening we went and grabbed some grilled cheese sandwiches and shakes from Iceberg. We ordered, "Mini" shakes. This was mini:


From there we headed to the Real Soccer Stadium for our first Real Soccer Game! We were there for the loud excited score by the SLR and then Chicago snuck a goal in as we were leaving for West Coast. It was nice to get to West Coast after missing it last week (and next week - though we might get a bit of dancing in at the wedding reception!).



Yesterday (Sunday) was pretty tame. We finally watched The Goblet of Fire again (to see David Tennant as Barty Crouch Jr.).

And today! Looks to be a pretty laid back Memorial Day for me. :)



Friday, May 24, 2013

Fabric Friday

I've started working on one of the two dresses I bought from DI last week! I bought a dark green one and a goldish one and I'm currently working on the goldish one. Both of them have beautiful fabric but were pretty frumpy when I started. I wish I'd taken pictures of the gold one before I started on it...I'll try to remember to do that with the green one.



Anyway, I detached the skirt from the bodice and fitted the bodice to my dress form (after taking off the sleeves). I tried to do the math this morning to figure out if I had enough fabric for a full circle skirt and it was a touch puzzle. I don't think I have enough, but I'll do what I can with what I have. It will be fun to see how it turns out!

And even though I've seen all of the new Doctor Who episodes on Netflix, I went ahead and started them again from the beginning to play in the background while I work. I love that show...

I also detached several purple skirts from rather terrible bodices of old prom dresses of mine and Carina's. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them....but they're much nicer without the bodices. I also still have a few other old prom/brides maid dresses that I haven't determined what to do with...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

There and Back Again: A Havasupai Tale

Update on the weekend plus!

So, Friday we met up around 6:00, packed everything into the car, had some pizza (Courtesy of Zach and Emily!), and took off for Saint George. Several hours later we arrived and Brandon and I loaded our packs (they'd been waiting for us in St. George and we'd just brought everything in normal bags) and looked through the assorted pads, sleeping bags, and tents we'd be using. Two surprises for the evening:

1.) When Brandon brought out the sleeping bag I was going to borrow, we opened it up and looked at it to make sure it would be warm enough (it totally was!) and in shocked surprise, noticed that my name was embroidered not only on the sleeping bag, but on the bag for the sleeping bag and printed on the tag for the bag (which was still attached). I looked back and forth between Shauna, Duane, and Brandon, but they all appeared equally surprised. I remain...skeptical...but I'm fairly certain that it is all a coincidence...fairly sure. ;) When we got back after the trip Duane said he found the sleeping bag that they'd meant for me to borrow, and that he has no idea where the "Geneva" bag came from as he had no recollection of seeing it before.

The sleeping bag that does not belong to me but has my name on it....
2.) As we were talking about tents and the sleeping arrangements - we'd originally planned on bringing three two-man tents - we realized that per some miscommunication between Cam and Brandon, Cam had only brought one two-man tent instead of the anticipated two two-man tents. We quickly found a solution in a very cozy four-man tent that Duane had which we'd originally thought would be too big and too heavy.

Saturday morning bright and early we all showered (last showers for several days!) and prepped to go and had a delicious french toast breakfast (Duane and Shauna were wonderfully hospitable - as usual!) before running a few errands and then heading over to the movie theater to see Star Trek: Into Darkness - which was quite good.

Our group tags!

Science-fiction entertainment satiated, we finished loading everything into the car and headed for the freeway - stopping to grab a quick lunch on the way (Jack in the Box?). And we were on the road again! Through Vegas and into Arizona I think it took us about seven hours to get there - maybe less than that. We arrived in the parking lot at the top of the canyon around 8:00 and debated for a minute as to whether we wanted to camp at the top (a rather crowded little spot) or hike down past the switch backs and camp there. We opted to hike down so we quickly changed into our Sunday hiking clothes (so as not to bring any unnecessary clothes) and got our packs on and hit the trail. I don't think we hiked for more than an hour, only going about a mile and a half down, but it had gotten dark pretty fast so we pitched our two tents on a little ledge overlooking the wash. Our first freeze-dried dinner, Chicken with Noodles a la King (or something like that) was so delicious! And freeze-dried ice cream for appetizer/dessert as we waited for the 8-9 minutes it took for our freshly boiled water to re-hydrate our dinner. Though our camping spot was pretty flat, I don't think any of us slept very well that night. We had the company of the loose horses roaming around the canyon (both the neighing and the sounds of their hoofs sound somewhat ominous in the dark when you first hear them) as well as the hikers that started passing around 3:00 in the morning. (Though we didn't sleep very well where we were out, it was slightly rewarding to hear people pass by and say things like, "Oh, we should have done that!)

Sunday! 5:00! Bright and early we woke up and packed up our tents, had a delicious blueberry granola for breakfast (freeze-dried but only requiring cold water rather than hot water) before departing. Before we left was the one and only time I used the restroom out in the wild - as I was pulling up my shorts a thorn got stuck at the hem of the shorts and left a wicked looking scratch up the length of my left thigh. I haven't figured out the easy way to use the bathroom in the wild....clearly. The rest of the hike was pretty good. Given the time that we'd started, we were in the shade the vast majority of the time we hiked. My only complaints were that my pack seemed to be centered in the middle of my back rather than on my hips and somehow managed to dig into my pelvic bones at my lower back - not exactly comfortable. Though the build and orientation of my pack was very square, the weight itself (30 to 40 pounds) wasn't a problem. But at some point the top of my pelvic bones started to feel bruised and small areas on my feet were finally starting to feel rubbed by hiking shoes. As a result of all the little things, by the time we'd hiked the 6.5 miles into the village, I was pretty convinced I wanted to have the mules carry my pack out. The reservation check-in desk is all the way in Supai village. For whatever reason we'd originally thought it was up at the top of the canyon. Anyway, we checked in, got our wrist bands (I opted to use it as an ankle band - one of my better decisions during our time down there) and then hiked the last two miles to the campground, stopping at Lower Navajo Falls on our way down.

Lower Navajo Falls

We'd unpacked and set up camp by 10:30, so we made pretty good time but we were also exhausted fairly early. But there were things to see! We got into our swimsuits and hiked back up to Havasu Falls (just above the campground) and walked through the water and swam a bit. Brandon and I had our first MRE there (Chicken in Marinara Sauce) and while it was still ok, it definitely wasn't as good as the freeze dried meals. Cam jumped from a ledge near Havasu several times - cool to watch but easy to pass by - the climb up to the ledge looked rather precarious. We headed back to camp after hanging out there for awhile and had a proper lunch for everyone (Brandon and I split another MRE). After lunch we played Rook for awhile and several of us took naps before we headed down the camping area to climb up to explore some small caves and then wander down to Mooney Falls (at the lower end of the campground) Mooney Falls was easily the tallest of the all the falls we came across. In addition to that, the descent to the base of the falls was one of my favorites. You essentially went through two small sets of cave steps and then the last bit was a series of ladders and chain that you let yourself down by. Think awesome slightly precarious adult playset. I loved it. We wandered around the pools surrounding Mooney for awhile before heading back up to dinner (Brandon sweetly carried me across the water so I didn't have to get my running shoes wet.). More freeze dried food for dinner! We had a yummy breakfast skillet for dinner, which was good, but eggs seem to have a hard time reclaiming water all the way through - or we just didn't let ours sit for long enough. We played a few more card games that evening and then headed to bed. I think all of us slept much better that night.

Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls

Straight down path to Mooney Falls

View of path from below

Mooney Falls

(Note: A group of 87 7th graders came in around 2:00 on Sunday. Loud and noisy! But we felt bad for them because the camp ground had been overbooked and there wasn't a good place to put 87 of them and no one really wanted them to be near to their camps because of their volume. They moved around a few times that first day but by the time we came back to the camp they'd moved about half way down the campground and had all their sleeping bags and pads laid out in the open air - described as a mass grave by more than one of our party members. They moved closer to where we were the next day after some other people left and that seemed like a much better location for them.)

Monday morning we slept in (as much as that was possible) and then got up and had a lazy breakfast - bacon and eggs (freeze dried) for Brandon and me. Where we'd been a little achy after the hike in on Sunday, Monday started the legitimate soreness that continued until about Wednesday afternoon. Everything from the shoulders down the back to the entire lower body ached. But there was still more to see! After breakfast we changed into our swimsuits, packed up our day packs for the day and hiked back down to Mooney, climbing down the awesome obstacle course again to reach the base of Mooney. We then headed down the Canyon the anticipated two miles to Beaver Falls. I've likely mentioned this already, but just about everywhere you looked down here in Havsupai, the landscape and vegetation was gorgeous. Breathtakingly beautiful. The hike down to Beaver Falls was pretty badly marked and we got turned around a few times, but no matter where we went, it was always beautiful. After what seemed like far more than two miles, we finally reached Beaver Falls and climbed down to it. We swam for awhile, and Brandon and I headed up one of the higher pools. I knew he was going to jump in and that I didn't really want to, but as I followed him up and around to the jump point (a jump of ten to twelve feet), I felt kind of foolish just standing there, so off the jump I went! I'd changed from my running shoes to my sandals earlier when we'd waded through some water and I was still wearing them when I went off the jump. And did they stay on? Nope. One of them came off right away and as the other slipped off, I grabbed it and looked around for the one that had come off, and it wasn't to be found. I swam to the edge and walked over to where Brandon was watching Zach jump off a ledge in a lower pool (after which he swam right into a wall - youch!) and we tested with the shoe I had left and found that it didn't float. :( No shoe for me.

Lots of wild grape vines!

Hike to Beaver Falls

Beaver Falls
We went back up to the jump point and hung out there for awhile until the rest of the group came up. Cam and Zach jumped off several times and then they tried to get Emily (the Younger) to jump off - something she appeared to want to do and not want to do at the same time - a feeling I totally understood. After a little more coaxing, she finally jumped and then we all jumped again (all six of us!) and headed down to grab all of our stuff and bring it up to have lunch at a picnic table near one of the upper pools. As Brandon and I had just reached the water to wade across to where our stuff was he saw something at the bottom of the semi-shallow water by the ledge. What was it? My shoe! It was amazingly lucky that we just happened to be right there, after at least fifteen or twenty minutes of having lost it, to find it at exactly that moment. I was thrilled. We got our stuff, headed up, and had a lovely freeze-dried lasagna lunch. When we'd reached our table there had been two guys sitting there who we'd passed back and forth all down the trail to Beaver. They were about to head down to a cliff jump just a little past the waterfall and asked if they could leave their pack with us. Cam immediately asked if the guys (only one of the two who wanted to jump) wouldn't mind waiting about half and hour and he would go with them to jump as well.  So we had our lunch and then he headed down with the guys and we gathered everything up and started to head down. The part of the falls we were at had one crossing that was a little deep and fast moving and as we were heading back towards the path down, Brandon jumped in his flip flops at this deep spot and didn't lose his shoes, but ripped the base of the thong between his toes out. It was very sad. I'm still determined to at least try and fix them...

Beaver Falls
Anyway, we hiked back to the base of the little climb back up to the main trail and found Cam returning with the guys he'd been with. We walked back with him to the jump spot after everyone had joined us and looked down on the forty foot jump that he'd made. So cool! As Brandon looked over the ledge I could tell that he'd wished he'd jumped, that it looked like a lot of fun and he was sad to have missed it. Particularly as Cam was describing it as the highlight, thus far, of the trip for him. As Emily (the Younger) looked over the edge she asked me if I'd do it and I (hypothetically) said that I found it intimidating, but that I'd do it. I didn't think we planned on really doing it since we were all ready to head back. But then Emily started saying she really wanted to see someone do it and Brandon didn't want to do it and then have to hike back up by himself for 15 minutes, and then I felt like I had to do it so he could do it. And then came the shaking! That anticipatory, excited, but frightened shaking. It was so high! All in all, four of us jumped - Cam, Zach, Brandon, and me. I was worried about losing my shoes, but I needed them to hike back up so Cam tied his go-pro camera and floaty through the loops on my shoes and then he turned it on and then I just had to press the record button and go! The camera was running so I just needed to bite the bullet! And I did! Forty feet passed in a flash and I mostly hit smoothly. I'd gone in pretty tight, but at enough of an angle to feel liked I'd been slapped on the backside a bit. But then I was done and the fear was gone and only the excitement was left. Brandon did an aerial after me and then Zach and Cam came down. We walked/swam down the river, looking for the supposed trail, found what we thought was the trail and followed it (a precarious ledge) until we found the actual trail back up to the ledge. Just as we were about to reach the ledge we came across a sign saying we were leaving Grand Canyon National Park and entering the Havasupai Reservation, so at least for about fifteen minutes we were in the Grand Canyon National Park. :)

After gathering our stuff again and watching the different videos of the jump (both Emily (on Zach's camera) and Cam took videos - so hopefully you'll see them here eventually) we then started the hike back up to Mooney. I don't know why exactly, but the hike back to Mooney went soooo much faster than the hike down. In no time at all we were back at Mooney Falls, taking our last pictures and heading up the fabulous cliffside jungle gym one more time. Dinner, mashed potatoes and chicken (freeze dried) was delicious with some more freeze dried ice cream to top things off. We all packed everything up and got as much ready to go for the hike back as we could before settling for the night. Brandon and I listened to music and played games on our phones together until we dozed off and slept well. I woke up frequently throughout the night every night, but after that first night, even with the constant interruptions, I still felt like I slept well. I think we were just exhausted enough to help our bodies get some good rest.

Mooney Falls (back from hike to Beaver Falls)
Bright (or not so bright) and early at 4:00 we woke up and packed our tents and sleeping bags up. Delicious Freeze-dried granola for breakfast again and we were leaving the camp by 5:10 or so.

Before I forget, let me mention the restrooms. I've always been pretty unimpressed with port-a-potties and outhouses, but as those things go, these restrooms were pretty fantastic. They were essentially two story houses with about four to five doors on them each (there were three of these structures throughout the camp). The doors didn't always lock but the restrooms almost always had toilet paper (though we'd brought our own just in case) and they'd devised a system that seemed to work remarkably well to contain the smell, though there were a few times when we noticed it wasn't working as well. The instructions they had in each stall basically said to use the restroom like you normally would, but to then take a scoop from a bucket full of wood shavings and dump in down the hole and then close the lid. Two very simple steps that seem to eradicate the smell usually associated with sewage. And the times when they did smell, those instructions always appeared to have been ignored. All in all, I was very impressed.

Anyway, out of the camp around 5:10 we hiked up to the village (two miles) and then, after a longish break, went for the rest of the eight miles out of the canyon. Lots of breaks and lots of hiking later, Brandon and I finished around 11:00. We'd been in the shade for the majority of the time, but that last hour or two we were in the sun going straight up the switchbacks. Oh, and remember how I was going to pack my bag out on a mule? That never ended up happening because we always saw the mules leaving with packs way later in the morning and we were worried they wouldn't get up the canyon before us. And that was a pretty legitimate concern because, while we saw number of mule/horse trains going up (the first one thundered by - so glad we were out of the way!) they didn't have any packs until the very last group. It felt so good to finally have that pack off my back! And on top of that there was a lady selling cold soda at the top for $1. So good. Zach and Emily (the Older) came next and then Cam and Emily (the Younger) finished it off gloriously! And we were out!

Horses/Mules running up the trail! Get out of the way!

Almost to the top!

We're out! We made it!

Our group!
A few notes on the general experience:

1.) Take water shoes. I was advised by two friends who'd been down there that I might but probably wouldn't need them, but I so wish I'd taken my five fingers! Pretty much every time we went into one of the falls or hiked down to Beaver (potentially having to frequently cross water), I wanted them. The surface of the pools below the falls can sometimes be soft and sandy, but more often it was rocky and very uncomfortable. So, if there had been one thing I could have taken that I didn't, it would have been my five fingers.

2.) For me, I wore my "hiking" shoes (running shoes) all the way in, back and forth from Havasu Falls that first day, and then half way down to Beaver. I wore my sandals the rest of the time. Because of the little blisters I got going in, my running shoes were never wonderfully comfortable after that. But my sandals? Perfect. Hiking out in them - though I'm certain it looked a little silly to some onlookers - was incredible. Way better than my hiking shoes. When I got sand in my running shoes, it gathered. When I got it in my sandals, it went right through. And blisters from my sandals? Not at all. I was very surprised by how wonderful they were.

3.) I already know this, but skirts rock! I wore skirts on top of my shorts pretty much the entire time except when I was wearing my swimsuit and it just made everything a little more comfortable. I think shorts are a pretty smart thing to hike in, being light weight, comfortable, and good for the weather, but as a runner I hate wearing shorts because they frequently tend to ride up in the middle as your legs brush together and you often have to awkwardly pull them down to feel comfortable. With a skirt, this is a non-existant problem. Plus, I think skirts just look a little more flattering. Definitely a win there for me.

4.) Brandon and I brought way too much food! We ended up sharing everything we ate so we had twice as many meals as we needed. And, while the MRE's aren't terrible, the freeze-dried food is definitely the way to go as long as you have a stove to heat water.

I feel like I got a good beginning four day cross-training into my system as my program begins for marathon training! So much fun! I'd definitely recommend it to anyone interested in camping and hiking!

After we were all out we changed into fresh clothes and the drove to Vegas where we ate at In-n-Out and I got to see Jacquelyn and Seth and then we headed back to St. George and took a long stint in the hot tub to work out some of our aches and then ordered pizza, took showers, and hung out. And then bed! Brandon was quite pleased, if still sympathetic, to see me awkwardly walking around the house, stiff from the hike and long drive. It was a nice reminder to him that I am, in fact, human. ;)

Wednesday morning after a lazy morning and delicious German Pancakes from Shauna we hit the road and are home!

My pictures are all posted to facebook, but, as I'm sure you've noticed, there are a few here as well!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Departure Time! And a Post (not my own) Worth Reading.

It's Friday! Which means we leave for St. George today! :D I'm so excited! I feel like I've been thinking and planning for this for weeks and now it is finally happening! Just a few more hours here at work and then we take off! I'm sure all my exclamation marks aren't enough of an indicator of how I feel. ;)

In a break from my usual habit of writing, today I share a blog post that was written over at Feminist Mormon Housewives. I don't share a lot about my religion as it is something very personal to me and it has taken me a little while to get to where I'm at, not to mention that I like my blog to be accessible mentally to all of my favorite people, but this post is so...incredible to me, exploring so many of the issues that I remember seeing in Young Women's years ago, that I just can't help it. I love what he (Ryan - the author) has to say and I love the tone in which is it said. So here, if you're feeling up to it, follow the link and read this. I think it will be worth your time.

http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2013/05/a-fathers-open-letter-to-president-oscarson/

I think that's going to be it for today! And probably for the next several day as I think I'm going to leave my computer at home! More to come when I get back on Wednesday!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday Packing

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday....

Let's see. First off, I went to a little clothing swap last night a got rid of a bunch of clothing items, many of which I've kept for far too long. It was a still a little sad to see my capris from 7th grade go, but when I can easily shimmy out of something, the time has come for me to admit to myself that what I'm wearing is simply not the right size for me any more. Sometimes the fact that I'm more slender now than I was in 7th grade seems odd to me, as the weight difference between then and now isn't more than  twenty pounds, but I really look quite different. The capris aside, I still have one or two other items from 7th grade to hold on to for a little while yet (namely a little tan jacket that has seen better days).

Today is my last day to finalize my preparations for Havasupai since we'll pretty much be leaving right after work tomorrow for St. George. I think I have everything I need now, but I still need to lay it all out and firmly decide what is and isn't going. Packing clothing is always tricky for me as I can always come up with a dozen situations where a dozen different items might be useful. But in all likelihood  I won't need those items and bringing them will just weigh me down.

It's almost here! Exciting!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Average (but good) Wednesday

Highlight from Tuesday: finally hooked up my laptop to my TV and speakers - soooo much better than just the laptop. Best part: Lying on my bed cuddling with Brandon watching the most recent episode of "How I Met Your Mother" drinking herbal tea together. Very simple and very happy.

Note to self: Brandon and I are going to try to go to the Melting Pot for my birthday. :) I've been wanting to go there for a while. No rush, but it is fun to have plans to do that...six months in advance. I'm patient. ;)

And hey, it's Wednesday! Middle of the week and the excitement of this weekend is looming! I feel like I've spent a great deal of time shopping for the missing items on our camping list and attempting to make sure I'm not forgetting anything...

Tonight I'm going to a small clothing swap at a friend's house. I don't really have any intention of bringing anything home, but I'm excited to take a few items that are just hanging around at the moment. And then maybe I'll get a chance to come home and work on those dresses I bought a few days ago...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Random Blurb About Passive Aggression and Inconsistency

So, I had a very small confrontation last week with a coworker that came and went very quickly but has been internally bothering me for a few days. We'd been communicating back and forth about the details of a small group of docs going out and I was clarifying different points that she has asked me to change. She was being very straight forward and I was attempting to respond in a like manner. Important note, we were doing all of this via google chat.

After going back and forth for a little bit, she finally came down and asked me if I was "trying to be snooty, or what." My first response was confusion, as I had been making no attempt at such behavior (and while I can occasionally be rather snarky and sarcastic in my responses in relaxed social settings or when I'm very angry, at work, particularly in writing where tone and intent are often lost, I try very hard to be clear and accurate in what I say), and then I felt slightly defensive at being accused of being snooty. We worked out the confusion (both the inaccuracy of me trying to be snooty and my confusion with the project) but it left me mentally smarting for awhile, trying to figure out what in my writing had given the wrong impression.

Here's my conclusion. I, though human and flawed, surely inconsistent in many things I try and do, greatly appreciate consistency and feel obliged to point out inconsistencies where I see them, particularly in the work place where those inconsistencies (or the lack of knowledge on my part of what is "consistent" due to somewhat sloppy training - a fault that is acknowledged at my work) can greatly slow the work flow. And in the course of that one conversation I'd pointed out at least two or three inconsistencies, to myself apparently straight forward observations, but to her, seemingly sarcastic and "snooty". I'm certain she thought I was passive aggressively saying I didn't want to do the things she was asking me, but this wasn't at all the case. I can be passive aggressive, and probably often am, as I don't like confrontation, but in a situation like this, where I'm being paid to do the things she's asking me, I most definitely won't be.

Anyway, I think my observations are both justified and helpful long term, but I'll have to work on making it clear exactly what I mean when I make them.

Mambo No. 5?

Once upon a time...when I was a freshman or sophomore in high school...something like ten years ago, I was asked by a good friend to go with her cousin to a dance at another high school. He was way too shy to ask me, thus the reason she was asking. I consented and we doubled with her and another date. I'd met him before but had never spoken to him before. The reason for this became readily apparent as during the course of the evening he answered most questions with a simple yes or no. Trying to work on this, I finally discovered during the course of one slow dance that he was very interested in basketball (which made sense as he was quite tall) and that if I asked him non-yes-or-no-answer questions that I would get non-yes-or-no answers. It worked like a charm.

That anecdote aside, at the same dance, where the music consisted of terrible techno-pop and even more awful slow-dance music, I went and asked the DJ to play Mambo No. 5. You see, as another friend's parents taught ballroom dance, I had learned a line dance to Mambo No. 5 years before. Given that the forms of dance apparently available to me at that particular dance were rather boring and repetitive, I wanted something a little more fun to dance to. But the DJ's response? No way was he going to play that old song. I think he later played something sort of latin-ish and we were able to dance our line dance, but it just wasn't the same. I don't even particularly like Mambo No. 5 as the lyrics are highly uninspiring, but the beat and tempo are excellent for this particular dance.

Why bring any of this up? Well, because twice in the last 24 hours I've heard Mambo No. 5 on the radio. Not on "oldies" stations, but on "favorites" and "all the rage" stations. In your face too-cool-for Mambo-No.-5-DJ.

Other highlights of yesterday include two trips to DI on the hunt for some dresses to pull to pieces and put back together. The first trip resulted in no dresses, but one beautiful velvet coat. I already have a shorter version of the same thing, but for $6.00 I wasn't about to pass up on a longer version. Worst case scenario, I fix the small defects (buttons starting to come off) and gift it to someone else who will appreciate the classiness of it. The second trip resulted in three dresses, one which is ready to go, just a comfortable floor length maxi dress (I swear I've been looking for a dress like this everywhere and have been failing to find it - and now I find it at DI? Perfect.) and two which are made of beautiful cloth and just need a little restructuring to make them wonderful. Should be fun! I'll have at least one of them done by the end of the month when we go to St. Louis for my cousins wedding, so pictures to come!

Last highlight! I bought a headlamp yesterday! :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Week in a Post!

Recap on last Tuesday - do you know that I only had to try on two swimsuit tops before I found one that fit? When I told the lady at the store my bra size she immediately went into challenge mode looking around the entire store (Athleta) for something that would work and only came up with two options the first try. The first one was terrible, but the second was right on. I like what I ended up with, but I wish they'd had more selection.

Also, I've reformed my swim suit philosophy slightly. I very firmly believe that unless you're a child or a professional swimmer, one pieces are the bane of swimsuit existence. No, I do not want to peel a wet swimsuit down my entire body just to use the restroom. And in addition to that, the less sopping wet cloth you've got attached to you after swimming, the better. Thus, tankinis are ok (and sometimes, depending on where you are physically in life - they're just going to be more emotionally satisfying), but I really prefer the bikini top and swim shorts on bottom. A last point, however, for bikini tops, though I really like the idea of having a swim top that is bra sized and exactly my size, I don't like it when swim suit tops just look like regular bras....because then I just end up feeling like I'm wearing a bra instead of a swim suit. Apparently my way of getting around that, at least mentally, is purchasing bikini tops that are more like sports bras than regular bras. So there you go.

Wednesday after work ended up being a very social day. I met up with three different small groups of women and would have loved to have stayed longer with any one of those groups if I hadn't had plans to see the other two. I don't spend a great deal of time solely with women, but it was nice. Brandon wasn't feeling particularly awesome (he's been less than 100% for the last few days), so we stayed in and lounged.

Thursday...was pretty nondescript. I think I had plans to do things, to be active, and my motivation dried up rather quickly and I ended up taking a nap. :)

Friday! We got together with some friends (Tara and Farris from West Coast Swing) and went to Sawadee with them for dinner. We then met up with them again a little later at Tara's brother's house where he was throwing a Blues house party. I generally prefer dancing where I have lots of room to move and be expressive in a large way, but there was something surprisingly intimate about dancing with Brandon in the middle of a small crowded room.

Saturday! We got together a little early to go shopping for some of our meals for Havasupai (MREs and Freeze Dried meals - woohoo!) and then enjoyed our Thai leftovers before heading to West Coast. I don't know what it was this weekend, but the dancing was particularly fun, both Blues and West Coast. Saturday evening I felt like I just enjoyed what I was doing a little more than usual - and I usually enjoy it quite a lot. I think one detail that influenced this was that I switched from my usual heels to some knock off converse and it was just so much easier to move in the flats. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the style of dancing in heels, and I'm sure I look classier in my heels, but the flats made it easier to fly across the floor. :)

Sunday. :) A Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there, mine in particular. Salmon for dinner, yum! And Brazilian lemonade in the late evening.

And now here we are at Monday. I've no idea what my plans are for after work, but I bought a book on Saturday (Neverwhere) and I wouldn't mind getting into that a bit more.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

To Swimsuit or Not?

Happy Tuesday!

Highlight for the day looks to be shopping this afternoon with Ashley. I haven't been shopping with anyone in a long time. First of all, it's not my favorite thing as I think shopping with someone else usually results in me buying things that I don't love as much and often don't even end up wearing. And second, most of the time when I go shopping, I've already done a fair amount of research and I know exactly what I'm going in to get. When that isn't the case and I'm buy myself, I do a whirlwind tour of whichever store I'm in and if I don't see something that is about what I'm looking for, I pass on to the next store. I'm sure I miss plenty of things I might like, but I'm sure I also miss plenty of things I don't really need. I have a small closet and I could probably still get rid of a number of items in there which I rarely (if ever) wear.

But tonight should be fun! We're going swimsuit shopping. I sort of already have a swim suit - my fantastic sports bra (like a little vest) and swim shorts, but I'd like to have an equally comfortable but slightly more flattering swimsuit, so we're going to make the attempt tonight! Swimsuits, bras, and jeans are my three least favorite items to shop for. Perhaps being with Ashley will make this more fun. :)

Dresses, hats, and shoes? Definitely my favorite things to shop for. :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

May! And I'm missing it!

Oh hey! It's been a whole week since I last posted. I just haven't felt...up to it...the last few days, but I'm pushing through that today. :)

Highlights from the last week:

Last Tuesday: Really a highlight from the 29th, I signed up for the Legacy Midnight Half Marathon happening this July. Should be fun!

Last Wednesday: May 1st and it looked like this:


Last Thursday: Went to dinner with Brandon's roommates and friends while he was playing tennis (California Pizza Kitchen!) and then he caught up with us and we all went and saw Iron Man 3. And it was really good! I enjoyed the first movie, wasn't super enthused by the second movie, but probably liked the third movie most.

Last Friday: Friday I made dinner and it was surprisingly delicious! It was a very simple recipe that just called for about 3-4 chicken breasts, chopped potatoes, and broccoli, all laid out in a casserole dish, sprinkled with Italian dressing spice mix, and a stick of butter. I had everything ready beforehand and just threw it together and covered it and popped it in the oven (350 - if I'm reading this later and don't remember!). My expectations were pretty reasonable. I thought it would be good but pretty average. But shortly after Brandon arrived we took it out to check on it and it looked incredible. So pretty! And it was delicious! Top that off with some Welch's Sparkling White grape juice and fantastic store bought sea salt caramel gelato and we were pretty much set for the evening.

Last Saturday: Happy Anniversary to Carina and Dathan! Twelve years! We "celebrated" by doing our usual thing and going West Coast Swing dancing after grabbing some pho for dinner.

Yesterday (Sunday): Havasupai planning! After church, Zach, Emily, Cameron, and younger Emily came over and we planned out our schedule and packing needs for a trip to Havasupai coming up in a few weeks. Accompanied by a delicious dinner and games. :)

Today!: This morning I had an eye exam and got my prescription updated. :) And bought contacts that should last me through the end of the year...They're a slightly different contact variation from the last batch and at least so far this morning, they're very comfortable.

No plans yet for this evening, but lots of fun things brewing for this weekend!