Friday, August 30, 2013

Morgan in Boboli

I don't think I ever posted the video Morgan and I made back in Florence last summer. Here it is:

(Morgan in Boboli)

It was quite fun to make.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Few More Days

Tuesday night Brandon and I made a delicious dinner of gnocchi (store bought) in a garlic/basil sauce and broccoli in a lemon/garlic sauce. We also had some delicious fresh cut cantaloupe which has become something of a staple in my diet the last two weeks (I've bought three cantaloupes in that space of time and I seem to finish every one within two days of cutting it).

After dinner we walked over to his house and on the way we saw the most beautiful rainbow. It was incredible picturesque, situated directly over the mountains to the East with beautiful light at each end as the sun was preparing to go down beyond the mountains to the West.

I was only able to capture a small part of it, but it was a very complete rainbow. 

Oh, and I locked my keys in my car! I'd gone to the grocery store over lunch and then returned to the office to sit in one of the empty offices and read a book until my lunch was over. At the end of my lunch I went out to my desk but one of my co-workers (who isn't usually in the office) was using my desk still, so I decided to grab my keys and run out and get some juice and put it in the fridge. This went fine except that I left my keys in my car after grabbing the juice. Several hours later, around 4:00 I was putting all my stuff together, anticipating heading out from work in about an hour and I realized my keys were no where to be found. So I went out and glanced in my car and, sure enough, there they were on the passenger seat. I immediately ran inside and called Brandon to see if he could drive home and then drive my spare key out to me. As I called my roommates to make sure someone would be there to unlock the door for him, he informed the necessary co-workers of his unexpected departure and another co-worker overheard that I'd locked my keys in my car and made a fantastic offer. Due to some policy that he had, I think similar to AAA, he had unlimited services for things like unlocking locked cars for friends and family and he could send someone my way. Brandon quickly texted me to let me know that he could get a locksmith to me within about 20 minutes (and that it would be free) and then he called and I gave him the appropriate information to find my car. And then, 20 minutes later the locksmith showed up and within a handful of minutes my car was open and I had my keys! Amazing. He asked me who he'd be billing and I told him I didn't really know, but that it had been an employee at Brandon's company who had called him. That seemed to spark some recognition and after filling out a small form out, he was on his way. It all happened so quickly and was so quickly taken care of. I was quite impressed. And thankful to Brandon and whoever it was at Brandon's work that made everyone's lives easier!

Wednesday I got to finished off the cantaloupe. I paired it with dark chocolate (with almonds and sea salt). Because, you know, that makes sense. And hey! I went running again Wednesday morning! :D I've finally entered the running stage where I've deemed it acceptable to get up and be out the door running more than an hour before the sun comes out. I, of course, take my pepper spray to keep me company. I won't be sad when I can get up at a slightly more reasonable time to run a much shorter distance. However, it should be noted that the running weather Wednesday morning was perfect. Cool, but not too cool, and a light breeze to keep the sweat from collecting on my skin.

This morning I had a little shorter of a run compared to yesterday and for whatever reason, my head just wasn't in the game. Most of the time, though physically demanding, running is mentally easy for me. Not so this morning. I had to continue to convince myself to keep going and not to walk.

I'm going to try and give blood tonight with a friend after work! Fun!

We leave for Seattle tomorrow evening! I've been going over the details of the two runs I'd like to make happen while we're there as well as the details of getting from the airport to the ferry pier in a timely manner. I can't remember ever visiting the Peninsula across from Seattle, though I have family there. I'm very excited. Both to see the area and to visit with Brandon's sister and her family! The Pacific Northwest has always had a very special place in my heart. Perfect weather and vegetation and a lively culture.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Productivity in the Weekend

Happy Monday!

This weekend has been fairly productive. Friday night we went over to Zach and Emily's place and had a very chill dinner of pizza and assorted beverage mixes (mixing sparkling grape juice, orange juice, and cranberry juice in whichever way seems most appealing). Afterward came several rounds of Rummikub. :)

Saturday I (finally) went for a run in the new area. I'd debated driving to and running down the canyon but I opted to just run from home. The route I chose was surprisingly hilly and I've been feeling it for the past several days. Brandon and I went for breakfast around lunch time to Egg in the City, a cute little place that always seems busy on Saturday mornings. After ordering separate dishes and each finishing about half of what we ordered we decided that we needed to default to ordering one dish to split and then ordering more when/if we wanted more.

We'd planned on going hiking with Amy and Justin in the early evening, but around 4:30 it started raining extremely hard. Most of the windows in the house were open and I initially closed all of them with about an inch left open for a little air flow but finally had to run around and close all of them completely as the rain was so heavy that it was sneaking in all the cracks. Given the weather we decided to cancel the hike and instead went to Dodo in Sugar House for dinner and then drove down to Draper to play at Airborne. We tried the obstacle course a number of times and after successfully making it to the slack line several times but never across the slack line, I determined that I need to work on my slack lining skills. After an hour of that we rounded the evening out with a Cazookie and a Magic Potato (and something else that Justin got that I can't remember!) at The Chocolate. Delicious.

Yesterday morning I woke up bright and early (though I'd planned on sleeping in) and attacked one of the storage rooms in the basement to clean it up and make some more room for a few other things that were hanging out in the main part of the basement. Several hours later and I could walk in easily and access just about everything in the little shelved room.

Today, continuing the productivity, I finally got a morning run in around my slightly altered schedule and location. It wasn't quite light out when I started my run but by the time I got back to the house the clouds were rosy as the sun started to peak over the mountains a little. I almost got waylaid starting my run by our beautiful black long haired neighbor cat who decided to be friendly, but with a surge of will power I was able to pet him goodbye and get going (Bruce, Brandon's beautiful black one-golden-eyed neighbor cat will surely be jealous of my new acquaintance). I have my penultimate (from a 10-class groupon) Pure Barre class scheduled for this evening right after work and then, light willing, maybe I'll spend a little time out in the yard making it more accessible.

I have a couple other things I should be doing, but at least my procrastination is productive. :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Much Ado About Joss Wheden

Guess what Brandon and I did last night? We totally went and saw Joss Wheden's new Much Ado About Nothing. And it was quite amusing.

I definitely still prefer the Emma Thompson/Kenneth Branagh version, but I liked that this version was raw feeling. They shot it in black and white, with low budget cameras and set, with a modern twist but almost all the accurate text from Shakespeare. I really think that combining the play, which I love, with the handful of actors that I'm familiar with from other things Joss Wheden has done, just made it for me, even where there were still some quirks. I'm glad I got to go see it.

We also made it over to Harmons downtown, finally! We just went for the salad bar (and a tasty sample of challah bread. Delicious. The store itself though - I wish I could shop there exclusively. There are a lot of options and everything is well displayed. I'll definitely be going back.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Queen of the (Non-violent) Bruises

I think I might have set a record of large-ish bruises this past week, at least for me. Between Ultimate Frisbee, Soccer, moving, and random run-ins in unfamiliar territory, I'm sporting quite a few colorful splotches. The shiniest of these is one I obtained yesterday morning as I hurried down the stairs to my room. Right at the bottom of the stairs there is a narrow frame to the opening to the basement and I nailed that frame with my left knee. It was one of those moments where you just have to sit down for a second and wait for the shock of the pain to pass. The pain really isn't that bad, or it at least goes away pretty quickly, but for that moment, you just have to wait.

In better news, I'm much closer to being moved in. For whatever reason, I never felt completely comfortable using my kitchen in the last place, but I appear to have no qualms in the new place. Last night as I waited for Brandon to come over with a few things I cut up a fresh cantaloupe and have been enjoying the fruits (literally) of my labor since then.

I don't think I mentioned it, but last Saturday when we rented a Penske truck and moved the ten big items I couldn't fit in my car, things were a little odd. I made a reservation to pick the truck up from a Home Depot at 10:00 but at 7:30 or so they called and told me that the truck was late coming up from Provo and probably wouldn't be to the store until 10:30/11:00. That was just fine as we'd wanted to start a little later. We picked up some donuts from a local doughnut bakery and headed over to the old house to get all of the furniture ready to go. Around 11:30 we had everything out in the yard except the couch and a large painting, but I still hadn't heard back from the Penske people about whether our truck was ready. So, we dropped by the Home Depot and made ourselves known to them. They called the Penske people and were told that the truck would hopefully be to the store by 1:00. Frustrated, "inclined to be grumpy," we stopped by Uhaul just to see what their rates were like and then picked up some drinks at Smiths. Lunch seemed like a good idea but there was nothing but a Panda Express around, so we went there. I hadn't been there in several years and after we'd ordered our plate of food to split we quickly remembered why that was. I think, between the two of us, we finished maybe a quarter of the plate and then threw the rest away. I don't plan on ever going to Panda Express again.

With nothing better to do and 1:00 drawing near, we went back to Home Depot and wandered the aisles for interesting things. As we were wandering, the lady from the rental equipment department called saying she'd called the truck people and they weren't picking up. She called again a few minutes later and tried to explain something over the phone but couldn't understand me. I finally got through and let her know we were in the store and would stop by her desk in just a minute. Back at her desk we found out that the/a truck was at the Penske location just a little North of where the store was, but that they didn't have any drivers to get it to Home Depot. At which point they asked us if we wanted to go pick it up there, which we immediately jumped on. Finally, more than three hours from when we'd originally wanted to pick it up, we were headed to get it. And from there everything went smoothly. Almost exactly two hours later we were dropping the truck off, everything picked up and dropped off. Not only did I get a 50% discount for the lateness of the truck, but I also got an hourly rate instead of the daily rate because of how speedy we were. So where things started out a little crazy, they ended well.

We also got together with one of my good friends Antony and his wife Denisse and their new little baby Leo! It was a good Saturday.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Things I Love About My New Home

So I'm freshly moved into the new house. I'm not completely situated yet, as there are still piles of boxes and stuff everywhere, but I'm getting there. The room itself is painted, but one of the closets, where I'd like to store most of the "sometimes" stuff smelled a little stuffy so I wanted to paint it before I put anything in there. That done, I've just got to buy a few large Tupperware containers to hold stuff. I probably should have done that sooner, as it is much easier to store/move things that are already boxed.

Anyway, even though I'm not all the way settled, there have been a number of little details I've noticed about both the house and the area in which I now live that I particularly love. Here are a few of them:

-The faucets on the sink are on the side. This causes the flow of water to move in a circular motion in the sink as it drains (like a whirlpool) rather than going straight down into the sink and sloshing around before going down the drain.

-Due to the fact that I now live on the edge of the mountains, I now have way more daylight without direct sunlight on me. In other words, I can go running later in the morning without needing to worry about sunscreen. Awesome. :)

-There are door frames over all of the doors, even in the basement! This means that I can try and find a home for my pull up bar! The proportions of everything in the house are a little odd, so I may still run into some issues, but there is at least a hope.

-There is space in my room for most of my stuff. I haven't figured out where everything is going to go, or if it will even be in my room, but already I feel like I can more properly use my room. The last room worked well, but it was too small to do much in.

-I can leave my door open and usually do! This is significant because at my last place I didn't really know the other two girls and we all essentially lived in our own little worlds. There are aspects to that that are still the same, but I'm happy to live with three girls that I already know and in a house that is a little more open.

-I have a yard! It's too late in the summer to plant much (if you know of anything that is still in season to plant, let me know!), but I'm excited to be able to work outside some.

There are also a few things I'm not crazy about, but the only one that stands out is that, even though I'm in the basement, my room is rather warm. It's nice in contrast to the freezer I used to live in, but I'm looking forward to the end of the summer. In the meantime I'll have to try and figure out a routine with opening the windows to get some of the cool evening air.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Painting, moving, playing!

Happy Friday to all of you!

Since Tuesday I've moved a considerable amount of my stuff to my new place with the last car load currently occupying my car. Once this is unloaded I'll just have the last ten large items to move tomorrow via truck. Almost there!

Wednesday I got the green light on what kind of paint to get for my new room and I've spent the last two nights (minus ultimate frisbee play time on Wednesday - we won, by the way!) painting away. The color is a rich gold/yellow. It gives the room a lot more umph, though it's a little darker than I'd anticipated. It's amazing how long painting a room can take. I think in a normal, modern room, things aren't too complicated. You edge around the doors, outlets, and floors/ceilings and then attack with a roller. This room has a few more oddities than the average with a variety of pipes and other things. While none of those things bother me, the extra time it takes to work around them when painting is a pain. But we're three quarters of the way through! We just need to put a second coat on two of the four walls and maybe a few touch ups and we're done. At least for now. Hopefully we'll be able to get all of that done tonight so that the paint will be mostly dry for when we bring the big stuff tomorrow.

I had a panic moment at Home Depot today. I'd forgotten the exact number for the color I've been painting with and when I looked at all the color swatches, my mind totally blanked. I'd spent too much time looking at all of them, so all of them looked familiar. I picked what I thought was the correct one, but only got a quart rather than a gallon. So we may have to go back for more tonight. Which isn't a big deal, since there's another Home Depot about ten minutes from the house and they're open late. And if I picked the wrong color, will go back a little sooner.

Soccer tonight with Brandon and his company team! Ultimate Frisbee was really fun this week, but I'm definitely looking forward to playing tonight. And the women will have some subs so we can take some breaks this time! I think we'll either play one or three games. Win one and we get second place, win three and we place first! The second and third would be against the same team because we lost to them once already and have to get the best two out of three. But we might not even make it that far. Regardless, it should be fun!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Roses, Dogs, and Thick Paper 3

A little highlight from my run last night. I just did a quick run after the sun had set past the mountains but was still lighting up the sky. On my way home a car stopped just past me as I crossed a street  (initially making me a little nervous) and a girl tried to hand me an orange-pink rose. I laughingly declined and thanked them, as running with a rose can be kind of awkward. ;) But the thought and spontaneity of it made me very happy as I ran home. Also on my way home, I passed a house where a dark fluffy little dog watched me as I walked by. It was very cute. :) I pass a lot of dogs as I run and I always wonder what they're thinking.

Today is an Ultimate Frisbee day! If we do well tonight we'll play tomorrow. I'm looking forward to playing tonight, but really, after soccer last Friday, I'm looking forward to soccer this Friday more than ultimate during the week.

In work news, this morning I discovered the key to not making a certain kind of paper smear the ink. We've been trying some different things to make luggage tags and for the last several months I've had to tip toe around making them without messing them up. No more. And what was the key? Just knowing exactly what kind of paper setting to print it on. Thick Paper #3! Wish someone had told me sooner!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Chocolate Man

There's an old man that comes by my work office every few weeks selling chocolate. About every other time, when I have cash and want chocolate, I'll buy something. I recognize that the chocolate I'm buying, nothing unusual or unique, would be cheaper at the grocery store, but I honestly feel like this older man appreciates that I buy chocolate from him more than most people appreciate anything. For two or three dollars he can't be making much of a profit, but he does it all the same. He's a little odd, but incredibly gracious. I wonder where he comes from and how he ended up selling chocolate, but I have yet to ask him.

Chicken Lasagna and Moving Trucks

Sunday's highlight was a chicken lasagna, which doesn't sound particularly exciting, particularly as it's just one of those frozen ones from the grocery store, but Brandon and I were both delighted to find it at the grocery store the other day. You see, we'd tried the vegetable lasagna and the traditional lasagna from the same company, and while they were both good, neither were quite what we were looking for. I, at some previous time, had tried the mythical chicken lasagna and had filled Brandon's head with stories of how delicious it was, but we never saw it at the grocery store. Until Saturday. In addition to the chicken-y deliciousness, we also had some wonderful ice cream sandwiches, something which neither of us had had in a good while. The sunset was particular beautiful last night as well (we ate our ice cream sandwiches outside).

Random tangent, we also watched Saving Private Ryan on Saturday. I'd seen the beginning in a history class a number of years ago, but had never seen it all the way through. It was good. A little scary to watch, to consider how violent war is, but still good. Last night we finished watching Notting Hill. It was cute. Also a little annoying.

Today looks to be a great day. I reserved a truck for a few hours on Saturday morning to move the nine big things that won't fit into my car. I'm so ready to be someplace new! This evening I plan on packing books, pretty much the last big-ish thing that I need to do. Three bookshelves full of books. Pretty much one of the only things worth boxing up. I'd also (hopefully) like to go for a nice 5 mile run today. I've been really struggling with running still, particularly the long runs and running in the morning, but my time to train is running out so I've got to stick to my game.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Soccer, Goat Cheese, and Pho!

Trying to keep up with the beautiful things!

Yesterday the highlight of my day was playing soccer for two hours with Brandon and his team from work. A week ago I just sat on the sidelines watching but this week they needed another girl to play and they didn't have any subs so I brought everything I needed and joined the team. I'll admit that I was very apprehensive about playing soccer because aside from the brief sections of time we spent playing soccer in gym class back in high school, I'd never played. However, on defense, I actually had a really great time and am now probably looking forward to next Fridays soccer more than Ultimate Frisbee on Tuesday/Wednesday.

This morning Amy I met up at the Farmer's Market and walked around the entire thing. We bought delicious watermelon/lime/strawberry/mint drinks and I found some delicious peaches, goat cheese, and salami. Up until today I hadn't really bought much at the Market. It's exciting to have some lingering treasures from the visit. 

This evening has good things in store. Namely pho, which I've decided is one of my all time favorite meals, and possible a movie later on. Why is pho so fantastic? Well, aside from the fact that the initial flavor is typically pretty wonderful, you can easily add a few things in, such as lime juice and mint leaves, and you've completely altered the flavor and made it even more wonderful. Best of all, the aspect of pho that makes me keep coming back for it, is that Brandon and I can share a dish of pho and be completely satisfied and full - not the I'm-so-full-because-I-ate-so-much full, but the That-was-exactly-what-I-needed-and-it-just-hit-the-spot. In other words, when I don't want my body to feel completely weighted by whatever I've eaten, which is most of the time, one of the first things that pops into my mind is, "Pho!" So, there you go. I'm excited to eat pho tonight. Particularly as I'm been telling Brandon I've been wanting pho for over a week. There just aren't any pho places close to where I currently live/work!

Quick anecdote from this week. We went to Olive Garden some time earlier this week (Tuesday, I think) and I ordered the Zuppa Toscano (or however you spell that) and Brandon ordered the Gnocchi soup and we got a salad on the side to split. We were both very full after eating the salad, breadsticks, and soup, but the waitress still looked shocked when we said we were definitely done. Sure, I'd have liked to have room for dessert, but I simply didn't! Brandon and I concluded from this that our eating habits are apparently not normal.

Speaking of living/working, I move this upcoming week! A week from now and I'll hopefully have just about everything moved up to the new place! I'm very excited. :) Brandon keeps telling me I have a lot of stuff. He's mostly teasing me, but he's right. But when I look around my room (acknowledging that a lot of the "stuff" is furniture) I don't feel like I have that much stuff that's unnecessary. There are a few things. And where those things are, I'm hoping to trim down a little. We'll see how much that really happens. ;) 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Embracing the Pauses

One of Brandon's three incredible sisters posted this quote to her blog a few days ago.
Maybe the ‘good stuff’ isn't ahead of or behind us. Maybe it’s somewhere in between. Right in the midst of this moment, here and now…. Perhaps, the abundant life we've been seeking has little to do with big events and comes in a subtler form: embracing the pauses in between major beats.
-Jeff Goines, The In-Between 
I really love this quote and I find it especially meaningful at the moment, given the past few seemingly empty weeks that I've had. As any of you reading my blog may have noticed, there hasn't been much exciting for me to report the last few weeks. It's been a constant cycle of sleep and work with a few other random things thrown in. At least, that's how it has felt mentally. But really, when I take a close look, I think I know better. I know that life is incredible and full of color. And most of the time, I notice the tiny details that surround me and they give me happiness. But I've been wandering around not noticing those things and that needs to change.

Partially contributing to this is the fact that I haven't been running. Let me say it again, if only for my benefit: Running makes me happy. It helps my brain and body to function at a more optimum level. (In other words, "Geneva, get with the program!")

A while ago I tried to list highlights from each day as they went by. I think that helped me to be more aware of some of the not-super-small, but small details and things that were going on around me. I'd like to try and do that again.

So, here's for today. I have a bag of beautiful cherries sitting on my desk at work. I bought them yesterday on a whim and the only reason I haven't started eating them is because I need to get up and go and wash them. Which I will do shortly upon finishing this post.

Also, for yesterday, I got to play Ultimate Frisbee with Brandon in his Corporate Games. It was really cool to be invited and get to play, even if I was in something of a sour mood for not being able to do much besides defend. I'm glad I got to play.

Monday, August 5, 2013

International Addresses!

Over the past several weeks we've been created hundreds of document wallets to be sent out to soon-to-be passengers on a cruise coming up in August. This particular company has a fairly wide network with document wallets being sent literally all across the globe. Having lived in the States my entire life, the US address system makes sense to me. It seems pretty organized and to the point. Address, City, State, Zip. At it's most complicated, the address might have multiple parts, such as an apartment or unit number. But that's really about it. In my mind that seems pretty straight forward.

Since the first time I traveled internationally to when I first had friends leave the country for several years at a time, it came to my notice that addresses internationally can be very very different. Somewhere hidden in the different format, the same general information is still probably there, but...maybe not. In this most recent batch of international shipments we had addresses that appeared to be all specific description and no general. No zip or postal codes. Or region after region after region. I suppose if American addresses included counties that layers of regions might make more sense.

Anyway, in the mix of all of these variations, the one thing that stood out to me is the postal code system for UK. When I've mailed to the UK and had thing mailed to me in the UK, the addresses have always boggled me a little. There just seems to be a lot of variation in a good portion of the address. I swear with my Cardiff addresses there were lines to the addresses. However, while not a particularly bright idea, it seems possible that you could leave all of that off and just put the name of the individual you're shipping it to with the postal code and call it good. Why? Because the postal codes are almost GPS coordinates. Seriously. Take any UK postal code and google it (along with "UK" and it will take you to almost the exact location that is attached to the code. I'm not talking about when you google "Chicago, IL" or "97336" and it pulls up with a dot in the middle of a city. I'm saying you google that exact code and it will take you to the exact location that makes up the rest of the address description. It's cool. :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

There's really not a whole lot of new going on here.

Hey! That's right, I have a blog. ;)

This past week and change have been...busy. But I don't feel like I have much to report here on my end.

Let's see:

-Remember how I was going to be all up and on top of my running? Crashed and burned there. I have only run once (and only a little more than a mile) since the half. I've been looking all over for my motivation and enthusiasm and they remain very very elusive.

-We went to Lagoon with Brandon's tennis friends (more than tennis friends now) Roman and Tim. Roman works for GE and they sponsored the entire thing plus dinner. For any of you heading to Lagoon, don't carry anything on you that you don't absolutely have to. I've been to many a park that had cubbies or whatever near the rides to store shoes and purses in, but that's not a thing at Lagoon. The best they could do was haphazardly have lockers (some free, some not) near the front of the lines on some rides. And an absolute rule that you can't have purses or anything with you on the rides. Never mind that my purse has a strap over my shoulder and tucks in nicely on any and all rides. We got rid of my purse and a few other items back at the car after only a few rides. Everything went much more smoothly after that. :) There is also an oddly high amount of foreign workers at Lagoon, most of them from Poland, I believe.

-I got to see two good friends from Indiana on Tuesday! :D Lydia and Linda were here seeing friends, attending a wedding, and dress shopping themselves. So fun to catch up with them a little since I only get to see them every few years!

-Brandon and I played Ultimate Frisbee (or rather Goaltimate) on Pioneer Day (a wonderful excuse for a day off from work) last week and I was drafted into their Corporate Games Ultimate Frisbee team. Yes, please! I know that a large percentage of my being drafted into the team is due to their desperate need for more female players, but I think I demonstrated that I can hold my own in a proper game, given the opportunity.

-We had a German food night last night at Brandon's. His roommate Nate lived in Germany (I think that's right) for awhile and cooked Schnitzel, a hot potato salad, and a cold cucumber and tomato salad and I made Streusel Koechen (basically a sweet bread crusted in cinnamon sugar and butter). It was delicious!

I think that's really about it. A week and change and there's just not much to tell you. Oh, but wait! Brandon's an uncle again! Jaime and Rob had a beautiful little boy (Tyler) about a week ago! See, there are some exciting things happening, just not around here. ;)