Friday, October 14, 2011

Extreme Planets

I woke up this morning with every intention of going bike-boating. For those of you who don't know what bike-boating is, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out...let your imagination run wild and you'll probably be right. Anyway, I went to print off the awesome deal I got from Groupon only to find that I would not be able to use the tickets until tomorrow. Tomorrow?! I have to work tomorrow! After pouting for a sufficient amount of time, I decided to find something else to do, and turned to the world wide web.

I've always been amazed by astronomy and love visiting planetariums. Now, I had heard that San Antonio College had a great one, and I'd been wanting to check it out for some time. So, I did what anyone does who needs information on something, I googled it. I was brought to a website for San Antonio College Planetarium and located the calendar of events to see that not only was there a show tonight, but it was a Magical World of Wizarding show (for any witch, wizard, or muggle over the age of 6). Perfect. Julie looooooves wizards, and I loooooove stars. I thought it was too good to be true.

I was right....sorta.

I quickly purchased the tickets which said "absolutely no late seating", and we were late-by about 10 minutes. And we had no idea where on campus the planetarium was. It was 8:40, and the show was to start at 8:30. So, we ran into the closest building and asked a kind gentlemen to direct us. After he pointed us in the right direction, we ran (sprinted) across campus, dodging trees and jumping off brick walls, until we found it: the dome. To our surprise there was a great big line still out the door! We high-fived each other for making it in time and tried to catch our breath as we waited, sweaty and hot, to see the Harry Potter-inspired star show.

Upon reaching the door, we looked at the line-up for the evening and noticed that the schedule was totally off. Extreme planets? 9:00? This makes no sense. Once we reached the doors, the man took one look at my tickets and made a lot  more sense of the situation. Apaaarantly there is a San Antonio College in California, at which we had tickets to attend a Harry Potter show at 8:30. He kindly informed us that even with the time difference, we would inevitably be late. Ha. Ah well. We were about to turn around, brokenhearted when the gentlemen gave us free passes to watch the show (which started at 9-no wonder we made it on time), "Extreme Planets".

It was no Harry Potter Star Show, but we were grateful nonetheless. We got to see an awesome display of some of the crazy findings of planets and the search for life in outer space. THEN we got to go out and see Jupiter through their massive telescope. After being sufficiently humbled (I always feel small after attending the planetarium), the emcee handed out some beautiful gold coins in red velvet bags to a few lucky attendees in celebration of the planetarium's 50 year anniversary we just so happened to attend. So, after giving one to a little boy who got 100% on his science test during the week, he gave two honorary coins to the two crazies who had tickets to see the show in California, and would not be able to make it.


Awesome.

Now I gotta go check out that website and see if it was completely obvious that the college was in Cali. Maybe it's better I don't look.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Less is More

One of my favorite sayings goes as follows:

“Too often we buy things we don’t need,
with money we don’t have,
to impress people we don’t like.”

I’m not sure who said it, but whoever it was knew a thing or two about people, especially American people, especially the rising generation, American people.

Too many of us have WAY too much debt, too many toys, clothes, and gadgets we can’t afford and all-in-all just way too much “stuff”.  I’ve always known this to be true, but I (like so many others), have fallen prey to the notion that you need to have more to be more; more popular, more respected, more successful, more happy. ..etc. How untrue that is. And how especially untrue that is when we have to move.

I don’t hate a lot of things, but there's nothing in this world I hate more than moving. “Easy enough,” you say, “just don’t move”.  No. Not that easy. You see, I love to move. Ha ha, let me rephrase that.  I love to be new places. I love to meet new people. I love to see new things. I love to sample new cuisine…and there’s no better way to experience a place than to live there. That’s just one of the things that have brought me to the conclusion than less may very well be more.

I’ve also come to realize that I’m much happier with fewer things that I really like, than loads of things that are okay. I care for them more, I use them more, and overall, I end up getting more of my money’s worth out of them.

There are a few things that spawned this way of thinking, one being an awesome Ted video that I watched this afternoon. So, I’ll end my little thought with this…


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Snake Farm

Maia's in town! ...and you would think (with it being her first time in San Antonio...or Texas for that matter), that I would take her to the Riverwalk, the Alamo, Seaworld...maybe even Six Flags...but no-I bring her to a snake farm.


We pass it every time we go up to Austin, or to New Braunfels for any reason, and it has always made me curious. Turns out it's just what it says...and more. It's chock full of exotic snakes, reptiles, monkeys, birds...and last but not least, a petting zoo, where if you pay $1.00 for a bag of food, you can be stuck inside a cage of 50 starving goats to be head-butted, trampled, cornered, and slobbered on. MY idea of a dream vacation.



We started out in the snake room where we quickly made friends with the fearless snake-charmer who later helped us save a poor tortoise from a completely unprofitable struggle out of the corner where he was wedged between the glass and a giant rock. We rooted for him for about 15 minutes until snake man came to the rescue, making me hold the friend he had wrapped around his arm, while he opened up the tortoise cage.



Then it was off to see the safari animals outside...I hung out by the monkey cage for most of the time, reminiscing on the love I had for them as a child. I had monkey socks, stuffed monkeys, monkey trinkets, monkey backpacks, monkey postcards...you name it. I loved watching them play today and for a second, had the same thought I had every day of my childhood...I want one.

The petting zoo, though, was probably the most entertaining of all, for here is where we would meet the most ferocious of all the exotic animals...goats.

Don't be fooled by their apparent good nature (as was I).

And Ju Ju. 

Maia knew better. 


Yes, he is trying to clobber me.

What the? A llama?

So, we left the snakes unscathed and poison free, but we left the "harmless" goats covered in dust, slobber, and scratches :( 

It was worth it.







Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yuck!

I love to cook. I can spend hours on food blogs, searching for recipes. I love to roam Barnes and Noble with my frozen vanilla frappuccino (with hazelnut), perusing over countless "real" cookbooks and getting ideas for dinner. However, I am a safe cook. What is a safe cook, you ask? I don't mean the type that is sure to use hot-pads and always have a fire extinguisher close...though both things are a great idea. I mean the type that only cooks things that they know will turn out wonderful. Things that my friends/family have tried. Things that are made with only ingredients that will undoubtedly taste delicious together. Desserts that I can pronounce....etc. etc. etc. But. I love to eat new and exotic foods and I admire people so much that are willing to try (and sometimes fail), while trying out new recipes. My roommate is a prime example. She looks for dishes that are just outside her "scope of practice", and just goes for it. Because of her I have had things like shrimp gumbo, 40 clove garlic chicken (made with a whole chicken, mind you), and curried...well everything.

So. This week I decided to try a couple new things. Bright-eyed and hopeful, I carefully read the directions of how to use a charcoal grill. I adore grills. I generally love everything that comes off of them. But, with my grill-master of a boyfriend being thousands of miles away, I realized I had know idea how to start the thing. In hopes of preventing this becomming a "how not to grill" blog, I will spare you the details, but let's just say I have mastered the lighting of the coals, but have yet to learn the art of temperature control. So, I spent that evening eating a doughy pizza, charred black on the bottom.


My next challenge was to try a new ingredient. I found an awesome (looking) recipe with pasta, goat cheese, lemon, asparagus and herbs. Simple enough. I love all those things, except of course the goat cheese, which I haven't tried. How bad could it be?


Bad. Really Bad. Goat cheese is disgusting! So, instead of throwing away a whole dish, I rinsed the pasta and asparagus in hot water and put a "safe" alfredo dressing on it instead. And although my roommate loved it, I could still taste the goat cheese, so...I ate this:


After two failed attempts this week, I was feeling pretty down until I saw this on the counter:


And I remembered seeing this after coming home from work one day:


So, for all you safe cooks out there, don't give up! It's okay to make a disgusting thing or two! It's okay to burn things! It's okay to try new things and not love it! It's okay to experiment! And for all you amazing cooks who try new things and it always turns out amazing...you make me sick.







Wednesday, August 24, 2011

17 ways to make your girlfriend's day:

1. Drive 5 hours through the night after working all day to meet her in the Lolo forest even if you can only see her for a few hours.


2. Wake up after only an hour nap because she's anxious and wants to play. 
3. Make her an egg, bacon, and portabella mushroom breakfast (even if it means burning down the forest to do it).


4. Give her your brand spanking new mountain bike to ride because the old one is uncomfortable.


5. Let her wear your pants because she once again came overdressed for the occasion.
6. Ride with her up a mountain covered in wildflowers, and stop to rest in the shade when she starts to feel nauseated.


7. Whip out some healthy snacks while you wait for her to recover.


8. Amuse her by posing for pictures of the breathtaking view.


9. Tell her you love her hair when it's all sweaty and sticking up in all directions. 
10. Give her the old bike when at the top of the mountain she pops the tire on your brand new one (and don't complain for one second as you have to walk the bike all the way down the mountain). 
11. Build her a fire to keep her warm while you make grilled salmon with garlic and butter, asparagus, tortellini, more portabellas, grilled corn on the cob, and a grilled onion (yes, all for one meal).



12.Take her to a natural hot spring surrounded by evergreens and soak in the warmth while watching the stars.
13. Give her your wool socks to keep her feet warm after you get out of the pool.
14. Make her hot chocolate and popcorn over the camp stove.


15. Keep her nice and toasty with only the warmest of blankets.
16. Clean up the whole mess because she has to make it back to catch her flight.
17. Leave just in time to make in back to work in the morning. 





Thursday, August 11, 2011

On a more embarrassing note...

So...a couple months ago, I was relaxing at home, enjoying my day off, listening to music, when I came across this song. I thought I had discovered it....only to find out it's actually pretty famous, ah well. Anyway, in my boredom I decided to make a music video for Max...and as you will be able to tell...it didn't turn out how I planned. I want to do SO much more explaining, but I'll just let you experience it for yourself. Now, before you push play, just know that this is extremely embarrassing. The ONLY reason I am posting this on my blog is because the file is too big to e-mail, text, or get to Max in any other way...and it has taken me two months to finally figure out I could do it this way. Just be warned, these movies are for a mature audience only. Viewer discretion is advised. Enjoy.

 
 



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Endless Summer

I escaped to Texas for a couple reasons, the main one being; it doesn't get cold-ever. Now, there are a couple days in the "winter" that get chilly, but never cold. I'm talking Idaho cold; snow up to the windows, frostbit fingertips, nose hair freezing, take your breath away, cold. Well, after spending about a year in Texas, I have actually come to miss (yes, miss) the cold. Most of the time I enjoy the heat, but on days like today when it's over 100 degrees and I can't make it to my car without sweat soaking through my shirt, my make-up starts to slide off my face, my hair frizzes out (no matter how much anti-frizz product I use), my bare feet get blistered from the smoldering cement on my attempt to check the mail without footwear, and the freckles on my face and arms start to darken within minutes of being outside, I start to long for autumn.

I want to sip hot cider and cuddle up under a fleece blanket with a good book. I want to wear fluffy socks. I want to go running in the rain, instead of on a treadmill. I want to get in my car and just slightly crack the windows for fresh air, instead of blasting the air conditioning like my life depended on it. I want to wear the awesome trooper boots I bought, instead of flip-flops.

 The grass is always greener on the other side, right? I just wish the grass was greener. In the meantime I'll just make good use of the summer...but I still wish I could wear my boots...





Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bangs!

There are a few things in this world that make me nervous (cats, the ocean, my first grade teacher, teenage girls, giant cows-particularly those that jump out at you when you’re on a peaceful bike-ride along the river, Jurassic Park …and the list goes on). However, I have found that sometimes my greatest joys have been in overcoming my nerves and, if not embracing them, at least confronting them. I live with a cat. I ride my bike when I’m home in Idaho despite the fact that a monstrous creature may suddenly pop out at me any second. I watched Jurassic Park for the first time in years the other day and although I almost peed my pants, I made it through the whole thing. As for my first grade teacher, she’ll always make me nervous…

Anyway, one of the things that tops my list of fear-producers are bangs. I don’t know why they make me so nervous. After all, my hair grows particularly fast, and if I hated them, they could be hidden for a few weeks while they turned into “side-swept bangs”, the safe alternative to going “all the way”. So, after trying all week to get Max to cut them (he didn’t think he qualified), I decided I would have to do it myself (I wasn’t about to pay $20.00 for someone to cut a straight line). So, for better or worse…bangs.


At least for the next few weeks…

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Meow Meow, the Schizophrenic Feline

All little girls love kittens…and I was no exception. We once had a stray cat leave a surprise litter of 3 tiny kittens under our back porch when I was about 5 years old. I couldn’t have been happier about it. I played with them every day from sun-up to sun-down, cried my little heart out when the runt didn’t make it, and threw a fit when my mother made us give them away. But-a long time has passed since 5-year-old-Christie, and the place in my heart for felines has been filled with other things. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I liked them. Oh, how I wish I liked them! I just don’t. I can’t. I won’t!

My roommate, on the other hand, has successfully carried her child-like love for cats into adulthood. It has been somewhat of a running joke throughout college how much she loved them. We bought her stuffed mechanical cats for her birthday (which she so cordially named after me), sent her cat-singing you-tube videos to brighten her day, and even managed to obtain some AMAZING cat-covered tights to shield her legs from the Rexburg cold. But-apparently it wasn’t enough. One day…a couple months ago…it was no longer just a joke.

Her co-worker, who had a cat (or two) to spare, graciously gave Julie the thing that would quickly take my place as her favorite living, breathing mammal in the apartment. The morning I woke up to meowing at my bedroom door I knew life as I knew it was over. I tried so hard over the next few weeks to accept that there was a cat roaming around our little apartment 24 hours a day…but there are just some things I will never get used to. I will never get used to the subtle cat smell in the air. I will never get used to the fact that she poops in our closet. I will never get used to the fact that no-matter how hard I have tried to train her not to go in my room (and even when I swear my doors are shut), she ends up in my closet, trying on my shoes. I will never get used to being interrupted in everything I do, by someone that wants to play along.



I will never get used to her watching me pee…that’s just weird. I will never get used to the fact that she picks at our couch, carpet, and our adorable wicker chair, fraying the edges. And I will certainly never get used to her trying to sneak a drink out of my cup, every single time I turn my back.


I even have nightmares about her...like a couple nights ago when I dreamt that she was angry at me and came to ransack my whole bedroom and tore everything apart…woke up in a cold sweat after that one.

Last night though, I came to the realization that if I am forced to co-exist with a 4-legged creature, I better try to make the best of it. The one thing I find somewhat amusing about her is that she acts like no other cat I have ever come in contact with (not that there has been many…). But, even better, is the fact that we have diagnosed her with a mental illness. Not just ANY mental illness though…one of the greatest….Schizophrenia (possibly from the great big conk on the head she sustained about a week after being in Ju Ju’s care). Now, over the past 10 months that I have spent in the ER, I have come in contact with my fair share of Schizophrenics….and believe me…she exhibits all the characteristics. First of all, she acts inappropriately for her species (I swear she thinks she’s a dog the way she lays on her back and begs to have her belly rubbed)


Secondly, and most amusingly, is the way she spazzes out at absolutely nothing, and bolts straight into Julie’s room as if her life depended on it, hangs out for a second, and then comes back out like nothing ever happened (that’s her paranoia acting out…as it often does in Schizophrenics).
Lastly, she just LOOKS schizophrenic.


Ha ha, okay okay, so Julie helped out a little on this one, but regardless…

Despite my obvious, and often vocal dislike of Meow Meow (oh ya, her name is “meow-meow”), I put up with her and her crazy tactics because of the obvious (and quite sickening) love that Julie has for her.


So…welcome to apt 628, Meow Meow.


Just don’t pop my fragile, air-filled mattress or I will be the one spazzing out on your little feline tushy...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Alamo Metro Chorus

I mean to do a lot of things. I mean to run 4 miles every morning before work. I mean to wash my sheets once a month. I mean to drink 2 liters of water a day. I mean to finally get a Texas drivers license. I mean to buy a scentsy. I mean to learn the piano. I mean to go to Ireland. I mean to write my mother. I mean to keep a journal. I mean to wash the bird poop off my car. I mean to blog twice a week…and so on…but-I have finally started to do some of the things I’ve been meaning to do…first on the list; join a choir (and no, ward choir does not count).


I have been looking online for choirs to join, but with my crazy, ever-changing and evening-crashing work schedule, a choir that I could squeeze in was hard to come by. I have one day consecutively off a week…and although that day SHOULD be Sunday, it’s Thursday. After much searching of the world-wide web, I found a choir that just so happened to meet every Thursday. And it just so happened to be an all-women chorus. And it just so happened to be a barbershop chorus. AND, it just so happened to be full of women 3 times my age. I couldn’t have been more excited.

I have been going now for the past few weeks and I have loved every second of it. I love that I got hugs from several women the first week I was there, and more-so the second and third. I love that they try to set me up with their grandsons. I love that I am forced to sing so hard my voice is raw by the end of the three hours. I love that I have to practice. I love that there is an 85 year old in the choir who is a master ping-pong champ. I love that they all go out for margaritas afterward. I love that they do dancing warm-ups (that I still cannot figure out how to do). I love that they have a good news minute at the end of practice…just like relief society. I love that they joke about broken hips and doctors appointments. I love that it’s all acapella. But most of all, I love that I get to wear things like this when we perform…



Aged to perfection.

Sexy Chefs


 


Who said cooking had to be limited to cooking...?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Things women should never have to do.

Raising a family with nine girls put a lot of stress on my dad. Not only did he have to go on countless daddy-daughter dates, keep his mouth shut when we were PMSing (often at the same time), learn to step through the living room without demolishing our barbie house which had taken over, make flower head wreaths (out of weeds of course), compliment our new outfits or hair-do's, or, heaven forbid, participate in girl talk, BUT, he had to do all the things that women should never have to do. You know, things like un-clogging the toilet, changing the tires, killing the spiders, building the shelves, barbecuing the hamburgers...manly things. Unfortunately, although my dad is still a handy-man, he has become a lot less handy...especially since I moved 3,000 miles away. So, I get stuck with having to do stuff like this:

I need a husband.