Thursday, July 31, 2008

Holla atcha boy. I'm the Emcee.

This evening at 7:30 I will be the mistress of ceremonies at an event featuring Ralph Nader. I am excited because this is probably the only chance I'll ever have to be a mistress of any kind.

I am also excited because Ralph Nader is a fascinating character, a compelling speaker, and he has spent his life doing his level best to help out the people. If you haven't seen An Unreasonable Man, I recommend it.

I hope to see you at Libby Gardner Hall this evening. You should be able to spot me; I'll be the one clad entirely in turquoise sequins.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's official

I am not only insane, but also cold and heartless.

You see, my victory was sweet but ephemeral. The management replaced the stolen doorstop. Undeterred from my goal of keeping the ambient temperature under one hundred degrees, I decided to place a sign on the door. It contained no obscenities, which I considered a very significant moral victory. It simply read:

The double doors are designed to keep the building cool. Please keep the doors closed. Thanks!

That's it. Nothing too fancy, and no F-bombs. And the sign worked, as long as it was left there, which was about fifteen hours. The next morning the sign had been removed and I could tell as soon as I walked out my door into the sweltering hallway. I replaced the sign. The next day it had been removed. I was content to continue battling the rotund forces at work against me, but today, the manager of our apartment complex called to inform me that the rotundarino had informed her of our recent feuding.

She told me the rotundarino's reasons for wanting the door open.

Evidently it is important to keep the building ventilated, lest it come down with a mustiness. I countered with the solid fact that Utah, being a desert, does not exactly encourage bacterial growth, or any of the consequent odors.

Evidently it is also important to keep the door open to let the small atrium area dry out after being mopped. I was frank in my contempt for this argument. It is well over a hundred degrees outside. Sorry, but no amount of door-propping could expedite the drying of that floor, which is an already instantaneous process. Not having it.

The final reason cited was that one of the first floor tenants is wheelchair bound, and propping the door open makes entry and exit easier.

I didn't expect it, but I was stumped. I know the disabled woman, she is quite a pleasant person, and I know she gets around as well as any of the able among us. She lives alone, she transports herself all over Salt Lake, she knows how to get it done. I feel I can rest assured that she is as capable of opening both the first and second set of doors she encounters when entering or exiting our building. Frankly, I don't see how propping one of the two sets of doors open helps her out much at all. (Perhaps management should invest in an automatic door opening device if they are concerned with her inconvenience?)

But I had no retort. A person can't very well say "I don't care to ease the burdens of the disabled tenant; I prefer to keep our energy use down and hopefully have a planet to pass on to my posterity instead." Nope. You say that, you're sounding like a big-time jerk. So, instead, I told my manager that if the reason for propping the door was truly to make easier the life of our paraplegic pal, I would cease and desist with the sign-making.

But I'm still going to unprop it every time I see it open. And that rotundarino better watch her back.


Come one, come all! Tomorrow evening Utahns have a rare opportunity: to participate in a live conference call with one of the three (yes! three!) presidential candidates. Ashley Sanders will be hosting a party from 4:00-8:00 p.m. during which she, as a member of Team Nader, will be answering questions about Nader and his platform. A similar event will take place in Provo at Chris Neilsen's house. Even if you think you know who you plan to vote for, come and educate yourself about the third party candidate. Benjamin Franklin would do it.

The abovepictured is a flier for the Ralph Nader Rally. I might even be the emcee, so there's some extra incentive. I am captivating. Maybe I'll wear rhinestones. Save the date!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Whenever I think about pioneers

This is what I ate for breakfast, out of respect and deference. Happy Pioneer Day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Funny Guy

Today Ryan and I sat down and we had ourselves a talk. I have both been working two jobs and trying to provide healthful-yet-delicious meals and, frankly, I am losing steam. I decided we needed to sit down and discuss how we were going to make this machine run without my ending up in a psych ward. We spent a few hours crafting a new system, writing out menus and shopping lists, including items such as homemade black bean burgers and southwest salads. It was tiring but satisfying and I felt we had arrived at a good spot. My dreams for healthful, balanced family life seemed closer to my ever-outstretched talons.

Exhausted by the exertion of discussing nutritious food, Ryan decided it would be best for us to go to Wendy's. In retrospect, his desperate pleas could have been part of a bigger and more sinister strategy; weakened by continued rejection of his requests for crispy chicken, I ultimately found myself conceding to dine at the aptly titled Paradise cafe (somehow more expensive forms of cheese-laden bread are less reprehensible to me). We got to the restaurant about ten minutes before closing, to my husband's great relief, placed our order, and had a seat. Not ten minutes had passed before a waitress came to our table bearing the above-pictured box of TWENTY DELICIOUS COOKIES.

"I'm so sorry about the wait," she insisted, whilst her boss looked on from behind the counter. "This is an assortment of all our cookies, and your sandwich should be out in just a minute."

We hadn't been waiting long. The cookies were unwarranted. They were unrequested. And now they are sitting in my kitchen.

The tough thing about having a box of twenty jumbo cookies bequeathed to you is that it seems perfectly normal to consume two or three of them. Two or three FOUR HUNDRED CALORIE COOKIES. It just doesn't seem like that many when you still have seventeen left to put in your face.

The man upstairs must have thought he was a real funny guy tonight, is all I'm sayin'.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Nepalese Food

Ryan likes bad tasting food, and that's how it is. He thinks all Italian food is infused with "baby spit up flavor", that bread and cake are "dry and disgusting", and that cookies taste better with whole wheat flour. I rest my case.

Perhaps this is why he is unable to retain more than ten percent body fat.

I, however, am not confused about what delicious is. Italian food (done right) is delicious. Cookies are delicious when made with white flour, white sugar, and lots of butter. In fact, they taste best made with Crisco, which is a cryin' shame.

Indian food is delicious. Really, really delicious.

But Ryan claims he doesn't like it. I took him to a Fabulous Indian Lunch Buffet in my hometown on Bethesda, Maryland, and he claimed it was "bland, salty mush". We have had other excellent Indian food offered to us on other occasions with similar response. I think his tastebuds are broken.

Yesterday I went to lunch with all of my coworkers to bid farewell to Kate, the best thing to ever happen to the organization (I told her I thought she should run her own non-profit because she has such mad skillz, and I think she thought I was kidding [probably because I spelled skillz with a z] but I wasn't. She is made for the big time, I'm tellin' you.). We went to a restaurant called The Himalayan Kitchen and had their lunch buffet. It was transcendent. Most of the dishes were vegetarian (I'll just pretend not to notice that half of them included a sauce made with heavy cream) and it was affordable. I ate until I was quite ill. It was lovely.

Today, my little brother, fellow frequenter of the Fabulous Indian Lunch Buffet in Bethesda, was in Salt Lake en route to his appointment to be a lab rat. I knew I had to get me some more of that Himalayan Kitchen, and that Hosen was my only chance, since Ryan would, clearly, not be interested. I invited Hosen and, to my great surprise, Ryan jumped into the conversation. He wanted to join in the fun.

When we arrived, Ryan saw the sign outside that said Himalayan Kitchen: Nepalese Cuisine, and proceeded to spend twenty minutes trying to convince my brother to join him for a trek in the Himalayas. The sign transported him to a phase in life where he spent long hour poring over guide books and pining for his chance to stand on top of the world. He kept talking about how great Nepal was. And then he hit the buffet. The Nepalese buffet.

He ate with a vengeance and proclaimed it the best food he had ever tasted. Mind you, it was Indian food, the same kind he has defamed so many times. But today it was Nepalese food, so it was his favorite.

I will never pretend to understand Ryan, but he is a delight. If you ever want him to join you for a meal of gnocchi with pesto, or a baguette with warm brie, just tell him the food is from Nepal. Chances are he won't know the difference.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Steve Washburn

I am hoping that by typing Steve Washburn very frequently on my blog, when people Google "Steve Washburn", as people are wont to do, they will come here and see the friendly review. I think Steve Washburn is a downright honest guy. Good ol' Steve Washburn.

I spoke with Steve Washburn yesterday on the phone. Steve Washburn said the reason the car "stopped" was that it was out of "gas". Before you conclude that I am a complete ninny, Steve Washburn also said that the reason the "fuel gauge" registered that the "tank" was half full was that some of the "sensors" were "corroded". He also informed me that, per the "diagnostic", the "problem" that caused the "check engine light" to turn on was that the "catalytic converter" was...I forget. I think it was "messed up". (Incidentally, Steve Washburn asked me if I had ever heard of a catalytic converter before and I almost gave him a piece of my mind for assuming that I hadn't. Then I realized that, for all intents and purposes, I had no idea what a catalytic converter was and refrained from hostile feminist rhetoric. Besides, who could get hostile with Steve Washburn?).

At any rate, we are keeping the beamer for awhile, until the new "catalytic converter" shows up and they can replace it, but I have begun freaking out. Why would a five year old car have "corrosion" on its "sensors"? Why would its "catalytic converter" be "messed up" and need to be "replaced"? I assumed that whoever previously owned the car was prudent and disinclined to drive their tiny Japanese go-cart through swamps and over sand dunes, but what if I was wrong? Does my new tiny car have cancer? It's too soon to say goodbye!

Folks, I know some of you or your spouses know about cars. Give it to me straight. Pretty please. If the car is a loser, tell me now and I will do what I need to do.

I will sell it.

Toyotas are supposed to be practical and reliable. Bah. Humbug.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Our Lucky Day

As some of you may have noticed, I neglected to post anything about the festivities on the fourth of July, which has been one of my favorite holidays ever since I was a tiny child and my parents taught me all the words to "You're a Grand Old Flag". I have such smart parents. Seriously, what a joke.

I still love freedom as much as ever, but the summer holiday season has a new winner: our anniversary. Despite a mutual loathing of the summer months and all things hot and sweaty, Ryan and I were sufficiently impatient to get ourselves hitched that we tied the knot in July, the most brutal month of all. We were married on July 5, two years ago, and, although the fourth of July is a fun companion holiday to the anniversary, I secretly wish we could have waited for a more favorable month (ok, I guess not so secretly if I am posting it on my really popular blog). Que sera sera.I am determined to make the best of the fifth of July, no matter however foolishly selected.

A few weeks ago at Jazzercise, my instructor mentioned that her sister took the family up to Snowbird for their summer activities, which were evidently great. I checked out their website and found a bed and breakfast package that met my two requirements: it was cheap and it provided access to the mechanical bull. I thought it would be fun to surprise Ryan (a mechanical bull is fun, but a surprise mechanical bull...), so on the morning of July 5 I piloted our new little chariot up the canyon.

Well, halfway up the canyon. I should mention at this point that on our way home from Washburn Motors in Orem, the finest used car dealer in Christendom, the check engine light came on in our new car. I called Steve Washburn and he assured me that he had checked out the car thoroughly and considered it safe to drive over the holiday weekend, and that if I could bring it back down to Orem on Monday he would run the diagnostic and take care of whatever was causing the problem.

Next comes the part about how halfway up the canyon the car choked, jerked, stalled and refused to start. The car we purchased two days prior. It stopped. On our way to our surprise rehoneymoon. Our reliable Toyota with only 70K miles. It died, is the thing. Halfway up Little Cottonwood canyon.

I should also mention at this point that Ryan had some concerns about the car, although his concerns were primarily about how the car would be cheaper if it were a ten year old tin can, crafted by GM in the U S of A, so I doubt he would have preferred anything with greater chances of reliability, but it did make the breakdown a little extra uncomfortable for me (he did not punish me unduly, and only said that we should have known better than to skip taking the car to a shop for a full diagnostic, which I thought was gracious considering we were broken down in One Million degree weather on our anniversary in our new car that I picked out). So we called Triple A, the most glorious godsend of an organization that capitalism hath ever wrought, which membership was purchased for us as a gift from my genius grandmother. And then we called Steve Washburn.

Me: "Um, hi Steve. We're actually having a little trouble here. 'Member how I called about that check engine light? Well, thing is, the car seems to have, well, actually it just stopped. I mean, it jerked and choked for a few minutes and then pretty much, yeah. It won't start. Oh, and it's our anniversary and we were just on our way out of town."

Steve Washburn: "I am a glorious Angel of Mercy and the King of Integrity. I will pay to have your car towed to Orem and I will fix it for free. And I will give you a loaner car for free. Would you like one million dollars and a ticket into heaven?"

Me: "Steve Washburn, I think I love you."

As Triple A plus members, we are endowed with 100 miles of free towing, which was enough to haul our sad little car down to Steve Washburn, Angel of Mercy and King of Integrity. And the towing guy let us ride down in the cab of the awesome vehicle abovepictured. And when we got there, Steve Washburn, Angel of Mercy and King of Integrity, presented us with the keys to this:

Sunday, July 6, 2008


It has been determined that in order for me to attend Jazzercise three times a day and commute to and from my various non-profit jobs while Ryan accepts one of the positions he has interviewed for, we need two cars. In light of this information, we purchased the above pictured vehicle. It boasts no power locks, windows, or steering (yes, you heard me, and it threw me for a loop the first time I tried to parallel park the little beast) and great fuel economy. I like the looks of it, but it should also be mentioned that my dream car is a Toyota Sienna minivan (no, no plans for kids yet! I just like a nice spacious vehicle), so I may not have the most generally accepted aesthetic sense. We purchased the vehicle from Washburn Motors in Orem, the best used car dealer in christendom, about which you will hear a great deal in the next couple of days. We like our little car, but it has already shown its naughty streak...