Pages

Friday, December 31, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Good Things

- Bryan and I set up Skype on December 26th and we were able to "open presents with" my family!!  We saw Mom, Dad, Dave, Stac, and Grandma, and it was really awesome.  We took turns just like we do when we're actually together.  It was such a blessing to have that sort of technology available.  We live in cool times.

- I talked to my dear friend Kathy on Skype for TWO HOURS later that day.  It was AWESOME and hilarious and I loved every minute of it.  We've been friends since fourth grade and we get very silly around each other, so Skype was pretty awesome.

- We talked to part of Bryan's side of the family (Chris, Amanda, GK, Addy, Nicole, Stuart and Ella) for a bit on Skype as well and it was great to see them.  My nieces and nephews (GK, Addy, and Ella) are getting SO BIG!!  Luckily we only live 1.5 hours away from Nicole, Stuart, and Ella, which is awesome.  And it's just another hour to see my parents in law and my sister-in-law Heidi.  So much closer than when we lived in California!

- Lands End had a deal where their down vests were only $11 shipped and I TOTALLY bought one.  Then I got a gift card I won on MyCokeRewards.com for Sears/Kmart/LandsEnd and I got a new fleece!!  So excited!

- My dear friend Kati is coming to town tomorrow and is staying with us from Thursday-Sunday night, and I'm very excited to hang out.  We're going snowshoeing on Friday.

- Bryan and I are going x-country skiing on Saturday with friends.  Woot!!

- My dear friend Monica is getting married this August and she picked out her wedding gown today!  I wish that I could be there with her to see her try on dresses, but that's just not possible.  The next best thing though:  she tried on a dress that I saw online and recommended, and it's the dress she picked!!  I felt very honored she even tried it on. 

Good times, guys, good times.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Charlie St. Cloud and Steve Zahn's Offspring

So tonight we went to a friends' house for dinner, since it's Christmas and all and none of us were with family (yes I am still bummed/slightly bitter).  We had a nice meal, which was great, and watched Charlie St. Cloud, which wasn't so great.  Not the best movie, but not as terrible as it could be.  Pretty views of the Pacific Northwest, and it does make you think that taking up sailing would be awesome.  It also makes you wonder how young 20-somethings can afford fancy boats and live in awesome places.  But whatever.

What REALLY got me was the character of Sam, played by Charlie Tahan.  He looks like he's Steve Zahn's son!!  No, seriously.  If I was his dad, I would be looking VERY SUSPICIOUSLY at Steve Zahn, because the resemblance is uncanny.  Look for yourself.

Seriously.
Apparently they are not related, but i still don't believe it.  Maybe an uncle?  MAYBE.  But probably baby-daddy.

Just saying.

Bryan and I are now halfway through the second Lord of the Rings movie.  It's a marathon weekend. 
Fancy times.  And that's that for Christmas.  Hope it was good for you and yours!

Merry Christmas!

We were unable to visit family this year (believe me, I spent a GOOD part of last night crying before Bryan got me to snap out of it) but we are enjoying a very relaxed Christmas here in Jackson.  We plan on watching the Lord of the Rings movies and eating lots of goodies.  Tonight we're going to some new friends' place to have dinner and play games.  It should be a good time.  Tomorrow we're going to hook up our webcam and open presents with my side of the family over Skype.  It will be very good to see them!

The view from our sidewalk this morning.  We have had a lot of snow this year! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Free Amazon Credits!!

Amazon: FREE $2 MP3 credit!

Get a FREE $2 MP3 credit at Amazon.com! Go here and enter the code GIVEMP3S. Make sure to use it before December 26th!

via Savvy Spending



Free $5 Amazon Video on Demand Credit for "tweeters"

If you have a Twitter account, you can get a FREE $5 Amazon Video on Demand credit! Just make sure to do this before January 1, 2011! Click here for all the details; keep in mind that this offer is limited to one promotional credit per Amazon.com customer.

via Savvy Spending 



$1.29 Amazon MP3 credit!!


Picture 310 Bing: Free MP3 Credit
Bing is giving away a free MP3 credit (to be used on Amazon.com)
Go Here. Enter your email. They will email you a code and direction to redeem your free credit!

via MojoSavings

Total = $8.29 in free Amazon credit!  I combines my $2 and $1.29 credit and put it to The Avett Brother's "I and Love and You" mp3 album, which is just $5 now!  With my $5 Amazon On Demand credit I plan on renting "ELF", "Knight & Day", "Toy Story 3" and something else.  You could also BUY "300," which I'm a big fan of (but already own).  Good times, Amazon, good times.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rudolph the Dead-Nosed Reindeer...

source
I was about 4-6 inches away from hitting Rudolph today.  I guess Rudolph's dad was more like it; it was a big buck with a full rack.  I took my eyes off the road for like TWO SECONDS and I look back and there's a deer right in front of me.  Seriously, 4-6 inches off my passenger headlight.  SCARY!!  I was so thankful that I JUST missed it, I definitely think it was a God-thing because I really wasn't watching the road like I should have been.  Very very thankful.  That's the second time a deer has run in front of me on that road, along the same stretch (this is the main road in Jackson, btw) so I think I need to really be extra aware, especially around that area!!

Here me Rudolph?  I'm watching for you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Confession is Good for the Soul

I confessed something to my husband tonight.  Something about another man, one that I have a crush on.

Jason Schwartzman.

source
He's got indie-cred (which I used to think meant a lot when I was trying to be cool), he has bushy eyebrows and he knows Wes Anderson and he used to date Zooey Deschanel.  Total crush.

And while we're on the subject...

Ryan Gosling.

source
It helps that his blue eyes, dark blonde hair and scruff remind me of my husband.  I hated him in "The Notebook" (well, what I really mean is that I hated that movie) but loved him in "Lars and the Real Girl" and I think this song by his band "Dead Man's Bones" has a weird, awesome feel.




Zachary Levi

source
Bryan and I love watching "Chuck," and just LOOK at this guy's smile.  I feel like he's the adult-version of my high school/college crush on Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) from "The OC."  Slightly dorky but lovable.

Bryan and I were talking the other night about actor/actress crushes.  He's all about Charlize Theron and Jennifer Connelly.  I mentioned an actor (I think it was Joel McHale?) was hot, and Bry disagreed.  Apparently he's not "hot," but would be considered cute.  Apparently guys like Brad Pitt are hot, but the Zachary Levi/Joel McHales of the world are cute.  I disagree!  I think any of the above guys are hotter than Brad Pitt because they seem more REAL and they are funny and you just want to be buds with them.  That's hot.

And Bryan is hot because he's just the nicest person I've met, and he makes me laugh like a crazy person, and he looks amazing in Gap khakis.  He isn't "cute," he's so much hotter than that.

My hubs

Classic Christmas Stories?

I'm not a big "Classic Christmas" gal.  I mean, I put up a tree, I wrap presents, read the Christmas story, all of that, yes.  But I don't want "It's a Wonderful Life" "Miracle on 34th Street" or any of those movies (in fact, I'm not sure I got those names right...).  I didn't grow up watching those movies.  I watched "The Santa Claus" of course, and we loved the claymation Christmas shows.  But not necessarily the classics (although I do love "The Bishop's Wife," does that count??).

One story that I REALLY love, that's become a bit of a classic Christmas story to me, is David Sedaris' "6 to 8 Black Men."  I first heard it my sophomore year of college (so 2004) and it had me in tears I was laughing so hard.  It's just that good.  So here is my attempt to share the Christmas spirit.  Below you will find a click of David reading his slightly abridged story live (not the best quality) and below that you can find the whole story, as it was shown in Esquire magazine.



Six To Eight Black Men

By David Sedaris
I'VE NEVER BEEN MUCH for guidebooks, so when trying to get my bearings in a strange American city, I normally start by asking the cabdriver or hotel clerk some silly question regarding the latest census figures. I say silly because I don't really care how many people live in Olympia, Washington, or Columbus, Ohio. They're nice enough places, but the numbers mean nothing to me. My second question might have to do with average annual rainfall, which, again, doesn't tell me anything about the people who have chosen to call this place home.
What really interests me are the local gun laws. Can I carry a concealed weapon, and if so, under what circumstances? What's the waiting period for a tommy gun? Could I buy a Glock 17 if I were recently divorced or fired from my job? I've learned from experience that it's best to lead into this subject as delicately as possible, especially if you and the local citizen are alone and enclosed in a relatively small space. Bide your time, though, and you can walk away with some excellent stories. I've heard, for example, that the blind can legally hunt in both Texas and Michigan. They must be accompanied by a sighted companion, but still, it seems a bit risky. You wouldn't want a blind person driving a car or piloting a plane, so why hand him a rifle? What sense does that make? I ask about guns not because I want one of my own but because the answers vary so widely from state to state. In a country that's become so homogenous, I'm reassured by these last touches of regionalism.
Guns aren't really an issue in Europe, so when I'm traveling abroad, my first question usually relates to barnyard animals. "What do your roosters say?" is a good icebreaker, as every country has its own unique interpretation. In Germany, where dogs bark "vow vow" and both the frog and the duck say "quack," the rooster greets the dawn with a hearty "kik-a-ricki." Greek roosters crow "kiri-a-kee," and in France they scream "coco-rico," which sounds like one of those horrible premixed cocktails with a pirate on the label. When told that an American rooster says "cock-a-doodle-doo," my hosts look at me with disbelief and pity.
"When do you open your Christmas presents?" is another good conversation starter, as it explains a lot about national character. People who traditionally open gifts on Christmas Eve seem a bit more pious and family oriented than those who wait until Christmas morning. They go to mass, open presents, eat a late meal, return to church the following morning, and devote the rest of the day to eating another big meal. Gifts are generally reserved for children, and the parents tend not to go overboard. It's nothing I'd want for myself, but I suppose it's fine for those who prefer food and family to things of real value.
In France and Germany, gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve, while in Holland the children receive presents on December 5, in celebration of Saint Nicholas Day. It sounded sort of quaint until I spoke to a man named Oscar, who filled me in on a few of the details as we walked from my hotel to the Amsterdam train station.
Unlike the jolly, obese American Santa, Saint Nicholas is painfully thin and dresses not unlike the pope, topping his robes with a tall hat resembling an embroidered tea cozy. The outfit, I was told, is a carryover from his former career, when he served as a bishop in Turkey.
One doesn't want to be too much of a cultural chauvinist, but this seemed completely wrong to me. For starters, Santa didn't use to do anything. He's not retired, and, more important, he has nothing to do with Turkey. The climate's all wrong, and people wouldn't appreciate him. When asked how he got from Turkey to the North Pole, Oscar told me with complete conviction that Saint Nicholas currently resides in Spain, which again is simply not true. While he could probably live wherever he wanted, Santa chose the North Pole specifically because it is harsh and isolated. No one can spy on him, and he doesn't have to worry about people coming to the door. Anyone can come to the door in Spain, and in that outfit, he'd most certainly be recognized. On top of that, aside from a few pleasantries, Santa doesn't speak Spanish. He knows enough to get by, but he's not fluent, and he certainly doesn't eat tapas.
While our Santa flies on a sled, Saint Nicholas arrives by boat and then transfers to a white horse. The event is televised, and great crowds gather at the waterfront to greet him. I'm not sure if there's a set date, but he generally docks in late November and spends a few weeks hanging out and asking people what they want.
"Is it just him alone?" I asked. "Or does he come with some backup?" Oscar's English was close to perfect, but he seemed thrown by a term normally reserved for police reinforcement. "Helpers," I said. "Does he have any elves?"
Maybe I'm just overly sensitive, but I couldn't help but feel personally insulted when Oscar denounced the very idea as grotesque and unrealistic. "Elves," he said. "They're just so silly."
The words silly and unrealistic were redefined when I learned that Saint Nicholas travels with what was consistently described as "six to eight black men." I asked several Dutch people to narrow it down, but none of them could give me an exact number. It was always "six to eight," which seems strange, seeing as they've had hundreds of years to get a decent count.
The six to eight black men were characterized as personal slaves until the mid-fifties, when the political climate changed and it was decided that instead of being slaves they were just good friends. I think history has proven that something usually comes between slavery and friendship, a period of time marked not by cookies and quiet times beside the fire but by bloodshed and mutual hostility. They have such violence in Holland, but rather than duking it out among themselves, Santa and his former slaves decided to take it out on the public. In the early years, if a child was naughty, Saint Nicholas and the six to eight black men would beat him with what Oscar described as "the small branch of a tree."
"A switch?"
"Yes," he said. "That's it. They'd kick him and beat him with a switch. Then, if the youngster was really bad, they'd put him in a sack and take him back to Spain."
"Saint Nicholas would kick you?"
"Well, not anymore," Oscar said. "Now he just pretends to kick you."
"And the six to eight black men?"
"Them, too."
He considered this to be progressive, but in a way I think it's almost more perverse than the original punishment. "I'm going to hurt you, but not really." How many times have we fallen for that line? The fake slap invariably makes contact, adding the elements of shock and betrayal to what had previously been plain, old-fashioned fear. What kind of Santa spends his time pretending to kick people before stuffing them into a canvas sack? Then, of course, you've got the six to eight former slaves who could potentially go off at any moment. This, I think, is the greatest difference between us and the Dutch. While a certain segment of our population might be perfectly happy with the arrangement, if you told the average white American that six to eight nameless black men would be sneaking into his house in the middle of the night, he would barricade the doors and arm himself with whatever he could get his hands on.
"Six to eight, did you say?"
In the years before central heating, Dutch children would leave their shoes by the fireplace, the promise being that unless they planned to beat you, kick you, or stuff you into a sack, Saint Nicholas and the six to eight black men would fill your clogs with presents. Aside from the threats of violence and kidnapping, it's not much different from hanging your stockings from the mantel. Now that so few people have a working fireplace, Dutch children are instructed to leave their shoes beside the radiator, furnace, or space heater. Saint Nicholas and the six to eight black men arrive on horses, which jump from the yard onto the roof. At this point, I guess, they either jump back down and use the door, or they stay put and vaporize through the pipes and electrical wires. Oscar wasn't too clear about the particulars, but, really, who can blame him? We have the same problem with our Santa. He's supposed to use the chimney, but if you don't have one, he still manages to come through. It's best not to think about it too hard.
While eight flying reindeer are a hard pill to swallow, our Christmas story remains relatively simple. Santa lives with his wife in a remote polar village and spends one night a year traveling around the world. If you're bad, he leaves you coal. If you're good and live in America, he'll give you just about anything you want. We tell our children to be good and send them off to bed, where they lie awake, anticipating their great bounty. A Dutch parent has a decidedly hairier story to relate, telling his children, "Listen, you might want to pack a few of your things together before you go to bed. The former bishop from Turkey will be coming along with six to eight black men. They might put some candy in your shoes, they might stuff you in a sack and take you to Spain, or they might just pretend to kick you. We don't know for sure, but we want you to be prepared."
This is the reward for living in Holland. As a child you get to hear this story, and as an adult you get to turn around and repeat it. As an added bonus, the government has thrown in legalized drugs and prostitution--so what's not to love about being Dutch?
Oscar finished his story just as we arrived at the station. He was a polite and interesting guy--very good company--but when he offered to wait until my train arrived, I begged off, saying I had some calls to make. Sitting alone in the vast terminal, surrounded by other polite, seemingly interesting Dutch people, I couldn't help but feel second-rate. Yes, it was a small country, but it had six to eight black men and a really good bedtime story. Being a fairly competitive person, I felt jealous, then bitter, and was edging toward hostile when I remembered the blind hunter tramping off into the Michigan forest. He might bag a deer, or he might happily shoot his sighted companion in the stomach. He may find his way back to the car, or he may wander around for a week or two before stumbling through your front door. We don't know for sure, but in pinning that license to his chest, he inspires the sort of narrative that ultimately makes me proud to be an American.

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/features/ESQ1202-DEC_SEDARIS#ixzz18ayXeggA


Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Glasses!

So Friday morning I woke up, put on my glasses, and found a big ol' scratch on the left lens.  I've always been careful with my glasses, but since we moved into our new place, I don't have a bedside table.  I've been putting my glasses on the cinder block under my bed (we use cinder blocks to raise the bed so we can put storage under it) and apparently, I put them glass-side down this time.  NOT GOOD.  I love my glasses, and when I next go to the eye doctor, I'll probably just pay to get new lenses in these frames.

Luckily I found out that Coastalcontacts.com was offering FREE GLASSES yesterday!  All I had to pay was shipping and handling, along with any additions (I got UV coating, anti-glare coating, and scratch resistant coating).  All in all it was just under thirty bucks.  Not bad!  Check them out.


Cute, right??  A new pair of Nine West glasses (with lenses) for thirty bucks!  Not bad, not bad at all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Socializing

I was social this week and it was fabbbbulous!!  I hung out with Kate, a gal I work with at the hospital (well we don't work together but we both work at the hospital) on Saturday, and we went cross country skiing, which was VERY FUN.  I want cross country skis.  Also, I found out she knows my friend Heather as well as my brother... small world!!!

Today I had coffee with Brandi (at SilverPencils, check out her blog!) and had a really lovely time!  It was so nice to be able to hang out with friends (also nice to have friends).  It has been a good few days!!  I do miss Bryan though.  He left again on Sunday and he'll be back on Friday.  I miss my honey.

So yeah this is a really short update because I really need to work on Christmas presents. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Single Life

Bryan has been in Salt Lake since Sunday, and he'll be back tomorrow, and then gone again next week.  Here are some things I've learned about myself when he's gone.

  • I HATE being by myself for long periods of time.  As soon as I get to work I talk and talk and talk and talk.  I feel like I just can't shut up.  I guess I'm just too much of an extrovert.  This is why I should never live alone (woot for getting married young!)
  • I do not make a lot of food when I'm by myself.  I've had soup for pretty much every meal but breakfast since Bryan has been gone.  Chicken noodle, tortilla, cheddar potato, and veggie ravioli.  Lots of soup.
  • I pretty much watch mostly chick stuff when Bry's gone so he doesn't have to "suffer."  Which means that I cry a LOT.  Watched the Pocatello, Idaho episode of "Home Makeover" since I got to see the house in person, cried.  Watched the episode of "16 and Pregnant" where the young couple gives their baby up for adoption (what a wonderful couple... they come from such trash but they are so obviously in love and they know they can't give their baby the life they want her to have... heartbreaking) and cried.  Watched some episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress" and cried.  Watched "A Very Glee Christmas" and cried (dude, Artie's present from Santa?!  SO SWEET).   I cry a lot at chick shows.  And now I'm watching Biggest Loser, so I will definitely cry.  I'm such a wimp.
  • I should NOT live by myself.  I don't mind having a night or two alone, but I just really like being around people.  
Yeah that's about all I could think up.  Sorry.

This week at work is WEIRD because our doctor had to get surgery on her wrist today, so she'll be out of the office until Wednesday.  So we're pretty much just doing side projects.

I love it.

Bryan comes home tomorrow and I won't have to live "The Single Life" until Sunday!

Also:  just started season one of "Mad Men" and I'm SO THANKFUL that I don't have to work as a receptionist is such stifling, chauvinistic environments!  Thank goodness for equality and political correctness!!!

But they do dress SUPER hot. The men and the women.  Both.  Hot.  The styling is AHmazing. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free Christmas Music from Sleeping at Last

I've mentioned the band Sleeping at Last before.  They've been one of my favorite bands since I was 14 years old. 

Right now you can get their free 6 song Christmas collection for FREE on NoiseTrade.com!  If you're feeling generous, you can tip them as well!

Go HERE to download for free.

Sleeping at Last is known for their soaring choruses and I think they have a bit of a Radiohead feel to them.  Noise Trade recommends them for fans of Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens and Nick Drake.  Try them out!


There's a lot of other really awesome music on this site that you can download for free.  All you have to do is give an email address, your postal code, and share on Facebook or Twitter (I think you can share by email as well).  Really good Christmas music for free!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How do you like your Christmas?

Caucasian?          























     

Or something a bit more true to the Mid Eastern region?
  as soon at Kohls.com

Snow Bunny? Very Funny.

Tomorrow Bryan is going to attempt to teach me how to snowboard.

I'm sort of terrified.  I've never attempted it before, and the idea of being strapped into a board going fast downhill is VERY SCARY FOR ME.  VERY.

So if I die... You are all welcome to fight over who I loved the most.

::Gulp::

But as Bryan and Stacey have reminded me, there's a fabulous lodge with hot cocoa.  And I have my Kindle.  So I should be good. 

Yes.  I am already biting my fingers.  Yikes.  Fingers crossed.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Are You a Blogger? Want Free Stuff??

Want to earn $25 credit on Shutterfly?  Follow these steps!

1. Login to Shutterfly
2. Find a photo card (I made a Christmas card) and save the project.
3. Click on “My Shutterfly” in the top menu
4. Click on “View all projects” under “My Projects”
5. Select a photo card project by clicking on the circle below the project title that you want to share (don’t click on the project itself, this promotion appears to only be tied to photo card projects)
5. Click on “Share Project” in the righthand menu
6. Type in “Title” and “Description” for your project (does not get included if you just embed the widget code)
7. Go to the “Next” step
8. Now you’ll see all the details of this promo, including the email address to send your blog post link to in order to get your $25 gift certificate.
9. Pick your embed method: Blogger or Widget Code (I just put in my Blogger info)
10. Don’t forget to email Shutterfly after you post your project!
This offer ends on January 31 and your $25 gift certificate will expire on February 15.

via Savvy Spending Meghan

Trial Photo Card

Merry Blossoms Christmas Card
Get custom photo Christmas cards online at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

Hulu!?!?!

Apparently Hulu is down.

Which makes me NOT HAPPY because I was totally doing to indulge in one of my fave past times, watching Hulu will taking a bubble bath.

HEAVEN.  Let me tell you.  HEAVEN. 

I was hoping to catch an episode of Modern Family, but now I will have to watch something either on Netflix (which isn't bad, but I wanted to watch something new) or ch131.com, which sort of sucks.  But I guess it's still free and better than not watching a show.  Or something.

I'm trying to work out more, BTW.  I've gone to the gym 3 times a week for the last two weeks and I've been trying to use the stair stepper at home.

How much weight have I lost, you ask?

NONE.  Which definitely makes me want to just up and quit, but I know that I'm being redonkulous.  But I just want to be a size six by wishing hard enough.  Is that so wrong??

Also, I made mini spice cupcakes with cream cheese yesterday.

I know, sabotage.

But I brought them to work and sent some with Bryan, so I figure that way everyone can get fat WITH me.  We'll just be a happy, slightly unhealthy, overweight family.  Like most of America.  I don't see the problem with that (except that I do). 

Tomorrow is a really slow day at work with is FABULOUS.  I'm in the middle of an easy but boring and tedious project, and I'm hoping to knock some of it out tomorrow.  I also plan on making magazine Christmas decorations for the office, like I did at the clinic in Cali last year.  I think they're cute, and they're free, and if I do them on company time (after I've finished my other work) than it's really HELPING rather than hurting, n'est-ce pas?

I'm still working on the friends thing.  Or friend, since one would be cool.  There's a girl who works at the hospital that's volunteered to go skiing/snowboarding with me, and she dropped by my office yesterday to say hi.  That's a positive thing!!  I do hope that we'll be friends, or that I've eventually make other friends.  It would just be nice to get a cup of hot cocoa/coffee sometime.  I really like the nurse I work with, she's just a bit older than me (5 years maybe) but she lives an hour away and has three kids, so the chances of us hanging out are slim.  Still, it's nice to have someone to talk to at work.

My anxiety has been better this week, thankfully.  I started to feel the familiar heart-fluttery feeling last week, and during our drive to Pocatello for Thanksgiving I freaked out a LOT because the roads were so bad.  This week has been a lot better.  I'm not sure if I'm just coping better, or if the exercise has already done me some good.  Usually a regular exercise regime helps my anxiety, so I'm hoping it does this time as well.

Okay.  I just checked Hulu again, and it's back up.  Maybe my internet just went wonky.  Either way, I think it's time for a delicious bath.