Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Husband Is Better Than Yours

Yesterday was an awful day. Bad, bad, bad. Work sucked, and I hadn't slept the night before because I was worried about work, and I was exhausted and things just kept going from bad to worse. I was on my feet for ten hours straight and forgot to take a lunch break. I was on messenger, so Scott was aware of how bad my day was.

So when I got home, here's what happened:

I walked in the door and puppy attacked me with love and kisses. I sat down on the couch and Scott pulled me over and snuggled with me while I told him all about my crappy day. Then he told me to pick a restaurant, and he took me out to Zupas for dinner. We got home and he made me go take a hot bubble bath and read my book about particle physics and the Big Bang (light reading, you know), and when I got out of the tub he gave me a massage.

He had gone online and read lots of articles about massage, so he had a candle that smelled great burning, and some background noise like little birds chirping, and pomegranate body butter, and he rubbed my back and my feet and my shoulders, where I carry all my tension. He even rubbed my temples. I was so relaxed! Then I took a Tylenol PM, internetted for a while, and went to bed early.

I think I can handle work today.

I hope.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Now I Can Actually Find The Hammer

While I was upstairs organizing the yarn closet, Scott and Jorg were downstairs organizing all the tools.



They're all in little bins according to what they're for. There's a bin for electrical, one for drywall, one for plumbing, one for get the idea.

We also did a lot of cleaning in the rest of the house, so our spring cleaning/organizing is now basically done. HAPPY!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Order Amid The Chaos

The weekend before last Jorg came up to stay with us for a few days and we put him to work. While he and Scott were downstairs organizing The Tools, I was upstairs organizing my yarn/book closet.

I didn't take any before pictures because, well, it was embarrassing. But here are all my books on one shelf:

And here is most of my yarn:

It's sorted by weight. The top container has sock and lace weight yarns, all organized in zip bags to keep them all clean and organized. The bottom container has all my heavier weight yarn and novelty yarn. There's another bin underneath the bookshelf with all my baby yarn and a few specific projects in bags. It's all where I can find it, and I organized all my knitting books as well.

You have no idea how much better I feel now that this is in order...

And I even got Scott to organize the other side of the closet, which has computery things and games.

Monday, March 28, 2011

He's A Totally Different Dog

Buster has had his annual haircut:

I love that his tail wags so quickly that it's a blur.

He feels like velvet.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Great Cupcake Failure Of 2011

Near Kwiddens's apartment is a tiny little cupcake bakery. We decided to try it out, so we split three kinds: red velvet with cream cheese frosting, chocolate with vanilla frosting, and tiramisu.

WOW. What a disappointment. The red velvet was devoid of flavor, and the frosting was too cheesy. The chocolate was unimpressive, and the vanilla frosting had a strange, chemical taste to it. The tiramisu was delicious, but it was too strong, overwhelmingly so, so I could only eat a few bites before I was feeling sickish. To top it all off, all three were dry and crumbly.

This did NOT satisfy the need for baked goods.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sometimes You Need A Dose Of Cute Baby

Check out this snoozy little love-bug:

And, wearing Mim's glasses (with Mim's blanket in the background!):

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cleaner Dishes! Finally!

Since we just bought a new dishwasher and plan on buying more kitchen appliances in the future, we wanted to protect our investment and get a water softener. I also wanted to get rid of the spots on my dishes, and installing one would raise the value of the house. Win!

So we went to Home Depot and looked at the water softeners. We just wanted the most basic one that would work for our house. We found the model we wanted for about $400, and then there was a little sign that said "We'll install it for $150!". So we asked for more details, and they said that they worked with another company, Superior, and that they would install something similar to the model we wanted at Home Depot for a comparable price. So, we decided to get a quote from them. While we were waiting, we called a few other plumbers and got quotes, one at $850 and one at $1300 (both higher than the $550 total from Home Depot). So we had Superior come into our house and test how hard the water was and give us a quote.


The guy was basically a salesman, not a plumber, like Home Depot had implied. He tried to sell us a water softener, yes, but he also tried to sell us a water purification system and a new, tankless water heater ($5000) that we didn't want, need, or even have the money for. We tried to tell him this and get him to just give us a quote for what we wanted originally, and eventually, after showing the dude who was boss, he quoted us for $1900. No joke. Home Depot lied.

So we thanked him for his time and decided to do it ourselves.

The softener barely fit into our tiny little Focus:

Here's the brand new box:

This is the before picture:

This is the loop where we were going to hook in the softener. The house was already plumbed for it, fortunately, so we didn't have to do that. The soft water will go to the bathroom and the hot water in the kitchen (a.k.a. the dishwasher), but not the outside water taps or the cold water to the kitchen (which is where the fridge's water line is hooked in, so I won't drink softened water out of the fridge filter).

Scott had to extend the copper pipes and then tie them in to the softener:

We used PEX, which is a little bit flexible, which makes it way easier to work with. The problem was, we needed to hook up 3/4" PEX to the 1" nylon fittings coming out of the softener itself, and nobody in Home Depot could find anything in copper that would do that, but there was a galvanized fitting. Scott didn't want to use the galvanized fitting, but there wasn't anything else, so he figured he would use some Teflon tape and make it work.

No luck. We couldn't get it to stop leaking. At this point it was 9:00 on a Friday night, so Lowe's, or anywhere else that might have the right fitting, was closed. So we had to rig something up so we would be able to use the water that night until we could figure something out.

So the next morning Scott went to Lowe's and they didn't have what we needed, but he was able to find a plumbing store and they knew exactly what we needed. They also explained that the reason the galvanized fitting wasn't working was that the nylon threads were straight in and very precise, and the galvanized threads were cut less precisely, at a slight angle. Of course it leaked! So we got everything installed and the plumbing is all nice and neat:

And here is the after photo:

So nice!

Monday, March 21, 2011

At Least He Switched To Diet...

Scott has a little Maverik problem...

We save and reuse the cups. Refills are less expensive and it helps the environment. That being said, we don't always have a cup on hand, so we do end up getting a new one every once in a while, so our collection continues to grow...

Of course, the maiden voyage of our dishwasher had to be a load of Maverik cups:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's All About The Matching Handle

As you know, part of the kitchen remodel is getting all new matching stainless steel appliances (so shiny!). We were planning on waiting until later to buy them all, since ours were working just fine, but I've been so fed up with the water spots and mineral deposits on my dishes, and even more with the dishes not even getting clean. I was ranting about it and Scott got up, put on his coat, and dragged me off to Home Depot, where we took the plunge and bought a new dishwasher.

Behold, my new lovely precious:

We had it delivered last Saturday, and Scott installed it himself, because he's brilliant and knows how to do everything. It looks SO SEXY:

There are some really awesome things about this dishwasher. One, it sings at you when it's finished! It's adorable! Two, the handle matches our cabinet hardware! Three, when it's on you can barely tell it's on because it's so quiet!

The new dishwasher will not solve our hard water problems, of course, so next we started the process of getting a water softener installed. More on that later!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Take A Stand (Warning: Profanity)

Apparently, on Tuesday the New York Times posted an article about a gang rape. Please read this. I'll wait.
An eleven-year-old girl was RAPED by EIGHTEEN teenage boys and adult men. When I read about things like this happening, I have a very difficult time believing God exists, because how could anyone with any power at all allow this to happen? Don't give me any bullshit about "Everything happens for a reason." Well, how about you go get gang raped and get back to me. We'll see what you say then. Nobody should ever have to go through something like this. EVER.
The journalist James C. McKinley, Jr. said in this article:
"They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s."

Implication: this little girl deserved it because of the way she was dressed. She was asking for it.

This brought to mind a quote:

"For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them. "  -Thomas More, Utopia

I'm not referring to the rapists. No, those men can rot in hell for what they did to this poor little girl.

I'm referring to a society whose media depicts women of all ages wearing revealing attire, showing (intentionally or unintentionally, it doesn't matter) that if you dress like this, you'll be cool and people will like you. I'm referring to a society that has unspoken standards for how women should look, dress, and behave if they're to be considered worthy of anything. Our society raises little girls, from the moment they start watching TV (or even step outside and see a billboard...), to want to be like the "cool", older girls and women, so of course they want to dress like this and wear makeup.

So, and I'm NOT saying AT ALL that this little girl was dressed as a whore, AT ALL, but if a society raises little girls to dress like hookers and then shames them when they are raped, implying that they were "asking for it", then  "what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make whores and then punish them".

The article also shows pictures of the abandoned trailer where the men raped her

Who the fuck cares what the trailer looks like? What was the point of adding those pictures? What about a picture of the victim, even with her face blurred out? To show how small this child is? Because she is just that: a child.

Then, our dear Mr. McKinley goes on to talk about how tragic this is for the town, and how tragic it is that the rapists' lives will never be the same. Fuck the rapists. What about the girl?

Has it occurred to this journalist that this little girl's life will be FUBAR (fucked up beyond all reason) for the rest of her life, no matter what? Her tiny little body will have scars FOREVER. Her dreams will FOREVER be haunted by the faces of the men who raped her, and by the fear she felt, and the physical pain, and more importantly, the EMOTIONAL pain of being violated in such an atrocious fashion. And now, because of this journalist (not just because of him, but he's definitely a contributor), people will blame her because of her clothes. Since when is it the victim's fault? Since NEVER. But our society glosses over that fact and focuses on the perpetrator. "He must have been driven to it". "She must have invited it". "He couldn't have helped himself". Etc.

So let's say these eighteen men are all put in jail for the rest of forever because that's what they deserve. Then what? We all forget about this and move on? We just sit, complacent, until the next horrible crime that comes along?

What about the little girl?

This will never go away for her, even after all those men have served their time. Never.

Here's my bloggy friend's take on this. Here's another one I came across.

Please. Take a stand. Write to the New York Times and let this journalist (and whatever asshole editor allowed this to be published) know that we aren't going to stand for their blaming the victim for what happened to her.

Send an e-mail to the journalist who wrote this article.

And to James C. McKinley, Jr:

Shame on you. And fuck off.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Really Want A Donut

I came home yesterday after work and had an awful headache. It started while I was still at work, so I took some Tylenol and drank a lot of water, hoping it would go away. NO. So when I got home I just vegged on the couch, and at 6:00 I took a full dose of Nyquil.

Explanation: medicines that make people sleepy affect me much more strongly than they affect most people. If I take a full dose of Nyquil, I'm out cold for 10-12 hours, then I feel like a zombie for another 6-8 hours. Because of this, I have to take it quite early in the evening in order to be able to pry myself out of bed in the morning to get to work. I only take a full dose if I'm desperate.

Well, last night that headache had me desperate. It wasn't a migraine; I didn't have any light or sound sensitivity or nausea. It was just a wicked bad headache. So I took my Nyquil and decided to watch one more episode of Stargate, then crawl into bed before 7:00, but NO, Scott made me stay up through another episode. "Twelve hours of sleep is too much, even if you're feeling sick." Um, Scott, hello, my name is Anna. Nice to meet you. If I could have married sleep, I would have (and it's a good thing I couldn't because I really do love being married to Scottie).

So I felt so freaking groggy at work today. I was struggling to stay awake, even after taking a caffeine pill. Then, I was sitting at my desk and I saw someone walk into my office. I expected my boss or someone coming to ask me to do something, but I looked over and it was KWIDDENS! She had dropped by, thinking I might need a pick-me-up, and brought me a Diet Dr. Pepper! That's true love!

It totally made my day.

Even with that, though, I was still so tired, so when I got home I napped. I should have known better. I should have done my best to stick it out, because now, after I went to bed at the normal time, I've been tossing and turning for hours now and I can't get comfortable, and my nose is stuffy, and I can't sleep and it's driving me insane. I don't regret taking the Nyquil; that headache was so bad that I don't think Tylenol alone would have done it, and I needed something to knock me out so I could ignore the pain. I just wish my sleep schedule weren't so easy to screw up.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Green Room, Part 5

Even though we all but finished the ex-green room weeks and weeks ago, I've been terribly lazy I haven't had a chance to post about it.

So first of all, here are the light covers we picked for the can lights:

These specific covers were meant for bathrooms, but I liked them so we decided to use them anyway.

Here's me, painting:

And here are a few shots around the room after we finished painting it:

The actual color is about halfway between the colors in the first two pictures. It's a hard color to capture with my cell phone's camera, but trust me when I tell you that it's a very serene blue (the same lighter blue color that's in the kitchen, in fact).

All that's left is building a sill onto the new window and finishing trim, then eventually replacing the carpet, and this room will be completely done.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

At Long Last

At long last, the blanket for Mim is finished! I gave it to her this afternoon:

She wore it wrapped around her while she drove home. Success!

This blanket took me roughly a year to complete (but I made other things also, so I wasn't working on this exclusively), and took about 50 balls of 17 different colors of yarn. It's all wool, and all machine washable, and there's Buster hair in it (I tried so hard to keep it out) (Mim doesn't mind because she said Buster was "helping").

And now I get to move on. I'm going to switch back to the gorgeous knee socks.

Yarn is my drug.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Two Sides To The Story

So, there's been a lot of hype lately about one Brandon Davies, of BYU basketball fame. Apparently he got his girlfriend pregnant and was bumped from the BYU basketball team for the Honor Code violation.

I have a few things to say about this.

A lot of people are outraged that he was kicked off, especially because BYU is doing such an amazing job this basketball season because this dude is super talented.

But here's the thing: BYU is a private institution, owned by the LDS church, and as such, has the right to ask its students to follow certain rules while in attendance. The Honor Code is a binding contract that every student has to sign and live by, and students enter BYU knowing that if they violate this code they will be subject to discipline. Therefore, if a student breaks the contract, BYU is entirely in its rights to do what they've said they would do all along, and they have every right to do what the student agreed to when he or she signed this contract.

If a student doesn't want to live by this code, he or she is free to go to another university.

In the past there have been student athletes who, because of their talent, were allowed to continue attendence with nothing more than a slap on the wrist for their honor code violations. I am glad to see that BYU is finally holding its student "celebrities" to the same standards to which it holds all of its plain old boring students.

Now. All that being said, here's the thing:

People need to cut this guy some slack. I don't think people are stepping back and taking a look at the human side of this issue. Do you all realize that this guy is only 19 years old? A teenager? I do think that following the Honor Code is important, since it's something students agree to follow before they even enter BYU, but I don't think people realize that when the students first sign this contract they are usually 17 or 18 years old. Hell, I was only 16 when I signed it.

How many of you were fully formed at 16? 17? 18? How many of you had already made all the mistakes you were ever going to make by then? How many of you had already figured out what you believed, religiously or otherwise? How many of you were in complete control of your hormones?

That's what I thought.

If that's not enough to convince you to let up on this guy, think about this: how awful must this guy feel right now? He got his girlfriend pregnant at 19. What 19-year-old is ready for that? He may have cost the BYU basketball team's chance at going all the way this year. 30,000 BYU students (and many, many more alumni) are sorely disappointed in this. What's more, this throws BYU into the spotlight, where it's getting almost nothing but criticism for the way it's handling the whole situation. It's thrown the church into the spotlight as well, and the LDS church has already had enough of that.

There are two sides to the story, people. Yes, he made a mistake (a big one), but he's human after all. Humans aren't perfect; it's a fact of life. Anyone who thinks he or she is better than this guy is due for some humbling.

What do you all think?