Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cliff Dwelling's What We're All About

Brock and I decided to take a much needed day trip up to Flagstaff this past week. For those not so familiar with the layout of Arizona (I'm assuming most of you,) Flagstaff is about 2 hours north of Phoenix, 7,000 feet higher and most importantly, 30 degrees cooler. Once we got there, I completely forgot that we were still surrounded by the vast South West desert; everything was so green and beautiful. I felt like I was in Yellowstone or somewhere equally as vegetation rich. (In fact, the whole time I might have pretended I was...) I was also able to sport a particular Carolyn classic- my gray hoodie- a favorite articles of clothing that I sadly haven't been able to touch since July. (Seriously, even looking at long sleeves make me start to sweat some days.) Somehow nature just has this way of making me feel so good. No matter what is going on in life, a deep breath of fresh air always makes everything better. Who needs Prozac when you've got the mountains?

Here are some pictures from the day:

 Presenting... Mormon Lake. Ta-da! Impressive, isn't it? Totally worth the 40 minute drive, right? Just kidding. This "lake" was quite the enigma. Although it has it's own signs on the freeway, webpage and small village complete with a town lodge and a jam-packed KOA, Brock and I failed to see what the hype was all about. I mean, it's basically a swamp right? I just don't get what so many RVs and boats were doing camped out on its banks... What were they all planning on doing? Mud masks? Maybe a mud wrestling competition? Or perhaps the members of Mormon Lake Village haven't been paying their tithing...? 

 We decided that the degree to which you can see this lake is a direct reflection of your degree of righteousness. So although it wasn't the overflowing reservoir a temple president might see, we were proud to see a little moisture down there.

 After visiting the highly anti-climactic Mormon Lake, we went to some sort of state park which features an entire cliff full of Anasazi dwelling ruins. I typically feel that any picture with no people is pointless, unless it's an artistic gem (which this certainly is not.) But this kind of gives you an idea of what was going on there.

 When we got to the visitor's center, Brock told the old, mustache adorned man behind the ticket counter that we were interested in hiking and seeing the cliff dwellings. His enthusiastic response? "Well, you've come to the right place folks! Cliff dwelling's what we're all about here!"And that's when we knew that the day had been a success. We re-quoted that line for the rest of the day.

 I posted this picture for two reasons. 1. To demonstrate this beautifully crafted and preserved Anasazi cliff dwelling. 2. I think my legs look misleadingly thin in this picture (a rarity these days, I'm afraid), and I felt it would be a pity not to post it.

 Once again, I am fascinated by my body and it's ability to so closely resemble Gumby's. Stretchy, bendy and gooey all at once. It does showcase the hoodie nicely though.

 Brock demonstrating an ancient Anasazi war pose. Anasazis often wore cargo shorts and plaid button downs, I've heard. 

I was pretending to pose by this small door/window, but really I was just taking a much needed rest. This little hike required far too much stair climbing for my current fitness level. Brock and I spent 3/4 of our time here discussing the purchases of Weight Watchers subscriptions and home gym equipment. Between huffing, puffing and gasping for air, of course.

 All in all, it was a great trip. I'm planning on writing a hefty tithing check, deleting a few rap songs from my iTunes and giving Mormon Lake another go. This time, with the Jet Skis.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Principal/Principle of the Thing...

As the official "HR Person" at my work, my job includes keeping track of all employees' personnel files. These files contain the usual documents: social security cards, W-4 forms, background checks etc.

The other day I was informed that a certain employee had been terminated due to having "questionable documents" in his file.

So of course, I had to look.

What did I find? A forged high school diploma.

How did I know it was forged? Only because it had been signed by the school's "principle".

Seriously, I'll give the guy credit-- he must have spent hours creating this gem on Microsoft Publisher. It looked like any other photocopied high school diploma. He even incorporated a little school seal and some sort of official looking watermark. But then he had to ruin it by adding that signature line...

So the moral of this story? Stay in school, kids. If only to gain the knowledge needed to successfully forge a document later in life- even a high school education pays off.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Housewife of the Year (Or at Least the Month of September...)

Disclaimer: the following post consists mostly of me bragging about my new found "house-wiving" skills. It also contains incriminating details about the kind of music I listen to when Brock is not home. Basically, read at your own risk. (I'm sorry, I am just really proud right now and feel the need to brag via Blogger.)

Due to Brock's new work schedule, I am now spending every Saturday husband less. This doesn't thrill me, but I have decided to make the best of it by actually using the time constructively. Let me explain. I don't know if it's because we're newlyweds and still just thrilled to be around each other or what, but for some reason I feel like when Brock is around, I never seem to get anything done! I think it is because since we both work full time, we only get to spend a few hours together every day; neither one of us is about to spend that valuable time vacuuming crushed goldfish crackers off the floor or folding the laundry. Yes, we've been living out of a heap of clean laundry that's been piled on top of the living room chair for a week now. And yes, there has been a ground up goldfish cracker underneath the coffee table for a few days too. Hey, if were still in one piece there's no way it would still be there. I'm a firm believer in the "5 day" rule. 

So I took advantage of today as an opportunity to make some progress on the cleanliness/hygiene of our apartment. I literally tackled every square inch of this place (which isn't actually all that many). Okay, maybe not every inch, but you better believe this place is looking great now. I (gasp) actually moved the couches and vacuumed underneath them. Yeah, I know. Big time. That goldfish cracker, along with some other gems (fruit snacks...bobby pins...hairballs) are all history. And the bathroom? Let's just say that I'm actually considering a bath tonight. This wouldn't mean much if I wasn't completely disgusted by baths. There is something about marinating in a puddle of my own lukewarm filth that really sicks me out. Or maybe I've just never had a clean enough tub. So back to cleaning- I even dusted. As in, the inch thick layer of dust that used to reside on top of the tv, dressers and pretty much all other horizontal surfaces in the house has now been replaced with smooth, shiny cleanliness. And apparently taking out both bathroom trash cans actually makes a difference in how the entire place smells. Imagine that!

A few hours (and an air freshener purchase) later, the apartment was looking (and smelling) fabulous. I figured I might as well not waste this fabulous momentum, so I continued the domestic streak by applying my energy to the kitchen. An hour later, these babies appeared. Yes, you are looking at homemade whole grain banana nut muffins, my friends. With cream cheese frosting. (I don't know if frosting is a typical muffin component, but everything is better with cream cheese frosting.) I'd like to add some extra emphasis to the words "homemade" (no Krusteaz muffin mix for this domestic goddess) and"whole grain" (because anything made with whole grains is healthy, even if it's slathered in cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sugar, right?)

Admittedly, this painfully amateur photo is actually the best of multiple shots. I don't know how these "pro food bloggers" seem to get such appetizing shots of their culinary creations! 

I'd like to pay a quick tribute to what really made today's feats possible: my stretch leggings from Costco and the fabulous new mix on my iPod. Kirkland really knows how to make a pair of pants, I'll tell you that. Somehow these guys suck in the trouble spots while still allowing breathable comfort. And somehow they make me feel like I could do the splits if I really wanted to. But I just don't want to. ;) I never could have squatted behind the toilet for so long without them. Oh, and by "new mix" I definitely don't mean mix of new songs. Let's just say there is no way I could have cleaned for 3 hours straight without a mix containing the winning combination of Wilson Phillips, Keith Sweat and songs found on the Goofy Movie Soundtrack. Had Brock been here today to witness this musical selection, I doubt he'd ever let me live it down. I'm still getting crap from the time I suggested we bump some Maroon 5 on a road trip...

If I were more confident in my cooking skills, I'd post the muffin recipe. However, I got the recipe off the back of a yogurt container, which I may or may not be able to cite as a credible source. Also, I haven't actually tasted them yet. I was so smitten by the fact that they actually slid right out of the muffin tin, yet didn't come out charred, that I kinda wanted to bask in the moment for a while. 

I can't wait for Brock to come home to be greeted by a clean, Febreeze scented apartment with a plate of muffins and a spandex clad wife waiting for him. And possibly a little Keith Sweat. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Situation in Which I Will Never Be a “Cool Wife”

For the most part, I consider myself a pretty cool wife. I keep the fridge stocked with Costco hotdogs, I give a mean full back scratch (as opposed to the all-too-common partial back scratch which consists of repeadedly running the fingernails across the same two inches of skin, practically burrowing a hole through the shirt) and I actually enjoy watching shows on Comedy Central. I can quote Dave Chappell with the best of ‘em! (Well, my accent might be a bit off…)

But when it comes to the sport of football, I will just never be cool.

I absolutely hate football.

I’m sorry. I wish I didn’t. But I do. Maybe it’s because I’ve never played it myself, and therefore don’t appreciate the skill involved. Maybe it’s because I was too busy flirting/socializing during my own high school football games to actually learn the rules. I guess I just don’t see how the things the players are doing are that impressive. I mean, in baseball I find it amazing that the players are actually to use a wooden bat to make contact with a ball moving over 90 mps. In basketball, it fascinates me that those players can run for hours non-stop, and consistently shoot the ball into a foot-wide hoop. In football? I just don’t see what is so impressive about a bunch of fat people crashing into eachother. And that only lasts about 3 seconds. Then everyone gets to rest for 5 minutes. 

Anyway, a few nights ago the Arizona Cardinals hosted the Denver Broncos in a pre-season football game. Since it was a pre-season game, tickets were available for literally $3. So of course, we had to go.

Honestly, here are my problems with football.

1.     Why does the game have to be SO long? I mean, the fact that it takes an hour to get through a 15 minute quarter is just ridiculous. But if that’s how the game is played, why can’t they switch these 15 minute quarters to 15 minute halves? The game would still be a good two hours. Which is still plenty long, in my book.

2.    Why is there more time-out than time-in? I’m not kidding, WAY more time is spent huddling/discussing plays/standing there than actual play time. The second things actually get exciting, the whistle blows and the clock stops. And the huddling resumes.

3.     Why isn’t the football brightly colored? I mean, at this particular stadium, the goal posts have been painted bright yellow-green. I assume this is so they can be easily seen, right? Well, why can’t they spray paint the ball this color? Because I personally don’t think I actually saw the football once down there. This can probably be blamed on our nosebleed seats, but still- I can’t even see the ball when it’s on HDTV! The players have it cradled up all secretly in their arms when they’re running with it. Then they throw it so far and fast, I have no idea it’s even moved.

In hindsight the game was actually pretty fun, but not because of the game itself. We met up with our friends Greg and Lindsey Smart. Luckily Lindsey and I are on the same page when it comes to football so we were able to spend the last half of the game discussing important matters, like the outcome of last Monday’s “Bachelor Pad” episode. Plus, the people-watching was great. I’ve never seen so many belted jerseys worn as sexy mini-dresses. Here are a couple of pictures from the evening. 

 Despite having worn my glasses, I still couldn't tell what was going on down there.
 Greg and Lindsey. I was jealous that Lindsey looked so stylish and cute.
 Token "boys picture".
 And yes, the token "girls picture".