Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Free Idea: Nap Hotel

  • You can check in any time of day for an hour of napping (the one-person-per-room policy is strictly enforced).
  • The only things inside the small, soundproof, darkened room are a comfy bed, a nightstand, an alarm clock, a coat hook, and a glass of warm milk.
  • Punch-cards available. Buy four naps get the fifth free! That’s a whole workweek of lunchbreak naps!!!!

Someone's gonna be a billionaire.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Yesterday must be the first time I've given my unusually cavernous bellybutton a thorough cleaning since living in the Caribbean, because GUESS WHAT I FOUND???

Sand, that's what.

You might think that's gross, and you'd be right, but isn't it also sort of sweet to think that I've carried a little bit of Statia with me for the past ten months? No?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A phone conversation, circa 2003

Christa: My little sister got a dog! His name is Kathy.
Me: Kathy?
Christa: Yeah, Kathy.
Me: Kathy??
Christa: Yeah...Kathy.
Me: His name is Kathy?????
Christa: Yeah. Sort of feminine I guess, but Kathy.
Me: Sort of? A BOY dog named KATHY??????
Christa: Yeah. Kathy. T-A-F-F-Y. Taffy.
Me: AAAAAAaaaahhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahah I THOUGHT YOU WERE SAYING KATHY!!!!
Christa: .........I was saying Taffy.
Me: No no no no, KATHY.
Christa: ......yeah...Taffy.
[In unison]: AAAAAAAAAaaaaaAAaAHHHGGGHHAAAAgggaHAAAhahahahHAHAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111


Sunday, February 19, 2012

There is sunshine in my soul today...

...because of THIS picture I snapped on our way home from church. God truly does know me personally.

And to think I almost left my phone at home!!!! Catastrophe averted.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Things I forgot to say about the MoTab concert (or, rather, fellow concert-goers in our vicinity):

  • The old man sitting next to Jon was pinching one of his nostrils and wheezing through his obstructed nose the entire two hours.
  • The girl sitting next to me wore a jingle-bell bracelet. Luckily she took it off after the first couple of songs, because I was ready to remove her entire arm from her body.
  • There was a tone-deaf woman sitting behind us who sang along loudly to all the songs she knew. Fortunately she only knew two of them. She must have been mildly retarded (there is no other explanation for a person who thinks a ticketed concert is a sing-along) AND blind, because she didn’t notice the daggers that shot out of my eyes each time I turned around to glare.

Things I forgot to say about life in general:

  • MY EYELID STARTED TO SWELL AGAIN! Luckily it went away on its own this time. Really hoping this isn’t going to be an ongoing thing.
  • Our apartment complex sent us our rent renewal notice a few weeks ago. In order to sign the same length of contract that we’d signed when we first moved in, they wanted $200 more a month. TWO HUNDRED!!! They clearly forgot that Phoenix is one of the cities most affected by the downturn and that there are thousands of empty condos and homes sitting around wanting tenants. They also must have forgotten that we’re excellent renters, we have always paid on-time, we have consistent income, we always pick up our dog’s poo, and we have never been complained against. But if they wanted to kick us out and have our apartment sit empty for eight months, fine. Anyway, Jon negotiated with them and everything worked out, EXCEPT – they offered us our choice of two “upgrades” (from a list of about ten) upon signing our new lease, which seemed nice at the time but bugs me the more I think about it. Those are things they’re changing about all the apartments, eventually. As people move out, they put in the upgrades before the new renter moves in – if they’re lucky enough to find a new renter. These changes are necessary to make their complex more appealing, because, like I said, renters have thousands of options in Phoenix. So, since they’d have put in all ten upgrades had we moved out, shouldn’t they have offered to put them ALL in since we decided to stay? You know…actually rewarding your good tenants, instead of threatening them with a $200 increase, conceding to a lower rate, then giving them two of the ten upgrades you would have given the next person, a total stranger? Maybe I’m a revolutionary in apartment management.
  • The highlight of my month so far was taunting a basenji at the dog park to make it bark. It’s funnier if you know that basenjis don’t bark, they “yodel”. (It didn’t work, by the way. He didn’t make a peep the entire time. Stupid basenji! Can’t even bark!)
  • I had a dentist's appointment last week. The assistant took my X-rays then the hygienist pulled out a picture of black teeth and gave me a lecture about how I was going to end up with periodontal disease if I didn’t change my habits--- all this BEFORE she even looked in my mouth! A few minutes later, she sheepishly told me I had beautiful teeth and was doing a great job of home care. I should say so, I floss every day!!!!!!!11 Other than that, and the eye boogers (see my Twitter feed for details), I liked the new place. The dentist is Jamaican! Also, I have four cavities. Blast these teeth of mine. He told me that some people are just cursed with cavities, no matter what they do, and that the grooves in my molars are unusually deep so that’s definitely a contributing factor. Speaking of non-compliments, the hygienist exclaimed, “You have such curvy roots!!” when looking over my X-rays, and I thanked her. Anyway, I have an appointment beginning of March to get my mouth fixed. Yay modern medicine!
  • Jon and Penny lounging:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mystery Castle at South Mountain

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir came to Phoenix this weekend, so Jon and I headed downtown for the Friday night concert. I loved every second of it, but especially their rendition of the Nigerian Christmas carol "Betelehemu" (here's a link to a prior performance of it - so, so, so, so, so cool).

My aunt, Becky, is in the MoTab and had several hours free on Saturday before their second concert, so Jon and I were able to spend that time with her. In researching unique things to do in Phoenix on TripAdvisor, I came across the Mystery Castle, a crazy old house built in the 30s and 40s by a crazy, dying man. I sent Becky a link to the website wondering if that was something she'd be interested in visiting, and luckily she said yes because it was one of the coolest, eeriest, most unusual things I've ever seen.

The story goes like this. A man living in Seattle and suffering from tuberculosis was told by his doctor that he had only six months to live. To spare his wife and 3-year-old daughter the pain and horror of witnessing him die an awful death, he left them in the middle of the night and moved to Phoenix, where he hoped the weather would help his symptoms. His wife and daughter knew nothing of his whereabouts until his death 16 years later (from cancer, of all things), whereupon they learned that in his absence, he had built his daughter a castle in the Phoenix foothills. She had often begged him, while building sandcastles on the Washington coastline, to build her a sandcastle that wouldn't be washed away by the sea, and that's exactly what he did. The daughter, Mary Lou, and her mother moved to Phoenix immediately. Mary Lou lived in the castle for 65 years, right up until her death in November of 2010.

The castle has 18 rooms, 13 fireplaces, and is built entirely from natural and salvaged materials including cement, adobe, river rock, auto parts, telephone poles, and train tracks. It wasn't until 1992 that plumbing and electricity were added.

A lot of the design was incredibly whimsical, like the above "picture frame" displaying downtown Phoenix (at the time the castle was built, this framed the entire city). But there were equal parts of the creepy and downright bizarre. At one point, Becky mentioned that she felt like she was in Miss Havisham's lair, and that was before we entered "THE WEDDING ROOM" (!!!), a dungeon-like space adorned with tattered and antiqued lace, shoes of past brides, and an altar with river rock snakes indicating where the couple was to stand. So rad.

This pump organ in the wedding room was said to have once belonged to the "Chocolate Widow of Tombstone" who, according to legend, poisoned six husbands with arsenic-laced cake and buried them all at Boot Hill.

You should totally go.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I'll take a turkey sandwich, extra keratin

First – Today, a marketing guy from Jason’s Deli stopped by the office with a sample for another lady (we often have caterers dropping by like this, trying to buy our loyalty, and it works). Lucky for me that lady is no longer employed here, so I inherited her lunch. After he left I laughingly told a coworker about how my old supervisor in Tucson had banned the office from ever ordering anything from Jason’s Deli after two back-to-back experiences of multiple hairs in clients’ sandwiches. Ten minutes later while eating my free lunch I fished a six-inch long hair out of my mouth. At least they’re consistent!

Second - I’m going to a MoTab concert for the Arizona Centennial, so I won’t be able to watch Shark Tank tonight – that show where inventors pitch product ideas to a panel of millionaire investors. Please watch it for me and tell me if a Mormon guy named Ryan makes an appearance on it pitching silicone watches. I interviewed for a crappy-paying, benefitless job for him several months ago, right after he’d filmed the show. He obviously couldn’t tell me the outcome, but he hinted that that part of his business was going to be taking off as a result so I’d likely be able to earn “much more” than he was initially offering.  I’m really, really curious to see if he was lying his face off, but I do not own a DVR. I’m not exactly rooting for him, by the way. Even if “much more” meant double his original offer I’d still be making less than I am now, and he basically told me no one would pay me more than what he was offering.  Take THAT!!!! He did give me a watch, though. Actually, two – one for me and one for Jon.  So that was nice of him.


Friday, February 03, 2012

A long post about my eyeballs

Twice in the last month, I’ve had the weirdest thing happen. I got a blind spot in my vision that gradually expanded, and as it expanded the edges turned wavy, and eventually the blind spot went away but the wavy circle remained, and it got bigger and bigger until it eventually got outside the range of my peripheral vision, and I swear I’m not making this up.

I’ve never had a migraine, but I know that blurred or spotted vision is often a warning sign that one is imminent, so the first time it happened I laid down in a dark room with a pillow over my head in case a piercing headache came next. I fell asleep and woke up an hour later feeling just fine, my vision completely back to normal.

The second time it happened was four days ago. Unfortunately this time I was at work, so I couldn’t just go lay down and sleep it off. The upside, though, was that I was able to track how long it lasted (about twenty minutes, start to end). Jon the med student had his own ideas about what had caused it, all of which ended in painful death or paralysis. My health and vision benefits just having taken effect that same day, I decided to set up a regular exam and mention this weird eye thing sometime during the appointment.

When I called the optometrist nearest my office, however, I was told there were no openings for a regular exam until TWO WEEKS later. I said something along the lines of, “Okay, I think I’ll try to find another office, because I’ve had recent episodes of blurriness that I’d like checked out sooner rather than later” and immediately I had an appointment scheduled for Thursday. I thought it had more to do with my unwillingness to wait for an appointment and their need for new patients, but it turns out that wasn’t the case.

As soon as I arrived, I heard the staff throwing around words like “triage” and “emergency”. When the doctor came in to see me, I politely asked her to put on the brakes. I just wanted a regular exam, had casually mentioned to the scheduler this issue I wanted checked out, and never indicated that it was urgent in any way. I made the appointment on a Tuesday for a Thursday, for crying out loud. No medical emergency here. (My fear was that they would charge me some exorbitant ER-type fee through my medical insurance instead of just checking out the issue during my free yearly eye exam. She was great and assured me that she’d do what she could to make sure my visit was covered under my regular vision benefits.)

She ran a couple of tests just to be sure of her diagnosis. Turns out what I’d experienced was an “ocular migraine” – basically a harmless migraine with no pain. Um, yes please. I’ll take it. (Read about ocular migraines here – I about fell out of my chair when I first read the description of symptoms, then saw the illustration. I had drawn a little doodle for a coworker two days before that was a spitting image of the one on that website. Tree and everything!!)

Anyway. Then the awful part happened. As I was preparing to leave, the doctor decided to do one last test, “so we can both sleep tonight”. [deep breath] …She was going to dilate my pupils. I know that this is a thing that eye doctors do, but I’ve been having regular exams since I was in middle school and have never had it done before. I'm super squeamish; I started panicking, and the questions spewed out.

“How long do they take to dilate after you put the drops in?”
“About ten minutes.”
“How long will it last??”
“Usually three to four hours.”
“What does it feel like?”
“Your eyes will be sensitive to the light. We’ll give you some shades to wear.”

-- By this point I’m sweating all over her office, wiping my palms on my jeans--

“But I have to go back to work after this. Will I have to wear them there?”
“You’ll probably want to.”
“Want to? I don’t want to. Wait! Do you mean it’s going to hurt???”
“I don’t want to say it’ll HURT…it’s different for everyone…but your eyes WILL be very sensitive.”
“Oh gosh, it sounds like this is going to hurt.”
“Well, your pupils expand in darkness to let in more light. When they’re forcefully dilated in daytime, it can be a little uncomfortable.”
“What will you do once they’re dilated?”
“I’ll shine a light in and have a look.”
[my voice goes up two octaves] “LIGHT????”
Safe light.”

--now my stomach is turning, thinking about my pupil stretching like a birth canal and someone shining a light into them when they’re so vulnerable--

“Do people ever get nauseated from it?”
[reluctantly] “…………sometimes.”

--now I’m SUPER panicked, like a caged animal--

“Do people throw up???????”
[even more reluctantly] “They usually don’t throw up unless I’m testing for ______, which requires me to push on the eyeball after dilation. But I won’t be doing that to you.”
“I’m feeling sick just thinking about this.”
[genuinely concerned for my mental health] “Really? I’m sure it won’t be as bad as you’re expecting.”

It wasn’t. She put the drops in, I sat in the waiting room by the trash can until fully dilated, then she completed the flashlight part of the exam more quickly than I’m sure she would have if I’d been different. All in all, not the nightmare scenario I’d gotten so worked up about. The worst part was driving back to my office with my glasses OVER the shield-like plastic shades they gave me.

THANK THE STARS I had my own sunglasses in the car that day. I hardly ever wear them and had just tossed them into the Mazda the week before. They obviously wouldn’t work with my glasses over top (necessary for driving), but once I got to the office I ditched the cheap plastic shield and donned my own shades.

I was sorta hoping most people wouldn’t notice. I mean, is it really that weird to wear sunglasses indoors?? Apparently, yes. Every single person that walked past did an extreme double-take. Some then nodded sympathetically and said something along the lines of, “Eye appointment, huh?” Most everyone else just asked the obvious question, “Uhh…why are you wearing sunglasses?” One guy said, “You must have just had your pupils dilated, because I can think of no other circumstance where a normal person would be wearing sunglasses indoors” and I was glad he gave me the benefit of the doubt. The entire thing was hilarious, but next time I book an eye appointment I’ll make it for 4:30 so I can go straight home.

If nothing else, this whole scenario gave me the opportunity to send Jon the following text:

…and for that I am grateful.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

This just happened.

Her: Hi, my name’s Debbie calling from _________, and I need to send a meller to your office. Can I please confirm your melling address?
Me: Sure, it’s ________________________.
Her: Thank you so much! Could I also get so-and-so’s e-mell address?
Me: Yeah, but first - Are you from Utah, by chance?
Her: Yes!!! How did you know????
Me: From how you just said the word “mail”. Utahns say “mell”.
Her: Oh my gosh, that’s too funny! I didn’t even rillize!!