Put Away Your Tinfoil!

November 29, 2009

People are silly.

Hollywood makes a movie and suddenly, everyone believes that the world is going to end in 2012?  I mean, it's all fine and good if you follow some sort of conspiracy theory based on Nostradamus' predictions or Mayan calendars or even actual scientific fact... but don't start jumping on the bandwagon because Hollywood tells you so!  I mean, c'mon, if everything Hollywood says is true, giant alien robots are secretly living amongst us, vampires are mostly-harmless tortured souls struggling against their evil nature while falling madly in love with teenage girls, and every bachelor party in Vegas ends up at the hotel room with a baby in the closet and a tiger in the bathroom.

I mean, I KNOW people who had their bachelor parties in Vegas, and I'm pretty sure there weren't any tigers involved.  Mostly sure, anyway.  I wasn't there, after all.

But here's the thing.  NASA comes out with a statement that basically says, "The world is not going to end in 2012 so please stop calling us."

Okay, my first question is, how do you find out the phone number for NASA?  Which is closely followed by my second question, why do you want to contact NASA anyway?  Even if they DID have the answers, and there WAS some sort of conspiracy theory, do you really think that after dozens of years of keeping this big fat secret, they would answer some random person's phone call with, "Oh, yeah, that.  Sure it's true.  Don't tell your friends."

No, I don't believe the world is going to end in 2012.  And you shouldn't either.  At least, not just because Hollywood says so.  Find some science, people, before you put on your tinfoil hats.

The Giving of Thanks

Ever since I was a kid, I made it a point to frequently remind myself of the blessings in my life.  I have a very clear memory of myself at eleven, sitting in my bedroom and mentally ticking off all the things I was thankful for.  And it wasn't even Thanksgiving.

I've continued the tradition throughout my twenties.  In college, I once spent several months being bummed over a particularly painful breakup.  At the same time, I had to deal with the aftermath of an auto accident that put my car in a rather shady auto shop being "repaired" for over six weeks.  I had to walk everywhere.  In the wintertime.  And it was finals.  To combat my blues, I made a list of all the things that I did have to be thankful for, and carried it around with me everywhere.  It helped to put a little perspective on the whole thing, like when I found out my car was going to be yet another week in the shop because, ahem, apparently some rats got to the sun visor when it was being stored in the back of their shop.  Not kidding.  Rats.  So, without further ado... My list.  (And I do so looove making lists).


My Husband.  (What kind of wife would I be if I didn't list him first?)

My Family.  Mom, Dad, Brother, Brother's Wife and Little Evyl (who is the sweetest little thing EVER).

My Family-by-marriage.  Chris's family is so cool.

My Friends.  I feel honored to know people who truly care about me.

My Job.  It may not be my dream job, but it's nothing to sneeze at, either.  And one should be especially thankful in this economy.

Of course, all the old standbys still apply: clean water, food on the table, money in my pocket, a roof over my head, and clothes to keep me warm.  And let's not forget the luxuries:  hot showers, chocolate-chip cookies, and movies-on-demand.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Race Day at the NASCARs

November 23, 2009

So, previously I mentioned that people-watching is one of my favorite pastimes at The Nascars. On Saturday night, A-Star, Fashion, Sassy, and I made our way to the “Speed Cantina”. For Fashion and Sassy, this was not only their first Nascar, but their first “wilderness” camping trip. Fashion wondered if she should bring a dress. Sassy brought her cowboy boots. Turns out, it didn’t matter what they wore, because the bar attire was anything-goes.

The bar party that night was 80’s themed -- but that translated into “wear any sort of costume because who really brings their leggings and hairspray to Nascar.”  Welcome to a NASCAR bar party:
  • There was a man wearing a plastic Viking helmet with a balloon tied to one of the horns.
  • There was a man in a giant fuzzy purple hat and pimp coat with a baseball-sized mardi gras bead necklace
  • There was a man with a detective mustache, and a hairstyle that hadn’t changed since the 80s, who was NOT in costume
  • And then…. There was a man in a giant, sparkly, turkey costume.

Because, you know, when I’m packing for Nascar I think, hmmm, now what I am going to wear to the bar on Saturday night? Jeans? No. T-shirt? No. Something a little more unique… I KNOW! My giant sparkly turkey costume!!!

So we cut a rug on the dance floor, and I gave the DJ his first tip of the night. The girls leaned over to request a song, and the DJ says, “Okay, here’s to Krista, my first tipper of the night!” .....And then he played “Single Ladies” by Beyonce. The DJ had misunderstood the girls’ request, so the dedication was a little awkward, because none of us were single.

Our biggest competition on the dance floor was a Chad Kroeger look-alike (well, I should say the drunken redneck version of Nickleback’s lead singer). He kept stumbling into us and spilling his drink on us, and generally being obnoxious. He couldn’t figure out why Sassy kept giving him the death glare. At one point, he informed Sassy that “her hair was invading his dance space” which earned him another Death Glare. Later on, he pushed his way into the front of the dance floor, knocked us out of the way, and then proceeded to drop to the ground and do ten pushups.


A-star made fun of him by doing mock situps on the dance floor. The DJ thought it was hilarious, but I was afraid the giant sparkly turkey or the old man with glow-stick in his water bottle might accidentally step on her, so we quickly aborted her efforts at mockery.

Finally, our ears were ringing and we were tired, so we left the bar and walked back to camp. The next day was race day, after all, and we had GOALS to meet.

Goal: sneak two cans of beer into the track. (It’s expensive in there!).
Status: Goal attained.

Goal: watch the entire race
Status: Not accomplished.

Goal: Fit in with the Nascar-folk
Status: Goal attained (mostly)

Goal: Buy the tackiest, most redneck-hick t-shirt possible, preferably with camoflauge, the driver’s face, an American flag, AND an eagle on it
Status: Goal attained.

I enjoyed my two tasty beers, Fashion discovered that the only dresses that are acceptable to wear at Nascar are the type of dresses she is too classy to wear, Sassy noticed several fellows with her same shirt that further proved she did indeed choose the tackiest one, and A-star…. Well, A-star fell asleep for the last 20 laps of the race. Actually, A-Star and Sassy and Orange County fell asleep. At the noisiest sporting event known to man. It was so funny, that random passer-by going up the stairs stopped to point and laugh.

What can I say? All that dancing the night before… they were just plumb tuckered out.

Minor Details

November 22, 2009

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the small, teeny-tiny, almost-inconsequential snafu in our Nascar plans.  No big deal, really....

The flight out of our rural airport near LA was a little hurried.  In the space of an hour, the sky had darkened significantly, and the wind was picking up.  If it got much windier, we wouldn't be able to take off, so we hurried to get everything in order for flight.  We (or rather, Chris, I can't really take credit) made a smooth takeoff and were on our way to Phoenix.  We had a decent tail wind so the flight was going to be about 2 hours.

An hour passes.

Chris looks at me and asks in an offhand way, "You grabbed the Nascar tickets, right?"

The immediate look of complete and utter horror on my face was answer enough.


I kept waiting for him to crack a smile, say, hey just kidding, I grabbed them on the way out but HAHA wasn't that a funny joke?

Unfortunately, he was not joking.  And neither was I.  The tickets were in California... and we were halfway to Arizona.  We couldn't exactly turn around, either, because the weather back in California was only supposed to get worse, so making it in and out of that airport a second time would be a difficult feat.

"Well," Chris said (he was surprisingly calm after his initial outburst), "YOU are responsible for figuring out how we are getting in to Nascar." 

You see the thing is, it wasn't just our tickets I forgot.  It was all the tickets for our entire group of 8.  And yes, I could have pointed out the fact that Chris, also, forgot to grab the tickets off the kitchen counter.  However since the tickets were originally mailed to Arizona and it was my brilliant self who decided to take them back to California (despite Chris's advice otherwise), it therefore became my responsibility to bring the tickets back to Arizona.  Also, it's never a good idea to aggravate the pilot who's keeping you aloft at 10,000 feet.

To be honest, I completely forgot about the tickets.  I may have mentioned this in my previous post, but I'm not really going to Nascar to watch the race.  The tickets are rather inconsequential if you think about it that way. You know, one of those minor details.

I picked up my phone and began texting furiously.

For the most part, everyone's reaction was, OMG DID YOU TELL CHRIS YET?!

Luckily, roommate Payson was also going to Arizona that weekend.  He couldn't get the Friday off, so he was driving back instead of flying with us.  After several minutes of nail-biting, I got a hold of Payson.  He would bring the tickets when he left the next day.

We picked up Chris's Iowa friends and family from the airport Friday morning, then drove around completing various errands... getting firewood, grocery shopping, filling the RV propane and water tanks... etc.  Then we headed out to the racetrack, about an hour's drive from our side of town.

And what do you know, Payson had PERFECT timing.  And by perfect, I mean he left California and drove east until he reached the racetrack exit, and we left Phoenix and drove west until we reached the racetrack exit AT THE EXACT SAME TIME.  Literally, we pulled off onto the exit and he pulled off, coming from the other direction, right behind us.

Sweeeet.  Saved by the bell.  Or rather, a very, very, nice roommate.


November 18, 2009

My husband and I attended the NASCAR race last weekend.

So at this Nascar race thing, a bunch of guys get in cars with lots of advertisements painted on them, and they drive around in a circle about 300 times. It’s the big draw, apparently. But it is not why I go to The Nascars.

I go to The Nascars for the people-watching.

My husband’s sister, his cousin, his best friend, and his sister’s two friends flew out from the Midwest to join us at The Nascars. Two of our other friends who lived locally, Sleepy and Orange County, also joined us for a weekend of fun.  It was the first Nascar race for his sister’s friends, and unfortunately we forgot to lay out the ground rule to the newbies.

There is only one ground rule, and it is: Don’t Pay Attention to the Rif-Raf.

Camping at Nascar (and by “camping” I mean, parking our RV on a dirt parking lot) is as much a part of the event as the race itself. Hundreds of people spend the weekend or, for the hard core – the week –and it is essentially a giant party where no one has to worry about driving anywhere afterwards.

Due to the parking-lot arrangement, people are constantly walking by your campsite and, eventually, one of them will stumble in to your personal space. Since usually alcohol is involved, this stumbling is both figurative and literal.

You see, the thing is, most of the cool people have their own friends. That they are busy hanging out with. At their own campsite.

So you learn the art of deflection. You are polite (because it’s never a good idea to piss off a redneck), but impersonal (you don’t want them to feel welcome, either). In other words, don’t pay attention to the rif-raf.  Well since we forgot to debrief the newbies, Fashion and Sassy, they accidentally paid too much attention when our drunken neighbor wandered over to say hello.

“Hey,” he slurred, “can I hang out with you guys for a while? My friend had to go to the hospital so I don’t have anyone to hang out with.”

Fashion, in an attempt to be polite, feigned interest in his friend’s hospital story and -- just like that – he was perched on a camp chair telling us all about the many times he managed to catch himself on fire.  No, seriously. Rif-Raf has caught himself on fire not once – not twice – but THREE times. You see what I mean about the cool people having their own friends to hang out with.

“What, did you miss kindergarten through first grade?” Sassy interrupts. “You know, stop, drop, and roll?”

“Hey,” says Rif-Raf suddenly, “Does anyone have an iPhone charger? I need to call my friend in the hospital. He tripped and gashed his head open and he had to go to the ER.”

There was a pause, while the three of us with iPhone chargers fidgeted in silence. No one wanted to give the rif-raf an excuse to stay longer. Unfortunately, Chris’s sister, A-star, had never really gotten the debriefing either.

“Oh yeah,” she says helpfully, “I’ve got one!”

In between Rif-Raf's burn stories, we managed to pull Fashion and A-star aside and explain the cardinal rule of Nascar.  With Fashion there is no middle ground. She immediately began her campaign to rid us of Rif-Raf. A short while later, we went inside the RV to make ourselves some more... um... root beer floats... when Rif-Raf wandered in to check on his phone’s status.

“I don’t think it’s charging” he said, looking intently at his phone.

“Oh yeah, it’s charged.” Says Fashion in her best dismissive voice. She unplugs the phone and hands it to Rif-Raf. “Here you go.”

“But it’s not even turning on…” Even in his drunken state Rif-Raf could recognize that the phone hadn’t been plugged in long enough to charge.

“It’s charged.  Buh-bye.” And she all but shoved him out the door, phone in hand.

He went outside, looking confused. “I think they hate me,” he remarked to the guys sitting around the campfire, “and I didn’t even try to hit on them!”

Eveuntally Rif-Raf “got the hint” and wandered back to his own campsite. Later that night, his friend Stitches returned from the hospital.

Yes, that’s right. His friend WENT TO THE HOSPITAL and got SIX STITCHES on his forehead. And then RETURNED TO CAMP AT NASCAR.

Luckily, we did not see much of Rif-Raf and Stitches the rest of the weekend. I think it might have had something to do with “YourphoneischargedBUH-Bye.”

Maybe I Should Consider the Flu Shot

November 07, 2009

It's weird to think of "cold and flu" season when the weather is sunny, gorgeous, and a perfect 75 degrees with a light breeze. (Hey, I gotta get my digs in while I can. Summer here is hotter than that place with the fire and brimstone).

But it is. Cold and flu season, that is. I share a house with my husband and 3 roommates. They are ALL sick. To that effect, I have dissociated myself with them and have made 4 new friends:

Vitamins (C and Zinc)
Suppliments (echinacea, airborne, emergen-c)
Antibacterial soap

So far my new friends have been good to me.

It all started, as it usually does, with roommate #1 getting sick. Roomie #1, "Payson," thought it would be a good idea to hang out in the living room and cough while the boys (excuse me, "grown men") were watching football. Payson then, in his infinite wisdom, took some NyQuil and fell asleep on the couch. And snored very loudly. Instead of going to his room, where he could snore in peace and not contaminate the rest of us. (But football was on! Can't miss that!)

Roommate #2 (Let's call him Cue) and The Husband started getting worried about their own health. They didn't come out and say it, but I figured it out because Cue and the husband started taking Vitamin C like it was going out of style. And it takes a lot for a grown man to voluntairly take vitamins.

The next day, roommate #3 (Canook) was complaining that he was feeling ill. The Husband said, "Didn't I tell you to take some of that Vitamin C?"
"I did!"
"Yeah, one time."
"So? You said it would work".

To make a long story short, about the time Payson started feeling better, Cue, Canook and The Husband were feeling worse.

And then it was the weekend.

Do you want to know what brilliant thing happened next? Hmmm, let's see... How about going on a 12 hour car ride with el sicko #1 and #2, aka my husband and Canook. Yes, nothing better than trapping yourself in a car for 6 hrs each way with two individuals who are eating cough drops like candy and blowing their noses every 20 minutes.

I made sure to bring along my 4 new friends. I guess we'll find out exactly *how* good they are to me!

Halloween in Hollyweird

November 04, 2009

For Halloween this year, Chris and I stayed in California. I made plans with a co-worker to join her and some friends down in West Hollywood for the annual Halloween Carnival. And then I dragged my sweet, unsuspecting husband down to a party only slightly less flamboyant than the Gay Pride Parade. You think I'm joking. Oh, no, I am not. Thankfully, my co-worker's friends had been to Carnival before. They warned us ahead of time that we would probably see some bare butts. Well, more like they guaranteed it. And these would not be ladies' butts.

There were some very elaborate, beautiful costumes:

And some costumes that I did not take pictures of because there is no need to have a photographic record since you can't unsee them if you tried.  Also, they would probably be against Blogger's terms of service.  So we wandered around the street a while, admiring the creative costumes and just generally people-watching.  My favorite was the girl who was dressed in some sort of "sexy" costume and was suggestively posing for pictures.... right in front of the row of port-a-johns.  The blue rooms in the background took all the sexy out of that photo.  They also had a variety of stages set up along the street, some playing music, some having carnival-type shows:

I was surprised at the number of Lady Gaga costumes.  I counted at least 3, and there was a 4th woman who unwisely decided to be a platinum blonde in a hood and sunglasses and had to keep repeating, "For the last time, I am NOT Lady Gaga!"  Another popular costume was Balloon Boy -- the best ones had not only a large helium-filled balloon, but also carried signs reading, "Reality Show or Bust."  I also saw several Sookie Stackhouses, one of which was an actual waitress at the local bar/restaurant where we stopped for dinner.

And lest one forget that we are in California, we also saw this:


The business had their door open as we walked by, and I can verify -- that joint was authentic (no pun intended).

And last, but not least, our Celebrity Sighting.  I got to play a papparazzi!  Here are my very own photos:

Oooh look everyone here comes LaToya Jackson!  Make way says the three cops pushing their way through the crowd:

And then... wait for it... WAIT FOR IT... LaToya Jackson!

It's Like Riding a Bicycle

A new study was published that shows there may be a genetic reason that some people are bad drivers.  This does not bode well for me.  (Love you mom).

"Chris, there's a new study out that says bad driving may be genetic."

"Oh, so there may be a reason you're such a bad driver?"

"Don't be rude.  You just don't understand my driving style."

"I understand your style all right.  Your style is 'crappy.'"

Personally, I don't think I'm a bad driver.  But then again, who really thinks they are a bad driver?  It's supposed to be one of those inherent skills, like breathing or walking.  Nobody says, "Yeah, me, I'm bad at walking.  Can't seem to get the hang of that one-foot-in-front-of-the-other concept."  No, apparently you have to find this out from the passengers in your car, as they are screaming and grabbing on to anything with a handle while stomping on an imaginary brake pedal.  That's the first clue you might want to take a closer look at your skills.

Mary, Mary

November 02, 2009

I planted a garden:

And now it looks like:

But it's a race against time.  Winter is coming.  Grow little plants, grow!

EDIT: As I was preparing this post, Google's AdSense kept putting up links for "hydroponic grow tents".  Apparently the key words "grow" + "plants" = 420.  Who knew?

I'm not buying him a hearing aid...

...he did it to himself.

When Chris first bought the surround sound, he tested it out.  I was one floor up on the opposite side of the house, in the closet, and I could still tell what movie he was watching. (I was putting away laundry, in case anyone was wondering why I was hanging out in the closet).

Well, he now has decided he needs to show our roommates the awesome power of the surround sound.  Here I sit, minding my own business trolling the internet, when suddenly... I am transported to a front row seat at the world's largest movie theater.  And I am sitting in a different room of the house.

Not that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen doesn't make a great showcase for our new speaker system.  But I say, who needs more than one television when the surround sound on the first one is loud enough you can hear it in the ENTIRE HOUSE?