The Craze

Harry Potter always manages to defy all age groups, cultures, and nerdiness... and he's done it once again.

As I mentioned a few months ago, Chris and I were attempting to read the H.P. series (1-7) before the premier of the 7th movie on November 19th. I made it through the first five books and got excited enough for the film that Chris and I dressed up for the premier.

The crowd waiting for the midnight showing was quite a sight. At the front of the line were the most loyal Harry Potter followers. Some were rumored to have arrived at six that morning to ensure they had the best seats. Devotion or obsessiveness to sit on concrete for 18 hours? Hmmmm....

This line consisted of little pods of people (most of who were dressed like Hogwarts students), huddled together re-reading Harry Potter as if it were the Bible. Others were accessing the Leaky Cauldron (official website of Harry Potter Crazies) from laptops and i-phones--using it's information to study "magical theories" and speculating at the legitimacy of Dumbledor's death.

Chris' sister, although somewhat less obsessive, still fell somewhere in the above description and arrived at five in the afternoon to wait in line. Thanks to her, Chris and I had a seat reserved for us when we showed up at 10:30. Thanks to our witty costumes, we looked pretty devout ourselves and didn't get beaten up by any other 5 O' clockers when they realized we cut in line. ;)

Big Beautiful Wyoming

There is nothing quite like taking a bus-sized, propeller-generated airplane into Cody, Wyoming. The flight is undoubtedly bumpy, the overhead "bins" are barely large enough to fit a briefcase, and you're bound to end up sitting next to someone who you don't want to smell for two hours. And when you arrive in Cody, you are greeted by a cold, dry wind and yellowed dead grass--but what a sight for sore eyes!

I flew home for a few days last week (seeing as I don't get holidays off), and spent some time with Mom, Dad, and Lu. I felt a million miles away from my job (a true measure of the successfulness of any vacation), and came home thoroughly refreshed.

While my visit was short and my Wyoming activities were pretty lame by most peoples standards, I thoroughly enjoyed...

Rediscovering the farm's treasures.

Getting in touch with my domestic side.

I made pies with Grandma and fudge with Grandpa (always a must), and received Christmas revelation. My solution to inexpensive Christmas ornaments: paper! The concept originated with origami and morphed into these fun paper balls (more on that to come).

The first snow of the year--backyard sledding included.


Happy Boo Day

I thoroughly enjoy Halloween each year--primarily due to pumpkin carving, costumes, the black and orange decor, and autumn appropriate foods. There is no better excuse to have a party!

At about midnight on Tuesday, Chris and I had the random urge to plan a Halloween shindig, and by Wednesday evening after work, we were shindiggin' it. It seems like the older one gets, the less "last minute" they become, so I commend Chris and myself for taking full advantage of what's left of our youth.

Anyhow, this scrapped together party with the neighbors ended up being an absolute blast. We ate all the best Halloween foods, drank "potion" (mostly dry ice and juice), carved pumpkins with surgeon-like precision, and then lit our pumpkins on fire.

Chris and I last year. We have better luck when we aren't carving pumpkins together (Chris started sawing out the reverse image of what was supposed to be cut.) We had better success this go around. :)


Hi Ho Camping-O!

When Chris sets his mind to something, there is NO GOING BACK, and that truth was once again confirmed this week when he got the camping bug. I came home from work on Wednesday not really expecting to follow through with our camping plans only to find that Chris had spent his entire paycheck on camping gear. He found some fishy guy on Craig's List who was selling his "roommate's dead uncle's estate" which happened to consist of enough partially used camping gear to stock an outdoor equipment shoppe.

So, after coming home with a truck load of more-than-likely-stolen camping gear, and getting that "you didn't stay within the budget" look from me, Chris explained, ".... but we can live out of our tent if the world ends!" I highly doubt that any tent is going to withstand nuclear warfare or natural disaster better than our HOUSE, but I didn't feel overly confident that Mr. Craig's List had a very forgiving return policy (especially since he was trying to sell Chris more-than-likely stolen guns), so the three of us, Chris, Snoopy (Chris' dog that he got when he was 12), and I left for the mountains.

We didn't get to our campsite until late, late on Saturday night and then realized that we forgot ice for our coolers (big necessity since we packed meat). So we drove 45 minutes back down the mountain to the nearest town and back up again, landing us at our camp sight around midnight. The late night drive was well worth it though. We saw about a dozen elk along the road and used our spiffy new spotlight to beam them in the eyes as we pulled up along side them. They hand some kind of fear-induced spotlight paralysis so we were able to get fairly close. It was very cool.

After we got our tent set up in the dark and failing to start a fire (even with the help of a lot of lighter fluid), we decided to call it a night.

This is what the glory of the following morning held:

A hot breakfast (always best enjoyed in the mountains), cooked over our new "kitchen unit" thanks to Chris and whatever poor chap either died or got robbed so we could enjoy it.

A new found appreciation for Arizona. Of course it's classic beauty is the striking desert sunsets and silhouetted cacti, but northern Arizona is blanketed with piney mountains. There were even a few clusters of yellow aspens dotted among the pine meaning that I got to enjoy turning leaves this fall!

Quality time with Snoopy. Can't you see the little old man within?

I thought that Snoopy would absolutely love the whole camping experience--turns out he's a little too domesticated. He tried spending the night in Chris' sleeping bag, and liked to be babied (as you can see).

We found a beautiful lake. (I didn't realize that there were natural bodies of water in Arizona. The only ones I knew of were man made lakes lined with condos--Florida wanna-bees.)

We soaked up some sun and aired out our ears.

I discovered that I, like my dad, have the Grilling gene.

We attempted to make a masterpiece of a dinner and were confident that the more coals we buried our dutch oven under, the better it would turn out. Apparently it was overkill, because we had a charred burnt mess of a dinner, and I had a charred burnt mess of a dutch oven to clean when we got home.

We discovered beautiful sights.

We snuggled up in our tent with hot coco and loved on Snoopy.

Then we whimped out around 10:00 our second night in the mountains and drove home to sleep in our warm beds.


Creepy and Crawly

There are too many creepy crawly things have been an active part of my life lately. A few weeks ago, the big tree in our side yard fell on our garage. Cause of death--the center of the tree's trunk had been eaten out by cockroaches and bees who made a home in it. Now there are hundreds of homeless bees and roaches in my yard. Excellent.

The day after their tree fell the roaches decided to move into our place. Fortunately, they have yet to succeed (to the best of my knowledge). The brave ones enjoyed sneakily lurking by the front door in an attempt to dart in as we came out. Chris made an example of these daredevil trespassers and left their squashed remains on the front porch for their roachy friends to see. The colony got the idea (assuming they are more intelligent than they deserve credit for) and have instead decided to burrow in the crack between our front door and the foundation of our house. Lovely. Not what we hoped for, but better than the alternative.

The creepy crawly continued when Chris and I offered to tend our cousins this weekend. They have a gorgeous home surrounded by more foliage and flowers then you will find in all of Arizona combined. This garden is a refuge for butterflies, bumble bees, lady bugs... and other things.

In Wyoming it's common practice to spotlight deer for a thrill. Here people spot light (or more accurately, "black light") scorpions. Anyhow, during our babysitting adventures, Chris thought it would be a good idea to take the kids black lighting before bed, and it was the coolest/creepiest thing. The cool part was the way the scorpion's skeletal bodies would glow eery green in the purple light right before we would---STOMP. The creepy part was how MANY there were and how easy they were to find. The scorpions would be lurking in the most common places--next to the front door, under a pot, on the sidewalk...

These suckers were huge! As Chris and I took turns poking them with a stick, and you could feel the power of their armored bodies lashing their tail meanly back.

After stomping on a few scorpions and feeling like we had done the world a favor in doing so, we came inside feeling safe and separate from the threat they posed. However, it wasn't long before Hanna, one of our cousins, calmly said, "Chris, there is a scorpion on the wall." Gulp. The black lighting was a little premature for me--I would rather be living in ignorance.


Annoying Boy + Annoyed Girl = Love?

One year ago today, Chris and I went on our very first date together. A lot has happened since then!

I remember last October well. I had been dating someone else for about 5 months. It was long distance, so we did our best to stay in touch and see one another when we could.

Then there was Chris—we had met in church, and, although he was extremely non-committal and in the process of dating every other girl in the ward, he decided to butt in on my long distance relationship and mix things up a bit. I’m glad he did--even though I thought it was terribly rude and cocky at the time.

Since Chris’ apartment building was a stone’s throw away from my own, he would “drop by” more than I thought was appropriate, (considering that I had a boyfriend of course). But Chris’ persistence never fails him. For two weeks straight he would walk into my apartment unannounced, and proceed to pound on my bedroom wall until I came out to see him. How romantic. I can’t imagine why princes in fairy tales never took that approach. I guess it was better than him asking to use my hair as a rope so he could sneak in through my window.

Anyhow, this “annoying guy who kept coming by my apartment” as I often referred to him, had the gall to ask me out mid October! I don’t know what he did to downplay the fact that I had a boyfriend, but I found myself going on this date as a favor for my roommate who was also going, and the rest is history. The annoying boy and I had a fantastic Thursday night date at the Haunted Mill (Idaho’s neatest haunted house). We held hands, we got scared out of our wits, and we got married.

And this photo is what we have to remember it by. Check out the passion. I should have guessed.


Faking Fall

Fall is such an easy season to love because it is always accompanied by a number of unmistakable and terribly sentimental “fall indicators:” the feel of a cozy arm-hugging sweater; the start of school; the smell of freshly sharpened #2 pencils; crisp cool air; and crunchy orange leafs underfoot--none of which I have experienced this month!

Without a decent “fall indicator” to trigger my memory of this thing called Autumn, I completely forgot that the season existed. I practically ran, cart-first, into a mountain of pumpkins at the supermarket before I realize that October had arrived.

Naturally, I compensated for my heinous ignorance by immediately diving into the mound of pumpkins and surfacing with the perfect pick. One pumpkin lead to another which eventually led to a small fortune spent on Indian corn, squash, and warty gourds.

In an attempt to fake fall, I brought autumn indoors by decorating and am now disregarding the fact that it is gorgeous and sunny in Phoenix. Yesterday I took it a step further. Ignoring the palm trees and 95 degree weather outside, I settled into my favorite new sweater (which is very cute mind you). This led to the conclusion that I probably shouldn’t force ALL aspects of fall or I’m going to be a very hot, uncomfortable person.

Bring on the cacti, heat waves, and monsoon storms that drop trees on my roof. You are my new “fall indicators” and I will be grateful for the warmth that you promise come January.

How warty is your gourdie?


Arizona Adventures

Since my last post, I came down with a terrible cold/sinus infection combo. Because my head felt like was in a rock crusher, "blogging" was at the bottom of my To Do list and "get better" was at the top. Now that I'm done with one--on to the next! So, here is what you missed the last few weeks...

#1 - Chris and I found what has to be one of Phoenix's most rad homes. I was quite thrilled with myself for discovering this modern gem. It's currently on the market, so maybe between now and the time we hit retirement we will have saved up enough money to buy it (assuming it's not going to sell for the next 50 years).

#2 - I have been diligently listening to Dave Ramsey's audio cd's on financial peace. Mind you, there are close to 10 cd's so I want to give myself a bit of public praise... even though I've only made it through the first three. But even after minimal exposure to Dave’s southern drawl and motivating success stories, I’m convinced that through smart saving and hardcore budgeting, I will be able to "build my wealth" in no time at all. (My translation: be in a position to buy the ridiculously expensive home above).

Obviously I wanted to take Dave's great advice, so I put Chris on a budget. As for my budget... it exists--in theory. Kind of. Somehow I have managed to justify spending twice my alloted amount the last few weeks. (Most-hypocritical-wife-in-the-world, I know.)

Anyhow, it was while I was immersed in a guilty but oh-so pleasurable shopping trip the most unsuspecting thing happened--I got flashed by a mannequin! I absolutely HAD to take a photo. Isn't the point of dressing a mannequin to persuade shoppers to want to buy the clothing? Big miss.

# 3 - Chris recently buzzed his head in an attempt to look like Justin Timberlake (his idea). Apparently this new look (short hair with something of a beard) made him feel like a hard knock because he has been driving like one. THREE tickets this month. Put your hands together for Arizona's most reckless driver! But in all fairness, two of the three were caught by photo radar.

For those of you who are not familiar with photo radar, take this opportunity to fear it... and vote against it, because it will more than likely be introduced to your state sooner or later. Phoenix is thickly speckled with photo radar cameras at intersections, on the freeways, and on random stretches of road. These cameras have sensors that detect traffic violations and will snap photos of the car and its operator when bad behavior is detected. This is commonly known as getting "flashed". And no, it has nothing to do with the mannequin above. Instead, an unpleasantly bright light flashes with each click of the camera. The photos are then sent to the violators with a fat ticket attached.

(The dreaded photo radar camera)

Chris has been the latest "flash victim" and at the rate he's going I'll be able to compile a scrapbook in a week or two. Because he drives my truck which is still registered in Wyoming under my parent's address, they have been the first to call us with the exciting news that we have mail.

After laying our options on the table we realized that we could do one of two things: come clean--just pay the tickets, and expect a fourth ticket for not having registered my truck in Arizona (I don't want to give up my WY plates) and probably die of starvation because we spent our food money on tickets. Or, the alternative--do research and find loopholes in the photo radar system. I chose the latter and this is what I found:

Arizona law states that all complaints and traffic tickets must be personally served before sanctions can be enforced. However, the state, in an attempt to bypass the law, has set up photo radar cameras and simply mails the ticket with a number of other threats (suspension of license, summons, court appearances, etc.) to the violator. Out of fear and ignorance, most people will mail back the required paperwork and pay the fine while naively waiving the states legal requirement to serve them.

However, those who study up on this subject quickly realize that they are under no legal obligation to pay the fines until the ticket has been personally served by a police officer. But because most cops don't have time to run around the city knocking on peoples doors, the charges are dropped after 120 days.

Is it legal? From what I understand (don't hold me to this in court). Is it ethical? That's subjective.

#4 – Chris and I temporarily adopted a stray dog that our next door neighbors rescued. It’s actually a rather uneventful story considering that we didn’t technically “find” the dog and only had her for a few hours, but she was beyond cute, and that’s enough for her to get mentioned.

In short: I kept hearing a dog barking during the night and swore it sounded like it was coming from our back yard. Low and behold—there was a dog in our back yard. Turns out that our neighbors found her on the street and brought her home with the intention to take her to the pound. After Chris and I spoke with them and explained that we were willing to take care of her and find her a home, they passed her off.

She was a miniature pinscher—basically a dwarf version of a doberman, and lucky for her, her stinking cute looks got her in the house. I have never known dogs to be cuddly, but this one was very much so--and sweet. She would jump on my lap, nuzzle her head under my arm, and fall sound asleep. With our hearts melting, Chris and I made her a little nest in our room and put her to bed. Just when we were feeling like the best doggie parents in the world, we realized that we weren't cut out for the job.

Our dog HAD to be held at all times or she would start whimpering and whining. I wasn’t about to let a stray dog on the bed, but I also wasn’t about to spend the night on the floor with her either, so she cried and cried and cried. After a while, the cuteness wore off and her separation anxiety got to be too much for Chris. He did what he could to pacify her till 4 am (I was dead asleep of course), until he couldn’t take it anymore. He eventually gave up on the nest idea and put her outside.

Well, that dumb little dog thought we were abandoning here like her last owner, so she ran away. I was so sad to wake up without our needy dog, but Chris said that he saw her running around Mesa today with another stray. On the bright side, now she knows where to find a bunch of suckers who will let her in, and make her a nest, and feed her bacon if she ever cares to come back. Come back!

I don't have any cute photos of our dog, but this is also a miniature pinscher. They have the striking looks of a doberman but without the attitude and they are always puppy sized!


Beware: Not Worth Reading

My life couldn’t be any less eventful than it has been the last few weeks. I have been desperate to blog but have had absolutely nothing worth mentioning, so I have given up on waiting for something exciting to come along and have chosen to write about the colorless details of my currently boring life. Fasten your seatbelts folks. These recent events and their highly adventurous nature might just knock you off your seat.

Boring Aspect #1 – My Job

Since Labor Day, work has been lame, lame, lame. I racked up some great sales over the holiday and made an impressive jump on our sales charts, but since then I have had ONE buying customer. Traffic is down horribly and the people that come in are grumpy frumpy! I would be grumpy too if I was considering buying ugly furniture. (Scott, dear boss, please do note that I haven’t revealed where I work and have a mere 5 followers—don’t fire me if you happen to read this.)

Since traffic is so low, it’s not uncommon for me to wait 4 hours for a client to come in. I do what I can to be on top of things. I tidy up my space and write thank you notes to those individuals who do purchase, then call and bug those that don’t. However, that type of follow up work only take so long, so in my spare time I have been reading large quantities of Harry Potter. I think that this will make my goal of finishing all 7 books before November more of a reality. Wahoo. At least if I undershoot my work goal, I will there is hope that I will reach my obsessive Harry Potter goal. I may need to reevaluate my priorities.

Boring Aspect #2 – The Bug

We got another bug. If I have to go through the hassle of killing a bug, I want it to be worthy of noting, but this one really wasn’t. It was a cockroach JUST like the last one. Same story. Same entrance through the bathtub drain… same pathetic death by toilet cleaner. As a matter of fact, it was so similar that it wasn’t even worth taking a picture of. The only notable difference was that this bug had a major bowel problem. He pooped all over our bathtub and then proceeded to leak brown stuff as he was being drowned. Anyhow, I’m just glad that we caught both roaches before they had time to scuttle out of the bathroom and into the kitchen or bedroom. Although finding a cockroach in my bed would make for a more eventful tale, I would rather write boring blog entries than deal with the alternative…

Boring Aspect #3 – The Notes

Chris and I have approximately 140 individuals to kindly thank for their love and support during our marriage. That being said: thank you notes are absolutely engulfing my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love expressing my gratitude but tend to get carried away in the process. This results in too long of notes which slows down my already slow thank you note writing pace. Anyhow, I’m becoming frantic. I'm already three and a half months into my marriage and just dropped off my first wave of letters at the post office today.

I have a number of excuses to explain my procrastination, which, since this is a boring entry anyway, I will expound upon. The trouble began when I decided to customize my own thank you cards. Initially there was a long waiting period between my wedding photos being taken on May 26th and the time that it took for them to arrive at my house a month and a half later. Then there was another waiting period between creating the cards online and their delivery time. THEN the cards got sent back to Tennessee where they were manufactured because the mail man couldn’t find my house (apparently I put the wrong house number down). So when the long awaited cards finally arrived--one hundred forty dollars and three months later, I pulled them out of their box and collapsed on the floor laughing.

Apparently I got a little carried away in the process of photo shopping the image I chose for the cover of the cards. Chris looked like a complete marshmallow. His features were unnaturally femmy and he appeared to have gained a good 15 pounds in the face. I didn’t know that Photoshop could be such a dangerous tool, even when ones intentions are good, but in the process of smoothing Chris’ skin, whitening his teeth, and giving him a computerized tan, he came out looking like a “gay model” as my brother-in-law so kindly put it. We plan on mailing those cards to people who are either blind or don’t know either of us well.

Moral of the story is—I did not intend to procrastinate my thank you letters but due to a series of unfortunate events… I have. If any of you are waiting on a letter from me, your patience would be greatly appreciated. And a word to the wise—just stick with Target for your thank you note needs. It will save you a lot of money and mockery.

I’m getting a stomach ache and a cold and need to go to bed. However, I trust that the above post was an accurate reflection of how non-eventful the non-events in my life have been as of late. Regardless, Chris and I are still enjoying one another’s company more than ever and we still find small ways to laugh when there is really nothing worth laughing over. Immaturity—the key to a successful marriage.

Thank you for reading this. Now go do something productive so I don't feel as if I have made a complete waste of your day.



Bye Bye "Weekend"

With my new job in retail, I no longer get weekends off, so my "weekend" started Thursday and ended Friday (today). So just as the world begins their weekend of freedom and bliss, mine has ended and I'm forcing myself to bed before 12:00 and packing a lunch for work the next day.

I spent my "weekend" doing a little overnight babysitting for my friends Cori and Eric so they could enjoy a romantic getaway at a spa/resort, and let me tell you--after babysitting for 24 hours, I too need a spa treatment... and a therapist. I'm not cut out for this parenting stuff quite yet.

I have always been taught to return things in better condition than I found them--I can't say that I did the same with Cori's children. Quintin and Audrey were shiny and clean when I got them on Thursday morning and by Friday afternoon I had managed to annihilate their once precise schedule and instilled a few bad habits in them. So I returned them slightly damp, sandy, and dinged up, but kids are kids. Some unpredicticality should be expected.

Here is a quick overview of our time together:

Day one, we played in the sprinklers (Q wouldn't stop soaking me although I was fully clothed) and Audrey drew all over her face and diaper with a piece of orange chalk that was muddy wet. Outside time was followed by bath time and dinner. Up to that point, I was doing pretty well and keeping with the schedule. But we decided to get out of the house and go for a drive to my mother-in-laws to play with Chris' dog.

After leashing up Snoopy and giving up on trying to find the kid's shoes (which I wasn't even sure I had packed), I walked Audrey while Snoopy walked (mostly dragged) Quintin to the park. While we were there, Quinitin started whining that he had to go to the bathroom. Since we were a while from the house and there weren't any public restrooms available, I asked him "what kind" he needed to go in an attempt to measure the seriousness of the situation. His response: "Yellow kind." And this is where I went wrong--I told him that he could go on the grass if he was sneaky and fast. So he did. Then he preceded to run around the park pantless and underwareless until I chased him down and forced his cloths on.

Eventually, Chris came home from work at 9:00 and we wrangled both kids down and had them in bed by 10:30. (4 hours past their regular bed time.) Even then it took some time for both of the kids to fall asleep. Quintin kept trying to roll Audrey's crib into the kitchen and wouldn't stop saying "Audrey's awk--ward, awk--ward, awk--ward. Audrey's awk------ward." His commentary reverberated nicely off our tile floors.

Next morning: both kids were up and going by 7:00 a.m. Boo. We ate cereal (most of which ended up on the floor), had a quick diaper change, and made our second park visit. Different park; same "yellow" dilemma, only this time Quintin didn't bother with asking permission, he just stripped down and went right there on the sidewalk. Then, Audrey preceded to play in his "yellow" till I realized what was going on. It's fantastic to know that I have made such an impact on these children's lives. Quintin now has a chronic habit of peeing in public places and Audrey enjoys splashing in the aftermath.

Eventually after getting weirded out by one particular creeper who kept doing pull ups on the children's playground set near us, I packed up the kids in the mini van to head home. At some point during the process of fastening seat belts and strapping down car seats, Quintin got a wildly bloody nose which he managed to smear all over his face, so I sped home (hoping not to get pulled over in a car that wasn't mine with a bloody faced kid in the back), washed off, and were off again. Only 10 minutes after we arrived at the Jeide's, Cori and Eric follow us through the door. It felt good to be relieved of my tending duties.

I have a newfound respect for mothers. Parenting is a 24-7, highly stressful job. It requires constantly chasing kiddos. You are responsible to keep them out of trouble, stop them from throwing your favorite glass bowl, issue punishments when they bite each other, prevent them from climbing too high on the play ground, and keep them from chasing Gammit (Q did spot No Name at the park and was determined to catch him). I hardly had time to brush my teeth on Friday, let alone shower or put on makeup. Although I really did enjoy babysitting, I was thrilled to hand A & Q back to their mother.


As of Late

Chris and I have been very busy as of late. Chris has begun juggling full time school and work and me... just work--it's still a juggle. But that's all relatively boring, so although we have had to kiss our late nights and carefree days goodbye, we have had some interesting occurrences worth noting. Calling them interesting is probably a bit of a stretch, so work with me. (Apparently with responsibility comes great boredom).

1. Gammit - On Thursday there was about a half gallon of drippings in my crock pot from a pork I cooked the night before. Not knowing what to do with it (we don't have a garbage disposal and can't eat that much gravy), poured it on the grass in our yard. I'm pretty sure that we attracted every stray cat within a 2 mile radius. Our friends even spotted a family of kittens eating the grass. Anyhow, we got in trouble with our landlord for feeding stray animals, so now Gammit is no longer Gammit. I took away his bowl and he has gone back to being the same nameless, homeless, foodless kitty that he was before. Good bye No Name. And goodbye no name kittens. Good night moon and red balloon...

2. Creepy Crawlers - In addition to stray cats, we seem to be attracting creepy crawlers. We have had a bug-free record since we moved in and WHAM! Double bug attack on Thursday!

Chris and I were in the bathroom getting ready for bed and he said, "Tori, don't look at the tub" so, naturally, I looked, and... La Cucaracha! I got so creeped/freaked out that I accidentally scratched Chris, so in addition to cleaning up Chris' blood, we had to drown this nasty crusty dude and all 4 of his wiggly antennas in toilet cleaner.

Then... there was this beetle of unnatural proportions on our porch, and then... there was this sick bug that flew onto my bed the other night. Chris was zonked like a zombie so I had to put it outside. So much for priding ourselves on being bug-less people


3. Harry Pottie - Chris and I absolutely love, love Harry Potter. We are going to change our names to Ginny and Harry and live in England and open a pub called the Leaky Cauldron. Anyhow, we are extremely excited for part one of the seventh movie to premier in November. We totally plan on dressing up. Anyhow, in preparation for the upcoming film, Chris and I have been trying to read Harry Potter #1-7 before November. Quite a feat at 4,099 total pages. I think I'm only 750 pages in. Gulp. But since Chris and I don't have a TV I have lots of time to devote to reading... and blogging.

4. True Love - In addition to everything else, Chris shaved evidence of his undying love for me on his chest. Original alternative to a tattoo. And no, he is not growing a sick mustache (it's the photo). Chest art is one thing--mustaches are another.

5. The Cart - I wore a pair of terribly wicked high heels to work today which turned out to be a bad idea since I was on my feet for eight hours straight. Anyhow, after work I needed to make a stop at Wal-Mart but was not about to spend another 30 minutes on my already battered feet, so I succumbed and used the store's complimentary scooter. Kind of lame to be completely able bodied and zooming around in this little electric cart, but it was either that, or Wal-Mart was not going to get my business (although I'm sure they could care less about my $30 purchase). Somehow, this small decision turned into a very long and awkward internal debate that lasted the duration of my shopping experience.

I would pull up next to an item which, more often than not,was stocked on the very top shelf. I was faced with all of these conflicting decisions: Do I just stand up, walk over to the product, pull it off the shelf, and sit back down in my scooter while running the risk offending someone who is in a wheelchair? Do I ask someone to get it for me? Should make a second Wal-Mart trip tomorrow just to get top shelf items? Why are people looking at me that way? Maybe because they feel awkward about my handicap... or maybe it's because they busted me and know I'm not handicapped!

I eventually became so worried about maintaining the image of a handicapped girl that I actually made my legs look kind of dead and I would limp around when I had to walk. At the time it seemed like a better alternative than the, I-know-you-can-walk-just-fine-and-are-taking-advantage-of-the-motorized-carts look. It was exhausting.

On top of all this internal confusion, I'm in the cereal isle, barely creeping along in this turtle slow cart when some 50 year-old creeper turned to me and said, "Wow! Hot chick in a scooter! How does that work?"

Uuuhhhh.... excuse me? What does that even mean? I tried to roll away as fast as I could but topped out at 1 mph which led to another internal debate, "Ditch the cart and get out of the cereal isle, or keep on rolling and risk the chance that he will try to talk to me?"

By the time I made it to checkout there was hurricane/monsoon raging outside. It wasn't raining... it was dumping, and what was dumping was coming in at a 45 degree angle. Needless to say, by that point it wasn't a tough choice to ditch the scooter.

The rain took a toll on our flag and a few of our trees, but only when it rains in the summer does the grass look "grass green" and the temperature drops below 85 degrees for an hour or so. Not a terrible trade if you look at the bright side.

More later from Chris and Tori!


Home Office

I know that I just posted 2 minutes ago, but seeing that I am sort of obsessed with blogging and that Ashley's latest post inspired me, here I go again.

Chris begins school this Thursday (ASU-whoot!) but we don't have anywhere sensible to keep both of our computers. So, with school starting and Chris needing a desk, we have decided to create a small office space in our house. Now, I have yet to purchase anything, so if black and white are too typical/boring of me, I'm listening. Feedback is welcome, as are any ideas under $200. Design on a dime!

Micke (Ikea) - $80 + Jonas (Ikea) - $130

Oh! (by Karim Rashid) - $40

I love, love, love the pink Oh! chair... and the orange one, and the green one, but I am concerned about things getting too wild in this space because will be in our living room/dining room which doesn't match as is. One back and one white or both the same color?

Bungee Office Chair (The Container Store)

Bulletin & Magnetic Board (Umbra) - $20 each + Typography Calendar (Pentragram) - $40

If I were to use the magnetic boards, I would likely have two side-by-side horizontally to fill the length of the desk. However, the calendar would be amazing, but I am having the hardest time finding it for sale online.

Ok readers, there it is--my thoughts in the last 24 hours on what to do about a desk. Select your favorite of each or let me know if you have any bright ideas!