Monday, June 27, 2011

The Greatest Food Failure Yet

I know, that is saying something. But just you wait. I feel justified in that this was not actually our fault, but we were thrown under the bus in our wing-making attempts by perhaps the most terrible chicken company in all the world. Let me explain:

Last Friday Dave had just finished his finals, and so I suggested that we have some kind of celebratory food to commemorate a successful Spring term (since how else would you celebrate but with food?). Since we are cheap this would involve making this food, not going out for it. I remembered that he had bookmarked this recipe for chicken wings on our beloved, and so we looked it up and decided to try it. Now, the recipe itself was kind of easy but I will say that I wouldn't have used it again because it used a lot of kind of expensive ingredients, and it wasn't really anything to write home about in the end. (But the real problem was the chicken itself.)

On Saturday we ran some errands including Costco, which is probably what heaven will be like I think. Large amounts of food and cheap discounted workout clothes and books. Also, samples which is why we really go there. They actually had wings and looking back on it, for the money we spent on the ingredients for the wings we made, we really should have just bought a bag of the ready-made ones there. I hate when I realize things like that later. We waited for like twenty minutes along with a gaggle of five-year-olds for our rightful turn at a free wing and then I used my large hips to box out the shocking number of people who tried to cut us in line (I knew these things had to be good for something):
 Sampling some tasty cheese I believe
Dave's wing. I think the face is because I made fun of him for something.

We also ran into one of Dave's old friends who I hadn't met yet at Costco, but sadly I could not shake her hand as mine was filled with free bacon. I am sure she thinks that he got a real catch.

We went to Macey's after which is where I bought the offending poultry. I could choose between the Tyson wings which were $14, or the "Paco Farms" ones which were $8.99. Naturally, I chose the cheap ones although both seemed kind of expensive. We got home, Dave made the marinade, and all was well until we actually sat down to eat. While wrestling to peel off the half inch of fat that coated each wing, I noticed that there were what appeared to be many little HAIRS all over the wing. I gagged a little then rushed to examine the rest. It got worse, as some had actual feathers attached still. Barf, barf, barf! I don't want to be reminded of the fact that my food is somehow connected to life. I am not a hippy, thank you, except for when I wear Chacos and even then everyone knows I just pose! I am very happy in my ignorance of organic-ness.

Well, needless to say dinner was a bust and ended up being a delicious bowl of Honey Oat Flakes:
(again, why do some photos end up so tiny?)

I debated showing a picture of the grossness of the hairy wings but I decided that I didn't want all of you to have to go through that. Needless to say "Paco Farms" will be getting an angry and probably poorly constructed email from me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Did Not Save a Life Today

Oh, how I hate needles. Really, I do. But when Melissa came into work on Friday boasting a new free t-shirt that she got from a blood drive, AND free Oreos and Sun Chips I reconsidered my former hatred of all things vein and blood related. I made an extremely rash decision and texted Dave to meet me on my lunch break at the Wilk so that we could both receive awesome free shirts and get treats and, you know, also save a life and all. I should have known when Melissa's bloodless state caused her to use the term "butthead" at work that the two of us manning the office while running a pint low might not be the best idea but I pushed my fears aside in my quest for a free shirt.

( The shirt said "Blood Donors Rock!" And for some reason Dave did not think it was as cool as I did)

Now, the last time (and only) I gave blood I prepared for like four days ahead of time and drank fluids and ate a good meal beforehand and read websites and things. But this was spontaneity at its finest and so we just waltzed right in. We filled out some sheets asking whether or not we were prostitutes or sell drugs (answer: no) and so they let us go right back to the place where the girl pricks your finger with the needle (*barf*) and takes your temperature. Luckily, this is where they give you the shirt so I considered possibly just making a run for it and not actually donating blood but I felt that that would be pretty classless of me so over to the tippy-back chairs I went. I was slightly annoyed that they did not put me and Dave next to each other since there was no one but like us and two other people there but it's probably for the best so that he didn't see my complete and utter terror start kicking in. 

The phlebotomist (nifty word, eh?) was really nice who was working on me and I could tell that he was trying to speak soothing words of comfort to me without letting me know that he knew that I hated this, and I was actually fine until he stuck me and then I heard silence and...." hasn't started....I'm going to go get Kyle." At this point I had my head turned 200 degrees from the arm that had a drink straw poking out of it that I really had no idea what was going on but from the feel of things "Kyle", if that's even his real name, was taking an ice pick and jabbing it in and out and waving it around in my arm. Twas a lovely two minutes of my life. Dave was done giving blood by this time and wandered over to my chair but I barked at him to go sit down because I didn't need him fainting on top of this. Slightly dramatic, because, as he said later in a calmer setting "Claire, it hurts me to think that you don't trust that I have a handle on my own body." Well put Davito. Oh, and I also demanded that he tell no one in his family about this situation because they are all hardcore about blood and stuff and, although they are kind and understanding people, I am sure if they knew that needles are my deepest enemy that they would secretly think I was high maintenance. 

Now, in my defense I was really trying not to show the technicians that this whole ordeal was grossing me out. But the room was starting to spin and phrases like "too much hard tissue" were making my mouth taste really, really bad so they finally felt sorry and told me that I could still have the t-shirt and they were sorry but the vein in my arm was too small and they couldn't get it. So basically I got all of the accouterments of  blood donation (t-shirt, juice afterwards, the cool bandage, pain and deep personal drama) without actually saving a life. I can't wait to see what happens when I really have to have a real medical procedure done. Dave always talks about the people that freak out and go bizerk over little things during oral surgery but I have a secret fear that when the time comes that I might actually be one of those people....

All's well that ends well, right? Except for the part where I am scarred for life a little. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Provo by Foot

One of my favorite things about running/going on walks is that you get to see parts of town and notice little things that you wouldn't normally notice in a car. I really like to take walks through neighborhoods and look at the little houses around the south part of campus...they are so old and they are all different! I love that. I love the suburbs and all (and I will probably end up living there, let's be honest) but I like that old houses have so much character. I also like looking at fancy houses and seeing their grandeur as well, though. This is one area that Dave and I differ, though, because he doesn't really like going on walks that much, unless there is a purpose or destination. Which is why I think I may need a tiny accessory dog, so I am not aimlessly strolling through town by myself like a crazy.

Anyway, since my running obsession has taken over I have been privy to some pretty sights, such as the view that I discovered last week upon discovering a new part of a trail that I had never before run on:

Ok, Alaska will always be the most beautiful state but I guess Utah is a little bit pretty too...

Along the same path I also found this somewhat abandoned-looking water fountain but it was streaming a continuous flow a water and it had the prestigious stamp of the honorable city of Orem on it so I took a swig. I told Dave that if I developed any of the signs of Dysentary or the Cholera that he must rush me to the hospital but I am still fine and I saw many other trail users drinking from it too (the water fountain that was really sketchy was the one that I found later that had straight-up flowers growing out of it, and a very low stream causing a drinker to have to nestle their face quite close to the flower to get a drink. It did give me the feeling that I was drinking from a mountain meadow stream, though.)

Aside from the beauty, sometimes I find funny things, like the house on 9th East that is completely sunken into the ground. I am really sad that I never got a picture of it, because it was so weird and right under my nose but I had never noticed it until last year. Sadly, they just tore it out last month, so its memory will have to suffice.

Above is a failed attempt to quickly snap a shot of this house that had a bathtub in their front yard, completely full of weeds (though someone must have put dirt and water and somehow nurtured those weeds) that had a sign on it that said "Welcome World!". It was totally wedged behind this trampoline though, so I am not sure if it was an ironic statement against friendliness or if it was just neglected.

Has anyone seen the Parks and Rec episode where she talks about the murals in city hall (the ones that depict scenes of Pawnee history such as the slaughtering of the Indians)? Well, it's very funny and I suggest you watch it and then go check out Provo's own murals that look EXACTLY like the ones on the show (except I think they are just of happy pioneers, no death). They are on Center Street and Dave and I laughed so hard when we discovered them. I really think maybe they are by the same artist.

I also saw my first snake ever on my run yesterday. Even though it was just little and green and it slithered away it was scary and I jumped and maybe yelped a little and then I was jumpy for the rest of the trail. This roller-blader almost caused my heart to stop when she swooshed by me right afterwards and I was still in snake mode (speaking of roller-bladers though, just because it is an activity that started in the 90's, must all who participate in it still dress like they live in that era? Seriously, they all either have plaid, cut-offs, or in the case of one girl, I think just little spankies like I used to wear under my dance costumes). 

I Hate Being the Fool

(This has nothing at all to do with this post but it made me laugh. They actually have a card category called "troubled relationship"??? It seems like if your relationship is in trouble, that might be because you give trite cards to each other instead of actually communicating...")

As I have mentioned before, I work for one of the deans at BYU (I am kind of just clue-ing into the fact that you are supposed to be a little teensy anonymous on blogs....) and I have a pretty sweet job. Everyone that I work with is very kind, professional, and pleasant and so my coworker situation is great. The people that come into our office are generally happy and just here to talk to the dean or deliver something. Melissa, my co-worker, tells me that I should appreciate cheerful foot-traffic as she used to work in the employment office and people there are usually yelling at you because you *gasp* asked them for their SS Card like every other job in the United States).

Anyway, the only occasionally unpleasant people that I have to deal with are students that barge in here, thinking that if they waltz in they will get an instant audience with the dean to discuss the C- they got in American Heritage. NEWSFLASH: the dean is super busy. And there is a chain of command here people. Would you appeal a traffic violation that you got in Rigby, Idaho to the U.S. Supreme Court? (Well, if they got an C- in American Heritage maybe they don't know how the court system works).  Now, I understand that things like this aren't always clear, and being a student myself, I am very sympathetic to the fact that it is frustrating when you have a problem or concern and you are pointed in seven different directions by different people and offices and no one will actually talk to you. I really feel their pain, and I want to see victory for the common man so I am always really nice and polite in explaining that they need to talk to their adviser/professor/TA before they march up to the highest ranking person in the college.

However, last week I got a particularly difficult case. This guy came in here and was acting kind confused and upset about something and he really wanted to talk to the dean. First of all, student complaints are handled by one of the associate deans anyway so I explained that. He was very persistent and wouldn't comply with the procedures that we use for students that request a meeting, and, although I was trying to be very understanding, I was getting increasingly frustrated that he was being so disrespectful of how we handle things and the associate dean's time in just wanting to come meet with her without doing the stuff that he was supposed to first, namely, telling me what his problem even was. 

Now, they guy was from an Asian country and he had a hard time with English, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he wasn't understanding me. However, the fact that I have a Japanese last name made him think that I was his ally, and for a minute, I was because I felt bad for him and his plight. Our conversation regarding that matter of our mutual Asian-ness went something like this:

Guy: (seeing my nameplate on my desk) "Wait....(confused stare)...this your last name?"

Me: "Yep!"

Guy: "But it's...."

Me: "Japanese, yeah. My husband is Japanese-American"

Guy: "Ohhh....he look...?" (does motion over his own face)

Me: "Yes, he looks Japanese"

Guy: "But he was born here?"

Me: "...Uh-huh, he was born here but he looks %100 Asian"

Guy "His parents Japanese?" (Not sure how else this would work?)

Me: (starting to get tired of this tangent) "Yes, he was born here, his parents are Japanese, and thus, he is Japanese. And American. It's all very cosmopolitan and the epitome of the American dream (ok not really the last part)"

Anyway, this guy and I have been emailing back and forth all week, and he was getting ruder and ruder and finally, it came out that he isn't even a student and he is like breaking rules and stuff and now I look like a royal dummy for trying to help him all week (even though how could I have possibly known that he wasn't a BYU student? I am not even cool enough to have access to peoples' academic records. That is only for the cool kids in the registrar's office) and he was trying to pull one over on me and sneak into the associate dean's office and do I don't know what. Oh well....last time I try to help a student out. Expect nothing but cold stares and short answers from me if you come in to get help now that I have been burned.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Six Months Down...

If I was cute I would finish that title off with "....Eternity to Go!" and make a Facebook album of it, but I decided against that. Rightfully, I hope.

Today is me and Dave's six-month wedding anniversary! It really has flown by. So far we have endured a Winter semester and a Spring term together, and I am happy to say that the grades of both parties seem to like marriage very much...they say it is good for the health, the bank account, and apparently the GPA too. Probably because instead of starting our homework at midnight, we now are usually asleep by that time. Or if you're me, you have fallen asleep on the couch long before that.

Today is a Monday and the first day of Summer term for Dave, so nothing too crazy will be going on for our little anniversary celebration. In fact, I have already given him my gift: this morning, upon stumbling into the kitchen, I was hit by a wall of stench and an unpleasant moist sensation on my bare feet. I looked down and discovered that the garbage bag that was on the floor had leaked in the night, causing the delicious scents of watermelon juice and barbecued chicken to meld together into one tepid soup. On my feet. And all over the floor. I didn't know whether to suppress my gag reflex or my anger at Dave for not taking out said garbage last night when I ever-so-kindly asked him to, but I decided that if I cleaned this up and didn't get mad it would get me wife points in heaven so I did...gagging all the while...and that is why my hair is not fixed today (due to time restraints...but really it probably didn't have much going for it anyway), and I will never eat watermelon or chicken again. So six months of marriage sweetie! You weren't even awake to see your present in action, sorry. 

Since I seem to be on a list kick as of late, here is another in honor of my beloved husband. Someone asked us about a month after getting married what had surprised us about each other after we got married, and nothing really stood out--I think we knew each other pretty well before we got married. But a few things have surfaced, so:

Six Things (one for each month)I Didn't Know About David Kintaro Mizukawa Before Marrying Him

1. He is really, really good at cleaning George Foreman grills. I don't even try to do it as there would just be chunks of chicken skin everywhere.

2. The first thing he does when he wakes up in the morning is apologize for something or other. For what, I am not sure as he has never really done anything worth apologizing for from the hours of 12-8 am. Some people are cranky or quiet in the morning, but Dave mostly has an attitude of apology for some reason.

3. He loves the movie "Father of the Bride". I never knew. Upon discovering this, a Netflix Instant Play viewing quickly ensued. 

4. He MUST Google things right then if there is any question or argument. Last night we watched Harry Potter and he had to go get up in the middle of it, and see if the Sword of Gryfindor was really found at the bottom of the frozen pond or in a stump (I won't tell you who was right...but her name rhymes with "hair").

5. He is really on top of the mail-getting situation, which is good, since I never remember.

6. He is willing to forgive me about anything the second it is over. Like, I think the longest fight we have ever been in lasted about three minutes and he was over it the second I was. This is a good quality I have found. 

Ok, either we are really boring or I just knew everything important before we got married. I like to think it's the latter. But either way, I am happy that there haven't been any shocking revelations upon marriage, such as he is a werewolf, or I am actually a brunette or anything like that (not that being a brunette is bad. I just would have been living a lie, that's all). 

I also am happy to say that if the first six months are any indication, the first year of marriage is not really the hardest...or if it is, we are going to have one smooth life. This is probably due to the fact that I have the sweetest and most patient husband ever, who is always willing to overlook my multitude of issues. So, here's to hoping the next six months are as great as these have been! (also, if anyone wants to give me ideas of free gifts that aren't just cleaning sludge off the kitchen floor, email me pronto. Ones made out of office supplies would be great).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dia de los Padres

Happy Father's Day everyone! I felt that it warranted a post about my dad, seeing as I did one about my mom. And you know, my dad is pretty great too. And he actually probably reads this blog more faithfully than my mom so he definitely would see this rather than me having to call him to get on and look at it.

So, I present to you 10 reasons why I love my Daddio:

1. My dad is really goofy. If you know him, you will know that without a doubt. But I think that it is a lovely trait that had blessed our whole family's lives and made me a better person. The ability to laugh at yourself is really important and my dad is better at that than anyone I know. And who else would have the courage to ride a French carousel by themselves as a grown man? Sure, when your dad packs your lunch in elementary school and puts in stuff like his swimsuit as a joke it can get a little embarrassing...but being embarrassed builds character, right?

2. My dad is really easygoing. I think that is why I love that trait in Dave so much. He pretty much knows that with four daughters he wasn't going to get his way very he is really nice about going along with what we want. We always joke that the only things my dad cares about are food, sleep, and occasionally the T.V. (but what else matters, right?). He never gets worked up if things don't go his way. When I would date guys and they were all finicky about dumb stuff I always thought it was so lame. Ew....don't they realize that they are supposed to just go along with my plan? :)

3. Along those same lines my dad never gets mad about things. I have done some really dumb things as a child/teenager/college student and I can't really remember a time that my dad hasn't forgiven me and moved on. It's not like he had no expectations or anything...but he was always understanding when I did dumb things like buy a plane ticket for the wrong day and then miss the plane....etc.

4. My dad does anything for us if we ask (usually with a whiny/sad voice). Wow, that makes the rest of my family sound so lame. But he was always doing things like running upstairs to get someone (named Anne) a glass of milk, or he would always have to be the one to take the dogs out at night (a horrible prospect on a January night in AK) or make smoothies for all of our friends. Like the exhibit below, where we are all passed out in some Irish museum, and my dad is the one who is dutifully trying to figure out where we were supposed to go next...we can always count on him to help us out in times of distress.

5. Speaking of traveling, my dad (and my mom too, luckily) love going on trips and having an adventure of any kind. He looks at new things with a really excited and open mind, and he always wants to experience new things wherever we go. He will undergo terrible conditions to see something in a foreign country. Like the most recent conversation I had with him, where he told me that "memories are born out of misery" on vacations (this was while he was trying to convince me that a 16 hour bus ride in Peru would be worth it). For someone that grew up in a tiny town in Wyoming, my dad has a very open attitude to new and strange things that he experiences.

6. My dad never says anything negative about anyone. He is the most trusting person alive I am pretty sure. My mom has spent 25 years of marriage trying to convince him to stop giving random hitch-hikers rides and stuff like that. But he is really kind and never thinks that anyone intentionally does anything wrong. That being said, I learned in 10th grade that my dad, as he says "hates a thief!" when stuff from my locker was getting stolen. He spent hours one night concocting this special cookie recipe containing copious amounts of chili powder and Tabasco, to fend off the criminal when they inevitably stole them from my lunch. Needless to say it worked, though my eyes burned the whole day and the hallway where my locker was reeked.

7. My dad is so quirky. I just love it. I can't imagine growing up with a dad who was just boring and normal. What a tragedy it would have been if my dad didn't tell me about POISONS as a bedtime story or decide that he was going to make it a personal goal to jump in any body of water that he saw whenever we went camping. He also makes up weird nicknames for everyone....even if they don't really want one...and don't even ask about the bible story songs. Family scripture study just got more exciting!

8. My dad is outdoorsy. I would trust my dad to protect me in any dangerous wilderness situation. When we would go camping he would take care of everything like a pro (although this was probably also due to many a camping supply that he bought without my mom knowing/approving), including snacks which were quite set in stone from trip to trip (oranges, Triscuits and cheese, Trailmix/trailmix bars, Cliff bars, Snickers. Oatmeal for breakfast). When Dave came up to AK last summer we went back-packing just me, my dad, and Dave and it was so funny to see Dave thrown into this outdoorsy situation that I had always taken for granted that ALL MEN MUST KNOW HOW TO DO. I have loosened my standards slightly but back in the day they were quite rigid. (Oh, and Dad....I am still wondering about that tent you promised me as a wedding gift...:)

9. Even though my dad never had any sons I am really grateful that he never made any of his daughters feel like he wished that we were boys or anything. He used to let us put play make-up on him and do his hair (back when he had a little more...) when we were little. We played sports and went camping with him and I like to think that we fulfilled the child role to the best of our abilities...hopefully? We used to joke that Grace was his son...SO MEAN....but none of us were too obnoxiously girly so I think it was ok. And, my dad was usually happy if he just had someone to listen to him talk about: the stock market, "how the economy works", the time he was almost an AP, or any random tidbit of Alaskan history he would think up as we drove through the old parts of Anchorage--child appropriate or not (think: affairs and murders. Delightful car-ride fodder). Actually any bit of history from anywhere could fit in there too. Conservative talk radio could be substituted at any time for storytelling in the car.

10. And finally, my dad has always been an example to me of the type of husband and father that I want for my kids. I could always count on my dad to make the right decisions and advise me to choose the right. My dad is really good at being a good example of someone who lives the Gospel cheerfully and happily and I know that the people that he works with notice that there is something different about him and the way he lives, and he isn't afraid to talk about it. I am grateful that we always had the priesthood in our home and I hope it is something that I never take for granted now that I am married because I probably did growing up. He is kind to my mom and always does what's right for our family. I just don't think that anyone could measure up to him...except Dave...which is obviously why I married him :) I have always known that my dad loves me and would do anything for me! I love you Dad!

Who Says Boondocks is Just for 14-year-olds?

Um, hi. Sorry I have been a little MIA. I promise there is no catastrophic event going on in my life, I have just been struck by a lack of motivation, which is dumb, seeing as all three of my readers have probably left me to wallow in the pit of my internet lameness alone by now. But at least Dave reads this, so I will proceed. Because you know, it's not like he was actually here experiencing these events or anything.

Last weekend some of Dave's family came to town to attend his cousin Brent's wedding in the Draper, Utah temple. His parents drove up with his grandma, brother John, and his wife Marcy on Friday night and we went to dinner with his aunt and uncle. Dinner was great, no huge highlights except for the fact that Marcy's chicken was overcooked and Dave's steak was undercooked. Marcy sent her's back, which I was proud of her for doing because it was one of those things that I always have heard you can do but have never really had the courage to actually do. It seems much too high-class for the likes of me. Kind of like requesting a room swap at a hotel or something. I tend to just suffer in silence (stay tuned though, for a story of when I don't...coming now you will all keep looking every day to make sure my riveting story gets posted, huh???)

Anyway, after dinner we went back to our house, played cards, and everyone was enthralled with our mini elliptical machine. It is pretty awesome, I must admit. And it is a great conversation starter when you have people over.

Dave's dad, John

Dave's brother, also known as John. His is blurry because he had his legs going at such hamster-ball speeds my poor shutter couldn't cope. And no, we don't usually have it shoved under the counter we just had to stick it somewhere to make room for people. The Feng Shui of the living room is usually impeccable, don't worry....

The next morning I made everyone breakfast which ended well considering I was on the verge of snapping my spatula in two due to the fact that the food was cold when everyone got there, Dave was stuck in like 40 minutes of traffic coming back from wedding reception set-up due to the Utah Valley Marathon (and duh I needed him there for moral support. I can't be expected to cook things on my own without his constant support and cheer-leading), and we probably scarred his grandma for life. You don't need to know details. It was just bad, that's all. 

Dave's parents wanted to pick up Micah, Dave's nephew who lives in Orem, and bring him to the wedding with us, but we needed time to kill in-between after breakfast and the temple. Dave suggested Boondocks, one of the many, many "family fun" centers in Utah Valley (which are actually usually just dank-smelling money-pits but make for good awkward first dates. Boondocks is one of the better ones, less mold, more to do, etc.). I think that Dave was kind of joking, because once my family took him there (though fun, I think it was again due to a need to entertain a large number of people of varied ages while in the proximity of  the I-15) and every time we pass it he yells "Boondocks!", so it just popped out of his mouth. But his parents figured Micah would like it, and it would be fun for everyone, so Boondocks it was. We got there a little late and so just opted for the go-carts. 

(Meaningful aside: Dave's dad had bought everyone arcade tokens too, but we didn't have time to use them, so everyone from out of town gave them to Dave for us to use another time. The other day we drove by there again and I was like "I can't wait to go play arcade games at Boondocks with our leftover tokens!" and Dave looked sheepish as he told me that he had given them all to Micah, as it was "The uncle-ish thing to do...". I stared in open-mouthed disbelief that he would do such a kind thing without consulting ME, but then felt guilty as I tried to pretend "that I wished I had thought of that, he's such a thoughtful uncle, I guess Boondocks is mostly for 8th-graders," etc. I am still getting the hang of being a good aunt. But we still have the one token that I selfishly hoarded so if anyone wants to join us for one round of that basketball dunking game at Boondocks let me know!)

The token recipient himself

Sick bleached rat-tail we spotted. It is normal to take stealth pics of weird people, right?

Elaine is ready to tear up the pavement

Go-carts were actually really fun, as I have gotten over my initial fear of them...due to no scarring childhood event, just my own silly fear of speed. I was just about to pass Dave at the end when this punk little kid totally slammed into his car, causing him to spin out of control and crash and making it a breeze for me to sail by. I did genuinely feel bad for poor Davito though, as this kid was kind of out of line and I could feel the hot rage billowing out from Dave as I passed him. We then had a very solemn discussion about how our kids would never be allowed to act like that in a go-cart course. (truly though, the kid was a punk. And his parents were no-where to be found. What is with that?)

The funniest part of Boondocks was that we needed to go to the temple straight afterwards so we all changed into church clothes in the bathrooms. I have changed in a lot of weird places so this didn't phase me too much. (Like outhouses for church whilst camping. So no, Boondocks is not that weird)  It was mostly just funny that we all trooped into the bathroom in shorts and came out churchy.

Spiffed up and trying to let go of the anger towards little go-cart crasher as we prepared to go to the wedding. Yes, I used a Macey's bag to carry my change of clothes in. I just recycle, ok? 

The temple was so great and Brent and Amber looked so happy! Amber is from Hawaii and so all of the family had leis on, which was beautiful! I wish I was Polynesian just for this tradition. 

We were hungry and had some time to kill before heading to the reception so Dave's dad wanted to try this sushi place. Too bad it was closed...Marcy was laughing at me taking pictures of closed restaurants out of the car window just so that I could put them on the blog. It really makes no sense..."oh my gosh look at the amazing closed restaurant she went to! What a precious memory for her!"

The reception was really nice and they had AMAZING luau food but unfortunately I have no self-control and had eaten like 2/3 of a California Pizza Kitchen pizza and hour before, and, had I gone on a long run that day it would have been no problem to shovel in a whole plate of rice and pork but alas my appetite was not at its peak that day.... sadness.

I did, however, hold some really cute babies and rejoiced over no longer having to be a part of the bouquet toss, otherwise known as "the time where Claire gets trampled by equally competitive yet much taller women and ruins peoples' bouquets in the process." (aka Anne and Jac's weddings. Both times I was a bridesmaid and thus more visible, making the whole hulabuloo just that more embarrassing) But now I finally gots me a man, thank you very much. 

All in all, another fabulous weekend with the Mizukawa clan, though I am getting sad that there are fewer and fewer people to get married, and thus, fewer of these events with awesome food and cute babies to hold and whatnot. I guess maybe we need to start wedding crashing.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Night Dave Almost Went to the Slammer

O.M.Gosh really fun weekend and lots o' pics to share, but I just have time for a quick post right now so I will share tonight's escapades. We decided that it would be fun to have some of Dave's friends (and their cute significant others) over for dessert and games and so we had James and Jen and Evan and Lizzie come over...I couldn't believe we had lived here for 6 months almost (in a week!:) and they had never been over. Apparently we are terrible entertainers.

Anyway, I decided it was the perfect excuse to make THESE treats which I have been wanting to make forever, but I kinda couldn't justify a) buying special ingredients like Marshmallow Creme and b) eating ingredients like Marshmallow Creme just for the fun of it. But, having friends is the perfect excuse to make something delicious and decadent like s'more bars! I had kind of been on a s'more kick lately and had bought a carton of s'more flavored ice cream at the store last week, so I was so excited to try these too and I think they were pretty amazingly delish if I do say so myself...and actually really easy for how tasty they were. I highly recommend them. You basically just make a cookie dough (with a bunch of smashed up graham was a really tasty dough!) and layer Hershey's bars and marshmallow fluff in the middle and then put dough on top too. mmm, mmm good. Lizzie brought some tasty muffins too so we were in a good place treat-wise.

We were in the middle of a rousing round of Nerts when we got a knock on the door. I HATE answering the door (is that weird? Dave thinks it is weird. I was just raised to believe that you don't have to answer the phone or door if you don't want to... isn't that what America is all about?) but whoever was there had certainly heard people inside and the blinds were open a titch too. So Dave goes to get it and it is a cop! I was so scared. Which I don't understand because if you haven't committed a crime shouldn't you be comfortable around a policeman? Maybe I have an inherent fear of authority. That combined with my wish to never be bothered might peg me as like a closet Libertarian or something. Cool.

The officer asked us if we had been looking out the windows in the last little while because apparently a bike had been stolen like twenty minutes ago and they were looking for the perp because apparently the guy left the bike and ran away when the owner started chasing him. Wanted: Young male. Hispanic. Light blue shirt and khaki shorts. We said we were sorry that we hadn't really been looking outside, but if we saw anything we would let them know.

As soon as they closed the door I burst out laughing because earlier that afternoon Dave had been changing out of his church clothes into casuals and he put on khaki shorts and a light blue shirt. I whined that he never wore this dark blue one so he changed. So basically I saved him from getting mistaken for the bike thief because who know if, with his brown sugar complexion, he could have been mistaken for Latino???? (ok, that might be a stretch...the kid is pretty Asian. But it COULD have happened if he was wearing the exact same outfit...maybe?). So since I saved him from the slammer he owes me for eternity now. We then started plotting how I could have broken him out of prison if he had gone there. So I am confident that either way it would have been just fine.

I just have to share a few pics of James's Bananagrams crosswords. For anyone who has never played the game, it is basically like Scrabble except you make your own crossword and you go really fast. Check out what he wrote:

 I'm not sure what a Joul, a Ta, or a Wot is, but he was actually vindicated with Larder because I remembered from my Laura Ingalls Wilder days that it is an old-fashioned word for a pantry.

Joq, Poika, and Bigote (actually that is a Spanish word.). But the bottom one...oh, boys....

It was fun....and now I am off for a three-day stint as a Folk Danc Camp Counselor! It should be oodles of fun, and a welcome break from the normal routine. Dave has finals this week so say a little prayer that he does so good, 'aight?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Entertainment

So Dave is in school this summer and I am not. While it is ever so nice to come home after work and not have homework or anything, with Dave studying, I need something to entertain myself with.

Since it is summertime I feel justified that some of my outlets for recreation are not all that, shall we say, elevated in nature. Wasn't "chick lit" like born from the need for something to read on the beach? Everyone reads/watches dumb stuff in the summer, right? (ok who are we kidding I do it all year round). Here are my favorites:

Ok I kind of love the Bachelorette this time around. I know it's all fake, and no one is really in love, and it is unrealistic to pretend that going on a really fancy date to Vegas is going to bring out your true feelings about someone, but I watch anyway. So far, I like Ben and Ryan the best. I kind of feel bad for Josh Groban wine guy and studly personal trainer because they keep getting like no time with her and they never say a word. And BENTLEY! Oh, the drama there. They always have to make the weirdos from Utah...

Ahh! Can anyone not love this show? It makes me happy to hear the theme song and I didn't realize that apparently I always go "shooby dooby doo" along with it every time until Dave started looking at me weird every time it came back from commercial. I like the weird girl from Brigham City and the girl and guy who both had dads die. They were both talented and had a dramatic story, which I am a sucker for. Oh, and I like that little Broadway dancer that Nigel and Mary hated but he was so good!

This book has bad words in it. I will admit it completely and therefore won't give it a highly coveted Claire endorsement  But I love Tina Fey and she is just the funniest...although her little political diatribing kind of got on my nerves toward the end, but all in all this way so entertaining and I read it in like a day and a half. I will admit that if I knew that there was so much language at the beginning, I probably wouldn't have read it though...

Do you know who this woman is? She is the best author of long, dramatic, lovable Irish lit of all time. Her name is Maeve Binchy...typically read by old Irish ladies, my mom, large populator of used bookstore shelves, and one of my favorites. Has anyone else ever read her books? They last you a nice long time because they are so big and I always get really sad when they are over....

Did you know that there is going to be a movie of The Help?!?!?! I am so pumped! I have watched the trailer like five times...although I really hate it in movies when a character is supposed to be kind of homely in the book but in the movie they make them really cute and appealing...a la Hermione. That seems to be what they are doing to Skeeter. Instead of scary hair and a big nose they slapped a cute corkscrew curl on Bryce Dallas Howard. Oh no, she suddenly turned plain! 

I also spray paint things in the grass behind the dumpster of our complex. And I run a lot. So that is kind of what I do after work lately...I have such a riveting life, I know...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Where to start?...

It has been SO long since I was being a good little blogger. Ugh. I keep wanting to blog but I have that feeling like when you want to tackle something big but you can't seem to get the gumption up to get into it. That is the same feeling that is the reason that I am still waking up in the night plagued by the thank-yous still left to write from our wedding....don't tell my mom, mother-in-law, or any other polite woman in my life that would be horrified by that (I only have like one more page of names left...I promise!)

Anyway, I will start with Memorial Day weekend which was SO FUN! I just love going on little trips with Dave. Even if they are just to St. George. I love going to new places with him and St. George still has enough things that I haven't done to make it exciting and new. It was the first time we had been able to leave Provo for like three months so it felt great.

We left on Friday and ate some delish Mexican food with his parents once we got there. It was kind of funny because I had just barely finished saying that, although I like Mexican food, I never really notice if one place is a lot better than another, when we went here and it was WAY better than I had had other places in my recent memory, so I guess I was wrong. Then we went to his parents' house and watched "Inception" which Dave had brought, mostly for his Dad, and I promptly fell asleep. Which also happened when we saw it in the theater. Hey, it is about dreams so I am just experiencing the movie to its fullest.

The next day we woke up, I went for a run (so nice to run in such sunny weather!) and then set out for out little adventure to Zion National Park. I had never been and it is only like an hour away so it is the perfect outing. We kind of didn't factor in that it would be wicked crowded what with it being a holiday weekend, but I didn't really care (Dave hates crowds a traffic way more than I do, oddly, considering he is so patient usually). We were slightly bummed at the 12-buck a person entrance fee though! What the crap??? $12 to hike around nature which is free to provide??? We pay taxes, I thought that was our entrance fee to a national park. Whatevs, we were already there and it is a gorgeous place. I seriously loved it and next time we go back we want to just drive in and pack our car full of people because I think it's like $25 a car so that would make more sense.

We took the little park tram to Angel's Landing, which was the hike we were planning on, but as we neared, the little bus commentator was like "please don't attempt this rigorous hike if you are afraid of heights. Deaths have occurred...blah, blah, blah...." All of the old people tourists around us were like "oh no, I would never do that, etc" so I was getting a little nervous. But Dave assured me it was nothing that scary so we did it anyway. I am SO GLAD we did. It was amazingly pretty and a really fun hike. And people took their babies so it couldn't be that bad...actually I would never take a child under 12...but that's just Grandma Claire talking. I tend to judge people for doing dumb things with their kids, admittedly.

We didn't go to the very tippy-top because I got kind of freaked out by the hoards of people all scrambling up to this peak using one single little chain and the gusts of wind, but on a less crowded and windy day I think I could of handled it.

Here are some of the sweet pics that Dave got (he coerced his Dad into letting him take his nice camera):

Not sure why this one is so tiny...just as well, because I am squatting awkwardly in a cave.

Pretty, huh? It was a fun little day trip and I hope we can go back again this summer maybe.

That night we went to a tasty Greek place with the rents-in-law and then to the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. This is what was in the lobby when we came out:

 There was a SUPER creepy panda there promoting the new Kung-Foo Pand movie, and even though I usually hate things in dress-up anyway, this one was especially weird and random because it wasn't like talking to anyone, just standing there. I am sure it couldn't tell I was taking a picture of it because I stopped, pointed, then posed Dave not-so-covertly to its left.

I didn't really take pictures Sunday. It was a nice day and we ate a delicious steak dinner and then went with Dave's parents to visit some of their friends (they are really nice about keeping up old friendships which I think is a really nice quality) and played games all night. They introduced me to Corn Hole, which I had never heard of. Its like bean bags, and I was terrible at it, not surprisingly.

 Monday, Memorial Day, we went on a little bike ride. I know this is a super good picture. I used my agency and chose stupidly not to wear sunscreen and have consequently looked lobster-ish all week. Dave felt bad for not reminding me: "it's just that, I never wear it because I don't need it with my skin". Curse you boy, and your tan skin too!

I have never had my wisdom teeth out, and with Dave's dad being an oral surgeon, I married wisely. Dave wanted to take an x-ray of my mouth and see if my claims to only have two wisdom teeth were correct. They were. His dad said "they could be easier to get out". Yikes. Why do I even have to have them out? Can't they just fester in there happily forever?

 This is Dave looking cool and pointing something out about my teeth. I don't know if you can see the little dainty cup of goldfish in his other hand. I came to conclusion that my teeth look really creepy when x-rayed. Dave also gave me a thorough scolding for trying to talk while he did the x-ray, which I pouted about for a while but I got over it when I discovered a candy cupboard in their office.

 Dave's parents wanted to take flowers to the graves of some men they know who were in the military and have since passed away, which I thought was so sweet of them. We helped by holding the flowers. I kind of love visiting parents because you don't have to be in charge, you just kind of sit in the back seat and follow them around in the grocery store, etc.

I wasn't really sure what the protocol is for graveyard pictures, so that is why these turned out really poorly.

Then we went home, ate salmon, and drove back to was a great weekend! So relaxing, sunny, and filled with food.