Archives of Our Lives

{a narrow and broad look into the lives of people I love}

Thursday, June 26, 2008

He's Addicted to the Game of it All.

I come from a long line of teetotalers. One hundred percent, never-touched-their-lips-to-any-sort-of-alcohol, abstainers from the drink. On both sides of the family tree.

In keeping with family tradition, I, too, choose not to drink liquor. I've smelled beer, though, and to me it smells like fermented leaves. [Go figure.] Like a compost pit, if you will. Why would I pay to drink my compost pit when I could go outside and eat all the weeds I want for free?

(And trust me, there are a lot. If man could get drunk on weeds alone, I'd have a first-rate brewery in my own backyard! I'd make millions--but that's only if I knew how to make beer, which I don't. I don't even drink it.)

At any rate, though none of us drink alcohol, we all have a lot of different vices, each to our own. I could talk about all my vices today, but I'd rather talk about my brother-in-law's.

Flint* is a hefty sort of fellow--he's 6'4" if he's an inch, and I'd say he weighs 250-ish.
He pretty much looks exactly like this, except 27 years older. And with hair.

And mercy me, does that Flint ever love his Mountain Dew™. Keep in mind that he is married to a dainty little thing (my older sister) who cooks with whole grains and Splenda™ and hasn't eaten a bite of sugar in four years (except for one bite of wedding cake, which she claims to have spit out after the photo was taken). She's running a marathon in October. In other words, she's a healthy sort of person.

**Tangent: I am typing this in my creepy basement, and a huge spider just crawled my way. I sat up, looked around for a weapon and, finding nothing substantial enough, just watched the spider. After a few seconds he turned around and crawled away towards the T.V., perhaps seeking to get a better look at Cat Deeley, who, I must say, is lovely indeed. Hes' coming back. I threw an empty Dasani™ bottle at him. It missed. He scampered back to Cat Deeley. I will have strange nightmares about this tonight.**

So anyway, she's healthy and he's not and when he comes home from work to reach into the fridge for that can of Mountain Dew™, she cringes.

"Honey," she reminds in her sweetest voice, "remember how we're trying to eat more healthily? Remember our challenge? Whoever loses the most this week gets $100.00?"

"Oh, yeah," he replies coolly. "About that--"

"No!" she interrupts, her voice a bit more shrill than sweet this time. "You cannot give up! You gave up last time, and you were miserable. I won all the money, and you didn't get to buy the bio-diesel machine you wanted, and you still hadn't lost any weight! " She's very passionate about health, my sister is. That woman loves health. (I, too, love health. Only, I like the kind of health that comes from a long snooze in a hammock on a beach; not the kind of health that comes from eating tofu and running 26.7 miles...ever.)

Flint smiles and hugs her and continues drinking his soda, and as I observe the scene, it makes me wonder if this what it's like for couples who do drink alcohol. When the husband comes home and takes out a can of ice-cold Coors™ after a long day at the office, and the wife gets annoyed because he should be playing with the children instead of feeding his alcoholism, is this what it looks like? Of course I'll have no way of knowing because if anyone in my family ever starts nursing an alcoholic condition, it will mean that the earth has come to an end, and I won't be around to observe because I'll be dead--what with the earth ending and all.

But there's a twinkle in Flint's eye when he comes home from work and reaches into the fridge. It's the sort of twinkle that says, "This is gonna be good," and it's not talking about the can of soda. I secretly believe that he only does this to get on my sister's nerves, in the same way that Daniel Wilsford used to stomp on my sand castles at recess when I was eight--they do these things to make us mad, because making up is so much fun. He probably doesn't even like Mountain Dew™. He probably prefers Diet.

Poor, poor Flint. He has no idea.

*Names changed because I said so.*

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

If My Backyard Could Talk, it Would Sue Me for Negligence

Children are like gardens, and in this analogy, I am totally unfit.

Which is why I will never be a parent--because evidently, when one is responsible for more beyond one's own self, one cannot frolic about the continent for months on end, completely ignoring one's offspring (even if one's offspring happens to be a 20 square-foot plot of land in one's backyard). I suppose while I was gone my husband would take an active role in the nurturing of our garden. Which was foolish, really. Aside from the initial tilling, he's done nothing to help the garden flourish (doesn't that sound an awful lot like pregnancy?).

I don't know why I expected my husband to care for our baby--he never wanted kids [vegetables] in the first place. The only reason he even tilled a month ago is because he likes things that go "vroom" and I promised he'd be rewarded. He even told me when I left, "Don't expect me to sit around here watching your garden all day watching the dirt--I have work to do. I probably won't even get around to watering it."

So I don't know why I was so shocked when I got home and peeked in the backyard. Indeed, my children have taken my negligence as a personal affront, and are acting out to get more attention from me. In my absence, they've taken to hanging with the wrong crowd--real seedy, weedy sorts of characters. And by "weedy" I do mean weeds.

Six foot tall weeds, in particular.

Gone are my perfectly straight rows--they've become overrun with weeds and grass and ants, and a particularly ugle neon green sort of caterpillar. Seriously. Try--just try--to spot the tomato plant underneath all this foliage:

I spent four hours weeding this morning, and it's only a drop in the dadgum proverbial bucket of what's left to do. And I used to find gardening so...fulfilling.

Which is perhaps why I'm so overwhelmed. I mean, to go from this:

To this:

And back to this:

Well, that's just depressing.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

{This is Just an Appetizer}

I have a lot of posts I need to write, but I don't have the mental energy to do any of them justice right now. See, I'm getting ready to drive back to Canada, which--anxious though I am to reunite with my husband and garden--is going to be slightly less thrilling than my drive down to Arizona. It isn't easy, this division of interests that makes up my life. When I'm there I want to be here, and when I'm here I like being here--but I miss my new little life up there.

The good news is Poor Kyle is totally willing to move down here, which would be as close to ideal as I might ever come. The bad news is he'd only move down here if he could be a police officer, which means all my fears of him dying young would be 99% more warranted.

At any rate, I'm not writing about this yet, because I need to go to sleep.

Other things I'm not writing about:
-My dear friend Chelsie getting home from Brazil
-My brother-in-law's addictions and the effect they have on his marriage
-A boy named Grad
-The time I ate raw fish like a heathen (or sushi like a yuppie, depending who you are)
-Meeting Loralee in person for the first time

For now, I am going to ask that any new readers who've come along (or any seasoned readers who have recently started blogs of their own) please leave a comment on this post with your blog address, so I can update my link list--once again, I'm kicking off people who don't update frequently enough (at least once a month) and adding readers whose blogs I'll be stalking soon. If you would like to become a part of my link list, go ahead and let me know!

And stay tuned for better things to come.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Saga of Steve vs. Ned--This is Mostly Speculation

A phone conversation between Poor Kyle and me a few weeks ago went something like this:

PK: So what did you do down in AZ today, while I was up here in Canada being responsible and tending your garden?
Me: Oh, Lindsey and I went to Krazy Sub for lunch.
PK: Oh, Krazy Sub? Steve's or Ned's?

Part of me was disappointed that he even had to ask, but the other part was thrilled that he, a native of Mayberry, Canada, even knew there was a difference.

The answer to his question was "Steve's"--naturally. Because there are three kind of sub-lovers in Mesa, AZ: Steve's, Ned's, and Subway [and Subway doesn't count]. That's what I always say.

And I am a Steve's.

Which is odd, really. I mean, there are far softer breads in the world (hello, Port of Subs!), and far riper tomatoes than the ones served at Steve's. His sandwiches are tasty enough, but not the best I've ever had. What is it about Steve's that makes me such a loyal customer? It's certainly not Steve's quality treatment of us--the paying masses--because he does, after all, charge extra for pickles and drink refills (25 cents, to be exact):

There's no such thing as a free lunch, especially when you're eating at Steve's.

In many ways, actually, Steve is quite the crook. He pays his high school employees a pittance, and (I know for a fact) he strictly enforces the "no extra meat, even for family" rule.

Perhaps it's not so much that Steve's establishment is good, but more that Steve's establishment is better than the alternative; a lesser of two evils, per se. Perhaps the virtue of Steve's Krazy Sub lies in its competition: Ned, arch rival and nemesis to Steve, has his own Krazy Sub shop not far from Steve's. It is rumoured that once upon a time (30 years ago) Steve and Ned were business partners, nay--brothers. Business was good, and all was well in Mesa. But one day--perhaps amidst a business deal turned sour [no doubt Steve was trying to get more than his fair share of the profits, the crooked scoundrel]--the two split, creating new and separate shops; new and separate families; new and separate Krazy Subs. [Neither of them, unfortunately, enforced new and separate spellings of the word "Krazy." Or new wall decor. Or shop-front lettering.]

Steve's walls.

Ned's walls.

Steve did, however, decide his was The Krazy Sub, while Ned, the vain man that he is, kept his name and added his face on the window:

Ned: Not that I would eat your subs anyway, but that giant head of yours on the window isn't helping your cause. Really.

Ned moved east, targeting the customer base near Mountain View High School, while Steve stayed near home--Westwood High and area. The two schools, being lifelong rivals (along with Mesa High [who don't really have a Krazy Sub to call their own, so we won't talk about those guys much]), found the separate Krazy Subs to be excellent fuel for the "My-school-is-better-than-your-school" fire. Students began sneaking into each others' Krazy Subs, leaving graffiti under the tables with black Sharpie™ markers that read things like, "Die, Ned!" and "Steve's will rise again" and "Shea has big boodie [sic]!!" and "Jenny--will you go to prom with me?". If I were going to graffiti on the underside of Ned's tables, I would scrawl, "MOVING TO MOUNTAIN VIEW HAS TURNED NED VAIN!!!" in block letters--the man has his face plastered all over the place, including the door to his sub shop, and the website for said sub shop!

Image from Ned's website.

But I digress: the point is, life in Mesa has never been the same since the Big Split of '77.

It should be noted, though, that I am loyal to Steve's for more than the Montague/Capulet reasons. Steve and his Krazy Subs have been a part of some very important days in my life. He got me through countless wait-outs at the Mesa Lutheran Hospital (which is now dead and gone, just like some of my relatives who spent weeks there). Those Krazy Subs taught me about finances--if I can't afford to eat at Krazy Sub and pay for the extra pickles and large Diet Pepsi, then I can't afford to eat anywhere. Steve's subs cheered me up when I lost the Student Body President election in 9th grade, and they were there when I celebrated winning some other position that same year by default. I commiserated not getting asked to prom there. I ate many "last meals" there with friends I haven't seen since. I have a table there. When one of my friends worked there in high school, she gave me free pickles and the phrase "I Steal From Steve" was coined there.

And all I know is, when I walked into Ned's to take a photo for this post, and saw all the photos of those itsy-bitsy Mountain View kids on the walls, I felt like a total fraud.

There, to the left of the mermaid's fin, hang a slew of Mountain View photos. Ugh.

I don't belong there--I belong at Steve's.

...I would that everybody could know their place in life with such clarity.

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Bed For Sale--Going Cheap. Real Cheap.

I bought an amazing bedroom set on Craigslist yesterday and will post pictures soon.

But it came with an extra Queen sized mattress and box spring for which I have absolutely no need. We have two spare bedrooms at our house in Canada, and both of them already have nice-ish beds in them.

What to do with the unneeded cargo?

Re-sell it on Craigslist, of course.

I'm asking $50.00 for the set, but I'm accepting offers and will give an even better deal to anyone mentioning this post. (Because I'm business-savvy like that.)

This would be a great bed for someone who needs a cheap bed. Because it's going cheap. Naturally. It's clean and comes from a nonsmoking home.

To contact me, leave a comment on this post, or reply to my craigslist ad.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

{Totally Lost in Translation}

Trying to communicate with a 2 year-old is like trying get a kamikaze insect out of your ear by slamming your fist into your skull as hard as you possibly can--both are fruitless, and cause nothing but headaches.

A few months ago I babysat for my neighbors who were in a pinch. I was there for five hours, during which I only had to tend one little two year-old kid named Stupor*. I had never met little Stupor before, but I arrived bearing my famous [by "famous" I mean "just-try-to-choke-'em-down"] chocolate/white chocolate chip cookies, and told him if he didn't talk to me the entire day, he could have the whole tray of cookies when I left. We became fast buddies.

Unfortunately, he did talk to me. Or rather, he made some sort of strange noises that sounded like words. And, if we're being specific, I am almost positive he was speaking French. I speak French on a toddler level, too, so one would think I could have understood him... Au contraire, au contraire.

Me: Hi, Stupor! My name is Camille.
Him: Ooh ay? Ooh ay? Ooh ay?
Me: Oh, do you mean "Òu est," the French term for "where is...?" I had no idea you were bilingual! Tell me, who taught you French?
Him: Weeeeee! Weeeeee! Weeeeee!
Me: Did you just say, "oui?" Oh, oui!! Moi, aussi, petite Stupor! C'est fantastique, ta français!
Him: Cat. Cat. Cat.
[By the way: why do two year-olds say every phrase twice? Don't they understand that no matter how much they try, I will not decipher what they are trying to tell me?]
Me: Hmmm...Stupor, it sounds like you're saying, "Cat," the English word for "Cat." Is that what you're saying?
Him:... (Blank stare.) ...Poopies. Poopies. POOPIES!

It was so embarrassing, and we weren't even out in public. Finally, after he vigorously brandished his John Deere tractor in my face for a solid 60 seconds, I figured out that he was trying to get me to play trucks with him. I don't know why he didn't say so. As a matter of fact, he didn't say anything that even sounded like "tractor"--he was speaking French!

It finally got to the point that I just told him flat out, "I can't understand you. Either say what you mean, or just stop talking to me."

He didn't pay any heed to me, of course, because I'm not a very nurturing person. And evidently, kids can only hear voices at a certain Teletubby™ sort of nurturing decibel. So unless I squeaked out my words to little Stupor, there was going to be no communication.

They say, "It's different with your own kids," but unless my kids pop out of me quoting the Declaration of Independence and the Canadian Magna Carta (did Canada have its own Magna Carta? So much for being a history major...), I figure there's pretty much no hope.

Some people find toddler babble adorable. I find it maddening, and I hope I'm not the only one; otherwise I really am going straight to Hell for this.

*Names have been changed so I don't get sued and bite the dust like Jean from Tastespotting.*

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Monday, June 16, 2008

{Life Lessons and Muffin Tops}

I've learned a lot in my life.

I've learned that if I wash my jeans and then stick them in the dryer, I will regret it the next time I go to put them on. They will shrink just enough to make me miserable all day, no matter how many lunges I do to stretch them out again.

I've also learned that if I take my jeans out of the washer and toss them in a damp heap on the floor, I will regret it the next time I go to put them on. They will have more wrinkles than the little old ladies on the back pew at church.

But this last lesson is most important:

If I go on vacation to Arizona and eat 90% of my meals at fast-food joints, stuffing my face with food all day, eating Dippin' Dots™ and Red Brick Oven™ pizza and Chic-fil-A™ sandwiches and Arby's™ Beef n' Cheddars and QT™ Taquitos and Carne Asada Burritos like nothing else matters, then, invariably...

My favourite Canada t-shirt will no longer fit. I will have a muffin top (or spare tire, [call it what you will--it's a thing of Satan either way]) big enough to feed a third world country. And my arms will be very, very flabby.

Life lessons, people. It's all about the life lessons.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Why Not Just Rip My Heart Out and Blend it Into a Nice Pureé?

Sometimes the proverbial rug gets pulled right out from under my feet. When it happens, I am never less affected than the time before.

Do you know what I mean? When the delicate balance of my life's routine is upset, I feel so dejected. Like nothing will ever be the same.

It's happened to me before. First with the hospital of my childhood, and again with the only Mexican food joint whose salsa I actually considered selling my soul for.

And now again. Go ahead, click the link, and see what happens. Actually, never mind the link. I'll just paste a picture of it here:

*Photo courtesy of the now nonexistent*

When what I should have seen was something like this:

*Photo from these traitors.*

Life can really turn on a dime, you know? Just yesterday I was checking up on, since I'd been out of town and had gotten behind on my recipes. Then today I opened the page again, and was kind of startled to realise it hadn't been updated since the day before. Figuring the crew were experiencing technical difficulties, I carried on along my merry way. And just now, at 10:40 p.m., I opened the website again, only to be met with a little handwritten note from some person named Jean with lovely penmanship who is now my least favourite individual on the planet.

Come on, Jean with nice penmanship! Couldn't you have given me some warning? Some sort of explanation, even? Let me prepare myself? I didn't even bookmark all those recipes I discovered yesterday--I thought I had all the time in the world. I thought would always be with me--or at least that if it left, I would have the chance to say goodbye. But this? This lack of closure? This is not okay with me.

I have issues with closure, and's hasty exit from my life is almost cause for me to find a good therapist. What if all the websites I read just...up and leave me some day? Decide they have some legal problems they can't work out...tell me they still love me, just not their web servers; that it's nothing I did or didn't do...these things just happen sometimes. Why even bother becoming attached? How can I ever open my heart to love again?

I'm going to get an ulcer worrying about whether I could have done something to prevent this. Maybe I could have posted my own recipes to Maybe I could have written fan mail to Jean with the good penmanship...let her know how much I care. Maybe I could have given more publicity--more hits.

If Jean from thinks she has legal complications now, just wait until she gets a bill from my new therapist and acupuncture-for-ulcers doctor.

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{I've Never Been to Boston In the Fall}

I've never been to Boston in the Fall, and I think I'd like to take a birthday trip there this year.

I mean, why not? I have no job; I have no classes to attend. I have no children to fuss over. I'm turning 22 years old, I have already set a goal to see all fifty states, and I've been given a free airline ticket to anywhere within the continental United States. If I fly into Boston and drive through all of New England, I could cross six states off my list for the price of one! What a deal.

The original intent of my airline ticket gift was to come visit my family in Arizona, but I'll be down in October for a wedding and again in December for Christmas, making a total of five trips down in one year. Plus I'll see all my family in July (Utah family reunion) and my big sister is bringing That Baby up for a visit in August.

So why shouldn't I swing over to Boston in September?

My only problem is that nobody will go with me. [Actually, I don't view this as a problem so much as a minor setback. I mean, I toured Paris for a week all by myself and could not have had a better time.] I'm not afraid of traveling alone--it's just that...well...I won't be able to rent a car once I get there. Because I'm too young.

Also, I would love to meet up with some blogging friends while there, but it seems that my already-sparse readership is especially scant east of Albany, New York [and by "scant" I mean nonexistent].

Short of begging the vast internet world for a travel buddy over the age of 25 (and who wants to tour New England with a stranger? I'd rather be alone [no offense, Internet]), there's really nothing I can do about it. Poor Kyle won't come with me because he doesn't care to, and nobody else I know has the means (either financially, physically, time-wise or child-wise) to come along.

On top of all this, I really don't know how to squeeze all of New England into five or six days by car. In fact, I don't even know if it can be done. Aside from landing in Boston, I haven't a clue as to where I should start.

But now I've confessed I'm going, there's no way I can back out of it. So there it is. I'm going to Boston in the Fall.

And I can't stop singing Veggie Tales because of it:

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Should Have Gotten a Degree in Marriage.

At BYU, students can earn a degree in Marriage, Family and Human Development.

To me this seems like an incredible cop-out.

"What did you go to college for?"

"Oh, I got my degree in Marriage."

"Really? So what was your final exam--snagging a husband/wife?"

"Actually Miss Snooty Pants, I consider marriage to be my life's eternal final exam."

"...Oh. Sorry."

I mean, what could a college possibly teach that would prepare young newlyweds for marriage?

Nothing. They could tell their students that marriage will be a big transition, but those pre-marriage scholars would still enter into their nuptials with a starry-eyed outlook and marshmallows in their brains. The marriage professors could assign projects involving bags of flour dressed as babies, but really--there's no comparison between a bag of Robin Hood Fast Rise™ and a slobbery baby. None.

Furthermore, I firmly believe that some of life's best lessons are learned outside of the classroom. Like how I took communication classes and still suck at communicating; I took computer classes and still hate technology. Heck , I even took Introduction to Sexuality and Human Psychology and...well...never you mind about the Sexuality class. [When I signed up for it, I was under the impression it was more of a study in women's rights and development across the globe. I was totally misled. I promise.]

At any rate, even though I believe in the value of a degree as far as getting an honest-to-goodness job goes, I have a hard time with any school handing out a degree in marriage. I mean, if a person's sole purpose in attending college is to learn how to be a proper stay-at-home-spouse (I'm being gender-equal, notice), then why go to college at all?

On their website, BYU notes that graduates of the marriage program often go on to pursue volunteer work. Most likely when their little darling children are at neighborhood preschool. But really, if someone wanted to pursue a career in volunteerism, shouldn't he or she seek a degree in Nonprofit Organizations or something?

But what do I know? I myself am on the 10-year plan for my degree in Art History and Museum Studies. (A degree which I thoroughly enjoy pursuing, but let's face it: there's not much future for my career in museums, now that I live in a town that's smaller than my high school student population.)

I'm so smug, when actually I know nothing. Who knows? Maybe if I'd gotten my degree in Marriage, Family and Human Development, I would know how to cook chicken enchiladas that my husband would actually eat. I would not have sewn crooked valances and hung them up in my living room anyway. I would not plant a garden in my backyard, just to leave for a month in Arizona the next week. If I'd gotten a degree in Marriage, then I would have known that leaving Poor Kyle for a whole month was a bad idea, and he wouldn't have felt it necessary to fly down from Canada for a surprise visit during my stay here.

Which I am thrilled about, by the way. And which I could have totally anticipated if I'd graduated from BYU with a degree in Marriage.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

I Guarantee This WILL Change Your Life...

I was so incredulous. Poor Kyle told me it would be amazing, but I did not believe. He's been talking about this crap for the past few days--he ate some chewy sour candy and it reminded him of his childhood, which in turn reminded him of Magic Mud, which is evidently the I-Ching of all childhood recipes for entertainment. And which we needed to make in my sister's pristine kitchen--pronto.

So tonight, as I despaired over my blogger's block, Poor Kyle said, "Now would be a good time to make Magic Mud. You'll love it, and you can blog about that."

"Oh, would you quit with the Magic Mud already," I whined, "it couldn't possibly be as good as you remember."

Well, as luck would have it, I was wrong [shocked, are you?], and now I've got to eat mud (Magic Mud, even) in front of the whole e-world:

And so you see: Magic Mud will change your life. Make it--you won't regret it.

Magic Mud
-2 parts corn starch (the dollar store type will suffice)
-1 part water

Mix corn starch and water in bowl. Enjoy.

But a word of caution: I've kind of become obsessed with this stuff. I'm thinking kiddie pool in the backyard, garden hose, and 20 boxes of cornstarch. Stay tuned for that exciting update!


Thursday, June 5, 2008

{I Lost 10 Pounds in Five Hours}

The spring in my proverbial step has gone in for servicing, and has come out looking 10 years younger.

And I'm not kidding, either:

Before--Hello, halfway houses of America; meet your newest druggie!

After--Even in dim lighting and using a webcam, the difference is shocking:

And yes, both these photos were taken today.

I probably should have gotten my hair done in March, but my stylist had mono, and nobody in Canada could possibly know my hair as well as she. So I waited three more months. She's just that good. And it was totally worth it; these photos don't even do my hair justice--wait until I take some decent ones tomorrow!

It may seem arrogant or vain for me to flaunt such accolades of my own hair, but trust me when I confess that my beautiful hair has nothing to do with me. The best hair days of my life have been because of Lindsey. Here are some photos of my hair under the influence of her magic hands throughout the years:

Work in progress...

Even Poor Kyle's hair cooperates when Lindsey has her way with it.

Here we all are--Lindsey having spruced us all up nicely. I think she ended up being the hairstylist for the entire wedding party.

She usually agrees to do my hair before a big trip when I know I'll take lots of photos.

She fixed me up for my engagement photos...

My bridal shower...

And my wedding.

She has a real gift.

In contrast, here are photos of my hair when I'm in Canada and left to my own pitiful devices:

...There are no words to express the debt I owe this woman.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

***I'VE JUST WON £1,000,000!!!!!!***

If I had a million British pounds (£) for every time I get emails telling me I won a million British pounds (£), I would be eating crumpets in one of the 20 sitting rooms of my very own castle near the Cotswalds right this minute, instead of updating this blog.

I would take morning walks along streets like this:

*Photo from here.*

And I would star in movies like this:

I would take holidays--not vacations--and store my trunks (luggage) in the boot (trunk) of my auto (car).

If I had £1,000,000 for every time those sneaky Brits tell me I've won £1,000,000, I would hire someone technologically-inclined to spruce up my blog--maybe even help me become self-hosted. I would give away $500.00 gift cards like Pioneer Woman does, and I would put all my leftovers in glass--not plastic--containers.

With my daily average income at two or three million pounds (£), I would have extra money for stuff like that. I might even take up horseback riding (the fancy kind, with helmets instead of Stetsons™, and jodhpurs instead of Wranglers™ [Anyone know how to pronounce "jodhpurs?"]).

I would hire someone else to get kamikaze insects stuck in their ears. I would pay to have my hair professionally styled every day. I would holiday in Fiji and drink from their artesian wells:

*Photo from here.*

And I would hire someone to create a Mini Cooper Hybrid that would be less taxing on the environment, and then I would buy that new-and-improved Mini Cooper, along with my own peace of mind that I'm reducing my carbon footprint.

Then, I would begin a campaign to increase Nutella's™ popularity in these United States. Because I think the creator of Nutella™ should be given all the breaks that life can afford.

And with his improved wealth, I would encourage him to formulate sugar-free Nutella™ (which would also be beneficial to my peace of mind).

And then I would petition Her Majesty the Queen to abdicate her throne, since who gave her the right to all those British pounds (£) anyway, and she doesn't even have much of a say, so what gives?

*Photo from here.*

And when she would invariably tell me to get lost, I would petition for one more thing before being thrown out of Her Royal Highness' presence: that she put an end to scammers generating false hope by sending out fraudulent emails to poverty-stricken bloggers. Because telling a poor person that they've just won £1,000,000 only to let them down day after day...

..that's cruel.

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{Kamikaze Insects}

Girls' Camp was delightful--a lot of hard work, but delightful.

My duties (jointly shared with "L" of "CL," who just so happens to be a dear friend of mine) were mainly to entertain the girls. Every night on stage, we dressed up as Kim and Aggie from "How Clean is Your House," and regaled the audience with tales of atrocious bedding, stolen cabin windows (ours was missing when we arrived at camp, which proved to be great ammunition later on), and kamikaze insects.

I'm sure you would appreciate hearing the account of everything that happened at camp, but probably most things wouldn't be as funny, since you don't know who I'm talking about when I write, for example, "Vonda is so sneaky--she stole our window right from its frame!"

But there is one story universal enough to share on my blog:

The Time a Kamikaze Fly Became a Squatter in My Ear Canal
"The Scariest Thing of My Life"

I was on my top bunk in our window-less cabin, trying to enjoy what bit of free time I had. A fly was buzzing around my head, annoying me to the point of anger. I wanted to finish reading my book, and That Fly wanted to frolic around my face, making reading impossible for me.

"Cut it out, you stupid fly," I muttered. But the fly only inched closer to my head. I swatted and swatted, to no avail: the insect seemed determined that its goal was my head.

Just as I was going to abandon my book and head for the hills (or at least to the mess hall for lunch), I heard a final "buzz," felt a tickling on my right ear, and then I died.

Or at least, I wished I'd died. Because That Kamikaze Fly was in my ear, buzzing and tapping on my eardrum for all he was worth.

According to, "insects or crawl into the [ear] canal. Usually this happens while sleeping on the floor or camping. This is often a frightening and dramatic event as the insect's buzzing and movement is very loud and sometimes painful."

*Picture from here.*

Okay. To describe the experience of having the Kamikaze Fly in my ear canal as "frightening and dramatic" does not even come close. It was paralysing. And then, after I stopped being paralysed, it was vomit-worthy. And then it became immensely stressful. The witnesses to the occasion said I was quite amusing, smacking my head with all my might like that. And when smacking the right side of my head did not work, I tipped it sideways and smacked the other ear.

But still That Fly would not leave. He loved being in my ear where it was nice and warm, (if not a bit violent). He loved it so much that he did a little jig on my ear drum, and it sounded something like this:


That bastard.

(I'm sorry for the foul language, Poor Kyle, but I tried lots of other words to describe That Fly, and none fit quite as well. Please forgive me. And think how I feel. I had a fly in my ear.)

Finally I gathered my wits enough to scream "B!!!" (another name for "L" of "CL"), which, directly translated means, "I hate to bother you, but this insolent kamikaze fly will not exit my ear canal, which causes me great strife and his little jig is not helping, and for the love of Pete get over here I need you!!"

She came to me, good friend that she is, and made me stop flailing about like a crazy person (which I totally was by that point). She pulled my ear back, and watched as That Fly creepity-crawled sheepishly out of my ear (and the mental image of a fly creeping out of my ear still makes me want to kill myself a little bit).

She said that as the little bugger surfaced the light of day, he paused, looked at her with all his eyes and said, "Whoa. I'm sorry, lady, but your friend is nuts." And then he took off for greener pastures. Or less angry humans.

Afterwards, I discovered I'd hit my ear so hard and violently that it was bleeding inside. Blood, of course, makes me pass out. My whole face was swollen the rest of the day, but the camp infirmary supplied me with a capful of rubbing alcohol to ease my worries.

It is an experience I hope none of you ever have to suffer.

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