Archives of Our Lives

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

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Camille & Poor Kyle Consummate the Marriage and Invite All Y'all to Have a Look-see

Adam Shankman is a goofy sort of fellow. He's always saying deeply profound things that have no meaning whatsoever. In his role as a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance tonight, he told Mark and Courtney that, though he loved each of them separately, he was even more moved by the pair of them as a couple.

"And that's the power of togetherness," he added for emphasis. Whatever, Adam. Where do you come up with garbage like that--Vorizon™ cell phone commercials?

Anyway, he's a nice guy, and he has absolutely nothing to do with what I am writing about tonight--aside from "the power of togetherness" line.

Poor Kyle and I, we have felt a lot of "power of togetherness," if "power of togetherness" means enjoying a Caribbean cruise for our honeymoon last October. Here's a run-down of the blessed event:

We got on this boat [I don't feel like adding a bright red arrow to the photo, so just trust me when I say it was the one on the right]:


And two days later, we got off the boat at this beach in St. Martin:


But even though we were prepared with our swimsuits, we didn't don them to bask in the water. Instead we took pictures of ourselves in front of it:


And then we took more pictures of ourselves at a cabana near the beach:



...because that's how we roll, PK & C.

Then we went back to the ship where we found this mysterious cake waiting in our suite:

Poor Kyle denied knowing anything about it, but I was convinced he secretly ordered it because he loved me, and, "Look! It says right on the frosting 'I Love You.' Who else on this ship loves either one of us?" Obviously he didn't love me--at least not enough to commission a cake in my honour--because shortly after we cut into it, some lady from Room Service called and told us it had been delivered in error, and had we already eaten it, because she needed it back. Oops.


The next day we boarded the pirate ship used in a small film known as "Pirates of the Caribbean." We started out looking dapper--better than our actual wedding day, truth be told:


But then it rained a cold and bitter rain, and our day became more or less miserable. Only by that time we were stuck on the pirate ship, surrounded by the ocean with nowhere to go. For eight hours: Did I mention it was cold?

And then we died. But we came back to life just in time to board our cruise ship again and hole away in our room, where we...(ahem)...snapped a million photos of each other. (Why, what did you think I was going to write, sicko?)

We took so many photos, I suppose, because we were so happy to be reveling in our newfound "power of togetherness." [Actually, we were just too...umm...shy...to do much of anything else. If you catch my drift.]

Here is me:


And me again [memememe!!!!]:


And here's PK, below. This picture of Poor Kyle captures some of his best characteristics: mild-mannered, calm, and always (well, more like 99% of the time) good-natured. Wouldn't you agree?

Handsome, I know:


Fast forward to the next day...the last island we visited on our cruise was St. Kitts, and we both agreed that, if given the choice, we would have spent all seven days right there on that island. It was the best day of the entire trip.

We rented a shiny red scooter built for 11⁄2:


Visited an amazing historic fortress called Brimstone Hill:



Bonded with each other in our "power of togetherness":



...and stopped to photographically intrude upon the monkeys alongside the road:


Oh! I forgot to add that Poor Kyle's parents were so happy to finally have him married off, they gave us our honeymoon as a wedding gift. Thanks, guys! (I have yet to post about the actual wedding reception, which was a fun and fancy night, [put on by my parents and loads of family--thanks to you guys, too!])

Anyway, I'll tell you one thing: marriage is not for the faint of heart, to be sure. But think I'd do it once a year if I could...

...if only for the honeymoons.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm a Glutton for Deprivation

I'm sleep deprived right now. Being sleep deprived really is the best kind of deprivation--much better than carne asada burrito deprived or heavy summer rain deprived or even fat baby nephew deprived...

Does it mean that he's iron-deprived if he enjoys chomping on blankets?

But anyway, if I have to be deprived of something, I definitely choose sleep, because the funniest things happen to me when I'm running low on zees. For example...

Couches totally collapse...


Previously sane (well, moderately sane) people turn into pirates...


...the pirateage continues...



...and people get eaten by giant reptiles at the Phoenix Zoo...


So do yourself a favour and lose some sleep this summer. You'll thank me for the advice after the pictures have been taken.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Does This Playlist Make My Blog Look Fat?

Oh, boy—have I ever got a problem.

See, I don’t like being poked fun of (whereas everyone else in the world enjoys it, I know). Unfortunately for me, I’ve been reading this blog and I have become mind-wrackingly paranoid that the author is making fun of me--me, personally. And so now, whether or not I actually fit into the group of people the blogger is writing about, I am painfully trying to decide what to do—if anything. See, I’m worried about the music playlist on Archives of Our Lives, because some of the songs I play are also featured on Seriously So Blessed.

And I don’t think it matters, either, that I change my music almost constantly to match my daily blog posts. I still feel like a total loser. This is almost worse than going to a movie by myself.

So come on—be honest: Does this playlist make my blog look fat?
Do you upload my blog, Archives of Our Lives, and automatically hit the “mute” button before you even start reading?


Because sometimes I do, and I'm not kidding. Sometimes it’s 100% distracting...yet other times I think the songs really do add an interesting element that I’d hate to lose.

But, impressionable as I am, I will get rid of my music playlist altogether if you all decide I should…

…so should I?

View the poll to the right, and help me decide. Please--I can't stand the humiliation.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

I've Just Thought of an Excellent Plot for a Horror Film...

Remember last August how my hand got sore from a case of blogger finger?


Well, apparently the disease has spread to the produce. I was washing vegetables for a lovely salad last night, when I came across a past-its-peak carrot that felt fleshy and bony and strangely like a human digit (Haunted houses, anyone? It's genius.). Inasmuch as there was no way I was eating a carrot that felt like a human finger, I tossed it on top of a pile of lettuce to go to the garbage.

And when I came back, it looked like this:


Gross. It matched my blogger finger perfectly.

I got to thinking later (this morning in the shower, if you must know), and realised I've come upon something genius--this is just the stuff that horror films are made of! I can see it now...

Carrot Man vs. Lettuce Lady in...Where Have all the Vegetables Gone??

Not only will your children never sleep again, but you can forget about them touching their salads at dinner.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

{I've Never Felt so Lame in all My Life}

Me: Babe, I think today's the day.

Poor Kyle: What day?


Me: The day I've been dreading all my life.

PK: Gosh, you're so dramatic. What are you talking about?


Me: I think I am going to see a movie all by myself today. In the theatre. Alone.

PK: Oh, good. Take that gift card on the dresser and get in free.

Me: Aren't you going to try and talk me out of it?


PK: Why would I do that? I don't care if you go...


Me: Oh, I don't know. It just means I'm depressed or something, and if I'm actually going to do this, then I'm probably only a step away from drinking a whole bottle of laxatives and defecating myself to death...


It's true. I've always known this day would come. I have put it off for years, but there was no avoiding it. Today I went to see a movie--in the theatre--all alone.

I don't know how it happened, really. I hadn't planned it in advance. But for some reason, when I woke up this morning (the second time, that is [first I woke up to water the garden and help Poor Kyle take apart our bed. Then I went back to sleep and woke up again at a more holy hour]) I just knew it was going to happen. I said to myself, "Self...today you have to see a movie all alone. In the theatre. Lonely. And it will be Mama Mia."

So I did it. I mean, when one's fate is written in the stars like that, there's absolutely no sense in fighting it.

But I did bring my camera along to document my bout with depression. Looking back, though, I've concluded that filming my experience was kind of cheating; I was never fully alone, since I had my camera to talk to. Nevertheless, it was a fear conquered (somewhat), and I'm crossing it off my list so I'll never have to do it again.

Have a look:
[It's long, so scroll to the middle if you just want to see the Mama Mia part.]

video

In the end, it wasn't as bad as I expected, but I suspect it would have been worse without my buddy the camera...

I hate being lonely.

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Mike Holmes Might as Well be Superman...

..if you ask me, that is.

Picture from here.

This is Mike Holmes. Do any of you know this man? I do--at least, I feel like I know him personally. I feel like we're best friends. Mike Holmes has a way of making people feel good about themselves.

Picture from here.

I know, I know--he looks a little bit like he could kill a man. And here's a secret...he probably could. He could, but he won't; he never will, because he's Holmes on Homes. He's a good man.

The Canadian contractor and television show host has made it his goal in life to rid Canada of shady contractors. His motto is, "Do it right," and if someone has already screwed that part up, his backup plan is to "Make it right."

It's a Discovery Channel show, but I watch it on HGTV. And from what I can tell, Mike Holmes is truly a caring individual. Some of the homes he fixes (all of which have been buggered up by previous contractors) are for people in wheelchairs--in which case Mike Holmes bends down to speak to them at their own height. Mike Holmes is gentle when helping sweet little ladies, and he explains all of his actions on an age-appropriate level. In other words, he cares.

He's also set up a scholarship program for higher-education in the trades, which he believes is a necessity if we're to handle the retirement of the baby boomers with any sort of grace at all. And to top it all off, he received an honorary doctorate from BCIT, on account of his exemplary craftsmanship and humanitarian efforts.

Picture from here.

I've always wanted an honorary Doctorate.

And so what if he has a seemingly never-ending supply of overalls and white tank tops? A trademark's a trademark--plus, he dresses up his overalls with long sleeve button-up shirts if he's going somewhere fancy...like the Ellen Degeneres show:



That's classy right there. I love a man who knows how to act in public.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Here's How I Lost my Faith in Humanity

The Time: Friday night, 11:00.

The Place: Side door entrance to the Hilton Garden Inn. Layton, UT.

Photo from here.

The People: Me, loaded up with beach bags full of towels and sunscreen. Poor Kyle, holding a box of leftover pizza from Boston's.
Sister, carrying everything nobody else could hold. Brother-in-Law, burdened with his fat little baby boy [who happened to be sleeping soundly under the warmth of a fuzzy green blanket].

There's no way around it--he's a fatty. And we love him.

The four of us [plus sleeping fat baby] were exhausted from our day at the water park--lazy river or not, it still takes a lot out of a person. We were sunburned and sore from our high-energy day, and parked as close to the hotel entrance as possible--which wasn't very close at all. Luckily, there was a side door entrance a bit nearer which, experience had taught, was also closer to the elevators. We walked as quickly as our aching bodies would allow, and soon reached the glass door at the side of the hotel.

Locked.

To go around front would have taken only a few minutes, but it seemed an impossible feat for any one of us--we must have looked a haggard lot.

Instead, I noticed through the glass walls of the building a man and woman coming our way, no doubt headed to the nearby elevators.

"Ooh, there are some people! Get their attention!" I urged my husband, who stood closest to the door.

He and Flint, my brother-in-law holding the fat baby boy, inched towards the windowed door and knocked ever so lightly, winning the attention of the fast-approaching couple.

The man inside--we'll call him Comb Over--was in his 30s, wearing a white polo shirt with khakis and penny loafers, and looking back, I'm pretty sure his comb over was hiding a bald patch on his shiny head. Which would have been fine with me {I, myself, am losing hair at an alarming rate}, had he not glanced our way, snarled, and flung his hand behind him, vaguely indicating we ought to go around to the front. When he could have pushed the bar-locked door open with nothing but an outstretched arm. He wouldn't have even needed to take an extra step. It could have been a walk-by opening.

He probably figured he'd get to the elevator while we trekked to the front entrance, and be in his warm cozy bed before we even got through the doors. He probably figured he'd never see us again.

Comb Over and Woman probably didn't count on the elevators being slow on account of some corporate something-or-other congestion. He probably didn't count on another, kinder gentleman opening the door for us just seconds later, letting us in right behind him. He probably never thought we'd get to the elevator while he was still standing there.

But we did.

And my sister and I married very large men. Who are wonderful except when angry. And our husbands were nothing if not angry with this jerk. (I, myself, have never had so strong an urge to label someone a jack@$$ in my life.) Mind you, Flint is a police officer who is two hundred and something pounds of sheer weight. And okay, he was holding a fat sleeping baby, which might have made him slightly less intimidating, but he still had the huevos to walk up to the guy and say, "Hey, buddy--thanks for opening the door for the sleeping baby."

To which Poor Kyle piped in, "Yeah, thanks a lot!"

Comb Over Polo Shirt said curtly, "You guys could have gone around to the front just like I did." As if he was so disillusioned with his lot in life of having to walk around, that he wanted to make every other human being suffer. Suffer like he had to suffer. Woe was him, I tell you what.

Just then, the elevator doors opened and the four of us whisked past Comb Over to claim it. Don't worry--there was plenty of room for the four of us and Comb Over plus Woman...only they weren't too keen on sharing with the likes of us.

I wonder if they were too insecure? Or maybe just too ashamed to face up to their actions...

Either way, if Comb Over ever comes across this blog at some point in his life--and he knows who he is--I just want to tell him this:

I hope you've come to terms with your baldness.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

{I Get Depressed Very Easily}

Did you know that I am tall? Indeed I am. I'm 6' 1" if I'm an inch.

It was a freak accident, if you ask me. My mother is 5' 8", and my dad is 6' 0", but my older sister didn't come out as tall as me--she's only 5' 8". And sure, there are tall cousins on both sides--two boys are well over six feet--but their parents are also all over six feet.

I don't know how or why, but they're my genes so I have learned to love them.

It hasn't always been this way, though. I used to wail and wallow in despair about how tall I was--no boys would ever like me, I was sure. I was as tall as an amazon, and as graceful as a duck. And I could never find pants long enough to fit my octopus legs. In my teenage head, I was doomed for a life of misery.

Eventually I learned that it didn't matter if boys never liked me--they were all jerks anyway. I came to embrace my duckish-demeanor, and try to laugh it off. But finding pants long enough has still been the curse of my existence.

It is a marvel to me that some people in the world can actually walk into Target™ and buy a pair of jeans off the rack for well under $50.00. The only place I have bought a pair of jeans since I was 16 has been the Buckle. Usually they range between $70.00 and $100.00 each [which, I know is a pittance compared to what some people spend on Sevens of the World or whatever those movie-star jeans are called. But alas. I am no movie star. And spending $50.00 a leg just to be decent in public is a lot of money for me].

So you can imagine how I feel when this sort of thing happens to me:



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Monday, July 14, 2008

My Year in Review: Happy Birthday, Little Blog!

On Saturday, July 12th, this blog turned one year old.

I debated holding another giveaway to celebrate, but I still don't make any money off this blog, (or as a human being in general) so I decided to limit my expenditures.

Instead, I dove into the Archives of my life, and picked out some of the most monumental (or just plain mental!) posts of the past 367 days.

For those of you who've been following faithfully since day one, this might get tedious. But I thought the newcomers may enjoy reading up on AOOL, how it came to be, and what-not.

And if nobody enjoys reading these archives, I suppose it will have been an exercise in humility for me. Humility--maybe that's something I can write about for next year's birthday?




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Thursday, July 10, 2008

{I Met Loralee and All I Got Was a Low Self-Esteem}

I drove 13 hours to meet Loralee.

Okay, so I was going through Utah anyway, and I had three hours to go from there, so I needed to stop for dinner. But that doesn't mean I was any less excited for the rendezvous.


See, there was this time in my life that I lost my faith in humanity; Loralee renewed that faith. During the first few months of my blogging obsession, I stalked many a talented bloggers, and didn't quite understand why none of them stalked me in return. Loralee was the first professional blogger to acknowledge me, and even then it was only after I begged on my hands and knees for it. But however pathetic my reasons, I felt like a superstar the first day I read a comment from her, and every comment thereafter. I'm sure she was just trying to be nice, because she'd been in my position, but eventually I gathered the courage to email her and now we're sort of friends.

And we've met, so we're sort of better friends.

She's really very nice. For anyone wondering whether he or she should try and meet his or her blogging hero, my advice is to go for it.

For one thing, she buys cute shoes at good prices. Very likable indeed. (The blogger, not the shoes. [Though the shoes are nice, too.])

Probably all blogging heroes are as cool as Loralee, who asked the waiter to split our cheques right from the start [I am so paranoid about whether or not that is tacky, I would have paid for me, Loralee, and her displaced southern belle friend, if it meant I could avoid an awkward situation. I bet you wish you'd never spoken up, eh Loralee?].

Also, I got the scoop on a lot of juicy drama that Loralee is too tasteful to ever actually post on her blog--it was the real inside edition, and totally worth every moment of pre-meeting anxiety.

But really, our friendship was doomed from the beginning. Loralee and I can never become truly bosom buddies. Because when our dinner at Chili's was over, our pictures were taken and our goodbyes hugged, I unlocked the door to Tamra Camry, sank--relieved at my presence of mind through the meal--into the driver seat, and checked the visor mirror. Only about an hour too late...

Like I said--doomed. And it'll be a cold day in Mesa before I order lettuce wraps in public again.

*Really, though. Loralee is lots of fun. Go meet her and tell her that crazy girl sent you.*

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

{Of All the Goodly Things in Life, This Has to be the Best}

I am whole again.

This is just like the time in 6th grade (grade 6, Canadians!) when I picked and tore and bit at the wart on my thumb so much it eventually fell off, but once it was gone, I missed it. I missed the entertainment my old friend Warty brought me while the rest of the class was learning about the prime meridian [a subject on which I was already an expert].

But before long, it returned--as warts are wont to do--and I was whole again. Warty and me, just like the old days.

Now, years later, the feeling has returned. Not in regards to the wart on my thumb, though...

...but Tastespotting.com. It's back. If Alias came back on T.V. for one last season [with Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan both alive for the duration], I would not be as happy as I am today with the return of Tastespotting.com. If I could rewind to the time before I knew Wal-Mart™ existed, my joy would not even compare to today's. If I could believe in Santa Claus again, I would not trade that feeling for having Tastespotting.com back in my life.

It's like losing a $20.00 bill in last year's winter coat and mourning its loss, but then forgetting all about it until the first frost of autumn.

What once was lost...now is found.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

{The Dog Ate My Blog Post}

I've always wanted to use that excuse for something, but growing up, the only dog I ever had was Sampson, a black lab who was equally energetic and lazy. He would never eat anything besides the regular food and snacks, so even when I tried to feed him my past-due assignments, he'd turn up his opinionated nose at them.

He's dead now; we killed him.

It was so hard saying goodbye to a dog I didn't even really like that I swore I would never love again--love another dog, anyway. Which means, obviously, that no dog actually ate my blog posts. I've simply been taking my sweet time getting back into the groove of things since my trip to AZ. My family's (+Chelsie) visit last week was splendid, although when it came time for them to leave, I almost wished they'd never come--kind of like how I wish I'd never begged my parents for a puppy so I'd never have to kill Sampson.

But dead or alive, time goes on and I'm back in Canada. For Poor Kyle, the novelty of having his wife back has worn off. I think he remembers how testy I can be--I don't like children, I rarely make the bed, and hosting dinner parties gets me grouchy. I think he wishes I was back in Arizona where he could miss me from a distance, and all my faults would be blurred by fourteen hundred mile markers.

And me? Well, it's not that I don't like marriage--I just hate being wrong all the time. Before we got married, I heard from at least 50 people that "marriage requires a lot of compromising." That was fine with me--Poor Kyle was going to have a lot of compromising to do, naturally. Because I never imagined that he could be twice as stubborn as I am, and I would, in fact, be the one to back down in the name of peace [and not becoming another statistic of divorce].

Then again, he probably feels like nobody ever warned him just how often he would have to give up and give in to keep the peace. I read a lot of blogs about marital and parental bliss, and I'm not buying it. Yes, I'm happily married. Yes, I intend to remain so [and to Poor Kyle] all the days of my existence. And yes, I will probably be wrong--and hate being wrong--for the entire duration.

There's two sides to every story, even [especially] in marriage.

I suppose Poor Kyle should start his own blog if he wants equal representation.

p.s. Happy Birthday, big sis! Good thing you have two birthdays and I'll be seeing you on your second one, or else I would be the All-Time-World's-Worst-Sister. Lucky me. Lucky you.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm Havin' Fun. {So Sue Me.}

I haven't been neglecting you. On Monday morning I got a phone call from my mom.

"We're coming," she said. "Can you be ready for us?"

Absolutely. It only took 18 hours of spring cleaning that I never did back in the spring, but I got good and ready. They arrived on Tuesday at 5 a.m., with an extra three people I was thrilled to see--my sister, her baby, and dear dear Chelsie.

We're full to the brim in this house, I'm out of milk, and I don't know when I've been happier. {As a side note: anybody who as physically met me before and reads this blog is 100% welcome to come visit me and Poor Kyle in Canada--we're all friends here. Any time, any day. We're very accommodating. I cherish company.}

So please, blog, don't feel abandoned. I mean, when it comes right down to it, would you rather spend your days thinking of clever things to post on the internet, or do this: (see below) until the wee hours of the morning?

video

[Starring my dad as lead singer. I've never heard him rock like he rocked that day.]

I will return to regularly scheduled posting when I get around to it. Sometime this week. Or next.

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