Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I hope you see lots of scary faces...

...and get loads of candy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The truly remarkable thing is how truly ridiculous I am. And pedantic.* Which is one of my favorite words.

The bit of minutiae that tied those segments together here is the phrase "the truly ____ part/thing is..." I used a different word to fill in the blank, to fit with the rest of the paragraph. I didn't start out to do it, it just happened. In fact, it happened naturally for the Irrational segment, and when I started to use it for Fantasy Football, I almost didn't because I'd already used it and sometimes it's quite horrible to repeat a word/phrase too much. Then I thought it'd be fun to have it in each paragraph to see if anyone would notice, so I added it to the previous segments and made sure it was in the last. You see, I'm weird that way. I've gone back and bolded the phrase just for kicks.

I'm such a nerd.

In semi-related news, my roommate's most wonderful fiance did a good deed last night. It was partly for selfish reasons that he did it, but I don't care. It just goes to prove that if you say something over and over again, you can influence others enough to do it for you. I've mentioned my cake craving numerous times over the past few days and Jeff caught the fever. Last night, he went to buy a chocolate cake because he too was mega-craving cake, and when the store didn't have one, he made one! Oh happy day! It wasn't as good as my mom's, but it sufficed. Mmmm. He served me a really large piece with a glass of milk and I thought I was in heaven. They ate big pieces, too, and then went out of town today, leaving me the rest of the cake! Good grief! Sigh. At least that craving can finally be put to bed.

*used here it means emphasizing minutiae, not dull or unimaginative, which is another of its meanings.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big News

I recently made a scary decision. Some of you already know, but some of you don't.

I'm having Lap-Band surgery on December 23rd.

I've been thinking about it since March, when my dad and stepmother kindly offered to help me pay for it. At that time, I looked into it and totally freaked out. I was not ready! Since then, I've researched it more, contemplated it off and on, talked to people who have had Lap-Band or gastric bypass surgery (or who have family that had either), thought about how my life would change, decided against it, gained lots of weight, reconsidered my decision, and researched it some more. I attended a seminar a couple weeks ago and afterward spoke to Paula about it. She said their offer was still good, so I thought some more and prayed a lot. I pretty much decided to go ahead but wanted to wait 'til I had talked to my doctor. I saw him today and he gave me a big thumbs up.

For those of you who don't know much about Lap-Band, here's a quick run-down. They put a band around the top part of my stomach, laparoscopically, creating a small pouch that doesn't hold very much food. When it's full, it creates a sense of fullness that triggers the brain to tell the body that it isn't hungry any more. The band also controls how quickly the food goes down to the stomach. The inner part of the band has a bunch of small sacks that the doctor can fill with saline to make the band tighter or that can be depleted to make the band looser.

Here are the things I like about Lap-Band (LB from here on out because I'm lazy):

1) As opposed to gastric bypass (GB), it's reversible. (Not that I hope to ever reverse it, because then the weight loss would probably reverse.) There's no cutting or rearranging my insides.

2) It's less invasive than GB. Even with the new laparoscopic GB, LB is much easier to recover from. Probably because nothing is getting cut and rearranged. (Laparoscopic means that there will only be 6 tiny incisions through which the doctors will do everything instead of a big incision that opens up the chest.)

3) It's adjustable. If I'm not losing weight "fast enough", the doctor tightens the band. If I'm losing weight too fast, he loosens it. I like that these adjustments mean I have to meet with my doctor regularly. It feels more hands-on and personal. He'll get to know me and can monitor my progress. Otherwise, I'm sure I'd never go see him because that's how I am.

4) LB is slower than GB. From what I hear, the weight just falls off GB patients. Not so with LB patients. I guess I like this because I feel like it's healthier (mentally, emotionally, and physically) for me. I want my body, brain, emotions to gradually adjust to the weight loss. I want the weight loss to be permanent and I think slower is better - for me, at least. The surgeon says that an average of 2 lbs a week is normal. That seems reasonable.

5) LB is out-patient surgery. I'll go in on the 23rd and come out the 23rd. Because of this, it's also less expensive than GB. I'll only need a week off of work and the surgeon's staff told me I should be feeling okay for Christmas Day - some discomfort but able to move around and participate in the festivities. Oh good. :)

I'm not really scared of the surgery. I'll be asleep, so if I die, I'll just wake up dead. Not a bad way to go, I figure. Plus, if I don't lose weight, I'll probably die sooner than later anyway. I'm a little nervous about the pain, but mostly because I'm not big on pain pills. Nothing personal against them, I'm just not good about remembering to take them (there is one exception). I guess, if the pain's bad enough, I'll remember to take the pill. That simple.

Here's why this is a scary decision:

1) Pre- and post-surgery liquid diet. I have to be on a slim fast diet for 10 days before the surgery and a clear liquid diet for a week after. The second week after the surgery I can start consuming non-clear liquids, but nothing solid 'til the third week. Not really looking forward to almost a month of liquid. No wonder people lose weight!

2) Once I resume eating solids again, my meals will consist of 4 oz. of food. That's it. Do you know how little 4 oz is? It's about 1/4 cup. The next time you eat, try to imagine fitting what you're eating into 1/4 cup. It's not a lot! I'm sure that physically, 4 oz won't be too hard to manage once I get used to portioning out my food. I worry about emotional eating. Eating even though I'm not hungry. I'll totally need to change how I look at food and eating. And, I'll need to come up with alternatives to eating when I'm bored, sad, stressed, etc.

3) I worry about doing something this drastic to lose weight then failing. It happens. I don't want it to happen to me. I want to be fully committed to doing what I have to in order to make this work. I worry that I'll give up, that I'll get tired of trying, that I'll do stupid things, that I'

That last one made me want to keep this surgery a secret. If only a few people knew about it, then only a few people would be disappointed in me if I fail. As I thought about it, though, I realized that I'll need as much support and encouragement as I can get. I have no illusions of this being easy. I'll need help. Besides, after the surgery, if you ever eat with me, I'm sure I'll have to explain why I'm eating so little. Did I mention that 1/4 cup is all I'll be able to manage? Yeah. Wow.

Sigh. That's only 1 piece of sushi. Maybe 2.

This is going to be interesting. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Study in Randomness

I want chocolate cake. I've wanted to eat a piece of chocolate cake ever since my mom offered me a piece a couple weeks ago. I said no because I wasn't craving chocolate cake at that moment and because I was in a hurry to be on my way up north for my last job. The chocolate gods must be punishing me for turning down a piece of my mom's absolutely divinely moist and delicious chocolate cake. Curses! The truly sad part of this tale is the feeble attempt I made last night to satisfy this craving. I made blueberry muffins. Yes, blueberry muffins. My roommate laughed. Blueberry muffins are nothing like chocolate cake! she giggled. She's right, they aren't. They did nothing to satisfy my craving for chocolate cake. Big surprise.

Sometimes, I have weird dreams. Okay, most of the time I have weird dreams. However, since dating Anthony, the weirdness of my dreams has gone to a new level. Sometimes, I speak French while signing (in ASL, of course, since I don't know French sign language, silly!). Even in my dreams I realize this is a weird occurrence. It has even progressed into my daydreams! Just today, while creating our company's new drug & alcohol testing policy, I leaned back against my chair for just a moment to indulge in my latest daydream - running into a guy from my mission who had a massive crush on me and who struggled to understand why I couldn't dance with him at the ward party. Sigh, he was really attractive! Anyway, as I was daydreaming, I realized that I was speaking French with him and signing at the same time! To be fair, Anthony had just left the office a few minutes before, so I'd been signing for about an hour. The truly funny thing is that I'm not hugely proficient in either language!

Irrational...Or Am I???
One of my biggest and most scariest fears involves me flying over the ocean (probably on my way to France or some equally cool destination) and the airplane has mega problems and I end up on an island in the middle of nowhere (a la Castaway). Yes, this is a not good situation; however, the truly frightening part is what am I going to do when my disposable contacts just have to be disposed of (they should only last a month)? What are the chances that my glasses case is going to get washed ashore along with me??? Slim to none, my friends, slim to none. Now, tell me that this isn't the stuff to keep you up at night. It sure does me! Someday, I'm going to get Lasik eye surgery, then I'll be okay if ever stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere. Well... at least I'll be able to see.

Fantasy Football
This year bites! I finally have the quarterback I always wanted (guess who!), but he's not playing well this year (except for the one week I finally decided to put him on the bench and play someone else, then he scored 25 points!). Plus, I have the worst running backs (RBs) in the league! Everyone else has RBs who are ranked 20 or higher, though usually in the single digits. Mine are ranked 43 and 46! Stupid automatic draft. The truly cruel thing, though, is my best RB (ranked 43, remember) is hurt and probably won't be able to play the rest of the season. So, I go to the Free Agents and there are no RBs who are projected to score a single point this week! Not a single point! Good grief. Any surprise that I'm in last place for our league?...?...?

I'm finally warming up to Liz and Jeff. I still love more than anything when I have the place to myself, but I'm starting to really enjoy when we hang out together. Liz and I finally had a really nice, long chat one night after Jeff had gone home. I swear that I don't bond with someone until I've stayed up too late talking to them! We don't have a whole lot in common but enough to get along. No BFF, but she's proving to be a pretty darn good roommate. Very respectful of my home and my stuff. And Jeff, he's not too terribly bad. In fact, he's a pretty nice guy - a little irritating, but nice. He probably empties the dishwasher and takes out the trash more than Liz and I combined! He is very helpful and considerate and generous. He's constantly offering to fill up my water glass, get me a popsicle, share their dinner with me, etc. And, the truly wonderful thing about them is that they go out of town practically every weekend! Hooray! Last night, as we sat around watching tv and chatting, I thought that it's probably a really good thing for me to have people that are in my house regularly. I'm becoming too anti-social, too much of a hermit. It's kind of nice to have someone there at night to laugh with and yell at the tv with (we can't believe Marjorie didn't get sent home on ANTM last night!).

Okay, so it wasn't totally random...each section has one thing in particular in common. Can you see it?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Picture Post

I finally downloaded the pictures off my camera! So, here are a few pictures from my New England/Canada cruise as well as some random pictures that I found on my camera and didn't know what to do with. Enjoy!

This is a market in St. John, New Brunswick. The ceiling is a ship's hull! I thought it was cool. Inside the market, I found all sorts of delicious treats that I remembered from when I lived in Montreal and haven't eaten since. Mmmmmm. It was heavenly.

This is supposedly the only place where you can take a picture of two bridges (the other one is in the distance on the right) in one shot. They are in St. Martins, NB, a small fishing village an hour or so away from St. Johns.

Yikes! How did this get in there? Some random girl that we saw on the double-decker bus tour we took in Halifax, Nova Scotia. What lovely, straight teeth she has! I bet she'd ask you to ignore the rain-soaked bangs, though. Poor gal. Did you know she was sick that day?

It was in front of this cemetary that I was hit on by the eager-for-a-green-card St. Lucian, Wilfred. I found a lot of really old tombstone inside - the oldest being from 1708, if I remember correctly (which is why I should write this stuff down sooner!!!).

Shaneen, Cassie, and I met these two terriers while they were out walking their owner in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Their owner was very friendly and the dogs were quite well-behaved. I'm considering getting one someday. I wonder how my red couches will look with white hair all over them? Hmmm.

When we arrived in Bar Harbor, Maine, it was quite foggy and rainy. Very beautiful! I like this picture for two reasons, 1) it kind of looks like the cruise ship is chasing the smaller ship and 2) the trail of mist you can see behind the smaller ship. It was really neat to stand on shore and watch as the mist rolled off the water.

At the top of Cadillac Mountain, where this picture was taken, one is supposed to have quite the view of the harbor, the island, and the ocean. As you can see, we didn't get that view; however, I completely enjoyed the view we got. I love mist. It's so romantic. And serene. Romantically serene.

After a very misty morning, the afternoon in Bar Harbor turned quite sunny - I even got sunburned! This picture was taken in between the mist and the sun. I like how verdant the grass and leaves are. I like the word verdant, too.

I awoke one Saturday in September and this is what I saw out my bedroom window. Actually, my camera makes everything look far away and small, so actually the balloons looked a lot bigger and closer. Kind of like this balloon...

...which decided to land in my parking lot later on that day. It was really fun to see the balloons without having to go anywhere except my front porch.

This is the kitchen table I want. It's kind of pricey, though, so it's gonna be awhile before I get it. Dang it.

I took these pictures last April at the Denver Botanical Gardens when I was there for the Audiology convention. Not a lot of flowers were blooming, but the trees were amazing! There was one pathway that was lined with blossoming trees. I wanted to take up permanent residence. It was kind of romantic. And serene. You know.

This is my Christmas tree. It's the first Chrismas tree I've ever owned, though I've been buying ornaments for it for several years. It's hard to see, but my ornaments are red, white, and clear, with some silver for sparkle. My favorites are the tiny red and white bells (you can't see them in the picture - they are too small). Stop by this Christmas so you can see it in person!

On December 27, 2006, it snowed just a little. We accumulated about 14" in one evening. This shot was taken from my mom's porch. I like the light from the street lamp. Snow is also romantically serene.

I need a boyfriend.

Well, that's all folks. Hope you enjoyed the show!

Monday, October 13, 2008

How to Change a Tire

Sigh. I'm on my last job for the year. I worked in Layton today and will be in Draper tomorrow, then I'm done for the rest of the year. It's probably a good thing...a very good thing. Everything is falling apart.

Yesterday, I had a bit of an incident. I'm sad to say that I didn't react as calmly and rationally as I would have liked. Let me embellish (one of my favorite hobbies).

As is my custom before driving Bertha and the Beast, I performed the pretrip inspection, checking all sorts of fun stuff to make sure everything was ready for the trip. However, I failed to check one important thing because my boss's son had misplaced a vital tool that I needed (he likes to use it as a sword!). I didn't check the pressure of the tires as I normally would have due to this tool's absence, but I did look at them, and they all looked ok (to my highly-trained eye).

I drove along, thinking what a fine day it was for a drive - I missed most of the snow, I guess, because I ran into nary a snowstorm, just a tiny flurry around Beaver. I stopped at my usual truck stop ("gas station" is so passenger vehicle!), and my diesel(not gas)-pumping neighbor informed me that one of my tires was low. My heart sank when I realized it was on the trailer, but then it lifted again because I was at the perfect spot to fill it with air. And I did so while my truck guzzled fuel. However, I soon realized that air was leaving the tire almost as quickly as I pumped it in. Upon further investigation, I discovered metal sticking out of the tire (some of you know what this means) and found what looked like a puncture in the inner part of the tire. I guessed that I had inadvertently (because why would I do it on purpose) run over some thin piece of metal which had killed my tire. My heart sank again, this time really, really low. I didn't know how to change a tire.

I entered the truck stop and asked about a tire repair kit, somewhat like a bicycle tire repair kit. The lady held back her giggle when I asked if I could just put duct tape over the tire's puncture when she told me she didn't have a tire repair kit. (Just because I have a CDL doesn't mean I'm a tire expert, people!) Instead, she sold me some foamy stuff that was supposed to temporarily repair and inflate the tire long enough to get it somewhere to be fixed. Yeah, it didn't work. I think it actually made the tire mad, because it started spewing foam out of the puncture hole like a rabid dog. I returned to the counter and asked where I could possibly find a place on a Sunday so that someone could put on the spare tire I fortunately had in the back of the trailer. Wal-mart was the only spot, so I slowly dragged myself and the vehicles through the streets of Payson, praying the tire would make it. It did. Barely.

This next part is when I broke down. I got to Wal-mart, waited awhile before someone came to help me, explained my situation, showed Dan (Wal-mart employee) the tire, and was told that they can't take tires off of trailers. I stared at him, then asked, If I manage to get it off - with you telling me how - can you put the spare on for me? Nope, but he could tell me how to put it on. He asked me if I had certain tools - a jack, a star bar, and something else that I can't remember. I found the jack - yeah! - but couldn't find the star bar to save my life. I later discovered that my boss's son likes to play with that, too. Sigh. When I couldn't find anything to remove the lug nuts, I looked at Dan and asked what I should do. He looked at me painfully, shook his head, and said he didn't know, repeating that he could get fired for taking a tire off a trailer. I started to cry (yes - I'm not proud, but I couldn't help it!). I called my boss - theoretically so he could tell me where the star bar was, but mostly because I didn't know what else to do. I started to cry during the message, so I kept it short, Hi, it's Julie. Call me as soon as possible. The shortness of the message and my teary voice caused him quite a bit of concern - he thought I was dead or dying or dreadfully maimed.

This phone call and my subsequent emotional break-down occured on the other side of the trailer, because I didn't want Dan to see me cry again. I composed myself the best I could, then walked around the other side to face him. To my surprise, he had grabbed some tools and had started to jack up the trailer. He changed the tire for me! For that, I will be eternally grateful to him. And, as the saying goes, "Change a girl's tire for her, and she drives 'til it flattens again. Teach her how to change it herself, and she drives 'til she's too old to climb into the truck." Or something like that. Anyhoo, he gave me step-by-step instructions for changing the tires for the trailer (which are the hardest to change), which I wrote down in my handy-dandy planner. When the task was finished, he shook my hand, said "nice to meet you, drive safe, etc." and wouldn't let me pay, saying it was his good deed for the day. I objected strongly but to no avail. So I thanked him with all my heart, wished many blessing upon him (nonverbally, I had already made a fool of myself), and left.

Dan told me I hadn't run over a thin piece of metal, the metal was from the inside of my tire (who knew???)! The tire had become so worn that the metal was sticking out around the entire circumference of the tire! He said it was a miracle that the tire hadn't exploded and shed (like a semi's does) enroute. According to him, that could have been disasterous because the length and weight of the trailer could have caused me to lose control of the vehicles, possibly leading to a bad accident. He'd never seen a tire as bad as mine that hadn't come apart.

Makes me glad that I said my customary pre-trip prayer, asking Heavenly Father to bless the truck and trailer to work well.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


So, there's a new man in my life.

I use the term "man" loosely. I should say there's a new male in my life, since it'll be several years before he's actually a man.

I'm an aunt again!!!

Last night, my sister-in-law gave birth to an 8-lb, 20-inch little boy they named Robert Brent. Robert after her dad and Brent after mine. Also, Jason told me last weekend that Mom and Dad had considered naming him Robert, but he didn't look like a Robert when he was born. So, Robert is kind of named after Jason, too. In a way. If you look at it in a certain angle.

Both mom and baby are doing okay. During the delivery, the doctors discovered that little Robert's heart beat wasn't what it should be and ended up taking him out through a C-section. He had some scary moments, but Jason says that he's doing fine and should be perfectly healthy. Rachel is tired but good. They are expecting to be released from the hospital this weekend, which is nice because I'm going to be in their neck-of-the-woods Monday afternoon and have been given permission to stop by and meet my new nephew. I'm so excited!

Jason says Robert is a cute baby, but he's biased. I'm biased too, so I bet he's adorable!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tempted No More

A few years ago, someone accused me of being too picky when it comes to guys. It miffed me, to be perfectly honest. Actually, I think they were saying that at my age I shouldn't be picky, I should be happy to get what I could. I could write a whole post about how wrong that sentiment is, but that's not my chosen topic today. Instead, let's discuss one of those things that might actually qualify me as being picky.

I don't want to date a man who is obsessed with something. Anything. Passionate, yes. Obsessed, heck no. And yet, I date guys who have obsessions. In fact, all the guys I've dated have been obsessed with something - to varying degrees, it's true, but still obsessed. Are there guys out there who enjoy a lot of things, are passionate about a few, but obsessed with none??? I'm beginning to have my doubts.

Today, I discovered that Anthony certainly isn't one of those hard-to-find guys. He is obsessed with a video game in which he's a warlock and goes around on quests and winning money to increase his power (or something to that effect, after awhile, my eyes glazed over and I drifted to an alternate reality). I asked how often he plays it. Every day. How long every day? When I get off of work (3:30) til I go to bed (10ish). On weekends I play it all day.

And, in that moment I lost my attraction for him.

And it's not just because I have absolutely no interest in video games. True, it's harder to tolerate an obsession that doesn't really interest me, but I'd still be bugged if the obsession was something I like. I mean, I love to watch football as much as the next person, but if I dated a guy who had to watch every game, who only talked about football, and had football memorabilia all over his room/house, I'd dislike it as much as if the obsession was with a video games.

Well...almost as much.

Because, if there really aren't guys out there who are obsession-less, I'm willing to make a deal. I'll do my best to support the obsession as long it a) involves a lot of time in nature (hiking, camping, skiing, etc.), b) allows for true human interactions (as opposed to the faux interactions that online video games boast - and, attending video game conventions doesn't count -not in my book), or c) is productive - like cooking.

See, I'm not that picky.