Tuesday, July 29, 2008

insomnia sleeps for no man...or woman.

I wonder how many of my blog posts have been written during the wee hours of mornings because I haven't been able to fall asleep? I'm willing to bet at least half, if you include the ones from my first blog. This one is read more frequently by family members, so I try not to post anything that would alarm my mother, and it seems that I have my most alarming thoughts in wee hours. So I try not to post here without a good night's sleep.

Obviously, this is an exception.

I've been online looking at job prospects and housing prospects, and I have to say, things are looking much better for me as a college graduate than they did when I got married two years ago. I'm sending out resumes right and left. And up and down. I'm only worried that I'll miss deadlines, because I'm sending them out for job listings right now, but I'm not getting back until late August. And I've found some very charming looking apartments, but I know from experience that apartments look much different in real life than they look on ksl.com. And I hate finding good ones and then having to wait until night time to call about them, so I'm not waking home owners in wee hours. But I'm up anyway, so I might as well.

The cool thing about insomnia is that I have dirt on everyone I've ever shared a room with. People do strange things in their sleep. I love collecting quotes in wee hours. Here are some of my favorites:

"GOLLYGEEWILLIKERS!" (this was shouted, nay, screamed. It was alarming, to say the least.)

"Please pass the chicken salt." (as opposed to the turkey salt?)

and my all time favorite:

"We were going to storm the castle, but Mika was already there!"
That's what happens when you fall asleep with headphones on, I guess.
Sweet dreams to all our readers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh good laugh, there was sing.

Such a poetic line, from "Suessical the Musical." At least, that's what I thought the line was. And I was so jealous that somebody else had thought it up before I did. I didn't know what it meant, but it sounded so cool to me. Then Cecily told me that the real line was "Oh, could that fella sing."
I am just that cool.
Charles had a similar experience as a teenager when he mistook the words "dangerous liason" for "dangerously hazel." He felt silly for telling me my eyes were dangerously hazel, because, he admitted, he'd heard that phrase in a song and thought it was cool. But he really didn't. He made it up all by himself, and it still makes me feel giddy. Teehee.
He is just that cool.

Thank goodness for fuzzy speakers and bad listening skills.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Dangerous Pasttime

Yesterday Charles' professor was in town to check up on everyone's internships and host family situations and everything. He took us all out to dinner (including the wives, which I thought was very nice) and asked us for stories and for recommendations for the future. Everyone had a lot in insight to share, and I thought the professor was pretty good at taking it all in stride, and not becoming defensive, as I think this program is kind of his baby.

After dinner, on the ride home, I started making a mental list of the things I've learned over here. I've learned more about myself, my marriage, my husband, and my parents than I think I've actually learned about Russia, but I think that's to be expected.

I've learned that I'm more of a scaredy-cat than I thought I was, but that I can learn to be brave. I just have to force myself to try new things, and fix problems as they come up, instead of trying to think of any possible dilemma and solving it before it before it happens. Chances are, it won't even happen, and if it does, I'm not actually more prepared for it by worrying about it beforehand.

I've learned that my husband is more patient than even I give him credit for. I knew when I married him that he was very easy to get along with, and very difficult to offend, but I'm learning that those are very greivous understatements. I'm continually impressed by how much he looks out for me, and how much he doesn't mind translating and explaining things. Especially advertisements in the metros. They always look so intriguing, and it's frustrating not to know what they're about. He went out of his way to find the website for one of the more interesting ads, and translate and explain it to me. That was when we both realized that we were looking at an ad for yeast infection medicine. It claims to work in just one day.

I've learned that I didn't give my parents enough credit. In my childish ignorance, I always interpreted moving as their way of punishing us kids for making good friends quickly. I never stopped to think that they were leaving friends, too, and that it hurt them to see us say our good byes. I never thought about my mom showing up in relief society as "the new kid" that I always resented being, and never thought about having to be the new kid with six of her own new kids. And I never had any sympathy for my dad, because he was always very optimistic and upbeat about our moves, so I just figured he was never sad to leave places that we loved. But now I'm realizing that was just so stupid of me. I don't know how my parents did it, but I'm in awe.

Sitting on the metro, thinking all of these thoughts, and having so many new and sudden insights into my own life, I naturally wanted to share them with my best friend. So I looked over to see if he was still awake, and this is what I found:

He had gotten his tongue stuck in his water bottle. What a cute little boy I married.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Alright, alright.

So, Starla tagged me, and said that if I wish to remain friends with her, I would complete her tag.
Six random facts about me.
1. I love thunderstorms. Especially summer thunderstorms. Just wild about thunderstorms.
2. My favorite color this year is ballerina pink. Hasn't been pink since I was like, two. My favorite color changes about once a year.
3. I tend to obsess. My obsessions change about every three or four months. I won't tell you what my current obsession is, but my most recent one was buying a puppy.
4. I collect jokers from packs of playing cards. I have them from all over the world! I haven't found one here, yet, but I will. If you go on a trip, bring me a pack of cards! I'll pay you back.
5. I have recently rediscovered a love for strawberry yoghurt. Don't worry, mom. I only buy refridgerated brands that I recognize, like Yoplait and Activia.
6. I don't really like to eat meat in foreign countries. It's very scaredy-cat of me, and I'm sure the bugs I might get wouldn't be that bad, but I still can't really bring myself to do it.
7. I hate nickels and I don't like to use spoons unless I have to. Charles and I have this really old, banged up, and ugly nickel that we keep in a ring box, and we pass it back and forth in silly ways. Charles has custody of it currently, and there's no telling where it will end up. He found it in his pillow case the other night when he smacked his head down on it too fast. haha. It's called "the dirty nickel."
I hereby tag Alistor, Leam, Alicia, Candace, Gwen, and Rufus.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pregnant Lady Duty

So, Mike and Sarah had some exciting news when they got to our house last week. They're having a baby in November! Charles and I were actually pretty relieved to hear this, because as their tour guides, it meant we would now be moving the pace of a pregnant woman. We could take it easier, we thought. Nope. We have now learned that a pregnant woman's pace is about two hundred miles per hour more than our usual pace. Those two have lots of energy. We do not.

We started things off on the wrong foot by picking them up at the wrong airport. Rather, Charles got to the wrong airport, and began to suspect something was wrong because their flight wasn't listed on the incoming flights. Meanwhile, Mike and Sarah found an internet cafe in their airport, and I was able to let them know to stay put, because Charles had figured out his mistake and was on his way. If anyone else wants to come visit us, I promise we'll go to the right airport this time.

We gave Mike and Sarah our bed, and we moved our bedding to the balcony. That was a very smart move at first, because it's the coolest place in the apartment at night. But then the sun comes up at 4:00 am, and changes everything. It's a really good view, though! This is the sunrise from our balcony.

The next morning we headed to Red Square, of course! That's where you have to start when you come here, I've decided. St. Basil's Cathedral, right outside the Kremlin and Lenin's Tomb.

Russia's National History Museum, which was closed while we were there, but still really cool to look at. It's made all of brick, even with all the intricate designs on the outside.

The Kremlin wall. We got to go inside and see all the churches, and one of them even had the Romanov's pew in it and stuff.

The fanciest shopping mall I've ever seen. We couldn't afford to buy gum there. But we could afford to use the "toilet," which is where the rest of the story begins. While we were at Red Square, Sarah started having some pain in her kidney, and was worried that her kidney infection was back. We took her home, called her doctor, and bought the antibioitics they told us to buy. Russian pharmacies don't require prescriptions for anything. It's kind of weird. Especially since you can't just self medicate with antibiotics. But we weren't, because we were following Sarah's doctor's instructions. Meanwhile, we started having to carry toilet paper with us, and make sure to find bathrooms in every place we visited, because a pregnant woman with a kidney infection= a tour of Russia's bathrooms. This is how the tour started to look:This is the boys reading their map books outside the lady's room in the Pushkin art museum. If I'd known how attached they were going to get to these books, I'd have taken over touring duties. These boys loved those map books. We were sitting in the middle of a really cool art museum, and they both had their noses in their books. Silly boys. However, Mike's sense of direction was pretty obvious. He was helping us figure out what metro exits we needed to take by the end of the trip. He's got me beat. Pretty good for someone who doesn't even read Cyrillic!

This is the Russian Orthodox Temple, which we took Mike and Sarah to. Charles couldn't go inside because he wore shorts that day, but he's seen it several times, so he sat outside and read his map book while I took them inside. I love that temple. It's really cool. It's got a museum in the bottom that shows exhibits about how the temple was built, and stuff. It was destroyed during communism, and when Stalin tried to build a giant statue of Lenin there, they discovered that nothing could be built on the foundation. Not even a one story house. The water table was too high, or something. So they turned it into the world's largest public swimming pool, and called it good. Then in 1995 the government decided to rebuild the temple, and strangely enough, didn't encounter any problems with the foundation. Mike didn't seem too impressed, though.

Eventually Sarah's pain became very severe, and we ended up rushing her to the American hospital on the other side of town at two in the morning, where we were told that she could only take tylenol and continue taking her antibiotics. And they upped her dosage of antibiotics. They told us to watch her over the course of the day, and if she worsened or didn't improve, to bring her back, and she'd have an ultrasound. We got her home, and put her to bed, but could not get her comfortable. She was in an unreal amount of pain. I was afraid it was early labor or something, because I've never seen anyone in that much pain when they weren't about to deliver a baby. So we took her back in, and this time they were able to tell us that she not only had a kidney infection, but a kidney stone. So, I wasn't too far off. I've heard kidney stones can be compared to labor, anyway.

Charles and I took off to get some food for all of us while they were busy with doctors, and found a really good shashlik place pretty close to the hospital. There was a tree growing in the middle of the restaurant, but nobody else seemed to notice it. It was raining buckets outside, so it was nice to get inside and smell good shashlik smells. We remembered at that point that we hadn't eaten or slept since dinner the night before, and it was now close to bedtime again!

They wanted to check her into a women's hospital for a week, but Sarah would have none of it. They upped her dosage, and gave her extra strength tylenol (remind me never to have any kind of pain while I'm pregnant. Tylenol is a joke.) and sent her home for some rest. Mike wanted to get her on a plane the next morning, but Sarah told him that she was not going home until we took her to the market we'd been telling her so much about. Oops. The antibiotics and Tylenol seemed to be doing their job, though, so we agreed to take her if she promised to take it easy. She loved the market so much that we went back the next day, and I just have to tell you that Charles is going to get a really cool Christmas present this year! But I won't tell you what it is. We did get some really cool mittens, a faberge egg, and a wooden santa that I've been wanting to buy since I saw it weeks ago at the market. I LOVE my santa! Mike and Sarah left yesterday morning, and we took the rest of the day to just chillax and recuperate from an exhausting week!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

been tagged.

20 years ago:
1. I hated Disney movies that didn't have enough color variety, like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella and Sword in the Stone. I hated "real people movies." If they weren't cartoon, I'd have none of it.
2. I called Nesquik "bunny juice." My family still calls it that.
3. I loved when my dresses twirled with me. My mom made a lot of my clothes, and she was good with twirly dresses.

10 years ago:
1. I lived in Turkmenistan.
2. I dreamed of being a famous filmstar.
3. I became the first female student body president in my school.
4. I hated dresses. All dresses, all the time.
5. I wrote poetry.

5 years ago:
1. I moved into DT and met all the girls I'd be living with for the next few years.
2. I had a crush on a guy in my German class.
3. I was stalked by a weirdo in my ward.
4. I realized that I didn't really want to be a filmstar, or even be in the film industry at all. That was quite a shock, and I spent the next five years wondering what I wanted to be.
5. Started my first blog. Quite ahead of the times, eh?

3 years ago:
1. I figured out what I wanted to be, and changed my major, but I didn't tell anyone what it was. I wanted to keep it a secret so it would still be fun to me.
2. Found out that Cecily had the same secret major, and blabbed my secret. We took classes together for the rest of our collegiate careers.
3. I was working at Taco Bell, and dating a sourpuss of a Texan.
4. Broke up with the sourpuss, and spent the summer managing Taco Bell Nights.
5. Met that Campbell kid, and had my last first date!

1 year ago:
1. Went to school all summer, and got burnt out.
2. Went to school in the fall, anyway.
3. Read Like Water for Chocolate and realized my calling in life.
4. Celebrated my first wedding anniversary with Charles! But not my first anniversary, because we celebrate every month that we're together, and we'd been dating for two years by then.
5. Was working for Public Policy as the secretary.

This year:
1. Finally became an editor! And I loved it!
2. Got really really really extremely ridiculously puppy hungry.
3. Learned how to make creme brulee, and learned how not to make creme brulee.
4. Graduated with Cecily!
5. Moved to Russia with my husband, like grown ups do!

1. Stayed awake for over 24 hours, because my insomnia has struck again.
2. Went to the dentist that Charles went to on his mission, to get my tooth fixed.
3. Got my tooth fixed.
4. Broke my tooth again, on bread, again.
5. Took half of Charles' sleeping pill before bed last night.

1. Woke up 18 hours after the sleeping pill, and wondered why Charles hadn't woken me up. Oh. Because he couldn't.
2. Realized I was having an allergic reaction to something (sleeping pill is the main suspect) and took some benedryl. My rash went away and my breathing returned to normal about ten minutes afterward!
3. Went to Ikea for some sheets, because we realized that we didn't have enough for Mike and Sarah when they get here. That was the fastest Ikea trip of my life, because I didn't have time to sit in all the couches or admire the pink kitchen. But I did find the most adorable (and freaking cheap!!) sheets. I am in love.
4. Ate the most delicious orange I have ever tasted. And then ate a delicious banana.
5. Waiting at home for the pizza delivery guy that Charles called, because we figured Mike and Sarah would probably like something quick and easy for dinner. And I'm waiting for Charles to bring them home, too!

1. We will take Mike and Sarah to some cool historical sites, like the Kremlin.
2. We will take Mike and Sarah to the delicious pastry shop in Chinatown that I posted pictures of before.
3. We will let Mike and Sarah take a nap if they need one because of the jetlag.
4. We will probably take a nap if they do.
5. We will have a fun night out on the town.

Next year:
1. Charles will graduate with his Master's in Public Policy.
2. I will have a full-time job somewhere between Springville and Salt Lake, hopefully doing something related to my degree.
3. We will have a puppy. Albeit a hypoallergenic one.
4. Charles will take the Foreign Service entrance exam.
5. We will all pray and fast that he gets in, or finds something else he can be happy doing, or both.

I tag Lyle, Suzette, and Elmer.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

make me. I dare you times infinity.

So, you may have noticed that I'm currently experiencing a slight writer's block. And at 4 this morning when I was telling myself that I had to write something because that's what I do, I realized that my writer's block probably stems from my baker's block.
In fact, yesterday, when we got home from church and broke our fast with reheated double cheeseburgers from Mcdonalds, Charles remarked that we had gotten as low as it gets as far as dinner goes. I had to agree, although we both concluded that the reheated burgers tasted more American than the fresh ones. Charles was sick, unfortunately, so we had to turn down two lovely dinner propositions with members of our branch, because he really needed to get to bed before school today. I promised him I would make him the most amazing food when we get home to America, but I just have no inspiration or energy to cook here. And there are so many good places to eat here that it'd be a waste not to. It actually ends up being cheaper eating out, too, ironically.
But I really do have great plans for when we get home and I have my fancy nonstick pots and pans, and reliable ingredients and measuring cups that I can comprehend. I found this thing called the Daring Bakers online. http://daringbakersblogroll.blogspot.com/2007/07/welcome.html
I am so joining in September. You've got to check out some of their blogs. It's an entire network of food bloggers, and I am delighted that such a thing exists. When I started my senior thesis class last fall (a feast of foodways: food in literature), I was a little skeptical that we'd be able to find enough to discuss, much less write our senior papers on. That's when I met and fell in love with the foodways movement. So much food writing! And I've discovered my calling.
Sorry if this is boring to you, but it was thrilling to me, and I'm the boss of this blog. If you want me to write something else, you'll have to make me. I stick my tongue in your general direction.