Friday, December 21, 2007

Make up my mind

I have been thinking a lot about the 2008 presidential race and who I would like to support as my candidate of choice. Every candidate seems to have a different issue that they have decided is most pressing yet I still don't know where my priorities are so I am asking you to help. I want you to tell me which candidate (or candidates if you are undecided between two) you hope to be president and why. Republican or Democrat, I want to know why it is that you think this person will be the best one to run the country.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Shucks Paw, ain't you so proud?

5-year-old descendant of Davy Crockett kills bear
"I was up in the stand and I seen the bear," Tre Merritt said. "It came from the thicket and it was beside the road and I shot it."

At first, Mike Merritt didn't think Tre had hit the bear with his youth rifle.

"I said, 'Tre, you missed the bear,' " Mike Merritt said. "He said, 'Paw-paw I squeezed the trigger and I didn't close my eyes. I killed him."'

The bear turned out to be 445 pounds — 12 times the weight of Tre. Mike Merritt said tears rolled down his cheeks when he found out his grandson killed the enormous bear.

Tre Merritt's father said he began teaching his son to shoot when he was just 2 ½ years old, and said Tre killed three deer last year.

Tears, really? If you take the time to watch the video, you can find out what he hopes to kill next.

Monday, December 10, 2007

And growing up continues to suck...

Over the weekend the professor I would have easily picked as my favorite professor in all of college died. She had been hospitalized with liver and kidney failure and then died from complications of pneumonia. She was young. She had two small kids.

I had her for three classes. I loved that she was a very no-nonsense teacher with a great sense of humor. She didn't give anything a false sense of grandeur, but she could explain things so well.

I went to a Christmas party at her house in Munds Park my junior year. She invited all of her students to her house and had cider and cookies and I'm pretty sure she even made a ham dinner.

She was young. She had two young kids, or at least they were still in elementary school. At the Christmas party her son took a liking to me and she would always joke in the rest of her classes about how he missed me.

This semester I suggested that my supervisor work with her and her classes on a PR project. She was hospitalized about five weeks ago and another teacher had to take her classes.

The thing that bothers me the most about this is that if I wasn't working here, I never would have known. I would have had my happy memories of her classes and her family and her, and it never would have been tainted with this sick feeling that I have right now. I can't help feeling like I'm a little bit stuck in a part of my life that should have already reached its natural conclusion.

I wish I would have thanked her for making school more tolerable. I hope her kids are ok and have good people in their lives to get them through this time. I don't know what other good thoughts to think at this point.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

And we thought Ted Danson was a big deal

Ellen DeGeneres is coming to NAU on Friday!

Where will I be while she is filming in the dorm right outside my office? I will be in Tempe for a conference. Lucky me!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Very Pottery Barn Christmas

Steve and I started decorating for Christmas over Thanksgiving weekend. We have a tree with white lights and deep red and soft gold ornaments. Our new mantle has stocking holders that spell out PEACE, a vase of cranberry branches, and a small wooden, one-piece nativity. It's beautiful, but I had to agree when Steve said, "I always thought I'd be more of a fun decorator for Christmas."

Our place feels a little bit like stepping into a Crate and Barrel catalog (or a Target rip-off of an Crate and Barrel catalog). It's simple, neutral with a few bright accent pieces, sparse wall decorations, and only one photo displayed in the whole apartment. It's definitely the clean, simple, zen look we were going for.

It's a huge contrast to my room in high school. Anything that could be thumbtacked to a wall was displayed proudly, including shopping bags, posters, photos of my friends, and the shorts that Tom Delonge signed at OBC. My comforter was covered with monkeys and palm trees, and I had a collection of tacky, beach-themed items including my prized pink flamingo clock. And the best part was that every morning I woke up to my boys:

Now it definitely didn't look like your typical Pottery Barn Teenage Girl Room A, but it was mine and I loved it. Every part of it, good or bad, was a reflection of me.

Maybe that's why I blog now. I'm sure Steve wouldn't be super keen on waking up to Mark, Tom, and Travis, but I do have this virtual space that is mine to express myself authentically, even if it's a little raw sometimes. Good or bad, it's a reflection of me. And just like my room, I don't care if it's what other people think it should be. It's mine, and I love it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Minor Setback

The position at Steve's work was not filled from this group of canditates (translation: he didn't get the job). Obviously this means that the higher ups at Steve's work are a bunch of stupid wankers who can't see that he is the best worker in that crummy place, but he doesn't get credit because he doesn't whine about how hard he's working all the time. Big middle finger to you people.

However, this is a great reminder that we're young. We have lots of years ahead to stress about careers, but right now we should be working just enough to pay for our travel, hookers, and blow. I mean, neither of us really even know exactly what we want to do with our lives. We should be taking this time to figure it out rather than working like madmen to achieve some kind of status that doesn't mean anything to us.

And now I'll tack on a Thanksgiving post for good measure:

I'm thankful for...

Steve. I can't even describe how much I love him or begin to list all the reasons. Anything I say just sounds cheesy, and I hate it because that's not how we are. It's just right.

The fact that Becca and I are really friends again. And that she's happy.

Steve and I both getting to be with our families on Thanksgiving. Hopefully I'm still thinking it's a good idea tomorrow night.

Good friends. I only have like three, and I'm completely fine with that because I genuinely care about them and I know they genuinely care about me.

The city of Fort Collins.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Missing My Steve-o and My Tivo

So after being gone for 10 of the past 14 days, I never plan to leave the house again. You'll have to pry my cold, dead fingers from the door. In the end, I'm glad that every once in a while I can show myself that I can be a world (or regional) traveler, and survive. But I really don't enjoy it. I don't like flying, I don't like staying in hotels and drying my face with towels that have touched millions of people's nether-regions, or eating fast food for every meal, or hanging out with "conference people."

I'm a lame home body, I'm willing to admit it, so by the end of this last trip I could barely hold it together.

But when I got home, Steve had an immaculate house waiting for me, with pizza, cookie dough and cherry coke inside. Then we watched The Office and Scrubs which he swore he hadn't watched without me. And everything was ok again because Steve is hands down the most amazing person in the world.

Being at the conference was a good reminder that I really need to set my priorities. And becoming a higher education marketing executive really isn't at the top of my list. Where that leaves me I'm not sure, but I'm sure I'll figure it all out.

Also, think good thoughts for Steve who is clawing his way up the corporate ladder. He should find out about his job early this week.

Friday, November 2, 2007


I finally activated my Flickr Pro Account (thanks Schulz family) and uploaded some more Colorado trip photos. My goal is to take more pictures and organize them in sets for easier viewing.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I’ve been meaning to get my hair cut since about May-ish, and I’ve just never been able to get to it. I finally called my mom and asked her to book me an appointment for the weekend we’ll be in Las Vegas. I really don’t care about my hair, but it’s just a crazy example of how little discretionary time we seem to have these days.

Just about every night, weekend, holiday, and spare minute outside of work is booked through the end of January.

Why I need to suck it up:

  • Grad school is good for us. I know, I know. Plus it’s better to get it done now before we might have other beautiful little distractions.
  • I hate missing out on family events. I love getting to see everyone and getting to be a part of those memories. So even if it’s not super-convenient, I want to try to be there.
  • Handling all this without having a nervous breakdown will be good for us, and prepare us for the many years ahead when things are just as busy.

But here’s some whining anyway:

  • I miss sleeping, hanging out in pajamas, and walking up to our park. And getting to watch mindless crap on TV. I mean sure, we will make time for The Office, but what about the America’s Next Top Model marathon?
  • Don’t we seem far too young to be focusing so much on our career paths and futures and accumulated retirement? I’m a little bitter that we didn’t take off a few years to bum around Europe.
  • I hate disappointing people. During the rare occasions when we just can’t be there, I hate feeling like I killed someone’s puppy.

So that’s it. Enjoy this blog because it may have to last you through Christmas.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Too much thinking…

…but remarkably, during these past few days, thinking has actually left me feeling happy and hopeful as a opposed to my usual perpetual state of existential crisis. Here’s why:

Across the Universe - It was beautiful. It made me see things from a different perspective. The music was amazing, and even for someone who has probably had Beatles songs playing in the background of my life since I was born, this movie made me listen to the lyrics and hear things I hadn’t heard before. It was simple. It was optimistic. It showed people doing their best to get by in a confusing time. And in the end it was inspiring.

Leading with Soul - This was the first grad school assignment that really motivated me on any level. My chosen "leadership" book (which I chose because it was in the library, it was short, and it seemed vaguely interesting) turned out to be pretty captivating. Rather than a list of cliché leadership tips, a parable-like narrative framed advice from world religions and philosophers about man’s search for meaning. The basic gist was, "Until you have found your own meaning, you have nothing to offer others." Deep stuff for an education class.

My Parents Visiting - I love my parents for the same reason that everyone else loves their parents - they provided me with food, shelter, helped me with homework and went to my school performances. But I also love my parents as people. I love that we can talk about politics, philosophy, history, and religion over breakfast in Sedona. I love that we can all watch Across the Universe the same weekend we watch Knocked Up. I don’t think I’ll ever be as cool a person as my parents, and definitely not as cool a parent. After all, our future kids can’t believe in Santa Claus or have any plastic toys.

In any case, it’s all left me feeling thoughtful and content, ready to find my place in the world and figure out what I have to give. I’m ready for an adventure. But for tonight, I'll just be doing homework.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Morally Green

The pope wants to make environmental sustainability a moral obligation (as if it wasn't already).

According to sources, the Pope is expected to use his first speech to the United Nations “to deliver a powerful warning over climate change in a move to adopt protection of the environment as a “moral” cause for the Catholic Church and its billion-strong following.” He’s likely to push for sustainable development, saying earlier in the month that there “is pressing need for science and religion to work together to safeguard the gifts of nature and to promote responsible stewardship”.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Talk about a conversation piece

NYC Garbage in a Box

Someday I will have something more substantial to write about.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More from treehugger

The website is quickly becoming one of my favorite sources for environmental news and information. It also provides information about things I would never think about. Science is crazy.

Will Melting Mammoth Poo Speed Up Climate Change?

I think I spotted a few words in there that Kyra might enjoy.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I recommend the long list

Simple Living Manifesto

Over my head…

This past week has not been my favorite. I was sick from last Friday until Wednesday, and this morning, the people at my work keep saying, “Aww… we can tell you still don’t feel well.” Loosely translated that means, “You look like you’ve been run over by a truck. I can’t believe you left the house looking that way.” In any case, I was out of work all day Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, which means I’m playing catch up. This consists mostly of returning e-mails and then waiting for replies from people who have already left for the weekend…

And, why didn’t anyone remind me that school sucks before I went back? Grad school is remarkably like undergrad. The standards are lower than what I thought they would be, but motivating to actually do the work is not fun. Coming home at the end of a long day of work and having to pull some random “facts” out of your “head” is not my idea of a good time.

Case in point, last night I was working on a very vague assignment about making a chart with our strengths and weaknesses as a K-12 principal. Since I have never been, nor do I want to become, a K-12 principal, I found the assignment rather difficult. I was up until 1 a.m. trying to figure out what I could turn in that would possibly give me some points.

Of course this hasn’t stopped me from trying to decide what my next degree will be. Do they have a 12-step program for academia?

Hopefully a weekend filled with money (we sold our car!), beautiful weather, and some kind of organizational system to keep us afloat until December will do me some good.

Remember last time I said I wanted to work at Starbucks? It’s sounding pretty good again.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

SO mad

Today I got this e-mail from my friend Nikki:

Dear Friends,

As you all know, my brother Roger got out of the Marines almost 2 years ago and moved to Washington state to start college. He's really been loving it, doing well in classes, exploring the forests, camping and hiking and spent the summer working for the Fish & Wildlife service to restore salmon habitats.

This week as he started his 4th semester, Roger got notice from the Marines that at the end of the month, they're calling him back, and will be testing him to see if he is still fit to serve, after which he may have 5 months of training and be re-called into service for another 2 years.

Please keep him and my Mom in your thoughts.

Love and hugs,


Roger and Nikki were two of the first people I met when I moved to Las Vegas. They are both amazing people, and I've often told people how much I admire them for never having a bad word to say about anyone. Roger is not your typical marine. He's a carefree, laid back guy with an infectious laugh. He's a whiz with mechanical-type junk. He's the kind of person who can take electronics completely apart and then put them back together again - which sometimes leads to speakers contained in shoeboxes.

Roger served his time in the military. He was obviously not happy to have any part of the war in Iraq, but he followed through with his duty. And now that he was back in school, he seemed so happy again. Like he had finally gotten his life back.

The seething anger I feel right now knowing that our government is taking advantage of such a sweet, generous guy - forcing him back into a deadly situation because they can't find any new people dumb enough to sign up to give their lives in a war that we're not even sure why we got in to or how we'll ever get out of - is just indescribable.

Roger shouldn't have to go back until Jenna and Barbara Bush are over in Iraq with AK-47s, instead of planning hoity-toity weddings to young republican cronies.

Our Trip in Photos - Part I

The Fort Collins/Estes Park set

Hopefully we'll have the Boulder/Denver/Casa Bonita set up soon. We're coming dangerously close to maxing out our Flickr basic account though, so you may have to just imagine those places.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Colorado, Here We Come!

Despite the growing concern over the prevalence of West Nile Virus (My Dad : Me :: Jose Cuervo : Alcoholic - they feed our disease), I am very excited to go to Colorado. But tomorrow at noon still seems like such a very long time away. I hope that I’ll feel more like it's vacation once I’m in the car, ready to go. Or maybe I’ll only feel really excited when we’re leaving the Microtel in Pueblo.

We'll be sure to take pictures. That's probably a lie.

Also, I completed my first grad school assignment (and it wasn’t even due until Sept. 5). Getting one assignment out of the way has made me feel like the whole grad school situation is a lot more achievable. There were a few days where we were buying books and staring blankly at our assignments, and I think we had about 75%talked ourselves out of going through with it. We’ll see how Week 2 goes.

In only one hour and seven minutes I will be done for the week. A week that has lasted 12 days with no breaks. And now we will have four glorious days of mountains, audio books, and CASA BONITA!

Monday, August 27, 2007

You too could travel to exotic destinations…

…like St. Louis, Missouri, home of a big arch and Josh’s family. All you have to do is take my job.

Reasons I’m excited:

This is my hotel!

It has an Einstein!

They will be paying for my breakfast since only a continental breakfast is provided, and they will reimburse me to buy a meal if the meal being served does not include meat. Ironic for a pesce/vegetarian, isn't it?

Reasons I’m not excited:

I’m going by myself.
I’m flying by myself.
I’ll have to mingle.
Internet is $9.95 a day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Take me back...PLEASE!

I did something awful. I let myself be deceived by the promise of more. I desired more. I desired you. But more doesn't always mean better does it? Sure, we had fun at first but then it got out of hand. You made me pay (literally) when there wasn't time for you. I have a job, a life and a wife that wasn't pleased when I choose to be with you. I should have listened and now it's time to say goodbye Blockbuster Total Access. Oh, and, Blockbuster? Don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on your way out!


Netflix, baby. I know what I did was wrong. I know I left you with little explanation but now I am asking you to take me back. I should have realized how good we had it but I am only human. You're not flashy but you are dependable and consistent and I love that about you. That's why I need you back in my life. I can't live without you.

What's that you say? You will happily take me back and even give me two weeks free? Man, Netflix, you really need to gain some self respect.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Ungodly Busy (but not too busy to marathon blog) Edition

Our campus is a terrifying place right now. While I completely respect the university’s mission to give each student every possible advantage to succeed, preparing for the largest freshman class ever makes staff go crazy. “What if the students can’t figure out how to use the locks on the bathroom stalls, feel bad, and drop out? Should we make a sign?” It’s getting out of hand.

And in just 72 hours or so, all the students will be back, invading our Target, filling our downtown hangouts, and replacing the summer tourist traffic with new student traffic. But honestly, I’m thrilled. I’ve loved our summer here. The weather has been gorgeous and it has been very peaceful. But the fanny pack crowd is wearing a bit thin. I’m ready to lose all the people who feel like it’s ok to drive 10 mph going the wrong direction on one way streets because they’re “not from around here.”

And once the students are back, they’ll be able to show the university that, yes, they can lock their bathroom stall doors, figure out how to use Microsoft Word, and even check their e-mail without too many problems. And this should take a little bit of the pressure off me. I can work on some of the more fun projects that I have coming up for the semester.

The only downside to all the students coming back for the fall semester is... oh yeah, WE’RE STUDENTS TOO! And my typical before-school dreams are back. Most common - it’s finals week and I realize that there’s one class I have completely neglected all semester. I’ve forgotten that I registered for it, never went, never even bought the book. And now it’s too late to drop, so I find myself desperately cramming for a final in some subject where I know nothing. It’s a good thing we’re starting back to school now, because if any more time had passed, it would have been much easier to talk myself out of voluntary years of panicking over papers.

Also, Steve and I did the Climb to Conquer Cancer over the weekend:

7 miles
2,000 ft elevation climb
2 hrs 12 min

Take that, cancer!

Friday, August 17, 2007


So tonight, Steve and I are very excited to be doing nothing and just hanging out together. We'll probably just watch some movie, any old movie… Nothing that would necessarily exacerbate my already unhealthy crush on Zac Efron or that Meredith Vieira said her daughters were a little too old to watch (they're teenagers).

In the car at lunch, I was telling Steve that we need to make this evening an event. Eat a big spread of junk food, and hang out in our sweat pants and just relax. And he looked at me with his crooked smile and said, "You're the cutest little girl I've ever met."

Now with anyone else, this would bring on hours of feminist diatribe. But with Steve it was just sweet. You see, with Steve and me, it's just like kindergarten. You meet a kid and 10 seconds later you're playing like your best friends because you don't have to be anyone but yourself.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

We fail…

So while we haven’t technically broken our vegan fast yet, and I’m not sure we will tonight either, I think we’re officially ending it. Mainly because we’re hungry. For now, we plan to go back to a pesco-vegetarian lifestyle with a reduced amount of cheese/dairy.

And that sounds like heaven to me right now. Yogurt, cereal with real milk, and the occasional pizza, plus a salmon filet every once in a blue moon. It really doesn’t get any better than that.

I do think our week or so of being vegan made us realize how much dairy is in everything we eat and how impossible it is for normal people to avoid. I guess it’s good that we at least gained more awareness and will hopefully eat a little more conscientiously in the future.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Vegan - Day 1

So far, day one of being a vegan has been pretty easy.

-Clif bars and green tea for breakfast

-Grapes, carrots, and peanut butter and honey sandwiches on vegan bread for lunch (although honey is a debatable item, but we’re going with the more liberal school of though on that one)

-Some kind of tofu/black bean fajita creation tonight. Lots of salsa and/or guacamole, no cheese or sour cream.

I can’t say I’m feeling any revolutionary health benefits by hour 15, but we’ll see how it goes. It does make me happy to know that cheese isn’t composing 2/3 of my diet, at least not for the next 30 days.

We’re really excited to go to Phoenix this weekend, even if we will be a pain to accommodate. A BBQ with everyone will be the perfect end to our summer, which has flown by. And in just about 3 weeks, we’ll be hitting the books again.

No ice cream. School. We really are masochists. Although we can end our first week of school and our vegan month with a ton of cheese enchiladas from Casa Bonita.

Monday, July 30, 2007

August Announcements

This was supposed to be Steve’s blog, but he’s busy working on selling our car. So here are our August announcements:

You’re going down, Dejo!

Steve and I are engaging in a little friendly competition to see who can raise more money for the Climb to Conquer Cancer on August 18. Choose you sides wisely. Remember who provides you hours of entertaining blogging per week and who can’t be bothered to post…

Click here to donate to Team Rachel (Yay! Woo hoo! Way to go!)

Click here to donate to Team Steve (Boo! Hiss!)

Expect this to be the biggest battle since Kristin/LC.


From the couple that brought you, “Sorry, we just became vegetarians!” right before the delicious Easter ham comes another crazy way to make things difficult for you to be our hosts. For the entire month of August, we have decided to go vegan. Just for curiosity's sake. So that means no cheese, no eggs, no yogurt, no milk, no ice cream, very few baked goods, no butter, well you get the picture… I don’t think this one will be a permanent lifestyle change, but who knows?!

In the mean time we will be eating lots of tofu stir-fy, brown rice, veggies, fruits, black beans, and vegan protein bars. Oh, and soy cheese pizza. Aren’t you so excited to hang out with us?

P.S. This happens to coincide with Bryan and Colleen’s three months of no sweets, so if we’re all really cranky, you may need to throw us a donut.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Rachel’s Nostalgia Part 2

Last night we stayed up far later than we should have watching old music videos with Bryan and Colleen (and also making hotel reservations for our trip to Fort Collins). Watching these videos brought back so many memories. Here’s a few (hey, if Steve can get away with it all the time, I can do it once in a while):

When we were living in Oakland, Nebraska, MTV was not an option on cable. Interestingly enough, they did get MTV in Burwell, Nebraska… Maybe the sandhills were more progressive. In any case, every time the cable bill would come, my dad would send it in with the words “I WANT MY MTV!” written in perfect capital letters on the bottom of the statement. To my knowledge, they never responded.

Yesterday Steve described a conversation that he had with a co-worker that went something like this:

Co-worker: Are you mormon? (For the second time, because Steve gives off a vibe, he’s clean-cut, 23 and married).
Steve: No, some of my family is, but I’m not.
Co-worker: Well then are you Christian?
Steve: I don’t know.
Co-worker: [Looking confused]
Steve: Well, I’m not an atheist, I don’t know if I’d call myself an agnostic, it’s complicated.

I had a similar conversation when I went to the ER for my killer ear/sinus infection back in January:
Nurse: What’s your religion?
Me: Uhhh…
Nurse: [Looking at me like this question should not be that hard.] You can just leave it blank if you want.
Me: Ok. [Sorry I can’t answer complicated, existential questions when I’m in blinding pain.]

Now I know what you’re thinking. What does this have to do with a crappy Britney Spears video? Long story short, I was still going to youth group at Trinity after my dad left. I had a lot of friends there that I wasn’t quite ready to part with. But then, the day came when we watched some “Christian” documentary about the evils of popular music or something like that. I distinctly remember them showing this video and blurring out the tiny bit of her cleavage that shows when she does the lean-y chair thing. And all I could think was, “This is so stupid. This is what you care about. Not helping people in need. Not inspiring people to live in peace. Not finding a way to love our enemies. No. We care more about Britney’s ta-tas.” And looking back, that’s when me and church reluctantly parted ways. But what can I say? I grew up watching “The Making of the SI Swimsuit Edition” with my pastor.

And a non-video one:

When we were looking at restaurants in Fort Collins, it was a strange combination of the more familiar west coast chains and some of the stranger mid-western ones. For example, people in Arizona don’t think that Taco John’s sounds like good Mexican food. Then we came across Runza. I never ate ground beef, so I didn’t exactly grow up on Runza, but I definitely knew it existed.

Well, Bryan, Colleen, and Steve reacted with shrieks of horror when they saw this meat-filled concoction. “Like, seriously, it’s just that much ground beef with a little bit of bread." I always thought they were gross, but I figured it was just my aversion to ground beef in general. The mid-west is a strange animal. Luckily there are lots of vegetarian options in the FC (which is what I am calling Fort Collins from now on) as well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My strange brain which leads us to nostalgia part 4

It is not uncommon for me to get a song stuck in my head. It happens to everyone. What is weird though is that I often get the same song stuck in my head; a song that I haven't heard in probably over 10 years. I found myself whistling the song today. It must have had a tremendous impact on me.

I don't get the whole song stuck in my head, just the chorus.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Can’t we all just get along? - or - Damned Republicans

I was just sent a link to a YouTube clip about loving and remembering our soldiers. And I realized that my first all-consuming thought was incredibly defensive. “Just because I don’t love war, people just assume that I hate all U.S. soldiers? Because I don’t want them to be killed right and left in a bloody civil war in a country that seems to have no desire to become the kind of democracy that we deem best, that means I don’t like them? Are you kidding me?”

At first I was angry about the stereotype, but then I realized, by and large, I’d be most of these political stereotypes are true. I am a tree-hugging, touchy-feely, granola-type who is overly optimistic and doesn’t want poor little animals to get hurt and doesn’t think that if two guys get married it will somehow make what me and Steve have less special. And I do see the conservatives as being two stereotypical groups - rich people who feel that they deserve to be rich more so than anyone else and have no desire to help anyone else out, and the yokels who drive gas guzzlers and are too dumb to see how their love of guns and God is being exploited by the rich bastards to have their will done in the government. And for a lot of the conservatives I’ve met, that’s pretty accurate.

But there are a few areas where I feel that both sides could stand to move beyond their stereotypes:

1. The environment. Taking care of our earth should be a global priority. What is the downside of taking care of the planet again? I’ve heard people argue that global warming isn’t real or that the left is just over-reacting, but I have never heard anyone say that taking steps towards being eco-friendly would be in any way detrimental. So how ‘bout we all just say, “Better safe than sorry,” trade-in our Hummer, change our light bulbs, and turn off the shower when we shave our legs.

2. Our soldiers. Now, you won’t see me sticking an American flag bumper sticker on the back of our car in some shallow attempt to show my patriotism, but I will support better medical facilities, educational benefits, and compensation for our soldiers. Since we appreciate them so much, why don’t we show them by improving their quality of life? More liberal bias: I would also like to give them the ultimate gift of letting them return home to their families. To me the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan make about as much sense as kicking a beehive because you got stung by a bee. And what do we expect the end result to be? Everything becomes all puppies and rainbows? They all start listening to Kenny Chesney and chewing tobacco and driving Ford trucks? They all embrace Jesus Christ as their personal savior and send us all their oil for free? I just don’t get it.

3. Health care. I haven’t seen Sicko yet, and I know what most of you think of Michael Moore. But regardless of his methods, he does have a point. As a nation, the health of our citizens should be a priority. Instead, we are the only developed nation that doesn’t offer comprehensive health care. And when one hospital stay without insurance costs more than a house, I feel like something is out of balance.

4. God/religion/spirituality. When did God become a member of the republican party? Maybe he just made a mistake and checked the wrong box when he was renewing his driver’s license? In any case, you’re not going to convince me that you’re more spiritually enlightened than I am just because you’re pro-life but cheer when Iraqis die because "It's better them than us," like God is thinking, "Whew, I'm glad it wasn't just a white person that was killed." And you’re not going to be able to convince me that Jesus would have wanted us to allow concealed weapons without a permit either. The truth is that no one should get a corner on the higher power market because it’s a very personal (not partisan) issue. And if one day you’re smiling down from heaven, while I’m burning in hell, bully for you. You can be as smug as you want then. But in this realm, maybe you could refrain from placing liberal Christians, Buddhists, or people who just feel an undefinable spiritual connection in the same category as demons. And just for doing that, I won't automatically place conservative Christians in the same category as Ann Coulter (who actually is a demon).

5. Education. I believe that every citizen should have the right to a quality education. It could be public, private, religious, secular, academic, or experiential. But, what I don’t agree with is rendering the public institutions ineffective by taking away all of their instruction time and replacing it with standardized tests. Quickly, who remembers the difference between a cumulus and a nimbus cloud (no Wikipedia)? Who remembers how algebraic matrices worked? No one? Now, who remembers doing school plays, having story time in the library, and making baking soda and vinegar volcanoes? Which inspired you to want to learn, getting a below average grade on a standardized test or having a teacher who was exciting and different and hands-on, and helped you find the best way for you to learn? Isn’t education really about inspiring people to want to learn and allowing them access to the information? Because no matter how much we try to beat it into these kids, they still have to want to do it for themselves. Just like rehab.

Ok, I think that’s all the thinking I can do for a Friday. Sorry if I implied that any of you were yokels.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I lied...

...I can't keep quiet for this long (stop laughing Mom and Dad). I have too much to say. And Steve may actually be doing some work today.

On California

I had a really good time, besides some saltwater/boardshort chafing and The Little Inn by the Overpass accusing us of stealing towels.

Wednesday - Went to beach, ate at an awesome place called Selma's. They had deep dish pizza, but I got pasta, which has got to be a first for me. Then watched fireworks over the ocean. We decided it must be a "red" beach because they kept talking about celebrating our freedom from terrorism, as opposed to say, freedom of speech or religion. Still fun.

- We decided this could be the last pre-kid time we go to Disneyland. Not that we're having kids soon, but that may be the next time it happens. We woke up at 5 to get to the park early and thanks to Nate's amazing FastPass strategizing, we got to go on everything, most things twice. We took a mid-afternoon nap in the car and managed to stay until 11 until our aching legs gave out.

Friday - Slept in, then headed south. Had lunch at Del Mar pizza and got to see a live version of Laguna Beach. It went something like this:

Boy: Your swimsuit is too small.
Girl: Shut up. You make me feel bad. (Proceeds to jiggle swimsuit top for 15 minutes, then walks to other boy.
Girl: Aaron's my only friend.

Other snobby girls walk in and they all give eachother snotty fake "hi"s. Makes me glad I'm not a real girl

We then proceeded to Seaport Village and walked around, then went to the Padre's game at Petco Park. Our seats were VERY high up, which was not Nate's favorite. But it was a really cool park and we had an awesome view of the city at sunset.

Saturday - We went to do my Hollywood toursit-y stuff. But after sitting in painful traffic and having to navigate giant crowds, I have to say that it wasn't really all it was cracked up to be. Another obvious newsflash from me, LA IS DIRTY! Then we headed home.

On us

I think we really confuse people because we got married young, I wasn't pregnant, and we're not weirdly religious. On top of that we got married in Vegas, but not in a chapel. We're freaks, I know.

On dashed hopes and dreams

We were on a walk behind our apartments the other night and saw a really awesome house for sale. It was very nice, but not like anything you'd see on Cribs. It was listed at just $699,000. Which one of us was supposed to be making the big bucks again?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lots to say...

...but I'm refusing to blog until Steve blogs. And not just another YouTube clip. I want something profound. I'm tired of carrying our entire blogging relationship.

Monday, July 2, 2007


In less than 48 hours, Steve, Nate, and I will descend on California to do all kinds of fun California things - like eat, look at the ocean, possibly go on some kind of boat with an oar or paddle, maybe look at animals of some variety, and umm... Ok, I guess we really have no idea what were doing there. Besides, of course, having a wicked good time.

The truth is, the destination really isn't that important to me. I'm just looking forward to spending some time with my best friend in the world and that other guy I'm married to (just kidding, Stevie). I'm sure we'll have an awesome time because we always do.

I think I want to do some tacky tourist attractions this time, like Grauman's Chinese theater, the Hollywood sign, get a map to the stars, etc. It's lame I know, but it might make for funny stories later about the crazy people we would meet. And I want to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. FYI, if the plastic Captain Jack Sparrow goes missing after we visit, if wasn't me. Really.

Side note: Epic Movie was the worst movie ever. I don't know why I'd have to tell you that because you already know. We thought it would be good for the occasion. Long story.

Another side note: Why doesn't Steve blog anymore? I KNOW he's not working THAT hard.

Ok, that's all I've got for now!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Rachel's Notstalgia

I didn't have older sisters so mine aren't as cool...

Just like Paul and Linda

Today is the second day in a row that Steve and I have not had lunch together. This is the first time that this has happened since we moved up from Phoenix. And even living in Phoenix we had lunch together every day we could, so I'm not sure if we ever went more than two days.

It makes me really happy that even after almost five years together, we still get sad if we're apart for more than a few hours. Especially considering that I get tired of most people after about 45 minutes.

It makes me really sad that on only our second lunch apart, I was already singing Ashlee Simpson songs in the car as loud as I could. I can't set up the ipod travel thing-y one handed, and Flagstaff radio sucks. And I like singing Ashlee Simpson songs...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My sad little Internet social circle…

It’s amazing how getting into the blogosphere can make you feel so connected and so alone at the same time. I love being able to read about what’s happening with my family and friends, even when I don’t get a chance to talk to them every day.

But unfortunately, I’ve also crossed over to the dark side of the blog viewing world. I’ve become a mommy blog addict. This might be fine for people who are, say, actually moms. But I’m supposed to be enjoying my DINK phase, concentrating on work and looking forward to grad school. So why do so many of my conversations start with, “Did you see dooce’s picture where Chuck is…?” or “Did you see that Rude Cactus and So The Fish Said… are selling their house? Mia learned to say [fill in the blank], isn’t that cute?”

Becca and Steve have equated my addiction with watching soaps, which is probably pretty accurate. I remember my Grandma Jean and cousin Jennie talking about As The World Turns characters like they were friends, chatting with each other about how they couldn’t believe that Hunter would cheat on Mirabelle with Anastasia.

But these are real people, and in some ways I know much more about them than I do my neighbors or even some friends. I think that’s some kind of statement about our society, but I’m not really sure what it means.

And even though it’s a little pathetic, I think I’ll keep reading every detail and living my late twenties and early thirties vicariously through them. At least I’ll be prepared.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Nostalgia Part 3

Beginning with one the best dream sequences in modern cinema...

If you liked that, check out the Garfield Halloween Special. It too is terrific.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Just Call Me Master Rachel

With Gilmore Girls off the air, Lost not returning until February, all of that clean air making it impossible to enjoy time outdoors in our beautiful mountain town, Steve and I decided we needed something to fill our evenings, weekends, and any other smidgen of free time we may have. So we did what anyone would do in our situation... applied for grad school, got accepted, and registered for classes.

We figured going through the process together would make it a little less painful. One of us wouldn't be up to our ears in homework while the other one was playing MarioKart. We're both getting a Master's in Educational Leadership with a Community College/Higher Education emphasis, the standard degree to get when you see years of employment at university stretching out in front of you. To be honest, there are about three other degrees that I'd love to be getting as well, but I guess this is a good "starter Master's."

Without making any promises, I'm hoping to be done in the summer of 2009. That means 6 credits a semester (including summers) on top of work. At this point, it really doesn't sound that daunting. But I may feel differently around Thanksgiving. And then in the fall of 2009 we can decide what we want next. A year off to bum around Europe or South America? Kids? A move to colorful Colorado? Another Master's? A PhD? A stint in the Peace Corps? The possibilities are endless. But for right now, I'm glad that we're going to be staying put for a couple of years.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Top Five Reasons Our Montana Weekend Rocked My Socks

1. Thanks to the amazing generosity of family, I don’t think we had to pay for a thing all weekend, which made it much easier to relax and enjoy.

2. Montana is really beautiful. There were these big gorgeous trees and huge backyards. It definitely felt like the kind of place where you would want little kids to grow up. Besides the whole crazy conservatives with guns thing…

3. My cousins are cool. They were cool when we all played house, Robin Hood and circus together way back when, but now they’re cool on a completely different level. Now they’re caring, genuine, funny adults. I feel so lucky to have them.

4. Becca and I got along. We’ve been ok for a while now, but this weekend was finally better than ok. I felt like we connected, and finally figured out that it’s ok to be very different and still really love each other. Hopefully it'll last at least a few months.

5. The Ks, Grammy, and my immediate family were all really happy to see us. We’ve gotten so used to dropping everything for family that it was nice to see how genuinely appreciative everyone was that we made the trip. They made it very clear that they understood it was a big sacrifice to spend our anniversary weekend in the Billings Super 8. I love my family, and it never feels like a sacrifice to be with them, but it was really nice to be recognized for going the extra mile. And the anniversary celebratory eggs Benedict were superb.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

This is so cool

Due to the Mets taking the series 2-1 against the Yankess, the Empire State Building lights are blue and orange.

Tonight, I hope to upload photos including the ones from our recent Montana trip so keep an eye out.

I can't believe I can say that I have been married for over a year now! Crazy.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

To answer your question

Kim commented on my last post asking if I purposely sought out that particular YouTube video.

I am so pleased she asked because I always love tracking the sequence of thought (weird I know)...

Occasionally when I am bored at work I open iTunes and look for new music. I noticed in the new release section of the iTunes Store that the band They Might be Giants had a new CD released and I thought, "Wow! They still make music?" I then had a memory of a Tiny Tunes Adventure episode where they made music videos for two They Might be Giants songs, Particle Man and Istanbul. I thought first to link to those YouTube videos but when I saw Plucky, I remembered the episodes where they show him as a baby, the elevator one and the toilet one.

Thanks be to YouTube without which I may never be able to share with you all of my random memories.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nostalgia Part 2

Part 1 was Swan's Crossing

I love YouTube!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

You gotta getcha getcha getcha get your head in the game

So there seems to be a lot of political game playing that goes on in any office. My office is not immune. I trust that they're all good people, but I have to say I'm at a loss for some people's motivations. In other words, I'm really bad at this stuff.

When something goes wrong, I try to accept responsibility for my part in whatever happened and then fix it. I don't brag about how much work I do or how well I do it. I'm polite to the higher ups, and I'll talk to them like I would any other human being, but my nose is clean. I don't got to church with the President, or take my child to the same day care as the Provost. So on and so forth...

I mentioned to my supervisor the other day that I really hate the get-ahead game because I just don't feel right about it. I told her, "Anything I can't get by working hard and being a good person, I don't really want." She looked at me and said, "I hate to tell you, but I've been here a long time, and it just doesn't work that way." So I guess I better brush up on my golf game and get used to saying, "That's just a great suit, you look so dignified."

In other news, I'm excited to go to Montana this weekend. I can't believe it's been a year since we've seen all of the Schmitzes. However, I must admit I'm also really looking forward to having next weekend at home. We're really excited to have the Schulz family come up to see our place, and it will also be nice to spend more than 11 waking hours in our place in a 7 day period. Don't get me wrong, I love visiting family, but it's also exhausting to be on the road every weekend. Unless we had a tour bus with a bed, a Wii, a DVD player, satellite Internet and a driver. Then maybe it would be different.

Date: 5/10-13/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: In Phoenix for the weekend

Date: 5/14/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes, but we did bike 7 miles
Pathetic Excuse: Biking 7 miles is tiring

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mr. McFeely is my hero

Rachel and I purchased bikes yesterday in order to participate in Bike to Work Week which began today. I am very excited and I have decided that I want to bike everywhere. Of course that would be difficult so I will just settle with making a conscience effort to bike more often (i.e. going to Blockbuster to pick up a movie). We just went to Target and I just a Schwinn mountain bike and Rachel a hybrid cruiser that has the ability to change gears. We got up early today to make sure we would get to work on time and wound up getting to work about 15 minutes early. We also brought food so I rode my bike to a field next to Rachel's office where we had lunch in sunny 70 degree weather. It doesn't get much better.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

So what does that say about me?

Nate complained yesterday about our names not being posted on our blogs, until I told him he needed to check the bottom first to see who wrote it. He seemed quite disturbed that Steve might like his women covered in choclate syrup, but seemed totally cool once he found out it was me... Hmmm..


Sometimes I wonder what being in a "normal" relationship would be like. Steve and I have both heard horror stories about watching separate TV shows or separating on Fridays to have guys/girls night. I'm glad it works for those people, but I just don't get it.

Although, we did have quite a fight last night. It went something like this:

Me: [sniff]
Steve: Aaaaah!
Me: Aaaah!
Steve: You scared me!
Me: No, you scared ME!
Steve: You can't just sneak up on someone and go [makes incredibly scary noise].
Me: I didn't do that, I was standing right here the whole time and I sniffed!
Steve: Well, it sounded like the Grudge cat.

I still think we could have the boring reality show ever.

Date: 5/8/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Second to the last Gilmore Girls episode

Date: 5/9/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: We counted walking to the park and playing frisbee as our exercise for the day

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

This isn't really working, is it?

Date: 5/5/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Too busy eating Mexican food, watching the Mets, and eating more Mexican food...

Date: 5/6/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Laziness and laundry

Date: 5/7/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Hunger, frustration, strife

I think we need a reality show in order to be able to get into shape. We need some big ex-marine with a heart of gold who won't let us quit, a nutrition expert to analyze every bite we take, and a counselor who makes us promise to take time for our inner child after we have a complete breakdown. That's really the only way I see this working.

And I'm depressed because I looked up nutrition facts for Starbucks' white chocolate mocha, my drink of the moment, and it has 510 calories in a grande. That's about a third of the calories I'd like to eat in a day. But what can I do? I like my coffee like I like my women - sweet, hot and covered in chocolate syrup. I guess I'll be skipping lunch.

Right now I'm banking on being motivated by our beach trip, which is only 8 weeks away. There needs to be less of me so my swimsuit covers more. Or something like that. Also, the weather is nicer so maybe we'll be inspired to run outside. But if I were a betting girl, I wouldn't hold your breath.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Was it really that bad?

I believe it's my turn

Trying to blog more often is rough even since Rachel and I combined forces. Not enough significant activity occurs that provides me with anything to say. Sure, I almost jumped out of our window when the Mets were down 4-3 in the 9th only to muster up some much needed offense resulting in a convincing 9-4 win. Damion Easley? Really? DAMION EASLEY? Hope we get to see a good game on Saturday.

Work has been going very well. I can't tell you how nice it has been having a 5 minute drive to work and not dreading every second that I am there. Also, the ability to have lunch everyday at home with Rachel is great. I certainly do not miss my 143 to the 202 to the 51 commute home in Phoenix.

In addition to work, the weather is getting nicer by the day and I am constantly reminded of how much I love it here. I am not sure why I was so down on Flagstaff before. I will happily trade a 20 minute drive to Kierland Commons for a 30 minute drive to Sedona. As long as the Buckle doesn't go out of business as it remains the only place Rachel and I can find casual clothes we like. Commercial Zen remember? I am not quit ready to where clothes naturally dyed by the red rocks of Sedona.

Date: 5/2/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Haircut, food, LOST

Date: 5/3/07
Time/Distance: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Residence Life banquet, Mets vs. Dbacks, The Office, Scrubs

Date: 5/4/07
Time/Distance: My crystal ball tells me 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Going down to Phoenix. I don't know. Are you up for it Michelle?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Another boring blog from Rachel...

I have a very hard time living in the now. I think it's one of the sources of a lot of my stress. Not only am I trying to deal with all of today's issues, I'm trying to figure out which brand of support hose will be best when my knees finally go, when the right age will be to switch over to a smaller place (after we've had a bigger place, or just a place period), or what brand of adult diapers will be the most discreet.

I think that this bad habit of mine has kind of rubbed off on Steve. Over lunch we tried to figure out if we could afford to raise a family here with one less income and a mortgage payment, and what other options would be available for us. If we moved further away, how much would flights cost and which months would we visit family. And now I get an e-mail from Steve with the restaurants in Eugene, OR that have panang (making it an acceptable place to live).

I guess it's good to plan ahead, but all of these things are at least a few years off. Thousands of things could change, and worrying about it right now won't really help. Right now we should just be swimming at Oak Creek and eating fondue at Beaver Street Brewery and going to far off places whenever we get a chance. Our dog, house, baby, pre-school choices and college funds for our grandchildren will all fall into place in due time. Wow, I almost convinced myself with that one.

Date: 5/1/07
Distance/Time: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Tired, hungry, two episode of Gilmore Girls to watch...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Can I buy just a few minutes?

The past few weeks have been extremely busy for us. And I know I said I wouldn't say that because everyone is busy, but these past few weeks have just been a lot busier than I would prefer. And I'm grateful, because work means money, which means we've been able to spend a little bit on ourselves. But in the end, it all just seems kind of shallow and unsatisfying.

The whole notion of consumerism as a religion is really dead on. We buy to comfort ourselves and to give ourselves a sense of worth. It's the quick and easy alternative to find real purpose in our lives. Finding purpose would take time, and even though time is money, it's a lot easier to cut out the middle man and just buy shoes.

Date: 4/30/07
Distance/Time: 2 miles in 21:56 (Steve) and 23:37 (Rachel) minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Even though we went, there were two fairly threatening looking people in the gym that almost prompted me to turn around...

Monday, April 30, 2007

Weekend Running Recap

Date: 4/27/07
Distance/Time: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: It was Friday.

Date: 4/28/07
Distance/Time: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: Had to work from 12-5 followed by Colleen's birthday. Don't worry Colleen I am not blaming you. We had plenty of time to run before noon.

Date: 4/29/07
Distance/Time: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: We did a lot of walking in Sedona. Not a complete workout but at least we got up and did something.

Ouch. We better start motivating.

The "Zen" portion of our Sunday

I posted a video on YouTube but it didn't work. I will attempt to fix it when I get back home. Meanwhile, enjoy the new pictures.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Motivate me

Rachel and I had been doing very well with our running regimen but we are slacking lately. Throw in the occasional stormy cold day here and a few evening work responsibilities there and you have a recipe for a potent motivation killer. We read in Runner's World magazine that a good way to stay motivated was to report the amount of time/distance you ran on your blog for all your family/other reader's (yeah right)to see. I guess it will make you want to run more to show off or not look like slackers. I have decided to do this to see how it works and for the additional benefit of giving you something daily to look forward to.

Date: 4/26/07
Distance/Time: 0 miles in 0 minutes
Pathetic Excuse: A dangerous combination of hunger and The Office

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The couple that blogs together...

Welcome to the next phase of our disgustingly cute couple-dom (couple-hood? couple-ishness?). 341 days into our marriage, we have decided to take our relationship to the next level - joint blogging. In reality, I think we're just hoping that if we join forces, it will look like we blog more often even if we don't. Or maybe we're just hoping that the Mets blogs and neuroses blogs will balance each other out.

It might be interesting. Probably not. But you still have to read it.