Sunday, April 27, 2008

I've got shingles

Not THAT kind. Ew. But the kind that go on a roof. Tiff's roof, to be specific.

Saturday, I went to my sister's house to help her and her husband re-shingle their roof. They are planning to move to Eagle Mountain (...I know, who moves to Eagle Mountain??) and they're doing a few things to make their house even more of a deal. They are re-shingling, building a deck, and they already finished a half bathroom in their basement. Kinda sucks to do all these improvements on your house, then leave, but they are going to get a bigger place and a MUCH bigger lot, so it will be worth it.

Well, I had no idea how to do anything to put shingles on a house, but I really got to try out my new transition lenses (I'll post a picture soon). So I did what Mike and my dad told me to do, and even put on a few rows of shingles all by myself. It was just before the pizza guy came that I realized that roofing in shorts is a very bad idea. As soon as we decided to go in to eat lunch, I grabbed a piece of pizza and sped home to change into some jeans. It was much, MUCH better after that.

I should also remind you all that I'm afraid of heights and Tiff's house is two stories up. If we were roofing my parents house, I'd be a whole lot better, having jumped off the roof many times as a child. (Once I jumped off because the ladder scared me... kid logic, I tell ya... it's infallible.) So while I tried my best, I feel like I was pretty useless on the edges of the house. I still did a few rows close to the edge but I wore myself out pretty quick, since not only was I working on the roof, I was tensing every muscle in my body anticipating a terrible fall off the roof.

At first, it was just me, Tiff, and Mike on the roof with my dad cutting starts and stops below, but eventually Jared showed up and gave me a little relief. It didn't help my fear of heights, however, to see him get so close to the edge and then turn his back to it. It freaked me out so much I had to look to Tiffanie for comfort, since she's as big a wimp as I am when it comes to heights. We'd both just smile at each other and pretend to be ok with it. I should also mention that Liz came with Jared and took Carter away with her, which was also great on my nerves. He liked to be on the roof, and every step he took freaked me out. And he's not even my kid! Tiff freaked him out, though, with all her talk of being scared, and he wanted to get down after a while.

So today I'm sporting a very sexy farmer's tan. Last night I looked like a lobster. I'm sure I still look like one today, but I feel like I'm not radiating as much heat as I was. And today I'm also sore in my shoulders and my hands. It was so bad I had to get up at 2:30 a.m. to take some Advil so I could sleep. But it was fun and now I sorta know what to do up there on the roof. And I'll be going over on Tuesday to help finish it up. Hopefully I'll be a little more useful now.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Just call me "itamae"

...that's Japanese for chef or cook... at least that's what the internet told me.

Tonight I went to Jared and Liz's place and made sushi. That's right, MADE sushi. I'm a fan of sushi--and I'm sure there are plenty of you reading this that don't love it--and every now and then I crave it. Well, I wasn't really craving it, but Jared texted me during ward choir practice and invited me over. Of course I couldn't refuse.

I've never made sushi before and imagined it was a very difficult, very long, drawn out process. Turns out it's not so bad. I may even get a rice cooker now. I also learned that you put vinegar in the rice for sushi. Jared and Liz have these little bamboo mat thingers that help you roll the sushi. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, here are the ingredients.

From the top left, there's carrots, some weird Japanese radish, avocado, cream cheese, barbecued eel, and salmon. We also had some barbecued chicken that Jared made the sauce for that was really good.

So the first thing you do is put down the bamboo mat, put some plastic wrap on it, then put down the sea weed stuff, then start mashing rice on that. The sea weed feels like paper and I was worried it would be crunch and gross, not like sushi you pay money for; but I was pleasantly surprised. Once it gets a little moist from the rice, it loses the crunchy completely. While you're mashing the rice onto the sea weed, you have to keep your hands pretty wet so you don't get sticky rice all over the place. I also learned that a pretty thin layer of rice is all ya need, or you end up with quite the fatty roll... Here are a few of the rolls we made.

This one is Liz's. She used the barbecued eel in hers. Really, it's tastier than it sounds and looks. I was skeptical too, but it is really good.

This is the one Jared made. He made one with the barbecued chicken with carrots, cream cheese, and avocado. It looks messy in this picture because he forgot to flip over the sea weed, so he was taking it all off to flip it and start over. He likes the rice on the outside. Actually, the one I made was the only one with the sea weed on the outside.

And here's me triumphantly displaying my very first sushi roll.

I thought it was a California roll, but apparently I don't know what a real California roll is. They've got salmon. Mine had crab, cream cheese, avocado, and just a few sesame seeds inside. Here's a better look at my sushi roll.

After I took pictures, Liz wanted one with her roll, too. So here it is!

When you've got the roll, you need to use a sharp knife and make sure you keep it wet when you cut the roll.

It was a little difficult for me, and my individual pieces came out a little thick, but it was still really tasty. I think I ate the ends off of everyone's sushi roll, in addition to the regular pieces I ate. It was really quite good.

Once we had all the sushi rolls made (I think we just had four), Jared made this tasty sauce with mayonnaise and hot sauce, and of course, we had soy sauce with wasabi in it. Liz pulled out Madaline's little table and we ate on the floor. By we, I mean me and Liz. Jared sat on the couch and Madline had one of her little chairs. Here's a picture of our tasty dinner.

Liz is going to love that I used this picture. :-)

It was REALLY good! Thanks for inviting me over, guys! Oh, and I tried to take some sort of artsy fartsy pictures, but true to Garrett form, they suck. But also true to form, I'm posting them anyway. Enjoy!

Can't wait to hear what you all think of sushi in general and maybe even what you think of this sushi!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Yeah, yea, ya...

I'm not judging or telling anyone what to do, just explaining what works for me and how I do it.

There seems to be a whole slew of different ways people use yeah, yea, ya, and yay. I use them all consistently so there's no confusion. You can do whatever you want, but here's what I do, so you don't wonder if I'm excited, agreeing, addressing you personally, or quoting scripture.

First, "yeah." "Yeah" is basically agreeing for me. Here's an example.
Friend 1: "Do you want to go see that movie?"
Friend 2: "Yeah, sure."

Second, "ya." This is a more casual form of "you." As in, "Hey, how are ya?"

Third, "yay." This is used as an exclamation. "I'm going to Disney Land!!! Yay!!!"

Forth, "yea." This is used in scripture. "Yea, verily, I say unto you..." and so forth.

Again, you can do what you want, but this is the way that all those words make the most sense to me, and then I don't have to guess which one to use. And yes, I feel very nerdy having typed it all out, but at the same time I feel good that it's all out in the open. Did I miss any?


Today (well, yesterday... it's kind of Saturday morning now...) may have been one of the cruddiest days I've experienced in a while. Without going into detail, I felt a little hollow and didn't want to do much thinking, so I wanted to go to a mindless movie. My good friend Katey was there for me and while she is also dealing with her own set of troubles, still accompanied me to a kung fu movie, even though she hates those.

Before that, we went to Jamba Juice. Katey has sworn off sugar and sweets, but an occasional Jamba is still acceptable. I would have gone to Leatherby's otherwise. Well, on the drive there, we sort of chatted about life and the cruddy things it can dish out now and then. For some strange reason, we would both chuckle a little after talking about one thing or the other. I mentioned how weird it was that we keep laughing even though it really isn't funny and in most cases it was down right sad.

Well, we got to Jamba and at the counter Katey asks very unenthusiastically, "Will you be offended if I don't get anything?" This was, after all, mostly to satiate my need for something cold and chocolaty (the Peanut Butter Moo'd is quite tasty), so I said I wouldn't be offended at all. We waited for my smoothie, quietly sulking, and as my name was called, Lean On Me started playing on the overhead. I smirked at Katey and pointed to the ceiling and said, "Do you hear this?!" She confirmed she did with a laugh. The irony struck me very hard and I began laughing HYSTERICALLY.

Now, people exaggerate their descriptions of events (myself included) quite a bit sometimes. "That was the saddest movie EVER!" or "That was the best cheese cake in ALL THE LAND!!" or even "Nothing will ever top THAT!" I am here to say in that moment I laughed harder and longer than I ever have in my life, and that is no exaggeration. Katey had the wisdom to suggest we go outside (luckily I didn't see any of the people shooting glances at us as I tried desperately--and failed miserably--to gain composure), but even outside I couldn't stop. We went to my car and I just kept laughing. I had to cover my mouth because it was making a weird face that I could NOT control. I was hootin' and hollerin' making noises I never make while laughing, and I had to gasp for air. I've had long laughing sessions before, but this was far beyond anything I've ever done. And tears just kept streaming down my face. I think all the emotion just mixed together and in that moment, all I could do was laugh and wipe the tears so I could find the way to the car and find the ignition for my keys. Even thinking on it now makes me pause in wonder.

I still feel a little crappy, but I'll be fine with time. ...Lean On Me... seriously? THAT'S the song that should play at that moment?!? Oh, Lord, give me strength.

Monday, April 14, 2008

...oh, I'm out of school...

My blog feels severely neglected, and while I do have a post coming up that includes people making fools of themselves on camera while playing Wii tennis for the first time, I should, in the meantime, share a fun little story. (On an unrelated note, I like very long descriptive sentences... get used to them...)

Last Saturday, I went to my car and my neighbor was actually at her car. This is, in fact, a rarity; I never see my neighbors and don't even know their names... I think the guy who lives upstairs with his wife, new baby, and two cats who comes down periodically on weekends to ask us to be quite is named Steve... but I'm pretty sure that's wrong... he just looks so Steve-like to me.

Anyway, so I saw a different neighbor. She was putting power steering fluid in her jeep, that, not surprisingly, happened to be leaking power steering fluid. See, I feel a sort of obligation to say hi to any and all neighbors I actually come in contact with. Partly because I have no idea who any of them are, I have no interaction with them, and I think it would be nice to get to know a few neighbors beyond vague references to "the couple upstairs" and "the old guy next door who might be dying." See, lovely terms of endearment, aren't they. The other reason I say hi to everyone is because I heard somewhere that your neighbors who you don't know are most likely to rob you because they know your schedule, and if you let them know you're watching them--even by simply saying hello when you see them--they will be less likely to break in... that's very paranoid, I know, but I really don't know anyone and it's just nicer to say hi to people.

So after I said hi, we chatted a little bit about cars and what a nuisance they are. I told her about the car I drove in high school that had a horrible oil leak that was so bad my dad made me keep a case of oil in the trunk at all times. After swapping stories, she apologized for parking so close to me, and said she'd move her car so I could get out. I assured her I could make it out just fine and she should focus on getting her car in working order.

Then the kicker. As I was getting into my car, she then wished me good luck with school or wherever I was going. I bashfully told her, "Oh, I'm out of school." Her response was, "Oh, I know you're out of school, I meant college." Then, trying to hide a smirk, I replied, "Oh, I finished college, too..." and just smiled as I got in my car while she said with shock in her voice how great it was that I had finished college. I didn't know what to say to make it less awkward, especially since I was already getting into my car, so I instead smiled a thank you and drove away.

I'm not sure if it was because she thought I was young enough to still be in college or that I surprised someone by telling them I do, in fact, have a college degree that made me feel good, but it was a little funny to me and made me smile to myself a little. The more prideful part of me wanted to also tell her that I own the unit I live in--I'm not renting like many at my complex seem to be. But then I'd probably get hit by a truck or something for not taking the compliment and moving on with life.

And just to keep things in their proper perspective, today at work I stood in the elevator wondering why it wasn't going to the second floor, when I realized I hadn't pushed the button. I guess it all evens out.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I rule

Seems only fair, considering the title of my last post, that my next post to have a more self-aggrandizing title.

I LOVE practical jokes and pranks. April Fools Day is, therefore, gold to me. This year I had a lot of fun. I started the day off by putting post-it notes on the bottom of various co-worker's mouses (mice?) so they wouldn't work. One girl even called IT because she couldn't get her mouse to work! I sorta stole the idea when I found out about the girl who called IT, but I got like six more people and it was fun.

I also changed settings on one guy's computer so his screen was upside down. He had to tilt his head to the side to bring up the properties to switch it back. That's what you get when you don't lock your computer when you leave your desk in an office.

At home, I saran wrapped my roommates' toilet. Poor Brandon sat on it and wondered what the crap was wrong with the toilet. No worries, no mess to clean up!

I also pulled the ol' switch-a-roo with orange Gatorade and movie theater popcorn butter. I bought an eight pack of Gatorade, opened one of the bottles without breaking the seal, dumped out the Gatorade, and replaced it with the butter. The one problem was that the Gatorade bottle holds 20 ounces and the bottle of popcorn butter was only 16 ounces. I had to fill the rest with a little vegetable oil so it would make it to the top.

The butter is already in there. I'm adding the vegetable oil.

It looked EXACTLY like the Gatorade. I swear. I've got pictures to prove it.

See?! The buttery goodness Gatorade is the front left bottle. You can't even tell, can you.

Then I put three bottles, one filled with buttery goodness, and left them on the counter with a note that said, "Help yourself. I didn't love these. Too low cal. for me." (Thanks for the help with that one, Niki.) So began the crazy game of butter roulette, and my poor roommates had no idea they were playing. Matt took the first bottle. Brandon took the second. I was freaking out when only one bottle was left and it was the butter, but today when I came home from work, the last bottle was gone. Brandon took it to school and got thirsty during class. A vocal training class. He only got a sip, but man, just hearing him tell the story I was dying! I really wish I could have been there.

Thanks for the pictures, Tiff. I'll see if I can get the video later and I'll post it when I get it.

And finally, today I pranked my boss. Yes, I know it's a little late, but she had a family emergency on Monday, so I didn't want to be an insensitive jerk and play jokes on her. Today she was good and ready. See, my boss is a huge fan of the television show, The Office. So I stole her stapler last night when I left and took it home and put it in Jell-O. Don't believe me? Well, here's your proof.

Side view.

Top view.

I had to hang the stapler upside down in the bowl, suspended in the liquid Jell-O so the edges of the stapler wouldn't touch the edges of the bowl. Then in the morning when the Jell-O had set, I just cut the strings and pulled them out, leaving the stapler dead center in the Jell-O mold. It worked out wonderfully. Driving to work with a plate of Jell-O, however, was not super easy...

Anyway, I've got a few pictures at work and my boss's reaction. Hope you enjoy them!

The Boss's reaction to her stapler in Jell-O.

Then I made her pose with the Jell-O.

Oh, I forgot to mention one guy at work had a small role in this prank. He gave me a dollar to buy the Jell-O and helped me really decide that I should, in fact, take company property and put it in desert form. he took this video.

And that's it. I had some other plans that didn't quite work out, but it was still a really fun April Fools. Did you fool anyone?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I'm stupid

...but oh well.

I bought this thing with the sole purpose to blog about it. It's really dumb, but I didn't realize it until about day 4. You put this egg into water and it says in 48 hours it will hatch into a little chick. 48 hours my butt! This guy took like 2 weeks.

Well, I named him Spike. Which is the name I will give any pet if I ever own a pet. Which I won't. And if I ever own a dog, (which is even more unlikely then ever having a pet) I will name him or her Slobber.

Well, here are the many, many stages of Spike's birth.

And there ya have it. It's pretty lame, I know. But it's kinda neat to see the progression of Spike hatchin' out, right? I just put him alone in a fresh glass of water. (you can sorta see that his water was getting foggy.) maybe he'll grow a little bit more! If he does, I might post one more picture.