Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"rest, water....repeat."


I am feeling kind of crummy. I have tonsillitis apparently, either caused by allergies or a virus, or if I'm really lucky, BOTH! yip-to-the-ee. last night I came home, took a nap, got up to do homework, watched heroes and went to sleep. I am SO exciting.

tonight is the annual leadership meeting for panhellenic. I'm hoping that I get a sudden burst of energy so I can, you know, lead the meeting. cross your fingers, k?

more later. toodles.

Monday, September 29, 2008

"yeah, you and your fellow tree lovers."

~one of my youth talking about politics and my i like trees shirt.

weekend was gee-double-oh-dee.

friday night matt brought me home a chicken fajita spud for dinner (one of my faves) and we hung out in our pajamas and watched a good portion of heroes season 2. matt hadn't seen it so we had to catch up before watching the premiere (which, by the way, I was NOT impressed with. as a matter of fact all of the premieres I've watched this season have been so-so.)

saturday the refrigerator repair man came to give the fridge a backwards tilt so our freezer door wouldn't sit open anymore, and then we got ready for our 130 belaying time. for those of you that don't know, the belayer is the person with the rope, the one who keeps you from falling.

on the way we were wondering how old the kids would be--five year olds that were afraid of heights? rockin' climbers? fifteen year old punks?

we arrived to see a room FULL of men. grown men. in their mid-to-late thirties. matt began looking for their children. I immediately found myself a little anxious. because, well, we weren't belaying children. we were belaying these grown men!

and it was pretty hilarious--there were three guys belaying for that party, and I GUARANTEE you that I belayed 2-3 times as many people as they did! part of it was most certainly location--I tied in to the same route and had probably 5-6 people go in a row--and some of it was that they wanted to see each other try to climb. but matt says that some of it was 'cause I'm a cute girl and that there was an "appropriate amount of ogling. not too much." thank GOODNESS greg gave me the belay device with jaws (more friction=carrie's hands hurt less) and a lot of the guys were content to just be spectators. and thank goodness for anchors as well. yeesh!

next was home to watch more heroes and clean up for dinner with luke & julie. mmm manchesters! I need to warn y'all when the four of us are going to get together though--seems it's guaranteed to pour while we're at dinner. I used one of the gift certificates from restaurant.com and we called it a night after dinner. we stopped into cvs on our way home and once I saw the halloween aisle I NEEDED candy corn. thanks a lot, lara. unfortch, cvs does not carry brach's candy corn, and we needed to go by kroger anyway for some washing soda, so we got it there. unfortch also, kroger doesn't carry brach's mellowcreme pumpkins! I was able to score some at target after church though. :) and thankfully they have no high fructose corn syrup. score.

more heroes, then sleeping. mmmmm sleep.

and sunday I had to be at church EARLY to sing and to take pictures of our new members. I'm our church's unofficial photographer, y'see. I got some fun stuff at target (see the pumpkins and the dish towel? and the table runner?) and I came home to find Matt had put up two of our mirrors, see? YAY! I made him brunch and we watched the premiere of heroes before he went to give plasma. (gobi helped me take pictures, see?)

on the list of things we'd rather our children have? his veins. not mine. they are TINY. and don't let me have blood taken so well.

I napped with the kitties and went rug shopping. I found some, bought some, and found out I have one that is WAY too big and one that is WAY too small. Yes, we measured. One was mismarked and the other exceeded our minimum size, but is just too wide!

and then there was youth. a cookout. VERY fun, got to talk to one of the youth about being a chemical engineer (he's thinking about studying that) and got made fun of for liking the environment. yippee. I was told that McCain was "the RIGHT choice." ugh. I mean, think what you want, seriously, but don't tell me I'm wrong when honestly? There is no perfect candidate. duh.

next was homework and cooking and then bedtime. see, low-key for me!

ps: my friend shannon has gone into a coma and they are giving her 24-48 hours, give or take.

fiendishly brilliant idea--but not mine!

so, I got this forward. not my idea but pretty damn hilarious. and though Planned Parenthood isn't my #1 choice of orgs to support, it's very worthwhile and completely worth five smackers for the amusement factor alone. money to a good cause and making fun of the woman who can't even answer a damn question? most excellent. and if you haven't seen it yet, check out the interview and the snl spoof.

Dear Friends:
We may have thought we wanted a woman on a national political ticket, but the joke has really been on us, hasn't it? Are you as sick as I am at the thought of Sarah Palin as Vice President of the United States?

Since Palin gave her speech accepting the Republican nomination for the Vice Presidency, Barack Obama's campaign has raised over $10 million dollars. Some of you may already be supporting the Obama campaign financially; others of you may still be recovering from the primaries. My guess is that none of you are happy with Palin's
selection, especially on her positions on women's issues. So, if you'd like to make your opinion known, may I suggest the following fiendishly brilliant idea?

Make a $5 minimum donation to Planned Parenthood. In Sarah Palin's name. A Planned Parenthood donation is tax deductible. And here's the good part: when you make a donation to PP in her name, they'll send her a card telling her that the donation has been made in her honor.

Here's the link to the Planned Parenthood website:

You'll need to fill in the address to let PP know where to send the 'in Sarah Palin's honor' card. Use the address for the McCain campaign headquarters:

McCain for President/Sarah Palin
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington, VA 22202

Feel free to send this along to all your women friends as well as your
men friends and urge them to do the same.

Friday, September 26, 2008

my friend shannon

there is this really neato woman I know, she's funny and bubbly and thoughtful and kind. I've told you about her before. twice. she had brain surgery just a few weeks ago and has been experiencing complication after complication...they removed a tumor but didn't touch the brain lesions, and her body is riddled with cancer.

she is in her thirties and has a fantastic husband and two wonderful adopted sons, Tae and Jakob.

she has been having seizures, which keep getting worse and more frequent, and is now under hospice care and medically there's nothing else they can do for her. they expect her to go into a coma in the next few days, and though there is still hope for her, there's also a need for mercy and comfort. if you wouldn't mind terribly, and if it's your cup of tea, I ask you to pray for Shannon, her husband Tom and their family. For comfort, for healing, for strength, for time, for mercy, for peace. And pray for her little boys, who don't full comprehend what's going on, and who don't know what do to without their mother.

life is full of a range of joy and pain, I just think it's so unfair for someone to endure it for this long.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

orange peel, styrofoam and other fun things.

so, few things, some from friends, some I just want to share with you.

1. a little quiz from duke energy. I got two wrong. how'd you do?

2. styrofoam is bad news bears.

on tuesday after dinner I told someone that I hate it when restaurants give you styrofoam to-go containers. he said "is it really that bad?" I said I think so, I know it can be recycled, it says so on the bottom, but I don't think anyone actually does it.

it is 98% air, did you know that? and you can dissolve it with the juice squeezed from an orange peel (see? this is a pdf by the way). and it's filled with chemicals that are known to be hazardous to your health and known carcinogens (for instance, the styrene itself leaches, and there's benzene in it too.) Technically, yes, it can be recycled. It's broken down, processed and typically reformed into pellets that are used in future styrofoam production. good, right? well, y'see, it's also lightweight and bulky, and also very durable, and that makes it difficult to recycle. plus, a lot of the time it's been contaminated with food, e.g. raw meat, and it has to be cleaned first (and due to its high surface area I'm guessing that's more than a matter of spraying some water at it like it is for aluminum or plastic.)

I looked on earth911 and allegedly the whole foods about 10 miles away would take my styrofoam, but I don't think that's true. None of the other recycling centers will take it either. Apparently that's because it's only really cost effective to recycle it in bulk. Like, industrial size bulk. So, depending on whose website you read, 10-12ish percent of styrofoam is recycled, and the rest goes to live in the landfill with 50-year old aluminum cans and other nuggets o' fun. And it's gonna last much, much longer. Like half a millenia or more, or maybe even until, y'know, the end of time. and if it doesn't make it to the landfill correctly? it floats and the little fishies eat it. :(

So, when you can, if you can, avoid styrofoam at all costs, k?

3. environmentally friendly comic!

my climbing friend greg told me about Luz, a weekly comic about a little girl in NYC trying to "be green." I read through them all and it was really interesting but also kind of sad--she's trying so hard, people aren't listening to her and the realization of how many of our purchases are not eco-friendly is just painful to see! But it made me think and even taught me a few things. I'll be sharing any good ones with you, don't you worry! here's an example!

4. on tuesday I went to a seminar at lunch about what's going on with our soil. it acts as a carbon sink, did you know that? (kind of like how the ocean absorbs CO2, so does the soil, in a manner of speaking) well, it was really interesting. they talked about this study of rice yields and the slow but steady decline in production, and how no matter how much they did to make the growing conditions ideal, they couldn't get it back to where they'd starts. turns out it was letting the field rest for a season, letting the field lie fallow, that finally let them achieve maximum allowable yield.

another cool thing was about the way roots of different plants behave based on the condition of the soil, their climate and the composition of the atmosphere--the same plant will absorb/release different compounds different ways depending on what nature needs them to do--storing more carbon in the soil, removing it, etc. VERY neat. not to get all religious on you, but it is exactly this kind of symbiotic relationship, which is so prevalent on our earth that makes me quite certain there is a God.

5. there is life on my deck and patio.

okay, unexpected life is more accurate. I have lots of plants out there, but I went outside the other day and saw these little guys poking up at me--baby basils! I've been pulling the flowers off the top and had just been tossing them into the pot, and now they've sprouted! crazy! I am pretty pumped about this though since I can ALWAYS use more basil AND it means I can make more pesto to freeze and enjoy this winter. yay!

also, I have an open kitty litter pan that I washed out a while ago and keep forgetting to bring in. when it rains it collects LOTS of water, and I've been kind of remiss about tending to my plants recently, so the rain water has been sitting there for a little while, I guess. I was about to pour it out and use it to water my plants when I noticed something moving in the water. there were tadpoles!

can you find it? if not, here's another picture. the little guy it between the two black blobs.

as a girl who feels guilty killing off seedlings when too many sprout, I certainly couldn't harm these little guys living in a habitat I accidentally created just for them. I read that you can feed them boiled chopped up lettuce, and I might do that for them. I think it's fun! I hope they're going to be safe during out party! I can just see some of the guys pouring beer into the container now...

6. my dining area

this has nothing to do with being eco friendly, it just makes me happy. Now there is wall art on either side of the bathroom door. I painted that sunflower picture, Brooke drew the dude playing the sitar and I took that photo while hiking with ariel et al. I have always wanted to have a seasonal picture in my house, so I'll update this one for winter, spring and summer. Yay!

7. the ceiling fan

this is our new ceiling fan in our living room. two down, one to go. the instructions say the one with the remote control requires "a great deal of patience" so we're going to wait a bit before doing that one!

the judgment from yesterday

so, my friend kara posted yesterday about who she is and the way people judge her, in a bit of an organized effort to recognize judgment and reduce it, because judgment very rarely has an appropriate place, you know?

well, I started my own blog on that yesterday. I started out telling you all about me and how I became me, and maybe some day I’ll tell you about how I earned my free ride to college or how my mom used to let me wear whatever I wanted and how I learned about check forgery at my first job. About who I am, how I'm an engineer who wears my nerdiness (and my heart) on my sleeve, and how I am honest and real and I want everyone to be included because I know what it feels like to be left out.

there was more, lots more.

and then, ironically enough, I realized that I couldn't post that, not right now. because of my readers, because of people I know. not most of you. not the vast majority of you. but, what's the phrase "one bad apple ruins the whole barrel?" not that any of you are bad apples, but if just one person took something wrong or read into something, I'd have a bigger case of judgment (and a big mess) on my hands.

so, instead, I'm just going to say:
-there is nothing wrong with honesty or openness if your intentions are good and your timing is reasonable. and there's nothing wrong or bad about being smart either. seriously.

-being a good person and active in your church does not make you holier-than-thou or a goodie goodie, it just means you actively participate in something that's important to you.

-and there is nothing wrong with wanting to "save the world" by being a greener person. for the love of all that is holy please stop pitying me and telling me my efforts are futile. it's rude, it's irritating, and no offense, but it makes you look really selfish.

(and on this note, thank you kindly to those of you who have either a) held your tongue or more importantly b)told me you love it, I've inspired you to recycle/get a water bottle/bring your own bags/etc., or that you're impressed by it. thank you, thank you, thank you.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"it's bon jovi, we HAVE to dance!"

~carrie g.

so, the wedding was superfun and SO pretty and nicole looked lovely and the boys kind of rocked the pink! we got there and I got little luke and took care of him during the ceremony. he was a little fussy at first and his manny tried to help me, but luke was really only interested in kicking off his socks and chewing on the bottle, so after he yelped once (and we all saw dave and nicole's heads whip to his direction) little luke and I went on a walk in the courtyard. It was a beautiful afternoon and he fell fast asleep and we got back in just in time to see the kiss!

we hung out for a bit while they took pictures and headed to the reception site--WOW! the centerpieces were festive and cute, and the red walls of the room were great too. we snagged seats at what turned out to be a VERY fun table and I took some pictures before they arrived...

and they got there, danced, we ate and the festivities began. and then we got food. yay for food! and for meatballs. it was kind of funny, matt asked me to get meatballs for him, and I did, and then I went to get drinks. well, he went and got his own meatballs and one of the women at our table was like "she is going to KILL you. she got meatballs JUST for YOU. four of those are yours!!!" so he ate quickly and they all promised not to spill the beans--so much for that! also, I got cool points--while I was waiting for drinks matt told them "if she really loves me she'll bring me a beer" and I brought him two. :)

also, during the buffet/eating time I also scored two more potential portrait opportunities AND chit-chatted with nicole's photographer for a bit--it was funny 'cause she was already taking a picture of me since I had my big ol' canon out.

after the food there was LOTS of dancing--I was carrie g's date for a while, kara and I did our groove thing and there were, of course, a lot of girls dancing too. and I got to see the best groomsmen I've ever seen at a wedding (no offense to you other brides, I promise!) they were cutting up and break dancing and really got the party going!!! lots of times it's up to the girls to keep things up, but at this reception the guys were JUST as motivated! :) they pretended they had a basketball and were dancing with it and did all sorts of crazy stuff. HILARIOUS. seriously.

oh, and other fun:

I caught the bouquet! The fun of the moment was definitely ruined by a snarky comment from another girl--one who wasn't even trying to catch it because she's engaged!--but that's okay, it was still fun. And if the guy in front of matt hadn't snagged it at the last second it would've fallen directly into Matt's beer! ha!

the funniest part was definitely the garter removal though...there was the usual prolonged searching, head disappearing in the dress business, of course, but if you notice in one of these pictures little luke is being put under the chair--Dave pulled Luke out from under Nicole and the room ERUPTED with laughter. too fun!

and here is a fly on fly. that's matt's nickname, if you didn't know.
then there was even more dancing and I took Nicole to get a shot--she said she wanted one, I was getting it for her! we ended up having two (just in case!) and went back to dance, dance, dance until they quite literally kicked us out. :) matt and I took the maid of honor, lauren, by red room (she worked there for 5 years), she scored us some free drinks and we even ran into my old roommate michelle.

from there we stopped at mcdonalds. yes, you read that right. it was that or burger king, so I ELECTED to eat at mcdonalds. matt has only seen me eat it twice, if that gives you an idea of how much I don't like eating it. but it sure hit the spot! we headed to the faby's place for a bit to drop off lauren, see the parents who were still awake and to help finish off the remaining keg. and then it was tiiiiiiime for sleeeeeep. we were doing wedding stuff for more than ten hours (if you count getting ready, too!) I was SO ready to be out of those clothes and asleep.

all in all though, it was a loverly wedding, the craziness was wonderful, the guests were hilarious and the bride and groom were perfect. I'm sure this is just the beginning of their happily ever after. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

musical ceiling fans.

friday=volleyball=fun. ooh, and sushi beforehand. and I went to try on harnesses. I discovered I'm a small, not a medium, and since I scored a 15% off coupon for signing up for rei's emails I'm going to go buy it today! no shoes yet though...

and I've also decided that I'm going to do something that may sound kind of silly...so, there's this $400 laptop at office depot that has the bells and whistles I need, y'see, and my computer is three years old. the environmentalist in me says "nooooo!" but practical carrie says "um...maybe?" so. I have developed a plan:

1. buy $400 laptop. keep in box.
2. buy/obtain xp installation cd since my one has grown legs. clearly, not the new version.
3. buy laptop hard drive that could also be my external hard drive if this doesn't work (I need an upgrade/backup)
4. try to install hard drive and xp. if it works, return $400 laptop. if it doesn't, make new drive my external hard drive and keep $400 laptop.

good plan, yes? there is a balance between shoving cash at my old computer and buying a new one. kind of like with a car. only computers are out of date much sooner.

so, saturday was sleeping in, cleaning up and the wedding (more on that later!) and sunday was headachey church going, a nice nap, computer shopping and a nice rousing game of musical ceiling fans! which, you know, is when you take a ceiling fan and move it to another room and try to install another one in its place. this is particularly challenging when your wiring breaks easily and/or if your fan wires are not the same color as your wiring wires. oh, the joy.

also, I am thinking about maybe seeing if I can do some part-time stuff with a local studio to try to get some exposure to weddings. I have talked to two photographers and both have suggested that that's the way to go. I'd still do my family photos, but I'm just not sure if a)I want to add something else to my plate and b)if wedding photography is something I actually want to do. I like my saturdays and I intend to keep on working...we'll see. I just want to try it. Just once. And then go from there...but it's worth at least putting my foot in the door and hopefully I can say "only x amount of time." maybe. or I can just keep it where I am since things are just taking off...I mean, I LOVE photography and I am so glad I'm taking pictures of people...I am liking it far better than I expected to and it's A LOT of fun, so it feels like the right direction and all, but I don't know that I want to go too far and start hating it. :)

anyhoo, I'll figure it out, I'm sure. and in the meantime I'll just play around and take my family photos and build a portfolio to show the folks, hmm?

I took some fun shots at the wedding AND I've posted Nicole's bridal portraits here. I think I'm going to invest in an outdoor source of light--NOT an ugly flash--just to help fill in a little and help make cloudy days less scary. :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

eco-friendly review #2: getting things clean

so, my first review is of my eco-friendly laundry detergent. y'all have heard me talk about this for quite some time. between the two of us we FINALLY used up the first batch, more or less. granted, there was a time in the interim when matt and I used up other laundry detergent that he had, but most of our laundry has been done using this stuff. however...

you'll notice that none of you have walked away in terror because our clothes were stinky, and I haven't been walking around with stains on my shirts, which is good too. I'm terribly clumsy and I spill things often, so this is kind of an accomplishment!

I really like how easy it is and that it seems to clean just fine. And that I don't have to worry about any allergic reactions!

I wish it foamed up (that's all mental, though) and I sometimes get annoyed 'cause I have to kind of stir it around to make sure I get soap AND the washing soda and all. I also think I'd like it better if I could find a tablespoon to store inside of the actual container.

Next time I'm making it with some Mrs. Meyers soap I picked up on clearance, and that should give it a faint scent that I think I'll enjoy (and won't irritate my nose!). If you want to try, you can find the recipe here or here. And if you feel like being fancy, go to your local farmers market or green store and pick up some soap!

Speaking of soap...I tried some Burt's Bees Fabulously Fresh Peppermint & Rosemary soap. It smells sooooooo refreshing and it gets me clean, and I appreciate that. I also reallyreally like it that it's local--their plant is quite literally about 3 miles or less from my office. Probably a lot less. I used to try to avoid them because they offered me such crappy pay for a job (50 cents more an hour than I was making as an intern my senior year!) but that was five years ago so it hasn't mattered for a while!

The soap is good, but it got an 8 for two reasons. One is the little chunky black things in the soap. maybe they're almond seed meal? I dunno what they're for, but I don't like how sometimes the soap level will make it so they're sticking out. And the other reason is a bit more, ahem, intimate. I would keep this soap away from any sensitive areas, as it tingles, and not necessarily in a pleasant way. At times it has left, for instance, my underarms or the delicate skin inbetween my toes feeling weird, and I'd just as soon have skipped that! But overall, highly recommended and WONDERFUL to use after, say, working out because it smells so good and refreshing!

ps: there was a ladybug on my car roof today before I left home. do say hello.

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