Monday, September 29, 2008

Put da liquid in the hard-candy-shelled exterior and mix it all up...

I've never been a huge gum person. But oh my. My friend Audrey introduced me to this gum a couple of weeks ago. I had another piece yesterday. I went and bought some at lunchtime today. I've gone through 3 pieces in the last hour. Clearly I cannot resist bullets if given the slightest reason to use them, so here are some reasons I love Trident Splash Peppermint Swirl:
  • It has a burst of liquidy goodness right at its center.
  • It has a crisp shell that becomes soft with chewing.
  • The flavor is nice and minty, though not overbearing. It does come in fruity flavors but obviously the only good gum is minty gum.

It is SO delicious. I just thought you all should know.

The end.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tag what?

So as some of you may know, technology is not my strong point. Except with Excel. I am awesome at Excel, and am the resident team Excel guru. And this may sound extraordinarily random, but I'm mainly writing this to pat myself on the back for a) knowing what a tag is and b) actually doing it! Plus, I was trying to think of a clever 4-month anniversary spiel, but I figured this was close enough since Dan & I were pretty much inseparable near the end of high school.

Thanks, Miss.

Did you date someone from your school?
I read this tag on a friend's blog a few days ago and when I read that she had dated 4 guys in high school, I was like whoa, four guys! But then I embarrassedly realized that I more-or-less dated John, Joey, Scott, and Dan. The last one's my favorite.

What kind of car did you drive?
I started out with a gold 1995 Mazda 626 that I loved. Her name was Mia because one day I had left it in the parking lot after school because I rode with a friend to a competition. When we came back, she wasn't there and I freaked out and finally managed to find a pay phone inside (oh, the days before cell phones) (luckily some play or something was still practicing) and found out my dad had taken it to get something fixed. My friend Jill said I should name her that since she was missing in action. We were so clever. I was very sad when Mia got totaled when a guy rear-ended me and tried to swerve. After that, I got an awesome silver '98 Honda Civic that I adored and that my family still has. She was Mia 2. I think for the same reason. And this is a very long paragraph about my pre-collegiate modes of transportation.

Were you a party animal?
Ha. Though I did stay up way later then than I do now. Mostly talking to Dan. I also liked being in big groups more than than I do now.

Were you considered a flirt?
Double ha. I think.

Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
Never the school orchestra because it wouldn't fit in my schedule (and of which Ms. Tate always tried to convince me otherwise), but I did the Mobile Student Symphony, the Utah Youth Symphony (hurray for playing in the Olympics), and several chamber orchestras. I think I played the flute part in band when I was in 5th grade because there wasn't an orchestra. (Um, yeah, I lived in Alabama then.) I still regret not doing choir - I tried to fit A'Cappella in my schedule, but it wouldn't work. The same awesome Ms. Tate told me to join Madrigals (she was convinced that because I'm a violinist I can sing... ...) and I felt bad about it since I'd never done A'Cappella but looking back, I totally should've done it.

Were you a nerd?
Um, do you really need to ask? Nerdiness is not typically a characteristic that develops later in life.

Were you on any varsity teams?
Soccer my sophomore year, and then we moved to Utah, where we weren't allowed to do sports our first year at the school. I would've done tennis senior year except for a certain fiasco requiring me to take IB French AFTER SCHOOL. Not that I'm still bitter.

Did you ever get suspended or expelled?
Clearly not. Though Mr. Norton regularly got mad at me for wearing flip flops to school.

Who were your favorite teachers?
Dan Campbell - Theory of Knowledge impacted my entire frame of thinking to this day.

Jim Powell - Let's see, I was randomly put in his class for a technology credit and made some of my closest high school friends, he told me about Penn, and he encouraged me to start doing business competitions, which obviously has affected my entire career (I'd never even considered it before then) and at one of which I met my husband. Um yeah. He also makes a fantastic Jiminy Cricket.

Mrs. Brown - To this day, she is the best math teacher I have ever had. She just made everything seem so easy. I'm sure everyone in that class rocked the IB test.

Ms. Anderson - She's just all-around awesome and IB Chemistry was super fun. See nerdiness question.

Madame Schroeter - I totally learned French. It was awesome.

Mrs. Zuhl - I LOVED the books we read. And she was awesome at leading discussions.

Also, a shout-out to Mr. Norton who, while getting mad at my flip flops, gave me an "A" in physics even though I was miserable at it. Hurray for effort meaning something. And sometimes even the lack thereof.

Oh, and Mr. Jones from Murphy High (also the Panthers!) who was the NICEST math teacher on the planet. And lived in my neighborhood.

(I do, in fact, recognize that that lists most of my teachers. Again, see nerdiness. West also just has awesome teachers.)

Could you still sing the fight song?
Probably with Dan's help.

Where did you sit during lunch?
South Lawn. :) Or the Yearbook room.

What was your school's full name?
West High School (and Murphy High School before that in Alabama)

Did you go to homecoming?
Yes, sophomore and senior years.

What do you remember most about graduation?
Seeing how excited my parents were and being really nervous to play a violin/cello duet with Nick Epperson.

Where did you go senior skip day?
I think we just drove around to random places. I'm not really sure.

Were you in any clubs?
Oh my yes. Key Club, Chem Club, Yearbook, and probably about 15 others.

Have you gained some weight since then?
Hm, I think so. I don't really remember.

Are you going to your ten year reunion?
I'd love to, assuming airfare isn't $3,000 by then.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Future House

Email from Dan:

"Things to put in our house when we build it:

A library, a master bedroom, a dining room, a BIG KITCHEN, and an owlery. Thoughts?"


(When asked about a music room, his response: "I was thinking of an entirely separate music house, which is why I didn't think of making it a room.")

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Man I love this city

So I have this...quirk? gift? weirdness?...where I tend to really adore wherever I happen to be living at the moment. Before my family moved to Utah, I was so in love with Alabama and swore I would never leave. But then I adored Utah (and you'd pretty much have to tie me to a tractor trailer and drag me there to get me to live in Alabama again) and then Philly and then France, etc. etc. I'm typically fairly convinced that my place is better than other places in the same grouping (e.g. Philly > NYC, Lyon > Paris :)).

So there are these two dueling forces in me. One, the rational one, the one that understands and knows me, says that I'll love wherever we live in the future and will be convinced it's the best ever. The other one, the one that IS the one that the first one knows, is convinced there is no place better than Philly.

On that note, fall is one of my very favorite seasons in Philly and I'm so excited for it. Some reasons why:

a) The weather! I pretty much keeled over from joy and joyfulness today when I looked at and EVERY. SINGLE. day on the 10-day forecast showed a high temperature of 70-75 degrees for the most part and again EVERY SINGLE day was sunny, oh beautiful glorious sun. (Cleary I had to embed this in my memory.)

b) Everyone's outside again! I love watching the runners by Boathouse Row and going to Reading Terminal and Washington Square (way cooler than Rittenhouse).

c) I think everyone's in a happier mood when it's so lovely out. I actually think people in Philly are incredibly kind and I love how real they are - there's absolutely no pretense. But I think they get even nicer at this time of year. Case in point:

1) A couple of weeks ago, I was at Reading Terminal buying some produce. I was waiting for Dan to meet me there, so I figured while I was waiting, I'd wander over to the cheese shop. Now, I've bought cheese from here, I don't know, maybe three or four times. In any case, I had an idea for dinner that night and it called for Havarti so I was just going to use whatever was on hand, but I figured since I was there, I might as well get Havarti. So I taste it and like it so he's cutting me off some when he (Robert) says that they had already closed down the credit card machine for the day (it was just before closing time). I realized I had literally not one dollar bill with me, which was problematic. He told me that it was fine and that I could just bring it to him tomorrow. I tell him we're going on a trip the next day (why I was buying produce the day before leaving on a trip is only explainable by the celetial quality of nectarines) so he says it's fine, and that I could just bring it the next time I was there, he sees me there all the time. (Um, how nice?!) So I tell him thank you and he wraps it up and weighs it and it comes up to about $4 and he just hands it to me and says "Don't worry about it, it's a gift - enjoy your trip!" Um. He gave me CHEESE. For FREE.

2) The people at the Free Library are the nicest people on earth. Period. Not to mention its utterly awesome history.

3) Except for possibly the people who work at Trader Joe's. I think they're in a deadlock competition for Nicest Slash Most Helpful Service Providers of the Century.

4) We had a little incident with getting our (awesome and totally worth it, but easy for me to say because I wasn't involved in the situation) couch into our apartment. Long story short (that omits the part where the guy who brought it just left it in the doorway after trying to push it through multiple times and putting several holes in the wall but actually I just told you all of that anyway so I guess this really isn't the short version), we had to hoist it over the balcony with ropes. Dan and two of our incredible friends helped out, but it got stuck on the balcony of the floor below us. So they were trying to hold it in place while pushing it out to get it over. Then a guy calls up from the street (after many business suit-types had passed by) and asks if they need any help. They kinda look at each other and are like, yeah, actually, we do. So he comes up through the propped open door, tattoos and multiple canister-piercings and all, and helps pull the couch over the balcony. Just because. People are awesome.
Anyway, this has turned into a why-people are nice post. I'm okay with that.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Red Cherries, Red Cherries!

A very important thing happened to me several weeks ago. As previously discussed, I don't think I'm a picky eater, even though Dan does. So this is not really going to help my story, but seriously, it's only with sweet things that I'm picky - never savory (assuming they're non-carnivorous).

Well, up until a few weeks ago, I only ate one kind of yogurt. No, I don't mean one brand. No, I don't mean one flavor. I mean one flavor of one brand - Yoplait Original Red Raspberry (never the Light - tastes like aspartame - or Thick & Creamy or LIGHT Thick & Creamy or anything else). Then a few weeks ago, I was on a cherry kick and decided to try Yoplait Original Cherry. And loved it. Oh so much. So much more even than the Red Raspberry. So now I eat TWO kinds of yogurt. It's funny how your spouse wears off on you.

(Oh, and when our youngest sister was little, Dad H. used to get her to spot the "red cherries" - brake lights on cars ahead.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Mommy

Clearly I only believe in honoring birthdays late. What you didn't know is that it's really on purpose so as to extend the celebration. Right.

10) She has an awesome sense of humor. My mom is seriously one of the funniest people I know. More than that, though, she's willing to see things as funny. She allows herself to laugh and appreciates humor in situations. She has no problem (kindly) teasing people to make them not take themselves so seriously. And her laugh is beyond contagious.

9) She's curious. When she moved to the US after getting married, she'd never before seen a computer until she she arrived in the JFK airport where all the ticketing agents were working on them. So she signed up for a class and learned how to use them. And then proceeded to work with them. And now does everything online. She embraces new things and isn't afraid to try them out.

8) She gets really excited over ripe Reading Terminal tomatoes. Like mother, like daughter.

7) She's passionate. She tries really hard at everything. In her job, she puts in the effort to make sure she understands everything and works hard to do it all.

6) She's awesome with money. Even though she could totally afford to buy a whole Walmart's worth of tupperware and ziploc bags, she always washes and reuses the ones she has. (She likes to say she doesn't collect things, but oh man. :)) But then when we need money for education or books or music, all systems are a go.

5) She's really diligent in making time for what's important. She exercises every weekday (Um, yeah, I don't. My parents are in better shape than I am.) and always makes time for my ride-home phone calls. I am so grateful that our family had the opportunity to have her at home with us while my sister and I were young.

4) She is the. best. cook. Ever. In the world. For all time. No questions asked.

4b) She always cooked from scratch growing up, so I didn't know this was unusual. It just seemed normal and healthy to me. Vegetables always tasted good and were always incorporated into the meal, so I just grew to like them; I never understood why people didn't.

3) She has cute style. But not in a "I'm trying to dress like I'm 17" kinda way. In a "I'm a really, really adorable mom" kinda way. Like with her one navy skirt with red bows embroidered along the hem. That I've adored further back than my memory goes. On that note, she likes cute things in general, like calves (she had one named Gowri growing up) and baby giraffes.

2) There is absolutely no pretense with her. What you see is what you get.

1) She's unbelievably lovingly affectionate. When she loves, she really loves. With her entire heart. And is so sincere about it. She comforts and cares and hugs and floods you with an inexpressible warmth of love.

(As before, I can't think of my parents independently. To see how incredible my dad is, see here.)

I love you, Mommy, and Daddy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Hello Internet! There is much to report and little time to report it. So I'll just do a quick update and maybe actually post pictures (I know, don't let your mouse slip from shock) later. This past weekend we went up to Vermont to camp/hike/raft/taste cheese and maple syrup/soak up the stars/etc. We were in church on Sunday (we drove in to this teensy town - literally, one stoplight that went to flashing at night, and one restaurant of which we were aware - on Friday night and not 3 minutes from our campsite was a church building) and a woman gave a fantastic talk. At one point, however, both Dan & I thought she said domino fish. If not for him, I'd probably still think that, but he managed to determine that she had said "dumb and oafish."

Dan then proceeded to lean over to my notebook and draw pictures of the "Pescadis Dominonis." There was "Pescadis Dominonis Solitarium" and "Pescadis Dominonis Pentagonum," etc. It was rather wonderful.

Then today, in response to the word of the day (which we both receive, shut up you know you have your vices too): comestible: suitable to be eaten.
Dan: ex: Even though many species of the dominofish (pescadis dominonis) are highly comestible, their rarity values them such that their protection of personal property and life is assured.