Saturday, September 29, 2007

New, new, new

Local Stupidity has been updated. Take a look.

Yes, I know. I have completely remodeled the blog--it is quite a shock, huh? I grew tired of the old layout and decided on something fresh, although I did stick with the green color scheme. I like it. But I hope that changing the layout doesn't become a habit for me, because I think that everyone would prefer a consistant blog environment, wouldn't you say?

And another new thing: I have added a playlist to the blog. It's on the sidebar over there to the right. It has some songs I like on it, and I can't promise you'll want to listen to all of the music on there but hey, it's a slice of my personality. Press the play button while on this page and a random song will play. Thanks to Jamie for the idea!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Yesterday, when Dave came to pick me up from work, instead of letting me hop in he stopped the car and got out. He told me not to look, and while I waited in curiousity he took something out of the back seat. He then lead me to an area with some nice trees and told me to look. What did I see...?

He actually just gave me a dozen red roses for no special reason at all! I was so happy and shocked. I've never been given roses before. It made me feel pretty loved :)

And just as an amusing side note (and because half of them were already strewn about the living room anyway), I took a picture of all of the books I am expected to read this semester. There are a freaking TON of them! Actually, this isn't even ALL of them... but isn't that crazy? Reading still beats doing math, though--by far.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Karen's Impossible Dream

(This is something I found on craigslist and I can't stop thinking about it. Sadly, it just isn't possible right now :( I have to be making money and all that fun stuff right now):

Book Editing Internship

There are several internship opportunities at Cedar Fort Publishers. We are looking for multiple interns with at least basic editing skills (English/ELANG/Linguistics majors are preferred) to proof, design, fact check, write ad copy, and generally assist the editors in getting books ready for press. We are also looking for interns for our acquisitions department to read and evaluate submissions. This is a great opportunity for those who want real experience in the book publishing field and one-on-one training from experienced editors.

The internship is not usually paid, but currently there is a possibility of being hired part time. We would prefer interns who can commit to 15-20 hours a week, but the hours are flexible. We are located right off the freeway in Springville, about a 10-minute drive from Provo.

Our Computer's Terminal Illness

Sorry, but this just isn't a very intense post. I'm warning you now.

Like a month ago, our friend Tyler built a computer for us as a birthday gift for Dave. Previously, we had been using my old computer that I had been using for at least 3 years. Before that it belonged to Larissa and Brian (my sister and her husband) who enjoyed years of use from the machine, and before that it had been used in an office for who know how many years. Basically I'm saying that my computer is pretty much a senior citizen.

We never could put much on old Snowy (my computer) as far as programs were concerned, and the old thing had trouble just playing a music CD. I think we complained about such things to Tyler one too many times, and hence the new computer.

The new computer was awesome since the day we plugged it in. I missed my old one a little, because I have a screwed up way of organizing my files and folders and I was used to it (although I don't know if Dave appreciated it) and it was gone once we started using the new machine because Dave took over transfering and organizing the files. I was just getting used to it, starting to like its little quirks. Then we took it over to Tyler's to get the new processor installed.

We had been using an older, not-so-awesome one until the new one came. We brought the computer to his house, he put the new processor in, and he tested it out.

Our new friend didn't make it.

Despite all the hard work and effort on the part of those more computer-educated than myself, our computer's hard drive died on the operating table. I guess it was just bad to begin with and couldn't handle what had just been done to it.

By this time, Dave was freaking out because he had some important files on the new machine, and it was getting late and he had a lot of homework and such. Thankfully, our friend rescued the crap we needed from the harddrive so Dave wouldn't have to have a breakdown over the lost files. But there was no way to fix the computer that night, and so...

Old Snowy is back! This computer is kind of like an old friend in a way. I've had the darn thing so long and we've been through a lot together. This computer has everything organized Karen style, and it feels like home :)

But anyway, things are being sorted out and hopefully we'll have the other computer back soon, running faster than ever. And what will be Snowy's fate then? The spare bedroom, of course, where it will collect dust and live a disconnected and lonely life. Eh, okay, it's only a computer but I'm trying to be dramatic here. Lucky for us this old computer still had most of our files on it, or else we would have had a lot more heartbreak when the other crashed. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

They don't make 'em like they used to...

We have been married for a year and 9 months now, and we have just gone through our 5th can opener.
What's more pathetic--that I keep buying crappy manual-turn can openers and assume they will work for more than a few months, or that I can't seem to throw any of them away once one breaks and I get a new one?

You know...when you spend money on something, regardless of what it is, you expect a certain level of quality. You assume that it will do what it was designed for, not break with only a few uses. I'm pretty much tired of the "throw away" mentality of products these days. Sure, it costs less, but it isn't worth buying if it isn't going to work. See that can opener on the left with the orange handle? Before Dave and I started using it, it had been in my family (and working perfectly) for at LEAST 10 years. The other ones in the picture? None lasted more than six months each.
(yes, I am going to throw the broken ones away now...I just hate tossing something in the garbage because I hold this strange belief that it might magically start working again..heh, or I just forget :) I think we'll try an electric can opener this time around. is something really cool:

Dave designed and made this paper towel holder for us! I had been wanting to buy one like this and never found one I liked, and Dave said "I could make that!" So on his breaks at work, he used some scrap wood and made this! I love it :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

The State Fair!

Saturday morning, Dave told me that he wanted to take me somewhere, but it was a surprise. I begged him to tell me, but he would not relent. "That's not fair!" I exclaimed, and he smiled...and little did I know that he really wanted to answer me with "Yes it is!" :)

I figured it out by the time we left, and believe me, I was rather on the ecstatic side. Over the years, it has been difficult for me to convince anyone to take me to the fair. I'd get my family to take me, but after 30 minutes they'd be sick of it and want to leave already, regardless of the fact that they just paid $8 a person to get in, plus parking. Since then, I just haven't had the opportunity to go. When Dave and I got married, he said he'd like to take me but the first summer we were together, our budget was WAAAY too tight. This year I assumed that we wouldn't make it, either, but...surprise! Thanks Dave, I really appreciate you doing this! :)

As we walked into the fair, we went into a building which held the horticulture and floriculture exhibits. To our great regret, most of the fruits and veggies were in pretty bad shape (the fair had been going on for a good week by the time we came, and no amount of preservative could make that stuff look good anymore). Later on, we enjoyed the photography and fine arts areas of the fair, too. Maybe Dave or I will enter something next year.

One of the first things we saw were the bunnies! I'd forgotten that they had them at the fair. After a good amount of squealing, I finally pulled myself together enough to get my picture taken. The poor guys, was too hot in there for them and their fluffy coats.

Dave says "Moooo!" to a, I mean....bull.

Piglets! This area was the most disgusting for me. Seeing all these huge pigs together, laying there on the ground covered in made me feel sort of horrible. But at the end there were piglets, so it was worth it.

Me with a HUGE bull. You can't really see how massive this guy really is unless you were there. He was so gentle, though--it surprised me. He just let little kids come right up to him and pet him and didn't flinch.

Dave gets up close to the sheep. (sorry I deleted the first picture, Dave...I know it was better).

This is one of the ugliest, most unnecessarily frilly pigeons I have EVER seen. Seriously, click on the picture to see the larger image. It's crazy.

We chilled at the fair for a couple of hours. I know Dave wanted for us to go on rides and to win stuff for me, and he wanted to splurge money on me that day because he is just that sweet, but I couldn't allow us to pay close to $4 per ride and game after we'd already spent the money to get in and park. Plus, we were pretty tired. We did buy $4 french fries, but that was the extent of our extravagant spending beyond admission. Okay, so it wouldn't have hurt to blow like $10 on rides or games, but it's okay...the games are rigged anyway.

Driving home after an awesome afternoon at the fair!

We got together that night with friends and played Settlers of Catan and had dinner and this weird peach cobbler I made. Heck, everyone ate it so how bad could it have been?

I had a wonderful day!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Muse Concert (Sept. 12, 2007)


This last Wednesday was Jana's (my younger sister) birthday. My other sister, Larissa, had planned for the three of us to go to a concert that happened to be on that day--for the English rock group Muse. This also happens to be pretty much Jana's favorite band, so everything worked out there.

On Sept. 12, that wonderful day, I took work off and met up with Larissa to bake a birthday cake and get ready for the concert in the early afternoon. Soon Jana showed up, and around 6:30, after recklessly eating cake, frosting and Bunny Grahams for a couple of hours, we were dropped off in front of the McKay events center, where we found a rather longish-looking line awaiting us. We waited until the doors opened at 7, and from there we made our way to the floor in front of the stage.

Now, I've only been to a couple of concerts. I am not well versed or experienced in the ways of concerts, but I soon learned that this one was going to be way different than the others I'd attended. For instance, I had never experienced a concert from "the floor." This is pretty much the area right in front of the stage where everyone crowds and jumps and screams and dances and moshes and crowd surfs. I had only sat in the seats before. Now we were right down there, only a few feet from the divider that separated us from the stage. This was a very, very different experience.

When the first opening act started (a group called Immigrant), the speakers blared and shook and the whole place vibrated. I could feel it literally making the fabric of my clothes move like there was a breeze. Sweet. But then there was the issue of, "Holy crap...WHY didn't I bring ear-plugs, since I happen to enjoy my hearing?" Yeah, it was ridiculously loud. But that's the way a concert is meant to be, after all.

We endured a second opening act (I forgot her name... _____and the Lips) which went on FOREVER. Sorry, but I think that opening acts should keep it to just a few songs, and when they don't it's agonizing! Well, during these two acts, we noticed that there was some unrest amongst the members of the crowd. They began squeezing closer and pushing so that a few times we nearly fell over. By the end of the first opening band, Larissa was like "Whatever!" and went up to sit in the chairs, which wasn't a bad idea. But Jana and I decided to stay on the floor and hope for the best. We were both a little freaked out, but decided it was for the greater good that we stay and experience it.

After the opening bands, we waited anxiously for the main event--Muse--to come onto the stage. We were a little scared with all the pushing, shoving and squeezing, so we locked arms so we wouldn't get separated. At last the place darkened, and excited shouts and screams emerged from the masses. Pixelated screens above the stage lit up, and the band came out! There was much jumping and jubilation. The excitement that swept over the venue was impossible to describe.

We were standing on the right side of the stage (our right), and Matt, the lead singer, was on the left. D'oh! We picked the wrong side! But it was still amazing. Throughout the concert we moved and jumped and swayed and, at one point, were asked to hold up our cell phones to the darkened room as a slow song played. What happened to lighters? Oh well, it was still sweet to behold--an auditorium glowing with lit cell-phone screens.

The music was unbelievable, and hearing the band live was something I'll never get over. There was such an energy, such an excitement, that only live music can provide, and I was there in the middle of it all. I loved it! At first I was scared, but soon I was such a part of it that I didn't want it to end.

It wasn't long before the place began to feel disgustingly hot and sweaty with all the perspiring bodies moving together, and there was a stench in the air that could make you queasy. This is just one of those things about a concert you deal with, I decided. Near the middle, a few adventurous people tried to crowd surf, and near the end a circle opened up in the middle of the floor. At first I was like, "What the crap?" but soon realized that it was, indeed, the mosh pit. People started slamming into each other and dancing crazily. The way the crowd moved, by the end of the concert I was literally one person away from the mosh pit--the guy next to me was pushing the people into it and all. I'll admit I was a little worried--what if I got sucked in or something? Haha. But it was okay.

The encore was great, and we left the concert feeling full of energy and revitalized from it all. We went to Larissa's apartment and talked about the concert for an hour or so before I went home. I pretty much showered the moment I walked through the door--enough sweaty people had brushed (and squeezed) up against me that i was sure I smelled like a locker room.

So there is the story, in its glory, of my Muse concert experience. I think it might be an addiction or something, because already I can't stop thinking about how sweet it would be to go to another concert...although I don't look forward to the strangers rubbing up against me (I guess that's just a part of it, right?).

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Mountain Hike

We ended up spending part of our Saturday hiking in AF Canyon with some of our family. Dave and I did our grocery shopping and errands first and managed to meet with everyone only 45 minutes late :( But it's okay. By the time we got up the mountain, it was the perfect time of day.

(Dave, with people behind him.)

(Dave and our nephew. I know it looks like they are observing some fascinating plant or animal up close, but the truth is that they are staring at horse crap.)

We had a picnic lunch (which was delicious!) and had a great time up there. It was so nice and cool! After the hike we decided to drive up to SLC to try this restaurant called "One World Cafe." It is an interesting is mostly vegan cuisine, and instead of having set prices for the food, they just ask for a decent donation. This means that anyone can afford to eat there. I liked this because it meant that they cared more about making sure that people got fed than about making money.

After Dave and I went home, I went shopping with my sister Jana for a little bit. And...that's about all that happened today.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

My childhood, resurfaced

I don't know if this happens with every generation, but it is very prevalent with mine: the things I grew up with back in the 80s and early 90s, things that (in most cases) totally disappeared for years, have resurfaced with re-vamped toys and cartoons for a new generation.

I don't know why this is. My best guess is that it has to do with taking advantage of a huge group of consumers who already have (emotional) ties to the product, and even though they aren't in the market for it anymore, their young children are. Am I being taken advantage of? I don't know. As exciting as it is to see parts of my childhood returning, it is also a little heart wrenching. Most of them have changed...a lot. Some of them haven't. But these things are MY childhood, and as excited as I am (in some cases) to introduce these things to my own future children, they are a part of my finished childhood and it doesn't seem quite right to bring them back again. Make sense? Besides...they changed most of them, taking away much of their charm and causing me to wonder, "Were things really so different back then? Would the same toys be so much less entertaining to today's kids that they had to make drastic changes?"

I have some examples of how toys from my younger days have gone and returned, just for reference and, of course, for the fact that it's freaking interesting.

Click on the pictures for a bigger view.

Strawberry Shortcake: Then

She was a cute little girl who wore a disgustingly girly outfit. I think that was what was so appealing about her--she was old-fashioned and darn sweet.

Strawberry Shortcake: Now

They modernized her. Now she's no better than a pre-pubecent Barbie--she's just another fashion doll.

Polly Pocket: Then

She lived in a little world the size of a make-up compact. This was a very portable toy. Polly herself wasn't much bigger than your thumbnail.

Polly Pocket: Now
Surprised? She turned into a fashion doll, too. She doesn't come with a tiny little playset...because she grew several inches. Her wardrobe consists of weird, rubbery clothes.

My Little Pony: Then
Having a pony is every girl's dream, right? I loved having a herd of ponies living in my toybox. Their long hair and cute symbol on their butts were the best parts.

My Little Pony: Now
This toy has changed remarkably little, but technically this is the 3rd generation of ponies, not the second. They brought MLP back for the second time a few years ago, but they were skinny, strange-looking creatures that apparently did not sell well. The company realized that the more classic look would sell better, and it's true--they look a great deal like their 1st generation predecessors . Once change, though, is that the new ones have magnets in their hooves (so they can use playsets, etc).

Littlest Pet Shop: Then
The idea behind these toys was that children could have their own miniature pets to care for. They were very popular and much loved by kids. They came with playsets, carriers, toys, and all the fun stuff.

Littlest Pet Shop: Now

Holy crap. Their heads are disgustingly huge! That's pretty much the main problem I have with these new imposters.

Care Bears: Then
I loved these guys! They were so sappy, but come on--they were so freaking caring! What a good influence on kids....right?

Care Bears: Now
They haven't changed too much. This was one of the first toys that re-emerged from the 80s several years ago. These days they are all pastel and brighter than ever.

Cabbage Patch Kids: Then
These little fellows had delightful yarn hair and the signature of their creator on their buttcheek. They had many varieties and were, although sort of ugly in their way, just so lovable.

Cabbage Patch Kids: Now
The yarn hair is gone and their look has slightly changed. The hair was their main thing...but I know why they changed it--yarn is impossible to brush :) could they change it?

Barbie: Then
THE fashion and beauty doll. She had beautiful hair and clothes, but most of her ourfits were kept simple and were easy to take on and off.

Barbie: Now
Barbie today is WAY different than she used to be. She has evolved over the years to be...well, what she always was, only now it's worse. She dresses like an extreme hooker and seems to be getting younger and younger. After all, who wants to play with a toy that looks like an old person? Her eyes are huge and so are her lips, and huge globs of make-up adorn her face. She is even skinnier than ever.

There you have it.