Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's nice to know.

cash advance

Cash Advance Loans

I was expecting 5th grade, really. I'm relieved.

I was just thinking...why is this blog named "Karen and Dave" when "Dave" never writes? I think he knows better than to try to interfere with a project that I've obviously taken over completely... I mean, it's more for me, isn't it? Then again, it's about "our" lives, so the name remains fitting :)

Maybe I would be wise to actually finish my Shakespeare paper instead of finding other things to distract me from it on the internet?

P.S. Why is blogging so fun?!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

I've been kind of sick the past few days. What a way to end the Thanksgiving break! It's kind of's like a stomach flu type thing, but not really. Basically it's like a stomachache that doesn't go away, interspersed with bouts of dizziness :( I think I'm getting better, though.

So last Friday, I had wanted to go shopping (I know, I know, I'm a maniac) because it's a family tradition. My mom and aunt and her kids really get into it, and I started going along and found it oddly fun, regardless of the fact that the sky was still dark and normal people were asleep during that time of day. But it's just something we do in our family, and I missed the fact that I wouldn't be with them this year to participate.

I told Dave that I would take him, and he (willingly) accepted. I love that guy...he'd let me drag him almost anywhere because he wants to make me happy, like shopping. But anyway, I was planning to go and got a newspaper and everything but then I started to look at the ads and realized that we only had, like, 3 of them, even though it was supposed to be jam-packed. So I suddenly lost the will to go because I couldn't even plan for the thing, and you don't want to do "shop till you drop" without a plan, unless you're reckless. It's like a sport, and you have to really get into it, meaning you have a game plan. So we slept in instead, and then I told him we could go to the mall around 11am to prepare for next year so he'd know kind of what to expect. It was funny--we were laughing at the people in line in the underwear department at Mervyn's, even though there's a decent chance we will be there next year ourselves. It was fun, though, really.

But we put the tree up and decorated it later that day, and on Friday(I think?), while we were watching a movie (Armageddon...I actually hadn't seen it yet, believe it or not) Dave brought out this clay stuff you bake in the oven called "Sculpy." He created this cute elf thing, and I made Santa. I love my little Santa! He's the bee's knees.

(Dave, working on his creation)


On Saturday we hung out at home and watched another movie (A.I.) and did our shopping for the week. Sunday I started getting sick, and we didn't really go anywhere at all. I read the whole play, Much Ado About Nothing.

Eh, it's almost time for work. Bye.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving was an awesome one!

We had wanted to make it to Arizona to see my family (since technically it is, by our scheduling plan, their turn to have us for Thanksgiving) but the trip didn't seem like it would be a good idea this year. So Dave and I were happy to spend the holiday here. We got to spend time with his family and eat some really amazing food and it was a really nice day.

We were invited to eat dinner (well, if you can call Thanksgiving dinner "dinner," since it normally takes place in the middle of the day) with Dave's brother and sister in law Jeremy and Chandelle. Chandelle is an amazing chef and can pretty much make the best vegetarian/vegan dishes in the world. We went over to their place and enjoyed a delicious dinner with them and their kids. It was great to see them and get a chance to talk and eat great food!

After the meal, we drove to Dave's parents' house for more Thanksgiving festivities. We ate pie and played poker and stuff and it was fun. I actually brought a home-made pie to their house and everyone who tried it seemed to like it. That made me happy. On Wednesday, a lady in my ward had invited me over to show me how to make pumpkin pie from scratch (not with canned pumpkin--like, actually from pumpkins she cooked herself). I made the crusts and created the designs on them myself. I ended up with two homemade pies--one for Dave and I, and the other to share (See pictures below.)

All in all, it pretty much feels like we consumed a week's worth of calories in one day, but I never felt guilty--my only worry was feeling sick, not feeling fat and regretful. It IS Thanksgiving, so it's okay to have that extra slice of pie, right? :)

Speaking of pie...

Here is a close-up of one of the crusts with leaf details.

The other pie, close-up.

I'm sad that the day is over, and that I didn't get to see my whole family on this day, but it was still really fun and I enjoyed myself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I just updated Local Stupidity. It's even a festive holiday stupidity sighting!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

So, what happened to Thanksgiving?

It's November 18th.

With the end of Halloween, we have seen a sudden shift of focus from one holiday to another. As soon as the fake cobwebs and costumes and candy left the shelves, another holiday's inventory was readily there to take their place: Christmas.

Wait...Christmas? It's November. Isn't there another holiday--I mean, a really big one--that's supposed to be in November? Yeah, something about turkeys and being grateful and giant feasts and family togetherness?

Oh, right! Thanksgiving!

Unfortunately for Thanksgiving, it can't compete with the "spirit" and major decor theme of Christmas. I mean, you don't see a lot of Thanksgiving decorations, besides your odd turkey or cornucopia. Oh yeah, and Pilgrims. But they can even compete with jolly old Santa Claus! It doesn't have its own music (yes, Christmas music is already playing on the radio) or pressure to buy, buy, buy gifts for everyone. But it isn't its fault. As soon as Halloween ends, Christmas takes over--just like that.

Not that I'm one to talk. I may make fun of people who start their Christmas shopping as soon as October 31st is done, but I'll admit that I went out and bought a Christmas tree last week. I may laugh at those who put up their lights at the start of November, but I myself can scarcely contain my desire to decorate the new tree and shop, shop, shop to create stacks of boxes to place beneath said tree. I must, must, MUST contain myself and NOT put the tree up until after Thanksgiving! I mean, doesn't Thanksgiving deserve at LEAST that much consideration from me?

(Yes, even as we speak, I am thinking about where to put the tree in my apartment...)

I am a Holiday Hypocrite.

Well, I'm here to do my part to make the world a more Thanksgiving-friendly place. Happy Thanksgiving! Have some decorations in honor of this awesome (and somewhat overlooked) holiday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Relationship to Food

Chandelle tagged me with this in her food blog, so I'll do my best to respond. I don't know if I can get 10 things, though...

10 weird facts about my relationship to food

1. I hate, hate HATE mayonnaise. It is, in my opinion, the most vile and disgusting food-like creation, and I'd prefer a thousand dry sandwiches to ever using mayo. The only way to get me to eat it is to mask the flavor. For instance, I will, on occasion, indulge in fry sauce, but only because the mayo is mixed with ketchup and I can't taste the stuff.

2. I am obsessed with the expiration of food. Anyone who knows me well is probably aware that I am a freak about food that has been in the fridge for too long. My time limit is usually 2 days after the food was made, and on packaged foods you can just forget about me even looking at it if the expiration date has passed. I've been better since I got married and found myself too poor at times to be picky, but I am still annoyingly crazy about this subject.

3. Pickles are an interesting food for me. When I was a kid, I loved pickles and ate them right out of the jar. Then, when I was an older kid and teenager, I hated pickles so much that I refused to eat them at all. Finally I grew out of it, and now I love pickles again (although not so much on their own).

4. Along with #3 goes the fact that I absolutely HATE sweet pickles. I will only eat dill.

5. I hate the smell of vinegar. I mean, in salad dressing I'm okay with it, but I can't stand the stuff by itself.

6. When I was a kid and someone would bring cupcakes to school for a birthday party, I'd eat the cupcake and then chew on the paper wrapper like gum to get every last bit of cupcake out.

7. Sometimes, I lick my plate.

8. I very rarely drink milk on its own. I have pretty much switched over to soy milk and I prefer it to regular, and now that I have I'm afraid to drink regular milk because I have this silly feeling that I'm lactose intolerant now or something. I'm afraid I'll get sick if I drink it. This is especially silly because I still eat plenty of ice cream and cheese, so I don't think my worries are very valid.

9. I actually LIKE the macaroni and cheese that comes in the box, even though I know perfectly well that the stuff is probably more chemical than food.

10. I enjoy being vegetarian. Sometimes I think about giving it up because it is too hard, or because of pressure or whatever else. But I really like having a plant based diet. It's exciting for me to come up with new recipes, and I have been forced to try foods that I'd never even thought to cook with before. It's a challenge and a lot of fun. For me, it has been a healthy change and I don't feel deprived or malnourished in any way. I mean look at me...I'm definitely not wasting away :)

Cool, that was fun. I don't know who to tag, so IF YOU JUST READ THIS, you've been tagged and now must do it yourself. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tag Game...

This is a different tag, so here are the rules:
A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player lists 6 little-known facts/habits about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. I am horribly afraid of failure. Oftentimes, I will choose not to do something hard just because I don't want to possibly fail, no matter how worth it the outcome would be. I care too much about what people think of me and I'd rather look like I'm good at doing something easy than bad at trying something hard.

2. I'm scared of children and old people. I mean, I love babies, but I don't know how to care for a child, or an elderly adult who can't care for themselves well. I don't know how I'm supposed to communicate with them, and it makes me very uncomfortable.

3. When I was very little, I used to lick my nose. Like, all the time. It was a weird habit, like an impulse, and i couldn't stop doing it for at least a year.

4. I am strangely fascinated with abandoned buildings. They are so mysterious, and I am tempted to explore them whenever I find one (even though it is very dangerous). I love the fact they they have a history that I don't know about, and I like to wonder who lived in the building years ago and why it became empty. It's chilling.

5. I started writing my first full-length novel when I was in 6th grade. It was about dolphins, and it was horrible. Back then, I was certain I'd be published by the time I was a teenager and I'd be famous and movies would be adapted from my stories. Ha! :) Not yet...

6. I love rats. I used to keep them as pets, and I'd teach them tricks and let them crawl up my arms and have them hang out on my shoulders while I did other stuff around the house. I loved them! I still think they are almost as smart as a dog and would always pick a rat over a hamster.

Okay, so I don't have very many blogger friends yet, so I'll tag everyone I know who HASN'T done this yet:

Saturday, November 10, 2007



Two weeks ago, Dave began his first round of student teaching. He has been working with a 4th grade class and loves it. He and his partner have taught 4 lessons total and they are having a great time. I'm so glad that Dave likes it. I mean, wouldn't it be a little bit of a shame to realize that he hated it now, after deciding to be a teacher? Haha.

So Dave will be doing a total of 3 weeks of student teaching for this semester. This has been a problem with his work schedule at Woodcraft, since he must do the teaching in the morning and that is when work is. Luckily he was able to get these 3 weeks off, but with the company changing ownership and some other recent events, working there any longer didn't seem very feasible anymore, not to mention somewhat depressing. Dave has been looking around at jobs, and applied for a few. He applied at several schools to be a kind of tutor or teaching assistant but these jobs weren't going to be very flexible with the student teaching (it will happen again next semester). He also applied at the testing center at UVSC, where he would be giving students their tests and such. He interviewed for that job last Thursday, and it seemed as though they would be able to work with his schedule.

Well, we got a phone call early Friday morning that gave Dave the good news: UVSC wants to hire him! The money isn't great and I'm sure the job will be wrought with stress at times, but Dave is so excited to work there. I'm happy that he's happy. His main ambition is to have a job where he is working with people, so he should be content there.

I, too, have been searching for a new place of employment. I told myself that I would leave my current job by the end of the semester, even though they keep raising my pay. I just want something new, something to maybe help me work my way up to something else. I mentioned that Dave had an interview last Thursday... and so did I. I applied for a job with the city to work as a scanning clerk in their building. I think the interview went okay, but I can't be certain at this point. I should hear back in a couple of days, I hope. But I must be honest: I've had a surge of hopefulness ever since lunch today, when I received this message in a fortune cookie:

Friday, November 9, 2007

Dan's Mission Call Video

Dave made a fun video of Dan opening his mission call. If you want to see it, leave a comment or email Dave or me and we'll tell you how to see it.

Way to go, Dan! You're awesome!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Exploring my first abandoned building

While we were up by Bridalveil Falls today, Dave and I came upon an old, dilapidated structure at the bottom. We quickly realized that it was the old tram station that connected to the restaurant/reception center way up on the edge of the mountain, above the falls.

Most people may not know this, but I am completely fascinated with old, abandoned buildings. I have always wanted to become what some refer to as an urban explorer, a person who seeks out old buildings and goes inside to look around at what remains (some examples are shown in sites like these: Forgotten Ohio, Abandoned But Not Forgotten). I've never had a chance to do it, but today I took the opportunity.

There are many pictures, so I posted them very small. Feel free to click on them to get the full effect.

The bridge, with the tram station off to the left.

The other station up on the cliff. It's toward the right side of the picture (a white building).

Junk hanging from the tram cables.

The cables coming from the tram station, with razor wire along the roof. They must really want to keep people off...

This is a gap under the building with bars. Basically there is just a lot of junk down there--piles and piles of rubble and ruin.

The main room as you enter the tram station. WARNING: there are some unsavory things spray painted on the walls, so don't look at the larger picture if you don't want to see them.
If you turn left from the main room, you see this area. If you keep going down the hall, there are two rooms and a stairway.

This is a hole in the floor in the main room.

Some of the tram machinery.

More machinery. Notice the writing on the wall: "World's Steepest Aerial Tramway."

Up the stairs at the end of the hall.

Check out the ripped carpet shreds, and the view out the door.

The view, looking down, from the top of the stairs.

The tram station seems to have been built in the late 1960s as a means to reach a restaurant that is nestled up in the cliffs about Bridalveil Falls. I believe it was used for parties and wedding receptions. Around 1996, an avalanche ruined the tram station and it was shut down. There are plans to rebuild the tram station, but when it will be reopened is uncertain.

Canyon and Bridalveil Falls Adventure

We drove up the canyon today and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. We stopped at Bridalveil Falls and a few other places to take pictures.The falls.
Some guy offered to take our picture.
Me, crossing the water carefully.
Dave, posing in this cool cage-like bridge thing that was just there, who knows why.
If you look carefully, you can see a building up there on the mountain!
Us, walking down the trail.
Some water at the park.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween! (update 11/4/07)

(update) The next two pictures are from Mike and Jamie's party on Oct. 27. They are used compliments of Jamie.
(Jenny, me, Dave, Dan, Steph, and Mike. Dave has a different costume on here than he wore on Halloween. He made an awesome zombie-type mask out of papier maché.)
And here I am again with my costume at Mike and Jamie's party.

(Oct. 31, 2007)
Happy Halloween from Dave and Karen!

(Dave is Einstein and I am a hula dancer!)

It was a fun day. After work we went to see our friend Attie and then we were off to Larissa's (she took these pictures). I'm not normally a Halloween person but I think I really like having an excuse to dress up once a year :)