Thursday, July 31, 2008

Picture Post

Last week, we took a hike up to the falls in P.G. It was beautiful up there! Although I am sure that looking at pictures of scenery is exactly what you want to do with your time, I couldn't resist posting some of these nice shots.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's Family Reunion time!

I am not the biggest fan of the family reunion. It is nice to see some family members who you rarely get to talk to once a year at the good ol' reunion, but generally they are too much for me. At your typical reuinion, you're thrown into a world of vaguely familiar faces, truly bizarre pasta salads, and silly games that are supposed to promote "family unity."

I am a person who likes to stick with the basics when it comes to who I "hang out" with. I have my close friends and immediate family (with some extended family members here and there) with whom I regularly associate. For me, that is just fine. I don't have time for a large social network anyway. But at a family reunion, you are expected to just be friends with people who are supposedly your family (whether you remember ever seen them before or not). Of course it's just like regular society, meaning there are cliques and different age groups associating with one another, so naturally you aren't going to be best buds with EVERYONE there. But there is that family thing that implies that ALL of us at the reunion are supposed to like each other and be able to at least talk a little and get along. That doesn't really work for me, I guess. I carefully cultivate my few friendships and am quite loyal to my friends and family, but I don't like the idea of acting like I care about almost-strangers for one day a year, just to appease. NO, I'm not a jerk...I just don't like THIS conversation, which thirves at family reunions:

(this takes place after the "so how are you related to me?" conversation, if needed)

Relative 1: "So, what are you up to?"
Relative 2: "Oh, you know. School and work. You?"
Relative 1: "Oh, the same thing."
(awkward silence)
Relative 2: "So..."
Relative 1: "Nice day today, huh?"

Multiply this by, like, 20, and there is a family reunion for you.

Naw, it's not REALLY that bad. But we did have 2 reunions in one day, which makes it twice as bad, you know? I do love my family, though...I just can't deal with a huge group of relatives wanting to make small talk, only to do the same thing at the NEXT reunion...

ANYWAY, it was nice because my mom and dad came down from AZ for the day of festivities. My dad even wore his kilt to his side of the family's reunion, since we are part Scottish. We ate food and visited and then some of us hiked up a hill to a place where we used to play as kids. It was very hot out that day, and so after that little excursion most of us were ready to go home and change and relax before the 2nd reunion.

Reunion #2 was not as nice as the first. It was for a much more extended family, and I knew almost nobody there. At least the other had family there that I saw more often and knew better. We also arrived pretty late, and only the most bizarre of food choices remained for dinner. You woudln't believe the kinds of things my relatives on that side come up with! And yes, most of them really do involve Jell-O.

That night and the next day was spent playing games and visiting with my immediate family, since my parents were only able to stay for a couple of days. It was lovely, though, while it lasted.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pop Quiz

Would you rather:

a.) Wake up in the morning and find that your hair has shaped itself into a Mullet hairstyle that is permanent for an entire week (it also resists hats or other forms of covering it up), or

b.) Wake up to realize that your non-dominant hand is paralyzed and is unusable for an entire week?


Monday, July 14, 2008


I have fallen in love with this site: The Daily Plate. Tracking everything I eat has made me want to eat better, and at the same time it is a cause of stress that worries and/or motivates me.

I went to the Scottish Festival on Saturday. Regrettably, I didn't get to stay very long, but the time I did get to spend there was enjoyable. I want with my friend and her family. We looked around the booths and watched part of the Scottish games (such as the caber toss). Afterward we had a delicious and fattening breakfast at the good ol' IHOP. Mmmm, pancakes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Picture Post

The Freedom Festival. This was not the worst of the crowd, trust me.

Dave at the festival, imitating our forefathers (, mothers?).

Me at the Malt Shoppe, where we ate afterwards.

Our little squirrel friend. I think Dave named him Sam, but I could be wrong on that.

Scenery from our hike.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Weekend of Celebrating!

Hey! Time for an update, or at least something more than a shameless promotion of my new favorite restaurant. I mean, come on!

Friday was the 4th of July. I had really wanted to go to a parade. Yes, you may be thinking that parades are stupid but I can't help it--I still enjoy them, and I really wanted to celebrate the 4th somehow. But I wasn't thinking when I stayed up late the night before. We slept in through most of the parade, but I really wanted to go out anyway so Dave and I went to this Freedom Festival thing they were doing.

Downtown was obscenely crowded and it felt like an armpit as we wound through various food and souvenir stands. We didn't actually buy anything, we just looked around and tried to enjoy the festive atmosphere. It was kind of fun but we decided after a short time that we were ready to go home for lunch.

That night, we went to watch fireworks in P.G. They were okay, but we kinda got there a few minutes late and ended up parking right behind a street light. D'oh. That night Dave went to hang out at a b-day party for a friend for a while, but I was too tired to go.

On Saturday, we did our shopping and errands for the week. The best part was my best friend's birthday party that night. We had an awesome time eating and hanging out with friends and family and watching presents get opened. We had such a good time! Oh boy, that food was sooo good, and there was so much of it!

Sunday, we went on a hike up the canyon a little ways. We stopped to eat at a park and fed some squirrels. You'd be surprised how many there are up there, and they watchyou while you eat and come over when they feel comfortable enough. They were adorable! I wonder if we were spoiling them by giving them food, but I guess they've become used to it, living in a park and all. Later we watched a movie at home and relaxed.

Hmm, turned out to be a pretty boring post. Sorry! :)

(Pictures to come soon)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I heart noodles

I recently discovered a really yummy restaurant, Noodles and Co. I have a love for noodles and this place has various kinds of noodle dishes, from Asian to Italian and more. You can pick what you want on it protein-wise (chicken, tofu, shrimp, etc.) and you pick how big you want the portions to be, etc. They are really good, you should try it out!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

101 Things about Karen

I've seen this on several blogs lately and have decided to do it myself.

101 Things About Me

1.) I've been wearing contacts since 8th grade, and I think that was a big turning point in my life. My glasses no longer took over my face, and I felt like a new person from then on.
2.) Soda tends to make me feel sick, but I still like to drink it... I try not to so much, though.
3.) I'm very scared of insects, but mostly the ones with a lot of legs.
4.) My favorite food is pizza, preferably with LOADS of veggies on it.
5.) I grew up listening to oldies, and The Beatles have been my favorite band since I was 12. I used to have posters of them all over my room and I collected any Beatles-related stuff I could find.
6.) In 5th grade through Jr. High, I was really into dolphins.
7.) Because of #6, I wanted to be a dolphin trainer or a marine biologist back then.
8.) I started writing when I was pretty young, like grade-school.
9.) I won a prize in a poetry contest when I was in 5th grade and was asked to read my poem in front of the entire school. Surprise! the poem was about a dolphin. I didn't get first place, though--these braniac twin sisters both did better than me. I was a little jealous, if you can't tell.
10.) My elbows used to be really, really dry when I was a kid.
11.) I used lick my nose all the time in kindergarten. Pretty sure I had some kind of OCD problem...I still do repetitive things sometimes, just not so weird as that.
12.) The Simpsons is probably my favorite show ever. When it was new, my family would watch it together. Later on, I'd stay up late enough to watch it during my school days, and then go to bed.
13.) I liked MASH a lot in high much, that I'd tape it in the morning and watch it as soon as I got home from school.
14.) My first celebrity crush was Mario. Like, from the video game. But give me a break--I was in first grade!
15.) I have never broken a bone.
16.) I've never liked sports very much. I dreaded going to PE most of the time because I wasn't very good at sports.
17.) I was on the swim team and the diving team (does that count as a sport?).
18.) I love thrift stores (but not the dirty feeling you get after spending time in one).
19.) I have worn corrective lenses ever since I was a toddler.
20.) I can't go more than a couple hours without feeling hungry--my body is programmed to snack.
21.) I was born in Seattle, WA. Maybe that's why I love the rain!
22.) Living in the suburbs near Seattle, my best friends were two boys who my sister and I would play with in the forest. They weren't allowed to watch tv, and I always thought that was strange. 23.) I used to collect baseball cards.
24.) My friends and I used to play with Hot wheels cars at recess.
25.) I was a pretty pudgy kid starting around 3rd grade. I finally slimmed down when I became a teenager.
26.) One day, around age 7, I wanted to see how mad I could make my mom, so I took the huge American flag my parents had for Cub Scouts out of the corner and spread it out on the floor. I called my mom into the room and then proceeded to do cartwheels on the flag. Turns out my mom could get pretty mad!
27.) I have asthma.
28.) My favorite color is burgundy or dark red.
29.) I played with My Little Ponies and Barbies growing up--they were my favorite toys.
30.) I love shopping for clothes and could do it for hours and hours.
31.) I would rather be too hot than too cold.
32.) I love Monopoly.
33.) I do not like snow or snow sports. Sometimes it's nice to look at through a long as I'm not in it.
34.) My first car was a 1988 Honda Accord named "Lugnut." That car had a real personality. I miss it sometimes!
35.) When I'm sad I go shopping as therapy.
36.) I love the ocean.
37.) I am afraid of the sound of a balloon popping.
38.) I met my husband at high school at a dance where we were both with different people.
39.) I used to take piano lessons, but I quit after 2 years because I hated it. You know, I don't really regret it, either.
40.) I was in the audience for "The Price is Right" shortly before Bob Barker retired.
41.) My big dream right now is to publish a book.
42.) I kind of want to be a famous author...but not all the time.
43.) I find organizing to be fun.
44.) I'm really shy around new people in large groups. I do have some social anxiety, so I probably come across as kind of anti-social sometimes, but I swear I'm not trying to be rude!
45.) My family has never had a dog--we've always owned cats and various small critters.
46.) As soon as we get a house, the first thing Dave and I are doing is getting a puppy :)
47.) I've been on the floor at a concert once...and it was indescribably a m a z i n g !
48.) I like to create home-made cards.
49.) I suck at most "domestic" arts, like sewing and cooking elaborate meals.
50.) I do love crafts, though!
51.) In July, I'll finally have my long-drawn-out AS in English!
52.) I didn't want to go to college but my parents insisted that I go right after high school. I'm so glad they did--more for the experiences than anything.
53.) I'm still best friends with my best friend from high school.
54.) I'm scared of children (more specifically, ones I don't know).
55.) I like some video games, like Final Fantasy and Zelda. This might make me a nerd...
56.) Mostly I like games you can play with your friends, though.
57.) My husband and I have played Mario Kart 64 together just about every day for the past 2 months...or more.
58.) I love to go for walks with Dave.
59.) I love to be right, but I don't always HAVE to be right.
60.) I may be the middle child, but I think I'm the most spoiled.
61.) I like cows.
62.) I like to mix cereals.
63.) I don't like to drink milk anymore.
64.) I like babies but don't really know anything about them. I've never changed a diaper.
65.) I once kept a garter snake as a pet...I loved that little guy! He'd weave between my fingers and stick his little tongue out. I was devastated to find him dead one day with no obvious reason. Since then, I decided never to keep a pet I found in the wild. I hate the idea of taking them out of their natural world and forcing them to live in a small space just because I want to look at them.
66.) I hate to eat food that is old. Like, 2 days is usually my limit for leftovers.
67.) I am drawn to old and abandoned buildings. I've explored a couple but have this unsafe desire to go inside more of them.
68.) I'm not the fastest learner because my mind gets so easily distracted. It wanders when I should be paying attention.
69.) I like pet rats.
70.) I love water and have a constant desire to play in every stream or river I see.
71.) Even though I look angry most of the time, I promise I'm not--that's just my neutral face.
72.) My feelings are easily hurt. I often take things people say the wrong way.
73.) I actually like some anime...but very little.
74.) I need to feel loved and accepted.
75.) I almost never eat meat products, but I don't really like to call myself "vegetarian." I guess I don't like the label. I am who I am, that's all.
76.) I am usually worrying about something.
77.) It freaks me out to put my face right under the shower head.
78.) I bite my nails when I'm nervous. When I start, Dave always turns to me and asks what's wrong.
79.) I also have an annoying habit of wiggling my leg when tense.
80.) I'm kind of scared of horses, but I still love them and think they are beautiful.
81.) I like the smell of bacon.
82.) I am afraid of messing up.
83.) I'm scared people are always judging me, even though I know that, realistically, people probably don't care.
84.) I rarely admit it, but sometimes, I can see the beauty in myself.
85.) "American Idol" annoys me.
86.) I am afraid of offending people or hurting their feelings.
87.) I wanted to grow up to be a princess or a mermaid.
88.) I think I am pretty accepting of people and their choices in life. I would hope they would be accepting of me, too.
89.) Laughter, to me, really is the best medicine. I love how Dave can lift my mood just by saying something funny or random.
90.) I'm an English Major, but the idea of that doesn't seem like ME. I guess I really hate labels...
91.) I have a pretty bad memory, but I tend to remember strange details that most people forget instead of the obvious things.
92.) It bothers me to have to sleep away from home. I just have too many things involved in getting ready for bed. I hate packing up my crap to take somewhere else, hoping I didn't forget anything. Sometimes I'd try to get out of sleepovers when I was younger because I just didn't want to deal with the hassle.
93.) I hate the idea of relying on medication. This makes having asthma even worse for me.
94.) I'm afraid to be a parent.
95.) I don't believe in the idea of a "soul-mate" necessarily, but I can't imagine finding anyone more perfect for me than Dave.
96.) I have been "in love" with several guys, but have had very few actual relationships.
97.) I automatically judge the intelligence of people based on how well they can use punctuation when they write, especially if they don't use ANY. And yes, I acknowledge that I myself and not perfect with it all the time.
98.) I am not a fan of mayonnaise. You put it on my sandwich, I'm not eating it. Simple as that.
99.) It is completely astounding to me that I found someone who was able to deal with my issues and want to MARRY me despite them.
100.) Although this list is overflowing with much negativity, I am a generally happy person and want to be optimistic most of the time.
101.) It has taken me over a week to finish compiling this list.