age | e

in front of you in line alphabetically since 2006

Friday, February 22, 2008

phebruary photos

It's time for another round of photos! Consider the outside of your monitor a picture frame and enjoy 'em.

This is a picture of where Chrissy works teaching English Language Development for adult students in Auburn. They call it the blue house, which, if your monitor is working properly, you will quickly see why.

Since the start of January, on Wednesdays we've been eating dinner and watching American Idol with my Aunt Tana and Uncle Barry (and usually we get to see Raeane and Jared, too). Though every time we've eaten something fab-u-licious, this time Tana outdid herself with a whole meal of variations on everybody's favorite appetizer, Li'l Smokies. Needless to say, my cousin Shane and I were more than excited and had more than our fair share.

Last Saturday we went walking in "the nature" through Griffith Quarry, an old favorite historical/nature park near Auburn. Go for the trails, stay for the great big hole in the living rock filled with algae-swamped water that has nowhere to drain. But don't fall in.

And here's a lovely dose of perspective brought to you by Chrissy. For those of you readers a bit farther north or in Central Europe, seasons work a bit differently where we live in Northern California. Here there are two seasons: hot, dry and brown, then cold, wet and green. Winter here is like having two months of the muddy pre-Spring season, then a month of early Spring, then Spring. After three winters in the Czech Republic, we are counting our blessings.

'Tis the sinister season for poison oak. For in these months 'tis naught but branches and only the tiniest of leaves. But they pack a punch---so don't touch! If you haven't experienced the fruits of an encounter with this shiny triplet, count yourself fortunate and scratch your itches without fear.

Chrissy the Triumphant. Joel the Hydrated.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

spilled milk

How many gallons of milk will fit in the back of your truck?

At least 43 fit in mine---and then some.

We had more-than-a-mini milk disaster today at work when after investigating why a gallon of nonfat felt a bit on the warmer side one of my co-workers discovered that the refrigerator was more than 20° over the prescribed limit. This is not to imply that the milk was boiling, rancid or even lukewarm, it was just too warm to serve. Bravo, Starbucks and her mighty standards (and bravo, Health Department, too).

The refrigerator was easy to fix (they tell you not to put things on top of vents for a reason), but it contained most of the rest of our milk supply for the day---something which matters, um, a latté. So I took off, store credit card in hand, to the closest supermarket. There I seized upon two shopping carts, commandeering them to the dairy section, where I summarily transferred all of the milk in Safeway's refrigerator into my carts. Okay, not all of it, but the take was impressive.

Impressive enough to attract quite a bit of attention from my fellow shoppers.

"Having a lot of people over for breakfast tomorrow?" asked one.

"Trying to give the cashier a story to tell?"

"You should of bought a cow."

One woman suggested that I take the no-good milk and use it in a cosmetic milk bath. When else am I to have so much milk on my hands? She even offered to buy the cucumber slices to lay on my eyelids.

I accepted the help of the bagger to accompany my lactic cargo and me to my truck, where we lined most of the bed with rows and rows of the stuff, almost enough to prevent completely any risk of them sliding around during the trip back.

It all worked out in the end. My shipment arrived just as my fellow baristas were steaming the last available milk (from other refrigerators, of course). Not a drink ordered was not handed out. The only casualty of the day ended up being the too-warm milk---each gallon of which I had to spill out into the sink at the end of my shift.

Don't cry.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

super duper god bless america tuesday

Today is a red (and also white and blue) letter day, a proud day, a civically responsible day, a day of duties fulfilled. Today is Super Tuesday, but for Joel and Chrissy, it's been so much more, and therefore---more for America.

Get a load of the patriotic things we've been up to today:
  • We voted in the primaries
  • We completed our income tax returns
  • Joel changed the oil in car
  • Chrissy administered a standardized state exam
  • Joel went to work at Starbucks (whistling the Star-Spangled Banner on the way)
And there's conceivably still time for at least one of us (or both) to serve on a jury, to write a letter to our congressman, to participate in a 21-gun salute, to eat a slice of apple pie and to watch an episode of Smallville.

Basically, Uncle Sam wants us.

Friday, February 01, 2008


It took the skills of Sayid (and fortunately not those of Charlie) to get our rabbit ear antennae to find a signal, but we were able to catch the season premiere of Lost last night, this time all caught up with the rest of America.

It'll be strange watching it one episode per week (although it'll probably make us less edgy than watching three episodes at a time), but forget it---Lost is back. Yay.