Operation: Fix This House!

Operation: Fix This House!
Our adventures in fixing up a fixer-upper

Confessions of an Antibride

Confessions of an Antibride
Snarky Commentary on Wedding Planning

Pink Dog Cooks

Pink Dog Cooks
Sort of.


And other Crafting Goodness

The Wedding: Act I, scene one - Prologue

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In the weeks and days leading up to the wedding everything kicked up into warp drive.  I worked part of the week before the wedding, and in my infinite wisdom, I took on several extra on-call rotations as well.  This meant I was not only stuck in Cowtown much of the weeks and weekends before the wedding, but I was also working.

I'm smart like that.

I have to say, for this being a mostly DIY wedding, and me being a mostly Put-It-Off-Until-The-Last-Minute kind of girl, I had mostly everything done about a week before the actual wedding.


I wanted to do the majority of it myself, in part because I have control issues, and also because I like doing this sort of thing.  And if I'm going to have to be there anyway, it might as well have my fabulous craftiness spewing out of every orifice!

Now there's a mental image I bet you weren't expecting today!  You're welcome.

However, I'm also not delusional, and I knew that trying to do everything ourselves had the potential for this Anti-Bride to find herself in the fetal position in some dark corner rocking back and forth and mumbling to herself in tongues only understood by aboriginal tribes in the deepest parts of the Australian Bush, and a few Evangelists in Georgia.

We're enterprising individuals, MacGyver, my family and I, and we did what any smart business-minded people would do in our situation.  It's called outsourcing, my friends!  Oh yes, though I can assure you 8year old children in Chinese sweatshops were involved in this negotiation.  Not this part, anyway.  We had the dinner catered, the bar tended, and a cake baked.

My mom already knew the caterer and we worked in the bartender as part of that fee and can I please get a Hallelujah! for that woman?!  I never had an empty glass in my hand the whole night.

When it came time to decide on cakes, I had it narrowed down to two styles.  One was fairly simple, elegant, traditional, etc.  But I was torn, as I really felt the other cake spoke to me on a very deep, esoteric level.

I'm curious to see, given the choices, which you would have chosen?

Cake #1:

or Cake #2:

You see my dilemma.

I showed both cakes to MacGyver, and he just looked at me hard for a minute, then he walked away.  He didn't actually say anything, but I'm pretty sure he was filing that moment away in his mind to bring back up someday in the future.

"You remember that time you almost brought a Darth Vader riding My Little Pony cake to our wedding?  Because I remember."

Maybe I'll do that for our anniversary.  I wonder what Darth Vader would taste like in Red Velvet?

. . .

Umm...okay that was awkward.  Well, we'll all have fun unseeing both of those mental images this weekend.  I'll try to control myself better next week.


A tribute to Daryl Strawberry and Superman

Friday, December 9, 2011

A few weeks before the wedding, I made an appointment with the event coordinator of our wedding location to go over set up and layout, etc.  I texted my mom, who had planned to meet up with me later that day in town to go do a trial run of my hair, to see if she wanted to meet me.  I never heard from her, so I assumed she didn't want to come.

When I arrived, I met the lady and we made introductions.  Then she made a reference to needing to wait for someone with the same name as my father to arrive.

My dad?  Whaa?

I asked her what she was talking about, and she said he told her he was planning to meet us here too.

Apparently everyone in my family has stopped communicating with me.

Sure enough, as I was dialing his number to see what the heck was going on, I see his truck pulling up the drive.  Right after noticing that my mom wasn't with him, and thinking that was weird to leave her at home when we planned to meet up anyway, I saw her car.

Right behind his.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Greenpeace, the EPA, and Toyota for making the world a cleaner, less polluted place.  Because on this day, we sure weren't.

Nice Event Coordinator Lady showed us around where we'd be having our reception and the lawn where we'd be having the ceremony.  I'd provided her with a diagram of our wedding reception layout compliments of a brilliant little applet on The Knot She was very helpful in pointing out the things I didn't realize we'd need.  Like when she asked where we'd put the cake?  And I smartly replied that the cake would be on the cake table!  Then she asked me where the cake table was on my diagram.


Nice Event Coordinator Lady scribbled in a few more things I'd forgotten on my diagram and we were on our way.

Mom and I had a few hours to kill before we drive up to Oregon City for the hair appointment so we poked around a few thrift shops in search of more table decorations.  I needed more frames for the table numbers and bottles for vases.  Do I have you scratching your head yet?

Remember the theme: Vintage G h e t t o.

We stopped at Baja Fresh for lunch.  They have this mango chipotle heaven in your mouth salad business there.  So, so good.   On our way over to the restaurant my car started making one of those noises that is akin to a human having chest pains.

Like, call 911 your car is about to blow up kind of noises.

Being the responsible car owner and mechanic that I am, I turned up the radio and kept on driving.  To my credit, when I parked the car, I did sort of kneel to the ground and look underneath the car to see if anything was hemorrhaging from up inside the guts part of the car.  I saw nothing.

I only know how to check 4 things in a car.

1) Windshield wiper fluid
2) Oil
3) Brake fluid
4) Gas

I quickly deduced that it was none of those things as it was sunny and 90 degrees outside, my first car was a Subaru with an oil leak so I know what that sounds like, my brakes were working fine (for once), and I had a full tank of gas.

So I did what any self-respecting girlfriend would do in this situation.  Texted MacGyver 15 minutes after he started his shift at work to tell him my car was "making a bad noise".

My mom and I spent lunch debating whether I should try to drive my car another 45 minutes away, or try to find a mechanic and diagnose/fix the problem.  The biggest issue was that I still had to get home to Cowtown at some point that weekend, and that was a good 2 hours away - much of it out of cell range.  I started having visions of my car going all Decepticon at 60 miles per hour, except instead of turning into a badass robot, it just flew into a million pieces scattered all over I-5.

We stopped in a Midas shop and this very nice guy offered to ride around the block with me and listen to my "bad noise".  After a few times of hearing it he told me what it was.

I don't remember now what he said it was, because all I heard was, "something something something your car isn't going to suddenly break into pieces while you're driving."

That was all I needed to hear.  I text MacGyver a quick, "just kidding!" and we were off to a hair appointment.  

I thought it would be a good idea to consult Shirley, my GPS goddess, for directions to this place as I'd never driven there from that direction.  But alas, Shirley failed me in the most epic of ways.

She took us hither and yonder, over brook and dale, over the river and through the woods to get to Oregon City.  What should have been a 30 minute drive with no traffic turned into a 90 minute ordeal of driving 20 miles an hour through every sleepy town between Salem and Oregon City.  I'm fairly certain we crossed the International Date Line at some point in that voyage.

By the time we arrived I was so frustrated I was shaking.  MacGyver's sister had asked me to bring some photos of the hairstyles I had in mind and after I finished telling her why we were late to our appointment, she asked me if I'd remembered the photos.  I realized that in my haste to JUST FREAKING GET THERE ALREADY, I had left them in the car, along with the hair pieces I made for the bridesmaids and for myself.

As I walked back out of the salon to my car, I was taking deep, calming breaths and telling myself that this day was already bad enough.  It would only get better form here.

And because I had to open my mouth and say THAT out loud, karma came and leveled me right on my ass.

I mean that in the most literal of ways.  Actually it was my face.

I'm still not exactly sure what happened either.  Just that one moment I was vertical, walking back inside with my box and my Marshmallow Man folder, and the next moment I was horizontal, face planted on the floor of the foyer in the salon.  I looked up at the two girls standing behind the counter frozen with their mouths gaping open.

What the hell...?!?!

Apparently my foot caught on the edge of a floor tile, or a leaf, or the air, or something, and I face planted in a most spectacular way.  My papers went fluttering, and my box flew across the room.  I don't know how those girls didn't lose it right there in front of me.  I don't think I would have had the same level of composure to not laugh hysterically had I been in their position.  Commendable, ladies.  Truly.

I started laughing, because I mean really, what else do you do in that situation?

When I went back to where MacGyver's sister and my mom were waiting, I told them the story and we all had a good laugh about that, though really neither of them were surprised.

I'm happy to say nothing is broken, though my leg and knees took the brunt of the fall and I'm pretty bruised up.

But my hair?  My hair is going to look soooo fabulous!!!

I'm baaaack!!!



Is this thing on?

My apologies for not updating this here blog in an unforgivably long time.  I don't want you to feel like I unceremoniously abandoned you, you see.  It's just...see, the thing is...well...I did.

I would like to say that my excuse for not writing lately is because an eccentric and anonymous benefactor gifted MacGyver and I with an extended honeymoon in a secret offshore tropical resort saved for only the world's most elite socialites.

But that would be a lie.  And we reserve lying for protecting a friend's self esteem, potential traffic tickets, and math placement tests.  Not that I would know anything about any of those things.  Especially that last one.


The truth is, I put a lot of my regular (and extra) responsibilities on hold in the few months before the wedding because I wanted to be able to focus on getting everything done without losing my mind.  A feat I think I accomplished rather well, I will add.

In all the bride-to-be and wedding planning literature out there, there is a plethora of information about how to be calm, and ways to relax, and enjoy your special day, blah...blah...barf.

What the literature conspicuously omits is how to hit the ground running when the wedding is over and you wake up the next day to discover that your life is smuggling moonshine in the trunk from East Alabama all the way to the Bayou of Louisiana and the cops have been chasing you for the last 50 miles.  Why doesn't Louisiana make their own moonshine you ask?


So the last few months have been a little hectic trying to get caught up on my regular work, trying to get my house put back together from the wedding that exploded into and out of every orifice, traveling to Spokane for Thanksgiving and the car blowing up, and studying for a big exam for work.


Also, I'd been sort of stalling/justifying my absence/whatever in hopes that I would have some of the photographer's photos back to share here, but she's been having some major computer problems and it's taking longer than she'd planned to get those to us.

But I can start without them.  It's not like I was going to recap the wedding in all it's spectacularness in one post anyway!

So now, without further ado...oh, who am I kidding?  There is always much ado.  Much ado about EVERYTHING on this blog.  And there will be more ado.  Much, much more ado.

Ado ado ado ado ado ado.

Okay I'm done.

Where did we leave off?

The bridal shower?  Seriously?  Good grief I really have been slacking.

The last time we talked I had just received a bridal shower from my coworkers of such epic proportions I am still in complete awe.


My friend, Mrs. B, also wanted to throw me a shower for friends and family.  Mrs. B and I used to work together, and we became very good friends.  I love Mrs. B, and have developed some abandonment issues since she left, but I'm working through those.  Mrs. B is expecting a Baby B here in a few months!  It's all very exciting!  But I digress.

My mom offered to let us use her house for this shower, and my aunt (Mom's sister) who was unable to make the wedding flew all the way up from California to come!  Because she's awesome like that!  I saw her for a few hours a few years ago, and it was many years before that since I'd seen her so it was especially nice to get to visit for awhile.

Another aunt (Dad's sister), a few cousins, and some coworkers came to that one and we all had a really great time!!  Mrs. B did a month-themed shower and had each guest bring a gift that would be appropriate for the month they were given.  Super creative, and super fun!

I was overwhelmed with how much thought everyone put into each gift!  It was a really lovely shower and I had a great time.

If everything goes well, I'll be able to post pictures this spring of some of the bulbs I received as gifts from this shower.  I let MacGyver plant them to give them a better chance of survival.  Lets all keep our fingers, toes, and eyeballs crossed, shall we?

No toilet paper wedding dresses, please

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shortly after we started telling people we were getting married, I had offers from friends to throw bridal showers.  As someone who has thrown my fair share of bridal showers, I suddenly realized that there was indeed something about weddings that I hated more than the wedding itself: the bridal shower.

At first I vehemently refused to allow it, despite so many kind, generous people offering to throw one.  I know I sound ungrateful and rude, and maybe that's true.  But the thought of enduring hours of toilet paper wedding dresses and various phallic shaped party favors transcended all possible levels of patience I possess.

Then my mom found out I was being so rude and read me the riot act.  It's funny how moms can still have that effect on you.  I was immediately transported back to 7th grade and I was mortified at my own behavior.  I was raised better than that.  In so many words she informed me that indeed I would be attending whatever function my devoted friends wanted to drag me to, and I was going to like it.  Nay, I would revel in it.  And that's how that was going to go.  Period.  New paragraph.

I explained that it had nothing to do with my friends, and that I loved them all dearly, and even admitted how embarrassed I was that people were making such a fuss over this whole thing.  Plus, I hate the idea of my friends spending money on something as silly as a shower.

Then she pulled out the big guns.

Mom's famous last words in every argument since the beginning of my existence: "that wasn't one of your options".  She informed me that I am an anomaly, and that most women actually enjoy throwing their friends bridal showers.  I suspected otherwise, but I didn't argue.  I was going to shut up, go to that shower, and I was going to love it.

Now, if you're still reading this it means that you haven't written me off as a spoiled, self centered, ungrateful cur.  I'm not.  Not usually, anyway.  I'm shy, and I hate being fussed over.  I'm a much better fusser than a fussee.

Is that a word?

Anyway, I did as my mother instructed and I shut my mouth and accepted the lovely offer form my coworker to throw me a shower.  This coworker who offered to throw the shower is so much more than a coworker to me.  She is one of my very favorite people, and I know she doesn't even know the extent to which she fills an important void for me.  I could never say no to her.  Besides, the last time a coworker got married, we all met in one of the conference rooms at the office and ordered a cake.  I figured there could be no harm in that, and maybe a handful of my friends from work would show up.  I could totally do that.

Then she gave me the invitation.  Which at first I thought was weird, since I assumed we'd be having it at the office.  But no, she was having it at her house!  Which is about 20 minutes away from the office!  That's when the panic started to set in.  What if no one came?   She would have gone through all this trouble for a party of 5.  I love my coworkers, don't get me wrong, but I sincerely doubted any of them loved me enough to come to a bridal shower.

I was so very, very wrong.  There were so many people there I had to keep double checking my thank-you-note list to make sure I didn't leave anyone off.  I was so totally blown away by everyone that came!  Never in a million, bazillion years would I have expected a turnout like that.  It made me all emotional!!

Not only did they all come, but they compiled 4 CDs worth of music for the wedding (which was so unbelievably awesome because I may or may not have been putting that off with only a month left to go.  Eh hem...), and they got us Home Depot gift cards which we will be putting to excellent use and posting pictures here.

My friend explained that she feels the same way I do about traditional bridal shower activities and games - that they're ridiculous and humiliating - so she concocted an activity of sheer brilliance.  She also said that she is a bad loser and knew she would be mad if she didn't win the games.  See?  Amazing friends!!

They made me and the bridal party hats to wear at the wedding.  These hats are so supremely spectacular, achieving levels of awesome I can't even begin to describe with words, that I won't even try.  I will post pictures after the wedding.  But for now I will leave you with this: there were condoms and birds and feathers involved.  And paper plate pasties.

Oh yes.  I have the best friends in the whole world.

Thanks, ladies!!

My Pink Bicycle

Sunday, September 4, 2011

This bicycle was a birthday present from MacGyver.  I love everything about this bicycle.  I got the basket with the illusion that I would be able to ride around with my dog in the front.  Because he's so well behaved, he'd just sit in the basket and enjoy the ride.

That didn't end well.

My friends know me so well

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I once read a sign that said, "A friend will be the one to bail you out of jail.  A best friend will be the one sitting right next to you saying, 'Woo!  That was awesome!'"  My friend, Mrs. B, is the latter of the two.  She went on her honeymoon recently and brought me back what is quite possibly one of the most awesome souvenirs in the history of souvenirs.  Well, maybe the second best.  She bought me a magnet once that is slightly more awesome than this one, but that's for another day.

A little back story first.

We called the mechanic a few weeks ago because Bob, my car, suddenly stopped stopping.

Hoo doggie!  Say that three times fast!

Suddenly stopped stopping
Suddenly stopped sopped
Stoppingly suddened...wait, huh?

Anyway, they gave us a quote and an appointment to bring the car by to fix it.  The part we needed was a dealer-only part (of course) so it took a few weeks to come in.  We dropped the car off Sunday night and left the keys in the drop box as instructed.

I called them right as they opened at 8am the next morning to warn them that the car had no brakes so no one would hop in and slam into anything.  The receptionist assured me that they understood the situation and not to worry, that they would call me as soon as it was done.  I explained that I would be needing to pay them over the phone as I had to work all day and wouldn't be able to go pick it up until after hours.  She said that would be no problem and that I could pay when she called me to tell me it was done.

Fast forward to 3:30, and I still hadn't heard from them.  The quote on the paperwork said it would take an hour in labor.  In human hours that's like 10 minutes.  I began to get a little worried that something more serious was wrong with Bob than originally thought.  I had asked MacGyver and my brother if they are allowed to just rack up charges without calling first and I was assured by both men that this was not possible, and that they were required to obtain authorization.

When I called at 3:30, the receptionist explained that they were working on the car, and that they hadn't anticipated having to bleed the brake system and put new fluid in it.  To which I replied,


I said it pretty much just like that too.

She said they didn't think it was going to be as bad as I said it was.  Because she knows me so well and can tell when I'm being dramatic and when I'm being dead serious.  Right.

So I asked her if the original quote would still be the price, and she said that no, in fact it would be significantly higher than the quote because of all the extra labor and gold bullion infused brake fluid they had to put into the system.  We were looking at another couple of hundred dollars.

It's times like this when I'm glad I don't have a built in blood pressure monitor because I was about to go all sorts of Nancy Kerrigan on those people.

A few minutes after I got off the phone with the receptionist, the mechanic called to explain how he had no idea how we'd even driven the car to the shop and he had no idea it was going to take this much time, blah blah blah.  When I asked him why no one called me to tell me it would be a significant amount of money more than the quote, he gave me the lamest explanation in the history of explanations:

He said he didn't look at the car before agreeing to work on it, and only took MacGyver's word that all it needed was to replace the one part.  Plus, now that he's started, he is obligated to finish it because it's not driveble without brakes.



I was dangerously polite when I responded that it would have been nice for someone to have called me to tell me what was going on and that my small job was turning into a several hundred dollar job!  And don't tell me that I have to pay for anything I didn't ask for!


I want to take my toaster in there and insist that it used to be my daily driver and I just don't know what could have possibly happened to it!  I'll tell him I suspect the flux capacitor and ask him to replace it to see if that does the trick.

Excellent businessman, this guy.

The car ended up having to stay another night and and cost me an extra $250 by the time it was all done.

We were given a quote IN WRITING of how much they would need in order to restore Bob back to working condition.  Then when I called to see where my car was, they explained that they would need more money, but that it was okay because it's really my fault it's taking them so much more time and effort.  And didn't I want the best brake fluid Swiss bank accounts can buy?

She asked me to give her my credit card number last night so she could run the total so far, and she'd just add on the rest of the expenses when they finished the job.

I fancy myself as somewhat clever, and I was not to be taken by this mechanic's wiles.  I refused to pay for the car until it was completed, and though I wanted to throw a gigantic fish flopping fit and refuse to pay for the extra costs that I had not been notified to authorize, I eventually paid the full fee.  Had I been in possession of cash I would have paid for it in cash.  Hell, had I not had to work I would have refused to let him touch my car another minute and pushed the stupid thing back home just out of principal!

We'll not be returning there.

Here is the gift Mrs. B brought back for me.

She knows me so well.

What About Bob?

Monday, August 22, 2011

All of my cars have had names.

My first car was a maroon Subaru grocery-getter station wagon.  His name was Harold.  You had to bang on the dashboard with your fist to get the windshield wipers to come on.  Harold also liked to overheat on the freeway late at night after I'd driven to Portland before work when I wasn't supposed to, and then my dad would have to come out into the driveway in the middle of the night in his boxers to check it out because there would be lots of scary smoke stuff coming out of the hood.

I loved that car.

I was without a car for a few years after that when I moved to college because parking was impossible near campus and we could ride the bus for free.  I had an awesome bicycle that I rode everywhere.  Now that I'm thinking about it, I never named my bike.  Huh.  Odd.

Anyway, after a few years of biking everywhere, I got another car.  She was a little blue Hyundai hatchback named Betty.  Betty was a little immodest.  She had some flatulence problems and a few other "wardrobe malfunctions", shall we say.  I had some car fanatic friends and they fixed her little exhaust issue up with some cardboard and duck tape, because that's really the only way to properly fix up a car.  She ran like a champ for a few years, and I even moved a few times with that car.  It's amazing how much furniture you can really cram into a hatchback!  We did have one small mishap where she dropped her muffler off in the middle of the road while we were driving.  I took her to Midas and gave her a stern talking to about leaving her bits about for everyone to see.  She did better after that.

Then I moved back to the city and was getting ready to go to graduate school.  My dad was worried about me driving Betty back and forth to downtown Portland, so he took me car shopping.  That's when we found Bob.

Bob is my little black Kia.  We got him at Bob Lamphere's Kia, and the license plate frame inserts said BOB on them.  My mom still teases me for naming him that.  I have tried to explain to her that he came that way, and he likes his name.  It would be impolite of me to ask him to change it.  Bob's therapist says change is not good for him.  It gives him ulcers.

In 2004 Bob and I were in an unfortunate accident (not my fault) and he was severely damaged, though I was miraculously unharmed.  I thought that might be the end of Bob, but after several weeks in ICU, he was resurrected and returned to his former spunky self.

Bob got new shoes last winter in what shall forever be named "The Great Tire Debaucle of 2010".  We don't speak of that in our house anymore for reasons I shall not detail here.  Maybe later, in say, 200 years.

Bob's is now pushing 96,000+ miles.  Which, in Kia years, is darn near geriatric!

As with everyone, things don't always work as well as they used to as we age.  For a while now Bob has had some trouble with his belts.  They get a little wiggly, and then the gaggle of screaming banchees that lives in Bob's engine bay lets loose when you turn on the AC.  Or start the car.  Or drive the car.  We're looking in to anger management classes for them.

I can't remember exactly when it started, but Bob began leaking brake fluid.  I'm going to say it was sometime in the spring.  It was only a little at first, so we did what any respectable, caring, responsible car owners would do and we topped off the brake fluid and ignored it.  We did this a few times a week for a few months.  Then one day after the car had been sitting for a few weeks while we were on vacation, I went to go leave our driveway to pick our dogs up and flew out into the middle of the road.

I had no brakes.

None.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.  No soup for you!

Apparently an air bubble had infiltrated Bob's brake lines.  Translation: Bob had a serious case of gas.

MacGyver bled the brakes and everything seemed to be back in working order.  That's when we started talking about maybe thinking we might want to consider taking Bob to the doctor.  Someday.

Then it happened again and MacGyver made the call.

Bob is currently in the shop getting tennis balls installed on his walker.

I hope that this makes him feel better.

Channeling 1924

Friday, August 19, 2011

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time, but alien squirrels from Mars keep interfering with my concentration.  I had to fashion a tin foil hat just to get anything done today!

My ring arrived at the end of June after several weeks of waiting.  MacGyver's mom happened to be in town the same weekend it arrived, which was a nice coincidence.  I was petrified that it wouldn't fit.  Because I know a whole lot more about sizing fingers than that sales lady who has been sizing fingers for who knows how long.


I had promised MacGyver I wouldn't just snatch it out of the lady's hand and put it on in the store.  I could be polite and patient a little longer.  So I had her put it in a box and give it to him.  MacGyver's mom offered to give us a private moment in case he wanted to do something special...

Haha!  Hahahahahaha!  Hee hee....


MacGyver?  Romantic?  Not hardly.  He proposed on the fly in the car, so it seemed only fitting that he unwrap the box and hand me the ring in the car too.

Here is the first photo, taken with my phone in the car.  MacGyver's mom was in the backseat and told him to kiss me.  MacGyver was mortified!  It was brilliant!  Thanks MacGyver's Mom!!!

Here it is in the box, all shiny.  I love the vintage look to it.  I keep getting asked if it's an heirloom.  While that would be awesome, I'm happy that it looks like it could be.  It's very me.

I am happy with this ring all by itself.  I can't really imagine it with another band, so I'm not going to have a wedding band to go with it.  Apparently it's weird to remove your ring so it can be put back on in the ceremony.  Whatever.  Whoever made that rule clearly hasn't met the Antibride.

The "proposal" was classic MacGyver.

I wouldn't have had it any other way.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The other day I was laid up in bed and this is how I spent my afternoon.  Polyvore is a fantastic website. I obviously was able to spend several hours there designing our wedding.  Except the dress is different.  And the cake is different.  And I have no idea what the bridesmaids are wearing.  Though it's a pretty safe bet that they won't all be wearing $900 Louboutins.  And who knows what the flowers will look like.  But other than that the wedding will look exactly like this.  Except for all the things that will not look like this.  

Like I'd spoil all the surprises now.

Click here if you want to see detailed information about anything in this collage.  I'll pretend we don't all know you're only clicking to see those $900 shoes. 

Personal Planning Fail

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Part of my job includes taking a 24 hour on call rotation once a week.  Sometimes this means that we are up all night, and then have to go to work the next day with our game faces on and be productive.  I remember a time when I was about 22 when running on an hour or so of sleep was no big deal.  Now, it just hurts. 

Since I've worked here, our shifts have gone from 8:30am to 8:30am the next morning.  Those of us in the rotation have been rallying for awhile to get that changed for the above mentioned reasons.  The idea being that if we were up all night, we wouldn't have a full schedule the next day and we could sleep in a little bit.  I'm all for preparing for the zombie apocalypse, but I don't think the folks accessing our services should have to worry about that when they come in to see us.  

I was one of the more vocal proponents of this change, and last week we were able to implement it for the first time.  This meant that my original Thursday morning to Friday morning shift moves to Wednesday night to Thursday night, 5:00pm to 5:00pm.  

Last night, while in the ER for the better part of 3 hours, I realized a fatal flaw in my planning.  

We have a meeting at 8:30am every Thursday morning that is directly related to the on-call rotation.  Which means that no matter how late I'm up the night before, I still have to get up and go to work for our staff meetings.  This is not a problem with any other shift.  How I overlooked that one is a mystery to me. 

This morning was compounded by the fact that I was up late on Tuesday night helping MacGyver get ready for his new job.

OOHH!  I completely forgot!!  MacGyver got a job!

I'm sleep deprived.  Please excuse me. 

Tuesday afternoon MacGyver got a call asking him to come in for an interview Wednesday morning at 7:00am.  The interview was about 90 minutes away, so he needed to leave about 5:00am to make sure he got there in plenty of time.  Tuesday night we were up late at the office doing some maintenance work (I'm running off with the office maintenance guy!  Tee hee!!) and then had to run around and find everything he needed for his interview.  We didn't get to bed until about midnight.  I made the mistake of going back to sleep after getting up with MacGyver at 5:00.  I think I would have been okay if I'd just made some coffee and powered through the day, but I didn't.  I went back to sleep, and getting up after two more hours was just brutal.  

Then I did it again last night.  Today, I'm running on fumes.  My dad emailed me this morning, and I responded to a lot of information that was never in his original email.  I just started making things up that I swear I read, but that weren't there at all!  He wrote back and was like, "uhhh, did you even read that email?"  

I take no responsibility for my actions today.

Luckily I was granted reprieve from future staff meetings in the morning if this should happen again.  Everyone was kind enough to say that I could call in my information and show up later.  

Oh, and the best part?  My car is broken.  And MacGyver has our other car an hour and a half away.  I'm riding my Pink Bicycle to work, something that I actually enjoy doing when the weather is nice.  But today I'm so tired that bicycling home seems like so much work.  

If my next post is written from jail for passing out on some stranger's front lawn with my Pink Bicycle, you'll know what happened.

"Have you...the wing?"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm going to go start by saying that if it were not for my parents, none of this would have happened.  I want that noted for posterity.  My parents are awesome wedding planners.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!!

We spent all last weekend doing wedding stuff.  It's the first time an entire weekend was wasted spent on wedding planning business.  Though despite running around all day Saturday and Sunday for hours, and it being hot and humid outside, (if you're reading this from somewhere in the Mid West, I apologize for that statement and am sending thoughts of rain your way) we got a lot accomplished.

Namely, we discovered that MacGyver is worse than a 15 year old girl shopping for a prom dress when it comes to buying suits.

No, really.

Two days, several hours, and endless stores later, he has a suit.  A pin striped, three piece suit in which he looks absolutely dashing.  I'm so glad he found it, and I'm so glad we don't have to do that again for a very long time.  And in the name of saving my impending marriage, that's all I'm going to say about that.

We also picked up MacGyver's ring while we were out.  (And I got mine cleaned for the first time!  It's so sparkly again!!)  We narrowed it down to two different rings of very dramatically different styling.  One was made out of cobalt, gray and rather shiny.  It was classy and sophisticated, and suited him well.  Then we found one that was made from titanium, but it was a charcoal gray.  It looked very industrial, and we really liked it.  It suited MacGyver nicely.  But the more we thought about it, the titanium ring was more fitting for the 30-something year old MacGyver.  We weren't sure it would look so classy on a 60+ something MacGyver.  So we went with the first one.  It's classy and timeless.  MacGyver said he likes it enough that he might actually wear it!

Monday night we went out with friends for dinner, and after we came home MacGyver thought he'd try his suit on again just to make sure it fit well and to see how it looked with a dress shirt on underneath everything.

Did I mention he cleans up well?  Eh hem.  Anyway.

He put his ring on just for fun to see how it would look with the suit, and it FELL OFF HIS HAND.

No, actually it didn't just fall off.  It fell off his hand and bounced all the way down the stairs.  It's almost an entire ring size too big.  In the store it fit perfectly.  Apparently MacGyver had been mainlining the salt over the weekend and his fingers were swollen when we tried on rings.

I called the place this morning and they'll let us come back and exchange it.  Until then MacGyver is on a no salt diet, just in case.  I'm glad we checked this before the wedding.  That would have been interesting.

What? We have to feed people too?

Friday, August 5, 2011

A wise person once bestowed some words of wisdom that I have carried with me for many years.  I would like to share them with you now.  It's important, so pay attention:

Hard before beer, you're in the clear. 
Beer before hard, you're in the yard.

I'm glad we had this little talk.

We are serving alcohol at the wedding.  We are also serving non-alcoholic beverages for those who do not partake.  However, I'm less concerned about the effects that too much coffee and water will have on people (though there is only one bathroom so that may be a bigger issue than I realize), and more concerned about the effects of too much beer and wine.  There is no liquor allowed on the premises, which is okay by me.  

A few glasses of wine is just fine.
A few long islands...

Wait, what rhymes with island?
I'm not very good at this.

Anyway, when serving alcohol, food is a necessity.  Plus, I really don't know how to entertain 75-80 people for that many hours all by myself.  And I sincerely doubt anyone would appreciate listening to me play American Idol Tryouts as much as I do.

(Seriously though, how awesome would that be, am I right?)

I was all for going super cheap and doing a weenie roast, but I was informed that even that was a bit too much for my vintage ghetto theme, and we needed a caterer.  

Making big decisions stresses me out to the point of incapacitation.  I become that deer in the headlights that stands there and watches the truck run me over because the department of transportation decides in that moment to shut down the highway between Lake Decision Maker and Camp Do Something About This Right Now and flaggers have to come moderate traffic until next spring.  Unfortunately for us (and everyone else helping us) MacGyver is just as bad.  We're quite the pair, he and I.

Choosing food was one of those decisions.

My mom had suggested we call up some caterers that did a luncheon she'd been to because she said it looked like they did a pretty good job.  We made an appointment for last night, and we all met at my parents' house.

They were super nice people and were down with the one  big requirement of MacGyver's, which was that we not serve sticks and twigs.  MacGyver, and many people in my family, are meat and potatoes kind of men, and they were not interested in "snobby sticks and twigs rabbit food".  Yes, that is a direct quote.

We went with basic dishes that would probably appease most people because we want to encourage them to eat more than they drink.  My days of throwing mattresses up in the windows to muffle the sound of the party out on the street are over.  Though that does work really well, in case you're throwing a rager in the future.

Right before we left, my mom brought out a checklist she's created that rivals War and Peace.  She's adorable.  She actually thinks I'm going to do all of those things!  

Just keep swimming...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My wedding dress arrived a little over a week ago.  It took me about that long muster up enough courage to try it on.  If you need a reminder as to why, you can read about it here.

This was on Sunday morning and I was by myself, so I thought that would be the perfect time to try it on.  MacGyver wouldn't be around to see it, and I could prepare myself for what I would look like in privacy.  It seemed logical at the time.

The dress laces up the back, but that really just seemed like a lot of work, so I tried it on without that first.  That's when I discovered that the dress weighs 17 metric tons.

I'm not exaggerating.  I might have permanent dents in my body from this thing by the end of the night.

It took some wiggling, but I managed to pull it down over my head and more or less into position.  Everything looked fine from the front, but the back was gaping open and I immediately concluded that the dress was too small and we wouldn't be able to lace it up.

(That was my conclusion, 'it's too small.'  Not, 'you didn't lace it up, Stupid, that's why the back is gaping.'  Sheesh.)

Anyway, I panicked and wiggled back out of it, determined to lace it up and make sure it was going to fit.  Mind you, the back laces up all the way from slightly below my waist, all the way up to between my shoulder blades.  It's a lot of lacing, is what I'm saying.  This will be even more important in a moment.

I get the thing laced all the way up like it's supposed to, but I leave it a little loose because I'm not that dumb and I know I'm going to need a little wiggle room to get it on.  I've done this once before about 5 minutes ago.  I'm a professional.

With a lot more wiggling and yarnking, I got back on.  To my utter relief, the dress fits beautifully.  Truly, it's a really wonderful dress, with only subtle marshmallow undertones.  Breathing a whole lot easier now that I knew the dress fit and I wouldn't be parading around in a sheet-toga, I started to take it off so I could put it away and not have to worry about it for another few months.

Heh.  Remember all those laces?  And the wiggling and yarnking it took to get everything in place once the laces were laced?

About that.

As it turns out, when the dress weighs 17 metric tons, and is fully laced, it's near impossible to get it back off again.

Sadly, Crush, I did not have my exit buddy.  Which meant I had to unlace the damn dress again to get it back off.  The whole thing.

Which is irritating in and of itself, but I'm also not a side-show contortionist.  I can't reach the whole area of my back with both hands at the same time.  And the taffeta was catching on the loops and not wanting to slide through...

After several minutes of wiggling and tugging and swearing, and a mild panic attack when I envisioned myself as a modern day Miss Havisham, forever stuck in her wedding dress, minus the man-hating business, I had a small epiphany.

I grabbed the hangar on which I had been storing the dress and was able to reach back and spring myself free from the laces.

After several more minutes, and a lot of swearing, I managed to wiggle back out of that dress.

Lessons learned today: Never put on a wedding dress without an exit buddy.  Be thankful it laces up and doesn't button up with those teeny tiny little wedding dress buttons.

Family vacation: Fin

Monday, August 1, 2011

If you've missed vacation trip days 1-4, you can read them herehere, and here.

As you can see, this vacation has been a real kick in the pants.  Har har.  Hahahaha.  Hee hee!


I'm so funny.

Anyway, after dad decided to turn his 4-wheeling trip into an X-Games tryout, we thought a low-key few days at the campsite or the lake were in order.  We went to bed Tuesday night with the plan that Wednesday we would see who was still standing, and maybe spend the day hanging out at the campsite playing board games.

The next morning, enemy forces took out the mothership.

I woke up early Wednesday morning to the all the unmistakable sound of someone revisiting their last meal.  My mom had caught some sort of evil virus and was down for the count.  She spent the rest of that day in her tent, miserable.

MacGyver, Turbo, his girlfriend and I decided to leave Mom and Dad behind to rest and we took off to Sea Lion caves and to do some tide pooling.

We started out at a beach to check out tide pools a bit.  That was really nice to go walk around the beach and climb on some rocks.  I'm happy to report that no one suffered any physical or psychological injury during those few hours.

I remember visiting Sea Lion Caves as a child.  I remember my dad telling me as a child that the sea lions were talking to me, and being very excited about this.  I was a very gullible child.  I'm sure my mom and brother were there too, but I don't remember that.  Other things I didn't remember: Sea Lions don't smell like petunias.  \

Holy Mary mother of Jerusalem those creatures smell awful!!  But it was fun to see them.  Even if we had to go on a bit of a death march to get to them.  Something else I had forgotten about.  This marshmallow is not a fan of death marches.

But I digress.

After we got back to camp, Dad reported that Mom was still not feeling great, but refusing to go home early.  Typical.  So we hung out for the rest of the night at the campsite.

The next morning, Mom was doing a little better, and we all decided it was best to pack it up and go home before anything else catastrophic happened.

We made it through packing up the campsite and getting home without incident.

As nice as it was to go camping, it was nice to get home again too.  Plus, I was able to get a head start on the monogrammed bubble wrap suits I'm making everyone for next year.

Special Delivery

Saturday, July 30, 2011

When we ordered my wedding dress, the confirmation page informed us we had the option of "rush ordering" the dress and it would arrive faster, but it would cost more.  Or we could wait the standard 28-35 days it would normally take to receive the dress at no additional shipping charge.  Since we ordered it in May, I didn't see any reason to rush order it, so we didn't.

35 days from the day we ordered it fell right in the middle of our family camping trip.  I didn't worry too much because we have awesome neighbors who keep a vigilant eye on the neighborhood and had agreed to pick up our mail.  We let them know a dress may be arriving while we were gone, and they agreed to look out for it.  

When we got home from our trip, we discovered that the dress had not yet arrived, and I began to worry a little that we'd been scammed.  I tried not to worry though.  I mean, who ever heard of some random website from China scamming people and taking their money without ever producing a product?  

Eh hem.

Anyway, a few more weeks went by and I finally went back to the website to see if there was a customer service number.  I didn't find a 1-800 number or anything, which is probably a good thing, since I don't speak Chinese.  I did, however, find an email.   It was a very generic customer service email, but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway.

Within 30 minutes I had a response from a real person!  I couldn't believe it!  They apologized for the delay, and assured me that they were paying close attention to detail on my dress, and were just running a bit behind schedule.  They asked for the date of my wedding.

Forgive me father, for I have sinned. 

I lied.

I wrote back and told them my wedding was scheduled for August 27, and I appreciated their response and attention to detail, and I looked forward to seeing my dress.

She wrote back the next day and said that would not be a problem, and as soon as it shipped they would give me a tracking number.  

I felt instantly better about the whole thing, and sure enough, within another week or so, I received a tracking number in my email.  I followed it all the way from Shanghai to my house!

I saw that it had been delivered, and I had a free hour, so I decided to run home and rescue it from the front porch.  And I really wanted to see it.

This is what I found sitting on my front porch:

Sorry about the poor photo quality, I didn't have time to break out the good camera so I just snapped this with my phone.  

But never mind that, look at this packaging!  I don't know what I was expecting, but this was not it.  It looks like those "Dorm Room in a Bag!" things.  Wedding Dress - in a bag!

Anyway, after I got over that, I opened it up and took the dress out so I could have a look.

You guys, it's beautiful.  It really, really is.  If you've read my other posts, you know I don't say that casually. 

It also came with this:

A 12 foot veil.  Just what ever antibride needs, right?  How did they know?!?!  Yeesh.

I'm going to find something obnoxious to do with this before the wedding is over.  I'm not sure what that will be just yet, but I'm open to suggestions.  

MacGyver already tried to sneak a peek after I hung it up, but I wouldn't let him.  He'll have to wait.  Just like everyone else.  

Including me.  

I'm too chicken to try it on just yet.

National Lampoon's Family Vacation Chapter III

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Growing up, Turbo and my dad would go 4 wheeling in the sand dunes every time we went camping.  That left my mom and I to walk around town and do some shopping.  This year, Turbo, MacGyver, Turbo's girlfriend, and my dad were all going to the dunes.  I have no desire to ride one of those death traps up and around constantly moving sand trails, so I never go.

But MacGyver, my dad, Turbo and his girlfriend all have adrenaline complexes and thought that would be a fantastic idea.  Before I continue, I would like to take this opportunity to mention the following important points:

1. Turbo had massive shoulder reconstruction surgery in January.  He also has the coordination of a drunk elephant.
2. The last time my dad rode a quad out in the sand dunes was somewhere circa 1995.  He was 15+ years younger then.  (I'm not saying you're old, Dad, but - well, you're just not 35 anymore.)
3. MacGyver managed to screw up his shoulder and most everything attached to it shortly before we went on this trip.  He didn't really do anything specific to it, but I things had been steadily building up and finally his shoulder got together with his back and they went to their union rep to formally make a statement that they weren't going to take this kind of abuse anymore.
4. Turbo's girlfriend is miniature.  All 5 feet of her.  I think that's the absolute minimum height to ride a quad.  And even then, it's iffy.

Tuesday morning the four of them got up early and headed out for a day of quadding in the sand dunes.  Mom situated herself near the fire with a book, and I (feeling sorry for myself from falling the day before) went to town in search of a pedicure.  Stop laughing, you know you would have done the same thing.  We all have our inner princesses.

I went to town and did a little shopping, but all the pedicure places were booked up (on a Tuesday?!) so I came back to the campsite.  Mom and I played Yahtzee for awhile by the fire and hung out waiting for everyone to come back from riding.

About noon, Mom got a text from Turbo that said they were heading back to camp.  I remember thinking that sounded odd that he didn't make mention of how it went, or whether they had a good time, but I also realize he's not a 13 year old girl, and texting all of that might have been a little much to ask.

They all arrived back at camp about 45 minutes later and Mom and I got up to go greet them and to see how it went.  I saw the look on my brother's face first and I immediately knew something was wrong.  I started to really worry when the first thing out of his mouth was, "everyone is okay."

Huh?  Insert panic attack sequence in 3...2...1...

I immediately assumed MacGyver had somehow irreparably injured himself as he was already hurting before they left, and doesn't always know when to stop.  But when I saw my dad get out of the truck I realized it wasn't MacGyver who'd been hurt.

According to the story as it was told over the next few hours, they were all out cruising around and Dad made a beeline for a ridge up over the top of some big dune.  MacGyver followed him up a little ways behind.  The ridge turned out to be what I have now learned is called a "razorback".  That means that the sand is like a razor's edge and it drops off on the other side.


You can see where this is going.

So it would appear that Captain America was cruising up the side of the dune, and fell off the other side, not realizing what it was.  Turbo stayed behind and his girlfriend, who was barely big enough to ride the quad to begin with stayed below too.  MacGyver came up right behind him and darn near landed on top of him.  Dad had flipped over the front of the quad and landed with the thing on top of him.  MacGyver almost landed on top of him too, but managed to maneuver out of the way just in time.

MacGyver said Dad was not responsive when he got to him and he had a moment where he honestly thought he was dead.  He later told me he started imagining how he was going to tell me and my mom about this and couldn't breathe for a minute.

But Dad ended up being alive and wiggling - sort of.  He was wearing his helmet (did you hear that, kids?  WEAR YOUR HELMETS!!) that was apparently cracked from the impact.  My brother has some medic training so he did a pretty thorough check to make sure his organs weren't going to suddenly fall out of his nose or anything, and determined he was probably just pretty banged up, but okay.

My dad's extremely stubborn.  I would have requested Life Flight.  And possibly the Coast Guard.

I'll take another moment to explain that this is not the first time my dad has been laid out in some sort of extreme adventuring accident.  In fact, it would seem that this is becoming a bit of a vacation tradition for him.  We went to Hawaii for Turbo's graduation in 2008, and my dad hit his head on a rock or something while snorkeling.  My mom sent me a picture of my father, laying out on his back in the sand with his eyes closed, and a huge dent in his head.  I had to call her to make sure she wasn't trying to tell me he was dead.  Then, last year for their 30th wedding anniversary, they went to Maui and on one of those snorkeling adventure things where they take you out in a catamaran to special snorkeling coves.  At some point, they hit a wave and the boat bounced and launched my father ten feet into the air.  On the way back down he collided with one of the metal beams of the boat with his head.  I got another text saying my father almost died while bounce-housing his way to a snorkeling trip.

I guess they got the people that run the little shop to come out and swap quads out for him since he still had more time, and he kept riding.  Because he's a bad ass.  Or really stubborn.  Or both.

That night had started developing some pretty gnarly bruises across his chest where he hit the handlebars on the way over, and where the quad landed on him.  Moving became increasingly difficult with every hour.

I'll stop here and point out that this was day 4 of our camping trip, and already we were two people down.  Two and a half if you count MacGyver's limbs that were staging a strike outside the union office.

I also forgot to tell you that on Monday night we went to town to watch fireworks for the 4th of July, and Turbo dropped his camera in the field where we had our chairs set up.  He didn't realize it until we had gotten back to camp, but he and his girlfriend ran back out there and found the camera!  None of us could believe it!  That should have been the first sign that everything was going to go south shortly thereafter.

So yeah, day 4 and 2 people down.  And we weren't scheduled to go home until Saturday - in four more days!!

National Lampoons Family Camping Trip Part Deux

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The first 48 hours of our trip were fantastic.  We sat around the campfire, roasted marshmallows, and relaxed.  We even sacrificed a few Peeps I found after Easter.  Roasted Peeps, by the way, are sublime.  SUH-BLIME.  The sugar on the outside carmelizes and hardens a little, and the inside stays all gooey and warm.  So good.  I ate two, and then all my teeth instantly fell out of my mouth.  I see the dentist on Tuesday.

Like I said, the first 48 hours were great.  That's when everything went horribly, horribly wrong.  You know when you're watching those movies, and a sequence of unfortunate events happens, and you're like, "there's no way that would really happen in real life!"

Yeah.  It does.

Monday afternoon we decided to make our first voyage to the big lake that is situated near our campsite.  As a kid, my dad and I would load up the raft with all our stuff for the afternoon and row across the lake to our special spot away from most of the other visitors.  This time I decided to walk.  The route around the lake is one that I've never actually walked.  Or if I have, I don't remember.  It's mostly sand, a little water, and some marshy areas.  I was barefoot for most of it since it was hot and the water felt so good on my feet.  But when we got to the marshy spots, I thought putting my flip flops back on would be a better idea.  The ground was super muddy and I have claustrophobic feet. I can't handle them being covered in slime, so I thought the shoes would provide more traction and protection from the grody mud.  Or something.  

That act proved to be my fatal error.  The next step after putting my shoes back on I did a Bambi on Ice maneuver and ended up face planting in the mud.  Well, more like knee planting.  I landed on one of my knees really hard, but ended up sitting in a huge pile of muddy slime.  In my clothes.

I was able to get back up and go a few more steps, before landing with my feet in the air again.  It was awful.  I was hurt, embarrassed, and covered in slime.  And my whole family watched it happen form the bank a few hundred yards away.

Thankfully they were merciful and didn't laugh at me, and I made it over to sit in the sand and nurse my poor knee.  And my pride.

MacGyver, in true MacGyver fashion, built a water gun that sprays continuous water.  It's nothing short of amazing, and a definite force to be reckoned with in a water fight.  Some time after I'd patched myself up enough to be social again, I found myself on the cusp of a wet sand and water fight with my little brother, Turbo.

He was in the lake threatening to throw wet sand at me on the bank, so I threatened to shoot the water gun at him. Or maybe I started it.  I can't remember, and it's not important.  What's important is that the battle began, and we both ended up covered in wet sand, and soaking wet.  I emerged victorious.

How did I win, you ask?  It doesn't matter.  I'm writing the story, therefore I get to be the victor.  The end.

After indulging in the mud bath on the way over, and now being covered in wet sand, the only logical thing to do was wade into the lake in my clothes and try to rinse some of this crap off my body.  This would have been just fine, if I hadn't been so thoughtful as to slip my cell phone into my pocket right before heading to the lake.  My logic?  So I would know what time it was.  Because when you're camping, that's sooo important.


Little known fact: Droids don't swim.  In case you were wondering.  Penguins don't fly, and Droids don't swim.  I'd been in the water for a few seconds when I realized my mistake, and fished it out of my pocket and into the air.  Like that was going to save it.  Everyone rushed into action.  It was like a scene out of ER.

It's coding!  Quick!  Take it apart!  Get it into some rice!  STAT!

We laid it out in the sun for awhile, letting the wind blow sand into all it's already water-logged orifices, and then when we got back to camp, my awesome dad and brother ran to the store for some life-saving rice for my poor phone.

We were unable to resuscitate it.

And then somewhere between that happening and the next evening, I lost the stupid thing.  I suppose this is why we pay insurance on our phones, right?

The best part about this story?  This is only part 2.  Just wait.  It gets better!!

To be continued...

Your Attention Please

1.  Welcome to the new Pink Dog Blog!  For those of you who have followed my many blogs for awhile, you'll recognize the posts.  Keeping three blogs was simply too much work.  I'm all about efficiency, and combining them makes keeping them updated sooo much easier.  At the top of the blog you'll see the four main areas of posts.  I did this so that people who don't give a rat's petunia about home remodeling, can skip around and look at other posts.  You can also use the links under the "Labels" category on the right hand side to navigate through specific posts.

2.  Some of these posts date back a long time.  I'm currently going through a revising some of the nicknames I've given people so that everything is consistent, but it's taking forever.  So please bear with me while I get that all straightened out.  Here's a quick list reference of the who's-who on the blog from here on out:

MacGyver: Master remodeler, kite flyer, jack-of-all-trades extraordinaire.  And, as of October, he will be my husband (good grief...husband.)  The name MacGyver was chosen by popular demand from everyone that knows him.  If you already know this  man, no further explanation is needed.  If you don't, the name pretty much sums him up.  Minus the mullet.  For which we are all very grateful.

Turbo: My brother.  He earned this nickname in high school because he's actually powered by a jet engine.  Passing through the Department of Emissions Quality is part of his yearly physical.  He has a very important job. He could tell you about it, but then he'd have to kill you.

The Home Improvement Store formerly known as Lowes:  LOWES!!  You can read about it here, and here.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Me:  I have a few alter egos on here, including Pink Dog, Antibride, and some others.  Integrating them just seemed like a little too much work.  So they stay.

Everyone else who makes fleeting appearances here will get their own names at that time.  These are just the ones that seem to be frequent fliers.

3.  I'm still working all the kinks out of this new format, so you may experience some technical difficulties for a bit.  Thank you for your patience.

I'm glad we had this talk.  

National Lampoon's Family Camping Trip Part 1

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Every year when I was a kid my family would go camping for a few weeks.  These camping trips are some of my favorite memories of growing up.  I remember going swimming at the lake every year, waiting to get out of my warm sleeping bag until I knew my dad and brother had the fire started and the coffee/hot chocolate made, driving through the Redwood forest and seeing those magnificent trees for the first time, that time I got the flu and had a horrible fever the whole trip and my dad threatened to throw me in the lake and I was so scared he'd actually do it, or that other time when my brother fell on a tree stump and wound up with some serious carnage on his back...

Ah, yes.  Fond memories.

Last year my dad mentioned that camping sounded like fun and I immediately jumped on the bandwagon and invited myself and MacGyver along.  Then I invited my brother.  Pretty soon we had a camping reunion in the works!  Dad booked the campground we always stayed at when we were kids.  We have a special campsite too, and Dad reserved it a year in advance.  I took time off work and my brother flew in with his girlfriend.  They live on the east coast so we don't get to see him often.  He's a real kick in the pants and I was soo looking forward to hanging out all week.

MacGyver and I packed our Exploder to the gills, and then shoved wine bottles in every nook and cranny.  Every time I pulled another bin out while we were unpacking it was like Christmas!  This was the first family camping trip in which alcohol was involved.  Wooo!

The first day or so of camping was fairly low key.  We'd all just come off of crazy, strenuous work schedules and I think we all needed a little down time.  But on Sunday, my brother, his girlfriend, MacGyver and I went to the sand dunes to fly his new kite.

Two things that are vital to this story that you need to know before I begin:

1. My skin would make an albino shield his eyes.  It's a glaring, brilliant white.  Actually, I bet on a clear day they can see me from the space station.  This means that I also sunburn easily.  Like, just me walking from my car to her office puts my dermatologist in fits.

2. MacGyver and I just found an amazing deal on a new telephoto lens for our digital camera, so we bought it.

Okay back to the story.  On this particular Sunday, the sun was shining high in the sky, as it is wont to do in July.  Our campsite was fairly shaded, so I was wearing jeans and a black hoodie.  I was also wearing sneakers because I wasn't thinking about walking in sand when we left the campsite.

There is a lake in the middle of the sand dunes, and a nice little swimming hole.  That day there were a fair amount of people playing in the water, and also sand-boarding down the dunes.  I had never heard of this sport before this weekend, but it looked like fun.  If you're into the whole running up and down huge, steep hills of sand kind of thing.  MacGyver and my brother went to go get the kite started.  I was advised that if I continued to stand where I was standing, I might find my head, or other various limbs, in need of intensive care.  Or a morgue.  So I moved down the hill a bit, closer to a lot of the families playing in the sand.

I realized shortly after arriving that I had not applied sunscreen before we left.  Please don't tell my dermatologist.  This meant I couldn't take my hoodie off and wear the much more appropriate tank top I had on underneath. I tried to keep my hood up to protect my head, but it was too hot, so I just adjusted the camera bag strap so that it pushed the hood up around the back of my neck a little more.

So there I was.  Standing out in the middle of these huge sand dunes, by myself, next to a swimming hole with lots of children, in dark sunglasses, black hoodie, jeans and sneakers on a hot, sunny day, with a telephoto lens on my camera, taking pictures of someone flying a kite several hundred feet away.

I'm sure it didn't look creepy at all.

I am rather surprised that people didn't try to relocate their children away from the Unabomber taking pictures of nothing.

I did get some pretty awesome pictures that day though.

MacGyver showing off his mad ninja kite flying skillz.

 I love how the guy in the background looks like he's running for his life.

I stalked this bald eagle for awhile too.  I've never seen a bald eagle that close before.  Really impressive - even for a bird.

To cake, or not to cake

Monday, June 13, 2011

I hate cake.

I have this problem though, when it comes to cake.  Cake and hot dogs, actually.  I see them, and I smell them, and I think they are going to taste sooo good.  And then I take a bite and remember that these are two of the nastiest foods invented.  In my opinion, anyway.  (My apologies to the cake and hot dog lovers out there.)  Needless to say, I was all about Rice Krispy treats, or brownies, or cookies, or anything other than cake for our wedding.

True to form, MacGyver informed me that he likes cake, and he wants a wedding cake.  This is presumably so he has something to smash in my face at the cake cutting ceremony.  This places us in a dilemma.  Do we have cake?  Do we not have cake?

Originally I thought about doing a combination of both.  A small wedding cake for the caking bit, and then an assortment of desserts from which the guests could choose.  Of course, that means a heck of a lot more work and money.  I'm not a big fan of either of those things.  And, let's be honest, I'm really not going to be eating a whole lot on that day anyway, especially dessert!

Then we have to decide whether to have a DIY cake (I googled that, and it appears to be a mixed bag of results), or purchase a professionally made cake.  I haven't looked at prices for wedding cakes, but I'm going to make an educated guess and say they aren't cheap.

Then I found these:

I'm in love.  Ignore the pansies, and look at how adorable the tiny cakes are!  I'm thinking they'd be a piece of cake to make too (har, har).  You could make a regular old sheet cake, and then use biscuit cutters to make the tiers.  The people on the website used poured fondant to coat these cakelets, and that would make decorating them a cinch too.  What do you think?

I'm going to run this by MacGyver and see what he thinks.  I'll keep you posted on what he says.

Happy caking!


It's not OCD. I promise.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I like rules.  I need order in my life.  I always open the same applications and programs in the same order on my computer at work.  I pay bills in the same order every month.  I have a routine for paperwork.  I don't speed (well, most of the time).  And if a sign says, "Do not proceed beyond this point", even though everybody does, and that's where the cool stuff is, I stay behind, holding the hats and coats for all the rule breakers.

It's not my fault, I came this way.  My mom still talks about how I'd come home from Kindergarten in tears because Erik Hildebrandt got in trouble and was sent to the principal's office.  The problem had nothing to do with me, I was just upset that someone broke the rules and got int trouble.

**For those of you who were worried, Erik is now a very successful businessman working for a very big airline and doing spectacularly for himself.  I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit jealous. 

Like I was saying, I need order in my life.

When I started looking at all of the things I needed to do for this wedding, I was getting overwhelmed about how I was going organize it all.  Then, one day at work I was organizing a chart, and it came to me: I needed a chart for my wedding!

If you think about it, the concept is fitting.  A psychiatric chart for this crazy wedding!

I tend to collect things from garage sales (read: Future Hoarders of America meeting at my house every second Tuesday).  One of the things I found in my craft room was a pile of old medical chart folders.  I think I planned to organize patterns into them or something.  But they worked splendidly for my Wedding Folder.

Special friends.  Heh.

I separated out each of the major categories, and inserted loose leaf sheets into each section.  You guys, I have a confession to make.  I really, really like school supplies.  I especially like the way "loose leaf paper" sounds.  When I was in school, and I would see that on the supply list I would get so excited!  Making this folder was a little slice of School Supply Heaven.

Now that I'm a few weeks into this, I've been able to add printouts, and brochures that I have collected to the folder, and it's all right there!  Now, when I meet my friends at the craft store, and they ask me what I have in mind for centerpieces, I can whip out my trusty binder and say, "Look!  Here!  See!  Worship!"

And then they laugh at me.

But that's okay.

I'm secure enough in my School Supply Super Dorkdom that this doesn't offend me.  Nay, I embrace it!  After I found that fantastic image of my doppleganger, I printed him and taped him to the front of the binder.

He's my order enforcer.  Don't mess with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, man!

Wishing you a weekend of order and rule following,


Does the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man have a theme song?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

For those of you who have followed along in previous posts, you'll know that finding a venue and finding a dress were the top two things I was dreading the most about planning this wedding.  We found the venue, but I still had to find a dress.  Just writing about this makes the contents of my stomach want to make a run for it.

To make matters worse, MacGyver has very specific ideas in his mind about how my dress must look.  I'll pause here to explain that since we've been dating, MacGyver has mentioned repeatedly that if we ever did get married, there would be rules for the wedding.  The person marrying us must be male, and older (gray hair at least).  The ceremony would have to be outside so that we could have outdoor photos.  And my dress must be white.  Not off-white, not ivory, not mother-of-pearl, but white.  Those of you who know me in person know that my skin tone rivals that of an albino cave dweller.  I'm also not a size 0.

I have this recurring dream that my wedding photos will look something like this:

"Well there's something you don't see everyday."


MacGyver finally conceded that my dress could potentially be an ivory color, so long as it didn't look "dingy". Good grief.

I was originally going to go look for a dress by myself, with no audience.  That way I could be as grumpy as I wanted and the only person I'd piss off would be the person who is getting paid to be nice to me.  But my mom talked me into waiting so she could come, and I'm glad she did.  One of my dearest friends (who got married the day before we got engaged) was also able to come, and I'm glad she was there too.

I woke up at 4:00 that morning.  (I may have been a bit stressed...)  On a whim, and because apparently I'm a bit masochistic first thing in the morning, I decided to try on a dress I bought at David's Bridal a few years ago to see if it still fit.  Miraculously, it did!  Hope reigns supreme!

I decided since I was already up, I would head out a little early to my parents' house where I was going to meet my mom.  It was Memorial Day weekend so I knew that every police officer in the state of Oregon would be out and about looking for people to pull over.  Which meant that I needed to Stay Alive at 55.

You can imagine my chagrin when I blew past the first police officer about 30 miles into my trip.  I won't say how fast I was going (fifth amendment, etc.), but it was a holiday weekend which meant that anything over the posted speed limit was a ticketable offense.  When that fine upstanding law enforcement official did not pursue me and pull me over, I sent a silent prayer of thanks to the traffic court gods, and slowed down.

After I blew past the second cop I knew I was done for.  He was pulling out of the Police Station no less, and I actually moved into the right lane so he could pull me over.  By the grace of every diety in the history of all time, he was messing with his computer and didn't see me.  I drove 5 mph under the speed limit the rest of the way to my parents' house.

**I should clarify, when I say "blew past", I'm being rather generous.  I might make it sounds like I was driving like Bo Duke in the General Lee, but reality is I drive like an old lady who only drives to church on Sundays.  I'm glad we had this little talk.

Anyway, by the time I got to my mom's house, I was feeling like Lady Luck was in my corner.  Also, that my mom should do the rest of the driving for the day.

My friend met my mom and I at David's Bridal, and we were set loose to find some dresses.  Correction: I was practicing my deep breathing skills, and they were picking through dresses.  Have I mentioned that I didn't want to do this??  Yes?  Oh.  Just checking.

They gathered four or five to look at and we were ushered into a dressing room.  I'm so glad my mom was there.  Those dresses weighed about 6 metric tons each!  Getting in and out of them would have been impossible by myself.  Plus, she kept me from freaking out.  (Thanks, Mom!!)  The first dress was pretty, but also rather plain.  I had a feeling that MacGyver was looking for something a little more ostentatious than that.  My mom and my friend were teasing me about my whole marshmallow hangup (read: Big, Round, White), until I came out in the second dress.  I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man blew up all over me.  (I'm meeeellltiiiinnnnngggg!!!)   I wasn't even in that one long enough to look at the back of it.  It was awful!  Feeling rather deflated, I tried on the third dress.  It was exquisite.  It was more of a champagne color, but there was beading and ruching and all sorts of wonderful things happening.  The train was extremely detailed, and it seemed like the kind of thing MacGyver may have had in mind.  That went on the maybe pile.  The fourth dress was reminiscent of something from an ancient Greek statue.  My mom picked it out, and looking at it on the hangar I never would have tried it on, but it was actually really pretty.

The last dress was similar to the first one, but it was more detailed.  We decided that while the third dress, the champagne one with detailing was our favorite by far, the last one had a neckline with off the shoulder straps and that was more flattering than the strapless.  Because my mom and my friend are such fabulous people, they took photos of me in each of the dresses so I could look back at them later when I wasn't so stressed out and make a decision.  Smart girls, those two.

We left the store and went to the craft store.  It was like turning up the radio in the car to make the bad engine noise go away.  We looked around for some things to use for a fascinator in my hair.  If we're going to do the princess thing, we're going to do it all the way, baby!  I was feeling itchy to check things off my list, and I almost went and bought the strapless dress that was so pretty, but my mom talked me out of it in that nonverbal way she has, and we ended up going home.

We had planned to spend the rest of the afternoon working out a fascinator for my hair, but instead spent the next three hours scouring the internet for dresses.  We eventually found one online that was very similar to the last one I tried on at David's Bridal, but for considerably less money.  After some careful consideration, we decided to chance it and buy the dress online.  I'm sure 8 year olds in China are making it as we speak.  I'm trying not to think about that.

It is due to arrive about the same time as my ring is supposed to arrive.  It's also about the time we are scheduled to leave for a week to go camping.  I may have to enlist our friends who watch our dogs to babysit a wedding dress as well.

Now, if I just don't eat until October, the dress should still fit and all will be well with the world, right?


I think I'm going to go do a few more situps.



P.S. Special thanks to my friend who put up with all my grumpiness that day.  You know who you are and I love you! :)

2009 ·Pink Dog Blog by TNB