Pie and Beer Day Weekend

Remember that time I was going to Idaho? On purpose? Because I do. I mean, when you live in a giant square state west of the Mississippi, there aren’t a lot of cheap options for a long weekend. Nevada is even more dusty and sepia-toned than Utah. If that’s even possible. The parts of Wyoming that are accessible are mostly not fun. So unless I want to drive more than 8 hours to hit another state like Colorado, the Spud State is where it’s at.

It’s apparently a candy bar?

I still need a cat sitter. I have loads of laundry to do, and I will spend most of the drive reading over federal grant guidance and listening to Davey’s “music” while munching on something low-carb, travel friendly and potentially freeze dried. It should be interesting, to say the least. I mean, I’ve only ever driven through Idaho; it’s never been a destination.

Again, the irony of traveling to a state known for potatoes when I don’t eat them.

So after getting the oil changed, my beloved car will be transporting me and Davey to the Gem State, where I will take a ridiculous number of pictures, buy a metric ton of lottery scratchers, and probably leave with at least one stupid memento bought at a gas station/fast food restaurant hybrid with a giant, obnoxious sign advertising the best huckleberries in the state.

Because that’s a thing. Also, that trout is straight majestic.

Until next time, stay classy (and enjoy the state motto) Salt Lake.

4,207,680 Minutes

I know, I know. It’s not as catchy as the 525,600 minutes in Rent. And I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, even if my life depended on it. But truth be told it is a pretty crazy number. This Thursday, I will have lived in Salt Lake City, Utah for 8 years. Eight. Years. This is literally the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere, of my own volition, in my entire life. In short, I’ve chosen to live in the Land of Zion for longer than my eldest niece has been alive.

Sadie’s way cuter than Salt Lake, though.

It really is sort of insane when you sit and think about it. I am an East Coaster by birth. I consider myself a moderate with more liberal leanings, and I grew up in a variety of relatively diverse places. And back in 2006, I took my (then) worldly possessions and drove across the country, through tiny towns, tornado watches, and the entire state of Nebraska to put down roots in Utah, one of the most conservative states in the country and where white people go to begin the “whitening” process.

I know. I love irony a little too much.

It’s been a wild ride. Through births and deaths, a bunch of different jobs and life changes, friends coming and going, and some… “interesting” political shakeups, I’ve been eking out a living in a dark red state, where everything is closed on Sunday, 95% of the population goes to church (me included these days), and everyone celebrates the aforementioned Pioneer Day as a substitute for the 4th of July. Because you know, Utahn first, American second, right?

Seriously, the fireworks are huge in comparison to Independence Day.

Will I stay here the rest of my life? In a word, no. I like being here primarily because I have great friends, surrogate family members, etc. The cost of living is insanely low compared to, um, everywhere else I have ever lived in my entire life. And I am ultimately in the minority when it comes to being progressively-minded. But my immediate family is back East. My nieces and nephews continue to grow up rapidly. And, let’s be honest, it’s ridiculously hot here in the summer. Because it’s the desert.

Words. There are no words.

So eventually, I’ll repack the caravan that is my life and move onto greener pastures closer to my original home. Until then, I look forward to watching the parade on TV on Thursday as a reminder as to why I don’t quilt, and then running away to Idaho of all places to get the hell out of Dodge for a few. Until next time, stay classy (and mind those roots) Salt Lake.

Flight of the Bumblebee

Today was a nice, cool 88 degrees. In Salt Lake, we call that winter. At this point, I consider anything other than 90 degrees to essentially be sweater weather. It’s also an opportunity to drive home with the windows down, blaring terrible music instead of the more prototypical NPR monotone, singing loudly and not really caring about the people staring blankly at me while I bump up and down in my seat.

This is me. Riding dirty.

So imagine my delight (and by delight, I mean absolute terror) when what I think was either a really pissed off bee or more likely a hornet decided to fly right into my mobile dance party and try to make love with my chinos. As I sat at the light, watching in horror as the stinger kept trying and failing to pierce my khaki pants, I thought to myself that while I’ve had a rough summer, this bee was having a worse day.

I mean, he’s trying to impregnate a pair of pants. He’s not getting that far.

After sweating fiercely and trying desperately to blow him off of my pants (as he kept moving ominously up towards my nether-regions), the now exhausted hornet flew into the passenger seat, knocked himself out momentarily, and then blessedly banged out of the window as I heard angry people honking behind me to run the light. I wiped my brow, rolled up the windows, and turned on the AC.

This is what I call an “A-Ha” moment. Get it?

So I learned a valuable lesson today. 1) If it’s hotter than the surface of the sun outside, keep the windows up. 2) No matter what the temperature, always wear heavy pants in rush hour. And 3) bees and hornets are apparently attracted to Katy Perry and get frisky. Who knew?

It’s all the candy she wears, I suspect.

Until next time, stay classy (and count your stinger-free blessings) Salt Lake.

Writing Redux

It was time. It had been time. For some time. Could I use the word time again? While I did enjoy my old BLERG theme/background/etc. I decided this weekend to switch it up a little. Was part of that decision due to the fact that my body clock finally reset and I am back to getting up around 6:30am every day including weekends?


Still, now that I’ve been at this whole writing thing for a bit, and given the fact that I hadn’t really switched it up recently, I decided to make a change. Which then led me back to the Vassar Murders, which I think I am finally close to completing in terms of a final edit. Which is great, because then who knows, maybe I can actually publish the damned thing before November rolls around and I have to start working on the sequel.

Too bad Tatum never made it to Scream 2, no?

Between that, grant guidance (again, I know, I am soooo exciting), reading, and writing, I have a busy couple of days ahead of me. Luckily, I have enough coffee to last me until September at the moment, the fridge is stocked, and the AC is still working in my house. Which is a blessing, considering it’s going to be hot enough this Tuesday to fry eggs on the sidewalk.

I know. I’ve used this image before. With good reason.

So now, back to couching, drinking coffee, and rocking the pajama-jammy-jam that is Sunday. Wish me luck as I determine how many more co-eds to kill in the book! Until next time, stay classy (and cool) Salt Lake.

Battle of the Bulge

So, couple things. First, I ate another cheeseburger yesterday. With a bun, and everything. I figured after navigating Vaughn through the phone successfully during her jaunt through Safeway on a Friday night that I deserved to treat myself. And treat myself, I did. With flourish.

It’s the best day of the year!

The good news is I am maintaining the weight I’ve hit, though I was hoping to lose ten more pounds. But life’s too short to live without bread. And after running around this morning driving in the dark from errand to errand, I came home to see Luna, otherwise known as my frien-emy feline, sitting on the window ledge. Or, should I say, over the window ledge.

Baby. Got. Back.

When I rescued Crazy (aka Luna, aka “NO! STOP!), she was a lanky alley cat. She was skittish, but agile, and she was fast. After eight months in Castle Graystone, however, she has slowly ground me down in terms of her plaintive cries for kibble, and is seemingly uninterested in anything I buy to encourage activity. Her main activities involve sleeping, pooping, sleeping, running from one end of the house to the other, and sleeping.

Oh, and she loves to shed. A lot.

So I’m facing a crossroads. I don’t want her to become a diabetical, but I am also not immune to the annoying meows that typically begin at dawn. I’ve tried the diet food, and she just eats twice as much. She gets that, apparently, from me. So off I go to PetCo to ask the experts what I can do to ensure that the furry companion I affectionately refer to as “that damned cat” doesn’t end up needing insulin. Because I don’t, frankly, have time for that.

I thought sweet Lord Jesus, there’s a firrre.

I know. First world problems. In the meantime, stay classy (and beware animal shelters) Salt Lake.

Masochistic Cuisine

Food, glorious food. If I ever ate some… Everyone who is anyone knows that my relationship with food is complicated. Either I am eating way too much, regardless of the caloric intake, my need for carbohydrates, or how much sugar is in a “suggested serving portion.” Which typically serves the nutritional needs of a Barbie Doll. Then the pendulum swings and I end up watching literally everything I eat, obsessed with whether or not the salad dressing is on the side.

Who the hell eats dressing on the side?

Well, my most recent food obsession is what I call “second hand eating,” which is just like second hand smoking, but with food. I make pies and cupcakes, casseroles and pasta salads, and then watch as my coworkers nosh contently while I nibble on carrot sticks and wonder why chocolate has carbohydrates in it in the first place.

And where the hell are my Omega-3s dammit?!

I know. It’s twisted. It’s weird. And it’s who I am. Kind of like Luna, who is currently attacking her tail. Or Davey inhaling an entire canister of Pringle’s in a sitting. Or Big G telling me to put down the credit card, because we both know that when it comes to me and plastic, it never ends well. Never.

I put the “debt” in indebted. Wait…

So I’m considering what to cook next for my friends at SADS, having just looked at Pinterest (I know, Pioneer Woman, I know) to get some ideas on sinfully delicious treats that I can live vicariously through. And while it might be sort of, well, wrong, I figure it’s one of my better bad habits that may actually pay off in the end. That is, until I sleep-drive to Smith’s again for a bottle of cranberry juice.

Which has happened. For the record.

Until next time, stay classy (and eat a Big Mac for me) Salt Lake.

Who does that?

I know, I know. I’ve ranted about this before. If I wanted “real news,” I would read BBC online, listen to NPR, and then scream at FOX news. You know, just to round out the day’s different takes on what is going on around the world. And I recognize that very little of substance happens in Utah, to the point that cats being rescued from trees and people’s cars getting towed downtown make the evening news.

Someone Get Gephardt.

But tonight, the news had a “teaser” for the late night coverage about <GASP> stolen sod. Yes, my friends, I live in a place where someone stealing another person’s lawn is not only considered headline news, but something that can be used to entice people to tune back in later to find out about the turf bandit.

Oh, how I wish they had used the term “turf bandit.”

I won’t lament the fact that this town is relatively low on crime. Instead, I will turn to my frustration towards human nature. I saw someone today at the pharmacy trying to determine if she could afford her co-pay for a prescription she needed for her kid. That to me is something to consider. That is something you think about in terms of what you need. Knowing that some a$$-clown stole someone’s sod is not only not newsworthy, it makes me question our place at the top of the food chain.

Let’s be honest. Zombies are higher on the chain. We all know this.

So to those who boldly go into other people’s front yards to literally steal them, I implore you. Xeriscape. Put in a patio. Don’t be “that guy” that makes the evening headlines because you’re too cheap to hit the Home Depot for a flat of grass that you’re planting in the desert. It’s lame. And rude. And uncalled for.

Like this. You’d better red-neck-ognize.

End rant. Later in the week I’ll BLERG about something less inane and more exciting, which was my original intent, prior to wasting fifteen minutes of my life watching KUTV. Until next time, stay classy (and stop stealing people’s GRASS for crying out loud) Salt Lake.