Monday, June 23, 2008

A shiny grill, a silly girl, and the tale of one thousand meatballs

Once again, the thought of blogging about Hawaii has proved too daunting for Em and me, so that post will live for yet another week in the 'started but not published' realm until we get our act together. But just because we haven't told the story of the Aloha state doesn't mean life stops here now does it?

First off, it was Father's day on last Sunday, so to celebrate I got a new lawnmower (which I mentioned in my previous post) as well as a new grill. Technically, this is two father's day presents, however I will caveat this fact by saying that:
  1. A lawnmower is a lame gift, if that's all you get. That would be like me giving Em a new dishwasher for Christmas or her birthday. Sure, it's useful, and I guess it makes life a bit easier, but really... is that the kind of present you really want?
  2. The lawnmower wasn't really a gift, it was more of a necessity.
  3. I was supposed to get a grill for last Father's day, but I had recently dismantled our old deck and had yet to build the new one so there really wasn't a spot for said new grill.
  4. I didn't actually get around to building the deck until October (a fact that I get reminded of every time I mention the next big money-saving project I want to do...), which meant there wasn't really time to grill last year anyway.
So, you see, one of the "gifts" wasn't a gift and the other was really just a rollover. Now that I think about it, I deserve something for this year! I'm going to buy some golf clubs. Anyway, I got a new grill and, for the first time in over 7 years of married life, Em and I ate steak. Big, juicy New York Strip steaks. It was wonderful.

Nice and shiny grill in the background

Then, on Saturday (nothing ever really happens during the week), we went with some friends (Jim & Marie and Dave & Marisa - note the distinct lack of a hyperlink for the latter as they have yet to jump on the blogging bandwagon) to the Swedish festival. I discovered a few things from this little adventure:
  1. I'm digging the numbered lists today.
  2. There is a Swedish festival in Utah, which is attended by a rather surprising number of Swedish people that apparently live in Utah.
  3. There are some International Peace Gardens in Salt Lake City. It is actually really pretty and would be a cool place to take some pictures one night.
    Sure, they look and cute and cuddly now...

  4. When a friend asks you if, on the night you normally have a dinner without kids, you could take the kids for a relaxing evening of fun and games at the park, remind yourself that right now there is no such thing as a relaxing evening of fun and games at the park with kids. It's just not possible.
    ... but the minute you turn your back they are off doing things like this!

  5. Don't ever get into a grass fight with little girls. It's definitely a losing proposition. Especially ones that are clever enough to use their hat as a grass repository, kicking of a nuclear clippings arm race that we haven't seen since the likes of Khrushchev and Reagan in the 80's. On a positive note, the grounds keeper won't need to mow that particular patch of lawn for a good 3 months. Unless it rains a lot and he goes to Hawaii...
    Pay close attention to the background... and the hat full of grass!!!

  6. It is absolutely impossible to eat over 1,000 meatballs in a single sitting. Ain't happening. I now know this from experience. I think that between Dave and I there were at least 7 whole cows that died for those gravy-coated beef spheres that we consumed. After our unsuccessful attempt, we both curled up in the fetal position in a meatball-induced coma. I have yet to recover. Jim, however, wasn't phased at all (and he even sucked the gravy off of all of Laine's meatballs!!!), but then again he went to Sweden on his mission so he has a built-in tolerance. At least that's what I am telling myself.
Need to add in the random Jane quote: She has started saying the prayer on the food, and kind of takes the standard phrases and mashes them all together. Right now, she says "Heavenly father, we're thankful for the special of the day, make it healthy, amen." Tonight it was Macaroni au Fromage avec Hot Dogs (finally, my high school French is paying off!).

Finally (and my apologies for being so long-winded; I blame Sweden), for family night we were putting together a package tonight for my little sister Tasha who's living away from home right now. As part of the package, we drew some pictures on a pillowcase for her to use. Jane had to do her own drawings, and she would then dictate to Em what they were. I had to take pictures because, well... see for yourself. There's no way to describe it. And keep in mind, Em did NO coaching whatsoever when getting descriptions of these things.

I could tell right away that was an octopus...

... and just looking at that made me think of Supersonic...

... but I started to get a bit lost here...

... and quite frankly, even with the helpful translation I had a hard time seeing a boat here.

Hargensplorgenbreegenmeingen... which in Swedish means either "It's 1:45 and I need to go bed" or "Why on earth am I dressed like this???"


Saturday, June 14, 2008

What do you get when...

... you go out of town for a couple of weeks with the following conditions:

1) You just laid new sod,
2) You just dumped enough fertilizer on it to resurrect any pets that may have been buried in your yard somewhere,
3) You spent multiple hours fixing the #$%^ sprinklers (Yes, I HATE the sprinklers),
4) Mother Nature decided to play a practical joke and sent record amounts of rain over said 2 weeks, and
5) In your rush to get ready to go and finish up 1 - 3 you kind of sort of neglected to get someone to mow the lawn for you when you were gone?

Yeah... not that I KNOW anything about this, but, um, I bet it would look something like this:

Pay close attention to the rare tropical "Hairylegdelion" that started growing as well.

Ok, so that is my leg, and the grass is up to my calf. I spent about 4 hours mowing on Saturday and filled our entire garbage can as well as 9 bags of clippings.

A big Hawaii post is coming in the next couple of days, but suffice it to say that it was amazing and we a blast! In the interim, I have to talk about what an awesome wife I have. She swam/ran/biked an Olympic triathlon today, 3 days after getting back from the trip and still barely emerging from a macadamia-nut induced vacation coma. Here's the victory pose:

Finished! Em, is the champion...

She finished the race in 2:55 minutes, which is about 3 hours faster than I would have finished if I were even half as tough as she is. I gave her a special trophy:

This is the booty prize. It's a doll leg in thigh-high fishnet stockings that
I found on the ground. I didn't say it was supposed to make sense...

On a side note: Not that I know much about these things (seems far too 'exercisy' to me...), but at the finish line there was water and... pizza. Seriously, like 100 Pizza Hut pizzas. Is that really the kind of food a person craves after doing a triathlon? Why not KFC? Someone please explain this choice of food to me.