Saturday, January 31, 2009

And the Oscars Are Only A Few Weeks Away...

A man from cooperate came to the store yesterday to film us doing product presentations. He is going around to almost every single store and filming how different salespeople sell different products. He edits the tapes and them posts them on a website where all the franchises can watch them. The idea is that we can learn from each other and improve as a whole. 70% of the presentation we might know, but that extra 20% of the information can be invaluable.

At our weekly meeting we picked which products w4e would show and then practiced them with everyone critiquing and offering their opinions. Yesterday I went I got all gussied up and went into work and hour early so we could film when no clients were in the store.

I was up first, I presented a Therasage table with my boss as the client. It was nerve-wracking at first, but it was a lot of fun. The guy from cooperate is apparently a professional director; he's taught at Art colleges in San Fransisco and things like that. He was really good at telling me exactly what I needed to do without telling me exactly what I needed to do. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but he was great. He filmed the presentation and then he had me do certain things over again so he could get close-ups.

Next up was me doing a presentation of a Sanyo massage chair, which went really well, and then he wanted me to do a Theracane. I panicked because although I love Theracanes, I had not practiced that presentation. Josh decided he would be the client this time, which don't work out too well because we kept joking and laughing and not really giving a lot to the film. The guy from cooperate finally coaxed out of me what he needed and I was done.

I'm excited to see the videos, I want to know how they turn out. I've already watched some of the videos the other stores did and I have already learned so much! This project was a great idea and it's already been a lot of fun. I felt like a real movie star. For a few seconds anyway.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

If You Haven't Got Your Health, You Haven't Got Anything.

I'm getting over my sickness. I hate being sick. I really, really do. On the the plus side, Tuesday I only worked a half day, I didn't work at all on Wednesday and today I only wen in for an hour and a half meeting. Tomorrow will also be a half day, and then it's back in the thivk of things on Saturday.

Being sick in bed has given me ample time to watch Jericho (A TV show about how a little town in Kansas deals with the end of the world as we know it, with no fuel, no electricity, and no food). I've also been reading Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer (yeah, that really is her last name. Put in it all caps and it's even better: PFEFFER. I can't imagine what she went through as a young child trying to write her name). This was a great book. A nail-biting page-turner you hate to put down, but you have to, becasue reading the book makes you hungry and weak and think that you have no food and will never have food ever again, so you have to put the book down to raid the kitchen and eat a lot of food, just to prove you can.
The only thing I didn't like was the ending. I know when authors end books with loose ends teachers will tell you it's becasue they purposly left it up to your imagnation, but I think they just get lazy and decide to stop writing. It's so annoying.

Anyway, the book is about how a family deals with world as we know it, with no fuel, no electricity, and no food. Yeah, so, basically, I have been sucked into the Apocalypse. I find myself thinking about food rationing, medical supplies and such. How bad is it? Let me give you an example:

Yesterday Kara's boyfriend, Jim, stayed over the night at our house. In the morning, Drek got up and I awoke to him and Jim having breakfast. "OH NO!!" I thought shooting straight out bed, "They can't have breakfast! We have to ration the food!" . . . yeah.

Both of the stories have a few things in common: Food is a huge problem, especially since no one has even put a single can away for food storage. The only way people get food is through the charity of the government. As big as a problem as food is, the cold is a bigger problem. Winter is apparently the thing to fear. Chocolate is the ultimate luxury and object to dream about and lust after. All pregnant women die. There are no exceptions.

We have a year's supply of basic food storage. I am slowly collecting other things for our food storage that aren't so basic but still needed. I am still apprehensive. I will feel much better when we live down South and live off the grid, with our own electricity and our own garden.

If the world ended tomorrow I think we could survive for a year, maybe. We could at least survive longer than the people in the book. Come on, two months after the asteroid people have starved to death? Really? In the fall? Two months?

Friday, January 23, 2009

So. Very. Sick. I despise being sick. This sickness does not appear to be going away. I woke up sick on Monday, and I have improved 15% since then. I stayed in bed all day Monday, well, no. I went to Rissy's house on Monday to have a LOST marathon, but got too tired three episodes in and then went home and spent all day in bed. I spent all day in bed on Tuesday. I spent most of the day in bed on Wednesday, but come on, it was the season premiere of LOST and we don't get TV, so what did you expect me to do? It was amazing, by the way. Thursday I spent the first half of the day in bed, then I went to work. Today will be the same thing. So sick of being sick.

Mostly, the annoying part is the stuffy nose. It's no fun when you can't breathe. I don't think the inversion is helping either. Air quality outside right now is appantly more deadly than ciggarette smoke. Great. Just great. When are we moving, again?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sweetheart Saboteur

This one is set for Valentine's Day. Saturday, Feb. 14th from 4-7pm. The games are planned and they promise to be the best yet! So excited!

Prizes include a huge back of candy, as usual, but also some gift certificates and a few other surprises.

Price is $10 per couple, that covers dinner, hot chocolate, donuts and other things. Want to play? Just email me. Only the first eight couples to sign up can participate.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Yesterday I decided being cold was the worst thing in the world. Today I am sick, and decided that being sick is the worst thing in the world. Looking forward to what tomorrow brings.

P.S. My husband is, without a doubt, the best husband in the world.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Skewered. One Sympathises

I found my calling in life. Apparently, I am supposed to open up a Vegetarian Thai restaurant. Too much of a niche? Hmmm...Maybe. UNTIL YOU TASTE THIS FOOD!!!!

Yesterday's lunch:

Thai Satay Kabobs
3 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 10 oz pkg tofu, rained and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups (about 4 oz) mushrooms. Sliced, whole, whatever you like
3/4 cups coconut milk
1 tsp red curry paste
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 Tbs vegan sugar (Brown sugar is easier and works better in this recipe)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt

Whisk together soy sauce, mushrooms and tofu in a large bowl. Cover and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 400F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Drain tofu and mushrooms and thread onto 6 skewers. Bake 15 minutes. Turn and bake 15 minutes more.
Whisk coconut milk and red curry paste in saucepan. whisk in peanut butter until smooth. Stir in sugar, salt and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes stirring often.
Place skewers on serving plate and drizzle with sauce. Remaining sauce can be used for dip.

And my own special, most delicious concoction:

Pineapple Curry!!!!!!

1 can coconut milk (I've found the best coconut milk brand is Thai Kitchen, but any will work)
1 can pineapple chunks (drain pineapple juice into a bowl to use separately)
1 can bamboo shoots (drained)
1 green bell pepper, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
3 Tbs Soy Sauce
2 Tbs fresh ginger
1 1/2 Tbs red curry (I used red curry from Thai Kitchen, it comes in a small jar)
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 10 oz container tofu

Drain and cut tofu in 1 inch cubes. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a frying pan. Add tofu, cook on High. The point is to brown the sides of the tofu. Combine soy sauce, garlic and ginger in saucepan over med heat. Stir, for 3 minutes. Add pineapple chunks, coconut milk, and red curry. Bring to a boil, then simmer. Once the tofu is browned on all sides, add tofu, continue to simmer. In frying pan, add green bell pepper, carrots, bamboo shoots and pineapple juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once vegetables are slightly tender, add them (and the pineapple juice) to simmering curry. Simmer for 5 more minutes and serve over rice!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We Applied the Cortical Electrodes but Were Unable to Get a Neural Reaction From Either Patient

On Wednesday I go over to a little eight year old little girl's house. This little girl was born with half of her body paralyzed. Ever since she was born she has been surrounded by Doctors and specialists and therapists and such. I go over once a week to giver her a quick massage because her muscles get really really tight.

She is a very smart little girl. She's always the first kid to pick up on things and is always the smartest in her class. Today while I was giving her a massage I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She said she wanted to be a doctor. I smiled to myself. Of course a kid surrounded by doctors her whole life would want to be a doctor. She probably has more training already than a second year med student. I asked her what kind of doctor she wanted to be. "I don't know," She answered. "Like a nurse-y doctor or something."

It's good to know that no matter how much a child has gone through, they're still just a kid.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And the Winning Numbers Are...

So, the St. George Marathon is not something you can just show up and run. You have to send in a running resume of sorts, and if it passes, it is entered into a lottery. If you are drawn from the lottery, you get to run. The winners of this lottery have already been announced for this year. Sigh.

However, if you are entered three times into the lottery, the third year you automatically win. So I might shoot for that. A 2013 New Year Resolution. I should see if there is another marathon I can enter...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Not the Smell, Not the Look, But the Sound of the Crust

I. Made. Bread. I MADE it. Myself. BREAD. So great.

I have never made bread before. This is so very exciting. Oh! I am just so proud of myself. I will never have to buy bread again!!

Krisling gave me a bread maker for Christmas. It came with a small manual. The manual explained all these settings and how it worked and said is included recipes. The only recipes were one for a chocolate cake and one for jam. There were no bread recipes. I soon discovered that if you put too much ingredients into the bread maker, it could explode, and since I didn't know how much ingredients to put in, I did not make bread.

Yesterday I used the bread maker to make the chocolate cake. It was...not exactly delicious. It was cake, but it, not the best cake ever. So I decided this was a BREAD maker, and would make extra-delicious bread!! This morning I googled images of bread makers, found one that matched mine, got the model number and found the complete manual for my model of bread maker online. Hooray for Google!! This manual had recipes. I tried the recipe this morning and this was the result:


I have wheat. It came with our food storage we got for Christmas. Now all I need is a wheat grinder and I will be set!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

A Lot of People Like Snow. I Find It to be an Unnecessary Freezing of Water

It is snowing like crazy here. It has been since mid-December. Two days ago it snowed for fifteen hours. Have you ever seen a wall of snow? I have.

At the beginning of the year, Krisling and I went skiing. It was my Christmas present to her. When we went two years ago, we went in March. I remember thinking I had worn too many layers. Krisling ended up in jeans and a T shirt. Skiing, after all, is hard work. You warm yourself up. This year, it was not like that. It was FREEZING. I suppose skiing in January will do that. It was ok coming down the mountain, but riding on the ski lift was very painful. We got through it by throwing Krisling's bag full of cameras, wallets, keys and such off the ski lift and trying to catch it with our skis and ski poles. A feat made difficult when you can't breathe because you are laughing so hard.

And if you think flying down a snow-covered mountain on two small sticks is dangerous, you should try riding on a bus driven by a guy who openly admits he is drunk.

Anyways. This year I have also had two major snow fights, built a huge and awesome snow fort with Meimei and Drek, been extreme sledding, shoveled snow, gotten my car stuck in the snow twice, been a passenger when another car got stuck in the snow, and I've had to walk through piles of snow in snow boots, boots, high heals, work shoes, tennis shoes, and barefoot.

Ok, I've had my fun. No more snow. Or cold. ok?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Alcohol: The Cause Of, And Solution To, All Of Life's Problems

Aaron came over last night. He brought his wii and all his lovely games. It was my...3rd? time ever playing the wii so it's still new and exciting to me. We played Mario Cart, which is so much more difficult when you don't know what you are doing, or which buttons do what. We had a blast. I even managed to win a few races.

During the transition between races the screen told us it couldn't read the disc and and that we couldn't play that level. We rebooted and tried again; Same thing. We rebooted and tried a different level; same thing. Aaron was distraught. And that's when the genius of Xirax came to me for a moment. I got out my most-awesome-teeny-tiny-bottle of 100%, entirely Russian vodka and cleaned the disc with it. We put it back in the wii and we didn't even have to reboot, the game started in three seconds flat. We even went back and played the level that caused the problem. Bwhahaha.

After this highly successful escapade I had to think to myself; Vodka is expensive and yet, so useful. You can clean/repair discs, make your hair shiny, make air fresheners that have a shelf life of two years and so on. Why would you waste this precious commodity by drinking it? Also, it smells disgusting.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

2008 Review

On a personal level, 2008 meant progress. Drek Graduated with his Master's Degree, He got a job, he learned how to play the stock market and together we started investing in our retirement. We started saving money for a down payment on a house, we saved money for emergency funds. We got health insurance. And so forth.

Alas, all this is ridiculously boring. I understand that this year was necessary for the rest of our lives, and that certain things have to be done, but I feel that this year was just...working and doing nothing. Maybe because all the progress made this year was made by Drek. What did I do? I worked. A lot. Yeah.

I went on my very first business trip. I learned how to knit and completed three projects. I started running and did research so I can run a marathon. I got in a car accident. I learned Tao Bo. I bought a bed that I love. I planned and carried out two successful Saboteurs, played one more game and won! I ate and fell in love with sushi. I won a massage chair in a contest. I completed the Women's Challenge. I registered on facebook. I took a pregnancy test for the first time ever (Negative. Thank heavens. Calm down) I started writing a new novel. I touched and shot a gun for the first (and second) time. I completed the Book a Month Challenge. I expanded my cooking skills by leaps and bounds. I met my nephew, Toby, whom I adore. I planned and cancelled four vacations. I planned and actually went on two vacations. I drove on the freeways of California. I fell madly in love with my husband (again).

It should have gone something like this:
Went to Ireland. Went to Mexico and actually carried on a conversation in Spanish. Went sky diving. Went on a cruise and went Scuba diving. Ran a marathon and lost 500 pounds. Randomly earned a million dollars. I now own my own house and a skunk.

Sigh. Oh well. That's what 2009 is for.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Even When You Have a Bottom the Size of Two Bowling Balls

Ah 2008, you were a crappy year. I will not miss you.

2009 came in with...noise. Drek and I celebrated up at his family's house. We played lots of games and ate yummy appetizers and talked and set goals and then did the whole count down thing. Yeah!
And then I went home and slept, woke up and went skiing with Krisling. The skier guy there thought I was Kris's mom. Apparently 2008 was not a good year for me.

-Write in my gratitude journal everyday, right before I get out of bed in the morning. If I do, I will be grateful for more things!
-Index 1,000 documents. If I do, I get to find and book a trip to Ireland to find my family history.
-Run a Marathon. So, train for a fast 5k, then train for a 10K, then train for a marathon. If I do, I will be really proud of myself.
-Work on Spanish everyday. If I do, Drek and I are going to spend May 5th in Mexico, speaking with the locals
-Have enough money saved for a down payment on a house. If I do, we can put a down payment on a house (some of these rewards are really easy to come up with)

Side notes:
Travel more. You only live once.
I hate the cold. I hate it. Next winter, I will not be here. I am moving even if it kills me, and if it kills me at least I will be warm.