Wednesday, December 31, 2008

English is real good.

I'm a jerk. This is well established, however I restate this fact because some of you might not know about all the facets of my jerkitude. Bad grammar brings out my jerkness.

I get annoyed when I read obvious spelling errors and see punctuation abuse. My writing is far from perfect, so the whole mote and beam reference comes to mind. But that will not stop me from listing two errors that I find particularly bothersome:
The misuse (under or over use) of the apostrophe, especially when used to denote a plural.
Misuse of your vs. you're enrages me. (Not really enraging per se, I just wanted to use the word enrage.)

On another note, sarcasm comes to mind. Sarcasm can sometimes be used for humorous effect. Also, irony and good old fashioned humor can be used for humor.

"Owww, look at me, Marge, I'm making people happy! I'm the magical man, from Happy Land, who lives in a gumdrop house on Lolly Pop Lane! . . . By the way I was being sarcastic."

So my question is, do you ever feel like no one gets you? Do you say things that people misunderstand and you try to explain what you really meant and they don't get it because they assume that you were trying to insult them but you weren't then you feel like a complete moron for trying to make a joke with someone who obviously does not understand your sense of humor? Do you find yourself explaining your words far more than you feel necessary, forming sentences that are too long to read outloud in one breath?

Nope? Yeah, me neither.

So my point is, besides not actually having a point, that English is good. Also, Homer Simpson sometimes is sarcastic, and so am I. But if you have to explain your humor, doesn't it render the intended humor humorless?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow, My New Coat and Bond, James Bond

Merry Christmas all! I'm sad that the season is drawing to a close. Here's a little glimpse of our Christmas festivities.

TC got a batarang money clip to hold all his monies. *cough*

And the new Bond game for PS3. Gordita (that's me) was sneaky and tricky to throw him off the scent of his Christmas gift. I encouraged TC several times to go get the game. TC wanted to wait, thankfully for me. And he was surprised and pleased to get the game he'd been wanting.

TC's gift to me was an amazingly beautiful, wonderfully fantastic coat. I love everything about it: the color, the cute little bow in the back, the portrait collar, the swinginess of it... It was a wonderful surprise.

What could be in this mysterious box?

Oh my goodness! I can hardly believe my eyes.

Shock and awe.

The adorable coat, which incidentally does not go well with my chunky turtleneck sweater.

On Christmas Day we ventured to Provo to see TC's sisters. This was the scene at the point of the mountain.

This was the scene on the way to TC's sister's house.

This was the road to our destination.

This was the mess we made on the road trying, with all of Thor's might, to make it up that slippery slope. Yes, we uncovered that man hole with our sliding.

After making it only feet away from the driveway just to realize that Thor could not make it, we had to slide down the hill and find another way. But we made it. And once we made it in, we were able to see these lovely faces, among others.



Matias taught me how to play the capture the alien game.

I received a game. The loser gets an electric shock. Fun stuff. Don't be a loser.

TC received a mini remote control helicopter.

All in all, it was a great Christmas. I've enjoyed reading all my dear readers' Christmas updates, and am grateful for your friendship. It all started with a little baby born in Bethlehem and that baby changed the world irrevocably. And for that I am grateful.

Monday, December 15, 2008

To sum it up

And to stop boring our readers who are looking for entertainment rather than sappy memories, I will finish my reminiscing with some of our favorite memories of times past.

Taking pictures with our webcam (2000).

Getting a new digital camera and taking photos like crazy (2002).

The blue Escort, which TC dubbed "The Cadillac of the poor people" because of the smooth suspension and how high the driver sits. It was sad when that car started to poop out on us in 2002.

Watching the Stadium of Fire from Rock Canyon Park. It took us 2 1/2 hours to drive 1 mile to our home. Yikes! My niece Cheyenne was with us that Independence Day (2002).

TC's graduation from BYU in 2003.

The only time I've ever seen TC sunburned was summer 2003. We had spent the entire day at Great America, from early morning until early evening. The redness only lasted that night. The next day he was all toasty brown and hot and stuff.

Eating at Jerry's, a fabulous burger joint that was a block and a half from our place. So delicious, so inexpensive. It was sad when they closed. I guess after we moved away and were unable to single-handedly support their business they had no choice but to close shop.

The Orem Summerfest in 2004. That's when I got Pancho (the animal puppet I'm holding). That's also when we rode the ride pictured behind us. The carny operating it was too busy flirting to pay attention to how long the ride had been running, it ran for too long, and people began vomiting. He eventually realized what was going on, let those people off, cleaned up the seats, and opened it right back up again. TC, his sister and husband, brother and I all hopped on. Although none of us lost our bearings so to speak, we all felt pretty sick after the spinny ride that went on for too long. But that didn't stop us from getting pupusas for dinner.

Moving to Salt Lake City in 2004. It was July, hot, sweaty and we had accumulated a lot of stuff. TC drove this moving van from Provo to SLC, which he "enjoyed" because as soon as he gained some speed on the freeway, the side mirrors folded in.

Summer 2004 is also when we discovered that TC is really good with the grill. (Is it really any surprise that an Argentine is good at grilling?) He found himself grilling for us, his family, my family, friends and distant cousins that summer.

The time in 2005 when we took my nephew Carter to see trains close up. We somehow missed the signs that said, "Do not trespass. Private property. Violators will be yelled at and threatened by a stern lady who will go on and on about the 'law' and 'trespassing' and the 'the safety of small children.'" Whoops! But Carter enjoyed seeing the trains.

The Compensator needs not hide behind any mask. But it was good times when he did at Carter's birthday party.

Meeting Mickey in 2007. Holy moly that was good times.

The end.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Birthdays and Other Holidays

March 2000. I made a hideous cake for TC's birthday, forgot to buy candles, and didn't think to move the cake to a plate or something prettier than the cooling rack. But I made the cake that TC asked for (red velvet with peaches and cream). And he was happy, because he's just that kind of guy.

March 2003. TC bought me the shoes I had been eyeing for months. Every time we went to ZCMI I had to ogle the shoes. And he surprised me by buying them for me. I still have those shoes, and I still love them.

For TC's birthday that year I bought him a lava lamp. Doesn't quite compare to the awesome shoes he got me, but TC doesn't complain. And we still have the lava lamp. And we still use it from time to time.

And who can forget Valentine's Day 2004? I woke up that Saturday morning to a trail tissue paper hearts leading me from the bedroom to the living room. The coffee table was decorated with a table cloth and candles. We ate our cereal that morning by candlelight while we watched cartoons and drank juice out of wine glasses. My gift from TC was a beautiful bright pink rain coat.

TC is and always has been a great gift giver. His gifts are thoughtful and always a surprise to me. Is it any wonder that I love him so much?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gordi Discovers "Non-alcoholic" Cider

The often reserved and quiet Gordi found her inner Argentine one Christmas.

After having a few glasses of "non-alcoholic" cider (which means that it has less than a certain, very low percent of alcohol content) I wondered why I was dizzy and having to lean on furniture constantly, but I drowned out the dizziness by downing even more cider, despite the burning as it went down. After a few glasses, I found it incredibly easy to speak Spanish, and make jokes, and act silly, and make a fool of myself in front of the in-laws. (Not that I hadn't already made a fool of myself numerous times. This time was different in that it was not so accidental.)

So I enjoyed that noche buena a lot more than I've ever enjoyed any others. And TC and I laugh at my low tolerance for alcohol (which is, not surprisingly, zero) and at how "loose" I was after a few drinks. At least I'm not a mean drunk. Just imagine what Nyquil does to me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmases Past

Christmas of 2000 was a scant year. We were poor, in a hurry to finish our finals to travel to Argentina to visit TC's family for Gordi's first time, and were desperate for some sort of light during the dark time. So, we scrounged up $30 to buy a Christmas tree and decorations.

I had some ribbon left over from our wedding, and some raffia, and a gifted afghan from my aunt which we added to the one box of ornaments we bought and the Charlie Brown tree we acquired from Walmart. We strung Christmas lights around the apartment, and covered the tree as much as we could. This dear little tree was exactly the light we needed. We laughed to each other at how scrawny our tree was, but we were so grateful to be able to even have one.

We had no money for Christmas gifts that year, but really wanted to be able to send presents to my family. We wondered how we would be able to afford gifts, let alone the postage to California. My dear mother, inspired as she is, sent us a Christmas check. We used that money to buy gifts for my family that year.

A few years later, we spent $20 to buy even more ornaments to hide the scrawniness of the tree. We inherited ornaments from my parents which was a huge blessing. You can see that we still had the Christmas lights up. We liked them so much that first Christmas that we left them up.

Christmas in Salt Lake City (2004). We decided to buy a real tree that year, but since I have very little sense of spatial dimensions, I chose a tree that was definitely short enough for the new apartment, but clearly too fat around the bottom to fit comfortably between our furniture. We shoved that poor little tree into the trunk of our car, got needles everywhere, and had a piney smelling car until nearly the next Christmas.

It was that same Christmas that we made tomates rellenos and fruit salad just like TC's mom does.

Christmas 2006 we bought an artificial, pre-lit tree. Our eyes were bigger than our short ceiling, so the poor tree doesn't get a top. And this year, that same tree is up and bringing us joy each evening as we return home to a warm apartment and lit tree.

Christmas is such a dear time of year, isn't it?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

First Apartment

Nestled in the heart of student land, tucked in a short driveway from a highway, was our first apartment. The sweet, gentle humming of constant traffic could be heard day and night above the noise of our neighbors' bathroom activities. The parking lot that was never plowed after snow (which never melted because it was in the shade) was a joy to slide around on (in the car, or on foot). The refrigerator that had an ice box instead of a freezer, which ice box was so in need of a de-frosting that we could only fit two bags of peas inside, which was fine because that's all we could afford anyway. The apartment without a useful air conditioner, so we sweat, instead of to the oldies, to sleep. Here's a brief tour of how our apartment looked in 2000, just a few months after moving in.

The kitchen. Decorated with sunflowers to belie the dim lighting. Card table and chairs from the stake building before it was remodeled.

The living room. $40 DI couch that we loved and were sad to part with four years later. Poster we bought from the BYU poster sale for $10 (it was a huge expense for a luxury item). Empty entertainment center.

Other side of living room. 13" TV on a metal folding chair. Phone books stacked in the corner. Empty picture frame.

The office. The only wall decorations we had were posters of Austin Powers promoting Virgin Airlines, flags, and a poster that TC made me for our first Valentine's Day together. We were fortunate enough to have a desk, a computer and a printer.

The other side of the office.

These were times when we watered down our Flavor-Aid to make it stretch for longer. We earned exactly enough money for tithing and rent, and somehow miraculously had food to eat. We fought like cats and dogs. We studied together, got our neighbors mad at us together, and stayed together. These were rough times, but we look back fondly (and grateful that we have moved on).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chicken Cacciatore

Neither TC nor I can even look at chicken cacciatore (the name or in person) without dry-heaving a little. And that's all thanks to my experiment with the meal nearly 8 years ago.

To make a long, not all that interesting story short or at least kind of interesting, I wanted to prepare a special meal for my hard working, hard studying husband. So my newlywed self worked so hard in the kitchen to make chicken cacciatore (because we already had all the ingredients). TC wasn't due home until 8:30pm, so I timed it just right (ha!) and had it ready at 8:00 and left it simmering. When TC was half-hour late I did my best not to be upset (because I had SLAVED in the kitchen, and how inconsiderate of him to be late when he had no idea that I had been slaving in the kitchen to make him something special).

I lit some candles, served up our special meal, and we sat down to eat. TC, normally tolerant of my kitchen mishaps (which are getting fewer and farther between), stopped midbite after the third bite, and said, "I'm sorry Gordi. I just can't eat this." I cried a little because it was so true. It tasted exactly like a tin can. We threw it all down the drain, and had toast by candlelight for dinner instead.

And now, chicken cacciatore holds a special place in our hearts.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The passing of the torch

With the 9th anniversary of the union of TC & Gordita coming up in a few days, I would like to start a reminiscence series, beginning today.

Back in 2002, when the Winter Olympics came to Salt Lake City, TC and I lived in Provo. When we heard that the torch was going to go by just half a block away from where we lived, we were excited. So we bundled up to protect ourselves against the bitter cold, and headed outside to wait to see the torch.

After a few minutes of waiting, a young man dressed in long johns holding what sort of looked like a torch ran by us quickly. People clapped and laughed. I tried to shoot a photo, but he passed so quickly that it didn't turn out. I wondered why the whole torch-running ceremony wasn't accompanied by more pomp, more official Olympics jogging suits, more security, but I didn't question it much. I mean, it's not like I'd ever had any experience with the Olympics.

Well, several minutes after the young man had run past us, I asked TC why we were still standing outside. He chuckled, thinking I was being sarcastic (which is weird, because I'm usually not at all, right?). He realized that I was serious when I asked him again if we could go inside (since it was so chilly) and he explained to me, between laughs, that the long john man was a spoof, a joke, a prank. The guy that was with us just looked at me like I was a nut job (and really, can you blame him?).

Sure enough, a few minutes later, a lady wearing an official Olympics jogging suit, followed by a black car with dark windows, carrying a brightly lit torch passed by. There was no question that she was official, and I was able to snap a nice photo of her. And we went back inside to finish our homework and warm up.

Every time I think about that evening, I snicker to myself, and sometimes I even snort (it happens). TC has that evening in his "Gordita is thick-headed" file, along with many, many other similar moments.