Thursday, October 21, 2010


I am still in the process of putting things where they will belong for the next three-ish years and I recently found myself opening up the rubbermaid container in the garage that holds a sleeping bag. As part of the move, it also held my extra purses and cold weather wear. I have been thinking a lot lately about the winter weather wear.

I found an older purse that I haven't used in years and decided to throw it out. I don't know why I didn't decide that 2 1/2 months ago before moving it across the state, but here we are. Before tossing it in the bin, however, here here are some of the treasures I found within:

  • 3 chapsticks (one of which is the one I had with me on our England trip in 2006/7. The smell took me back to Hadrian's Wal;
  • 2 barrettes and 7 hair ties;
  • Trogor sticker;
  • a receipt from 2007;
  • several expired coupons;
  • a few photos of the Turners in Yellowstone with only three children, Stewart's Wheaties photo, 2 of my brother Nate, Baby Ryan Turner, and Lucinda;
  • 25 cents.
Not a bad haul, I must say. I have not yet decided where to stick Trogdor.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Identifying Characteristics of an Uber-Nerd

So I am nothing if not a know-it-all. Does anyone disagree? I thought not. So our first day of Constitution Law we're posed with the following question: In what way is the US Constitution revolutionary? Now for most people this becomes a question of individual rights in a time of monarchy and aristocracy. Not for yours truly. Instead I go off on a 3 minute exposition of the question of sovereignty in the Constitution versus the Articles of Confederation (the governing law in the US prior to the Constitution).

Seriously? What sort of nerd knows enough about that to make that the crux of his argument on the revolutionary nature of the Constitution? Perhaps more interesting is the question of why would anyone know that? In any case I've made a Venn diagram describing the class response:

First day of class and I'm already "that guy".

Sleep! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

It is almost 1am here, and I just finished my Civil Procedure homework. I have in the last two weeks read more and denser material than I have this year. Two weeks in I have a few insights into myself and the whole law school experience that I thought I'd share.

1. I'm old. It may not seem it to some of our more mature readers, but the average age of my classmates is 24. 24!!! I last saw that almost a decade ago. Further, my age shows itself when I laugh at the professors dated jokes. For example yesterday...well two days ago technically given the late civil procedure professor showed us a clip of Seinfeld. For me and the 30 year old sitting next to me this was not only perfectly normal but made for nostalgia. I don't think the younglings got it. I mean what's not to get about the Soup Nazi.

2. If a professor doesn't call on you because you've monopolized all the class discussion and taken the class on a tangent that wasn't in the lesson plan it's probably time to put your hand down. Participation points don't count for being the loudest.

3. Sleep deprivation isn't a medical condition it is a way of life (see also the Law School Rule of Caffeine=If you're not caffeinated you're not studying hard enough).

4. If you were to make a pie chart of my Library Usage it would probably look like this:

5. Buffalo is the bastard, inbred, red-headed (no offense to gingers reading this it simply is a list playing on preconceived stereotypes and in no way reflects personal animus against them), child of Canada and the Midwest. On the one hand we can watch Canadian tv here. It's a hoot! They have a parliament and they have this weird temperature system that means if it's 20 it's t-shirt weather. That might just be because their Canadian. On the other hand people call soda, pop. I mean honestly what the crap is that about?

So those are my first impressions. Am I surprised that I'm back in school? Not really, we all knew that it was coming eventually. Will I do well in it? Probably, I always enjoyed being graded (especially when the latter came back favorable to my ego). Will I help you with your will? Not until I pass the bar so don't ask me. Oh and when I do pass it I demand my filthy lucre. I'm not doing this pro bono you cheapskates. :)

Since I'm tired here's a clip from my favorite Simpsons ever:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Our New Life

As an update, we officially moved to Buffalo on Monday. Spent a night in our new apartment (photos to come eventually, like when all the boxes are empty) and drove back to Albany Tuesday afternoon where we spent the evening with some friends for not the last time. We then spent Wednesday doing a thorough clean on the house so when people come to look at it they will stand in awe at how clean we are and want to buy it. Wednesday evening we drove back to Buffalo.

I still am confused as which to call home, so I use the term interchangeably for both. Technically our home is still in Colonie, until we sell it, but our lives are in Buffalo now. We have internet in Buffalo so maybe that's what makes this home.

We still miss Albany, our home and especially the people, but so far Buffalo is treating us well. We still use the gps to get around, though we do make the occasional trip without it now. The cats seem to love our place in Buffalo and both Husband and I went for a jog around the neighborhood this morning.

Stewart's currently doing homework, which will be the story of his life for the next few years. My official job search begins in earnest on Monday. Tomorrow we attend church here and try to remember how to make new friends. It makes me more than a bit anxious.

As for now I must answer the call of the boxes that still need unpacking.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Testing 1,2. Is this thing on?

For those of you who think we've abandoned you in your hours of need. For those who think we no longer care to record the minutiae of our daily experiences here in print. For those of you who wonder, "why didn't they take us with them wherever they went?" Fear not. We're alive and well just busy as all hell. Sorry for the profanity but I can't forgo a good rhyme.

In any case we're still around just busy. We'll fill you in with a later post. But if you're feeling particularly churchy, head over to my brother-in-law's blog. You'll find yours truly waxing spiritual or something.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yellowstone Vacation How I Love You, Let Me Count the Ways

1. The sheer beauty of the park:

2. The desolation left by the fetid yet beautifully acidic (sometimes base) pools:

3. The happiness from borrowing other people's children (and the satisfaction of teaching them things their parents disapprove of):

5. The surprise of running into old friends (even if last time you saw them they were just out of high school and now they make you feel manifest by the gut and the man-boobs):

6. The majesty of wildlife (especially when it tries to gore foreign made cars)

7. The joy of spending quality time with family you don't usually see (especially staying up to completely unreasonable hours):

8. The shock satisfaction of realizing your sweet sis-in-law is more profane than you:

9. The sweet taste of giving up on your New Year's Resolution and your big screen tv:

10. The totally awesome, fantastically breathtakingly, and amazingly comfortable location we stayed (I call next billiards game):

Can we start our next Yellowstone vacation now?

Emasculation Day 1

So despite my previous post about the benefits of my current employment situation, I must admit that there are some serious draw backs. First and foremost is the fact that I feel largely impotent and emasculated. I know that this situation is not of my doing intellectually, but there's a psychological component that's incredibly jarring. Suddenly I'm put in a situation where I'm reliant upon Wife to provide for our needs while I struggle to get the house ready for sale. A task for which I'm woefully unprepared.

That said I cannot say that I was unproductive in day 1 of unemployment. I went out for a good jog. I finished sanding all the molding around the windows, and with help of a good friend did the demolition on the kitchen counter tops and sink. Wife seems to think that we're making good progress and well within our time limit to finish everything. I am still more hesitant and fear that I'm not even close to where I need to be. I guess we'll see in two weeks.

Today's tasks:

1. Finish painting the molding on the upstairs windows.
2. Finish installing the new kitchen counter tops/sink
3. Begin painting the stairs (not the stairs themselves but the kick boards)

And here's a video. Yes it's French. Yes it has a fiddle. How can you go wrong with a French rock band that uses a fiddle? I mean honestly.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Big Newskowski

Just as Grandpa's death kind of took the blogger out of me last year, our eminent plans rather discombobulated me this year. I apologize that we haven't been more forthcoming. A few of you knew about our plans but the vast majority did not. For those we didn't tell let me apologize.

We've formed so many close friendships over the past 7 years in New York we didn't want to alarm anyone. In addition neither of us wanted our employers to know about this change prematurely. Yet now things have moved to a point where we need to let everyone know. Again please don't be offended if we didn't tell you in person.

First the good news. I was laid off on Friday. Okay that's not great news but it validates the decisions we made last autumn.

As some of you know, in October of last year both Wife and I took the Foreign Service Exam. We had hoped to start a career working with the State Department in the very embassies around the world. Neither of us passed the test. Quite honestly I was a bit shocked as I'd passed the written exam several years ago.

As a result of this failure I did something that most of you thought I should do 8 years ago. I took the LSAT in December. Although I didn't do as well as I would have liked, I did reasonably well. I have thus far been accepted to four of the eleven law schools to which I have applied. I am still waiting on responses from five others.

The net result of this is that Wife and I will be relocating sometime at the beginning of August.

On a personal note, I cannot help but to see the hand of Providence in every action in our lives over the last year leading us to this point. There is no doubt that my fears over my long term career prospects at my now former employer were well founded, and that it was a stroke of inspiration to plan ahead as we have. I have no doubt that we will succeed in the long term. While it is sad to close this very happy chapter in our lives, both wife and I are eternally grateful for all the many people who have enriched our lives over the years.

Oh and if you want to vote in our "Where should Husband go to law school?" poll, please visit our blog directly.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Business in the front

Ahh the 90s. It was such a simple time. The music was still good (who can forget classic bands and artists like Helmet, Danzig, and Coolio), clothing was modest (there was nothing wrong with wearing 38" waist pants when you had (notice had)a 28" waist if you belt them mid-crack with your boxers showing), and the Internet and email was still novel and interesting. We would entertain ourselves with wholesome forwards and sites like hamsterdance, babydance, and mullet's galore.

Indeed the 90s technology allowed us to rediscover that spectacularly stratifying style of the sexy mullet. Think about it for a moment. Without the Internet would we know to mock those sporting the graceful windflap? Would we understand that sometimes it's okay to have business in the front and party in the back? Would terms like femmimullet be in our lexicon? How we should be grateful for the Netscapes and Usenets of yore!

All of this leads to a moment this afternoon in which Wife turns to me after seeing this car er truck er vehicle and says "party in the back". I introduce to you the El Camino, "The Mullet of Automobiles".

I prefer the classic one though.

In other news everyone go buy our friend Branden's debut album with his band Neon Trees. Here's their first single. (He's the one sporting the awesome Brigham beard, and I prefer this video to the new one they did for the song.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

I used to be cool

Married people are boring. Ok, maybe not all of us, but most of us are and I enjoy it. A good night for me is reading for a few hours before going to bed at a reasonable hour. I don't really enjoy concerts, with a very few exceptions.

But one thing that almost all married people seem to enjoy is a game night with other married people. Even better if dinner is involved. And when you have similarly aged children who can play together, even better still.

In the early (Provo) days of our marriage we started playing Settlers of Catan, which was ok becuase it was trendy at least among those least of the trendy, the married. Nertz was ok because it tends to get violent.

But in the past year or so we've slowly moved into less trendy, weirder, and yes, nerdier games. Ticket to Ride and Carcasonne were ok. Even Fluxx is alright, unless you pick up the zombie version, then you're maybe one step from seeing zombie movies on opening night (early show so as to not miss a decent bed time, of course).

Then for Christmas I got Husband Munchkin. I told myself that it was for him, but I kind of enjoy it. Maybe it's because he has yet to beat me. Maybe it's because he has turned me into the kind of woman he always wanted, instead of my improving/changing him.

But Friday night marked another rung on my ladder to nerddom, Shadows over Camelot. It's maybe a step away from going to RenFairs. And I enjoyed it enough to play it again last night.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Birthday Extravaganza, continued

The final part of my birthday week went like this:

Day Six: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen. The set of three were on sale at amazon so I got all three, in separate packages.

Day Seven: The Spice and Herb Bible by Ian Hemphill. Explains spice by spice, with recipes. Husband made me promise to use it with the final gift...

Day Eight: A Le Creuset pot. I have decided that my next set of cookware will be Le Creuset and my experience with this one has only decided that more. Until then I have to work on destroying my analon set from 9 years ago and saving for the complete set. Maybe that will be what I get for a year without soda, candy and chips.

We had taken Wednesday-Friday off for a trip that got canceled so we just stayed home on Wednesday. On Thursday we headed downstate for a few days. We spent Thursday night at the Copes, catching up and reminiscing about the old days in Provo. I'm so glad they live so relatively close. We also introduced them to banagrams, the game, and I allowed Kendra to school me at nertz because I need some humility in my life. Not much, so we're not playing for a few months.

We got up early Friday and began our day by spending some time in the LDS temple in Manhattan. Possibly the prettiest temple I've been to, at least on the inside.

Then we headed down the street to Whole Foods for lunch and some Raclette cheese. Then up a few blocks for birthday cupcakes, which we took back to the Copes since Kendra's birthday was the day after mine. I went with the red velvet but the oreo, grasshopper and peanut butter cup seemed well received too.

We couldn't stay too long, because we had tickets to see the Nets v. the Raptors that night in New Jersey. Because the Nets are lousy we were able to get seats 14 rows behind a hoop for $15 each. We spent more on parking and food (hotdogs, popcorn, etc). It was the first NBA game either of us had been to that wasn't in Salt Lake, and our first game together.

Saturday we came home and just relaxed. It was an excellent birthday week and trip. Husband did very well and has certainly upped the ante for August.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Birthday Extravaganza 2010-February Edition

One of the nice things about being childless is that Husband and I spoil each other more than we otherwise would. This is especially true during holidays and birthdays, and as the 31st anniversary of my birth is coming up, he has not disappointed. The gifts began last Friday.

Day One: Richard III dvd starring Gandolph. It is a great adaptation, though I admit that I am not a Shakespeare purist. I still love the Baz Luhman Romeo & Juliet.

Day Two: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Because, apparently, I wasn't a picky enough eater before.

Day Three: Star Trek, the new film. Husband wins. I am a nerd. I play Munchkin with him (and win!) But my dad deserves some of the blame since I watched TNG with him growing up.

Day Four: Patty Griffin's latest album, Downtown Church. Not her best album, but I LOVE her version of All Creatures of Our God & King. And I'm hoping that with this new album, she will go on tour again, and maybe end up at Albany's The Egg again.

Day Five: Food Rules by Michael Pollan. I'm telling myself that the muddy buddies I made on Monday don't break Rule #6. Chex, chocolate chips, peanut butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Five ingredients. And Rule #60 says we can have special occasion foods. My birthday week is a special occasion.

What does the rest of the week hold? We are going away tomorrow and I get to decide what we do. Which may include a giant cupcake on the actual birthday.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Really Canada? Really?

I, like so many of you, love the Olympics, especially the winter games. There are three main reasons for this love affair. The first two are fairly obvious: 1. Biathlon, 2. Curling. The third reason lies in my inability to perform in any of these sports, well perhaps curling because it's basically shuffle board on ice. During my one foray into any of the winter Olympiad sports I managed to knock my two front teeth out, I was 26 at the time.

Of course having the Winter Olympic games in this hemisphere is fantastic as it minimizes time zone lag which ruins the games in my opinion. Well I'd rather the games be in Lake Placid, I'm sure America's hat, or toque as they'd say, will do a serviceable job hosting the games. Although as Bob Costas was wont to point out tonight, Canada hasn't won a gold in an Olympic games that it's hosted. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

The opening ceremonies were quite nice. I liked the use of color and lighting. Canada's celebration of their indigenous populations was quite moving, especially compared to China dressing up Han Chinese and passing them off as Uighers in the 08 games. I loved the fact that the torches for the relays looked like joints (that was hilarious). I loved the giant glass/ice/plastic totem guys at the beginning. Lastly, I'm not sure what those crazy Newfies were doing with the tap dance fiddle routine but that was AWESOME, as is having a province who's residents you can nickname "Newfies". We don't have anything that cool in the States.

All that said I have four complaints about your ceremony.

1. Bryan Adams! Honestly? Canada doesn't have another male singer good enough to do a duet (oh and that song was horrendous) with Nelly Furtado? I'd take the mmmm...mmmm...mmmm guy over him. Or maybe convince BTO to come out of retirement to back her up, or the Tragically Hip (Canada's greatest band). Anybody's better than the gravelly voiced "All for Love" guy.

2. Beat poetry? Really? I was expecting to see Mike Myers bust out a "Harriett, Harriett" poem. Why not? He's Canadian after all.

3. The torch lighting. Now I'm sure bloggers everywhere are harping on the torch malfunction of 2010. I just want to make one suggestion that would have been much cooler than watching Steve Nash try to figure out where he's supposed to stick his Olympic joint. Here it is. Nash gets the torch, lights a hockey puck filled with whatever crazy gas they use to keep the torches lit. Gretsky skates onto the floor, slapshot into the torch, and VOOMMMMMM! That would have been cool.

4. Lastly, I know it's hard to include all your national treasures, but honestly how could you have forgotten this one:

Remember "keep your stick on the ice."

(If you're on facebook come to the blog to see the vid, it is the punchline after all and me telling you to come here is like explaining Far Side comics to my mother. Yes it's funny she doesn't get it without the explanation, but it's not haha funny.)

(I shouldn't be allowed to post blogs at 1am. I get offensive.)

(Oh wait that's how I am normally)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Expressing my Frenchness


The voters have spoken. I have been maligned, vilified, and ridiculed. I remove my assertion that finishing the last 100+ pages of the Omnivore's Dilemma counts as a 2010 read. Like any moderate republican politician standing for election, I respectively concede defeat.

This concession seemed in my best interest as in one week, I not only tried to claim a book that obviously shouldn't count toward my 2010 book tally but I used a dubious loophole to justify my consumption of chips mere days after beginning my abstinence from them (except in now much more carefully elucidated exceptions). That said at least wife and I are now tied for this years reading lists, even though hers was without question a significantly more erudite work. That said she'll probably pad her stats with a few Nancy Drews before the year is out so all's fair.

Oh and no offense meant to the French by the way. I still love you.

Because it's colder than the scary ice lady's castle in Narnia here's a happy warm video that makes me want to move to Hawaii.

If you're reading this on Facebook....well you spend too much time on FB. Get a life and start reading blogs instead...or you could go for a bike ride, whatever.

Friday, January 08, 2010

This is a call to our....fellow crusaders

I love music. I love to sing along with music. I love the fact that 9 times out of 10 I have no idea what the real words to the song I'm singing actually are. This is especially embarrassing at concerts. Despite the presence of the band and a host of fan boys who fervently believe in the sanctity of lyrical correctness, I belt out my made up lyrics. I find this especially funny when I sing swear words into songs that aren't there. For example please listen to the song below.

This was the Foos first big single. I loved it when it came out back in 1995 and have been singing along to this song ever since. Sadly I only recently learned that the chorus actually runs:
This is a call to all my
Past resignations
It's been too long

And to think of all the years that I spent singing it thusly:

This is a call to my all my,
ass loving nation.
This is a call.

And here I thought Dave Grohl just had a very high opinion of his posterior. No wonder the song didn't make much sense.

I might be forgiven if this was a problem only when I didn't have the words in front of me. Sadly I could have the lyrics right in front of me and I'd still end up making up my own lyrics. This seems to happen all the time at Church, When wife and I will be singing a hymn and I'll look over to see her with a smug look on her face and I'll realize, "Oh I should be on verse 1 not verse 3, and I don't think 'How Great Thou Art' has a chorus 'about my ass loving nation'".

In any case, I bring this up because sometimes things aren't always what they seem. For instance the CIA might have been interested in 2002 as I sat in the Salt Lake airport when Air Force One was landing for the Olympic opening ceremonies and I was reading a book entitled "Jihad". Less likely to get me water-boarded but still interesting is the case of the three books Wife got me for Christmas. They are in order:
1. By The Hand of Mormon: The American scripture that launched a new world religion
2. Mormons & Muslims
3. Holy War: The Crusades and their impact on today's world

Taken individually I wouldn't think twice about any of these but combined I can't help but believe Wife's co-workers (she has her presents delivered to work so I won't peak, she knows me well) thought she was plotting a strange Mormon Crusade. That said, she has been buying a lot of Jell-O lately...

And for those of you reading this through a feed or facebook come to the website so that you can see our cool video and our award winning gwound effects.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

And on the Sixth Day...

As you may know, Husband & I made a joint New Year's resolution, a bet, if you will. For calendar year 2010 no soda, chips or candy. If successful Husband gets a fancy new tv (see previous post). I'm not sure about my reward, maybe a fancy new sewing machine of equal value to the tv. We have debated rules and particulars--pretzels and selzer are ok.

Six days in I get a call. Husband needs a ruling on chips & salsa at a Mexican restaurant. He's not really asking permission, though, as he's already consumed said chips and salsa. It's forgiveness he's looking for.

So this offers me a pretty incredible opportunity. I could just end it all here. No tv. Sorry. But this would not accomplish a whole lot. He'd be back to eating chips and drinking soda by morning.

I figure I have a few options, as follows:
  • Just forgive him and give him a pass, this once. A good wife would. But that would send the wrong message. Mercy cannot rob justice. Maybe if he'd called BEFORE he ate the chips.
  • Start reducing the size of the tv he can win.
  • Allow myself one pass. But I don't want to finish the year with an * with my record. And I'm not that excited about eating a bag of chips or having a soda anyway.
  • Demand a bribe, a payoff of sorts, something worth more than chips because I'm also giving him the chance to still win the tv. Some ideas are:
  1. Another cat. No, I don't really want a third cat. I would just have to clean more poo, make another annual trip to the vet, and sweep up more cat fur. And then they'd outnumber us. No.
  2. A book or cookbook that I've been coveting. But I can get those for myself anyway. And a cookbook would end up benefiting the cheater.
  3. Flowers. But they will just die or get eaten by one of the existing cats.
  4. Another night of me controlling the remote. I've won this in bets before but never cashed in. I could wait until March Madness I suppose.
  5. Be content with disgracing him on the family blog and call it good.
Any other ideas? Should I just forgive and move past this?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Democracy at work

Okay here's the problem. Wife and I have this competition going. In calender year 2009 she trounced me in the annual "I can read more books than you" competition. I have no excuses except that I really love DirecTV. This year I refuse to be beaten again so I'm setting up the blog to track the number of books I read, audio books don't count.

That said we're starting the year off with controversy. Wife in her usual efficiency finished her last book of 2009, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson, with a day to spare. Thus allowing her to start the year off with a fresh book.

I however am not as good a planner and so ended the year with about 180 pages left in the book that I'd been reading for the better part of the last six months (I'd read other books while reading this one). I finally finished it today. The book is The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. It was a fantastic book and I really enjoyed it. The debate as it currently stands is whether or not this book should count toward my 2010 book list. I say because I had over 150 pages left in the book it should count. Wife disagrees. I thus put it to a vote, if you think it should count toward my 2010 total speak now. If you disagree, don't say anything because I don't want to lose.

For those of you reading this on Facebook or through an RSS feed go here to vote. Remember for every person who reads this but doesn't vote, a Unicorn gores a fairy like Tinkerbell and then tramples its broken body singing "Who's your daddy now", while all the barbies with limbs/heads broken off them come back to life to reek vengeance on those who wronged them. So for goodness sakes VOTE! lest the barbie apocalypse destroy us all.