Saturday, December 20, 2008

"I am," Michael said as he watched me take a big old drink straight from the bottle, "an epic failure as a husband."

Undoubtedly that statement was influenced by my beverage of choice: hydrogen peroxide.

Because my dentist refused to remove my wisdom teeth ("You've got years before they'll grow in! No need to worry about them at 20!"), I got my first tooth infection two days before our 2007 wedding. A bout of antibiotics took care of the infection, and I didn't get another one for almost seven months. After the second infection, rather than treat with antibiotics and risk another infection, Michael and I found a sympathetic discount who would give us a poor student discount, and had the tooth yanked. I'm really funny, I've been told, on nitrous oxide.

The two top teeth grew in completely and without incident, but the remaining bottom tooth still gave me problems. The third infection happened less than a month into my new job in Ohio, when I was still in the "trial" period and had no idea whether I would have a job when that period ended. A kind dentist treated the infection for the cost of the antibiotics. And to keep the infections down, I was told to swish my mouth with hydrogen peroxide daily.

Which leads us to my poor sweet husband's pronouncement. To remedy his feelings (and to calm my fears of another infection), we finally decided to have the last troublesome tooth pulled. Because dentists in Ohio are much more expensive than in the dentist-saturated Utah, I forwent the the nitrous, and braved the drill and knife fully conscious, which was scarier than I thought it would be.

But now I am fifty percent less wise, and one-hundred percent happier with my mouth. And, of course, Michael feels much less like he is failing as a husband.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

An Apology for Apathy

Dear blog,

I'm sorry I've been neglecting you. I've just been terribly busy, what with running away to Portland for a weekend, deep-cleaning the apartment, working, helping Michael study for his tests, and renewing my love for crime novels. And I'm even sorrier that this isn't going to be a terribly original post, since I am in a Christmasy mood and will just post an essay I wrote last Christmas season, as both a celebration of the coming season and as a place I can consistently locate it, so I don't have to search through hundreds of emails to find the latest copy.

I'll be better, really.

Love, Tasha

p.s. Does anyone know how to center the picture at the top of this blog? It's been driving me crazy!

House Lo-Mein

Hey love, will you be home for Christmas?” Joel asked the other day. The kid forgets that I live in Utah and he lives part-time in Washington and part-time in Arizona and Josh lives in Thailand and none of us live in Oregon anymore. But yeah, I’ll be home for Christmas.

Joel’s as good as a little brother, being best friends with my brother-by-blood Josh for seventeen years, and he’s spent most of those years at my house in Oregon building blanket forts and chess sets out of Legos and whining “Tasha, cook me something!”

Usually it was ramen. He and Josh picked my house because my parents never fought and weren’t even home most afternoons because Dad worked and Mom went to school. I was okay to be home because even though I was a girl, and a big sister at that, I made the best ramen. Oriental flavor. I cooked it three packets at once, until the noodles were thick as string and they slimed around in the pot looking for more water. I’d open the tinfoil seasoning packets—which was a trick because if they got too close to the steam then all the flavor would get wet and sticky and not blend in—and then I’d dump them in, all three at once. The real secret, and this I never let anyone watch, was adding a teaspoon or two of sesame oil and a few shakes of Dad’s hottest hot sauce over the top.

Sometimes we’d crack an egg on the mix for protein and because we liked to watch it get scrambled up to pieces with the noodles, and it seemed more like we were eating lo mein from a fancy Chinese restaurant instead of a thirty-cent snack cooked by a thirteen-year-old big sister.

We all three ate with chopsticks until we got too hungry to eat one noodle at a time and started to cheat by using forks. Sometimes we’d slurp too fast and noisy and the ends of the noodles would flip on and smack our noses, and the spice in the sauce would burn and squeeze tears from our eyes, and then melt down our throats and into our stomachs. And Josh and Joel would whine, “Tasha, cook me something.” So I would pour them little shot glasses of milk—normal milk, not chocolate or strawberry, because Mom banned colorful liquids (and Josh and Joel’s friend Evan) from the kitchen after the boys had chocolate milk laugh out of their noses and all over the floor.

Joel liked Rasmussen-house food so much that sometimes he’d even stay on for dinner. And when he did that we could pretty much count on him staying for all night. One time he and Josh wanted to build a fort out of blankets in our living room for them to sleep in, and asked Dad if Joel could stay for a fort night. “I’m not letting Joel stay for a fortnight!” Dad said, and I laughed and laughed because by then I was sixteen and I knew that a fortnight meant two weeks to Shakespeare. But I bet that Dad would have let him stay for a fortnight if he asked. Joel was just family like that.

I left first, off to Utah. Then Joel moved to Arizona with his dad, who only eats apples and whole wheat and counts every calorie going in or out of his body. After that he flew to Seattle for school, where he doesn’t have any family, not even someone to pour him milk or feed him pretend lo mein. Josh stayed in Portland and then moved on to Utah and then all the way to Thailand, where he eats real noodles that he gets from vendors and not sisters, and the noodles slime around in his bowl all the way across the world from me and Joel.

So this year’s the first one without Josh at home, and even though Joel doesn’t live in Portland he’ll come out for Christmas before he goes to Arizona, and I’ll cook him ramen noodles for a snack and maybe cinnamon roll sandwiches, which we made once and never again. And Josh will slurp his Thai noodles, maybe the ones with mixed up with pig brains or tentacles, and they will burn his nose and then his throat and make his eyes water, and we will eat our ramen with sesame oil and eggs and with hot sauce tears in our eyes and pretend we are all together in the kitchen using chop sticks really badly. We will be thirteen and eleven, waiting for Mom and Dad to come home, and I will be in charge, because I’m the big sister, and I make the best ramen.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Corn Hole

toothpaste for dinner

Corn hole! In my preOhio days, I had never heard of such a phenomenon. However, since our arrival to Columbus, we've seen not just a few examples of its prevalence. Mostly at tailgating parties (which, by the way, eclipse any tailgating party anywhere else in the nation, I'm pretty sure). I look forward to the doping scandals.

Monday, September 8, 2008

And speaking of funny subject lines . . .

Our illustrious CNN posted an article with the following headline:

"Obama to address change during speech!"

Wow. Really?

(note: I don't mind Obama. Really. It just struck me as funny.)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Victoria's Latest Secret

As I mentioned in my last post, I have grown to love--dearly--Victoria Secret normal clothing. Since they're only sold online (why don't they sell their pants, shoes, and sweaters in their regular stores? Might have something to do with the nine dollars that I'm still willing to pay to have their wares shipped to me . . .), I receive special email announcements a few times each week that alert me to sales, styles, and trends that they assure me only their paying customers are privy to. Typically, I ignore them. However, sometimes they have some pretty good advice. Take their latest subject line, for instance:

Fall trend alert: Pants.

Thank you, Victoria. Who knows, without your sage wisdom I may have traipsed about the falling leaves in . . . well, what are my other options? Wouldn't it have been more revolutionary for Vicky Dearest to suggest, say, a pants alternative? The anti-pant?

On second thought, I hope they don't. Their jeans just fit too nice.

And on third thought: if only their paying customers got the memo on pants, what are all those misguided trendsters who think pants are out of vogue going to be wearing?

I may not leave my apartment until winter.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Here are some things I have learned lately:

*Real frogs stink at Frogger.
*Bunnies chew a single blade of grass twenty-seven times.
*Despite quitting math, scholastically speaking, nearly six years ago, I'm not that bad at it.
*Victoria Secret makes fantastic jeans.
*Michael and I are officially addicted to crime TV . . .
* . . . and Saturday-morning cartoons.
*PT Cruisers are kind of awesome.
*I still want a tree house.
*Humidity is, if anything, underestimated.
*Painting is really fun.
*Craig's List is golden.
*This week it's been hotter in Columbus than in Bangkok, Thailand (take that, Josher!)
*Orange floors don't look that bad after you've stared at them for four months.
*I'm not starting school right now for the first time since I was five, and I'm really missing it.
*My husband makes an adorable medical student.
*I'm really excited at the prospect of having a woman vice president!
*I'm even more in love with Michael than I was when we got married.
*Or when we got engaged.
*Or even than that time he sent me Godiva chocolates for being a grump.
*(He's just that wonderful.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

To Lurk

Merriam-Webster's definition:
Lurk (v): a:to lie in wait in a place of concealment especially for an evil purpose b: to move furtively or inconspicuously c: to persist in staying.

Coworker's Definition:
Lurk (v): to sit around in a useless and creepy manner.

I hear this verb in use (you lurk, he/she/it lurks, they lurk) several times a day. I'm not sure that I've ever used it before, but it makes me smile a LOT.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In Memorium

Dear Groundhogs,

It's been almost a week since we have seen you, and we are having trouble accepting that you're gone. Our observations indicate that like Grimm's innocent Snow White, you were tricked by a deceitful apple. You must have thought it a such delicacy, appearing out of season and so conveniently near to your hole. In cruel mockery, the have-a-heart traps are still sitting outside your now-empty burrow, fresh-laced with apples in case you try to return. But where is the prince that will bring you home?

Oh, how your gamboling antics made us laugh. Dudders, remember how you would flee at the slightest provocation, leaving your wife and children to fend for themselves? Mr. Pinkerton, could it have only been last week that Francine refused to let you enter your own home? What caused your spat, and has it since been mended?

We hope you are all together, and have found some sort of groundhog Utopia, where apples are safe and abundant and the fields are full of clover.

Tasha and Michael.

Dear OSU,

How could you steal our groundhogs? They cause no damage, kept your grass short, and provided hours of delightful fun and whimsy. You've removed more than just the groundhogs from Buckeye Village--you've removed our JOY.

Crying in Columbus.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tasha's first business trip

Early this Friday morn, I returned from my first business trip alive and well, which is a surprise, as I hadn't slept more than nine hours over the past three days. This was due to the unkind hours that we kept: 6:00 pm to 6:00 am.

Boss had assigned us (Meagan, Jeff, and me) to spend three days (and nights) in Pittsburgh applying RFID stickers to medical records. The late hours were meant to ensure that we didn't interrupt, and weren't interrupted by, the clinic workers. (In fact, we were only interrupted by one worker--a woman in billing who began her workday at 2:30 in the morning to avoid phone calls from those she billed.)

The late hours also allowed for some interesting conversations.

Mormons aren't common in Ohio: it took my coworkers two months to figure out that I'm LDS despite knowing that I graduated from BYU and spent four years in Utah. They figured it out on this trip, though, and once they did they spent hours questioning me about our beliefs and practices. As nice as it was to finally stop the questions about my favorite alcoholic beverage, it was even nicer to do a bit of what Josh is doing every day, and what I (in my preMichael days) thought I would be doing at this point in my life.

(Aside from these delightful discourses, the majority of our conversations revolved around food, high school memories, and what we would rather be doing right then [sleeping].)

We finished on Friday morning and, thanks to Meagan's (leather-seated!) Jaguar, made the four-hour drive in right around three-point-five. Boss gave us Friday off to rest and regain our senses.

He will never find out that, while I did sleep when I returned, I spent most of my Friday visiting Gotham City with Michael, followed by a delicious dinner at the Cheesecake factory.

Monday, July 7, 2008

All Growing Up

You'd think that getting married would make me feel like an adult. If that didn't do it, what about packing my life in boxes, hiring a moving company, and moving across the country? Starting a full-time job? Finally getting my wisdom teeth pulled? No, no, and no. It happened yesterday when I ordered a subscription to Good Housekeeping. And while I'll admit that Michael and I maintain a rather loose definition of "house," and that these days he does more "keeping" thereof than I, I feel rather grown up

Thursday, March 6, 2008

the studio

Our apartment has a lot of things wrong with it; most significantly, that I am currently locked out of it.

I was on my way to basket weaving (yes, basket weaving), and had one of those inconvenient door-slams-behind-me-just-as-I-remember-I've-forgotten-my-keys moments, which fortunately, are rare. However, since the person who is supposed to be around to unlock it isn't, and Michael doesn't get off work for another hour, I'm here, at the Provo library.

I waited outside for a while, kind of hoping that one of my neighbors would find me and give me a ride. Sans keys, all I had on my person was my phone, an awl, a pocket knife, and, inexplicably, my library card. The stupid thing destroyed any hope of looking tough with my rather menacing basket weaving tools when Provo's unsavories saw my bright yellow library card, which features a frog reading a book. So I left, making use of my card by walking the block and a half to the library. Plus, my toes were turning purple.

And another thing! Here I am, skipping possibly the fifth class I've skipped in my college career (yes, I'm that lame), and it's not even on purpose. My phobia of missing the one day of class that tells the secret of getting an A is very much kicking in, and I have to keep saying to myself "basket weaving. It's only basket weaving."

I mentioned that there's a lot wrong with our apartment. I loved it when we first moved in--it's remote, yet close to campus, it's lofty and adorable, and it is small, which by definition makes it cute. And I still love it.

But I'd love it a whole lot more if the sink(s) didn't leak. And if the toilet worked consistently. And if the living room fan would turn on without triggering the living room light.

And if I weren't locked out of it.