Friday, February 22, 2008

24 Things (Vol. 4)

13. When I worked at Country Insurance in high school, I learned about the full-moon phenomenon. When there was a full moon, we would get the craziest claims reported. Claims like one hay bale sliding out from the middle of the stack and landing on a car, or multiple rats getting pulled up inside a swather and resulting in motor damage. This last year I learned the full-moon phenomenon is magnified in the hospital. Suddenly I feel like I’m working in a psych ward rather than a cardiac unit. However, the most notable full-moon phenomenon I’ve ever encountered happened last August when I drove down to Tri Cities the morning after a full moon. I counted 32 roadkills. Now a few of those roadkills were just sparrows, but the highlight of the show was a cow. I can only imagine what it was like driving on the road that night. I’m imagining mass hysteria on the animals' part, and mass horror as drivers thudded over each bulls-eye. Thing learned, on Highway 17 full moon equals mass slaughter.

14. Sometimes when you delay gratification too long, it only results in disappointment. The summer after 8th grade I made a time capsule at girls' camp. The time capsule was a one gallon tin can used for dry-pack canning. In my capsule, I carefully selected the items I wanted to rediscover in 10 years. After I sealed it up, I quickly forgot what I’d put in it. My only clues were my best friend's and my crush’s name written on the outside lid and that when I shook the can… it rattled. 2007 seamed like such a long ways away. I almost opened it in 2001 and again in 2005. The only restraint that kept me from taking the can opener to it was the HOPE that whatever I’d put in there would be good enough to make the wait worth while. D-I-S-A-P-P-O-I-N-T-M-E-N-T! As these pictures show, there was nothing but CRAP in that can. Of all the lame things I stuffed into that can, here are the top four:
  • A Lego Man: He had only one hand and his head was blue without a face on it. Why did Lego even make blue heads without faces?
  • A Pass the Pigs Pig: That explains why I haven’t played Pass the Pigs for the past 10 years… no pig.
  • A 101 Dalmatian Valentine: It was a Valentine from 4th grade and all it said was “To: Cali” and “From: Stephanie.” At this point I started wondering if I accidentally mixed up my time capsule and trash piles.
  • A Domino: I’m blank on this one. I have NO idea why I put a single domino in my time capsule. It doesn’t even have my lucky numbers on it.
Thing learned, time capsules are never a good idea unless you’re putting money and photographs in them.

15. I can only go so far in conquering a fear. I may be holding him, but take note, my hand is over my heart and if it wasn’t… my heart would have already busted free. Also, that snake doesn’t know it yet, but there is NO WAY I’m going to quit pinching his head. He is coiling his body around my arm making that long straight part of his body as tight as a guitar string. I’m assuming he thinks this will make me release his head. Uhhhh, NO! It won’t. I don’t care if he pulls his body so tight he pops his own head off. I AM NOT LETTING GO! Thing learned, fear only makes me pinch harder.

16. Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, the freediving world champion, can freedive (no oxygen tank or weights) 289 feet and hold her breath 6 minutes and 25 seconds. She states that she only has to kick to 132 feet, where a person becomes negatively buoyant, and she just falls the rest of the way. She also states that she has learned to do exercises that help her combat the impulse to breath. Thing learned, suddenly I’m not so proud of my 100 meter swim (with no breaths) during swim team practice.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

24 Things (Vol. 3)

Ande & Abe & Ty,

Sorry for the long break. I just got so overwhelmed with all the things I’ve learned… but couldn’t remember. Don’t worry, I remember them again. These four things are things I saw this year and will probably never see again.

(here he is in his more dignified state)

9. Remember how on Planet Earth they caught on tape the snow leopard chasing down that goat or where they recorded the HUGE great white shark jumping out of the water. Remember how those shots were firsts, never captured before? Well, I like to think that if I could find that picture I took of our owl taking a shower, it would have been rated up there with the before mentioned epic shots. Just picture our great horned owl trying to run in a circle so he can stay under the spray of the sprinkler. I say trying to run, because turns out owls don’t have much leg to speak of. They basically have talons sprouting out of body. So, he’s running around like a sumo wrestler in a giant circle, trying to stay caught up with his rotating shower head. Thing learned, apparently owl’s DO take showers.

10. This year I peeled an orange and as I busted it open, I found a surprise. There was orange peel growing in the very core of the orange. It was all by itself. Just a little piece of peel in the middle of a seemingly normal orange. When I told mom about it, she said, “Uhhh, it probably ate its twin.” After she said that all I could think of was Big Fat Greek Wedding and now I’m blaming it on the hormonies (hôr'mōnēs). The best part about finding it was that it was in the perfect shape of a heart. Thing learned, I guess the orange just wanted a heart too.

11. This one didn’t happen this year, but I forgot about it until this year. So here’s to remembering a forgotten memory. My first semester in Hawaii, our backyard was Hukilau beach. I was sitting in the backyard on our bench watching the waves crash one night. There wasn’t a moon that night and it was pitch black. My roommate Michelle came out to sit with me and right after she sat down, there was a huge falling star. It kept falling and falling and falling until splash. It landed in the water right in front of us. Thing learned, sometimes a falling star actually lands.

12. As I was driving to work, I saw a soaking-wet dog running like crazy back and forth across the street. I thought he had hydrophobia (just like Old Yeller), but then I looked up and saw what he was running from. There was a dog parlor and running out the door was a dog groomer wearing a rubber apron and gloves. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. The dog escaped from the dog parlor and although he was scared, he was FREEEEEEE! I laughed the rest of the way to work. Ha ha ha ha ha. That is still pretty funny. Nope, probably never going to see that one again. Thing learned, when you drop your dog off for a hair cut, he may or may not be there when you get back.

Maybe as repentance for the long pause, you'll get Vol. 4 later tonight. Maybe.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

24 Things (Vol. 2)

5. I’m handy, and both of our new bathrooms prove it. As Red/Green reminds, “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.” When we started the project, I feared I would only be the gofer/side kick/moral support. Turns out I have mentionable hardware skills; specifically, I have a second intuition when it comes to cutting tiles to the perfect size WITHOUT measuring. Despite my extraordinary talent, most of my jobs were dirty work.
Example 1: “Cali, while I’m at work today, you can rip out the linoleum and carpet. Make sure it is all clean when I get home and remove every staple and nail. I mean EVERY staple and nail.”
Example 2: “Cali, you see that ring of wax our toilet was sitting on? Well, while I’m at work today, you can get that all cleaned up. Hopefully we have some rubber gloves somewhere. If not, then just don’t make a mess.”
Example 3: “Cali, I thought you were going to clean up the wax ring. I don’t care if you couldn’t find any gloves. Use bags or something. I’ll see you tonight and remember that cleaning up that ring of wax is all that is holding us back now.”
The dirty work wasn’t too bad. But while pulling 4 inch nails out of the floor, I kept chanting, “Next time (grunt) will be (grunt) foreman.”
Side note… mom was supposed to be helping too. However, after she put the doors and hinges on the cupboards backwards (not sure how that’s possible), she was labeled Amelia Bedelia and reassigned as the cook. Thing learned, I don’t need a measuring tape.

6. According to the Smithsonian Natural Science Museum, a diamond isn’t forever. Every diamond is slowly arranging itself back to its more stable form… graphite. Three fourths of the pictures I took at all the Smithsonian’s were pictures like this, of the display fact plate. Thing learned, a diamond may be strong enough to be a drill bit, but someday it will only be a pencil.

7. The town of Sleepy Hollow lives up to its legend. We only drove through it, but remember how its cemetery was a couple of miles long? I think the town’s population was only 2,000 living, but at least 200x that in buried bodies and roaming spirits. Maybe the spookiness can be attributed to our visit being at the beginning of November and the headless horseman’s head was on everyone’s doorstep. Thing learned, as scary as the story is, the town is scarier.

8. Hockey games provide more entertainment than just goals and fights. You know the techno Cotton Eyed Joe song? At the Tri-City American’s hockey games, it makes little boys between the ages of 3 and 13 go crazy. The minute that song comes on (while the Zambonies are circling) every little boy IMMEDIATELY rips his shirt off, swings it around his head, and begins dancing a crazy, techno hoedown. The first time I experienced this phenomenon, I just stared with wide-open eyes and mouth. Now, it may or may not be the real reason I go to hockey games. Thing learned, there’s a reason hockey teams don’t have cheerleaders or dance squads… it’s already covered.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

24 Things (Vol. 1)

Dear Ty & Ande & Abe

Continuing tradition… here are 24 (because I’m 24 years old) things I’ve learned this year:

1. Harry Potter destroyed Voldemort. After 10 years of reading them, I think the biggest thing learned this year is that I have amazing resolve when it comes to delaying gratification. As you know, I’m the slow reader of the family. Soooo, I ALWAYS get the book last. It’s hard to argue when the logic is, “You can read it after me, because it will only take me a day and it will take you a week… or two.” So, once again I got the Harry Potter book last. However, I not only STARTED reading it a month after it came out, but I FINISHED reading it TWO months after it came out.* I delayed my gratification by only reading a chapter a night. Each day was amazing because all day long I would scheme about what would happen. By the end of the day, when I was ready to read my next chapter, my imagination had usually killed Harry Potter at least 4 times, revived him 3, and Voldemort conquered 50% of the time. After chapter 13 I was POSITIVE for a day that Ron (not Harry) would end up saving the world. Thing learned, I have mastered self gratification.

2. I really want to visit Taiwan’s Taroko Gorge. According to National Geographic Travel, the gorge was formed when tectonic plates ground against each other and the resulting ruble surfaced to form Taiwan’s Central Mountains. The Liwu River has cut out the Taroko Gorge. The gorge has a road that goes through it. This road has 38 tunnels and a bunch of bridges. It was too hard to bring machinery into this gorge, so a lot of the road was hand-built. Supposedly the river is a deep aquamarine color, a mixture of mountain water and the minerals. If you get the opportunity to hike through there while you live there, please don’t get your fill. Because, I really want to go there with you. Thing learned, we have another To Do on our list.

3. Pike Place Market has a gum wall. It is just a wall that is covered with everyone’s gum. I think the wall started because it was outside a theater and people standing in line for tickets would just put their gum on it. I'm not sure though, maybe I just made that up. Now, it is an actual destination and even in guide books. For all the times I’ve been to Pike’s Place Market (3), I’ve never seen it. However, I remember the unofficial gum wall at Lagoon. It was on the lava rock wall of the Haunted House. I didn’t ever put my gum on it, but I did lean on it once and my B.U.M. equipment shirt got pink gum on the… wait for it… bum. Thing learned, Lagoon and Pike’s Market have some freakish similarities.

4. They still give out J-walking tickets in Seattle. The tickets aren’t just slaps on the hand either. I like the cops in Washington DC better. I don’t think they even know they can punish you for traffic violations. I’m pretty sure they only stop you if you’re waving a gun. I say this because when I was there in November, Golden cut one of those DC cops off and another time he ran a yellow/red light right in front of one. Were there repercussions? Nope! Thing learned, the police no longer slap you on the wrist.

This concludes Volume 1. You can anxiously await volumes 2-6.

Love, Cali

Monday, February 4, 2008

You Finally Came

When we moved to Moses Lake 9.5 years ago, I was sure ALL my snow fantasies were finally going to be fulfilled. We would have four feet of snow from November to March and school would be closed from Christmas to Martin Luther King Jr Day for "blizzards, bad weather and avalanches."

I just assumed that because we were near Alaska and practically part of Canada, we would finally start having REAL winters. The first winter we lived here, 1/8 of an inch of snow, which melted the same day it fell. I kept optimistic for a few more years, convincing myself it was probably El Nino (put a squigly above that n), or a draught, or plain old rotten luck. Finally I just resorted to the fact that Moses Lake may be at 47° latitude, but it wasn't going to get any snow for it. Then Winter 2007-2008 came, and here is the picture that shows her in all her snow glory... all 4 inches (which translates to 57 feet in normal snow measuring standards).

Moses Lake, I forgive you for letting me down the other nine years. I forgive you for giving me FREEZING northern winds (straight from the Arctic) without even a skiff of snow. I forgive you for only ONE snow day during my whole high school career (in which there wasn't even snow... just too much black ice). HOWEVER, now that I have seen your potential, you are being held to a higher standard. Do Not Disappoint!