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Showing posts from 2016

I Hope I Didn't Brain My Damage

I installed the Lumosity brain training app weeks ago, then completely forgot about it until last night. That should have been my first clue. To get started with the app, I played three games which tested my "Memory Matrix", "Speed Match", and "Train of Thought" and received a Fit Test score.


 Yes! I am a genius. Take that, inferior drolls of society, and bow before my greatness.
Surely even Stephen Hawking gets distracted from time to time. Even so, this score was a disappointment after my victorious Speed Match test and seemed not-at-all geniusy. Further salting the wound, 76 is my most hated number.
Come to think of it, 76 is my only hated number. (It's a long, dragon-related story.)
The Train of Thought test had to be defective. My remaining score would concrete my value to society and elevate me to godlike status. Even better, Sexy Nerd would be super impressed.
I am an idiot.

Overpriced Wedding Flowers

Our 9 year wedding anniversary is almost here already! These photos were taken on January 10th, 2008 on our way from the wedding at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu (without permission to actually use the site for our wedding, I'm fairly certain...) to the reception at Lei Lei's Turtle Bay. It was the 4 year anniversary of our first date.

So young. So dorky.

Click here for another digital scrapbook page from our wedding album.

Dental Reception: Sometimes It's Like Pulling Teeth

January 2017 will mark twelve years at my job at a children's dental office, which is 99% of the reason Sexy Nerd and I don't have any kids. It's a job I mostly love, unexpected as it started as just an internship-like side gig between college classes and my "real" job. Here's a little taste of what I've been putting up with during that time, with the name of my boss changed for privacy...though any computer-savvy person will be able to figure out the real name without much sleuthing:

Me: Thank you for calling Dr. Simon’s office. This is Kitty. How may I help you?

*Beep*
Me: Hello?

*Boop*
Me: This is Dr. Simon’s office. Can you hear me?

Angry Caller: I WANT TO TALK TO A REAL PERSON (followed by a surprisingly long list of profanities)

Awkward silence
Me:This is Kitty with Dr. Simon’s office…I’m a real person.

Angry Caller: YOU’RE A REAL PERSON?

Me: Yes. Are you trying to reach Dr. Simon’s office?

Angry Caller: WELL IT’S ABOUT TIME! I CAN NEVER GET A REAL PERSON A…

Sexy Nerd Quote of the Day: Feel the Burn

My brother and his wife are moving to Australia, where she will attend medical school and he will mooch off our relatives get a job. Everything must go! We just returned from their house $200 poorer, but rich in junk. A backup bread machine? Ours squeals like a pig whenever it's in the mixing cycle, so sure. Speakers for the garage? We're building our house around the garage; of course it's going to need surround sound. My sister-in-law was happy to let me have her old purse for free, pointing out that she'd received it for free as a gift from my mom, but my brother jumped in and charged me $20 for it. When I'd wanted it a few years ago, his price was $50. We aren't close.

A surprising thing about my brother and his wife is that they are bodybuilders. I know, you re-read that last sentence, thinking you'd surely misunderstood. Take a look:

A video posted by Joanna Neal (@joanna.n88) on Oct 19, 2016 at 7:14pm PDT
A video posted by Joanna Neal (@joanna.n88) on …

Roar! The Weird Sleep Trick That Actually Works

As a lifelong insomniac, I'm always open to trying new sleep tricks. Some things improve my sleep, such as my Amerisleep memory foam mattress, keeping the temperature in our bedroom at a chilly 67 degrees, and a pre-bed cocktail of half a Unisom, half a multivitamin, and a fish oil pill. Yum, yum, right? Other tried-and-true sleep tips don't seem to have any effect, including Dr. Weil's relaxation breathing technique, which other bloggers swear by as a cure for insomnia. Sadly, it just doesn't do anything for me. I do have a sleep cure (well, improvement, at least) of my own though and I encourage you to give it a try during your next restless night.

It's a bit unusual though. Keep an open mind.

Imagine yourself as a mountain lion.

Weird, right? Weird, but this visualization actually helps. You're an immense, powerful mountain lion. You have no responsibilities. No worries. No cares. All day long, you have been roaming beneath the sweltering sun, climbing steep …

Stinky Nerd Quote of the Day

Remember that greenhouse Sexy Nerd and I built together? Yeah, I'm taking credit for it. Supervising is hard work! I also provided snacks, Subway sandwiches, and icy sodas, which anyone doing hard manual labor will tell you is a much-appreciated job. I tried to provide icy beer too, but Sexy Nerd said drinking and heavy lifting never go together. He's so moral, that crazy guy of mine.

Luckily for the icy beer, I was not doing any heavy lifting.

Sexy Nerd worked all day long, tirelessly moving each 80 pound bag of concrete from the bottom of our lot up the steep, uneven ground until all 6,800 pounds were accounted for. When the 85th bag finally reached the top, I ran up to him in celebration. He was sunburned and sweaty; his hair ashen with cement dust. He'd done it! I threw my arms around him.

Phew!

Sexy Nerd reeked. I knew he'd worked hard, but this was too much. Recoiling, I vowed we would not ride home in the same car.

Which leads me to the Sexy Stinky Nerd Quote of…

How (Not) to Build a Greenhouse

Building a house is tough work, especially when you're too cheap frugally minded, like us. Sure, we could pay the construction crew a little extra to build a greenhouse. Sexy Nerd, however, insisted there's nothing to it. A few windows and some wood and we'd be set.

It was never disclosed that building a greenhouse would require my help. My devious husband never mentioned the 84 bags of concrete (80 pounds per bag!) we would need to drag steeply uphill along the unpaved, cactus-covered, scortchingly hot, snake-infested ground. A semi truck pulled up to our empty lot with a forklift and more than two pallets of concrete. Whose idea was it anyway to build the greenhouse so far back?

(Mine? Bah!)

Oh, and lucky, lucky us. Lowes mistakenly delivered an extra 80 pound bag of concrete and said we could keep it for free. Even the bargain hunter in me (which is like 97% of who I am) wanted to cry.

So mighty? Don't be fooled.
Grumbling aside, I tried to be as helpful as possible…

The Award for Slowest Foundation Ever Goes To...

We broke ground on 6/13/16, more than four months ago, and I greatly underestimated the patience required to build a house. Remember the post I shared waaay back on September 6th? The one where the concrete had finally been poured for our footings? The construction crew had smoothed and leveled the dirt and everything looked so pretty.

Well, they dug it all up again.


I do not understand construction.

This pit is much deeper than it looks here. I thought it would be fun to have my photo taken at the bottom, but Sexy Nerd refused, pointing out how impossible it would be for me to get back out.
Later, we had a little argument (when building a house, there are lots of little arguments) and he decided he'd like to take my photo at the bottom of the pit after all.
We settled for this instead:
It's really not the same, is it? 
With the concrete footings completed, it was only a few more days until the foundation was poured.
(Ha!)
It did not happen in a week. It did not even happen in…

A Weak Cup of Coffee

My day isn't off to a great start. I got about ZERO hours of sleep last night. It was one of those situations where you can't sleep because you have so many other things to do, but then you end up not sleeping anyway, so you may as well have just stayed up after all.

Sexy Nerd is away on a business trip, which means making the morning coffee fell to me. He'll be home today and not a moment too soon. Grinding the beans, measuring the water, changing the filter, all before I've had any caffeine...that's what I have a husband for! I poured a packet of liquid creamer and some Torani Salted Caramel syrup into a mug, added my finally-brewed coffee, and sat down for a speedy breakfast before running off to work. I mentally checked off the things I need to take care of before Sexy Nerd gets home.

The house is still a mess, the dogs need to be fed, the tortoises need their humidifier water replaced, (oh, by the way, Sexy Nerd has an aquarium of tortoises now) today is my las…

How Did My Sleep Study Go?

Let's begin this post with an image. Hmmm, which one should I use? Which one, which one? Ah, this sums things up nicely. It's perfect:


I've been on a cancellation list with a local sleep study specialist to finally, finally get to the bottom of my lifelong insomnia for several months. They never had any openings, so I was forced to be patient and wait for my scheduled appointment like some sort of...patient person. I haven't gotten enough sleep this weekmonthyear lifetime - that's the best I can come up with.

Last night was my appointment. The sleep study was held at the Drury hotel in a comfy room and included a top-notch breakfast as a reward after a night hooked up to dozens of wires and electrodes. Not that insomniacs need extra incentive to do the study, of course. The reward we hope for is better sleep! So, how was the sleep study I've waited all these months for?

I didn't go.

*Sob*

My job for the last 12 years has been to assist patients with their i…

Noritake Colorwave Floral Accent Plate Collection

Dinnerware, my one splurge. Well, that and traveling. And chocolate. And clothes. And, the moment we move into our new house on 13.1 acres, shelter dogs that look like Biscuit. That last one is still unbeknownst to Sexy Nerd, who thankfully does not read my blog.

But back to my main point. I love my Noritake Colorwave Floral Accent Plates! We registered for one of each design for our wedding, but received only 4. My mom thought we'd registered for stupid things and refused to tell anyone where to find our registry. My grandma didn't care though. Thank you for the 4 plates, Grandma.

 Isn't she just the cutest grandma ever? She's teenier every time I see her. At Christmas this year, I expect her to be about a foot tall, maybe a foot and a half.
Accent plate, smaccent plate, Mom. Get enough of them and you have a respectable dinnerware set!


My collection is perfect for everyday dining as well as more formal occasions.


You know, the kind of everyday dining where you'r…

Construction Update. Week...Who Knows?

A million weeks in and all we have to show for it is a pile of dirt. Shouldn't we be living in the house by now? Things were progressing nicely and the crew dug the trenches to pour our concrete footings.

Note how clean and dry they are. This is exactly what you want to see.
Imagining how awesome life will be in front of the future fireplace.
Then, this happened:


(Of course, you would already know this if you followed me on Facebook and Twitter. Hint, hint.)
My mom was one of the first to reply, reassuring as always...


Here's what we saw the next day:

The footings are full of mud and water and hopes and dreams.
We also saw this, which didn't exactly give us confidence in our construction crew:
We've chosen a good builder...right? Also, what the hell?
Our construction site is at the bottom of the hill, so over the course of our annual monsoon season, all the rain and mud pretty much washed any progress away. Each time there were a few dry days in a row, the crew blasted th…