Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm boring

Phil and I should be on our way to JMU about now, so I thought I would share a recent revelation with you:

I am kind of boring.

It used to be that I was able to be a source of entertainment when in a group of people.  And I would consider the internet to be a large group of people.  During grad school, my friends used to joke at get togethers that they would bring the food/booze and I would bring the entertainment (me).

And that comment was made with a very non-stripper context.

Personally, I think I am still QUITE interesting and entertaining.  But the types of stories/life experiences I have to pull from have changed dramatically.

See... I had a very interesting dating life in my single days.  I don't even think I dated that many people, it is just that so many strange/weird/interesting things happened on those dates. 
Once Phil and I started dating, the interesting/weird dating stories pretty much came to a halt.  Nobody wanted to hear about the super mushy, lovey-dovey type stuff.  Plus I am Norwegian.  My people don't do public displays of affection.

I have thought about sharing some of my interesting dating stories on this blog...

Like the time a guy called me a "naughty girl" before our first (and basically last) kiss.

Or the time a guy snapped his fingers at me and told me to "COME HERE!" like you would a dog.

But I don't think I will.

Afterall, my Mother-in-Law reads this.  Not my actual mother.  She has told me blogs are stupid.

(Hi Faith)

Now back to my kind of boring life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Engineering and TV

I think engineering gets a bad wrap.  Part of it is because most people don't really understand what civil engineers do.  Almost everytime I tell someone I am a civil engineer, they immediately ask what exactly civil engineers do.

"What is an easy way to fix this problem?" you ask.  Easy...


Clearly the problem comes because there is no television show (reality or fictional) for engineering.  There's no Desperate Engineers, The Real Engineers of Portland, Grey's Engineering.  Such a television show, sadly, does not exist.  (yet)

If there were, the world would see just how exciting and sexy the world of engineering can truly be.  That's right... I said sexy.  Not for me though because I work with my family.  But I am sure for some people, office romance ensues.  (Side Note: We had a couple of employees that dated.  They tried to "hide" it for the longest time.  It was pretty obvious though.)

As an example of the exciting nature of engineering, if my week were being broadcast to the world, everyone would get to watch as I madly write, calculate, and erase to determine the appropriate retaining wall geometry that fits the design parameters while minimizing the amount of excavation and concrete required. 

You're intrigued already. 

The world would also see how when I finised said calculations I stood up, threw down my pencil and yelled, "NAILED IT! WOO!" while doing some fist-pump hand gestures and then a little dance.

But sadly the world did not get to see that.

And no... you can't find it on YouTube.

Maybe someday.  In the meantime, go ahead and watch one of the 17 shows about rich housewives, the Kardashians, or New Jersey.  Ridiculous.

(Give me a call Bravo)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Much Needed Vacation

A couple of people have mentioned that based on some of my recent blog posts, I seem a little sad. Honestly... I have been more than a little sad. I am glad my writing "voice" has been coming through. My 6th grade English teacher would be proud.

Life is full of ups and downs. Currently, I am in one of the downs. (No worries people... It is nothing with our marriage.) Things have been a little more than challenging lately. In have thought about sharing the specifics online with you fine people but I am just not ready to do that yet.

I have found that I really have needed to just feel whatever emotions comes at the time whether it is sadness or jealousy or whatever. Lately that has been sadness.

Currently, Phil and I are in Virginia for a shirt trip here:

We went to the JMU Homecoming to spend some time with Phil's college roommates. It has been such a fun trip and a nice way to distract ourselves from some of the crazy things going on right now. I almost don't want to go home yet. Except I miss our dog.

This trip was very needed. I am so glad we got to go on this trip and spend time with friends. I will post pictures when I get back.

Thanks for continuing to read, even when I sound sad. :)

Pancake Fractions

Since Phil has been practically living in the lab, I went to breakfast with my parents and Jeffrey Sunday morning.  I decided it was a good time to try and teach Jeffrey fractions using my pancakes.  Afterall, who better to teach him that his engineer aunt/sister.

We started with halves, then moved to quarters and then eighths.  We identified the numerator and the denominator.  Then we worked on adding fractions.  He totally nailed it.

Then we worked on subtracting them while I ate pancake pieces.  He nailed subtraction too.

Way to go, Jeffrey!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Random Rants

This is complete random, but I have noticed some weird thing around town so I want to get them off my chest.

1)  Here is a great place to get your car worked on:

Why is it so great?  Because you can get your windshield fixed, car detailed, and photos developed all at the same strip mall.  But what will you do while you wait, you ask?  Why not stop in at the strip club also located in the strip mall? 

Nestled in between the glass place and the auto care place is "Pussycats."  Genius placement.

2)  What is it with stores not selling primarily what they say they will sell?  The new Jo-Ann's store combined the other 2 store in Salem for one super store.  And know they hardly sell any fabric.  They are a FABRIC store and their selection sucks.

Now Batteries Plus sells light bulbs.

And there is a trophy and emblem shop in town that also sells Koi Fish food.

It is weird.

3)  To the waiter at Wild Pear that first asked me if I really wanted a Diet Coke when I ordered a Coke and then proceeded to REFILL my COKE with a Diet Coke...  NOT COOL!  Hence why your tip wasn't higher.

Do I look like I need to drink Diet?

(Don't answer that.)

Ok... random rant over.

For now.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I am SO GLAD it is Friday.  Not that is has been a particularly bad week or anything, but Friday nights are my favorite time of the week.  I think it stems from when I was a little girl. 

Every other week, my siblings would all be with their other parents, leaving me alone with both of mine.  Because some of my siblings were quite the handful, this usually meant Friday nights were a time to unwind a bit.  My parents would take me out to dinner, maybe a movie, and then I could come home and watch TGIF ALL BY MYSELF!! 

Remember TGIF?  Full House, Boy Meets World, Step by Step.  That was the shiz.

Phil is knee deep in lab work right now, leaving me to my own devices (which is very sad).  But I am trying to fill my time productively, doing things that would never include Phil (such as sewing).  So tonight, thanks partly to Pinterest, I am embarking on a few projects I have had my eye on for a while.

Hopefully they will all turn out and I will be able to share them with you very soon (like this weekend or Monday).

AND today is the first day of Fall... only the best season of them all.  (A little Dr. Suess-like rhyming action for you.)  I fully intend on celebrating this by heading to EZ Orchards tomorrow for some apples the size of my head, squash, and apple cider.

{I am fairly positive this image is courtesy of Ryan Weinhart via his facebook page.  I like it so I STOLE it.}

I am pretty sure I have already devoted an entire post to my love for Fridays in the past...  Oh well.  Fridays deserve another tribute.  Sometime I will have to share my distain for the Tuesdays.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

You might be married to an engineer if...

You might be married to an engineer if...

1) Your birthday gifts are wrapped as follows:


Used old plans for wrapping paper and the packaging from a package of paper to make the bow. All from the recycling bin. This may be how I wrap all of our Christmas presents.

Eat THAT carbon footprint!!

And then I drove to Corvallis to have dinner with Phil...

I guess we will call it a draw, Earth.

Shoe Box Parenting Advice

In preparation for Phil's birthday, I needed to wrap his present.  So I grabbed an old shoe box and put everything in it.  That's right... I got him MULTIPLE gifts.  Making up for being a sucky wife.

Later at the office, I noticed something weird on the box.

The little sticker on the box which suggests I do not do one of 2 things:

1)  Don't let me 0-3 month old play with the shoe box.
2)  Don't store my 0-3 month old IN the shoe box.

In the case of number (1), I am pretty sure 0-3 months old don't play with much of anything.

In the case of number (2), thanks for stating the obvious.

The scary thing is that they put the warning on there probably because someone has already done it.  Goes to prove you don't have to be a genius to have a baby.

Thanks for the parenting advice, Nike.  It would mean a little more if Nike didn't use small children to make their shoes (I can't judge because obviously I bought a pair).

So let me make sure everything is perfectly clear:

Don't store your baby in a Nike shoe box.

Not sure about other boxes.  We will have to see if they also have warnings on them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

State Fair

On Labor Day weekend, our family made our annual trip to the state fair.  This year did NOT disappoint.  Here are some highlights:

The view isn't always nice.  Gotta love the state fair around sunset, when the lights come on.


How cute is THIS?!?  He walked right up to the face painter and said he wanted the Green Lantern mask.  When the face painter said she didn't know what that was, he simply pointed to his shirt.  Stephanie said David picked out that shirt specifically for the face painter.  So he is a little Green Lantern.

This might have been one of the best parts.  We went to look at the newest piglets.  There was a crowd around the pig pen and a bunch of the piglets were eating (obviously).  In front of the large crowd, David says, "The piggies are on her boobies."  To which Jeffrey replies, "They must have gotten their suckling reflex early."  It was funny.
Can't wait to see what next year brings.

PS - A couple of years ago, Foster Farms gave out "No Plumping" T-shirts for free.  We grabbed a couple.  Towards the end of the night, I decided to put mine on David (who was 1 and a half at the time).  The shirt was like a dress on him.  We then let him walk around for a little bit until he was tripping on  the shirt.  It was pretty stinkin' cute watching a baby walk around in a huge shirt that said "No Plumping."  I wished I had a picture.  It was the best Foster Farms ad I had ever seen.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bad Wife

Lately I have felt like a bad wife.  Like a really bad wife.  I haven't really cooked much.  I haven't really cleaned much.  Usually this wouldn't be that big of a deal, because Phil is excellent at picking up the slack.  But right now, he is knee-deep in lab work.  So hopefully this week I can muster up the energy/motivation and fix my sucky-ness.

According to 1955 standards, I am absoultely horrible.  I think I fail on every single item listed except for "Be happy to see him."  I am always happy to see him.  Or at least most of the time.  :)  Like at least 99.2% of the time.  ALL of the time when he brings me a Pumpkin Spice Latte, like he did on Saturday. (Good move, baby)

Thank goodness I live in the 21st century.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Believe me, I have them.  Lots of them.  So many that I actually think Phil is a saint for putting up with me most of the time.  But lately, I have noticed a few flaws that are GLARING back at me.  Here are a few.

1)  I completely suck at replying to correspondance
I have known this for some time.  In June I sent an email to the Young Professional group in my area, asking for more information about the group.  I was promptly replied to asking if I wanted to be added to the mailing list.  Of course I did.  I just needed to reply and let them know.  YESTERDAY I finally replied.  Yesterday people.  It took less than a minute to reply and it took me 3 months to do it.  Ridiculous.

I have been meaning to e-mail Karla back for about 3 weeks.  Actually, I have wanted to write her a novel of an e-mail for a while.  That girl and I have some catching up to do.  It sucks when one of your best friends lives on the other side of the country.  Karla, if you are reading this... expect a long one.

2)  I am horrible with downloading pictures.
I admire those people that take pictures and then IMMEDIATELY go home and download them to their computers.  I still have pictures from our honeymoon I haven't downloaded.  That is pretty pathetic folks.  I have pictures of the projects I have worked on, trips, recipes, photography... all things I have wanted to share that are just sitting on my cameras.  I like to wait until I have like 900 pictures to sort through before I get to it.

3)  When I get bummed out about something, I get totally lazy.
You can tell pretty quickly when I am feeling blue.  Here are the order in which things get dropped:
1.  Working Out
2.  Folding Laundry/Laundry in general
3.  Cleaning
4.  Cooking
5.  Showering
I'm not going to sugar-coat it people, I am getting pretty far down on that list.  It has been suggested to me that I MAKE myself do these activites in an effort cheer myself up.  Hopefully this weekend I can get back up to where making JUST working out isn't happening.  I did go to the grocery store last night, so I think that is a good sign.

4)  I LOVE The Konditerai.
It is a cake shop in Salem and it is amazing.  I mean seriously... look at that cake.  No worries, I shared this piece with Phil.

Ok I kind of think 4 flaws is enough to point out for now.  Now back to my second Pumpking Spice Latte this week.  I needed it people.  Afterall, I am Vitamin D deficient.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BORDER-line boring

This last Friday night, Phil and I decided to head to BORDERS to see if we could find any good books for a discounted price.  We both have Kindles, but if you can get a book for 70-80% off, it is hard to say no.  We knew the selection would be slim, but it can't hurt to look.  So with very few expectations, here is what we came away with:

6 books for Phil
6 books for me
1 CD (that I was totally going to buy anyway)

The best part:

It is kind of hard to see, but that says the TOTAL is $59, and we SAVED $198.

It was a successful outing.

Then we went to a movie.  My kind of date night.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

PROOF I am not totally crazy (at least not about this)

I read a lot of blogs.  The other day, I read THIS POST on Lauren's blog called Aspiring Kennedy.  She talked about an article a friend of her's posted regarding being annoyed by the sound of other people eating.

I read the article and feel a little vindicated.  I'M NOT ALONE!

For YEARS, I have been really bothered by the sounds of people eating.  I dated a guy for a month or so and the relationship may or not have ended after I had dinner with his family and told him they eat like cattle.  Seriously they did though.  The whole meal, the entire family talked with their mouths totally open and chewed like cows chewing their chum.  It was disgusting. (SIDE NOTE: that same guy later snapped his fingers and me and told me "COME HERE!" like I was his dog.  That went over real well.)

I HAVE to eat with noise in the background.  It helps drown out the sound of people chewing.

It is better for me if I am eating at the same time.  But if I am not eating and I can hear you eating, it drives me nuts.  Phil is starting to learn that he needs to be as far away from me as possible while eating.  I try to give him a break by telling myself that Phil deserves to eat and drink but it doesn't work very well.

Ice chewing is not allowed.  Ever.

It also extends to people clearing their throats.  My office mate does this ALL THE TIME!!!  Some days I have to leave the office because he does it so much.  The rest of the office thinks it is pretty funny.  It won't be funny when I start yelling at him one day.  That day is coming.  Between every other word in the morning, he clears his throat.  And not a soft throat clearing.  We are talking SUPER LOUD.  He also does it when he answers/uses the phone.  Imagine picking up the phone and having someone hack into your ear.

I am aware that this post is extremely random.  But I thought I would share my pain with everyone.  And let you all know that I am not making it up.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Red Cross Match Making

I have multiple cousins in college right now and all of them are at Oregon State (GO BEAVERS!). Two of them are about to graduate and another is in a serious relationship but the youngest one, Lindsay, is about to start her sophomore year of college. Being her older cousin and having made (several) bad judgement calls during my undergraduate days, I decided to bestow upon her a little dating advice. And believe me... I learned the HARD way.

I have a theory about a really good place to pick up a date.


Think about it for a second... If you pick up someone after they have donated blood, you are almost certainly guaranteed a few things:

1) The person hasn't had sex for money/drugs.

2) They don't share needles or have sex with someone who shares needles.

3) They haven't violated any monkeys.

4) They haven't been exposed to malaria.

5) They are relatively healthy.

6) They do not currently have a temperature.

7) They can handle a little pain and aren't all that squeamish around needles and/or blood.

These may not seem like very important things, but can serve as a decent screening tool for potential dates. Let me make something clear here, I am not passing judgement. (Ok honestly for some of the items I have mentioned, I am definitely passing judgement. Can't help it). And when it comes to my cousins, I want nothing but the best. :)

Now... you need to make sure they aren't just giving blood and then calling that number on the back of the sheet telling them to not use their blood. So look for someone who has donated before. Perhaps they have earned their gallon pin. Of course if they are WEARING their gallon pin, that is kind of weird.

So cousins of mine... it might be a good idea to at least volunteer in the snack section for the upcoming Civil War Blood Drive.

You can totally use the following pick-up line (not you, Lindsay, because you shouldn't be paying for a first date):

"You look like you could use some more food. Let's go to dinner."


"Today you saved 3 lives. The least I can do is take you to a movie."

I totally had a first date at the blood drive once (sophomore year).

I did not meet Phil at a blood drive. But I am pretty sure, "Have you donated blood?" was definitely a question I asked on one of our first dates.

I think I am onto something here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wish List (Currently)

Here is a compilation of my current wishes.  Prepare yourself... they are deep.

In no particular order...

I wish that:

- Pumpkin Spice Lattes were 0 calories.  And that they cost $1.

- It was socially acceptable to wear sweatpants to work.  Apparently that makes me "unprofessional."

- There were more paid holidays.

- That I had a British accent.  I started to get one when I first lived in England.  By the time I went home for Christmas, I had picked up the inflections (the way Brits ask questions sounds different than us Yanks) but now it is all gone.  Sad.

- That there was another writer's strike on TV so I wouldn't have to wait until next July for the next season of Big Brother (guilty pleasure).

-  That the women of The Real Housewives of (Insert City name here) would get a taste of reality.  Seriously... have you seen these women?

So far I think that is it.  And I didn't wish for world peace because that is implied.  Obviously.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Welcome to Denver

So get this...

Phil left after Tegan's wedding to attend a conference in Denver.  After I pick him up from the airport last night (minus any squirrel deaths), he tells me this story:

Phil decided to take the bus from the airport to a stop near his hotel.  He gets off and crosses the pedestrian bridge that leads to his hotel and another hotel next to his, The Knights Hotel.  As Phil is walking towards the lobby entrance to his hotel, he notices a cop car in front of the Knights Hotel.  The cop is out of the car and there is a lump of something on the ground in front of him.

"Interesting," Phil thinks to himself.

Then Phil takes a closer look... The lump on the ground is a person.  And the cop has his gun drawn... pointing at the person on the ground.

"That's unusual," is Phil's next thought.

Then, two police cars, sirens blaring speed to the Knights Hotel, coming to a screeching stop.  The officer from the first car jumps out of his car, gun drawn running to the other officer yelling things.  The second officer runs around to the back of his car and opens his trunk.

The second officer turns to Phil, "What are you doing?  Get the hell out of here!" as he pulls a semi-automatic assault weapon out of the trunk of his car.

Phil, who is trying to just walk into the lobby of his hotel, decides to book it around the back side of the hotel to find the back entrance.  Obviously, something pretty serious is going on at the Knights Hotel.

As Phil walks around his hotel, he sees that the Knights Hotel is completely surrounding by Police and Police vehicles.

Phil gets inside.  Goes to his room (which was a whole saga in and of itself.  Let's just say, Phil thoroughly checked the bed for bed bugs and stains if you catch my drift), and locks every dead bolt available.  At this point, Phil decided he was going to limit his time at the hotel.

The next day, Phil learns that there had been a domestic assault at the Knights Hotel.  A passerby (I think) saw this assault taking place and tried to stop it.  The person doing the assaulting had a gun, turned to the person trying to stop it and shot him.  Also, the murderer fled the scene in a white suburban (OJ Style as I like to call it).  Phil isn't sure they have caught him yet.

That is what Phil walked upon when he got to his hotel.  The Police were responding to a murder.

My husbands hotel was next to a murder scene.

He decided to not tell me this until after he got home.  Probably a good choice.

I have decided he is NEVER leaving me again.

P.S - Today at least 2 of my facebook friends mentioned they are going to Denver.  Weird.  Be careful!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Braxton!

Wednesday was THIS GUY'S 1st birthday!!

This is a couple of months old.  Phil and I baby-sat for the afternoon.  He LOVED Phil.

I can't believe he is a year old already.  Josh and Joanna let me come over on his birthday to see him and have dinner with them.  At first Joanna thought I was kind of a weird-o for wanting to come to their house in the middle of the week, but then she realized that I was there for his actual day of birth so of course I wanted to be there for his birthday.

Josh made some amazing fajitas.  They were so yummy.  While he was making dinner, Joanna and I tried to get Braxton walking.  What better day to hit another milestone than your birthday, right?

He had been taking a couple of steps on his own already.  Since he got a HUGE round of applause for even attempting to walk, he got pretty into trying to do it.  As he was walking to his "Aunt Natalie," he took 4 COMPLETELY UNASSISTED PERFECT STEPS right into my arms!!!

We cheered.  Joanna almost cried.  It was awesome. 

Happy Birthday Braxton!!  You keep getting cuter every single day.

This picture is a couple of months old.  He won't be needing the walker much longer!

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