26 June 2012


I hate packing. It lacks the excitement it once had when I was 6 years old and would lay out my overalls, bandannas, hiking boots, flashlight, bug spray, etc. at least 10 days before I left for summer camp.

All I do is pack and unpack. It's gotten a little monotonous.

Between moving out of Provo,
a road trip to Northern Idaho,
a jaunt to Washington, D.C.,
2 weeks in Chile,
a weekend in Zion,
all interspersed with week-long periods in California,

Now I'm packing for Romania.  I leave in 7 hours. BLEEEEEHHHH.

Life would be so much easier and packing so much more enjoyable if I was Huck Finn.

It's like one of those unimaginative dating game questions: "If you were banned to a desert island and could take 3 possessions with you, what would they be???"

I wish I only had 3 possessions.  And that I was a nudist. Packing would be bliss if I was a nudist. [No cartoon for that, you sickos]

23 June 2012

How to Maintain Femininity While Camping With a Bunch of Dudes

1. Don't try to be polite and ignore the guys' bodily functions.

Call them out. Say "ew" and "gross" and you disgust me" to remind them that you are there and that you are a girl. It doesn't mean they stop farting and burping in your presence, but at least you can maintain your dignity by establishing the fact that you aren't "one of the guys."

2. Wear a girly bandanna.

Let's face it, a surefire way to look like a lesbian trucker is to wear a bandanna.  But they're comfy and effective (and make excellent wraps for sprained ankles--you're welcome, Kyrie).  So the least you can do is make sure that your bandanna sports a dainty design of edelweiss.  And then sing about that edelweiss all day long. You may include any other songs about an Austrian family who wears curtains.  Just sing. All the time.

Here you see the difference between a standard bandanna and one with edelweiss on it.
 Ok, so there's not much of a difference at all.  It's all mental, people.

3. Bring a sun shower!

You will be ruthlessly mocked for it, but the last laugh will be yours when you smell like roses and rainbows and the guys emit the stench of a meat freezer at room temperature. It's worth being called "princess" for two days.  And extra worth it when one of the guys gives in and uses the shower.

Princess Brett showering in the morning.

Cheers to another excellent adventure in Zion!

17 June 2012

Happy Sunday: Let Us Be Men

What's this? A Happy Sunday post?  It's been a while, I know I know.  But it's summertime and the livin' is easy, folks.  Whatever that lyric means can be applied to my blog, because my posts since I've graduated are few and far between.

As one might figure on this day devoted to the honoring and celebration of fathers, husbands, and all the stalwart men who make our lives wonderful, this is a tribute to my dad.


Dad is a regular Renaissance Man.  He can fix anything, create anything, do anything.  He can race a dirt bike over 1000 miles through Mexico (and win!), design and build beautiful homes, run up Mount Whitney in  mere hours, paint masterpieces (and nails...seriously, he gives great manicures), and whip up gourmet meals worthy of appearing in Bon Appetit Magazine (which he subscribes to, as well as Outdoor Magazine and Sunset...eclectic collection).  He travels the world, runs a business, works harder than the average dad to give our family the life that we have, and volunteers for medical research (only because they make him run up and down mountains til he basically dies, and he's into stuff like that).  He kills the bugs that I run away from, gives me a run for my money during Jeopardy, and makes everyone around him laugh.  He is a walking music encyclopedia, an adrenaline junkie, and a philanthropist in his community.

In Austria, on the site where he proposed to my mom

He took the brakes off my first pair of roller blades.  I don't really know why, but I assume it was to teach me how to survive without them.  So I grew up tough (not as tough as he was hoping, probably) and mean and comfortable with crashing into things.  That's just the kind of dad he is.

He used to let me sip his beer when I was a curious toddler, enabling me to learn early on that beer tastes worse than some of the things I would find and consume in our garage.  So that worked out.

He once sewed up my shirt using grass when I ripped it wide open after jumping from a swing set at the park.  So I guess he's a seamstress, as well.  And cares about his daughter's decency in public.

I'm lucky to call such a man Dad and I admire him a million times more than I let him know.  He truly is a real man.  Happy Father's Day to my dad and yours.


06 June 2012

Under the Knife

I have been back in So Cal for about 3 weeks now.  High time for some plastic surgery!  I gotta do what I gotta do to fit in down here, peeps. 

Thanks to our knife-wielding doctor friend, I went from a C to a DD and the recovery has been so smooth!!!!!!


OMG you guys.  I just got a mole removed.  You crazies.    

But because he is a great family friend and a stellar plastic surgeon, I'll hook him up with a little Mad World promo.  If I ever gain 300 pounds and then lose it all on The Biggest Loser, or if I ever stand too close to one of T. Boone Pickens' windmills and get a boob chopped off, I will go to Dr. Troy Andreasen for a tummy tuck or breast implant.  And you should, too. 

Aaahaha I actually just looked at his website.  Scroll past the porn and you can read about his LDS mission.  I love a good juxtaposition when I see one.  

Lani, Natalie, Moley, and Me at Nat's bachelorette party in 2009

It was a bittersweet farewell to Moley.  We've been joined at the eyebrow since birth.  Inseparable.  We went everywhere together.  Trekking through the Alps. City-gazing atop the Eiffel Tower.  Swimming among sea urchins in the Adriatic.  She was there for my first tooth, my first time-out, my first pair of High Tops, my first kiss, my second first kiss, my first paycheck, my first ticket...everything.  She's grown up so fast.  Too fast, actually.  And too big.  Which is why we had to part ways before she tried to get crazy and one-up my face. I'll cherish every moment we've spent together.  And she'll always be there, in all 901 photos that I'm tagged in on FBoo.  Rest in peace, Moley.   

A few hours after my surgery I went to the gym.  Either because I ran a little harder today or because the turkey in my sandwich was bad or because Troy accidentally cut out part of my brain along with Moley, I nearly passed out.  I have a history of fainting (that's a lot of bad turkey sandwiches over the years), so fortunately for bystanders I know how to save them from any sort of civil duty they might otherwise be obligated to if I fell down in a heap at their feet.  I sat on a weight machine and put my head between my knees. 

After a couple minutes of utter motionlessness on my part, I heard a voice say, "You must be thinking about all of your sins."

I raised my bloodless head to see a darling old man on the machine across from me.  When he observed my stitched up eye, he said, "Did you get in a fist fight with your boyfriend?"  

"Yes. And I won."
"That's good. Do you ever read the San Bernardino crime report?"
"I try to avoid stuff like that."
"Well there were 14 murders last month.  The record is 24 in a month."
"Tell me some good news."
"When you're 80, you get a free gym membership!"
"That's something to live for."
"Yeah, or die for."

I'm not sure what he meant by that, but I appreciated our conversation in the midst of my freak dizzy spell.  I'm pretty sure I could have trusted him to take good care of me if things had gone down hill.  Unless one of those San Bernardino crime reports had his name on it.  But I doubt that.   

05 June 2012

Chile: Where mayonnaise and volcanoes abound

Hi e'rbody.  My deepest regrets for my prolonged absence.  But since I'm no big time blogger and I'm not making millions from Mad World and I still have a day job, I'm not that sorry.  Maybe one day I'll get there.  Maybe Mad World will be so popular that every time I have to miss a day of blogging I will have to warn my readers, like, weeks in advance, hire a guest-blogger to keep them satiated, and tweet every hour on the hour about how much I love them.  

I don't have Twitter. 

So until then...

Hola. Buenos dias. I'm back from Chile.  And for you pour souls who don't have FBoo, here are a few (a FEW) pictures to keep you from completely living under a rock (I'm talking to you, Traci).  

Lago Todos Los Santos
As you can see, it was freezing.  Way to throw off my summer, Southern Hemisphere.  The comment was made that Christmas here wouldn't be like Christmas at all.  No wonder "Feliz Navidad" sounds like something you'd hear at a BBQ on the beach.  Because that's exactly what they're doing on December 25th.

Elqui Valley.  In the desert of northern Chile.

Eating completos our first day in Santiago.
This picture may have you asking yourself, "Self? Is that mayo I see on that hot dog?"  I can answer that.  Yes that is a hot dog slathered in mayo.  And avocado.  And when I say slathered, I mean that there is literally more mayo and avocado than hot dog.  Macarena, the girl in the picture enjoying her completo, lived with my family as an exchange student when I was in high school.  She complained every day that America was making her fat. Au contraire, mon frere.  Chileans pile the mayo and 'cado on everything, at every meal.   If I ate more than one of those things (which I didn't, because it's like eating an entire jar of mayo through a straw, with the occasional sprinkle of meat) I would look like the Michelin Man's twin sister.  

What else does Chile have?  Volcanoes.  Like, 1000 of them.  And I'm anxious to go back and hike them all and explore the rest of Patagonia.  High adventure is a bit limited when your nearly-80-year-old grandmother is traveling with you.  So...someday.  Speaking of Patagonia, a shout-out to the makers of my Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket, who are probably in Vietnam and have never experienced any temperature below one billion in their life.  This jacket is amazing.  Super light and pack-able.  You can wear it on a rainy spring day and not get too warm (or wet. at all.) or with the penguins in Tierra del Fuego and not get cold.  It just knows.  It's magic. Patagonia should probably cut me a check for all the free product placement, since I basically wore that thing every single day and it makes an appearance in about 98% of my FBoo photos. 

Osorno Volcano. This is the view from our lodge in southern Chile. NBD.
What did I learn in Chile?  Quite a bit of Spanish (If I said a Romanian or French word and added 'o' to the end of it, I found I could make myself understood.  Or they just felt sorry for me.).  Also some gourmet cooking techniques.  As the only guests (I kid you not) at the lodge down south, we got pretty friendly with the staff and one night the head chef let me cook dinner with him.  Oh, and I learned that ABBA's "Dancing Queen" isn't as universally popular as I thought it was.  My two cousins and I sang it at a karaoke bar in La Serena (a beach city up north).  We got super into it.  Dance moves and everything.  I was certain they'd love us.  Who wouldn't love three American girls in a bar, which until then had only been frequented by local school teachers and fisherman looking for something--anything!--to do in a town where everyone knows their name.  Let's be real.  We had it in the bag. Right?  

We got nothing but a room full of blank stares.    

So next time I'm back in Chile, I will be singing "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)" by 98 Degrees.