Thursday, June 30

Oh, just daydreaming about lighting things on fire

Sometimes (all the time) I daydream about designing houses. And I think,


And then I revise that thought:

Mmmm. Fire. Makes me daydream in caps lock.

It started in middle school, when both my unsuspecting parents had to work in the evenings. I'd grab my hidden stash of matches, make a beeline for the bathroom, and select the products with the most dire-sounding warning labels.

Then I'd spray/pour them onto the concrete patio outside and let them duke it out for the Most Impressibly Flammable Award.*

My college roomates didn't know this when they invited me to live with them sophomore year... in a house heated by nothing other than a wood stove.

One freezing, dark winter night in my beloved college home, I took it upon myself to heat the house very thoroughly before my roommates & I went to bed. I built a fire that would put a pyromaniac Boy Scout counselor to shame-- the black metal chimney above the fire took on a faint orange glow.
YAY for college students and their impulse to photographically document every moment of life (...says a blogger)

Soon everyone had changed into boxers and tank tops, and we'd plastered ourselves against the wall furthest from the blaze.

I checked the thermometer in the next room over. IT READ 98°F. IN THE NEXT ROOM OVER. It was a proud, proud moment.

And then... we looked out the window. Everything was blanketed in an unexpected coating of snow. We ran outside in our sweaty pajamas, stuffed the fresh white powder into glasses, then went back inside & added juice & colorful straws. I will never eat a better snow cone in my life.

Sometimes it pays to be a pyro.
(Sorry about the burn marks on the patio, Mama & Papa Bear.)

*(Aerosol foam shoe cleaner won, hands down. The coolest part is that it floats on water, so you can spray it into a water fountain, light it, and watch the floating flames go down the little waterfalls. Highlight of my 13-year old life.)

Tuesday, June 28

Dairy Wars

This post begins with a word of caution: do NOT ever eat anything off my plate.

I actually have several stories which might persuade you to follow this advice, but for the sake of a concise plot and meaningful theme, here is the latest anecdote:

I'm lactose intolerant. Very. The fact that I, TMI-extraordinaire, won't tell you what "'very' lactose-intolerant" entails should be enough.

Okay, fine, since you INSIST-- this Pepto ad is a pretty adequate description:

So, lactose intolerance, folks. 'Moooooving' on. (HA) (Sometimes I take these puns udderly too far.)

So the really tough part about being lactose intolerant is that PIZZA IS DELICIOUS. Right?
However, if you have absolutely no dignity like moi, there are ways to get around this:
  1. Pick yummy stuff off of cheese and eat it.
  2. Pull cheese off pizza, and place in mouth. Suck all the sauce off.
  3. Put cheese back on plate. If you want extra Klassy points, take the cheese out of your mouth piece-by-piece as you sucker-fish all the sauce off different sections.
  4. Keep an eye on your plate.

And that's where I screwed up. I heard Jason say, "CHEEEESE," looked over, and saw him chewing. I looked down, and the de-sauced cheese had disappeared from my plate.

Ohhhh, dear. I know we make out & all that, but there are just some ways you shouldn't ever swap spit. He hasn't taken anything off my plate since.

He has since gotten his revenge, though.

I got out of the shower, like any other day (okay, more like "any other once-a-week"). I grabbed the dark red washcloth to dry my face off first, and Jason walked in.

"April... where did you get that washcloth?"

"The towel hamper. Do I... do I even want to know why you have that look on your face?"

"That's the towel I used to clean up all that chocolate milk I spilled."




"You mean the chocolate milk that you spilled two weeks ago?!! I've just been re-hydrating old milk and rubbing it all over my face for the past 20 days?! HOW DID THIS END UP IN THE BATHROOM??!"

"I guess we're even for the sucked-cheese incident...?"

I suppose that makes us even, but I'd prefer to phrase it another way: it's my turn, buddy.

Friday, June 24

Our Story, Part II: The Part Before Part One

[Want to read Part I first?]

Like most, our story hasn't been a flawless fairy tale (I guess even fairy tales aren't flawless-- because how boring would that be?!).

The honest, slightly scandalous truth? I was trying to figure out how to break up with an on-again, off-again boyfriend when Jason started putting the moves on me... and I didn't exactly discourage him.

Sure, I'd been admiring this curly-haired athlete (two grades above me) from afar since I'd started high school. But I'd had NO idea that all along, I was-- in his words-- his "dream girl." So since I was in the dark for most of this period, the Hubster gets to tell this part of the story (photos & captions added by me):

Your new narrator for the day-- Jason, circa 2003!
Once upon a time in high school, there was a hurdler (the so-called "hubster" to you all). During track practice his junior year, this hurdler noticed a freshman distance runner (April) that looked awfully cute. For the next two years I gazed in her direction during every practice. I didn't tell anyone for a long while, though, because I was afraid she'd find out-- she was my dream girl, and I was afraid to fail. Eventually I got brave enough to confess all of this to my best friend, and I decided I had to make a move before I graduated.

A few months before my senior prom, she broke up with her boyfriend and I started building up the courage to ask her to the dance... but before I could, someone else started dating her. Time was running out before graduation, and when I heard rumors that she and boyfriend #2 were breaking up, I started trying to catch her attention.

During our "team stretch" at the beginning of practice, I would look in her direction and if she happened to look back at me, I would keep eye contact for a few seconds and smile. Those times elicited some stomach tingles of excitement.

At the end of the track season, both April & I qualified to compete in the state track meet. The coaches drove us out of town to the big meet, along the other teammates who had made it. During this trip, everyone on the team (including the coaches!) knew that I was trying to get April's attention.... except April, apparently.

At the hotel the team played keep-away in the pool, boys VS girls. Of course, I guarded April the whole time; I'm not sure if she was guarding me back. Those stomach tingles came back anytime I jumped to block a pass to or from her and just happened to 'bump' into her. Both my competitive and lovey side were getting attention. Eventually, my 'competitive side' was replaced entirely by 'how can I block the ball in order to bump into her?'

Like a typical high-schooler, up until this point I had mainly been attracted to her because she was really hot, pretty, & won almost every race she ran. Now that I was finally getting to know her, I was excited to find that my dream girl was also smart, goofy, and the kindest person I'd ever met (she still is to this day). During that weekend at the state meet, April and I were almost inseparable. This was aided by the fact that everyone on the team knew I was trying to win her over, and were all working undercover to make sure we "ended up" sitting next to each other everywhere we went. The stomach tingles continued.

On the way back home, the team split into two vans and again, miraculously, April & I were in the same van. And so the "Matthews-ing" began-- I helped April with her math homework, "casually" putting my arm on the seat behind her, but not quite brave enough to touch her. I also knew that she was still technically dating that other guy (although others on her team asked her about it, and she said she was breaking up with him once she got back.) At some point on the way home, the other van passed us, saw my arm around her seat, and had a small riot over it.

Once we pulled into the school parking lot in our home town, April looked at me, said "goodbye" with a cute smile, and started to get out of the van. At the last minute I reached out, gently grabbed April's arm, and blurted out, "Wait."

I asked if I could give her my phone number. I shakily wrote my number on her hand, and I think some of those stomach tingles reached my throat at that moment.

Although I didn't see her at school that next week, one of her friends reported to me that she'd finally broken up with the boyfriend #2. I jumped three feet into the air in celebrate (her friend reported my reaction back to her). (Ah, high school.)

I saw her the following week in the library, and she apologized for not having called me yet. I told her it was okay. She pretended to look sad, and asked, "It's okay?"

Her sudden directness caught me off guard, and I laughed. I got her phone number, and called her the next week to go read in the park. Which went pretty damn well.
Spoiler alert-- he got the girl! (Us at MY senior prom).
P.S. Can you see the blue mechanical pencil behind his ear?!! Who shows up to pick up his prom date IN A TUX WITH A PENCIL BEHIND HIS EAR??!!! Classic Mr. Matthews-er.

Wednesday, June 22

Couldn't resist posting some vacation photos

Alternately titled "Two Matthews-ers, Swimsuit edition."

My sister & I just got back from a week in the Southern California sunshine! (So sorry ladies, no Handsome Hubster in this one). 

Our sweet grandma bought us some tickets to come visit her & the rest of our family near LA (yes, I'm yet another California-Oregon transplant kid).

We drove to the airport in true Pacific Northwest fashion-- windshield wipers battling the rain at top speed, bags packed optimistically with shorts & sandals, and pale legs coated in blotchy self-tanner.

Then we enjoyed six long, sunny days of:

-- boogey-boarding for hours (and the resulting traumatic sunburns),
(look! apparently I run like a raptor too) & (I hope Kelsey's okay with her butt on my blog) ('cause I know YOU guys are) (wink wink)

-- visiting with our uncle's family and soaking up all the cousin love we possibly could absorb,
got to see our awesome grandad on Father's day! Schweet. (In other news, B.F. meter has bumped up to a 6.25)

-- doing rascally things like taking a tour of all the nearby In-n-Outs at 1AM, and inventing a suuuuper mature "game" with my grandma's bathroom scale: how much weight can you lose by going to the bathroom? Kelsey won, with 4 POUNDS LOST in one... "sitting" (her strategy involved lots of water, then lots of coffee).
(Sorry. There's another "TMI" tag & "things that happen in the bathroom" tag for the tally.)
(My grandma didn't know we were playing this game. Now she does... Hi, Grandmom.)

-- and last but not least, somehow convincing our 70-year-old grandma to try boogey boarding.

Have I mentioned that summer is my favorite thing in the universe? Just the smell of sunscreen makes me giddy.

(Next up: part two of The Story of Hubster & Me, as told by Mr. Matthews-er himself!)

Friday, June 17

I promise this isn't as bad as it sounds.

We broke our bed.

(I kind of wish it were as bad as it sounds, because that would be super impressive.)

My giant flirt of a husband picked up all of my 140+ lbs, flipped me in the air, and chucked me onto the bed. There was a deafening crack, a moment of wide-eyed silence, and then... nervous laughter. We took off the top mattress, and flipped the bed frame up onto its side:

Within an hour after moving the mattress to the living room, the naked bed frame was covered in Stuff.
Of course, this is to be expected according the The Law of Horizontal Surfaces, which states that "any horizontal surface in a 700-square-feet-or-less apartment must be covered in Stuff."

But moving our mattress to the living room has been the best part of this whole ordeal. Welcome to the Matthews-ers' (Monogamous) Harem -Style Bouncy Fun House! Who needs carpet when you can have foam-covered springs?!

Open the doors and windows, and curl up with a book. Come in through the door and bounce your way across the room. Giggle in the dark for an hour after you turn the lights off because it feels like a fifth-grade sleepover without parental supervision (I guess that's the kind of mentality that got us here in the first place).

Five Otter Pops says it'll stay there until August.

Wednesday, June 15

Field Trip!

Feeling adventurous today? Eeeeexcellent.
Head over to She Got Married where my first-ever "guest post" is hangin' out! My girl Emma, one of my favorite blargy amigas, sent me a (self-proclaimed) "nosy" interview-- so you can read about all kinds of snoopy things like:

What do you argue about the most?
What is the one thing about married life that took some adjusting or getting used to?
Where is your favorite date to go on together?

It was SO fun, because you guys know I love spewing dishing out the TMI.
(& if you're interested in some fun vegetarian recipes & grocery budgeting tips, have a look around her blog! Since following her, she's inspired me cut my grocery costs by almost 40%! Shweet.)

Friday, June 10

Our Story, Part I: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Public Spit-Swapping

[I promise we're not naked...?]
Eight years ago exactly, a 17-year old, curly-haired boy called a lanky, 16-year old girl, and asked if she wanted to go read in the park.

"That's ALL I want to do. The fifth Harry Potter is coming out in two weeks and I'm re-reading the series to prep for it... I forgot how amazing the Goblet of Fire is."

"Good idea! I'll bring my copy, too. "

Putting her hair in a ponytail in front of the bathroom mirror, she glared at her reflection and thought, "No boyfriends this summer. No boyfriends this summer. But he's really, really nice. No boyfriends this summer. But he has curly hair. No boyfriends this summer. But it felt so good to hug him the other day..."

She smiled. She caught herself smiling and punched the countertop. "NO BOYFRIENDS THIS SUMMER."

He'd brought a blanket, and they laid it out on a grassy hill at the park. They started reading their matching green books. Then, against the girl's claims that she couldn't stop reading it-- they started talking. Their faces got closer. No boyfriends this su.... dude's got some crazy-long eyelashes oh my gawsh he's gonna kiss me he's gonna kissmerightnow
He kissed her. It felt perfect. She kissed him back. A lot.

They were that sleazy couple making out in the park. She didn't care.
She'd never kissed anybody before officially "going out with them" before. That was okay too. In fact, it was pretty darn thrilling.
She was not a very good kisser. He didn't care. (Well, he thought it was pretty funny, but he didn't say anything.)

"So are we... 'together' now?" he asked, forehead against hers.
"I'd say so," she grinned.

Two years later, Jason admitted that I was a dorky kisser on that first "date." Eight years later, he's still a better kisser than I am. But I'd like to say that I've come a long way. (Considering that I'm 24, I've been practicing on him for a third of my life. How's THAT for some matth-ews-ing, eh?)

So that's Part 1 of our little "Love Story," amigos, and now I'm off to a romantical dinner to celebrate our eighth date-a-versary. I PROMISE that this will be the only one written in cheesarific third-person.

(Happy June 10th, Handsome Hubster. You make me excited to wake up every day.)

Wednesday, June 8

I should abandon my blog more often

I was such a grown-up this week! I ingested craploads of caffeine, averaged 5 hours of sleep a night, and MADE $#!& HAPPEN.

Exhibit A:                                                                                                                                                  

I revamped my professional portfolio! Want to see what Mrs. Matthews-er does for a living?*
*(by "for a living," I mean "is desperately seeking employment.")
I managed to reel in my squirrel-with-ADHD personality for the most part, but by the time I made the "Get in Touch" page, my squirrely side had started to leak out. Oh, well.

Exhibit B:                                                                                                                                                  

To hold me over in the meantime, I got a job as a lifeguard/swim instructor, and signed up to volunteer at an animal shelter! I am SO on my way to becoming a functioning member of society.

Fun fact: Apparently lifeguards get fired if we wear our uniform off-duty, in public. But the internet doesn't count as public... right?

On another note: I saw one of my old Architecture School professors the other day, and confessed that I didn't have a job yet, but couldn't search outside of town because the Hubster is still in school here. Her advice?  Move out of town and leave him here if I was serious about a career in architecture.

Sorry, Prof, I'm way too whipped for that. I guess I'll just continue to harrass the small handful of firms here in town.

And as for all of YOU, amigos, please instruct all your rich relatives to commission lots of new construction projects here in Eugene, Oregon. Much appreciated.

Wednesday, June 1

This is what happens to your face when you try to race the Hubster

One of those little things I somehow forgot to blog about:

Jason ran a half marathon last month (13.1 miles).  The dude hardly trained for it, and still managed to crank it out in just over 7 minutes per mile.


But the best part? These photos of him & another guy duking it out on the home stretch:

Jason got passed! *cue look of intense determination

Jason passed him back! *cue victorious grin & stride like a RAPTOR GOING IN FOR THE KILL

Am I mean for laughing really, really hard at both of them?
...especially considering I haven't run more than a mile in about a month...?