Tuesday, September 25, 2012


When I was little, my parents discovered the most wonderful place: Tepanyaki. It was a paradise of food entertainment, intoxicating smells, and wonderful, wonderful food. My parents liked it so much that they decided to risk taking their five small children there. At the same time.

And thus began the traditional, once-a-year outing, one we took in honor of the August birthdays and then in honor of the August and September birthdays (today there are six in all).

Yesterday I prepared myself appropriately for this great event. I didn't make myself eat carrots for lunch because I knew I'd be getting a healthy helping of vegetables at dinner. I didn't eat anything after 1:00 p.m. to ensure I would be adequately starving by the time dinner was served. I blotted out my dinner plans for the next two nights because even after eating my delicious fill, I would still have leftovers to enjoy the next day.

But then, just minutes before arriving at the restaurant, I got a call from my dad: Tepanyaki was closed. Not just for dinner, but forever. No more giant waves of flame at the dinner table. No more onion-ring volcanoes. No more being served airborne shrimp.

We had a terrible crisis on our hands.

I was all for succumbing to the depression of foiled dinner plans and tarnished memories, but Tiffany and Jeremy immediately presented us with a way salvage our Autumnal birthday celebration in the future: go to Tucanos instead. With its endless array of food fit for the Carnivore Kings that we are (not to mention the mashed potatoes are to die for), we all agreed this was an acceptable alternative.

And thus a new tradition was born.

I am not one that generally welcomes change, and seeing one of my favorite, 15-year-old traditions come to an end was heartbreaking in a way. It was at Tepanyaki, not Tucanos, that we fed two-year-old Shannan the onion soup just so we could laugh at her facial expressions. It was at Tepanyaki, not Tucanos, that Dad taught us how to eat with chopsticks (of course, most of us gave up on those silly sticks when the growling of our stomachs got louder than the sizzling meat on the table). We didn't need menus because we had our meals picked out a year in advance; it was okay if we didn't understand what the chef was saying because we had his "script" memorized better than he did; we knew which tricks to watch for and they never got old. We were the most loyal once-a-year customers at the place.

I would have gladly kept that tradition going forever, but maybe it's not such a bad thing that circumstances have forced us to change. A similar thing happened when we discontinued our Rushton/Carter Christmas Eve celebration so we could celebrate that special night with our own families. It was sad at first, but it was necessary in order to create new cherishable memories.

Only time will tell what how Tucanos will contribute to our August/September birthday dinner. In the meantime, though, I'm glad there's still a Tepanyaki in Lehi.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Today, my favorite color is orange.

It's the color of the fake flowers I bought today and that serve as a subtle reminder that I have a place of my own to fill with my own homey things.

It's the color of the withering leaves underneath the trees that stand guard over the homes of my neighbors.

It's the color that streaks across the sky as the sun sets a little sooner than it did yesterday.

It's the color of the light that shines out of the lamp posts outside that look remarkably like the lamp post from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

It's the color of the warm glow emitting from window after window, where families are gathered together after a long, lazy Saturday to visit or watch football.

It's the color of my fluffy slippers that will soon replace my flip flops.

Welcome to fall.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dear blog: I still like you

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog lately. It reminds me of those times back in middle school when I was racked with guilt whenever I went more than a week without writing in my journal. I'm not sure if it's the writer in me or my marginally obsessive compulsion to document everything that causes this guilt.

Several times, I have come up with a promising title for a blog post, only to abandon it due to lack of thoughts to embellish upon or time to jot those thoughts down while they're still fresh. Even with my determination to get a blog post out today, I feel the slugishness slowly spreading across my mind, empowered by thoughts like "Why did you want to talk about this again?" and "This idea is sounding dumberer by the minute."

It used to be so easy for me to talk about nothing, but lately I've been too busy and then too tired to take the time necessary to ponder and write. But I've noticed that when I don't take time to ponder, life starts to lose some of its flavor. The leaves aren't as colorful. People aren't as amusing. My thoughts aren't worth preserving. Without all these venues for extra flavor, I've really got nothing to write about to satisfy the creative side of my brain. It's a rather disheartening process, I tell you.

So that's why I'm issuing this little reminder to a thing that doesn't have feelings or think for itself: blog, I still like you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Well it's, 3:00 . . . in the morning

About a year ago, I got a cold. And I was excited about it.

When I came to the conclusion earlier today (actually, technically that was yesterday) that I had acquired a cold once again, I was annoyed. Annoyed because this time, it's not funny that I have to blow my nose every 27 seconds. I'm growing weary of going to the bathroom every half hour because I'm drinking triple the amount of fluids I normally drink. I don't enjoy not being able to breathe, even if it means that I get to work at home on the couch in my pajamas.

Mostly, I'm annoyed because I had thought I had sunk back into invincible mode, which meant that I would only get sick every four years. Going through this cycle again wasn't part of my master plan.

It doesn't help that my "drowsy" cold medicine had the opposite of its intended effect. For three hours I laid in bed thinking about documenting my falling-asleep process in screen caps, and now I'm reading the 474-page 2014 EHR certification final rule. That's how wide awake I am right now.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday afternoons

Today as I drove home from church with my window rolled down, I saw families of a variety of different faiths and attire walking home from church. I saw teenagers and young adults talking to friends and significant others. I saw an old motorcycle gang riding leisurely through the streets of Cottonwood Heights.

When I got home, I immediately changed into my comfy clothes. I put some meat in the crock pot. I ate a chicken salad sandwich (or, as I prefer to call it, a "chicken fish" sandwich) and some grape tomatoes. Then I happily sunk into my Sunday-nap coma, the delicious smells of dinner slowly permeating my dreams. Upon waking, I saw that the sun was still shining and I had an entire glorious afternoon ahead of me, one that I could fill with whatever I wanted. To top it all off, I had a real meal (and possibly some chocolate cookies) and a perfect fall evening preparing to greet me, and thoughts of Monday morning haven't crossed my mind yet.

If only every day could be Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Highlights of my Labor Day weekend

  • The colorful mountain scenery that greeted me when I turned onto Elk Ridge Drive.
  • The epic thunderstorm at 5:30 a.m.
  • Seeing more than three stars at night.
  • Listening to the crickets.
  • Eating food off a stick.
  • Home-grown raspberries, tomatoes, and corn.
  • The music that plays when you pop in the first Fellowship of the Ring disc.
  • A few rousing rounds of Mad Gab.
  • The free onion we got with our shakes.
  • Watching the neighbor across the street play football with his son and grandkids on his front lawn.
  • Chocolate cake donuts.