Sunday, August 31

A Cautionary Tale

Do not live at Sky Harbor Apartments!

They are assholes both
while you're living there and
after you have vacated.
I literally hate them.
I hate the office staff,
their mangement style,
their business practices,

Don't do it.

Saturday, August 30


To understand what happened I must confess some oddities about myself.
  1. I have a fear of being stabbed
  2. I have a fear of taking showers when no one is home
  3. I have a fear of vacuuming when no one is home
  4. I am usually in a state of undress when at home, leaving me vunerable to attackers

They may sound strange, but they all make sense. The first is obvious - being stabbed sucks. If you take a shower when no one is home, you are completely defenseless; you're naked, you're wet, you may have soap on your face or in your hair or in your eyes, you're trapped in the shower with no way out, you can't hear anything. Same goes for vacuuming. Well, you're not wet, but if you're me, you ARE naked - or very near naked. And like most people, I hate being startled, because I lack any defensive reflexes. I just scream and stand there frozen.

So, I'm downstairs (in underwear) doing the laundry. I'm loading up the washing machine with clothes and the water is running. Suddenly, without warning, a man flies out at me from the doorway. My reaction is to cover my breasts and scream. It was my husband. In response to my reaction he asked, "Is that your defense?"

Please add doing laundry to my list of fears.

Friday, August 29

Itchy Throat?

My allergies are going insane. I believe this is due to:
  • The time of year
  • I keep forgetting to take my Claritin
  • My work location (a.k.a in the midst of farm animals)
  • It's windy and stupid outside

For those of you who don't have allergies, you are blessed. They really are one of the most annoying things to happen to a person. Allergies, the kind like mine, are just irritating enough to disturb everyday life. I wake up in the morning with an itchy throat - and the only way to itch the inside of one's throat is to rub your tongue all along the roof of your mouth. I hate doing this action because it makes a yucky glucky sound (and sometimes you gag) but there isn't really another way. And when your throat is itching like crazy, you'll do anything.

Then, of course, the eyes start to itch. If I'm wearing makeup I just rub by the tear duct, or sometimes scratch the bottom eyelid. But if I'm not, I just rub my eyes until they're good and red. Then I use an ice cube to cool and soothe them.

And all the while, I'm sniffing. My nose isn't really stuffy or runny, it just doesn't feel regular, so I sniff constantly throughout the day. I don't believe in nose blowing because it doesn't help the situation; you're simply relocating snot to the part of your nose where it is visible. I'd rather keep the snot in my nose and away from my face. Plus, that red/irritated nose look is not cute.

So, if you see me gagging while rubbing my eyes and sniffing, it's allergy season.

Thursday, August 28

Change We Can Believe In

Tonight we watched Barack Obama's acceptance speech. It was incredible. The crowd was cheering and the music played and when he walked onto the stage and waved to everyone, I started to cry. It's difficult to capture the feeling of the moment - and I can only imagine how powerful it would have been in the stadium - but it was magical. For that moment it felt like Utopia: Obama would win and the world would change for the better, the American dream would be redefined.

Of course, it's not true. Corruption will go on, political splits will continue, lies and hatred will be spewed from both sides. But for that moment, it felt like world peace was achievable. All my cynicism moved aside for an intense love of country, humanity, and politics.

Wednesday, August 27

I Don't Grate Cheese

Tom's family eats a lot of cheese. For example, they like cheese on their spaghetti - but not like, parmesan - cheddar. If I say: "We could make spaghetti," they ask if there is any cheese. They buy ginormous blocks of yellow cheese; chunks get sliced off, shreds come away and nibble by nibble it disappears.

My family always buys pre-shredded cheese. Ah, simplicity in a bag.

Shortly after we were married, I stood in the kitchen making dinner. As with any new marriage, we were smashing together our two slightly differing upbringings. So when the question of "cheese" arose, we went with the block rather than the pre-grated. Of course, we lacked a cheese grater, so I was being inventive and using a vegetable peeler instead. I'm peeling, I'm peeling and then I'm peeling my finger. And my fingernail. I let out a little yelp and then ran my bleeding finger under cold water.

To make things worse, we lacked any sort of variety in the realm of first aid, so we drenched my wound in Neosporin and wrapped it in gauze. I went to work that night (graveyards) and when I came home, the wound had healed so fast, the gauze was GROWN IN with my skin (sick, I know.) A freaked out trip to the student health center revealed what I had already discovered; the gauze was actually meshed with new flesh and required a much hated and much painful shot. I mean, I was grateful for the shot after the initial pain subsided, because they ended up just ripping the gauze out, so I'm certainly glad I couldn't feel it, but for a year my finger felt all fucked up from the numbing stuff...and I'm sure some of that was also due to the slicing off factor. For the next few months I was terrified my fingernail wouldn't grow back successfully and I would be forever stuck with a nubby looking end. Thank God it did. And my finger is fully restored.

But I don't grate cheese anymore.

Tuesday, August 26

You Were Born Today

My life is a beautiful thing
because of you
25 years ago - you were born
I don't believe in destiny
but I do believe in good fortune;
the good fortune of our lasting love,
my perpetual infatuation with you,
and the twirling universe that brought us together
Happy Birthday, Darling

Monday, August 25

That Was Completely Useless

Please explain how the following medical exam (circa 1950) can deem me fit for work:
  1. Raise your hand when you hear me whisper
  2. Read aloud the smallest font you can see
  3. Read aloud this short story
  4. Look for the numbers in colored circles to prove you're not color blind
  5. Pee in this cup and then dispose of the urine yourself (ewww)
  6. Wait, wrapped in a paper gown, for 30 minutes
  7. Breathe in and out through your mouth
  8. Say "Ahhhh"
  9. Check your reflexes (which seem a little slow...)
  10. Stand on your toes
  11. Stand with your feet together, close your eyes, and then raise your arms

You may now return to work.

Saturday, August 23

Have a Baby

It's official: I am the last person from my graduating class without a child. Well, it FEELS that way. Today I went to my best sister-like friend's baby shower, officially placing me last in the baby race - not that I'm actually participating in the race, but you are still aware of your standing. Here in Utah, people have their babies early and a lot. And I'm not really into that just yet.

I'm 25 and I've been married for 5 years and we have no kids. It's lovely.

I am reminded of an episode of 'Sex and the City' in which Samantha throws an "I Don't Have a Baby Shower" and exclaims: "I don't have a baby - everybody drink!"

Friday, August 22

Get Lost

I can't see very well at night. I mean, I wear my glasses, and that helps, but my night vision is equal to an old lady. I'm not sure when or where it started to happen but it sucks. So, that said, tonight after work I went up to our friend's new house in Clinton. I've been there once or twice before but I've never driven myself. Nor have I driven there at night. Nor have I experienced my friend's lack of ability to give directions.

The only information I needed was "which exit do I take?" This is not difficult - you just have to tell me what number or what name the exit has. I was told to take the Syracuse exit. Such an exit does not exist. It says "Syracuse" on one of the side exit signs, which I could not see. The main exit reads "Antelope Drive." Hmm. So, needless to say, I passed the correct exit and called in a frenzy because I knew I was speeding towards "too far away." Phone call went as follows:

Me: I think I went too far. There isn't an exit that says "Syracuse."
Tom (distracted): Uh, you missed it? Where are you now?
Me: I know I went too far...
Tom: Let me get Alejandro.

Alejandro: Yo.
Me: I missed the exit - which one should I take now?
Alejandro: Um, let me get my wife.

Oh my God - People - I am driving on the freeway at 75 mph! We must make quick decisions. It's not like I can just "pull over real quick" and wait for you to tell me where to go. Grrr. I hate nothing more than people who do not know where they live or how to tell people how to get to where they live. Of course, I stupidly forgot that my fabulous iPhone has GPS. I should have just asked for their address, plugged it into my phone, and followed its simple no-fail instructions.

Note to self: save yourself grief and rely on yourself.

Thursday, August 21

Can't Talk Now...I'm Working

Well, I've been working for a few days now, but I'm already beginning to feel the drag because in my past life my days off were Wednesday/Thursday. So my habitual body is thinking "why are we still at work?" I have news for you body - we're in for a long haul. When I came back to work in all my lesser glory, I wanted to make sure I got in a full 80 hour paycheck. As Saturday is the beginning of the work week for us, I'm working straight through until next Wednesday in order for me to get the 80 and get myself back on Wednesday/Thursday non-scheds. Despite the 8 days in a row business, I'm really love-ing being back to work. I was missing my friends dearly and actually missing working. Who'd have thought?

Tuesday, August 19

I'm a Nerd

Everyone has certain things that they do that they don't want anyone else to know that they do. Does that make sense? For example: some of you out there may watch an excessive amount of E! Television (I know I do) or you may read a lot of romance novels (I do not). Lately I've been doing something even my husband gives me a hard time about. As soon as I begin he calls me a "nerd" and makes jokes like "you're starting to smell..." or "you're losing your social skills" and so on. It's funny, and all in good humour, but it is true that I'm a little embarassed.
I'm reading a graphic novel. For those of you who think I'm talking about a dirty book - let me enlighten you to the nerdier side of life with this link. However, in my defense, the graphic novel I'm reading is 'Watchmen.' The only graphic novel to win the Hugo Award and the only graphic novel to appear on Time's list of "100 Best English-Language Novels."

How did I come across this gem? Simple - they are making it into a movie, due to come out 03/06/09, which (nerd alert) someone pointed out to me are the other numbers on the clock besides 12. Cool. And after seeing the preview I wanted to know more about it. A friend lent me the novel and BOOM - I am become nerd. But it's okay because I love the story, so much that I'm overlooking the stereotype and just indulging in this interesting genre.

Monday, August 18

Rollers, Rollers, Rollers

Some of you out there may think that hot rollers are a thing of the past. You are wrong. In fact, hot rollers are one of the most fantastic hair devices ever created. If your hair is long, you simply wrap it up via rollers and then 20 minutes later, your hair is voluminous and wavy. And while your hair is wrapped up, you have plenty of time to apply makeup, brush and floss teeth, pick out clothing, eat, and a variety of other prep activities.

I, however, after our failed attempt to move to China, find myself without hot rollers. So I went to THE store (that being Target) and perused their selection. Many different styles, many claiming 'ionic conditioning' and so on. Some heat in "5 minutes or less" and some have fancy clips. After extensive deliberation I chose a set with only large and medium sized rollers with heated clips, thinking they would be great.

They are not. I hate them. I returned them. The search continues...

Sunday, August 17

It's Cold In Here

I'm living with my father-in-law at the moment and he has a swamp cooler. You'd think that we'd be sweltering and sweating all the time because of the increased humidity and lack of central production.

Uh, it's not like that at all. It's fucking freezing all the time. I hate being cold; I would rather be hot and I would rather not have to keep getting up to turn the thermostat up a couple notches. And perhaps it wouldn't be SO annoying, if it weren't for the fact that all buildings are freezing in the summertime. ACs work overtime and you end up needing a sweater year round. At least, under these circumstances, a sun filled car feels wonderful so I end up saving on gas mileage because my car's AC is set to "off."

Tom and I like to keep our thermostat set to a balmy 75...sometimes 77. It's fantastic.

Saturday, August 16


Wow. I did absolutely nothing today. Tom went to work and since this is the last weekend before I have to return to work (and working the weekends) I decided to relax by remaining motionless. I sat on the couch, laptop nearby, and watched endless amounts of Food Network programming, 'The Closer,' and OnDemand free movies along with intermittent napping and playing of Hearts (the card game).

After Tom returned from work, I continued to sit on the couch while we all watched the Olympics. When my butt started to hurt I moved onto the floor; lying on my back and propping my feet up. Then we went to sleep.

I didn't even brush my teeth or brush my hair. Lovely.

Friday, August 15


A note for those of you who may be grossed out by feet: don't worry, we have nice feet. Tom and I like to play footsies. We just sort of rub our feet together when we're chilling on the couch or when we're in bed. The other night as we were footsie-ing our way to sleep, Tom said, "My foot loves your foot."


Thursday, August 14

Back in the Saddle

A few months ago me and some friends at work were having a weekly weigh-in to help motivate us all to lose a certain number of pounds by a certain day. If you didn't lose your 2 pounds for the week, you paid $10. The contest went on for 8 weeks. Uh, needless to say, it cost me a lot of money. In order to help us maintain our weight loss we decided that we would have a re-weigh-in on September 15th. The rules are: be within 5 pounds of your last weight or pay $100. I've been lucky, because I went to China and China gave me a lovely little case of (excuse me) diarrhea. Ever since my return, I've been able to get away with eating a lot of shit that I don't normally indulge in.

Well, NO MORE!

I hate to say it, but it's time to get serious. I'm right around the 6 pound gain mark, so even though I only need to lose a little to avoid the charge, I'd like to be below what I was at the end of our prior contest. Friends, the time is NOW - I've got about 1 month to go to the gym daily, eat less, and drink a lot of coffee. Viva my $100!

Wednesday, August 13

Pick Your Pick

I think it's time for me to start using anti-aging/anti-wrinkle/SPF moisturizer. I'm 25. It's never too early to start delaying looking old. Lately I've noticed a few little dark spots (possibly *gasp* age spots) around my eyes and on the apples of my cheeks. I must confess, I have some bad face-care habits. See confession:

  • I only wash my face when I shower
  • I only shower every couple of days (no, I don't stink...)
  • I touch/squish/pick my face too much
  • I am hard on my eye skin (i.e., I use a q-tip daily to remove mascara leftovers)
  • I smile a lot - not necessarily "bad" but it does make wrinkles
  • I don't moisturize my neck, which is now getting a few wrinkles
Of course, I'm not a complete idiot. I do lots of things to protect my skin as well.
  • I wear sunglasses religiously to fight crows feet
  • I moisturize
  • I use sensitive skin face wash
  • I use blackhead removing nose strips
  • I stay out of the sun and I use SPF 50 sunscreen
  • I'm Asian
I'm not 100% high maintenance, and I'm not necessarily sold on the idea of perpetually looking 20. I am, however, a fan of taking good care of my face - as it is something people have to look at. Everyone hates the idea of looking old before their time, which explains all the drastic treatments and procedures we've got, but I say "all things within reason," including looking young. When I'm old, I know I'll have wrinkles and age spots and my hair will go gray. But that's okay because I have a plan; whether I dye my hair or keep it gray, I'm going to grow it long long long and then pile it on top of my aged head in a huge ass bun- you know, for dramatic effect. Whatever my face looks like (age 30 or 90) the bun should detract attention.

Tuesday, August 12

LOL Laundry

It's a running joke that Tom and I are always "going to do laundry" or "need to do laundry." And at our old shitty apartment we could wait and wait and wait (approximately 3 weeks), usually to the point where Tom was out of underwear which signaled our break down to do some laundry. See, we could wait so long because our laundromat enabled us to do mass quantities of laundry in one sitting. We'd typically do 5 loads of washing and drying. Of course, after completing said laundry, within a few days we'd start telling everyone that we needed to do laundry and for the next 2 or 3 weeks, we were always "doing laundry" without doing it. The problem with this is that it feels like we're always doing laundry because we're always thinking/talking/trying to do it. So over the past few years, I've started to hate it. Now that we're living in a regular house with only one washer and one dryer, laundry is not as big of an event. We're working on it little by little like regular people, one load at a time. I'm trying not to forget when there's wash in the washer or clothes in the dryer.

But it's fact, I think there are sheets in the washer now.

Monday, August 11


Who can deny the fabulosity that is ABBA? No one.

When I first started hearing about "Mamma Mia!" (exclamation point built into the title) I was instantly interested because of my intense love of ABBA. However, I never saw the Broadway version, so imagine my excitement when Hollywood made the musical into a movie. My "mamma" and I went to see it today - it was great great great!!!

The following songs made it into the movie; lots of classics and even some B sides. You can preview the soundtrack here. If you don't know these songs, please go out and buy an ABBA CD immediately or go see the movie or you could watch "Muriel's Wedding," as you are missing out on something fantastic.
  • Honey, Honey
  • Money, Money, Money
  • Mamma Mia
  • Dancing Queen
  • Chiquitita
  • Our Last Summer
  • Lay All Your Love On Me
  • Super Trouper
  • Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
  • The Name of the Game
  • Voulez-Vous
  • SOS
  • Does Your Mother Know
  • Slipping Through My Fingers
  • The Winner Takes It All
  • When All is Said and Done
  • Take a Chance on Me
  • I Have a Dream
  • Thank You for the Music
No, ABBA, thank YOU for the music.

Sunday, August 10

How Cold Is It?

I went on a little trip with mi familia up to Bear Lake today. It was quite fabulous although quite cold. Bear Lake is a family tradition - and while we usually go camping lakeside for a week, this was just a day visit. Neil Diamond is also a member of our family - as my parents love him (and I don't think he's too bad either) - so he came on the trip with us via CD. My dad was actually singing along! The drive was beautiful through Logan canyon and the lake was so blue. Once we arrived at South Eden beach my mom and dad switched into their swimming suits (I was bright enough to have mine already on) in the surprisingly clean and non-stinky outhouses. Then it's off to the water, excuse me, freezing cold water. Austin jumped right in, and my mom pretty much jumped right in. It only took me 20 minutes. You see, Bear Lake swimming requires a specific process of walking in a little and then waiting for that body section to become numb (or "used to the water"). You do all kinds of little tricks to force your body to stay in the refrigerated water. Like, you back up and let some of your self out of the water, then head back in so the water feels "warm." Or, you can put the control in the lake's hands by standing still and letting the waves break in higher body parts. I utilize all tricks to get myself wet. It's long, but fun. Especially because the entire time I was wading in, my mom was attempting to get on her air mattress.

After swimming for a couple hours, we headed back home and stopped to get fresh corn. I'm not so good at picking the corn - but it was only $2.00 for a dozen! It was a really fun day trip with my family. I recommend it to all of you!

Saturday, August 9

You CAN Go Back in Time

So, good news: I got my job back.

Bad news: I've gone back in time - i.e.: I've got no benefits and I've taken a pay cut.

Fucking fabulous. I could explain the very long and arduous process that is "hiring" at my work, but I will spare you because, quite frankly, I'm sick of talking/hearing/thinking about it. I have a job, and for that I'm grateful, but I hate knowing that just 3 short weeks ago, I was something more. If all goes well I can return to my position later this year...cross your fingers, friends.

Friday, August 8

Catch Up On Your Reading

Dear Blog:

It's true that I've been neglecting you, but don't hate me. I've just gifted you with many posts; posts I've been working on in secret, as a surprise for you. You deserve it.

-- Jo

Thursday, August 7

5 Years is Nothing!

5 years ago Tom and I were married.
And then we snapped our fingers and it became today.
The years have gone by so fast, so happy, so good.
One of our friends, upon hearing we were approaching 5 years
(and she's been married the same length) asked:
"Doesn't it feel like forever?"

It doesn't.

I'm not one to be an open romantic
(it just makes people feel uncomfortable)
but on an anniversary,
even the best cynic must confess true love.
I'm Johanna and I'm a love-aholic.
I love my husband.
He is my best friend and lover.
And I can honestly say I love him more than I did 5 years ago.

So here's to us and the rest of our lives together.

Tuesday, August 5

What's Old is New Again

When you sell / give away the majority of your belongings because you're going to China, you face the problem of having next to no belongings when you return. In particular, you lack a vehicle. At least, a vehicle you can drive yourself.

I never learned how to drive a stick (or 5-speed or manual, whichever you prefer) because when I learned to drive, we had an automatic. And now, I'm sort of handicapped into an automatic because no one owns something I could learn on. My father-in-law is loaning us his old truck to drive around while we get re-settled, well, let me say instead, for my HUSBAND to drive around. It's super irritating to have to be chauffered from place to place like Miss Daisy. I can understand more fully her absolute dismissal of the situation.

Lucky for me - fate smiled and our old car is available to us through a series of random events. Best of all, the old car is "new" and improved. Air conditioning now works, radio now works, belts replaced. How lovely.

A note on the chosen pic: I googled "old and improved" and this gem was #5. Why? Only she knows.

Monday, August 4


Tom and I love going to the movies. And we show that love by going...a lot. Obviously, we've been in China, and away from American movies. We've been missing them...

So tonight we went to see "The Dark Knight" and it did not disappoint. If anything, it took the breath away. It is incredibly dark (as the title suggests) and incredibly sad. Its sadness comes from two places; the fictional drama, and the reality of Heath Ledger's permanent absence. However, despite the unhappy material, the movie is fantastic. Fantastic performances all around - in particular, Ledger (duh). Fantastic story line, as well as character development.

I'm sorry this post is a lot of blah blah about the movie, but it's SO exciting to watch a movie again! And the movie was so damn great!
I recommend it - and that's not just China talking.

Sunday, August 3

My Brain Works, I Think

I try to write everyday. But, you know I was totally funked out both before we went to China and whilst there. July has ended, and Blogger told me just how pathetic my writing has been. Only 12 posts for the month. Clearly that is NOT writing everyday. I'm disappointed, but I can't really help the depression of leaving everyone I love, living in China, and then finding out that I'm a little lost in life.

Unlike many writers, I can't write when things are awry in my personal self. In fact, in order to write I need to BE myself. Perhaps it should have been a sign that amongst our prep for departure, I couldn't write. I told myself that the empty blog was due to stress (which is true) and the weirdness of getting ready (also true) but if I recall correctly, I mentioned that I didn't feel like myself. A person should always find their own person familiar, right?

So, a word of advice, if you feel weird, something is weird. If you can't write, your brain probably isn't working. Mine is functioning properly now. I'm back in action and as I am currently unemployed, expect some really exciting posts (insert sarcasm....oh yeah, I'm totally back to normal).

Saturday, August 2

Flying Home

Yay! We're coming home. See our itinerary so you can celebrate with each leg that brings us closer.

@ 14:25 depart Shanghai, China
@ 11:30 arrive LAX
@ 16:25 depart LAX
@ 19:08 arrive Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Who could have known how much we love Utah?