Saturday, January 31, 2009

Haylee and Courtney

I've been thinking a lot about childhood lately, and since my childhood is not really just my childhood, but my best friend Haylee's as well, I've been thinking a lot about her, too.

See, I grew up with a best friend who happens to still be my best friend. I suppose we've remained friends for so long simply because it was meant to be. I mean, when I was little, I saw signs everywhere that proved to me that Haylee and I were meant to be together forever. Romantic, right? But really, these are just a few of the things I saw as clear signs, telling me loud and clear that we were not ever to be separate, and I listened and obeyed, because there was nothing better than playing with Helly.

1. The temperature on the faucet read H and C, standing for Haylee and Courtney. Obviously.
2. The sugar called C & H was most definitely a clear indication of our togetherness. Firstly because it was our initials and secondly because it was sugar and we both had major sweet tooths.
3. She was a brunette and I was blonde. Barbie's best friends always seemed to be her opposite and so it was with Haylee and I. She was tall, I was short. She was thin, I was squatty. She was quiet, I was loud. See? It all fits! Opposites attract!
4. We loved all the same things. We loved exploring in the orchard behind her house, we both loved sleepovers (although she couldn't stay awake at night and I couldn't wake up in the morning; it made for some interesting sleeping patterns), we both loved sports, and we both loved to swim. Although, Haylee was a far better swimmer. She could hold her breath longer and she could open her eyes under water. I was always very much impressed by that.
5. Being girls, one would expect us to go through that phase where we want different friends or something. Not us. Senora Revuelta once told us in 4th grade that we wouldn't always be friends. She said that things would change in junior high and we would probably hate each other. Well, she couldn't have been more wrong. We stayed best friends and even added another best friend to the mix, little Annie. But since Annie missed out on putting lunchmeat on dead rabbit brains in attempts to keep whoever was ripping them apart from continuing to rip them apart, I can't quite consider her a childhood friend. She is more a 10 and older best friend, missing out on things like forts in stranger's garages, picking at the brick wall in front of Betsy's house, and watching uncomfortably as Haylee's older brother Jesse pulled her hair and made her cry.
6. We both loved getting scared. We would always try to scare ourselves, and we would introduce the game with, "Let's scare ourselves!" Clever, right? We loved it. Except once when we her uncle played a prank on us and really did scare us. We were screaming on the couch, with Haylee using some freakish strength she had kept hidden from me, and using me as a human shield. I don't know how she did it, me being the obvious bruiser and all, but she held me like a rag doll right in front of her, covering her body completely with mine. My struggle became less out of fear and more out of frustration. Nevertheless, she held me easily until we learned of Uncle Ray's prank. She eventually released me and we laughed until we cried, about how she was willing to sacrifice me in the name of her safety. We still laugh about it.
7. Haylee is the best running partner I could ever ask for. We had a perfect system, I would start us and she would finish us. I was the pacer and she was the pusher. It really couldn't have worked better, and I blame my love handles on her not living in San Diego. But really, I think finding the perfect workout partner is so symbolic. Haylee and I were a perfect team, so different in so many ways but enough alike to really forge a lasting relationship. I miss running stadiums with her and running through her neighborhood, being so absolutely comfortable, we could talk if we chose, or just wheeze along. We've talked about doing a marathon together, but could I really train without her? I think she would have to spend 6 months out here, training with me, in order for it to really work.

I honestly had one of the best childhoods one can have, and I know it has a lot with having Haylee around. I've always been so grateful for her, and always admired her happy-go-lucky personality. I miss sleeping on the tramp with her and I miss getting ready in her bathroom so we could go paintballing with boys half our height. But what I really miss, is calling her up on the phone and saying, "Haylee June Cuthbert? This is Courtney Ann Asay. Can you play?" She always could.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Things I learned about the rich and powerful...

1. Rich people don't cook. I searched high and low but found no trace of flour. I might as well of built a rocket, when I made some homemade rolls. The kids were shocked that such a thing was possible.

2. Rich people love bottled water as much as I do. There's nothing better than a cold bottle of Aquafina, and the rich never disappoint in that category. They, like me, firmly believe that the chlorine taste belongs in water. Long live Aquafina!

3. Rich people need large driveways to fit the cars of their slaves (they aren't really slaves; they get paid... I think...). Each day, there would be a minimum of 5 trucks/cars of the landscapers, interior designers, housekeeper, or pool maintenance crew, crowding the large driveway. It frustrated me to no end and I'm pretty sure I made some enemies of the lawn guys when I stumbled on their weed whacker and called them all worthless grass cutters.

4. Rich people have closets the size of my house to fit their massive inventory of clothing. I visited these little slices of paradise when I helped one of the girls pick out something to wear (There was never the argument, "I have nothing to wear!" but more of, "I have too much to wear and I can't remember what I own! Help me dig through these Rock and Republic jeans to get to my Juicy sweats!"). I didn't even know they made closets that large.

5. Rich people live behind bars. Seriously. In order to get to these people's house, you had to first get into the neighborhood, which you need a code to get into the gate. Then in order to get on their property, you have to have another code. I constantly kept forgetting the codes so Josh plugged them onto my phone. I'm going to sell the codes to anyone who is interested. If one of the lawn guy gets to you first, just know that I'll give you it for cheaper.

6. Lastly, rich people don't use keys. They have number code locks on their cars and doors and just hope that no one gets wind of the magic combinations. Luckily for them, there are so many different codes and so many different doors, no one really can remember the blasted codes. Not even the kids. "Hey____, what's the code to close the gate? The worthless grass cutters left it open again and since you guys leave your keys in your car and don't lock them, maybe we should close the gate." Response: "Oh. I can never remember it. It has a 6 in it..." Uh huh. Great. I guess it doesn't really matter since they don't lock anything, assuming because they can't remember the codes to unlock them.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Rule

Yes, we're adorable. This is Travis, me, and Josh this last Saturday at the U.S. vs Sweden game. The Americans (I'm saying it like that because the Sweds behind us kept saying things like, "Damn those Americans! Get the ball from the Americans!" I now only refer to myself as 'the American.').

In other news, I got daring when Josh told me I had to make a treat for our insurance agent (apparently we love him). Josh said, "Just make him some cookies or something." Well, I thought to myself, I've done cookies. And I've done bread. But what haven't I done? Yes, cinnamon rolls. So I made cinnamon rolls. And as my sister put it, "Cinnamon rolls are labor intensive." They were delicious though, even though Josh wouldn't let me use the maple frosting that really makes these babies. But I distributed them and people said they were awesome so I'm just going to assume they're not lying to me. Thanks Natalie, for the recipe.

From this...

To this!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Denim Grandma

Today I went to cash a check at the local Wells Fargo and was feeling fairly pleasant (real shocker, I know; I'm almost as shocked as you are), and saw a little grandma leaving the bank. I couldn't help but notice that this certain little grandma was wearing a denim shirt/jacket thing, and had a purse to match! I smiled at her, and told her what a cute lady she was for matching her jacket to her purse. You would have thought I told her that she really does have the best grandkids in the world (her car had a bumper sticker claiming to have the world's best grandkids; does it get any better?). With the happiest expersion in the world, she laughed and told me what a wonderful fabric denim is and how it just matches everything, can you believe it! I nodded along and even listened while she explained that she got the purse at Michael's (a crafts store... I'm not sure if she's imlying that she made it...), and she just couldn't remember where she got the jacket. I told her to stay out of the rain and she told me to have a 'wonderful day!'

Now, I learned a few things from this little encounter.

1. I can talk to strangers without wishing I could knock them unconscious.
2. Little grandmas who wear denim jackets will likely have a matching denim purse to go with it. Of course. They come from the era of 'outfits.'
3. The denim grandma probably does have the world's greatest grandkids. Who am I to disagree? For all I know, her grandkids don't cry, poop, or wipe boogers on the wall.
4. Old people can and do like Obama. She had a patriotic flag bow in her gray hair and I can only assume she was showing her support for the country and for the ever adored and completely overrated Obama.
5. Old people use banks just like average-aged people do. In fact, I saw an ancient looking woman in the bank right before I ran into the denim grandma! Imagine! So many older citizens in such a small area!
6. I'm a really good person for complimenting a complete stranger. I undoubtedly will make it to heaven.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about wealth these days. Not because I'm particularly wealthy (although when you think of wealth as something other than monetary abundance, than I know myself to be extremely wealthy), but because I live in a place surrounded by it. Wealth can be a blessing, but it seems to be more a burden than anything else.

After spending a weekend watching the kids of some obscenely wealthy people, I decided I would never in a million years want anything close to what they have. It seems too much work, and way too hard to keep your kids grounded. "No honey. We can't take daddy's jet tonight to see High School Musical Live in London. You have tennis lessons." I think being a parent will be hard enough without the difficulty trying to teach your kids that they aren't better than little Suzy down the road just because she doesn't wear True Religion jeans (although it doesn't seem likely that that would be a problem in these neighborhoods; Phil Mickelson the golfer lives on the street). I just don't want that, and most likely won't have to worry about that, but still. Being in their beautiful home only made me want to hurry home to my tiny casita, although Josh was pretty smitten with their virtual reality golf. It is pretty amazing. I think he golfed all 18 holes.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I come from a family of 'pickers.' We see, we pick. No, I'm not saying our fingers are constantly up our noses (although based on some past experiences with nieces and nephews, I can't say it didn't start somewhere...), but if there is a scab, we are drawn like a moth to the flame. So when I knocked my head quite aggressively on a kitchen cupboard (or at least that's what I think I did... I can't quite remember), and gave myself a nice, oozy gash, it was inevitable that a battle would ensue. Because when something oozes, it typically scabs. And when something scabs, I pick that something to the point that my body ceases attempting to heal itself and leaves me with a gnarly scar. My hands and shins are proof of this.

So we come to my own damn scab, sitting atop my head and begging me to dig my nails underneath and scrape it off. Ahhh... wouldn't that just be dreamy... I've already picked it off several times, and somehow it comes back bigger and badder than before. Which makes my picking urges fiercer and more ferocious than before. But I've decided to try and let the scab have it's way with my head, finding that I am no longer 5 and should have some degree of will-power. Unfortunately, all this had done has left me with wandering hands. My hand is continually stroking and caressing the injury, wishing upon wishing that I could pick it off. Sometimes I panic when I can't immediately locate the scab with my probing fingers, and I hurriedly comb my head with my hands, giddy and also afraid that the scab has moved on to other things. It can't be gone. Not yet. Not before I really was able to unleash my full picking powers! Alas, the scab remains where I last left it. Perched high on the crown of my head, hidden carefully beneath strands of bleached-but-not-as-bleached-as-I-want-it-to-be hair. I wish I could at least see it. The best I can do is have Josh look at it and describe exactly what it looks like, what color it is most like, how big it is, what shape it is, etc. He doesn't quite like doing this, being that he finds it fairly disgusting and disturbing how much interest I have in the scab, but whatev. It's my scab and I'll do what I want with it.