Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A stroll down memory lane

Bob, Bruce, Grant, Zum, Moto, Harold
After reliving the good ol' days of my dad's shop, (I am only 28 and, yes, I can have good ol days) my "old men" were brought up. I haven't talked about them because I have held them so near and dear to my heart. They were my voice of reason in my early 20s. I was a faithful member of coffee break every morning and some days the lunch group too. The main group was made up of Harold (the unofficial leader), Grant (the side kick), Bob (the rock), and Zum (the "quiet" one). There were a few others along the way (Lee, Bruce, and Jerry), but those were the main people that came around every week. It was like having 5 different uncles/grandpas that you respected and loved. Their antidotes were the things that kept me awake at 8:00 in the morning while drinking a cup of mediocre coffee. Harold had great stories about stealing rations of beets (or some veggie) and getting into trouble. He was the king of Trouble. Any time I picture any cute little proud veteran I immediately think of Harold and his proud cap that had embroidered on it, "3 War Veteran". Grant was a lifelong "Railroad" man. After he retired he ended up selling real estate. Bob was the lifelong bachelor. He had lived on his own his whole life (when I started coming to break he was well into his 80's). He was the one that took care of the garden my dad had around the back of his shop. I wish I had video of his strut... you could tell in his hey day, he was probably a ladies man. And Zum was the so called quiet one. He was a car-guy like my dad. He wasn't ever the center of attention, but he always at least one good zinger that made every body bust up laughing. Every morning, they met up at 8:00 at the same restaurant. If one of them couldn't make it because of a doctor's appointment or some other pressing matter, there was a short discussion to pay respect to the missing member, but coffee break would move on to other topics of the day.

Of course there were stories of the good-ol' days and who was sick/dying/dead from the area, but they also were the a great window into the "old school" way of thinking. At our breakfast joint there were a few lesbians that worked there. I can not tell you how many times I was told (in a not very quiet tone because some of them were hard of hearing) that they were "LESS-BEE-ANS and how they couldn't understand how someone so cute could be a "LESS-BEE-AN. They told me I just needed to find a husband and settle down (even though they knew that i wouldn't be the quiet wife type).

They were also my mirror for any situation I was in. The reflection I got from being at that table when I presented anything helped me realize what the correct answer was. Any boyfriend (including my future husband) during that time, had to meet my old men and "pass" the unofficial test. Whenever I decided to move out of state, which was often, I had to run it past the guys. Not many 20 year olds have such a great support system.

It all eventually came to an end. After I got married, I had one more great year with them, and then they all passed away rather quickly with in about 7 months of each other. While they have been gone for almost 5 years, not a day goes by where I don't hear them all in my head laughing about a decision I have made or shouting out advice to guide me in my every day life. And when I go to coffee now (admittedly more rarely now) the players in the coffee break 2.0 pale in comparison to the men that once occupied those seats.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The truth comes out....

For years, my dad was a mechanic in his own business. (he sold his building in 2003 and has been semi-retired ever since). One of his good friend/old customers came across a couple of reviews for his business.  They were on the website for the NPR show, Cartalk, under their Mechanic's File. On that page, they have recommendations for "great, honest, hard-working mechanics."  I am so proud of him and the business reputation he created for himself over the years. Way to go, Dad! (oh and by the way, I am happy about the fact that someone else witnessed the fact that my dad wasn't happy about fixing my car!) :) 

Actual Quotes from the reviews: 

Moto, the only mechanic working at Moto's Car Care, is the only man I know who will not only help you when you call him at home on the weekend, he does it with a smile and a cheerful laugh (unless of course you are his daughter, then the laugh sounds a little bit more like a grumble!) He is the only person I know who will take you under his wing and make you feel welcome in his shop (there are about 5-6 older retired gentlemen who happen to be his better friend. They hang out at coffee and they go out to lunch.) He is not someone who will rip you off, (I know this because his favorite motto is What goes around comes around!) Everyone thinks that he is the greatest there is (even the local paper, The Standard Examiner, said so if you don't believe me!)

--reviewer #26626, 2001

I hate getting my car repaired. In the past I have come away with the vague feeling that I got taken advantage of because of my ignorance. Not so with Moto. He is extremely honest, once simply tightening a loose bolt for me when that was all that was wrong. (No charge of course.) I have no hesitation in recommending his shop. My only complaint is that he does not (ironically enough) work on Japanese cars.

--reviewer #28377, 2001

Monday, April 27, 2009


On Saturday, we took Tabor and Kaiyu to the Aquarium in Sandy. I was worried at first because the first display was of fish that are found in Utah.  (wow, brine shrimp, and trout)  After the first displays, there were some serious redeeming factors, like jellyfish and rays.  All in all it was a great day with a great aquarium. 
Little did I know that Travis was afraid to touch the sea creatures.  He screamed like a little girl.  

The Boys
Touching the Ray

Freaking huge Octopus

Saturday, April 25, 2009


My attitude toward this one meal should signify that I have a serious problem. I so far have twitted about it, updated my facebook status to reflect my feelings and now am writing a blog about it. Never has a meal brought such happiness to me in my entire life. It is the Grandmama of  all comfort foods..... please give it up for HOMEMADE MAC AND CHEESE!  (and I hope that God knows that there should be a special spot in Heaven reserved for Alton Brown, the creator of this fabulous
recipe that has brought me to a new religious level!) Amen! 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Worst Person in My World!

On Keith Obermann's show, he has a segment about the "worst person in the world". It ranks people in the world (worse, worser and Worst) that have done usually bad thingsToday, that segment played into my head as I thought about some of my less-than-nice coworkers. The Worse person would be a secretary that likes to travel across the office to have me staple papers. It is annoying, but seriously funny! The Worser person is another secretary who has decided to yell at me and my co-receptionist about things we don't know about (like new secretary-attorney assignments.) She is just one of those mean people that wants everyone else to be as unhappy as her. (which makes her equivient to a mean lap dog). Today at 2:00 p.m. I met the WORST PERSON IN MY WORLD! A little back story is in order. On my floor there is a door to the stair well. Occationally, the door knob gets stuck and creates a rather loud buzzing noise. Most of the time when this happens, the person who walked through it will quickly turn around and flip the knob and the buzzing noise immediately stops. This afternoon, one particular attorney, we will call him "Jerk", came upstairs. Jerk has come up through the door before. He knows the drill. Jerk knows that if he doesn't fix the door, I have to get up and stop the buzzing (There is another secretary that will also rush to the door to fix it) Today, Jerk walked through the door and it starts buzzing. Not only does he ignore the noise, he proceeds to stop me on my way to fix the door to give me something to leave at the reception desk. Then he proceeds to stop and wait for the elevators to come. While we are still trying to get the door to stop buzzing and actually ask, "What is up with that door?" REALLY???? REALLY!!!!! So Jerk apparently is SO important that he can't be bothered to stop to fix the door. Instead he will watch me and my co-worker scramble over to the door so it doesn't disturb anyone, and ask really annoying questions about it. WOW! Next time, Jerk, you have something to leave at the front desk, do me a favor in inter-office it or have a runner bring it to me! So that is why JERK, YOU ARE THE WORST PERSON IN MY WORLD!!!!!


Springtime.... the daffodils, the sunshine, the warmth, the ALLERGIES!  I can tell that it is officially springtime because of the elephant-esque sound of my husband blowing his nose, the wastebasket filled with used Kleenex and the super sexy nasal-ey tone that his voice now has. Thankfully this only affects half of this couple or maybe closer to 3/4Th of the couple, because while I may not be the one suffering with allergies I fear that my peaceful nights rest will be interrupted by the tossing and turning and occasional nose-blowing of my better half.  My heart goes out to all  that are suffering from this seasonal occurrence.  

Monday, April 20, 2009

Greek Easter!

Over the weekend we celebrated Orthodox Easter. I love the Easter Ceremony, even though it doesn't get over until like 2 a.m.- I can't remember when it started) Greek Orthodox has very symbolic ceremonies. At the beginning they turn all the lights off and the priest comes out with a single candle lit. Then he passes the flame onto other parishioners and it symbolizes the spread of the word of God. It is a really pretty service and the hymns they sing about Christ's resurrection get stuck in your head for days afterwards. (um, that doesn't sound right, but trust me they are really pretty songs) I don't usually talk about religion and heaven only knows I am not the epitome of religious living, but there is something about going and being a part of the ceremonies. Plus it is like the biggest holiday for the family to get together. (Yes, I married into the big Greek family! Opa!!) Yia Yia, Travis' Grandmother, is the best cook in the world. She had lamb, roast beef, spinakopita (spinach pie), meatballs, green beans with red sauce, Greek Salad, Easter Bread (my all time favorite bread), kourakia (Twisty Greek Cookies). Yia Yia works so hard in the kitchen, and everything is so delish. So to all my Greek Orthodox friends out there, "Christos Anesti!" (Christ is risen!)(and your response would be "Alithos Anesti ("Truly he has risen!))

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ipod update.....

As I was updating my ipod today, I started looking at the songs I was importing from my cd collection and found some that meant the most for me or almost always takes me back to a different time in my life.  I always am happy to revisit the different times because I think that without even one of those steps in my life I wouldn't be who I am today,  regardless of whether that step was a good one or a sad one.  (Wow pretty philosophical for 8:45 a.m.)  
Anyways... here are some of the songs that have added to my life. 
  • Lollipop- Chordettes: singing with my mom in the motorhome. 
  • Annie's Song- John Denver: singing it to Kaity to get her to sleep in Montana.
  • I Will Survive- Gloria Gaynor: High School
  • Grease Mega-mix: Going to the Galaxy Diner to eat with Molly Jae and watching the waiters dance to it. 
  • PeaceTrain- Cat Stevens: After learning about the Titanic when I was little, I couldn't sleep because I felt bad for all those that died. My mom put this record on to get me to sleep. 
  • What's the Frequency Kenneth- REM: Living with Amy in the little white house in Whitefish.
  • Forgot about Dre: Dr. Dre: Janalyn gave me that cd before I moved away. 
  • Because you loved me- Celine Dion: My old men from Coffee Break
  • Lost- Michael Buble- My uncle, Harold
  • A thousand Miles- Vanessa Carlton: Driving home from work at the Gap in Seattle. 
  • Margaritaville- Jimmy Buffet: Driving by Couer D'Alene ID going to West Glacier.
  • Naked Eye- Lucious Jackson: Mary Fitz from Newton, MA. 
  • Time-Hootie and the Blowfish:  Larry Foulger
  • Rub-a-dub- 311: Travis and JT at the 311 concert in Las Vegas
  • Wide Open Spaces- Dixie Chicks-  When I drove into the valley in Montana on my own for the first time, all by myself! 
  • Say goodbye- Dave Matthews: Montana summer.
  • I Believe in a Thing Called Love- The Darkness: Getting married
  • Einstein on the Beach- Counting Crows: Singing in the Car with Travis
  • Fee- Phish: Driving to get ice at Flaming Gorge
  • Leavin': Jesse McCartney: moving to NSL and leaving Weber Co., Starting school and Jones Waldo.  (Our new start after Travis had graduated.) 

Happy Birthday, TABOR!!

This Tax day also marked the birthday of a great little guy, Tabor!  This kid is the smartest ten year old ever! He knows everything about dinosaurs (including their scientific name).  Thanks for always teaching me about the different species! We love ya! :) 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The "new" me!

So this weekend I got a new pair of glasses. I am unsure if any of you wear glasses, but as I explained to my husband, they can totally change the way people look at you. It isn't very often that something can change the way you look so drastically.  I definitely love having the option to wear either contacts or glasses (my prescription in my old pair needed updating that is why it is such a change.) Anyways... here is my "new" look.  (Sorry I think I am pulling a funky face in the shot...but I think it gets my point across.) 

Monday, April 13, 2009



Finally there....

Even checking the tire pressure

My dad is Mr. Fix-it!  He can fix anything.  We never paid to have an oil change done on any car ever from anyone else.  When I was little we had the same vacuum for my entire childhood. I am talking for like 10 plus years!  He overhauled that thing numerous times.  Needless to say we always were a fix it family.  When I met my husband he was the exact opposite.  He had never worked on his car, other than cleaning it.  And he is a little less that able when it comes to tools and using them. Polar opposite from what I had known.  My dad, being the great teacher that he is, helped him jack the cars up and he taught my husband how to change the oil in the cars. As with many times in my life,  there were many humorous moments, like when Trav was turning the oil pan screw the wrong way and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't move. Or the time when after much frustration my  66 year old dad got down and pop the oil filter off with no effort at all. (that was funny for everyone, but Trav.) :)  
A huge milestone was reached this weekend.  After almost 7 years, Travis James Soderquist finally changed the oil by himself with no help! (it was at the cost of his favorite shirt that now has oil spots on it, but that was the sacrifice needed for the cause!)  That is right. It may have taken him the better part of a decade, but it was a serious victory none the less!  Way to go my little Grease Monkey!
The victor!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Craziness in the pack!

When we were out a few weeks ago we stopped at Trolley Square to eat lunch at Rodizio Grill. It was so good, if you get a chance you should definitely try it. Afterwards it was serious meat-hangover, but it was so worth it. After lunch we went shopping at the few stores left at poor Trolley Square.  My dad found these goggles in a store so he bought them. Of course, we all had to try them on.  Good times!  We were laughing so hard.  Love the pictures! 

Europe here we come!

When we were shopping for clothes for Europe my mom came around the corner in this get up!  I was laughing so hard because she is such a riot!  (We sent it to my sister saying she was ready for Europe, and my sisters response was that she was crazy as a fruitcake.) Hillarious!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Happiness is knowing that when I walk down the stairs to my house that Kimiko is near the door listening for my impending footsteps.
Happiness is getting showered in Kimi kisses after I have arrived home and am sitting on my bed.
Happiness is having an ichat with my husband while at work.
Happiness is laughing at the inside jokes with my family and friends.(Carrrrne Asada!)
Happiness is going up the county and laughing with my friends, Tiff and Am.
Happiness is talking with Jan and having it feel like we talked yesterday when really it was weeks ago.
Happiness is drinking a really good cup of coffee and surfing the internet at 7:00 am on a Saturday.
Happiness is having a Sunday dinner with everyone around the kitchen table.
Happiness is when people I like at work come and chat with me in the afternoon.
Happiness is having my ActionScript Coding work the first time I try!
Happiness is having people asking us to design things for them.
Happiness is watching Travis and Kimi play throughout the house.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Random bits....

So after suffering a bit from writer's block I asked my hubby for some ideas.  He gave me the following random bits to blog about.... Mac and Cheese, Badgers, Movies and Sunny Days.  All great ideas but I was not in the mood to write a complete blog about each of them... so I decided to tell a bit about each. 
Mac and Cheese was introduced as a prepackaged meal in 1937 by  Kraft and to no surprise became a surprise hit during WWII when most of the women went into the workplace and needed a quick meal for their families. 

Badgers have 8 species and shelter underground in burrows called, "setts". Dachshunds were originally known as badger hounds. Some countries around the world serve badger meat, including Russia (they are suppose to have a deliciously cheap kebab). Yum!?

Movies: We watched 6 movies over the weekend. Changeling: really good but really long; How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: cute but predictable; Slumdog Millionaire: the best movie of the weekend, but super sad at the begining; Naruto: good movie for background noise (hubby's pick); Marley and Me: Cute movie but really sad at the end; and Bedtime Stories: a lot better than I thought it would be, definetly a cute one.

Sunny Days: I googled sunny days and came up with different blogs that talked about it including one about a lady that is part of a nudest colony (I didn't click on it, but it did help me decide to talk about another Sunny/Sonny) Sonny Bono was the husband part of the wildly sucessful group: Sonny and Cher.  Sonny's days were cut short on Jan. 1, 1998 when he died from injuries he sustained from a skiing accident. 

Ok so there you are... to help me get over writer's block, I have filled your minds with helpful hints about Sonny's day, Badgers, movies to see, and Mac and cheese. I hope you all have a wonderful night. :) 

Friday, April 3, 2009

where I am in the scheme of things...

My job is not complicated and I am don't think you need a ton of training to answer a phone, but there is one lady at my work who seriously degrades receptionists everywhere. She is a secretary that will walk across an office, and up a flight a stairs to bring me papers to staple. From the looks of it she must be entirely too important to take 1 minute to staple 20 papers. (me on the otherhand, no so important in her eyes.) Everytime she come up to me and asks me, I am surprised that she doesn't see the look of disbelief as she sets them down. And after she leaves, I just sit at my lonely reception desk and just laugh. Seriously, I am not hurt by it, I find it HILLARIOUS! This is by far the funniest thing I have to deal with at work.