Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Anyone know the real name for the code thingers?

So every week I do some internet work for my boss. She runs a magazine advertising cars and car dealerships and I help out by posting many of them to Craigslist once a week. There are a lot of cars but it isn't hard. I even enjoy it sometimes for ONE reason....

You know the code thinger you have to type in for safety and verification and all that jazz at the end of your posting on a lot of websites?

Yeah... that's it.
My name is Susannah, and I have trouble typing in the code thinger. I hate the ones they use on google websites, for example. The letters and/or numbers are super skinny, long, and overlap each other. Setting up a gmail account? Takes hours. Posting a comment on a google blog? Forget it.

But the code thingers on Craigslist are hilarious! They are actually legible and real words, which helps. Plus I think whoever is in charge of writing the code thingers must just say whatever pops into his/her head. I think I'm starting to understand that person pretty well, and we're becomming friends (Don't judge. I spend all day with an 8-month-old

Here are some of my favorites:

Floozie dominated
  Good for her.
Gangway no
              Probably a good decision....
President kill
            Oh no. Subliminal messages... Even Craigslist is against Obama?!
understand awarding
             I find understanding awarding, too.
twitting protest
             Yes! Down with Twitter! For no aparent reason.
eschews individual
              I hate when that happens. Don't you?
justice deported
              That could be a problem.
and sextants
               I have had this one repeatedly... Craigslist must like that word  :)
indebted to
Who? I'm on the edge of my roller desk chair!
by worrying
No, that doesn't solve anything.
evidence uncoils
(I think this employee is watching CSI while he works...)
That husband
What? What'd he do?

I Googled "Craigslist security code", " internet security code", went to Brett's blog and wrote a comment to see that Blogger calls it 'word verification and looked up "Blogger word verification", then "What is word verification" and FINALLY... BINGO! Found out what the heck that thing is.

CAPTCHA (If it sounds familiar you're not crazy... it is an ebonics term derived from the English word "capture." Guess speaking plain English is out of style. It also happens to stand for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.") is a system of testing computer responses.  A computer posts the simple "Word verficiation test" and then grades the response. Because other computers can't recognize the test, if the response matches the test the main computer knows it was given by a human (Warning: If your response doesn't match and your comment/ post is denied, you may be a robot.) . This way websites such as Blogger and Craigslist secure that only humans are navigating the sites, not computers. Because too many computers pretending to be humans would be mayhem, wouldn't it?

I'm not putting it past technology to eventually figure out that we are on to it impersonating us... In fact, I almost expect it. Call me paranoid, but yes, robots ARE taking over the world. That's why I refuse to own a PDA phone, GPS, or iPad. That, and the fact that they terrify me because I can't work 'em at all.

I'm on to you computer-word-verification-figuring-out-technology-robot... Don't you try to comment on this post. But if you do, please inform on how we can eventually live on Mars. 'Cause that would be cool.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Reason #4 to get Married

Reason #4 to get married:

You have someone to call at midnight when you're driving home from late-night work and your tire blows out on a busy highway.

The Perfect Man:
Stays on the phone for 15 mins convincing you you're ok while he drives to you
Pulls his car beside yours for light even though its in the woods
Has a reflective triange to warn oncommming traffic
Has a portable elcctronic air pump
Stays good-humored and positive
Drives 45 mph behind you for 10 mins
Pumps the spare up with a bike pump when the electronic pump dies out
Is willing to take a second shower to clean up after even though his dermatologist said only 1/day

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


While apartment/ house hunting in North Carolina:

Susannah reads aloud apartment listings....
"What does range mean?" -Suz
"Um... the highest number minus the lowest number." -Ben
"Ok... you go to a driving range to practice golf."
"Well, there are a lot of definitions!"
"I mean in the apartment description!"
"Ooooooh. The range is the stove."
"Why don't they just call it a stove?"

A few minutes later...

"These houses are in our range." -Ben
"Depends on the definition of range  you're referring to." -Susannah

PS: Every time I post a funny happening it makes me look like an idiot. I promise I'm actually really smart! And humble, too.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Reason #17 to get married....

... Your husband brings home your favorite flower in a pretty vase with a card attached and even curls the ribbon he tied it on with while making you dinner before you come home when you've had a long day!

Yeah... I always tried being a tough girl who doesn't like or want flowers, but let's face it: I DO! And, for the record, it doesn't need to be a dozen red roses every day of the week to show your sweetie you care. A single sunflower on this particular day was PERFECT. I am so glad I married a man who gets that!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why Going to the Temple Saved my Weekend

Listen to this... 

Saturday afternoon Ben gets a call from our old Single's Branch President. We like him and had actually just seen him at a wedding receptions, but it's strange to get calls from him. He'd called to say that he had just received a call from a security guard at the mall saying that he'd found a wallet belonging to Susannah Fields and wondering if Pres. McKee knew how to get hold of me to return it. 

Strange, right? 

Ben and I had been at the mall for about 20 mins. on Saturday-- we parked at an entrance across from the one store I went into and then right back out. Sometime during the quick errand I managed to drop my bolseta (I remembered afterward it had been because there was one of those stands with multiple bubble gum  machines attached and I'd pulled out my wallet to see if I had any quarters and it must have missed the purse opening when I tried to put it back it. That'll teach me to chew bubble gum. But I like all the different flavors... and watching it slide down... anyway....)

The wallet was turned in to a security guard in  tact and the security guard looked inside for ID. I had my debit card, driver's license, SS card, gift cards, and my temple recommend inside. Someone could have easily stolen my identity and the contents of my bank account, but instead it was turned in and the guard used my temple recommend to find me. 

Ben and I got the call it had been returned before I even realized it had been missing. Ben pointed out that I would have been a WRECK if I'd known it was gone, so hearing it was found before I was really aware was a HUGE blessing. We picked it up and went through it card by card and realized that the temple recommend was the only card inside with any kind of phone number. The security guard who found it and tracked us down wasn't around, so we are left to assume that he called that number and gave my name to whoever answered. That person probably looked up that it had been issued at the Columbia University Branch and gave the security guard Pres. McKee's number. Maybe? 

Anyway, lesson learned is: ALWAYS KEEP AN UPDATED TEMPLE RECOMMEND WITH YOU. And make quarters easily accessable for when you want a bubble gum ball. 

We went to the temple last night and this great thing happened: 
When I finished I went to the women's dressing room to change back to my original clothing and talked with a volunteer who'd been assigned to keep an eye on the dressing room. 

"It took me a long time to realize the men don't have someone who stays in the dressing room." -Volunteer
"Then why do we?" -Me
"Oh because they asked me to."
"Well good for you for just doing what you're told."
"That's the only way to work for the Lord."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mothers Day to all those wonderful women in our lives: 

Mom F
Mom O

We love you so much and are already learning from your example. You are all righteous mothers who are teaching  your children to come closer to Heavenly Father in your homes by living your own testimonies. Thank you for having family prayer, family home evening, taking them to church, disciplining well, loving hard, and never giving up. Ben and I have the cutest and most fun nieces and nephews (not an exaggeration. It's really true.), and we are both so grateful to the women who raised us and our siblings.

Thank you!

A peak at our first Mother's Day together: 

Shopping for Mother's Day dinner ingredients
"What do you like about Mother's Day?" Said one eggplant to the other.
"Being made into Eggplant Parmesan!" It replied. 
Didn't your mother ever teach you not to play with your food? Did mine teach me not to capture it on film? 

I just love my mom so much! Or maybe I'm cutting onions... :)
(Mom called twice this weekend to remind me I was in charge of making dinner. Haha...)

Me and my wonderful mom 

The vinyl sign we made for mom. I had so much fun making a bunch of vinyl for gifts this weekend! What a great way to give something personal that will last for years and look great!

Ben and I wearing our matching BYU t-shirts. He gave me mine for Mother's Day!

Who knows how we'll celebrate next year...? 

Loves her!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What Have I Done?!

Its day 2 of my attempt to be vegan. No, that isn't a joke.

A few years ago I undertook becoming vegetarian and always explained to others that that meant I would still eat fish but no land animal meat. Byproducts such as dairy and eggs were still legal, though. I would laugh when they asked if I would ever be vegan-- the absence of all animal products in my diet. Yes, laugh.

I went off my vegetarian diet for about a year when I lived in Cambodia and in New York on my mission.

Then I came home and started working as a nanny in an organic house. The Mom I work for eats a strict Macrobiotic diet and keeps all organic and soy products in the house-- including soy butter, milk, mayonaise, etc. It took some getting used to, but necessity is the mother of invention, right? I eat lunch and snacks from their kitchen while I work, and you'll eat just about anything if you're hungry engough.

Turns out I really like soy milk! And you really can't tell the difference between butter and Smart Balance butter substitute. You can even get used to the odd products like soy mayonaise.

After talking to my boss during her lunch breaks about the health benefits of a stricter, vegetarian-inspired diet I felt inspired to take it back up. It's true that for however controversial or not my political reasons for being vegetarian were, no one could argue or deny that it just feels so much better to cut out so much hormones, waste, and chemicals that accompany meat. I feel physically lighter!

A couple months after that step I realized that my taste for heavy foods had changed. Don't get me wrong, dairy products and meat can be delicious and I don't fault anyone for eating them-- my system just couldn't take it anymore. I no longer craved pasta or bread items-- they started dragging me down. I woke up every morning with a stomach-ache from eating heavy foods and gradually cut them out, too! I still eat pasta and bread sometimes, but not as an entire menu like before. And out of convenience I continued eating the soy products at  work and started to really like them. Ben agrees that its healthier to live that way, and since I do the grocery shopping now we buy soy milk, etc. for our own apartment.

I love to cook and experiment so it's been really fun to find new food to try and ways to cook. I have to admit I'm sort of proud of some recipes I've developed. Turns out sweet potatoes are just as good without butter!

I have even experimented with other soy products-- soy sausage, beef crumbles (ground hamburger substitute), bean burgers, and tofu. I made an awesome spaghetti sauce from the beef crumbles and my mom couldn't tell the difference. I used soy sausage in a soup for dinner on Sunday and my family loved it and wanted the recipe.

So... after this long transition I finally have the taste and confidence to complete the transformation. What helped is that I also ordered a new bathing suit and realized that the better I feel the better I think I look. Hey, I don't want to be one of those couples who gets married and starts letting themselves go until all the wife wears is her husband's sweat pants! (No offense to anyone who lives that way, I just don't think it's my style.)

So yesterday I put all the chocolate in our apartment in the laundry room and bought additional soy substitute items (including candy. I can't help it, I have a sweet tooth.) from our health food store. I already have some serious cravings, even though I haven't really eaten much true daily items lately. Yikes... this is a long road. I feel like I've quit smoke cold turkey.

Wish me luck.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sushi Diaries

Ben and I have, for some reason, not really gone out to eat since we got married. We had Mexican food last week, but I honestly can't think of any other time one of us has suggested paying for a meal. Why? Because I have been taking a lot of pride in making restaurant-quality meals at home! I love the whole process, actually. I have a lot of fun putting a weekly menu and grocery list together; it's like a puzzle.

Which days will Ben be out of town? How much leftovers will this meal leave? How long will these ingredients stay fresh? Is there a protein? Are there enough vegetables? Do I need to research a recipe or can I wing it? Will I want to blog about this meal afterward?


Among others, we have made Vietnamese veggie wraps with special dipping sauce, countless Italian specialties including homemade Zuppa Toscana (adapted from the Olive Garden menu item I'm obsessed with), authentic Margharita Pizza, and Eggplant Parmesan, Indian daal, and sushi.

The other day we were meeting to go to the temple after work and wanted a picnic dinner to eat at the nearby park beforehand. I offered to make sushi rolls while I was at work that afternoon and bring it with me.  Ben, who served his mission in Korea and has been cooking Asian food longer than I have, is our home's sushi-making expert.

Our conversation when I called to see how to make the special sticky rice went something like this:

"Hey honey... I'm about to make the sushi for tonight, but I have a two-fold problem. First issue: will you tell me how to make the sushi rice?" -Suz

He gives me the recipe: 3 cups short-grain rice, 3 1/4 c. water, 1/3 c. vinegar, 2 tbs. sugar, 1 tsp. salt.

"Ok, but that's a lot of rice." -Suz
"Yep, 6 cups worth." - Ben
"We don't need that much!" -Suz
"So half it. " -Ben
"I don't know how to half 1/3!" -Suz
"...What?" - Ben
"I mean, I know it's 1/6, but how do I measure that?!" -Suz

He looks up the conversion: 2.66 tbs.

"Cook the rice with the water, let it cool, then heat together the last 3 ingredients until the sugar dissolves and mix them all together in a non-metal container." -Ben
"Non-metal?" -Suz
"Yeah, like: I use our white mixing bowl." -Ben
"Oh I see... I have one here that's red... Is that ok? Or is there some anti-communism rule when making sushi?" -Suz
"You're in luck. We're making Japanese sticky rice and the Japanese flag has red and white on it." -Ben
"Oh. Phew." -Suz

"I told you my problem was two-fold. The other fold is that I didn't bring the wooden roller-thingy." -Suz
"That's ok. I never use it." -Ben
"Well how do I not use it?" -Suz
"Just wrap free-style." -Ben

Susannah laughs hysterically for at least a full minute.

"That's the sort of joke that gets funnier the longer you think about it." -Ben

It turned out really well, if I do say so myself! I ended up wrapping them with the aid of a cloth handtowel, though. It is so easy to make sushi! And when you eat outside you have the natural ambiance to accompany the meal. Stop paying $7 / roll at a fancy restaurant!