Author Archives: Traci

The Pantyhose Roll-volution

The other day, one of my friends asked me if I ever wear pantyhose. After nearly choking on my lunch and exclaiming “Oh God, no!” I explained that there was no reason for me to wear pantyhose, since I’m not a bank robber, the Duchess of Cambridge, or a pregnant woman trying to avoid varicose veins.

I will admit that Spanx is an incredibly cute name for pantyhose, but it’s still pantyhose.

I remember the days when my parents would force me to wear pantyhose to church or fancy events. The worst part was having to get into those things.

Pantyhose

They were so tight. It felt like I was squeezing a condom onto a watermelon.

That wasn’t even the worst part. The worst part was dealing with the top of the pantyhose. The band would cut into my stomach, thereby creating these unflattering rolls of fat. I might as well have been a chain of sausage links.

“They’re a perfect fit for you,” my mom would say.

They were a perfect fit for a fetus, not me.

“They make your legs look nicer.”

Apparently ham hocks stuffed into matte nylon casings looked nicer than my natural legs.

My mom used to wear pantyhose almost everyday for work, and we tried to tell her that her legs looked better without it. Even the cat agreed, but she never listened.

Then one day, our old cat Speedo couldn’t take the sight of it anymore, and he took matters into his own hands:

SpeedoDestroyerOfPantyhose

Please do your part to save a cat. Ditch the pantyhose. Who’s with me?

Advertisements

12 Comments

Filed under Silva Nuggets (Random)

Adventures in a Dormant Volcano

On a nice summer weekend, I presumably lost my wits, thereby consenting to a 20-mile backpacking trip with a group of friends through a dormant volcano on the tropical island of Maui. Haleakalā crater has been dormant since the late 1700’s. For those of you who may not know, a “dormant” volcano is one that is sleeping, but not dead. Yes, that means it can awaken at any moment. Thank God it decided to continue sleeping while I was hiking through it.

Our adventure started with a treacherous descent from an elevation of 10,000 feet through loose cinder and sharp lava rocks, through an area referred to as “Sliding Sands.” It’s not typically what people envision when they think of Maui, as it is more reminiscent of another planet entirely. We weren’t wearing Sharon Stone-like bikinis and sipping mai tais on the beach (sorry to disappoint you Paul Turney at Woggins Writings): we were wearing incredibly un-sexy G.I. Jane-like hiking gear and sucking liters of water down, while focusing on not spraining an ankle. All I had in my emergency kit was baby wipes, a tweezer, and some band-aids, so a rolled ankle would have constituted a major disaster, considering I am no MacGyver.

SlidingSands

Above the clouds, hiking into Haleakalā crater through Sliding Sands.

SlidingSandsTrail

Hiking the trail into Haleakalā crater through Sliding Sands.

ValleyThroughSlidingSands

Hiking through lava rocks at Sliding Sands.

After Sliding Sands leveled off, we enjoyed the unique terrain and started to see quite a few amazing, native silversword plants. To our surprise, many of them were in bloom, which is a rare sight to see. I know this is one of the favorite places of Liza Pierce at A Maui Blog, so I’m sure she’ll enjoy these photos.

BloomingSilversword

Gorgeous silversword plant in bloom.

Being about 5 miles into our adventure at that point, it was time to stop for lunch. I unwrapped my sandwich and peeled a banana. As I began devouring my meal, a huge wasp started doing laps around me like a shark circling a wounded seal. I froze and watched in horror as the gigantic bee got closer and closer. At one point, it looked like it was going to land on my arm, and I screamed and started flailing my arms around like a back up dancer for Justin Bieber.

One of my fellow hikers shouted to me “They are attracted to moisture! Drop your banana and stay still!”

Since I’m so good at following instructions while panicking, I chucked my sunglasses, sandwich and the banana into the cinder and started running in the opposite direction as the bee. Hey, at least it worked. The bee began to hover over the banana peel, and I was able to get away. Phew. FYI- the crater was full of wasps, so although I dodged a bullet that time, bee mania was pretty much an ongoing theme. I know Michelle Gillies at Silk Purse Productions would completely empathize.

The journey continued. We made the rest of the trek down to the Palikū cabin, where we were greeted by lush mountain ranges and a nene goose (a friendly, native bird that inhabits the crater).

Paliku

The rugged ranges at Palikū.

PalikuMist

Palikū, where the clouds come up Kaupo Gap and meet the steep cliffs.

PalikuSunset

Beautiful sunset at Palikū.

Nene

Greetings from a nene goose.

We were just so excited to finally arrive at the cabin. Our legs and feet were ready to give out, and muscles were hurting in areas we didn’t even know existed and could feel pain. Unfortunately, there were no hot showers or mineral baths awaiting us. The cabin had fresh running water and bunk beds, but that was about it with regard to amenities. The Ritz Carlton it wasn’t, but after hiking for 10 miles, we were just thankful we had a place to sit down and stretch out.

If you look closely at the picture below, you can see our tiny Palikū cabin toward the middle left of the photo. It’s that miniscule white dot at the edge of the open meadow at the base of the mountain range. Yeah, that thing. That was home sweet home for a few days. And the lovely outhouse next to it that smelled like a freshly baked manure cake was ours to call home for a few days too.

LookingDownPalikuAndKaupoGap

Looking down on Palikū and Kaupo Gap.

Our luxurious Palikū cabin.

Our luxurious Palikū cabin.

The nights in the wilderness at Palikū were definitely an interesting experience, where being the city slicker that I am, the others had a good laugh at my expense. I used at least 30 antibacterial towelettes and baby wipes to scour the outhouse toilet seat, my mattress cover, and parts of my body which inevitably got coated in cinder dust. I also found myself highly skilled in holding my bladder for hours at a time. There was no way I was going to get up at 2 o’clock in the morning in the pitch black for a long haul to that dreadful outhouse.

And truthfully, we wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything. We felt fortunate to get the opportunity to go on this trip. The experience forced us to get out of our comfort zones and abandon modern conveniences like technology and electricity. After spending a few relaxing days gaining appreciation for the natural world, and being able to bond and socialize with others without interruption, we mentally prepared ourselves for what lay ahead: the 10-mile hike out of Haleakalā crater… uphill. We had to go 7 miles steadily uphill, and then finish with another strenuous 3 miles up a steep and narrow trail called the “Switchbacks.”

LavaRiverMars

Lava fields that made us feel like we were on Mars.

SunnyScottSwitchbacks

Our friends making their way up the Switchbacks.

Surprisingly, we made it, and all in good time. We survived our adventure in a dormant volcano, despite not having pack mules, internet access, or hot tubs. Shoot, my friend didn’t even have soles on her shoes, as they separated and fell off before she even made it to the Switchbacks.

All things considered, we hiked like champs out of that crater, setting our minds on the frosty beers that awaited us in the cooler in the car. Nothing motivates parched and exhausted hikers like ice cold beers. I motored out of that crater like a Clydesdale going after a dangling carrot. As if I was Wyle E. Coyote chasing The Road Runner with my newest ACME gadget. When I got to the car, I slumped into an Eddie Bauer camping chair and popped open a brewski. And that was all, folks! Until next time, Haleakalā!

12 Comments

Filed under Best Things We Learned, We Learned from..., Uncategorized

One Smart Sister

Although my big brother would argue that I’m really just a sister of average intelligence, alliterative blog titles are so much more catchy. Besides, “One Retarded Brother” just didn’t have as much of a ring to it. Yes, critics, I know that the term “retarded” is no longer politically correct and is considered derogatory. That’s kind of the point.

This, my friends, is the face of a genius little sister. 🙂

First, I’d like to say mahalo to Michelle Gillies over at Silk Purse Productions for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award (check out her blog… she is very witty, and I like witty). Michelle, the doggies are so excited to receive another award. If you were here, they would lick your face (and smell your butt). Luckily you live in Canada and will be spared such frivolities.

sisterhood

After receiving the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, I had some time to reflect upon sisterhood and what it means to me. I don’t actually have a sister, so everything I know about being a sister, I learned from my brother. I adore my older brother. He is the best big brother anyone could ask for, and I just can’t say enough about that dingleberry.

In the spirit of the lovely Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, I’m supposed to share some things about myself. Instead of telling you how much I detest socks with sandals, or how I frequently choke on my own spit for no apparent reason other than a defective epiglottis, I figured I would share some things I’ve learned from being one mean mischievous smart sister.

  1. You can resort to violence (when no one is looking), and capitalize on your cuteness. During a fight with your sibling, hit as hard as you can while no one is around. Pull hair if feasible. When someone discovers you both, act like an innocent fawn tiptoeing through the tulips. Pout. Make your eyes as large as physically possible. Make your bottom lip quiver. Try to get tears to well up in your eyes. Think of something terrible if you need a crying prompt, like the time your cat died.
  2. You can always blame it on your sibling. Be smart about it. Don’t just point at your sibling and triumphantly yell “It’s his fault!” after an incident. Cower away from everyone and act as if you are having an anxiety attack. When everyone rushes to you out of concern, stutter “It-it-its hi-hi-his fau-fau-fault!” and then burst into tears if you can manage it.
  3. You can use blackmail to get what you want. When you see your sibling smoking with his friends, make a mental note. The next time your sibling refuses to let you have a bite of his cheeseburger, nonchalantly say “Do I need to tell dad about the time you…” Trust me, you won’t even need to finish that sentence before you are savoring that cheeseburger.
  4. You can use the child abuse hotline to your advantage. If your sibling starts to yell at you, and threatens to hit you, simply shout “I’m dialing!” If your sibling looks confused, clarify that you’re now old enough to know how to use the phone, and you have the child abuse hotline on speed dial.

I bet Michelle Gillies is really regretting passing me this Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award now, eh? 😉 Don’t worry, I’m redeeming myself by passing the honor to one of my blogger sisters, Addie over at Betwixt and Between, who happens to be way cooler and nicer than me.

6 Comments

Filed under Best Things We Learned, We Learned from...

A Tribute to Mayo

Every time I see a bottle of mayo, it makes me smile.

And, not just any mayo: the Best Foods mayo. It is truly the best.

I blame my infatuation with mayo on my Hawaii upbringing. The Hawaii locals love their mayo, and they can put it on just about anything. I think that I disgust most people (who aren’t from Hawaii, of course) with the amount of things on which I am capable of putting mayo. For instance, I can make a salad dressing out of it as a vegetable dip. I also enjoy mixing it with mustard or ketchup to go with french fries. And, when I put it on a sandwich, I really lay it on thick.

There are times at the dining room table when I am eating something with mayo on it, and the hubby just stares at me with one of the following facial expressions:

MikesFaces

It is usually accompanied by a sigh.

I assume that he is having one or more of the following thoughts:

  1. She is going to die of a heart attack before the age of 40.
  2. She is going to turn into a big fatty who will stay home all day and soak herself in a tub full of mayo.
  3. I can barely stomach my own meal while watching her slather her food with mayo like that.
  4. That mayo cost me six bucks a bottle, and she just ate two bucks.

In the past, the hubby has tried to sneakily swap out my regular mayo for light or generic mayo for my sandwiches, but he is always unsuccessful. I have spydee sense and superpowers when it comes to mayo. I can spot a fake mayo a mile away, and I am merciless if a bottle of fake mayo ends up in my house. In that respect, you can just call me “The Mayonator.” I will rip apart a fake mayo bottle with ease, destroying its contents immediately, like The Incredible Hulk tearing off a t-shirt.

Sometimes people (like my hubby) just have to learn to let go, and stop trying to force logic on an illogical world. Some things are totally unexplainable. For instance:

  1. My intense love for mayo.
  2. Why The Incredible Hulk always busted out of his t-shirt, but never his pants.
  3. Why Donald Trump thinks his fake hair looks fine, and Dolly Parton, Donatella Versace, and Kenny Loggins all think their plastic surgeries look normal.

12 Comments

Filed under Stories from the Stomach

Post-Holiday Meltdown

Is it just me, or do the holidays get more expensive and exhausting every year?

By now, if you haven’t spent your entire paycheck, come down with the flu, sold a kidney, or lost your mind, I’d say you’re in pretty good shape and coping quite well with your postholiday meltdown so far.

I really don’t understand how Christmas has become so expensive and exhausting over the years, especially if the purpose of the holiday is supposed to be getting together with loved ones and celebrating Jesus’ birthday.

The other week, I was sitting next to a kid in a waiting room who was coloring a picture of the nativity scene. I complimented him on his artwork and how well he colored the baby Jesus. He looked up at me with a bewildered look and shouted “WHO THE HECK IS BABY JESUS?” I told him that baby Jesus was the little guy in the manger who he was coloring with the dark red crayon. He lit up instantly, grinning from ear to ear, and yelled “NO, THAT’S SANTA!” Now that’s just sad.

Speaking of Santa, I kind of recall kids asking the old man in red for much simpler things back in the day… like Hot Wheels or Barbie dolls. These days, it’s all about iPods, iPads, and other costly gadgets. I feel sorry for all the parents out there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the fallout from all this is a rise in alcohol consumption and adult tantrums.

I know I’m probably going to sound a bit Kardashian-like here, but being Santa is extremely tiring. It’s incredibly strenuous having to run around shopping for gifts, attending parties, and entertaining out-of-town guests, all the while maintaining a jolly attitude. I justify going around smiling, being kind to others, and spreading Christmas cheer as my annual cardio workout and community service.

Believe me when I say that Santa has a rough gig, but baby Jesus has it made. Baby Jesus gets to spend all day drinking and relaxing in a crib while people visit and adore him. Who in their right mind would rather be Santa than Baby Jesus on Christmas?!

Not me. While other people are out playing Santa every year—caroling and spreading the Christmas spirit—I’ll be kicking back in my crib with some eggnog, watching “Die Hard” marathons on TV, and grunting intermittently from the couch to signal the family I’m still alive.

Despite the usual caroling, shopping, and other Santa-inspired nonsense, I actually do look forward to Christmas dinner each year. There’s just something special about it, a certain je ne se quoi, if you will.

These are a few of the things that I think make Christmas dinner so special every year:

  • One of your relatives will always get too inebriated during dinner, resulting in intriguing conversations; fearless actions (i.e. awkward hip gyrations and ass slaps); inappropriate outbursts (i.e. “I’ve got your taters right here swinging, baby!”); and overall bickering when voices that should be inner voices end up on speakerphone.

 “I was just saying that cranberry is good for a urinary tract infection. That’s it. It’s a perfectly acceptable dinner conversation. I mean, we’re eating cranberries for God’s sake!”

 “You brought a Democrat to dinner? Jesus Christ! Have you lost your damn mind?! I need some more scotch!”

  • Someone will bring a dessert they made that looks and/or tastes absolutely disgusting (yes, worse than fruitcake). You should prepare yourself in advance to expect a strange concoction to arrive at the dinner table from someone “trying a new recipe” which ultimately looks like something scooped from a baby’s diaper.
  • Speaking of fruitcake, there’s always at least two in attendance on Christmas: 1) most likely one of your relatives (refer to the first item above) and 2) an actual fruitcake made with those rubbery chunks of artificially-colored fruit that defy the natural world as we know it.

I’m happy to report that I accomplished quite a bit over the holidays this year, but I’m sad to report that my postholiday meltdown so far entails a bad case of the flu. Unfortunately, it’s not how I planned on ringing in the New Year, and not exactly what I had in mind for “out with the old, in with the new,” but oh well.

I wish all of you a healthy and prosperous 2013, and please, let’s all take a moment of silence to give thanks to vodka for getting us through another year! Cheers!

2 Comments

Filed under Silva Nuggets (Random)