Monday, December 31, 2007

The End of an Era

Dear Crayola,

This is, of course, a difficult letter for me to write. It's been three days since we last saw each other, and the vision of your obvious dejection has been pulsing through my head since I drove off the dealership.

I wish that I could tell you that this decision was not about you, but dear Crayola, it was. For four years I stood by you while you were in and out of mechanic shops, sputtering and stalling on the street, and obstinantly refusing to go on. I was there, Cray, because we were in this together. But I just can't do it anymore.

I wanted to take some time after our split, figure out what I really wanted in a vehicle. But a shiny silver Solara came into my life unexpectedly, and I wasn't strong enough to say no. It breaks my heart that you had to watch us drive off together, but I hope that you would wish us the best, as I wish for you in your next 100,000 miles.

We must move on, Crayola, but I will never forget you and the times we had together. Just as my initial remains embroidered in your headrest, your memory will linger in my heart and inevitably in my credit card statements.

Take time, Crayola. Get healthy. Become what some high school junior has always dreamed of in a car. I leave you with a full heart, but hope you understand that there is only room in my life for one prima donna.

Love always,


P.S. I hope this isn't salt in an open wound.... but look how pretty she is....

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas: A Photo Essay


Idaho winters are hard on everyone, especially Germans.

This is what happens when my brothers are told to shovel the driveway. Note the antenna, the only evidence that this snowdrift is actually Crayola, my friendly Jetta.

At ten in the morning the sleeping Radfords still had not discovered that Santa had visited.

Shortly after this picture was taken, Papa whined, "But the other kids are already outside trying THEIR new bicycles out!"

Kristen and Preston are still celebrating their firm appointment as
favorite children, due to this gift.

Photographic evidence that I'm a rock star in the mornings.

Papa wonders if Santa was telling the truth about how much he spent.


Marisa pauses mid-celebration to calculate the calories in this slice of Christmas orange.

And Aaron ponders why Christmas is hard when you're this good looking.

Kristen and Ashley celebrate their subtle vanity.

And to all, a good night.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Preparation for Separation


I’ve been labeled fickle. Where I prefer a more euphemistic approach, with verbiage more along the lines of “impulsive” or “picky,” I can’t deny that my own impetuosity has seeped deeply into the neurotic happenings of my romantic life.

At this point, you might say things are over before they begin. Short of calling it quits over appetizers, I often feel the need for quick, clean and blameless breaks.

This is not always easy, my friends.

As vast as the assortment of men within a 40-mile radius of my house are the possibilities of break-up methods with the aforementioned gents. Allow me to share a few fail-proof methods.

The Fruit of a Loon:

It’s a bit like going to trial: be diplomatic, be fair, be sensitive. And when that doesn’t work, plead absolute insanity. In fact, many break-up obstacles can be avoided simply by allowing your neurosis to do the work.

“Darling, you were actually dating my other personality for the past few weeks. Due to her tragic suicide, I’m taking over and, well, things are going to be a bit different.”

Don’t Cry: Just Deny

So it’s time to cut things off. Problem: you’ve previously expressed affection to the unsuspecting lad. A simple solution, my friends: close your eyes grit your teeth and pretend it didn’t happen.

“When I said I love you I was actually just quoting a line in a movie I once saw. I apologize for the confusion. But I can loan you the DVD.”

It’s not you, but it sure as hell isn’t me.

Polish your PR skills; this tactic requires bad news to be delivered in the most flowery way imaginable.

“I hate to do this, sweetheart, and it has nothing to do with you. It’s entirely about me, and my inability to be with someone who is so sweet…even to the point of clingy. You’re so wonderfully devoted… though that got a bit pathetic. And I love how stable you are… even if it comes off as unadulterated boredom. I wish I could be better.”

A Charming Game of Chicken

Give him a challenge he never saw coming: “Break up with me before I break up with you.” This is perfect for those whose consciences can’t rock the three prior methods.

“I love our relationship. I love that we just get each other. I love how much fun we have. Oh, and I love that you’re okay with me dating so many other people. Oh my gosh, John did the funniest thing at dinner the other night….”

Happy Breaking.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

MY Grown-up Christmas List


Dear readers,

It has come to my attention that many—if not all—of you have been torturing yourselves in the quest of finding me the perfect Christmas gift. And though your concerns have not been shared verbally, I can only deduce through body language and casual mannerism that this is a topic of utmost concern, no doubt darkening the shimmering days of the advent in needless worry.

"I know she usually just wants world peace, but I'm on a budget this year," you mumble as you thumb through stacks of cashmere sweaters.

"What do you get someone whose selflessness prohibits her form ever asking for anything?" The question numbs you, stopping you in your shopping tracks to question your prior method of gifting.

Say no more, dear friends, for this year, with humility coursing through my veins, I will shed my Mother Theresa-like disposition to offer some helpful suggestions. As I live a life of material self-deprivation (in order to give myself more fully to charity), it is quite difficult for me to generate a list of material goods. That said, here goes:

Subscription to J. Crew's "Shoe of the Month Club" (Yes, it's for real!)

One (1) digital camera (think of the blogs, my friends!)

One (1) green wool coat, Banana Republic, size Small

Four (4) tan seat covers, Volkswagen Jetta (2001)

One (1) black wool asymmetrical jacket, Ann Taylor, size 4

Fifteen (15) pounds macadamia nuts

One (1) Six-Carb cheesecake, Cheesecake Factory

An item of your choice from the Winter 2007 Tiffany catalog

One (1) weekend in New York City

Seasons 1-3 of Grey's Anatomy, DVD

One (1) 2008 BMW M5. Black.

The complete works of Charles Dickens

Diamonds, in general

Merry Christmas, all.

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Frustration with Claymation


As the self-appointed ambassador for universal Christmas cheer, I openly campaign for the free expression of yuletide celebration as any individual sees fit. One’s shining star is another’s shimmering angel. Here a wreath; there a light. Bing Crosby or MoTab.

I advocate; you celebrate.

This open policy of holiday sponsorship has one heaping, glaring exception:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In Claymation.

I have nothing against my fine rhino-challenged caribou friend. I adore his blinking nose, his tender insecurity, and his new-found fame. I find his a classic tale of duckling to swan, rags to riches.

But the movie? It’s just creepy.

First we have a tiny elf with a perma-swept blonde ‘do who looks more like a disadvantaged Ken doll than one of Santa’s jolly helpers. What’s more, the tiny sprite wants nothing more than to leave the whimsical land of Christmas cheer and become a dentist. A dentist! I can picture it now: Little elf moves on to the real world only to drag himself through 8-5 days in a shapeless white coat, trudge through a volatile and depressing marriage and hang himself in his hallway closet.

Not the stuff of Christmas cheer.

Next we have Santa: a pudgy, stick-legged dictator who more resembles a troll than a jolly-old-elf. But his physicality is the least of our problems. Santa is downright mean. “Donner, you should be ashamed of yourself!" What, for fathering a kid who doesn’t fit the mold of the average reindeer? Well, Santa, why don’t we start recommending therapeutic abortions for Prancer and Dancer’s offspring, just so we’re safe from threat of further birth defects. Perhaps if the North Pole provided better health care, Mr. Clause…

I can't ignore the issue of the Island of Misfit Toys. No, I’m not speaking of a Salt Lake City Single Adult Ward. I’m referring to the depressing, color-saturated environment wherein all the “weird toys” have been exiled. Charlie-in-the-Box is a great example to children of what happens when you’re a little bit different: “Kids, it’s best to be like everyone else. Why? Because if you’re not, not only will you be banished into seclusion with other loners, but Santa will never, ever visit you again.”

And who can forget the terrifying, panic-inducing Abominable Snowman? Thirty minutes into this warped tale and your child may never again sing along to “Let it Snow.” Trips to the park for sledding and snowmen? Forget it. Why? Because charming, jolly snowmen quickly transform into sharp-teethed, raging monsters desperate to tear red-nosed reindeer and dentally-minded elves to shreds.

And so, this Christmas, I urge you to pull this horrid display of Christmas cheer-gone-awry from your DVD shelves, focusing on more healthy, more genial celebratory entertainment.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lessons from Seattle Grace.

I have an addiction. Thursday nights are blocked out on my calendar, and I anticipate 8 pm as most 5 year-olds anticipate Christmas morning. I find myself chattering on about dream-men with Scottish nick-names most afternoons, and I've mapped out what classes it would take for this writer to be accepted into medical school.

Yes, Grey's Anatomy has taken me hostage. And I've never been such a happy victim. The following are indispensable life-lessons that I have learned from my Thursday-night love affair:

Brilliant, rich, devastatingly handsome surgeons are solely interested in masochistic, emotionally-unstable basket-cases.

Folk music always plays across the hospital loud-speaker just as a patient is about to die.

An 'on-call room' is simply code for 'consensual brothel-house.' i.e. KNOCK FIRST.

Surgeons don't sleep. Upon returning home, they toss and turn until 4 am, when they get up to make it back to the hospital.

When in doubt, push another round of epi.

People are often dead for three hours and come back to life (after multiple rounds of epi).

US surgical teams, especially in the Pacific Northwest, are a clean 50/50 ratio of black/white.

Doctors cry. A lot. Preferably in the hospital ladies room.

The best way to snag a doctor is to get on the heart transplant list. (Denny, we miss you.)

Scrubs are made tie-waisted strictly for on-call room purposes.

Doctors never get paged while having sex.

On any given day there are three important patients. Of those three, two will live, and one will die (cue the folk music).

Even though your best friend slept with your wife, moved to Seattle to win back said wife, and flirts with your current girlfriend, you will inevitably end up as best friends again.

Most surgeons live in packs, usually in a fraternity-style setting.

Surgeons are not psychiatrists. Nor are they even slightly mentally healthy.

Failing your exams, cutting l-vat wires or covering up for a surgeon whose trembling hand could kill a patient at any minute will never get you fired.

Mercy West is sooooo lame.

Just when you get attached to a handsome, black cardio-thoracic surgeon, you find out he's actually a bigot.

When epi doesn't work, charge to 360! Clear!

Nurses are merely props in the OR. They remain nameless, usually faceless, and always wordless.

Seattle Grace, my friends, is the place to be.