Saturday, October 25, 2008


I LOVE reading. Love love love love love it. In fact, I love it so much that I can spend an entire day doing nothing but. Sometimes I love it so much that I don't even have to be reading any particular book, but just a compilation of excerpts from a certain author. Blowing 2 to 10 hours means nothing to me if I am divulging in a good book. It's why I've created the rule that I am not to be reading leisurely whilst in school. (Not that it stops me... but sometimes.)

However, spending time during the Regency era, or on a ranch filled with muscly cowboys, or even, hanging out with vampires - all comes with dire consequences. You see, each time I open a book I am absorbed into the world that the author has created. I am completely withdrawn from reality, and then, when I am finished, the re-entrance into my life is harsh and painful.

You see, I am the Harriet of Emma or maybe even Charlotte in Pride and Prejudice. Well, maybe not Charlotte. I am very much like Marianne Dashwood (see here) but without Mr. Willoughby and Colonel Brandon vying for my hand. The point is - I am not the leading character. I am surrounded by beautiful, intelligent, athletic girls that get noticed all of the time. Sure, they have their own boy troubles to deal with. But they can also walk into a room and have at least two guys by their sides, seeking their attention.

I'm not saying that I'm not pretty. Because, really... I know that I'm not a dog. Or animalistic-looking whatsoever. I have "body type" issues. But even still, I feel that does not constitute my being shunned from the male population. And yet, I know that I am never going to be one of those girls that men just pine after. That's OK.

But this is where the problems come into play. It is widely known and accepted that I am of the romance-reading type. [There is very little else I spend my time on...which, I know is not something that I should advertise. And I don't. Whenever I go to the library or Seagull books (where I find MLM) I am very quick about my selection and then scamper away as quickly as possible.] Anyway, it's just that...when I emerge from my books, after the guy has gotten the girl; after the epilogue where they have lived happily ever after, and she still melts at his touch and he still craves to hold her in his arms - I realize, I am not ever going to be that girl. And that's depressing to me.

I DO realize that no guy, no man, has really gotten lost in his wife's eyes, or caught his breath because of the way she walked down a set of stairs. There are few girls who, when they are in the arms of their love, sigh in contentment and have knees the consistency of jell-o. These are things written by very corny authors who live the dream in their heads. But while you're reading, it's nice to think that men are actually gentlemen and have a sort of code they must follow. Sure, they play the devil seducer and whisk the lady away for a private rendezvous, but they always stop or leave just in time! How luxurious, how romantic! And how non-existent.

How sad.

So, re-emerging from my dream-state, I have to remind myself that no matter how unpopular the girl was in the book (and I often compare myself to those types, the Cinderella or Ugly Duckling types...the ones that aren't expected to get the guy and then almost always do) and even though she got the guy, it doesn't matter. It doesn't mean that I will. And it definitely won't be like that. No guy is going to look at me for the first time, feel the floor fall from under his feet and then pursue. I'm almost 100% convinced that I will have to be friends with my eventual husband for 5-10 years before he's says, "Oh, hey! We've been friends for like, 10 years, why not?" Which is so completely the opposite of romantic, that it's bound to happen that way.

Anyway, the main consequence is a pity party. And I have to remind myself that I am pretty, I do have personality, and I will get married...eventually. It is also nice to hear it from someone else. Which is why I call my dad. Even if I do have to fish for compliments, to hear that I am pretty or that I have reason to hope is always the main objective.

In the end, I know what's important in life. I know that Heavenly Father is looking out for me. And I know that my family loves me.

Pity Party's over... ok, 5 more minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Weirdies at the Bonfire

SO last night for FHE I decided that we needed to have a bonfire. Because they are fun, and I enjoy them quite a bit. Also, s'mores.

Becca and I drove up to Nunns Park in the Canyon a half hour early to claim our spot. It was already getting sort of dark, so when we pulled in and walked around, we took the first place we found that was open. Luckily, there was a family at another spot with a fire already lit that offered for us to have it, to which we took and began conjuring stories about how we built the fire with flint and our own two hands. Every few minutes, we ventured away from our little fire to find tinder, to keep it going. Sticks, mulch, weed...I mean weeds, and the like. As we were venturing, these two people were shining flashlights on us and where we were hunting. The lights helped us find some really great poking sticks, so we didn't mind...even if we did feel like runaway convicts trying to escape the security guards.

After one such adventure, we were sitting and admiring our poking sticks, and talking when a really old couple approached us...with the flashlights. The lady, who reminded me of Dr. Frankenstein, mumbled something, and I turned off the music on my phone and said, "Excuse me?" She asked if we were camping and I said, uh, no. And then they both, Frankenstein and her husband, Igor...who I then recognized to have only 1/2 a face because the other half had been paralyzed by a stroke or something, started chanting and moving closer, "You can't be here. You must leave. Get out. Get out!"

We said, whoa there lady... we just showed up, these people gave us their fire, (we didn't want to claim it as our own crafty work with her yelling at us) and she got all snippy and said, "You have to leave. You didn't pay for this spot. You have to go to the picnic area. This is the camping area. Put out your fire and get out of here." To which we happily responded, "'s the thing. Our group is coming with something to put the fire out. We don't have anything. We'll just wait until they get here." And she pointed to the river with her clawed hands, there's a creek right there.

To which we said...yes. That's true. Good job. But we don't have ANYTHING to carry the water in. Do you want us to take off our shirt and dip it in the water, and then ring the shirt out in the fire? Should we carry the water in our hands? I promise, that does not work!

She pointed to our plastic bag (the one full of s'more stuff) and said, you can use the bag. I told her that we'd just stay there until our group came, thanks, and then we'll put out the fire. But this was unacceptable. We couldn't stay a moment longer, we had to put out the fire and leave. Igor scampered off and seconds later brought us a bucket from the shack, we now suspect, they live. Becca climbed down to the river and nearly fell in and drowned, right as our group was arriving. We had to explain the whole thing to them, and then relocate the fire to the "PICNIC AREA" where we had to rebuild our fire...which made me so mad because the other fire was the PERFECT s'more making fire.

Igor and his mistress were kind enough to let us keep the bucket. I think she was sweet on Skye, who we made ask for the continued use of it. She really did not like me, though.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Spread the Word

I couldn't help but share this, mostly because it is what I have been telling people for about four years now.

Dear BA Foodist,

Can you set me straight on tipping? I was once told that 20 percent is for great service, 15 percent for bad. Unless a waiter's gone overboard, I'm an 18 percenter, but I was recently accused of being stingy. Am I wrong, or wasn't 10 percent considered fair not too long ago? Give me a tip I can use. --TIPPER G., Albuquerque

Dear Tipper G.,

Ah, the great tipping conundrum.

It's disappointing to receive anything less than 20 percent of the total bill. Most waiters at today's better restaurants expect that much for average service, and even more if they do it with a smile. So unless you're planning never to go to the same restaurant twice, the days of 10 percent tips--and even 15 percent tips--are long gone.

Waiting tables is a job everyone should be forced to do at least once, if only to learn that it's not okay to snap your fingers when you want something, and also to find out what it's like to eke out a living on tips.

The BA Foodist's Tipping Rules

RULE NO. 1: Unless the server is rude, condescending, and/or completely absent, tip between 18 and 20 percent.

RULE NO. 2: Never tip on tax. Tip based on the subtotal. And if you're calculating your tip simply by doubling the tax, stop it--you're being cheap.

RULE NO. 3: Unless you drink like Dean Martin or have a taste for expensive wines (i.e., $40 or more, depending on your budget), it's best to include booze when calculating a tip. Bartenders expect a dollar tip per drink (which is usually about 20 percent of the drink's price), and it's no different with waiters.

RULE NO. 4: Never turn a blind eye when others are tipping--especially if they're unfamiliar with our tipping culture (i.e., Europeans). If you think your tablemate is lowballing the service, it's best to hand the waiter a few bills on the way out.

RULE NO. 5: If a few dollars here and there really matter that much to your bank account, perhaps you shouldn't be going out to eat in the first place.

Article located here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More things that you probably already know...

  1. I am thoroughly convinced that once someone is married on BYU campus, they should be sent to a satellite school. The mission statement of BYU doesn't necessarily say that its mission is to get people married; but we all know it's true. Therefore, why should the married students get to walk around, taunting us with their good looks, unattainability, and worst of all - their success at getting married? I don't think they should. They should be sent away, to somewhere far and out of reach, like Springville or Payson.
  2. I chronically check my gmail and facebook accounts. I know that nothing changes in 5-10 seconds, but... I just have to know. Status changes and updated pictures make me very happy. On top of that, I look forward to emails from Katie and Courtney, which area usually entertaining, but most of all - proof that friends can move away and STAY friends. I really appreciate that.
  3. I LOVE fall. Too bad Utah doesn't allow it to stick around for longer than 2 days. I love the color changes - the reds, dark greens, golds and yellows. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the crisp, cool evenings.
  4. I love geography. Every time I actually take the time to study, I remember how much I love it. I wish I could sit and study forever...and yet, when I have to, I fall asleep. But I don't want to do research. I just like to read things.
  5. I am learning that I am not prepared to graduate. The closer I get, the more scared I am. What am I going to do after? My Dad and Grandpa say I need to get a job right out. I am thinking I want to go to Grad school...but I don't know what that entails, or how I'd pay for it. Or what I'd do while in Grad school. Shoot. I don't know.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lost: Pumpkin Patch

Look... it's not that complicated. All I want is a hay ride and a patch of pumpkins. It's Halloween for heaven's sake. So Utah doesn't offer such things, but Idaho had one, and even though it was freezing, I'm glad I had the chance to go!

I was going to write some witty anecdote or entry or whatever, but I've lost the zeal to do it. So I'll just post pictures.

This is in Twin Falls. It was so PRETTY! (Except that nice, big 'ole man-made pipe.) And cold. And only the beginning of the cold, as we had to drive through snow. It looked like Christmas about 5 miles south of here. I couldn't believe it...but it did sort of get me in the mood for FALL! (Which is really too bad, because we're already to the winter season it feels like...)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dear Shelli...

Just a few reminders as you travel through this thing we call life. You seem to be forgetting, or letting your imagination run away with you, and I just want to make sure you keep your head on straight.

  1. No matter what you think - studying is important. You can't sit and read or watch television, or even hang out with friends if you think you are going to pass your classes. Just because you didn't learn it in class, doesn't mean you can't ever know the material! Study - and you will do really well on your tests.
  2. Um, Shell, hun... your room does not clean itself. If you are sick of stepping over your piles of laundry, you have to put them away. The same goes for the laundry, it will not make it to the washing machine without your help.
  3. Just like you cringe every time someone puts on their favorite country song or listens repeatedly to the same song you can't stand, please remember that not everyone likes YOUR music (even if it is fantastic).
  4. Hey, I can read your mind. And you know what? That guy that you are staring at, well, he's not going to push you against the wall and molest your lips with his, no matter how much you will it with your mind. He will also not do the following: say some witty remark in speech only appropriate during the Regency era, whisk you away to go horseback riding in the sunset, propose marriage within seconds of meeting you (I know you know that, but I just thought I'd throw that in...don't get testy with me!); he's not going to fight over you with your other imaginary boyfriend, and he's definitely not going to rescue you from some life endangering circumstance. When is your life ever in danger anyway?
  5. To go along with number four, just remember... things like that DON'T happen. I know, shocker! Marcia Lynn McClure, Diana Gabaldon, Deanne Gist, Eva Ibbotson, and all your other favorite authors write FICTION. As do you. Get over it.
  6. Everything you have been promised in your Patriarchal Blessing is dependent on your faithfulness, and by doing what it says in order to accomplish those things. So stop wondering why it hasn't happened yet. You know why. Besides, Heavenly Father knows what He is doing. It will happen when it happens.
  7. Not buying groceries and pretending that you aren't eating, doesn't mean that the calories from Wendy's, the Hard Disk, or BYU don't count. You should probably just buy some healthy food from the grocery store and eat that.
  8. The four minute dance party, Monday through Thursday, does not count as adequate exercise. Especially since you DO NOT know how to dance to that kind of music. No matter what your roommates say.
  9. If you want to go to Scotland, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, Morocco, Bermuda, St. John's, Jamaica, tour the East coast, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Romania, Brazil, Argentina, etc. You need money! You can't get there without it. And you need a passport! Speaking of cash. Money is not a renewable resource; if you aren't earning it, you'll run out! So get back to work!
  10. Everyone knows you are single. You can stop bringing it up. I know it's habit now, but it's also annoying.

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