Saturday, October 31, 2009

Quick Post

I haven't had a lot of time to blog lately, which makes me sad...but despite being very busy, I haven't really had a lot to blog about. My days consist of work...and more work...and then usually some church activity where I am trying to integrate myself in the "new" ward (and have been unsuccessful thus far) or doing stats.

I have taken my first stats test.And I have not checked my score yet.

[Pause, because I've finally remembered to check my score while sitting at the computer...]

Never mind, it looks like there isn't a way to check that on the one of twenty-two (only three) sites that they give you to do this dumb course. Don't worry though, I've emailed the "stattutor" to ask. I really want to know. Well, there is a part of me that doesn't care, but whatever. I am now advancing into a part of the course where I really won't understand anything. William has his work cut out for him.

In other news, now that November is nigh upon us, NEW MOON is as well. Everything they put out makes me just a little bit more excited for the film. I have embedded a series of clips from the trailers and interviews. It should just be on continuous play, so watch it. You'll see one clip that was just released yesterday. It's pretty good. And I definitely know that New Moon will be SO much better than Twilight.

Speaking of which, the guys at work found out that I sort of like Twilight, and have since been quizzing me everyday. I met Wes' wife and she was telling me how he was asking her for trivia questions and was embarrassed to admit that she knew the books well enough to give the questions, and that she knew them herself. I laugh, because I feel the same way. Ah, well...

Halloween hasn't been the same this year as it was last year. We had a party every night last year and all dressed up like nuns and had an awesome time (I don't think I will ever beat the fun I had dancing at the mental hospital) - but this year, I'm so tired. And I don't have a costume. I've been to three parties already (the one we threw on Wednesday, the lame ward party on Thursday -- lame probably because 1)We missed the main activity 2)I still don't feel comfortable in our ward and 3)Not very many people showed up....Also, the fact that our Bishop likes country music and that was what was playing when we arrived...blech -- and then the Omni party last night. Which was fun.) So tonight there is talk about going to Salt Lake, where 1)I don't know anyone 2)I'm still tired and 3)I have millions of things to do. I guess we will see what happens. I have a feeling I am going to be dragged there. Sigh.

Happy Halloween! Amy, I want to see picutres of my little baby gnome! (And you!) Please send them ASAP.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Readings in the Book of Mormon #1: Alma 26:17, 35-36

17 Who could have supposed that our God would have been so merciful as to have snatched us from our awful, sinful, and polluted state?
35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo, Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people...
37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Day of Disappointments

When something goes wrong in life I like to solve it in one of three ways.
  1. Do nothing
  2. Spend money
  3. Eat junk
I think the title gives away the fact that I did all of the following today. I really did have great plans my, now, treasured Saturdays. Saturday is, after all, the day we get the work done-day. Having spent the night in Huber as a Relief Society activity last night, I figured that I would actually be awake at a reasonable hour. Which I was, and we were back in Provo by 11:00am (after spending fifteen minutes trying to find a way AROUND the stupid homecoming parade - that no one seemed to be watching) or so.

After taking a shower and getting ready for the day, I pulled up my stats to do a quick review before I went to take my test. Unfortunately, the Independent Study office is not open on Saturdays. Which means - no test. I hate that. I hate that I think that I am ready for this test - or as ready as I will ever be (I'm sure I'd do a lot better if they would just let William come take the test with me... he wouldn't have to tell me anything, just be there for the extra brain power and allow me to talk through some of my more stupid mistakes) - and I couldn't. That seems to be a running theme with this whole stupid class. Every time I actually want to make progress - I am barred in someway from doing so.

With the free time I now had on my hands, I felt like I should do something productive like clean my room (which is disgusting... Stupid laundry!) or work on my Halloween costume or move on to the next lesson in Stats and worry about the test on Monday.... the list is basically endless. Not to mention that I am currently reading three books but haven't been able to get past a page or two at a time because I am SO tired all the time now.

And then I remembered. My brakes in my car have been periodically squeaking. I bought brakes a while ago when an acquaintance offered to change them for me. I shouldn't have trusted him from the beginning - after all, he doesn't seem the "car guru" type anyway. When he came over, he struggled getting the lug nuts off (by struggling I mean, of course, that he never did accomplish the feat), broke the key to get the lug nuts off and then we basically gave up. He took a look at the brakes, we drove the car around hearing only a single squeak and then returned. He declared that the brakes were good. They probably had a while yet on them. As this was something I wanted to hear - I believed him. I still had every intention to get the brakes checked, regardless, but I wasn't in as desperate a hurry. The last few days, though, I've noticed that the squealing was worse. I didn't think there was grinding, until I saw the possible brake dust on my wheels. So, having been spared my Stats test, I took the car in with my $50 off coupon and a book for the wait only to find that I didn't just need brakes.

I needed a whole brake system.

Not just shoes and pads (are those the same thing?) but calipers and rotors and front brakes and back brakes...and every ten minutes Tyler - the one I thought was just so lovely and customer-service oriented when I called to see if he could fit me in, and then the same who met me in the front as I pulled in my car - would come out and tell me that I needed another $100+ part. Apparently my brake fluid was dirty and dirty fluid is detrimental to a car. It ruined the whole brake system. The calipers on the right side were grinding my rotors to the point where they couldn't be refinished and the brakes were unevenly worn on the left and right sides.

Like I really have a clue what they are talking about.

I know I could have taken it somewhere else to get a second opinion. But really, when was I going to do that? And I like Big O Tires (although, I will go back to the Orem one, not the Provo one from now on) because they know me and I trust them, mostly because I've worked with them and they've saved my bacon a few times. I just wanted to get it done. I knew they needed work, I had been prepared to get the front brakes changed and possible the back ones (having only discovered that there were back brakes when I bought the brakes in the first place.) Tyler tried to convince me not to use the brakes that I bought, but I persisted. That saved me, oh, $20. Maybe. What a discount! I'm told that they also provided me with a FREE brake flush. I thought it was all very generous.

In the end, it cost me $708.49. Aren't we all SO glad that I have a job now? I know I am certainly grateful.

Needless to say, I needed chocolate after such an excursion. (Also, I just remembered that they were supposed to fix/replace the key to my lug nuts, and I don't know if they did or not...)

Anyway, I went to the grocery and picked up some things - one being little less than half a gallon (I know you've all noticed the smaller portions and higher prices on the ice cream) that was on sale of chocolate ice cream. Along with a few other items. At least I didn't have to charge this purchase.

I came home, ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich - severely lacking, now that I am out of my mom's jam - and watched about a half hour of TV because there is nothing on TV anymore. And then did nothing. So my laundry isn't done. My stats test still looms over my head. My room is a mess.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Courtside at the Jazz

On Thursday I had a few tickets to go and see the Utah Jazz play against the Portland Trail Blazers in a pre-season game. The tickets were for the nosebleed section, but that didn't stop my friend Tyler and me from sneaking down to the floor to get a better look. After one failed attempt, we made it down to the second row. I was, of course, shaking - I just KNEW we were going to get caught. I tried to look like I belonged and cheer like I was invested in the game but not TOO invested, you know? Tyler was threatening to shout obscenities and after the guy in the gold vest (the Usher/Security) I begged him not to. Best to lay low. Unfortunately, or...fortunately, Tyler's idea of laying low included climbing over the seat in front of us to land courtside. I must admit that I was trembling still, heart racing...I was so worried! Turns out I'm not the rebel I like to pretend to be. But we sat there and enjoyed the drunk kids (their eyes turned yellow because of the booze - who knew?) and the cheerleaders making faces at each other, listening to the players trash talk and goof off with each other, and even hearing the players yell things like, "Call it both ways, ref!" I didn't realize NBA players still yelled that ridiculous cliche. Apparently they do.

After the game we were successful in finding my parking spot and my car was still there. Yay. We went to dinner, where I realized that my friend Tyler is quite entertaining. Of course, I knew that he was a nice guy, easy to talk to, etc. But I couldn't help but be shocked when he looked over at a guy filling up his drink and said, "That guy is cool," in a tone loud enough that the guy could hear! The stranger preceded to look up and say, "You too can have a beard as great as this," meaning the red, shaggy beard he wore. This beard, his piercings and his custom-fitted newsie hat really added to the look. Tyler and I then discussed whether or not alcohol can turn the whites of eyes yellow (I think it does) and we both decided that we didn't know much of alcohol. Our new friend said, "It's good. That's all you need to know." I appreciated the sentiment, but I disagree. Anything that smells that awful... even if it weren't again the Word of Wisdom... Ok, I don't know. Regardless, beer stinks. I had to smell it the whole time we sat next to those drunk guys making eyes at the cheerleaders.

The saddest part of the evening happened a mere half hour from the time Tyler started making fun of my broken globe key chain. Yes, it was broken. Yes, it was ghetto. But I liked it. I loved it even. It represented my love for geography. So I stood up and dropped my keys. The globe couldn't handle it. The broken plastic cracked even more and the globe rolled away. Tyler laughed and asked if he could finally throw it away. I consented. Even I realize that the ghetto-ness could only go on for so much longer.

Anyway, it was a really fun night. The Jazz won, despite their lazy playing. They kept it close when they didn't need to... and nearly almost lost. I guess no one wanted to be injured because it WAS a preseason game, after all.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vivid Analogies

I've been given two really vivid analogies this week that I just thought warranted a public record. Mostly because they were so illustrious of what they were trying to say and two because they made me smile at the almost-inappropriateness of them both.

The first was describing the desperate situation of a budget. The situation involved a person who was so over budget, she was being forced to take PTO (that's paid time off for those of you who don't have a job - which no longer includes me!) - her PTO. The time that she could be saving for Thanksgiving, Christmas or her wedding anniversary. The thing that bugged her even more was the fact that there was money available, just sitting there. And she couldn't get to it because she wasn't allowed to touch it.

we have all that money sitting there
waiting to be used
the work to use it
and I can't touch it
I imagine this is how horny men must feel at a strip club

The second was given at work. Describing another co-worker as someone who can't turn anyone down for fear of disappointing them. Because he is basically the nicest guy ever.

You can imagine the situation he'd be in if he were a high school cheerleader. Yes, you get what I'm saying.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Church thoughts and a plug...

Another inspirational Sunday with many things to think about. And many changes to make in my life. But, I'll just get the "plug" over with, first.

I was called to be the Family Search Indexing co-chair in my ward this week and attended a training meeting. Elder Jenkins, the guy who taught the Indexing training, reminded us that redeeming the dead is part of the three-fold mission of the Church (perfect the saints, redeem the dead and proclaim the gospel). Family history should no longer be just a hobby - it should be considered a sacred calling. And one that we are all participating in. Elder Jenkins told us that 80% of the people outside of Utah working on genealogy are not members of our Church. Asian families in places like China, Japan and Korea keep records that go back for centuries in a sacred box. If only we realized how important this work is that we are supposed to be doing. Indexing is a great way to If you aren't signed up, then go, do it. I am setting the goal to do 500 names by the end of the month. That is a bit excessive - but everyone should be able to do about 30 minutes a week (about 50 names).

Ok - Secondly, we had two really great talks in Sacrament meeting. They were both on talks given in this month's general conference (which I LOVED). But one of the guys mentioned something that I thought was really profound. I'm going to paraphrase.

When we look at the men in the Book of Mormon[, the Bible and the prophets of the Church] as great men who have accomplished really great things. When we compare what they've done, it's hard to believe that we could ever measure up. There is no way to do these miraculous, incredible things. But then we look at what they did. Lehi obeyed the Lord. Nephi obeyed. The brother of Jared made a plan and followed through with it. Enoch prayed. Alma abandoned an evil place. Alma the Younger repented. They all acted on faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. When we break it down, we realize that these men simply obeyed, prayed, planned and repented. How are these things different than what we have to do? They aren't. It is by doing these things - obeying, praying, repenting and acting on faith - that great things come to pass.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Loser No More aka I have a Job

Kevin Madsen & Associates, that is KMA Architects, had the privilege of interviewing me last week. They seemed to be impressed enough that they invited me back for a second interview yesterday and then told me to come in today for work.

So today - I worked.

I am excited and terrified and thrilled and concerned and all of those emotions that plays through yourself when you are starting something new. The only experience I have with building and architecture are looking at the blueprints and hanging at the drafting tables at Troy Lumber when my dad worked there many, many moons ago. On the other hand, I have lots of experience answering phones and working "technical" jobs (i.e. jobs that use a bunch of terms which I don't know the meaning and yet I still manage to get through the work).

I've only worked for four hours. So far, I love the lady that I am replacing. She trained me today. I'm already devastated that she is leaving. She is a grandmother, and yet has the cutest, girlish giggle I've ever heard. The guys that work upstairs all seem really cool and friendly. Kevin is my boss, and he seems genuinely great as well.

The position is daunting. Robyn has been doing the job for ten years, so she knows everything like she does the layout of her house. Everything is second nature. I don't think she'll be able to teach me everything in three half-day training sessions next week, and then I will be on my own. One day I will be great at the job. It all seems do-able. It is learning it is that is the trick. The jargon is beyond me. And there are forms and processes and things that Kevin & Associates will need me to know immediately, and unfortunately, that will just take time. I wish there were a way to transfer Robyn's brain files into mine. Wouldn't it be great if our brains worked like Windows Explorer? Sigh.

Anyway - I am excited. And I feel like I will have MANY stories. Between the guys and the general contractors that I will be working with, there's bound to be. Especially since both Robyn and Peggy (the boss' wife and bookkeeper and subsequently my supervisor) asked if I were easily offended. I'm not. Apparently the contractors are characters, and I'm excited to meet every one.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Virgin Lips

"You've really never kissed anyone?"
"That's right."
"But that's so...weird. You always seem so willing."

Staying at my uncle's house, I've been, uh, able to - forced to - exposed to - a lot of kid's shows. You know the stuff that plagues the Disney channel and the Nick channel.

"Should we, just, uh, get it over with?"

On iCarly, a show that I have never been able to sit through a whole episode - I don't have a clue what it is about. Except, Carly has an internet show? I don't know. Anyway, her friend announces that their other friend has never kissed anyone. The rest of the show is him being embarassed by his virgin lip status to the point where he doesn't talk to anyone, not even his mom, and moves onto the fire escape to escape ridicule.

The girl that exposed him then admits on the show that she has also never kissed anyone. And everyone is shocked.

Well, I don't see what is so shocking. These kids are what? Fourteen? Fifteen maybe? And now my 8 and 9 year old cousins are watching this thinking that it isn't normal to not have kissed someone before they are even allowed to date. *shakes head*

It makes us 24 year-olds wonder what we are supposed to be doing...

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Bowling at ISU

If you are planning on bowling at Idaho State University, there are a couple of things to remember.
  1. Don't expecct "customer service." The desk clerk will text on her phone, ignore the majority of your questions and only vaguely tell you about the scoring problems that are a product of the unnecessary smoke machine. Also - she wants to leave early. So even though she told you that the alley closes at midnight, it is really still open until 1 a.m. on the weekends.
  2. Brush up your skills on how to score a game of bowling. As mentioned above, the smoke doesn't only make the bowling alley creepy, it also screws with the lasers that help keep score. If you want your strike to count, you better know how to add the next two balls your bowl to your score and then what to do on the next frame. They provide scoring sheets at the desk - if you can get the attendant to spare a pencil, you are doubly lucky.
  3. The juke box is expensive, but it has A LOT to choose from. However, you have to be very careful about who you let choose the songs, and make sure you confirm which song you think you picked - otherwise there is a lot of weird stuff coming out.
  4. The neon balls look really cool in the black lights. Also, they are better than those offered at Troy Bowl.
  5. The ball return is ridculously close to the lane. So if you need a little bit of extra space - too bad. Also, hitting the pins on the right side of the lane is nearly impossible on the second turn. So make sure you take them out first. Aiming is equally impossible.
  6. CASH or CHECK only. Remember to write your student ID number on the check. (Honestly - who doesn't take credit cards now a days? Why don't they just invest in an iPhone and then they can download that app that will let them accept credit cards...**)
All of that remembered, you are prepared to have fun.

I certainly did. Even though, I am convinced that if ever I were to break a bone, it would be while bowling. My left middle finger always feels as though it is going to be ripped off before the end of the game. On a left-handed ball, the top right side hole will be deeper than the left side hole and visa-versa for right-handed balls. Unfortunately, no one offers left-handed balls and the curve of the right-hand versus left-hand really hurts! Do I sound like a baby? Well...I just want to see you right-handed people bowl with a left-handed ball and see what happens.

Anyway, the poor design of the ISU bowling alley coupled with the right-handed ball really hurt my second game. I bowled a 55. I'm fairly certain that is a personal low. The good news is that my first game started out immediately with a strike and had two or three after that (one double and maybe a fourth) along with some spares and otherwise high rolls. My goal is always to break 100, and I did a little bit better than that and got 115. I was still the loser...but whatever.

I like bowling.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hey There Crusty doesn't amuse me that the package that I have been waiting for, for oh, 10 days, is sitting in my mailbox and I don't have access to it because the mail key happens to be in...well, I'm not sure where it is at the moment but somewhere between 10-15 hours from here - maybe on a boat? The point is, I want my books! And I can't have them.

So I'm pouting. And whilst pouting, I stumbled upon this video that seriously made me laugh out loud a few times despite my crusty mood.

So, enjoy (video link posted here: if you can't see it then you are looking at an email or through Facebook and should go to my blog).

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