Monday, December 23, 2013

Gifting

I have bought one present this year, so far.

I am HORRIBLE at giving gifts. Partially, it is because whenever I go to buy something for someone else, I just spend my money on myself. And partially because I really want my gift to be meaningful and appreciated. Not just, "Oh, thanks. I can use this!" but you know, the type of gift Oprah or Ellen gives that has the recipient weeping at their generosity. I've been on the receiving end of those types of gifts, and it's amazing.

I'm almost always that type that lives by the motto: Go big, or go home. If I can't get my dinner party or friend's birthday party, heck, if I can't get my house, to look the way I want it, well, I might as well give up or not even do it in the first place.

So I end up not buying people anything, because, I have a hard time thinking that a $10 gift certificate to Hot Head is sufficient. But I also can't afford earrings at Tiffany's to give to my sister. It doesn't help that my family is ridiculous to shop for -- I feel like I'm incredibly easy to shop for: just give me books, old maps, home goods...pretty much empty out Target and I would be incredibly happy.

The few times I've really thought I nailed a present, the person is not nearly as excited as I hoped, and it just takes away all the fun.

So now I'm down to two days before Christmas and one present. Today is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Everyone is doing their last minute shopping, and I don't want to be a part of it. I can feel my Christmas Cheer meter just dropping with the thought of being out in the chaos and traffic. Shudder. But I know that my siblings all tried to find something nice for me, and so I have to - I really want to - return the favor.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Another Reason to Shop Online

I got off work late, had to scrape my car off for the second time today, and found that the roads were still...treacherous. I drove home about 20 mph under my usual and with my hazards on. I still had both hands on the wheel, my back ramrod straight, and my heart in my throat. For the record, it was not even still snowing.

So, considering the 15- turned 30-minute drive home, I decided that I was in no way going to go out and run all the errands that I needed to do. Instead, I've sat down and started shopping online. Yup I'm buying light bulbs online.

If today is any indication of what winter is going to be like (and I'm not just talking about the weather), then this is going to be a long, dreary winter. Let's hope it is NOT indicative of what this season is going to bring.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Troubles of a Stuffy Nose

Two things that shouldn't have to happen, but when they happen, they should never be in the same week:

1. Killing a spider that crawled on your eyelid. (YES! EYE. LID.) Finding a spider in your room is bad enough; finding a spider in your bed is grounds for burning down your house. BUT having a spider somehow manage to jump (because really- you'd think someone could feel a thing crawling in their face) from the window sill (maybe) to your face is traumatizing at best.

2. Developing a cold where you will inevitably be a mouth-breather all night because there is absolutely no clear airway through your nose.

See the problem? That statistic that says we eat 8 spiders a year, or something along those lines, no longer seems so far fetched.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Disappointments

Have you ever stumbled upon a website that has the cutest clothes for ridiculously low prices only to find that the sizes are meant for typical Asian women, and not even close to regular U.S. sizes?

I'm telling you that it happens way too often.

I'm not just saying that they don't have plus sizes. These sites don't carry a size 12. Their XXXL is the equivalent of a U.S. size 10.

Somebody tell me where to get cute, cheap clothes in my sizes.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

ER

Last Thursday, I worked for an hour before I had to go home. On Friday, I went to the emergency room under direction of my doctor. I wouldn't have done it - and I shouldn't have - except, this is something they tell me ALL the time, and I always resist.



Remember that one time my roommate and I decided to make baked goods for boys to prove that that actually isn't the way to get dates? (No? http://shellmarie.blogspot.com/2011/04/trying-to-be-obedient.html) My visit to the ER was kind of like that. I knew that it would be a waste of time and money, but I was sick of hearing that I needed to go and I was sick of dealing with...well, what I was dealing with.

So I went to the ER, and I didn't have to wait even one second in the waiting room, which surprised me. A few nights before that, I had watched this whole video documentary on emergency rooms and saw the pain and suffering of people that go to the ER because they don't have insurance and what not. It made me cry no less than three times. Anyway, they got me in the system (spelled my name wrong) and then I waited. The doctor came in pretty quickly, especially when compared to the rest of the day, and we discussed what was going on. He decided that he wanted an on-call doctor to come see me, so in the meantime, I was to provide blood for my blood work and urine for my pee test.






The lady who did the blood work was not very bright. The whole time I was texting Amy (a phlebotomist of her own right) and sending her pictures of this woman's work. First, she chose to work on my right arm. I warned her that people often have a hard time getting my right arm to cooperate. She didn't let that phase her, instead she picked a vein off to the side and pushed and prodded and got five out of the six tubes of blood required by the dock. It was the most painful draw I have ever experienced. Let's not forget that I have my blood work done pretty frequently - I mean, I have throughout my life, and just recently was on Accutane, which meant monthly blood work. If the fact that this woman hadn't mutilated my arm weren't enough, she also told me that I probably only got my job because I was a girl, and because companies need a certain amount of minorities in their company, and ergo, that was why I was hired. (She later apologized for that little comment.)




When she got me set up for the IV I never needed, she decided to use my left arm. There's barely a mark on my left arm, where she had zero problems finding a vein... I'm just saying. She did have a little bit of an issue putting the needle all the way in, which was just a titch painful whenever I bent my arm to use it... but, at least she found the vein!

I was pretty bored in the ER. There's not really a lot on television during the day. I would have watched Ellen, but her guest was Puff Daddy - P Diddy - whoever the heck he is. I didn't care. So I switched the TV to some musical station and tried to read on my phone. Unfortunately, the book I was reading wasn't very good. And oh, I was naked! except for my hospital gown. That was awkward.

The worst part, besides knowing that I had just spent $100 on a deductible I couldn't really afford, was the catheter. They wanted a "clean" urine sample, and so peeing in a cup was not an option. (Or, it had been an option until there was a shift switch and one nurse wouldn't let me get away with it!) It was maybe not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it was definitely not a good time.

By that time, I had been in the hospital for four hours. FOUR HOURS and all they did was mutilate my arm and get a pee sample. The on-call doctor was nowhere to be seen, and finally in the fifth hour, the original ER doctor came in, did a quick exam, gave me a prescription for two days at home for rest and another one for pain pills that I didn't ask for.

I left the hospital and only then remembered that I should have asked for them to do some imaging - as that was one of the reasons my doctor had encouraged me to go to the ER in the first place. I set up an appointment with the no-show on-call doctor, and was on my not-so-merry way.

I proved myself right, though. Emergency rooms are strictly for when your organs are falling out, or your limbs are falling off. I will never go there voluntarily again. Instacare for me, all the way. That, or no doctors at all.

Saturday I made a really dumb decision to go horseback riding. Horrible. Terrible decision. It was a pretty day, though, so I can't begrudge the fact that I spent a day in nice weather instead of holed up in my room like I did for the rest of the weekend, Monday, and Tuesday. Luckily, my appointment with the doctor was somewhat a success, and after over dosing on the pills she gave me, I'm happy to say that last night I had the first good night's sleep I've had in over a week, and I'm feeling much better. Hooray.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lessons from the Married Folk

Several years ago, one of my dearest friends called and told me that she had started dating a guy. It was obvious withing minutes that she was head over heels. I happily listened as she talked about him and his personality and my dismissive thoughts were quickly replaced with thinking that this was probably going to "work out."

I initially dismissed the relationship because they were both very young. He hadn't served his mission. I wanted her to graduate, have the chance to explore the world, and do crazy and fun things.

The more I listened, the more I realized how mature their relationship was. The clincher was when she told me of how he had offended or hurt her by an action or something he said, and instead of bottling it up like I would have thought she would do, she confronted him. And instead of getting defensive or dismissing her, he validated her feelings, apologized, and promised to never do it again.

What?!

I was so stunned. These were 18-year old kids! I knew people ten years older that wouldn't have handled the situation as well as they did. I still don't know if I would have - being on either end. But that's when I knew. I knew they were going to get married. And I knew they were going to make it. He served his mission, and she waited. He took a job at home, and she waited. And when they got married, it was one of the best weddings I'd ever been to. I'm sure it's been an adjustment, and yet, they are happy.

I think it's important to be in a relationship where you feel safe to bring up your frustrations, and talk about what hurts you and makes you feel bad. If you don't feel safe doing that - if you feel like the person is going to get upset, or leave, then you need to reevaluate. I think it's a good indication in dating, especially, that if you can't bring to attention something that the other person is doing is making you crazy or hurting your feelings, that that person is not the one for you. It's never easy to confront someone on their alleged poor behavior, but... you have to be able to do it. And on the other hand, you need to allow for others to come to you and voice concerns and unhappiness at what you do. We are all imperfect, and we all make mistakes, it's so much better in the long run to be able to look at something, apologize, and try to never do it again.


I am still blown away that I learned that from someone so young, and yet, it's one of the many lessons I've picked up as I've observed successful couples interact with each other.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Smartie Pants

The other day I was talking about men and the lack of potential date-able men in my life, and my friend commented that she would love to set me up with some, but that she didn't think she knew any guys that were smart enough.

For some reason this struck a chord.

I've never felt like I am incredibly intelligent. Not to say that I think I'm dumb, because I know I'm not. But I have never felt as though I am smarter than most. I often feel ignorant about different topics (politics, math, the economy, personal finances, etc.) and I'm not nearly as smart as a lot of my friends.

But I think that is the point. I like to surround myself with intelligent people. And even though some of my close friends are not "book smart", they are geniuses in their own right. And I appreciate that.

Intelligence is important to me. I don't know why I'm just now discovering it. I've always liked guys that I felt were smarter than me, because I liked that they could teach me things. I don't want someone who lords it over my head, and becomes patronizing or disrespectful because they think they are not only smarter than me, but also everyone in the whole wide world (I've known people like this that I can't stand).

It bothers me when people are proud of the fact that they don't read. Or if they are uncommonly simple minded, and don't want to do anything about it.

So yes, I guess I do want a man with some brains.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Utah

This year, I truly fell in love with Utah. I've liked living here these past years (nine years...nine), but I've always joined the throngs of transplants that long for home, and dis on Utah. But something changed this year. My friends and I have traveled in different areas of Utah - from Moab, to the Salt Flats, to Scenic Byway UT-150, through Logan Canyon to Bear Lake, eastern Utah in Vernal, and even Antelope Island nearby and of course the hundreds of miles driven to get to all of these places, somewhere between all of this, I really did fall in love.

Even though we are unseasonably cold today, I have truly enjoyed the last few weeks we've had of gorgeous fall weather. I love fall in Utah. It rejuvenates my soul. It makes me love Utah even more. So bring it winter! I've got my Christmas tree up, and it's harvest-themed decorated, with the cutest turkey ornaments I could have ever wished for.














Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Anxiety

I love when I sit down to write a post and then realize what I was going to say is not quite...right.

For instance, this post was going to try and explain my social anxiety. I doubt most people really realize that it is an issue for me.

But then I Googled "social anxiety" and the article that I read (yes, I read just one) said that social anxiety is a fear of being judged by other people. In fact, it says, "Social anxiety is a discomfort or a fear when a person is in social interactions that involve a concern about being judged or evaluated by others." And that's not exactly what is going on with me. For the record: I don't really care what people think about me. No, let me rephrase that -- I am not afraid of other people's judgments of me. How else would I get away with being as blunt as I am?

Anyway, the problem is the fact that I moved all the way to the big city to meet new people (men) and expand my social (dating) circle...and so far, it's all been moot because I can't find whatever courage, gumption, or other extroverted traits I thought I possessed in order to do this very thing! It's frustrating because the rational side of me knows that there is nothing to be afraid of, and the emotional, messed up side of me is really just getting in the way.

This isn't all entirely new, however, my anxiety is largely diminished whenever I have just one cohort with me in groups of people. Even if I'm off on the side, watching the person be center of attention, or talking to other friends that I don't know, I feel much more comfortable than I do by myself. I don't think that this is somehow abnormal - in fact, I'm sure most people are more comfortable in group settings if they are intimately (and by that, I do not mean romance-novel "intimately") acquainted with someone. I've almost always had that in my life. In grade school through sophomore year in high school, it was my best friend. My junior and senior year it was a different good friend or my sister. My first weeks in Provo were greatly eased by my just-moved-to-town-too roommate, and so on and so forth.

There was one munch and mingle that I went to by myself when I lived in southern Provo, and I had a full blown anxiety attack. This was a year or two after I had gone off anti-depressants, and had not had any issues, except, I was the youngest person in the ward, and I knew only a handful of people, none of them well enough. I felt myself hyperventilating, and close to tears, and I bagged the whole thing. I went home immediately, and it wasn't until I walked out of the crowded hallway did I feel like I could breathe normally. Since then, I haven't had to worry about those situations. Not to long after that, I moved into the Omni and gained a very close-knit, large group of friends; and I've had something along the same lines ever since. (Even in The Single Tree, where I moved in and knew no one and somehow developed friendships with the girls in that ward...Still not sure how it happened, though, none of the friendships have really "stuck", since I moved.)

So now I live by myself (which I still love) and spend a lot of time by myself (which I mostly love) and by the time Sunday rolls around, I am so unused to being around people, that the thought of approaching people, or attending a munch-n-mingle by myself literally has me tearing up and quaking in my boots. I've missed several activities that I've actually wanted to go to simply because my brain could not fathom the idea of going and being by myself. My imagination (of which I have already proven gets carried away) starts putting scenarios in my head of walking into a room and standing there utterly along, tongue-tied, deaf, and mute. Or sitting on the edge of a lake watching everyone have fun while trying to pretend like I am enjoying reading and talking to no one. (Our ward had a campout that I wanted to go to, but could not bring myself to attend alone.)

So Sunday, while my whole ward was feasting on something that smelled truly delicious, I left. Thinking that if someone stopped to wonder at why I was taking off before the food, I would plead a headache. Only, no one stopped me, so I didn't have to use that age old excuse - true though it was.

So what is my problem? I really am not worried about what people think about me -- unless it's subconsciously. I am worried about going in and being that lone person, sitting at a table with no one else, quietly eating while trying not to make longing eye contact at the group of people obviously having fun. I don't want to be the awkward, fat girl with no friends. Which makes this all a giant Catch-22. How can you make friends with people if you don't attend activities? And how can you attend activities if you are near-tears at the very thought of going alone? No wonder people drink as a social lubricant.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

$$

In order to save money, I am considering the following:

  1. No more wearing make-up.
  2. Or getting my hair done.
  3. Wearing sack cloth dresses everyday. (Less maintenance, easy to wash and care for, no accessories needed, only one pair of shoes needed...)
  4. Changing my diet to 1) 1 bag of carrots a week...and, oatmeal?
  5. Becoming even more reclusive than I already am (no social life means less money spent, sitting in the dark saves energy, not going anywhere saves on gas)

Sure, I might just be a homely hermit in this scenario. A 27-year old with gray hairs and blotchy skin...but at least I won't be spending $100 at WalMart for a few make-up products and lunches for work.

Monday, August 05, 2013



Megan and I have driven to Wyoming two weekends in a row. We've taken different routes to get there, obviously, but we've done it. And it's been stunning. 

Last weekend, we tried to hit up the Uinta County fair, and ended up driving through the Wasatch Mountains, which are absolutely gorgeous.

This weekend, we drove to Bear Lake and took the "Evanston"-way back to Salt Lake City. There wasn't a forest, but there were thousands of acres of farmland and it was beautiful. 

I love being out in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but tall grasses, shrubs, clouds, and sunlight (or stars) to color my view. There's something about the big expanse of sky that is breathtaking. And there's a tranquility that you can't find in the hustle and bustle of a city.

I can't seem to get enough.







Friday, August 02, 2013

Unique

Last night I went to a little fireside where Sister Elaine Dalton (former General President of the Young Woman's program) was the speaker.

First, I went by myself. Which is fine. I do a lot of things by myself, and I actually like it. But I have found that when I am determined to be by myself, that things don't always work out that way. I always sit towards the front and center of church. I have always done this, and I don't know if that's because that is where we sat when we were growing up, or more, because I like to be front and center so I don't get distracted by other things, which I inevitably do if there's too much to look at. Also, it maybe seems less obvious if I'm towards the front, because almost always, someone will sit down next to me. Which, two someones did. Perfectly friendly girls that made the 20 minutes of earliness pass away quickly (yes, you read that right: I was 20 min early) and offered me a piece of gum.

This is not the first time that I have not had to sit by myself because someone has decided to be friendly and welcoming. I wish that I could be the same way.

I have full pages of notes that I think I will blog about later, but there were two things that I wanted to note about Sister Dalton's talk.

1 - I think a lot of us (as members of the church, as people in society, etc.) think that because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is primarily run by older men, that they are out of touch or unaware, or too old to understand the things that younger members of the church are facing. I know I've thought it a time or two. But listening to Sister Dalton talk about the things that she was trying to implement amongst the Young Women of the church, I had the impression that our leaders are very aware. They know the troubles we are facing. They understand the pressures and the demands that society and life place on us. They know, and they trust that we can overcome it. They do not counsel obedience because they are sticks in the mud, square, and ignorant. They tell us to be obedient because we need to be obedient. Because blessings and strength come from being obedient.

2 - This fireside was part of a series that my stake had been doing for the Relief Society that they called, "Healthy U". I wanted to go to the workshops, initially, because they sounded interesting, but with family reunions and not attending my ward for a month, I didn't get to any of them. But because we were focusing on our health, Sister Dalton talked a lot about our bodies. She talked about lots of things, and again, I'd like to come back and write down my thoughts about all of it, but one of the things that she said really stuck with me.

She was talking about how we are all made uniquely, and that we were given the very bodies we needed in order to accomplish the things that we were sent on earth to do. If God didn't want us to be different, He would have made us the same. This goes against a lot of criticisms that I hear against the church. There are people who think that we are sheep - taught to do and say and think only one way. But that isn't doctrine. We are all given different skills, talents, and bodies, in order to accomplish different things, to experience different things, and feel and think differently.

Along that line of thinking, she encouraged us not to hate our bodies and not to wish for a different body... That's hard for me to do, as I would much rather have the type of body that was "a skinny 78 lb., 5'8" girl" (as she kept referring to herself) instead of a...oh, I was probably last 78 lbs in 3rd grade, type.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Adventure

My mom used to always tell me that I expect too much. Out of people. Out of events. Out of everything. And because my expectations are so high, I'm bound for disappointment. I'm kind of used to it, now, since it has always been this way, but I recently discovered why.
It's not really that my expectations are too high, so much as they are unrealistic. That sounds worse, and maybe it is. The problem is that my brain operates like a novel. Every time I think of some grand scheme: an adverture, a party, an encounter with someone, I envision it the way it would take place in literature, and not as things actually take place in real life (especially my dull life).
Use the following as an example:
Towards the end of last week, I kept hearing on the radio advertisements for the Uinta County Fair in Evanston, Wyoming. There was a country concert over the weekend, and it made it sound like it was going to be really fun. I decided that it might be a good time to go check out with my good, always-up-for-an-adventure friend, Megan. So I emailed her some details, and we planned our weekend accordingly. I don't know what I was thinking. I was expecting to show up to the fair and for it to look like something out of Charlotte's Web -- lots of animals, lots of food, lots of music, and most importantly, lots of country folk. Preferably, youngish, male country folk that wear tight jeans and cowboy boots.
I picked out my outfit: gingham checkered shirt, brown boots, and new, blonde hair, and I was going to go and at least have some fun with some country guys from Wyoming. Maybe experience a meet cute. Armed with Megan as my wingman, I really did not see a problem with this plan. That is, until we got there. I guess the main fair festivities don't start until next week, and the "carnvial rides" they advertised were in an abandoned lot, with about 10 pepole there. Tickets were $1 a piece, and you needed four of them to ride a ride! It was ridiculous. Plus, it was raining. We drove around trying to decide if it would be worth it to stop, and when we did, Megan paid $10 for us to ride the Ferris wheel. The only people at the fair were not country at all. They were Latinos and hoodlums (kids with multiple piercings in their lips and looking generally scary).
So much for my meet cute. And so much for my planned adventure.
Luckily, Megan is a very willing partner when it comes to exploring. So we drove out of Evanston and further into Wyoming. We stopped on the road along some farmland, and I tell you what I was in heaven. The only sound was the wind through the grasses and faint lowing of cows. What do I have to do to get a ranch and a cowboy?! Once we were back in our car, we continued driving and within no time at all, we were back in Utah...wait, what? That's right. Without retracing our steps, we ended up back in Utah and in one of the prettiest spots available! It. Was. Gorgeous. Words cannot describe. Nor pictures capture. We sat in stunned silence at the beauty, and found ourselves whispering in other places because it was just too magical a place.
(This is where I would insert pictures, but unfortunately, do not have that capability at the moment.)
All in all, it was an excellent adventure.
But how much better would it have been if two cowboys had walked up to Megan and me and introduced themselves with their lazy, country drawl. They could have escorted us around the fair and maybe bought us a funnel cake. We would laugh at their witticisms and wonder at all the hard work they have to do everyday. Then they could have offered to take us exploring! And we would've gotten their numbers and planned to meet up later and eventually, I'd marry my cowboy and move to his ranch and spend my time writing and riding horses...sigh, it could have been awesome.

I guess we just experienced a different sort of magical adventure.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Arranged Marriage

There's a very formulaic approach to writing a romance novel. Either the main love story focuses on the fact that the two people hate each other in the beginning, only to find themselves falling hopelessly in love; or, the couple has a history where they were soulmates, and then something happens (like misinterpreting a sigh...yes, you read that right: a sigh) after which, they are brought together and realize they were meant for each other after all; OR there is the marriage of convenience. I don't know what it is, but I love marriages of convenience. Two strangers getting married for all sorts of stupid reasons, and then they fall in love with each other and live happily ever after. One of my very favorite movies is called Arranged, it happens to be about two women: An Orthodox Jew and a Muslim, who become friends as they teach together at a school, and as they are both in the middle of having their marriages arranged by their families. There are so many good things about the movie (like, teaching tolerance, and faith, and love, and self-discovery) and I really recommend it, but the thought of an arranged marriage in today's world... So I've been thinking about it a lot. How would I do in an arranged marriage? Can it really work? What if, hypothetically, my Uncle decided he had found the perfect man for me (i.e. the guy is also single...) and we got married for time and eternity, and started our lives together. Getting to know each other after we had aleady made the covenants to be together, knowing that this was no 30- to 90-day trial, money back guaranteed. For a moment, I think I could do it. If all I want is companionship, someone to bounce off ideas and make decisions as partners instead of a single, selfish person. A warm bed with another body in it. Someone who shares my beliefs. If that's all I want, can't that be discovered in a relationship with a person you don't really know? I think it could work. I think there is evidence that it has worked. But is that all I want? Could I give up the surely semi-false idealizations of romance, passion, and common interests? There's a chance those things would be discovered in an arranged marriage, but there's also a chance they would not be there. You might develop a friendship or a companionship, but what if it never transcends to the level that when you're reading a romance, you know it will ultimately reach. Life isn't a romance novel, so there's no guarantee. An arranged marriage would take a lot of work, especially at the first. All relationships take work, but this would be particularly hard. You would have to make sure that you did not come to resent the fact that you had given up your choice, your hope for something better to come along. You would have to work to discover the things that bound you together as a couple that would typically be found while dating. The thought that you had signed on to something so permanent without a way out would take some getting used to, and I don't know if you would get used to it. I've heard the counsel that there is no such thing as a "soul mate" and that any worthy man and any worthy woman that are dedicated to making a marriage work, will have a working marriage. And for the most part, I believe that. I think two truly committed people can stay together and have a relatively happy life together. But is relatively happy enough? Of course, two people who are madly in love don't always make it through. Passion fizzles, selfishness returns, love grows cold. So again: No guarantees. You can't know unless you try...

Monday, July 08, 2013

Empathizing with Jo March

There's a scene in Little Women (the movie -- because I never did finish reading the book) when Amy throws Jo's manuscript in the fire out of spite. Jo is, obviously, incredibly upset, swears that she hates her sister, and after a violent outburst, she falls into her mother's arms and mourns the loss of all her hard work.

I can empathize.

I've been writing for years. (Before I knew about Dropbox.com, and before I used Google Docs - now called Drive.) Here and there, and with not much success, but I like it, and I like the storeis, and even if no one ever read another thing that I created, it wouldn't matter. I like my characters and my banter, and sometimes I get verbiose and I don't care, because I like that too. But last year, when my computer was on its dying days I bought a new one and set the old one aside, and continued writing. I thought I had removed all the files I needed, or in my mind, I thought I had enough of my old computer left in order to retrieve the files I wanted.

But the other day, when I checked my external harddrive, I noticed that there was a whole folder, supposedly filled with several different stories, missing. I wasn't worried. I was certain they were on the other harddrive. But when I checked that, they were missing from there as well. Again, I did not panic. I have a thumb drive that most certainly had the files I wanted... until, no. They weren't there either.

I still didn't worry, because this has all happened to me before. My computer crashed once during finals week, and all I did was pull out the harddrive and insert it into a casing and plug it into a new computer and WALAH! I had access to everything I needed.

I spent an evening dismantling my whole computer (unnecessarily, because they make harddrives incredibly easy to remove) and putting it into a casing and optimistically I plugged it into my computer.

Nothing.

You would think that this would be the time for me to panic, but no. It wasn't a big deal because my dad would be in town in a month, and surely there could be something done in order to retrieve the files. (Why weren't they on the external harddrives like I though!?)

But last night, my dad pronounced the harddrive dead.

Honestly, it wasn't a surprise, but it was a sting -- no, a blow -- that I had been putting off now for months. I am devastated. How easily years of work and toil and creativity can be wiped away without so much as a by your leave! I can't remember the last time I curled into a ball on my mother's lap and cried, but that I did.

Sure, there are expensive processes whereby the data may be accessed. But, if it is $500-800, who can really afford that?

I know how Jo feels. Instead of a spiteful sister, I have a vindictive harddrive. Instead of a fire, I have malfunctioning technology. And instead of having sisters who can help recreate the entirety of the story with all the best parts, I have... my own memory of how things go and no way to actually  recreate any of it.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Danger of Online Dating

I don't even know how to begin telling this story…

The other night I was checking my messages on OKCupid, ignoring most of them, and thinking that I should just cancel the account, when I read a message from an attractive black guy*, "Do you want to go to a concert or musical with me?"

*This is important only because of my desire to have little black babies, which are so adorable. And the fact that I think a lot of black men are attractive, but have never dated any of them.
 
That's all it said. I checked out his profile, and it seemed pretty innocent. He even answered questions that said that he didn't smoke or drink, and so, on an impulse, I said "Ok."

We arranged to just meet last night.

He picked the spot: Gateway food court, 7 pm. So I was there, reading my Kindle, and I see these hot black men walk in. Not him. And then this kid bobs into the cafeteria, and wanders around until he settles on Hot Dog on a Stick, where he bought himself some fries and a drink. Then he found me.

He has this nerdy vibe, but he's still cute, but… I don't know. He's socially awkward, a little. And I know almost immediately that I want out. But we sit and talk, and he tells me that the Mormon religion is a cult. And harasses me about the church's history with blacks, and all kinds of other things…

Then we switch topics and he asks me what I like to do for "fun", even though I know what he's really asking. Don't ask me how I knew, but I can be perceptive some times, and even though I skirted around what he wanted to know for a few minutes by saying that I liked to travel, and I wanted to get into hiking, etc. etc. He asked again what I did for "fun", and I called him out on it. "You mean, instead of having sex?" Yes. That's what he wants to know. I just roll my eyes, and we have to have a discussion about how it's my choice and not the church ordering me what to do… blah blah blah

He asked me what's the craziest thing I've ever done and I tell him, I don't do crazy things. I'm pretty mellow. Not a thrill-seeker. And he's like, "No, what's the craziest thing you've done?" And I'm like, "Do you mean, what's the most rebellious thing I've done?" And he says yes, that is what he means. I just shrug. "Well, let's do something crazy right now," he says. "Where are the bathrooms?"

Oh, hell.

I knew what was going to happen, and I couldn't figure out a way to politely excuse myself and be done with the whole thing. So I follow him (he bounces, and I am about 10 ft behind him) to a certain point and then I stop, because duh, I'm not following him to the bathrooms.

This is where it gets uncomfortable.

He asks me how long it has been since I've made out with someone. Bad question: it's been ages. I don't know how to answer, and he surmises the truth. He asks me, "So, no sex?"

"NO. No sex."

And then he kisses me.

Despite how weird the whole thing was, and me wanting to leave, I want this to work. I want it to be good. I mean, we're not quite near the bathrooms, but we're in an alcove that is secluded. And there's a wall. He's cute (except when he walks, and speaks, and eats…) and he's black!

It doesn't last long. His lips are too big, and I don't have experience with that. I feel like it's my first kiss all over again, I'm 16 and clueless. I don't really respond, because I don't… know. I don't want this, but I sort of… confusion.

I decide it is time to go, and he clearly is going to walk me to my car, which is fine, except I'm a dimwit, and can't find my car in the parking garage. So we're wandering around in the parking garage, me trying to keep conversation on benign topics, and with him asking, "So, no sex?" He walks behind me, with his arms wrapped around me, asking why I won't have sex with him…and I'm just like, "Is this why you are online? So you can just hook up with any girl that says yes?!" He denies it, but I know it's true. So I keep going, "You are just looking for some lonely, desperate girl to hook up with?" And he's like, "Are you desperate?" No. I say it emphatically. I tell him that it wouldn't happen tonight, anyway, even if I did have sex…we've literally only known each other for an hour.

Finally, I find my car. I'm relieved, but he helps himself into my passenger seat so that I can take him to his car. But first he wants to make out in the front seat. Honestly, I had no idea how to get out of the situation, and I didn't want to be rude (residual effect of having to defend the church and its members, trying to prove that we aren't intolerant, racist, prudes), but… he kisses me again, only this time, he's getting handsy, trying to feel me up. I grab his hand and push it away and he's still trying to cop a feel and look down my shirt. He's like, "Just show me a boob." !!!!!

And I was like, "NO!" He asks me why, and I'm like, "This is all you get to see. I wear clothes for a reason." He tries to cop a feel again, and I'm done. I want him out. So I put my car in gear, and start driving out of the parking lot.

We get to his car, and he tells me to call or text him… seriously?

I still feel dirty.
 
Actually, it's been a few nights and I've had several discussions with friends. First, I am never doing something like this again, and I just might invest in a taser. Second, I can be blunt and forthright, and I just need to do that without worrying about hurting a dude's feelings when I want out. And lastly, who, WHO does this kind of crap actually work on?
 
Not only was he not a gentleman but he wasn't complimentary, he didn't behave with anything close to what the realms of human decency would allow (Um, hi, don't bash my religion for 20 minutes and then expect to get in my pants) and common courtesy... (How many times do I have to say NO?)
 
Anyway... it was a nightmare, and now I'm glad it's over so I can totally laugh about it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I Get So Emotional, Baby

In case anyone is wondering, I LOVE living by myself.

It's probably the greatest decision ever; even if I will be broke and in the poor house by the end of my rental agreement.

Two things I've noticed, though: 1) There's nothing like unexpected guests to inspire a massive cleaning-craze. And then that craze fizzles and dies quickly. Oh well, my kitchen has now been properly clean. (Even though there's that one box still sitting there, filled with things that I probably don't need, but I don't want to throw away...)

And 2) I'm very emotional.

Meaning: I cry. A lot.

It's not the depression-cry, or the self-pity cry, or anything of that nature. It's just that I watch shows like The Office or New Girl or Parenthood and I bawl. The tears well up so easily these days, and within minutes of watching something, I've got salty tear tracks running down my cheeks, a headache, and a stuffy nose. But, it's the cleansing sort of cry, so despite the aforementioned side effects, I feel great.

So, I have a daily cry-fest, and I can feel myself getting more and more emotional throughout my day. Don't even get me started on Sunday. I feel like I'm back to being the highly emotional teenager that I was.

Why did this happen after moving in by myself? I can't say. But I also can't say that it's a bad thing. I feel like I'm getting in touch with my inner sympathetic, nice person, instead of my more cynical bitter sort of person. Over the years, I've transformed from that erratic, hormonal teenager that cried -- a lot -- to a more hardened sort... I'm not sure which is worse, but for now, I think the tears are here to stay. Just don't say anything too nice to me, or I'll be a weepy mess.

Oh goodness, and I definitely can't be watching things like this:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Overhaul

A few people have commented on my absence of posts. But most people haven't. It's not that I haven't been blogging because I've lost readership, or anything like that... I've just been really busy overhauling my life.

In the past two months I've gotten a new job, moved to a new (bigger) city, and had my car totaled. So basically, I've changed just about everything I could change, and shed the life of the 18-year old girl that moved to Utah almost nine years ago.

NEW JOB

Everything changed when the offer of a new job in Salt Lake City. I applied only because I had a friend who was hired and casually mentioned to his wife that I should apply for a job at the same company. I put it off for over a month, but in a moment of determination to get out of my life's rut, I sent in my resume. Everything moved pretty fast from there. I interviewed, was offered the job, and gave my two weeks to the company I had worked at for three years.

There were lots of tears involved.

I loved working at KMA, and for Kevin, and I really liked what I was doing. Kevin told the guys upstairs that I was an "overachiever" because I was never content just being a secretary. Mostly everyone outside of work that I wasn't an overachiever at all. I felt like I had gone as far as I could go, and still, it was not an easy decision. When I sat down in front of Kevin to tell him I had been offered a new job, I bawled. When I got a text a few days later from him to counter the offer, I cried harder. I talked to my friends. I cried to my mom. My bishop.

And in the end, I made the decision to take the job and try a new adventure outside of Provo.

I'm still wondering what the hell I've done. (Sorry, Mom.) My new job is busy -- I've no time to play on Facebook or plan vacations I can't afford, or do any of the goofing off I did at KMA. And it's quiet. There aren't the shenanigans that would go on at KMA. And it's strict. This is a STRICT 8-5 gig; and sometimes it's 7-8. I can't just take off whenever I want, and long lunches are considered "vacation" if you are billing your hours honestly. I feel trapped and there's nothing creative about my job. My new company is very processed based. There's been a lot to learn.

My only comfort is that in the intro packet HR sent me, was the little advice that, "If you hate your job, just wait two years and it will be worth it."

NEW APARTMENT

I tried the commuting thing for a month and that's how I got my car totaled (see next section). It has been a painful process trying to readjust my sleeping schedule to something a little less co-ed and a little more mature adult. I hate it. And I'm tired all the time. I feel like a drug addict sitting at my desk, nodding off. Besides, the whole point of taking a new job, was so that I could get out of Provo and try my luck in Salt Lake City.

I looked for a new place everywhere... And didn't find anything that I really felt like I could live in. Until I walked into a little unit that just felt right. It felt like home. It was the only place that I could really see myself living in...and it was a little pricier than I wanted. So I tried to give it up, and kept coming back to this place.

I love it.

I love living by myself. I love the location. I have high hopes for the ward... I love that I have generous people in my life that have made it an easy transition by loaning me a queen sized bed, and helping me furnish the place with enough things to make it into a home. I. Love. It. If it turns out that I really can't afford to live like this, I will be devastated if I have to go back to a bunch of roommates.

Please bless that this place does not financially screw me over.

NEW CAR

For the record, I do not recommend getting into an accident. Especially on the freeway during morning rush hour traffic. And especially when it is your fourth day of work.

Don't for a second think that I was at fault. The accident could have been so much worse than it was, and I think it was because I was driving: with both hands on the wheel, no radio, my phone set down on the passenger seat, out of reach; in the slow lane (for goodness sake!) that made it so that when the guy decided to merge into my car and send me spinning, I ended up in one of the safest places I could have been, and sustained only body damage to the car. (And a touch of whiplash for my troubles.)

Whenever you see insurance company commercials, they always talk about how good they are about taking care of you, as their client. They never mention how they treat the person on the other end of the deal. In case you were wondering: crappy. They don't care that it was their policy holder's fault that you are now car-less, injured, and taking "vacation" at work in order to have your car valued at less than nothing, when before you were hit it was running just fine (never mind the fact that you might have just dropped $400 on new belts for your engine...). It's all very ridiculous. And I probably would recommend getting a lawyer, just because the insurance companies would probably take you more seriously.

That being said... I probably got more money for my car from the insurance than I would have been able to sell it for. And I got to keep the car (never mind that that scenario brings a whole lot more complications, since Louise was registered in Ohio). And I bought a car from my friends (same friends who got me this job) at a supreme discount with unbeatable payment plan.

So that's my life as of late. Next thing to do: Go through the temple. And now that I have A/C in my car, it's totally doable.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Everything

Line of the Night: "Not enough for me? You are everything."--Jim to Pam

Watching The Office isn't supposed to make me cry.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Adulthood

The other day I looked in the mirror and told myself to "Stop being timid. Stop feeling unworthy. Stop thinking that somehow you aren't meant to be where you are, with responsibilities, or that you are meant to be below others all the time. It's time to act like the grown-up you are (you are almost 30) and the one you always thought you would be."

Basically, I was telling myself to grow up, and quit feeling like a child. I just can't seem to shake the feeling. Why does adulthood have to be so defined (in my head) with being married, having kids, or owning a house? Or your own car, for that matter. Why is it that whenever I look at my life, I still feel as though I'm playacting and waiting for life to begin? Because I can't check those lists of things off, I somehow am inferior to my peers who can?

I feel so naive, even though I'm not. I feel second- or third-class compared to others.

I find myself shying away from people, as if they are better than me. And I hate that feeling. I'm not ashamed of who I am. And I've accomplished things, have adult responsibilities. And for heaven's sake: I'm 27. Nearly 30.

I can't be anymore adult than I am.

But I still feel like the kid in this picture most days. And I don't know how to shake it.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Darcy

While I was in Kuna last, my aunt mentioned The Lizzie Bennett Diaries. How had I never heard of these before?! I don't know...but I spent the weekend rectifying the situation. (If I haven't convinced you to look at them yet, do so now. Start with episode one, here.)

Only moments ago I was talking to a friend about how I would be terrible at speed dating. Our ward held such an activity on Monday, and I couldn't go because I was at work late. (If you doubt that I was going to go, I'll have you know that I dressed for the occasion, even if I hadn't completely decided...) Anyway, I told her that I am terrible at things like speed dating because I am absolutely wretched at small talk.

I come off as a... b^+<''.

Anyway, as I was thinking about that, I realized: I am Darcy. As in, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. He comes off as arrogant and proud, even though his friends are deeply devoted to him. He's awkward in large social settings, and says thinks bluntly that come off as horrible... As I said.

I was pretty please with my introspection; not moments later, I stumble upon this:


I didn't even look at the bottom to see who was who, or where the flow chart was leading, and what do you know? I ended up at Darcy, twice. There was one question where I could have gone either way, and I still ended up being Darcy.

Validated.

Trust Issues


I've seen this around the internet several times. For me, it's not true. There's nothing more disappointing then thinking I'm getting an oatmeal raisin cookie that ends up beings a chocolate oatmeal cookie. Oatmeal + raisins is good. If you want a chocolate chip cookie, don't add the oatmeal.

I can't be the only one alone in this.

Then again, it wouldn't surprise me.

If forced to choose, oatmeal raisin cookies would be my favorite. Oatmeal chocolate chip... lame. Very, very lame.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Writing Realistic Love Stories

I don't think it is a secret that I write and read romances. There's something about them that I just can't seem to give up, and I've really only tried (to give them up) halfheartedly anyway. Despite having a great love for these stories, I will be the first to admit that they are completely unrealistic, almost always cheesy, and just a little bit vomit-inducing.

I was talking to a friend and he asked, "Why can't a realistic love story be written?"

My immediate answer: It can't. It just can't. Not in a romance novel. Because there is always going to be an element of cheese. Because do guys really say those things that makes your heart melt and kicks up a flock of butterflies in your stomach?


Kisses this awesome have to be scripted and acted out. I'm beginning to think that they don't really happen in real life.

Besides, if realistic love stories were written, you'd have to include all the mundane things. The annoying habits that you have to put up with...

I don't know. The closest thing I've read to a "real" love story is in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. And even though the love story seems to ring true (if just a little puffed up) the rest of the story isn't, what with the witches and time travel and magic stones. Movies that portray "real" love stories end up like Blue Valentine, which is just depressing.

When I wrote my book, I tried to make it a realistic love story. It just got boring. So I threw in some things that I hope happen to absolutely nobody in real life.

I guess there's a reason we call it fiction; and a reason why the genre is so popular. We have to get our fixes of this overly-passionate, unrealistic love somewhere, because we aren't going to get it in our real lives.

That Time Pandora Thought I Was Almost Middle-Aged


Not yet, Pandora.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Delivery Guy

I've mentioned on this blog before that I've crushed on the Les Olson delivery guy before; and most people that follow me on Facebook have read the comments about when he drops by and makes my day by just letting me look at him and smile retardedly until he leaves.

There has been a lot of discussion about flirting with him (here) and not knowing how to take advantage of the 35 seconds I have to sign the paper before he leaves.

In December, when my work decided that we were doing our Christmas dinner, I was told that I needed to "find my Prince Charming" to invite as my date. (The last time we had a Christmas party, I invited a roommate of my friend and have not talked to him since...) I racked my brains with who to invite.

I had an offer of an engaged friend to come with me. I had a friend offer her husband. And then there's the group of guys that I hang out with on a regular basis, and I decided, that would be cheating. I wanted to bring a date. Not just a friend. So who?

A mention of it at the office had the guys suggesting a few guys. One of them being the Les Olson guy. I thought about it and then had a mini panic attack. Why shouldn't I ask him? But how should I ask him? What ensued was a lot of orders for toner (which were actually legit) and plotting and plots being foiled... There was talk about luring him back to the supply closet. There were WHOLE CONVERSATIONS planned in my head.

In the end, someone always managed to come down the stairs, ruining my "game" (yeah right, like I have game...) and a result of nothing.

And then "Santa" came to the office early, bearing the delivery guy's phone number on a post-it.

I debated for a whole day as to whether or not I should use the number. I did not know the precise tactics by which it was procured, and that made me worried. All the guys bet against me. No one thought I would actually call, but they asked on and off for the rest of the day. I polled all my friends. I had mini-panic attacks. I took the number home that night and didn't do anything with it.

Then, I decided, "What the heck." And on my way to work the next day, I called.

The guys all at work said that they were proud of me. I think they were shocked. Honestly, after listening to what my girl friends had to say (they all claimed that they would not call), I decided that I was proud of myself. The delivery guy acted as though he was interested until I gave him the date and he said he would be out of town.

I don't know if that was an excuse, the truth, or whatever. I did it. And I did it without actually having a panic attack and without feeling dashed to pieces when it didn't end up as a success. It wasn't that hard after all.

We've had one order of toner since then, and the delivery guy didn't come.

That's not really a good sign. Was he sick that day? Out of town? Did he have his whole route changed because of me? It's hard to know. I hope not, because that would be really dumb. Even though he turned me down, I am not embarrassed to interact with him (remember how he's in my office for 35 seconds per delivery?), so if he's embarrassed or what, afraid I'm going to jump him? then that's stupid.

I ended up finding a date to take to the Christmas party. That was after making a foolish misjudgment and asking someone I shouldn't have, then calling and persuading him to admit that he'd probably stand me up and deciding to call the whole thing off. I found my date randomly, and it ended up being a really good night.

Of course, if this follows tradition, I will likely never talk to him again.

Whatever.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

NEVER FORGET


Thanks for the constant reminder, iPledge! I can't wait for my next pregnancy test.

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