Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rules of the Game

This blog is like my journal. And like my journal, I am probably not going to write much in it when I'm in a bad mood, or at least I won't write about the bad mood. So if you ever think that I'm not writing frequently, or that I'm writing really short, pointless messages, it's probably because...that's right, you guessed it: I'm in a bad mood. Just letting you know.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Beautiful Life

Two things to write about tonight:

1. Yesterday as I was driving around south of campus, I saw a guy getting out of his car with a huge bouquet of flowers. He walked up the sidewalk to a house. That's all that happened that I saw.

2. Tonight as I was driving home from a party Cousin Rachel invited me to, I saw lightening and heard thunder, and my immediate thought was that I should go hop the fence into the cemetery just down the street and sit somewhere in there to watch the display. This may seem odd, but I've been thinking about visiting that cemetery ever since I found out I was going to be living this close to it, which has been since early July. I think it will be a quiet place to contemplate life if I ever follow through with that urge. Which I will not do tonight...I know my mother would probably be horrified...not at the sitting in the cemetery part, but the jumping the fence part.

These two experiences are part of what I'd like to consider the realm of possibility. My wonderful cousin Geneil told me once (in her own words of course) that what she missed from single life, now that she's absolutely blissfully married, is the feeling that when you wake up in the morning there is a cloud of possibility that hangs over you, making anything possible. And ever since she said that to me, I've realized that it's true. I could go jump the fence to the cemetery. I have the possibility of getting flowers in the future (daisies please). And there are an infinite number of possibilities in my life to look forward to and choose from. Beautiful life!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two Good Things

Tonight I went back to my friend Chelsea's house. I attended a writing club she invited me to, Two Good Things. The two good things are writing and dessert. And boy were they good! The way it works is that someone brings a dessert, and it's the motivation for the writing (I mean, maybe some people are motivated to write just for itself, but the dessert doesn't hurt!). Another person comes with a prompt to give the others, and we take a chunk of time - however long we want - to respond to the prompt. Then we share what we wrote while we eat. Our prompt tonight was a question from a book about creative writing: What things do you like in good novels? What things do you not like in novels? Discuss. Here is my response:

Things I like in a novel:
*suspenseful chapter endings
*good dialogue
*symbolic description
*fun quotes
*realistic love
*thwarted love
*loyal characters
*sad endings
*happy endings
*(subtle) humor

Things I don't like in a novel:
*cheesy jokes
*gratuitous sex scenes
*endless sentences
*assuming that the reader knows too much about something
*unrealistic goals/plot advancement
*no plot
*illogical jumps

As you can see, these lists are no work of art, but I think that it might help me as I prepare to write more for our club. I plan on posting my work on this blog each week, so we'll see how/if I improve. And while I'm sure I won't be producing anything like Henry Van Dyke's The Three Best Things, I will definitely get Two Good Things on Thursdays!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Soda Bath

Some friends of mine bought 700 liters of orange soda and a few blocks of vanilla ice cream, and made the largest orange cream soda you've ever their hot tub...and then we sat in it...and drank and ate it.

Here are me and the guys enjoying the tub. It was actually pretty cold, especially once the ice cream got thrown in. And yes, I was the only girl who got in.

Look at those orange arms and legs! *Note* We were all required to have showered within 1/2 hour before getting into the hot tub, and you KNOW I showered within 1/2 hour of getting out! I was afraid the orange wouldn't go away, but it came right off with hot water and soap.

Chillaxing by the tub. Most everyone had gotten out and rinsed off, but there was a late comer that you can see here.

See the devastation caused by the revelry...Those guys were seriously out of control, dunking their heads in it and smearing ice cream all over each other.

I was trying to capture the orange. I actually look a little tan, rather than orange, if you don't look too close...maybe a great new tanning method!

All I have to say is - WAHOO was that fun!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Adventure of the Vacant Lot and Other Tales

Tonight I went to a birthday party. It was for my old roommate, Chelsea. She turned 26 today, on the 26th, her golden birthday. And because she lives so close to my new place, I thought I would walk to her house. It only took me 15 minutes to walk it, and I really enjoyed the stroll. Chelsea lives in kind of a funny spot. Utah uses a grid system, but there are occasional glitches (like Chelsea's street) where the street doesn't go through, and you have to know to go around a different way in order to get to where you are going. I knew the trick, and walked around the correct way, approaching her house from the east. I came to the vacant lot that borders her house, and just as I was about to walk across it, I heard a little rustle in the grass as some unseen animal made a quick exit. I wondered what it was, and that thought kept me thinking about the things to be aware of around me as I walked home again. I noticed things that made the walk very pleasant. I realized, I like the neighborhood that I live in/near. I was surrounded by the vibrant colors of well-watered flowers, the beat of a drumset from a basement, the sight of a big man riding a small scooter, the sound of children playing with a hose, the noise of children getting yelled at for playing with a hose, the buzz of a lawnmower, and the cool heat of the late afternoon sun. The summer days are starting to cool off a little, and the summer nights are no longer diluted by the residual heat of the sun. I like life!

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Last Monday of Custodial Work at the MTC

I'm quitting my custodial job at the end of the week! Wahoo! I am so excited. I have plans to work at two other jobs on campus during the fall semester, jobs that use my BRAIN! Ha! I have been working as a custodian for the last 16 months, and I'm sooooooo ready to do something else. I've had other jobs as well, during those months, but I've always needed to have two jobs in order to get all the hours (and money) I needed to support myself. I was a full-time custodian last summer. Then last fall I only worked at the MTC part-time. Then during Winter Semester I was able to get a TA job for a linguistics class. My first job that really used what I was going to school for! This summer I've been working at the National Middle East Language Resource Center (NMELRC) while I've been working at the MTC. And this coming fall I'll still be working at the NMELRC, and I'll have a TA job for an ESL writing class! I've been volunteering in this class all summer long, while I've been working my other two jobs, so it will feel sooooo good to get paid for what I've been doing for free. And this is finally coming to fruition, now that I'm on my last week of work.

Through all of this work, I have come to realize the benefits and drawbacks of having both brainless and brain-full jobs: Brainless jobs don't require much mental effort and you can leave your work worries behind when you're done for the day, but you have a TON of time to think about things that are worrisome or unimportant so it feels like a waste of your time. A brain-full job is intellectually stimulating, but you sometimes need to think and plan on your personal time. I think I definitely prefer the brain-full job.

This morning, though, a used my brainless time at the MTC to do something kind of fun: I wrote a poem. Actually, I started a poem, and then finished it this afternoon. It's about a vacuum...

A Friendly Reminder

A vacuum is generally an ally in the war for cleanliness.
The bristles
The intimidating whir
The unstoppable suck of the vacuum are all favorable parts of the tool.

But today the vacuum was my enemy;
The POW (Panasonic on Wheels) struggled against me at every step of the way.
It's cord took a strangle hold on the bottom of the door, jerking me to a stop.
It's handle slipped off, tripping me up the stairs.
And the dirty carpet, inches away from my face, was a reminder of the reason
I should never cross the vacuum.

I never said it was good, but it was fun to write! I'd like to start writing some more poetry this coming semester, during all that "spare time" I'll have between working, going to school, finding a job for after graduation, and finding a new place to live in December. Not to mention trying to have a social life.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Preparing to Hibernate

I am obsessed with reading blogs! I have added several blogs to my list to read, and I spent several hours reading through old posts today and yesterday. (Sorry if I didn't leave comments! I like getting comments, but that hasn't translated yet into me realizing that that means I should leave comments too!) I was up pretty late last night reading, when my computer started to shut off and said "Preparing to Hibernate." I was way surprised. The computer had been plugged in all day, and I had received no warning that the battery was getting low. I didn't get it. I was just about to plug it back in and try to get back on when I saw what time it was. It was after 2 am! I realized that I needed to also prepare to hibernate for the night.

Now I think I'm going to try to limit myself in the amount of time I can spend on blogs...It's just not healthy to stay up that late reading about other people's lives when I should be sleeping or out living my own life! to the hibernation chamber!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A New Sport... Endurance Dating?

I have thought about a couple of things I wanted to write about in the last couple of days, but I haven't sat down to write about them. (I've sat down plenty of times to READ other people's blogs though!) So now I'm trying to figure out how to mesh all of these ideas together. This is a disclamor in case this post just doesn't flow right.

I have decided to train for a marathon...or a half marathon at least. I have always liked running, although I've never been very consistent about my practicing. I run for the fun of it when I have time and I'm not doing something funner. So, in recent years, because of how fun my life is normally, this means I haven't been running much at all. But in the last couple of weeks I've been trying to find a goal that I could throw myself into and work hard at. I like the feeling of achieving, and in order to get that high I have to devise goals to achieve! A desire to exercise more and witnessing several running events pushed me toward the running goal. I am not a fast runner, but I have a lot of endurance. I ran cross country in high school. At first I couldn't keep running the entire race. But I soon realized that I controlled my endurance. If I couldn't keep running because of the pace I was going at, I would slow down so that I could keep running. This has made it so that I hardly even like to stop for breaks when I'm running or hiking. I prefer going at a slow and steady pace that I can maintain for extended periods of time.

On Tuesday of this week, I had to use this endurance in normal life. I moved all of my stuff out of my apartment on Monday night, slept at my new place (I love Lorie's and my apartment!), then came back to my old apartment on Tuesday to make sure all the cleaning was done and move out a few things I had left behind. Then I waited to be checked out by the complex management. After that I went home to put a few things away at the new place, and then I went BACK to Alta to get my car towed away (it's been dead for a few months). Then I waited around to help my roommate Jolena move her stuff from our apartment to her new apartment, in the other ward in Alta. While I was waiting to help her, I helped the gals that were moving into our old apartment. They lived in an apartment down on the first floor, so I helped them move stuff up to the third floor. At first it wasn't that hard, but as I kept going upstairs with armloads of heavy stuff I started getting very tired. So I started drinking water when I was on my way into the apartment to get another armload. And I started to walk slower. And I kept going. Every time I walked up the stairs I had a view of a couple sitting by the pool with their legs hanging over the side into the water. They looked so comfortable, and I wanted to be there in the pool. But I knew that there would be time for that later. I finished helping everyone, then I changed and got in the pool for a refreshing swim. What a nice reward!

For more than a month I've been planning on hiking Timp. And today, when it was supposed to happen, I didn't get to go. This is a pretty big disappointment. I hiked the mountain twice last summer, loving it, and I was looking forward to going with my friends and enjoying it again. For one reason or another, all of the people that I knew that were planning on going had to cancel. There were still plenty of people that were planning according to the event on facebook, but some of them were planning on meeting at the trail head, and some of them were supposed to meet me at the lounge in my old complex. Well, no one showed up at the lounge. I've been really bummed. This isn't just about having no one to go to Timp with. I feel like things just haven't been going as I want them to in the last few weeks, and this is the culmination of those feelings.

Of course, one of the biggest frustrations of those weeks is in dating. Looking back at all of my dating experiences, I can see some things I've learned and gained from each relationship and friendship. But it's hard to see those things while you're marathoning through. I can definitely see the rewards that I'll have at the end of the trip; I am living with an engaged woman after all! I know that dating is worth it in order to get married. But I've definitely lost a lot of my zeal for dating just to date. I want to feel like it's worth it. To carry the running analogy further, I guess my next step should be to slow down, to pace myself, so that I can maintain my pace to the end. The problem is that I don't know how long this journey is going to be. I guess I just have to have faith that I can keep running until the end...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shopping Spree

This is my new pair of shoes! Cute, huh? I have decided that it's time for me to start wearing heals. I have worn flats for many, many, many years, and I have never really been tempted by heals. My only experiences with heals involved pain, balance problems, and shoes that I didn't consider cute at all. But I have been fortunate enough to have roommates this past year that have shown me some of the ups of the style, and I was also fortunate to have some time to go shopping with a sister from my mission this last Saturday. Erin Roundy helped me pick out some nice shoes...and a couple outfits to go along with them! I haven't spent that much money on myself at one time in a long time! But it was nice, and I'm going to enjoy this new addition to my wardrobe. Now I can finally get rid of some of my old mission clothes that I had a hard time letting go of.

This weekend was kind of a roller coaster because I was in such a good mood all day yesterday. I went to the wedding and reception for Annie Miller, one of the sisters from Nauvoo, and all us sisters got to spend quite a bit of time together. But later that night we received some bad news about another of our sisters. Nicole Rich was in Georgia for a wedding out there, and she was in a car accident. Her leg was broken and she had some bleeding on the brain. I've found out that she's doing well, still in an induced coma, but that they expect her to fully recover. It was shocking to hear, but I'm glad that she wasn't injured worse than she was. I'm so grateful for all of the sisters that I served with and the way that they've shaped my life, and I want ALL of them to continue shaping my life for many years to come! And not just about what shoes to wear! I feel so blessed that Richy is going to pull through.

Memory Game!

Here is a fun little game... leave a comment on my blog of a memory that you and I have had together. It doesn't matter if you've known me for a short time or a long time, anything that you remember! Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It is pretty funny to read the responses. On your mark... get set... blog those memories!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I found my camera!

I have been missing my camera for several weeks, but I just found it a little bit ago. You know what this means! I'm going to begin posting pictures from some adventures I've had this summer. Stay tuned for more details!

Oh, to be the size of an ID card!

Life is full of those funny moments where you just think, "How in the world did THAT happen?" This details one of those moments in my recent history.

I work at the Missionary Training Center as a custodian in the early mornings. The building I work in has a barbershop on the first floor, a call center on the second floor where people can call in for free items from the LDS church, and dorm rooms for elders on the third and fourth floors. The dorm floors are locked and can only be accessed by blue cards given to the missionaries that live there, or by student ID cards that the employees are given. I lost my card a couple of weeks ago, but I knew that it had to be in my building, and I kept expecting it to show up again. So I didn't replace it for about two weeks. I went out of town (for my Washington trip) and came back and it STILL hadn't been turned in, so I decided it was time to replace it. I couldn't figure out where it could have been lost in the MTC where no one would have found it, but I decided to go ahead and replace it anyway, which I did last week.

Well, on Monday I got a message from my friend Tyler who works in the call center saying that he had my ID and that I should come pick it up! I wondered why he had had it this long and didn't say anything about it. I was kind of annoyed about replacing it because it costs $10 and I've had to replace my ID three times since January (although before that, I had kept my original ID ever since I started at BYU in 2002!). When I went in to his office today, Tyler gave me the card and I asked him why he hadn't told me about it earlier. He explained that someone else from his office had found it (I must have dropped it while I was dusting in there) and had looked up the name to find out where the missionary who had dropped it was going. That's right! Whoever this was thought that a missionary had left their student ID card at the MTC, and he mailed it to my mission! Of course, they returned it to the MTC. I'm sure the mission office in Nauvoo was surprised to be getting mail for a missionary that left the mission more than a year and a half ago!

I lamented that I hadn't been sent to Nauvoo along with the ID. I haven't been back to my mission since I left it in November 2006, and I would have loved seeing it again. I recently heard about an opportunity to go there as a counselor for Especially for Youth (a week of spiritual summer camp for LDS youth), and I think I'm going to look into it. My source tells me that they only hire EFY counselors for Nauvoo if they've been to Nauvoo before, so I think I've got a chance of being chosen because of my 10 months experience there! That would be so nice!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I want to make a couple comments about my reunion last week. It was such a fun week! I was there from July 25 to August 1, and it was one of the most relaxing, pleasant weeks of my life. What made it really awesome were the people and the activities:

Kate and Rachel Call, Alyssa Peterson, and I are the older single girl cousins, and we had some fun times this past week!

Kate Call

Rachel Call

Alyssa Peterson

A bunch of us went to Silverwood, a roller coaster park/water park in Idaho. We drove three hours, road the rides, ate food, walked around, laughed, took pictures, got rained on, and drove home.

Ben Call; Vanessa, Sara, and Valerie Garrett; and me!

These are some of the next generation: My cousins' children. The little girls all put their hair up in sponge curlers and they were so adorable! One of them kept saying, "I look like Shirley Temples!"

Back: Ruth Thomas, Olivia Warnick, and Ashly Flint
Front: Leah and Mercy Thomas

Another fun time: I was walking home one evening with my niece Taylor. It was starting to get dark, and we were walking next to a yard with a lot of trees and bushes blocking our view. We heard something squeaky, like a bicycle. I told her that it reminded me of a scary story. Really, I just wanted an excuse to tell a scary story, because I thought it would be fun to try to scare Taylor. So I made up a story about a babysitter who lost one of the children to a bicyclist.

One last pleasant memory: The last night, I slept outside of the tent, and the wind was blowing over me. It was a warm wind, and it blew through the leaves in a beautiful rustling noise. It made me wish that I could always sleep outside. What a wonderful reunion it was!