Monday, July 02, 2007

Have You Heard This Guy?

This video gives me chills. It totally warms the heart, and I think you're going to love it. (It's a clip from the show Britain's Got Talent, like our American Idol... I know, maybe a bit lame that something like this would "warm my heart," but there you have it.)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Weird and Too Personal

Is it weird that part of me would rather work as a waitress than at a fancy-pants job in a government office? I don't know if the office is even going to offer me the job -- probably not (this is the required pessimism to buffer me from failure) -- but if they did, I'm not sure if I want to take it. At least, I'm not sure if I'd want to take it quite yet.

Do you think this is just my fear of joining the ranks of the discontent workforce? I don't know.


In all honesty, maybe I'm just wanting to prolong my days before I enter that world. These random jobs, like being a waitress, do sound pretty fun to me, and I think they'd be something I'd never do if I jumped into a fancy-pants job now. You don't quit your job at a swanky office to start working at Olive Garden. I feel like if it's something I'm going to do, it's something to do now.

But why would I do that? Is that wasting time? Shouldn't I be doing something that will put me on a fast-track to success? What is success anyway? Couldn't I have my LIFE actually consist of the things I do outside of work, sustained by simple jobs, rather than adopting the work=life philosophy? But does that mean I'm not contributing to society the way I'd like? Or what's more, couldn't I do some of these crazy, ridiculous jobs now and start working in the legitimate grown-up labor force in a year (or maybe even less) once my life has settled down a bit?

Maybe I've just become demotivated and have masked laziness in a rant about wanting to have a real life.

This post got too personal. I'm publishing it anyway.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Let the Sun Shine!

(This is from an article at Wikipedia)

Summer Solstice is here! Yesterday was the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. In places that are far enough north, the sun doesn't even set. Isn't that insane? I saw a news anchor on CNN in Alaska where they had sunlight straight through the night. They had all sorts of celebrations and midnight activities--in broad daylight. I love trying to imagine what that would feel like: daylight, all-day-long! I just can't imagine. I don't know how my body or brain would react. I suppose you'd just have to close the curtains and try to sleep, but it'd still be light out. I think the child inside me would start wriggling and jumping around, yelling, "It's bright out! Go play!" And that's when I'd wish that Star were still my roommate, because I know she'd be fighting the the same urge.

I think I've just added a new goal to my list of things to do on this earth before I die. One year when the solstice comes around again, I want to be in a place where the sun doesn't set, and I want to stay up all day long.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm Dating a Nerd

I hadn't really thought about it before, but I recently realized that Bryant's bedroom walls make him look like a total nerd. It's pretty amusing. Here are a few highlights of the things that he has hanging there:

  1. An autographed photo of two Star Trek stars--from the time he met them at a convention. I'm not even sure which two guys they are, but they look like the really famous ones to me... Spock and Shatner? (He might break up with me after discovering that I don't know who they are. Either that or I'll have to pledge to watch the entire series with him. And don't tell anyone, but I actually think I'd enjoy it.)
  2. A photo of the whole Star Trek crew with Bryant's head photoshopped in as one of the cast members--also a relic from the convention.
  3. An authentic, small-scale replica of the Zelda sword and shield--a Christmas gift from his brother. It came with the soundtrack to the new Zelda Wii video game. Honest.

Add to that the multiple shelves filled with books about computer programming, physics, math, etc., and you've got yourself one mighty-fine beau. The other day I told him that the empty space in one corner of his room would be just perfect for a tall plant or some cool decoration. He started fantasizing about the giant computer server that he was going to build there. He really comes by it naturally. He is absolutely my favorite nerd ever.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Insert Giant Frown Here:

My car got broken into last week. It's so shocking when this kind of thing happens. It's weird that I went through the whole morning thinking that life was still normal, while outside my car sat in the sun emptied of all my possessions. (Sorry... excuse the melodrama. I'm obviously still recovering.)

I was just getting into my car to go to swim some laps at the pool. I tossed my swim bag into the back and sat myself down in the driver's seat. I slowly realized something was weird in my car. Why did the door already feel unlocked when I turned my key to open it? Why are my papers all over the floorboard? Isn't that my crap from the glove compartment on the seat? And OH MY GOSH! MY STEREO IS GONE! Then suddenly the realization came... I said the words "someone broke into my car" outloud before I actually understood what they meant. It wasn't until that night, laying in my bed, when the entire feeling finally saturated me: violation, betrayal, vulnerability, anger, fear. It sucked.

I am so unbelievably grateful that whoever did this didn't get away with my car. They gave it a heck of a try:

Thankfully, though, all they did was jack up my ignition pretty bad with a screwdriver. The moron even left the screwdriver in my car. What kind of thief does that? I guess I don't really know why that makes the person a moron, except for the fact that it seems stupid... even though the cop acted like the screwdriver wasn't a very helpful piece of evidence. Anyway, I'm just glad they couldn't figure out how to get the car to start. The unsuccessful hotwiring definitely was the tender little mercy in the middle of all this.

So here's my advice for the week: don't leave your windows cracked, especially if you drive a Honda Civic! The thief probably thought, "What a moron! What kind of car owner leaves her car windows cracked?" Heh. Well, I don't care how hot it is outside or how musty my car is, those windows are forever staying up when I park the car!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Quest of My Own

We are all aware that Bryant has begun his noble quest to find the supreme Greek burger place. However, you probably were not aware that I am currently embarking on a little quest of my own. Though somewhat less noble and certainly more selfish, it's still a pretty good quest: to find myself a job that will bring fulfillment and happiness... or at least that won't cause me to stick a fork in my eye.

What makes this quest such a challenge is that I have yet to decide what I actually want in a job. Tricky, huh? Well, in the process of scavenging the help-wanted websites, I found an article entitled "How to Find a Job You'll Love." Perfect! That's exactly what I need to know! While the article didn't make any life-altering decisions for me (bummer), it did talk about an interesting study conducted by famous economist Alan Krueger and psychologist/Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman. Their study examined whether or not people with high-paying jobs are happier than their less wealthy peers. ...And here comes the point of my blog post today. {dun-dun-DAH!} I wanted to share the following insightful conclusions from their study:

The belief that high income is associated with good mood is widespread but mostly illusory. People with above-average income are relatively satisfied with their lives but are barely happier than others in moment-to-moment experience, tend to be more tense, and do not spend more time in particularly enjoyable activities. Moreover, the effect of income on life satisfaction seems to be transient.

Cool, huh?

So at the very least, after reading this article about how to find a good job, my quest for the Ultimate job has broadened to include low-paying work as well. It seems my job search is expanding, not narrowing, as I venture on. (But I actually wasn't picky about pay in the first place. Honest.)

Oh well. Onward and upward we go!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Thank You, E. M. Forster.

One of my favorite reads in high school was E. M. Forster's A Room with a View. After my first time reading the book, I was so excited about it and easily proclaimed it as my favorite. But I realized about a week ago that as time has passed, I somehow forgot everything about it, minus the fact that I apparently love it. I knew there was a girl who went to Italy with some woman, and there was some business about a guy and his dad... and that's pretty much as far as I could recall. I started reading it again, because after all, a person should know what one of her favorite books is about. I just finished it this morning. It's definitely still deserves a spot among the list of my favorites. It's incredibly beautiful, even if it is a little sappy.

There are two quotes I kind of wanted to post here, and then I'll be done. Maybe they'll only be significant to me because of the jerky awkwardness of my life right now, but here they are anyway. Just in case you'd be interested.

It did not do to think, nor, for the matter of that to feel. She gave up trying to understand herself, and joined the vast armies of the benighted, who follow neither the heart nor the brain, and march to their destiny by catch-words. The armies are full of pleasant and pious folk. But they have yielded to the only enemy that matters--the enemy within. They have sinned against passion and truth, and vain will be their strife after virtue. As the years pass, they are censured. Their pleasantry and their piety show cracks, their wit becomes cynicism, their unselfishness hypocrisy; they feel and produce discomfort wherever they go.

Neat, huh? I like E. M. Forster.

The next quote is the wise, old, withered Mr. Emerson talking to Lucy, the protagonist. He's quoting someone else here:
"Life," wrote a friend of mine, "is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along."

(Funny that my parents always told us kids that we could learn whatever instrument we wanted, except for a string instrument. Their reason was that it was too painful to wait for the student to progress from learning it, and playing badly, to actually knowing it, and playing well. An amusing coincidence in the context of this quote.)

But it's so true that we're all learning as we go along. I remember as a kid being irritated with my mom one day, and arriving at this childhood epiphany: my mom has never before raised me; this is the first time she has lived this day; she is just trying to get through it the best she can, improvising and figuring it out as quickly as life comes at her. I've thought back on that moment of realization many times as I've gotten older.

We make mistakes because we're new at living today. We'll always be new at living today. Hopefully, though, we gain some experience that will help us improve as we endeavor to keep living. At the very least, I hope we keep living.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

15 minutes late

Lesson #1: If it's 2:00 in the morning, it's stupid to try to set an alarm clock (especially if you've already slept for an hour and a half) because you'll probably be so disoriented that you'll set it for the wrong time regardless of how confident you are that you did it right.

This morning, my alarm went off at 6:30, and I felt very confused; wasn't I supposed to be leaving at 6:30? Oh yeah, I was. My brain knew that "6:30" was an important time, so it's the time I set my alarm for when I temporarily woke up at 2am. Great. Late again.

Lesson #2: There's a very thin line that separates us from homelessness. I'm not being jovial now. I'm serious. I think we live day to day quite unaware of this line, yet there it is. I suppose for some it's a bit thicker than for others, but for everyone, it's still only a line.

I got to the homeless shelter 15 minutes late, due to my poor judgment with the alarm clock last night. I was supposed to carpool with some folks in my apartment complex, but because of my tardiness, I drove alone. We were going to be preparing breakfast to serve when the shelter opened in a couple of hours, something I had never done before. I pulled up next to a red brick building and glared at the clock. It was telling me how many minutes I was inadequate. 15. I shifted my gaze to my rear-view mirror and watched the door of the shelter open. One by one, people trickled out and scattered onto the sidewalk to face the day. I'm so naive that I locked myself into my car as I watched. I feel pathetic thinking about it now. I felt such a giant gap between me and these people who were leaving this building.

I have this thing about being late where I'd rather not show up at all than show up 15 minutes late. I'm pretty sure I inherited this particular neurosis from my dad. In any event, I sat there and watched myself become 22 minutes late. I shifted the car into gear and drove away. Guilt surfaced, and so I drove back.

I didn't know where I was supposed to go, or whom I was supposed to be with, but I had to at least try. I paced across the street to that red brick building, trying to look like I knew what I was doing... though I felt completely unsure of myself. Caught up in my own naivety once again, I glanced back at my car to see if anyone was breaking in. No one was. I tried door after door on that side of the shelter. Locked, locked, locked. I walked around the corner to the other side, passing through a few clusters of people who were beginning to congregate outside (which admittedly made me a little nervous), but every door I tugged on wouldn't open. At the foot of the last door sat a beautiful woman in a weathered green sweater. She looked up at me as I pulled on the handle. She didn't say anything. She didn't even look very curious about why I was trying to get into this locked building. I was simply something else that she would look at today. I suddenly felt a little less awkward and and little more like the gap I first sensed between her and me was gone... it was a gap that existed mostly in my mind.

But I couldn't get into the building. Thwarted, and now almost forty minutes late, I walked back across the street and down the sidewalk towards my car. A man was sorting through some things in a shopping cart. As I passed him, he called out to a woman a few paces down the road. "Jackie! Come back! I found a size six here!" She ignored him and pulled a blanket up over her shoulders as she walked away. He shouted her name again, to which she turned around and yelled, "Leave me alone!" As I neared her, I noticed thick socks on her feet. She had no shoes. The man called out her name again and again. "Wait! Size six shoes! Come back!" but she didn't slow. I don't know why she refused his shopping-cart shoes, but at that moment, I felt very aware of the shoes on my feet. I felt very aware of the sound my key made as I unlocked the door. I was standing there between this car I hadn't really earned and this woman who had a blanket but no shoes. Juxtaposition stung. I piled into the car, and through the passenger window I saw her feet shuffle down the sidewalk. As I drove off, the man walked purposefully down the road, a pair of once-white sneakers in hand. He continued to call out to her as he walked.

I don't know if he ever got Jackie to put on those shoes, but I thought about it the rest of the way home. Walking up the stairs to my apartment door and welcome mat felt very different this time.

The line felt thin.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


The semester is so close to over. After I make it through today, I only have one more day of class, a couple finals, and then I'm done with college. Done. Graduation. No more classes to skip. "Real" life. 9-5 job. Mortgage. Kids. 401-k plans. Writing a will. Picking a place to be buried. Losing my teeth.

I wish I wasn't feeling so stressed right now because I'd like to be reveling in my last few days of school. Instead, I'm hanging on for dear life until the end arrives. It's weird because this semester has been amazingly relaxed in general, just not right now. I wish the last couple weeks would be a little less like torture.

Bryant told me that I like school more than it deserves. He said I should be glad to be done, instead of wishing I were still in school and that it was easy... because it's actually hard.

But in a sense, school is easy--it's the only thing I know how to do. I don't know how to not be in school. I've been a student for 81% of my life, and that's not including preschool. I hardly have a memory of anything before kindergarten. Even if school does stress me out sometimes, I know how it works. I know how to handle the rough spots. I know how to be successful. And as long as I've got my class schedule in hand, I can map out my life for the next two years. Piece of cake.

But if school is done... then what? I don't even know how to map out my life for the next two weeks.

There's no class schedule or course descriptions for life after college.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Nominee for the Most Obnoxious Tradition Award

Why do women have bridal showers? I'm pretty sure that no one ever enjoys them. It's like the cardinal rule of bridal showers: no one is allowed to like it. Bridal showers bombard their guests with silly games and veggie platters to distract them from the fact that the whole purpose of the event is to flood the bride-to-be with mundane kitchen ware and a giant collection of tacky lingerie. And I always think it's strange when it comes time for everyone to gather around the bride-to-be, nibbling on crackers and watching politely, as she opens one gift after another. It seems like bridal showers are just this strange tradition we are obligated to uphold--an event that every woman endures with patience until it's finally her turn. Then once it IS her turn, she somehow forgets that every shower she's ever been to was miserable... so she decides to have one of her own. The only way I ever want one is if we can find a way to make it legitimately fun. But I don't think that's possible. It'd be breaking the cardinal rule of bridal showers.

...Sorry, maybe I'm too cynical.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lingering Nightmares

Sometimes I have nightmares where someone I know well does something awful. Then when I wake up, I find that I'm really upset at them, or afraid of them, or I just can't shake those nasty feelings I had in the dream. I know it's irrational, yet it's like I can't readjust my brain to purge the dream. But it's not fair to be upset at someone for something they didn't actually do. I hate it when that happens.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ocelot Heels

Does anyone know why Anthropologie is so incredibly expensive? I do think some of their clothes are awesome, but their prices are ludicrous. What's the deal? Is there cotton so much better than everyone else's cotton? Do they pay their Indonesian workers a eighty-five times more than what everyone else pays their Indonesian workers? Because their clothes are eighty-five times more expensive than other stores.

Example. If you want this top from Anthropolgie, you have to fork out $120:

expensive shirt

It is a cute blouse. But why is it over $100? It's made of cotton. That's all. Cotton. With some flowers printed on it. I don't understand.

And check out these wacky shoes. If I had an extra $330, I could buy either pair of these:

gold shoes ocelot heels

It's a shame I don't have an extra $330, because those ones on the right (called "Ocelot Heels") are rockin. What's really wild is that for just $370 -- that's just $40 more, for those of us who buy on the margin -- I could get either of these beauties:

hideous colorful things hideous heels

Yikes. 370 bucks and hideous. Maybe if I made tons more money each year than I currently do, I'd be willing to pay those exorbitant prices. I'd also have to become an eccentric old lady first.

So how about this... my new goal is to become a nauseatingly rich, crazy old lady. That way I can shop Anthropologie, sport those Ocelot Heels, and love life. Might be kind of fun. ;)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Snow and Teaching

I've been meaning to try blogging again and just haven't ever gotten around to it. But Provo Platinum looked so sad today with only 1 new post on the whole page. I thought I'd better just write something quick so that Kim's post didn't feel so lonely.

So here's the scary thing that happened to me today. I was driving home from school at around 9:30 this morning and noticed that the little bit of rainy drizzle we were getting had changed over to snow. No big deal. I'm a fan of putting more snow on the ground to keep the ski slopes in good shape. Then a few minutes later I got a text from Bryant up in Salt Lake saying, "it's snowing like crazy up here!" Still not much of a big deal. I don't want the roads to be crappy for him driving home tonight, but a little snow right now isn't something to worry about.

Then at about 10:00am I got another call. This time it's the econ professor that I'm a teaching assistant for. It seems his flight was running a bit late, and he just now landed in Salt Lake (where it's "snowing like crazy" remember). This means he's going to be late for lecture today. Yikes. He wants me to teach the class until he gets there, which he hopes will be only about 30-40 minutes late.

Okay! I acted like it was no big deal when I was talking to Dr. Norman on the phone.... but I was faking it. Remember how I bright red I turn whenever I have to get up in front of a crowd... even if I'm not embarrassed? Remember how I don't want to be a teacher? Remember how talking about economics to large groups makes me nervous? I can handle a few students at time during my weekly TA sessions, but this is the whole class. Plus, we JUST started a new unit, so I'll have to be teaching new stuff, rather than just reviewing what Dr. Norman already taught.

Snowing like crazy in Salt Lake, huh? Oh well. Wish me luck. I'm headed up to campus now. This is going to be a fun growing experience for everyone... me AND the students who have to sit through me. At least now I feel like I really deserve the A-Lot sticker that I use illegally. :)