Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Quick Post

Today, the library smells like cotton candy. I have no idea why it does, but it's glorious.

I'm doing okay. I just got a call inviting me for a job interview, so this post will be shorter than I initially planned on.

The kitty is still cute. She's getting a little bit bigger. Lately she has two new things that she's doing. First, she's practicing pouncing. She'll sneak up to things, and pounce. (Including things like people.) Today I saw her flatten her ears before pouncing on a grocery bag. She loves playing with bags.

The second thing she's been doing lately is becoming curious whenever Lavish and I eat and drink. If we don't watch our glasses carefully, she comes up, sticks her head down into the cup, and drinks our water!

Today I'm making Halloween cookies. They're two layer ones, which is fun because I've never done them before. They should be really cute.

I'm working at the call center again tomorrow. I heard another funny answering machine message. The lady read a scripture from 1 Corinthians and then she said "I've left you a message, now you leave me one." BEEP.

The end.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stories from work.

Yesterday I made it to work on time. Now I've heard the secrets from the first five minutes that disqualified me from working the first day. As a more informed worker, now I understand why it was just impossible for me to make up those five minutes.

We use computers. Most of them have dialers, which means that the computer dials the number and connects you to people, without you having to press the buttons. Mine didn't have one. That meant that my left hand was dialing a phone:

while my right hand was punching in answers to questions on the computer keypad:

(It reminded me of patting one's head while rubbing one's belly.)

Instead of being one large room like the other center, this call center is a maze. I don't think people are on "teams" like at the other center; at this one it seems like everyone works with everyone. People come and go all day long. Managers wander around. One of them came into our room yesterday and started telling jokes. I wrote them down:

What do you get if you cross a horse with a spider?
Well, I don't know either, but if it bit you, you could ride it to the doctor.

Why do seagulls live by the sea?
Because if they lived by the bay they'd be bagels.

Why do elephants paint their toenails red?
So they can hide in cherry trees.
You ever seen an elephant in a cherry tree?
See! It works.

Why is the football stadium at BYU covered in astro-turf?
To keep the cheerleaders from grazing at half-time.

Even better than the jokes, I heard my favorite answering machine, ever. It's hard to beat "Jesus loves you; leave a message!" (which I heard at the other call center) but my new favorite is:

[bored female voice] "Hi." (pause.) "Now you say something." BEEEEP.

Maybe one of my favorite things about working at this place is that at the end of the day I exit right across from the Provo library. When I was working at the job before, I'd finish and wish that I could go home. And I would have to patiently endure two hours of transit time before I was really finished for the day. Here, I finish and begin to dread another bus ride. And then I see the library, and my world is rosy because I know that my house is almost as close as the nearest bus stop.

Also good news: my morning job is starting another fitness competition. We get bonuses if we exercise regularly. Sweet. I just keep liking them better and better.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Three (and a half) new things.

This morning I woke up sick. So I called into work, sick. And I stayed in bed. (Attempts to sleep in the afternoon have been futile.) It was nice.
Except that my temp agency called to offer me work. Today(!) from 12-7. At a place that's 4-ish blocks from my house. I accepted, and got up.
[.5 - New Job]
I walked to the place, and arrived at about 12:02. I stood at the front desk for a couple minutes and then realized that nobody was stationed there. I dinged the bell. A man came out to the desk and invited me to follow him through a maze to a room that had about six people sitting and one woman standing. The woman looked at me, and looked at the clock.
Her: "It's 12:05. I don't usually let anyone start after 12:05."
Me: "Oh, I'm sorry."
Her: "No, it's fine. You'll just have to come back tomorrow. Are you scheduled for tomorrow? [I nod.] They only give me half an hour to do training, so I just can't let you stay."
The man escorted me out of the maze. I'm not exaggerating, people. I was supposed to be there for seven hours, and they asked me to leave because I was five minutes late. (They couldn't use five minutes of my break to catch me up? Eh well.)
So now I'm out of bed and ready for the day. Great.
Other things that have happened recently:

[1.5 New Food]

I discovered the wonder known as pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. As a child, I was raised in a cave, far from civilization. Since I had virtually no contact with the outside world, I was never introduced to pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
A few days ago, at Williams Sonoma, I was offered a sample of pumpkin bread. The lady working there had taken the liberty of adding chocolate chips to it. It tasted wonderful. "These would make great cookies," I thought. As it turns out, they already exist! L'afro offered me her fail-proof recipe for delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I planned to make them, except that the grocery store didn't have one of the key ingredients. Instead, I made a different recipe for them---a recipe that yielded 10 dozen cookies.
I thought pumpkin and chocolate would go together about as well as Jello would with onions. Instead, the combination of pumpkin and chocolate tastes so natural and right that I just can't understand why pumpkins grow with seeds instead of chocolate chips in the middle.

[2.5 New Entertainment]

On Thursday, I saw Divine Comedy for the first time.

I was really excited about it; I've been hearing about DC since I started reading archives of the Board in April.

I was kind of worried that: 1) Their humor wouldn't be funny to me since I wouldn't understand BYU jokes. 2) Since I'd heard so many good things about them, my expectations would be too high. (That's what happened with Harry Potter.)

Instead, I had a great time. They're awesome.

[3.5 New Pet]

This weekend, Lavish and I got a kitten. She's exactly the kind we wanted.
She's tiny. We got a bottle for her yesterday.
She is a good combination of playful and cuddly. She plays with everything-- her tail, her feet, the carpet, ribbons, bouncy balls, etc. And she's friendly. She doesn't hide when people come over.

The end.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What's left of the rain runs down my roof...

Things that improved my afternoon:

1. Finding this.

2. Someone randomly sent Sudoku to my phone. What a delightful surprise!

"no news is no news"

I don't watch the news very often. Or even follow it, for that matter.

Periodically, I go through phases where I feel very interested in newspapers, and knowing what's going on...but usually, I don't. (Although I do become informed before I vote on things.)

I think that the news is generally depressing and speculative. It makes me worry about things that I can't do anything about. It takes time to follow. And of course, I know that this is a terribly pessimistic and isolating perspective.

But anyway. When my mom texted me last night about the New York plane crash, I hadn't even heard about it. Apparently it had been on the news all afternoon. She wrote in the text that it was one of our friend's flying students. They weren't sure if our friend had been in the plane or not.

And then, we found out that he was. They didn't announce his name in the news yesterday since his wife didn't know about it, but it's all over the news today. His family flew out to New York last night.

And the whole thing seems so weird to me. When big things happen on the news, it's usually about other people. It's about far-away people.

All day today, my stomach has been in knots. And I keep randomly having to wipe my tears away.

Tyler was a really good guy. His family has always been like an extension of my family; if my mom couldn't drive me somewhere, his mom did. As kids, Lavish and I spent nights at their house regularly. We were friends with his sisters. He and Lavish had the same birthday.

I feel so sorry for his family, and his wife and kids.

The whole thing seems surreal.

There are a bunch of articles about it now, but I like this one.

[Incidentally, my supervisor at work was also in an accident yesterday; he backed his car into a Ferrari. (Of all cars!) The paint on the bumper will just need to be touched up, but the owner of the car is a real jerk. It's going to be an expensive paint job. Poor guy.]

Stay safe, everyone.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Couldn't Find It.

Today has been a day of remembering that I need a car.

I left for the new job an hour early. And I found out that the bus route that used to pass within, oh, 8-9 blocks of the place has changed. There's road construction that's been going on for months, and now my bus doesn't even go through the right city.

Plus, the bus takes for-e-ver to get to my faraway drop-off point because it goes down streets with a speed limit of 25 mph.

But I'm a trooper, and I like walking. So I went. By my estimation, my workplace was about 12-15 blocks from the improvised bus stop. At a brisk pace, I walked and walked. And walked. Just like the pioneer children. (I even sang along with my ipod music.)

And the blocks were not the same as in Provo; they were longer. And then, they were disappointing because blocks weren't numbered by 100s. Instead of going from 400 to 300 to 200, I went from 400 to 360 to 320 to 300, etc.

And after I walked across the entire city of Lindon (I'm pretty sure), I realized that the numbers had stopped matching up. I was lost. Oh, I knew where I was, but I had no idea where the job place was.

So I called my agency, and they told me that I wasn't even close. They said I should go home and see if I could work out my transportation issues.

And I missed driving.

Then I took a bus back to Provo and went to the grocery store. They're having a big cereal sale so I bought my eight boxes. Also, stuff to make a surprise dinner for Lavish tonight. And I half forgot that I would need to somehow take a cart-full of things to my house without the cart. By the time I finished walking 5 more blocks, I really missed driving.

I need a car. Or a mule.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I finally quit my job today.

I'll miss my friends from there, but really, it's a Very Good Thing.

Tomorrow I'm going to start work at some Halloween costume place. It pays more, and is slightly closer to Provo.

I'll probably post more about this later.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Interviews with the Vampires

One of my earliest memories that I have is of going with my dad to the City of Hope, a cancer hospital, when he would donate blood. They'd let me sit on the bed with him while he donated, and then at the end they would wrap a colorful elastic bandage on my arm, and we ate Oreos and drank juice together.

Dad started donating blood in high school because they were offering free food to donors. And he's donated ever since then. Last year (?) the City of Hope honored my dad and had him speak at something because he's donated so much.

I'm not as regular as he is, but I've donated blood a bunch of times since I turned 17. One time they asked my mom and sisters and I if we would like to try donating platelets, and we decided to do it. Platelets are like...white blood cells. They need them for cancer patients because their white blood cells count has to be at a certain level before they can do more chemo. You can donate them once every two weeks, and it takes about 2 hours of being hooked up to a machine. They give you headphones and your own little tv, though, so it isn't bad. My sisters and mom and I went some Saturdays before my mission. Our family is just all about sharing bodily fluids like that. It seems like a nice thing to do.

When I moved up here, I wanted to keep donating platelets to help cancer patients. Apparently, though, you can only donate them in Salt Lake. Which is too far for me. Plasma seemed like a slightly less exciting substitution. They never paid us at the cancer hospital, so we were just doing a nice thing. Being paid for my plasma seems so...prostitutional. But my mom said that it was just like they were paying me for my time. And they make money on the stuff anyway. So I decided to try it.

(Oh, gosh. )

So yesterday, I decided that I would go donate in between jobs.

It was like completing an obstacle course. I'm so serious. I'm not used to so much red tape!

I went, and they sent me to Booth #1 to answer a dozen-ish yes/no questions. Someone would be right with me. So I filled out the form, and I sat. And waited. And started reading The Daily Universe that I had with me. And finished reading it. And I realized it had been nearly half an hour. Hm. And then a guy opened the door from the normal-people side. He was surprised and embarrassed to find me in there. He quickly closed the door. And then one of the girls on the plasma-center side opened the door, and she was surprised and embarrassed to find me in there too. They'd forgotten about me! Someone would be right with me, they said.

And they were. A girl came and asked me the questions I'd already answered. They were questions like "In the last 12 months, have you ever touched your elbow, or looked at someone who had touched their elbow in the last 12 months, to the best of your knowledge?" (okay, not really) and "Have you ever taken medication." (Um. Yes?)

They got really concerned about me having donated platelets within the past 4 months, and then decided that 2 months was sufficient. So I passed my pre-screening.

And then I had to pass my vein-check. (Vein check?!) A girl tied a rubber strip around my arm and looked for my vein. "Make a fist," she said. Um. Okay. I explained that my right arm has a good vein, and that my left arm's is hard to find. They always use my right arm. She wanted to look anyway, though, so she checked my left arm, too. And then she needed a second opinion.

So she called in a good-looking guy to reevaluate my veins. He tied the rubber tighter. "This is going to sound weird," he said, "but grab my thumb." People! Invest in squeezing balls! I cooperated, and he decided that I would be okay. "I'm going to pass you off today. But you need to do exercises so that you can strengthen your veins. " Whaaaat....Exercises? To strengthen my veins? Who does vein exercises? I don't know. It just kind of seems like doing exercises to strengthen my spleen. Or the bridge of my nose. Who does that? "My wife did them and she was able to donate within a week," he added.

So I was ready to donate.

They pulled out the appointment book, to set an appointment. The hour and a half or whatever that I'd spent there was not part of my 2-3 hour "first" appointment. Before I could donate, I needed to do a bunch of paperwork and have a medical exam. When did I want to come in?

So I didn't donate. Instead, I set an appointment for today. I went and bought a stress-ball from Sports Authority, and started my special exercises. And I laughed on the inside about how I could blog about being forgotten and having to squeeze a guy's thumbs.

Boy, I had no idea what I was in for.

Today I showed up for my appointment and did more paperwork. In ten minutes they would call me for my interview, so I worked on a jigsaw puzzle, content to be nearly finished. I still wasn't, though!

I went for the interview, and then I had to pee in a cup.

Then I had to go to the front and formally sign in. ("You walk up here, stand on the scale, say your full name and the last four digits of your Social Security Number.") Then you move over, and they prick your finger to check your hematocrit (sp?). Then you move over and stick both hands under a black light. Nothing lit up, so they knew that I didn't donate somewhere else, and invisibly-inked my right pinkie finger. So that everyone would know that they were my plasma center.

And then I waited some more. For a physical! I seriously had to change into a hospital gown and have my abdomen poked at, etc.

And then I had to have my picture taken.

All to donate!

So I was finally ready, and they sent me back to the donation room. I got set up, and everything was going fine. Everyone was impressed that I had my own squeeze ball instead of squeezing a piece of pipe like they were doing. And by everyone, I mean a bunch of guys. There wasn't one other girl in the whole room!

Until partway through, I started to tingle. My fingers did, actually. And the machine returned my blood, and I felt fine again. And then it took more blood out again, and my fingers tingled again. And then my hand cramped and I couldn't squeeze my ball-thing anymore. And my arm started tingling and cramping. And then my other arm did. I told them, and they called the doctor. She stopped the machine and returned my blood slowly. I started blacking out, and couldn't hear things. I strained to keep my eyes open. They brought me a wet washcloth for my forehead and a trash can, since I told them that I was about to throw up. I did. A few times. And as my blood returned, I started feeling better.

So they started the machine again. And, whaddoyaknowit, it happened again. Faster, though. I seriously thought I was going to pass out. Instead, I just threw up some more. They decided that I was done.

I donated probably, oh, 3/4 of what they wanted.

It was a funny experience, though. I still smiled a lot, and was friendly, and unconcerned, even though everyone else was worried. ("Why did that happen?" a nurse asked, and I explained how the calcium works. City of Hope handed out calcium chews when you arrived, and then during donation if you started to tingle. And then the tingling went away.)

And when I finshed, my blood pressure stayed low, so they made me stay in bed for almost an hour, checking my blood pressure and pulse every 10 or 15 minutes.

I guess stuff like that only happens once every 6 months or so. Lucky me.

The end.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My Busy Weekend

I have had such an exciting weekend.

The whole time, I've been participating in an ongoing battle. I keep halfway starting to get sick. This is mostly Lavish's fault, I'm sure, but my diligent coworkers who bring their germs to work don't help much either. So I've been taking vitamins every day (and sometimes more than once a day, since they taste good). I've been using ZICAM, which is basically amazing. I've been sleeping. And I alternate between feeling fine and feeling less fine.

But it doesn't stop there, folks--my weekend was much better than that.

Thursday, I went to go see Band of Horses in Salt Lake City with Optimistic and Alyssa. The concert was amazing, and Optimistic wrote an excellent review so I'll let you read that if you want to. Also, we got there early, so I finally bought my first pair of shoes. (In California I only wore flip-flops.) (And by first, I don't really mean first first. I mean first in...well...years.)

Friday, my little sister (attending BYUI) came to visit. That night, Lavish, my sister and her roommate, and I all attended...the Circus! My favorite part was either the part with the elephants or the part with the trapeze artists.

Saturday we watched General Conference on Lavish's computer. We completed the "Conference Challenge" that our little sister in California wanted to do with us. I really enjoyed this conference, actually.

Also Saturday, I had the best idea ever. Lavish and I had decided that we wanted to have people over, but we didn't know what we wanted to do. During the first session of conference, I had the idea that we should throw a birthday party for a few of the apostles.

I made invitations that read "You're invited to celebrate our birthday..." and had a nice little birthday picture on the front. (It was meant to confuse people. Or surprise them. Lavish's birthday is in April. Mine is in August. It would make no sense to celebrate our birthdays in October.) And then, on the inside, it had the pictures of President Packer, Elder Ballard, and Elder Nelson--all wearing birthday hats. It was awesome. Then there were the details of the party and FOOD! GAMES! PRIZES! etc written around it. The party featured "Pin the tie on the Prophet" and other birthday party games. We had everyone decorate cupcakes, and we put together fun goodie-bags. There may possibly be pictures from this in the future. We'll see. Of course I couldn't

Also Saturday, I finished my application for BYU. I should know the results of that within a couple of weeks. If I get accepted, great. If not, I'll either a) do night school, b) become a flight attendant, c) become a substitute teacher, or d) none of the above. I guess we'll see what happens. Those are the ideas so far.

The End.