Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Few Random Thoughts

Here are some random things I've been thinking about lately:

1. It's a good thing brake lights show as red instead of green or some other color.
I think that if people's brake lights were green, there would probably be a lot more accidents. If you see red while you're driving, it usually means stop.

2. Being interesting is not always a good thing. The
other day I was on a bus and a man started talking to me; he didn't have his glasses so he couldn't read the bus schedule without pressing his face against the case holding the schedule (and he preferred not to do that.) After I told him when the bus was supposed to come, he kept talking to me. When the bus came, he sat across from me and was still talking.

He had a lot of interesting stories. He'd been married three times, and had three kids with different mothers. His first wife had been killed by a drunk driver, but the other two hadn't worked out either. His last marriage didn't even last for a year. He hasn't really dated anyone since then. We talked about cars; we were riding the bus, but he's had some fast cars in his time. He told me about races, and driving over 300 mph, and about the time he rolled his car and broke tons of bones. He told me about his friend being stabbed as part of someone's gang initiation. And about driving him to the hospital, going so fast that four
police cars chased him and the police followed him into the hospital. He talked about some time he'd spent in jail. He talked about his job, and working tons of hours, and about little things like how he and his son have the same prescription, so his son will take his glasses sometimes. There were other stories, too.

And I've always kind of thought that being interesting was something desirable. I want to be the kind of person that is so interesting that people want to know me, and want to hear about the random things I've done. And I enjoy being around people that have a lot of stories to tell about wild adventures. Talking to this guy made me crave stability and simplicity, though. His stories were crazy, and even though I
absolutely believed that they were true (well, I think he may have exaggerated about some of the car racing stuff), I didn't want them.

3. If you think about it, it's really kind of a miracle that Chef salads exist. There are so many things that have to go exactly perfect for them to be prepared. How was anyone ever able to dream them up?

Consider my Arby's salad which had lettuce, bacon, chicken, tomatoes, egg, cucumber, cheese, and ranch dressing.
In order for me to have my salad...

The lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber had to grow. They had to be grown in specific climates, with precise amounts of water at specific times. They needed to have pest control (which had to be developed by someone, sold and bought by people, and applied by someone, or applied by a machine that had to be invented, etc.) Once they were grown, they had to be picked at the right time. They needed to be cleaned, shipped. (Transportation had to be developed.) They had to be cut. Even with all of these things going right, they only had a limited time that they would stay good for, and all three things had to have those short times coincide perfectly.

The cows, chickens, and pigs had to be raised. They needed food, water, and land. They needed to not die, not be eaten, and they needed to be killed at the right time. The chickens needed to lay eggs. Someone had to collect the eggs before they went bad, and the eggs couldn't accidentally become more chickens. [And chickens don't always lay eggs. We had a big chicken coop thing at one of our houses, and the chickens were like, stressed or something, and wouldn't lay.] The animal meat had to be processed. There needed to be butchers, and people who knew what parts of meat are used for what, and machines to process stuff. It all had to happen pretty quickly, too, because meat can go bad. Also, animals usually only give birth at certain times of the year, so the animals had to be born. Once the meat was ready, it needed to be shipped, and kept cold. There had to be truck drivers. There had to be the invention of knives for cutting, and fences for containing, and the animals couldn't be sickly. The animals had to be cut into useful sizes. There needed to be grease for cooking them. There needed to be pepper for my bacon. My chicken was breaded, so there needed to be wheat grown and processed, etc, too.

For each of the things that needed to be shipped, trucks had to be made, gas had to be imported, streets had to be built, people had to drive, and they had to know where to take the stuff too.

There had to be so so so many tools. And my chef salad bowl had to be manufactured.

Plus there had to be people at Arby's to prepare it for me. All of these things had to happen at precise times, like within a window of a couple weeks, and they all had to occur at exactly the same place.

How on earth did that ever happen? I am amazed that for $5 all of those things happened for me the other day.

4. Third wheels are sometimes useful. For example, tricycles are an important step before someone can ride with two wheels. Also, at least in Italy there were small trucks that had three wheels. Riding bikes is fun sometimes, but the power and potential of even a dinky three-wheel truck is vastly superior to that of a two-wheeled bicycle. Like when it rains, people on bicycles get wet. People in dinky three-wheel trucks do not. In motorized vehicles, usually people can go farther than on bicycles. Also, with a bicycle, if your tire pops you're really out of luck. If your tire popped and you happened to have a third wheel with you, that would fix the problem. So people talk about "being a third wheel" as though it's a bad thing, and it kind of is, but if you really think about it, third wheels are sometimes very useful.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

An Excellent Trip Story

I have a fantastic story from the beginning of our drive down to California for Christmas.

We left at about 11:30 am, I think, and I tried to sleep on the ride down since I'd just finished work and I'd not slept anytime recently.

I woke up as we were pulling off of the I-15 at Fillmore. Jess and Mitch let me know that it was time for lunch and I could either choose Burger King or Arby's. "Arby's," I said. Back home in Calfornia, I knew people who had worked at our local BK, and they had awful stories confirming every fast food rumor you've ever heard: people DID pee in the pickle juice. Stuff that dropped on the floor WAS picked up and served anyhow, especially if it was fish since it takes a long time to cook. And there was definitely a cockroach infestation. To prove that my friends were not lying, our local BK had a "B" rating, which is kind of hard to get when inspected; stuff has to be wrong. Reading Fast Food Nation did not improve my opinion of Burger King. I think it's probably been 5 or 6 years since I've eaten at a Burger King.

"No, we've had Arby's a lot lately. We're eating at Burger King," they decided. And it was fine, because the local California Burger King is run by completely different people, and a lot of time has passed anyway.

We parked and walked into the gas station market, which connected to the Burger King. There was a really really long line.

Jess and I left Mitch in line, and went to use the facilities. When we came back, Mitch was near the front of the line. (We asked him about it later, and he said a bunch of people were just waiting for their food. Some people just left. "I guess I should've taken that as a hint...")

We waited at the front of the line for a long time. There were two girls working. One was cooking food, and the other girl was wandering around, watching the girl in back cook. She wasn't passing out the food that was ready; just watching it pile up. Lots of people were waiting.

Finally we ordered food. We waited for about 20 minutes. (And I'm not exaggerating.) Mitch went up to ask if the food was ready. The girl who was taking orders and watching asked what Mitch had ordered and he told her. "Looks like it," she said, and when she didn't go get it, Mitch went back to his seat. Jess went up the the counter a few minutes later. "Can we have it?" she asked. The girl asked her for her order number, but the girl hadn't given Jess/Mitch their receipt, so they didn't know. They listed the items in the order and the girl gave them our food.

AND THEN Mitch's onion ring sauce was rancid. He took it up to the counter. The girl smelled it and said that it was fine. Mitch told her that it was curdled, and could he have some from a new box? She told him that his was from a new box...and she didn't offer to open another box or anything, so Mitch came back to our table.

AND THEN I had weird chunks of lettuce on my whopper, which were from the middle of the lettuce and not the part that people actually eat. So I kept pulling stuff off of my whopper and had a pile of gross stuff and a wimpy burger left to eat.

AND THEN my food was not hot.

AND there was hair on one of the trays. Not our hair.

AND the tables were all dirty.

AND the ketchup had a sticker saying it needed to be used by Wednesday, and we weren't sure if it was two days past its expiry, or if it was fresh.

So by the time we were done eating, we all felt in absolute and unavoidable danger of food poisoning. On our way out of the gas station market, we bought a bottle of Pepto Bismol. We went out to the car and, in the Burger King/ gas station parking lot we each took preemptive adult doses of Pepto Bismol.

The fun continued when we had to store the bottle somewhere and it was messy. We rinsed the dose cup with Powerade and wiped it out with a napkin.

This was the fun start to our California trip, and the rest of the trip proved to be not such a good one food-wise.

The End. (or, The Beginning, depending on how you look at it.)

Birthday Parties

Okay, so you guys know that I geocache. WELL, there are events that you can go to where you meet other geocachers, and you all geocache together or eat and talk about geocaching, etc.

I've been wanting to go to one of these things because there are a bunch of intense geocachers in the area. With geocaching you sign your name on a paper every time you find a hidden cache, so I see these people's names all the time. And I see their pictures from finding caches, and I read comments that they write, but I've not met them.

There are events like this fairly often in my area.

One of them is tomorrow night, and it's a birthday party for one of the ladies. On the event page at there's a super elaborate picture of a cake, and info about the party. Everyone is invited since it's a public geocaching event. I've not met the people who are going, except one guy, but I'm sure everyone would be way friendly if I went.

Anyhow, I can't go.

I have work tomorrow night. So I decided I'd post on the page and tell them how awesome the cake looks, because it really does look amazing. I started to post about that, though, and got off on a tangent. I mentioned that it's kind of weird showing up at someone's birthday party when you've never met them before.

And it reminded me of this story:

When we were younger, sometimes my mom would take us to parks. And often, when it was time to go we would look all over and couldn't find one of my brothers, Jason. Basically, pretty much every time we would find him in line to swing at somebody's pinata. He would join other people's birthday parties! We would all be super embarassed, because he wasn't invited, and he didn't even know the birthday kid ever. We would shout for him, "JASON! COME ON! It's not your fun!" And he would reluctantly leave the party games. The adults would always offer to let him stay and often gave him goody bags.

I wanted to share it with them, too, because it made me laugh. Buuut, it just wasn't the right place. So instead, I'm posting there about how nice the cake looks and I'm posting my story here.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Life Update

I have a few specific topics that I've been meaning to blog about, and I'll get to that sometime.

For now, I just have a laundry list of miscellaneous things to write about.

This week, I had two new big things happen.

First, I got a letter from the University of Utah saying that I need to submit documents for residency reclassification, if I want to, because I'm being classified as a non-resident for tuition purposes. It's kind of their default setting, and I knew I would have to send in stuff to be considered a Utah resident, but they won't accept a reclassification packet unless you're an admitted student. So while it said that information about my admissions status would come in another letter, I still thought it was unusual that they would want residency stuff.

I went online, to the Application Checker Thingie, and it said that I was admitted. And then yesterday I got the official letter saying "It is a pleasure to inform you of your acceptance to the University of Utah." and giving me my school email address and ID #, and more information.

So that's the first thing I'm excited about.

The second fun thing is, I decided about a week ago that I wanted to get an amateur radio operator's license, so that I could use ham radios. I knew a girl in sixth grade that had her license, and back then I was kind of interested, but I haven't really thought about it since then.

Geocaching has been a far less exciting hobby ever since it snowed, so I wanted to do something else. I saw a bunch of stuff about amateur radio stuff in a friend's profile, and decided I wanted to do it too. I borrowed a book from the library and started learning stuff to pass the license exam. They have license exams the third Wednesday of every month at BYU.

In the book that I read, it says that all sorts of people get their licenses. Kids do, women do, men do... actually, though, when I got to the test it ended up being me and a bunch of 45-65 year old men. (I sure know how to pick hobbies, eh?) I was supernervous because everyone seemed to know a lot more than I did.

It was like visiting Mexico after taking Spanish I in middle school:
"HOLA! 2oijfslkjflsjkalskjd UNA slkdfjlskejfldkjfd ROSA sdlfkjdlfkjsldfjkl LUNES sldkfjslkjdflsdkjf ESTAS sdlkfjdlskfjdk QUIERO dlskjsdjsldkfjsl"

Instead, it was like this:
"Radio sdkfjlsldkfjsd satellite lkjsdlfkjsdlfkjsldkj.x,m. band 23048 band 20394830.20980.98230492 band oilkjflskjamn antenna."

I was so so lost. But I took my little test that I had studied for, annnnnnd I passed it! I got 34/35 correct. And then yesterday the FCC assigned me my callsign, which is KE7QOA. And I'm superpleased, because I still have to buy a ham radio but once I have one I'm so licensed and can use it. And I'll be able to talk to all the old men I want, from all over the world.

And then, there was the story about those three guys who used to sit and watch us at the mall: we've had them kicked out of the mall a few times now.

[Today I'm riding with Jess and Mitch to California. I'm pretty excited about the prospect of warmer weather. And, I am taking some awesome Christmas presents. I can be so dang thoughtful. Go me.]

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ticket to Ride 1910 Expansion "Big Cities" Rules

In case you've searched Google for the rules to Ticket to Ride's "Big Cities" variation, which can be played with the expansion pack, here they are:

From page 3 of the rules pamphlet:

Use all tickets that feature at least one Big City (cities on tickets are printed in red). The Big Cities are Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Seattle. There are 35 such tickets, 15 from the original set and 20 new ones, including one from the Mystery Train expansion.

At game's start, shuffle the Big Cities tickets and deal 4 to each player; each must keep at least 2 (or more if they feel brave!). During the game, whenever you choose to draw tickets, draw 4 and keep at least 1. Discarded tickets always go back to the bottom of the tickets draw pile.

There you have it. Search no more.

We searched for like 15 minutes online, and finally found the rules. When we played it, it kind of reminded me of the original US TTR, because routes were more predictable and in the end we ran out of destination cards. One strategy site said that Dallas-Houston was a good one to take because it always gets taken. That seemed to be helpful, but not necessary (I don't think), although it would probably be more important in a game with 4 or 5 players/teams.

I think we will continue to play Mega Games; they seem to be our favorite.

Monday, December 03, 2007

In which the protagonist finds herself attached to everything, and not emotionally

I've been making geocaches lately. Fun, fun.

I found the perfect containers when I was shopping at the man mall. They're called Viewtainers, and the little-ish ones are just perfect for someone like me who is getting started. So I got a couple green ones, and got green wire to go in the two little holes on the top. And I bought green electrical tape because I couldn't find camo duct tape, and CLEAR duct tape to go on top of the electrical tape if it seemed like it would be messy.

And it was messy, so instead I bought camo duct tape from some outdoorsy store. EXCEPT it turned out that it wasn't actually duct tape, and instead it was removable cloth tape to cover my gun during hunting season. I thought clear nail polish would make it waterproof anyway. It just made a mess.

And then I had the perfect idea. I could just superglue the little slit on top closed. It would be so much simpler. And why didn't I think of that sooner?

So, I went to borrow glue from Jess, who isn't home, and found it right away. I knew she had superglue. And it wouldn't take much and if it did I would happily buy her more superglue.

So it was perfect, seemed like the top of the glue may have been superglued on.

So I tried to open it a bit, and then decided that it would probably break the soft metal tube below the top if I kept trying to twist it. So instead, I decided to use pliers on both of the halves of the plastic lid, in opposite directions.

And then, somehow it burst anyway, and all of my fingers started to burn just a little, and started to stick to each other and to the tube of glue. And thankfully, not to the pliers.

So I went to wash the glue off, but of course it doesn't come off, and a couple times it felt like when I was trying to rub the glue off I was actually about to stick my fingers to themselves.

Nail polish remover was not helpful.

Now all of my fingers except my pinkies feel like they don't have fingerprints. They're covered in dried glue. I can't feel the things that I touch. It's weird.

When I set the glue down on the counter while I washed my hands, glue oozed out onto the counter. I got a toothpick and used it to seal the top of my geocache-to-be. It's beautiful. It worked so well.

And then I tried to use some tissues to pick up the ooze of superglue on the counter, and it mostly worked, but left a big piece of super-tissue attached to my thumb. (Great.) And after a few minutes of it not washing off I managed to get all of it off, except for the part that was most attached to my skin.

My evaluation: I would give having superglue all over my fingers 2/5 stars. I give the experience two stars because it's kind of a funny situation, and a strange feeling to not be able to feel the things you touch. My experience especially merited those two stars because I did not ruin any clothes, ruin my pliers, ruin the carpet, or get stuck to anything (which may have been painful, or painfully embarassing). I don't think superglue goes into the same category as inhaling helium, though, because it doesn't seem to go away quickly, and the annoyance seems like it will far outlast the novelty/fun.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I saw something cute yesterday...

As I was leaving the mall, I saw something that made me totally grin.

They have a Santa at our mall, for pictures with children, in a big, roped off, brightly colored like... big Christmasy display. The Santa looks pretty good. He has a pretty long whitish beard that is real and is kind of plump, like a Santa. He doesn't wear an all red and white suit though. I think he had the red pants, and then he has suspenders and a holiday print shirt; maybe he just gets warm at the mall. I don't know.

WELL. It was time for Santa's break, and as I walked down to Radio Shack to get my Internet cable thingie, I saw him leaving his giant playpen.

I finished at RS about 10 minutes later. To leave the mall, I usually go through the food court exit. As I was leaving, Santa was sitting at one of the smaller tables, eating. A little boy (probably about four years old) had come up to him while he was eating, and they were talking. As I passed, the boy said "SO. Are you the real Santa or one of his helpers?" His mom watched from the Chick-Fil-A line.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Exciting Work Story

SO. At Job #2 we have massage chairs outside of our store, facing the store. They're big comfy chairs, and if you feed one a couple dollars in quarters it will give you a chair-back-massage. Often, girls from our store will sit there while they're on breaks, because they're more comfortable than the mall's bench seating, even when they're not massaging. The girls will read books there, or eat, or whatever, and if the store were to suddenly become terribly busy they would see it and be able to come back early to help. We can see the chairs from most places in our store.

On Wednesday towards the beginning of my shift, three Mexican men sat on the chairs. And sat there, grinning at us.

And it wouldn't have been a big deal, because anyone can sit on the chairs, and I'd be happy to be getting a massage, too. And we thought maybe they were waiting for one girl that was taking a long time shopping in our store. So it was kind of awkward that they were grinning, but whatever.

EXCEPT! Then the girl left our store, and they just kept sitting, staring at us and grinning.

And it was so awkward. We would be standing behind the counter with the cash registers, and I would turn to my right, to talk to my coworkers, and behind my coworkers I could see man on the end of the row of massage chairs, making eye contact with me and grinning. So I tried to talk to my coworkers without looking at them, and that was weird. A couple times my coworkers would turn and stare back, very obviously. The men just kept grinning. We were all kind of creeped out, and considered calling security. We decided not to, since they were just sitting and weren't talking to us or doing anything, and none of us had to leave yet. They left after watching us for two or three whole hours.

AND THEN! The day after Thanksgiving, they were back. And they followed a couple of my coworkers when they went on a break. So we called security, and they said that if any more funny business went down, we should let them know. The men walked past our store, slowly, staring in, and sat on a different set of benches outside our store.

We called mall security again, and they said they would be right over. They did come, and went to talk to the men. They asked the men what they were doing.

NOW, if I were a creepy man watching girls, I would say "I'm waiting for my cousin. We're shopping, and I wanted to sit here because the seats look comfortable." Or something like that. (Thankfully, I'm not.)

"We like the way the girls who work there look," they told Security. "So we're sitting here to watch them." (At least they were honest?)

Security told them they had to leave our part of the mall, and that if they came back, they would be kicked out of the mall.

Later I saw them sitting on benches about four stores down, towards the center of the mall, but they didn't stay there long, and we didn't have any more problems with them that day.

The End.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A List of Things I'm Thankful For

(in no particular order)
Things I'm Thankful For:

  • Abby, sleeping on her back

  • Simply Lemonade, Limeade, and Apple Juice, in that order

  • BIC pens, because they do always write

  • The new bin at Smith's for recycling grocery bags

  • My bicycle, and that it's purple

  • Wireless Internet

  • The Book of Mormon, and the Book of Mormon in Italian

  • Hybrid cars, and the hydrogen atom ones

  • Lamination

  • People that I initially don't like that I end up becoming really really good friends with

  • When I run to catch the bus and miss it and then the bus driver stops anyway

  • Good artwork

  • Pomegranate jelly

  • The poem Remember, by Christina Rossetti

  • And the poem about the penny [note: I looked for it online, and I found a bunch about tossing a penny down, but it isn't that one. I'll find it later.]

  • Podcasting, even though I've never listened to one

  • Cafe Rio

  • Texting Google, 1-800-GOOG411, and Google artwork for holidays and April Fools jokes

  • Italian movies, or really, movies dubbed into Italian

  • my GPS

  • The GPS things that go in cars and give directions aloud in British or Australian accents

  • Being able to tell people (who call me at work) about LDS Family History Centers

  • Temples

  • That everyone wears white in temples

  • People who make a special effort to speak English, even when it would be easier to speak their own language

  • People who treat the flag properly

  • Pimsleur

  • The USPS, UPS, and FedEx

  • the FedEx arrow hidden in their logo

  • The Constitution

  • Homemade bread

  • Footnotes

  • Research

  • Donation of blood and platelets

  • Organ donors

  • Kids who do the right thing and blame their parents so that they look cool, even though they actually wanted to do the right thing

  • Truth (facts straight) ads

  • People who are genuine

  • Very talented pianists and ballroom dancers

  • Free days at museums

  • Peace of mind

  • Artichokes, but not pickled or fried

  • Homemade french fries

  • Amy Butler stuff


  • Interesting doorknobs

  • British people who finish calls by saying "Have a nice day." since they don't tell each other that over there, so they're saying it just for me

  • Essays

  • Memoirs

  • Wikipedia

  • Spreadable butter

  • Arms

  • That I am healthy

  • Health insurance, and that mine has good ads

  • Apologies, sincere

  • DNA testing, which fascinates me

  • The placebo effect

  • Corazon, Project Linus, Warm Up America, soup kitchens

  • People who sincerely believe, and live according to their beliefs, whatever they are

  • Maps, in general

  • Old maps that show the world as flat

  • Endorphins

  • Electricity

  • Refrigeration

  • Down comforters

  • Tapestries

  • Chairs

  • Just DOING whatever it is

  • Italian ties, which are very expensive here and often $5 in Italy

  • Bartering

  • That Abby uses her new cat furniture

  • Proraso

  • That we used to tease my little brother by blowing kisses at him

  • Little miracles

  • My colored pencil that holds 8 colors and is mechanical

  • People who see me walking places and offer rides

  • My gym, even though they're shady, and especially the cardio cinema

  • Moleskine journals

  • Sandwiches

  • Homemade chicken / turkey noodle soup

  • That money is really just money

  • General Conferences

  • Vacuum cleaners

  • Cultures

  • Pepero Day (11/11!)

  • Black rimmed glasses

  • Shoes

  • Beautiful cemeteries

  • That some people don't gossip

  • People who over-prepare

  • Whatever quote it was that I read on my mission about being consistent

  • Examples that people set for me: (LF - enthusiasm and love, AW - pay attention to others, NRW, KJ, BL - service, Yellow's mom - being a good hostess and always making people feel welcome, CB - asking questions, being logical, and putting in hard work, my current bishop - only reads church books, AT - prayer, and so so many other people for other things.)

  • Ticket to Ride

  • The TTR Reunion 2009

  • Punctuality

  • Fly swatters and bug zappers

  • Penicillin and immunizations

  • Comments on pictures on Facebook

  • Giraffes

  • The Office (especially clean episodes)

  • People signaling before switching lanes

  • Fresh tomatoes

  • BLTs

  • Honest mechanics

  • Pastrami

  • Tacos and Tamales

  • Fresh bagels

  • Forks

  • Disinfecting wipes

  • Hope

  • Petting zoos

  • The song "Amazing Grace", which is not about a woman named Grace

  • Sisters that wrote to me on my mission

  • Wheaties

  • Libraries

  • eBay

  • The YAM joke (I yam so happy we're having yams for Thanksgiving)

  • Cat sweaters

Friday, November 16, 2007

Things I Learned at Work, Sort of.

[I wrote this early Friday morning and kept adding to it, and then forgot to post it. Oops.]

Some new, interesting things that I learned at work this morning by reading ancestry magazine:

- Watermelon is indigenous to Africa and came over to America in the late 1600s when settlers started bringing slaves over. Peanuts, sesame seeds, and yams came from Africa, too.

- Graham crackers were created by a Presbyterian minister named Sylvester Graham, in 1830, to help people fight lustful feelings. "As part of his health regimen, Graham advocates daily cold baths, lots of exercise, chastity, temperance, and hard mattresses." (pg. 25)

- Arsenic and strychnine were used in 1894 for weight loss.

- They've done DNA testing on cats, and basically all domestic cats go back to five mother cats, which were Near Eastern wildcats from "the deserts of Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia" about 10,000 years ago. It's the same time and place that wheat and barley were domesticated, and they think maybe those five mamma cats kept rodents from the grain and were welcomed (with their kittens) by humans. They guess that the cats liked the arrangement and adapted, domesticating themselves. (pg. 20)
- Turkey is the only commercially available meat native to America. (pg. 34)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cat Update

Things Abby Likes:

  • cheddar cheese (but not as much as she did when she was a kitten)
  • tuna!
  • beef jerky (even still in the package)
  • playing outside
  • sleeping in random places

Things Abby Does Not Like:

  • her new sweater

I joined Ravelry last week, and disovered this pattern, which made me giggle. Jess and I love teasing our cat, so I decided to knit her a sweater in time to enter the cat sweater contest.

It was hilarious. At first Abs wouldn't try to walk at all in the sweater; she just kept laying down when we would put her on the floor. Then she developed her own army crawl, which was also very funny.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Crazy Lady and other Job #2 News

I've been meaning to write about my Other Job.

Depending on your proximity to Provo and your interest in shopping, you may or may not know that for Labor Day our wing of the mall flooded. We were actually 5 inches deep in water because the pipe burst right outside of our store. We lost half of our merchandise and our store cracked in half. Also, the walls shifted, so the fitting room doors would close but not lock anymore.

A couple of our girls were there all night cleaning things up, and our store was still covered in silt afterwards. The rest of the mall was really nice to us. One of the owners of a store in the food court brought desserts to the people who spent the night cleaning. The whole mall smelled like wet afterwards. The Body Shop rated our store one of the ten smelliest and they gave us an oil-warmer thing and some fancy Body Shop oil that made our store smell so good.

The store was closed for a few days while they decided whether or not it was safe for us to continue working there. The stores on both sides of my store had to move to other locations. The actual pipe that was a problem and had caused the flood actually ran directly beneath our store, so they were going to need to dig up our store eventually.

Anyway, so after a month or so of working in our normal location, we had to move down to the ghetto end of the mall. I have to admit, it's been really interesting.

For one thing, business has slowed considerably. We used to be right in the middle of the mall, and everyone knew where we were, so we used to be pretty busy all the time. Now, the store is usually slow, and there are just sometimes rushes of people.

Our old location was near trendy clothes stores, and now we're near an independent toy store, and a kids dress store, and a salon brands hair place. (Nothing like before.) The weird thing about our new location is, management never goes down there (I don't blame them), so things are just...well...a little bit different.

There is a lady who runs? works at? a store across from us, and she wanders around to chat with people in other stores. While her store is open. It's bizarre. The lady in the store next to hers does the same thing. I guess they figure that since they don't have any customers they might as well keep things interesting.

So this lady comes in and chats with us. She tries to keep up on all of the mall gossip. And she informs us when we're breaking the rules of the mall. And from her own store she watches us to see what we're doing. She just stares.

The funny thing is, we used to be in the middle of the mall. So we know what is fine and what isn't, because management was always walking past our store. Like a week before the flood, we got fined for having a streak on our glass in the front of the store. And we didn't know our neighbors at all.

So now this lady is telling us what we can and cannot do, based on who knows what, and she does some wild stuff. My coworkers have seen her close the store in the middle of the day, for an hour and a half or so. (You definitely can't do that in a mall!) And, instead of taking her store's trash to the trash compactor for stores, she'll take her store's trash and dump it in the trash cans in the middle of the mall that are for customers!

One time, I guess management saw her throwing away trash and the guy came and YELLED at her. And she kept trying to change the subject, and it made him angry, and he was like "WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT. DON'T CHANGE THE TOPIC!" and kept trying to get her to promise she wouldn't throw any more trash in those trash cans. And she just kept changing the subject, talking about unrelated stuff, and eventually he got her to agree. And she waited a couple minutes, and then took a big handful of trash from her store, and kind of circled the area outside her store, walked up to the trash, made sure nobody was looking, and spitefully (triumphantly?) crammed it into the same trash can.

She's an interesting one.

And then, when we first moved down there, we had a sign near one of our mannequins that said NOW HIRING, bring in a resume, or something. And the lady from across came to us and told us we couldn't have signs in the window. Oooookay. I think we ended up moving the sign, not necessarily because of her, but just because. And now she has a poster drawn on, like, WalMart poster paper that says ABSOLUTELY NO FOOD OR DRINK ALLOWED that she puts in the mall walkway.

And my coworkers have little crushes on the guys that work in the nearby cellphone booths. And the guys that work in the nearby cellphone booths have little crushes on one of my coworkers. One of the guys in particular keeps giving her cellphone bling: first she had her last name in those little sticky jewels on her phone, and then he brought her a crystal lanyard thing to attach to it...

And then there's the issue of the hair store playing music so loud that we can't hear the music we're playing in our store...

Things are just different.

I miss our old store.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Jess and I's Saturday Morning Fun

Attn Sir/Madam

You may be surprised to recieve this letter from me since you do not know me personally, I am Tony Mayo the first son of DR. EDWARD Mayo who was recently murdered in the land dispute in Zimbabwe. I ot your contact through network online hence decided to write you.

Before the death of my father, he had taken me to Johannesburg to deposit the sum of US$12.5 Milllion (twelve and half Million) United States Dollars, in one of the private security company, as if he foresaw the looming danger in Zimbabwe our country.

This money was deposited in a box as gem stones to avoid much demurrage from security company. This amount was meant for the purchase of new machines and chemicals for the farms and established of new farm in This land problem came when Zimbabwean President Mr.Robert Mugabe introduced a new Land Act reform which wholly affected the rich white farmers and some few blacks farmers. And this resulted to killings and mob action by Zimbabwean war veterans and some opportunist lunatics in the society. In fact, a lot of people were killed because of this land reformed Act for which my father was one of the victim.

It is against this background that, I and my family who are currently staying in South Africa decided to transfer my father's money to foreign account since the law of South Africa prohibit a refugee ( asylum seeker) to open any bank account or to be involved in any financial transaction throughout South Africa.

As the eldest son of my father, I am saddled with the responsibility of seeking a genuine foreign account where this money could be transferred without the knowledge of my government who are bent on taking everything we 've got. The South African government seems to be playing along with them.

I am faced with the dilemma of investing this amount of money in South Africa for fear of going through the same experience in future since both countries have similar political history . Moreover, the South African Foreign Exchange Policy does not allow such investments for an asylum seeker.

As a business man, whom do want to entrust my future since both my future and that of my family are in my hands.I must let you know that this transaction is risk free.If you accept to assist me and my family please you must have to be very honest to us

I have two options for you, firstly you can choose to have certain percentage of the money for nominating your account for this transaction. Or you can go into partnership with me for proper profitable investment of the money in your country. Whichever of the options you want, feel free to notify me.

Yours Faithfully,

Anthony Mayo
phone- +27-73-315-9099

Dear Mr. Mayo,

I am deeply saddened to learn of your father's tragic and untimely death. Your father and I spent many of our childhood years together. He was a good man even then and although we lost contact years ago, I have always fondly remembered our time together so long ago.

Your father always had an eye for the future. Using gem stones was ingenious.

Of course I care very much about the safety and security and providence of your family. I would hate to see the South African government take what is rightfully yours.

Best wishes.

A. DuBois

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy 85th To Me!

Well, I had my birthday this last month (August!) and I turned 85. Practically. I'm such an old lady. This is what I've been up to in my month away from blogs and computers and all of this new-fangled technology:

1. Doing my genealogy. I know that not all old people do genealogy and that some young people do genealogy, but probably 85% of the people I talk to for work every day are retired folk. That's fine.

At work, they let us help them test a new publishing thing that we added to our site for almost-free. You can make your own full-color genealogy book with copies of census records and military records and all kinds of original source documents. You add photos and dates and places and stories, etc, and the wizard will throw time lines at you and family all looks really cool. But my family's genealogy has been in boxes back in California, so there has been a lot of typing to do (the package of records from my mom weighed enough that I thought she might have sent an ancestor). I still have a lot to do, but I really have done an impressive amount of work. I'm excited to see my book.

2. Spinning yarn and knitting a blanket (but not from the yarn that I spun). I actually finished spinning the ball of wool that I had. My mom has been super excited about Jess and I going home because she's discovered several yarn stores that are pretty near our house that we didn't even know existed. (My mom loves that I knit and spin.)
I also finished knitting my biggest project ever, the baby blanket for my friend's baby. (Jess keeps telling me that I should keep it for my own unborn children. It came out a little small but quite nice. I keep telling her that I'll knit blankets for my own children when I'm pregnant. They'll be pink or blue. None of this white-business. She tells me she wants me to knit blankets for her children, too. I tell her we'll see.) I thought about knitting the baby blanket with yarn that I'd made (which would have been cool), but really, let's be serious--I hardly ever talk to my friend anymore and it takes a lot of time to make yarn, and it's for a baby that will spit and leak all over it. Meh. Maybe not.

Now that I'm done, I'm not sure what to knit. Should I knit a sweater? They sound so tricky, but I may actually be a good enough knitter to be able to handle one. A larger throw or blanket? Maybe. More scarves for this winter so that I have them in many colors? Probably, but those are quick and then I'll still need a new project.

Really, what I want to do is order a huge box of roving and go crazy with dying and spinning, but we'll see. The yarn store has been talking forever about doing a dying class and that would be helpful.

3. Enjoying nature and identifying birds. I finally ordered (and received!) a GPS, which has been loads of fun. I've been geocaching several times! I actually heard about geocaching years ago and thought it sounded like fun, but never tried it until now. I still haven't figured out how to download stuff to the GPS, or really gotten hard (hrad?) core into it, but I've ordered some of the little trackable things that people put into the boxes, which is a start. It's like treasure hunts for grown ups. Fun. A lot of them involve hiking, and it turns out that I like that.
On a somewhat unrelated note, I've taken up an interest in birds. Not sure where that came from. Often, when I'm outside I'll hear birds chirping, and I look for them and try to see what sort of birds go with which chirps. I have no idea why this interests me.

4. Taking walks. I'm training for my first triathlon, so I've been spending a lot of time at the gym lately. Especially with skybluepink, who is training with me.

5. Feeding the cat. Our cat is actually about to have a birthday. She was born in September, we're pretty sure. We're planning on throwing a party (of course), but it's all sort of ironic, I think. For her special day, we will invite loads of people to our house, and the one thing she really hates (aside from baths) is people. It will be fun, though.

That's pretty much been it, I think.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

One year!

Yellow had his gchat status set to something about his one year anniversary. I promptly teased him about it and then realized that, Hey,whadduyaknow, today is my one year anniversary, too. One year ago, I moved to Provo. (Well, either today or yesterday...I've been thinking it was the 31st, but I don't really remember.)

When I came to this realization, I was actually in the middle of a fun game that I like to play with Abby. (I sometimes play a game with her called "Try to trace her borders of where she switches from tabby to white." And she plays, "Try to keep [dimmi] from tracing me.") I decided that I should finish that game later, though, and post a few thoughts about this momentous occasion on my blog.

Here are some thoughts about having been in Provo for one year:

- I couldn't really get lost in Provo anymore. For a couple weeks when I first moved here I would switch up the routes I took to get from my house to Optimistic's every day. And let me tell you, it was an adventure. I had to be careful not to get lost. And it was easy to forget which Ns and Ss went where, and which Es and Ws went where. That's gone now.

- I've been working at my company for almost a year. I think they've been my favorite company to ever work for. They're good. (I knew that we were meant for each other ever since I had my first Bagel Thursday.)

- I've been back from my mission for over a year, and not just by a little bit. Weird. I'm not awkward anymore. I was when I moved up here.

- When I moved up to Provo, the only person I kind of knew (aside from Lavish) was Optimistic. He helped me make so many more friends. I feel like I have tons of good friends now, which is really good.

- Lavish and I have had Abby for almost a year. When we got her she was just a kitten and now she's a cat. (And she knows her name. As I typed this, I called her and she totally came.)

- I'm finally taking classes again.

- I've been spinning for over five months.

I remember that when I was thinking about moving up here, I was a little reluctant. I wasn't sure that I'd like Utah. I still don't know that I'd want to live here forever, but it turns out that I like Utah. Kind of a lot.

I should probably set some goals for my next year in Provo.

Anyhow, on kind of a serious note, I want to thank all of you guys (all two of my readers :) ) for everything. I'm so glad I know you people.

And now I should go celebrate by getting gelato.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Still in Provo

You'd think that since I've been away from Blogger for nearly two months, I'd have been off building orphanages in Nepal or studying plants native to Madagascar, or having some sort of summer adventure. Instead, I'm here in Provo, and have been.

I'm taking classes. They've been exciting and challenging. (And extremely time-consuming.)

My first class is an advanced Italian grammar class. I enjoy it. The professor has structured the class so that we always correct homework and have a lesson before our break, and then after the break we have a big class discussion about a reading. The readings are about topics like anonymous letters, women driving, or summer love. There's generally something controversial, and we get passionate about our viewpoints. It's kind of funny to listen to, since we have varying levels of proficiency. ("But the marriage, IT IS important for the people. Two weeks. Sometimes one FEELS.")

Then I go to my English class, which is also full of passion (on occasion), though on the part of the professor. He passed us a copy of a Daily Universe article from the 1990's the other day and said, "WOW! Look at all of these cool perfect forms in this. Wow, that's a perfect progressive. You don't see many of those. Isn't that cool?!" He really thought it was neat. I often leave my English class wondering if I even speak English. I think the other people in my class feel the same way. (One of my classmates wrote a page of creative writing about how maddening grammar is and forwarded it to the entire class after the last test.) This weekend is dedicated to me learning the semantic categories of adverbs. And a lot of other things.

My third class is a Book of Mormon class, and I don't really have much to say about it.
Yesterday I bought two books at the BOOK SALE on campus. I got Tall Blondes (which is a book about giraffes) and teach yourself arabic. I'm excited about both of them. I've been reading Harry Potter lately, like everyone and their grandma, and I'm still only on the third book. Almost finished with it, but still not ready for the seventh one today. (As an aside, a coworker had Harry and the Potters playing in her car the other day. It was hilarious. Have you guys heard of them?)

I've been knitting lately. (I have a knitting group that meets weekly.) I'm knitting a white baby blanket for my friend who wants her baby to be a surprise. Let me tell you all how I feel about babies being surprises: whether you find out it's a boy at the doctor's office when they do your ultrasound, or when they're pulling it out of you, it'll be a surprise. I promise. At birth, I plan on possibly being surprised by hair color and facial features. I plan on my kid's personality being a surprise as it develops. But I will definitely be surprised by my kid's gender before it is born. And it will make it much easier for friends who want to knit baby blankets in colors like pink or blue. :)

So I've been knitting that. It's not huge, but I'm pleased with myself because I've learned a new stitch, and it's still the biggest thing that I've ever knit. I'm just over halfway done.
(I've also started two new hobbies: geocaching and training for a triathlon, but I'll post about them some other time, when I have more to say and more time to write it.)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Eleven months.

I realized that I haven't posted for a while. This is a post that I finished and never posted, from July 17th of last year.

When I was younger, my family participated in community theater a whole lot. We were always auditioning and doing shows. It was a lot of fun.

One of the theaters that we performed at quite a bit is undergoing major renovation. It's going from being a cute little old time theater to a big performing arts center including a diner and old style ice cream bar. (All to the tune of...oh, seven point something million dollars.) Anyway, they've been working on it since before I left on my mission, and it's getting close to being finished. My parents were invited to an open-house/ barbecue with the theater people.

At the event, my parents sat with someone who works at The City of Hope, which is where we donate blood and platelets. She said that lately, there's a major shortage of blood. The Red Cross even approached the City of Hope, asking if they could buy blood from them (usually it's the other way around.)

(As an aside, it turns out blood is quite expensive to process and purchase. I'd always thought it was a matter of $30 per pint, or something...actually, it's about $700 per pint. $100 of it goes to the special plastic bag and tubes and whatnot. Who knew?! )

So mom called to set appointments for us. They asked, did we want to donate blood or platelets? Turned out, they especially want O positive blood. They still really need platelets, too, though, so since we're B positive they preferred our platelets. Fine.

On the way to the hospital, my mother and I saw the coolest thing. It was a 16 wheel truck with nothing on it...just a...flatbed? A long, empty truck. Except! There was a kid's dump truck strapped on. It was funny because it was a huge truck carrying nothing but one child's toy. (Whaaaat....?) Mom said she'd seen one like that a few days ago. Except the one she'd seen had a Big Wheel strapped on. It was bizarre.

So I called the truck company as we were driving next to it. A lady answered. I told her, "Um. We just drove past one of your trucks. It has a toy on the back of it..." She laughed. She explained, "Oh it's just a good luck charm; to get 'em home safely." I thanked her and told her to have a good day. And explained to my mom, since she was curious about it, too. How cute. [Note, 6/28/07 - Mom actually called me this week to tell me she saw another truck with a toy on the back. I forget what they toy was this time, though.]

So we got to the hospital. And I passed all of their exciting tests with flying colors: living in Italy was okay. My iron was okay. In fact, they liked my blood so much that they wanted to take twice as many platelets from me.

Except, see, the way that it works with platelets is, they take blood out of my right arm and put it back in the vein on my left hand. My mom is able to have all of that happen in one needle, on one arm. She explained to me the first time that they did it that they could only do it if you have extra strong veins. If they try to use the one needle system on someone whose veins can't take it, it can collapse or burst or something and cause big problems.

So when they told me that they wanted a double-donation, were going to use one needle, and that they would do it in 75 minutes, it made me nervous. It usually takes me two hours to do one donation.

I spent an intense 75 minutes worrying that my vein was about to explode. I survived, though. And they even gave me a thing for free In-N-Out, for my time. How nice.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Subject: black fur hats

After searching the Internet to know how much the British guards' hats weigh, I found nothing. I learned all about the different types of military in the UK, and about busby hats which another group wears (though not their weight either)...but found nothing about the uniforms that the guards wear.

I decided to email The Guards Museum because the Curators' Message on the site says: "We are happy to answer any queries you might have about the collection and more than willing to point you in the right direction if we are unable to answer your specific question."

I wrote:


I wonder if you can help me.

Some friends and I have recently returned from our holiday in the UK. While reviewing pictures from the changing of the guards, we've started to wonder: how much do the tall furry black hats weigh? They look quite heavy.

Thank you.



Reply received today:


The hats to which you refer are called bearskin caps and as their name would suggest they are made from the skin of a bear. Canadian Black Bear to be precise. they are contructed of two panels, one at the front and another at the back and they are stretched over a bamboo cage. The kerbchain (chinstrap) is made of brass links sewn onto a leather strap and it is fixedto the cap by two leather thongs.

In total it weighs just over half a kilo which doaesn't sound much until you have to wear for four hours! Being black it attracts the heat in summer and becomes heavy when soaked with rainwater. It is hard to control in high winds and has a tendancy to pinch the head in very hot weather. That said, it a truly global and iconic image and the Guards would not give it up easily as it is the only headdress which has been awarded following action in battle. It was the Prince Consort and the Duke of Wellington who decreed the Guards should wear the distinctive headdress of the French Imperial Guard having beaten them in battle at Waterloo.

Although the caps are indeed made of animal skin, no animals are killed just to provide pelts for Guards caps. The Canadian Black Bears are regarded as pests and are culled each year to prevent them over-breeding and becoming a nuisance. A small percentage of those that are killed have their pelts sold to Great Britain to enable the Guards to repair and replace their headdress.

I hope this gives you a little more insight and answers your question.

With kind regards

Andrew Wallis



Hm. Neat.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Why Crosswalks Don't Work (a short story)

Chapter 1: The Trouble Begins
Thursday evening I was feeling a bit bored. The Office was a rerun. I spoke with a few friends and suggested that we play Ticket to Ride and eat pizza. They agreed. We planned to play from 8-9 pm, before rogeber would be watching a movie in their living room.

I ordered two pizzas from Brick Oven; one was my favorite (pepperoni, pineapple, and green peppers), and the other was the suggestion of one of the girls playing--a pizza with bacon(!) and peppers.

I began walking to pick up the pizzas and decided to stop by and say hello to branflakes since I was passing his house anyway, and I hadn't talked to him for a while. He was leaving his house and offered me a ride. I accepted. We picked up pizzas and he drove me to the house we were playing at. I told him he could drop me off across the street and I'd cross, to save him time.

He did.

Chapter 2: The Plot Thickens
Branflakes rounded the corner and I waited for traffic to clear. I began crossing the street, in the crosswalk. About one third of the way across, I looked to my left and saw a motorcycle a few feet away from me. Unable to react quickly enough, I was hit by the motorcycle and fell in the middle of the busy street. The game and two pizzas dropped and napkins floated to the ground.

Traffic paused. The man who was riding the motorcycle had fallen off before it hit me. Two girls who had witnessed the incident came to see if I was okay. Was I okay? I wanted to say that I was fine, but I couldn't because I was in shock. Also, since I couldn't speak, I started to realize that I wasn't fine. My lower chest hurt badly. I couldn't move my left leg at all. (What if I had internal bleeding? What if my leg was broken. What if I couldn't play Ticket to Ride?) The girls picked me up and one on each side, they carried me back to the grass across the street from where I was going. I was probably mostly dead weight at first, but started to be able to use my right leg a bit. The guy from the motorcycle wondered if I was okay-ish. I was, I told him. Branflakes parked his car a bit ahead and, privy to what had happened, he came back to see how I was.

Apparently, a car turned in front of the motorcycle. Since the car was turning, Motorcycle Man couldn't see me until it was much too late. He was Very Concerned and apologized profusely.

I said I would probably be fine, and could I just go across the street to my friends' apartment? [NO. The police would want me to do paperwork.] Wellll, could they come get me when they were ready for me? [NO. The police didn't like it when people leave the scene of an accident before they get there. ] Oh. Okay.

The witnesses started talking. Should they call 911? I would be okay, I told them. That wouldn't be necessary. My chest stopped hurting. I stood up to prove that my leg was okay, and it felt like it would be. They agreed. It would be okay to call the police directly, instead of calling 911. "I already called 911," a witness admitted.

Great. Moments later, there were sirens. Four or five police cars came. The paramedics came, and a fire truck came and left. Did I want a ride in the ambulance? No, I assured them that I didn't. They told me that I could have the ride if I wanted it, but that it would cost $400 and I would be fine to take in a car if I wanted to go to the hospital. Branflakes accepted their assurance that I would be okay-ish, and I promised him and everyone that I'd go to the doctor if I felt like I needed to. I told him I would be fine, and he left.

About the same time as the sirens all came, the entire neighborhood became curious about what had happened. People came to their windows to watch from across the street. One guy went out to the stairway to stand at the edge and watch. Two of Optimistic[.]'s roommates who were going to be playing Ticket to Ride came to their window to watch. I grinned and waved so they'd know that I wasn't dead. They waved back and continued watching.

I called the friend who had suggested the bacon pizza and told her that I'd been run over. I suggested that she walk along the main street when she came so that she would walk past the excitement. She did, and came to hear the story and wait with me while I had to supply my ID and let the police do their paperwork.

A couple friends walked by the apartment and I let them know that I'd been run over and would be inside to play the game shortly.

You may be wondering if the pizzas made a mess on the road, or if the game was ruined. The pizzas and the game survived the accident better than I did.

I had fun laughing and joking with the police and witnesses. The police were kind of taking a while, though, and I started to feel a bit faint. I was thirsty, I told them. Could I cross the street and get water and come back? They granted me permission to do so.

I went into the apartment and announced my news: "I just got run over by a Vespa!"

Everyone wanted to hear the story. I told them. I also suggested that they begin eating pizza before it got cold. I went back to the police.

Must be nice being able to park by red curbs, I told them. They could park anywhere, they said, for emergencies. I joked with them "Oh, gosh, this is such an emergency! There's no parking anywhere!" They laughed. They said that often, they'll go to respond to emergencies, and they'll park along red curbs. They'll take care of the problem. Everything clears up, and they'll walk to their cars. People who didn't see the emergency when it was there will see them walking to their cars, parked along a red curb, and they'll start shouting dumb things about how since they're police they think they don't have to obey the laws. And the police will just put up with it, because people are dumb sometimes and don't know what they're talking about. (Police are such troopers.)

They asked me for my account of what happened, which was basically that I looked up and the motorcycle was right there. Were there other cars? Oh, sure. It was busy. Did I notice any in particular? Nope, sorry.

The motorcycle man apologized more. I have the same name as his wife, he said. He was so sorry that we'd met this way. He gave me a hug. We started making accident jokes-- So, how did you meet? Oh, he ran into me the other day. Just (shrug) on the street. The police groaned and smiled.

Eventually, I was dismissed to go play Ticket to Ride.

Chapter 3: The Long Evening
I hobbled across the street and into the apartment. I was covered in street. What happened? Everyone wanted to know. I retold the story several times as different people arrived and hadn't heard it.

I was feeling okay, but gradually, I started to feel less okay. My chest started hurting again. My leg started hurting a lot. I took some ibuprofen. I felt sore.

One of the guys offered me a ride home (as he often does). (Was the Vespa the one that was parked near me?) Yes, it was. (Um, [dimmi], that wasn't a Vespa. That was a motorcycle.) Oh. Yeah, because Vespas are like scooters. And I wasn't hit by a scooter. Well, it was red, I remembered. And maybe the name on it started with V.

I got home and found Lavish and Yellow watching a movie. "Guess what I did tonight," I told them. They guessed a few things. "I got run over!" I said, and went into the kitchen for water. "You what?!" Lavish asked. I came back and told them the story. "AND YOU DIDN'T CALL ME?!" Lavish was shocked. "Well. I was fine. And you were at your French dinner. Anyway, I would have called if I went into the emergency room." "New rule," she said. "Any time you get run over, you have to call me..."

Chapter 4: A Lovely Visit
Since I wasn't feeling well, I got permission to miss work that night. And I slept through part of Job #2 the next day. I called and told them what had happened, and took the rest of my scheduled shift off.

My mom had left a message on my phone wondering why I hadn't called her, since Lavish had told her that morning.

Optimistic[.] offered me a ride to the doctor, since I was still feeling unwell. I wasn't thrilled to go, but Mom thought it was a good idea too. ("What if you're feeling worse in a week? Then you'd go in and they'd ask why you didn't come a week ago..." "Anyway, it's good to check things out just in case.") He drove me far, far away (like 15 minutes) to the Urgent Care place that my insurance recommended when I called them.

They had a 1.75 hour approximate wait time posted. Optimistic[.] had work, so he arranged for rogeber to pick me up afterwards. I began waiting.

I looked for a decent magazine to read. There were a couple news magazines that looked promising, but they were across the room. Another lady saw me peeking through the stack of magazines that was on the table by me. "They don't have any of the good ones," she said to save me time. "There are no gossip magazines at all. I checked. That's the only reason why I didn't bring a book. I thought I'd just read one of those, but there are none." I feigned disappointment. "I just read this one, though. It was okay." She offered me a kitchen decorating magazine. "I actually don't have a kitchen to decorate," I confessed. "I live in student housing..."

"Oh, that's the best time to read them." She explained to me why it's worth it to decide what you like before you actually build a kitchen. You wind up with ideas. Otherwise you spend a lot of money on a kitchen that is just average and not what you really want. She was planning on having a new house later this year, and a new kitchen within a couple years. We discussed the merits of kitchen islands. She said she doesn't like them to have stoves, etc.

It was during that conversation that I decided something: waiting room conversations are the worst because the only thing that you have in common (the visit) is something that you usually can't discuss politely. It would have been entirely inappropriate to ask why she was seeing the doctor, but that was the only thing that we had in common, so we were left with nothing. This same phenomenon is the same reason why many people don't start conversations in waiting rooms to begin with. (That's also unfortunate, since long waits pass more quickly when you're distracted by conversation.)

Think about it, though: When you're at a wedding, you talk to strangers about the bride and groom. When you're at yoga, you talk about yoga. When you're waiting for kindergarten to let out, you talk about kids. When you're at the doctor's office...nothing.

Chapter 5: A Happy Resolution
I eventually made it in to see the doctor. He was happy to see me. "You served a mission, didn't you. " He could tell, he said. (Utah is such a funny place. ) I did. Where? Italy. He came close and showed me his name tag. It was a very Italian name. His grandparents were all Italian except one that was from Poland. He started speaking Italian with me. Nice. He told me about his experiences on his mission, and about how much he likes sister missionaries. Neat. I was so sweet, he said.

He checked my leg. And my ribs. And sent me off with Chuck, for x-rays, since I wanted them and nobody had any reason to believe they wouldn't be a good idea. Chuck took x-rays of my knee and leg and sent me back to Dr. Friendly (name has been changed).

The doctor came back into the room and told me I was lucky. I have "one heckuva bruise," he said. Or, if I wanted to impress my friends, I could tell them that I have a "severe pre-tibial contusion." He told me I should ice my leg for 20 minutes, three times a day. I told him that was a lot, and I'd think about it. He came up with a schedule for me, to show me that I could handle it. Ohhhh, he liked sister missionaries so much, he told me some more. He gave me a side hug, and sent me on my way.

Epilogue: How am I now?
I am still really bruised. My leg hurts, and it's starting to turn purple. My chest sometimes hurts, but not as much as before. I think I'll be okay.

Overall, I give being run over by a motorcycle only 1 of 5 stars. It was an interesting experience (I'd never been run over before), and it's been nice to have everyone inquiring about my wellbeing. I got to see really cool x-rays of my leg, and it's made for an cool story. These benefits have all been overshadowed with feelings that the whole event has been a major waste of time. I missed 8 minutes of playing Ticket to Ride and missed two goings to work. Also, I spent a lot of time waiting for the doctor. Additionally, the experience has been quite painful and makes me a bit nervous about crossing streets. So, I don't recommend it to anyone.

Also, I used to occasionally mutter under my breath that people should just run me over, and I'll sue them. I have no intentions to sue anyone, and the experience has not had many redeeming qualities. I don't think I'll mutter about it in the future.

The End.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pop Rocks

It's been an exciting weekend.

I randomly bought Pop Rocks yesterday, because I hadn't had them in a while. I decided to share some of them with Abby. I'm telling you--it's the new fun way to tease cats. It was hilarious. She started running through our apartment, and she'd jump every few seconds when it would pop. Fantastic. And we thought Scotch tape was funny...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A list of some things that make me happy

(In no particular order.)

1. New phone books. In plastic.
2. Abby.
3. Good ice cream. Occasionally.
4. Making ice cream.
5. Kitchen stuff.
6. Mail. Especially the non-junk, non-bill variety.
7. People finding and friending me on Facebook.
8. Papa Murphy's Take & Bake pizzas.
9. The gym.
10. Having my hair played with.
11. Going grocery shopping with other people.
12. Random visits from friends, at work.
13. The answer section in the back of math textbooks.
14. Geocaching, even though I've never been.
15. Ticket To Ride.
16. Silent Football, especially when I don't lose right away for laughing.
17. Zip-bomb.
18. The toothpick game, where you go door-to-door and get people to trade you things, even though I've never played.
19. Clever, thought-provoking graffiti.
20. Puns.
21. Hugs and kisses.
22. Pulling out of a good parking spot in a parking lot that's really full, when there are people waiting for the spot.
23. eBay.
24. Everything Google.
25. 107.9, The Mix, which has become my radio station over this past week.
26. The song "Hey There Delilah".
27. The website I'm not sure whether or not it's legal, but you can find any song you want and listen to it online for free whenever you want, and make playlists, etc. I've been using it for the past few days and it's glorious.
28. Yellow taught me how to solve a Rubik's cube a couple days ago.
29. Vacuum cleaners. Especially central systems, Roombas, and wet/dry vacs.
30. The new Nissan Altima.
31. Absence of spiders.
32. Vaccinations.
33. Travel.
34. Spinning yarn.
35. Movies that end happily ever after.
36. Bubble wrap and popping it.
37. Tacos.
38. Messages or drawings in sidewalk chalk.
39. Stationary, especially with lined envelopes.
40. Fountain pens.
41. Cicada's blog.
42. Days where work is slow and I can sleep a bit.
43. Mandarin oranges.
44. Pasquetta.
45. Foreign films.
46. Artichokes, but not fried or pickled, or anything like that.
47. Things that look dead coming back to life after winter. Like our roses.
48. My grandparents.
49. Having my teeth cleaned at the dentist.
50. Cheez-Its.
51. That one garbage bin in Orem.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Funny things from work

Really, the only thing I've been up to lately is work.

I got a just-for-fun very-part-time job at my favorite store in the mall. I've been "working" there for almost three weeks now. I'm the oldest girl who works there, which is a position I've never been in before. Strange. (Incidentally, I was marking things on my 2008 calendar yesterday, and I marked my 25th birthday. Huh. That's so weird. That was always the far-away time that I would use for long-term goals. Time just keeps moving.) So working there keeps me younger, I suppose.

Anyhow, I was going to post a funny story from each of the jobs, so here's the one from Job #2:

A lady was shopping in our store and came up to pay for her stuff. She was from California, she indicated in conversation. Where in California? We all wanted to know.

lady: By Ventura. (I think.)

Oh! My coworkers' cousins live out there. (Those coworkers are sisters.) What part of the area?

lady: In Stephen's Ranch (sp?).

coworker: [very friendly and upbeat] Does it keep you busy?

lady: [confused] what?

coworker: The ranch. Does it keep you busy?

lady: Um. We don't actually live on a ranch. That's the name of the city.

coworker: [really embarrassed]

Awkward closing of conversation.

We keep teasing my coworker, though, asking her, "Does it keep you busy?" with the same interested voice that she used. Funny.

My other job has been the same lately. Nothing especially exciting has happened there.

Part of my job is responding to emails that customers send us, and this morning I got a good one. It was spammy, but relevant to our site. Go figure.

subject: Pop ups!
No! No! No!
Forget ancestry, it's history. What about your future? Do you trust Jesus, the only one who can save your soul?

Who sends emails like that?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Living the good life.

I was thinking about cats.

My cat is so lucky. She has all of her food and water provided. She has free heating. She can sleep all day, or play when she feels like it. She demands and receives attention whenever she wants it. And she goes around getting massages from everyone; nobody gives it a second thought. Nobody ever fights her about anything. She has such a simple, relaxing lifestyle.

As I considered her sweet lifestyle, I was initially a bit jealous. How fortunate she was, to be born a cat.

I thought more about it, though, and really, being born a cat is probably usually a misfortune. The only cats that really have it good are indoor cats. And possibly farm cats.

There are a whole lot of cats that have to defend their territory, have to hunt to survive, and so on. They lose limbs and limp, and get ear mites and fleas, and eat trash. They have to avoid cars and hungry Koreans and dogs and bad weather.

There are probably loads of stray cats. And domestic cats that have to live outside. Life as an average cat wouldn't be all that great. And I'm sure the odds of being born an indoor cat are really, really not favorable.

Come to think of it, I guess there are people out there (especially in other countries) born with a lot of the same problems that outdoor cats have. I should be thankful for what I've got.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spinning #2

Spinning ended a couple weeks ago. I missed the class so after much deliberation I've purchased my first spinning wheel.

She's an Original Lendrum, double treadle.

First I finished spinning the wool that I prepared as part of my spinning class, (from the very beginning. Then I bought a couple different colors of green to spin, and I've been making green yarns. And green and white yarns.

Now I'm spinning some wool that was dyed by Lorna's Laces, in a color that to me looks like rainbow sherbet. I googled Lorna's Laces, searched through the swatches of wool and discovered that it actually is called "SHERBET". Cool. (See color at left.)

And what will I do with all of the yarn that I'm making, since I now enjoy spinning more than I enjoy knitting? Oh, who knows. I may wind up with A LOT of new, colorful socks.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Funeral Highlights

Since Lavish missed out on the St.George / Vegas fun last weekend, she and I had our own road trip this past Saturday. We decided to go up to Bountiful, and invited several friends. Unfortunately, nobody we knew was able to join us. (I think it may have been because we gave them 10 minutes advance notice.)

We attended a killer (ha!) funeral while we were there. Since we didn't exactly know the man that had passed away, I kept thinking of 'Harold and Maude' (shown for Optimistic.'s movie night a couple weeks ago). (It was for my mom's uncle, whom we'd never met; Mom couldn't attend and asked Lavish and I to represent the family.)

Anyhow, since you all missed out, I thought I would post some highlights from the funeral. Enjoy!

Story #1 - The Cow Story
"JV" was an expert storyteller. His daughter shared a story-ette that her dad often told her when she was a kid. She wasn't sure if it was actually true, or not. To the best of my memory, it went like this:

When JV was young, he went to school, and he also helped take care of the family's cows. They would be down at the river, and they'd drink water, or whatever, and then he'd direct them back up to the barn to be milked. When he would milk them, there was never much milk, though. It was because when they were down at the river, their udders would hang into the river and the catfish would get at them!

(Lavish does not remember this story because she was watching a little girl who was playing near our pews. The little girl was sharing food with people. Another kid had dried apricots that they shared with her, and she graciously accepted, tasted it, and made a face indicating disgust. She took another bite because she was supposed to, since someone had shared with her, though. It was really funny.)

Story #2 - The Car Story
"JV" was a good father, and taught his children a bunch of lessons. A different daughter shared this story:

She borrowed the family car to visit a boy that she was interested in. He worked half a mile from their home. She stayed longer than she was supposed to, and kept the car longer than she was supposed to. Her father ("JV") walked down to where she was, and without going inside or saying anything to her, he took the car back home. When she finally left, the daughter saw that the car was gone, and she worried that it had been stolen. She called home and told her dad that they'd better call the police because the car had been stolen. "JV" was quiet for a moment. "No," he said, "The car's here. It knows when to come home even if my daughter doesn't."

Story #3 - Gardening
"JV" was an avid gardener, especially known for his prize tomatoes. His daughter helped him plant his garden after he was old and unable to do it. He made her replant the tomatoes twice (until they were planted properly).

"JV's Philosophy"
"JV" has something hanging at the wall of his house, and one of his kids said they think it was kind of his motto. It reads:

For every worry under the sun
There's a solution or there is none.
If there is one, hurry and find it.
If there is none, never mind it.

Hopefully that eased your grief and helped you come to terms with reality, just as it did for Lavish and I.