Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leaving on that Midnight Train to GJ

Miraculously enough, the moving process didn't take nearly as long as I thought it might. Hooray! By the time the guys had moved Elinor (the piano, in case you forgot that i name inanimate objects) into my living room, I had put most everything in its proper place! I had even completed the task of building my bookshelf that I purchased at Target that morning! Apparently the image of me using a hammer and screwdriver is laughable to some people, but let's see how much they laugh if I come at them with my hammer and nails. I may not be much of a construction worker, but when I get the chance to use tools, I feel pretty dang cool. You should see me with a jig saw! Anyway, when I'd put the last thing in its place, I was shocked at how early I was done. It was literally four in the afternoon on Saturday, and I thought to myself, "Now what?" I really don't know how long I expected to be arranging things, but I know I didn't expect to be done less than 24 hours after officially moving in. I guess that's what happens when you don't do anything but get set up. Oh, well.

It's interesting being in a completely different location. When moving around Provo, the largest distance I ever relocated was about eight blocks (oh, college towns). So I still was around the same people, went to the same grocery stores, took the same running routes, etc. Now I have to get used to a new place, even if it is a mere ten miles away from where I was. I learned this when I went running the other evening and had to take an extremely round-about way, because 1) I didn't know where to go and 2) half my "planned" route had to be switched around because the sidewalks kept on ending!

I'm not around my new roommates very much, considering we live two floors apart from each other, and I'm not sure how much any of them are actually home, anyway. However, I have enjoyed getting to know them when we have seen each other. Catherine is also new to the place, so we had a good time making awkward small talk and then bonding over Finding Nemo and hanging up pictures together. I spent an hour talking to Betsey once she got home at the end of the weekend and had a fun time just chatting.

This week has been slightly torturous, but more manageable than I initially thought it would be. And why? Ten-hour works days. Why do I do this to myself? Well, I'll tell you. I love my family. So, in order to have Friday off so I can go see them, I had to work ten hours each day the rest of the week. Once the day is over and I'm at home, it doesn't seem so bad, but while actually experiencing the ten hours, it feels like an excruciatingly long time to be sitting here in front of my computer. Well, the trip to Colorado had better be worth it. (it will be.)

Weddings are pretty standard among my family and friends (no, really? a single, mormon girl living in utah valley?), and this weekend will just add to that joy. Dane and Aimee got married at the beginning of the month in Boston, but they're having the Colorado party this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to getting out to Grand Junction to see everyone. Then my parents and I will drive back to Salt Lake to be at my cousin Eric's wedding! All this within 24 hours! There will be a lot of driving involved, but I think I can handle that.


"There's only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I'll met married again." -Clint Eastwood

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

If I Only Had a Brain

I don't really buy into all the personality quiz applications that are on facebook. Quite frankly, I don't care which Power Ranger a high school acquaintance who I haven't talked to in eight years is, nor have I felt the desire to find out such fascinating and compelling information about myself (with the exception of which Les Mis character I am . . . 24601, everybody). However, in a bout of boredom at work today, I took a quiz to figure out which side of my brain is dominant (because naturally a facebook quiz is the leading authority). The answer? Neither! Despite some detractors who "politely disagree", the results showed that I apparently have a very balanced brain. The downside is that the equal-yet-opposing forces of right and left cause decision-making to be difficult for me, which provides a viable excuse to my friends of why I should never be asked to pick a restaurant.

So which side of my brain has been more dominant in the last week of my life while I've been in the process of moving? That would definitely be the left, otherwise known as The Italian. (and here we insert the doubting thomases that don't believe my brain is balanced . . . i might agree with them starting about now.) And the right side, The Mexican, is crying to get free and help me be illogical. (there is background for these nicknames, and i assure you it has nothing to do with the actual ethnicities.) And I can feel myself starting to buckle under the pressure. The Italian helps me get through the decisions about how to pack, where to put things, and who to call to help me move the piano, so I urgently need him (for lack of a better pronoun) at the present time. However, the Mexican helps me to release the stress and relax in the midst of all the madness. And I can tell I've been neglecting the Mexican. And the Italian desperately wants a break.

Unfortunately for both sides, this won't be done for another couple of days. While most of my earthly possessions have changed residence, I'm not done with the packing (although after yesterday's carload, i do feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel) or the cleaning that will come when I check out of Oak Pointe or the helping of my current roommates to move their stuff. Once Saturday afternoon comes and Elinor (yes, the piano has a name) moves, all will be put back into order (one hopes), and the Italian and Mexican can re-take their respective positions in my brain, and I'll be able to breathe deeply and freely. And maybe, just maybe, enough of a balance will be restored so I stop naming every inanimate object I own.


"The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts the minute you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office." -Robert Frost

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Give, Said the Little Stream

A few years ago, I attended the only BYU devotional that had a message that stuck with me for longer than a day. The speaker was Bonnie D. Parkin, it was the day before Valentine's Day, and I was sitting next to Bryan Stewart in the Varsity Theater. At one point in her talk, she encouraged the people in the audience to thank those sitting by them for sitting by them, which Bryan and I thought was kind of funny, since it was only natural that we, being friends, should sit together. But what she began her talk with was the message I have remembered ever since: "Never suppress a generous thought." She went on to speak about service and our personal ministries, but that was the line that remained with me.

Ever since then, I've tried to live up to that. Not to say that I've always succeeded. In fact, I would say I've rarely succeeded. But when I have focused on that goal, the good thoughts have just flowed through me. I know that I have been at my happiest when thinking about what I can do for a friend, a roommate, a family member. Not just thinking about it, but actually doing it. It usually manifests itself in the form of food, but who's going to refuse that, really? And that's hardly a creative manifestation, either; just think of all the casseroles exchanged within just one ward relief society. But it's true that I have never regretted taking cookies to or making dinner for someone. I also have never regretted writing happy notes to my friends or making my parents' bed (which, granted, has only happened about once) or cleaning the entire apartment so my roommates don't have to (even if there was slight grumbling during the process).

So here's hoping I keep on having generous thoughts and that people will allow me to carry them out without feeling like charity cases. Because I actually really like doing it! It gives me a good feeling. (so wait, does that mean i'm being selfish because i like feeling good? oh, the conundrum . . .)


"She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit." -W. Somerset Maugham

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Everything's Coming Up Roses

As expected, my trip to Oregon was utterly awesome! It was just a nice get-away, first off, and then there was the bonus of seeing my family and friends! Huzzah! (i almost wrote "added bonus", but that's pretty redundant, isn't it?) What was extra special was that my flight wasn't cancelled due to extreme weather, like another time that shall remain nameless. There was extreme weather, though, that was kind of wrapping up when I arrived. Oregon was experiencing quite the heat wave! It was hotter there than in Utah! Inexplicable.

Thursday night and Friday were spent with my family, who are fantastic and wonderful and fabulous and awesome and . . . well, you get the picture, right? I really didn't have any specific plans, so we just kind of hung out with each other, which was pretty much perfect for me. Dad, Mom, and I went out to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory on Friday, so I was pretty pumped for the dessert that you inevitably have to order at that particular restaurant. That night, both the Tom Jensens and Tom Kellys came over to the house for dinner. It was the calmest I've EVER seen Jack, and apparently it's the calmest Lucy's been in a while, too, so I got lucky with the niece and nephew. (my heart melted, i must admit, when jack said my name . . . naturally, he was prompted to do it by his mommy, but it was the first time he'd ever said it; beautiful sound.) I love my family. They're just great. But perhaps I'm biased.

Saturday morning, I drove down to Ashland with my good friend Melissa to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival! Oh, so awesome! We saw four shows in two days, and all were excellent. I think we must have been in a pleasant sort of mood, because all of the shows we saw were comedies. No sadness for us on this trip, thank you very much. Ashland's a cute little town, and we found a couple of good places to eat while we were there. Of course, eating wasn't our purpose, but it helped that there was good food around. I was pretty excited about The Music Man, and while the guy who played Harold Hill was no Robert Preston (which i knew was going to be the case, even without craig's warning), he was actually really good. I also recognized him from a previous trip to the festival eight years ago, when he played Antonio in The Merchant of Venice. Kind of cool. The show that made us laugh the hardest was The Servant of Two Masters, with all their in-jokes to budgeting, other shows in the festival, the economy in general, and then there was the improvisation they did when interacting with the audience. Oh, just fantastic. All's Well that Ends Well was really good; I think my favorite part was the guy who played the Clown, because he ended up kind of being the constant thread through the whole show. It was a rare moment that he wasn't onstage, playing some random part. Then Much Ado About Nothing was great, as well, and that was the one on the Elizabethan Stage. My favorite part of that show has always been when Benedick hears the trio of guys talking about Beatrice's "love" for him, and this show didn't disappoint, what with Benedick leaping into a pool of water to avoid detection. Oh, good times.

Melissa and I also found our way to a lake in the nearby mountains one morning/early afternoon to go swimming, and it was so beautiful there, surrounded by green and serenity. On our way back up to Portland on Monday, we also took a bit of a detour along the Rogue River, stopping to enjoy the water over our toes again and exploring the local wildlife. Quite a successful and fun trip with Melissa.

The rest of the time I was home (which was through tuesday night) was spent with Mom. We went to dinner and a movie on Monday night, then to the Rose Gardens on Tuesday afternoon. -sigh- I LOVE the Rose Gardens! I really think that park is my favorite spot in Oregon; it always makes me happy. I'm absolutely convinced that growing up in Portland is what made the rose my favorite flower.

Even though returning to work has been slightly gruelling, I was happy to return to Utah and the "normal" life, whatever that is. I could have stood a couple days more, probably, but you always want your vacation to last longer than it actually does. But, eventually, you must take up the dregs of your regular life if you want to be able to afford next summer's expensive excursion. But what will that be? I suppose I should figure that out to have something to look forward to.


"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." -H.L. Mencken