Monday, August 31, 2009

"Oh, and remember, next Friday is Hawaiian shirt day..."

When I answered the phone, she said, “You’re hired.” A stack of forms and a clean drug test later, I was submerged back into the working world. The glorious world of Dockers, PTO, and cubicles. Ahh, cubicles.

That was seven weeks ago. She might have said, “We’ve decided to hire you,” or “We’d like to offer you the position.” Whatever the phrasing, it was 10:30 am and the phone had awoken me from a late slumber. I answered in a sort of falsetto to hide the sleepy frog lodged in my throat. That was a Tuesday. I went in on Wednesday for training, and was working on Thursday.

I felt nervous like it was the night before the first day of school. Only I didn’t have a new outfit laid out or a backpack with my Trapper Keeper and Lisa Frank pencils. Instead, I was armed with a blank yellow legal pad, a pen that wouldn’t write, and a nagging fear that I was in over my head. Rather than wondering where my locker was, my fears were more of the “How do I work the copy machine?” sort.

My official title is technical writer, though I do more editing than writing (which I prefer, anyway). It’s good to have money again. A purpose in life is also good. In fact, my noose is safely packed back into storage. The best part of it all, though, is that I work in an office. A for-real office. Cubicles. Coffee machines. Memos. Offices are hilarious. There’s a reason that when advertisers want to make a funny commercial, it takes place in an office. Or when television producers want to create a hit show, they center it around the bizarre-o world of an office. Offices are entirely unnatural, yet once you find yourself in a that setting, it all seems normal, and you take it all very seriously. Yes, it is a big deal that Rhonda didn’t recycle the boxes last night. The end of the world is indeed upon us when the server goes down. And let’s not even bring up the issue of paper messes left in the copy room.

Cubicle life is a first for me and I sometimes feel like I need to leave the room to get my giggles out. There’s just something so odd and silly about stuffing dozens of people into a room, separating them into tiny little boxes with removable walls. We think it’s okay. We bring photos of our families. We print out comics about silly work situations and stick them into the gray cubicle walls with thumb tacks. It works. We all think we have our own little space in the company—our own little private world. So when Chris’s wife calls about perpetual vomiting, he talks her through it loudly and openly. He then calls the doctor. He then calls the pharmacist. He then calls the wife back. He then complains about the entire situation to a nearby coworker. And the rest of us listen intently. When the receptionist hangs up the phone after a conversation with her lawyer and whispers, “Shithead” under her breath, we all start laughing. When someone sneaks a candy bar out of their filing cabinet and tries to quietly open the wrapper, everyone knows.

Staff meetings leave plenty of room for hilarity. A particular staff meeting comes to mind.

First topic of interest: Dirty coffee mugs in the sink.

“They’re in the cupboard,” says Susan.
“Oh, fine. Okay.”
“No, they’re still dirty. They’re just in the cupboard now. Brian was sick of dirty mugs in the sink, so he put the dirty mugs in the cupboard,” Susan says. “So don’t use the mugs in the cupboard. They’re dirty.”

Second topic of discussion: Appearance. It would seem that an office conversation about appearance would simply include a reminder about closed-toe shoes. Apparently my co-workers and I need a pre-school level explanation of appropriate work appearance.

“Well, we should make it seem like we practice at least some base level of hygiene,” Adam says.

(It’s a good thing this came up before my greasy hair made its debut at this office. The debut has since come to pass, and its presence is a common occurrence. Had this topic come up, say, this week, a bit more emphasis might have been placed on the importance of showering at least once a week.)

We then discussed each and every clothing item in existence, spelling out each situation in which it would be appropriate and each situation in which it would not. We came to the following conclusions:

Pants? Good.
Ripped pants? Bad.
Skirts? Good.
Short skirts? Bad.
Long shorts for girls? Good.
Any shorts for guys? Bad.
Flip flops? Bad.
Any sandal that flips and flops? Bad.
Birkenstocks in the confines of your own cubicle? Good.
“Well,” pipes in Adam again, “They were definitely more socially acceptable for men in the early 1900s. Pork pies, fedoras, bowlers. However, they don’t seem to hold the same social context, so I think they’re generally less acceptable.”
“What’s a pork pie?”
“You know, the hats with the brims. People used to wear them…”
Hats in the confines of your own cubicle? Good.
Hats when meeting with clients? Bad.
Wife beaters? Bad.
Hot pants? Bad.
Aloha shirts on Fridays? Good.

Our conversation then went on to include any and all forms of business etiquette you could possibly imagine.

Offering your client a drink? Good.
Filling your client’s glass with vodka? Bad. (Though I think I said that depends on the situation.)
Fanning yourself in a stuffy meeting while remaining attentive? Good.
Fanning yourself like you’re hot and bothered? Bad.
Offering to also fan your client in a stuffy meeting? Good. Maybe.
Sneezing in meetings? Bad.
Snivvling? Bad. (Not just sniffling, which we also discussed, but snivvling.)

I was tempted to ask about yellow sweaters on Tuesdays and polyester blends on Thursdays, but we were in a time crunch at that point.

Needless to say…
Employment? Good.
Money? Good.
Silly stories about coworkers? Very good.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shenanigans of the Traveling Sort

**A quick note: I have massive spacing issues...So, though there are indeed spaces between paragraphs, they're not all apparent...

Word to the wise: When planning a trip to San Francisco, don’t book a room in the Motel 6. This point was more than clear before we even pulled into the parking lot after an entire day in the car. We’d spent some time looking at redwood trees that morning. We wound our way through the windiest mountain pass in existence (10 mph curves are just a bit too much for even the strongest stomach). I was car sick. Alicia was car sick. Ryan was getting car sick. Mind you, he was driving.

We’d planned on driving the 40 miles from the Redwoods to a quaint little oceanfront town called Mendocino (of “Murder, She Wrote” fame). Initial plan was to get there around 2:30. Actual arrival time was 4:30ish. The town was adorable, but the streets were teeming with people in town for the music festival. The best part of the Mendocino visit (aside from some delicious $22.00-per-pound chocolate) was a conversation I overheard when getting out of the car. As I was opening my car door, I heard, “Well, since the Governator came into office…” One older gent was smoking a cigar and the other may or may not have been wearing leather chaps (my brain might have inserted those into the story for effect). A ripe debate about Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial effectiveness then ensued.

Apparently, the only way into or out of Mendocino is through winding terrain. We knew we were in trouble when, in an attempt to take the straighter 101 down to San Fran, we came across a winding road sign…28 miles. The sign earlier that morning said only 22 miles. Steph groaned into the walkie talkie (a handy device when caravanning), “Oh boy.” Another word wasn’t mentioned until we were well past the winding.
Upon crossing the Golden Gate into San Francisco, we asked into the radio, “So what hotel are we looking for?” “Motel 6.” Slight groan on our part. We caravanned through Japan Town. Flipped a U-turn. Back through Japan Town. At this point, our windows were down and we were taking in the downtown San Francisco scene just as it was getting dark. While we were stopped at a light, a homeless-looking man road past on his bicycle…old school boom box strapped to it playing something of the early ’90s Snoop Dogg sort.
“It said it was near the theater district,” Steph had said. Unfortunately for us, it appeared to be the shady, nude theater district. When we finally pulled into the Motel 6 parking lot around 9:00 pm, amid sex shops, nude theaters, and liquor stores, we quickly decided that we needed a backup plan. However, there were a few details not in our favor. Detail #1: It was 9:00 pm on a Friday night. Detail #2: It was July 3rd—the night before July 4th. Detail #3: We already had reservations at the aforementioned hell-hole called Motel 6. Detail #4: We couldn’t get Wi-Fi on our laptop because we were in a cement parking lot, unwilling to leave until we had an idea of where we were going.
So, while Ryan’s sister (who typically lives in San Fran, but was vacationing in Utah) set about finding us a few rooms online, we sat in the parking lot and waited. We saw the most cliché image of a hooker ever: leopard stretchy pants, fur coat of some sort, curly messy hair. My niece saw a rat running across a pipe. We counted 12 cop cars in this span of time (without leaving the car), and multiple crazy people--including one with an odd bouquet of flowers…doing the crazy-person mumble as he walked past (“She’s, grr…uhh,…splicken, splacken…, hmph”). We canceled the rooms in the Motel 6, and luckily weren’t charged because they needed the rooms.

Ryan’s sister eventually got us booked for a room with a king (for three of us) and a room with two doubles for Steph’s family of six. Realizing that we were lucky to find any available rooms at this point, we gladly accepted. Ryan’s sister then led us on a wild-goose-chase caravan through the streets of San Fran to our hotel (it was after 10:00 pm by this point). From Utah, she gave Alicia driving directions as we went. Alicia then recited them out loud, and I told them to Steph through the walkie talkie as they followed behind in their children-laden van from Utah.
“Left on Geary,” says Ryan’s sister.
“Left on Geary,” says Alicia.
“Left on Geary,” Angie says into the radio.
“So, left on Geary?” replies Steph.
“Yes, left on Geary,” I repeat.

This goes on for a few blocks, including sitting on cable car tracks when we shouldn’t have been, making a wide right turn around a semi in the turn lane, and the van running a very red light. It was so red that the other lights had turned green. We weaved around pedestrians who were crossing on red, green, and yellow lights.

“Right on Market,” says Ryan’s sister.
“Right on Market,” says Alicia to Angie.
“Right on Market,” says Angie to Steph.
Two minutes later: “Did you say right on Market?” Steph asks.
“Yep, right on Market.”
“We missed the turn.”
“They missed the turn.”
“Nothing we can do for you. You’ll have to find your way back to the hotel. Here’s the address.”
We found much-anticipated solace in the parking garage of the Pickwick Hotel, though we weren’t through with the shenanigans, yet. Steph, her children, and I lay low in the garage while the other three went upstairs to check in. The clerk said that the rooms we had just booked online weren’t available (while he was answering multiple phone calls, dealing with a waiting list of guests, and dealing with walk-ins that were hoping for rooms). “We only have five rooms left for tonight—no rooms with two beds, and no normal kings, either.” Because we had already booked online (10 minutes earlier), he hooked us up—upgraded us to the king business suite on the 8th floor and allowed us to book two rooms with a double in each for a great deal.
Few words were said when they returned to our cars in the parking lot. Our pulses were still racing, veins bulging in our necks, multiple curses still hovering in the air around us. We grabbed our bags and headed upstairs to call it a night. We ordered in sandwiches for dinner, which we enjoyed in bed after midnight. We also looked up some customer comments about the Motel 6, some of my favorite comment titles included:
"Even the Dogs Were Nervous"
"A Most Disgusting and Revolting Experience"
"Yuck, Yuck, Yuck!!!!!"
"On Welfare? Recently Paroled? They can House you Here!"
"What a Dump, Part Deux"
I suppose we should have looked these up before the room was booked...
Our loud neighbors returned from a night of partying after 1:30 am. Eventually, we heard the revelers leave. The elevator went down. The elevator then dinged when it returned to our floor. “That’s his booty call,” I said. I was unfortunately right. As we lay in bed around 2:30, we were lulled to sleep by the rhythmic beating of a headboard and female moaning in the room next to us—10 inches from our heads.(I really thought this only happened in movies, and was overplayed at that.) Likewise, we arose to a 9:00 am quickie—again with the headboard banging against our adjoining wall. My shower was then accompanied by noises from the couple’s morning shower.
So, the full day we were in San Fran was the 4th. We did a little shopping, a little walking, a little eating. We watched the fireworks perched in a silly cement “park” at the top of 40 or so mysterious stairs off the street. It was the perfect view—we could see four or five fireworks displays at once—the main ones were twinners shot off barges on either side of Alcatraz. By the time the fireworks began, I counted more than 30 people in the 12-by-12 foot lookout with us. One by one, the groups would arrive at the top of the stairs like they’d just found a little secret. They’d notice the great view and would squish into the lookout. There were some guys from Italy, a couple from the Bay, a couple from southern California (who kindly asked, “Do you guys mind if we smoke…you know, grass?”) No, we didn’t mind. It was all about camaraderie at that point. We shared the secret of this great 4th of July lookout. It was probably the most international 4th I’d ever celebrated. The steep hills surrounding us were filled with bumper to bumper cars attempting to make their way to the pier (which even us out-of-towners knew better than to attempt). Stranded on steep hillsides, they started honking with the fireworks, and continued throughout the display. So our entire firework show was serenaded with stranded honking.

The quickest way back to the hotel had to be on foot, we presumed, so we walked the 20+ blocks back to our hotel—through the middle of China Town. When we entered Union Square, we came across a group of street performers. A pre-teen boy was dancing for the crowd, and a man was playing the drums with drumsticks set on fire. As we walked past, a man approached the drums and lit his cigarette on the flaming drumsticks to the absolute elation of the surrounding crowd. Classic.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

That's Why I Call Them my Business Socks

I must warn you that this is an extremely long post--even longer than usual. Also, I'm not one to freely divulge much personal information (as opposed to random opinions, which I openly share). I'm not exposing my inner most feelings or anything, but a personal detail I hate to admit to...I'm looking for a job. There, I said it. Something about being "unemployed" makes me feel like a total loser and drain on society. However, I also have to say that I made a conscious decision to quit my last job to find something more stable, long-term, and specific to my interests/abilities. I’ve seen no lasting fruits from my job-hunting labor, and fear that this course will surely lead me down a gruesome path…I see myself in the future writing boring blog posts on a sporadic basis in sweatpants and puff-paint T-shirts, with my 40-plus cats increasingly appearing as subjects of my writing. Until I hit that point, I'll just mention a few thoughts on job hunting:

1. I have a specific type of job in mind that I would enjoy and excel at…a type of job that does exist in Utah, but sparsely. Is it so wrong to do something I enjoy in Utah instead of New York? I'm hoping there's a gray area between dropping everything in life to achieve one goal and giving up a dream to settle for a snuggly rut-of-a-life that's not quite right. Granted, I've definitely thrown around the idea of dropping everything and moving to New York, but I want it to be a choice, a conscious decision. Not my only career option.

2. Is there any way an economy down the crapper can right itself within weeks? I’m not loving the idea of record numbers of applications for every job—that is if there are job postings to begin with. Logically, I understand that it takes time for a recession to run its course and for an economy to recover from it, but is there any way we can kinda just speed this thing along?

3. I’ve succumbed to the fact that job hunting can make you feel like quite a loser, even with evidence to the contrary. A bachelor’s degree seemed pretty great in my mind, but it’s not a big deal when every other candidate has one. My measly experience seems decent for a recent college grad, but up against people with decades of experience, it’s apparently inconsequential.

4. The Resume. The Cover Letter. I think that scooping my eyeballs out of their sockets with a rusty spoon is more enjoyable than creating and updating my resume and cover letter. Just list your skills, education, and experience…simple enough, right? The myriad resume tips floating around out there have made me entirely paranoid about every word and punctuation mark. It seems as though every decision, including whether you use Times New Roman or Georgia as your font, may make or break your chance at an interview. "Helpful" Cover Letter tips include: Give them enough information to want to read your resume, but not too much. Impress upon them your absolute desire to work for their specific company (yet don’t sound too desperate). Show your personality, but remain professional. Lastly, express all of this without being too wordy--the hiring manager has better things to do than read cover letters all day. I'm considering the following for my resume (including the smiley emoticon): "Trust me when I say I’m qualified for this position (since that’s what you're doing anyway). I’ll knock your business socks off and rock your corporate world. Call me :)"

5. Job interview questions have become entirely routine and useless. They've turned legitimate interviews into games of facades where "correct" answers and appearances are valued more than sincerity. A job interview with the typical interview questions is the quickest way to learn absolutely nothing about a potential employee. When asked about personal weaknesses, does anyone answer with something like, “Well, I’m a horrible people person. I don’t get along with anybody, and I’m typically known as the gossip of the office.” Or, how about, “I’m a pretty lazy person. I procrastinate. I trick coworkers into doing my share of a project…” Similarly, questions like “Why should we hire you?” and “What will you bring to our company” just beg for insincere, generic answers. Why does every company have a handful of horrible employees—the lazy office sloth that never does their work, the office jerk that rubs everyone the wrong way? I’ll tell you why—it’s because lame, canned interview questions get lame, canned interview answers. I think it would make more sense to just have a natural conversation with a job candidate for 30 minutes or so, throwing in a few job-specific, sincere interview questions. If the person doing the interviewing can’t get a feel for a candidate with that, then they shouldn’t be doing the hiring.

6. Undue attention is paid to ridiculous details because it’s been drilled into our heads time and again that all of these tiny things matter more than what you actually have to offer. It's not about having positive skills, it's about selling what they're looking for. Sure, every employer would say they want good employees, but I don't think companies are following the correct hiring process to find great workers. That's why every company has its own collection of problem employees--faulty hiring practices ensure faulty employees.

So, in hopes of rambling a bit further, I'm including alternate careers I'm considering for myself:

1. Professional Know-it-All: (I’m a little bit serious about this. And if you know of any companies that truly hire for this sort of thing, let me know asap). Basically, I would hire myself out to go into a company and tell them what they should change. I realize this job exists in some capacity (professional consulting, or something). Or I might just make myself available for when people need to know random bits of info (although as I’m typing this, a certain thing called Google comes to mind). Truth is, I do this free of charge anyway…so if there’s a possibility I could get paid for it…

2. Professional firer. Now, this job truly exists in some capacity also, and I have to give Alicia some credit for this idea too, since we’ve discussed doing this together. This job would especially come in handy right now with all the firings going on. Basically, when a company is firing someone, they call me to do it—they don’t have to face the person. I’ll simply enter the person’s office, and say something like the following, “Mr. John Smith? Your services are no longer needed here. You have 30 minutes to clean off your desk. The company will send you your paycheck in the mail.” I'd stand there with my arms folded, ensuring they didn't cause a scene, then I would "see them out." Simple as that.

3. Professional crafter. You’ll simply give me a call when you want a craft completed. I’ll even keep it a secret if my clients prefer. I’ll deliver the carved pumpkins, decorated eggs, or mosaic pot, then they can display it like it was their own clever little project…I’ve gone ahead and thrown in a sample photo of my egg dying (sneaky way to insert my Easter photos, I know).
You might recognize that the egg in the photo closely resembles myself (I might just specialize in Personal Egg Portraits). Unfortunately, there was a mishap when creating some pants for Angie Egg. The face went fine. Hair, great. But when I was attempting to make some cute little blue pants, a slight slip of the fingers sent Angie Egg dunking into the blue dye—changing my skin from a rosy pink to an ill-looking purple…

4. Miniature Tree Trimmer. I recently returned from a trip to San Diego/Carlsbad. While we were debating whether the trees in Mini Land in Legoland were real or not, we came across some employees trimming them. I think I’d do just fine, nestling myself amid the trees in Mini Land. Though I don’t have previous mini tree trimming experience. Maybe I just need to tell them that I'm a team player and detail-oriented...(note the man near the buildings in the photo)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Warning: Problematic Treats Ahead

In the above photos, you'll see the most difficult treats to prepare in the world. Never mind that one consists of dipping an ice cream cone into cherry sauce, then chocolate, and the other is a matter of dropping a dollop of ice cream into a slushy. Don't be fooled by the seeming simplicity of the treats: they are virtually impossible to prepare correctly on your first try.
Complicated Treat #1: Double-dipped Ice Cream Cone. Tricky part: Dipping the cone in cherry, then chocolate.
Complicated Treat #2: Cherry Slushy with Dollop of Ice Cream. Tricky part: Dropping a blob of ice cream into a slushy.
Our trials and travails with the double-dipped cone go way back--back to a certain DQ in Scipio (or was it Fillmore? I can never remember which is which). An innocent-looking, strawberry-blond teenager was running the register that fateful day. Alicia and I were on our way to Las Vegas and thought we'd stop for a treat. We placed the order as we normally do:
"Can we get 2 small dipped cones? And can you dip them in cherry first, then chocolate?"
The girl looked at us like we were mob bosses asking her to "off someone" for us. She scratched her arm, looked at the coworkers busily working behind her. After finally consenting, she filled the first cone with vanilla like usual, then turned to us for reassurance before the dip of death.
"So cherry and chocolate?"
"Yep. Cherry first, then chocolate."
With our gentle coaxing, she got it right. The coworker who dipped the second cone got a little confused with the order--chocolate then cherry (but we let it slide as it was obviously a first for her). We could feel them eyeing us the whole time we enjoyed our cones.
On the way back from Vegas, the sweet tooth hit again. So, we stopped into the same DQ. For double-dipped cones, again. We placed our order with a different employee this time. As we said, "Yeah, but can you dip it in cherry, then chocolate," the strawberry-blond whipped her head around in shock (she was manning the fryalator--hoping to avoid troublesome guests like us). She took over from there--now experienced with this type of situation. Like the cold-blooded mob bosses we are, we watched to make sure the cones were correctly dipped.
These photos were taken after a recent jaunt to visit some sweet little baby goats. I mean, who doesn't have ice cream cravings after watching baby farm animals? The order went like this:
Ryan: "Can I get a cherry slushy with some vanilla ice cream in it?"
Alicia: "Can I get a dipped cone, but instead of just chocolate, can you dip it in cherry first, then chocolate?"
The girl at the register assured us this wouldn't be a problem, and after the 5 minutes is took her to enter it in the register, an employee emerged from the back with a plain cherry slushy and a dipped cherry only. Another 5 minutes of pure confusion later, they finally got it right, and made sure they charged an additional $1.00 for the scoop of vanilla ice cream in the slushy. The manager then came out with an order he assumed to be ours, but the 16-year-old employee at the register quickly corrected him. "That's mine," she said.
Are we wrong to ask for two dips--cherry then chocolate? Is it a difficult question to understand? I suppose it won't be a surprise when a new heading appears in the DQ training manual: "Dealing with Mob-boss Customers. You Don't Have to Double-dip." Until that happens, I'm going to continue ordering my troublesome cones. They're delicious, and should you decide to try one for yourself, just remember to gently walk the DQ employee through the process. "Yep, just twist that vanilla onto the cone like usual. Good. Now dip it into the cherry sauce. Good. Now the chocolate..."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Indecent Eggsposure

In honor of the upcoming Easter holiday, I thought I'd share a friendly tale of college, social norms, and boiled eggs.

Certain foods are just not meant for public enjoyment. Sardines. Potently stinky cheeses. And boiled eggs. Though an old classmate of mine never received that memo.

Boiled eggs…It seems to me that this one is obvious. Firstly, I was under the impression that most people who enjoy an occasional boiled egg do so in the confines of their own home so others aren't subjected to the, well, embarrassing stench. Anything that subjects your classmates to unavoidable awkward smells and sounds is better left at home.

Between her regular classroom egg consumption and an inability to quietly slip into class when she was 20 minutes late every day, this classmate of mine proved to be the bane of my Gender and Communication class. She would arrive to class 15-30 minutes late every day with somewhere between 3 and 7 bags/purses in tow. Backpack. Fake Chanel purse. Hot pink laptop bag. Massive coffee or Red Bull in one hand and stinky, inappropriate snack in the other.

Her arrival to class proved to be an ordeal each day. Panting, red-faced, she'd proceed to take 10 minutes to situate herself. Red Bull or coffee was placed on the desk first, then snack. She would then drop her purse, often spilling some of its contents onto the floor. Laptop bag would drop next, then she'd allow the backpack to slide off her shoulders into a loud heap on the floor. She would then rearrange her bags, dig out her laptop, and reapply her makeup. All of this was only mildly annoying until she showed up with boiled eggs instead of her typical stinky burrito wrapped in a lime-green tortilla.

A few problems with this situation: #1 The eggs were from the al a carte area in the student building. These eggs were pre-boiled and peeled and waiting in a baggy in a fridge. Who knows who peeled them, put them in the baggy, and how long they'd been there… #2 After sitting in a baggy all morning, the eggs appeared to be quite slippery, which can be a problem when you're eating them in class. #3 In case I didn't make this point clear enough: Boiled eggs stink!

So each day, after situating herself and reapplying her makeup, she'd peel open the baggy and pull out a slimy egg to enjoy during class. She'd leave one egg in the bag and place that on top of her backpack to stare at me through the remainder of class. I found it increasingly difficult to concentrate. The thought of her sitting in front of me with a slimy boiled egg in her hands, fighting not to drop it on her desk, made me sick. The class would be discussing gender roles and all I could think was, "Is anyone else seeing/smelling this? And why won't she put the remaining egg into her backpack so I don't have to stare at it all day?"

It continued throughout the semester. I don't know what made her switch from room-temperature burritos to said eggs, but I lamented the days that she would messily eat the mildly stinky burritos. And the worst, her grubby egg-soiled hands would then hand me back papers. Sick.

Maybe I’m a super jerk. Maybe public consumption of boiled eggs isn’t that big of a deal. But, I dare say that it is a big deal.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where's my Slide Rule?

Whelp, I'm a boring blogger. I feel obligated to write a little something (because I'm sure you've all been losing sleep over my lack of regular posts). Also, I never include exciting photos. So, here's a post...with some photos. (Granted, I never told you that the photos are great or have any relevance to anything).

I Hold the Following Truths to be Self-Evident:

1. I might as well have been born in 762 B.C. (B.C.E. for you history snobs). If you looked at my extreme lack of technological know-how, you would think I was a cave woman that accidentally transported herself to the present. I'd like to change the music on my blog, but I can't quite remember how. I'm still figuring out how to include such widgets and gadgets as "photos." (For some reason, every time I hear the word gidgets or gadgets, I'm reminded of a certain "Barney Bag" song from Barney and Friends--I'm not gonna lie, there's a slight chance that Alicia and I created our own version). I joined the friend-connecting world of Facebook, yet I can't quite figure it out. Is it really good for anything other than spying on people? (Not that I'm a creepy online spy, of course.) Finally, my lack of texting skills is bound to out me as a traitor to my generation. I think a grizzly bear wearing mittens could compose a text message much faster than myself. Slide rule anyone? I just can't get used to all this new-fangled technology.

2. Few things in life are better than cats wearing clothing. Although, family photos with said cats are a tiny bit better.

3. Homemade dioramas are bound to make a comeback in 2009. If you're at all familiar with Duchesne County, you'll definitely recognize this one--I think it's remarkably accurate and life-like.

4. Online Boggle and online Scrabble are the best discoveries I've made so far in 2009 (they're gonna be hard to top).

Anywho, just like this boring rant, my life has entered a semi-boring phase, which is a good thing of course. I'm now working full time, doing a 9-5, contributing to society, call it what you will. I'm able to do a little writing, a little editing, a little accounting (okay, that's kinda the bane of my existence, but who can complain with all the "credit crunches," "mortgage crises," and "Dow Jones drops" going on out there). (Though, I'm almost more worried about society's excessive use of cliches and buzz words--but that's just the nerdy know-it-all speaking.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Have a Nice Life

As I was turning in my mass comm law final last week, my professor simply said, "Have a nice life." I thought, "I will now that I'm done with your class." However, it did seem kinda odd to just acknowledge that we'll never see each other again. No tears. No sappy goodbyes. Just have a nice life. It's crazy how quickly people come and go in your life. There are some that you think you'll remain in contact with forever that just disappear off the face of the earth, and there are others that you assume are out of your life forever that mysteriously reappear. Perfect example: I had a class with the younger sister of my childhood friend this semester. Mind you, I moved from that neighborhood in 1991 (17 years ago)! And I haven't spoken to the friend since circa 1993 when we shared an awkward 10-year-old phone call about her wanting a telescope for her birthday. We didn't recognize each other at first, but then we each noticed the other person's last name on their computer screen. I never thought I'd run into a friend from my Salt Lake years again, but I found myself sitting next to her a couple times a week.

"Have a nice life" seemed hugely appropriate for last week. It was my last week of college (barring any surprise course failures) and the last week at my dental office job. It's crazy that life can drastically change so quickly. Last week I was contemplating driving off a cliff (which is usually the case at the end of a semester), and wondering how it would feel to know that I no longer worked at the place I've been for almost four years. Fast forward a week, and school's done (feels like history already), and my now full-time job at the Wasatch Journal feels as natural as can be. (It helps that I've been at the WJ in some capacity for months now.)

I'd like to write an introspective, intellectual summation of my college experience, but for now I'm glad it's done, and I'm licking my college-induced wounds (being, of course, a constant sense of anxiety over incomplete assignments, perpetual drowsiness, and a year's worth of dirty laundry). Healing will come, I'm sure. And when I feel like it, I'll share my words of collegiate wisdom. And if everyone's really lucky, I'll share some of my favorite college tales: that of my boiled-egg-eating arch nemesis and the tale of my compliment-showering stalker. Another day...