Saturday, March 28, 2009

Everything Is Rubbish

Since around Christmas the outer door handle on the driver's side door of my car has been broken. Like completely snapped off and not functioning. Anyway, I had to climb across seats in order to get in the car until it finally stopped snowing, when I started leaving the window down just enough for me to squeeze my arm in and open the door from the inside. But then it snowed again, and instead of crawling across seats again, I decided to park down in the garage and leave my window down a little still.
Anyway, when I got down to my car yesterday evening to drive over to Megan's to watch the kids while she and Jared went to dinner, I noticed the door was unlocked. At first I thought maybe I'd just forgotten to lock it-- until I noticed my gloves were sitting on the passenger seat instead of in the glove box and that the sweatpants I'd been covering my seat with so I didn't sit in snow the day I forgot to park in the garage were also on the passenger seat.
I was a little nervous that they had taken something, since all my past experiences of people breaking into my parent's cars involved something being taken. But as I put all the strewn-about things back where they belonged, I realized nothing was gone.
They didn't take my $5 sunglasses held together with a paperclip. They didn't take my ancient cassette adapter or any of the homemade tapes. They didn't take any of the old clothes I have in the back seat waiting to be gotten rid of. They didn't take the Hitler Ghoulie. They didn't even bother taking my radio with the #1 preset button missing. Nope, I guess I found a good reason to no longer quote Ron from Goblet of Fire when he says, "Why is everything I own rubbish?" Actually, I'm rather glad of it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Into the Wild

Lately, with the snow melting (though now it's back, and with a vengeance it seems) I've been noticing the beauty of the mountains more. I'm putting together this post with things I've written to my parents about it.
I am constantly put in awe by the mountains around here. They are so mysterious and I admit, a little creepy, probably because of how untame they feel. Last Friday I hiked Y Mountain at midnight with a few friends, and as we reached the top and looked out on the valley, we remarked how incredible it would be for Brigham Young or any of the original settlers of the area to look out and see how far their little town has come. The strip of lights along the mountain shimmered and suddenly stopped at the lake, which reflected some of the lights, then there was darkness where civilization ended and the mountains began again. I turned around and saw the stars twinkling over the dark peaks, clouds coming in around the tips. Sheer rock faces dropped into meadow and pine trees. It was amazing to see the mountains so dark and still and close. At one point on the way up we were singing Disney songs and we stopped for a break at a switchback and sang "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas and at the part where it's like "something or other makes a circle, makes a hoop that never ends..." and we all held hands in a circle at the circle part and then we sang "How HIGH the sycamore grows! If you cut it down, you will NEver know!" and at "HIGH" we raised our hands up in the air. It was really funny, but weird/cool because the whole Pocahontas thing reminded me of how Native Americans are more in touch with and respectful of the Earth. I thought of the guy in Into the Wild, and I think I can see a small part of why he wanted to be alone in the wilderness, however foolishly he went about it. And I half expected a herd of elk to walk up the path. So often I wish I could go back to a place thousands of years ago and see the world's raw and natural beauty. That's how these mountains make me feel-- like I already have gone back in time. There's another mountain I pass whenever I go to Megan's that I recently found is called Toadhead. Every time I pass by I have to force myself to watch the road, because I always want to stare at it. Adrien and I plan to hike and explore around it once the snow melts again. Last summer Adrien, Eric, and I hiked up to Timpanogos Caves. Going up it was really, really hot and steep and there were like hundreds of people climbing with us. But on the way back down we had waited for everyone else to get ahead of us and we were on the last tour, so there was no one behind us. The rangers even got ahead, and it was just Adrien and Eric and me on the mountain. Rainclouds came in and the sun was starting to set, and I felt humbled by the beauty of everything.
This is the first tree I've seen with spring blossoms, brought on probably by the warmer weather last week.
This is up between Toadhead and Maple Mountain.
This is in the same place. Maple Mountain (the one on the left) has slate slides coming down the side of it. Toadhead (on the right) is usually grassy and rocky. It looks less formidable without snow.
This is a view over snowed-on trees near the entrance to Rock Canyon, which is between Squaw Peak (on the left) and Y Mountain (on the right).
This picture I took up Provo Canyon. I drove up a side road that went up onto the back of Squaw Peak a bit so I could get a better view of it without the road. When I saw it I was literally in awe. The metamorphosed layers remind me again that the mountains dwarf us not only in size but in age. And the way the clouds fall down the peaks into the canyon...well, it speaks for itself. It's even more incredible in person.
The last picture is of Bridal Veil Falls, which incredibly survived the freeze of last night. When I was up there a couple of weeks ago it was almost frozen solid.


I'm not a fan of reality TV. It's ridiculous. However, I am a fan of Whose Line, so this makes for a funny combo:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eliane Boulangerie & Patisserie

Megan and I had lunch at Eliane French Bakery today. When I was here last summer I got a take-out French sandwich from there that was really, really good, so Megan and I went back today in hopes of a rerun. Unfortunately, because our "lunch" occurred around 3pm, they ran out of meat and cheese, so we got quiche lorraine instead. Megan got a Napoleon for dessert (it has a French name I don't remember) and I got a slice of chocolate mousse cake.

The quiche was really good. The crust even tasted creamy, which was odd but very delicious.

My mousse cake was very sweet. It was chocolatey, but not too much. You could taste vanilla and cream very easily.

Megan's Napoleon was probably my favorite. It was basically eclair cream in layers with what might have been tuile. I'm not sure. In any case, it was extremely delicious.
The sandwiches are excellent too, so go a little earlier in the day and pick one up. They also have loaves of bread of many sorts to purchase, which they will slice and bag for you if you ask.
There are tables to eat at, but the only drinks they have are bottled things in a fridge, so if you want something fancier, bring your own.

1750 S State St, Orem, UT 84097

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring

The whole job-finding thing isn't going so well for me. I know it probably isn't going too well for a lot of people since words like "recession" and "layoffs" and whatnot are being thrown around willy-nilly, but Adrien getting her job back at the museum and more "Now Hiring" signs popping up all over have given me hope.
Yesterday I had a job interview for a Testing Assistant position at BYU's Independent Study office. I didn't realize about 50 other people were all there volleying for the same spots. In any case, it didn't turn out very well for me. First of all, let me tell you that I haven't been walking around on campus since I was at EFY before my sophomore year of High School. Back then Deseret Towers were still standing. So my perception was way off in where things were supposed to be with those tall guiding towers. The directions the person gave me on the phone when she called to invite me to the interview were rushed and jumbled and I didn't understand them at all. So I checked a map of campus online, which turned out to be decieving, showing the road it was on to be a major one, when it was actually more like a driveway. So I eventually parked a couple streets further down and decided to walk, since the map showed it wasn't far. I saw a building just in front of me that had "BYU Catering Services" slathered all over it. This building was right where the Independent Study building should have been. So I walked past it and continued down the street, estimating that this road was about where 1430 North should be, but not being entirely sure. Eventually I came to the Bean Museum (not a museum of beans, for those unaware, but of several dozens of taxidermied animals staring at you with huge glass eyes) and wondered if I was anywhere near my desired building. I saw a streetsign ahead of me and rushed to look at it...1430 North. Okay, so I was on the right street, but where was the building? It should've been where the catering building was... When I came to the Marriott Center I decided I'd better call someone for help. The phone number I had written down for the Independent Study office was different from the one in my phone, so I was wary about calling it just yet. I called Adrien, I called Autumn, I even called my mom, who knows the campus better than me even though she hasn't been here in a while either. No one was answering. Finally Autumn picked up. "Hi are you terribly busy right now?" "Kind of, I have class in a second." "Okay, really quick, do you know where the Morris Center is? Independent Study?" "Um I think so, where are you?" "By the Marriott Center" "Yeah I think it's just north of there, past the big parking lot, but I'm really not sure" "Okay thanks, bye." So I walked past the Marriott Center to find just north of it was... a housing community. Great. Maybe she meant way north, and a lot to the east, where there is a building that has some blue on it...the lady on the phone yesterday said something about big blue letters... Unfortunately a lot of things are blue on campus, it being a school color and all. It is now ten minutes past my interview time, so I take a chance on the number I have written down and someone from Independent Study answers! "BYUindependentstudyofficemayIhaveyournameplease" "Uh, it's Shannon, but I actually just have a quick question." Suddenly the voice becomes more human. "Yes, what can I help you with?" "Um, I have an interview I'm late for but I have no idea where you're located. I'm lost." She laughs. I guess it is a little funny. "Where are you?" "By the Marriott Center" "Okay, let me pull up a map, I'm going to put you on hold." She needs to put me on hold for that? One of Beethoven's symphonies blasts through my tiny speaker. "Okay, do you know where the Horace Building is?" "" "Okay, well all I can really tell you is to go to the Horace Building and walk through it and the Morris Center is just on the other side." I climb a massive staircase and find myself in a parking lot behind the Bean Museum. "Okay, where is it in relation to the Life Science Museum?" "Do you mean the Bean Museum?" Sheesh lady. Not the time for technicalities. "Yeah. I'm in a parking lot behind it." "Yeah, it's just east of there." I look east and see...a fenced off area with construction going on behind it. "Is there construction going on next to the building?" "Yeah. But you really should just go to the Horace Building and walk through it." "Okay, thank you. Bye." I hang up and see that Adrien tried to call me while I was on the phone with Unhelpful. I try calling her back but she doesn't answer. I discover that my blistered feet have taken me back to the catering building. Finally she picks up. "Hey what's up?" "Um yeah I have a job interview twenty minutes ago and I have no clue where it is?" "Okay stop walking. Where are you?" I describe my surroundings. "Yeah, you're actually right in front of it." Seriously. "Argh." "Yeah it's on the other side." The fourth side, the only side I didn't pass by. "Okay thanks." "Yeah, good luck." I walk up to the building and see Morris Center and then a big blue banner with BYU INDEPENDENT STUDY emblazened in white letters. Man. I'm parked like 100 feet away. I go in and tell the large sweaty young man at the desk I have an interview at 3:45 and I got lost. "I see." He goes to tell the people I'm here. I'm told the girl in the 2-piece suit will be going before me but they're running a bit behind so it'll be a while. Right. My heels are throbbing, my heart is still pounding from the staircase and the tension, and I'm partched. Luckily I brought my water bottle. 2-Piece Suit looks at me timidly. "Are you here for a job interview too?" I say "yeah" a little scratchily and stare out the window at Y Mountain. A lady comes in complaining about something or other and Large/Sweaty talks to his coworkers about how Macey's water is superior to all else. About 20 minutes later, I'm finally called back.
Sitting in two swivel chairs are two smiling girls. This might not be so bad. They apologize for being late, I don't remind them I was supposed to be here a long time ago. They ask me a couple of routine questions, but my mind is still a muddle from the past hour. They throw a question out I can't think of a single answer to: "What are your weaknesses in the workplace?" "Uh...." I sit there stupidly for a while until I sheepishly say "I have them, I just can't think of them...right now..." The girl with the clipboard says she understands. She moves on. I answer the next question and as I'm saying it, I think of a good answer for the previous one. "And I thought of my weakness, it's..." but before I can finish the sentence it's left my mind, probably to get a nice chilled glass of water, and I'm left hanging mid-sentence, with Clipboard looking at me in (fake) anticipation. "It's..." Quick! Think of something! I consider telling them nevermind, but I don't. I make something up that is a little incoherent. Clipboard interprets it the best she can, which happens to be in contradiction to the answer I'd given to the question before. "No, that's not what I mean, I mean that sometimes..." I give another answer that really doesn't have much to do with what I just said, but doesn't make sense either. "I don't know" I mumble. She looks at me perhaps a little sadly. "Okay, let's move on." She writes something down. Darn it. I don't really need a Mistake Man like JD on Scrubs has, but I think it would be appropriate in this situation. I make up my mind to get the school paper on my way out and check the classifieds. I definitely didn't get this job.

Friday, March 13, 2009

To be a Nerd, or Not To be a Nerd...

Yesterday Adrien and I talked about how we're secretly (or not so) nerds. I think this is pretty obvious of me at times. I'm quite obviously enamored with Harry Potter. There are other things that make me a nerd...for instance, my recently acquired infatuation with Speed Racer, as in the movie. I suppose my nerdiness could be divided into four categories. They are: fantasy, space, superheroes, and a category that catches all the history and literature I'm obsessed with. Fantasy includes Harry Potter and occasionally Lord of the Rings, though I think I liked the movies more than the books; or at least I liked the Fellowship book. That didn't make sense. Moving on. The space category is probably filled to the brim with Star Wars-- I even had my mind made up at one point I would be attending Celebration IV. The rest is filled with the X-Files, which I'm putting in the space category because the main story involves aliens. Possibly the biggest portion of my nerd pie is the Superhero part (by the way, Speed Racer doesn't really fit anywhere, so I'm putting him with Superheroes since he is pretty super and more than one person's hero, I'm sure). Mostly I love movie versions of superhero stories-- never really got into the whole comic book thing. If you plan on watching a movie with me and aren't sure what to show, a safe bet is something superhero-y. There's something about the conflict of someone who's supposed to be incredibly strong (or whatever) but has internal issues. It's either that or the ridiculous uniforms and cool powers. But my nerdiness extends beyond typical nerd realms...I consider myself a nerd for being obsessed with ancient histories and peoples. I'm also a sucker for literature-- an infatuation undoubtedly started by my mom, who had us celebrate the birthdays of Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Robert Louis Stevenson, to name a few. We built models of the globe theatre, we acted out plays for our parents, and more than a few times attended the Shakespeare festival in Cedar City on our way to visit Grandparents in Utah. When I was in 4th grade I wrote a cat version of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquoy. We used to play games where we had to name as many of Shakespeare's plays as we could in a certain amount of time, sometimes having to know the characters, plot, etc. Yeah.
But now that I think of it, anyone can be a nerd about anything. Like how my sisters and I are travel nerds. We've never been able to afford a real trip, but we plan them like mad and stock up on guidebooks and travel literature and spend hours talking about what we'd pack and what we'd see, much to the chagrin of my brothers-in-law (sometimes I feel special knowing I'm the only unmarried/unattatched one and can in theory be the first one to travel abroad, though this will probably never happen because of the whole lack of money thing). I think if you have a strange (or not) obsession with anything, it can make you a nerd in other people's eyes (you know, some people are fashion nerds, some people are church nerds, some people are food nerds, music nerds, band nerds, etc). And I think that I have a healthy balance of enough things that aren't too outrageous ( marching band, which even though I was in all through high school, hated with all the fire of a thousand suns and wouldn't be caught dead being happy at being called a 'band nerd') that it's okay with me.
The fact that I devoted a post to talking about my nerdiness shows how much of a nerd I am.

It's a Love/Hate Relationship

Things I Love

1.accents (with the exception of Russian and Southern…sorry kids)
2.ancient cultures
3.animals, minus primates
4.balloons (just the plain old latex kind)
6.being happy
7.being outside
8.being warm
9.birds (with the exception of pigeons…the creeps.)
11.bodies of water
12.British isles
14.chocolate cake
18.coral reefs
19.cute underwear (sorry, it’s true)
22.doodle embroidery
23.dreams (and writing them down when you wake up)
24.dressing down
25.dressing up
26.dyingman (hangman w/other ways to die)
30.feeling beautiful & films
37.greek art/archaeology/literature
39.guitar (so long as it’s on your head)
41.harry potter
47.lavender (like the plant)
48.light breezes
49.looking at old pictures
51.lying on the ground
52.making fun of bad movies
54.milk religion
58.not being able to stop laughing
60.old cars
61.old planes
63.palm trees
64.peanut butter cookies
67.pretending life is a movie
69.reading old journals
70.riding a horse
72.romance languages
74.san diego zoo & wild animal park
80.smell of books
81.soft things
82.southern California
84.string ensemble music
87.the absence of spiders
88.the ocean
89.the scent of water on hot asphalt
90.the sky
91.the tv shows I watch
92.things made from glass
95.vintage photography
96.watching people
97.watching surfing
98.west coast
99.when I hear someone speak French and I understand!

Things I Hate

3.American health insurance
5.bad breath
6.bad smells
7.being out milk
8.being out of ink
9.being sick
10.below 60 degrees (farenheit)
11.big trucks
13.bird poop
14.bloody noses
16.boring music
18.burning food a catbox
20.cliffhanger endings
21.cold days
23.dead batteries
25.extremists guy
28.finishing a really good book with no sequel
31.gel pens
32.gloaters, braggers, show-offs, etc
33.greasy hair
36.horror/slasher films
37.icy streets and sidewalks
39.losing things
40.missing out on things
42.movies with no character exposition whatsoever
43.movies with no plot music genre hot water
46.not being able to think of anything to say
47.not enough electrical outlets
48.nubs, stubs, or any other name for what’s left of limbs
49.pants that are too short
51.people who are freaky about their cars
52.people who are freaky about their floors
53.people who deface historic, artistic, or otherwise cool things
54.people who leave their cars on when they aren’t in them
55.people who think drugs are awesome
56.people who think anyone who doesn’t use an apple computer is lame
59.prepared piano
60.racists commentators who talk over the music
62.ribbed shirts
63.sanitary napkins (and people who call them that)
64.screaming children
65.screaming in general
67.shirts that are too short diseases
69.slipping, tripping, falling, or anything like it
70.slow internet connections
74.sore muscles
78.static and being shocked
79.stupid speculations
82.the fact that newspapers leave ink on your fingers
83.the fact that Pluto is no longer a planet
84.the word/name “Peabody”
85.“these hard economic times”
86.too-fast character expositions in movies made from books
87.too-tight pants
89.ugly hairstyles
90.uncooperative hair
92.vicious rumors
94.when chapstick wears off too fast
95.when people don’t recycle
96.when people ignore you
97.when things break
99.wiping other people’s tears
100.writer’s block

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Books, Books, Books...

I've decided to make a goal to read 100 books (or more) by the end of the year. So I am keeping a list of books of read here on the blog, there on the right tab. So far I have 13 on the list.
I have a question though, "Bella Tuscany" I started in like November 2008 but was only on chapter 3 by the time 2009 started. Does it still count for the list? I'm counting it. Also, the most recent book will be the one that I'm currently reading, which right now is "Atonement" by Ian McEwan.
Let's see how this goes.