Thursday, April 28, 2011

American Idol Saved My Life

Well, not really. But last night when I called Claire at midnight, literally hiding under the covers in my bed, scared of a thunderstorm for the first time in my life, she calmed me by holding the phone up to her television so I could listen to American Idol.

I felt silly, being scared, but then less silly this morning when I read this news report:


So I have mixed feelings about the AI remedy- it certainly distracted me at the time, but what if I had died spending the last moments of my life with Ryan Seacrest?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Take It Easy

I need a new job. It turns out that working in an Emergency Department is:

1. Noisy
2. Full of strangers who want you to talk to them.
3. Full of other medical personnel whom I am supposed to direct.
4. Full of telephones I am supposed to use to call people. People I don't know.

Any one of these things makes me uncomfortable, so all of them together is kind of hideous.

At the same time that I've been stewing about my job, I've been admiring people who actually put their minor super hero talents to work. My neighbor's super power is getting kids to eat vegetables, and she has been organizing Farm to School projects, and Eat Your Carrots! day at the elementary school. My other neighbor has this way of listening that makes me want to tell her all kinds of stuff. I seriously don't shut up when I'm talking to her. She, of course, is a psychiatrist.

So, what's my minor super power, and how can I put it to work? I'm a decent story teller. I'm a quick reader. I can fall asleep easily. Oh, Oh, I know! I'm good at staying calm. I am Unflappable Girl! That could come in useful somewhere I bet, the ER.

Dang it.

Anybody have any suggestions?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Drive-By Charity

I was driving with a couple of friends when we saw a homeless man standing at a stoplight with a sign stating "Anything Helps". As we were stopped a few cars away from him, my friend in the front seat remarked that she wished she had some food to give him - I remembered that I had a banana in my bag so I quickly dug it out.

"Do you want me to stop so that you can hand it to him?" my friend that was driving asked.

"Well," I said as I considered the traffic we were in, "just do a drive-by".

I was thinking we could slow down long enough for me to hand it to him out the window then quickly drive off before causing any drivers behind us to get irritated. I rolled down the window and held the banana outside the window to get his attention and expedite the process of handing it over. As the traffic started to slowly move forward, the man noticed my hand holding the banana out the window, walked over to the curb and stretched out his hand with a grateful nod and smile.

His hand was two inches away from the banana when my friend hit the gas. She had thought the handoff was successful, and wanted to stop blocking traffic. I had just enough time to look up and see a bewildered look before we sped away.

Now there I was, realizing that I had just taunted this poor hungry man with food. I had literally dangled it in front of his face before snatching it away, leaving behind only a squeal of tires and a cloud of exhaust. How cruel is that?? I had a split second to think of how horrible it must have seemed to him. So I did the only thing I could think of to attempt to ameliorate the situation - I leaned out of the window and boomeranged that banana from our speeding car.

We were probably already twenty feet away from him, but man did that fruit sail through the air. For a split second I was afraid I was going to hit the poor man with my projectile fruit, adding injury to insult. But instead it flew past him and landed behind him in the dirt. Which just added insult to insult.

When I suggested we do a "drive-by"*, little did I know we would actually be conducting an attack. I just hope that our good intentions outweigh the callous and violent manner in which we distributed our charity. I didn't see what the homeless man did next or how he reacted to having food thrown at him (I had collapsed on the back seat, half in tears of mortification and half laughing hysterically), but I'd like to think that he just laughed and enjoyed the banana.

"*A drive-by is a form of hit-and-run tactic, a personal attack carried out by an individual or individuals from a moving or momentarily stopped vehicle. The objective is to overwhelm the target by a sudden, massive amount of firepower without attention to accuracy (Wikipedia).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

gordon's going to school to be a WHAT?


me - "well gordon doesn't have a real job yet. he is still going to school."

sydney - "isn't gordon a rockstar?"

me - "you mean a rock scientist?"

sydney - (really embarrassed)

Can I Have A Bite of Your Bunny?

A few nights ago while getting the kids ready for bed we heard loud sirens going off all around the neighborhood. Chris and I looked at each other quizzically; they sounded important, like maybe the kind of thing everyone else knew about but us. As Chris Googled 'loud sirens in my neighborhood', our neighbors called to invite us down to their basement to ride out the tornado warning.

Oh! A tornado warning! That's like, one step up from a tornado watch, right? We should get some stuff ready, or something! I walked quickly around our house, envisioning the next day's headlines: LOCAL WOMAN WHIRLED TO DEATH WHILE SEARCHING FOR GAMES TO TAKE TO BASEMENT. Rapidly abandoning prolonged planning measures (we're not Thomases, you know), we showed up on our neighbor's doorstep clutching a flashlight and a box of cookies. To quote Homer Simpson, "Practical AND alluring!"

Excitement dropped off from there. The real weather action was a bit north of us, so we sat on their couch, told jokes, ate cookies, retrieved our kids from the basement closet and went home.

I did, however, have some time to think about disasters. Specifically, under what circumstances would we ever have to eat Fishy-Nipper? And, whose job would it be to kill him if we did have to eat him? Mine, obviously. Chris wouldn't want to do it, and I would be wife-hovering the whole time, not trusting him to do it right. But how would I do it? I'm not especially strong. We don't own a gun. I can't imagine using a knife. So while the idea of eating him doesn't bother me at all, I'm still stumped about how to achieve it. I want to know- who would kill the bunny at your house, and how would they do it?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


As you guys know, I’m pretty dependent on family. I can’t make the smallest of decisions without consulting a quorum of sisters. Vivian and Carrie had to find me a job. I recently had Claire and Gordon chauffer me to and from my wisdom teeth surgery and essentially spoon-feed me for the weekend after. But I can be almost obstinately self-reliant before asking anyone other than family for help. I often find myself in situations where I have every right to ask for help, yet I refuse to even acknowledge to someone else that I have a problem. Recently I’ve found myself in two of these situations.

Example #1
A while ago I locked my keys in my car after a sleepover, which I realized as we were all leaving the house the morning after. I would have been happy if no one noticed my predicament, but it was inevitable someone saw me standing conspicuously outside my car and offered to give me a ride home to try and get my spare keys (locked in my apartment) then bring me back. I balked at the offer, but try as I might I couldn’t come up with another plan. So I loaded myself into her car and she started driving me home.

But as we drove towards my house, I planned how to get my car back without involving anyone else. First of all, how could I get get inside my apartment? A) I could ask my landlady to open the door for me. I quickly crossed that off my list. B) find the fix it guy and have him open it for me. Also crossed off. Then I remembered one of my windows might be open slightly! It wasn’t a very big window, and would be very awkward getting in, but that would be the plan for getting in the apartment. Now, how to persuade my nice friend that I didn’t need a ride back to my car once I got my keys? Ooh, I can ride my bike back! With that plan, I convinced my friend she could leave me. I shimmied my way through the window and got my spare keys, but found that my bike tires were flat. Hmm. Options. A) call my friend and have her come back. Nope. B) call my branch president and have him come pick me up. Eh. C) call any number of people who live close by that would be totally willing to help. Nah. OR… D) I could RUN all the way back.

Guess which I picked? Five miles later, I successfully had my car unlocked and was driving back home.

Example #2
The Stake Relief Society president invited me to her house to watch conference. You can’t say no to that, so even when I woke up feeling crummy I still got myself up and over to her house. I even ate some of her homemade pastry rather than let on that my stomach wasn’t doing so well…but I finally had to tell her when she tried to make me eat enchiladas for lunch. At this point she got very concerned – “Can I get you some 7Up? How about some crackers? Toast? Go lay down on the couch! Do you need to go home?” No, no, I’m ok, no I can stay, it’s not that bad, ok fine I’ll take some water. I made it through four hours of conference and the two intermediate hours, all the while hiding how uncomfortable I was.

But as soon as the second session ended, I started feeling REALLY nauseous. I didn’t let on to my host how sick I felt, but she was still very kind and offered to give me crackers and soda to take home, and told me to call her if I needed anything. I assured her I was fine, and that I would call her…all the while thinking to myself that it was very unlikely I would make her run to the pharmacy for me and that I needed to leave as soon as possible before throwing up in her foyer.

As soon as the door closed behind me I knew there was no way I could wait until I was off of their property before throwing up, but their driveway was hardly any better than their foyer. The thought ran through my head that the kind Relief Society president wouldn’t mind if I went back inside and asked to use her bathroom. Instead, I sat down on the pavement in between two cars, slowly emptied out a plastic bag I was carrying…

And I don’t need to go into more detail here. I tied up the plastic bag and put it in a handy garbage bin nearby, then walked carefully to my car and drove myself home, where I collapsed for the evening. Later I dragged myself to the pharmacy (of course I wasn’t going to ask anyone to go for me) where I bought some saltines and club soda and medicine.

In both cases, I would probably do the same thing again. But is it wrong to be so unwilling to admit that you need help, or that you even have a problem at all? I’m interested in your thoughts on self-reliance. When do you throw in the towel and ask for help?

Saturday, April 2, 2011


So this is what it looked like at our house. Yesterday. April 1.
More like a Thomas Kinkade snow globe...

Friday, April 1, 2011

When can you start?

At work, we recently posted a notice for a student assistant job, and received about 100 resumes in three days. I've been going through them, which is always pretty entertaining.

I just read one that listed under "Special talents and skills"-

-organization skills and neat/tiny person

This was a valedictorian. A tiny valedictorian.

As with most people, these students generally use a resume template (when they don't just write one large paragraph). Unlike most people, however, sometimes they forget to remove the prompts.

One guy's resume came with a large < < first > > < < last > > at the top, so his name appeared nowhere on the document. Another knew enough to replace his first name, but left < < last > > and < < email > >.

This one cracked me up:

Skills: Technical: Inept experience with Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint

By the way, English is his native language. Says so.

Also deemed worthy enough to mention:

"experience with copy machines"


Four years of High School Exhibition Drill Team that requires you to smile often

And my favorite listed her typing speed as 83 mph.
That is fast.