Thursday, November 23, 2006

Going Home

So, yesterday I made the trip home for Thanksgiving. There’s a lot of explaining that could go into this, but I really don’t feel like going into the background. To make a long story short: my sister, my friend, and I drove home in a dying Honda accord. I say Shadow was dying because we were constantly worried that he/she would decide to blow up on us all. Every time we stopped we would see smoke coming from all angles. Do not fret. I am still alive. Shadow is still alive. All within the car is still alive. It’s just that the smell of burning oil followed us from Utah to California.

Coming home was fun. My parents were excited to see us and gave us some hints of new things around the house to look at. One of those hints was to look at the mantle. Before I could quite go see for myself, my older sister comes to me with an evil smile. “I no longer can suffer from the middle-child syndrome anymore. I am not the forgotten child in this family.” She pulls me over to the mantle and says, “Can you guess who the new forgotten child is?” I gaze at the pictures standing up. First there’s a picture of my brother that must have been taken while I was at college. Then there was a picture of the sister right next to me from while she was on her mission. On the other side was a picture of my two other sisters in their wedding gowns. “It’s okay,” my sister says to me, “I won’t let them cast you in the ocean.” “Well gee, I feel loved!” I respond. “No, see that’s my point. You aren’t loved.”

She went off on this for several more minutes. When my mom enters the room she shows our mom her discovery. My mom gets defensive and said that she had told our dad that we needed to get a picture of me up before I came home. Well, obviously this hadn’t happened. In an attempt to make things right, she takes a picture that was resting in another room (a 2 by 4 from when I was in fifth grade mind you) and puts it up in the middle. My sister’s evil smile brightens as she says, “Notice whose picture is the smallest on the mantle.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Change in Direction

I am not very good at communicating. I’ve decided that. My major is currently International Relations; but for a while now I’ve known that should probably change. IR is a mix (from what I can tell) between Political Science and Economics. I have not done fabulously well in any of my PlSc classes and reason stands to show that I probably will not improve with time.

English and writing have never been my strength. Sure, they interest me, but I lack the depth. (Actually, to me it usually sounds like people just repeat themselves). I have always been better at math. True, my only math grade in college was not a happy one; but I figure if I retook the class and went on I could do well. (I actually feel some hope in this subject).

Last night I was talking to one of my FHE sons. He asked me the major. (Even though I’m the mom, I’m younger than most people and usually take the younger person’s place in a topic of conversation). “IR, but I’m having an identity crisis.” “Oh, what will you change your major to?” “I don’t know.” “Poly Sci?” No way! That’s what I’m getting away from! “No.” “Good. IR is more interesting. Psychology, that’s what people usually go into.” “No, I’d probably go into something more math related.” “What do you want to do?” “Change the world.” “You won’t do that with math.” Then I proceeded to mumble some incoherent things that made sense in my head, but not with words. (I think I’ve already established I have a hard time communicating. It’s the first sentence in this post). Somehow, however, he understood the gibberish and suggested I join the NSA.

If you know me, you know that there is nothing in the world he could have said that would have pleased me more. Just hearing “the NSA” excites me.

Background: I’ve already been rejected by the NSA. Yes, it hurts; but it was with good reason. See, I was a somewhat naïve (meaning I knew what I was doing was stupid but I did it anyway) senior in high school. I applied for the Stokes scholarship barely by the deadline and missing some crucial, but not mandatory components. Everything about my application was pathetic. The NSA turned me down without even getting my name right. I’m not bitter against them. I deserved to be turned down. However, I am filled with a new hope. I haven’t really decided what my major will be yet. I may not go into math after all; but I am excited to be reminded of my dream to work for the NSA.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

"And put my companion in the hospital."

So, Friday afternoon the doorbell rings. I answer it and find two elderly people standing there. I come to find out they are my roommate’s grandparents. For this post, I will label my roommates Hap and Bap. I got the impression that Hap was leaving with her grandparents. So I asked what time she would back. (I’ve already bolted her out of our apartment once this year; I didn’t want to do it again). She replied that she was going to be gone for the entire weekend and was not sure when exactly she would be back: maybe Sunday night, maybe sometime after I leave to go home (Wednesday). Okay, take care, I’ll see you later.

Sunday rolls around. In Relief Society, our president stands up to announce one more announcement. She announces that Hap is in the hospital. Bap and I look at each other and ask, “Who’s in the hospital?” “I thought she said Hap.” “Yeah, me too.” Our secretary sits down next to me, so I ask her. She announces that it was Hap Map (Map being representative for her last name) and gives me a funny look. Apparently this was a planned thing that we, her roommates, knew nothing about. Thanks Hap Map! I feel like a great roommate now!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Green in a Sea of Blue

I’m getting the impression that Ultimate Frisbee is not my calling. Sure, I always knew I wasn’t the best player on my team, but I always had fun playing and everyone else was nice about it. No, that’s not my problem. My problem is that every time recently that I’ve gotten excited about playing, something turns up. Last week I couldn’t go because I was hanging out with a friend. The late-night game scheduled for last night got cancelled. That broke my heart. Regardless, I kept my head held high because I knew that there would still be a game today. Yeah, no. I go to the place that we decide to meet and find that instead of Frisbee ready friends there are cars! Apparently the field becomes a parking lot for football games. Hey, at least I got a great walk out of it. See, I figured I just misunderstood and decided to continue looking for a different field.

I have no idea who BYU is playing today. I have no idea what the opposing colors are. I’m just glad that as I was walking around in a green shirt, no one decided to attack me. I walked both with the crowd and against the crowd. I have to admit, walking against the crowd is far more fun. For some reason I just feel more powerful. Each of them is one of many in blue while I stick out. Sticking out is okay if it’s obvious you aren’t attending the game. Sticking out while walking with the grain is far more awkward.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Curse of the Blue Ink

My black ink cartridge is new. I just replaced it last week. Today I had a paper due. You can not go through life without having days when your computer completely hates you. My printer printed off my analyses with little problems. When it came time for it to print my written work, it decided it was tired of printing in black. My paper came out blue. Have no fear, though, there are ways to trick your printer to do things the way you want. Since it would not print black, I turned my paper green, dark green, so dark green that a tired TA might possibly mistake it for black. Of course, you already know the end of the story. My printer did not like me today. It still printed out blue. This was not dark blue. This was light blue. No one could mistake it for anything other than blue. I thought about writing a note like , “I’m sorry about the blue ink. I honestly tried to turn it green.” Somehow, I don’t think my TA would have been impressed. Anyway, what else was I supposed to do? So, yeah, I turned in my blue ink paper. Что делать?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Distant Serenade

So as I was walking to my economics review session, I couldn’t help but feel the urge to sing. While I was sure that I was alone, music escaped from my vocal cords. As soon as someone became visible, the music stopped abruptly. I thought a lot about the kind of person I’ve been this year. I think the best description of me is the barracuda fish from A Distant Serenade. Somehow a melody has grabbed hold of me and now, “I will not be afraid. I will not run away. I’ll face the music proudly that I have made. I’ll let the memories of failure fade. If you knew me then, you know I’ve changed today. I will not be afraid.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still my quiet self; but I’m taking more chances. I’m not hiding anymore. There’s a night-time Frisbee game happening this Friday with a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee and I’m not going to miss it for the world.

Side note: I’m not sure if those are the correct lyrics. I don’t have A Distant Serenade with me at school, so it’s pretty much what comes from my memory.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fireside

I hate being late to places. I would rather be a half hour early than five minutes late. Hate is a very strong word; yet it just might be that it adequately describes my feelings. There’s really no quiet way to slip in. If you’re late, you’re late, and everyone on the back row knows it. Then you feel a stigma being placed on you. Punctuality is an attribute of God. I you can’t show up to a place on time it shows how unorganized you are.

Another thing I hate is going to places alone. I once tried this to a basketball game. I was going to meet my friend there. Time went on and she never showed up. After calling her I found out that her plans had changed. Since then, I’ve always cringed at the idea of meeting at a place. I forever reason I don have to go to a place alone, I’d rather not sit alone. I’d rather pick a random person and sit next to him/her. This person doesn’t have to care that I exist just as long I am not surrounded by empty seats. No one likes being alone. I’m no different.

Last night there was a ward fireside. Unfortunately, I couldn’t con any of my roommates to go with me, but I was going anyway. I’m getting to know the people in my ward better. The chances were good that I would run into someone I could sit with. I also had complete control over the time. No, I didn’t leave a half hour early. I did, however, leave with just enough time to get there. When I pulled up my phone said 7:26. All of BYU’s clocks are two minutes faster than my phone; but if you take into consideration Mormon Standard Time, I was in great shape.

I walked into the chapel. In one of the front rows I saw a guy from our ward who I wasn’t particularly friends with. He was sitting with people I didn’t know so I wasn’t about to join him. I looked around and didn’t see anyone else I knew. Sadness crept in. It looked like I would have to sit alone. Why weren’t certain people there? They were active members? What were the chances that the only people to show up would be people I hadn’t met quite yet?

I saw a guy talking to ladies about tithing settlement. That’s when it hit me. I looked around again. No one even looked the slightest familiar. But there was that one guy sitting in the front, right? Nope, it wasn’t who I thought it was. Even the older people looked unfamiliar. Sure, I was on time, but I was at the wrong fireside! I laughed at myself and decided I would sit it through anyway. What else could I do?

A girl in front of me turned and asked if I was in their ward. I smiled and asked what ward this was. Whatever number she said, it was not the 83rd. She then informed me that there was a missionary fireside in the other chapel. No, I knew it was supposed to be a ward fireside at 7:30! The girl offered for me to sit with them on her pew and I was eager to oblige.

As I was searching the uttermost cavities of my brain, I remembered something being said about the Relief Society. I hopped up and decided I would check it out. My new friends bid me farewell and good luck.

I approached the Relief Society Room with caution. I had already walked in one wrong meeting; I didn’t want to walk in on another. I passed quickly by the open door and realized that it was really full. I decided I would move on to the other entrance. There were singing already! I told you, I hate going to places late! As I walked by the second door I realized that I saw a lot more of unfamiliar faces. Feeling sick inside I decided to give up. I started immediately for my car. What a great trip this was!

Something inside me bid me turn around. Halfway towards my car, I did so. I went back in and faced the crowded Relief Society Room. I’m not kidding; I looked high and low and had no clue where to sit. Luckily for me, this guy pointed out an empty seat. From my view I couldn’t see it, but I trusted him. (Hey, that’s a good parable for faith. I hoped for the empty seat which I could not see:)).

Anyway, I’d like to tell you the fireside was amazing. It really wasn’t. Mainly, I’m just writing because I think it’s funny that I almost went to the wrong fireside. Oh, and we should have had the chapel! We had twice as many people show up than the other ward. I should know; I went to both! Welp, keep smiling:):).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Farewell Gonzaleses

I work at the MTC: the SMTC to be specific (Senior Missionary Training Center). I am a lowly custodian, but I love my job. The Gonzaleses are a couple headed to Thailand. However, before they could get their visas, a revolution broke out. So they’ve been stranded here at the MTC for quite a while now. They live right across from my custodial closet. They’ve been kind enough to teach me the extent of their Thai- hello, goodbye (which are the same) and how are you. Usually when you learn something like “how are you,” it is important to learn the responses too. I only know one. So if I ever come across a person from Thailand, I will be doing well no matter what. There is no way I could possibly be feeling horrible.

Like I said, they’ve been here a very long time. Every week their room number comes up as on that will soon be empty. I just smile and cross it off my list knowing full well they are here to stay. I had a similar experience today as I was looking over my list. “Nope, that room’s definitely not going to be empty!”

As I was wheeling a vacuum over to an empty room in much need of vacuuming, I heard a door behind me open. As usual, since I was facing the wrong direction, I was going to ignore it. “Swatti ka,” came a voice of Sister Gonzales. I immediately turned around and responded with, “Swatti ka!” Then she proceeded to give me a thumb’s up. I simply stared at her blankly wondering what in the world this was about. Maybe she thought I was doing a great job? I mean, I am such an exceptional custodian (cough cough). “We got our visas!” she said with much joy. My first thought was, “Hey, and I doubted my list.” Okay, not really. It was actually something of excitement for her. Anyway, so farewell Gonzaleses.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Purpose

I decided that I need to decide on a purpose for this blog. Do I want to fill it with great ideals? Do I want to enlighten my readers? Would I rather bore my readers? Do I want to fill it with lameness? Am I going to post regularly? Am I only going to post when I have something important to say? What is my quest? To what shall I steer?

This is a lot to think about for a new blogger. I have a tendency to think that whatever I write is actually pretty lame. Therefore, I think I’m going to go for the boring route. This way, I can be pleased with my lameness since it’s my goal. I think the more I think people actually read this, the more lame I’ll actually be. (I’m using the word lame a lot. Luckily for me the word police has not been seen in the area. I’ll still try to do better.)

So there you have it. What more should I say? Oh, I need to answer what my quest is. Umm, I really don’t have one. I think one reason I decided to start this blog is because I don’t get to talk to my sister everyday on my way to work anymore. I always had a story of the day to tell her. I’m sure I bored her actually, but it was fun. Now if I have the impression that I’m telling someone my stories of the day, maybe I’ll bore less people. Except, along with not being able to tell my sister my little life happenings, it also seems like I’ve had fewer of them. Maybe it’s all about the audience. If I have an audience, the stories will come. We’ll see.

Wow, I didn’t think I was going to ramble on so much. Why is it so much easier to ramble on things not really important than on term papers? I know a lot of people have the gift to be able to write on an on on papers; but that gift somehow never came to me. I promise, you give me all the information you want. I can write the paper in less than a page putting in everything that I think is important. Perhaps, though, that might be because I tend to think that there are a lot of less important things in this world. And on that note, I’m going to end this post.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

By Small and Simple Means

Okay, since this is a relatively new blog, I feel it important to say something that is of great value to me. As such, I think I’m going to tell a story about my dad. This story has absolutely no relevance to the present (other than the fact that today does happen to be Election Day). I was just thinking about him and the example he has set for me in many ways. He is such a fun-loving man. He’s easy to get along with. He does not get angry very easily. He is not much into politics. He does vote, but he does not campaign. He does not get riled up with the issues. (I know, that was somewhat painful to read. There were a lot of He he hes in there).

Story: My dad is a second grade teacher. A few years back (actually probably more than a few) California instated the class-size reduction for classrooms grades kindergarten through third (I believe). Somehow, the superintendent to my father’s school was able to get that waived for their school. Teachers are, for the most part, very liberal. My dad is literally a conservative among liberals. (That goes for the superintendent too, but even more so than my father). When this happened, the teachers decided to strike. My dad felt uncomfortable with the strike, but knew that it was part of his responsibility. The day came. There were shouts and screams. Huge posters were everywhere. There stood my dad with a tiny poster no larger than your average-day computer paper. He was not screaming or shouting. He was completely out of his element. But he was there! The superintendent walked by. Amidst all the noise and crowds, he walks up to my father, grits his teeth, and says firmly, “This is interesting!”

There you have it. It’s not the loud people that are always heard. Sometimes it’s the quiet people. I’m not saying that my father’s being there made any difference in getting the class-sized reduction; but his being there did anger the superintendent more than any other presence could have.

I know I am quiet usually. I keep trying to be more outgoing. I think I’m doing better this year than ever in my life. Someday, however, I will find my voice. Right now I hardly know anything about the world. I feel ridiculous trying to argue anything because I fall too easily for the opposing arguments. Someday, though, mark my words.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Beginning

Welcome to my blog. Today I felt the urge to do something random. In fifth grade (or at least I think it was fifth grade) we had a ceremony where everyone was given a Native American name. My name was Quiet Rain. As such, I am never allowed to say my name. So, why not use it as my blog?