Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happy Signs

Today I had a very Bilbo type moment. I was walking around my apartment and realized there was something in my pocket. What do I have in my pocket? I asked myself. I reached inside to find a ring. Ah, but this was no ordinary ring. It had a language written upon it that I can not read and if I put it on... But it was not gold and it hasn’t been near the fire recently so you can all relax. When I was packing to come to Utah I looked all over for this ring. I could not find it. Sadly, I came to Utah thinking I had lost this ring. The language written on it is old Slavic. I can make out a few characters, but it’s pretty hard. No, it doesn’t turn me invisible and nothing extraordinary happens when I put it on. It’s from the Kazancky Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia. So, I’m pretty happy I found it…happy enough to write an entire blog post about it in fact.

Yesterday my roommate and I didn’t know what to do for FHE. So, we invited everyone in the ward to our place to play DDR. DDR also makes me happy. This is going to be a good semester, I can feel it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ultimate Joy

Today was a really good day. It was busy, but it was good. It started with an interesting occurrence at work where I discovered that there are punishments installed for sleeping on the job. I think I’ll write more about that on a later date.

Right after work I went to go play Frisbee. It’s been a while since I’ve played, so you can’t expect too much from me; but regardless I think I played well enough. Afterwards one of the guys said, “We need to work on making you loud again.” I thought that was kind of funny. I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of being loud, so he made me happy.

After Frisbee I only had so long to take a shower, buy food, and heal myself from my growing headache before I was off to a Russian Restaurant in Salt Lake City. And in that time I got a call from my cousin saying that she was now in town and all the cousins were going to get together and go out to eat. Silently in my mind I was wondering how I was going to down two meals right in a row. (That’s why I didn’t want to admit to you, Igor, where I was going afterwards. And it's why I didn’t want a cinnamon roll).

Well, my trip in Salt Lake took a little longer than anticipated and I missed the second meal completely. Have no fear, I joined the family at the hotel and…well…pretended like I was going to swim around with everyone. In actuality I ended up talking outside the pool until people called for me to enter the pool for the last five minutes.

I love my family. I love good friends. I love life. I’m just in a really good mood right now.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Маленькая

Today was turning into a wasted day. Then, I looked on facebook and remembered I had a wedding reception to go to. I quickly checked my information to figure out time and place. It was in Lindon. Lindon is not too far away from Provo, but I did not realize this at the time. Fear crept into my being. Could I drive to Lindon…by myself? Yes! Of course! I am amazing! I can do anything…maybe.

I started prepping myself and getting stuff ready. My phone rang. It was Nadya with Alyona in the background. They wanted to go to the reception too. That means not only will I not be driving alone, but I wouldn’t actually enter the reception alone. Happiness!

Okay, well, if you know my driving, you know I am NOT the best driver in the world. Well, I’m a safe driver, but I lack in driving what I lack in everyday living: confidence. Oh, and I lack eyesight too. I’ve been pretending to have good eyesight for a while now. Well, to combat this, I like to make sure I know when and where I do my turns and the like. I knew I was supposed to turn right after 200 N (or 2000N…I don’t remember). However, when I did so, my passengers shook their heads at me because I had turned onto Center Street. We don’t want Center Street. We want East School House (or something like that). Oh all right, but I don’t see it anywhere. We keep driving until I take another unprecedented turn that gets my passengers jittery (I think I did that a couple of times actually). Of course, in my defense, if I hadn’t, they wouldn’t have looked at the map and found that we were way off course and almost to Pleasant Grove. We have to go back. Our street is close to the 200N from before.

I drill my navigators on every street I’m going to see. I am turning right after 60 N and there is nothing they can say or do about it. I do so and they chide me once again. I’m back on Center Street and I shouldn’t turn unless I see the real street I’m supposed to be on. Well, we pass 200N and still don’t know where we are supposed to go. I ask the frightful question. “Is there another name for that one street that we want?” Yes: Center Street.

I have to give some credit to the passengers. I am kind of a scary driver at times. They really had no reason in the world to trust me. We all arrived there in one piece. At least I can say that.

Oh, you might be wondering what Маленькая has to do with anything. Well, if you know the girl for whom the reception was, then you’d understand. It also happens to be what everyone on the Study Abroad trip called me. She and I, we’re almost the same person, except for she is tall and I’m short. She lost the name Маленькая and I doubt I ever will. And well, we differ in everything else that we differ in too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Packing and Unpacking

Yesterday I discovered that I had some similar traits with the Big Bad Wolf from the Three Little Pigs. See, I was moving some boxes from storage into my car. As I was carrying an especially heavy one, I noticed a spider. You must first understand that I was taking these boxes out of a dark place because I don’t think the light in the shed works. So, by the time I saw this spider, setting the box down wasn’t really an option. So, I huffed and I puffed and I blew the spider off the box. Don’t worry though, I, unlike the wolf, had no intention of eating the spider.

Well, I’ve moved into my new apartment. My heart is torn between the desire to unpack and the desire to help my sister pack. However, I realized today that in order to help her, I need to help myself. See, I need to empty some boxes for her. Hey, there’s a principle there: Before you can help others, you have to help yourself. The End.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Donner Party

While I was driving with my mom, somehow the topic of the Donner Party came up. I, instantly wanted to throw in my two cents and relate a story I only knew half well. Of course I doubted my facts because I ALWAYS doubt my facts. However, to my delight I found a monument that had the following written on it.

“7 miles southeast of here was a favorite pioneer crossing of the Humboldt River, Gravely Ford, campsite of the Donner Party. Here occurred the Snyder-Reed fight, as Snyder lashed at Reed he missed and hit Reed’s wife. Reed then killed Snyder. Reed was banished without food from the wagon train. His daughter smuggled food to him enabling him reach California. Reed later returned to rescue them from being snowed in at Donner Lake.”

I don’t know why, but I really like that story. We’ve all heard horrors about the Donner Party, but we can’t forget that there are heroes all around us. I just remember really liking Reed when I first heard about him. Although he probably wasn’t too pleased with being banished, he didn’t desert these people who left him to die. And yet, in the end, his banishment was a blessing to them all.

Just in case anyone is wondering, the point when cannibalism occurred was before Reed got there to rescue them. And most of the party did NOT practice it. (Sorry, you can’t mention the Donner Party without mentioning cannibalism).

On another note, I'm back in Utah. Right now I'm staying with my grandma who doesn't really have a place to live but is willing to share her part of someone else's home with me. We are all wondering when her condo will be finished, but she is a good sport about it. I'll give her back her place when I move into my apartment on Monday. Thanks Grandma:)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I Hate Packing

Well, basically I hate doing things that I’ve saved for the last minute. I hate the feeling of staying up really late and still putting off the dreaded thing. Tonight, the dreaded thing is packing.

I don’t know why. It doesn’t seem like there’s too much that I need, but then I look around the room and I see something more. And then I decide to stop and check my mail because maybe someone has written me since the last time I checked it two minutes before. Then I look around and see something else that definitely needs to get packed, but I’m not really sure how I’m going to pack it. Then a song will come on that I just need to stop and sing with because it is just so good. Oh, but I’ve got to get back to packing. Hey, I wonder what mom’s doing. Oh look at this thing from Russia I haven’t shown anyone yet. Let me go find mom. “Are you packed yet?” “I’m getting there, I’m getting there.” (Back in the room) Oh, there’s another song. Hmm, I wonder what I’ll find if I check my other email. Pack! I definitely need to take that and that. Why do I still own that? Ok, here’s the pile to give away to DI. Hmm, I’d better try on all these clothes just to see if I still like them. Oh that’s right, I’m supposed to be packing. Umm, I don’t want any of these clothes in Utah, but maybe I’ll want them when I come home again in Utah. My breath stinks. I’d better go brush my teeth. Oh, but before I do that, let me have some chocolate. You know what? I’m hungry; maybe I should go eat something and then have chocolate and then brush my teeth. “Are you packed yet?” “Oh that’s right, I’m supposed to be packing. Silly me.” Ok, I think everything I need is on my bed; I just need to organize it so I can put it all in the car. Wait, how could I have forgotten about that?! Think brain, I am most likely forgetting something. Oh, maybe if I check my email again I’ll think about it. Oh look, no one’s written me in the last five minutes, but I do have another message in my spam box. How exciting. Let’s see, if I take that to school, will I use it? Probably not, but if I don’t bring it I’ll undoubtedly find a would-have-been use for it. Oh, I feel like updating my blog. I mean, I won’t be able to update it so much while I’m traveling. And that, my friends, is why I am still up despite the fact that my entire family has gone to bed. That is also why it is impossible for me to go to bed right now. It is full of stuff that needs to find a home for the night.

Rereading this I understand that it doesn’t really flow in some areas. However, I really don’t feel like fixing anything.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A New Start

The day soon approaches where I will leave my refuge and begin a new semester of college. (Dun dun dun). Last semester I promised myself it would be my “party it up” semester. Well, circumstances beyond my control intervened and the truth remains that I’m still not the outgoing girl I keep hoping one day I’ll turn into. However, I have reason to suspect that this semester will indeed be different than any before.

First off, I know my roommate. I know this doesn’t hold a lot of weight since I’ve always claimed to have good roommates. However, this roommate of whom I’m speaking is someone who I look up to in so many ways. She at least will keep me throwing the Frisbee and DDRing on a regular basis.

Second, my previous roommate from Russia will be in my ward. Okay, I want to note that I hardly talked with this girl before Russia. Finding out she was in my ward was a shock, but a pleasant shock. This gives me stability outside of my apartment that I will be able to turn to. AND she and I have a pact to help each other…at least I think we do. Anyway, I’m way excited to be close to someone who speaks Russian. Oh, that’s right, she’s promised to support me in my Russian calling as dictator. (So there WILL be a Soviet Union again at BYU).

Coming home has been interesting. Because my stay here has been so short, I’ve kind of just tagged-along with my sister and her friends. Tonight, I have now learned that one of the guys here will also be in my ward next semester. Since I don’t really know him very well, that doesn’t really give me much stability. However, I now know that there is at least one nice guy in my future ward…which, you know, makes all the difference. (Oh, but don’t worry, I’m sure I made the best first impressions by throwing bowls on the floor, spilling soup, and dragging lasagna across the table).

That’s just my ward. Need I mention my cousin who is coming up as a freshman? She and I are taking a class kind of in a together-like manner; but that’s just where our hanging out will start. (I wonder if I can persuade her to learn Russian).

So the question remains, when am I going to go to school? I think my semester has already been planned out.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Shot Down

So, when I got my shots before I left for Russia, somewhere in my head I told myself that I would need to get more shots after Russia. I think that was true for the shot that I didn’t take. Anyhow, I called up the doctor to schedule an appointment and I thought I was on the right track. However, when I went in today to get my shot, the nurse told me I wasn’t due until November. My arm is very grateful, but boy do I feel foolish. I think I’m going to blame it on my wisdom teeth. They’re dead now and can’t help me out anymore.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Loss in Wisdom

I have never been water skiing. I know that’s not really a profound statement, but I really want to go water skiing some time. Saturday our family and another family spent the day at a lake. I went knee boarding and stood on a black ice thingy. (I’m still not sure if “Black Ice” is a brand name or the name of the type of tube). It seems to me that if I was able to do both of those, maybe I’d be able to water ski too. I told my dad (kind of late in the day) that I wanted to try water skiing. He looked at me with sad eyes and said that maybe I should wait until Wednesday because the day was growing to a close. I agreed, forgetting that Wednesday might not come for me.

Yesterday I had my wisdom teeth pulled out. I can remember growing up and hearing my mom talk about my siblings when they were told to count backwards from 100 while being put to sleep. The furthest anyone got was my sister Raeann, who was completely out by 97, but still counted until 92. Knowing I probably wouldn’t, I still had it in my mind that I was going to beat her. Nope. I was out before they even put the stuff in me. The last things I remember were asking if I was supposed to start counting, being told not yet, and then panicking because I really didn’t like what my Uncle Paul had done to my arm a second ago.

When I woke up, they were still working on my teeth. My brother had warned me that that’s what had happened to him, but I wasn’t sure if I could believe him. Don’t get me wrong, my brother doesn’t lie, he just sometimes mixes up truth with reality. So there I was lying there, couldn’t feel pain because I was numb, but still on the verge of panicking again. I started making grunting noises to say, “I’m awake,” but all that came out was, “uhhh uhhh-uhhh.” The nurse came in and said I was doing all right, but I didn’t trust her. I kept making my grunting noises until Uncle Paul said, “All four of your teeth are out and we want you to be awake now.” I replied with, “uhh uhh,” which translates to, “okay.”

Sadly enough, I wasn’t even allowed to keep my teeth.

Oh, and I’m doing well right now. The thing is I think they said I shouldn’t do any rigorous activities for a few days. Maybe I just made that up in my deluded state, but it sounds like something doctors would say.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Trip Home

Do you know how weird it feels to be able to use the internet whenever my little heart desires it? Weird. Do you know how weird it is to see everything typed up in English?

Tuesday morning I woke up. I thought to myself, “Where will I be in 24 hours?” My heart sank. “I’ll be in Vienna.” So, I countered the thought with, “Where will I be in 48 hours?” There we go. That’s the right question. “I’ll be home!”

As a group we were all told to be ready at 10am Tuesday morning so that a bus could come by and pick us all up. I was excited because I didn’t get to be on the bus the first day. They had called a taxi for me and my roommate because we lived so far away from everyone else. However, our hostess received a call from Кирилл who told her that a taxi would pick up at 12 this time as well. No bus for me. Just for the record, I was ready by ten anyway. The taxi came and I saw my life flash before my eyes a few times while he was driving like a maniac. We hit some traffic and ended up being the last ones to make it to the airport.

From St. Petersburg we flew to Vienna, Austria. I have to say, Vienna Arrows is the way to travel. Once in Vienna, we had to find out about our hotel rooms because we were spending the night. There were eight of us students at that point. Nine had flown to Vienna, but Igor S. disappeared without really saying goodbye to any of us. Grr. Anyway, eight was a good number. They put four of us to car (which they had titled as shuttle) and drove us to our hotel rooms. We each got our own room and it was way nicer than any hotel I stayed at in Russia.

Well, the hotel was a little ways out of the city. However, we all agreed that we couldn’t come to Vienna and not see any of it. Together we scrounged up 55 Euros and paid for a mini van to drive us to the city. We paid about 7 euros a piece, which is kind of an expensive drive into the city if you ask me, especially since we would have to pay it again to get back to the hotel. I think we decided 7 euros was somewhere around 10 dollars.

The main thing we did in Vienna other than walk around was eat ice cream. Here, I have to say I’m proud of myself. See, I’m the type of person who usually gets the same thing over and over again without branching out. I was really close to buying chocolate ice cream. Then there was an uprising somewhere in my soul that said I had to choose a different flavor. As I looked at the different flavors my eyes stopped on “Apple.” I like apples. I like apple juice. I like apple-flavored candy. I have never had apple ice cream before. So I chose apple, and I was impressed by how could it was. Honestly, where ice cream is concerned I typically don’t choose fruity flavors, but Vienna’s apple ice cream was really good.

We went back to our really nice hotels and slept. I was on St. Petersburg, and could not sleep in past 5:30. It just wasn’t going to happen. Anyway, after breakfast we took a shuttle back to the airport and got ready for our tenish our flight. Actually, while we were sitting there waiting, a lady came up to me and asked if she could check in my small suitcase that I had been using as a carry-on. At first I was a little dismayed, but I’m actually glad she did. I didn’t need it and it was one less thing to worry about on the plane.

On the plane, Dima, who was sitting all alone, came over and instructed us that there was a way for us to phone other people on the place according to our seats. After he left, I tried to call him, but he never answered his phone. I don’t think he really understood how it worked. Anyway, towards the end, someone tried to call me, but I didn’t know how to answer it. She told me to press some numbers, which I did, but they were the numbers to turn off the calling abilities. It didn’t quite work. She called again and I found out how to accept the call. I feel good about the trip because I successfully had one phone conversation on board.

From Vienna we flew to Chicago where we had to recheck-in our luggage. Why? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Plus, I was a little annoyed because I didn’t really want to carry my luggage any more than I had to. When they had checked in my small suitcase in Vienna, they had checked it through to San Francisco, so that meant when I rechecked in my luggage, I was able to check the little one in also. Yay. Oh, and when I say I checked in my luggage, all I did was take to this spot where people told me to leave my luggage and go find my gate. That was cool.

Well, Obviously I couldn’t get to my gate without a boarding pass. The line for a boarding pass was not very long, but it took FOREVER to get through. I know I was the quickest person to get through. Hey, I didn’t have any luggage to check in because it was already checked through. I’m sure that surprised the people behind me who were able to take my spot opposed to someone else who had started working with an agent before me.

Anyway, my flight from Chicago was delayed because of some reason I didn’t really pay attention to. Thus, I was an hour late getting to San Fran. That’s okay because I called my parents beforehand and warned them, so they checked the airport before coming to pick me up. So, they didn’t really wait for me too long.

And for some reason, even though my body should be way out of whack, I still woke up at 6:30 this morning as though my natural clock had ordered it. I think I’ve been lucky with jet-lag. It hasn’t really affected me too much. Well, I’m sure I’ll be tired all today, but I’m alive. Oh, and I got home safely.