Monday, June 30, 2008

Ruthless Provo Rapids

Here I was thinking I was going to have a nice, peaceful day floating on an inner tube down the Provo River... Work on my tan, have good conversations, you know, any person's ideal Saturday...

(Looks so nice and peaceful, doesn't it?)

Well, Tanner and I could only find three tubes. We then faced a disaster trying to figure out how to get them pumped when the dang air things needed 12 hours to charge. Tanner found the manual pump, and he and Cody ended up pumping up the tubes in about five minutes. Very impressive.

We drove up, parked my car, and then crowded me into the back of the LandCruiser under all of the blown up tubes. The boys got the tubes out, and I wriggled out of the car. I saw a sign that said "life jackets required." Oops. We didn't have any life jackets. Meh, we'd be fine--everyone floats the river without a life jacket. So we put our tubes into the water. I got into my tube and was trying to help Tanner by holding his tube for him. Big mistake. He jumped back into his too-full tube with a little too much force and fell backwards into the water, and made me fall out of my tube as well.

This was hilarious at first. Till I realized my two-inch high black sandals would not help me balance on the rocky river bottom. Also till I realized that the river was flowing a lot faster than the speed that would make it even possible for me toget back into my tube.

I started getting pushed down the river at unusual speeds. I was freaking out because I didn't have a life vest, my legs were hitting the rocky bottom, and then at some points I couldn't even reach the bottom. Even if you know how to swim, getting tossed violently around by a river that doesn't care who you are does not mean you'll get out alive. My tube had gone way ahead of us, and Tanner tried to retrieve it for me. Eventually I was past my tube and Cody was trying to pull me out of the water. I was half hanging on his tube, and my legs and feet were going numb. I was so unbelievably scared that little sobs were issuing from my mouth.

I looked back and saw Tanner struggling to hold on to both tubes. Cody and I were finally able to stop at an eddy before a low bridge. We both got on when Tanner yelled at us so that we could catch up to him and get me back on my own tube. The river didn't care about Cody and I and knocked us off the tube when we got under the bridge. The river pushed me into the bridge, knocking my head against it. I was forced under water, completely out of control of my body, and was beyond afraid of what would happen to me. Cody managed to stand up and pull me out, and we sat on the tube together back to back. We got ahead of Tanner once again.

I was trying to laugh at what had happened, but I was very nervous, and I saw Tanner behind us struggling and getting hurt by the rocky bottom. He let out a loud yell of frustration and pain, and finally we were able to stop again. Cody and Tanner held on to the tube and helped me climb back into it. We floated on a little ways. I was crying really hard, and people passing by were looking at me so strangely. If they only knew how scared I was and everything that had happened a few minutes ago, and if only they weren't wearing life vests like ME, they would have understood.

I noticed that Cody and Tanner were a ways ahead of me. I was really nervous at being so far behind them, should something happen again. I guess I sent it out into the universe, because I crashed into a big thicket of sticks on the right side and got knocked off my tube again. Again I was letting out nervous cries, as I had both arms hung over the side of the tube trying to reach Tanner and Cody, my legs tingling in the water. I didn't almost drown, but I could not reach the bottom and could not get back into my tube.

We stopped, and we realized should probably just get out where we were stopped, because guess what? I forgot my keys.

Yep, I forgot my keys up in the LandCruiser, which we'd need to get my Buick back up to the LandCruiser when we finished floating. I'm evidently not very smart. So we were stopped at this mobile home vacation spot. Tanner and I got out, and Cody kept floating. These older men approached us and asked what was wrong. They had retrieved one of Tanner's sandals from the river, which was really nice. And the younger guy, I believe he said his name was Ed, offered to drive us back up to the car so I could get my keys. While we waited for him to get ready, I stood and cried in Tanner's arms. He couldn't understand why I was crying, which I guess is normal for a guy. He had a worse experience than me, trying to control two tubes and catch up to me, but males are also more level headed in these kinds of situations.

After having been knocked out of my tube, pushed into a bridge, and falling out of my tube again and being so far behind, with pain shooting through me and thoughts of drowning crowding my mind, I was a little less than stable. So I stood and sobbed, shaking as Tanner put his arms around me. I wanted to just go home after that and not keep floating down the river. I looked down at my legs and noticed a few scrapes and bruises and realized I had probably been through a lot more than I had actually felt consciously.

Cody walked up and stayed with our tubes. Tanner and I walked shoeless over a long range of tiny, sharp rocks. Ed drove us to the car, which fortunately wasn't very far away, and I got my keys. He was so nice and pleasant. He was from Oceanside, California, which made him instantly cool in my book. :) After getting back to his vacation park, we uttered a thousand thanks yous to Ed. Thank heaven for him. That would have been a really long walk, especially barefoot.

We walked back over the stinging rocks to our tubes. Tanner and Cody decided to give me the tire tube because they are so hard to flip over. The boys let some air out of the other tubes, since they were apparently too full. We all got back in and floated the rest of the way down the river. I was afraid of every jutting tree and thicket, every little rapid, anything that would separate me from Tanner or knock me out of my tube.

But we were safe and got to my car OK. Everything worked out fine and peaceful. I don't even have that great of a tan to show for it. But I do have a bruise on the bottom (and top) of each foot. I have a couple of scrapes and a bruise on my right shin. I have some scratches on my right ankle. I have a big, red scrape on my right thigh. I have a couple bruises (one four inches long) on my left thigh. I also have a big shiner under my left butt cheek. And I have two scratches on my left hip from the annoying tire tube air spout thing. My back hurts pretty bad. Needless to say every little thing I do makes me experience pain in some way.

Tanner has some crazy battlescars of his own as well. Poor lovey.

But I am grateful I am alive, and I am grateful that Tanner got me another tube and looked out for me and took good care of me the rest of the way during our river trip. And many thanks to Cody for his life-saving expertise which we used multiple times. Next time (if there is a next time for me!) I will use a life jacket. They're serious on that sign, guys. Nature has no mercy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Perfect Date

Alright, so I know a lot of my posts are a bit random and sometimes funny. So for the sake of maintaining that, I first want to tell you all about my jeans! I blew out the back pocket of them months ago (and my wonderful mother repaired them for me). Yes, I walked around for a whole day with my left cheek exposed. For a full story, go to this blog. But I stopped wearing them because I thought I'd blow the back out again. Anyway, the jeans were always pretty darn tight! Like I felt like I was squeezing into them, but when I got them on, I found them to be flattering although uncomfortable. I put them on last night, and they were loose. What the! My legs had extra space, as did my rear end. This made me happy, and I don't think I'll be blowing out the back of them again anytime soon!

Another piece of info I thought you might like is that my latest addiction is to Diet Coke Plus. Ask Cindy--I have her sell me one on every shift we work together. It tastes better than Coke to me, which I never used to like, and it has vitamins and minerals! Okay, so they might be dumb ones like potassium ascorbate and crap but who cares, it's still added stuff that is helpful! Anyway, I enjoy my calorie-free, mineral-fused carbonated beverage.

So I usually try to keep my blogs from being far too cheesy, but I have to take a few minutes to write about my night last night.

It was Tanner and my one-year anniversary. A year ago last night, he kissed me for the first time. I guess that might seem like an odd anniversary to celebrate, but he claims we were "pretty much together" from that point on. And I have since complied with calling that our anniversary date :) In any case, we have been "together," hugging, kissing, hanging out, and dating for a year.

Because I am a "words" girl--I love words--I asked Tanner to write me a letter. I said all I wanted for our anniversary was a letter and roses. Well at 6:40, my love knocked on my door and was standing on my doorstep with a dozen beautiful red roses and a gift bag in his hands. It was adorable. I put my roses in a vase, and we opened presents on the couch.

I got him a Nixon watch which I thought was really nice. I was a little afraid he wouldn't like it. I wanted to get him a different one, but I'm not exactly rich.

It turns out he did like it, though it's not his typical kind of watch. I also got him some Reese's peanut butter cups, Reese's Pieces, some of his favorite gum, and a card. He ALSO asked for a letter, which I wrote and then read to him over dinner (his idea). And I renewed his subscription for National Geographic as well.

He got me (in addition to roses and a letter, which he read to me over dinner as well) all three Dexter books. I am so excited. He also got me a Toblerone swiss chocolate (the bittersweet kind) candy bar. I will be most excited to partake of that excellence. He also gave me a gift card for Build-a-Bear! I have always wanted a Build-a-Bear because I think they are so cute! I was envious when one of my girlfriends got one in high school. So I got that gift card, and we went to dinner at P.F. Chang's which was absolutely delicious! It was his first time, and he really liked it, so I was happy. We got crispy honey chicken, lemon pepper shrimp, and shrimp chow mein (amazing!) as well as their famous lettuce wraps. After dinner we went to Build-a-Bear and had a fun time picking stuff out for my bear. He is cute with curly brown hair. He wears a t-shirt and overalls, plus cute brown sandals, and Tanner recorded a message in it for me. We got his birth certificate and everything. His name is Linus, in case you wondered. He is so cute, and I slept with him last night. :)

We went down to Cold Stone and had a fantastic experience there for a change. The girl we got gave us a lot of ice cream which is unusual these days. Tanner's was especially coffee-ish, and mine was especially sweet creamy. Really delicious. We went back to his parents' house to watch So You Think You Can Dance, but evidently the Tivo was unhooked upstairs, so it didn't record up there, and his parents had already watched it and were watching something else on the downstairs TV. So we'll have to watch it tonight after he's done with work.

We ended the night with him coming upstairs to get his stuff, hugged and gave cute little kisses, and said goodnight.

It was perfect.

I have to say the experience of writing and reading the letters to one another was really amazing. It was a catharsis, so to speak. I poured my heart into that letter and felt that it came out very well. Reading it over dinner, I got all choked up and teary-eyed and had a difficult time (also because I kept losing my voice because I'm still sick). He loved his letter and kept telling me so, and I was glad because he deserved it.

His letter to me was darling (and long!). He had a really cute time theme going on with years, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds. He made note of some of the qualities that he notices and appreciates about me. That is so what I wanted, and he did a great job of making me feel loved and admired. He felt bad that he didn't get to put all that he wanted into that letter, but I thought it was great. Maybe next year. He said he wants to do a letter for every anniversary. I think that is a really good idea! Reminding ourselves and each other why we love and appreciate one another every year seems like a really good, healthy thing to do.

Tomorrow, Tanner, Cody, and I are supposed to go see Wall-E. It should be really cute, and I am excited. Hopefully we can see Kung Fu Panda soon. We're supposed to float the river on Saturday, too. So I bet that will be fun. I love summer time.

I am on the third book of Harry Potter and should probably finish in the next couple of days--I'm almost half way through. It's something to do at work, so it's fun.

Anyway, I had a perfect night last night and wanted to be sure that I wrote it down. I love my fiancee. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

In Defense of Blogging

I decided on Saturday night, after being infuriated by (dare I say) my co-worker's comments, that I needed to write a blog. A blog so amazing and so spectacular that it would inspire you to read every blog in existence. That's right, a blog in defense of blogging. At first I had a hard time figuring out a direction for this because I was so frustrated. I could have written a blog in defense of blogging or as an attack on all things addicting... I may still include some elements of the latter.

The conversation was started by some of my co-workers saying that they do not understand blogging. Fair enough, there are a lot of people who don't. But unless your life has been affected negatively by something, or you have tried something and have reasons for your disapproval, you have no place to say anything. He asked how long blogging takes, and I responded, "It depends on how long it is and how fast you type." He said, "See, and you knock on gaming, and that's just as big of a waste of time..." and just excused himself from the conversation by turning to another co-worker and starting another conversation. I said in response that if they have something against writing or journal keeping, they should re-read some church talks. Another of my co-workers chimed in with the argument that "it's typing, not writing," which was probably the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a long time, so we'll just dismiss it as inconsequential pish-posh that added to my irritability.

As a claim against gaming, or whatever your time-wasting addiction happens to be, I want to say that almost anything in excess is a bad thing. Movie-watching in excess, reading in excess, exercising in excess, or whatever the vice may be. In any case, I've never heard of someone being addicted to blogging, so the very idea that blogging can be compared to gaming or (insert other addictive activity here) is preposterous. When you are sitting in front of a TV for eight, five, or even two hours a day, when you neglect familial responsibilities or self-improving activities, there is a problem. Blogging takes anywhere from 1 minute (see last cartoon post) to an hour, depending on the person, topic, length, and concern with it being well-written. There is no reason that writing this blog should draw me away from doing other responsibilities, were my boss to walk in and ask me to do something else.

So that is my sort-of rant about gaming or other time-wasters. I just claim that anything in excess can be a great weakness for anyone, and some activities are more influential than others as far as behavior is concerned. If you think I have something against gaming without any reason behind it, shame on you for that assumption. And shame on those who make ignorant comments, who don't care to learn or have an intelligent discussion, and who are not open to change or self-improvement. Destination: Mediocre City.

Now, for the benefits of blogging!

1. Record-keeping. My future sister-in-law keeps a blog recording everything in her and her husband's life. She's writing stuff about her pregnancy and keeps pictures up to date. Record keeping is so important, as we have learned our whole lives at church. What a blessing for little Caleb and others, and even Bri herself to look at her old blogs and be able to remember everything that happened.

2. It's fun and motivating. I hate writing in journals. I consider it a chore although I love to write. When I know I am writing something for others to read, it makes it more entertaining for me.

3. It's self-improvement. Again, when I write for other people to read, it helps me to be more introspective, to recognize my weaknesses, and assess what I can do better.

4. It helps people keep in touch. I would not have known what was going on in my best friend's life in England if she had not kept a blog. She probably would have been very sad if she hadn't kept a record of what she did and where she went for her own reflection someday. And I would have been sad to not know what or how she was doing! My co-worker Philip is in Jordan right now with his wife. Their blog is so fun because I can have something to talk about with him when he gets back! What a blessing to keep track of friends and family who are far away or too busy to keep in touch, informed, and in concern. Making blog comments to let people know you've read it and are concerned takes only three minutes, which is all the time a lot of people have to spare in their day. Where they wouldn't have been able to make a phone call in that time, blogs have provided a fast and convenient way to show love.

5. It helps you get to know people. My boss Kevin got a blog after his son was born. I was so excited to get to see pictures of his baby and to learn more about his wife, and hey, his dog! He's not just my boss, he's my friend, and I like being able to know him on a personal level. Where anyone might have once seemed just a person in a position, or "that kid who sits at the back of class," they take shape as someone with personality, with interests, with problems, and with joys.

6. It's interesting! My favorite things to read are biographies and autobiographies. I love reading about other people's lives. And apparently people like to read about mine, too! It's just fascinating to find out how people see things and what they are going through.

7. It's informative. There are a great many blogs out there that are not just journals of people's personal lives. There are very informative, formal, even business-like blogs that can come up in a Google search for a topic! I do believe there is a grammar blog that I will soon subscribe to. The internet is a great resource, as are many blogs within the great web.

8. It's a space. Our generation is known for wanting to fill the white space, for wanting to be creative, for wanting to be more than just a number. If a blog gets our voices heard, it has succeeded. I love to write and be creative, sometimes I do it for fun, other times for a venting place, and other times just for the record. In any case, I get heard, I'm known, and that brings me peace and fills voids. If games ever satisfied, why can't you stop playing them till you know you have to go to sleep? When I'm done with a blog, I feel better.

9. It's fast. Posting pictures of important life events or keeping a fashion scrapbook (a la Rachel) becomes as easy as the click of a mouse with blogs. I don't like cutting and pasting and patterning and stamping and doing cute colorful markers... I'd rather just click, thanks. And it's done!

10. It's inspiring. I read other blogs and the way they are done (I'll refer you to Cecily Jane's blog) and get ideas for my own writing. Short stories, poems, and regular journal entries can be inspiration to do lots of other things. I love reading blogs with a voice (a la Rachel and Cecily). It makes me respect people as writers almost as I do Mark Twain--an identifiable and humorous voice means the world to me.

There are probably a lot of other benefits I haven't thought of, but these are reasons I validate blogging in my own life.

I'm not saying there aren't ridiculous blogs (remember I'm not saying there are blogs where people write and post things that they probably shouldn't. Almost anything that can be used for good can be used for bad as well. But for the good it offers and with little exposure to the bad, there aren't enough bad things about blogging to make any argument against doing it.

Just want you all to know that I love reading your blogs. Even if I don't comment, I read every single one. I love you all, and I appreciate you reading my blog as well. Have a frabjous day.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oh, Toothpaste for Dinner

Well said.

Some Tips for You, the Customer

I've realized there are a lot of things about customers at Blockbuster that irritate my fellow Customer Service Representatives, shift leaders, managers, and me. Let me give you customers a few tips so that you can rest assured that we CSRs won't be making fun of you after you leave.

1. Blockbuster card. Have your Blockbuster card ready. When you're standing in line for 5 minutes, when a 30-minute long line is behind you, or when you know you have a stack of 43 cards to look through, please just be prepared. You bother me when I have to stand there waiting for you to search through the wallet that contains a lifetime of financial records and cards for every place you shop.

2. I am a human. Please HAND me everything. My having to lean three feet across a counter because you are too lazy to extend your arm and meet me halfway frustrates me. Do not set your card on the counter, because then I have a hard time lifting that little laminated piece of paper off the counter.

3. Pay attention. Losing my voice so I can yell to you that "I CAN HELP YOU DOWN HERE!" just doesn't seem worth it to me. I've done this a few times. Since then I've decided that I'll say it once, and if it doesn't matter enough for you to pay attention, then waiting a few more minutes to be helped shouldn't matter to you either.

4. Patience. Wait till I make eye contact. Do not be over-zealous. Just because I am at a computer does not mean I am available to help you.

5. Seal and cut. Seal up your online envelopes and clip your coupons. If you don't, I'll take my sweet time doing all of the things which you failed to do before you came in which means you have to wait a while longer. Please just help things run smoothly, and be ready.

6. Be nice. If you are nice, we will go out of our way to help you. Customers who politely ask if a movie is in the drop box will be the first ones I chase down if the movie does come in in the next few minutes.

7. Learn your ABCs. Movies that have "The" in the title are not in the "T" section. And, believe it or not, the movies are organized alphabetically. Top to bottom, left to right, you get the picture. Making me leave the front to find a movie for you because you don't know that R comes before S is a little bit irritating.

8. Know the rating. Giving credits because you didn't check if the movie went against your "no-rated-R" moral principles before paying for it is against our policy. Also, Mormons, if you didn't check for the movie on the ever-reliable Clearplay before renting it, too bad. Check before you rent. The end.

9. Two-at-a-time. More than one movie fits into the drop box slot. Two at a time goes faster than one at a time, especially if you're returning three seasons of Lost.

10. Remember the title. Do not, I repeat, do NOT bring up the backing/display cards. I'm sure you can manage to remember a title for 7 seconds while you walk up to the front to ask if it's in. If you bring up the backing card, you increase your chances of making us mad, we'll lie and say it's checked out, and give the movie to the next person who asks. The only exceptions to this rule are people who struggle with English and titles that you cannot pronounce.

11. Clean yo' case. If you spill crap on your return movies, clean them off please. Just because your kid got syrup from his Eggos on the Land Before Time doesn't mean that I deserve to be sticky. Paper towel, Windex, spray, wipe, return movie to drop box.

12. Clean yo' movie. When you come to us with a DVD saying that it wouldn't play in your DVD player and kept skipping, and I check the back of it only to find smudgy finger prints... I automatically deem you a lazy moron who is trying to get a free movie. Clean the DVD, dude. I knew this BEFORE working at Blockbuster. Water, alcohol, or Windex, plus a soft towel, should do the trick. Happy cleaning.

13. One call. If we do not have it, and there is a really long line behind you, asking us to call three other Blockbusters will tick us off. I can call one store, or I can give you the phone numbers. Otherwise, get the heck out of line. Kthxbai.

14. Don't be that girl. We do not have One Tree Hill, the Hills, Dawson's Creek, or any other of your ridiculous shows. I don't know why, I don't control those things, but if I did, I still wouldn't carry the shows because it'd be because only ONE type of girl asks if we carry them.

15. Watch your kids. If there's one section I don't like to put movies away, it's the family/kids section because you and your devil children travel like a hurricane through there. We're customer service reps, not babysitters, so get a leash for your kid. Thanks.

16. Help. If you knock a shelf and all its movies down, and I hear you laughing, my alter-ego wants to take over and punch you in the face. When I come to clean it up, the least you can do is help me.

17. Trash. Finding your Cold Stone cups and McDonald's bags and napkins on random shelves in the store makes me wonder if you ever had any parents. There are plenty of trash cans. Utilize them. Just because you're not polluting outside doesn't mean you deserve an in-store maid service.

18. Give them to us. You know how the library says, "Do not reshelve your books?" We feel the same way. Give us what you don't want. Don't leave them in random places or set them in a neat pile of five on the floor (yes, I've had that happen)... Just hand them to us at the front. When someone wants to rent a movie and it's not in its place because you decided to put Ace Ventura over by Schindler's List, we get a little upset. And so do you, when the movie you want is lost because of people like yourself.

19. Slide your card. Yes, there. Do not hand me your debit or credit card. We are a self-service movie store. Don't ask me silly questions either. "Just slide it here?" Well, I'm not sure where else you would slide it, but if you figure something else out, let me know. Follow the instructions on the screen, pay attention, and we're good to go.

20. Do the rewards program. If you rent three times a year, do it. I'm telling you, it's not a scam.

21. No phone numbers. We haven't taken phone numbers in years. Card, ID, a previous rental, or no rentals. If you've forgotten more than once, we won't do you any favors.

22. Bar codes. Let me explain: bar codes belong to particular stores. Bar codes help us keep track of movies. When My Little Pony Princess Parade gets turned in and your cute 3-year old ripped off the bar code, I can't check it in for you. End of story. When you turn in the movies to the wrong Blockbuster, I can't check it in for you. End of story.

23. Late policy. There is a seven day grace period after your due date. Keep it past that date, and it gets sold to the card on your account. You have 30 days to bring it back for a refund and a $1.25 restocking fee. Never mind that it says all of this on the receipt which you are too lazy to read. But when we have had this policy for several years, and you want to know why you owe $2.50 after having movies out for 4 weeks, I lose my patience.

24. Ask again. This isn't really a peeve, but more for your benefit. If a popular movie is checked out, ask us again to check when you leave. Frequently, a movie gets turned in 56 seconds after you asked us for it. Ask again. Politely, and in as non-pushy a way possible.

25. Wait. You are not the most important person in the world. Believe it or not, when I'm helping a customer, I am busy, and you can wait. When I am carrying a stack of 50 movies, there are other CSRs at the front who can answer your questions. Don't be oblivious to the fact that we do, in fact, have other things that we are doing and cannot check the computer for your 80s movie Ski Patrol when we're on the run.

That should do it for now. I'd imagine that I can add more to this list after the next time I work.

Just so you know, my favorite customer ever is genuinely kind and appreciative. If he asks us for a movie, and it comes in after he leaves, we call him to tell him it's in and hold it for him. He brings us ice cream bars and tells us how much he appreciates us. People who go out of their way to show appreciation get a lot more back in the world. So the next time you contemplate leaving your Cold Stone cup next to Hairspray or drop the only copy of The Sandlot off at another part of the store, I hope someone throws ice cream all over your car and that all the movies you want are checked out. Karma.

Here's to your next amazing Blockbuster experience.

Love, Your All-Knowing CSR,

Addendums after working a slow Saturday night and observing additional things that bother my co-workers:

26. Change. Remember that rule about handing everything to me? The rule stands for money, and especially change. Don't throw your bloody quarters at me when I have my hand out waiting for you to dig seventy-two cents out of your over-sized wallet. Dane Cook has a joke about this. I refer you to him for a more humorous presentation of this topic.

27. Go look. Remember how I told you that the movies are alphabetized? They're also in sections (comedy, action, horror, drama, foreign, special interest, animation, family/kids, and games). When you come up to the front to ask where a movie is, I will gladly tell you. But when you ask me to help you find it when you haven't even tried looking, that gets on my nerves. There are other things I could be doing besides heading toward the genre and alphabetical location of a movie because you're too freaking lazy to go look. Just GO LOOK! If you're having trouble, THEN you can ask.

28. Credit card. New customers: yes, we need a credit card. Do you know how much money Blockbuster holds in bad debt? When you keep our movies and decide to never come back again, how exactly do you expect those movies to get paid for? I promise you I will not remember your card number or steal your identity. The forms get shredded by our manager, and they're darn safe from people intending to run up your credit card bill.

29. Throw it away. I love that you keep your receipt--it helps you keep track of your financial records and Blockbuster movie due dates--but please do not turn your receipt in within the cover of the movies you're returning. It's really annoying to box check movies and have to stop the whole process to throw your stupid receipt away. Gracias.

30. Yes, you need an account. You need a library card to check out books, and you need a Blockbuster card to check out movies. Plain and simple. This is how the world turns. Oh, and when I show you the "really long" form, please quit crying and just fill it out. Your whining doesn't make the process shorter.

31. New Release wall. I know this is a tough concept, but when movies have been out for a year or less, they are considered new (at my particular store). When I say something is "on the new release wall," and you ask me where that is, you force me into a partial seizure where I make involuntary "you're a moron" faces. The new release wall... is the whole wall. And remember #7? It's alphabetical. Happy hunting.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wingardium Leviosa

That's right, kids. I'm jumping on the bandwagon that I heretofore refused to. I am beginning to read the Harry Potter saga. I checked out the first of the lovely series from the Harold B. Lee Library today. I will begin reading at the gym today.

On my list after I'm done with this series include the classics I missed out on in high school (Catcher in the Rye, Brave New World, etc.) and the British books that my Rachel so loves. Yes, this includes the Jane Austen novels I have also heretofore refused to read. It wasn't actually a blatant refusal, rather more a general disinterest. I also intend to read Wuthering Heights and whatever other great works Rachel has in her literary repertoire for me. I want to read Fight Club and Darkly Dreaming Dexter for mere entertainment value. I also am being pushed to read the Twilight Series I have heretofore been disinterested in as well. So many books, so little time. And yet I had to spend the last six weeks reading 30 adolescent literature books that I couldn't have cared less about. Awesome. Thanks for using up my time on crap instead of valuable literature.

I'm not bitter.

I am excited to read Harry Potter. Although I must say I am debating on waiting for the last two movies to come out before I read the last two books. I have loved all of the movies (shout out to Sirius Black, you were my shining star in Prisoner of Azkaban, uncle) and hate being disappointed by movies because "the books were better." So the debate in my mind shall continue.

It is cold in my office.

I have slacked on my diet really badly in the last few days. It's so hard! People come, good dinners are made for Father's Day, carnival fun in Orem requires pleasure for the tastebuds, and it's just hard! I'm back on today. I have still been working out 6 days a week for the last four weeks. Normal people who work out as much as I do probably would have lost a lot of weight without changing their eating habits. I dunno why it's so hard for me. I was doing really good but cheating kind of negates all weight loss progress. Though I am trying not to look at it that way and just start anew. And thus far today I am doing quite well, as I will tomorrow.

Another thing, I am realizing how ridiculously important and vital sleep is to me. I've known this for a while and have often opted to sleep rather than study or play late into the night as many college students do. But my body and mind really have a much more difficult time than the average person's do, I think. My heart does weird things and palpitates frequently--yesterday it went on for like 30 minutes straight. I'm incredibly emotional and grouchy. I'm overall weak in many ways. It just isn't fun. So I'm really having to go out of my way to make sure I'm sleeping. Thanks to Tanner, too, for looking out for me getting enough sleep. Although he suffers the brunt of it when I don't get enough sleep, which is probably why he cares so much ;)

Rachel comes home this Thursday. I am excited. I want to see her!!

Well, as soon as I leave here, I'm going home, going to the gym, and going to work. I hope it's not busy. Send a "slow night at Blockbuster" into the universe for me.

P.S. Currently watching the Showtime show, Dexter, which is based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter , and it is amazing.

Three best things

1. Sleep. I got eight hours last night, and although the last two were broken up by my alarm clock and rabbit and anxiety and whatnot, it was nice.

2. Blankets and sweatshirts. Being in the downstairs apartment will be one freezing experience, I believe. I sat in there talking to Tanner last night, and my feet were freezing off of my legs. It's also good that I have my own personal heater named Tanner. He radiates the heat of a volcano and can withstand and appreciate pretty much any amount of coldness.

3. Chocolate. When my diet permits snacks or splurges in extremely small portions, a Hershey's Kiss or two absolutely makes my day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Then it's nothing but work, work, work all the time...

Recognize the Princess Bride reference, anyone? Anyone? Good.

Well let's see what's new. Yesterday marked one week on the Fat Smash diet. I slacked yesterday a bit more than I would have liked (slacking consisted of 1 bite of a 3 Musketeers bar, 5 Hershey kisses, and a 130 calorie bag of popcorn. I'm fat, I know). But I had to reassure myself today that I didn't totally mess everything up, and I got on the scale: 5.25 pounds! Yay! In one week! Sweet huh? This week I get to have such things as whole wheat bread and cold cereal! It's so nice.

I had a two-a-day today--did cardio in the morning, and went back to the gym after work. It's a little annoying, like I've said before, but as long as the scale is telling my progress, I am happy. Five more pounds and I'll be back to where I like myself, though I think I'll probably keep going for a couple more cycles on this thing. I miss pizza and French fries a lot. A $1 McDonald's double chee was calling my name last night, but I ignored its beckonings.

I had a really clever idea for a blog topic yesterday, and as usual I didn't write it down, so I am without wit as of now.

What else? This coming Monday is my last day of class, and finals are next week. But this Friday will be my last day in my adolescent literature class, why? Because I finished my 28 books, baby! The professor read us one, and he's going to read us another one tomorrow, and both of them count toward our thirty. Although I started one at the gym and am over halfway through, so it will be 29. I think I will also check out this other book that I've been wanting to read called Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr. Anyway, that class will be done! DONE! bahaha.

It's weird thinking that this coming fall and winter will be my last full year at BYU. Granted that next fall I will be student teaching, but that's still only half a year.

I worked on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night! Good heavens have I had enough of Blockbuster and its customers. No, work really hasn't been that bad. Saturday though, before work, Tanner and I went and got our bedroom set! He wants to move in to the apartment ASAP, so we went ahead and got it. I should say Tanner got it. He is the breadwinner in this relationship. Good thing, too. If I were, especially as a teacher, we probably would live in his parents' basement apartment forever. Anyway our bed set is super cute. It is light taupe colored wood with a darker surface wood--kind of cherry woodish. I realized when I uploaded my pictures that I forgot to take one of the nightstand. Oh well. We got an amazing deal on everything because Tanner's dad knows the guy who is in charge of the place. It is a king sized bed. We also got a mattress and two box springs--amazing deals on those as well. All I have to say is that my spot on that mattress had better not be all molded to my future husband's body by the time I get to lay in it. Pictures!

Cute Xs huh?

This lamp goes with the handle pieces on the furniture, so we got one for the nightstand.

And this is the bedding that would go so amazingly with the type of wood that we got--We could paint one of our walls red to go with it, and it would be so cute. Unfortunately, at the RC Willey outlet, the bedding is just for presentation, not for sale. I should go back and look at the tag on it so that I can try and find it. It's so perfect!

I also wanted to talk about my Sunday. It was so good in so many ways. It was beautiful outside, which is conducive to feeling the Spirit, for me anyway... Tanner's meetings were good, they always are. Then I had an appointment with my bishop, which also was fabulous. Then I went to Tanner's apartment after church. He lives at the Branbury which is right next to the Provo River. So we decided to go for a walk in the opposite direction that we usually do. We found a good spot right on the water's edge just to stay for a little while. And we had the most amazing, quiet, romantic time right there on the river. We just stood there hugging and kissing occasionally, talking about whatever things came up. There was an amazing feeling of love and peacefulness there. Just listening to the water flowing while being held by the person you love--it was almost as good as being at the beach! ;)

Anyway so that was great, and I wanted to write it down so I wouldn't forget it someday.

I am beyond exhausted and realized that this entire past year has probably been one of the most tiring of all my life. I just realized how little sleep I get compared to what I need, how hard I work--two jobs and school full-time--and how busy I am ALL the time. I really push myself. And as exhausted as I am, I am grateful for being this way. I like being productive, and I like pushing myself. It gets frustrating feeling like I work so hard and don't really have anything ($) to show for it. But I'm learning in the process, so all is well.

To the end of classes! Huzzah!


Three Best Things

1. Rachel. I miss her. She is coming home soon! I am excited!!!!!!

2. Pickles. Yes. Calorie-free and delicious. They have been saving my life.

3. A physically able body. I am glad I can push myself as hard as I do and don't have any chronic illnesses or severe disabilities that inhibit my ability to perform, height set aside ;)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fat Smash Day 5

Well, I haven't been keeping you all up to date with this whole dieting process. Still working out every day, cardio for an hour every day, and 30 minutes of lifting every other day. Actually on Fat Smash I am required to do a couple of two-a-day workouts. I did one on Tuesday, and I have to do one today. Apparently if you do two workouts a day 6 hours apart, it keeps your metabolism boosted. It's exhausting and annoying to go to the gym twice a day and shower twice a day, but whatever it takes, man!

I'm pretty hungry on this diet, although I shouldn't be. I'm allowed to have unlimited pickles, carrots, and celery (along with some other things I don't take much interest in). I can have two 100 calorie snacks, which is when I've taken advantage of sweets, but usually I've just had string cheese and four wheat crackers (yes, it's that specific).

I've had oatmeal, egg beaters, fruit, and such things for breakfast. I've been eating a lot of salad, and it's getting pretty annoying. Mostly because I get excited for a good restaurant-type salad rather than my pre-made bagged stuff that I buy. Nevertheless, I am eating specifically what he lists every day, and usually I have to eat less because I consider myself to be a "gamma" dieter. Yeah, we have to work twice as hard as everyone else to lose weight. In any case, I've enjoyed my food for the most part, and I view it as healthy. I've had the occasional craving for some delicious French fries or a big pizza, but I'm managing.

I weighed myself on Monday and pretty much promised myself I wouldn't until the following Monday. Every health and fitness expert says to just weigh yourself once a week. But I was happy to find that this morning when I cheated and weighed myself anyway, I had lost 4 lbs. That's how much I am supposed to lose in the whole week. Needless to say, I am pretty excited, and my official weigh-in on Monday is the one where I will actually believe that that weight is lost. And I will be even more glad when it actually starts to SHOW.

While I have a place to say this... You know how you feel really bad when you forget to say thank you, and the person you were supposed to thank says, "You're welcome," before giving you a chance to say thank you? Is that productive for anyone? One doesn't get the thank you he/she wanted, and the other just feels bad. This is how I feel when my roommate cleans up after my mess and leaves me a note on the white board saying, "PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES!" Yes, selves. Plural. I knew the note was to me. The other roommates have disappeared. You know, I know better than a lot of people about getting frustrated over a messy apartment, but how am I supposed to feel when you leave a note like that and give me no chance to clean it?

I'll tell her today to just ask me to clean it, and I will. She shouldn't have to ask, but I'm constantly on the go. I'm up at 5 or 6 every morning and at the gym, get ready, go to school or work, get home, and do reading and homework. Then I clean tupperware, let it dry on the sink, pack more food, and leave to be with Tanner at the Phillips' house or wherever. I really am VERY busy. And I'm not VERY messy. I will completely get to my mess once I get the chance, I don't expect anyone to clean up after me.

Anyway, just a little annoyance there. I feel bad, but that's a really crappy way of making someone feel bad.

I have four books to go for my adolescent literature assignment of reading 30 books. Yep. I'm pretty stoked. If I have it done by next Friday, I won't have to come back to class the next week. Yay! That would be nice, then I could focus on studying for my Spanish final. I think we get our test from Monday back today. That would be nice. I think I got at least a B! I worked hard to study for this test, way more than the first one. I hope it shows in my grade.

I'd better get reading. Just thought you'd all like an update on my immensely challenging physical fitness plan. Here are my three best things:

1. Classrooms with electrical outlets for laptops. It's really annoying being in a circular room with a total of four outlets, especially when a really obnoxious, argumentative know-it-all steals the seat you normally sit in, causing you to sit on the floor. Thus, I am grateful when classrooms have more outlets.

2. My commitment. I am an extreme committer. Is that even a word? haha. Really. I am so glad that when I decide to do something, I do it all the way. I hate disappointing myself. And I hate veering even a little bit off my path of commitment. I'm gung-ho on this diet and am doing a fabulous job, if I do say so myself.

3. Short books. This makes it easier for me to get my ridiculous reading assignment completed.

The Ultimate Fat Smasher,