Sunday, May 31, 2009

California Trip

Well, I had a short and super fun trip to California from Thursday to Sunday morning.

Got a jump start when I realized I hadn’t heard my alarm go off, ten minutes after it had been going off. I ran out the door and drove through Krispy Kreme because I was starving, and headed to Grandma’s. We got to the airport on time. There was a whole team from BYU in line ahead of me, so I was a little nervous, but I wasn’t even close to late, so it was fine.

Mom picked me up from the airport, and I just kind of chilled out that day. I let Jason steal some music from my iPod. I had intended to steal some of his but never got the chance. Jason, Jake, and I went to get In-N-Out but had to drop off some clothes at the dry cleaner first, and Dad saw us driving by. I was so pissed because I waited all day, and he hadn’t come home. He didn’t know I was coming; it was supposed to be a surprise! And we blew it. We got the food and came home, to an unsurprised Dad who guessed that it was me and not Emily driving my mom’s car. Oh well.

Mom and I went to Kohl’s to get me an outfit for the Fleetwood Mac concert I got dragged into attending. I borrowed some leggings from her to complete it. It turned out super cute, see!



I also got two darling dresses and two shirts. I am most excited for these new clothes. I’ve been in desperate need of some dresses. The one I wanted most didn’t fit, and they didn’t have a bigger one. I was pretty sad, but oh well. I still got some clothes!

The limo came around 6 PM. There were eight of us packed in there—Emily, Jason, April, Derek, cousin Jason, me, mom, and dad. Pretty low tech, since I couldn’t figure out how to get my iPod to work back there. Actually it wasn’t my failure, it was the limo’s failure. Here are some pics:













Um, yep, I took a pic of myself in the mirror.



There’s Stevie.

It was a long night with some dramatic events that I don’t care to note since they really didn’t involve me. But I had fun with my cousin so that’s OK. And Derek bought us food, including some nachos for me, so that was awesome of him. Thanks Derek!

We got to bed late. Friday morning I got up and got ready and went to lunch with Krystle at Legends, which was SO good, by the way. Since Bravo Burger is gone, I thoroughly enjoyed my replacement burger—bacon avocado cheeseburger. That’s what I’m talking about. We talked and talked, both of us. I didn’t dominate, I hope. And we went to get frozen yogurt and talked some more. Then we went to the Verizon store where I saw Ashley Hunter! It was so fun to see her, and she invited me to Up that night but I’ll get there later. We also went to the post office, and Target, where I purchased some discounted Kashi cereal that I haven’t been able to find in Utah, $5 Dodgeball movie, black leggings, and $1 pineapple scented lotion. Mmm it smells good. So it was a great day spending time with her. She brought me a side bag from India, and a scarf. They’re both sooo cute and pretty. I love them. Let me just go off for a minute about how much I love Krystle. She is the most motivated and insane individual I know—she never stops! I’m not sure there’s any opportunity she hasn’t seized, most especially opportunities to serve. She’s gone to India and Mexico for service projects, having to take out loans and grants for such activities, devoting her entire vacations for these things. She is incredibly smart, completely generous, and one of the most conscientious and self-aware people I know, which I appreciate. I don’t think I could have anything bad to say about Krystle if I tried, because she’s even learned to speak her mind a little more instead of staying quiet, which wasn’t even a huge downfall before unless it hurt her. She’s so, so great. And so cute! Her haircut was darling, and her outfit. I love her. Truly.

Friday night we went and saw Up in 3D as a family. We lined up an hour early and fortunately got OK seats even though they weren’t dead center like we wanted. They were still good. I LOVED this movie. I intend to see it again next week. It was so darling, hilarious, and touching. The story, the characters, the animation—so well done. I adored it.

Saturday morning dad made a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs, and potatoes. He makes the best breakfast ever. I went and rented Bolt for us to watch. Dad enjoyed it. “Hey, hey. You got your head stuck pretty good there, huh guy? Twist and pull, twist and pull. Fuhgettaboutit, you’ll be out in no time!” Oh, Bolt.

I also took lots of fun pictures of me and my kitty. He is so darling, and he loves me back. See!







I got ready to go to Dane Cook, and my cousin arrived at our house again in a timely manner. The limo was SWEET and definitely high tech, so I plugged in my iPod and played my fabulous music.





John, Aaron, Tamara, Laina, Julie

We got to Mom’s friend Tamara’s house around 5:30 so we could go to El Torito for dinner. It was great but the service was not so great. Kind of ridiculous when you take drink orders and food orders 45 minutes apart… Just sayin’. We listened to some comedy on the way to the Staples Center to get everyone in the mood.

The environment in the suite was much more laid back and pleasant this time.







I like this pic of me and mom.

I really enjoyed Dane Cook’s opening acts. Al Del Bene’s website is found at www.funnyal.com/ and the other he went on Tourgasm with a few years ago—Robert Kelly. You can go to http://www.robertkellylive.com. They were really funny, though the latter was slightly raunchy. Dane is too, so I guess I can handle it, right?

I was so, so pleased with Dane’s performance. Rough Around the Edges was super tough for me. I didn’t enjoy it and stopped listening to it before track four. It wasn’t funny, and he over compensated with language. This performance, Isolated Incident, was not that way at all. It was really funny, even if a large part of it was sexual. He had everyone cracking up. I love Dane because of his taboo jokes—the ones that make me gasp, cover my mouth, and make my eyes go wide thinking, “I can’t believe he just said that!” I will purchase this CD. It’s already out, for those of you who are interested. Go here.





In the limo on the way back, we continued listening to my playlists from my work mixes. I will argue to the death that I make the best, most universal, people-pleasing, well-rounded mixes. Everyone was LOVING my stuff. We were all singing along really loudly, and it was tons of fun.

We hung out at Tamara’s for a while just chit chatting and hanging out. It was all a delightful time, really. Tamara is probably the most fun and pleasant drinker there is, by the way. She was so nice to me the whole night and gave me all sorts of compliments, telling me how smart and good I am, that she enjoys my Facebook updates because I am so witty and different. She said also that I have a beautiful singing voice, and shamed my mom for never mentioning it. haha. She said there’s nothing bad about me, and she called me beautiful and told me she loved me. I don’t know how much of this she remembers, but nevertheless, it was nice to receive so much praise and really meant a lot to me. I don’t repeat these things to toot my own horn—I just like to remember the good stuff people say.

We got home pretty late, and Mom demanded that I make copies of my mixes for her. So I did, and that took long enough. I also packed, had a good phone conversation, and went to sleep. I was up early and got ready this morning to go. I don’t believe I have forgotten anything yet.

Here are some random notes:

-Connecting flights for what should only be a 1 hr 45 min flight really stink. It’s up and down and up and down. It doesn’t do well for my ears. And the flight I’m on into Salt Lake right now has been a really rough take-off, throwing my stomach into a tornado. I don’t have anything to vomit up, so I think I’ll be OK, but I really do not feel good.

-I slept on the flight from Ontario to Phoenix. Surprising, really. I slept pretty solidly.

-Phoenix airport had internet, so I was able to upload my pictures to Facebook and MySpace. I love when public places have internet.

-There was a small toddler and his mother sitting near me in Phoenix. This mother let her kid crawl around, wafting his poopy diaper smell in my face, for about fifteen minutes. I subtly plugged my nose. I had to. It was seriously one of the stinkiest diapers ever. Wow. I hope I never wait that long when I am in a public place to change my kids’ diapers. The kid kept trying to get my attention, but I couldn’t look at him because I wouldn’t be able to control a grossed out “the smell of shiz is floating into my cerebellum” face. So I ignored him to try to be nice.

-I like that Southwest gives out Honey Roasted peanuts instead of just plain peanuts. Makes my airline experience much more enjoyable. What’s more, I’m awaiting a Dr. Pepper. Hopefully my tummy will settle.

-Only on a flight into Salt Lake would I be surrounded by middle aged women knitting. Not even joking. To my right and to my left there are women knitting. I am not going to look behind me. Two’s enough to prove my point. 

-When flight attendants do their spiel about seat belts and life jackets and oxygen, I can’t help but think of the scene in Tommy Boy. And I keep waiting for one of them to go, “You know what, if you haven’t figured it out by now, ring your call button and Tommy will come back and hit you on the head with a tack hammer because you are a retard.”

California’s weather wasn’t so great. Overcast and slightly chilly most days. Still, I had a great time eating and being with my family. Fleetwood Mac was fabulous, and Dane was hilarious. The limos were great. My new clothes are cute. What more could I ask for? Maybe just one more day...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It Was Awesome, No Doubt About It!

I'm starting this blog without pictures, so hopefully I'll have time to get this posted tonight. And I guess if you're reading it, I did!

Brianne and I departed around 3:45 to have dinner before our show. We ate at Pei Wei. I am its new biggest fan. Brianne wasn't joking when she said it was just like PF Chang's. I guess it's run by the same people, so the menu is very similar, much cheaper, and the same quality of food. I had lemon pepper shrimp with noodles. It was excellent.

We got to the stadium around 5:15, and parking was only $10, fortunately. We ran to the bathroom at Costa Vida since there was no way to get in to the stadium to pee. Thanks, guys.

Here we are waiting:




Interchangeably excited.

I was amazed at the diversity of people in line for the show. It was so cool because it showed how very universal No Doubt is. There were goth kids, punk kids, Gwen imitators, normal kids, middle-aged folks, lesbians, and more. Pure awesomeness. That's what it was. Especially the one wearing this shirt:


and this tattoo:


The doors opened at 6:30, though I think they were late opening them. Brianne and I got right to the front, but we realized we had to pee again, so we ran up and did our business and came back down.


Dis how close we were!

More waiting for the show:




My wristband and handstamp. I tell ya, if I were a drinker, that handstamp would have prevented ME from driving drunk. I can read it so well...

Brianne being cute.


Me... being cute?

Look how far up we were:


Oh wait, you can't. Tally Tallerson is blocking it.

The show started at 7:30 with The Sounds.


They were so much fun. We had their biggest high school fans right next to us who happened to be a little more than obnoxious. Nevertheless, I really dug their music. It had some fun 80s electronic sounds, slightly reminiscent of Shiny Toy Guns. I seem to be falling more and more deeply in love with this sound, because I finally obtained a full length Shinys album, recently purchased an MGMT album, and loved The Sounds. The one gross thing was that the singer kept hocking loogies into the crowd. Umm, yes, because even your fans want your saliva on them? Ew.







There were lots of parts during every show that I was behind people who were significantly taller than I. Fortunately I have patience and the knowledge that the crowd moves, so it was OK. I got to see through little windows occasionally. And I got some sweet pictures.

Paramore was flippin' awesome. I love their music, and I know their music, but I'm not a die hard who knows all the words. A show is always more fun when you can sing along. I was most impressed by tiny red-headed Hayley whose voice overpowers her small body. If I remember correctly, they started the show off with "Pressure," which was great. It got everyone pumped. They played a couple of new songs, "Ignorance," and another one I can't remember the name of. It was good though.


Photo skills by Brianne.







Brianne took a break at the end of Paramore to rest her feet. She spent the whole weekend in Washington, DC for her sister's graduation and got bad swollen feet/ankles. She made her way back up, though, somehow!

At one point a guy with a curly fro and glasses decided that he wanted to shove his way up to the front. I'm a regular concert goer. I know how this works. I get there two hours early so I can be up front, not so some a--holes can be rude and think that we all owe them something. So he started shoving, and um, well, I wasn't letting him through. I might be five feet tall, but I'm a stubborn little poop when I want to be. And I wasn't about to let him through. He was pushing so hard, that I ended up in front of the people I was behind, somehow. They were impressed. One girl noted, "She's not letting him through!" astounded by my determination. So he got stuck in an uncomfortable position due to my unyielding elbows, and he said, "Hey, way to hold your spot there!" I said, "Yeah, thanks. I can't see as it is." He was like, "Yeah that's why we're moving, we couldn't see where we were." Sure, sure it is... That's why you have to shove your way to the front instead of maybe moving sideways? Anyways, I didn't move because he was pissing me off. Then he said, "Don't worry I won't get in front of you. I'll go around another way." I nodded and made a "yes, you certainly will" face at him, lips pursed 'n all. He did end up in front of me, to the right. So I wasn't too upset.

What can I possibly say about No Doubt that you wouldn't already know? Guys, I'm straight as they come, but Gwen Stefani is freaking HOT.

She was amazing live! She sang quite well, and I love how she rocks out. She's "just a girl" from Anaheim who had a band and liked to rock out on stage. It makes it so much cooler. She had three outfit changes.












At some point Brianne had to go sit down again, so we just met at the car. It's cool, I was OK rockin' out alone. Just before that second break though, she had another tiff with this enormous, boring girl who wouldn't scoot up. The first time Brianne told her to fill the space, she said, "No, I'm not moving, so..." all bratty and sassy-like. The second time, she turned around and got in Brianne's face, saying that she'd move when and where she wanted to. It was annoying because Mrs. Whale refused to move forward, which is just concert etiquette, and kept letting shovers get in front of her. SO obnoxious. Not only was she unmoving when spaces came up, she was unmoving during the concert. She was so bloody boring; it was annoying me how uninvolved she was. WHY do you need to be up here if you don't even CARE about this show, Mrs. Whale? That's what I wanted to ask. But don't worry, I didn't. I saw some of you looking a little concerned, but I didn't.

Anyways, No Doubt played a lot of songs from the Tragic Kingdom album, which made my soul jump happily in my body. They opened with Spiderwebs. Perfect opening song! They played Excuse Me Mr., Different People, Just a Girl, Don't Speak (my favorite! I got the whole thing on video), and Sunday Morning (SO awesome). They may have played You Can Do It, but my mind may be making things up. They played Rock Steady last. Simple Kind of Life was good! Ex-Girlfriend, New, Hella Good, and Hey Baby were all played and sung and danced to and enjoyed by ME!


Oh, Tony...



Simple Kind of Life was awesome because the lyrics say, "I always thought I'd be a mom." And the crowd started cheering like crazy because the amazing diva in front of us had become a mom since writing that song. And she was still rockin'. Yeah! It was cool.

Just a Girl was SO great because she had the dudes sing it out, "I'm just a girl!" It was so great. 'Course, she wanted us girls to out-do them, and we did.

She brought out her son Kingston at the end of the show so we could sing happy birthday to him for his third birthday! It wasn't midnight yet, but we did it anyway. He waved, and it was so darling. He's too old for a pacifier if you ask me, but still so cute! I was happy that she brought him out.


The band also played their new one, Stand and Deliver. That was great.

video

Gwen pointed out a girl with a big pink wig, who claimed she and the man she was with were getting married that night. Not sure about the validity of that statement. Gwen also brought up a cute little imitator, hugged her and stuff, and told her how cute she was. It was so cool. Hope that girl remembers that forever! :)

I was able to sneak closer and closer to the stage throughout the show. For probably the last six or seven songs I could see reasonably well, about ten feet or less from the stage. Gwen coming into the crowd and everyone rushing sideways made it easy for me to steal a spot that was closer.

I loved the energy and got a total high from all of it. Especially when she told us to jump. Yeah. Jumping's great for energy. I didn't end up with too many battle wounds. I was wickedly sore last night in my back and neck from straining to see everything. Man, I should wear platforms next time. And today my right ankle is hurting a lot when I walk, so I'm not sure what exactly I did to it. But all is well, because it was worth it! The show was so freaking awesome and full of girl-power singers. Yay!

Many thanks to Brianne for accompanying me, for driving, and paying for parking.

I had a most excellent time.

Monday, May 25, 2009

VHS Tapes

Dear Future Generations,

I'd like to tell you about a primitive and yet incredibly reliable device called the VHS tape.


Video cameras used to be huge enough to house this baby. It measures approximately 1" x 7.5" x 4". It records picture and sound on the tape which is enclosed within.

While antiquated, these VHS tapes are the foundation of my television-related existence. Since I do not have TiVo and am rather old fashioned, I take advantage of the reliability of this lovely antique. I stick it in my antiquated TV/VHS combo to record my favorite shows when I find it impossible to be present for their live TV broadcast.

Such shows that I have missed and been able to watch after its original broadcast include American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. It works swimmingly when I need to attend events such as bridal showers, institute, or work.

In short, I am expressing a most grateful testament to the power and greatness of VHS tapes which no longer receive sufficient credit. For those of us poor, TiVo-less peons, VHS tapes are the lifeline to missed television. It should go down in history with proper respect, and you should be among the first to attest to this.

With Gratitude,
Janae

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Concerts Continue!

No Doubt/Paramore on Monday.

A Static Lullaby July 10th.

(Death Cab July 13, sold out :( )

Incubus on July 16th.

Elizabeth and the Catapult on July 29th. YES!!!

Who's down? I need a date to Incubus, Static, and Elizabeth. Someone come through for me!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Movie Summer

My favorite thing about this summer has been all of the movies I've been able to watch. One of my blogs talked about that one week where I used all five of my Blockbuster employee rentals and watched every one of them. It's been great! I love movies. They distract me from loneliness.

I've been trying to keep track of movies as I watch them by rating them on my Flixter application on Facebook. It's too bad I don't like to take the time to write movie reviews. I don't like to think too hard about my critiques and compliments unless I'm verbally discussing a movie. Plus, I'll admit my familiarity with the genre of movie reviews is pretty limited. So this blog is all just "like and don't like" style.

Yesterday I went to a matinee of Star Trek with Rachel! She came down to see me. I was so happy! The movie was AMAZING. So entertaining on so many levels. Chris Pine is even more so my boyfriend than before. He's only 28. That's not too old! Mm... Yep. We're getting married this weekend.

The other night I went to the midnight showing of Terminator. I paid for it with my sleepiness. It was really entertaining also, though I liked Star Trek better. I thought it was funny that I was at a theater twice in a 16 hour time period. Just goes to show how much I love movies I guess.

I saw Knowing at the dollar theater with Brianne on Monday, if I remember correctly. It was thoroughly entertaining with some incredibly ridiculous parts. The last half hour or so I couldn't help from laughing hysterically. I'd for sure watch it again though. It really was fun.

I watched Taken sometime last week. Haven't had a movie get my heart going like that in a really long time. Liam Neeson was a BAMF and this movie was way entertaining.

I also watched Sweeney Todd with Brianne sometime last week. Maybe I mentioned this? It was really dark, of course, and super gory. But so well done. Johnny Depp is my hero. Not sure I'd ever watch it again. It really was pretty gross.

I also watched Seven Pounds. It felt like a cheap shot to me. Like it set out to make you cry and that was about it. Because of that, I was not affected. I thought some aspects were silly and over the top. I did not grow attached to Will Smith's character because of his prolonged secrecy. It wasn't poorly done and I didn't hate it, but I didn't get much out of it at all.

I saw Valkyrie on Sunday night I think. No, I watched it after watching Knowing. I don't know. I watched it. It was well done and cool, just for the sake of telling a true story of noble men with a noble cause. I appreciated the reminder that some people were fighting for right in WWII Germany. Didn't LOVE the movie, wasn't particularly moved by anything, but it was definitely good.

The other night I watched Yes Man. It was extremely funny. I loved the principles of it. Knowing when to say yes and when to say no, and not letting inhibitions and fears get in the way of experiencing life. Zooey Deschanel was a particularly appealing character, both in appearance and substance. I enjoyed this movie a lot.

I saw Coraline at the dollar theater early last week or the week before. It was so creative. I love that Dakota Fanning was Coraline's voice. She did a great job. I loved the message of this movie--being happy with what you have and those you love, not chasing after what appears to be better but is actually a counterfeit. It kind of haunted me for a bit. The animation is creepy (of course), and there were lots of kids in the theater. I'd have had nightmares after it if I had seen it when I was younger.

I watched Last Chance Harvey with Brianne a couple of weeks ago too. Didn't love this. Not sure what else to say. It was pretty mediocre for me, not due to performance, but story and pace.

Did I mention that Brianne took me to see 17 Again a few weeks ago? It was so hilarious. I LOVED this movie.

Basically I haven't had anything truly WOW me yet this summer, but Harry Potter is yet to come... And I really did enjoy Star Trek, even more so than Terminator. So I'm keeping on with the movies. It's just what I do, ya know ya know. I'll watch Wolverine soon. I'm thinking a matinee tomorrow maybe. I want to see Monsters vs. Aliens as well as Up. G-Force actually looks pretty funny to me. And for September, I am excited for 9. Oh Tim Burton, you are the light of my movie-obsessed life. I'll see Angels and Demons once it gets to the dollar theater. Fast and Furious just hit the dollar theater so I'll probably see that next week sometime. I need to see He's Just Not That Into You, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, either for free when we get them, or at the dollar theater--just because they look sufficiently entertaining.

In other news, I bowled a 139 yesterday which was pretty cool. I wish I were more consistent. I learned a haka in dance class, which is AMAZING and intense. I'm keeping up at the gym and my legs are sore as all get out. I'm contemplating what I want to bake next... And am excited for a couple of things next weekend. ;)

NO DOUBT ON MONDAY!!! WAHOOO!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Concert Summer

Well, I am going to No Doubt and Paramore in ten days.

In July I will see Incubus.

And this accomplishes the two concert goals I had for my life. I am beyond excited.

I saw the other day that Death Cab was playing up here too, but I found out too late because it's sold out. That made me sad.

Then I saw that A Static Lullaby would be playing at Murray Theater on July 10 for twelve bucks! I have increased my love for this band in the last few weeks, especially since they covered "Let Go" by Frou Frou. It's genius. They are a screamo band with some amazing melodies, and my ONE friend who listens to screamo doesn't like them. I seriously might go by myself. Anyone interested?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dos Cosas

I bowled 153 today! Wahoo!

I started reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower because I had to turn in my other books. I'll check them out again when I'm done with this one. I am loving, ADORING, this book.

I love Charlie almost as much as Holden. It may be more soon!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Some Stuff

First, a video of my baby cousin Tyce who is so chubby and cute. I'd like to congratulate my aunt April and her husband Tyler for making such cute babies. The only way I can top theirs is to find a brown man or something.

video

Second, I've been hearing this song a LOT lately, and I love the lyrics. Hopefully I can find someone who thinks this way about me someday. Patience.

"Fall For You" - Secondhand Serenade

The best thing about tonight's that we're not fighting
Could it be that we have been this way before
I know you don't think that I am trying
I know you're wearing thin down to the core

But hold your breath
Because tonight will be the night
That I will fall for you
Over again
Don't make me change my mind
Or I won't live to see another day
I swear it's true
Because a girl like you is impossible to find
You're impossible to find


This is not what I intended
I always swore to you I'd never fall apart
You always thought that I was stronger
I may have failed but I have loved you from the start

Oh, But hold your breath
Because tonight will be the night
That I will fall for you
Over again
Don't make me change my mind
Or I won't live to see another day
I swear it's true
Because a girl like you is impossible to find
It's impossible
So breathe in so deep
Breathe me in
I'm yours to keep
And hold on to your words
Cause talk is cheap
And remember me tonight
When you're asleep

Because tonight will be the night
That I will fall for you
Over again
Don't make me change my mind
Or I won't live to see another day
I swear it's true
Because a girl like you is impossible to find

Tonight will be the night
That I will fall for you
Over again
Don't make me change my mind
Or I won't live to see another day
I swear it's true
Because a girl like you is impossible to find
You're impossible to find

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quote Time

From the movie Bolt

Rhino: They need a hero Bolt, someone who, no matter what the odds, will do what’s right. They need a hero to tell them that sometimes the impossible can become possible if... you’re... awesome!

Material Dreams

I believe I am a serious REM sleeper. I can do well on three, six, or nine hours of sleep. Anything in between has me exhausted the whole day.

For a while in March I was having bad dreams and would wake up really upset. Most of the time though, I don't remember my dreams.

However, last night/this morning, I dreamed that I had to go on a hunt for some brown sandals. I never found any and woke up rather disappointed.

The material desires in me are taking over my dreams.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Made My Day

I walked out to my car this morning around 8:30. I decided to leave pretty early because if I have to walk too fast to class, I end up being sweaty before class starts which is both ugly and embarrassing.

The sky was clear and blue... The grass super green and slightly dewy. It was warm, warmer than other recent mornings.

I walked to my car, and lo and behold, there was a miniature yellow post-it on my window. It said,

"You are so stunning!
-Your secret admirer."

Oh man. I smiled, pulled it off, sat down in my car and started laughing hysterically.

How simple and cute that little note was. And it totally made my day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Life is Good

I'm feeling particularly blessed right now so I thought I'd write a good blog about it all.

First of all, I love my classes. Bowling is so fun. I'm meeting different people each day since we just sit in random lanes. Today I bowled with Daniel, a guy from Texas. He was super enthusiastic every time I hit some pins or got a spare or strike.

My scores are improving. My highest before this class was 108, but I'd bowl an average of 70 recreationally. On Thursday I bowled 109, topping my highest by one point. Yesterday I bowled 119, and I was so excited. And today I bowled a 142!! That's SO high for me. I am very proud of myself. I'd like to attribute it to skill and concentration (and practice), and definitely not luck. I really am trying hard, people. It's working.

Dance is kicking my trash. It is so fun, but it takes five minutes of dancing to get me sweaty. And we dance for about 45 minutes. I learned a chant called "E ala e." And I'm working on a dance called "He Mele inoa O Kalakaua." Hopefully it will be beautiful when I can get the moves and the hands right at the same time. It always looks better when you're watching someone else do it though. Anyways, it's a lot of sweat and hard work.

Both of my classes are Monday through Thursday. And if you remember a long time ago I wrote a blog about how my office moved, you'd realize how much of an inconvenience this is. It's OK though, I'm looking at the bright side--I'm getting lots of exercise. Because I park down by the Fieldhouse again, so I walk about 12 minutes to bowling class (up 101 stairs). Then I walk 6 minutes to work. Then from work I walk 6 minutes to dance class. Then I walk to my car, 5 minutes from where my dance class is. So it seems to be the most logical place to park, but it has me sweating before bowling class even starts.

On top of my constant daily walking, millions of stairs, bowling, and dance, I've gone back to the gym. I'm always really good about it in the summer. It's fall and winter that get me all messed up and tired from school. But I went yesterday and lifted and burned lots of calories on the elliptical and enjoyed myself immensely. :) I'll probably go again today just to do cardio. My arms and shoulders and chest are quite angry with me, but the burn feels good, dang it!

So this will be a very active spring and summer term. After my classes end, I will continue to go to the gym. And at work, once I'm done coding (should finish tomorrow), I'll use the time to read for pleasure, plan for next year's curriculum (I'm going to be a teacher, holy cow!), and study for my Spanish Praxis. I already got my textbooks out to start studying, and I've still got to see if there is a study guide available in the humanities office somewhere. It's so I can get certified to teach Spanish, just in case. Increase my employability, right? So I've got big plans.

Also, I am so blessed, just to be as physically able as I am to do all that I'm doing. And I loved church on Sunday. I feel like I haven't had a regular meeting in forever because of being sick, Easter, general conference, stake conference, etc. My next step in the next few weeks is to get a temple recommend so I can go do baptisms. I haven't been since I was really young. I am excited about this step and intend to make temple visits a regular thing in my life.

I have also been trying to listen to a talk every morning while I get ready for school. I'm doing it so that I can start my day off right, with some words of wisdom and inspiration. I started on Sunday and am just starting at the beginning of this last April conference, so today I listened to "Respect and Reverence" from Margaret S. Lifferth.

I'm so blessed to have two really good jobs in this troubled economic time. Also, one of them provides me with free movies, which I've been watching a lot of since I've just been hanging out by myself with my best friend moved out. I recently watched Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, The Doors, Life Aquatic, and something else I can't remember right now. Last night I watched Bedtime Stories. It was very cute. I intend to see Coraline at the dollar theater in the next couple of days--probably tomorrow, actually. I also rented Sweeney Todd, and Seven Pounds, so we'll see how those go.

I began reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings at the gym yesterday. I'm excited to read for pleasure again.

Also tomorrow, I am going out to dinner to T.G.I. Friday's with my friend Brianne. She's one of my favorite people ever.

I intend to spend my Saturday mornings working out and afternoons tanning by the pool. I've already got a great one started! And obviously I work on Saturday nights.

So basically, life is good. I'm keeping busy with school, work, film, books, and the gospel. If I don't keep busy, I'll feel lonely and life will seem empty. So I'm trying to do what I love, be productive, and always improve. I've got a long way to go in lots of ways, but I'm working. Always working. :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Elder Bednar

I love Elder Bednar.

He gave an AMAZING fireside tonight.

Anyone who uses the internet should listen to it.

Anyone who plays video games should listen to it.

Pretty much anyone who is part of this generation should listen to it.

It was so, so great.

Pretty amazing that I felt tempted to get off my bed and sit at my computer while listening to the talk. I didn't, and what a good thing. I'd have proved his point directly.

*ADDENDUM*

Here is the link to watch the fireside.

Z Packs and Fries

So, thanks to everyone for your confidence in Z Packs. In fact, less than 12 hours later, I felt a million times better. Thank heaven. I'll be up for church tomorrow!

Also, I got hungry in my last hour of work, which seems to happen to me a lot. I don't like eating late, but I don't like sleeping starving either. So I grabbed a McDouble and some fries. The wait was absurdly long, but those fries were the best ones I've ever had from McDonald's. Seriously. Hot and crispy and delicious. Hit the spot, I tell ya.

Now I'm going to go to sleep. Maybe I'll feel even better tomorrow, who knows?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Emergency Rooms, Sore Throats, and Popsicles

Well, I woke up at 7 AM, extremely thirsty. I went to take a sip of my water (I always keep water by my bed), and proceeded to cry in pain as the water went down my throat. My ears were screaming at me as I swallowed each mouthful of water.

I started crying and crying because of how bad it hurt. I was so thirsty and felt like I couldn't drink because it hurt too much.

That was the last straw. I've been sick since last Saturday--almost a week. My head was heavy, my glands were swollen, I had a fever, and my ears were hurting really bad. I felt better after drinking some soup on Saturday night and woke up still sick on Sunday. Since Monday I've been pushing my body, acting like nothing is wrong, but my glands have still been swollen. And my ears have still been hurting from time to time. Why didn't I just go to the doctor on Saturday or Sunday?

I am under my parents' insurance, Kaiser Permanente. It's a southern California-based HMO chain thing. It'd have been easiest if I had just nipped this in the bud when it started last weekend. But I hate going to the doctor.

Well, I discovered today that I hate Emergency even worse than going to the doctor. When I called my dad in tears because of the pain, asking what I should do, he said to go to the ER. I was scared to go alone. Some adult things are really intimidating, and even though I'm 22 I still don't feel like much of an adult.

It was such an unpleasant experience. To begin with, no matter how many times I spelled my last name out for Tardy Tarderson, she couldn't get it right. The first time I spelled it out, "B as in boy, a, l, i, b, r, e, a." Trying to confirm what she had, she said, "V-a-l-l-i-r-a?" Wow. No. "B as in boy, a, l, i, b as in boy, r, e, a." "Then I got my wrist band: "Janae Balbrea." Holy guacamole, tard face. It's not that difficult. I said it at least five times over the course of this process. "Balibrea. Balibrea. Balibrea." Do you hear that VOWEL sound between the L and the B? It's a short I sound. Guy. Whatever, she got it fixed.

Then they asked all these questions, which make me feel stupid because I can't answer them. My thyroid medication, for instance. I don't know what it's called. All I know is it keeps me from being fat and helps distribute my hormones. I remembered it eventually--Levothroid, in case you were interested. She asked if I had stuffy or runny nose, I said yeah, I've had nose problems. She wanted to know which one. Seriously? Both. Is that possible? I decided on runny and then realized later my nose has actually been stuffy most of the time.

I chilled in a room for like ten minutes before a nurse came to see me and asked what was wrong. I told her my ears were killing me. The doctor came in like ten minutes after that and spent a total of 3 minutes in the room, if that. He asked what was wrong. I gave him the run down of my sickness, and he asked if I had a fever--I said I did on Saturday and Sunday. He asked if I had a sore throat, I said, "Mm, not really.. Just my glands are swollen and it hurts." He looked in my ears and in my mouth (open wide, say "ah"). Then he said he was going to get me a test for strep throat. And he walked out.

Really?

I'm pretty sure I just said my throat doesn't hurt.

So the nurse came back in and took two gagging swabs of my throat, which I didn't freaking need, because my throat was NOT hurting... She said they're 12 and 24 hour tests, and that we had to make sure my phone number was right in case it came up positive later. And she walked out.

Then I waited for 25-30 minutes. That whole waiting time was stressful and confusing to me. I didn't know if she meant "OK that's the swab, we'll call you if anything comes up, you can go," or if I was supposed to wait for all that time, which seems absurd, obviously. So I finally got up after waiting and crying because of the pain every time I tried to drink water. I also cried because I was alone and confused and felt like no one was listening to me or would be able to help me. I went and looked for the nurse, and she basically said I was supposed to be waiting for the results and that the doctor would come in.

A few minutes later, Doc says I came up negative for strep. "No sh--," I wanted to say. "Maybe if you had spent more than 30 seconds checking me over, or even if you had tried asking me questions, you'd have figured that out without gagging me..."

He said my ears "don't look that impressive," from the pain I was describing. But he was going to get me a prescription and give me some medicine and get me on my way. The thing that he was going to give me he said was basically an anti-inflammatory steroid/antibiotic which should help the swelling in my throat go down.

Nurse came back in and gave me some really nasty tasting syrup stuff. The doc said it would take 4-6 hours to kick in. Needless to say, I am anxiously awaiting that relief. The nurse brought me my prescription and told me to get feeling better, and to buy popsicles for that sore throat I had--it was an excuse to eat them. Funny, since I don't have a freaking sore throat, and I hate popsicles.

The instruction sheets she gave me said, "Discharge diagnosis: sore throat." That's nice, guys, really. I appreciate you listening to the seven times I said, "My ears are hurting." I have been sobbing over pain in my ears all morning and you dismiss me with a sore throat? What the crap?

In any case I guess there is an infection or inflammation in my throat, which this prescription should help with, to reduce the swelling, and hopefully take pressure off of my ears? Not sure how all of that's connected at all, but I'll take an antibiotic if it'll kill this bloody infection. It hurts way too bad for me to even drink water.

I called Kaiser, too. He gave me the number for the reimbursement department for my prescription and emergency bill. That was easy enough, thank heaven.

It has been a rather traumatic, emotional, and painful morning. And guess what? I'm starting to feel pain in my left ear--without even swallowing or opening my mouth. That's encouraging... I pray this Azithromycin works. I'm going back to bed.