Sunday, February 28, 2010

Troubled Waters

Things I love:

-The gospel
-Inspired leaders and friends (friend and RS president Holly said some things today that I loved)
-The hymn entitled "I Believe in Christ," and the line that says "He lives to calm my troubled heart." Gets me every time
-Consistent home teachers
-My patriarchal blessing
-Good roommates
-Family, friends and colleagues who read my blog and support me or cheer me on (thanks Camille M, Breezy, Becky, Tonia, and everyone else)
-Bangs that cover a zit
-The phrases "holy buckets" and "Merlin's beard!"
-When people laugh at my jokes or tell me I'm funny

I realized today that I'm at one of those pivotal points in my life. You know, "You're starting high school! What a big girl you are!" "You're applying to colleges! I can't believe it!"

Now I'm graduating college (never you mind that I just typed "graduation" instead of graduating, guess I'm ready for it, eh?) and trying to find a "grown-up job." With the job market (especially the teacher job market) being what it is right now, I'm feeling all sorts of scared and tense. So I thought I'd write a blog about things I love after having a brief meltdown yesterday. It had been a couple of months; I'm allowed to do that, right?

So, please keep me in your prayers so I'll know what direction to go and where to apply and seriously pursue a job. I am really feeling like difficult and diverse schools are where I want to be. As in difficult students, continuation school, inner-city status. If you don't want me to be in that situation then I suggest you pray hard because that's what I'm feeling strongly about in the last week.

Time to go to bed, for it's back to the gym tomorrow! :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

110%

In the last several weeks, I'm feeling about 110% inadequate in just about everything I do.

I feel like I suck at both of my jobs. I've missed two meetings at school due to plain irresponsibility and forgetfulness. One time I left a meeting early because I forgot all of my stuff at home. I assigned a Holocaust research topic and a vocabulary word that got several parents angry at me. I was behind on grading for the last week. I am currently facing a huge internal resistance to do this week's lesson plans. I missed a meeting this morning at Blockbuster that I didn't know about; I almost broke into tears because I felt so dumb about it. I called in sick to both jobs yesterday and feel bad about it.

I suck at my calling. I've missed two Sundays' worth of pre- and post-church meetings due to being out of town and due to family stuff; I missed ward visits due to exhaustion; and I missed apartment visits the other night due to sickness.

I suck at being a friend and at serving people.

I suck at being nice.

I suck at listening.

I suck at being a sister.

I suck at interviews for jobs. I suck at caring about finding a new job.

I suck at dating.

Basically, I suck at life.

Time to hibernate.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Seriously?

I started coughing yesterday and kept it up all day.

Today my head weighs 36 pounds. I feel like I have a fever.

My face is drained of color.

My eyes are sunken.

I can feel the sickness moving to my ears.

And I still have almost three hours left at this stupid thing.

Kill me now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

M-hm

Casey James, you are so unbelievably attractive.

Will you please make out with me?

It'd be the perfect ending to this day from hell.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sneezing

I submit that sneezing while

a. putting on makeup

and

b. eating oatmeal

is probably one of the worst things our bodies can decide to do.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Simply Irresistible

We had a late birthday party for me tonight at my grandma's house. She is so cute. She put balloons up and had tons of presents for me. She made my favorite dinner--chicken and dumplings. She even got me an amazing carrot cake from Cakes du Fleur in Salt Lake. It was so, so good.

My aunt April got me a book called Fearless Dating, so we'll see if that helps me become more fruitful.

My grandma and grandpa got me a black shirt that says "Rock on!!!" which I love. They got me cute heart slippers. They got me a "throw blanket with sleeves," aka an off-brand Snuggie. It's pink with red hearts. They got me a red mug that says "hugs" with extra creamy Hershey eggs in it. They got me a little soft stuffed bunny rabbit because I miss my baby Sam. And last, but not least, a Scentsy burner. It's heart-shaped and so cute. She got me four scents to put in it: pomegranate, fruit basket, apple pie, and last but not least, "Simply Irresistible."

Names don't lie, folks. It smells so good, that I think it may be the cologne of the man my man could smell like.



Seriously though? This particular fragrance reminds me of Lucky You cologne for men. And it makes me want to jump someone's bones. Mmm...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Follow the White Rabbit

My aunt makes this antique jewelry. She made me a necklace with a Chinese coin on it that has a rabbit's head. I am the year of the rabbit in the Chinese zodiac. Here is a picture of my necklace.

I went to Barnes and Noble today, and the guy at the checkstand was like, "What does that mean? Follow the white rabbit?"

I responded, confused, "What? My necklace?"

"Yeah, have you ever seen the Matrix?"

"Yeah, I love that movie... but what the freak are you even referring to that for?"

"I was just wondering if that's what your necklace meant. You know, like, follow the white rabbit, that part in the Matrix?"

"No, it's just because I'm the year of the rabbit."

I then proceeded to ignore his little joke with an awkward chuckle and asked if there were any more gift cards.

I feel bad that that was his attempt at a joke and that I totally squashed it because I just didn't know what the crap he'd be referring to the movie for and also because it wasn't funny.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shoots

A few notes...

I like riding on Trax.

I love Salt Lake. I finally articulated that the reason I love it so much is that if I can't be in California, it's the next closest city in Utah that makes me feel at home.

I want to live in a place where people are unassuming, where I will be unassuming, and where I can share the gospel.

And, parents should not, I repeat should not, message teachers on Facebook. I mean, seriously. Facebook is recreational--don't bug me at home on my private internet zone. My email address is on PowerSchool. Let's just use some logic here, people.

Golly.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vegas Fun

So I made the drive down to Vegas on Friday morning at around 9:15 AM.


Don't worry I didn't play with my phone much while driving. :) Instead I sang really loudly to keep myself awake.

By 12:40 I got to St. George and stopped to see Shivani. We chatted at her work for a little bit. It was a fun break, and it was good to see her.

So I went on the last stretch and stopped to see my cousin Natalie. I made it all the way out to her house (North Las Vegas) on a tank of gas. But she was super cute. Natalie, her fiancee, and I all went to lunch at a delicious Mexican restaurant. It was really yummy.

Somehow I made it to the Luxor valet without getting lost!

Mom met me downstairs while I waited by one of Criss Angel's numerous fancy motorcycles. She took me up to the room, and we got settled. We hung out for a little bit and kind of planned out the weekend. Then we went downstairs to eat at T&T (Tacos and Tequila) where I just had some chips and salsa and a salad. It was way good, actually.

At T&T

We're cute. :)

We went to get the tickets for the Criss Angel show. Then we went outside for my parents' cigarette break. We took a taxi over to the Bellagio where we watched the water show which was awesome.



After that we went to bed pretty early. By the way, this is my husband Criss's hummer...


We ride in it all the time. He's a great husband.

The next day (Saturday), we used our buffet tickets and had a hearty breakfast together. We waited in line to get tickets for the Bodies exhibit and the Titanic exhibit. So, we went to the Body Worlds exhibit and took a good long while in there. It was disgusting and interesting and amazing, and I loved it. It was my second time.

But! It was a beautiful day outside--clear and about 65, tops. So we decided to walk, and we walked very far! I had my heart set on M&Ms world.

We only went on two floors of it. They had so much fun stuff, but it was way expensive. Don't worry though, I got myself 6 packages of M&Ms for $5.

Here's an absolutely disgusting picture.

We walked a lot, and it was getting kind of hot, OK? And it was crowded in there. Don't judge me.

We sat for a bit and saw a couple of Venice Beach-worthy freak shows, namely Michael Jackson, robot, and Jack Sparrow impersonators. Joy. We caught a tram from Excalibur to the Mandalay Bay, where we tried to find the Shark Reef. We walked a ways and realized when we got there that it was paid admission only, and the box office was already closed. It was OK though. We just walked back to the hotel room and got ready again. For what, you ask?

My husband's show! What else? So we went and ate dinner, and saw Criss's amazing show.

Aren't we a cute couple?

Our seats were AMAZING at this show. Third row from the stage on the left side, by the aisle toward the center section. It was perfect. I'd like everyone to note that when Criss did many of his disappearing tricks, he reappeared only inches away from me. I was in such shock, or else I'd have touched him. Oh man, it was so awesome, and he's so beautiful up close. The show was highly theatrical which was to be expected. But it was entertaining in all of its abstractness. I couldn't take any pictures or I'd have gotten kicked out. We laughed quite a bit though.

After the Criss show we headed upstairs and went to bed.

I think now's a good time to interject with the fact that the whole time we were in our room, it smelled like super strong marijuana. We even switched rooms, but there was still a problem there. I think they realized it was their air conditioning, and they eventually fixed it. Also, the beds in our rooms were super duper hard, and my back hurt, and I am pretty sure I haven't gotten a bit of good rest the past several nights.

Yesterday was probably my favorite day. We got up, and mom and I decided not to use our spa tickets because it was kind of late already and we didn't feel good. So we used a couple more buffet coupons for breakfast. It was another beautiful day outside--perfect to find more shows and do more walking. But not before we visited the Titanic exhibit.

I love history like that. I love artifacts and biographies and cool discoveries. I've seen this exhibit before also. It was way sad this time, about ten years later. I can't believe how many ice warnings that ship got that they didn't heed at all. Stupid stupid stupid. Oh by the way, my "person" rode first class in an insanely awesome suite and survived the sinking.

On our way out of the Luxor, we took another look at this Pearl Factory jewelry store in the Luxor. Dad and I had glanced at it the day before. But today we decided to do it. I picked out an oyster which was guaranteed to have a pearl inside it. Only $14.99! They aim to make their money by having you set it in their jewelry. The lady who helped us was super loud and outgoing and exciting. I loved the whole experience. What was even better is that the oyster I chose had TWINS!



After this we went back up to the room for some reason. I'm trying to remember why, but I can't. We spent quite a bit of time there deciding what to do. In any case, I changed again. :)

My new hat that Audrey got me for my birthday!

I also took a video.



Then Mom wanted to get some pearls, too, so we did that. I wanted to capture the whole experience.



Mom only got one pearl. Finally, we had a taxi take us down to the Mirage so we could see the aquarium. It was just one little aquarium which we thought would've been a bigger deal. We tried to go to the dolphin exhibit, but we just missed that last opportunity. Oh well.

We walked down to Treasure Island to see the pirate show. I had to get a picture with Siegfried and Roy on my way there!

The pirate show was lame as all get out, chock full of scantily clad girls and cheesy dialogue and music. It was free I guess. So then we turned back around to go to Caesar's Palace for some other show Mom knew about. On the way I noticed that the Mirage had an outside show called The Volcano.

I thought this was way fun. It was a combination of lights, fire, and water. Spur of the moment, free, and entertaining! :)

Over at Caesar's, we wandered around a bit--into a shop full of autographed photos and posters. It was fun to look at. Then we went to the Atlantis show which was super weird and cheesy, but again, free.

I took a quick detour to Greece (or Rome, I guess--I suck) and had a picture with this pegasus and stuff. You know...

So after the show we went outside to get a taxi. While we were waiting we saw this
Oh don't worry, just a Lamborghini...



The lady took us back to our hotel a really fast and effective way. Kudos to you, Asefa. Yes, I remember her name. We had a late dinner (8:30 I think) at the buffet.

*Addendum: After we ate, we went to this gift shop right by the buffet where everything was $10. I got a new cute cuff watch--red! I also got a red leather purse, and a smallish beige and brown purse that's super cute. I also got a new red belt. It was buy four get the fifth free, so Dad got some sandals. I've needed new purses for a LONG time. Mine are beat up, and I'm too cheap to buy new ones...

Then we put some money in a couple of slots, but I didn't feel very good after all of our adventures that day, and dad wasn't feeling lucky. So, much to Mom's chagrin, we went upstairs. We got into bed around 11 after some chit chat. In the middle of the night, we were awoken to a female's sounds of what seemed to be insurmountable pleasure. I yelled, "WOW!" because I was so bugged to be woken up by it. Not getting good sleep anyways is bad enough.

This morning we all woke up and got ready pretty quickly. We had some drama checking out--getting our appropriate discounts and credits and whatnot. But we ate at the Pyramid Cafe, which was extremely good (I had an omelet and hashed browns if you were interested).

Outside we went. The valets retrieved our cars and the dude brought our luggage. I packed up my car, thanked and hugged my parents a bunch, followed them to the freeway, and was on my way around 12:45 PM (Utah time).

I stopped just past Cedar City to pee and stretch--it was the halfway point. I made it almost the rest of the way home, but my gas light came on when I got to Spanish Fork. So I had to stop with about 20 miles left to get gas (and use the restroom again, thanks to Dr. Pepper). I got home at 6:07 PM. I believe my mile thingy reads 384.5 miles traveled today.

I unpacked, read through some blogs, put on Pirates of the Caribbean (which is still going), did my four lesson plans for this week in great detail, and am now closing this blog.

I know it's epically long, but really. If you had made memories like these, wouldn't you want to record every step of the journey?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Birthday Shenanigans

Well, it started yesterday when I got home and my door was heart attacked by the compassionate service committee of Relief Society. It was super cute.

I got the present from my mom which was a stack of about six boxes (more presents for me to open! yay) filled with Ghirardelli chocolate products. 

I also got a card from two grandpas (that had money in them. Score).

Then I went to bed at 7:30 last night. I was really, really tired if you couldn't tell. I woke up probably after four complete REM cycles. Kind of ridiculous, but totally awesome.

I got myself a donut or two this morning. I had a super good day at work which included

-All six classes singing "Happy Birthday" to me
-A Dove chocolate rose from a couple of students (4th period)
-A giant Hershey's kiss from another student (3rd period)
-An "Oh shoot I forgot your present at home" from another student
-A "what do you want for your birthday because my family always gets birthday presents for my teachers" from one student
-A card filled with all sorts of sweet things from some 7th period students
-Happy Birthday text messages from tons of people who I love and adore--thank you all
-Delivered roses/flowers/balloons to my classroom from my grandparents! 



Then I stopped at ShopKo on the way home just to grab some leggings, which I did get... But I also got myself two new pairs of pants (which need to be hemmed) and three shirts. I never do things like that and am sort of weird about buying clothes. I just don't like shopping and don't like how much it all costs at one time. But I'm excited to have something different to wear to work for once. I need to hem my pants.

I got home and made a cake just in case people were going to come over after dinner. Something funny happened with it but I won't repeat it just for propriety's sake.

I got ready and looked super hot. You know. Make up. Triple barrel ironed hair. Cute outfit with new leggings.

My roommate wanted me to have my present very soon, so I opened it. It was a cute necklace that looks like this

 I love it.

Then my roommates and I left for Chili's.



SO many people came. It made me more happy than I can describe. I was even happy after Chili's told me they got rid of my favorite thing, which left me with kind of gross resorts.


Sydnee, Rob, and Amber. :)

Audrey, Holly, and Josh.

Nephi, Brianne, and roomies. :)

Karli, Cara, Raytch :)


And Mary. <3

I also got to eat a delicious molten lava cake



Not a good picture of me but oh well.

The server wasn't all too impressive being that he let everyone's drinks run out far too frequently. However, he didn't bring me a check! I asked him for it and he said just don't worry about it and to eat my cake. What an awesome dude. That makes me so happy. FREE dinner and dessert! :) 

So anyways, I got some great cards and presents which I wasn't expecting at all. Thanks Rachel, Cubby, Brianne and Nephi, Dawnielle, Sydnie, Audrey, Mary, Lindie (who couldn't come), Holly, and Josh for the thoughtful gifts and cards! And thanks Karli, Rob, Sydnee, and Amber for coming!


My birthday prizes include: aforementioned necklace, Cocoa Bean gift card, book, cake pan and professional icing mechanism, dessert plates!, a hat, Borders gift card, Cinemark movie ticket, and truffles. Dang, I'm spoiled.

Oh it was a fun day. I got home and watched tonight's Idol and will need to figure out some way to watch last night's Idol due to some recording confusion.

Tomorrow I grade journals, interview with my professor, go to the temple, and pack. For it is T minus two days till VEGAS after which I will have another fun and picture-filled blog.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Invictus

At the beginning of January I went and saw this movie. It was pretty good. I wasn't in love with it, but I appreciated the story and what it was trying to do. What's more, I loved the soundtrack!

I've been using mp3panda.com because they have like 40 cent albums. They don't have the Invictus soundtrack yet, unfortunately. I'm not sure they'll get it. I'll have to get it at FYE if that's the case.

I satisfied my craving (at least for now) by downloading the Ultimate Collection from Ladysmith Black Mambazo (80 cents for 34 tracks).



My first encounter with this South African acapella group was when I was a little girl. They sang a song at the end of Michael Jackson's movie, Moonwalker. I was always fascinated with their unique sound, their beautiful voices. And now I'm even more fascinated by the tribal aspect of it.

I'm loving this beautiful sound.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bad Idear

Reminiscing.

More often than not: a bad idea.

Note to self: Old pictures and videos--no touchy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Free Birthday Stuff

I love free things. But you know that already!

So far I've gotten free dessert coupons from:

Cold Stone
Yoasis
Chili's
T.G.I. Friday's

And free food coupons from:

Tucano's
Red Robin

More to come, I'm sure (including from Baskin Robbins, chyeah!).

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cocoa Bean and Lady Gaga

So, a friend of mine told me about a new dessert place I needed to visit. This is a potential problem. I already have a serious addiction to Red Mango. Adding another (fattier) place to my list would be a mistake.

But, who cares!?

I went with Dawnielle tonight, to the Cocoa Bean, which is at Brigham's Landing by Sub Zero, El Pastorero, Jamba Juice, Burgers Supreme, whatever you know over there. I was so impressed. It's designed so amazingly. Everything is based on the cocoa bean instead of the coffee bean, obviously, which I think is a brilliant way to cater to the Provo/LDS audience. They have a fantastic drink selection (might I suggest the Irish Cremanilla, I think that's what it was called) for those of you trying to find coffee substitutes. It was fantastic. The drink selection was both hot and cold, and there is also a menu for Italian Sodas. They have a varying selection of cupcakes based on what day of the week it is. I got the Red Velvet. It was good. Dawn got the Better than Whatever cupcake which they have daily. Anyway, I am in love, and you should try this place.

I watched Amelia tonight. It's with Hilary Swank and Richard Gere. Pretty boring and just not that impressive. It was only OK for me.

I did my hair straight (with bangs) today, and one of my students told me for the second or third time that I look like Lady Gaga but with brown hair. "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Lady Gaga but with brown hair?" "Yes." "Really!?" "You've told me." "Oh, I don't remember that." What? An eighth grader not remembering something? Broken synapses? Hm. Anyway, I didn't take it as a compliment. Sorry, but she's not cute.

On my white board last week, it said "Test on Thurs/Fri." It was Thursday or Friday because block days are on those days, so it'd depend on what period you had me. On Wednesday, a student comes in, "reads" the board, and asks panicking, "We have a test today!?" I basically slapped myself on the forehead. Then I took a deep breath and calmly asked him how he could have possibly reached that conclusion. He goes, "Well it says TEST on the board!" Oh man.

I pulled in to Blockbuster today to return some movies. There had been no one there when this woman had parked. She was waiting for someone and had been for a while, I could tell. In spite of no one being in the lot, she parked like a douchebag. Totally half in one spot, half in the other. Really? When no one is there, you can't even park in the lines? I'm losing hope for humanity.

As a side note, I keep seeing references to Zoolander everywhere. On picture comments, "That Stephanie, she's so hot right now." And at the Cocoa Bean, "Steamies. So hot right now. So hot." So now I'm jonesin' for a Zoolander fest, among other things...