Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hypothetically Speaking

Let's say you were hung up on a guy for over a year.

Let's also say that he treated you like dog crap for most of that time (everyone else coming first, flaking out, never calling, ignoring your calls, etc.).

Let's say you repeatedly threw your heart at this imbecile.

Let's say that he repeatedly made the choice to put you last, to put himself first, and to never give you anything in return for your love and devotion.

Let's say he basically did everything in his power to push you away and make you feel unappreciated and unloved.

Now let's say he has a best friend.

This best friend may also be very attractive.

Motivated. Happy. Sensitive. Thoughtful.

... And very sweet, and basically everything opposite of your ex.

Let's say he has awesome taste in music and movies (and cars).

This friend openly recognizes that his friend was a total moron who took you for granted and insists that his friend was so lucky to have you.

We'll say that this best friend is always good for a conversation or interesting text experience.

And maybe that this friend likes to talk to you and makes really darling remarks without being too forward or overstepping the proverbial line.

Let's just say! This is all hypothetically speaking, of course.

Is there like, a rule, that says the best friend is off limits?

If there is, then I might break some rules.

I mean, y'know. Hypothetically speaking...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Potato Bugs

I wrote this in ten minutes in class tonight. The prompt was to write a bug story...

----

When I moved up here to Utah from California, I heard natives talk about potato bugs. I was always concerned that potato bugs were up here in Utah, and this is why...

My first encounter with a potato bug was when I was seventeen in my senior calculus class in southern California early in the morning.

There was a lot of commotion around my friend Becca's desk. She got up and started shrieking with a drama akin to the female victims in slasher films. Naturally, everyone wanted to see why.

I had just gotten glasses a few days before then, but I didn't have them on. So when I walked over to see why she was flipping out, all I could see under her chair was a flesh colored, bulbous, motionless blob.

This, I found out, was a potato bug.

All of the "big men" classmates decided they would rescue us from this hideous thing. They got it into a plastic cup and took it outside.

Then, with the enthusiasm and experience that only boys can bring, they stood around and watched as the biggest of them, Andy, jumped three feet into the air and landed hard, crushing the plastic cup, and exploding its contents.

I watched more with horror than gratitude, as it seemed to me that this insects only crime was being unattractive.

After a conversation with one of my Utah friends about what she called potato bugs, I learned that, in fact, Utahans just had a totally incorrect name for what I had grown up calling a rolly poly.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Boot Camp

So I blogged before about how I was doing a boot camp.

Things came up in February that sort of mangled my schedule up as far as exercising was concerned. But I soldiered on.

I completed four weeks of the BCx Boot Camp program through fitstudio.com.

And I felt like a total badass.

You wouldn't believe the push that these workouts required of me--some of them taking me about an hour and a half when all was said and done.

I don't regret it in the least. I was able to see what my body could do. My biceps are freaking AMAZING right now. Actually just my arms in general look awesome.

I felt so much strength and gained so much energy. It really was a great experience.

I had a friend say I looked like I lost weight. And another teacher asked a friend of mine how much weight I had lost.

In actuality, I didn't lose any weight (I wasn't really trying to, in my defense). But I am guessing my appearance is more fit.

It was really hard on my knees. I've had severe knee pain for a few weeks and am not entirely sure if it was due to bad form or something else. I haven't gone to the doctor yet.

But for the past few weeks I've settled back in to some cardio and less intense weight lifting routines. I see myself trying Boot Camp again though, maybe during the summer, if my knee feels better.

Just FYI though, guys, I'm a freaking BAMF.

Utah Drivers

I don't think I need to even make this into a long story or go off about why I was so upset.

I was traveling west on 5400 south this morning, like I do every morning.

Off to the right there was a side street, where someone was trying to turn east onto 5400 south, and someone trying to turn west onto 5400 south.

Idiot turning west decided that since the east-bound car was in his way, he would just PULL OUT!

I was going 40 miles per hour and had to slam violently on my brakes (great, they'll need another replacement before I know it). I laid on my horn.

The person almost stopped as I was slamming on my brakes and then just kept going. It wouldn't have mattered at that point, I would've hit him on his rear drivers side back door.

My legs were complete jelly. Fortunately I only had about 4 more minutes till I arrived at work. I just couldn't believe that.

It could've been really bad.

Unspeakable Joy

Yesterday was pretty good until after I got home from work.

I decided not to go to the gym because I was running on three hours of sleep thanks to an angel who stayed up talking to me (mostly listening, actually), walking me through some crazy emotions I was having.

I had a feeling I should make myself go to the gym anyway, but I ignored it.

So I sit down to write a couple of freelance articles instead (might as well be productive), and go to open the template I am supposed to use, and it tells me that the file is not found.

At the bottom right corner of my screen, I can see Dropbox struggling to sync.

For those of you who don't know what Dropbox is, it's basically like a web-based hard drive. But you can also install it as a regular folder on your computer. So I have it installed at home. When I save a document like I normally would on the computer, it syncs to the online database. Then I have it installed at work as well, so whatever I did at home shows up at work. There you have it.

It wasn't syncing and told me I needed to close a file I had open. I did that. I was confused. So I went online to the Dropbox website to make sure my files were still there or to see what was going on, and

everything

was

gone. 

I took deep breaths and kept calm, thinking it would fix itself within a few minutes.

A few minutes later, I found all my files. They were in a cached folder where Dropbox puts deleted files.

No big deal, right?

I should have been happy I found them!

Except that we are talking about 3,276 files that got totally un-filed and unorganized.

If you know me well, I don't have to explain why this is devastating to me. If you don't know me well, then let me inform you: I am an organization freak.

We are talking three years of teaching files and three years of organization work. Plus stuff for church, my freelance writing job, and my reading endorsement classes.

... Yeah.

I sobbed for probably over 20 minutes. With a 4-6 page paper to write this weekend, and no planning done for the coming term, plus narratives and journals to grade in the coming week, on top of needing to get an oil change and everything else there is to do... reorganizing 3,276 files was just not in my agenda.

I sobbed and sobbed. I was so, so devastated and tried not to pull out my hair.

I decided to just let it go that evening instead of getting started on it (then I would have been up all night and would not have stopped). I watched Billy Elliott on Netflix and went to bed by 10 PM.

I got to work this morning, graded a bunch of things, and started opening my folders to get to work on reorganizing everything. I just started to drag and drop when... what's this?

My files were restored.

My lesson plans. My articles. My church stuff. My unit plans. My journal prompts. My inquiry stuff. My texts. My novel materials. My writing materials. My grammar units.

EVERYTHING WAS BACK!

In its rightful place.

I'm so glad I freaked out and sobbed last night because the joy that I felt this morning when I saw that is just indescribable. Sounds so pathetic, I know...

I called my mom and shared the news.

Then I proceeded to smile and laugh some more.

I could not stop smiling and laughing like a madwoman for about 20 minutes. Then every time I went to open a file today (which was all throughout the day, mind you), I smiled and felt my heart get lighter.

Don't worry, I  backed up all those files on my work hard drive just in case a syncing problem ever happens again. I will do this more regularly, I will!

That completely made my day. My kids were mostly good (except for 4th, I'm not sure why they were so chatty). I got TONS of grading and other stuff done. I'm just feeling very well put together right now, and very blessed.

Then the weather has been AMAZING for like three or four days in a row. 69 degrees and sunny today. Windows down, for sure.

I'm convinced that the only thing that would've made it better is free ice cream and a boyfriend with a motorcycle.

Then I thought of about 50 other things that would make my day better, but was just happy to have had such a good day!

(Don't worry, I finished it with some exercise, $$ article writing $$, a decent dinner, and a shower.)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ignoring

I like how I do a good job of not talking to somebody for almost three weeks.

Which, by the way, has taken a lot of mental and emotional energy. Serious brain power committed to not giving in to the temptation of contacting this person.

Then out of nowhere, that person just up and texts me one day. Out of the blue.

Thanks for totally voiding all my progress because of your stupid whims.

Oh, and by the way I hate you.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Wise Steward

I keep up with the posts on Freebies 2 Deals. I have yet to take full advantage of the Wal-Mart posts that she does where deals and coupons are matched up to make free shopping trips for customers.

Today I pulled my Red Plum coupons out of the mail, dated them, and set them aside. I proceeded to scour the grocery store circulars for a good half hour, taking notes on the best deals. As I said in my last post, I paid $10 for $20 worth of groceries at Ream's, so I wanted to be sure what the deals were to take advantage before shopping anywhere else to keep my costs at a minimum.

Folks, let me just say that this whole blog is going to be full of fantastic deals that I got tonight. I am so proud of myself about my haul.

At Ream's, I paid an extra 37 cents. But what did I get for my $20 redemption? Bread, milk, cereal, Dole salads, yogurt, granola bars, gum, two Nissin Chow Mein meals, and more. I didn't get a receipt because it was a redemption thing I guess.
- I spent $10.37 on this deal at Ream's.

I headed over to Fresh Market because they had some sweet deals. You'll never believe this!
- It was buy 1, get 2 free on Colgate toothpastes. I paid $3 for 3 tubes of toothpaste! That's a freaking steal.
- Eggo waffles? $ .99. Yep. I got two boxes of waffles for $2 with the in-ad coupon. I probably would have gotten more if I had the freezer space.
- I had seen better deals on Michelina's frozen entrees and on butter at Smith's so I passed on getting these things even though it was convenient.
- Obviously I got other things like potatoes ($1), sour cream ($1.49 for 24 oz), bacon bits (do you see a few meals put together here?), baby carrots, and croutons
- I spent $14.57 total at Fresh Market.

At Smith's:
- I got myself an avocado for $ .79 (compared to $1 at Sunflower Market).
- 5 Michelina's entrees at $ .68 each.
- 2 lb unsalted butter for $4.
- I also may or may not have splurged on cookies (but they were a good deal too).
- I spent $10.52 total at Smith's

I'm really, really impressed with myself. This is me tooting my own horn, for sure.

The thing that's interesting though is that as I was unpacking my groceries, filling up my freezer and fridge, I was so full of gratitude. I have so much food. I just stretched $35 further than I think most other people would have been able to. My grandma gave me money to support me ($60, like I said in my last post), and I am trying to stretch it as far as possible, and be a responsible steward over the gift she gave me.

I still have my electric, Comcast, Netflix, and gym bills to be paid. I also will have to get gas another time or two this month. But I'm not worried at all. I have some money coming in in the next little while here from plasma donation and freelance writing. And I'm feeling comforted and blessed, having (mostly unhealthy frozen) food to last me for quite some time.

The Lord has been good to me, and I'm trying to be wise with the resources I've been blessed with.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Lord Doth Provide


Alright, time to recount some blessings. Elder Eyring says to keep a journal so that we can more readily recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives. I do try to do this but don’t always do so consistently.

To get straight to it, this month is really rough.

It’s March 6. I was paid ONE week ago. I now have $141 in my bank account. I still have to pay:

-          My electric bill (hopefully $20 or less)
-     My gas bill ($35)
-          My Comcast (internet/TV) bill ($43)
-          My gym membership ($22)
-          My Netflix bill ($9)

I also have not gotten groceries, and have only filled up on gas once.

That leaves me with about $47 for gas and groceries this month.

Needless to say, it was pretty difficult to hand over my tithing and fast offering on Sunday. I did it, because I always do, and the Lord has always provided. I am trusting that He will continue to do so.

This struggle is here because of $428 worth of four new tires I had to buy on Saturday. Before going to buy my tires, I worked out my budget for a good hour. I had to contemplate very deeply how I could possibly make ends meet with this purchase without going into debt. I realized there were a couple of avenues I could utilize to avoid charging my tires and gaining back some debt I have so recently paid off.

Fortunately, about half of that $428 I needed, I already had in my account from my Utah state tax return. The Lord provided.

One avenue I remembered that I could take advantage of is that I had a $20 gift card from my sweet friend Tommie from February that I have not used. I also had purchased $20 worth of groceries at Ream’s for only $10 last month. That’s $40 that I’ve already got for food. The Lord provided through my friend.

But a couple of other avenues were unexpected…

I was going to pass on Sunday dinner at grandma’s to save my gas. My grandma volunteered to give me $20 for gas. I told her that I would accept her help, but that $20 wasn’t necessary. She insisted on giving me the $20 when I arrived. Dinner was great, as usual. The Lord provided through my grandmother.

On Monday morning, I opened my makeup case and saw $40 that my grandmother had sneaked into it when I wasn’t looking. That sneaky, sneaky woman! The Lord provided more through my grandmother. 

Last Monday, I got a phone call from my grandpa. He was wishing me a happy birthday--two and a half weeks late. I really thought it was weird that he forgot. I had noticed that he hadn’t sent a card. He never forgets my birthday, birthday card, or birthday check. I spoke with him again this morning. He said he mailed my card today, which most likely has some money in it. It’s late, but it’s when I need it. Can the Lord affect someone’s memory in my behalf? Either way, the Lord provided through my grandpa.

There were some other avenues I considered before my tire purchase…

I have a freelance writing job I can do at home. On Saturday, I wrote three articles (400 words, for $8 each). On Monday, I wrote three more—that’s $48 so far. Tomorrow, I’ll write more, as well as Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I’m not sure when I will get paid for these articles. But knowing that a check is coming is a great blessing to me. The Lord provided me with talents and a good work ethic.

Sometime this week, possibly Saturday morning, I will go to Biomat USA to make a second donation of my plasma. That will be $60 in cash that I can use for whatever. The Lord provided me with the attention to hear the radio ad as well as the ability to tolerate needles without any problem.

So while my other bills go through and until I get my checks for my articles, and until I can donate plasma, I have some padding to fall back on. The Lord’s hand is evident in this struggle.

On a separate note, I fasted for my brother on Sunday. Less than 24 hours later, he decided to take a step in the right direction, asking if he could go to our grandmother’s farm in upstate New York to get out of his bad environment and to get clean of his addictions. This is a big step for him. The Lord has kept him safe until now in spite of his poor decisions and has blessed him with the desire to take this step.

Contrary to what I thought would happen—he followed through on his whim. He is now in New York, tired, but safe. He will be staying with my uncle and grandpa, who have agreed to keep him busy, productive, and in a routine. My uncle has determined that my brother will clean up after himself. He has also decided to help Jason learn health and fitness, and to help him enjoy life by doing things like shooting, hunting, and fishing. Our hope is that Jason will learn the joys of life again and have the desire to continue on this path.

Originally, our hope (and plan) for Jason was that he would go to rehab. But apparently that was not the Lord’s plan. And being that my brother has had his life spared up to this point, I’m going to trust that for my brother, the Lord will provide as well.

Guys, I’m not on any kind of spiritual high right now. I’m struggling and have been struggling. But I can see very clearly that I am blessed with intellect, resourcefulness, determination, talents, amazing friends and family members, and a strong work ethic. My brother has been watched over and preserved. My family has been held up and strengthened throughout this, even if they may not be able to see it right now. 

In spite of my struggles, I am confident that “all things wherewith [we] have been afflicted shall work together for [our] good.” – D&C 98:3

How many times do we need to be reminded that we are not in charge? The Lord is working. He is watching. He is answering our prayers. Maybe not the way we want Him to. Maybe not when we want Him to. But the plan He has is much greater than what we have in mind, if we just submit to Him, keep our covenants, and keep His commandments.

To be honest, I have a long way to go and am doing a poor job holding up my end of the deal. But that just goes to show that the Lord cares for us, loves us, and wants to bless us, even when we may not deserve it. Such is the love of a parent. Such is the love of our Creator. 

Naked Men Everywhere


So, can I ask? What is the deal with guys taking pictures of themselves shirtless in the mirror?

I mean. Pictures in the mirror? Guilty. Right here. Easy to get a good angle on myself and know the picture will be decent.

But shirtless?

OK, so I’m sure lots of guys do this. Probably most of them do at some point, actually.

The problem is what they do with these pictures.

The other day I was texting a guy I had met online. He only had one picture that showed his face very unclearly and at an odd angle. The other two pictures were of his body (one was of him leaping up above the shoreline at the beach, how very sly of him).

While we texted, he asked for some pictures. I sent him two of my face that I had left in my phone (I went on a deleting spree a couple of weeks ago).

I asked him for some in return because I couldn’t tell what he looked like in his pictures.

He sent one normal one.

Then he sent one of his shirtless self from his neck down to his waistline.

Really, though? Really?

He asked if I got both pictures, saying that he sent two. Here’s my response, directly quoted: “Yep, I got both. Second wasn’t totally necessary but whatev ;) haha.”

See the little wink and haha at the end there? That was me making light of the fact that I was basically calling him a douche bag. But I don’t have to tell you that, right? You know me.

I’m sure I also don’t have to explain that a majority of this conversation was about physical appearance. He asked if I have a 6 pack, what my best physical assets are, and stuff like that. I repeatedly said things such as, “I don’t think my best assets are physical,” or “If you’re this focused on physical appearance, you might be disappointed.”

He also proved several times throughout the conversation that he wasn't super intelligent--totally disregarding  my punctuation and misinterpreting several things that I said. Just not the brightest crayon. 

The conversation ended pretty early, for which I was glad. Because he wanted to “hang out.” Needless to say, after texting him for that little while, I decided I’d rather punch him in the face than hang out with him.

Guys, for real… Keep your shirts on. If you insist on taking half naked photos of yourself, then please don’t send them to anyone. Especially me. I’d rather you be chubby and keep your shirt on.

Thanks for your consideration.