Thursday, December 27, 2007

Was that English?

I'm married. Whee! Also, my brother won the eat off with a total of five fajitas and five glasses of lemonade to his credit. And half an Ooey gooey chewy sundae. I really do love that family of mine.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Great Escape

My pre-wedding movie countdown might go something like this:

The Wedding Singer
The Corpse Bride
Runaway Bride
Father of the Bride
Four Weddings and a Funeral
My Best Friend's Wedding
The Princess Bride
The Bride to Terabithia
The Bride on the River Kwai
A Bride Too Far

Friday, December 07, 2007

Wallace and Davis

I came home today, took off my shoes, went over to the computer, and opened up the itunes before realizing that I didn't even want to listen to anything except the sound of the rain outside.

Also, I went to the dentist yesterday, and there's a very good chance I'll be having three root canals as well as all of my wisdom teeth taken out. There's nothing ahead for me but blue skies, vicodin, pudding, and vicodin in pudding.

The garbage called in dulcet tones

My last day of restaurant work is fast approaching. Next Wednesday. That means that today was my last day of Friday-type work, and tomorrow will be my last Saturday of working, there or anywhere else. I was a bit apprehensive about today, because weekends at work can be a bit crazy. I usually get completely stressed out and end up crying all over the place once I leave work. A few weeks ago there was some sort of state sports thing going on, and guess where all the teams came to eat afterward? I had a line of 180 people come through, and it was far from pleasant. But today was remarkably peaceful, and I enjoyed myself a lot.

I saw a man go through the salad bar with his small son. The man went on one side, so his son wandered over to the other side and promptly reached up and grabbed a whole handful of sprouts. My manager saw him do it, but it was too late. The deed was done, and the kid happily munched on his fistful of sprouts all the way back to his table. I got to talk to customers a bit as they came through, which I don't normally do, and I realized that I could have liked these people all along if I hadn't been so busy hating them. I hated everyone who came through my line for a while. They had committed the mortal sin of ordering pasta, and what's more, they enjoyed their pasta enough to come back for seconds and thirds. How dare you love my fresh made fettuccine made lovingly from scratch with the finest ingredients!

There are two people that come through my line often enough that I know who they are, if not their names. One man comes every Monday and chats with me and asks me about my life, and is fairly up to date. He asks me clarifying questions, like "Now, you guys have already found a place to live down here, is that right? And you're getting married in Portland?"
I don't even know his name. He comes every week and orders at least 4 platefuls of pasta. Next week will be my last Monday, so I think I will ask him how he got started coming every Monday, and what his name is.

The second guy is younger, probably around 23, and he's very enthusiastic about pasta. This is what he said to me today, almost verbatim.

"Genuine, I don't think you really appreciate this pasta as much as you could. I mean, I love this pasta. Do you appreciate it? This is my favorite pasta in the world."

I asked him if he liked it better than his mother's pasta. The answer was an emphatic yes. He extolled the virtues of my pasta a while longer, and then asked me for four meatballs.

A woman who came through today and it went like this:

Her: I'd like fresh fettuccine
Me: The fresh made fettuccine? (and I started to scoop out some of the fresh made)
Her: No, I wanted the black pepper, the pasta that I saw you extruding earlier. That pasta. I love my pasta al dente, and everything that's out here has been sitting around for a while.
Me: I haven't cooked that pasta dough yet.
Her: I'll wait.
Me: No, the Garlic and herb fettuccine and the Black pepper rotate, so I'll be cooking the Garlic and herb next. I won't be cooking the Black pepper I made today until tomorrow.
Her: It's just that I love my pasta al dente, you know? There's nothing like eating pasta that's just been tossed in.

I eventually agreed to lay all my other cooking aside, take a small portion of the Black pepper, and spend six minutes cooking it especially for her.

Also, the dish machine was broken for a bit today, as it often is, but I happened to be downstairs in the break room while they were fixing it. The door to the machine room was open and I could see inside to where the pipes are, and it was remarkable. This one set of pipes I was looking at kept jiggling about, up and down, and all over the place, and I realized that it looked for all the world like that one bit in "The Goonies" where they're pulling on the pipes of the country club and they start to go haywire. I ran a scenario in my head of what I would do it that pipe burst.

It's also been a lot nicer at work now that Uffish works there too. Occasionally I'll look over and she'll make a face at me, which is a nice reminder that I take my job too seriously. Just today as I was leaving work I gave her a nice big goose. I suppose I should have waited until I clocked out, but I don't think anyone will sue. Another girl who works there asked me the other day when my last day was, so I told her it was on Wednesday. "Oh sad", she said, and I'm starting to agree with her. As much as I sometimes hate it, I think I'm actually going to miss my job, because the fact is, I've gotten to be pretty darn good at it. But I won't miss working Saturdays, coming home tired and spent and weeping, or smelling like restaurant, so I think it's for the best that I leave. Besides - there's a custodial job I've been sorely neglecting, and piles of trash and vomit calling my name, ever so softly.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

All your eggs

I'd say that I've had my laundry basket for as long as I can remember, except I remember getting it. It's green, about ten years old, and very boxy without any of those newfangled curves designed to fit around your hip. One Easter we found that instead of our usual baskets, our mom had bought each of us a laundry basket for the folding table in the laundry room. She sent us on a treasure hunt around the house and yard that ended in the basement where our new laundry baskets were waiting for us.

My candy didn't look like much when it was spread over the bottom of such a huge container. And with these baskets came the news that our mom now expected us to be in charge of our own laundry. At least the folding and sorting of it. And if she was doing laundry, having these baskets would help her to get the right clothes to the right people. There were a few problems with the system, one being that it was hard to know whose clothes were whose. At one point we all had dots on the tags of our clothes. Being the fifth child, I had five dots on mine, and so on and so forth. But another problem was that some people had too many clothes to fit in their basket. H's clothes were always spilling over into F's basket and he didn't much care for that. And there were too many of us for us to all have differently colored baskets. Mine is green, as was Bony M's, so baskets occasionally got mixed up.

And then there was the extra basket that stayed on the floor next to the washer where the wet clothes were emptied into if there was a wait for the dryer. Mine ended up in that spot in place of the regular basket for a period of time before I managed to rescue it. The basket that had been there three baskets ago had a most unfortunate fate; it was used to carry pieces of wood in from the backyard and I found it one day behind the playhouse, nothing but splinters of plastic, decomposing into the Earth. I wasn't about to let that happen to my basket. I never let it away from me after that realization, that if you don't take care of your basket there are serious consequences.

So I was more than a little miffed when I found a small crack in my basket recently. Right in the top corner where there's a great chance of it expanding into something more serious. I've had this laundry basket for a long time and was planning on having it for many years to come, and then this happened. I don't want another basket, no matter what people are always saying about having more than one basket to put your eggs in. You know what? This laundry basket has been a big part of my life, and it's seen me through a lot of poor fashion decisions. In sickness and in health right? Ten more years laundry basket, you and me!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ever so goosy, goosy, goosy, goosy.

Also, it's one month until I get married. There will be snacks there will.

Come again? Beg pardon?

Saturday night a group of us were watching Casino Royale, which Uffish had picked up at the grocery store for a fairly good price, and at one point during the movie she informed us that her Dad had built movie sets in the past. We were all pretty impressed, and Mr. Jimbles asked, "Is there anything your dad hasn't been?" Thinking I was funny (how very wrong I was) I responded with "A woman!" This was met with some unpleasant exclamations that let me know I had gone too far this time. I was confused, because to my knowledge Uffish's dad never had been a woman. What had I said that was so offensive? Maybe jokes about gender aren't funny? Apparently I had misheard Mr. Jimbles' question, and he had said "Is there anything your dad hasn't done", instead of "anything your dad hasn't been." Crap. I inadvertently slandered Uffish's Dad, her Mom, and Uffish herself. Stupid ears of mine. I really ought to get some new ones.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

American Graffiti

Audrey tagged me to tell six things about myself, so here goes nothing. I'm also supposed to tag 6 other people, but I couldn't think of who to tag, so if you're reading this and want to be tagged, go for it.

(1) I like to clean, but I rarely clean my own house or dust my belongings, because I prefer to clean other peoples' houses. I can spend hours scrubbing a bathtub, and I have no problem cleaning up vomit. Tell your friends if you think they can afford me. Also, I hate it when telephones get covered in ear grease. Seriously, have you looked at your phone recently? It's covered in your face.

(2) I own maybe 10 skirts, but I only wear the plainest of them - the brown, navy, grey, and black ones. For example, I bought a magenta purplish skirt and I've never worn it anywhere. This is the fate of a lot of my clothes, that they go unworn.

(3) Along those same lines, I have a hard time throwing things away. Cardboard food boxes, school papers, "keep this coupon" tickets, receipts, old bits of string - you name it, I tuck it away somewhere. At home I have all sorts of stuff in the attic, including our old doorbell, and the head of a drinking fountain from the park down the street. I recently went through the stuff in my room and threw away a mountain of papers and boxes and all sorts of crap, because it's getting to be ridiculous, the amount of stuff I have, and I certainly don't use any of it. Except I did find some birthday money in some old cards - 15 dollars worth. Makes me wonder if I threw away something I oughtn't, but what's done is done. Also, I love dumps and thrift stores, but I should probably avoid them both, for obvious reasons.

(4) I'm scared of pregnant people. And wrists. And shots/needles/seeing those needles in people. I was eating at the hospital cafe the other week and I caught sight of some pregnant woman walking around with a million IV things stuck in her wrists and arms and it disturbed me quite a bit. She really freaked me out, and I had to look away, because seeing people like that overwhelms me -I start thinking about disease, childbirth, spinal disorders, bone density, hospital gowns, skin cancer, arteriosclerosis, kidney cancer, and contact lenses until I think I'm going to die.

(5) I used to want to be a hermit. I think most children think about being astronauts or ballerinas when they grow up. I mean, I thought about being other normal stuff too, like an author or something, but I also wanted to be a hermit. I used to be something of a Luddite - I put off getting a cell phone for as long as I could, I refused to get braces, and I own a typewriter. My lack of technological know how combined with my general dislike of other people led me to think that I'd be happiest living alone in a cottage somewhere with a rotary phone, writing letters out by hand . I still kind of want to be a hermit.

(6) I'm incapable of using cameras. I can't load or unload film, despite having been told how to do so several times now. Digital cameras confuse me with their memory flashcard thinguses, autofocus autoflashes, and red eye reduction capabilities. I only use those Kodak disposable type cameras and I always hesitate when anybody asks me to take a picture for them.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The King of the Sun

Part I: In which I quote a movie

My memory is a funny thing. Thursday as I was getting into the car with H and M-Lite something somebody said reminded me of a movie quote, so I spouted off what James said in James and the Giant Peach, which was something like

James: You saved us from a giant shark, single-handedly

The Earthworm: No-handedly, thank you

James: Exactly. You're a hero!

It's not the exact quote, but I imdb-ed it later and it's pretty close. H looked at me kind of funny and asked how long it had been since I'd seen that movie. I figured it must have been about eight years since I saw it last, why do you ask? Because apparently it's weird that I can see or hear something and remember it later. I forget things about myself a lot of the time - important things, important memories, details that should stay with me, but I remember all sorts of things that aren't useful at all.

Part II: AP European History and how I second guess myself

Krebscout got some paint that she'd ordered and we were talking about brands. Hers was Utrecht, and I said I liked that brand of paint, because in my mind it was the best. She asked me why I thought so, and I said that I liked it because Utrecht was famous. She and Optimistic. said they didn't recall the word Utrecht being of any importance whatsoever. I said that there was a treaty of Utrecht, or a pact, or something, but under their discerning eyes I wavered a bit. At least I thought there was a treaty. Now that they had questioned it I started to doubt. Optimistic. was a history major, and if it didn't ring any bells with him, maybe I was wrong.

We looked it up, and there definitely was a Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 that helped to end the War of Spanish Succession. I knew there had been a treaty, even if I didn't know at the time what it did. I just don't know why that fact from History class stuck with me when so many others did not.

Another thing is that I can memorize long sequences of numbers or letters. I can spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious forwards as well as backwards (suoicodilaipxecitsiligarfilacrepus) all in one go in under 15 seconds. I also used to know pi to a hundred digits. So when I was a senior in High School and my AP Euro teacher gave us a list of events from the French Revolution to memorize in order, I started by memorizing the first letter of each event on the list. I still know the first 7 letters of that list - CTSGEDP. Why I still know that sequence almost three years after the fact is beyond me.

Part III: We fill the tires

Optimistic. noticed that our car tires were getting too low, so we made plans to spend Thursday morning getting them filled, as well as doing general maintenance work on the car -you know, cleaning it out and checking the fluid levels and such. I'd even bought a tire pressure gauge a couple of days earlier, so we were all set. When confronted with how much to fill the tires, I said that the gauge should read 30, because that's the number I've always associated with tire pressure. I hear "tire pressure" and I think 30. Optimistic. reasoned that it would be much higher, so we consulted the manual, and it said that the rear tires should be at 29 and the front tires should be at 32. So around 30 then. Why did I even know that? I heard my Dad try to explain to Bony M how to use a tire pressure gauge once. He didn't have one on hand, so his explanation consisted of "You press on it and a little dipstick pops out" and it confused her quite a bit. Let's say that they had this conversation (which I wasn't even apart of) when Bony M got her license, which was probably when she was 16 or 17 years old, which would have been 7 or 8 years ago.

I don't know -maybe everyone remembers things like that and it's just H who doesn't. Maybe it is just me. Maybe I've talked too long about this already. It makes no sense to me, but the point of all this is that I'm trying to not second guess myself as much, because it turns out I'm usually right. I just need some confidence. I need to say "Listen to me! I know what I'm talking about!"

(Also, this is the first time I've linked anything ever, and I'm immensely proud of myself, just in case this post couldn't get any more pompous. Look at me, I have a memory. Ooooh.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I just saw Rocky for the first time, and I'm left in awe.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It is what it is

I'm a pasta chef now. I don't think I've mentioned that on this blog before. I make fresh fettuccine and extrude it out of a pasta machine, I cook pasta, I serve customers, and I do it all in front of a giant oven. It's kind of terrible. It stresses me out and it's physically exhausting. I have blisters on my palms and on most all my fingers right where my top knuckle is, so when I wake up in the morning I can't bend my fingers all the way. All of me hurts.

A manager at work stopped by the pasta bar for his lunch a week or so ago. He's a bit older and is really very kind and he calls me kiddo. He asked me if I liked my new position, and I was honest for once and said that I didn't, because it was stressful and I wasn't very good at it yet. He told me he's been in this business for most of his life, and sometimes when he's working down in the bakery he still feels like he's mixing the cookie dough with his feet, which was a little reassuring. Last weekend I had a terrible time at work and was completely overwhelmed. Friday I cried standing there behind my pasta counter as I separated fettuccine ribbons. Saturday was a game day and incredibly busy. Every time I turned around we were out of plates or out of bread or some customer changed their mind about their rotini and penne combination, and I was coming completely unglued. So when I went home I couldn't do anything but lay on the floor for awhile clutching an otter pop to soothe the pain of my blistering hands as I counted down the weeks I had left until I could quit this job.

Then Optimistic. came over and rubbed my back and sat with me as I cried, and took my taquitos out of the oven for me, and sat with me some more as I tried to eat them, which was hard because when you cry the back of your throat doesn't let you swallow. And two days ago the same manager stopped by and told me that he'd watched me work on Saturday and said that as a casual observer he noted that I was much more confident behind the counter and that I was doing a good job. I didn't tell him I'd been close to losing my sanity on Saturday, or that I'd gone home and cried that day, or that I think about quitting my job every five minutes I'm at work.

And a week ago Ender said something about my custodial job that I have on campus. It was slightly demeaning and it truly upset me. He tried to backtrack by saying that lots of people have to work as a custodian at some point, but that was really what clinched it. I enjoy being a custodian. I wouldn't be one if I didn't. And because I'm not a student this semester I don't get to work at the Wilk nearly as much as I'd like to. Instead I have a title and a raise and a fancy chef's hat and I hate my life. Yesterday I got off of work in time to get over to the Wilk to do some custodial work, and it's the first time I've been happy in awhile. I got to see my coworkers and tell stories and joke around a bit with my boss. I wish I didn't have to explain that to people, that I'm not looking to be anything more prestigious, like a doctor or an engineer; I just want to be happy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Power of

I may or may not have made a voodoo cucumber at work today.

I had to stay until 5 o'clock today despite the fact that the restaurant was mostly dead, so to occupy my time I helped out coring tomatoes and peeling cucumbers. For cucumbers you just peel off four strips, making it striped. Toward the end I got bored, and started peeling them in creative ways instead of just striped. There were some plaid cucumbers, and quite a few with wiggledy stripes, and one very special one with my name written on it. I very meticulously carved the letters of my name into one of the last cucumbers I had, and proudly showed it to my coworker. Then I went down to the bakery and chopped myself into little pieces.

I saved the cucumber that was me for last, and once I had run it through I tried to reassemble it to spell out my name again, but it was a lot more complicated than I ever could have imagined. I took my 30 pounds worth of cucumber slices upstairs and put them into metal pans, wondering as I did so who would end up eating me, and when. And would I feel it? I truly hope not, but then again, I'm curious.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Skin Is, My

This is a picture of my skin, cropped from one of my engagement pictures. I was curious to see just how white I actually am. Now I know.


I write books in my head a lot of the time. For some reason I think in written form and I don't know why that is. But my thoughts are usually about different subjects for the chapters of my non-existent book. I thought about titles the other day, and the one that stood out to me was One for the Slush Pile (the slush pile being of course that pile of submitted manuscripts that editors wade through) because that's what my non-existent book is - something nobody would really want to read. But there are little vignettes in it about my work, the people I know, vomit, eyebrows, vacuums, my dreams of owning a utility sink, and the proper way to rinse out paintbrushes and flatten cardboard boxes all mixed in with things from my childhood up to the present. Only, the thing is, I tend to write these things as though they happened a long time ago. A bit about my experience working at my current job is always recounted as though I'm already out of college and it's been years since my junior year when I was a pasta chef, and at that time I was engaged, but have since gotten married and so on and so on. I've never seen a book written in the present, so all my mental notes have been changed to at that time when really the time was last Thursday.

Really I just want to write like Nicholson Baker does. I wrote a very short story last year entitled This is not about the Polkersteins which was about an old couple with the last name of Polkerstein. I considered putting it in my book as a footnote, but the story itself has footnotes in it, and the idea of footnotes within footnotes seems complicated and possibly grammatically illegal. And really I just want for my writings to get from my head into written form already without me having to bother about typing it up.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

That Spring will come again

I've decided that confidence is what I need, so that's what I'm going to get.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Baby Loaf

My sister Bony M had her baby on Saturday! I waited to post until they sent me some pictures. This is my nephew Anderson Isaac. Bony M says he has our family's lips and A's eyes, and I think she's exactly right. He was 5 lbs. 11oz., 19 inches long. This is exciting stuff.I like this picture of Bony M and A. There's something about the look in their eyes - a great happiness is what I'd guess it is. Anyway, now I'm an aunt twice over, with a nephew as well as a niece. Hoo-ray.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Soups on.

(1) Last night I simultaneously brushed my teeth and ran my foot under the cold water faucet in the sink. It was challenging, but I made it work.

(2) I laid out on the lawn for a bit with Ahem and Uffish during the windstorm. When it started to rain and get cold we stood on the porch, watched people run for cover, and we whistled at passersby. Ahem (hopefully accidentally)whistled a whoop whoop catcall type whistle at our 1st councilor who happened to be heading for his car in the driveway.

(3) My sister H came down to school, and on Sunday we got together and had a family dinner type thing at M-Lite's new place. I had a lot of fun, as I always do when us Drafts get together. Plus the Maoist, the Krentist and his sister, and two friends from back home that are H's age came. It was nice to see everyone and to tell stories. There's something comforting about it, something innately human I think. I can't quite put my finger on it.

(4) krebscout unpacked her paintings and the house is even more colorful than before. Come and see the egg painting. I like it best of all.

(5) Optimistic. is in Salt Lake for a couple of days. How sucky is that.

(6) I started my new job last week at a certain prominent Provo pizza place. Today was day 5, and I think I'm getting the hang of things, but it's kind of exhausting work and I come home tired every afternoon. My favorite part of the work day? Getting to dice up whole pineapples, cantaloupes, and watermelons. I always wondered how it was done and now I get to do it. Also, one morning while stocking the salad bar The Decemberists' The Perfect Crime was playing, which made me incredibly content. I've even managed to laugh a handful of times - once I went back to the dish room and I found a guy spraying a big round pot with a hose just for the sake of making it spin around and around really fast. He looked a bit sheepish when I caught him. It may be an interesting semester.

(7) I walked around campus with H yesterday and it felt really weird to me. It's probably because I'm not taking classes this Fall and because I hadn't been up on campus in a couple of weeks. I just don't know if I belong there anymore, or if I ever did to begin with. It was all rather odd, but it was good to spend time with H. At one point she demanded of me "Why are you not writing a script right now?!" She thinks I need to write for T.V. and I quite agree with her.

(8) Blowing on a person's stomach is hilarious, and I can't imagine it ever won't be. Also, the trunk of my car holds a lot more than I thought it could.

(9) I dreamed last night that my family was moving and selling the house. It was to become an outdoors school and I could not be consoled. My second dream was incredibly action packed and consisted of some sort of giant treasure hunt, just like in the movie It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. It may or may not have taken place in the 70's.

(10) While at a party on Monday I stole a decanter full of coins. I saw it on their end table and couldn't resist switching it out for my own vase full of coins which I happened to have in my purse. I'll return it; I just want to see if they notice first.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Jiggety Jig

There's a preliminary paragraph of whining and then some cool stories. Stick around dear readers.

I'm home in Portland. We flew out Monday night, and it was extremely unpleasant. I've mentioned it before, but I have a problem with my ears when I fly. I don't know what it is, or why it happens, except that I suspect my Eustachian tubes (connecting my ears and my throat) are blocked in some way. Imagine someone taking a wooden dowel, half an inch in diameter, and lighting it on fire. Now imagine that someone taking that dowel and forcing it into both of your ears, pushing it in as far as it will go. And then some more. In any event it leaves me weeping and clawing at my ears in public most every plane ride I take. I'm also left partially deaf for several days after. My ears are only clear when I tilt my head forward and stare at the ground. I'm not looking forward to the trip back to Provo. Also, I got sick my first day back. What a trip this has been.

Not much happened our first night back, except that my brother F needed to be picked up from work around 11:45, and my mom was in bed already and H was playing Cranium, so they sent me. And what did I drive? The Buick skylark that my dad bought from the old lady across the street's daughter for $250. H told me the basics - where the lights were on this car, and sent me out to the driveway. I spent a few more minutes acquainting myself with the car so I wouldn't die driving it- you know, finding out how to work the broken parking brake handle, finding the locks, how to fasten the seat belt, all the essentials. And man alive, I love that car. It's a beater with a capital B. It's got this old fashioned steering wheel that I'd kill to have. It's just the sort of car Optimistic. wouldn't let me buy, and don't tell Eunice, but I think I'd trade her in for this car. It's a true old lady car and deserves the name Eunice more than my Galant. Anyway, I hope to get to drive it more while I'm here.

Once I had F home we went to the computer and I got out all the music I'd brought with me. Have you heard of Of Montreal? He countered by asking me if I'd seen the youtube video collection of Hooch from Scrubs. Good times were had.

I mostly was sick yesterday, so I stayed in my pajamas for a long time, went through some of my old stuff I had stored downstairs, and sneezed uncontrollably. My mom was watching a little girl for the day, who pestered me when all I wanted to do was sit down and eat my Raisin Bran. Normally I can humor children with the best of them, chatting about their stuffed rabbits dressed like hip-hop artists and whatnot, but she wouldn't leave me alone, was tugging on the towel on my head, was running around me, and was tugging at my bowl of cereal, until I flat out told her "I'm sick. I don't have time for this" and retreated to the family room to eat in peace.

It was a fairly uneventful night, and those of us in our room all went to bed around 10:30. I woke up around 1:30 to find a half eaten pizza on the table and H and her best friend Alexis in the office. Hooray! Apparently Alexis works at Papa Murphy's now, which is where the pizza and the following stories are from.

Despite being voted the best pizza chain in the nation, the Papa Murphy's branch that Alexis works at employs crack users. All of her coworkers do drugs, some of them in the walk-in at work even. A large, rosy cheeked, wholesome looking boy makes pizzas for a drug dealer he knows who's too poor to eat. I suspect he's not a very good drug dealer. A couple who work there apparently got into a fight when they were alone running the store. The wife got a promotion, and the husband accused her of sleeping with the supervisor. They left the store to continue fighting, shutting everything down. The supervisor gets a call that the store is shut down, so he's forced to drive down from Vancouver on his weekend that he has off to celebrate his first anniversary to see what's up. Another coworker had just arrived to work only to find the store closed. Then she finds the couple sitting in their car in the parking lot next door, tells the supervisor, and he goes to find out what the crack is going on. The wife is weeping inconsolably, the husband is staring straight ahead. When the supervisor approaches them, the man gets out of the car, throws his uniform at the supervisor, says he quits, then leaves his wife in the parking lot and drives off. Nobody talks about it now.

Karina is another coworker, who used to do meth, but is all sober because she only drinks and does pot now. She's under 21 and can't legally buy alcohol. Her mom was having a party, so when Karina got home her mom sent her into the back. When she turned on the light she found a near rabid raccoon in the room with her. When she came out to tell her mom about its presence, her mom pointed her finger at her and said, "That's my raccoon. I tamed it. Don't you go bothering it." Pure madness is what I say, but I never laughed so hard as I did when I pictured this girl's half drunk mother lecturing her about her tamed raccoon.

Also, their store was broken into, but it was by someone who knew the code and how to turn off the security cameras, so it was definitely an employee. They all assumed it was the jealous husband who had quit, but then they got the tapes from the nearby Rite Aid, and they discovered it was some petite blond girl they work with. Alexis had been counting everything in the cash drawer earlier that week and had discovered that they were $200 over, and she mentioned it to the girl and asked what she should do. The girl replied in a falsely innocent, almost mocking tone, "Gee Alexis, I don't know. What should you do with $ 200 extra dollars? Hmmm." And faced with this girl's implication that they should take the money, Alexis said she'd just ask the supervisor what to do with it. Then they were robbed. No one has seen the girl since.

Alexis also informed me that H talks on the phone in her sleep. "What, like she calls people up?" I asked. "No, she answered her phone during her nap." Only when Alexis was telling me this she said she'd called during "Nap" and I interjected that it sounded like it was a time of day for H - I can picture her saying "Well, after Nap I've got to go to work."

Anyway, Alexis called her and H answered her phone even though she was asleep. It went something like this-

H: Hello?
Alexis: Hey, were you asleep?
H: (groggily defensive, because she actually is asleep) No! I'm awake.
A: (confused) Oh. Okay. How was the beach trip?

H went on to tell her all about the ward beach trip before introducing the subject of tigers.

H: And then we were divided into groups and we were the tigers.
Alexis: Wait, what? After you got back you were tigers?
H: What? No, the tigers turned into T-shirts.
Alexis: The tigers were T-shirts?
H:The T-shirts were T-shirts!
Alexis: What T-shirts?

It was at this point that H woke up to find herself in mid conversation with a phone in her hand, and she very legitimately asked Alexis "Wait, what T-shirts?"

I wish I'd brought my tape recorder.

Monday, August 20, 2007

X marks the spot

I had my last day of work on Friday, which made for a very unusual week. It was the week between EFY and Education Week when finals are going on, so there was absolutely nothing to do at work. Nothing. Our set board, usually a twelve page list of rooms to set up and take down, was only two pages long. So I had some cleaning projects I embarked upon.

One was to clean a staircase in the back of the cougareat that leads up to a third floor catering kitchen. It was actually a lot of fun because it was filthy, covered with all sorts of old food stains and shoe marks. The best part was that just as I started cleaning I heard krebscout's voice from below, and after making a crack about her mother's father I revealed myself and we got to talk while we both worked. Me cleaning stairs and her slicing a billion loaves of cheese bread. I can't even tell you how nice it was.

Tuesday and Wednesday the ballroom had been reserved for me especially to clean out all the chandeliers in the ballroom using the lift machine. Only two of us are lift certified, and the other person is afraid of heights, so the task fell to me. I cleaned 15 of the 24 on the first day, and saved the rest for Wednesday. It was while cleaning chandelier #18 that one of them dropped. I watched helplessly as the giant glass bowl I was cleaning detached itself from the ceiling and slid down its three foot shaft. It caught on the small round bit at the bottom that holds the light bulbs, but now instead of hanging by eight wires it was only staying attached by four. That scared the crap out of me. I was 30 feet up in the air at the time so I was more than a little worried about my safety. A maintenance guy, my boss, and the head of the building got involved, and the chandelier was screwed back in. I was told not to twist them excessively. I hadn't twisted this last one very much at all, so it was really unnerving to know that I didn't know whether any of them were secure or not. I hurried through cleaning the rest of them. I just wanted to be done with them.

When not cleaning the chandeliers on those days I cleaned the catering kitchen. The walls are spattered with all sorts of what I hope is soup and the baseboards were filthy. Unfortunately it allowed for a lot of time to think, which wasn't so great. Mainly all I could think of was the fact that I was leaving my job on Friday. I want to say I don't know why it has affected me as much as it has, but that's not entirely true. It's just hard to push past my emotions and put it into words. Mainly it's because it's change, and because I won't get to see my coworkers anymore. And it's that I've been working there for 23 months. All of my college experience is tied into my job. Never having been very studious I always put work before schoolwork. I made my job a large part of who I was.

I discovered that I was afraid of two things - of not being needed, and being needed, so it was hard to console myself. I scrubbed and scrubbed, trying desperately to leave my mark by removing those on the walls. Everything I saw reminded me that I was leaving. That marble. I'll never have another chance to clean that marble!

Wednesday is when my coworkers and I finally started the treasure hunt. I'd talked about it for awhile, but was finally moved to action now that I was leaving. We made clues and traveled to obscure places in the building to leave them. Above the varsity theatre, on the catwalks above the ballroom, in the glass display case with the cougar, etc. It was fun sneaking around and leaving clues, and I felt better in a way.

Thursday we got to go exploring with the building coordinator, who took us to some of the Wilk's lesser known places, like the 7th floor, and into the ventilation shafts on the first floor. The first floor was the most fun, because of the wind tunnel. There's a door you can open to access the ventilation system for the building, and opening it is nearly impossible because of the incredible pressure of the air behind it. It's freezing and it's a struggle to fight your way into the tunnel, but once you're inside the pressure is less. Exiting the tunnel is also a challenge because in front of you is a cement wall, and jumping out of the tunnel with so much force behind you leaves you in danger of being splatted against this wall. So you have to jump and try to swerve around the corner to the right as much as possible.

Friday we finished the treasure hunt and made a trophy to put in the final spot with some Twinkies as a prize, because we figured they'd stand the test of time. There's a good chance no one will find the treasure, but it was fun hiding it just the same. And my boss brought in ice cream for my last day, which was incredibly thoughtful of her.

Friday I did everything for the last time - punched in and out, dropped my keys, turned in my radio, hugged everyone goodbye, and I cleaned out my locker. Two years worth of memories that were taped up inside of there are now in a large bag on the floor of my room. It was all very final when I walked away. Except I went back there on Sunday for church and I think it was a little too soon. It's silly really, but I was fighting back tears all throughout sacrament meeting. The chair in front of me had been scribbled on with a grey crayon. A Mr. Clean magic eraser will take that off. And Optimistic. had a bit of string he was playing with at one point that he tied around the chair in front of him. Vandal. In Relief Society all I could think was, "I miss my work" and try as I might to distract myself by singing "start wearing purple, wearing purple" in my head I couldn't get away from the thought. I miss my work. I saw that the moving partition was broken at the bottom, and that the white board needed cleaning. Who was going to call that in? Who was going to clean that? And worst of all was hearing the Elder's Quorum next door stacking their chairs. That was too much for me. It's a good thing church was over at that point, because I needed to leave that building. All of this is me being ridiculous and overly sentimental -I know that, but it doesn't change anything.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Vomit and why I like it OR How I spent my summer vacation by Genuine M. Draft

Let's start with the fact that I'm a custodian and I spend my time cleaning up after other people; people who don't understand the use of trashcans, reading bright yellow closed signs, or aiming. It gets old at times, putting up with these people. And some days there aren't any rooms to set up and I'm faced with the prospect of going and dusting something, anything, just to fill the time. And that's where the miracle of the vomit comes in.

For reasons not entirely understood I don't have a dislike for vomit. It's not just that I don't mind it either - it's that I love going and cleaning it up. And it happens without fail that if it's slow at work, someone somewhere it the building will decide to retch without making it to a receptacle. And we get a call at the supply desk.

It used to be that a general call would go out over our radios. "802, someone threw up in the women's restroom on the third floor by the elevator, is there anyone available to clean that up?" or "802, we just got a call from the convention in the ballroom and they said there's vomit in one of the booths. Could one of you find where that is exactly?" and I'd be thinking "memememememe, oooh, me! Pick me!" and answer the call as quickly as possible, hoping to be the first one to get a crack at it. What happens now though, is that they know to just call me first.

"802 Genuine?"

"Go ahead."

"Could you please come down to 1086?"

"Absolutely. I'll be right there."

Apparently no one else is leaping at the chance to clean it up. So I get gloves and bio hazard bags and go in search of the vomit. I guess I like it because it's something different. Different from the normal sets and bathrooms we do, and different every time, because just like a snowflake, no pile of puke is ever the same. Each incident is unique and presents its own set of challenges.

One thing I've learned - vomit is only fun to clean up for the first half hour or so. After that it's incredibly unpleasant. I had a case at the beginning of the summer where someone had thrown up in a small back room of BYUSA. The room was narrow, cluttered, not well ventilated, and as for the vomit, there was a lot of it. I assessed the situation as best I could and set to work, but it was rather difficult. The main problem was that this girl had upchucked on the piano she'd been sitting at. All I could think of was all the lectures I've been given as a custodian to be careful with the pianos, don't scratch the pianos, make sure you keep covers on the pianos, and here somebody had gone and vomited all over one. It was between the keys even.

Another tricky thing was that the room was carpeted. I can't just mop that up and call it good like I can do when I'm working with tile. I had to get a machine with a hose that sprays chemicals and also sucks up the puke, and it's hard because you have to get right down into the mess to clean it properly and try to do it without actually kneeling in anything unpleasant. I was in there for an hour and a half, and what boggles my mind is that during this whole procedure there were people in this tiny room trying to hold a meeting over the noise of my vomit slurping machine. It reeked in there, the way only bodily fluids can, and I was left to wonder why on earth they couldn't have finished up what they had to talk about in another room. I chalked it up to insanity.

I started a post back in June about vomit, and I titled it Not For [L'afro], because I know how much of a vomiphobe she is. The fact is, I became violently ill after going out to eat and I threw up 25 times. That was probably the least pleasant experience of my life. Up until then I'd been on good terms with Ralph - we understood each other quite clearly - you're sick, so I'm going to come up, pay you a call, and then you'll feel better. And I believed him after the first time I threw up, because it does make you feel better, but the following 24 times I cursed his name. What more could he possibly have to bring up? What more could I possibly have in me?! I was empty I tell you, empty!

The ironic thing was that I'd been having a discussion at work the last couple of days about vomit. I asked people if they had anything they threw up into as a child, aside from the toilet. I'm talking about when you've already been pronounced sick and you're sleeping on the couch in the living room. What do your parents put next to you in case you have to hurl and can't make it to the bathroom? Most families have a set thing they use - a specific bowl or a pot. There's a wide range of things. Someone told me they had a towel laid next to them on the floor, another person I know has a designated barf bucket they keep in the garage. Our family uses a brown paper grocery bag.

It seems like the only logical choice to me, but that's because it's what I grew up with. I mean, it's disposable. None of this "you yammied in this skillet yesterday, but today we're making omelets in it" business. I think that's disgusting. No. We used a grocery bag, its edges folded over. I asked my dad once why he did that, why he folded down the edges and he said something about it being easier to grip. I can't quite remember now. But I do know that when I was sick this last time I got out a brown paper sack and the first thing I did was to turn the edges down. (My dad could do it consistently without tearing the bag at all. I am not as gifted.) From what I've seen it helps the bag keep its form. It stays open this way, so there are no worries about missing the mouth of the bag when you've got to use it in the dark. I also like the bag, because it serves as a trash can. By the end of my stay on the sofa I had thrown used tissues in there, as well as some watermelon rind.

People do ask about leaking. Doesn't a brown paper sack leak? I assured them I had no memories of it ever leaking. Maybe this was because by the time you're placed on the sofa with the bag next to you, your preliminary puking has already been completed, and so the bag doesn't suffer much from use. It's merely there as a back up. And, I always had my mom there to switch out my bag if it needed switching. This last time the follow up vomit was not at all mild. It was plentiful. And there was no one to switch my bag because M-Lite had gone out of town, so my bag leaked and I had to make a dash with it to the front porch. I knew I should have double bagged. The second time I did the sensible thing and lined my sack with a plastic garbage can liner. But it was still a paper sack at its core, and I stand by my decision to use grocery bags.

There are other times besides when you're sick that you really need to hurl. There's a small amusement park near us at home called Oaks Park, and we went there at least once or twice every summer, for school or church trips or just as a family. Without fail, I would throw up every time I went. It's the spinny rides that do it to me, and in my head I have a list of rides I know I shouldn't let myself go on - Teacups, tilt-a-whirl, the round-up, the Matterhorn, the spider, the squirrel cages - nope, not a one of them. And a list of rides I can go on - The haunted mine and Big Pink (the giant slide). The Ferris wheel is iffy. It doesn't make me sick in and of itself, but I would go on it after I'd gone on a fast ride to give my stomach a break and I'd end up puking while riding it. I hit a guy that was beneath me on the Ferris wheel once, and I was so glad to get off before him.

I know this about myself, that if I go, I'm going to throw up while I'm there, so I would bring a plastic bread bag with me. It'd be there in my pocket, and when (not if) I needed to throw up, I'd pull it out, do my thing, tie it off, and throw it away when I got off the ride. This was standard amusement park attending procedure for me. Except the last time I was feeling sick on one of their rinky-dink rides and I pulled out a bag to puke into it didn't quite work. I puked into my bread bag, proud that I had averted disaster, until I noticed that my lap felt awfully warm. Come to find out the bag had a hole in it, so it had ended up all over me anyway, and I was left holding the bag. When we met up at the van to go home my mom asked if everyone had had a good time. H2 said she was mad because she'd wanted to go on the Matterhorn, but some idiot had thrown up on it and they'd shut it down. All I could say was, "Oh, sorry. That was me."

And there are dozens of more stories -the vomit in our basement that's been there for at least ten years, the time H got sick at school and laid out in the hallway by the nurse's room writhing in agony as people passed by, all the times I threw up on the school bus in elementary school and had to watch it slosh up and down the aisle when we went up hills, and I've got a great one from when I worked at the preschool. But there's only so much time and space I'm willing to devote to this subject. Perhaps one day I'll publish a series of vomit vignettes. Until then, this is Genuine Draft saying, "Come back next time, and feel free to vomit at my place of work."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

and like thunderous applause, the rain descended

I've had that sentence milling about my head for several weeks.

A couple of weeks ago I had to go and put fliers on the doors of the people in my ward as I do every week for my church calling. So I took Optimistic. with me and we headed over to the complex. It was wonderful outside - one of those dark and stormy night type evenings, with more than a summer's breeze blowing - more like a small gale. The apartments were all dark when we arrived. Apparently the whole block had lost power. And in true old ward fashion, everyone was out on their balconies enjoying it. From far away I saw flames coming from in front of #15 and more than anything I hoped it was a trashcan fire. Upon closer inspection it was just somebody responsible using their grill to shed light and warmth. Rats. But still, there were people partying a little and somewhere in the distance someone was setting off firecrackers. It made me so pleased to see all this. I realized how much I'd missed the chaos that comes from living in the old ward, where people are slightly crazy and fun-loving. Just my kind of people.

And like I said, the weather was perfect. It was warm with a large enough gust factor to cool things off and make it chaotic at the same time. I love being out of doors in weather like that. I have a faint memory of leaving the old Beaverton library as a child one summer's evening carrying a stack of books, and I thought to myself that the weather at that moment was perfect. It was another evening with a breeze.

And the day after I got back from Yellowstone the sky opened up and unleashed biblical amounts of rain on this small town. I opened every window in the house to let the cool in, to let the smell in, to welcome in the sound of such a downpour. The rain makes me happy beyond all reason, blustery summer evenings make me ecstatic, and quiet, still, evenings spent laying in the grass are enough to make me think that this world we live in is perfect.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

50 ways to leave your lover

Sometimes at work we pick up notes and things that EFYers have left behind. We did it all last summer to amuse ourselves, and it really did help pass the time. Everyone kept an eye out, and usually several people would come up to me each day and say, "Genuine, I have a note for you" and I'd add it to the collection. I have a large manila envelope in my locker at work labeled EFY 2006 filled with doodles, notes, and miscellaneous things we found while cleaning. Most of the notes are the " Do you like Katelin? Brenda says she doesn't like Josh anymore after what he said at the dance, so she sat by Kevin on Thursday and then Melissa's hair...." type of notes, which amuse me to no end to read. Some are salacious, and I wonder if the parents of these kids know what their kids are up to. I meant to make them into a giant collage or something but never found the time. Perhaps the best note from that year was a poem by Jeremy Moore titled Soggy French Fries. It was laughably atrocious, and up until today had been the jewel of our collection. But today I found the best EFY note to date, which I will now share with you. Also, it's all crossed out in places as though someone put a lot of thought into their choice of words. And I left in the original spelling. Here it is, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Dearest love
thinking of you sends me
spinning through
a whirlwind of sparkles
and dream.
our souls haven't ever
met but I know we are
perfect for
eachother like sugar and cream.
the image of your face
glows in my mind like
worms under a black light.
all the sudden I am soaring
swooping and you help me
take flight in the night with no light,
after a fight, lose my sight....yeah
right, are your pants tight?
when my hands aren't
hugging yours, my soul
weeps but then I start to smile
because I know from my one
sock to my other sock that I
will have that majestic opportunity
in a short while.

remember when, like deer, we frolicked
through feilds of luscious rocks
in new york.

Then I hated when you took me
to that slotter house where they
surved nothing but
potent pork

*also, on the side there's this crossed out sentence -"Bam, snap, dig, growl, I imagine myself with a sword in my foot"

Like that time you ate crisco, thinking it was something else

I'm mainly updating this because I know my family reads it and I haven't posted in a month. I only really have my day to day things to report on, and all of you readers here in Provo already know what's up. Most of you were there for this last month, so reading this will be old hash. Or maybe it's old hat. I don't remember how the saying goes.

First things first, Happy Birthday to my sister F2, who I hope is having a smashing time on her birthday.

Optimistic. and I took a billion engagement pictures yesterday, or rather, L'afro took the pictures while we tried to look our best. M-Lite did our hair first, and she and Optimistic.'s sister came along as our on-shoot advisors. It was hot out, but we still managed to have some fun I think, if only because we got frosties afterward. We're taking some more on Saturday with Olympus which should be fun.

News since last time -a group of us went swimming at a pond in Mona when CJ was in town, and man was that fun. I like having people like him and Dean in town because they make me want to do spontaneous things, like drive to Wyoming in the middle of the night to buy fireworks. Also, because he's got great stories and a laid back attitude that I like. We swam at the pond, got muddy and burnt, ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, returned to our respective childhoods and just generally had a good time. It was krebscout's idea, and I'm glad she had it. Laying there in the grass listening to people play the guitar, drying off in the sun after a nice swim - it was heavenly. Later that same day was our Canada Day celebration, which I enjoyed immensely, for obvious reasons. I think a good time and a lot of root beer was had by all. After watching Strange Brew we went back to my house and lit sparklers and groundblooms.

The Monday after that we went to a concert at Muse which was ear drum shatteringly entertaining. Then when we went to the hospital cafe to eat we almost got kicked out by one of the security guards for being a little too loud. Sometimes when we're all hanging out, or out eating, or out driving around and having a good time I'm overcome with glee, and I think, "This is what college living is all about- hanging out with the people that make you happy". Needless to say, I like my friends a whole lot. The Maoist even came to Canada Day and brought me an engagement present - a 22 pound watermelon. She knows me too well. Also in town that weekend was Optimistic.'s dad, who also brought us a gift; our first wedding present in fact. It's the new quieter Boggle, hooray!

We also bought a car. We'd decided to buy one before the summer was out, as Optimistic. will need something to drive to school/work every day. Well, a car presented itself and we bought it. It's a 2002 Mitsubishi Galant. We named her Eunice, mainly because it needed a name and because Optimistic. thinks that by naming the car Eunice it will deter me from naming a child Eunice. We'll see.

That was all at the end of June and I'm trying to think of what I've been up to since then. Not much I guess. I did go to the doctor for a work related thing with my arms. Basically, my forearms hurt from work, which isn't surprising seeing as how I've spent the last two years stacking and unstacking tables and chairs. Anyway, I have to take anti-inflammatories for a little bit and I'm not allowed to lift anything more than 10 pounds, which is very frustrating. My first day at work after my appointment I went to move a ladder and realized I wasn't allowed to. I've also found that in addition to tables, chairs, and ladders, I cannot move piano benches, microwaves, regular benches, heavy bags of trash, and scads of other things I'm accustomed to moving around. It's hard to keep myself from doing it, but I know it's for the best. I was actually eating lunch the other day and I realized that my hands hurt from opening ketchup packets. Ketchup packets of all things. Oh well.

Also, my ride to Portland fell through, so I'm not going home for all of August, just for a week with M-Lite to go to Sliquefy's reception and to fly H down to school for the Fall. I'm also looking for a job/putting off looking for a job because I hate the idea of changing everything about my life. I need to find something for the Fall because I won't be a student, and therefore can't work most places on campus. We'll see what turns up I guess.

I think the main thing I'm forgetting to mention is that I moved. I'm in a little house in my old ward and I love it. I don't know what it is, but this house felt like home before I even moved in.

I also had a wonderful weekend this last weekend, but I think I'll have to save that for another time. Those of you here in town that know me, know that I have a notebook I write down quotes in. Maybe for a future post I'll put down some of my favorites. Most of them make sense only to me because I was there and happened to find something somebody said funny, if only because my brain is somewhat off kilter.

I'm also going to Yellowstone on the 27th, and I'm really excited to be spending some time with Optimistic. and his family up at their cabin. I've been told that a lot of card playing and watching of the game show network will be involved. Also, geysers. Oodelally.

Basically, I've been having the time of my life. I'm young and in love, and I'm living with some awesome roommates with more to come in the Fall. All these things conspire to make me happy.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

It's Father's Day, so I've decided to post the Father Draft top ten. These are the vital life lessons/rules I've been taught over the years by my dad.

1. Never shoot someone just once

2. If you're surrounded by a gang while in your car, run them over

3. Never kick a volleyball. It's not a soccer ball, it's a delicate piece of sporting equipment

4. Never scream unless you're being murdered

5. Never slam doors

6. Don't leave things (like shoes) in highly trafficked areas

7. Never throw a gun to the ground - it might discharge accidentally

8. Always double tie your shoelaces

9. Always lock your car doors, even if you're driving at the time

10. Don't lie

So that's the top ten, and now I'm going to explain how some of them came to be/why I think they're important.

Numbers 1 and 7 are just two of several safety tips about guns. Our dad made a point of teaching us about guns in our family, his reasoning being that we might need to defend ourselves someday. There was a time I was watching a movie on T.V. with my mom. I think it's called Sleeping With the Enemy. Some Julia Roberts movie where she's trying to escape from her obsessive husband, only he finds her and they have it out in the end. Anyway, she has a gun and she goes about everything all wrong. We sat there screaming at the television set, unable to understand how she could possibly justify her actions. (You don't ever hold a gun away from you like that; somebody could knock it out of your hand.) We watched in horror as she made error after error. She actually manages to shoot the guy, and after he falls to the ground, what does she do? She collapses to the floor in tears, dropping the gun (you idiot, what are you thinking?!) right next to the body of her husband (why would you place a lethal weapon within the reach of someone who's trying to kill you? You deserved to have him find you Julia) who of course is not actually dead (you only shot him once! Do you really think one bullet is going to stop anybody?!), and who springs to life with the gun in his hand ready to kill her before he actually dies. It was painful to watch. If you're shooting to kill, do it right and empty the clip into the person.

Numbers 2 and 9. Very important. At some point after learning how to drive, our dad gives each of us a lecture about cars. Locking your doors is just good common sense no matter where you live. And that applies to when you're in the car as well as when you leave it parked somewhere. All growing up we kept a baseball bat in our van in case of carjackers, and whomever was sitting next to the big sliding door was responsible for wielding "the kiddie bat" as we called it. You never know when somebody will try and jump into your car. Our dad also told us we had his permission to run over gangs. He said that too often you hear about some woman or another who's surrounded and trapped in her car, helpless to do anything. Well let's see. They're a gang, so they probably have knives or bats or something. What do you have? Oh, right. You're sitting behind the wheel of a machine that weighs a couple thousand pounds. Run them over lady! Also, if you think you're being followed, drive to the nearest police station. And take different routes home from places. Don't have too set of a routine -it just makes it easier for somebody to follow you. Another fun thing is that whenever we got into the family van we checked for the Boogie man to see if he was hiding behind the back seat. That was somewhat terrifying as a child.

I can't emphasize how important number 3 is. I cringe whenever I see someone kick a volleyball. What are they thinking? A volleyball is very delicate and requires just the right amount of air. You should never play with a volleyball that is flat or overinflated. It's damaging to the ball.

Number 8 is just good common sense. Why waste your time having to retie your shoelaces all the time when you can tie them securely the first time and be done with it? No tripping over loose laces, no having to stop on the blacktop every five minutes. Also, I think it's just more convenient for parents who have kids who can't tie their own laces yet. Having worked at a preschool I know the advantages of double tying. Bony M also worked at a preschool, and I think the story goes that as she kneeling down to tie some little boy's shoes he commented how good her hair smelled. And soon all the little boys were coming to her to tie their shoes. I guess once they got out of her sight they'd untie their laces and come back.

Number 10 is to never lie. "Even to cops?" I asked my dad once, knowing he generally thinks cops can't be trusted. He said no, especially not to cops. Lying will make a situation worse and on top of that it's just wrong.

Numbers 4, 5 and 6 (come on and get your kicks) are rules we had in our house that were probably put in place to preserve my parents' sanity. With 8 kids running around I don't blame them. It was just generally known that you didn't scream or slam doors - our dad hated when we did that. If someone threw a fit and stormed off to their room in a huff, that was fine, but slamming the door in the process was never acceptable. It was one of the few things that would bring Dad out of his office. As for not leaving our shoes in the entryway, that's just common sense as well. Someone could trip and kill themselves. It's like in movies when somebody leaves a rollerskate on the stairs. It's funny on the silver screen but not in real life. My dad is probably most quoted as saying "Who left their shoes here?" and "There are too many people in the kitchen!"(We had a very small kitchen growing up. More than two people was kind of a tight fit, and that was if you didn't open the fridge or the dishwasher.) Shoes were supposed to be put away in the pantry or in the cubby. My family has a cubby, which I never realized how funny that was until I was older, that we have a cubby at our house for putting things in. Kindergartners have cubbies, and so does the Draft family.

There's also the list of things our dad told me growing up that are complete lies. Included on this list is the time he told me I didn't need to use conditioner. I never should have trusted him on that one, considering he's bald. I chose to follow his advice one Sunday with disastrous results. Also, (and he doesn't remember this) I asked him when I was little what all that purple stuff was on the horizon. What purple stuff? That purple stuff over there. Oh, that's the dump. And for years I believed him, that the mountains in the distance were piles of trash. That's one of my favorite lies though. He also says that you don't need to put mustard in the refrigerator, which could technically be true, but it's not something I'm going to find out for myself.

And there are scads of other fun memories in there as well, like the way my dad loves my mom and would always grab her and say to us kids, "You see this woman here? I love this woman" and we'd roll our eyes at the two of them in the kitchen. Things like that. I think I've typed enough. I just thought my family would appreciate having the top ten put down in black and white. Mostly I wanted to thank my dad for being who he is, for being half the reason I ended up the way I did, and to say Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

ABCDEGH or (f)loss

*Warning: You won't want to read this whole thing. It's long because I don't know how to phrase things. Condensed version is this - It's me rambling about people that you've probably never met and how I feel like I'm losing everyone I know and care about. I can't recommend the short version enough.

(An enormously loud fluttering sound, perhaps from a book being dropped, awakens Genuine who is sleeping in the bed upstage Left. It is early in the morning. Roommate who made the noise is trying to be quiet.)

GENUINE: Hahahahahahahahahaha

(Roommate assumes Genuine is laughing in her sleep and continues trying to not make noise. Genuine goes back to sleep. An unspecified amount of time passes -the set is lighter now as sunlight pours through the open blinds, revealing just how messy the room really is. Roommate is leaning over Genuine's head, and Genuine awakens.)

ROOMMATE: Don't worry, I'm just trying to unplug my cell phone charger.

(Roommate moves to unplug her charger from the power strip located near Genuine's head in the gap between her desk and her bed. She is successful.)

ROOMMATE (straightening up) : Sorry about all the noise earlier.

GENUINE: Yeah, what was that? It woke me up and for some reason I thought it was hilarious. Very fluttery sounding.

ROOMMATE: I thought you were just laughing in your sleep.

GENUINE: I thought that you would think that.

(Chatter continues until Roommate moves to leave.)

ROOMMATE: Well, goodbye. See you in a week.

GENUINE: Where are you going?

ROOMMATE: Oh, did I not tell you either? I'm going to Yellowstone for a week for J's family reunion.

GENUINE (kicking her legs excitedly under her covers) : Room to myself!

GENUINE (stops kicking) : Wait, when are you coming back?

ROOMMATE: It gets over Friday, so maybe Saturday, but we'll probably stay through Sunday.

GENUINE: Oh, I'm moving Saturday.

ROOMMATE: This Saturday? This next Saturday?

(Genuine asks the date and the two confirm that she is in fact moving in a week.)

ROOMMATE: Oh. Well, have fun in your house. Leave your address.

GENUINE: Wait! Let me give you a hug in case I never see you again.

(The two embrace, Roommate exits downstage Right, and Genuine is left by herself)


Riveting stuff, I know. Class, what's wrong with this scene? Anyone?

Student A: Well, it's pretty boring for one thing. Why would somebody waste their time writing this?

Teacher: Well, you're right in a way- this scene is fairly mundane. But look closely. Do these characters do anything that strikes you as being out of the ordinary?

Student B: Umm, yeah. There's that one girl, umm, Genuine. Yeah. Well, the way she's acting doesn't really fit with what we've read about her so far. I mean, in ACT I she's pretty distant toward her roommates, but in this Act it's almost as if she likes them.

Teacher: You're absolutely right. This behavior is very uncharacteristic. Notice how at the end she requests to hug her roommate -we know that's not something that really fits with the way her character thinks or has acted in the past. She's being sentimental. Emotional even. Did you see how it ends with her alone in a dark room? It's a pretty obvious technique to convey her emotions through the setting. Well, I didn't say it was a good play. I really just showed it to you for practice reading, before we moved on to something a bit more complex, like say, Fern Gully! the musical. The message there is a little harder to pick up on. Try to notice the author's subtle use of nature.

Sorry about that drivel up there. Here's the deal - I realized yesterday that everyone was either leaving me or I was leaving them. A friend of mine just went into the MTC. A second friend from work had her last day yesterday before she goes on vacation before she also goes on a mission. Her farewell is tomorrow. Another girl from work is leaving in about a week. She's getting married. Her bridal shower is today. I'm moving in a week, away from my roommates I have now, which includes M-Lite, my sister and roommate for most of the past 20 years. (There was that one week when we weren't sisters.) And this morning I said goodbye to my other roommate because I probably won't see her before I move.

I'm a bit overcome by all of this -I've been feeling this enormous sense of loss pressing down on me for awhile now as I realize more and more that I'm never going to see most of these people again. I'm reminded that life goes on, that people move, people leave, people live, people die. I just don't want to have to put up with being one of those people.

The thing is, it takes me a long time to get used to people, and about the time I get attached, everyone goes their separate ways.

So, my one coworker who's leaving on mission, we'll call her Foggy. I didn't know her all that well in the beginning, because like I said, it takes me awhile to get to know people.Anyway, not knowing her as I did, I was under the impression that she was quiet and kind and polite. Coworker Jungle Jim always said that she was mean and none of us believed him, because I mean, look at this girl. She's blond and from Utah and just looks like she was cut out of a church magazine.

Anyway, I'd been wanting to get to know my coworkers outside of work, but was having trouble thinking of a way to go about it when Foggy solved the problem. She said her sister wanted to have a get together and she was supposed to invite some friends to this thing, the only problem being that she didn't have (m)any friends, and so she asked us if we would be interested in coming. It was a bold move on her part, not knowing whether we'd say yes or tell her to hit the road, but we were all really wanting to go, and we finally broke the coworker/friend barrier.

So we became friends outside of work, and I saw this girl for who she was. She has a mean sense of humor that I really like - she makes fun of people, but you know she's joking. I remember meeting her family and seeing how much they fought and being so relieved that they were normal. She's also very honest and demands that people be very blunt and open with her. If you're at her house at a party and she asks if you want to stay a bit longer and play games, it's okay to say that you're tired and would rather go home instead, and she won't think you're being impolite. I like that about her. She has a fair number of parties and things at her house and I realized that tomorrow is the last time I'll ever be over there. And I have no say in the matter - it's just being taken from me. These people and places are being taken from me and I'm helpless to stop it from happening.

H called me back in April when I got engaged and accused me of robbing her of her childhood. I wasn't allowed to get married because it would be damaging to her mental and emotional well-being. Well, join the club. I'm scared out of my mind about all the changes that are coming, and some of them are good even. Some are great. I'm going to be living with some awesome people this Summer and Fall. I've been looking forward to it for months now. Uffish, krebscout, Skye, Whistler, Ahem - I'm stoked to be living with you guys. And Winter semester I'll get a new roommate again, only he's kind of for forever and not just a semester.

It's just weighing on me, both the changes that are coming and the ones that are already upon me. I wish I had a little more control over things; over anything for that matter.

There's something M-Lite and I say sometimes from My Big Fat Greek Wedding when one of us is leaving the house. The father says in his little Greek accent, "Why you want to leave me?" and that's what I'm thinking about everything right now as I wonder why and how people go away and leave what they know to start something new.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

eighteen divided by five. quick, what is it?

It's been five months and this floss is looking a little worse for the wear. It's gotten so that I don't even notice it anymore - it's just apart of my finger the way my glasses are apart of my face. I'm kind of not-so-secretly hoping it makes it to December for the wedding, because I think that it would be interesting to have in my pictures. Or to January. That would be cool, because then it will have been a whole year. Optimistic. and I count our anniversary as the 10th and my floss's anniversary is the 14th, so every time they both come around I think how I've had this piece of floss a whole month longer than I've had Optimistic.. Also, there is a definite groove around my pinkie and I'm wondering if it won't be permanent by the time this floss comes off. Heck, maybe it already is. What a cool scar that would be, and what a hard time I would have explaining why I let such a thing happen. And perhaps I'll get it something for our first anniversary. Something out of paper.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Well I'll Be

Incredible. A moment ago I was by the back sink putting on my face and a girl from the ward came back to the vanity area. She was dressed like a ninja. Didn't say a word; just marched in dressed in all black with a face mask and everything and a blue cape, and she proceeded to take our garbage. I just turned, eye liner in hand, and stared at her as she removed our trash bag from its can and tried to replace it with another bag that was too small. After I heard the door close I burst out laughing and checked the kitchen to see that she'd taken out that trash as well. What a delightful morning* this has been.

*Other happenings: M-Lite told me about her dream last night in which we were living together for the Fall, and then Kicks and Giggles came in to join in on the fun and crawled into first M-Lite's bed and then mine while I told her about Destroy All Planets and the two times I'd seen it. And now I'm going to go register for wedding gifts with that Optimistic. person I'm going to marry.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Glory Glory Hallelujah

Just yesterday I had the thought "the world wasn't made with us pale people in mind." I think this was me thinking back to the other night at the hospital cafe where Mustacheboy and I compared our flesh to see who was paler. I won. Apparently he'd never lost before. Well, neither have I, and I think that my winning streak is going to continue for some time.

I don't care for the sunshine; never have in fact. Being from the Northwest does that to a person. If I had things my way it'd be 65 and overcast every day. Being here in Utah really throws me sometimes. When I first got here the sunlight was blinding and my eyes watered every time I set foot out of doors. But on days like today when the clouds hang low and hide the mountains I can imagine that I'm in Portland. Don't look at the mountains and you could be home.

When I awoke to the sound of the rain it filled me with joy. I instantly felt at home with that trickling noise outside my window, and I realized what a difference the weather makes. I also realized that it's odd I don't feel that way all of the time considering my surroundings. I looked around my room today and took stock of my situation - I was on a bunk bed next to a cement wall with a window in a disheveled room with wood paneling. Hmmm. That's exactly what my room looked like at home. Why did I never realize that before now? It took the rain to make the scene complete.

So I felt incredibly blessed when it rained today. Thank goodness it rained today. Walking to work I uttered an audible "Thank You." I'm not quite sure to who - probably to God. I'm pretty sure He controls that sort of thing.

I went to work late and when I signed out my keys my friend commented that I was tardy.

me: I know. The weather was just too nice today, I didn't want to come in.

She laughed, but it was because she's from Washington and knew I meant exactly what I said. Everywhere I heard people talking about the weather, saying things like "it's really bad out there "and "it's freezing today. Yeah, it was like fifty degrees this morning!" and I just laughed at them with my eyes.

I walked to work in my usual jeans and short sleeved t-shirt as I ate my morning otter pop. Lime today. I did have an umbrella though, which is very uncharacteristic of a true Oregonian. I don't mind walking home in the rain, but getting soaked on the way to work is a different matter - I think it'd be kind of counterproductive to get to work and spend the whole time mopping up after myself.

Work was more than a little frustrating, mainly because I hated everyone and everything for some reason or another. I hated the way people straightened chairs, the fact that some of the people straightening chairs stopped working for no reason and left the rest of us in the lurch, and mostly I hated the fact that after we'd straightened the chairs it was decided that they needed to be taken down. It was then that I started thinking about how I've been at my job for too long. It was also then that I looked over and saw my boss's boss stacking chairs alongside the rest of us, and seeing that softened me. This woman just lost her brother. And the day of the funeral she was in at work getting her reports in, authorizing our paychecks so somebody else wouldn't have to be bothered. She has bad knees and never takes vacation time. And I wondered when it was that I became so embittered, cynical, and apathetic. I know the how. The how involves vomit, gum, immigration, C-clamps, back pain, duct tape, butter pats, sleep deprivation, and rows upon rows of crooked chairs that will never be made straight no matter how many times you straighten them. That's the how. The when is more complicated, and I don't know that I'll ever be able to pinpoint it.

When I left work it was with a piece of watermelon in my hand. It's something I've always wanted to do - eat watermelon in the rain. My hand was numb by the time I got down to the rind, and I walked homeward thinking about the restorative powers of rain and watermelon and wondered why I live in this state.

Friday, June 01, 2007


I can actually feel the calluses growing on my hands. Fridays are our big day at work. Let me set the stage here for you. We have in the ballroom 1500 chairs. Obnoxious teenagers exit. We enter and stack all of these chairs. We were short handed today so when we began stacking there was no "we", only me. I had stacked almost two cartfuls of chairs before another girl came to help. Eventually there were six of us stacking, all girls. The guys were taking down the stage. I'm not really a sexist, but it's irritating to have guys (who are known for having upper body strength) taking down risers (not very difficult) when they could be stacking chairs. Us girls can do it fine, it just seems a little odd to have the guys do the lighter lifting.

So we cleared the ballroom. Midway into cart 5 I caught my finger. Man alive that was painful. I had to leave to go run it under cold water, and once I came back it throbbed slightly but was otherwise fine. I alone stacked over 13 carts worth of chairs.There are 45 chairs per cart. Total, I stacked 589 chairs. Each chair weighs 15 pounds, so I stacked 8,835 pounds worth of chairs. Not bad for an hour's work. Keep in mind this is all pre-set type stuff. We cleared the ballroom of all these chairs so we could reset it for the EFY banquet.

There were 6 or 7 of us when we should have had twice as many people. Where was the other crew? All the chairs we'd stacked were dropped at the tables by D and I set them out . It went on that way, just the two of us doing quite a bit of work. We'd set half the ballroom before some reinforcements came. But catering came then too to set out their tablecloths and place settings and stuff. And we hurried even more to keep ahead of them. I pulled chairs for other people to go behind and straighten, 3 and 4 at a time. Don't tell OSHA.

We were almost finished by 2pm and it was then that the other crew showed up. I was more than somewhat miffed. The main thing I kept thinking was, "who do you think you are?! Honestly, showing up after all the work is done. What the crap is that about?" I was exhausted.

I was about to head for lunch when my supervisor asked me to count all the chairs in the ballroom. Up and down each row straining to pick out the chairs with my eyes until they all ran together into a maroon nothingness. 346, 763, 1203, 1497. Four chairs over;possibly the closest we've ever come to getting an exact count.

We spend a few hours setting up the ballroom for this banquet, but as soon as that's over we tear it all down in 30-45 minutes. It's quite the rush I must say. Catering is supposed to get a head start of 2-3 rows. (That's what we told the new people in our meeting today. We laid out all sorts of rules, but everyone lost their heads and dove right in.) Then we follow right behind, throwing chairs and flipping tables while slipping on butter pats. And then there's the yelling - not just to be heard above the din, but honest to goodness yelling, usually catering telling its people, "hurry up! Custodial's coming right behind us! Don't ever roll butter into the cloths -take 'em off and pick 'em up at the end of the table."

And we run. It's us at our fastest, scrambling to get everything done. And even once we've tossed all the tables and chairs the floor needs to be cleaned. At that point the DJ will have set up, so we squirt and we scrub while the lights swirl and a hefty beat is pumped out into the air and there are blue curtains set up to keep the EFYers at bay. Then I vamoose, because the worst is the smell. The smell of 1500 teens and pre-teens crammed into one dark room. Their sweat fills the air. Mmmmm - smells like teen spirit.

And this will go on every Friday between now and the end of the summer. And I will continue to glory in it and exhaust myself setting up a banquet for people I cannot stand, because there's something satisfying about it all, about buckling down and doing manual labor, about knowing you're strong enough to lift 15,000 pounds worth of chairs in one shift. It's challenging, and I enjoy that to a great degree. I may not feel the same way by summer's end. In fact, I know I won't, but for now I'm going to enjoy the feeling of a job well done.