Thursday, February 2, 2017

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Constantly Losing

The following is a true account of me making small talk with a girl in my institute class. She mentioned she was excited she was looking forward to watching the Superbowl with her family.

Please note that I would never have continued the football discussion had she not brought it up herself.

Me: So, are you rooting for the Falcons or the Patriots?

Girl: I don't even know who's playing.

Me: *Silently blinking at her and wondering once again why I try to connect with people.*

I don't get people. I literally just told her, in my question, who was playing and she still couldn't name one team that will be playing in this Superbowl!  I'm not a die hard football fan by any means, despite the efforts of my wonderful Bears 101 professor who tried his hardest to teach me the finer points of the game, but really that question didn't require a whole lot of football knowledge. If any...

Note: I passed my Bears 101 course and have become a committed Chicago Bears fan (committed in that they are my favorite team besides the Dillon Panthers... and  also committed in the fact that it allows me to have something sporty and interesting to talk about on dates :) )

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cartoons Have Failed to Prepare Me for Adulthood

Comedian John Mulaney has quipped, "I always thought quicksand was gonna be a much bigger problem than it turned out to be. You watch cartoons and quicksand is like the third biggest thing you have to worry about, behind actual sticks of dynamite and giant anvils falling on you from the sky."


Another truth that  cartoons failed me on: I expected every doctor to wear the headband with the large silver disk on it.  Like a medical headdress.

Does that thing even have a name?

Update: typing in "doctor metal" in Google brought up a predictive search of "doctor metal disc head" and "doctor metallic grand rapids"

Note: I am glad that the internet has once again confirmed that I am not alone in my obscure searches.

Note 2: If Dr. Metallic is a real name, that is AWESOME!

Update: just clicked on "doctor metal disc head" and according to Wikipedia it is called a "head mirror." How disappointingly uncool.

Well, something that IS cool is that after 27 years, I finally had a doctor who had one of those metal disc headbands ( I am not on board with the term "head mirror." ).

Today I went to see an ENT about a perforated ear drum.  Yay! Allison's obscure and random medical issues continue!  My doctor, whose surname is unfortunately not Metallic, midway through the appointment put on the head mirror.

I was completely unprepared for this as no real doctor in my entire life has ever worn one! 

I soon discovered what it is used for!  I now have a name and a use for this doctorly instrument that was an ever present feature of all of my childhood cartoons.  The head mirror is used to distract the patient while the doctor shoves a giant tool of some sort unexpectedly up the patient's nose!  Holy scientific observation Allison!  

I know I was seeing an Ear NOSE and Throat specialist, but I was still unprepared for him to observe my nasal passages, mostly because he didn't give me any warning.  I would appreciate a little commentary of what he was doing and why. The guy's lucky I wasn't laughing at the unexpected appearance and ridiculousness of the head mirror-or I guess I'm lucky I wasn't laughing as throwing my head back in laughter at the wrong moment could have caused some serious sinus damage for me (and some serious malpractice issues for him).

He then proceeded to check my throat, which I was slightly more prepared for after the assault on my nose, but as I write this, I am left wondering if an ENT has to check out the Ear, Nose, and Throat in that exact order.  Is that part of the Hippocratic oath? There's obviously so much that I am unaware of when it comes to the medical field.

But, soon I will learn more as I have another appointment lined up, as well as the possibility of surgery to put a tube in my ear (because the random health problems continue to exacerbate and apparently I am five years old..).

In the meantime, if you need me, I will be giving myself a headache as I bobblehead my way through life the next couple of weeks watching out for anvils falling from the sky and alternatively trying to avoid quicksand.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Scary Times

It's almost Halloween--so a scary post feels appropriate.  Earlier this year I decided to check out some dating apps (cue Psycho scream).

There's definitely been some highs and lows and I've taken numerous breaks from said apps, but it is surprising how entertaining these apps are.  People are fascinating. And crazy. So, so crazy.

The majority of men on these apps are completely undate-able, so I swipe easily through 98%, give great consideration to the other 2%, and end up swiping right on about .02%.  It's definitely hard to date on these apps if you have any standards at all.

But this time around, I thought I was doing a better job than usual. I had more matches, was feeling more confident, and my matches were actually responding to me (it's crazy/annoying/depressing how many people don't take the time to respond on these apps!).

I matched with this guy, we will call Jack.  Jack wasn't super responsive at first, which isn't very odd, but once we found out we both work for the same company we had more to chat about.  Then Jack stopped messaging me for a solid week. Fortunately (or unfortunately, considering the rest of the story)  I didn't stick with my if-they-don't-respond-in-48-hours-I-unmatch-them rule. It's a good rule.

Jack acted like a normal human being (as opposed to some of the other cretins I've swiped on) and apologized for not responding. His excuse wasn't great (it was simply that he wasn't very good about responding on the app), but then he redeemed himself by asking for my number and to become Facebook friends.  I agreed, and he was slightly more responsive, but not much.

Meanwhile, a  deal of a lifetime came across my computer screen and I bought tickets to go to the United Kingdom. This has been a lifetime dream of mine.

I knew from his dating profile that Jack had served a mission in Scotland for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and in a moment of womanly plotting I invited Jack out to dinner to pick his brain about Scotland.  I call this ploy "womanly plotting" because while I was definitely more excited to learn about Scotland from someone who had lived there for 2 years (especially because I would love to get off the beaten tourist trap path and experience more of the culture), if this dinner turned into something more than that would definitely be a win-win.

But, as is well documented in my life, win-win scenarios don't typically happen for me. And it didn't happen in this case.

The date was set a week out at his request, and the texting conversation was lacking. But, being more excited about Scotland than him, I didn't pursue anything (also, there just gets to be a point where if I'm the only person carrying the conversation, and he's not asking questions back, it's not worth it to pursue. That is, unless he can give me sweet tips about Scotland!). So we had no communication for about a week until about 10:30 the night before our date when the following conversation happened. Please note that his name has been changed to protect the Crazy.

So, fellas, it's best to let someone know you're dating someone at the time they ask you out, not when you are confirming a date.  Also, another tip, if a relationship does form in between the time a date is set and when the date occurs, please cancel.

Also, before you think me a completely terrible person, I wasn't trying to steal another girl's man. I counseled with friends, and while we definitely all thought his approach was uncool, it sounded like he was still dating around and it was okay for me to go out with him.

I am pleading my agreement in continuing to go on this date due to my inability to know how to react to awkward situations.  I keep getting put in beyond the norm awkward situations and I don't know how to react to normal awkward situations!  Also, at this point. Scotland was still heavily on my mind.  But the next day when he texted me 3 hours prior to the date to re-confirm (annoying since it had been less than 24 hours since he had asked me the same question) he made me rethink everything. This guy then proceeded to make me feel extra special by asking how long the date would take. Sheesh.

I know. I know. At this point the blame is on me because I didn't just cancel, but I had just finished re-reading "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and kept thinking that this guy just had a different paradigm from me and that he wasn't meaning to be offensive by asking how long he had to endure my presence (That's how I read his text, but if he didn't want to cancel, then he had to be coming from a different paradigm. Also, my paradigm was there was a small, small, small possibility this guy could be Mister Right, so I should just chance it). So, ultimately, this bad date experience rests solely upon Stephen Covey's shoulders.

I met up with Mr. Wonderful at the restaurant.  As soon as the menus arrived (not even the check, mind you), he asked if I was paying or if we were going Dutch.  Lovely manners.  I offered to pay since I had invited him, and he graciously accepted with a fist bump to my shoulder.

He immediately pulled out his phone and without any attempt to get to know each other he went straight into talking about Scotland.  But his means of telling me what I should do in Scotland was to look at his phone, Google stuff, and tell me to write it down. At that point I was way past considering this as a date in any way shape or form, but being told to write stuff down on a date was very grating. No mission stories, no advice on food or restaurants were shared, he literally just googled stuff--something that I could have done at a much lower cost to my pocketbook.

Mr. Awesome then proceeded to ask me my salary and how much I pay for my mortgage. I regret to inform you that I gave him approximate answers to these queries due to general astonishment that I was actually experiencing this level of social inappropriateness and not knowing how else to answer other than with the truth.

He then proceeded to tell me I was shy. Curious, because I was still trying to make an effort to talk to him and be engaging, I asked him why he thought that. He informed me it was because I had stopped messaging him.  I replied that there was nothing preventing him from asking me questions back or continuing the conversation..

I was then told that my lack of responsiveness is what lead him to start dating this other girl.

My loss.  I'm still heartbroken over it.

Seriously though, all I felt was gratitude that he had some other victim lined up and glad it wasn't me!

He then told me that I was beautiful. Admittedly I don't usually handle compliments well. I'm working on being more accepting of them, but this one, although it sounds nice, literally meant nothing to me because it came from such a repugnant source. The culmination of his texts leading up to the date and his behavior on the date made him completely undesirable in every way, shape, and form.

The saccharine speech continued with him telling me how great I was and how much he just wanted me to be happy, which prompted him to then ask if I would be willing to date guys who were shorter than me.

"I go more off of personality than looks," I replied.

His response was non-verbal and was just him spending the next ten minutes on his phone showing me pictures of his Facebook friends and asking me if I would go out with them.

Once again, not knowing how to respond to this unanticipated social awkwardness, I replied that if they were interested, I would be happy to go out with them. (Also, they weren't HIM, so really the answer was YES!).

Happily our time together came to a close. We walked down to the parking garage together, he oddly insisted on me texting him when I got home, despite my protests that I lived 2 minutes away.

Upon my joyful reunion with my condo, I immediately called mys sister and busted up laughing about the oddity that had just occurred.  It really was hilarious.  I then remembered to text him back. And despite his insistence on texting me when I got safely home, he didn't text back. No thank you, no good night, no nothing.

That is until 2 weeks later when he texted me. I didn't respond (but not because I'm shy). I'm assuming the attempt to reconnect was because the girl he had been dating wised up and moved on.

UPDATE: I was having a girl's night with a  good friend and we were swapping dating horror stories. I started telling her this story, and as soon as I said where he worked at, her  jaw dropped, she asked his name, and we discovered that she had been out with this same guy a couple of years ago in what was also a horrible experience. It was a pretty hilarious discovery!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

My decision to serve a mission felt like I got broadsided by a 2X4 (God works in mysterious ways). Below is the intro to my two farewell talks regarding my decision to serve a mission (but I have added more details.  Random sidenote: so would this be considered a Clifford's notes version? i.e. the long version or opposite of "Cliff's Notes" haha.  That's probably not even funny, I am just super sleep deprived due to thoughts about my fast approaching mission keeping me awake).  I apologize for those who had to suffer through one (or both ) of my talks and are thus bothered with redundancy, but I felt the need to memorialize my decision to serve here on my blog: 

On February 17 of this year I found out that the Lord wanted me to serve a mission. I remember this date distinctly because it came as a big shock. I was visiting my parents for the weekend and was attending a session of stake conference with them.  During the meeting the impression came that I should serve a mission.  Now, normally I am pretty good at suppressing these kinds of crazy thoughts that pop into my brain.  However, in this instance even though I knew the thought of me serving a mission was insane, I had never had an impression hit me that hard before, and I knew that it was the Lord's will. And I started to cry. Profusely and uncontrollably. My poor sister sitting next to me kindly handed me tissue after tissue to help stem the Niagra Falls of tears that I was producing.  (On the plus side she thought I was really, really into the speakers, so that was good.) 

After the meeting I went to a private area and I prayed and turned to the scriptures to see if this crazy notion was indeed what the Lord wanted me to do.  At the suggestion of my wonderful mother, I had been participating in a 30 day "take a daily question to the scriptures challenge" from the book Change Your Questions, Change your Life, by Wendy Watson Nelson.  On that particular Sunday I was almost done with this challenge.  I felt the Spirit confirm to me after my prayer and study that I was to serve a mission, and then I read through my journal entries from the past several weeks of doing this challenge.  And the answers that I had received from the scriptures regarding questions I had about school and work and relationships, all pointed towards a mission, something that I, in my thickheadedness, had not noticed until that the prompting came in that session of Stake Conference.

After reading my scriptures and past journal entries, I went downstairs to tell Mom and Dad concerning the Lord's desire for me to serve a mission.  Once I saw my mother, I started bawling again.  Upon seeing my blubbering my Mother's face was one of pure panic.  I am not sure what was going through her mind, but I am pretty sure that she was in the beginning stages of cardiac arrest.  I was able to choke out that the Lord wanted me to serve a mission and that I was scared. Mom lead me into the living room and she held me as I cried. I told her how the impression had come to me during Stake Conference and how I had prayed about it and felt like I got a confirmation.  I didn't really talk too much because I was crying so hard and honestly it was such a shock.  After a while, I asked if we could pray together and we went into the other room and told Dad and asked him to pray with us.  Mom offered a prayed for me to have confidence in the promptings I had received and to have comfort and peace.  This prayer was answered, and has been numerous times since as I have prepared to serve my mission.

I contacted the ward clerk that night and set up an appointment with the bishop that week. This was done so quickly because I wanted to show the Lord that I would faithfully act on the promptings He gave me, and also I was hoping that my bishop would talk me out of this whole crazy mission idea. At the beginning, everything I did in preparing to serve a mission, including meeting with the bishop and going to the stake mission prep class, I did with the intent to be talked out of going with a mission--that never happened. In fact, these preparations only confirmed to me that I should serve a mission. 

Although I had received a confirmation of the decision to serve a mission, I still had concerns and worries and a lot of doubts.  I knew that the Lord wanted me to serve a mission,  but so many things seemed to argue against this fact, like I didn't want to go, I am a few years older than the 19 year old missionary,  I have a mortgage, I have a job and a life here,  and I try to avoid people rather than seek them out and share personal experiences with them. And included in this unending list of reasons why I didn't/couldn't/ or wouldn't serve a  mission was the fact that I really didn't want to give a talk in church.  Of all the concerns this was indeed one of the more ridiculous ones, but it was a very real concern.  God has a sense of humor though, first of all because I never had any desire to go on a mission and somehow he's gotten me ready and excited to go out into the field, and also because I not only have to give a talk in church, but I get to give two, in my single's ward and in my parents' ward.

The decision and preparation to serve a mission has been filled with trials and blessings.  It's been a rough road, but the Lord has been on my side and has strengthened and supported me.  Also, my wonderful family and friends have been such an amazing source of support, encouragement, and love.  I have been very blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord and the people of California Rancho Cucamonga in T-minus 14 days!!!


I love cupcakes. They are yummy. They are cute. They are just all around fun.  And now they are an object lesson:

I Want to Be a Cupcake
I was tasty batter, that wanted to be free,
Free to be myself, and make the most of me.

"What do you want of life?" My maker asked of me.
"A yummy, yummy cupcake is what I want to be."

"You must have some guidelines, ' that's what I was told.
"For you cannot be a cupcake, unless you have a mold."

What? Live within the bounds of a simple paper ring?
Oh no, I"ll be a cupcake by doing my own thing.

"It's a lot of nonsense, " I told of friend of mind.
"I can live outside the mold and I will do just fine!"

"You may need those rules and laws, to be what you should be.
But I'm a better batter; those rules weren't meant for me."

So, the others started rising; so light, so round so neat.
While I oozed and dripped and fell apart; I couldn't take the heat.

And now the others are frosted, with pink sweet happiness.
I want to be a cupcake...for now I'm just a mess.

I am so grateful for the commandments that the Lord has given me for my protection.  They are such a blessing to me!

(I came across this poem as I've been packing up by apartment in preparation to go on my mission.  This poem was shared in my ward last summer. I don't know who the author is, and my attempts to discover the author have been unsuccessful.)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Science and Economics of Snow Cones

I recently hung out with a group of friends and we decided to go get snow cones.  The particular snow cone shack was chosen because it always had a line and lots of people sitting at tables outside of the shack. Little did we know, that that was not a positive thing.

We waited probably 10 minutes in line before we were able to place our orders.  Part of the hold up was that this particular snow cone shack had a rewards program.  Really, it's a snow cone shack. I think that the cheap price and the fact that they are only available 3 months out of the year would be arguments against having a rewards program.  After I placed my order, I was informed that it would be a 15 minute wait (yep, you read that right).

The 15 minute wait (and it was indeed that long of a wait), was inexplicable considering that there were 4 employees in that shack, and of course due to the fact that the product is snow cones.  Admittedly there were options to have more than the typical two ingredients that comprise snow cones (shaved ice and flavored syrup), such as ice cream and sweetened condensed milk.  However, these additions could only have added 15 seconds to the preparation time.

This snow cone shack could not have been running more inefficiently or stupidly, which is ridiculous because they are snow cones NOT rocket science.  That comparison is ineffectual, it's too broad, but I am not going to even try to come up with better comparison because that would be more work than making a snow cone (probably would take less time to think of one though than to make a snow cone though, haha!)  They were making snow cones, there's really no margin for error because there's no possible way to err in making a snow cone (although they for sure tried their hardest by being so slow).  I failed to see the purpose of 4 employees, because they certainly weren't expediting a 30 second process, in fact quite the opposite.  The biggest slow-down was that they only had one shaved ice machine--but I didn't know how to kindly suggest that they get a few more ice machines and get rid of the extra staff.

Not only was it a super long wait for little payoff (I mean snow cones are good, but not a fifteen minute wait good), but I paid a pretty penny for that stupid snow cone.  They definitely have a high profit margin, although I guess they would need a high profit margin to pay for all the extra useless staff.

More Facebook Woes

Did you know that people can just add you into groups on Facebook, without your knowledge and/or permission?  This is something that I recently discovered by being added to two different groups within the past month.  At first I was okay with it, but then I started getting 100 updates from said groups. Per hour.

I feel like it is the real-world equivalent waking up to 1,000 strangers in your living room, having been invited there by one pseudo-friend. You have something in common with each of them, like say you're all going to be sister missionaries, but at the same time these people are still strangers, they are invading your personal space, and every 15 seconds someone says something really long-winded, pointless, and attention-seeking (I know, you'd think that these would definitely be my kind of people, but they are not).

It is, in a word, annoying.

I guess what these so-called friends are saying when they add me to some stupid group is that they don't want to be friends with me on Facebook anymore.  At least that's the message that I am getting loud and clear.

I'm not sure which is sadder, the fact that I am too lazy to figure out how to get out of this new group (I already removed myself from the first group to which I was unwillingly added to) or the fact that being added to these new groups hasn't chased me off of Facebook.