Friday, December 7, 2012

Zoo Lights!

Last night I went to Zoo Lights at the Hogle Zoo. It was awesome.  A great Groupon deal was the impetus for this trip to the zoo and it turned out to be a lot of fun.  A lot of the exhibits were closed, but the lights were beautiful, and plentiful and many of them had the illusion of motion. 

This alligator was really cool.  The lights created the illusion that he was snapping. I nicknamed him "Snappy."

Cool rhino.  I really liked the fog in this picture.

Awesome elephant shaped lights. I want some of these for my place!

The big cats were very active!  It was fun to see them out and about and to hear them growling.  
'Hobbes' the Tiger (and yes I named him too.)

Snow Leopard

My roommate Jessica with the snow leopard (it just looks like a soft blanket, unfortunately.  My camera and the photographer **ahem** weren't quite up to par for the task of an action shot.)
Making friends with the gorilla.
Being even friendlier with the gorilla

The Elephant came out for a late-night snack.

The zoo train wasn't running, but this one was cute so I got a picture with me 'in' the caboose.

 I had never been to the zoo's new Rocky Shores exhibit.  It was awesome. I am looking forward to going to the zoo during normal hours and hopefully seeing more animals in the exhibit.

I also fell in love with the soft cuddly bears. They were so cute.

Unfortunately it turns out that there was no ice carving as had been advertised. Despite that disappointment, the Zoo Lights more than made up for that. It was really fun; I already want to go again! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Awful Aptitudes

You know how some people have very obvious talents like singing or drawing or playing the piano?  Welllll, I was not blessed with such talents. In fact, my talents are so obscure that even I'm not sure what they are; but tonight I recognized not only one, but two!

Unfortunately they tend to make me seem like a creeper.

First of all, not only do I have "a command of thoroughly useless information" but sometimes this useless information is about near-strangers.  The awkwardness of meeting new people often cements into my mind minute details about said person.  Every time I see this person at, oh say, a ward activity, my brain is able to key in on these details.

This would be an awesome talent if I could share it, but I have to use all of my willpower to hold back the ten facts that I know about this person when they start saying that we've never met and ask me what my name is. I have to hide my light under a bushel so that I don't creep people out.

My second talents that I discovered tonight is that I have keen observation skills--and not in a 'outside- your-window-on-a-tree-branch-with-a-pair-of- binoculars' kind of way.  And perhaps even more impressive, not in a Facebook Stalker kind of way either.  I think that this talent is what led me to study psychology and to learn to love classics, because both teach you about the human condition.  I sought to understand that things that I have observed.  This skill though helps me to glean even more information about people (see above for how this would make me seem like even more of a creeper).

Actually I guess I just discovered another talent: keeping my mouth shut and hiding my crazy (except for those rare occasions when I open up and share my inner most thoughts and desires and craziness on the Internet...)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Texting is the Bane of my Existence...

....mostly because there seems to be no etiquette involved.  I got a text at 12:26 AM to inform me of the musical numbers that were to be included in the Sunday program in eight and a half hours. This was obviously vital information that could not wait, so it in no way prompted me to get out of bed and start typing this diatribe.

One of the main reasons that I don't like texting because of the horrible effect that it has had on human interaction.  It would seem odd that someone as anti-social as me would hate the very technology that enables one to have the least amount of contact with other humans, but in a cruel twist of irony, texting has made me miss real face-to-face human contact that actually meant something.  Now most of my interactions with friends occurs via a screen and is so watered down that I'm not even sure if I can count it as a social interaction, because its so superficial.  You win cruel world: I miss interacting with real people.  Honestly it has gotten to the point where when some people text me, its almost physically painful because I view their text as not caring enough to pick up the phone and call (you win again cruel world, I even miss talking on the phone. This does not apply to all people or situations, but oft times lately I have felt this way.)

I also hate it because it is a cop-out. Its a way not to have to face real emotions and real feelings.  Intricate questions that should be asked on a date, for example, have been sent to me via text message.  I don't know how to respond to these questions because A) I'm caught off guard by the question itself and B) the medium through which the question is asked is entirely inappropriate. Also, texting gives individuals false courage to say whatever they feel like saying....the medium distances them from seeing or caring how their words affect their poor recipient/victim.  I haven't seen this particular situation myself, but on a lesser scale I have because unfortunately there is no sarcasm font, and I am sure that the things that I text are not always interpreted correctly---and despite what people think,  THIS:  :) or :( or any other emoticon, does not actually make what one says via text okay.

Its amazing how quickly the technology of  texting took off, but the effects that come from texting have appeared just as rapidly.  Our society is filled with socially inept, and socially immature people---and the really scary part is that the majority of society does not have a problem with it.

There are many more ways in which the technology of texting has become the bane of my existence, but I should probably try to go back to sleep rather than attempt to expound on them right now...but if another even  more incoherent post immediately follows this (or if you hear of my arrest on the news) you'll know that it is due to some moron texting me at a socially inappropriate hour.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I'm Too Old to Be in a Singles Ward....

....and not because I think that 23 is old. Its more that I'm an old soul. I really think that I'm like an 80 year old at heart.  This unfortunately means that I have a hard time relating to the other people in my ward, and it also means that I don't like the idea of watching an outdoor movie for Family Home Evening in mid-October.  I like movies.  I like being outside. I cannot tolerate being cold though, so I draw the line when it comes to sitting on the cold hard ground on an even even colder, frosty Fall night.

Also, this might just be my elderly crankiness coming out, but when did watching movies become a good way to socialize and meet people?  Admittedly the last outdoor movie Family Home Evening I went to (which I was excited about, at first, but then again that was because it was held during the Summer...), I did meet people, but they made me feel somewhat homicidal because they were once again, still not good for socializing.

And to keep the tirade going: we watched a movie last week for FHE! I guess it still beats speed dating though.

Friday, September 28, 2012

K as in....uh....uh....Kangaroo?

I'm not the biggest fan of talking on the phone.  Mostly because I am surprisingly bad at it.  This sounds stupid, but its true. When I talk on the phone I get tongue-tied and I fumble all over the place.  This isn't usually too bad during the course of a normal phone conversation where the other party is able to cut me off and direct the conversation far better than I am capable of, but all of the voicemail messages I leave are always awkwardly horrible.  Even as I am leaving the message I feel how stupid I am, but I am already too far in to turn back, so I just rush through the rest of the message I am leaving, quickly sign off and spend the next 15 minutes overanalyzing the awkward message I just left.

I also have this horribly high squeaky voice, which only gets higher and squeakier when I speak on the phone. Seriously, why do people even have phone voices? And why can't I control mine better?!!

Honestly, I never feel like a bigger idiot than when I am on the phone....except for possibly the one exception of when I'm on the phone at work, and unfortunately for me, a large part of my job requires me to answer phones.

Today at work a client  called and asked for some information. I ended up having to share a few email addresses with her and had to spell them out for her.Why is it so hard to come up with a words that start with the letter you are saying when you are spelling a word out for people? Is this just me? I've always struggle with it, I hmmm and haw for a good minute every time and sound like a complete moron as I scour my brain for a word, any word, that starts with that letter.

Today was even worse than usual because the client on the phone had an Australian accent and the first letter of the word was 'k,' so my brain brilliantly came up with, "K as in Kangaroo."  At which point I started mentally kicking myself hoping that she wouldn't be offended by the word that I had chosen (I realize it doesn't sound offensive, but still it wasn't the best choice to come to mind, and unfortunately it was the only word that came to mind).

Monday, September 3, 2012

More Things I Will Never Understand

1. The continued use of 2 sided dvd's. Such a pain! 

2. How few people find it disturbing that people are now in love with their phones. The Siri feature: CREEEEEPY!!!  perhaps its just the commericals that make it creepy, but the celebrities constantly talking to an operating system and asking their phone if it is raining, when they are looking out the window and SEEING rain is, oh, what's the word?...CREEPY!!  

3. Speed Dating. As much as I love small talk and being herded around by the sound of a bell, and being judged by my comments to random questions by random strangers in the space of three minutes, I would much rather be doing, well, anything else.  I think we're taking the wrong approach with locking up terrorists and waterboarding.  10 minutes of speed dating at an LDS singles ward will have those criminals whipped into perfect gentlemen, just so that they don't have to endure anymore of this real torture (come on ACLU, why aren't you fighting against this real torture. And yes, some people might argue that it was self-inflicted, but no, no it was not.  REalizeing that NO ONE likes speed dating, and yet, not realizing for themselves how pointless and annoying this acitivty is, the powers that be on the activities committee cleverly disguised the event by a fun, unique label, thus successfully hiding the ugly, twisted nature of the real activity)

4. Why the welfare system is still around. Ok, I realize that some people need an extra hand up, and I am all for giving it to them, and only them until they are back on their feet.  But I think its safe to say the the majority of the people on welfare should not be on it, but are too lazy and do not have a Jiminiy Cricket to tell them that their continued milking of the government is completely unethical and disgusting.

5. Insurance....  and Electoral Colleges. Believe it or not these two things are related: because they are both completely impossible to understand  No matter how often they are explained to me, in many different ways, I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER comprehend either of these.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Commenter

There's one in every ward.  You know the person, the one who when they raise their hand in Sunday School or Relief Society the rest of the group collectively rolls their eyes and grits their teeth.  This is the person who constantly comments during lessons.  Not only do they comment frequently, but their comments are looong and take up half the lesson.  And more than half time their comments are so off the mark that you can't help but feel embarrassed for these people (even though they are so socially unaware that they would never be embarrassed for themselves).

I tend to err in the other direction when it comes to commenting by not commenting at all. This is due in part to extreme shyness, but also because I do not ever want to be the person who makes the awkward, or long, or frequent comments.

Tonight I discovered that the Resident Commenter in my ward signed up for the same Institute class as me.   And bonus...her long tangential comments aren't just reserved for Sunday!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quack, Quack

I love ducks.  Now I know this is random, and for a self-proclaimed animal hater, it is extremely odd, but I love ducks.

I don’t know why I love ducks so much, but I’ve always liked ducks: My mother would take me to the park to feed ducks growing up, Daisy Duck was my nighttime protector and closest confident for more years than I’d care to admit.  I also grew up watching DuckTales and Darkwing Duck and Daffy Duck and Ernie with his ever present Rubber Duck (squeak, squeak). 

One of the perks of my new condo is that the area has a lot of waterfowl.  One morning I found a duck waddling around my parking lot.  I named him Roger.  He made my day.  I carefully backed my car up, making sure not to crush Roger and the rest of the day I was happy.

Recently I discovered the book ’10 Little Rubber Ducks’ by Eric Carle, which is not only based on actual events, but is an adorable story    At work, my coworker and I used to draw on post-it notes with hilighters, and we often drew ducks for each other…She even convinced her boyfriend, who owns a local pizza place to name a pizza after me: The Allison Duck (we had both been trying to get him to put duck on one of his pizza creations, he compromised with the name, but no duck, although I’m kind of glad now that I didn’t eat any of my cute friends.). 

Every time I see a duck my affinity for these fine feathered friends is reaffirmed.  I think one of the reasons why I love ducks so much is that they are always cute.  Seriously, has anyone seen an ugly duck (Amazingly I didn’t even catch that I almost quoted a Hans Christian Anderson title, yet even then the ugly duckling was in fact a baby swan)?  From ducklings to full sized ducks, ducks are super cute. No other animal that I can think of can boast cute young and old.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Things I Will Never Understand

1. How Planes Fly.
Sure, I get the principles of lift, thrust, drag and wieight.  Theoretically flight makes sense.  But I'm much more familiar with gravity--which is why it is hard for me to believe that mid-flight, the plane is NOT going to plummet to the Earth.

2. Pretty Woman
I do not understand how this is considered a romantic movie (Ok, the end scene where Richard Gere climbs the fire escape is pretty romantic, but I still cannot get over the whole prostitution thing...)

3.  Shoes that have the individual toes
I don't care how good they are for running, NO ONE should ever wear these monstrosities.

4.  Children with smartphones.
Really?! Your 3 year old needs an I-phone to Skype with you?

5. The name the Berenstain Bears chose for their third child.
You remember those moral-teaching bears from childhood: Mama, Papa, Brother and, Sister Bear?  Well, while browsing through some books at a store a while back I noticed that the Bear family had grown.  Papa and Mama Bear had a new bundle of joy, and named it....Honey.  Yes, Honey.  Now, typically I would have no objection to a bear being named Honey, but in this particular family where the two oldest kids are literally named, Brother and Sister, why isn't this new addition named Baby Bear?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

If I Were a Zombie (My Social Encounters Would be a lot More Clear Cut)

As I have faithfully documented in this blog, I am a magnet for weirdos (as a result, I’m really hoping that this is due to the “opposites attract’ philosophy, which would mean that I am not one of these weirdos…I just unfortunately attract them). One such encounter occurred at a church activity (I know this is so odd! Its not like there are a ton of oddities in Singles Wards…not!). I struck up a conversation with a guy and in a strange course of events (for me at least, for him it was probably very normal) the conversation turned to zombies and the impending zombie apocalypse…I’m not adept at handling normal social encounters, so I am extremely out of my element when these odd situations arise (which they seem to do with a concerning amount of regularity, which makes me think that the ‘birds of a feather flock together’ is the true ruler of the law of attraction…).

Anywho...back to zombies, because after that somewhat disturbing turn in the conversation, I have been hearing more and more about zombies. I was afraid that it would be the next creepy tween (and middle aged women) fad like over the Twilight books….but I’ve actually started getting into some of the zombie material out there. I watched Dylan Dog which was pretty cool movie and I’ve read a few young adult novels about zombies and they are just.... cool. Plus there’s no effeminate sparkling vampire stalker or whiny, extremely dependent, um, heroine? Protagonist? ??? Let's go with Main Character.

A few people have told me that I haven’t really gotten into the zombie genre…but I really don’t need to see all the gore and blood associated with zombies. I like my watered down versions of zombies, because I can enjoy them AND still be able to sleep at night (win-win).

Truthfully, my turn to the dork side, at least with regards to zombies, began well before meeting this bearer of the bad news of the zombie apocalypse.  In fact my interest in zombies started around last Halloween when my sister introduced me to “the zombie song” by Stephanie Maeby…it’s just fun (Seriously. Look it up). 

Zombies are just fun---although I still probably won’t bring up them up in conversation the first time I talk with somebody… I’m weird but I’ve learned to hide my crazy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I have a confession to make: I don’t like cooking for other people. 

Its not the actual work involved that I don’t like (although clean-up is a beast); I like to cook and bake. I’ve always liked it.  One of my favorite things to do growing up was to help out my mom in the kitchen. (Admittedly its gotten less fun when I discovered that it is work and I have to do it to survive…).  

Baking for other people is stressful because there’s so much that can go wrong: burnt food, overcooking, undercooking, misreading the recipe, improvising when one runs out of ingredient, allergies---the list goes on and on.  On the occasions where I am guilted into making food for someone else, I tell them that everything that I make comes with a warning.  The sad thing is people think I’m joking….

I think that there’s an inherent trust laid upon me when I make something for other people. It’s a heavy burden because its not only a “don’t accidentally kill them” burden, but a “this had better be the most delicious thing that this person has EVER eaten” kind of responsibility….so yeah, with that much self-inflicted pressure, I don’t volunteer to cook very often.  I don’t admit to fully understand this feeling of “an inherent trust” laid upon me when I cook for others, because I don’t feel the same way when I eat food that other people have prepared.

Here’s the really insane thing about my cooking for other people phobia: I am no gourmet. Most everything I make comes from a mix….so really I’m shouldering Betty Crocker’s guilt should something go wrong.

I guess I should point out here that I have never killed anyone with my cooking.....although the  roommate who spat out my brownie almost got a beating….

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"I'm a barista" "And I'm a Chance. Both good families."

I don’t mean to brag, but I have a pretty glamorous job.  I mean I get to do hours of filing and get to be the scapegoat for other people’s mistakes and get to retrieve the boss’ morning coffee.
The last task feels especially demeaning.  I realize that in the corporate hierarchy my job  amounts to little more than a glorified secretary, but still getting somebody some coffee is not the kind of thing I thought I would be doing ever, especially after graduating from college.

This morning I went to the break room and poured my boss his coffee and took it in to him.  I returned to the break room because I had left the coffee pot mostly empty and there is a giant sign above the coffee maker which was yelling at me to make a new batch.

Seems like a simple task, right? Not so much. I don’t drink coffee.  I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  The Lord has revealed a Word of Wisdom to help keep our bodies and minds healthy and strong.  The Word of Wisdom warns against use of alcohol and tobacco as well as ‘hot drinks’ which include tea and coffee. Because I don’t drink coffee,  I also don’t know how to make it..  One of my coworkers, was in the breakroom, so I asked her for help.  While she is also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, she has worked at this job longer than I have, so I thought she would be able to teach me how to make coffee.  She attempted to, but she had a hard time remembering what needed to be done.  It was definitely an instance of the blind leading the blind, and when we eventually figured it out, we still weren’t sure if we had done it correctly.  

After that frustrating, harrowing ordeal, I returned to my desk, and the boss came out of his office and said, “You’re not much of a coffee drinker are you, Allison.”  I responded, “No,  why?” 

I had given him cold coffee that had been in the coffeemaker all night!  I was mortified! 

And then I was even more worried about how the coffee I had made would turn out…I gave the new batch to my boss, and as far as I know it turned out ok.  At least he didn’t say anything.  It’s entirely possible that the coffee was horrible and as my face was beet red for a good twenty minutes (at least) he might have felt too bad to make any comment.

By the by... the title of this post is a quote from an episode of Season 1 of Raising Hope--if you haven't see it, you need to check it out.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I just saw that a prequel to the Wizard of Oz is coming out.


Didn't all of the important elements of the story already happen?

 Is it going to be about Dorothy as a kindergartner and the Scarecrow's progression from growing in a hay field to protecting the corn fields?

I'm just not a fan of prequels in general. Has there ever been a good one?  I can't think of one.

Why does Hollywood insist on ruining classic stories with stupid prequels and/or sequels?  

On the same website that I found out this troubling information, I also saw a headline stating that a 'Psycho' prequel was coming to TV.  I was too scared to click on the link....and not because of Norman Bates...but once again, didn't all of the important and exciting parts of the story already happen?

Hollywood needs to step it up in terms of their creativity.  Rehashing old story lines and adapting classic story lines into monstrosities that cast a horrible shadow over their classic, well-done forebears needs to be done away with.  At least that's what I would wish for if I had some ruby slippers.

Couch Potato

I wrote this a while back and just rediscovered it on my flash drive, so I thought I'd post it:

My new condo has new carpet and a new paint job, which is awesome.  The color palette for both is in the beige-tan area of the color palette, which is not my usual preference, but it creates a warm tone which is nice.  Also, I view it as a blank canvas to decorate with lots of color.

I’ve been looking for a couch for a few weeks now, even more so now that I've moved in and realize how much I miss having a couch.  I’ve been salivating over a couch I found online, it’s a beautiful floral pattern--which doesn’t sound like me, but trust me it is gorgeous.  Originally I’ve wanted a red, but not too red, couch.  The floral couch online looks like it has purple flowers, but its listed as red, so I’m not sure what  I would actually be getting if I did break down and purchase it. I love it, but I also think that it would be hard to find things to go with it.

So in the face of this indecision, today I branched out from online shopping and went to two furniture stores in the area.  At the first place I started wandering around, when behind me, I heard someone saying, “how are you today, Ma’am.”  Because it sounded so far away, and also because I don’t feel like I am old enough for people to call me Ma’am (sidenote: I don’t think that I will ever feel old enough for people to call me that…I hate being called ‘ma’am’ it makes me cringe) I continued to peruse the options, assuming it was directed towards someone else.  It wasn't.  After she called out to me again I turned around to find a saleswoman a good ten feet off, she hurried to my side, asked me what I was shopping for and then proceeded to take me around the entire showroom without my being able to tell her what specifically I was looking for in a couch, and then barely stopping long enough for me to touch the various couches, let alone to sit down and test them out.

            To be fair, all of the couches were so horrible that I didn’t actually want to sit down.  Okay, they weren't all horrible, but she kept pointing out tan colored couches that would be camouflaged in my condo.  Seriously if I had put one of those things in my living room, I’m not sure I could have found it again. I did like some of the models, but couldn't get past the blah color, so I asked if any of them came in different colors.  They didn't.  My trip was subsequently short-lived.  Fortunately she asked me if I liked contemporary or traditional style and she actually listened to my response so I was able to avoid anything with brass tacks.  Unfortunately she used my response of liking contemporary furniture to tell me that I’m a modern girl, something I’m still not entirely sure how to interpret.

            At store number two there were several salespeople standing around doing nothing, and as I shopped they continued with their busy schedule of doing nothing.  In fact one customer asked me where the table section was, which surprised me because I was wearing my overcoat so I didn’t think I looked like a store employee, and I was also curious as to why he felt I was more approachable than the employee-statues.  As I was finishing up the semi-circular route I was taking throughout the couches, which led back towards the front door, one of the salespeople told me goodbye,  which is odd seeing as how I wasn't that close to the front door (where they have an actual greeter) and I wasn’t done yet! It was wonderful customer service, let me tell you. 

            Store number 2 had a better selection in general, and had more color options, but the only couch I really liked was a red (!) one, but it was a sleeper, and I don’t want to spend extra money on a feature that I know that I will never use. 

            I know that I’m a picky person, but I didn’t think that it would be this hard to find a couch.  My biggest problem is that I’m anti- microfiber (don’t get me started), and I really don’t want to deal with the upkeep of a leather couch, plus it’s not my style anyhow.  (There do appear to be an abundance of red leather couches, which are just about the most hideous things I have ever seen in my entire life.  Do people actually buy these things?  I’ve seen them at all the furniture stores I’ve been too.  Are they so popular that stores keep stocking them, or are they so unpopular that they can’t sell them?  It’s a mystery.)

 I’m just looking for a simple fabric couch with a little bit of personality, which is a lot harder to find than I would have originally thought.

****update**** This story has a happy ending. While I didn't end up getting my red couch, I did get an excellent deal on some beautiful blue couches, plus I got tables and lamps all for the same price as the red couch I was considering.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I work for the government.  I got so bored just typing that sentence that I fear for the rest of this post. I had a point when I began this post, but that first sentence has summed up my pathetic work life a little too well and I'm not sure if I should even bother to continue. (Obviously work is going really well for me right now...).  Anyways, government buildings, like the one I work in, are sometimes targeted by disgruntled people, idiots, activists, and even pyschopaths (and in the case where the term "going postal" is derived, government workers themselves)....well at least that's what we've learned about in our security training seminars.

Today I was sitting at my desk diligently doing my work, when a coworker came by and told me the building was being evacuated.  (Kids, the lesson to take home from this is that hard work is rewarded, sometimes instantaneously).  I grabbed my purse and headed towards an exit, but the majority of my coworkers were hanging out the in the halls chatting and questioning if it was a real evacuation, a few people were leaving via the elevator (in an effort to get to their cars and leave before they were locked out of the building and potentially stranded), and others were sitting at their desks refusing to move until an "official" evacuation was called (perhaps they only considered an actual bomb going off as official?).

It was a well executed safety plan on many levels.

I headed to my department's designated emergency meeting spot and was informed that a suspicious package had been discovered near the building, hence the evacuation.  I speculated that the package was a homeless man's clothes. Roll was taken by our emergency team leaders, who were looking very dapper and not at all dorky in their official orange vests, with their clipboards and walkie-talkies (they were  very Dwight Schrute-esque).

Luckily it was right before lunch and after they took roll we got to go eat anywhere we wanted--provided that we could walk there, seeing as our cars were trapped in the parking structure under the building.

After lunch we still weren't allowed back in the building.

We waited....and waited...and waited....until....


There was a small explosion as the bomb squad detonated a bag of clothes (See! I am psychic).

We returned to work, but its amazing how tiring waiting around can be, especially when that waiting period stretches on for two and a half hours and has no end in sight. I was exhausted when I got back and all of my motivation and probably even my ability to work was gone. Plus it was Friday afternoon, when all of my motivation and ability to work competently is gone anyways---but I'm sure you can imagine how the forced evacuation would make these feelings multiply exponentially.

I not only survived the suspicious bag filled with clothes, but I survived the rest of the work day.  I'm thinking of having t-shirts made up....

Friday, June 15, 2012

Big (Not) Yellow Taxi

My car was sick this past week. At least that's what I assumed based on the fact that the check engine light was on.  With a road trip pending I felt even more urgency than normal to get my car fixed.  So I braved my extreme fear of telephoning strangers and called up the car dealership and scheduled an appointment.  The appointment being on a workday, I had to figure out a way to work after I dropped my car off to be fixed. Which is how I rode in a taxi for the first time in my life.

I'm kind of an urbanite. I'm a city girl, and riding in a taxi cab has been an unfulfilled dream for pretty much my whole life.  When I was nine I got to go to New York City, but a cab ride was not in the stars for me at the time, it was rather disappointing.

The long-awaited cab ride was disappointing on several levels. First off, the cab was red. Granted that was my fault for calling the particular cab company that I did, and normally I love the color red, but in my opinion taxi cabs should be yellow. They just should.  Second, every time I looked at the meter, I had a mild panic attack as the dollar amount I owed rose and rose and rose. Third, the cabbie didn't ask me any trivia questions (ok, I didn't expect to be on the show Cash Cab, but I couldn't help but think of that show during my car ride).  Fourth, it was kind of awkward to ride with a complete stranger.  I actually ended up having two taxi rides to and from work that day. The first cab driver was friendly and we chatted for a little bit, and it was actually pretty fun.  The second driver had a pretty severe case of anti-social personality disorder and was stoically silent. I have this compulsion to make conversation when there's silence of any kind, but feeling that it would be less awkward to sit in silence than to strike up a conversation with this gruff, abrupt gentleman, I refrained from trying to fill the silence in this instance. Barely.  Finally, the cab ride was disappointing because, as I discovered first-hand, cabs are smelly.  It wasn't overwhelming, but it was pretty unpleasant.  I'm not sure how some people in larger cities can handle having cab rides as their main mode of transportation--I know that my nose wouldn't be able to handle it.

Although disappointing, I can now say that I've ridden in a cab! Which is oddly fulfilling.

On a completely unrelated note (meaning completely and totally separate from me or my circumstances), did you know that not having your gas cap screwed in tightly enough can set off the check engine light?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Design Seminar

I dragged my friend to a free design seminar at a local furniture store this past week because:
A) It was free
B) I like interior design
C) The store was giving out $25 gift cards to the participants

When we arrived, there were only a handful of people there. It was also immediately apparent that we were a lot younger than the rest of the group. The designer conducting the seminar was obviously surprised by our youthful presence. He was also apparently quite excited by this fact because he spent the evening mainly speaking to my friend and me and asking us questions, while either ignoring the rest of the group or calling them 'old' numerous times as he explained complex terms such as 'retro' and 'vintage.' Also, whenever he attempted to explain anything (such as contemporary vs. traditional style) he ended u p contradicting himself. A lot.

It was entertaining, if not very informative.

At the end of the session, while they had a drawing for a $50 gift card, the designer came up and talked to me about the comments he had forced out of me earlier. I was content to just sit back and soak in the information but while he was preaching solely to the "young crowd," he also wanted the "young crowd" to share their opinions and ask questions.

It was nice of him to follow up, fur the problem was he didn't let up. I tried to break up our conversation numerous times, but with no success. His persistence and the fact that he wasn't actually listening to what I said, made for a not very interest, mostly one-sided conversation.

I purposely avoided eye contact with my friend, because I was holding back laughter at how absurd this guy was, and I knew I was about to start laughing if I looked at her. He continued in his persistent efforts to convince me that the designing world was at my fingertips, even though I am completely broke and had informed him of such.

I ended up breaking out in a hearty laugh, which caused my friend to laugh. My new designer "friend" also laughed, but it was a social laugh-simply laughing because we were. I felt bad about laughing at him, and I had tried with all my might to keep it in, but failed miserably. He was completely oblivious to the fact that we were laughing at him, which unfortunately caused me to laugh harder.

Finally I found a gap in the conversation to thank him and inform him that we needed to be on our way.

To this he responded, "Okay, let me show you something."

Another bout of laughing ensured as he led us halfway around the store to show us some retro designs mixed with modern furniture. On this little tour my friend pointed out to me a couch that she liked. I excitedly informed her that that was the exact set that I had purchased the week before for my new condo.

Interrupting me, the designer told me, "No, you don't want that one." At this point I almost couldn't breathe, I was laughing so hard, but he continued to lead us through the store and then showed me a horribly ugly burgandy colored couch which was clashing terribly with a red rug.

I guess our non-enthusiasm about this furniture set, and my once again thanking him and telling him we needed to go finally convinced him to leave us alone, and miraculously he left.

There were definitley strings attached to this free seminar, mostly in the form of trying to ward off the persistent designer...but for a free night I did get some pretty good laughter therapy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

How I Learned that Trespassing is Just a Citable Offense

Today I went to get the keys to my new condo and to hear "the good news and the bad news" which I had been informed of earlier that week. I met my aunt (also known as the Amazing Realtor) and her trusty assistant (my cousin) at my condo, where I found them deep cleaning my bathrooms, but they had been hard at work cleaning my whole apartment before I had arrived.

My Aunt asked me if I wanted to hear the good news or the bad news first. Being the eternal pessimist, I opted to hear the bad news first (plus my curiosity was overwhelming me). This is the bad news she relayed to me.

She had been informed after our closing (read after the property belonged to me) by the title company (I believe...not entirely sure) that the seller was upset that I was living there already. Apparently after his closing he had gone to give his goodbyes to his friend and former neighbor. She had informed the seller that she was under the impression that someone was already living in the condo. My Aunt informed the individual from the title company that she had been coming and going with plumbers and electricians who were creating bids for a little home improvement project, and so that was probably why the neighbor was under the impression that somebody already lived there.

Well with that topic on her mind, when she went to go get the condo keys for me from the lockbox, she decided to check out the apartment (something that she probably wouldn't have done otherwise). In the kitchen was a cell phone charging, there was a bra hanging off a doorknob, and a camp chair set up. She bravely stepped further into the condo and called out to see if anyone was there. From the bedroom she heard snoring, so she promptly went outside and called the individual at the title company to inquire if they knew who it was. They didn't and advised my Aunt to call the police, which she did.

Yes. I had a squatter in my condo. A SQUATTER! IN MY CONDO!

An officer arrived on the scene, who announced, "Salt Lake City Police. Identify Yourself."

My squatter apparently started freaking out and packing up. At some point she informed the officer that she was the sister of the cleaning woman and then later told him she was the woman hired to clean the apartment (I'm assuming that the seller had hired a cleaning woman, because I certainly didn't). Either way, she definitely did not have permission to be there.

The contractor,(hired by the seller, for who knows what) ended up coming by and he knew the woman but informed the police officer that he had given her permission to stay there (not that he had the right to give her permission anyhow...).

The squatter was cited for trespassing and the contractor drove her away.

The whole time I was hearing this story I was feeling shocked, amused, and completely creeped out.

The Good News:
1. That very hour my Aunt had a locksmith come out and now I am the only one with keys to the condo.

2. The police officer, who works the entire area for which I was looking for my new home, informed my Aunt that the area my condo is in is excellent. He's been on the force for I believe 10 years, and says they never get calls to come to the Condo Association. He also informed her that there was probably not a better place for a single woman such as myself. (I felt really good about the condo and the area, but after hearing about my squatter I was justifably concerned, but hearing this opinion of the area from this police officer has allayed my fears. Also, the new locks certainly don't hurt).

3. Timing-wise it worked out well. I'm moving in officially tomorrow, and if I had run into the squatter tomorrow, I know that I would have been too freaked out to live on my own. Also, my Dad probably would have gone gone ballistic and someone would have ended up hurt.

4. It is a GREAT story! Even though I was mortified by the creepiness factor of someone being in the condo, and was grossed out by the fact that she was living there (which was the main reason my awesome Aunt and Cousin were cleaning up the place. For a self proclaimed cleaning woman, it was really dirty.), the story was still really comical and amusing.

My Aunt told me that this was the weirdest thing that has happened to her in all her years in real estate. And this story even tops her Broker's story of going over to a couple's house to sign papers and the wife was cooking dinner in the nude.

Additional Details:

I joined in on the cleaning and as we did so we found remants the squatter had left behind: a plastic bag of hygiene items in the bottom of the storage unit; lipstick, a sweater, and a tangerine in the top kitchen cupboards, newspaper in the closet....There was also spilled alcohol in the freezer (yuck) and tangerine peels and a beer bottle cap in the kitchen disposal.

After hearing the story, my Aunt asked me to go check in the storage unit to see if the squatter had left anything in there. She had. It was then that I realized that when I had first viewed the condo, there was a sleeping bad and other camping supplies in that closet, which I had just assumed belonged to the seller. They weren't there today, so I guess they were the squatter's. Which is even creepier because that was at the beginning of the February. I'm not sure how long the squatter has been staying there, but it appears to be at least a month!

I'm so grateful for my Aunt and all that she has done to help get me into this condo, and then subsequently in helping to evict the squatter and cleaning up after her! She really is amazing. Thank you Janet!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Closing Time

Some of my faithful blog readers (hi, Mom!) may have noticed that there has been a derth of funny stories and an overall a lack of posting. That is because I have decided to cut ties with the crazies that supplied me with most of my best material. Yes, I have moved away from apartment 24.


I can honestly say that I have never been so happy to leave a place in my life. And even though I ended up moving back in with my parents, which was definitely not part of my life plan, I felt pure, unadulterated exuberance. Which is saying a lot, especially for one who tends towards the negative aspects of life...

Part of my lack of presence in the blogging world could also be that I've added a forty minute commute to and from work in my need for a quick escape from the roomies and I'm just tired all of the time. Also, I've moved back in with my parents and sister, and while they are crazy in their own right, I grew up with them and am pretty much immune to their craziness. Also, I come from the same gene pool, so I try to ignore their crazy in the hopes that I don't have to analyze myself to see if I've inherited the same idiosyncracies :)

The main reason why I moved back in with my parents (besides the fact that its apparently what all the cool kids are doing...or is it just me that is seeing this trend?) is because I am getting my own condo! My parents were very kind to take me in and keep me from living out of a cardboard box (which would still be preferable to living with my old roommates), while I waited for all of the stars to align in order to become a new homeowner.

Tonight was the closing. I feel like I should be playing the National Anthem right now (ahh, does anyone else remember the good old days when the Office was good? Granted that was a long time ago...).

So, I signed a bunch of papers, essentially signing away the next thirty years of my life, all of my money for eternity, and probably my first born child.

I move in the beginning of next week!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Being single on Valentine's Day can be hard, but I use it as an excuse to eat candy and watch 500 Days of Summer. Both the candy and the movie are good, so I see no reason in celebrating 'Singles Awareness Day.' Plus, I think that we have to give mad props to any holiday that can induce such crushing guilt into the entire male population and forces them to try to be romantic and spend lots of money. But to be honest I didn't ways feel this way...

Once I got out of Elementary school giving and receiving Valentines was not so much fun. This is probably because in Elementary school they give out a class list to each student and you have to bring a Valentine for each member of your class. Not being left out felt so good, also, it was fun to decorate my Valentine's box every year.

Last year my roommate once again make Valentine's Day awesome again. Why, you ask...Because of this:

Yes it is a photo of a shirtless, extremely hairy Burt Reynolds with the caption, " From One Sex Symbol to Another: Happy Valentine's Day."

Its the perfect combination of creepy and comedy.

I love it!

Thank you Jessica for this awesome Valentine that makes me laugh every time I see it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to Be a Radio DJ

1. Pick 5 or 6 songs.

2.Play on repeat for the rest of the day, week, or what the hey, how about the next 6months? The more annoying or asinine the song, the better.

3. Pretend to have talent by telling stupid, pointless stories.

4. Have a good sign off 'tag' aka a really stupid name so your "fans" can recognize you.

5. Have an annoying voice.(which is the real reason why you are recognized.)

I'm pretty sure my I-pod would make a better DJ than the ones I hear on the radio. At least it would have better music, not replay songs twenty times a day, or play any annoying Katy Perry or Lady Gaga music.

Perhaps Mr. I-pod will be submitting an application to a radio station soon...either that or I'll be investing in a new car adapter for my I-pod.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Elevator Etiqutte

I'm not the biggest fan of elevators and prefer to take the stairs when possible. On the rare occasions when I do ride, I wish that my fellow elevator commuters would follow these simple social niceities:

Elevator Etiquette Tip 1: Shower
The public elevators at work smell like a combination of B.O., cigarette smoke, and other foul things that I can't identify but that smell like death. These smells are present even when I'm the only passenger. People are smelly and their stank remains, probably forever, in the elevator. I avoid the public elevators at work like the plague, because I could probably get the black plague in there... Also, I have a pretty active gag reflex, and I don't need my vomit mixing with the other nasty odors.

Elevator Etiquette Tip 2: Personal Space
20 people already packed into the elevator at 5 on the dot? Of course there's room for you...on the next elevator. Waiting 30 seconds for the next elevator will not kill you and will make the 'sardines' in the elevator happy too.

Elevator Etiquette Tip 3: Get off in the Reverse Order you got on
When you are headed to the same destination, its polite to allow those on last (and thus nearest to the doors) to get off first. There doesn't need to be pushing. In fact, I think its a design flaw that elevators don't automatically plunge towards the Earth Tower of Terror-style when the people in the back push other people in their rush to get out of the elevator.

Elevator Etiquette Tip 4: Holding the Doors:

This is a lose-lose situation. Choose who you want to offend carefully: the person you are already in the elevator with, or the person you want to hold the door for.

At work, there are two staff elevators encased in a glass area for security purposes. I always seem to end up in an elevator with the person who sees someone coming in from the parking lot, who is a good fifty yards away, and decides to hold the elevator for them.

Sometimes they ask, "do you mind?" But even though I do mind, its not like I can say anything because if I did tell them that I minded and they stopped holding the doors closed, then I'd be trapped in a small enclosed space with this individual and who knows what kind of punishment would be inflicted on me? (Ok, ok, it would probably just be awkward silence, but that's worse than waiting, so I keep my mouth shut.)

I'm the kind of person who is willing to hold the elevator if the person is walking into the glass enclosure, any farther away than that and they will just have to wait. Obviously, patience is not a virtue I possess, but just think of my not waiting for them as teaching others patience (because they have to wait for the next elevator. ha ha).

Elevator Etiquette Tip 5: Do NOT ever 'let one rip'
I don't think that I've ever been in an elevator when someone decided to 'let one rip' (although in the smelly public elevators, it is entirely possible that it did occur without being noticed).

One day a fellow employee got stuck in an elevator for about an hour, with a few juvenile delinquents. He came back to work and we were all feeling sorry for him for having to endure that experince. This sympathy quickly ended when he informed us that he had turned the elevator into a 'gas chamber.' Even though the kids were delinquents, surely they didn't deserve that.

Elevator Sidenote:
While standing in line for the Tower of Terror ride last year at Disneyland I overheard this little boy explaining to his friend about the ride. He knew he was saying the world 'elevator' wrong, but kept saying it as "Evalator' it was so funny!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


In my family we take M&M's seriously. It's a rarity if my mother doesn't have a stash of M&M's in the house. There is a picture of an M&M in a frame on a wall in my parents' house (I was updating their wall photos, and not being able to find pictures which included all of my family members an equal number of times, I decided it was safer to include a picture of 'Orange' than to risk offending anyone. With this choice I probably offended all of my family members, but as long as they are all equally offended, then that is fair and I can sleep well at night. Also M&M's are pretty much a part of my family anyways, plus its funny, so, don't judge me.) Also, we have an M&M shaped candy dispenser that we named Mortimer. Mortimer came out of storage off and on throughout the years, but he did end up coming to college with me. And I do have photos of me and Mortimer (he's not displayed on a wall, but maybe he should be...), who actually looks quite dapper in a tie (Ahh, college life, how I miss you).

Because M&M's are no laughing matter (except for their commercials), when my sister pulled me aside a little while ago to tell me that my December 16 post was lacking fundamental information, I thought she was joking. She told me that I had failed to classify three types of M&M's! She listed them off for me, and sure enough I had not only overlooked some, but had not even heard of one of them.

This being the first mistake I have ever made in my life (ahem. My story. My truth.), it was a bit hard to handle. But then she fed me cherry M&M's, which was my first experience of even hearing about them, and then all was well with the world again.

The three M&M's that I failed to recognize were dark chocolate, which are super yummy; pretzel, which I really like, and bonus, some of my family members don't like them, which means more for me; and cherry, which my sister introduced me to, and they are quite good.

So, here is my newly updated M&M classification (thanks Janae!)

From best to worst flavors: Peanut Butter, Coconut, Pirate Pearls (a special edition white chocolate version that came out of the Pirates movies came out) Peanut, Pretzel, Mini's, Dark Chocolate (these are good, but also you kind of have to be in the mood for them, so that's why they are in the middle) Crispy (which they sadly no longer make, Mega-size, cherry, almond, and original.

I am writing this purely for entertainment purposes and am not getting paid for my opinions. Although, in my opinion, I should get paid, so if anyone has any 'in' with the M&M/Mars candy company let me know so we can work something out. Just kidding. Kinda.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Living as Hermit is Looking More and More Compelling

Tonight after work I had to run a few errands that took longer than expected, so I was tired and on the brink of starvation as I stepped through my front door. Waiting in the dark, staring blankly into space sat my roommate, waiting for me. It was, in a word, creepy.

She told me she needed to talk with me and since she doesn't see me very often (we have very different schedules), and as she had just walked in herself and had seen me in the parking lot, she decided to wait like a stalker on the couch staring creepily into space (ok, she didn't say that last part quite like that).

I had informed her last week that I am moving out at the end of the month when my lease is up (!!). Tonight she wanted to ask me when exactly I am moving out. I tried to be definitive, but even though I can't wait to hightail it out of here, my living arrangements are up in the air right now.

After I gave her a suitable answer, she felt the need to say, "and you know that you have to vacuum..." She didn't trail off, but she is from a different country, and I'm pretty sure that she meant that I need to clean the room (not simply just vacuum) when I leave.

I clean and vacuum. I do my dishes. I clean the bathroom and the kitchen. I am not the most organized person, but in shared spaces my stuff is kept orderly and out of the way. I don't know if she told me this because she thinks I'm an idiot or if she is oblivious to my position as the roommate who actually cleans.

I don't know what to think about that comment, other than the fact that I am so excited to get away from her!

I have noticed that people like to state the obvious to me. Do I actually portray myself as a complete dunderhead? I'm not even kidding, the things that people feel the need to explain to me, makes me wonder if they think that I'm more than a few crayons short of a whole box...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Truer words....

So today I went to my first institute class of the semester. I signed up for a Book of Mormon class, although tonight as I was driving to Institute, I realized that we would be studying the Book of Mormon in Sunday School this year. But a double dose of the Book of Mormon will be good, right?

My new teacher is pretty interesting and funny--I think its going to be a good semester. He seemed to be all over the place though, and at one point in the lesson he went off on a tangent and said this, which is probably my new favorite quote (because its so true!):

"Junior High--Its invented by Satan."

I laughed out loud, but was one of the few that did. I find this fact odd, because I assumed that my horrible junior high experiences were pretty much universal...