Sunday, December 25, 2011

Finally, A Moment Of Rest

I have just completed my ninth retail Christmas. Many of you may say that I am mad, but such is my life. I've been at my current job for nearly eight years, and before that I worked several months at another store. Let me say this about Christmas in retail: it's a horrible, horrible experience. No matter how hard you try, any amount of Christmas spirit you may have is immediately squelched by the ridiculous hours and even more ridiculous customers attitudes and masses.  It's enough to make you start wondering things like, "If I somehow managed to break my leg, could I get time off work? Or would I just have to sit on a chair at a register?"

I long ago stopped getting especially excited for Christmas. I do get excited for gifts that I'm giving people. This year I made most of my gifts for friend and family, so I did have quite a bit of excitement in that area, but generally there isn't much to get me going. I know that's sad, but there it is. Working retail serves only to force disenchantment over the whole Christmas season.

The intent of this post, however, is not to complain. The intent is to describe the magic of Christmas and its ability to wipe all that away. The thing is, no matter how horrible the days leading up to Christmas are, matter how many terrible shifts I work or customers I want to punch in the face, Christmas Day is always perfect. The store is closed, so for one day, I don't have to worry about going in to work and putting on a happy face. I can just be with my family. All I have to worry nothing.  I even have the time and mindset to thing about true meaning of Christmas.

I think a lot of the peace I feel on Christmas comes from the fact that there's suddenly a lot behind me. I know there's still a week or so of wild after-Christmas sales and telling irate customers that I can't return their fine jewelry without a receipt, but most of it is over. Soon the store will return to its calm, off-season demeanor, and I can't wait. When Christmas comes, I know that I've made it. And I only broke down and cried a couple of times :)

Aaaand...only 43 days until my trip to Disneyland!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I've Got the World on a String, or, Rather, a Shower Curtain

Confession: I sometimes fall prey to silly and irrational fears. Today's example: the possibility of a killer hiding behind my shower curtain. I'm sure most of you have heard people joking about checking behind the shower curtain before going to the bathroom to avoid being surprised by a crazed lunatic with a knife (it could happen!). Yes, I sometimes do this. Anyway, I was in the shower yesterday and the thought occurred to me, as it sometimes does, that someone could sneak into my bathroom and kill me in the shower (Psycho, anyone?).  As usually happens when this thought arises, I cursed my shower curtain for its opacity (is that a word? It should be).

This thought connected with the fact that I've been thinking about redecorating my bathroom for a while. I haven't been able to find a shower curtain that I really liked (granted, I'd only looked on and in the store...). I decided that a clear-ish curtain might be a good choice, and then I remembered the world map.

When I visited my brother in Nashville a few months back, I discovered that his apartment featured a shower curtain with a colorful map of the world printed on it. I thought this was pretty awesome, plus educational. In addition, my brother told me that, occasionally, when discussing a particular place and becoming mystified as to its location, either he or his roommate would shout out "To the Map Room!", at which point the two men would enter the bathroom to ascertain the location of the place in question. I just think that's awesome.

And so my journey began. It ended up being an incredibly short journey, as I went to the Target website first and discovered the shower curtain in question on the first page of shower curtains. I placed the curtain in my virtual shopping cart, selected some new curtain rings (my old ones are getting...well, you know), and ordered! I now await the arrival of this beauty:

Isn't is awesome? (This image, of course, belongs to Target.)

And don't worry; I know that this is potentially kind of cheesy. I have plans to keep it classy, or as classy as a world map shower curtain can be... Either way, I'm super excited and looking forward to the day that I can call out "To the Map Room!"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Buckle Up For Another Effect

Confession: I sometimes get distracted by other things and this blog gets nudged down a little lower on my list of priorities. There, I said it. I tend to post somewhat sporadically due to the other things going on in my life. I have a couple of personal projects (not to be confused with Personal Progress, haha) that I'm really excited about and that tend to get attention before this blog. I apologize to all of you who may or (more likely) may not hang on my every blogged word. Moving on...

As readers of this blog know, I like to expound on various "effects" that I notice in everyday life. The effect I would like to discuss today is the Audrey Hepburn effect. I love Audrey Hepburn. Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Paris When It Sizzles, Roman Holiday...the list goes on. Every time I watch a movie with Audrey Hepburn in it, I'm struck by her incredible class. She's impeccably dressed and carries herself with such grace that I'm instantly jealous every time. It makes me want to redo my wardrobe in sixties shifts and do my hair in fancy, perfect updos. She's just so fancy I can't stand it!

What I also love about Audrey Hepburn is that she was also beautiful inside. Her work with UNICEF in later life is truly something to admire (even more than her fabulous looks). In short, she is fabulous in many, many ways.

I guess this post is a little short, but oh well. Now you can all run off and watch your favorite Audrey Hepburn movie, knowing I won't judge you if you're suddenly inspired to copy Sabrina's pixie cut or run off to Rome in hopes of meeting Gregory Peck.

Have fun with that :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Confession: I am a bit of a blog stalker. Don't judge; we all do it! Well, most of us, anyway. I enjoy reading people's blogs because I feel that what a person writes is, as the title of this post suggests, a snapshot of their life and personality.

I especially like the personality aspect. This is part of why I enjoy blogging about random things, rather than the mundane events of my everyday life. I feel that anyone reading this blog will get a pretty good idea of who I am: a nerdy, big-word-using, hopeless romantic who likes to turn amusing anecdotes into dramatic tales, suffers from an odd set of fears, and, on a more serious note, has a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Anyway, I was reading the blog of a recent acquaintance earlier this evening, and was pleased that this blog included a good mix experiences in this person's life as well as a generous smattering of opinions and commentary on various life...things. It really made me feel like I'd been given a look at who that person is and what they're like on a day-to-day basis.

Don't get me wrong; I love reading about what's going on in the lives of my family and friends. All I'm saying is that I especially love reading about who the writer of the blog is, rather than simply what they do.

Moderation in all things, eh?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back to School, Back to School...

Confession: I love school. There, I said it. All teenagers reading this blog (if there are any, and I don't think there are) may now scream and groan aloud. I love many things about school, specifically college; more specifically, my alma mater: Utah State University.

I could say that these musings came about as a result of the upcoming beginning of the school year. I could say that, as the second year of my not being in school comes upon me, I'm growing nostalgic. This is not the case, though I am feeling a tad nostalgic.

Actually, these ponderings came about as a result...of a food craving. I was at work the other day and thought to myself, "Gee, I'd really love a Marv 'n' Joe right about now". For those who don't know, a Marv 'n' Joe is a Utah State specialty, made at Hazel's in the Hub. It involves provolone cheese, tomato, garlic spread, salt, and pepper (though I always got it without the pepper) toasted on the bread of your choice (I always got white). It is delicious.

Food is one thing that I miss about being on campus. In addition to the fabulous Marv 'n' Joe, there's also the Scotsman dog (cheese filled hamburger in the shape of the hot dog) and asiago cheese bagels (okay, I know you can get these other places, but the ones are campus are really good).

I also miss the feel of being on campus: being able to sit for hours doing homework without anyone bothering you, taking naps on the leather couches without the fear of being judged, taking in the gorgeous views of the mountain and the valley. The Utah State campus is lovely year round.

But I don't just miss campus; I do miss being a student. Don't mistake me; I'm extremely glad that I've got my English degree, complete with official diploma. I just miss a few things. I miss structured learning. I loved every one of my English classes. I loved being in a room of people who are just a little bit crazy, taking apart texts and sharing insights with each other. I miss laughing at jokes that only English majors get.

I miss buying books, and slowly letting the desire to buy all new books fade away into the reality of needing to buy used to save money, then trying to decide the level of quality you want when surfing for the books on amazon. Ah, school.

Now, to make it fair, I should mention a few things that I don't miss about school.
-I don't miss homework. I liked most of the reading I had, and I even enjoyed paper writing, but I didn't enjoy having to do those things. I now love the fact that at any given moment, I don't have any pressing business. I mean, I still have things I need to do, but I can generally rearrange things if something comes up.
-I don't miss being on campus in the winter. During this cold, incredibly long season, the canyon winds get going strong enough to literally take your breath away. I spent one especially frigid winter with the hood of my very thick coat up and my scarf covering my mouth so just my eyes were showing. Very, very cold.

I'm sure there's more on either side of the list, but there they are. Thanks for indulging in this moment of remembrance with me :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Pot in the Potty

Confession: I am just a little bit pure and innocent and have no idea what pot smells like, or at least I didn't up until a couple of days ago. (Side confession: the title of this post is slightly Bones inspired.)

Enter Saturday. I went to Hogle Zoo with my parents and my brother and his family. Near the end of our tour of the zoo, we ladies stopped off for a restroom break, as ladies often do. The stalls were all full, so I had to wait for a bit, a little impatient due to the loudly screaming child somewhere in the facility (I'm sure you're all loving this part of the story, but it's related, I promise). Soon enough, however, a door opened and a woman about my age came out. She had a weird look on her face, but I just dismissed that because there are weird people all over the place, so why not the zoo? Anyway, I walked over to the stall she had recently vacated, only it wasn't vacated! I opened the door and accidentally bumped it into another woman's back. I apologized and left to find another stall, noticing a small puff of odd smelling smoke suddenly in front of my face. Not knowing what it was (remember the part where I'm pure and innocent? Please allow yourself a moment to chuckle at my expense. Really, it's okay.), I walked away, wondering if perhaps the women were tag-teaming in an effort to get the mysterious screaming child to calm down (I didn't see anything other than the woman's back, so it could have happened).

Of course, I was soon informed, by way of my sister in-law, that the mysterious puff of smoke had been from the women smoking pot in the bathroom stall (it was at this point that I understood why the first woman had been smiling so strangely). I looked around for the women in the area surrounding the restroom, but they were nowhere to be found.

Anyway, there's the story. Pot-smoking in the zoo bathroom. And with hundreds of children around! Ugh. That's not cool in my book.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Here's a Fun Fact...

Confession: I am a major nerd (also a dork - yes, there's a difference), and I'm proud of it.

I've always been relatively nerdy/dorky, but I've been especially letting my nerd flag fly lately. I suppose it started one day when I was contemplating a couple of nerdy tee shirts that I own and my general love for that sort of thing. As it often does (or use to, anyway) a little voice in my head pushed through and reminded me that I'm nearly 26 years old and need to act my age. I usually try to be somewhat mature in the presence of people I don't know well, and for some reason I've had this idea that being 25 is somehow beyond the reach of being young and crazy. Yes, in many ways, 25 is a ripe age for being adult and self reliant, but here's the thing: only in Utah is 25 considered an age to fully grow up. It's really easy to get caught up in the fact that the majority of my graduating (high school) class is married with multiple children and consider myself an old maid who needs to start planning the rest of her life.

Anyway, I realized that I'm still really young, and that means that I can very much get away with being a nerd, including the wearing of crazy tee shirts. This is my official "nerdclaration": I am a nerd. I love anything related to old school NES and Star Wars (the originals - not much for the new ones). I watch Bones, Castle, and Chuck. I pick apart grammar and punctuation (I guess we always knew I was that kind of nerd). I analyze things in TV shows, and I'm a 'shipper. I'm constantly quoting movies and TV shows, and I have an appreciation for all things 80's pop culture. I know enough random facts to do pretty decently while watching Jeopardy! I bought a pair of big nerd glasses, just for fun. I even have a nerdy twitter name: nerdcissistic (follow me if you like). This is a big part of my personality that I've been hiding from a lot of people because I was afraid they would think I was a weirdo, but I don't so much care anymore.

So now you all know. My nerdiness has been exposed to the world :)


It occurs to me that it's been nearly two months since I last blogged, and so here I am, type-typing away, to rectify that.

I can't quite say that I've been busy, per se, though I have recently taken part in such activities as going to Nashville for my brother's law school graduation and having a job interview where I waited on a bench that I was too short for (feet, high heels and all, dangled in the tense pre-interview air). Also exciting: I'll soon be heading for Missouri to attend my friend's wedding (in the Nauvoo temple!). I'm really looking forward to seeing Suzanne after so long, and also to go on this exciting adventure with my friend, Nikki.

At the same time, I've been a little bit less busy than usual. For nearly eight years, I've been the girl who dutifully attended every single ward prayer, Family Home Evening, and any other activity that my ward at the time happened to plan (not that anyone was forcing me to attend; I really did enjoy ward activities). After starting at a new ward a few months ago, however, I realized that I was a little burned out of the whole ward social scene. I've changed wards twice in the past year, each time leaving behind a group of friends and a boy or two with whom I had been attempting to build at least a friendly relationship in hopes that it would go somewhere. I was tired of having to start over again, tired of trying to make and keep everyone in the ward as friends, tired of trying to build up the courage to talk to guys in an attempt to get a date, and tired of trying to keep up with all the ward gossip of who was dating whom. So this time, I opted out.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Michelle, this isn't healthy! You're missing out on so much, and you'll never get yourself married off this way!" I am aware of these things. I'm not planning on sitting on the sidelines forever; I just need a break. I need some time to go to church for the sole sake of going to church.

I discovered that I had a friend in the ward from a previous ward, who introduced me to her friends in the ward, and that's all the social business that I need for now. I go to church to feel the Spirit, take the Sacrament, and learn about the gospel. The end. And I like it.

Now, lest you all band together to stage some sort of intervention, I assure you that this isn't a forever decision. If all goes well, I'll soon get a new job and move again into my own apartment, and I fully intend to socialize in whichever ward I end up. Conversely, if I still don't have a new job by the time school is back in and my current ward is no longer combined with another for the summer, I'll make an effort to reach out and be more social.

So there you have it. There's no need to worry for me; I just need a break.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Two Television Shows and a Celebrity Crush

Confession: as I am not personally acquainted with any Hollywood actors, I find myself inclined to form my perception of their personalities based on the parts that they play. Excellent example: John Heder in "Napoleon Dynamite". I mean, seriously. Can you really watch that guy in anything else without picturing him in moon boots and giant glasses, saying things like "Why don't you get out of my life and shut up?" or "Just listen to your heart, Pedro. That's what I do." Of course, for this reason, John Heder has just so happened to play several very similar parts. This is called typecasting, and it makes life difficult for some of us. Think about it: any time I see Harrison Ford, I expect him to be a dashing hero. Colin Firth: the very picture of decorum. And Will Ferrell? Let me just say that watching "Stranger than Fiction" was a strange experience for me.

I'm facing a situation such as this as a result of two television shows that I've recently been watching. The first is "Chuck". As some of you are aware, I have a *bit* of a celebrity crush on Zachary Levi. It started when I heard him singing "Terrified" with Katharine McPhee, and increased as I watched the first three seasons of "Chuck". Having reached the end of available discs on Netflix, I began perusing the website for another show to try and discovered "Less Than Perfect". I remembered that I'd always wanted to watch the show when it was on, and since I love Sarah Rue and, bonus!, the cast included Zachary Levi, I decided to give it a go. As I watched the show, however, I realized something: Zachary Levi's character, Kipp, is not much like all. Kipp is narcissistic and arrogant, whereas Chuck is charming in a low-key kind of way. Worst of all, Kipp is mean! He is constantly mocking other characters on the show.

Herein, my friends, lies the danger of typecasting. No matter what Kipp said (or how ridiculous his haircut was), I found myself thinking, "But he's Chuck and we love him!". Sympathizing with Kipp led to other unlikely thoughts, such as initially disliking the characters that the audience is supposed to side with, and finding myself identifying with the mean girl because she's friends with Kipp. Crisis of conscience, people!

Fear not, dear readers, I eventually calmed the confused frenzy in my mind and managed to see things as they were. Having made this very important adjustment, I can now enjoy the show as an impartial viewer...except that I have secret hopes that Sarah Rue and Zachary Levi's characters will get together...pretty sure that won't happen, though.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On the other hand...

Confession: sometimes, I tend to be a tad unobservant. I don't know why that is; I guess that I get so caught up in my thoughts that I don't pay attention to everything that's going on around me.

Case in point: yesterday I somehow managed to get all the way to work without noticing that one of the lenses in my sunglasses had popped out. I guess there's a chance that the lens was in for part of the time...but that would mean that I missed it falling out, so still not good.

I discovered the sad state of my sunglasses on my way into the building. A co-worker happened to call out "hello" behind me just as I was passing the front doors, and as I turned to return the greeting, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the glass. There was only one lens remaining in my sunglasses! Shocked, I commented on it to my co-worker, who remarked that she had thought I was wearing an eye patch.

I guess this balances out the whole "smart kid" thing from my last post...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Who would want to take pictures of ugly children?" "The UCTA, that's who!"

Confession: my younger brother and I were smart kids. I'm not bragging or anything; we just were. Some kids were good at sports, others were great musicians. Bret and I were smart. We imagined elaborate story-lines when playing Barbies and action figures (a clever boy-girl compromise) and thought up, and in one case typed up, complex rules for our own games.

What I share with you today is one of the glowing moments of growing up with my little brother: the Ugly Child Talent Agency, or UCTA (which can be spelled out or pronounced "ook-tuh", with the double "o" like in cook and a bit of a guttural sound on the "k"). The creation, or rather realization of the existence of, this infamous agency was on this wise: I'm not exactly sure how old we were at the time; my sister posits that she was about five, which would put Bret and myself at 8 and 10, respectively. Bret could not remember, and so fell back on case law lingo: "since time immemorial". Anyhow, my brother and I were discussing one day the proliferation of ugly children in movies. Think about it. "Mary Poppins", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "Bedknobs and Broomsticks". All ugly children. (Also all British children. We believe the UCTA specializes in the representation of British children, though they are by no means the whole of their agency.)

It occurred to us that perhaps there was an agency of sorts that set these....aesthetically challenged children up with lucrative film roles. How else would children such as these make their way into such potentially endearing parts? The UCTA is the only solution. Throughout the years, whenever Bret or I see a less than attractive child featured in film or television, we feel compelled to remark to one another, "Looks like the UCTA is hard at work in this film". And so it is.

So here's to you, UCTA, and your continual promotion of the children that the world has looked over.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Back off, Lumberjack!

Confession: I apparently suffer from a slight case of masklophobia: fear of mascots.

I was reminded of this fact while having lunch with a friend on campus today. I noticed my friend glance behind me and turned to see what she was looking at. Pressed against the window (not right behind me, but across the room) was a giant lumberjack! Well, giant as in a regular-sized person dressed in khakis and a flannel shirt and wearing a giant lumberjack head, complete with scruffy faux-hair and a funky lumberjack hat. I felt a twinge of fear, but calmed myself, knowing that the mascot could not confront me from outside. A minute later, however, I heard heavy steps behind me, and my friend warning me not to look behind me, before the lumberjack walked by, holding a large poster. Grateful that I had not been accosted by the giant wood-cutter, I suggested to my friend that we get going before it made a round trip back to our table. We walked away, only to see another lumberjack further down the hall! They were ganging up on me! When we made a second pass on our way out, my friend graciously walked on the side of the hall closest to the terror. I found myself actually exhibiting physical signs of fear: my heart rate increased, my stomach flipped around, and I was very nearly visibly shuddering. Not good.

This was not my first experience in on-campus mascot terror. A few years back, while studying in one of the campus lounges, a giant red blood drop came up and grabbed my arm, using a gloved finger to tap the place where the blood-drivers would extract my blood donation. It freaked me out! I said something about how I had to go to class soon, and the blood drop left me alone. It's not like you can make much of an argument when you can't say anything.

This leads me to my first reason that mascots/people dressed in costumes covering their heads creep me out. They can't say anything for fear of "breaking character", they're always pantomiming, and, quite frankly, mimes creep me out too. I then find myself awkwardly wondering if I'm supposed to say anything to mascots. Their hearing is probably impaired by the giant plastic heads, and they can't answer anyway! And where do I look while talking? Their "eyes"? Where I suppose their actual eyes might be? Where?! And, speaking of eyes, where are they looking? I mean, are they secretly leering at me, thinking that since I can't see them it exempts them from social mores? Did the mascot get their job as a cover for their perverted ogling, staring at people all day while no one is the wiser? Do mascots have to submit to a background check before donning the mask to avoid such behavior? So many creepy things to consider.

On the other side of things.... I happen to love Disneyland, where costumed characters run amok through the park. I do admit to feeling slightly awkward around them, for sure, but I'm definitely not creeped out. I suppose it's because we expect them to be there, rather than them sneaking up on you, and because the Magical Kingdom isn't really the type of place at which you expect to be leered at...towards... Anyway...

So there it is: terrified of lumberjacks and blood drops. Friend of Mickey and Minnie.

The end.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Snow, Wheels, and a Pair of Heels

Today I present to you a tale of risk, a tale of adventure, a tale...of a journey to a job interview. Yesterday I left my home to find my car covered in snow from the storm the previous evening. Quickly, I swept the snow off my windshields, telling myself that the snow on top would most likely blow off on the road. Little did I know...

I arrived at a stop light and came to a complete stop. Suddenly, my vision was obscured, and then completely cut off, as the snow from the roof of my car came cascading down onto my windshield. Thoonk thoonk thoonk. Panicked, I quickly switched my wipers on to their highest speed in an attempt to clear my field of vision. The wiper blades were able to clear off the windshield, but there still remained a looming mound of snow on the hood of my car, denying me a clear view of the road. I made it through the intersection, but quickly realized that I wouldn't feel safe driving the remainder of the way with the vast amount of snow remaining on my car.

Reluctantly, I pulled my car over to the side of the road (enduring more cascading thoonks as I once again came to a stop) and exited the vehicle, ice scraper/snow brush in hand. I did pretty well on the driver's side, but as I moved to clear off the passenger side, I realized that I had a major problem: the side of the road that I was approaching was a tad slickish and sloped down into a ditch filled with gross, dirty water. I briefly considered getting back into my car and calling it good, but as the majority of the snow was, in fact, on the passenger side, I knew I had no choice but to brave the perils of slick road and muddy water. Did I mention I was in 4 inch heels?

Slowly, I made my way to the other side of my car, grasping to the front of my hood with one hand while brushing off all the snow that I could. Seeing that my car was nearly cleaned off, I dared to move a little further, but I slipped and nearly fell (my shoes weren't much in the way of traction), so the wise choice seemed to be getting back into my car. Having done this, I went on my merry way to the interview, to which I was still able to arrive on time.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"But How Can You Know What You Want 'Til You Get What You Want And You See If You Like It?"

Stephen Sondheim, you are a genius.

I've been thinking a lot recently about what I want. It seems that there's always an ideal in your head, or something that you at least think is ideal, but the ideal doesn't always turn out to be so...ideal. Know what I mean? I've had several possibilities rolling around in my head lately of what I think I want. Here are some of them (in no particular order):

1. I want a job where I get full time hours, make decent money, and have a set schedule (or one I set myself) that doesn't include Sundays that involves something I'm actually good at. I would love to have some job land in my lap that would involve proofreading textbooks at home or something. That's the ideal, but as soon as I find myself looking for a new job, I start panicking over everything that would change: I'd lose seniority and find myself the new person that knows nothing, without the benefit of being surrounded by close friends. I actually had an interview this past week for a job that I really do want, but I get scared and start thinking about running away. What if I'm no good at a new job? What if everyone hates me? What if I can't get time off for my trip to Nashville to see my brother graduate from law school? I know that it will be worth it in the end to have a good job that I'll grow to love, but since I notoriously over-think, it stresses me out anyway.

2. I want to get married. (Now, I know what you're thinking: it'll happen when it happens. Just read the entire post and you'll know that I'm aware of these things.) I'd almost like to say that I'd be cool if I ever even went on a date, but quite honestly, I'd like to just fall in love with a friend and have that be that (remember that these are ideals...which is sometimes synonymous with delusion). I don't want to deal with the stress of being shot down and not being liked back. At least when I don't date, I can't find myself in the middle of a relationship that isn't going anywhere no matter how much I want it to (that's just an example; not based in real life).

3. I want summer. This is less serious, but there it is. I'm tired of being cold and I'm tired of the sun going down so early. I want to wear shorts and short sleeves and wear summer scents and buy Jamba Juice (it's really not the same in the winter).

So here's the conclusion that I've come to: we never learn anything from ideals. Living paycheck to paycheck teaches me the value of money and to be wise in my spending. Staying single for a while gives me the opportunity to grow and progress myself before joining with someone for eternity. Winter is a necessary season, since that's when we get the majority of our precipitation for the year. Each of these non-ideal situations teach us things that we would never learn if we just waltzed our way through life. Besides, if we got everything we wanted as soon as we got it, we really wouldn't appreciate our ideals.

Here's all we can do: we take life a day at a time and we do the best we can. We learn from whatever situation we find ourselves in and, most importantly, we put our trust in the Lord. Sometimes I feel like I have absolutely no idea what's going on in my life, but I know that He knows exactly what's going on, and how and when it's going to happen. Sometimes I can almost hear Him say, "Just hold on, Michelle. It'll all work out in the end." And I listen to Him, because I know that no matter what I think I want, He knows exactly what I need, and what I need will be so much better than anything that I could ever think that I want.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Involving My Olfactory Sense Makes It Real For Me"

Yesterday, while putting my clean sheets on my bed, I noticed a small snowman attached to the bottom corner of my bed frame, against the wall. Curiously, I removed the snowman and studied it, trying to decide its origins. I had never seen the snowman before. The snowman had a clip of sorts on the back, and a clear, squishy stomach which seemed to encase some sort of liquid. Here's what it looked like:

Upon closer investigation, I saw some explanation. Apparently, the snowman was some sort of portable scent...provider. I leaned in and sniffed, curious as to what it would smell like. It was vanilla, but not regular, happy vanilla. The vanilla smell I experienced was the same scent that comes with laughing gas at the dentist's office. One sniff, and I could practically feel my limbs numbing and my terrifying childhood dentist telling me to "Open" (hear it how I hear it, and start shaking in your boots).

It's funny how something as simple as a scent can transport you into the past. I have a perfume that I bought at the Disneyland Sephora last Spring Break. The scent is Malibu Lemon Blossom, and every time I smell it I think about the Indiana Jones ride, the sundeck of the Queen Mary, and the wind in my hair as we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway. It's great.

Of course, it goes the other way. I can't think of an instance right now, but it's also very possible to smell something that reminds you of a horrible memory, something that you'd totally forgotten and all of a sudden, it's there again.

Just some thoughts :)

Oh, and for those who wondered, the title comes from an episode from Big Bang Theory.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Next Time, I Check My Watch

Today I gave a talk in church. Here is the tale...

A couple of days ago, when I began my preparation, I realized that I'm way more used to giving lessons than talks. When you give a lesson, you prepare thirty minutes worth of material and work in time for comments. Also, you aren't standing at a podium, speaking into a microphone, with the bishopric sitting behind you and everyone staring at you. Anyway, my talk was only supposed to be ten minutes, so I had to cut down a lot of the things that I wanted to say.

I successfully wrote a ten minute talk. I actually did a timed read-through that went a little longer than ten minutes, but I figured that I would be talking faster when I actually gave it (which happens when I get nervous), so it would work out just about right.

Sunday came. I walked up and sat on the stand, trying all the while to calm myself down and not make it obvious to the entire congregation that I was incredibly nervous. I willed my hands to stop shaking and made a conscious effort not to fidget. My friend and roommate, Michelle Bergsjo, went first. After about five minutes, she told the congregation that I had mentioned a concern for going over time, so she was cutting down her time. What a pal :) I got up and began to deliver my talk, glancing over at the clock so I could properly gauge my time. 11:20. I made a couple of dumb jokes and introduced myself, then got into my actual talk. I started to calm down at this point, and had almost gotten to the end my prepared material when I happened to glance up at the clock. 11:25. I panicked. How could it be that I had only spoken for five minutes? Had I really been speaking that fast? I rifled my brain for ideas to lengthen my talk, but there were none. Flustered, I wrapped up my talk, sitting down and feeling like a fool. I was both shocked and embarrassed. I asked Michelle if I had really only spoken for five minutes. She replied that we both had. We had left almost half an hour for the third speaker.

Or so we thought. After the intermediate hymn and a few minutes into the final talk, Michelle leaned over and whispered that the clock has stopped. I looked at the clock. Still 11:25. I looked at my watch: 11:40. Relief swept over me as I realized that I had indeed, spoken for a full ten minutes. I still felt slightly foolish about getting thrown off and ending my talk somewhat awkwardly (though my sister later insisted that she couldn't tell anything was amiss), but I could deal with that.

The good news is that it's over, and it will be a long time before I'm asked to speak in church again :)

The end.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Dilemma of Sorts...

Many of you may remember last year, when I took online Jeopardy! test. Well, the time for the test has come upon me once more, and as I went to register for it, I saw that the nearest interview location (provided that I pass the test) is Los Angeles. This leaves me with quite the decision to make. On the one hand, I highly doubt that I'd even get a good enough score to move on to the next level (I only got 21 out of 50 last time), and I really only took it for fun last time. Mostly I just want to see what the questions are and found out how well I can do.

On the other hand...suppose a miracle were to happen. Suppose that I do incredibly well on the test and they invite me to an in-person interview. I would have to fly out to L.A.! I don't have money, I'd have to get work off, and I'd have to find someone to come with me, as I'm slightly terrified of running off to strange, large cities by myself.

On the other hand...oh, I'm out of hands? On the one foot, what if a miracle did happen and I did fly to L.A. and I passed the interview and.... I GOT TO MEET ALEX! That would be a beautiful thing.

Gah! I just don't know.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's a new year, blah blah blah...

It's the first blog post of the new year, and I'm not really sure what to write about. I've never been much for making New Year's Resolutions (see my General Conference=My New Year's post), so I won't talk about that. There's no harm, however, in looking over the past year. Last year was actually quite a good one for me. Here are three exciting events from 2010:

A: Receiving my endowments in the temple. This event was huge. I'm incredibly grateful for the blessings I have received by attending the temple. It's so wonderful to live so close to a house of the Lord and be able to learn of Him. (Feel free to check out the post I wrote at that time, Just a Little Update.)

2: I graduated from college! Sometimes it felt like it would never happen, but it did! I now have a degree in English with an emphasis in Literary Studies and a minor in History. What does that mean? No, I am not going to teach. Pretty much, it means I can read and write, and even though I'm still at my college job, I'm okay. (Here's my post on graduation: Sweet Beans.)

D: I moved out! I've lived out of my parents' house before, but not as a college-graduated adult in non-student housing. It's different, I promise :) I painted my room a super awesome color of something akin to avocado green, and together with my good pals Amanda and Michelle (Amanda downstairs with me, Michelle upstairs with her cousin Kora eventually joining her), we have made major strides in becoming responsible adults, which is only partially as fun as it sounds.

So there's my year! Of course other events occurred. I turned twenty-five, changed wards as a result of the Ward Overhaul of 2010/moving, and started up a Utah Temple Tour with Amanda (a movement to attend a session in each of our great state's temples).

So thanks, 2010, for being so good to me. Here's hoping that 2011 will be just as fabulous.