Monday, November 11, 2013

Peru Preparation Part One: In Which Michelle Endures Stabbings for the Sake of Disease Prevention

Waking up this morning to a right arm free of soreness has reminded me that I never wrote about my vaccinations for Peru!

As many of you know, I'll be heading for the sub-equatorial land of Peru at the end of the month.  A good friend of mine served her mission there and invited me to join her on a visit.  I, of course, said yes.  How often do you get the chance to go to Peru? In my case, never.

So the preparations began.  Eleven-hundred dollar plane ticket: check. Passport: check (thanks to an almost cruise my senior year of college; I got my passport...and ended up spending Spring Break at Disneyland - no regrets). Next on the list? Vaccinations.

I didn't foresee needing much, but I figured better safe than deathly ill. I consulted the CDC website without receiving much comfort, so I called the local health department.  They told me I'd have to make an appointment with a nurse. During my work hours. I decided I could take a long lunch and stay late that night.  I made an appointment for the next day and headed to my parents' house after work to locate my immunization card.  Turns out I hadn't had any shots since 1999. Crazy, right? But really, who gets into immunizations after you've reached the age where they're required for public schooling?

The next day, tiny yellow folded card in hand, I sat in a chair resting underneath a counter that didn't jut out far enough for me to appropriately fit my legs. While I waited for the nurse to print out a stack of papers, I studied the poster on the wall to my right.  It displayed various tropical diseases, with their causes, symptoms, and lovely pictures. Oh, and my favorite part: worst case scenarios resulting from catching said diseases. An incredible variety of ways for an exotic trip to go very, very wrong.

We went through roughly one ream of paper.  Various vaccinations recommendations and travel tips. Don't drink the water. Don't trust peeled fruit. Mosquito repellent must be your best friend 24/7; malaria bites at night and dengue fever in the day.  These were interspersed with a healthy "your friend will know this" or "your friend can tell you what's safe".  Apparently the health department has a lot of trust in my friend. Then came the part where I had to select my vaccinations.  The nurse recommended a tetanus booster (mixed with whooping cough vaccine) and a Hepatitis A vaccine. She also recommended a typhoid vaccination, but that could be taken in pill form.

Then there was yellow fever. That vaccine would not be covered by my insurance, since it's a vacation vaccination, so it would be $110.  A look at the yellow fever map, however, told us that I would not be entering the yellow fever area.  Fun fact: you can't even enter a yellow fever area without proof of yellow fever vaccination.

An hour into the appointment, it was finally time for shots.  Hepatitis A on my left arm, and tetanus on my right. I got some awesome neon yellow band-aids. The nurse told me that I'd feel the Hepatitis shot that day, and the tetanus shot for a couple of days after that. I didn't quite realize that "that day" meant minutes after the shot.  My arm started tingling oddly as I walked back to my car. By the time I got back to work, both arms were sore: the left quite a bit, the right arm only a tad.

That night I took my first typhoid vaccine pill. They had to be stored in the fridge, and I had to take it on an empty stomach with as much water as I could drink. The next morning, I rolled over to my right side and groaned. Soreness on shot number two had kicked in. In fact, I could barely move my right arm without feeling incredible soreness that entire day. The next day was a little better, until today came around.  Now it's only sore if I push on the exact area.

And that's the story of my vaccination.  It may not have been entertaining, but I tried to make it witty. Plus it'll be a nice story to print in future volumes of the blog book.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"I feel the earth move under my feet..."

Actually it was my desk that I felt, under my hands.

I was at work this morning, typing an e-mail on my computer, when my desk started moving from side to side.  At first, I didn't know what was happening. I had heard a large truck drive by seconds before, and the thought briefly crossed my mind that maybe that had caused the movement (like when you're in the turning lane on a highway...I know, it was a crazy thought).  I realized that this was highly unlikely, as I sit on the second floor of a decently sized building (at least large enough to withstand a passing truck).

Anyway, as my desk continued to sway from side to side, reality sinks in: an earthquake.  Up until today, I had never felt an earthquake, hence the slow understanding of the situation.  My desk swayed back and forth 3 or 4 times, and then it was over as mysteriously as it began.  Well, not too mysteriously.  The good people of science were all on top of things, so that mere moments later we were able to find information on the internet, such as the fact that this particular earthquake was a 3.6 and the location of the epicenter.  Pretty nifty.

So there it is.  My very first earthquake.  I know that it's not a very exciting story, and maybe no one will even care to read it, but I wanted to have it recorded because it counts as a historical moment in my life.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another Crazy Day...

Last weekend, I made a casual remark that sometimes works can be a little slow, because my job is largely based on issues that come up.  Apparently, I cued some kind of Murphy's law, because this week has been insane!

This morning wasn't so bad. Just keeping busy. Noon came, so I headed off to the conference room (I've been giving the data entry team training on business writing). I had been challenged by a team mate to insert the following three themes into my presentation: Mt Rainier, zombie apocalypse, kangaroo pouch.  I did pretty well. I started by saying that good writing can seem like a challenge, like climbing Mt Rainier. I talked about tone, and said they should use their personalities and not sound like corporate zombies. I was all prepared to tell the group to take my tips and store them away in their kangaroo pouches of learning, when I noticed something horrible. I had made a punctuation error on my Powerpoint slide. I had failed to use a close quote around the word "please".  I couldn't help but point it out, and I moved on pretty well, but I totally forgot to mention kangaroo pouch. So close. Side note: the punctuation error came one line before my note about proofreading. Epic fail? Oh well. I used it as a learning example.

Fast forward to 1:30. I'm busily preparing a different presentation for a team meeting at 2:30. The thought that I may not take a lunch is entering my mind. I click send on an e-mail, and it fails. Four times. My internet is down. I crawled under my desk to see if the cord had come out, but it hadn't, so we contacted the IT department for help. Fun fact: I pretty much can't do anything without the internet at I just sat there and waited. I realized that I really wouldn't be getting a lunch, so I pulled the peanut butter and jelly sandwich out of my purse, and ate it at my desk, hovering awkwardly over the IT guy as he investigated...and discovered that my cord has become loosened from the wall. Feeling lame, part two. It was kind of funny, though.

2:27. Scrambling to finish my presentation, since I was sans internet for roughly 25 minutes. Definitely no lunch (good thing I ate my sandwich!). Suddenly, a co-worker approached: I had to take a call. Fighting off a look of panic, I took the call. The dude at the desk kitty corner to mine smirked slightly with amusement (and some pity) at my plight. After the call, I hurriedly uploaded my presentation file. Two different people starting chatting me questions, but there was no time! I locked my computer, grabbed my meeting supplies, and made a run for the conference room, ten minutes late. I tried to sneak in, but the only open seat was at the front of the room.

Good news: that presentation went quite well. As did the four o'clock writing training.  

So then it was 4:30. Half hour before quitting time. I told my boss that one thing had led to another and that I hadn't taken a lunch. He asked if I had things I needed to do. And I did. So I clocked out for ten, ran triage on everything I had left, and went home (well, I got a little way-laid talking to co-workers....).

The end.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oh, What A Day!

Today was an interesting day at work, so I thought I'd write about it.

It all started at ten a.m. I had scheduled a conference call with an account manager that I work with. I dialed the conference call number. I was the first person on the call. Soon, I heard a *beep beep*, the sound you hear when someone else enters the call.

"Hi, Jason?" I said, expecting the account manager. Suddenly, one of my coworkers, Josh, started laughing. I laughed, knowing I'd fallen for his joke.

30 seconds later: beep beep. "Hi, Jason?" Again, Josh laughed. I laughed, but glared. He said he wouldn't do it again.

30 seconds later: beep beep. "Hi, Jason?" This time, it was Logan cracking up. I continued to good-naturedly laugh.

Yet another 30 seconds later: beep beep. "Hi, Jason?" Nope, still not Jason. Steven started laughing. It was still funny, but I was reaching the end of my rope. Josh sensed this and announced that they were finished.

Later, after running an errand at lunch, I returned to find the office dark. Apparently, the power had gone out while I was gone. I was there only a few minutes before someone came through to announce that power wouldn't be back until 6pm, and that we could go home. However, after standing in the parking for about ten minutes, talking to a coworker, I noticed people heading back into the building. The power had come back on. I told my friend to make a run for it, but decided to go back to work. I had stuff I could do for another hour and a half, and figured I may as well make some more money.

There were about 20 of us in my department that stayed/wandered back in. I did get some work done, plus a lovely game of foosball with my teammates (I'm getting better!).

Afterwards, I drove home in my old car (my sister borrowed my new car to drive to Salt Lake). It was super trippy, because it's so much bigger. It was also very hot, as it does not have working air conditioning.

So that was my day. Hope you found it to be interesting.

Family Reunion! Mostly pictures of Heber

Harrison Family Reunion! Always a good time. Heather and I headed down on Thursday to join the camping festivities. It was fantastic to see my family, some of whom I only see at the reunion because they live so far away.  The low point was the fact that a big, black bull moose was sighted several times around the campground, but never by me! Many of you know that it's been years since I've seen a moose, so it was really depressing that I never caught it. Oh well.

Below are some exciting pictures from the trip. Fancy hair by Heather, fun at the Heber Valley Railway Station and the Dairy Keen, and a random statue we saw while driving around Midway.

I Changed My Mind

Remember that time that I said I was going to do this awesome list of 100 facts about me for my 100th post? Well, I changed my mind. Partially because it was taking really long, and partly because I got all the way to 50 and thought my draft had been saved, but really it only saved up to 16. Extra lame.

So instead, as I head into the next 100 posts and beyond, I'd like to make a couple of blogging goals. As I love blogging once I sit down and start typing, sometimes I have the pause from my busy life and take the time to blog. So here's what I want: I want to blog at least once a week. I want to blog more about my life (but of course, there will still be random rants). I want to include more pictures in my posts, because that makes them way more awesome.

So here's a little picture catch-up:

My awesome new car!
And my awesome bumper sticker (awesome for all you Firefly fans out there).
The cake we decorated for my friend's birthday. We only had pink frosting for the poor boy. I think we made up for it quite nicely.
Donuts for my 28th (!) birthday.
My new hair color! I'd been thinking about red for a long time, and finally took the dive.

So there's a quick catch up up to the end of July. More posts to come!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dear Boys of Summertime

Look! It's a Dear Boys post! It's been a long while, but here it is:

Dear Shampoo,

I admit to giggling a little bit after you asked my opinion the other day, because you're just so nice...and nice looking ;)

Dear Sherman,

That could have been an awkward moment if I still had the feelings for you. Luckily, we work much better as friends.

Dear Sno-Cone,

You might be a little young for me...but I think very highly of you, especially those times when we are laughing hysterically together. Good times.

Dear My New Team at Work,

It's certainly been interesting, being one of two girls on a team of eleven. Thanks for welcoming me and being super awesome.

Sincerely to All,


Dear Friends, Readers, Countrymen,

This is my 100th post, but try not to think of it that way, because I'm working on something for the official 100th post. It's just taking so dang long! Be patient, s'il vous plait.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Weekend...Extended.

This was going to be a post about Memorial Weekend, but other exciting things happened, so it's slightly extended. 
First off, Thursday! It was my friend's birthday, so we hit open mic night. I was there only to support :) Look at the fancy array of instruments! It was a lot of fun.
 Friday and Saturday took me up camping at Bear Lake. The weather was quite nice during the day, but I nearly froze at night! I woke up with my teeth chattering. But the next day, we played croquet on the beach! It was fantastic. The white wickets were a little hard to see against the sand sometimes, but it was definitely the best croquet game I've ever played. There were exciting water traps that some of the group fell victim to, as well as various muddy and scummish areas. I even ended up winning, though it really was more luck than anything. I was in last place for pretty much the whole game. It was at this point that I got a bit of a wicked sunburn. I now have a lovely flip-flop sunburn line, and I've been sustaining jokes about red stockings on the back of my calves for the past few days.
 Sunday morning, I headed off with my parents and brother to the exciting land of Vernal. Below are pictures of a fabulous bridge near Flaming Gorge Dam, a faraway shot of the gorge (can't believe I didn't get a better shot!), and Navajo Cliff, near Flaming Gorge.

 After driving into Vernal, we took a detour to go by the Vernal temple. It's quite beautiful, and I hope to go inside someday (just like in the Primary song, haha). I haven't been in the majority of the temples in Utah.
 Monday it was all things Dinosaurland! We went up to the quarry, which was apparently originally funded by Andrew Carnegie (cool, right?). For those who haven't been, they have a wall of exposed fossils, housed in a visitors' center. It's really cool because you can see (and touch!) actual dinosaur fossils. There are a ton in this one location. It's called a logjam, which is a collection of fossils in a riverbed due to some kind of blockage. Super awesome. The first picture is a closeup of one of two skulls preserved in the wall. It's a little blurry, but between the blurry closeup and the clear faraway shot (the skull's at the top of the picture on the right, complete with neck), you can get a pretty good idea of how it looks. Below is a cast of an Allosaurus skull, me touching an actual dinosaur fossil in the wall, a lovely family picture, and what I believe to be a modern art interpretation of what a stegosaurus looked like (what the heck is with those colors?).

 The next two pictures are from the museum in Vernal. They have a garden outside with various dinosaur models. The picture on the right is...a dinosaur skeleton. Also, my brother on the left. The last picture is Starvation Reservoir on the way home.

Other exciting points: my brother, Bret, and I had an enlightening moment about ravens. We were discussing how a group of ravens is called a murder, and we thought that was rather silly, as we'd never heard of a group of ravens attacking anyone. Lo and behold, the very next day, Bret read on his Altoids tin that Altoids were once used for, among other things, treating raven wounds! And then it hit us: RAVENOUS!!!! Mind blown. I decided that more research was needed, so I consulted the source of all wisdom, Google and found's actually a murder of crows. Quite a letdown. Ravens do come in a constable, unkindness, or conspiracy, so it wasn't a total loss.

Tuesday was rough after so much vacationing, but I made it through and got home to find a letter from my favorite missionary, Sister Nicole Fulgham. She's so far away (well, only California), but she can still make me laugh and says exactly what I need to hear. She'll be back in November and I'm so excited!

So there it is. Memorial weekend. It was awesome.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I Like Skirts. Also, Dresses.

I like skirts. Also, dresses. They're just so pretty. And comfy. And free! Well, I guess sometimes they're not super comfy. And sometimes not so very freeing. But that's beside the point. I love skirts. Also, dresses.

Maybe it's because I'm short and have a most ridiculous time finding pants what actually fits and is made of glass. Wait, that's from Pirates of the Caribbean...

Maybe it's because I'm short and have a most ridiculous time finding pants that are the proper length. Dress pants aren't so bad, because they're generally made of fabrics that can be hemmed. Jeans are the worst, though. The shorts are too short and the averages are too long. And of course, the longs are much too long (I seem to be in an odd mood as I write this post).

Pants wear out. The hems get ripped, the color fades, and the fabric inside your thighs rubs thin, all of which are incredibly frustrating when you finally find a pair you like. I suppose that hems on long skirts could rip a bit, but the colors don't fade as quickly because, let's face it, who washes their skirts or dresses every time they wear them? (Another excellent plus: less laundry!) And I always feel pretty in a skirt, even if I'm wearing a t-shirt with a skirt.

I've taken to wearing skirts most Saturdays, unless I'm doing something particularly outdoorsy. Lately, I've really been getting sick of jeans. And pants. I wear skirts to work almost every day. They are much awesomer than the two pairs of dress pants in my possession. I have a lot of skirts. I like them. I feel that I would have done well in the fifties.

Here's a paragraph for dresses: while I love them more than skirts, I am unable to wear them as much because I would look far too fancy. But I love them. Mostly because I feel like a princess. I feel that princesses probably wear dresses a lot.If you need more evidence on the wonderfulness of dresses, just take a jaunt over to Gorgeous dresses and other treasures.

Yes, this post just went in circles with me saying the same thing over and over. Yes, it is possible that I haven't convinced anyone of the superiority of skirts. No, I don't care. Yes, I still love you all.

Here's something that may be more amusing than this crazy rambling post. I occasionally think of this Harry Potter moment as I ponder my love of skirts/dresses, even though it's really not related.

What Great Saturdays Sometimes Look Like

Sooo...this last Saturday was grood. Great and good. The weather was gorgeous, and I didn't have to work (I seriously can't get over not working on Saturdays. So wonderful.) Here's what happened:

First, I finally busted out my jcp version of the Magic Bullet. I bought this on the Black Friday before last (I may or may not have hidden it under a table, due to the fact that I had to work...). Isn't it pretty? It's much more turquoise-y in real life. I was a little concerned, due to reports that others of this model had caught fire, but it turned out pretty well. Well, it did start smelling unpleasant, so I only let it run for a few seconds at a time. This worked out because of the high power nature of the appliance. This is apples and strawberries, with Crystal Lite because I was afraid of running it without liquid.

It turned out fantastically! And now I'm slightly obsessed with this thing. I love it!

After this, I took my juice outside and read on my porch for a little while. I set up my CD player to play out one of my front windows so I could hear it outside while I read. Fabulous.

As early afternoon hit, I headed up the canyon with my dad, brother, and my brother's dog. We went up to this spring that my dad and I discovered last year. Gorgeous, eh? It wasn't super green up the canyon as yet, but there was lots of lovely green mossiness.

Please note the dog clear up the hill. My dad was cautiously ascending, due to slipperiness, and Sherlock just ran right up. Four wheel drive, I guess.

 Later in the evening, I attended a fabulous Relief Society fireside featuring delicious food from Noodles  & Co and a talk from one of my favorite people in the whole world. Then it was off to a bonfire and then a little Just Dance!, though by then I was to tired to do much.

So pretty much, an amazing Saturday.

I also feel that I should mention that I went to a Parachute concert on campus. I wasn't familiar with them, but I'm so glad my friend Nicole invited me. I actually knew some of their songs, and the ones I didn't know were great! They really put on a show. There's a good chance that I may have found the lead singer slightly attractive, despite the fact that he was wearing a womanly-cut tee shirt. I tried to look beyond that ;)

 Here is a terrible picture which I took on my phone for the sake of taking a picture. The lead singer may not even be in it. I can't find him. It's like Where's Waldo!
If you haven't heard of Parachute, you've probably at least heard this song. It's quite good. I may or may not have created a Parachute-inspired Pandora station over the weekend and may or may not be deeply enjoying it.

Anyway, there it is! The beautifulness of one Saturday, and random spout about Parachute.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dear Boys: One Rough Week

Dear Boys is back! These little notes represent a really rough week, boys-wise. Because some weeks are just like that. It's cool, though. Other things happened in the last week that were awesome. I'm getting better at foosball at work and played a couple of excellent games. Also, the weather's been a bit nicer, which is excellent. So don't you go worrying about me :)

Dear Tiresias,

How random that I ran into you in the way that I did. Also, my friend says you're weird now. Of course, you may have just been weird back then but I didn't see it. Hmmm...


Dear George,

Oh. My. Gosh. Um, I hope you find a nice girl someday. And I'm sure you didn't mean to be creepy. Bless your heart? Also, the third time I told the full story of our time together, you had a Brooklyn accent. It was a good time.

A Little Shell-Shocked

Dear Sherman,

I'm officially done. Because you obviously don't care and I'm tired of getting nowhere. I still think you're very nice :)

Movin' On and Feelin' Strong

Dear Chuckles,

I do feel a little bad about turning you down, but it's not meant to be. Um, it also may not be meant to be with my friend either. Sorry, dude.

Different Sense of Humour

Dear Mariachi,

Remember how I liked you, but now I don't. Well, my friend likes you, and you're not being very cool. And not very thoughtful. So you should work on that, because she's awesome.



That's all! Thanks for reading. And check out the original Dear Boys here:

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Last Chance Ward: A New Perspective

Brief introduction for those not familiar with singles wards: I don't know exactly how it works in other places, but in Logan there are roughly a gajillion wards for the 18-30 single crowd. There is, however, only one ward for those who reach the age of 31 without finding themselves a spouse. This ward is the next level, the place where the 31-45 year old singles have one more opportunity to try to find that special someone before they have to go back to the family ward.  I suppose it may sound sad, but really, most people in Logan do get married before 31, so it's not like there are a lot of people around to populate said ward. Also, it doesn't make much sense to have singles' ward above 45, when there are even fewer people. These are the facts.

Back when I was eighteen or so, when the 31-45 ward seemed a million years away and I was sure that I'd be married by then, I thought it would be really funny to make up a clever nickname for the ward of single adults: The Last Chance Ward. My friends were amused, and it was adopted into our vernacular. It seemed like a hilarious name for a place that I would never have to go.

I've been using this nickname for several years now, so much so that I never refer to that ward in any other way. I use it in casual conservation with people who are unaware that I made up this nickname. I even managed to accidentally lead a co-worker to believe that The Last Chance Ward is the ward's actual name, for which I do feel bad.

Years went by, and I am now 27.5 years old and unmarried (no pity or encouraging comments, please. It's just part of the story). It's been occurring to me lately that I may well be attending The Last Chance Ward someday, and that it might be a good idea to come up with a new, slightly less demeaning name. After a brief brainstorm in Sunday School, I came up with something I like: The New Adventure Ward. Sure, it's a bit cheesy, but it sounds so much better! I think The New Adventure Ward and I don't feel like I'm resigning myself to spinsterhood; I'm just moving on to something different. So what if I don't get married in the Young Single Adult ward? I mean, yeah, that would be great, but that's not God's plan for everyone.

This is my new perspective. And who knows? Three and a half years is a long time, and I could very well get married in that time. If I don't, though, I feel a little better about moving on to the next step. Bonus: no 18 year olds! haha.

Thanks for reading.