Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned within me there lay an invincible summer." - Albert Camus

Ok, so technically it isn't winter anymore but I must protest this weather. I normally don't rail against the cold and snow (unless the roads haven't been plowed) but it I find it hard to have the same cheery attitude when my furnace isn't working. "What?" you say, shocked and amazed. That's right; on Saturday our furnace stopped working. The blower worked but it would only blow cold air. I followed the directions on the furnace to restart it but it was to no avail. I finally turned it off so that at least cold air wouldn't constantly be coming into every room. Sunday was a very cold day. I called my landlord, who then called a furnace repairman in his ward to come over. He finally showed up around 9pm on Sunday. He "fixed" it. (It's in quotations since it only remained fixed for one hour.) By the time I went to bed, it was in the low 50's. When I woke up, the thermometer read 48. It took me almost a half an hour to get out of bed on Monday morning because of the cold. I returned from FHE that night to a very, very cold house and took a luke-warm shower. (Sadly, my roommates also wanted to take showers to warm up but beat me to the punch.) I crawled into bed and almost started to let a case of the grumps overrun me when the furnace repairman showed up around 10pm (he was at his real job until then.) Luckily, and I'm knocking on wood as I type this, he worked some magic and furnace has (and will) continue to work. It is now a balmy 68 degrees in the house. I feel comfortable walking around without a coat and slippers.
I must admit that, though trying as it was to be cold, it made me appreciate that we have a furnace at all. I can't imagine what it must have been like 200 years ago when only fireplaces were used for warmth. One chill could lead to sickness and death. If you wanted a hot bath, someone had to bring water inside and boil it on a stove. I don't know that I would have survived. On one had, I had a stubborn streak a mile wide. I may have lived just to cause problems for others, but I suspect that I might have died from exposure when out walking or consumption. Anyway, this experience has taught me to appreciate the modern conveniences available to me. (Hopefully I will keep this in mind the next time I start to complain about how slow my computer is or how there wasn't enough hot water for a long shower.) I am going to keep a "summery" attitude when the "winter" moments of life come up.
On another note, I really want it to warm up so I can grow something. I still haven't finished weeding my many gardens and I'm anxious to plant something.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Is it a gumball machine or something else?

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are about to read a blog entry that will be filled with self-affirming statements. After reading it, you may want to smack the author because she is so lucky. However, I beg your patience as I give myself a pat on the back. The picture above is of a trophy. Now I know many of you are saying "How can this be? It appears to be a gumball machine." While you would be correct, it really is a trophy. A few months ago the owners of my company decided to honor one person each month. Each month we have a company lunch and, at this lunch, one person is picked from a group of nominees to win an award for going "above and beyond the call of duty." The first month it was a quality assurance manager who spent hours on the phone working with a customer. Last month it was a member of the sales team. One guess who it was this month. That's right, dear reader, it was yours truly. Considering I nominated someone else, I was shocked but pleased to be chosen. This means that some very nice and sweet person nominated me. This gumball machine will stay at my desk. People who come to my desk can bring a quarter and buy a gumball (and people actually do because it's a nice break from work.) At then end of four weeks, or until the next company lunch, the bottom of the machine is emptied and I get to keep all the quarters from the machine. It is then passed to the next winner. (I will admit that I am considering emptying out the gumballs and filling it with M&M's.) Anyway, it really made my day and I wanted to share it with all of you because I feel so lucky to work where I do. (As an added bonus, this award comes with a gift certificate of my choosing.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The past week

I have done the following things in the past week (ok, 10 days):
  • Waited over two hours to get my side mirror repaired. It turns out that they double-booked all the technicians.
  • Was able to babysit Isaac and Aaron for a few hours. We spent the entire time at the Orem library and had lots of fun. We were so busy having fun that I forgot to take any pictures. (I can see my father and brothers shaking their heads now.)
  • Saw a supervisor leave my company. It was very strange because so few people leave CRI. At my last job we would have people leaving and coming every week but that isn't the case at my new job. It's actually quite refreshing to have such a low turn-over rate.
  • Got over a cold. It was horribly annoying to have one.
  • Started gardening. With the great change in the weather I've started to weed the front garden. It's a complete mess but I'm excited to play in the dirt.
  • Donated blood. I had forgotten how much it hurts to get your finger pricked. I think it hurts more than actually putting the needle in to donate blood.
  • My roommate, W, left for a trip. She will be gone until next week. She's one of my favorites so I will miss her.
  • Bought the new Kelly Clarkson cd. It has an alternative vibe and is pretty good. My favorite song so far is I Do Not Hook Up, which can be considered a great theme song for some of us.
  • Bought three boxes of Thin Mint girls scout cookies. Yum.
  • Ripped a hole in my favorite pair of jeans.
  • Listened to a lecture on reptiles at the Natural History Museum on the BYU campus. Sadly, I had to leave when the lecture was over and didn't actually get to tour the museum. I'll have to go back.
  • Had some very vibrant and interesting dreams.
  • Watched Ella Enchanted on tv
  • Cleaned my car inside and out
  • Made cornbread and rice pudding
  • Spoke on the phone with both of my parents (on different days)
  • Played on Facebook
  • Went to Family Home Evening and church
Sorry about the list but it was this or a three page blog post that would bore the readers to tears. Have a good week everyone.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Found pictures

I was looking on a USB Memory stick and found these pictures of my paternal grandparents.
They just don't take portraits like these anymore. Aren't my grandparents attractive? Now I just need pictures of my maternal grandparents and I'll be set.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

On a more positive note....

I think you should all take a look at Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy K. Rosenthal. (A brief warning for some of you, there are some four letter words in this book that you might not appreciate.) Other than that, this book is a gem. I finished it today. The basic premise is that this author created an encyclopedia of her life. For example: under the letter P she had Palindrome, Paris, Parking Spot, Parking Ticket, Pastries, Pay phone, Pedestrian, Peppers, Period, Phone, Photos, Picnic, Pie, Pinata, Pitcher, Plot of Soil, Potato Chips, Priest, Prison Escape Movies, Profound, and Purple Flower. Each of these topics have a personal story to go along with them. At the beginning of the book is a Orientation Almanac, which mentions facts from the beginning of the twenty-first century such as top tv shows, popular children's names, numbers that we all memorize, and common slang. She included this section just in case someone is reading this book 50 years into the future. There is also a chronology of the author's life from birth to the present. I found that book to be lots of fun. I liked it so much that, if I were an ambitious person, I would endeavour to write an encyclopedia of my own life. Hey, I may end up writing a couple of blog entries in this particular style. I have to give a great big thank you to my sister, Jen, for recommending it. Thanks.

Monday, March 02, 2009

What a day

Today did not start out well. I didn't sleep well. One of my roommates played rock music until almost midnight because she was mad and apparently wanted to punish us. While I knew what she was angry about, I didn't feel like going down to tell her to turn it down. Even after she turned the music off, I still couldn't get to sleep. I got to work a little late this morning and immediately started to work. In my first meeting of the day I was given several assignments. In my second meeting of the day, I was given a truckload of assignments that used to be someone elses. Normally I wouldn't have minded receiving new assignments; it is usually because someone is sick or overburdened with work. This time it was more because they wanted the assignments to get done. They took them from one person who wasn't pulled their weight and gave them to me in order to get them done. I now have more on my plate than I can complete in 42 hours.
When this type of thing would happen at my last job, I would just work extra hours. By the end of working there, I was racking up weeks of 50+ hours almost every week. It contributed to my collapse and subsequent trip to the hospital (see the October 1, 2008 blog entry for more details.) Speaking of that trip, I received a bill on Saturday for that hospital trip. It seems that I owe almost $800 dollars for an ambulance ride. This for an ambulance that someone called on my behalf and that I didn't even realize I was in until I was on my way to the hospital. I'm a little annoyed that I have to pay this bill because it isn't figured into my budget and now throws other plans off.
Back to the story of today, I was slightly annoyed at the situation and have yet to figure out what to do about it. While I love my main boss, MJ, and want to help him by taking over these assignments, one of the reasons I took this job is that I was assured that I wouldn't be working a lot of overtime. I guess the thing to do is to prioritize things and start at the top. What doesn't get done at the end of week will have to wait until next week. It doesn't help that I have a massive meeting tomorrow that will suck almost 3 hours of my time away from my normal duties. After having more than one verbal run in with my least favorite person at work, I was pretty grumpy by the end of the day. I didn't get home until 6pm due to leaving late and dealing with traffic. I then took a shower instead of attending Family Home Evening and have been listening to a book on tape until just a few minutes ago.
It doesn't help my mood that this book on tape had some horrifying parts. I'm actually not sure why I finished it because the middle was so emotionally draining. The book I'm refering to is Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The basic premise of the book is this: A junior in high school comes home one day to find a package waiting for him. The package contains cassette tapes made by a girl who had committed suicide a few weeks earlier. On the tapes, she explains to the listening what, and who, contributed to her suicide. To hear the slide from happy freshman girl to desperate junior girl was so sad. The book was well written and the presentation was interesting, with the alternating voices of the girl on the tape and the thoughts and actions of the boy listening. Over the space of 24 hours, he wanders around town listening to the girl. While the book slightly redeems itself in the end, overall it is depressing and makes me feel like a dark knife has sliced through me. I can't decide if I would ever recommend it to anyone or not.
Anyway, it is now past 10pm and the house is quiet. I think I will go to sleep and hope for a better tomorrow.