Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Trolls and Ninjas

I had an interview with the bishop yesterday for my BYU application. The bishop's a really nice and helpful guy. And I liked the drive out there. The weather's been beautiful lately, so I could roll down my windows and get some fresh air. Plus, I love driving by myself, because I can caterwaul along with the radio and nobody's around to get mad at me for "ruining the song." Come on, I'm not that bad a singer.

Turns out I don't have to go to Soldotna to interview with the stake president after all. I guess it's nice, because it'll save me gas, which is over four bucks a gallon now. It also means I won't be getting lost in a town a hundred miles away from here. But like I said, I enjoy driving, so I was sort of looking forward to the trip. I was also, admittedly, looking forward to getting out of town for a little while.

Oh well. I still have tests I have to take that I can look forward to, I guess.

So I was at work today when suddenly, from out of the treetops, there jumped two trolls. I knew they were trolls because they looked exactly the way a troll should. And they smelled exactly the way a troll should. And they tasted... well, okay, I didn't lick them to find out, to be honest. That's gross. What's the matter with you?

Trolls as a species can be compared to frogs. They're blue, just like most frogs aren't. They walk on two legs, just like frogs don't. They have big curly tusks, just like frogs don't. They slouch and do African martial arts, which very few frogs do. And they have Jamaican accents, which frogs don't. Except Chinese frogs. All in all, trolls are very unlike frogs.

Oh yes, and trolls smell like licorice pineapple.

Anyway, these two trolls jumped out of the trees, stole our bathroom bucket, and scampered off. What would a troll want with Simple Green, Windex, and a toilet brush? I ask you!

Anyway, I chased after the trolls, bounding over cars and under porches, climbing trees and jumping fences. Normally, I couldn't keep up with them, despite my ninja-y status, because trolls are remarkably fast, and they jump like monkeys, which means they can jump farther than squirrels, and I'm half-squirrel. On my mom's side. But the trolls were slowed down by the purloined bathroom bucket.

After a while of chasing them, I eventually managed to outsmart them using several gallons of maple syrup and thirty pounds of Play-Doh. By that time, I had chased them all the way to the waterfall on the other side of town, which was gushing even more water than usual because of the melting snow.

I tied them up with the bullrushes I happen to carry in my back pocket and interrogated them roughly. Turns out their names were Kahva and Vorzun, and they were escaped refugees from Azeroth. Kahva's an alchemist, and apparently she (I guess it was a she) thought the Simple Green was frog's blood. They hadn't been able to find any frogs in town--go figure--and rabbit blood just isn't the same. So I slapped them silly a few times (that's the way trolls show affection--I was making friends with them) and let them go.

Then when I got back, I got in trouble for taking an unauthorized lunch break and stealing the bathroom bucket. It sucks to be me.

Anyway, turns out Kahva was making a potion that's supposed to make it so if you chop off your finger or your foot or your ear or something, it'll grow back. So I'm off to go help them look for frogs (like we'll find any in Alaska) so I can add to my ninja-y powers. Because you have to admit, limb regeneration would be an amazing ninja power!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blarf

I was going to write a story about Sir Lord Blarf Borkenstein, but unfortunately couldn't come up with a plot for the story. Marvelous character description, and I suppose I could have written about how he was knighted for doing a favor for King Muffy (who happens to a dog, and not just any dog, but a poodle terrier), but I didn't. Maybe later. If you bug me enough about it.

A guy from my church says that if I can't get back into BYU this fall, I should go back to Utah and take online courses. I asked why I couldn't just take the online courses from here and he replied, "You need to get back into LDS society. It'll do you good."

Um. No. Why on Earth do you think I'm up here?

Oh well. I thought it was funny. I have an appointment with the bishop tomorrow and will set one up with the stake president as soon as possible--probably Wednesday. Yes, I did put it off this long, because I was toying with the idea of transferring to UAF instead. Actually, I'm once again juggling every option I can possibly think of. I know if I go back to BYU, I'll get my degree and probably end up going somewhere and immediately starting an editing job, which will severely limit everything else I wanted to: give tours at the Grand Canyon, be a deckhand on a boat, get a black belt in karate, get a dog sled team, study astronomy, learn carpentry, and a million and one other things. Of course, whatever I do, it'll probably end up limiting my options. So back to BYU is what I'm shooting for now. If that doesn't work, I'll try for UAF. If I don't get in, then it's back to the drawing board.

I guess my problem is, I want to do nearly everything in the world, but there's not time, so I'm forced to choose. Pretty much whatever I do is going to take several years, and unfortunately, I don't get to live forever. Also unfortunately, anywhere I go, there will be people insisting I need to settle down, get a desk job, go to church, get married, and then quit my desk job to pop out babies, as if success in life is dependent on how many kids you have. I'm not bashing people with families, honest! I have a lot of respect for people with the patience to have a family. What bothers me is when people have an attitude of "This lifestyle works for me and therefore you can't really be happy unless your lifestyle is like it." Personally, I have trouble even putting up with myself at times--what makes people think I could put up with a husband, much less hyperactive, shrieking, messy children? Don't get me wrong, I love spoiling other people's kids... for a few hours at a time. But I like my quiet time to read books or play games or write or draw or play the piano or solve puzzles and riddles or even to just sit and think. When you have kids, it seems like your life has to revolve around them... and there's too much else I want to do first. I'm only twenty--being tied down to a family can wait.

Okay, I'm done with that rant.

Ha, Rye and I went up to Anchorage last Wednesday. It was kind of funny, because we both needed new pants. So we went to Wal-mart, went straight to the cargo pants, grabbed two pairs of pants, looked at each other, said "You done?" "Yep. You?" "Yep," and left. No listening to people wailing about how Wal-mart clothes aren't fashionable and are low-quality and any sane person only buys clothes from Gap or American Eagle or whatever, no going through every freaking item on every freaking clothes rack, no listening to people tell me how I should or shouldn't dress, and best of all, not once did I have to hear the word "cute."

Clothes-shopping with most girls is possibly the funniest thing in the whole world, if not the most annoying. First you have to put up with listening to Girl verbally debate with herself which clothing stores to go to first. Then Girl drags you into about twenty different stores and goes through every item on every rack and pulls out six or seven things from each rack and squeals about how "cute" or "adorable" it is. Then she insists you try on about a dozen various clothing items, despite your protests that they're not your style and not even close to your size. She'll insist you model every single item to make sure you actually do put the hideous articles on, and if you're really unlucky, she'll find one she thinks fits you and will badger you incessantly to buy it "just in case" because it's "so adorable" until you finally spend the ridiculous amounts of money just to get her to shut up. (That, of course, is a mistake, because then she'll badger you to wear it later, unless you're lucky enough that she completely forgets about it. You have about a fifty-fifty chance.) After four to six hours of clothes-shopping, if you were lucky, you have about five or six new clothing items, none of which you particularly like (some of which you particularly hate), and two weeks later, after hiding the junk Girl made you buy, you realize you still have no clothes and need to go clothes-shopping again.

Anyway, I've made you read enough for today, I suppose. And I have ten new books to read since our Anchorage trip, and I've barely started the first one. Well, okay, I'm two-hundred pages into it, but the plot hasn't even started yet because so far it's mostly just background info about religion and politics. I don't think I like the Dragonbone Chair series as much as I had anticipated. Rye promises it'll get better further in, though, so I haven't put it down just yet.

Toodles!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

First impression

I spent the last few days deep-cleaning my room. I made three trips to the dumpster and have three more trips to go. I also have a pile of stuff I'll probably donate to the second-hand shop because I don't want it and don't know anyone who would, but it's too nice to throw out. After that, all that's left to do is vacuum. And maybe scrub the fridge. And possibly rearrange furniture. And...

Rye invited me over after work yesterday for a beer can chicken. It tasted spectacular, but I had more trouble eating it than Rye had making it. I couldn't get the leg off the chicken, choked on a wishbone, dropped food in my lap, and tried to burp with my mouth closed and nearly burned my nose off. Fail!!!

Oh well.

Today I failed too. I met a new employee named Donata. The first impressions I give people are full of fail. The conversation went about like this....

Me: Hi! I'm Lint Monkey!
Donata: Hello. I am Donata.
Me: Denada?
Donata: Donata.
Me: Ah, Donata. Nice to meet you!
Donata: Nice to meet you too.
Me: So you work here? Which section?
Donata: I'm a deckhand.
Me: A ditland?
Donata: Yes, a deckhand.
Me: *pause* Oh yeah, deckhand! Oh, well that's cool.
Donata: Where do you work?
Me: I'm a housekeeper.
Donata: Oh.
Me: That means I give people coffee. And fluff pillows.
Donata: Yes.
*awkward pause*
Donata: Well, it can be a tough job.
Me: Nah, it's actually pretty easy. (thought: Crap, I just contradicted her... how rude!) Uh, except when it's hard. In which case... it's not easy....
Donata: *pause* Yes.
Me: ...I'm going to go put laundry through now. *facepalm*

I talk English real good! Honest! Oy vey. Well, at least it's better than the first impression I gave Zac last year. Zac's very first day working here was when I was having problems with CompUSA. I told Rye I would be in to work a few minutes late because I had to make yet another phone call to try and get it worked out. Like all my other phone calls, it wasted about twenty minutes and consisted of people saying "It's not our fault; call so-and-so and yell at them." So Rye had Zac in the laundry room and was explaining things and I burst through the door and yelled, "Damn them all!!" There was a pause, and then Rye said, "Zac, this is Lint Monkey. Lint Monkey, meet Zac, the new guy."

This, dear readers, is why you should always be careful using bad words, even when you're mad.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spider ninja of doom!


This thing cracks me up. It's a Japanese spider crab. I think it kind of looks like a spider ninja of doom! Kee-yah!!!

Haha... Oh hey, we cracked off an icicle out by the laundry room today that was about five feet long! I think that's about the longest one I've seen all winter, mainly because we usually break them off when they start to get too long. Something about them getting too big, falling, and hurting someone.

So I guess it's been a few days since I updated, huh? Okay, well, first of all, remind me to never have kids. I like them a lot, really I do, but eesh, there's no way I could keep up with them 24 hours a day. Well, "keep up with them" isn't the right phrase. I can keep up with them fine. It's just I don't like having to devote every second of my time to watching someone and making sure they don't run off, hurt themselves, break something, cause trouble, throw things, use bad language, hurt someone else, et cetera. On Saturday, I babysat Noah and Kamryn for the morning. Took them down to the Sea Life Center and used their mom's year pass to get in. I thought it was awesome, all the cool stuff to learn about there! Unfortunately, any time I started to read a plaque or talk to a guide or anything, one of the kids would start crying or running off or climbing on something or throwing their toys or touching things they shouldn't or having to go potty or... well, you get the idea.

I have a lot of respect for people who have kids. I don't think I could do it. At least not at this point in my life. When you have kids, your life has to pretty much revolve around them, and you can't do very much else.

Anyway, we did have fun at the Sea Life Center. Now I'm thinking about getting a pass for myself, even though it's somewhat expensive, because there's a lot to learn about there, and I'd kind of like to go explore it by myself sometime. The kids and I never got past the touch tank, which is one of the first exhibits there.

Afterwards, I took them out for pizza because I'm a softy and Kamryn begged. Turns out Noah "wasn't hungry," so he didn't eat any, and Kamryn pulled off the cheese, ate the part with sauce, and left the crust too. Oh well, at least she enjoyed it. Noah took off his shoes and ran around the restaurant with some other kid he found who he apparently goes to preschool with. Then a man named Tom Morris came over and gave them about thirty chocolate eggs. Just what kids need: sugar!

In the gift shop of the Sea Life Center, Kamryn kept asking if she could get something. I told her that her mom had given me four dollars to spend. Of course, everything in a gift shop is overpriced. Kamryn spent about 45 minutes picking things up, bringing them to me, and asking "Is this four dollars?" "How about this?" "How much is this one?" She finally got some sticky starfish toys. You throw them at the wall and they stick for a second, then start to fall, but still stick so it looks like they're walking down the wall. Oh great. Sticky toys. Facepalm. They threw them at everything in the Sea Life Center (lost one somewhere) and wouldn't stop throwing them in the restaurant either. I left the poor waitress a nice tip for putting up with them so well. In retrospect, I should have tried to leave a tip for the custodians too.

Oh well, it was fun. I wouldn't want to do that every day, though.

Yesterday, I had dinner at the Drawdy's place. Madison, the six-year-old, took me four-wheeling. I can't believe I let a six-year-old take me four-wheeling. I'd never been four-wheeling before. We both rode on the same machine, me sitting behind her, and she drove most of the way. She was an okay driver except for her habit of turning to say, "Look, my friend lives there," and nearly running off the road. Or into a snow bank. Or pothole. Or whatever else happened to be around.

The dog, Abbey, ran along beside us everywhere we went. At first, I was worried we would hit her, but after a while, I realized she was being very careful about making sure she knew where the four-wheeler was all the time, so I stopped worrying. But I was still ready to grab the handlebars in case Madison got too close.

At one point, we were driving around the other side of the neighborhood, and this huge dog stepped out into the road. Big, beautiful animal, I would guess part malamute and part Australian shepherd. Looked just like the dog I wish I could have. We drove past, Abbey hot on our wheels, and a second later, I heard a horrible yelping/whining. I grabbed the handlebrakes, horrified that we had hit one of the dogs, but when I turned around, it turned out the dogs were fighting. The big dog had attacked Abbey, and Abbey was losing badly. I leaped off the machine and ran back to chase the dog off. Abbey practically crawled up to me on her stomach, whining. I looked her over, and she seemed okay, more or less. She led the way back to the four-wheeler, limping, then jumped onto it, climbed on the seat, and looked at me with this big happy "my turn to ride!" expression. Of course, with both Madison and the dog on the seat, I had to stand on the side, so I took over driving, and we drove home at about ten miles per hour. Abbey kept trying to shove her head under my arm so I had my arm around her, but it wasn't working very well, since I needed my right arm on the handlebars to give the machine gas.

After we put up the four-wheeler and Madison went to bed, I stuck around a bit longer talking to Chip (her dad). He used to be a hunting dog trainer, and I loved hearing about how he trained dogs. He has two labradors, Abbey and Goldie, and they're super-smart. Abbey does cool tricks, too. We had a tennis ball that we would balance on her nose and when we took our hands away, she would throw it in the air and catch it in her mouth. She's the one that would do flips off snowpiles to catch snowballs you throw towards her. Chip says that on average, dogs can retain thirteen tricks, so you have to be choosy about which ones you teach them. He never wasted time teaching them "play dead" and "roll over." He taught things like "sit," "stay," "place" (lay down), "quiet," "kennel," "drop," and commands like that. The dogs are supposed to automatically sit if something is in the air, and Goldie responds to whistle commands too. For example, one long whistle means "turn around, sit down, and look at me." It was pretty interesting.

Anyway, that's all for now. Toodles!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Phone calls

The King requested his readers write about the most interesting phone phone call they've had in the last few days. I don't honestly get very many phone calls. My piano students periodically call to move/cancel lessons, and Triscuits calls sometimes just to talk. So instead, I guess I'll write about the most interesting phone call I remember getting at work.

This was back when I was a tour guide at Grand Caverns.

Me: Grand Caverns Regional Park, this is Cathryn, how can I help you?
Man: Hi.
Me: ...Hello.
Man: How are you?
Me: Um... I'm doing well. You?
Man: Good, good. What's the weather like up there?
Me: It's... it's sunny out just now. One or two clouds. Maybe sixty degrees.
Man: Ah. Well, expect some rain later today.
Me: Uh... yes sir.
Man: I'm in Roanoke, and it's raining here, heading your way.
Me: I see. Thank you, sir, I'll keep that in mind. Is there anything else I can do for you?
Man: Yes, could you give me a pamphlet?
Me: A... pamphlet....
Man: Yeah, a pamphlet for your park. You know, like a brochure or something.
Me: Um... you want me to give it to you through the phone?
Man: Yeah, you know, like a brochure.
Me: Yes, sir, a pamphlet. How do you want me to get it to you?
Man: Can I have one?
Me: ...Yes sir, please hold on a moment so I can transfer you.

At that point, I covered the mouthpiece, turned to Austen and said, "I don't understand this guy... You talk to him!" and thrust the phone at him. I hate talking on the phone.

That's the best conversation I got. Melissa had a better phone story. See, there's a rock formation in the cave called Jackson's Horse. (I think it was Jackson. It was named for either Stonewall Jackson or George Washington, but I can't remember which now... it's been years...) Apparently, someone called and asked if the horse was still there. "Uh... no sir, he's grazing in the pasture today, we'll bring him back in tomorrow." Another time, I can't remember if it was the same phone call or a different one, someone asked if we "still had stalactites in the cave."

Tourists say the darnedest things.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Laaaa

There's nothing to boost your ego quite like returning to some friends you've left for a while. Well, I guess it depends on the friends and the situation. Anyway, I confess, the other day I reactivated my WoW account for one month because I really felt like killing a whole lot of low-level mobs, and Final Fantasy IX just wasn't cutting it. I've cut way back now and can hardly sit still for the two hours it takes to clear Karazhan now, but even now, every time I log on, I get a message from someone saying "Oh my gosh, you're back, I missed you, I thought you were going to be gone forever!!!"

Turns out I don't need an ecclesiastical form to go back to BYU after all. I actually need a separate form that I have to have an interview with both the branch president and the stake president for. And one of the questions is "How active is this student in church: active, semi-active, or inactive." The answer isn't going to make me look good. And by the time I send in the form, it'll be at least two months late. Possibly more, because the stake president is in Soldotna and it may be weeks before I can schedule an appointment with him anyway.

The good news is, I could apply to University of Alaska Fairbanks if/when BYU doesn't take me back. Their Linguistics major is actually close enough to BYU's English Language major that most of my credits will transfer, I think, so I wouldn't have to start a new major over from scratch. Also, all I need is to register to vote and I can qualify as an Alaska state resident and pay about a third the tuition I would have to if I weren't a resident. (I'm going to call on Monday to double-check on both of those last two sentences.) Their application deadline isn't until July, so I wouldn't be applying late, either. (Why is BYU's so much earlier?)

Of course, that kills my idea of a road trip through Canada this fall. But I would definitely have to fly down and relieve the poor King and Queen of all my crap, which they've been storing for me for the last year. I feel really bad about that... I'm soory...

Still toying with ideas here. It's nice realizing I have options.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Woot!

Good news!

I called up Sprint and talked to a lady who wasn't rude. She said, "You're right, free roaming is in your contract. I'll send a request to my supervisor and the charges should be removed within 72 hours." I could have kissed her. Through the phone. Only that would be gross.

Then I called up Avtec. They don't have a testing center. But I can still take my midterms at the library here; it's just the finals I have to go all the way to Anchorage for.

I also discovered a place called Ray's Reusables. It's a second-hand store. I got Cassidy a piano book. I also found the first two Harry Potter books there and went ahead and got them, since the first three are the good ones. All three books cost me two dollars even. There were all sorts of other little treasures there too, and I'll definitely have to remember to go back there first next time I need anything.

I also finally found the Deland's internet cafe, which is called Rainy Days. The smoothies are expensive, but really really good! I had a chocolate banana peanut butter smoothie with whipped cream. Sooo good!

On top of that, I got some new spark plugs for my car. Spark plugs are super cheap as far as car parts go. I'm pleased. Now I just have to threaten--I mean, talk Grease Monkey into showing me how to change the spark plugs.

And I think I more or less understand my biology chapter on metabolism, finally.

All in all, I'd say today was a pretty good day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

All stressed out and no one to choke

I guess I'm not really ridiculously stressed out. I don't actually have all that much to get done, and I finally got a day off today. In fact, I get tomorrow off too. And Saturday. And possibly a day or two in between, even. Kind of nice, since I haven't had a day off in thirteen days. But it seems like now everything seems to want to be going wrong.

Sprint still hasn't called back. Of course. I called up the school again to see if they could make some kind of exception to let me take my midterms and finals at the high school. They had my hopes up for a minute, but eventually said no way. I'll call Avtec tomorrow when they're open to see if they have a testing center, but I don't think a technical center is going to have a testing center that BYU will approve.

I took my car over to the boat shop today. Turns out I broke off the catalytic converter. The pipe was really rusted and I snapped the pipe clean through on both sides of the converter. Monty helped me fix it temporarily by putting in some piping, but now I don't have the converter. It's not really essential to let the car run, but I still need to get it fixed as soon as I can. Unfortunately, converters are expensive. The guy down at NAPA said it was between three and five hundred dollars just for the part. At least I won't have to pay them jillions of dollars to put it in--Monty offered to do that for me.

And by the way, Sprint is stupid.

On top of that, now my video card is crapping out on me. Actually, it has been for a while. I updated the drivers, hoping that would fix it, but it's still screwing up. I blew the dust out too. Whenever I do that, it helps... for a few hours. Then the screen starts flickering again, and sometimes I get big gray triangles blanking out half the screen. Today, there were pink lines shooting off in random directions.

And Sprint is stupid.

Anyway... on a happier note, it was really cool watching Monty fix the car. He couldn't get the old converter off because the screws were too rusted to move, so he got out this tool that spun around really really fast and burned right through metal. It flung sparks so far that even when I stood six feet behind the car and he was under the front-ish section, I still got hit by sparks. I was surprised he didn't wear goggles... I would have been scared of glowing, flying bits of metal hitting me in the eyes if I were standing where he was, and I don't generally consider myself to be a scaredy-cat when it comes to that sort of thing.

So I've learned more about cars in the last two weeks or so than I've known in my entire life. About cars, that is.

I tried to do my biology today. Reviewed some lessons, and the first few were cake, but the last one about metabolism made next to no sense. So I tried to go on to cellular respiration, but it made even less sense, I think because it was incorporating some of the stuff I was supposed to have learned about metabolism that I didn't really understand. I don't like biology. I liked it okay in high school, but even then, I was fully aware that I didn't like the subject, I just liked the teacher. Coach Butcher was one of the best teachers I had in high school, and my lab partner, Charlotte, was awesome.

It snowed another six inches-ish today. Apparently it's all my fault. Hehehe, if it were up to me, it would still be snowing in June. Actually, that's not true. I was hoping the snow would clear up sometime so I could go running around the high school track. I feel like a total pansy. By the end of summer, I'm hoping to be able to run a full mile without slowing to a walk at all. I've never actually been able to do that. And knowing me, I still won't be able to by the end of summer. I still can't do a back handspring, which I devoted months to learning two summers ago. Heck, I can't even do a handstand for more than two seconds (that's if I'm lucky).

But that's okay. I'm still young, right? I have plenty of time to learn stuff and do stuff....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Whyyyy?

The world hates me....

I scraped the bottom of my car on a bad icy road yesterday. Now it's really really loud and there's exhaust pouring out from under the car. And by "really really loud," I mean it's so loud I can't even hear the radio. The engine freaking roars. I think I broke the exhaust pipe or something like that. Tracy said it looks like something the guys in the boat shop "should" be able to fix. So I asked Monty for help and he said he'll take a look at it after work tomorrow. I really hope I didn't break the pipe so bad I have to buy a new part to fix it, because car parts are expensive and painful to fix.

Then I went to pay my Sprint bill. Apparently, they decided to start charging me roaming minutes out of the blue a month or so ago, despite the fact that I've had free roaming with my phone plan since I got the stupid thing. So now I have a $1,032 phone bill. Not fair! So I called the Sprint company and talked with a lady who mumbled everything and got really mad when I had to ask her to repeat everything she said two or three times. She put in a request for me and apparently I'm supposed to get a phone call "sometime in the next ten days and if it doesn't come then you'll have to call back again." This doesn't sound promising or helpful. Stupid phone company! Grrrrrrr. Also, apparently for my $35.00 phone plan, I have to pay $30.00 worth of taxes and surcharges, starting two months ago. What the frikkity? Did the government really raise phone taxes that much? I think I'm getting screwed. Bad.

.....On the plus side, work was fun. Free food, too. Really good food. So much of it that I don't think I'll be hungry for a week. I ate two hot dogs, macaroni salad, a hamburger so big I couldn't fit it in my mouth, and two Mountain Dews. Reeeeally good stuff, man. The food was because Toby and Aaron got awards for taking the R&R soldiers out snowmobiling all winter.

I also learned how to swing my hips, and I learned the difference between hip swinging and hip thrusts. Watching Rye do hip thrusts is really really really scary-creepy.

And that's all. Toodles!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dog poop sucks

Well, now that I've successfully offended half the people who reads my blog, I think I can rest my case that everything I say about religion comes out wrong. It's like my brain says, "Religion topic engaged. Vocabulary, syntax, grammar, organized ideas, et cetera shutting down." I wasn't trying to be insulting. I wasn't even trying to make sense. I was ranting. I do that. And I close a lot of posts with "I'm sure you're all going to say..." remember? I semi-regularly close posts with that in the hopes that people will be inclined to comment, usually something starting with "No, actually, I was going to say..."

That said, I'm going to try to avoid any and all religious discussions I can from now on.

Work was fun today. Apparently, there's some big wigs coming today, so Rye and I spent pretty much all morning checking rooms to make sure they were super clean. In fact, we spent so much time checking rooms and doing various other stuff like cleaning Seabolt Hall and vacuuming Jewel's office that by the time we "finished" at 12:30, Rye had completely forgotten that we had any rooms to clean. I bugged him about it and we ended up flipping a coin to see if we would clean the rooms today or let them sit dirty for the night and clean them tomorrow. (We weren't expecting any arrivals tonight, and even if people show up, there's plenty of empty rooms for them.) The coin was tails, so we stayed and cleaned the two rooms.

When we were cleaning the office bathrooms, I noticed the soap was running low. I took the container to the back office to refill it. Well, sometimes, when the soap jug is low and you try to refill soap containers, it drips funny and flings soap droplets out in weird directions. I swear it aims, though... It flung two drips at me: One hit my pants such that if I tried to wash it off, it would look very much like I wet myself... and the other went right down my sleeve, soaping my watch completely and the inside of my sleeve halfway to my elbow. Rawr!

Man, I had the weirdest dream ever last night... I had to save the dolphins, so I swam out to this part of the ocean and did something and then there was an earthquake and the water got sucked down through the ground. I woke up on the bad guy's ship and it turned out he had saved me because I was suffocating because of the air pressure from the water suddenly all moving at once. Except my belly button was bleeding profusely. So I asked, "Why is my belly button bleeding?" and he said, "Because we had to let the lemonade out. Duh." "Oh yeah, okay, that makes sense." and... Oh yeah, this big ship, it was practically a space ship. Not a tiny space shuttle, but like a big ship with an air conditioned cabin and tiled floor and bunks and rounded walls and huge windows and stuff. Anyway, we got off the ship and jumped into the water right outside the door, where I had caused the earthquake, and there was like a foot of water left. And some seaweed. And then my old roommate Brittney was there and I remember talking to her. I can't really remember what happened next, but it was super weird.

Anyway, that's all for now. Toodles! :P

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Stupid

My watch is screwing up. Yesterday it randomly changed its own time so it was an hour off. The way you set it is such that it would be really hard to do that accidentally. Grrr annoying. But today, it set itself so the date was off by a day too. Weird. I wonder if it's the battery. I kind of thought the battery dying would either slow it down or make the numbers fade. I also kind of thought the battery would last more than a year. I wonder if it's one of those watches where you have to ship it back to the manufacturer to get the stupid battery changed. That would tick me off, I think.

I have such bad luck with watches. I miss my old blue one I got when I was about twelve. That was the best watch ever. Stupid Casio, discontinuing the model. Sigh....

The missionaries came over today. We had the second missionary discussion. Well, I think it was supposed to be the second discussion. Actually, it seemed more like they were just confronting me about why I don't believe. I hate religious discussions because no matter what my stance is, I always always always end up tying my tongue up in knots, getting my words jumbled up, not making sense of things to the point where I sound stupid even to myself. Heck, even when I say prayers, whether I'm praying at a church event, blessing a meal, or saying personal prayers, I get my words jumbled up and don't make any sense.

So the missionaries asked why I didn't believe and I started talking, went off on a tangent, and made it sound like the tangent was my main reason. Dang, that would be a lame reason for not believing. So I tried to start again, but I stopped to try and figure out what it was I was trying to say and then forgot what I was talking about. And the missionaries were looking at each other with this infuriating "knowing" look of "Oh yeah, she believes, she just got offended and that's why she left." I don't get offended that easily. Annoyed, possibly, but not offended.

We went on, and I think I made a few semi-good points, but the missionaries expertly steered the conversation away from them and helped me tie myself up in knots. I'd call them names, but I guess I'm more annoyed with myself than them. There's something to learn from this, but I don't know what. I guess that you can't try and debate something if you don't know where you stand. I don't know that I don't believe. I don't know that I do either. So I can't very well argue either stance. And no, I don't want to actively search and ponder and pray for answers. Because I don't care. Religion is one of the most boring, yet most contentious topics in the world. If it were that freaking important for me to know it, God would have answered my "Is the church true" question years ago.

Ugh, I hate this topic. Anyway, now the missionaries are convinced I'm an apostate fool that's just mad because someone teased me about not being married fast enough and when I meet with the bishop to get another freaking ecclesiastical endorsement, he'll say no because I was actively opposing the church or something. At least I didn't mock the guy who played Jesus in the video they wanted me to watch. That wouldn't have gone over too well. But honestly, the actor made Jesus come across as a total prick.

I'm going to hell. Oy. I quit. Anyway, I know, this post seems rebellious and lame. Of course it does. It's me talking about religion. Anything I say about religion is going to sound lame.

I'm going to bed now. Feel free to reprimand me for my lack of faith all you like. I'm sure you're all going to say getting my tongue tied up in knots is this famous "stupor of thought," which is an answer in and of itself, and that God's answering my prayers but I'm just passing them off as coincidences or something. And "What do you expect, angels?" and "God can't answer your prayers because you're not freaking holy enough."

What-the-heck-ever. Anyway, toodles. And no I'm not frustrated.

Friday, April 4, 2008

How to ruin Lint Monkey's day

Okay okay, more details about why yesterday sucked. I intend to whine for a few paragraphs, rant for a few more, and then start saying, "Well at least such and such is going right." So if you don't want to hear it, then pretend I'm writing about the dangers of electric nose-pickers. Laugh a few times, for good measure. There you go.

I have to admit, work yesterday was pretty good. No one got mad about anything, nothing was trashed, and generally, a good time was had by all two of us that worked. Then I went home.

I'd been trying to register for classes for the last several days. BYU redid their website... again... so it's hard to navigate and doesn't tell me when I'm allowed to register for fall classes. But I thought it was weird that when I tried to register, instead of popping up a message that said "You're not yet allowed to register for classes," it said, "You're not eligible for that class," no matter what class I tried to add.

So after work yesterday, I called up the registration office and asked about it. At first, the guy couldn't find my name in the computer. Then he said, "Oh, I know what happened. When did you last attend this school?"

"Winter 2007."

"That's it. You've been gone for more than one semester, so you've been removed from the school. You'll have to reapply as a former student. I think the registration deadline is close--you may want to check that."

So I started to apply as a former student. Apparently, now I have to go back and get another ecclesiastical endorsement because they threw away the one I got a month or two ago because I "wasn't a student." Furthermore... it's too late to apply for fall semester. The registration deadline was March 1st.

Crap. Crap crap crappity crappity crap crappit. Crap.

Crap.

So I don't know if I can go to school this fall after all. I guess I'll try to apply anyway. It will take like a month to get the stupid paperwork and wait for it to get there and wait for the school to send me a letter saying, "Congratulations! You have been put on the wait list for this fall semester!" and I won't even know if I can go to school at all until freaking August or September.

So that kind of put me in a glum mood. Then I had to give Kamryn a piano lesson. We didn't touch the piano at all. I drew up some quarter notes and half notes up on the board and asked her to write out the rhythm. She wrote it perfectly and clapped it perfectly. I praised her and then wrote out one more rhythm and asked her to do the same thing.

She couldn't do it. She could clap it once it was written right, but she couldn't write it out right and she couldn't clap it without writing it out. No matter how I explained it, I couldn't get her to understand it. I had her write it out, helping her through each step, then erased it, asked her to do it again, and had to help her through each step again. The fourth time, I let her do it wrong, then corrected her, explained why it was wrong, then tried it again. She couldn't do it.

She also couldn't pay attention. She kept wanting to draw pictures and tell me how fast she could run and make tapping noises with the pen. When I asked her to clap the rhythm, she started stomping or slapping the board instead of clapping. When it got to the point that she refused to do anything I asked her to, I decided the lesson was as good as over. Which was fine, it had been over half an hour anyway, even though we had made exactly no progress.

When her mom came back and asked how Kamryn's lesson had gone, I explained that Kamryn was still struggling with counting out rhythm. "That doesn't make sense," frowned Cindy. "We worked on that this week. She knows it! Hey Kamryn, how many beats does a half note get?"

"Two."

"How many beats does a quarter note get?"

"One."

"Yeah, she knows that," I agreed. "But watch this." I drew the rhythm on the board again. "Kamryn, can you write out the rhythm here?" I asked her.

Kamryn went up to the board and wrote out the rhythm. Perfectly.

".....How about this one?" I wrote up a different rhythm. Again, she took the pen and wrote the rhythm. Perfectly.

I wanted to shake her by the shoulders and yell, "WHY THE HECK COULDN'T YOU DO THAT TWENTY MINUTES AGO???" Instead, I took a few deep breaths and then asked her the question... calmly.

"I didn't think of it," she said, and went back to drawing her picture of a bunny.

So I feel like a real failure as a piano teacher. Yeah, I know, sure, you're all going to start telling me what I was doing wrong. I wasn't making the lesson exciting enough. I wasn't dumbing it down enough. I spent too much time trying to work on one thing instead of keeping it interesting. You know what? I just suck at teaching small kids.

Then Cassidy showed up for her lesson. In fact, she was 45 minutes late. Again. Apparently, her mom thought the lesson was at 7:00, not 6:30, so she thought she was only 15 minutes late. Still, 15 minutes late for a half hour piano lesson is quite a bit. It's like showing up to work halfway through lunch and saying "Oops, sorry, I thought work started at ten." But fine, whatever, I didn't really have anything pressing to do anyway. I wanted to go home because I felt like a loser, first for not realizing I'd have to reapply for school, and second for wasting Kamryn's piano lesson. But I decided to do the responsible thing and stick around.

"So Cassidy, remember what we learned last week?"

"Uh-huh."

"Good! What did we learn?"

"Um... um... um..."

"How many beats does a quarter note have?"

"Four?"

I shook my head.

"Two?"

No.

"One?"

Sigh. "Very good...."

So we spent a little over half of Cassidy's lesson re-learning everything I taught her last week. She doesn't have a book, so I'm kind of writing music for her and teaching her my own way. Apparently, I'm doing a bad job of it. I had her look at one measure of music. Four quarter notes, E, D, C, E. "Can you play just this measure?"

"Yes."

"Okay, go ahead. Don't worry if you're slow or make mistakes at first."

"Okay. Um... that one's a... an F? No... D?"

"Is that a line or a space?"

"Oh, it's on a line. Um... um... oh, E!"

"Good!"

She plunked the E. "Okay... that one... um... it's... an F? No... um... um... E?"

You get the idea. She did that for every note. When she finished the four notes, I said, "Good job! Very good. Okay, think you can do it again? Same four notes."

"Okay! Let's see... um... that's... um... that's an F? No wait, a D!"

She couldn't remember four notes. We went over it half a dozen times, and every time, she struggled to find each note individually. Finally, I dragged her back over to the board and drew a staff, had her name the lines and spaces, and practiced drawing notes (C-G) and having her name them. I don't feel like we got a lot done.

Her parents didn't come to pick her up until 8:00. I tried really really really hard not to let my frustration show. Especially since most of my frustration was just left over from school and Kamryn's lesson.

When I finally got home from the piano lessons, I noticed I had a message on my phone. It was a message from Mom, telling me a friend of the family had died.

That about did it. That's where I decided, "That's it. Screw everything. I quit. I'm dropping out of school, moving to the far north where nobody ever goes, locking myself up in a hole in the ground, and never coming back. ...Until then, I need to slaughter massive amounts of low-level monsters. I'm reactivating my WoW account!" Some people have comfort foods. Some people cry on other people's shoulders. I play video games and kill things. Only not anymore because I wanted to be a good girl and quit so I could teach children how to not know how many beats a freaking quarter note has and so I could try to get into a school that seems bound and determined to not let me in. (It's obviously a sign that I shouldn't go back to school after all.)

So I started up WoW, but Blizzard released a new patch since I quit, and I couldn't play until I downloaded the patch. "Downloading patch. Estimated download time: 4 hours."

Four hours.

....I quit. And no, I didn't end up reactivating my account after all. By the time the stupid patch finished downloading, it was late, and my frustration had started to die down a little. Then I read the patch notes and the frustration sprang back to life but was directed at WoW instead. "Removed these elites. Made this easier. These monsters have had their hit points massively reduced. These bosses drop even more gold. These bosses drop more loot. The drop rate on these items is significantly higher. You can now make 600 gold a day off of daily quests instead of 200. This is easier, that is easier." Screw that. I don't play games so they can get easier as I go--they're supposed to get harder and more challenging as you get better at it. Next time I go into a fit of rage, I'm driving to Anchorage and buying a new MMO. Maybe Lord of the Rings Online. Or Aion, if it's out. I would consider getting Warhammer Online except it has too much PvP for me.

Better yet, I'll just play Fable so I can kick chickens and beat my wife. Ha. That was a funny game. Yeah, I know. That's horrible. A game where you beat your wife. Well, you're not generally supposed to. You just kind of can if you want. I only did because I wanted to see if you could do it. And then I felt bad and gave her diamonds and flowers until she forgave me.

...So anyway... That's why I was bummed yesterday. The end.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ugh


Today sucked.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More earthquake

Okay, I have a little more time to blog today. Grease Monkey's right, I didn't get to say anything about the fires. Well, to be honest, I didn't get to see any explosions. There were a few little fires I noticed along the side of the road as we were driving and stuff, but I was worrying about the traffic and didn't really get a good look.

There was a tsunami, but not a huge one. It didn't even come as far inland as the resort. Got a bit of water in some of the buildings down by the water, but that's about it. Rye was disgruntled because he "missed a whole night of WoW for nothing."

Okay now, your turn. Be honest, how many of you either fell for it or at least checked the news or google or something to see if there really was an earthquake near here? There really were about half a dozen earthquakes yesterday on the peninsula, but none of them were stronger than about 2.5, and I think the closest one was still about fifty miles away, so we couldn't even feel it.

Bob

"Well, I suppose I could get Bob to come help... but only if it's an emergency. I took him off my Friends List ages ago."

"Oh really? Why's that?"

"Our friendship went down the drain."

"How'd that happen?"

"It's a long story... involving... ninjas... cottage cheese... and aliens."

"Sounds fascinating. Do tell!"

"Um... 'long story' means I don't really want to tell you."

"Yeah, but I want to hear anyway."

"Well... um... you see... what happened was... ahem... Bob and I were both enrolled at the same ninja training school. I was working on my... um... octavian belt.... That's the one that's way past black. It's the eighth color of the rainbow, you know. Wait... red orange yellow green blue indigo violet... that's seven.... Yeah, octavian is the eighth color of the rainbow. Ahem.

"Anyway, I was working on my octavian belt, and Bob was going for his... white belt. He was a bit lower rank than me. Well, okay, he was a way lower rank than me. Wimp. So I was teaching him a new technique that day... called... the Pansy Technique. It's where you act like a wimp to surprise your opponent when you suddenly let loose with a powerful punch to their jaw that keels them ded. Bob wasn't having any trouble with the 'act like a wimp' part. It was the 'don't actually be a wimp' part that he was having trouble with.

"As we were working on it, suddenly the aliens came, brandishing pickles that were actually laser guns, but they still looked like pickles. They demanded that we give them eighty-eight kleptotrons. Well, personally, I thought it was weird that they spoke English, but also, what the heck is a kleptotron? You'd think it was money or something, but no, apparently a kleptotron is like a robot thief. I guess that would make sense. If you have a robot thief, you don't need money because robot thieves can get you all the money you need. So it's even better than money.

"To make a long story a bit shorter, the space pirates had the kleptotrons on their alien pirate spaceship. Bob and I borrowed what was essentially a space rowboat to go sneak onto the alien pirate spaceship to steal kleptotrons. And by 'steal,' I mean borrow without permission and with absolutely no intention of returning or reimbursing.

"Our friendship really started to go down the drain when we snuck onto the ship. Bob had the bright idea of knocking on the door to get in. What sort of idiot knocks when they're trying to sneak?

"So the aliens threw us into a giant prison cell that was basically a big room full of cottage cheese. I hate cottage cheese. Bob was exactly no help; all he did was swim around and go 'Look what I can do!' Idiot. Well, actually, the cottage cheese was only about chest-high, so he was mostly wading, but that's not the point.

"The only way out of the cell was through a trapdoor in the ceiling. I convinced Bob to climb onto my shoulders to open the trapdoor and get us out. After he nearly broke my neck trying to climb me like a ladder, he jumped off my head, opened the trapdoor, climbed out, and disappeared. No amount of swearing would get him to drop a ladder down or anything. That's why our friendship went down the drain."

"So how did you get out?"

"I did an amazing ninja flip up through the trapdoor in the ceiling, found the rowboat, and left Bob behind to find the kleptotrons. Duh. What would you have done?"

"Well, why didn't you do that to begin with?"

"Hey, whose story is this, yours, mine, or Bob's? Sheesh!"

Oh, the conversations you can have with your other personalities when you're half-asleep....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Earthquaaaaake!

Sue's computer is so super-slow... Wow. It took like five minutes to load this page....

Anyway, I can't write for too long because there are other people waiting to use the computer. But I still want to tell the story properly. Whine!

So we were cleaning a townhouse this morning and suddenly, the ground started shaking like a herd of moose were running in circles around the townhouse or something. That's what I thought it was for a second, and then the lights started to flicker a little bit and I realized "Oh yeah, earthquake." Anyway, it lasted about thirty or forty seconds before it stopped. Man, I was in an earthquake! That's awesome! Well, it could have been cooler. I mean, the ceiling didn't crash down on us or anything. Rye practically vaulted across the bed and dragged me over to stand in a doorway in case it did. (Apparently, when there's an earthquake, you're supposed to stand in a doorway because the ceiling is less likely to fall on you.)

Well, right after that, the tsunami alarm started sounding. It sounds kind of like a fire engine, but lower and longer, and it holds the top note for a while. I was standing there, kind of paralyzed because I guess I'm practically useless in an emergency situation, I'm ashamed to admit. Sue and Tessie were looking at Rye like "Tell us what to do!" and Beth and Rye said, "Okay, let's go. We have to get out of here." Then the ground started shaking again, but not as bad this time. Secondary earthquake or something, I guess. (I really should study up on my geology more.) It didn't last very long either. Anyway, I finally kicked myself awake and we headed out the door.

We decided to pile all five of us into my car because, well, my car can fit five people, Rye's can only fit two or three unless we cram them in the bed of the pickup, and Beth, Sue, and Tessie don't have cars. So I was driving out of town (there's only one road that leads out of town) and the traffic was absolutely horrible. Go figure. I hate driving in heavy traffic. We drove all the way to Moose Pass, where Sue lives, and she agreed to let all of us stay there for a few days. It was great, though. I was terrified, and the whole time I was driving, I was muttering, "Please don't let there be an avalanche, please don't let there be an avalanche, please don't let there be an avalanche." Rye was trying to talk to me slowly and calmly, the way you would to a terrified animal. Actually, he's pretty good at that. Everyone else in the back seat was being super quiet.

Beth says I don't need to write every little detail. She's waiting for her turn at the computer and she's anxious because she hasn't heard from her mom yet. Anyway, I don't have my phone with me, and I'm not really sure how long we'll be in Moose Pass before they decide it's safe to let people back into Seward. I'll try to check e-mail periodically, but I thought I'd let you all know we're all okay. I'll let you know if I die. Haha.

Toodles!