Monday, December 8, 2008

My Age

A funny thing happened to me yesterday at church. I'm not sure what sparked it, but I was thinking about my age, and all of a sudden I had no idea how old I was. Well, I guess "no idea" is a little strong, I knew I was in my 20's, but for some reason I couldn't remember how old I was. I had decided, actually, I was a year older than I am until I did the math.

Then today at dinner, I mentioned it to Liz and Bruce and they laughed. Apparently, Liz had the same problem. Bruce has to remind her how old she is. We decide it's because all the milestones are gone once you reach age 21. Think about it. What are the milestones for LDS girls?

At age 12 you go to YW
At age 14 you can go to the dances (anyone else remember being excited about that?)
At age 16 you can date
At 18 you graduate, you are no longer a minor, and I, at least, went to college/RS (and you can smoke, hehe)
At age 21 you can go on a mission (or drink)

So after that, then what? I did come up with age 25, when a woman's car insurance is supposed to go up (I read that somewhere.) Oh, and at age 24 you can apply for financial student aid without putting your parents' info on the application. But, really, all the milestones are gone. Age isn't important anymore. Or is it just me and Liz who have this problem?

New calling

I haven't had a calling since May of this year. I was the RS secretary in my BYU singles ward, but when I moved in with my Dad the ward didn't know what to do with me, and so I was kinda floating. And then I moved out here the beginning of September. The week after I got out here, I found out that I was leaving for Dallas for six weeks, so my branch presidency decided to wait until I got back to give me a calling. I think, actually, that they were glad to have the time, because the less people there are, the less callings are needed sometimes. I mean, there is no Young Women's group or Primary, so all there is is RS and a few callings like Sunday School teacher.

Anyway, I got back from Dallas about three weeks ago, and the second weekend I was back, Brother and Sister Roberts had to leave suddenly for Arizona, because her mother was sick. Brother Roberts was branch clerk, and Sister Roberts was 1st counselor in the RS presidency.

You've probably guessed where this is headed. I got called last night to be 1st counselor. I've been half expecting it ever since I heard about Sister Roberts leaving, I even mentioned to Liz something about how I didn't really feel up to it, and hoped I didn't get called to it. But I guess the Lord thinks I can handle it.

It is a good thing, I am glad to have a calling. I always feel at loose ends when I don't have a calling. And I really like the president and second counselor. Shelly is my age, and we have a lot in common, we've been friends since I got out here. And April is really sweet. Besides, this will force me to go out and get to know people.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Children

I had a hard time when I first moved out here, I felt like Lizzy's kids were trying to give me a reason to be glad I was single and had no kids. Here is a list of some things that happened when I first got here.

We were setting the table for dinner the children staretd arguing about who got the pointy fork when no forks were even needed for dinner (did I ever do that?)

One night I had an interesting conversation with Sammy. He was looking for the red beanbag, and I said, "It's right in front of you," and he said, "no it's not! It's not right in front of me!" Me: "It's right here" (pointing right at it) Sammy: "No it's not right there!" Me: "Ok," (picking it up, bringing it in the other room) "It's right here whenever you're ready." Sammy: "No it's not there!" Ten minutes later, after much wandering around and grumbling, he walks back to the red beanbag where it has been sitting next to my chair since I set it down and says, "Oh, here it is." I guess he just had to find it for himself.

Then later he was insisting that we sing, first Thomas the train, and then the theme from the old Batman movie, not the 'nunununununununu Batmaaaaan' part, but the action scenes with words he made up himself, but the words as he sings them are intelligible, and it is apparently against the rules to make up your own words.

I guess most of the issues were with Sammy, but Arthur had his share too. Poor kid, he is much too quiet. One night when Liz was at Scouts, he and Sammy came inside, and apparently they had found some water somewhere (which really confused me at the time, because it hadn't rained for few days, and Sammy can't turn on the hose). Sammy was complaining that he was cold and wet, and I changed him and dried him off and brought him downstairs. And then when I got him downstairs I realized that Arthur was just as wet! He'd just been following me around, not saying a word, waiting for me to figure it out. I was worried that he could have gotten sick if I hadn't noticed.

And then he wouldn't say my name! Before I left for Dallas I kept trying to get him to call me Cheri, but when he wanted to get my attention he would call me Mom. It really bugged me, I wanted him to say my name.

But he is just so cute now! He's started calling me Cheri a lot. I get home from work, he says, "Cheri, Cheri, Cheri." And he lets me hug him now.

And when I got off the plane from Dallas, I could see Brian and Sara jumping up and down to see over the partition, to see me getting off the plane. And Sammy was waiting for me at the exit from the waiting area, wanting to run in and see me. He gave me a big old hug, and made me feel very happy to be home. he is so cute! He always jumps on me when he hugs me after family prayer, very cute.

Second Weekend

I love my job. I love paid holidays. Yay Thanksgiving!

Anyway, I was feeling a little bummed because I only got Thursday off, though I could have used one of my paid days off for it. I decided not to though, since I may need those days off in the spring. Wednesday was really nice, because the next day was a holiday and I could sleep in (I like sleeping in). But then I had to work Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and it was dead at work. Most people elected to take a day off. Kind of lonely and sad. But then when I got off, I had an inspiration: it was Friday! The whole day had felt like a Monday since I'd had Thursday off work! So I had two weekends in one week! Yay for days off in the middle of the week!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Motorcycles

This is kind of random. So, my teacher today was talking about culture, and he talked about the culture of motorcycles. Me being the nut that I am, I had to take his thoughts to the next level, so I wrote down some of my thoughts so I could stop thinking about it, and start focusing the lesson. So now I am going to expand on it.

My teacher talked about bikers being the new form of cowboys, which suggested to me that the bikes represent the horses they used to ride. So my mind went further with it.

If we go with bikes (the nice ones, like Harleys) are horses, then:
mopeds would be ponies,
cars would be carriages,
trucks would be wagons,
semi-trucks would be . . . trains maybe? I think that's how they moved freight back then.

And that would make Segways the new form of walking, since hey, who walks anymore, right? Like I said, random. Any other thoughts?.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Hotel Room

I wanted to put some of the pics of my room here. I took the pics the first day, when I was excited about being here. Looking at them reminded me about how cool this place is, even though I've kinda forgotten it being here so long.

My bed, as I may have mentioned, is huge. A king sized bed. I'm swallowed up in it. Now I'm going to want to buy a big bed when I'm done here.



This desk is really big. And the flat-screen rocks! Too bad there is no DVD player attached to it.



And this is the safe I lock all my important stuff in. It's neat, I enter a four digit password each time I use it.



And last, but not least, the bathroom with all my stuff put all over the counters. I wonder if the maids are annoyed with all my crap. But I have been here for six weeks, I had stuff I needed that I normally wouldn't in a hotel.


Yay! What a nice hotel!

A Day at the Aquarium

I went to the Dallas World Aquarium a couple of weeks ago, and it was very cool! I finally got the pics off my camera onto my computer, so I'm going to post a few here.

I walked in, and the place is a giant indoor tropical jungle. It's
hot, humid, and very cool. We walked around on a ramp made of logs, and see birds flying around free in the building. Like this toucan.

It let people get close enough to touch it, nibbling on their hands. It was very cool.

One of my favorite things was the otters. They were really big otters, bigger than you'd expect, and they were fun to watch. They look like fun-loving creatures. I wanted to get a better shot, it was easier to video them.
video
Then there was a crocodile, and a pile of baby crocodiles. They all looked evil, even the babies. *shudder*

There were two different breeds of bat, spiders (I skipped looking at those), all sorts of rays and fish, and then the pride of the exhibit: the manatee.


video
Silly songs with Larry's song, Barbara Manatee, was running through my head the whole time I was there.

They had a bunch of different aquariums for different parts of the world with different kinds of fish in them, they were very cool. I didn't get any pictures, the lighting wasn't good, but it was fun. Then there was the shark tunnel.
video


Cool sawfish, huh? I didn't realize that they were flat on the bottom. Check out the "blade."

Oh, and then there were the flamingos. They are really loud, and make an interesting sound.

video
Cool stuff. There are good things about being stuck at training. All in all, a fun day.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Media and Politics

This is not going to be a regular thing, me talking about politics, but this whole thing about Obama's aunt being an illegal alien struck a chord with me, considering where I am. This was the topic of discussion around the breakfast table this morning, seeing as how that's what we have been talking about all week, and some of my cohorts were quite gleeful about the situation.

The thing that bothers me is the way it is being handled by the media. If something like this had happened with Mccain, the media would have jumped all over it, declaring it to be the death knell of his campaign. But they are doing their best to justify this, or to push it under the rug, claiming it is a dirty trick being pulled by the Bush administration, and demanding to know who leaked it. Obama claims not to know about it, which I find hard to believe, how could he not know that his aunt was living off of the state and had been put in immigration proceedings? I'm sure she came to him for help when it happened, who wouldn't in that situation? He's a lawyer, and a Senator, he has pull. And if he didn't know, what does that say about his family values?

Something else that gets to me is the very angry comments made by some people that are simply hilarious. They are all complaining about how this is an attack of Obama's family, and family is supposed to be off limits, and while in the same breath, many are demanding to see Palin's medical records, implying, once again that her new son isn't hers, but is her daughter's. So, it's ok to attack Palin's family, but not ok to attack Obama's? Can we say double standard?

It concerns me that so many people seem to think of Obama as some kind of savior, and suggesting that he is the only possible candidate for them. So many are saying that if Obama doesn't win that it is because he is black. That is dangerous thinking, we still have the right to choose who we want to vote for, and not voting for Obama does not make one a racist, no matter what the news may suggest. There are people out there who won't vote for him simply because he is black, there is no denying that fact. But a great majority of voters are more open-minded, and many of them won't vote for Obama, because they don't agree with him, they don't see him as the savior so many people count him to be.

We need a truely unbiased media that will report both sides of the issue. Fox news seems the closest we have. Some people bash Fox for being republican, but since they have been seen to criticize both parties, they are obviously trying to show a balanced arguement, to give both sides equal coverage. And they get yelled at by the rest of the media for daring to say something bad about their favorite candidate. Is there something we can do to get the media to have more fair and balanced coverage of the issues? They seem to think that they can control the election: I think we only need to remember the Truman/Dewey election to see that they can't.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What's the deal?

Has anyone else noticed how darn depressing the news is? How they can't seem to write anything good about the economy? Here's an example of a headline from USA Today this last week (we get it delivered free to our rooms each day here): Stock rally gives hope, but both are fragile; Surge could be 6th in the row to fizzle.

Now, I understand that we are in the middle of a recession, and that things have been getting worse as we go along. And I understand that people on Wall Street are skeptical about the chances of things improving. But please! Can't we have a little optimism in the news? The article was basically about the huge jump we had in the DOW just recently, which really was huge, it was considered one of the biggest in history I think. Why couldn't they write about how great it was that the Dow had gone up without adding the downer part? I honestly think that the media makes things worse sometimes. The downer articles they write get people even more scared than they already are, which causes them to pull money out of banks and the stock market, which makes things worse, and the media writes more articles about the downfall of our economy. It's a vicious circle.

We could definitely use a little more optimism and cheerfulness. They say good news doesn't sell, but I don't see why, especially in such circumstances we are in now. I think everyone would be happy for a little good news.

What is this blog?

I have decided that I need to define what this post is and what it isn't. This post is an opportunity for me to share my thoughts on some things with my family and friends about, well, basically everything. It is about things I wouldn't mind everyone knowing. It is not a journal, I will not be writing about things that I will someday want to erase. That means nothing about any guy I'm not seriously dating (and even then, nothing about my feelings or anything), it's bad enough when I read back through my old journals and read silly entries about boys, or about how I hated high school. I have decided it's good to leave those in my journal if only to help any future children know I had the same kind of issues they will have, but I don't need something like that posted on the internet for everyone to read and laugh at. So there will be a limit of what I write about here.

I wanna go home!

This little trip started out ok, it was a novel experience living in a hotel and not having to worry about any cleaning or food or anything, but the novelty has worn off. I am ready to go home.

There has been a little ditty running through my head lately along these lines. The words I know: "I wanna go home. Let me go home! This is the worst trip, I've ever been on."

That is a bit of an exaggeration, this is not the worst trip I've ever been on, it's just getting tedious and I am ready to return home now. Funny thing though, home is Missouri to me, which is funny seeing as how I've been there only a month. I've been a little homesick since I moved to Missouri, but I've been homesick for Idaho, which makes no sense whatsoever, because I haven't lived in Idaho for three years. Weird. I think that I am a nit of a rolling stone, home is where my stuff is. It probably helps that I have lived away from my family so much of the past ten years, and as long as we have telephones I'm fine living wherever I am. This will be good when I get opportunities to go on details for work.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Motivation

I have been wondering why I started this blog, what has driven me to do this. I thought it was simply to share my silly thoughts with more then my parents, but I figured out it's more than that. I was talking to a guy in my class about it the other day, when I realized what it was. I have always loved to write, but up until now I haven't had much time to write what I wanted to write. As a college student, I always had papers to write for one class or another, so with the one exception of my mission, my desire to write was channeled into writing research papers, or analyzing literature for class. And that also explains why my journal from my mission is so extensive, I needed to write, so I did it that way. I really enjoy it.

The funny thing is, I didn't realize it for awhile. I've been feeling a bit disconnected lately, but couldn't figure out why. And then when Elder Uchtdorf spoke in Women's Conference, it was lke a light went on in my head. He talked about the desire to create, and how it was something we all should do, whether at a small scale or a larger scale. I'm afraid I missed the rest of the talk, because I realized that my writing was my version of creating, and I hadn't been doing it for awhile except in some emails to my parents occasionally at work. So I started thinking about stories I was writing and ways to revise them, and other things I could do. Before I knew it the talk was over. I was sitting with a friend of mine, and I had half considered hanging out with her that night after the meeting, but it was like I was afire. I told her, "Well, see you tomorrow, I'm going to go home and create." And I did. I grabbed my computer as soon as I got home, and started working on a short story I had started months ago, but hadn't hardly touched since then. And it felt good. It's good to be back. That was one good talk, it got me to go and do something immediately, and keep on doing it.

So this blog is an extension of that, me having a chance to create and have it seen. My stories will take more work before I want people to read them, but I feel good about this part of it. I hope it is enjoyable to read. Please leave comments, I'd like to know what you all think.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gas Prices

I was waiting for the elevator today and decided to look at a newspaper sitting on the table while I waited. There was an article about the falling oil prices. I've been noticing the gas prices going down and (like everyone I know) I've been thrilled about it. In the article, the oil companies are apparently panicking. They are scrambling to drop production and keep the prices level.

What the heck! You all remember when the prices started going way way up? You remember them talking about how they had no control over the gas prices when it got up to $4 a gallon? And now that is dropping to more managable levels they are working to keep the prices up? What happened to the stance that the "oil speculators control prices?" That really annoys me.

Dallas Foods

I'm at a hotel in Dallas, and all my food is paid for through my job. We just get a buffet, and seeing the prices of the food, I can't blame, them (the cheapest entree on the menu: $15. Everything else is $20-$40). So we have a buffet for breakfast , lunch and dinner, which I think is usually only available for breakfast and lunch, but we got them to have it day round since there is about 50 of us here.

I say "only a buffet" but I am way understating the case. The food is amazing! For every lunch and dinner meal we have a chicken dish, a fish dish, and a pork or beef dish, some kind of potato or rice, and steamed vegetables. Then there is another bar that has fresh vegetables in the form of salads (spinach!) and fruits ranging from sliced melons and pineapple, to nectarines, apples and bananas. We also have an amazing dessert selection, several different kinds of cakes, pies, creme brulee, pudding, etc. etc. etc.

The breakfast buffet has scrambled eggs, bacon, pepper bacon, sausage, hash browns, oatmeal, that yucky hot cereal that isn't oatmeal (Malt-o-Meal?), cold cereals, and more fruit. We can also ask the chefs to make us fried eggs as a replacement for the scrambled eggs. Oh, and every meal has a selection of breads to choose from.

If I didn't know better, I'd be afraid they were trying to fatten us up for some evil scheme. "Nibble, nibble little mouse. . . . "

Monday, October 13, 2008

The beginning


So, for the time being there won't be many pictures up, since I just moved to Missouri and can't find my camera cord (I'm sure I'll find it when I unpack all my stuff) but watch for pics of my new friends and places. This is one from my graduation pics that Coleman took for me (thanks girl!) so it's a few months old, but I figured I needed a picture of myself up here.

Something I've been meaning to write my family about, but haven't got around to it: my desk at work. It's huge. It's a big circular thing, bigger than a half circle, with the computer in the center. On one end of the desk is a filing cabinet and a locker to put coats and things in (and that's loads of fun, I keep forgetting to take them home until I get two umbrellas and three coats in it, and then I look very silly carrying them down the hall to my car.) I have a couple of overhanging shelves and desk organizers, as well as a hole punch (the two hole kind), a stapler, a phone, a pen holder, and a paper clip holder. My printer is under the desk on top of a little stand where I can put three different stacks of paper. There is also a garbage and a shred bin under my desk.

Now, when I started this job, I couldn't imagine using all the space on the desk. I thought it was way too much space, and that I would always feel like a space hog. Never mind that everyone else was using their space, I just couldn't see it. Boy, was I wrong.

Right now my desk is cleaned off since I'm out of town, but a couple of days before I left for training, I was looking at my desk wondering where the space went. The desk organizer used for paper has different forms on every shelf. On a typical day I have 5 or 6 different piles of files arranged on my desk. Let's go through these, shall we? I have two separate piles for approvals (because I work with two different forms); a pile that needs more extensive background checking; a pile who had hits in the background check that I haven't resolved yet; a pile of hits that I have resolved and haven't gotten to my supervisor yet to approve; a pile that needs some preparatory work before I can run the background check (basically something I have to type up and print out); a pile I don't have the training to work on yet and need to pass of to someone else; and a pile that I have questions about. Oh, and a pile of finished forms that I haven't sent out yet. OK, so that's 9 piles, but some of those are transitory, or only have one or two files. I've gotten to where I make a note on a sticky note and put that on the top file so I know what the pile is for, especially before I go home for the weekend. I also have one of my overhead hanging thingies (I don't know what else to call it, it's not a shelf) that I use for files that I need more information on, especially when I requested another file from somewhere else in the building.

On top of all this is the little things that come with the files. One of the items in my pen organizer is a stapler remover, and I use it ALL THE TIME. So right around my computer I get all these little staples, or sometimes pieces of staples, which I periodically gather up and throw away. I also get tons of elastic bands that come wrapped around files that are related, and I have a nice big pile of them that spills over onto my work sometimes. I really need to bring a basket or something for those when I get back.

The big shelf that I have isn't too full yet, but that's where my books from training are going to go, along with any other materials that I decide I need to have readily available. I am a computer user, so it's likely that I'll rely on my computer more, and not have too many of those. But my desk is full (at least when I'm in Missouri). And I am no longer skeptical of the need for a big desk.

I have more to write, including some adventures in training, but my lunch break is almost over so I need to get back downstairs. So I'll just say до свидания и люблю вас! (goodbye and I love you all)