Saturday, October 18, 2008


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)