20 December 2008

The Grape-Spitting Game

I enjoy this game quite thoroughly. Wanna play?

15 December 2008

Merry Christmas, Lights Out

Yesterday was the Christmas program in our ward, featuring the ward choir. I used to be comfortable in my position as the pianist for sacrament meeting, but then Meredith asked me if I would be choir director.

I told her I was probably not especially qualified for the position. Honestly, I don't think I sing. At all. But I also said that I'd be willing to do it if needed. I guess that's all it takes.

So after a couple months of some scrambling, we threw something together. And I was nervous, but it was going well, I thought, until someone came in late and apparently bumped the light switches. Then my little flock was immersed in darkness.

They faithfully continued singing, and Jean, dear girl, even plodded on with the piano beautifully for a couple of measures.

There was scattered laughter in the congregation and I could feel the impending disaster coming: would we keep singing or simply stop? It was that moment after you realize something happens but you don't really realize what is supposed to be done about it quite yet, and you are sort of waiting for someone to fix it, etc. You know that moment?

Gratefully, we were shortly restored to light. It was a nice little addition to the program.

04 December 2008

I got nothin'.

Today I experienced difficulty in deciding what to wear. This "I have no clothes that I like" event occurs about once a month, it seems, and also appears to be entirely unrelated to the clothing I actually own. 

In any case, after ten minutes or more of putting on and taking of different combinations of outfits, I decided on something. As I walked to school, I looked down and noticed that the shirt I put on (a long-sleeved shirt that I haven't worn since last winter, probably) was dirty. Hmm.

15 November 2008

Some people do not follow cultural codes.

I came to the library (where I am now) early this morning in order to do some homework. As is my normal morning routine, I put Vitamin E on my face (specifically, my scar). That's what the doctor told me to do.

As I walked through the third floor on my way to the LRC (incidentally, a place where talking is not recommended), some boys paced in with my step. One of them looked over at me as if about to say something, so I turned to him with raised (in questioning, I thought) eyebrows.

"Are you sad?" he asked.

"Am I sad? Umm . . . no, do you ask me because my cheek is wet?"

"Sure," he replied.

And then I proceeded to tell him about my morning routine. How I wake up and then I usually take a shower--or don't shower, depending on the day--then, I get dressed, brush my teeth, floss (sometimes), eat breakfast, read scriptures, etc.

Actually, I didn't tell him all that, although I should have, because he was defying cultural codes, so why shouldn't I? I just said that I have to put Vitamin E on my face because I have a scar.

The conversation didn't end there. "No, you just looked sad," he said.

It always bothers me when people say that, which thankfully, does not occur very frequently. It's not as if I walk around like this all the time, is it? (Notice how my scar is wet with VITAMIN E OIL. You can't even see it, in fact! And it's healing. Noted?)

In any case, for some reason, he kept walking with me. All the way up the stairs. "Who are you?" he asked.

I should have said, "I'm a child of God," because that would've been weird. But no, I have to say something completely normal. "I'm Amanda. What's your name?"

Seth, as he is named, then tells me, "We (my roommate and I) were just wondering why people come to the library early on a Saturday morning."

At this point I should have forced him into the women's bathroom and flushed his head down a toilet. But instead, I said, "Maybe they have a lot of homework, like I do."

It's been a rough morning.

30 October 2008

The most excellent (worst) driver license picture ever.

The guy said I could retake it.

But there was this woman before that was embarrassing . . . she got her picture taken, and then, "Oh my gosh. You CANNOT make that my picture. My hair looks horrible."

Then, "My hair looks like crap today?" The guy that works at the DMV smiled indulgently and said, "No it doesn't." And I don't know what happened after that, but she went on for a few minutes. 

So when it was my turn, he said, "Smile!" And this is what I came up with:

I had previously determined I would smile without showing my teeth, but apparently something is wrong with my mouth, and only half of it actually smiles when I do that. 


Compare to my old picture:

Well, you know. . . what can you do, except laugh?

Ha. Haha. I can't wait to see the real thing.

28 October 2008

Stalker? You decide.

Sometimes I look at photos on Facebook of beautiful, ordinary friends of friends. Or blogs, for that matter. But I don't actually know them. I find it fascinating regardless.

Sometimes, though, when I'm on a computer in the library or something, I get to thinking. What if they walk up behind me? And they just happen to look at my computer? And then they see a picture of self? And then they look at me? And then they begin to feel creeped out?

Yeah. Be careful about the photos . . . you never know who's watching.

24 October 2008


I just saw this story in the newspaper.

"Woman jailed for 'killing'"

TOKYO (AP) — A 43-year-old player in a
virtual game world became so angry about
her divorce from her online husband that
she logged on with his password and killed
his digital persona, police said Thursday.
The woman, who has been jailed on
suspicion of illegally accessing a computer
and manipulating electronic data, used his
ID and password to log onto the popular
interactive game “Maple Story” to carry out
the virtual murder in May, a police official
in the northern city of Sapporo said. He
spoke on condition of anonymity because of
department policy.
“I was suddenly divorced, without a word
of warning. That made me so angry,” the official
quoted her as telling investigators and
admitting the allegations.
The woman, a piano teacher, had not plotted
any revenge in the real world, the official
said. She has not yet been formally charged.
If convicted, she could face up to five years
in prison or a fine up to $5,000.

14 October 2008

Theives, the lot of them!

I have this bad habit sometimes of using my bike (Rachel's bike) to get to a place I'm going (campus for example), and then finding some other way home.


Getting a ride.

Never going home. . .

A little more than a week ago, I rode my back to Macey's. Tim met me there and I left my bike locked up in the bike racket near the entrance.

I picked it up Sunday. As I hoisted it into the trunk of the car, I noticed something slightly awry. It took me a few seconds before I realized that it wouldn't be possible to ride this bike.

The seat was gone.

02 October 2008

Camelbaks and Longs Drugs.

Picture it . . . (oh, wait, you don't have to) . . . The glorious Camelbak water bottle. It is probably the best invention ever. No, not probably. Definitively.

When I was in third grade, we did a project where we had to come up with an original invention. Mine was a straw connected to the top of a baby bottle. (I think I was still sucking my thumb at the time. I admittedly forfeited Barbies and thumb-sucking at a comparatively late age. )

My invention didn't work too well. Which is why I'm not rich now. But Camelbak came to me in my moment of need.

Try (pause for dramatic effect) adult pacifier plus water at your convenience. It can't get better than this, girls and boys.

Perks? You don't have to tip the bottle. Despite some indiscreet leaking, there is no possibility of spillage. You don't even need hands (although I wouldn't recommend carrying around the bottle in your teeth; I've tried it, and it's not the best idea).

I also drink more water than a pack horse. (Appropriate comparison?) Ask any of my friends from high school what they remember about me most and they'll probably say something about water bottles, and maybe that annoying head-pushing stage. (But we'll just pretend that never happened.) The point is, I like water. Hydrate or Die, it's your choice.

End of story. Camelbak's new-ish water bottle is, simply put, the best thing ever.

Also, I ordered a textbook online and received a surprise inside. It's a video membership card for Longs Drugs in San Anselmo, CA, belonging to someone named Sir Francis Drake. I believe this person's existence is fraudulent (see the real deal here), but if Sir Francis Drake happens to come across this blog, I want to tell him that I still have his membership card, and am holding onto it valiantly, in the advent of his video rental need. (Comma count in previous sentence: 4)

27 September 2008

two chairs

I saw this chair and it looked picture-worthy. So I took one.

I probably take more pictures of myself than anything else. Is that abnormal? (I delete most of them.)

Happy Birthday, Google.

25 September 2008

Short excerpts from my class this morning.

Teacher: T
Student A: SA
Student B: SB (a.k.a. me)

T: Missionaries?
(Hands go up.)
T: Sister S. Did you get any packages?
SA: Uh, yeah . . .
T: What did you get?
SA: (Hands go up in helplessness.) I don't know.
T: One package that stands out to me: My girlfriend at the time sent me dolls. One with her name and one with mine.

. . .

T: Sister Stoddard, give me a sentence.
SB: "It was not bought for me."
T: Can't be a passive. Need a do-er.
SB: Ummm.
T: Think of someone who bought it for you. Do you have a boyfriend?
SB: No.
T: Husband?
SB: No.
T: Significant other?
SB: No.
T: Close friend?
SB: No.
(Scattered laughter.)
T: Come on.
SB: "He didn't buy it for me."
T: And that is why he's not your boyfriend.

21 September 2008


I'm not writing this to bash on the executive secretary in our ward, in any way at all. Our ward is still fairly new and unorganized, so I don't blame him.

I sent him a text message in order to set up an interview with the bishop.

He replied and said, "Oi Amanda. Yes, I can set an appointment with the bispo." There are two questions this reply prompted:
1. Is "Oi" a greeting?
2. Is "bispo" a word?

I sent another text later attempting to elicit the time and location of the appointment on Sunday. He said, "After church. 2026 JFSB."

I discovered that 2026 JFSB is a men's bathroom.

19 September 2008

A case for Sherlock

I made a few changes, but here's the gist of an issue that occurred at work, as documented by the employee who created the ticket.

"Missing E-mails

"Billy Jo Bob logged into his e-mail account and all of his e-mails were missing. The last time he saw them was around 5:00 PM."

This struck me as hilarious. Can someone find out where these e-mails have run off to?

18 September 2008


I have noticed that if I'm the only person in a public bathroom, and someone else comes in, they almost always go in the stall directly next to me, no matter how many stalls there are. I don't really understand this phenomenon, but I have heard it occurs for guys too (which is worse, to me, because you're dealing with urinals in that situation). What kind of solidarity is there in this?

09 September 2008

What the devil?

Last week, I was contacted by Jehovah's witnesses and Satan, all in the same day.

I was walking, talking on the telly-phony, on my way to campus. As I approached campus, an old man extended his hand to proffer me a publication called Awake!. ("Do you know I go to BYU?") I took it and carried it around in my bag all day.

Then, at work, I received a text message.

From: Satan

"How is your day?"

I replied,

"Oh, you know . . ."

23 August 2008

Soul food.

Look how far I've come! I'm not even taking antibiotics anymore. For the first time in over a month, I am not taking antibiotics. How do I feel about this? Very, very good.

But really, this blog post is about much more than my facial improvements:

As is customary for end-of-semester times, I have been broadening my horizons when it comes to restaurants. Somehow, at times like this, there is an excuse to spend a little more money on food. My recent exploits have been very exciting.

First, Pizzeria 712. Excellent, excellent. I would recommend going for lunch, because it's pretty expensive. It's a super-trendy and small pizzeria in Orem, and it's delicious.

I'm pretty sure the waiter thought I was weird taking pictures and all. But oh well. With your meal, they serve hummus with pita bread. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm.

Next, Mama's Southern Plantation Restaurant.
I received a lot of black lovin' here. And it was pretty incredible. It took me back to my Mississippi roots. We walked in and were greeted by a lot of pink, and a black lady sayin', "Make yourselves at home." We ate fried chicken, collard greens, black eyed peas, cornbread, and wow. Then another ample-bosomed (black) lady sitting at a table nearby said, "What'd y'all get?"
My brother replied, "My name is Jon, and this is Amanda."

And then she repeated her question.

Basically, it was a culturally rich experience.

Mama is sort of like a god in these parts, as far as I could gather. According to the back of the menu, entitled "Southern Hospitality in SLC," she is not only the founder of the restaurant, but also the overseer and founder of the Faith Temple Pentecostal Church. "Preaching and cooking go hand in hand for Mrs. Cosby," it says. I felt comforted by the benevolent smile of Mrs. Cosby looking kindly down on me as I devoured my fried chicken and cornbread, hoping that I thought her cookin' was pleasin'. That good old Southern hospitality--straight from the good Lord.

21 August 2008

Oh, nails.

Today as I went to purchase the famous (my favorite) white chip macadamia nut cookie from Subway, I was surprised at how many people were on campus because of Education Week. I could tell the lady who sold me the cookies was stressed, because when I asked for chocolate chip (I had to buy three to get my money's worth!), she gave me oatmeal raisin.

On the way back from the CougarEat to the NOC, I noticed a young guy talking rather loudly to a young girl walking beside him. He was talking about how Seven Peaks is the place to meet geeky young men from Utah Valley. And then the girl dropped her Education Week tag. She stopped (the guy was still talking), and looked up at him, then down at the ground, smiled, and said, "My nails!" She laughed a little bit and seemed incapacitated.

Then, the guy picked it up and they resumed their travel.

19 August 2008

A Good Day.

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday a good day. Because it was.

18 August 2008

С днём рождения мне.

Yesterday I tried reading an article in Лиахона, in Russian. It was very slow-going. And depressing. My reading, comprehension, speaking, and all skills related to Russian have definitely diminished in the four months (WHAT?! Four?) since I was in Russian class.

Also, it's my birthday today. And I decided that I don't really like birthdays. Because you get attention from a bunch of people you don't want attention from (namely, my plastic surgeon and Facebook itself), which is embarrassing, and then you don't get attention from the people that you really want to remember you. Now that, my friend, is disappointing.

And I don't remember ever having a real birthday cake with candles. Maybe I have had one, and I am just forgetting. But the thing is, I don't even like cake.

14 August 2008

The Dark Knight (Week 3.5)

I recently viewed The Dark Knight for the second time, and I saw a lot of parallels in the movie to my own life.

For one thing, I could really empathize with Harvey Dent. The poor lad. I mean, I almost turned evil when my face was destroyed too.

We could be twins now!

Also, I noticed that Batman attracted the wrath of numerous canines. This also pulled my heart strings. When those Rottweilers went after him, I could almost feel his pain.

In the end, I felt that this next Batman installment was something I could really . . . relate to. And if that is not the mark of a good movie, I don't know what is.

09 August 2008

Day 349. Just joking. It's only been 21 days.

Scar-face, oh scar-face. How do you do today?
Good news, though.
The face is healing.
It's even closed up.
So I can immerse it in water.
And not worry.
Too much.
I tried to wakeboard the other day.
The first picture is what I spent most of my time doing.
The second picture is about as close as I got to actually succeeding.
I had a good go, though. About 45 minutes, I tried. And tried. And tried. And tried again.
And sometime, I WILL GET UP.
It just wasn't that day, or today. BUT IT WILL HAPPEN.
And I was a bit sore.

04 August 2008

Fearless. (Well, almost.)

I know I blogged boastfully about not being afraid of dogs and all, but I guess I'm more affected than I thought. Today, at my cousins', little Jez freaked me out. She came up and SAT ON MY LAP. And I was like, "What do I do, what do I do?" I wanted documentation to prove that I had conquered, though. I pet her and sat there happily. Contented, even. But then she just decided to leave, and to get her back once I had my camera, I had to PICK HER UP. The last time I tried to pick up a dog, my face was basically masticated. I couldn't quite get over that thought. It's kind of like that whole taste aversion thing, which I thought was a very interesting concept when I took AP Pyschology. You eat pizza, then it makes you sick and you throw up, so every time you eat pizza after that, you get sick. And it's totally a physiological process. Weird, huh?

Oh, and this other picture is just for scar monitoring purposes. Enjoy!

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01 August 2008

Day 13. Post 100. August 1.

Hello, August. Hello, next 100 posts. Hello, healing. Hello, morning. Hello, future.

It is time to celebrate.

29 July 2008

Day 10.

I guess I feel sort of obligated now to post pictures regularly. But I am starting to feel a little vain. And bored (as you can tell by my futile attempts to do something slightly different).


I went to the plastic surgeon again today. When he came into the room, he looked disappointed. I felt like I had failed him, so I said in (what I hoped to be) an encouraging tone , "It looks a lot better than it did, though, doesn't it?" He confirmed that much, to be sure, but he wasn't too happy about the way the healing's gone. I guess that he was hoping that he wouldn't have to see me anymore (for my sake, of course). And then he started massaging my face very agressively. In fact, "massaging" sounds like too pleasant of a word. It hurt. He said, "You hate me right now, don't you?" And didn't even sound apologetic about it. I nodded my assent.

Then he told me that in 4 months, he could do his revisions to minimize the scar, and told me to massage aggressively, regularly, until then. I guess to make the tissue soft, or something. BUT FOUR MONTHS? I have been thinking, "We'll just wait for this to heal up so it's not an open wound anymore, and then he'll laser that scar into oblivion! And this whole nightmare will be a mere memory." Putting a number on it like that makes it seem so much worse.

Ok, I didn't expect it to ever be "a mere memory." That would be idealistic, in a stupid way. But I did get this blessing the day after the attack: "You will be able to care for your wound properly and have no lasting marks." Which was pretty magical. Maybe the resurrection? Or maybe I just didn't/don't have enough faith. Regardless, I started to think of plastic surgeons as miracle workers, and my only hope. But Dr. Crofts gave me a scar treatment sheet that said, and I quote, "Plastic surgeons are not able to erase scars."

What a kick in the face.

28 July 2008

Day 9

Well. Here's what I look like today. I celebrated not having the IV in my arm by taking a shower. You could say it's been a good day for that reason.

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27 July 2008

"Amanda, please stop posting gross pictures to your blog." "NO! I WON'T STOP!"

Well, today, Day 8 (for appearances, not much different than Day 7), is the last that I have to do my antibiotic IVs. It's really too bad, you know? Because I have been getting accustomed to not showering (What? I have to keep it dry!), and also smelling like the medicine that's pulsing through my veins right now. I sweat antibiotic, I bleed antibiotic, I pee antibiotic. I smell it, I smell like it: I am the antibiotic. And although they may not sell this kind of perfume at the department store, it's not a bad smell. Just medicinal.

Despite the antibiotic capably conquering all of my bodily functions, it has not yet fully conquered the infection, which is STILL THERE. Especially in this 1 square milliliter area. I don't know how it has survived all this time. It must be very, very deep. Actually, I know because I can see that it's very, very deep. I can even stick the Q-Tip head inside of my face when I'm cleaning it out because there's a hole now that goes




to the tissue. Such is the nature of cellulitis. I guess I'm thankful for plastic surgeons? And yet at the same time, it's getting difficult to imagine what life was like without this facial laceration. And I'm not sure I would want to go back. Ok, that's a bit extreme. It's just that I've adjusted. Sort of. You know, I have accepted it, adopted it, assimilated it--and it's become a part of me. If that goes away, then something about me--something fundamentally me--also leaves. Is that what I really want?

The best part about today was that my church is from 9-12, and since I have to shoot myself up with drugs every 12 hours, I toted all of my supplies to do the IV during church. (I was due at ten o'clock.) All of the people in Sunday school thought there was a druggie in their mist. And then Brother Daniels, in the bishopric, tried to shake my right hand which was holding my spaceball antibiotic at the time, and the truth was revealed. Not to mention that David, who sat next to me in sacrament meeting, told me it was kind of hot when I was having him help me hook up. Which did not make me feel uncomfortable at all, strangely. Some people would be embarrassed by administering medication during church, but I'm ok with people thinking that I'm a heroin addict. In fact, I sort of enjoy that.

25 July 2008

Days 5 and 6.

I get to give myself IVs now! This is good news. For one thing, I don't have to go the ER. For another, I don't have to go the hospital. Unless my IV goes bad. Unfortunately, this scenario occurred this morning. I pulled the IV out last night after I finished because it burned, painfully. So today, two nurses examined my veins and poked me two times before they found something that worked.

"You have bad veins," they said.

"So I've been told."

I'm pretty sure my body fluid is basically antibiotic and nothing else. No blood or water left in me.

I got my stitches out! Hooray! Day 6. Also encouraging: the swelling is no longer in my eye. At least, I can't really feel it. So my face is looking somewhat normal again.

Day 5, because I forgot. Honestly, I'm not longer feeling a need for daily updates. This is encouraging, and a good sign. I was wearing the EXACT same clothes as the day before. YES!

In other news, I am becoming a vampire, since I'm supposed to avoid direct sunlight and cannot yet wear sunblock.

23 July 2008

Day 4.

Amanda L. Stoddard as herself
Kaden James Wright as "Jacks"
Ashton Parker Wright
Victor Isaac Graves

No animals were harmed in the shooting of this film.

Due to a low budget, more accuracy could not be resolved. But, here's a picture of a Jack Russell Terrier, the vicious scallywag, for the benefit of your imagination.

Some of you [dear readers] may be asking, “What was with the raccoon, baby, dumpsters, etc.? Why all the lies?” And you may feel betrayed.

My motive was to tell people a good story. There’s nothing heroic about trying to pick up a dog. In fact, an unprovoked dog attack is not only pathetic, it’s also unfair. But . . . if I was attacked by a rabid raccoon while trying to save a baby in a dumpster in a less-developed country? That is both interesting, heroic, and totally worth the surgery that my face will most likely eventually require.

Oh, and this picture is DAY 4.

Day 3.

Ok. Update:

I saw the plastic surgeon, who picked the scab off my face, said he was worried about where the infection "eroded the superficial layers" and spoke of the possibility of future "revisions."

My face is not a paper.

His office was also a "medical spa." When he finally came into the room I was waiting in, he was wearing flip flops and cargo shorts. Very casual, and a little unsettling. (I'm thinking, "Are you sure you know what you're doing?") He does have an apparently thriving practice, and an M.D., so I should have a little more confidence, but I'm not exactly a breast implant patient. (And--most likely--never will be.) Come on. I mean, what else do plastic surgeons do? When I came out, his dogs were there. Two very large and very beautiful Great Danes, actually. He showed me a trick he taught them. He says "Dance," and they jump up on his shoulders, becoming very larger. Dogs in a doc's office? Ok. But at least I discovered that I still like dogs, despite my history with them recently.

I was in the ER twice getting antibiotics through an IV. Two different antibiotics through an IV. Today the plastic surgeon told me to go back to the ER again to get more (I was expecting that he would give it to me in his office, or at least fill out the order for IV therapy form), and I really, really did not want to go. I am beginning to hate the ER. And no, that is not too strong. So I went and told the registar, who luckily did not admit me. He found Dr. Patten, miraculously, who treated me in the ER before, and he filled it out. So I went to the IV therapy clinic, which was a lot more abandoned than the ER, thank goodness. No crazy traumas there. And they showed me how to do it myself. So now, I'm giving myself IVs. Also, for the first time ever.

It is 5:42 AM right now and starting to get light outside. I have been up since 3:21 AM because I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. Oddly enough, I'm having trouble sleeping lately.

I sent an SMS to my host dad in Moscow and we chatted online for a while, so that was good.

That is pretty much all I have to say.
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21 July 2008

Day 2.

This is a rather attractive picture. Well, comparatively. I didn't want to freak anyone out by accentuating the:
oozing pus,
horrible swelling,

and other symptoms of cellulitis.

It's true, my face was infected. I woke up and my eye was practically swollen shut, dry pus and blood, etc. It was pretty ugly. So I made yet another trip to the Emergency Room (this time at a different hospital) and had an IV for the first time in my life. The IV is still in my arm which makes it impossible to bend it very well. So I had my roommate put a hairtie in for me. (Thanks, Heather.) And then she threw up because my face is so sick. (Actually, I am not sure if she really did. But it's possible.)

How exciting.

And I have to go back tonight.

How exciting.

And tomorrow I get to see a plastic surgeon.

How exciting.

All because of a raccoon. And a dumpster. And a baby. In danger. Or, alternatively, a dangerous baby. (And a couple of innocent-looking young cubs.)

Ok, that's not true. But I will elucidate more about what happened for all the curious souls soon. In a surprising, and hopefully comic, way.

Also. The only reason this is good is because it's a good story. And because I have some nice friends. I hear that storytelling is a good way to deal with trauma. So says this hokey website: http://www.eternalwhisperings.com/.

No, but seriously.
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20 July 2008

animals can be unkind

On the left, my pre-hospital exploits.

It was my first trip to the ER. How exciting. (Oh, and by the way, I do realize that my zipper is down in this picture. I can't really help it. For some reason, on these pants it WILL NOT stay up. It's broken or something. But I still wear them.)

I got sick of holding the frozen corn up to my face, what can I say?

Obviously it didn't do much for the swelling.

Yeah. Well, I was attacked by a bear. When I was camping in the dumpster. In Guadalajara.

Oh wait, that's a lie. Really, it was dog. A cute little jack russell terrier that I was being friendly to! Or that's what I thought at least.

Questions? Go ahead.
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15 July 2008

On the way to Hermitage (i.e. Being a Hermit . . .)

I have discovered that I have a genetic defect when it comes to transportation. It runs in the family. I often speak of a family curse, which limits reliable cars in our family of 5+ drivers to one.

I put the kickstand down on the bike I ride for the first time yesterday. Then I couldn't put it back up. I kicked and kicked and hurt my foot, which was wearing a sandal, but no success. So then, I started wrestling with the kickstand. By the end, my hair was tousled and my hands and legs were streaked with bike tire dirt--but no success. I figured I would need a wrench to remove the kickstand. I bent the metal up as much as possible with all the force I could muster and rode my bike to campus, kickstand down, in all its glory (avoiding grinding on all sharp corners or tall curves as much as possible).

And I wonder why I get strange looks from people nearly every time I ride my bike? Well, that's obvious. Something like this happens. Every. Single. Time.

Apparently my former (and future) roommate Amy was not aware of my inherent difficulties when it comes to transportation, so she innocently left me her car for the summer while she frolics and traipses in Guatemala for the summer (viewing the likes of San Pedro, pictured below). I said I would store it for her and use it on occasion, if the need arose. On the recommendation of my roommates who have coveted condo parking garage spots, I e-mailed the landlord about getting parking in the garage myself, and she told me I could have spot 52. So I moved the car there, but I failed to get a permit before that. It had been parked on the street. Since I hardly ever drive it, how was I to know that there was a boot on it since the 5th, and they towed it on the 7th? I didn't find out until I tried to drive it a few days later, went to the garage, and it wasn't there. I guess I should have realized that I needed a permit to be in the garage, regardless of whether my spot was designated by the landlord, since the parking enforcement is done by a contracted agency, University Parking Enforcement. But I went and paid the $150 for those money-suckers to open the dumb gate. And now all is well.

Well . . . I don't know about that. I am considering just staying inside from now on. Since I can't handle cars, or bikes, I am worried that eventually I am going to kill myself by walking too. So I am going to cut travel out of my life entirely. I will subsist as a hermit. This could solve a lot of other problems, as well.

10 July 2008

Just when you thought I'd stop writing about bikes:

Today, I was gloriously riding home on my newly acquired bike (thanks, Rachel!) and approached a depressed curve (it was like an inch high, I swear). I must have hit it at a weird angle, or something, because instead of going over the very manageable curb, the bike started to skid alongside of it instead. These bikes have minds of their own! So after a horrible sound of skidding, and crashing metal, the bike fell. But I didn't crash with it. Somehow I managed to remain standing throughout this experience. I'm not sure how. There was a guy in front of me walking, and at the awful sounds of potential injury, he turned and asked, "Are you all right?" I replied, "Oh, I didn't fall. Only the bike. It didn't want to go over the curb." And he looked at me weird, and I smiled. Then there was another girl who was walking in the other direction and must've witnessed the whole thing as she was chatting on her cell phone. I looked at her and said, "Wasn't that sweet?" And she looked at me weird, and I smiled. And that was that.

08 July 2008

The Run-Around

I don't have a printer at home, so I left around 8:20 to get it printed off and copied and whatnot in time for church to start at 9. So I sent it to the printer, then I went to the Tanner Building. The printer was alerting some sort of error, and not working. I called Tim and asked him if there was a printer I could use in the SFH, which is where he meets for the church (and right by where my ward meets for church), and he said no, but he thought there was one in the building I meet in. So I looked there, but he was wrong. Then I went up the stairs to the main part of campus to the SWKT, where I thought there was a printer in the basement area. There were three kiosks, a copy machine, but no printer. The JFSB was locked when I tried to use the one in there. Then I went to the Talmage, and the printer was offline for some weird reason. So I turned it off and on again, but it didn't help. Then I went to the JKB, and finally got it printed. And then I had to go back to the RB and find the room where there is a copier for our ward's use, and then copy it, and then cut them, because there were four on each page.

AND OH MY GOSH! By the time I got to Relief Society, the lesson was half over and no one really cares about the dumb bulletin that much, anyway. Hooray.

22 June 2008

Food, fool.

I have three things in my cupboard in the kitchen: cold cereal, hot cereal, and peanut butter. In the refrigerator, there is a gallon of milk (which I can't drink by myself before it goes bad), some soy milk, and some blackberry fruit spread (jam?). In the freezer, there is a loaf of bread and six bagels. I hardly ever use these because they're frozen.

When it comes to kitchen utensils, there is nothing. I just use everyone else's stuff. It was like this when I moved in. In fact, it was worse, and my roommates had to clear some space for me to put my stuff in the bedroom, bathroom, as well as kitchen cupboards. I didn't bring all my communal kitchen possessions: toaster oven, electronic tea kettle, dish drainer. Totally and completely unnecessary. Although I do miss the electric kettle somethin' horrible.

At first, I did bring my food, too. But it was sadly done away with. Maybe I had it coming, because all the dry goods were in a black garbage bag outside my apartment door for a couple of days. I just left it there, unwilling to try and fit it into the inches of shelving that had been cleared for me and hesitant to deal with the spilled rice grains and spaghetti noodles. I'm not sure if someone saw it and thought that all that food was unwanted, and took it for themselves. Maybe. Maybe they actually threw it away, thinking it was worthless, even though it clearly wasn't. It was a very heavy bag.

Obviously, I haven't yet recovered from that terrible catastrophe, because I have yet to go on a real grocery shopping trip this summer. For one thing, there's hardly enough room as it is. For another, I'm just not motivated to start from scratch. There's something disproportionately depressing about having to buy a bunch of spices, flour, sugar, and things you don't use too often, especially when you know that (a) there's nowhere to store it, and (b) you once owned that stuff and it's not completely your fault that you don't own it anymore [because you didn't eat it].

I depend on my brother (who conveniently lives in the same apartment complex) to eat meals, otherwise I buy food. Which is (a) expensive, and (b) unhealthy. (I had been wondering why I wasn't eating well. There was a week or two where it seemed I ate nothing but cookies. It's clear now that I was doing that because cookies are the only tasty thing you can purchase in the Cougar Eat. Mystery solved.)

As a side note, a simplistic and non-material lifestyle is ideal. Although, the food thing could be healthier. Looking back on much of my college career, I have "owned" very little--shoes, clothes, bathroom accessories, my laptop, a notebook or two, a few books . . . and . . . well, that's about it. It's rather unencumbered to live this way.

Back to the meat of the matter (haha! Pun intended!): Today was glorious. I cooked. At my brother's. And since he wasn't feeling well, he didn't help me. Having full reign in the kitchen really was healing for my cooking skills. When my brother supervises, I have a nasty tendency to turn the stove-top burners on high and burn everything.

Here's what I did (I didn't take pictures, but I did find some images on Google that give a good idea of what you missed out on.):

Shrimp sauteed in butter, garlic, lemon juice, and seasoned with salt and fresh-ground pepper.
Fettuccine noodles with pesto (I didn't make the pesto, sadly) added to the remains of what the shrimp cooked in, and some Parmesan cheese for good measure.
Sliced tomatoes topped with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil, fresh-ground pepper, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

For the first time in a long time, I feel full. In a good, non-nasty kind of way.

20 June 2008

one of these things [eyeballs] is not like the other...

Is there some kind of medical term from this? Oh, yes, yes there is. It's called anisocoria. And it sounds scary.

Read on, but only if you're man enough.

The use of eyedrops are a common cause of a harmless change in pupil size. Other medicines that get in the eyes, including medicine from asthma inhalers, can change pupil size.

Other causes of unequal pupil sizes may include:

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