Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have been fairly lucky in my places of employment thus far in life, with one or two lemons thrown in. My current job (which fell in my lap by the grace of God just as I really needed to quit my sandwich making, tea mopping, Sunday working, sexual harassment juggling, life sucking old job in a loud public way) is no different. There are some uncomfortable things about it, as is the case in any workplace, but overall, its pretty stellar. Aka, I was running around Hyde Hall tonight catering a couple dinners, and I thought to myself, and then said aloud, "This is way too much fun."

Guys, I lucked out. I didn't so much make it out of the food service industry as was my goal, but this adventure time, I'll take it. Especially cause they pay me lots better to be happy than the old guys were paying me to be miserable. Things are going well, and there are more hours and more catering and better opportunities coming soon to an Amy near you. And I am excited about that, cause tonight was one of those kinda hectic, really hilarious, straight living in the moment kind of shifts. The kind where Garret starts quoting youtube videos and we sing Bed Intruder while doing dishes. The kind where I say with fervor, "We have to start a quote book!" and then promptly forget whatever funny thing Garret just said. The kind where the catering clients actually talk to you like you're a person which is not exactly the norm, the kind where Adam is really happy which is good cause last time I had to "talk him down" from the intense anger involved with a seriously overcompensating short rude client, and that wasn't as much fun as I've ever had in my life.

This night started out feeling like whiplash and then turned into one of the smoothest, most pleasant catering events I have experienced thus far. Things kept going so well, in fact, that Garret exclaimed many times in tones of excitement, "SWAG! That's Swag!"

This word quickly turned in to the theme of the night, like roadtrips that you name. We just kept saying it, cause things just kept going so well. That one word pretty accurately describes how I feel tonight. Things are working out, I think. Life is pretty swag. 

I just like this job a lot on days like this. I am figuring out what I am doing, and really enjoying running around with Adam and Garret, who are some of the funniest people I've ever met, especially when you put them together.We had a lot of fun comparing drivers license pictures and finals week stories and squooshing ourselves into that tiny elevator with a cart and a lot of free flowing, hot liquid, and you know what? Half those inside jokes that got mentioned today? I was in on them. This is the first time I was more often in on the joke than not. Swag.

Also, I found out today that Pat has this plan where I will soon be a lot more involved with Catering and doing that with Adam and spending not as much time dishing soup in the Cafe. I am all for it. Catering is fun. Catering is diverse and adventurous and sometimes filled with stress and adrenaline. Also, that means I get to run around with Adam who I am good friends and not spend quite so much time trying to tread my white, English speaking self in the sea of Espanol whose waves are sometimes pleasant and curiosity inducing and other times pound on you in extreme discomfort. I get more responsibility. It's the kind of niche where people ask you questions and you are a necessary part of a team. I really miss that kind of work. I think this is gonna be good.

Also, I got to bring home Lemon Tarts. SWAG.

I Can't Handle The Camel!

My brother recently went to visit Headquarters for Christmas. (drawbacks of moving. He only visits Utah) Seeing as how I wasn't there, the majority of our interaction took place a few weeks ago on Skyping Sunday with a whole bunch of my family taking turns all mooshing themselves in the teensy yellow room in front of the webcam.

This particular sunday when Alex, James, and Mark and Amy were the core skypers*, I had a rare opportunity to skype with them completely alone for the duration of the kids meltdown and bedtime, but not before Libby and Emma availed themselves of the opportunity to display for Uncle Alex the toy we call The Camel. (He gets capitalization because he is an enemy force to be reckoned with.) The Camel is a stuffed animal from Jerusalem which plays music when you squeeze it. Incessant noise you can do nothing about except wait it out. The kind of noise that makes your blood pressure rise so quickly you can feel it. I had experienced this phenomenon several times already that day, seeing as how the girls both wanted to play with him. Camels get squeezed when you are ripping them out of your sister's hands, you know? I had actually spent sacrament meeting with the thing in my purse, strategically not applying pressure, in constant terror of what would happen if the thing went off. The Camel was a source of stress, kind of like a ticking time bomb.

So when they found the thing again and played it in all their glory several times accompanied by crying and concentrated exclamations of "That's MINE!" I confiscated it promptly and placed it high on a shelf above eye level. Feeling justified in doing so because Hello! It was bedtime and I am totally allowed to take away toys for selfish purposes as long as they are secondary to bedtime purposes! (right?) I went back to skyping and said to Alex without thinking and with a mix of pure vulnerable honesty and exasperation, "I can't handle The Camel."

Picture Jack Nicholson, veins bulging out of his face: "You can't handle the Truth!"

While I didn't mean to speak with such fervent emotion, this is the level of pathos and pure upset I feel about these stupid things about myself on a daily basis, and I guess some of that intense emotion eeked out unintentionally.

It must have sounded something like that, because this is the part where Alex laughed. You know my brother. Picture it. Hear the soul fixing burst of pure comedy that is my brother's laugh. It surprised me, pleasantly. I didn't particularly think my comment had been even slightly amusing, and there I was, the source of some of my favorite laughter on the planet, on accident. Not even just Alex, but Mark and Amy and James oh James. Guys, my family is funny when they laugh. And I caused that. If that isn't a self esteem boost, I don't know what is. Maybe the Nobel would equal that, but I don't know, Obama won it. (Kay that was really mean spirited and ucky of me. My shriveled Scrooged soul will probably repent quickly and delete this part, so if you read it, you're probably the only one. Guilt tangent, Fin.)

Kay my point is, I take heart in the fact that my absolute unhealthful neuroticism and blood pressure driven actions are not always as bad as they seem, because:
One, they make my brother laugh, and we all know I have spent a significant portion of my life imitating, seeking alliance and especially approval, and basically wanting to be my brother. Cause he's a boss. Making him laugh at me, even if it's a little bit cause I'm a dork, releases more endorphins than diet coke. That is serious.
Two: Such interactions could theoretically spawn the formation of "The Camel Club." This club could hypothetically pick a motto of "Blame it on the camel." And that would be priceless, hypothetically.
Three: Sometimes people react in a totally different way than I do to my weirdest weakest admissions, like the fact that I am soul-deep unhinged by the incessant noise of a souvenir camel. ( a small example of a thing that is a problem) I am not usually very kind to myself about those weakest parts of myself, and its nice to be reminded once in a while that maybe they aren't (maybe I'm not) so terrible. They could just be funny. We could just laugh and keep living and not have to fix everything. Maybe if we are laughing, I'm not so broken as I feel when its just me hanging out with myself. Maybe it is just fine if I can't handle the camel quite yet, or if I can't even get on it by myself. Someday I'll be a big kid who can handle it. Maybe I'll win a race. Maybe I'll win laughing.

That is the power of Skype, and siblings. I can sit in a room two thousand miles away and have one of the most hilarious conversations of my life with my beloved sibling people who heal my own perceptions of myself a little bit every time we talk even if they are laughing at me.

And in honor of one of the most hilarious conversations of my life, a round of quotebookage: ( Which I wrote on a grocery pad from the fridge and a half working pencil while we were talking, cause I knew I would forget and I had to blog about it! Geekin out, no big deal.)

"We can use it all the time and feel all elitist and stuff!"

Me:"My pencil lead is running out."
Alex: "Figuratively, Literally..."
James: "So that's your problem. Long on pencil short on lead!"

James: "So if they do it with a plot that'll be okay, but if they're like 'We'll just pull it out of our butts,' its gonna come out looking like a bunch of dirty underwear."

Amy: "I use the halo to hide my horns."

"Look! They're using separate plates"
"The newlyweddness is wearing off."
"Thanks to your teasing, we more often use separate plates and utensils in public."

And the inevitable sojourn into Firefly territory:
 "Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket."
Also:  "Well, it looks like my days of not taking you seriously are coming to a middle."

I love my siblings. Long live the Camel Club, amen.

*These skyping sessions with my family are quite interesting. No two are made up of the same people. Sunday is the night when the whole clan shows up to swing the pendulum of Headquarters from empty nest back to mad house, just cause we operate in extremes over there in Robinsonland. This usually means that we get a varied and diverse rotation of who actually skypes with us, and there usually ends up being a core of three or four people who stick out the smooshing and the noise until everyone else gives up and then whoever's left actually talks for more than sixty seconds. (Conversation of the fittest? Darwinian theories in a social application?)

Friday, November 16, 2012

One of those epiphanies that should spawn some personal improvement goals.

We've all had those moments when you look around and suddenly realize where you are and what you are doing as if you had no control over how you got there, right?  This has been happening a lot lately. And I blog when I have these epiphanies as a general rule, so let's play a game of
 "You know you're a hopeless media junkie when:"

 Your phone conversations include comments like: "Cause really, The Office is the whole point of Netflix." Also, I have seen all of those and it's time to stop.

You've been laying in your car singing Love on the Rocks on repeat. Cause Neil Diamond just isn't getting old, right?

You find yourself on Amazon seriously contemplating a purchase of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes Box Set.

You discover a website called Garfield minus Garfield, which is "dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a young Mr. Arbuckle....and a journey deep into the mind of an isolated everyman battling loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb." And we all know how much I love existentialism. (Even, maybe especially, when it's angsty.)

Also, you dream about Firefly and Star Wars in the same dream. 

This could be a problem. 

On the bright side, I've made a resolution to replace unproductive media time with less unproductive media time, aka pandora, which allows for double and triple tasking and also plays Michael Franti and Matisyahu and Sean Kingston. Which is probably healthy, cause I am a pretty tense person these days and nobody fixes that quite like the sound of sunshine, or The Coolest Song in the World according to Gabe, and definitely rap music.

 (On that note, Take that, everyone who thinks I only listen to Beethoven! Aka Collin, who once didn't believe me when I told him I listened to rap music, who said in disbelief "Yeah? Name one. Who's your favorite?" His mouth dropped open a little bit when I promptly listed Sean Kingston and Akon. Seriously, how do I exhude such a goody two shoes Beethoven listening close-minded aura? feedback?)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

For the Boys...

Specifically Mark, but boys in general. This is leaning. I'd bet money you've all done it, and that most of you didn't even know you were doing it.  So here. There's a label for that thing you all do. 

P.S. Analyze, Mark, quick!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Awkward or not Awkward?

This is the name of a game once played by Katie the roommate of the century, in a walmart with her boyfriend. And then she taught it to me. It is part of the awkward hands theory, and is also generally a rhetorical question. But I really wanna know what y'all think, because I thrive on awkwardness so much now that when it is accidental I sometimes feel that my awkwardness radar is skewed in comparison with the average human. And I am just not sure and you have to tell me, so I can reset my awkwardness radar, if you will.  Thus, some recent (potential) awkwardness.

Once upon a time I went to Mission Prep class. Here away from the Utah bubble where the majority of people in my age group are not preparing for a mission, I am generally the only person in the class. There is also a boy named Donovan who comes roughly half the time. So we don't generally have actual teaching practice scenarios cause it is just me. But tonight Donovan showed up. So Brother Nicholas told us we would be teaching an impromptu lesson and to pretend we were companions. At this point Donovan looks at me and says, " We're senior missionaries, I guess." Which was fine, and not awkward. And then we were teaching and Brother Nichols told us at the end that we would be doing this all the time, and was talking about how a lot of successful teaching is learning to trust your companion, and invited us to take planning time outside of class and exchange phone numbers, and apparently we are "permanently companionshipped". If I didn't know better, I would think the twinkle in our teacher's eye meant he was planning something, but I do know better, and am thus even more weirded out. What is with all of this man's marriage metaphors in a mission prep class? I think he isn't terribly excited about Donovan's dating status, or mine. But this isn't exactly the way to fix it.

Once upon a time I went to work, and I was in the back corner digging my hat out of my purse talking to Garret when Adam comes over. He high fives Garret, and turns to me. At this point, I had both my hands behind my head fixing the strap on the hat, and coworker Adam comes and hugs me instead, but it was weird, cause my arms were up at my head and I was not hugging back so much as being squeezed. And this is not a non committal side hug, you know? Like, there were sides of faces touching and stuff. Picture me tentatively patting his shoulder, cause that is all I managed to do before I was released. We have friendly work relationships and real small bubbles. You learn something new every day.

Again at work, I was in the back during my break and the Sysco guy was there. His name is Mike. I have met him before, but when Danielle asked if we had met, I said "Yeah, we met before" and he said "No, we haven't. Hello, Amy!" Friendly, right? Enthusiastic, that's good? Now picture that with a handshake offered really inside your bubble, and a tall man leaning over you with his face also really inside your bubble. ( Yep. Leaning. Like, " Leaning involves wanting, and accepting. Leaning")* Now picture a handshake where Mike takes my hand, pulls me over next to him and swings his other arm around me. I couldn't decide whether to comment on the fact that he didn't remember meeting me before (even though I remembered cause he was enthused that time as well, as he is in general) or the fact that some real awkwardness just went down. But he let go pretty quick, and it seemed like too much effort anyway, so I sat down and decided not to care. But really, is that not a little odd? Nobody seemed to think so. Southerners.

So. I am pretty sure that we are all just friendly people here and none of this is concerning. (I really hope so, cause I am not so much concerned. Pretty sure I left the sexual harrasment behind at the sandwich place.)  But please, dear people with accurate awkward radar, on a scale of first date to "let's go for a walk"**, what are these? How many awkward hands are we holding up here?

Need Input. (Number five alive)

* Five Hundred points if you know the movie.  Two thousand extra points if you are saying "I know karate!" in a Joe Junior voice.

** This phrase is a cleverly disguised " I'm breaking up with you/ This unofficial dating venture is ending, thanks". Ninety three percent of the time, based on my experience.  And that folks, is a bigger percentage than the return rate on the bend and snap, so really, who can argue?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

This will make your life better. Just sayin'.

When I was teensy I wanted to be exactly like my ( Jedi Master) brother Alex. I don't think I've ever really grown out of it. Hence, this song everyone should know. Also, Mike Masse at The Pie. Just. YouTube it.

That's all. Unless I later decide to keep playing the youtube game. Flight of the Conchords  could show up on here. No one knows.

Monday, November 5, 2012

You know y'all live in the South when...

1. You avoid a near accident caused by a deer, but it is three miles from my house instead of somewhere deep in a canyon. You also see deer in parking lots, ndb.

2. You are called sweetheart on a daily basis by people you don't know. ( I really like this part of living in the south. Honey and darlin' aren't too bad either.)

3. Insults and rudeness are coupled regularly with the aforementioned terms of endearment. Like the really rude parking guy on campus last week who called me honey. I think the "honey" made it worse. Normally I can shrug off rude parking guys; they are common enough. But the mixture of the snotty tone of voice and the pure condescension of "honey" made me wanna smack him.

4. You learn what kale is, and acutally eat the stuff.  It's kind of gross, not gonna lie.

5. Thunder looks like strobe lights.

6. You fill out forms and in the address space, there is room to draw a mini map and description of the location of your house, in case you don't actually have an address.

7. You have a really hard time not imitating accents automatically. (Story there, Coming soon to a blog near you!)

Also, my Utah Mormon bubble has been broken, y'all. I work in a catering business. I have recently learned what are apparently really basic things like how red wine is not supposed to get cold, only white wine. Also, the difference between wine glasses and water glasses, and how it's almost a criminal offense to mix up the sweet and unsweet tea. ( A thing I am careful never to do, cause if there is confusion, they just tell you to "run a taste test", something else which spawns awkward situations.)

I don't know if anybody noticed, but I am beginning to be a big fan of "y'all". I'll just have to have parties with Mark more often when I come home.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Conspiracy Theory

Normally I don't give much credence to crazy conspiracy theories, but today I have one. This week's occurrence is entirely too coincidental to be coincidental, if you know what I mean.

So there's this boy. His name is Daxx. We communicate on a frequent basis, thanks to blessed technology. And we like it that way. This week, however, my momma left me a (slightly upset) voicemail telling me that I had used ninety percent of my text messaging until the sixth. I accordingly called Daxx and Bekah to let them know as the only two people in the world who text me regularly, that this should not happen until next week. And then I proceeded to play phone tag with Daxx cause we have really conflicting schedules, I guess. Somewhere around the third voicemail later, when I was thinking that this whole communication thing was getting really difficult, we finally managed a phone call.

Hurray! I thought. And then he told me that he was running out of minutes, enough so that we had to get off the phone quick. So we hurried and picked a time for Sunday Skype night and then he realized...."Shoot! You remember how my laptop just broke? Yeah, no cameras, no mic."

Crap! I thought. But it's okay, cause then he thought of the Ipod and how we can still skype thanks to one last avenue of blessed technology. So here I am, awaiting nine tonight for a skype date. But this whole universe plotting to never let us talk ever again thing has been pretty effective so far, so I am trying not to get my hopes up too high. Skype has been known to sporadically hate me, and so have Ipods.

Long story short, please blessed technology, in the midst of this week of eery inconveniences, work!

kay, bye. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Things about my life.

Cause I am exploding with details ( also, narcissism?) Whatever. Go!

1. My deodorant has been sitting on my desk for three days straight cause I have lost the clear plastic cap. I cleaned today and looked under all the furniture. Alas, it is one elusive piece o' plastic. Thus, the deodorant remains on the desk  for the forseeable future. (This is what Jessie would call "Whitrash!")

2. I work with three women and one poor guy named Garret on a daily basis. Today Garret complained a lot that everyone was being mean to him except me, I was nice. It occurred to me that I haven't been there long enough for our cycles to sync up and that is why I am an anomaly of niceness. I almost warned him. Give it a few months Garret, and then you're in real trouble with all us females.

3. Libby is a tricksy little hobbit. She bested me today, and won the ongoing war of wet willies. Meaning she finally tricked me into falling for it, after months of succesful evasions and exclamations of "How dumb do you think I am?" It happened, folks. I am that dumb.

4. No matter how hard I try, I cannot keep Jedediah clean. It always needs to be vacuumed, and the inside of the windshield always needs to be washed. It is this neurotic thing now, and every time I clean it it gets cleaner. (Surprise, world! Neurosis!) Last time I vacuumed up glass from underneath the lining underneath the back seat, which tells you something cause that car was a salvage title when Ben bought it eight years ago and I was the one the find the glass from that crash sometime pre-Ben-ownership. And then I felt like it wasn't even clean enough.

5. I cannot spell the word vacuum. Spell check, right there!

6. I take I-85 to work and then use 47 to connect to 15-501. I know how to get there. But I cannot for the life of me retrace those directions backwards. I have twice gotten lost trying to do it. I gave up and I take 15-501 and 40 home even though it takes longer. And this is almost confession time cause I tease Justin so much about being directionally challenged and not qualified for freeway navigation. I guess I needed humble pie or something, so there's some serious imperfection here on the internets. Enjoy.

7. I have an almost nonexistent productivity level while I read anything by Orson Scott Card.

8. I work on Duke campus in the Refectory of the Divinity School. Sometimes, when I get done with work I go sit in the Chapel for a while. I have lately begun reading the Book of Mormon in the Duke Chapel. Ben thought this was really funny, and it somehow makes me feel really outside the box. I think this will be a habitual occurence.

9. I am annoyed with instant messaging in all its forms. You know why? Cause it is too dang hard to fight when there are no vocal intonations and you are talking to a boy who is really dense.

10. I really like taking 86 home instead of the freeway, and I do it on special occasions purely for the sake of the railroad tracks wishing opportunity and that one pond just visible through the trees which heals my soul a little every time I drive past.

11. I am currently obsessed with The Civil Wars, specifically Barton Hollow. Apparently I hum it unconsciously and have been doing so since Saturday. Ben thinks this is really funny. Also, he asked what song that was cause I've been "humming a song that is really dissonant" Good thing that song is not really dissonant, and that means that I might be tone deaf when I am habit-humming.

12. My sisters say I hum when I am angry. I say I hum a lot of other times too. For example: since saturday, same song all the time. Sisters. I promise I hum not just when I am angry.

13. Today while I was wiping tables I found a face-up penny. Somebody is making luck for everybody else and I like it!

14. Sometimes I really miss Nate and I want him to be in the same country again. Sometimes I really miss everyone in Utah and I want to just be at home for the day.

15. I really like North Carolina. Life is interesting, and good, and very very different than what I was doing before. I really like being part of a family that is my real family. It's like this alternative family dynamic and I am learning a lot. I didn't realize when I moved here how much I would learn about my family, not just as an aunt living with my siblings and beloved children, but how much Erin and I are learning about our family and the way we grew up. It's amazing what we never knew about each other and our siblings and our parents and even our grandparents. It is fascinating living with a sibling who you didn't really grow up with. Erin and I were never kids together and I didn't realize how much there is to learn now that we can compare perspectives about past events. Fascinating!

Yep. Narcissism. But blogs are inherently a little narcissistic, so it's fine, right? Don't answer that.