Monday, April 30, 2007
As I mentioned in a recent post, my friend Natalie, set me up with Nolan, a good friend of her older brother. She ran into Nolan on campus a few months ago, and they chatted for awhile. She concluded that he and I would get along really well, so she asked him if he would let her fix him up with one of her friends, me. He said yes, as long as Natalie and her husband went out with us. She agreed and ever since has been trying to nail me down to a date and time. She's moving this Saturday, and I'm going to miss her, so I gave in.
Due to prior plans with Cardine in St. George on Saturday (today is her birthday!!!) and Girls Night at Natalie's house Friday night, my weekend didn't have a lot of openings. In the end, we decided to have breakfast at her house at 8:30am, giving us a couple hours before I had to be at Cardine's. Since I had somewhere to be immediately after the date, I figured the best plan would be for Nolan and me to meet at Natalie's. Then I could just drive to Cardine's right after the date. I suggested this plan to Natalie, but she emailed me back saying Nolan, being a gentleman, wanted to pick me up. She gave him my cell phone number and he called Friday after I got off of work. We chatted a few minutes and I gave him my address and directions to my house.
Saturday morning, he arrived right on time. I love punctuality! I had dreaded the moment I opened the door - who knows what he expected me to look like! I was surprised a bit by his appearance because I had forgotten that Natalie had said he was a cowboy. He was attractive, in a cowboy way, and had a goatee, brown hair, and brown eyes. He smiled easily and helped me carry the cantaloup and the books I had borrowed from Natalie to his truck. Yes, his truck, his big truck. I had to literally climb into it! Of course, he opened the door for me and then handed me the fruit and books. When we had both settled into our seats, he informed me that I had some responsibilities while we drove - I was navigator and comfort controller. Basically, I had to tell him where we were going if he didn't know, tell him he was going the wrong way if he mistakenly thought he knew where he was going, and make him stop for directions if we got lost. Also, since he had learned from his dad that women get hot/cold before men, I could adjust the temperature as I saw fit. Finally, I controlled the music, as long as I didn't mess with the preset buttons. As it was, I liked the country cd he had playing, the temp was perfect, and he knew exactly where we were going, so I ended up having nothing to do but talk.
Natalie had breakfast (french toast, eggs, and sausage) almost finished when we arrived, so I hurried and cut up the cantaloup so we could start. We talked while we ate and ended up having so much fun talking that we continued to talk after we ate instead of playing the games Natalie had planned. I found out that Nolan is named after one of the Sacketts (Louis L'Amour), loves to camp, hunt, fish, and just be outdoors. He's graduating from the engineering program and already has a job lined up for the summer. This Fall he's spending over a month in Alaska to hunt. He doesn't really enjoy playing video games and Louis L'Amour is about all he reads, besides text books. As my mom pointed out, this doesn't mean he won't get into other books. According to her, my dad only read Louis L'Amour for a really long time, then he started branching out and now loves to read a variety of books.
At the appointed time, Nolan and I thanked Natalie and Erik and said goodbye. He drove me to Cardine's house and walked me to the door (I was super impressed!). We said the standard "I had a good time" and "It was really nice to meet you", then he gave me hug and we said goodbye. Oh, and he wished me a fun time in St. George and I wished him success on his finals. Then he got back in his truck and I went into the house.
Nolan was a super nice guy, easy to talk to, funny, smart, and interesting. I had a fun time, I'm not sorry I went on the date, and I'll be super suprised if I ever hear from him again. I, at least, felt no sparks, but then, I didn't really want to, either. He'd make a good acquaintance, someone to do things with in a group of all my other friends, but I don't think we're a match. My mom asked if I'd go out with him again if he calls (I doubt he will), and I think I would because I'd like to get to know him as a friend. And, who knows, maybe he'll meet one of my friends and they'll be a good match!
I still don't like the idea of getting set up on a blind date - too much stress; however, if it were guaranteed to end up like this one... maybe it wouldn't be too horrible. If nothing else, it has now only been two days since my last date!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
1. I got a new church calling. I've been attending the singles ward (sporadically) for a few months, but most of you know that it typically takes awhile for a calling to be extended in singles wards. When I went to church Sunday the 15th, I hadn't been to my ward for a few weeks (for various reasons). I arrived early and sat in a corner pew to quietly read my scriptures until church started. I was accosted (not the best word) by the bishop, both his counselors, the Elders Quorum president, the Relief Society president, and the Executive Secretary (one at a time, not all together). The E.S. set up an appointment for me to meet with one of the bishopric members, so I knew I was getting a calling. I am once again (and forever???) a Sunday School teacher. I wasn't told specifically, but I'm pretty sure I'll be teaching Gospel Doctrine. I'm excited because I love teaching, and I love the New Testament.
2. I'm moving! I'm staying in the same town, at least for a year or so, but I'm getting my own apartment. I decided not to go to school at all, at least for a year or so, so I couldn't reconcile living at home any more - saving for school was the reason I moved home in the first place. I looked around for one-bedroom apartments and decided to get a studio apartment that is close to work. I really don't want a roommate; I'm ready for my very own place. I went into the rental office this morning before work, and it sounds like they'll have a unit ready for me May 7th!!!! That means I need to start packing! I've been in these studios before and they are tiny, but I don't really need that much room. I can't wait! I'll invite each of you (individually, of course, because it's so small) over for a party sometime.
3. Dating. Okay, in one instance, I'm not sure if what we're doing is actually, truly dating, but it's in that general direction. An old friend (he's 30!!!!) (inside joke) and I are experimenting with maybe being more than friends. Is that specific enough for you?? It's a little tough because we don't live in the same town, but it makes things a little interesting as well. It also means that it can't go too fast; I'm not ready for fast. There's more I could tell you, but I'm not going to. At least, not right now. Sorry. :)
The other instance is truly dating; I have a blind date this Saturday. And, before you get your unmentionables in a twist, I did inform the guy in the first instance about the blind date, though maybe not all the details. Anyhoo, a friend from college has been trying to set me up with Nice Guy for a few months. I've been pretty resistant (I don't like being set up) but finally agreed to it. It's taken several weeks to set a date and time that works for everyone, but we've finally decided to have breakfast at my friend's house this Saturday. I don't normally go for breakfast dates, especially at 8:30am, but I'm spending the rest of the day in St. George with Cardine to celebrate her birthday, so the morning was all that was available. My friend and her husband are moving next week, so it's this weekend or never. I was hoping for never. Sorry, I'm sure it will be fun - that's what I keep telling myself. :)
4. Work. This one is kind of cheating because my job is always busy and fast-paced, but attending the AAA convention in Denver last week seemed to accelerate things a bit. I learned a lot of things that I need to be doing, things that I want to start doing, and things we're doing wrong. I don't have enough time to implement all the things I want to do (so I shouldn't be blogging at work, but oh well)! I was so busy at the convention that I wasn't able to do much sightseeing. I managed to go to the Botanical Gardens and see the Big Bug exhibit; it was really neat. The fruit trees were in bloom, gorgeous, and perfumed the air with a heavenly scent! The day I went was sunny and 68 degrees; it was perfect. On the way home from Denver, we stopped at Buffalo Bill's grave. That's it for sightseeing. Oh, and I walked up and down the 16th Street Mall several times! That street is how I'll always picture Denver, because I walked it so much! It was a great week, for a few reasons.
5. Weight. This one doesn't actually belong under the heading "Life Coming At You Fast", but it's good news, and I want to share it. I've lost 15 pounds! Yeah! My secret? I've been walking a few days a week and eating less. I still let myself eat whatever I want, I just try not to eat a lot of anything all at once. I've been doing this for a couple months, and it's working well for me. I've never wanted to diet, so I like that I don't feel like I'm on a diet. I'm just trying to be healthy.
So, that's it. That's all my news. Life has taken some interesting turns and I'm pretty excited to see what's around the next bend.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I'm going to Denver! I've never been to the Mile High city, and I'm really looking forward to it. Here are the specs for the trip:
- I'm going to an audiology convention with my boss and his wife
- since it's work-related, I get paid for all the days I'm there
- the nice, expensive hotel is paid for by work
- I get a daily meal allowance that I probably won't use because...
- ...our hearing aid sales reps have dinner parties every night and...
- ...the convention provides lunch for us every day
- I have to attend two classes (which I'm really looking forward to)
- I also want to attend about four other classes that will benefit our practice
- the rest of the time = free time to explore Denver
We leave town Tuesday morning and will get back sometime this weekend (my boss says Sunday, his wife says Saturday). I was assigned to research Denver and make a list of attractions. I really want to go to the botanical gardens and catch the Big Bug exhibit; there's also an aquarium, Molly Brown's house, Mile High Stadium, a few art musuems, and a pottery store where you get to choose and paint your own pottery! I also located a couple parks near our hotel where I hope to be able to spread out a blanket and read for awhile, by myself.
I'm so excited for this trip! I love my boss and his wife, so it will be a lot of fun hanging out with them. I look forward to learning how to do my job better and how to help the practice flourish. I LOVE having a hotel room to myself! And, it will just be nice to get away for a bit.
When I get back, I'll tell you all about my trip. 'Til then, I hope you all have a fabulous week and I'll "see" you when I get back! (I may check in from time to time, just don't count on it.)
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
And I also remember that thou hast said that thou hast prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of thy Father, in which man might have a more excellent hope; wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared. - Ether 12:32
The power and importance of having hope blew me away. Without ever really analyzing it, I have always thought of hope as a passive, kind of wimpy, emotion. Obviously not, if I can't receive the ultimate eternal reward without it. My heart started to beat a little faster as I realized I had learned an important eternal principle. It almost skipped a beat when I realized, sadly, that often I am without hope. At least, I don't have the powerful version of hope of which Moroni wrote; the hope that produces faith strong enough to literally (a la the brother of Jared) move mountains. This kind of hope led the woman in the crowd to touch the Lord's hem and be healed, Nephi to build a boat, and the sons of Mosiah to convert countless Lamanites. This hope involves faith and work. In fact, I think if you truly hope for something, this hope compels you to work towards achieving it, having faith that the Lord will make up for what you can't do alone.
So, how do I go about getting hope? Moroni counsels:
And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen. - Ether 12:41
How can I have hope if I don't believe He'll keep his promises? It's not enough for me to know that He gives blessings to people in the scriptures/church magazines, I have to know Him well enough to hope that He'll extend those blessings to me as well. I've decided to work on having hope for a few blessings that I want. After some deliberation, I've decided to list them.
1. I hope to get married someday. Those of you who know, know that this is a big step for me.
2. I hope to lose weight. If He can cure leprosy, why not obesity?
3. I hope to go to France someday. Is there such a thing as a trivial hope?
4. I hope to be a more patient, loving person.
5. I hope to be happy.
6. I hope to earn eternal life.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Last Thursday, I received a letter from the University of Utah. The first line stated that I hadn't been accepted to the PhD program for which I'd applied. I was bummed, but kind of relieved, too; it would narrow my life choices. However, as I continued to read, I learned that I had been accepted to the Master's program. Unlike many schools, the U doesn't accept BA/BS students into their PhD program (unless they have an amazing application and have all the classes they need, which is rare), so, the program director wrote, they would be happy to have me in the Master's program and I could apply for the PhD program after the first year. He suggested I call the graduate coordinator and set up an appointment to meet with her.
Friday morning I told my coworker and boss the news. My boss flipped out and said I had ruined his weekend. (He tends to get a tad dramatic, but it's one of the things I like about him; it's funny.) He gave me permission to call the coordinator, Brandy, during work and set an appt with her asap. (He wants to know asap whether I'm going to leave or not.) I had already decided that a Monday morning appointment would work the best for me, so I could spend the weekend with my fabulous cousins. When I called, she couldn't do it the 9th, I couldn't the 16th, and neither of us wanted to wait 'til the 23rd, so we decided to meet the very next Monday, the 2nd!
I asked my coworker if she'd work for me and asked my boss if I could have the day off. He was tempted to say no, just to tease me, but he said yes. I hurried and sent Cassie and Aly an email informing them I would be on my way to Salt Lake right after work, asked if I could stay with one of them, and hoped I wouldn't be crashing their weekend plans. Cassie wrote back first and said I could stay with her and that my coming was okay with her plans. Aly wrote back, too, saying that she was good with my visit, too. I called my mom and told her I'd be gone for the weekend. I was planning on playing with Cardine, though I hadn't actually made any plans with her, so I emailed her. (Turns out she had family in town, so she would have been busy with them anyway.) I couldn't think of anyone else who should know, though I felt like calling/emailing quite a few people to tell them the news. I was excited and pleased about being accepted to the U.
True to my word, I left shortly after work; it only took me 30 minutes to pack! I arrived in Salt Lake around 9 or 9:30 (I can't remember now). Aly had opted to stay at her apartment because I was getting in late and she had homework. I wondered if Cassie and I would make it an "early" night, but I should have known better - I should have known myself better! We started discussing The Secret and I ended up having a lot opinions about it, and self-help books in general, even though I haven't actually read the book. Sigh. Sometimes I think I'm awfully opinionated! Actually, compared to some of our other bedtimes, Cassie and I did make it to bed "early", 3 a.m.!
Thus, we didn't get up very early Saturday morning. Alyson came over to Cassie's around noon and we opted to lunch (brunch, according the restaurant) at Cafe Med. I seriously, seriously, totally, honestly, very much LOVE that place! Oh! The hummus! The soft pita triangles! Oh! The beef/lamb gyros! The lemon rice! Sigh. I could eat there every time I go to Salt Lake! In fact, until Aly and Cassie revolt, I probably will. We went back to Cassie's and watched a couple "Fairie Tales" from the 1980's. They were very corny and very enjoyable. The first was Cinderella and had Jennifer Beals and Matthew Broderick. He was great as the prince; very funny. The next was Sleeping Beauty with Christopher Reeve and Bernadette Peters. It was also good and funny. Then we sat around and talked / looked at things on the computer. For example, we watched the most recent "Ask A Ninja" clips. That guy is too funny!
Eventually (sorry, it's been a few days and my memory isn't what it used to be - Aly or Cassie can fill in the details, if needed), we decided to get something to eat. We tried a restaurant owned by the family of a girl Cassie knows, but they had ran out of food and were closed. You see, they only serve fresh food and they order what they think they'll need for the day. If they run out, so be it. It was about 8pm, so it wasn't like they were out of food by 3pm or anything. Next time, we'll try to get there a little earlier. Instead, we tried the Blue Platter, a restaurant we seem to remember reading about somewhere on cjane's blog. I had the BLT w/avacado sandwich with the steak cut fries. I was curious about the cajun fries because we had read an online review that said they were dangerous. I asked the waitress if she'd bring me just one. She agreed and brought me two. They were spicey. very. spicey. but. yummy. and. big. Aly adventerously ordered the portabello 'n hummus sandwich on rye (shoestring fries). She liked it but didn't love it. She let me have a bite and I agreed with her analysis. I think the problem was the hummus - it was good, just not as good as Cafe Med's. Cassie got a burger (steak cut fries) and it looked yummy (I failed to ask for a sample, but I assumed it was good based on how it looked). Oh, I forgot to mention the crayons! While waiting for our food, Cassie and I drew pictures on the back of our placemats. My drawing didn't start out too well; I broke the brown crayon. I almost gave up the endeavor but perservered and ended up with a childish drawing of the house Aly, Cassie, Kristi, and I will someday enjoy together. As the artist/architect/builder, I claimed the master suite in the attic. There are four rooms and two baths on the second floor, and a formal living room, powder room, kitchen, dining room, and family room on the first floor. It's a nice house.
Anyhoo, (this is getting long), after dinner we rushed to the Off-Broadway Theatre we had visited on our last cousins weekend. Last time we saw Pot Pie the Sailorman then stayed for the improv comedy act, Laughing Stock. This time we just went to Laughing Stock. It was tons better than last time - consistently funny throughout, instead of just occassionally funny. I love that it's clean humor! There are two guys that are especially funny and quick-witted. Ah, good times, good times.
Sunday we woke up mid-morning, having stayed up talking, of course, and went to IHOP for breakfast/brunch/lunch. Aly had more homework, so she left us right after we ate. I was really tired, so Cassie and I went back to her place and just relaxed/talked/slept/read/cleaned (her, not me) for awhile. For dinner we ate at Red Lobster (I love their grilled tilapia!), then went to the dollar movie and watched "Because I Said So". It was better than I expected, but I wasn't expecting much. Diane Keaton, who I really love, was just a bit over-the-top as the meddling, oft-times hysterical, mother. The guy was cute, though. It was light and amusing, so I felt okay with spending $1.50 on it. Cassie, I don't remember what we did next. I know that we walked to 7-11 at some point, but otherwise I'm drawing a blank. You are much better at remembering details! Anyhoo, we didn't stay up too late Sunday night since Cassie had to work Monday and I had my meeting with Brandy.
Monday morning, Cassie left for work and I got ready for my 10:30 am meeting. I was incredibly early when I left Cassie's apartment (9am), so I decided I'd just find a bench near my meeting place and read for a bit. Turns out, I was fortunate because I missed the street I should have turn on to. Then, I missed the turn for the next little street, I couldn't get into the right lane, and ended up going around the campus because I was too lazy to turn around. I still arrived at my destination early, but I only got to read for about 20 minutes! I went to my meeting 10 minutes early; Brandy was ready, so we started early. I learned a lot about the Master's program and what to expect. She was very informative and I'm glad I met with her.
As always, it was absolute fun hanging out with Alyson and Cassie, and I really appreciate them dropping their plans in order to hang out with me, with little/no advance warning. You two are amazing - I love you!!!!!! I'm looking forward to seeing you in May!