Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ghost of Christmas Past

So, like my previous post, this one was written a few weeks ago, and I'm only now getting around to publishing it. Enjoy! 
(Also, sorry that there's a white background to the text....I guess that happens when I write my post elsewhere and past it in here...)

Merry Christmas!

I feel like I've been busy every day this month! Lots of great things have happened too.
First of all, this month has zoomed by! Thanksgiving was only a few weeks ago and Christmas is in four days! I've tried to have the Christmas spirit but its been tricky in some ways. I have been busy with work, and my evenings off I've been trying to do fun Christmas stuff but plans keep changing. I STILL haven't been to Temple Square to see the lights, but I've still done some great things. On December 11th I was able to go to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert! It was grand. Santino Fontana and the Sesame Street Muppets were there! The music was very nice and fun. I saw my auntie in the choir and everything. It was a fun night. When the concert was over there were a million people outside so my friend and I decided to come back another night to see the lights. Well we've tried twice and it didn't work out. We're going this evening so hopefully third time's the charm!
Last week, on Tuesday, Sheena and I were going to go to Salt Lake but she texted me saying she had a surprise I would love. I was kinda nervous; surprises are sometimes scary. Anyway she told me not to worry. I went to her house having no idea what was in store, but when I got there, she showed me tickets to an advance screening of The Hobbit! It was such a wonderful surprise! We also got free popcorn and soda. They even had our ultimate favorite, cherry coke!
The movie was fun and I had a great time. The scene in Dol Guldur was so cool! I love Middle-Earth!
At work, it was decided that locals could sign up to perform music in the library for Christmas. It's been really fun to hear people sing, play their instruments, and collaborate to bring the Christmas spirit.
I even signed up! I thought beforehand that they wanted like five minutes per person but I found out they wanted like 45 minutes to an hour! I decided I could probably do that so I put together a bunch of stuff and practiced like crazy for the few days I had to prepare. So when the evening came to perform, I sat at the piano in the library and was so nervous that my leg shook for like 20 minutes!
After a while though,things started to not be scary and I enjoyed playing the music. It was enjoyable enough (and not too terrible sounding) that I did it 2 more times - on different days - at the request of my co-workers. The second and third time I wasn't nervous at all; I just sat down with my music books and played with a light and airy mood.
It's funny how quickly nerves can vanish. I was so nervous the first time, and the other two were NBD. It was great!

Okay, so that was the end of that post. Now that I'm basically up to speed here, my next post will be current and hopefully soon-ish.


Friday, January 16, 2015

A Little Overdue...

So I wrote this post last Thanksgiving with the intent of publishing it right away. Obviously that didn't happen, so I'm publishing it now! It's a little dated, but late is better than never right? Anyway, here it is:

I've had a lot of good things happen lately, and there were several times when I thought about blogging, but you know.....
Anyway, here I am!
So, as you may know if you read my previous posts, I moved for a new job and left my poor provincial town. Now I live in a bigger town closer to the shiny city.
So far, things are pretty good. My best friend lives about 20 minutes away and we get together a couple times a week.
A couple weeks ago another friend of mine hosted an open-mic night at her house, so I went and had SO MUCH FUN! Seriously, it was one of my favorite things lately. There were a lot of people there at first, but toward the end there were only about 10 of us and it was really casual. We were just lounging in the living room listening to each other play and sing music. And - get this - I made new friends! It was great. I hope there's another open mic night again soon. I promise though that I'll be more prepared for the next one. We'll see.
Thanksgiving also happened! I went home for it and my friend Emily carpooled with me. It was fun traveling together because she is nice and loves and knows music way, WAY better than I or anyone else I know, so I happily gleaned all that I could. We also had good conversation, which was really nice.
Thanksgiving was great. I got to spend 5 days at home with my family and my super cute niece (who will be getting a super awesome gift from me for Christmas- stay tuned!) and my cousins and grandparents.
The weekend after thanksgiving was great too. My friend Jesslyn had a going-away party because she would be leaving for an LDS mission. I got to see a lot of friends at the get together, including my old roommate Brad. It was nice to all spend time together. Then on Sunday Jesslyn gave here farewell talk in church and she was so enthusiastic and passionate about her mission. It was inspiring. I was reminded of my mission and how I was excited and nervous too. I also saw Jesslyn almost grow up before my eyes. She's only 19 but as I watched her talk I started to see her, not as the kid I've always known her as, but as an adult who is grown up and setting off to do hard things. It's hard to explain, but it's like when you are looking at someone you know, but for whatever reason, you suddenly notice something about their face you didn't realize before. Like, you're seeing them anew, *really* seeing them. I don't know, it's weird.
Anyway, the whole holiday was super.
I finally started playing Halo. Halo is fun! I'm so very bad at it. I set it on easy because I've never really played it, but I still had lots of fun. People who brag about playing on "legendary" mode can go pat themselves on the back and be smug and whatever. I like easy mode and playing casually because it's fun!
This post is long enough. I've got more to write about but I'll save that stuff for my next post, which will be soon!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Coming Soon!

I am not doing so hot at keeping this blog updated. I don't think it's that big of a deal since it's basically only here for my amusement at this point, but if anyone is reading this, there are posts on the way! I have a couple posts saved on my iPod that I just need to upload and stuff. They will be "old-news" by the time I post them, but that's what I get for being a lazy blogger. See you again soon!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Busy Week!

Lots of stuff has happened in the last week or so, and here forth is a record of mine adventures.
So, I probably wrote months ago about my plans to go to Disneyland in September with my best friends. Well, as things go, that plan fell through, even though we'd been planning it for about 9 months. That sucked, but recently I moved, both of my friends moved, and money was a little more tight than usual, so Disneyland was a little impractical at the time. Anyway, to make up for it, we decided to go to Lagoon for a day instead. Only two of us went, which was a little sad, but we still had so much fun!
But let me back up a tad. On Friday, the day before Lagoon, I saw a sign that advertised auditions for a musical nearby - auditions that were the next morning - so I called my bestie Sheena, and let her know since she's a great singer and stuff. She was pretty into it, so we made plans to find a song for her to sing, and that evening and late into the night we went through tons of my sheet music and had lots of fun but couldn't really find something that seemed perfect. She eventually decided to sing an excerpt from Prima Donna from Phantom of the Opera because it's fun and she knew the words. So then after that was decided we called it a night so we could be ready to go in the morning to auditions and then to Lagoon.
We also grabbed a fork each and ate a key lime pie like heathens.

Then Saturday morning we went on down to the theater for Sheena to amaze the judges. She totally did. When she hit the high notes I saw one of the people in charge mouth "wow" to another person. Success!
Right after that we drove on up to Lagoon and spent the whole day there. We were really fortunate and the lines for the rides were practically nonexistent. It was awesome! I honestly don't think we waited more than 5 minutes for any ride. We got pretty exhausted by about 4:00 so we took a break and went to take a nap to rejuvenate for part two of our Lagoon day.
After nap time, and a much needed Jamba Juice run, we returned to Lagoon and continued to ride tons of rides and try to keep away from the monsters that roamed the park as part of "Frightmares".

My Carousel Pig was a mighty steed.

And they say diet pills don't work!

This was a very roomy coffin.

Me and my BFF!

My noble Pig-Steed smiling for his close up.

Probably my best picture ever.

I was so pooped by the end of the day. When I got home I fell asleep quickly and slept till 10am. Good thing my Sunday activities were later too!
The LDS temple in Ogden, Utah, was rededicated and all members in Utah were invited to attend a broadcast of the event. I went to the 1pm session, and it was really nice. I'm very glad I went. The speakers had some really uplifting things to say. The whole thing was inspiring and I'm so glad that I was able to watch it.
After the weekend was complete and I was back to work, I saw that Sheena was invited to callbacks for the play, and I went with her for fun/support/whatever and when I got there I saw that there were only about 5 guys who auditioned for the show at all, and like 23 girls. The play was a musical of "A Christmas Carol" which has mainly a male cast. I got feeling sorry for not helping out so I asked if they wanted me to try out, even though auditions were over. They said I could still try out, but after the night's activities. Yeah, they wanted me to take part in callbacks and sing and read parts, then audition after. Anyway, I did what they wanted and I felt super awkward and uncomfortable but I sucked it up and did it.
I climbed so far out of my bubble that I discovered for myself that earth is round.
Anyway, afterwards, they had me sing a song for them and sent me on my way. Okay, so I must say, I think that I did alright in the audition, which surprised me since I basically only ever sing in the car.
Later that night, at home, I was seriously having major second thoughts about being in the show. What's more is that Sheena was too. Mainly because the rehearsal and show schedule was really going to pose a problem around Thanksgiving. They have dress rehearsals everyday right before Thanksgiving and the the opening night of the show was the Friday afterward. Neither Sheena nor I have family up here, and the show would not allow us to see our families at all for the holiday. That's a really big deal to me. So the next morning, before any further callback choices could continue, I sent a message to the contact person explaining that I was very sorry and would not be able to commit to the production due to the schedule. I felt much relieved after I backed out. Sheena did the same. The theater people called her though, and begged her to stay. She explained further her situation. Long story short, neither of us are going to be in the show this season, but we hope to be in something soon.
Okay, so lastly, finally, for this happy little post, I wanted to say that last night I slept for like 14 hours. It was awesome. I went to sleep accidentally at 9pm or so, and awoke at midnight. I was annoyed at myself but went back to bed because what else was I supposed to do?
Then, because I didn't have church till 1:30, I was in NO hurry to get up. It was awesome!
I hope you have a nice week, all you readers. Do something fun!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

No More Debt!

I paid off my student loans!
Fortunately I didn't have very much to pay off compared to most people, but even still, I'm debt free!
I had paid off a huge chunk when I returned from Korea, so my monthly amount due was zero, which was nice, except for the part about interest. (Boo, interest!) So because the statement that arrives every month doesn't tell me what interest has accumulated, I decided to call them and find out my actual total. A very polite robot helped me through the process and eventually told me what I wanted. I then wrote a check and sealed it in an envelope and graced it with the Voldemort stamp I've been saving for a special occasion.
Ha! Proof!
Voldemort stamp - That'll show 'em!

I was supposed to be in Disneyland this week, and would have much rather spent that money on a vacation, but since that fell through, I guess being a responsible adult and taking care of debt is a good - though terribly less fun - alternative.
I'm going to go to Lagoon, an amusement park in Utah, this weekend with my best friend. It's a cheaper and more convenient option than Disneyland right now, and it's gonna be SO fun; they better be ready for us! I'll try to get some pictures to post on my precious little blog.
Ciao for now!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I Survived My First Week

Well, it's Saturday, which means that my work week is over! Every day this week has been full of new information. Seriously, I spent about 2 hours (at least) with every department at the library to learn about what they do. I won't necessarily be using some of that knowledge, except that I now know my coworkers better and can direct people or questions to them if the need arises.
My specific job has a number of elements, but the main thing is that I manage the incoming library materials and get them back on the shelves or into the on-hold section. Sounds easy enough, but there are like thousands of materials coming in every day. Luckily, I have 10 pages (people who shelve materials) that do the most of that. I have to create their schedules and time cards and also help them with paging, but I think I'll be able to do the job well.
Working full-time is great! I worked full time in Korea, and I'm glad to again have a job that will help me save up a little money for the future. I will say, though, that after working basically the last 5 years (minus Korea) as a part-timer, the switch to full time is exhausting! I also think that the huge overload of information has pushed my little brain to its edge. Next week I'll really be getting into the usual flow of doing my job, so I'm looking forward to that.

Okay, so I've been treating these last few posts like a diary, sorry for that. Here is some deep insight into my life:
I get distracted SO easily. I'm starting to realize it more and more, too. For example, I can be in the middle of actively doing something important and necessary - such as packing up my room so I can move - when I'll suddenly think something totally out of nowhere and have to go check that out - like making sure the bread hasn't expired or looking up the approximate burn time of a particular candle or checking my bank account or an old email account "just in case" or looking up how to get rid of a wasp nest or pondering the historical significance of a specific star constellation and then reading all about it online or remembering a book that I liked in second grade and finding out that it's out of print so I then see if there's an ebook of it online and then trying to find it and get it on my Kindle which reminds me that I didn't update my iPod like I meant to and then finding out that it wants to update a bunch of apps and stuff that I have to ignore that so I can just get it done so that I can finally get back to packing because I have to have everything boxed up and ready to load into the truck in 45 minutes.
Another thing about my packing-up-to-move (and unpacking in my new room) experience was that I'd be working on one thing, like putting my clothes away, when I'd see a book on the floor that was supposed to go on the bookshelf, so then I'd completely abandon my clothes and spend time on the bookshelf. This happened enough that I actually realized that I was being crazy and that some stuff could wait. I think that if someone could have observed me during those times, they might actually think I was not right in the head. And maybe they're right.....?

Well, I've lived in my new town for a whole week, I'm trying to get an idea of the lay of the land (is "lay of the land" a real saying that people use? I'ma Google it....and yep! It's legit!) and so far, as long as I know where the interstate is, I'm pretty okay. I visited my friend in her new place the other day and I had to stray far from my normal freeway and use a completely different one, and finding my way back home was a little tricksy. I made it without incident, but it was dark and there were many lanes and cars everywhere and I should've had a "Student Driver" sticker on my bumper so that other drivers wouldn't think I was as retarded as I maybe seemed. I'm just going to have to get used to driving in heavy traffic. This Big City is a lot bigger than my previous Poor, Provincial Town.
Anyway, I'm here to stay, so I'm going to make the best of it!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day of New Job: Success!

Alright, so I've had a few days to get moved in and to adjust to living in my new place before heading off to my new job, and I think that those few days really helped me to relax and actually be ready to get to work.
I've had a pretty good long weekend, full of meeting new people, getting together with my super cool cousin and one of my BFFs, and though I've been busy with all that stuff, I was fully ready to start at my new job today. I arrived early because I didn't know what to expect with traffic (thankfully there was little) and I got to meet a lot of the staff at the library before I had to settle in and get to work.
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork! I had to fill out so much stuff, but I actually did that over the weekend - I just had to go over it all today.
I met the city council and department heads, met with the very helpful HR guy, who helped me SO much to understand which benefits were available to me. Let me just say, having benefits is SO COOL! I feel almost like I'm in a dream when I think about how fortunate everything is right now. I've not had a full-time job with benefits since I was teaching in Korea, and back then I didn't know enough about my benefits to take advantage of them (not that I needed to, thankfully).
I learned about retirement plans in good detail, and how premiums and deductibles work with/against certain plans, about accidental death or dismemberment issues, and orthodontia, among many other things. And all that was before 10 AM.
After that, I had more training from the library director about my schedule and stuff, and after lunch I had extensive training on the circulation program. I also helped organize the checked-in items (there were millions!) and before I knew it, my day as finished.
Tomorrow I'm supposed to have my whole day filled with training directly related to my position, so I'm looking forward to that.
Everyone in the library and at the city office has been SO nice to me, it really makes me feel good about my choice to relocate and pursue this career path.
Everyday this week I'll be training on something new, so wish me luck!