Monday, September 23, 2013

Patterns Part Three

(The third installment of my ward campout post-game series.  Read Parts 1 and 2.)

The Tri-ward Campout was this past weekend, and even now, on Monday morning as I type this, I can't decide whether or not it was a good thing that I went.  It probably depends on who you ask; if you ask me, I probably shouldn't have gone.

I wasn't going to go.  Up until Friday afternoon, I was 95% sure I was going to stay home, sleep in my own warm bed, and not worry about seeing people who provoke my cry/vomit/murder reflex.*  One of the main reasons I didn't want to go was that I didn't have the same reason to go that I did in past years; in 2010 and 2011 the only reason that I showed up was to be in the skit, and for some reason, I couldn't make myself feel excited about performing this year like I did in the past.  This was quite depressing.  Even more depressing was the fact that I ended up not performing at all that night, but since I neither play acoustic guitar nor moonwalk, I would have had nothing to please the crowd.**

After feeling miserable during the majority of the performance segment of the campout, I decided that I'm just not capable of having more than 24 consecutive hours of fun--there's an expiration date.  The before-sunset part actually didn't suck very much at all!  Here are some highlights:

  • I took out a rowboat, but unlike last time, I was not alone!  It's quite nice to have a handsome man to row you around...or to mock you as you attempt to row the both of you around.  I'm not great at rowing, guys.
    I look like I'm doing a whole lot better than I actually am.
    In my defense, one of the oxen thingies was wonky.
  • It wasn't freezing!  This was one of my other reservations, that it would be freezing and I would get a cold (again).  But it wasn't!  My new sleeping bag kept me very warm in the night, and in the day it was warm enough to even tempt me to go swimming in the lake (but I didn't, primarily because I had no swimsuit and only one bra).
  • The mandatory group activities weren't awful, nor were they mandatory enough to keep me from sneaking off and having my own fun (or go back to my cabin and brush my teeth, as the case may be).
After reading all of this, you might wonder, so why do you think you shouldn't have gone?  Maybe it's because I'm self-centered and weird.***  The last time I lived in Boston, before I left, I was kind of on top of the world.  I felt finally as if I had arrived, had become what I was supposed to be.  I had friends, status, a reputation (that wasn't built solely upon one very specific aspect of my life).  Then I moved away for a year, and now that I'm back, I feel like I have to start all over again from the bottom.  I not only have to figure out who I am, but I also have to convince the rest of the world (stake) that I'm that person.  And that's hard.  It's even harder when you're in the middle of the wilderness surrounded by people who are having much more fun than you are.

I guess what can come out of all this is that I can try to make next year's campout (because I'm going to go again because I'm a masochist who doesn't learn her lessons) a little bit better.  Maybe I'll turn into the person who is more than what she seems.

*Don't worry, I don't actually have a "murder" reflex, but murder is probably less embarrassing than crying or vomiting in public.
**Plus, it would have been hard to deliver a showstopping number while experiencing all of the aforementioned reflexes.
***But who isn't?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

That Old Feeling

Right now, I'm sitting on my couch all by myself in my living room and I'm wearing a sweater and tights and I'm still a little chilly next to the open window.  I breathe in and I smell the first molecules of Autumn in New England.  Next to me are my anatomy textbooks.  I should be studying because I have a midterm one week from Monday.  Instead, I'm blogging because I don't feel like I have a midterm one week from Monday.  Instead, I feel wonderful and blissful and content.  Fall is arriving.

I think Fall is here early this year.  Since I got back from Pennsylvania in the middle of July, there haven't been that many hot days.  Maybe the beach-goers complained about that, but I didn't.  This was Boston's welcome-home present to me after spending all of last year in a place where "fall" is just that thing that happens to you when you get knocked off your surfboard.  Halloween decorations are on the shelves at a lot of stores, and some places are already selling Christmas crap.*  Things are smelling like cinnamon and nutmeg and pumpkin spice.  And if you look closely enough, you can see the slightest hints of death on the leaves of the trees.  Beautiful death.**

My bliss is not exclusively a result of the autumnal air.  My house is pretty cool and I'm getting along well with my roommates.  One roommate and I are starting a tradition of "Saturday Morning Buffy and Doughnuts," which means that on Saturday mornings we watch BtVS and eat doughnuts (if that wasn't clear).  My other roommate and I went to the temple today.  I hadn't been since they changed that thing that they changed that you'd know about if you've been to the temple lately, and it was a great experience that allowed me to think of everything from a new perspective.  It was just so peaceful and heart-lightening.  I love the Boston Temple so much.  Afterwards we went to the cafeteria and got temple cookies, which were good, but I think they were over-hyped so I had unrealistic expectations.  Also they were out of Snickerdoodles, which I've heard are the best ones.  Finally (and maybe this is more of a life-update-post thing), I have a new significant man-type-person in my life.  Emphasis is on the "new," but it's going very well, and I'm happy.

Spending a year being miserable in Hawaii taught me to not take happiness for granted.  Maybe eating temple cookies and watching Buffy and having a boyfriend and enjoying the chill in the weather aren't earth-shattering things, but they're things that make me happy.  I am happy.  It's pretty great.


*Christmas merchandise is "crap" until the day after Thanksgiving.  Then it's allowed to be "stuff."  Know your place, holiday-paraphernalia, I mean, really.    
**So I'm morbid.  Deal with it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's been over a year now...

and therefore I feel safe telling this story.

It's one of those stories that you think is really awesome at the time, but it would take a while to make sure it actually was awesome and not a complete disaster.  Therefore, thirteen months and no parasitic infestations later, I present to you the story of my Hawaiian trash mattress, as I relayed it to Laura Taylor on 3 August 2012:
Can I tell you the story of my trash-mattress?  It's one of those things where you'll either be appalled or impressed (hint:  the right answer is "impressed").  So the [coworker] who gave me the mattress was like, "it's still in the shrink wrap (i.e. it's new!)", but when I got it into my apartment, I looked at it and was like, "this is NOT new." There were little things on it that may have been bedbug things but I wasn't sure.  It wasn't "shrink wrapped" so much as wrapped in Saran wrap or something (which optimistically was the old owners saying, "this will protect it from the elements in case someone wants it" but pessimistically was the old owners saying "gross...this thing is infested and I don't want it further infesting my home so I'm going to wrap it in plastic so that the bedbugs don't go elsewhere." 
At first I was like, "this is kind of sketchy...maybe I'll get rid of it," which made me really sad (feeling stupid for bringing this thing into my home, and such), but then I was like, "but wait!  I am the queen of getting things clean!  'Ask A Clean Person' is one of my favorite internet columns after all!  I can save this thing!" (mostly because I really don't want to spend >$200 on a new mattress that I'm only going to have for ten-ish more months).  So I ordered a pretty snazzy (but still only a quarter of the cost of a real mattress) bedbug protector and bought this little bottle of "all natural" bedbug repellant (basically a mix of cinnamon oil, citric acid, detergent, and diatomaceous earth) from the drugstore. 
So I left it wrapped in my room for about a week, keeping tabs on the surrounding areas to make certain there were no critters escaping (thank goodness for off-white carpets!), and it seemed okay.  Also, the fact that it was wrapped tightly in plastic in my hot apartment probably baked/suffocated anything that was living in there.  The bedbug protector arrived yesterday and then (and only then) did I take it out of the plastic.  I vacuumed the whole thing really well, and then "steam-cleaned" it with my iron on high heat/full steam.  Then, I sprayed it with the Lysol-brand version of Febreeze (kills smells AND bacteria), let that dry, and then vacuumed it AGAIN.  Then I sprayed it with the cinnamon oil stuff, and my bedroom now smells like the cinnamon bears from the BYU bookstore.  Kind of nice, but you don't want to breathe it in directly.  If I had any bugs in my nose, they are all gone.  It's currently in my room drying out completely, and when I get home tonight, I will put it in the bedbug protector and put it on my bedframe (which I will spray a bit with the cinnamon repellent for good measure).  Then I'll put my featherbed/mattress pad thing on top and then I'll put sheets over that.  I'm certain all of that will be safe, especially as nobody else would probably have gone to that much trouble--they probably would have just put it in the protector and been done with it (or worse!). 
So anyway, that's the story.  Also, I am awesome and so good at making gross things gross-no-longer.
I thought about blogging this story shortly after it happened, but I didn't want to have to redact it or make a new post saying, "update:  I have bedbugs."  But no bedbugs, and therefore, I am awesome. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Get Smart(Phone), or, The Droid I Was Looking For

I'm a pretty old-fashioned kind of gal.  I like my books in paper form, I like my buildings made of bricks,* and I like my music played on my clock radio CD player that I've had since 2004.  I also really liked my flip phone.  It was a little LG Accolade and it served me beautifully for probably over three years.  It was also fun because it was the same phone that my friends Matt, Ashlee, and Sarah all had.  We were like a little club of archaic phone friends.  

However, like most old things, my phone started to show that it was old.  The inlet where you plug in the charger was loose and you had to jiggle it in order to charge, and when it was charged, it would only stay charged for a day and a half.  The keys were starting to stick so it was hard to make spaces between words in text messages.  Last week it developed something comparable to trigger finger, such that it wouldn't flip open in one motion, but would get stuck halfway and have to be pushed further.  That was when I conceded that it was probably time for a new phone.

I had been contemplating the switch to a smart phone for a ridiculously long time.  Even though I am not super tech-savvy and I don't care for Angry Birds, I saw the merit.  I especially saw the merit when I was lost somewhere and didn't know when or where a bus would stop.  All of these things were minor issues that could not be used to talk me into sifting through an insane amount of options to pick out a phone, however.  The final straw was when my sixty-odd-year-old father, who types in all caps and doesn't know how to use the DVD player got a smart phone for work.  Back broken, I brought myself to the Verizon store and told the guy, "sell me a smart phone, dang it!"**

I decided on a Droid Razr M by Motorola.  All the Verizon store guys cheered me on as I walked out with it (probably because they were sick of me coming in and browsing and hemming and hawing for many weeks prior).  It was cheap and I got a fun purple case for it.  So far the only Apps that I've put on it are the LDS Gospel Library (even though I still lug my heavy hard copy quad to church), an Anatomy Study app (of course), and OpenMBTA.  Sometimes I still forget that I have it when I want to look things up, and I'm sure I haven't figured out half of the cool stuff it can do, but it's been useful so far (except for the one time it froze four hours after I got it and I questioned every decision I'd ever made in life up to that point--I'm melodramatic sometimes, okay?).

Of course, I have a way to go, vis-à-vis tech-savviness.  For instance, I'm still blogging on my laptop like a normal 20th-century type of person.


*I also like the Kate Nash album "Made of Bricks," but that's irrelevant here.
**Saying 'dang it' (or a harsher version thereof) always indicates to a salesperson that you mean business.