Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

At the Guest House, we got in the habit of recording the funny/memorable things people share. The tradition has remained strong among my friends (Erin providing some of the most priceless examples).  My current job doesn't lend itself as well to crazy funny situations, but throughout the day I talk to a lot of funny people.  Its nice to speak with older folks because they are in no rush.  They want to chit chat and give you advice about life, love and everything else.  They are the best part of my job.  Sadly, there are many amazingly funny things I can't share with you (everything from funny names and IDs to ridiculous jokes and bad puns)  :(  damn those privacy policies.  Some things I can share, however, so I think I will. 

Today's Quotes (after all the build up for funny things, these are not really.  They are more in the advice column...):

"You have a good day and don't you let anyone change it."

"Every day is a good day, some are just a little better than others."

Conversation of the day: 
If you were stuck on a desert island, would you rather be stuck with Brad Pitt or George Clooney?  This quickly morphed into, if you were there for a long time and would eventually have to eat one of them, who would you choose?  Which then led to a discussion of how the eating would take place and eventually the line of the day "I wouldn't roast 'em on a spit cause then the arms would flail around when you turn them."

The Big News

Though I found out nearly two weeks ago, I have yet to mention the big news.  This is partly due to the fact that I have been quite busy, but mostly due to the fact that the more places I announce it, the more real it is.  Of course, it's great that it's real.  Amazing, in fact.  Something that I have been excited about for a long time.  But now it's real.  Not just a fantasy that I slip into during the long silent moments between calls at work.  Now it means lots of "To Do / To Research / To Ask / To Not Freak Out About" lists.  Throughout the day, I think of more and more things that I need to think about and start working on.  This type of project is something that I usually throw myself into all the way but for some reason I just get overwhelmed and put it off.  Don't get me wrong.  It's going to happen whether I'm ready or not and I am more than ecstatic about that.  Maybe it's because I have so much time before it actually happens that I don't feel the pressure to start.  In my Organizational Behavior class, we learned that people don't usually start working on a project until about the half-way point.  They have a burst of energy and get a lot done, then they stop and don't do anything again until right before the deadline.  So maybe I'm waiting for that internal pressure to tell me that I need to get my ass in gear.  Or maybe I just have so many emtions involved that I don't know where I'm at once I start.  Either way, it needs to happen.  I have to figure out a way to break it up a little and chip away at it.  I'll keep you updated on my progress...later.    


The problem with blogging is that once I start, I think in blog.  I want to talk about everything.  To share the funny things that happen during the day, to gush about the exciting things coming up, and to escape from the fears and stresses I have. I frequently think of things I want to post and write notes for when I have time later.  But when later comes I think, "no one else will find that as funny/interesting/thought provoking as I did, so maybe not."  (Even on my own blog I am afraid of bothering people with too many posts.  Not that anyone other than a few close friends really reads this).  My friends in the photography business say that you should only show people your best photos so they think you are a brilliant photographer.  There are thousands of pics they never share.  I sometimes feel that's how blogs should be; the most interesting stories in your life.  How does one know which tales are the best though without sharing them all and letting other people be the judge.  Besides, they may be silly posts but they make me smile and hopefully they do the same for you from time to time.  So I will post away with reckless abandon : )

Monday, November 23, 2009

People That Intrigue Me

I am an unabashed people-watcher. It's fascinating. While I enjoy sitting on a bench and watching people go by, it always makes me happy when I have a regular that I can follow (but not a creepy stalker way). Public transit is full of interesting folks and when you ride the same train every day, you get to know them (ok, not so much "know" them as watch their daily routine, but it makes you feel like you know them a little). I tend to make up backgrounds for these people in my mind. I'll never know their real story but it's a fun game anyway.

Who I see: The guy who always has a hat that matches his outfit. The same hat. I am convinced he has at least four of the exact same hats in different colors. He rides the train every morning to Sam Weller's for coffee.
What I thinkHe is a retired writing professor who loves the smell of old bookstores. He wakes up at 5am on the dot, no alarm necessary. Every morning he gets ready in precisely the same order before walking to the train station where he arrives at 6:21. He is bothered when UTA changes the TRAX schedule because he has to adjust his routine by three minutes.

Who I see: The little old man who walks the same path to work every day, at the same quick pace, with his head tilted down exactly the same way (he also wears a hat but unlike the first guy, it is actually the same hat).
What I think: He has done this every day for at least 50 years.  Working at the church office building defines him.  He has a wife, five kids and a plethora of grand and great-grandchildren.  He is an accountant who was raised by Depression era parents so he was taught to watch every penny.  As such, he is a saver and probably could have retired ages ago, but he just can't imagine not working.       

Who I see: M.A. (Formerly known as "Creepy Trax Guy")
What I think: ok, ok, all pedophile jokes aside, I feel bad for him.  He has been a constant in my world for nearly four years now and I have never ever once seen him with another human being.  (And, ironically enough, I have never heard his voice.)  For a long time he rode the train with two of his co-workers, yet they never sat together and talked, never walked to work together, nothing.  If he didn't freak me out so much, I might try to be his friend. 

Who I see: The middle aged hispanic man who has his bike with him on the train every afternoon at 4:02.
What I think: He is happy.  Life is simple for him and, while it may not be easy (riding a bike in the freezing cold sucks ass), he finds lots of little things to be happy about.  His family is important to him.  He has a granddaughter who is about five.  She has pigtails, loves pink, and likes to sit on his lap while he tells her stories until she falls asleep.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And Now, O My Journal!

He advised me to keep a journal of my life, fair and undisguised.  He said it would be a very good exercise, and would yield me infinite satisfaction when the ideas were faded from my remembrance.  I told him that I had done so ever since I left Scotland.  He said he was very happy that I pursued so good a plan.  And now, O my journal! art thou not highly dignified? Shalt though not flourish tenfold?  No former solicitations or censures could tempt me to lay thee aside; and now is there any argument which can outweigh the sanction of Mr. Samuel Johnson?  He said indeed that I should keep it private, and that I might surely have a friend who would burn it in case of my death.  For my own part, I have at present such an affection for this my journal that it shocks me to think of burning it.  I rather encourage the idea of having it carefully laid up among the archives of Auchinleck.  However, I cannot judge fairly of it now.  Some years hence I may.  I told Mr. Johnson that I put down all sorts of little incidents in it.  "Sir," said he, "there is nothing too little for so little a creature as man.  It is by studying little things that we attain the great knowledge of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible." [16 July 1763]

Boswell's London Journal

Monday, November 9, 2009

Her Name is Noelle, But Usually Not

While I have complained before about the names people call me, I do genuinely like my name.  It is definitely uncommon and, I think, quite lovely.  Ok, so that's how I feel ten months out of the year.  The season is currently turning to the one I like least when it comes to that subject...Christmas.  Friends, coworkers, clients will all break out into song at unexpected times during the next eight weeks.  Most of them on purpose to annoy me, but some of them out of sincere excitement for the season.  (side note ~ if you want to sing my name, please go this route instead)  I get a lot of, "oh, you must be born at Christmas!" along with "this is your time of year, I guess!" and "Merry Noel, Noelle!"  A strange phenomenon, to say the least.  That being said, even out of season my name has some kind of magical power over people.  When they do, in fact, know my name, they still insist on giving me another name entirely.  I find it quite endearing.  So many people have given me nicknames that they and they alone call me.  Its quite an interesting social experiment, really.  I decided I should share:

Aunt Nollie
Sister Christmas
The First
Miss 25
Elle (my new favorite :)

More exist currently, or will in the near future I'm sure, but that's the list for now.



Sunday, November 8, 2009

English Patience, Sore Bottoms, and Brutal Honesty

English Patience

Tomorrow will be Day 8 in my ten-day wait for the results of my graduate school application.  Overall, I am doing well with the waiting.  Every once in a while (usually every day on my way home to check my email), I have a minor panic attack about the impending response to my request.  I want very much to be accepted.  My dream for a long time has been to move to England.  I don't know if I want to be there for the rest of my life or just a while.  All I know is that my heart has been set on it for years.  That being said, I'm terrified.

Moving away from home is a big deal.  My family, my friends, my comfort zones are all in SLC.  I love to travel and have no concerns when I am required to do so alone, but a year is quite a different tale.  Moving to London, I would be among fellow students who have left home to go to school as well, and hope that we would have that connection, if nothing else.  England does have some built-in comfort zones for me though.  Some of my favorite people live there and the prospect of being so close to them is really exciting for me.  All told, I am eager to hear the answer and, hopefully, start planning for my year abroad (and try not to be sad about the things I will miss out on by being gone).

(One of the many people I love in England.  Who would not want to spend time with this cutie pie?)

Sore Bottoms

Somehow I have been keeping myself extremely busy since finishing school.  I thought I would have all kinds of spare time.  Time to blog, time to sleep, time to wander around the park and pontificate.  Those things have happened but in far smaller doses than I originally anticipated.  I read a lot for a while, but was slowed to only a couple of books last month.  A large chunk of that time was devoted to my application for school, I suppose, but still.

One of the biggest things I regret not having time for is exercise.  I really do enjoy being active and, as my job precludes me from moving more than about two feet a day, I need to move about after work to not go insane.  I started the P90X program last week but was unable to do it every day like I hoped to (good reasons though, a cute boy one night and a book club the other, both of which I am willing to make the sacrifice for any time :).  As a result, I was feeling particularly lazy this week.  So I biked to Lagoon yesterday.  For any of you unfamiliar with the reference, I'll just tell you that it is far.  Really far.  Twenty-five miles far.  My intent was to bike there and back.  I want to train for a century ride next May so I figured if I could do fifty right up front, then 100 would be easy peasy.  My legs were tired but I made it there and was ready to stretch and get psyched up for the ride home.  My heart skipped a beat, however, when at the end of my ride I saw my salvation.  The bright, shiny, Frontrunner train waiting to take me home.  That's when I realized I should probably not push it too hard for the first ride.  Clearly my body was ready to be done.  I did momentarily debate about whether I should pony up and finish my ride, but the internal dilemma was short and to the point.  Every part of me was tired.  I know I could have made it about ten miles more but that would have left me stranded at the Davis County border with no chance of a ride home for miles.  So I took the train.  Flash forward to this morning... my muscles are barely sore (certainly not as much as they are from one hour of the P90X stuff).  What really isn't feeling so awesome is the muscles right at the "bottom" of my tailbone.  :(  who knew that it could hurt so much?  Having done long rides before, I know its always uncomfortable for a bit after you stop riding and start walking (or even better, sitting), but wow, this time is definitely different.  Those few extra miles really do push the limit.

Brutal Honesty

The world of blogs, facebook, and the like allow us all to share our thoughts the second we think them.  We humans seem to have a pre-programmed desire to have our voices heard through the noise of the world.  Its almost therapeutic.  Hate that customer that just yelled at you?  Talk about it on facebook and your feelings will instantly be validated by your friends and peers.  She's a bitch and you're a hero, nothing else to it.  Think of something witty to say when you are all alone?  Post it on facebook and sit back as the comments roll in.  Our obvious desire to be connected to those we care about is catered to by thousands of websites and handheld devices.  But what about the times you want to complain about those you are connected to?  It may seem that we can say whatever we want, but social complexities still exist.  Your roommate avoided the dishes again?  Say something online.  Or maybe not.  You know he will read it, as will the mutual friends you have.  Then you are the jerk who aired your dirty laundry online and even worse, did it about something menial and insignificant.  It's as if someone told us, "If you have comments or judgements about strangers then by all means, post away.  But if you have grievances about those closest to you keep your mouth shut."  A strange kind of self-censorship takes place online as a result.  Similar to writing a journal, putting our thoughts somewhere other than our heads lets us analyze them from a different perspective (even better when we can hear others' responses to what we have to say).  But can we ever be brutally honest online?  I have to say no.  It is far too easy to hurt others while writing for our own catharsis.  Unless you are writing anonymously, be careful what you say online.