Friday, January 29, 2010

It's Gonna Be a Good Year

- A lifesaver forced around my neck to ensure public humiliation - $5
- A blindfolded car ride around the valley to various cruise destinations - $15
- The best surprised birthday party I have ever had, aimed at making up for the fact I was not on a cruise, as planned - PRICELESS

Bon Voyage
Well in all fairness, this year wasn't really a birthDAY but rather a birthWEEK celebration, starting a week in advance with dinners with friends and co-workers. We had planned to be on a cruise that week and I was going to finally get to dive after almost a year. As it turned out I started a new job the week before and life just happened. But Doraleen (aka cruise director) and Courtney (aka Cap'n) opted to make the cruise happen anyway, complete with an underwater experience and international travel. I was sitting on the floor of my closet, cleaning it, or thinking about cleaning it, when they both showed up. They informed me the "ship was leaving" and handed me a sand pail filled with clues for each "destination" we were going to "dock" and a bag of nice rocks, (cuz I like rocks and they like to take jabs at the fact that I used to collect rocks when I was a kid, a rockhound, if you will).

The Ocean Blue

The first stop was the Living Planet Aquarium where yes, they made me wear the lifesaver the entire time. Call me a nerd but I loved every minute of it. It was amazing because they had the same fish there that I saw all over when we were diving and snorkeling in Tonga and Fiji. I may not have been breathing through a regulator, wearing a BCD, but it was the next best thing. Amazing. I even pet some stingray, but we're still not cool. Not by a long shot.

After another blindfolded, nausea-inducing ride, with extra twists and turns to throw me off, we ended up in "Jamaica" (aka Steph, Nick and Shane's house). They went all out, complete with island smoothies, Rastafarians and a beach scene. They lead me up the steps blindfolded and when I heard laughs and music I started to get a little nervous because this was where I realized that more people were involved than just the Cap'n and Cruise Director. After kickin it in Jamaica for a while I read my next clue and we were all off to the next "port." I also picked up a lovely flower band that I had to wear along with the not-embarassing-at-all lifesaver.

The next time the blindfold came off I was in Cancun....or Cancun Cafe somewhere on Fort Union, meeting up with some more friends and downing a magically delicious cheese enchilada (don't judge, it was my birthday and I will eat as much cheese as I want to.) Then after reading another destination clue, we were off again to the final port. At this point the perma smile I had was starting to make my face hurt but I just couldn't help myself.

Somewhere Islandy With All My Friends and Lovers.
The last stop was my house that was decorated to the nines in the island/cruise theme with everybody waiting. A-mazing. There was a birthday dance/cheer that made me laugh so hard I almost stopped breathing, there was cake, there were pretty island drinks, there was blindfolded/quasi-inappropriate musical chairs with large Polynesians, there was cruise badminton and yes, there was limbo....with an actual real limbo stick....with the actual limbo song....yes that did happen. I was pretty much laughing hysterically for three hours straight. I even passed out a few high-fives. I am gonna go ahead and take this as a sign that this is going to be a kick-A decade. Thanks friends and lovers. You made my day, my week, my month....and probably my year. My cup runneth over.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The obligatory New Year's post

My first day of the New Year I went to Prom. Ok not really a prom but a formal ball that felt exactly like the small town prom I went to back in the day. A nice boy from up the street asked me to go, girls were freaking out about dresses, I spent a good portion of the night trying to keep my cleavage in check and we even took prom-like pictures. What that means for my new year I don't know, but I supposed it's off to a good start. It is now over a week into the New Year and I am yet to post anything about my New Years resolutions, outlooks, experiences of the past year etc. And you know what? I ain't gonna. The last two New Years were spent willing the following year to be good. In 2008 I was dead set that I was going the break the curse of having bad even-numbered years. Total failure. And 2009 I was sure was going to be an EXCELLENT year because I believed I had it coming after the veritable hell that was 2008. But after losing my job and fighting off head lice for 4 months, which I got from a small Tongan village child who latched on to me and never let go after a gave her some candy, I realized that the power of positive thinking was doing me no favors. So though I am bracing for the "Even-years' curse" to bite me in the butt, or at the very least nibble my bum, this year, I am just going to hope for the best but abandon any expectations based on positive thinking or feelings of entitlement. I plan to just take things as they come, laugh a lot, drink eight glasses a day and do my best to stay away from cops. Happy New Year.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Game on

My feet are sprouting blisters because I chose "boots with the fur" over comfort this morning. My heart may or may not explode due the the two energy drinks I downed in a desperate attempt to stay awake in meetings today — adjusting to early mornings is not the business — and I have been running around all over the place with a to do list as long as my forearm. But all in all I had a great second day of work. I didn't tell a lot of people when I was offered the job, doing outreach at UVU, back in mid-December. I just wasn't really sure I was going to take it. Driving to Orem everyday is not on the top of my list of things that flip my skirt up. Plus, did I mention I hate HATE Utah County. But by the second day of work the list of pros has quickly overtook the cons...

UVU doesn't suck as bad as I thought it did. It has some good things going for it.

When I was in college I got used to the staff in offices like parking, enrollment, admissions and pretty much the faculty as a whole treating you like crap. So when I walked into the parking office today to get an employee permit I braced for attitude. But when I got up to counter and they saw I was an employee they were shockingly pleasant. They even apologized profusely for ME not having a form I needed to have and offered me a temporary permit anyway. In short, being on the other side doesn't suck.

I am outfitted with 17 inch MacBook Pro with a 3.06GHz processor (translation very VERY fast) loaded with every program you can think of. I mean I love my own little MacBook, but this one is the big daddy.

I have a nice spacious office with my own little fridge.

I love what I am doing - outreach to under-represented populations for the Career and Technical Education program. Fun stuff. Interesting projects. Neat people.

I have been managing my annoyance with Utah County folk by being amused instead of appalled by their Utah County-ishness. e.g. When a girl I was talking to said she wanted to go to U of U eventually "but you know how scary Salt Lake is, I don't want to get murdered my first day of school." And of course my favorite was asking me if I could sing because "all you brown people can sing. You can sing right? I know it!" I couldn't even get offended at their wide-eyed sincerity if I tried.

GREAT benefits. Good cause. Great mascot - the wolverine.

I will miss waking up whenever I want, going to the gym during the day, having mid-week slumber parties and having my social life be priority one. But it is nice to be back contributing to society again. Plus my robe and slippers were starting to wear out. Good game.