Thursday, January 17, 2008

Word of the Day

In light of recent events and my previous post, I chose narcissism for my word of the day.

Narcissism (noun)
  1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See synonyms at conceit.
  2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
  3. Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.
And this is my personal favorite definition...
4. A regarding of oneself with undue favor.

So please, stop loving yourself so much. Be nice so other people will do it for you.

MySpace, the armpit of the internet

I never cease to be shocked and amazed by the trash that can so quickly and easily be accessed on the phenomenon of a website, MySpace. It's truly a gathering place for the least productive people in society. With user names like "BiTcH U WiLl NeVeR Be Me., StOp TrYiN. U JuS A HoE", and "pleez" and "u" and numerous other purposeful substitutions for correct grammar galore, usually involving the strategic placement of a "z", how can people resist?

The thing is, most decent, productive people can.

The drama that I have experienced at the hands of avid MySpace users is the main reason why I have not regularly participated in the network for years. And the amount of sluttiness represented on just one site is appalling. My particular favorite time is right after Halloween, when a million new pictures get posted of girls wearing, to quote Mean Girls, "lingerie and some sort of animal ears".
I'm pretty sure the police don't wear fishnets and hot pants. And I've never seen a referee with so much cleavage.

The reason I have such issues with MySpace is that it represents much larger problems going on in our society, namely the extreme narcissism of our generation. It is incredible how many people openly think that they are better than everyone else. MySpace is simply a vehicle for people to build their own self-worth in empty, shallow, and materialistic ways. A place where they can "prove" that people like them as much as they like themselves. A place where someone named Tila Tequila can get her own TV show just because of the number of "friends" she had on MySpace. The ironic part of it all is that these people think everyone in the world is jealous of them and is trying to be like them. Narcissism at its finest.

The saddest part is that this affirmation is completely false. People don't get on MySpace to actually make a difference, they get on there to prove they can have more friends than other people. I personally cannot think of a more pathetic way to let people know that I am worth something. I like to think that the number of views I have on a MySpace page isn't a direct gauge for the extent of my personal value.

So you're right, overconfident trashy girl on MySpace. I won't ever be you. The ironic thing is, I'm not trying to be.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Austin William Keaton

....aka the best boyfriend/fiancee/best friend a girl could ever ask for. He does the most adorable and cute and nice things all the time. Like a few days ago when he bought me the Hobo clutch I really wanted so badly for Christmas and didn't get. For no reason. Just because we were at Nordstrom and it was there.
And every night he tucks me into bed before he goes home. And the other night when he was getting ready to go home and I was going to bed none of my roommates were back yet. I hate to sleep alone, so he put me to bed and then stayed in the living room until my sister came home so that I would feel safe enough to sleep.
He also tells me I'm beautiful every single day. Seriously, every day.
Austin also always tells me that I can do whatever I want and he'll support me. Which is a pretty big deal for a girl who changes her life plan every other day. First it's Counseling. Then it's Marriage and Family Therapy. Then it's culinary school and opening a bakery. And then it's Real get the idea. I know when I finally do settle on something, he really will support me. Even if it's none of the above.
And when I wanted to leave for a semester and run off to London, he completely supported me in that too. And I know a million other girls whose boyfriend or fiancee made them choose between them and study abroad.

And now I get to marry him in April.

I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

Word of the Day

ACME (noun): highest point; summit; the highest level of degree attainable.

Just when he reached the acme of his power, the dictator was overthrown.

Synonyms: apex; peak; summit

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Take a risk....take a chance....make a change

Props to the always beautiful and talented Kelly Clarkson for giving us those inspirational lyrics. Seriously though, as much as I love Kelly, this is not a blog about her. Erin and I were having a conversation today about how we felt really unqualified for our jobs when we applied here and were hired. When I saw the posting for this job it was Copy Writer/Editor and Executive Administrator with bookkeeping responsibilities, writing talent, and an entrepreneurial attitude. I took a risk in even sending my resume, got an interview, got a second interview, and was offered the job. What's so amazing about it is that because I chose a job that I am not sure what to do 100% of the time, I have learned so much more than if I had accepted something comfortably within my qualifications. At this job I have learned how to take care of the finances for five companies, dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars. I am so much more qualified now because I chose something a little bit scary, and allowed myself to grow into it.

The same thing happened when I decided to leave my entire life behind here and go on my study abroad trip to London. I signed up barely more than three weeks before we were leaving; I didn't even have the chance to second guess my decision. In no time I was on a plane. Twenty years old, and completely alone. I didn't know a single person in my group. I had no idea where we were living or what it was going to be like. Even when we all got there, I could have moped around and missed home and spent all day writing emails. But I got completely lost in London. It changed my life. It changed who I am. So far in my twenty years of living, it has been the most formative experience I have ever had. To borrow Erin's phrase, it feels like someone has punched me in the heart every time I think about London. Six weeks seemed so long before I went. But as the plane home took off from Heathrow airport, as I watched the city get smaller and smaller below me, I cried. I knew I would never be the same again. And I know still that I will never love a place as much I loved London.

So what have I learned? Always take a risk. If it feels right, just do it. It's smart to have a plan, but you have to have heart too. You have to follow your feelings. Even now, Austin and I are looking into buying a house instead of renting for the rest of the time we're in Utah. We NEVER would have thought it possible for us, at 21 and 24, to buy a home. But because we've decided to take a chance and look into it, we've discovered that it's more than just possible, it's the best decision for us by far. There's still risks, and a lot of things we need to learn and follow through with. But I'm so much more willing to do that, knowing that the other times I have taken huge risks I have ended up finding out something amazing about myself. And I've found out that I can do way more than I ever could have known.

So just do it. Quit your boring stupid job and do something you really love, even if it pays less. Change your major to what you've always wanted to do. Save up some money and travel to a country you've always dreamed of seeing. Stop being so scared to leave your familiarities behind. It will likely end up being the best experience you've ever had.

Monday, January 14, 2008

People love to give Mormon girls weed

What is the fascination with making a Mormon girl do bad things? Like trying to make her say the 'F' word? Or making a Mormon girl drink? Or trying to get a Mormon girl to make out with you and then some? What is this source of accomplishment that people feel when they can crack someone who actually attempts to have morals and standards? It has always been a mystery to me. Even in the sixth grade, it was always that kind of trash on the playground. Kids chanting "Say it! Say it!" with such desperation. As though a swear word coming out of my mouth would prove that Santa Clause exists. And it's the double standard. If you don't say it people are mad at you (with legitimate reason, right?) But if you DO say it, people are like ohhh you're not supposed to swear, you're a bad person. I'm a bad person? You're the spawn of Satan that humiliated me and forced me to say it!
And it's the same with drinking, drugs, morality issues, anything. I must be insane because I choose not to have sex until I'm married and in a secure, loving, committed relationship, right?. Cause I'm really missin out on all those pregnancy scares and STD tests. Or people treat me like I'm stupid and immature because I choose to maintain complete control over my body by not getting trashed and regretting fifty things I can't even remember doing the night before. Yeah. I'm the idiot.
Bottom line? Mormon or not, if someone is making the choice to NOT do something that other people make the choice to do, why is it such a huge freaking deal? Why is it suddenly someone's life goal to change their mind? It's ironic that someone who can't stand up on her own, who's throwing herself on fifty guys, who will probably puke on someone in a short amount of time, can try and make a sober person feel dumb for not drinking.
You're right, drunken potheads. I'm going to look back and be really sorry that I never drunk-dialed an ex, and that I missed the chance to be taken advantage of when I passed out, and be so sad that my record doesn't contain a DUI or an MIP. Maybe your children will make the awesome decisions you have, and make you just as proud.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Word of the Day

As a tribute to my preparations to take the GRE for Graduate School sometime in the next decade, I will be including a vocabulary word of the day to help me study. Today, the word does not come from my over-priced box of Kaplan GRE Vocab. flashcards, guaranteed to raise your score or your money back. The word today is "compunction", courtesy of Erin.

1.a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety of the conscience caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain; contrition; remorse.
2.any uneasiness or hesitation about the rightness of an action.

I feel my score rising already. Like the degrees at UVSC.

This word is brought to you by and Erin Hattaway. And by the letter L. And by the number 8.

Elves DO exist....

....because only magic could create something this delicious.
Heaven bless those little elves in that scary tree factory. These are the best treat in the entire world.

"I was waiting for a cross-town train in the London Underground"

I realized yesterday as Erin and I were out to lunch at Subway that I haven't written anything about London yet. Which is strange, because it's all I talk about in normal conversation. The reason Subway reminded me of London is because my dear friends Jillian, Rachel, and Jessica and I would always go get cookies and Diet Coke at the Subway by our flat. There was pebble ice there. You know, the kind that you can chew without it hurting your teeth? The most amazing gift from heaven that we've ever been given? Yeah, that's the stuff. Just look at how happy we are...

One of my favorite things about London is the underground. By far the smartest, funnest way to get around. Probably just for a bunch of silly American girls without real responsibility, but still. The other great part about riding the London Underground is the voice of the lady that makes the announcements. Our personal favorite (in a charming, calm British accent) "This is a Piccadilly line service to.....Cockfosters". If the train was about to crash and take us all to a fiery grave, but that lady's voice was still talking, I would be perfectly delighted.

This is Jessica and me in South Kensington tube station after a very exciting night at Jam At the Adelaide. Note the wind from the train just leaving. And note our apparent delight about it.

We took a lot of weekend trips as a group and individually with groups if we wanted to. One trip as a group was to Salisbury and Stonehenge. Salisbury Cathedral is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

It's just as beautiful inside. And this darling little man is the volunteer tour guide. The sweatshirt I'm wearing says, "Love Pink" which apparently gets people's attention over on that side of the world. Because this man freaked out about it. He loved it. Which is why we took the picture. Maybe later I'll write about other reactions to this sweatshirt. It's a great conversation starter.
Downtown Salisbury is full of adorable little shops and cafes, and it has this little old lady, which is enough reason to fly across the ocean and go visit this place.
If that picture doesn't make you want to cry then you're crazy. An old woman feeding swans? It never gets better....except for maybe this picture in Bath, England.
All credit for this amazing picture must go straight to Rachel. Because she took it. And I borrowed it from her Facebook page. Thanks Rache, baby! And don't overlook the fact that the squirrel is actually sitting on his knee. This kind of animal-human interaction only happens in Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, etc.

Another weekend trip we took was to Munich, Germany, but this one was just me and my lovely ladies! We decided we wanted to go on a moderately educational holiday and see the first concentration camp.

Here's me and Rache outside on a very rainy day.

This is Neuschwansteinn castle. It's a fairy tale castle. Seriously, look. It's floating in the mountains.
Jessica and I also took our own little adventure. Here we are on our bike ride that ended up being more than we bargained for....
We even went to where the Olympics were held there and signed the top of the Olympic Tower.

But there is nothing like being back home in London, my favorite place in the entire world. And there is way more fun to be had in downtown London than any other trip we could have taken on the weekend!

Might I suggest....Brick Lane. Adorable vintage. Incredible brownies. It was pouring rain on this day we decided to venture out there, and that brownie, which is huge and only costs 32 pence, solved all our problems in the world.
We also loved going to the Globe Theater. It's still like the old school one. Like you have to pay more to sit in the actual seats. Otherwise you stand the whole time in the "yard". The best part about it is that the actors really react to the audience. It's so much fun. And there's still no ceiling, so when it rains you get rained on. Whoo hoo! Rachel and I are having a sit at intermission. That lemonade, by the way, is the most delightful thing that I have ever partaken of.
And of course we went to Buckingham Palace to the changing of the guard. We went about three hours early so that we could be right by the gate, and waited in the freezing cold rain that whole time. Totally worth it.

We even got to go back to the beginning of time. Seriously. This is where all time zones in the entire world are measured from, The Royal Observatory.

The Prime Meridian line splits the Eastern and Western hemispheres, so I'm half and half.
And of course, here's a picture of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

That part of London along the Thames River at night is the most incredible and beautiful scenery I have probably ever seen. There is nothing like taking a walk across Westminster Bridge when all the lights are up and the London Eye looks amazing.

Thinking about London still makes my heart skip a beat. There is no other place like it. If you go there, I swear it will change your life. So you should probably go. Because that's a pretty big deal. And I can't wait to go back.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's safer to spend lunch in the office

Erin and I went to Wendy's for lunch today. Our first lapse of judgment. But it's close by and we were starving. I ordered chicken nuggets, and Erin followed suit because she couldn't decide what she wanted. When all else fails, steal someone else's ideas, right? It could make you millions. Sadly, when we sat down to eat our chicken nuggets, they were pukingly unappetizing. When Erin took a bite, she pointed out that it looks just like tripe, as pictured below.

What is tripe, you ask? Cow stomach. Yes, cow stomach. As Erin said concerning tripe, "Can my stomach digest stomach?" The answer is no, Erin. No.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

America's Next Top......Addiction

These days VH1 has been doing reruns of the amazing show America's Next Top Model. But these aren't your everyday, summertime reruns. In one day, they show you the ENTIRE season. You get to watch all the drama, tears, drinking, anorexia, and Tyra you can handle. So instead of waiting twelve weeks to see who wins, you only have to sit on your couch for like six hours. Even Austin joined in the fun last night for the last few episodes. Partly because we don't have a remote and we're all too lazy to get up and look for something else to watch. But mostly because it is the most ADDICTIVE show in the world. Just try it. It'll change your life. It might provoke thoughts of starvation, but it's worth every skipped meal!!

Mine and Siara's favorite girl won last night, Jaslene.

Cutting Corners

A wedding is so expensive. It's like having a kid. You're so excited about it, and then suddenly it's costing you a thousand times more than you ever thought it could.

Because of this, we have been cutting costs everywhere we can. Here is the most adorable thing I have found so far:

Instead of spending $5,000 on flowers that will die the next day, we're going to use these adorable candle holders as the centerpieces on each table. We've also been collecting them from DI and Savers, each for less than a dollar. And when we put adorable blue candles in them I think they are going to look amazing. So our centerpieces will end up costing only about $500 total for all the tables. I guess we would just rather pay rent for six months then look at flowers for four hours.

Broom is the New Shovel

I grew up in Washington. When it's winter you wake up to rain 95% of the time. Now in Utah, it's always snow. Then it's slush from all the cars driving on it. Then it's ice because the slush freezes in the nighttime temperatures of approximately 8 degrees. Normally it's not that big of a deal, it's just something you learn to cope with. But today was particularly horrible.

First, I did not want to get out of bed. I was so warm and toasty. Then I got ready and left my house with time to get to work on a normal day. The worst part about the snow is that you never expect it. You'd think with how often it dumps on us here it would lose its element of surprise. On the contrary, I opened the door to about 7 inches of snow. The only way to get 50 pounds of snow off of my car? A broom.

After I had dumped all the debris off, I realized that I had buried my car in the offspray. The broom then became a shovel. Try digging a Corolla out of three feet of snow with household cleaning supplies.

After 30 minutes of archaeological digging (you know, like when they dust something off for three months with those little brushes before you can even tell what it is) I was ready to go. The drive to work then preceded to take me just short of one hour. Erin, the darling I work with, informed me that she was cut off multiple times on the way in, and spent ten minutes working her baby car out of a snow bank after a mother in a minivan pulled out of the elementary school parking lot, pulled right in front of her without even hesitating. I could have told you that exact demographic would be the most likely to do such a thing.

I count down the days to when I will be able to move to North Carolina with my BFF and soon-to-be husband.