Thursday, January 23, 2014

The first appliance I ever bought

As a college freshman living at home, a half hour away from the big city, I often wondered what it would be like when I moved out. A part of me still couldn't believe that my classmates griped about roommates and grocery shopping instead of parents and siblings, and my stomach flip-flopped every time I thought about the day that I would complain about grown-up stuff like the cost of milk.

I imagined thousands of scenarios: roommates who would become my adopted sisters, BYU's giant pool of returned missionaries who were suddenly contenders for my own Eternal Prince Charming™, late-night adventures with study groups and grocery shopping mates, cleaning checks done by someone other than my mom, classes with students from exotic places like Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Maybe I would cross paths with one of those football players I saw on TV (though I wouldn't know it if I did), or I would be on a first-name basis with someone who helped compile the 1985 LDS Hymnbook.

I imaged horrifying scenarios as well: roommates who would steal my shampoo and leave the light on all night, living quarters the size of my parents' kitchen and living room, college-level science classes and teachers who don't know their students' names, homesickness that would hit at the worst times, like when I'm at a party full of people who all know how to socialize better than I do.

I wanted it all. I wanted to start with nothing—no friends, no dishes, no furniture—and build a new life to stack on top of the foundation my parents had already built for me.

When I moved into Miller 6 on that August day, I took in everything (though I tried not to breathe in too much—visits to other college apartments had warned me that apartments don't always smell nice) from the stained, shaggy blue carpet to whitewashed walls. It wasn't exactly the grand welcome I had envisioned in my highest-rated fantasies, but it was my new life, nonetheless.

It took me a few days to notice that we didn't have a toaster. Me and the five other girls living there had all assumed a toaster would come with the apartment, bolted into place like the fridge and microwave.

It was my first crisis as an adult. How would I have my after-school snack (toast) without a toaster? How would I make tomato sandwiches with the tomatoes from my grandpa's garden?

I took it upon myself to furnish our apartment with a toaster. To my great surprise and delight, I found one at Walmart for just five dollars. A white, dinky little toaster.

When it perfectly toasted its first slice of bread, I spread the good news to my family and roommates and wrote about it in my journal. I had bought my first appliance, one that made a simple delicacy like toast a part of my new adult life.

I used that toaster for years. It switched owners a couple of times, got a little tired as the years passed, but it was still my toaster, the talisman of my adult life.

Today, I bought a new toaster. I needed one with longer slots to accommodate the fancy bread I make with my bread maker. I almost grabbed a toaster very similar to my dinky toaster model, but then I saw the shiny silver toasters that had settings for "bagels" and "frozen." I forgot about the single-digit-priced toaster and got this thirty-dollar one instead.

This newer, shinier model means that I don't have to cut off sections of huge bread before toasting it. It has features I didn't think I needed until I found out they existed. I won't have to push the toast down twice anymore, which will deprive me of daily thoughts of one of my favorite Hugh Jackman movies.

I still try to stick to my buy-no-article-of-clothing-over-twenty-dollars rule, I still use a dumb phone, and the promise of free food still affects my meal schedule days in advance. But the good-enough-for-now mentality I had in college has been replaced with the this-is-cooler-and-you-can-have-it mentality I slowly adopted after replacing my hourly student wage with a salary and benefits. My life comprises more than just the simple necessities of life now.

It's a good place to be in, but I'm sure going to miss that little toaster.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A happy post

I do not like January and February. Oh, you picked up on that already? Silly me, thinking I was being subtle.

But I'm getting a little tired of dwelling on my list of 7,000 Reasons Why This Time of Year Is Out to Get Me. So today I'm just going to think about happy things.

  • BYU basketball. My cougars account for about 70 percent of my happiness during this time of year. I'm glad that horrible losing streak was in December and not now, because I really don't think I could handle too many losses at the moment.
  • I started reading The Count of Monte Cristo. It's ridiculously long (1200+ pages), and I love it.
  • I pulled out my Gilmore Girls DVDs a few weeks ago. Prepare yourself for an uptick in GG references during the next few months.
  • My bread maker and I are working our way toward a happy medium.
  • Now that I'm making my own bread, I don't have to go to the grocery store as much.
  • I still love "Danny Boy," even though I listened to it like 30 times last week.
  • The Hudson Lights album isn't bad, either.
  • The unexpected peace and calm from Saturday's temple visit hasn't worn off yet.
  • I still have some Christmas chocolate left. (By the way, melted Resee's are delicious.)
  • I bought gas for $2.96/gallon this morning. It was at least $3.09 everywhere else.
  • I think I'm going to make a couple of chains this week: 70 for school and 128 for vacation.
  • I get a free dinner on Thursday.
  • My bed is so, so soft.
  • I should get a pretty good tax return this year. Yay for being a student.
  • My typing-up-journals project has reached my college life. I miss my college life. You know what's crazy? By the end of this year, I will have been out of college for longer than I was in college. Please excuse me while I pick up the pieces of my blown mind.

Monday, January 13, 2014

I'd rather be in Ireland

Today was not a good day. My bread maker and I are warring, I had a bad hair day, I've caught senioritis for the third (and hopefully, final) time, and the January blues are wafting in the air. Not even my playlist designed for days like this could rid the scowl from my face.

So what do you do when you're faced with such overpowering adversity? Close your eyes, and think of [insert warm and sunny place here].

As for me, I'm thinking of Ireland. If I could disapparate, I would think of my destination with proper determination and deliberation, twist, and open my eyes to shades of green Utah can't produce. I'd be standing on a mountainside overlooking a blue lake, breathing in the fresh Irish air where there are no people to share it with. It doesn't matter if the sun is shining or if it is raining hard enough to soak me through in minutes. That is where I want to be right now.

Usually I tell people that my #1 travel destination is New Zealand, because, well, Middle Earth. But Ireland is always at the back of my mind. I've had an unexplainable love for Irish music (minus the bagpipes) since I saw Behind the Waterfall, and when my piano teacher lent me a booklet of Irish songs  when I had played through most of our library at home. P.S., I Love You is one of my favorite movies because it takes place in Ireland, not to mention it has a soundtrack that, again, I can't explain why I love so much. Ireland is also full of green, my favorite color.

But since I can't actually go to Ireland, I'll just close my eyes and drink in the haunting melody and beautiful lyrics of Vocal Point's version of "Danny Boy" over and over again. I love, love, love the third verse that Vocal Point wrote for this song.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New year tidbits

We're in the thick of reality now. Five full work days this week. Five full school days, as well. Sigh.

I spent several hours last week rearranging my apartment. I didn't sleep well Saturday night because my room felt weird.

Yesterday, my ward doubled in size. The reason? Switching from 9:00 church to 1:00 church.

I'm thinking of chronicling my "be" resolution on this blog this year as an added incentive to actually do it. Still debating about that.

Speaking of goals, I finished re-compiling my first journal book (birth through middle school) last night. As I was formatting the index, I stopped to look up all the goals I had set. Here are some of my favorites:
  • Only be an idiot if everyone's in the right mood
  • Don't be so slow at card games
  • Don't put my knees up at the table for a week
  • *Be nice to Kimberly
  • Run faster than Kimberly
  • Have a good reputation
  • Get very hyper each morning, so I shall be able to make wonderful friends
  • Get the proper amount of sleep w/out napping
In 2001, I also set some long-term goals, like these:
  • Receive my Young Woman of Recognition award. Check.
  • Learn to play sax and piccolo. Check on the second one.
  • Be in trevairs (Trouveres). Check.
  • Have 3 different jobs. I met this requirement before I even graduated from high school. When I made the goal, though, having a job was like the scariest thing ever, so planning to have three different jobs in my lifetime probably felt like an ambitious goal at the time.
  • Graduate from BYU or UVSC. Check.
  • Get married in the temple. Not check.
  • Be a mom. Not check.
  • Write a book (and publish). Do my blog books count?
  • Go see all the states (so far I have Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and California). It took me 13 years to add two more to the list: Washington D.C./Virginia and Nevada.
*I also made goals to be nice to Mom, Tiffany, and Tyrel, but believe it or not, I recognized my need to be nicer to Kimberly the most.*