Monday, February 14, 2011

Smiles all around!

Last night I did my taxes. I went in with low expectations for how much the government owed me back because you never know what sort of crazy thing could go wrong. I kept watching the "refund amount" up at the top of Turbo Tax, hoping it would stay green. It did. A lot more green than I even dared dream. So I will be paying for my first semester of graduate school without going into debt. Yeehaw.

Today at work, to celebrate a mutual love for the cacao bean--oh, and also because it's Valentine's Day--we are chocolate fountaining it up. Want to know what we're going to try dipping in it?
  • Brownies (made with white chocolate chips, like my family makes 'em)
  • Shortbread
  • Homemade red velvet oreos with cream cheese frosting
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough
  • Mexican vanilla cookies
  • Potato chips (you read that right)
  • Cheesecake bites
  • Marshmallows
  • Juju hearts!
  • Bacon (mmm...bacon...)
  • Angel food cake
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Candy orange slices
  • Nutter butters
  • Sharp cheddar
  • Gingersnaps
  • Mini doughnuts
  • Pretzels
  • Regular oreos
  • Oatmeal cookies
...and whatever else my co-workers bring. It's still early, so who knows what today has to offer! All weekend long, though, it was a baking extravaganza at my house. What can I say? Baking makes me happy, and when I'm happy I bake. It's a vicious cycle. Viciously tasty...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Found on the interwebs...

I've been dilly-dallying around a bit at work--don't worry, I have plenty of work to do. It's like that old saying goes, though: "Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?" And by old saying, I mean Lacy came up with it in junior high.

I digress...long story short, I've found some pretty hilarious Internet gems out there while I've been casually...not...working. Don't JUDGE me.

First, a joke.

Maybe a little too true.....?

And just when you thought your parents were unintentionally funny at times, if not a bit off. I think my dad might actually take this one to heart.

Always good for a laugh: Cake Wrecks. One of these things actually is not like the took me a minute to find it, too.

Apparently the baker got dumped very shortly before this. Yiiiikes.

Alright, alright...I'll start working again.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

10 years

Last week, a group on Facebook was formed: DHS Class of '01 10-year reunion. And ever since, I've done my fair share of e-catching up--meaning I've looked at all the posts on the wall and read about what people who have been up to lately. Everyone has been telling us about their children, careers, spouses, etc. I am too shy to share with my entire graduating class on Facebook, but here goes, blogosphere.

Ten years ago, I:
  • Was filling out college applications.
  • Had zero children.
  • Didn't know who I would marry.
  • Drove a car that had seen better days.
  • Wasn't one of the popular kids (and I was ok with it!).
  • Had never been toilet papering.
  • Worked at a job that was more about the cool people I worked with than about the actual work.
  • Judged people for bad spelling.
  • Spent too much time on the computer.
  • Loved Dave's Pizza.

Now I:

  • Just finished filling out my graduate school application.
  • Have no children...and fear for the day that I actually do!
  • Still don't know who I'll marry...or if...
  • Drive an 11-year-old Honda that is usually reliable but has a few 'quirks' (a nice word for problems...)
  • Am spending my Saturday night blogging and watching My Name Is Earl, which is probably indicative of my 'popularity' status
  • Cannot say that I've ever been toilet papering...still.
  • Work at a job where my co-workers are half the reason I go. The other half is protecting human subjects (yeeeeessss...)
  • Chuckle inside at people who are poor spellers.
  • Usually have a computer in front of me.
  • Try to talk my parents into buying Dave's Pizza every time I'm up at their house around dinner time. not much has changed? Alright, just kidding. I think most everything has changed. And anyone who knew me back then and knows me now can attest to the fact that I really have gotten better with age.

Still don't know if I'll go to that reunion, though...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Things that BUG. And some that don't.

It's that time peeves. Here goes:

- The thinking that one must put an apostrophe on anything that ends in the letter 's.' People, just because it's plural doesn't mean it's possessive. I know that not everyone is as grammar/spelling crazy as yours truly, but learn how to pluralize correctly. You're making it too hard.

- A wireless router that has to be cajoled into working. Unplug. Wait 30 seconds. Plug. Cross fingers that it's going to connect me to the Internet this time. Please? PLEASE?! AGH! No dice.

- The predictive text on my phone sometimes. No, I didn't mean 'fondle.' F-O-N-D-U-E. I get even more flustered at myself for not noticing these things before I hit send. It really changes the meaning of my messages sometimes, making them a lot racier than I'd hoped...

- When someone opens up the jug of milk/bottle of soda/carton of juice, pours themselves about two swallows of liquid, and then replaces the cap on said vessel. He or she then proceeds to drink said amount and repeat the process a couple times throughout a meal. My mom knows this bothers me (as I voiced my frustration the last time I was eating dinner at her house and she was engaging in this enraging activity), and now she makes a concerted effort to do it on purpose and draw my attention to it.

- A restaurant that won't honor its gift certificate according to the terms they set on it. If I had known that, I obviously wouldn't have wasted my dinero on buying the dang thing in the first place.

- Working in an ages old building that floods every few months because of some sort of problem with the HVAC or plumbing system. And then worrying every time you go into the bathroom whether or not some burly maintenance man will walk in (or drop down from the pipes/works in the ceiling!) while you're on the toilet. Also when the men's bathroom is out of commission (so they're using the women's...not a big deal) and some of them forget to put the toilet seat down. I've never really lived with a man before, so I'm not used to it. I just don't like touching the seat with my hands...yes, I have OCD.

I fully admit that these are my weird, idiosyncratic triggers for frustration. But come on, some of these bug you, too, right?

The following things, however, could happen at a greater frequency and make me smile every time:

- A random woman at work (the one I've never met...) who told me she loved my hair. Props should really go to my dazzling stylist, Raylene. I've been with her for two years now, and she's never led my hair astray.

- My nephew digging into his first birthday cake. I've never seen a kid go at it this much. It was like he was afraid we would take it away and he would never again see the chocolatey goodness of baked goods.

- Finding gems like this while browsing through family photos. Oh so many awkward memories of me as a child/teenager/adult...and it just makes me happy for all of those experiences that have made me a pretty cool person today. Or at least one who has a little better fashion sense than to wear those shorteralls (*shudders*).

In case you're wondering, that big unfinished building is the Bountiful Temple.

- Deals like $10 for a $20 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. Go buy it. I don't think you'll be sorry. Groupon, let's stay friends like this forever, ok?

There. Much better. I'm not so bugged anymore. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Relationship PSA

I am a sympathetic crier. Strike that--I basically cry at everything that is slightly sad. And you know what has been making me despair lately? Boys who have been breaking my friends' hearts.

First, I would like to insert a disclaimer: I understand that sometimes relationships don't work. I get that, oh I get that. Two people aren't always necessarily going to be compatible, so break-ups happen. I'm not trying to be bitter against men, really I'm not. Disclaimer over.

Twice in the past three weeks, I have had tearful telephone conversations with incredibly close friends who have gotten unceremoniously dumped flat on their rears by guys. I don't know all the reasons. Heck, I bet the girls themselves are keeping themselves up at night, imagining all of the reasons these guys would have chosen not to be with them anymore.

Both women are beautiful.

Both are talented.

Both are incredibly intelligent and brilliant conversationalists and independent and funny and kind and good cooks and not crazy.

Know what else these two women have in common? Both have said to me, "I feel so stupid for letting myself actually think it could work this time." They had wanted so badly to believe that they could be loved for who they were. Weird, right?

My answer to each of them is this: How are you supposed to get anywhere in the dating world without taking some sort of risk? (Hello, Pot? Yes, this is Kettle...) I have to keep coming back to the fact that in order for a relationship to ever work, walls have to crumble, communication lines have to be created, and trust has to be forged.

What do you do when it all comes crashing down? When you've actually succumbed to the butterflies, handed over a good majority of your heart, and it doesn't work out? Why does it seem that girls cannot give in to loving a man without fearing that she will only be disappointed in the long run?

I'm not going to lie...having experienced a big share of my own heartache, I've become a tad jaded. It's like each time this happens, I fall and my heart gets scraped, it scabs over, and the scar tissue sets in. And each time, it gets a little uglier and a little rougher, and I don't want to make myself to being vulnerable ever again.

Inevitably, though, I jump back on that stupid horse. I, like my aforementioned friends, fear that maybe I'm so desperate for love in my life that I make myself emotionally vulnerable before I should. I want those butterflies so badly that I basically gift-wrap my heart and toss it to any man who will come close enough.

A side note to men (assuming any man reads my blog): I think you're great. I have some fantastic friends who are men, and sometimes they have a touch that a woman does not. But men, please be real. Please be gentle. Please have a little consideration when you embark on any sort of relationship with a member of the 'fairer sex.' If you must tell her that the two of you aren't meant to be, be honest. Don't necessarily make a list of reasons the two of you shouldn't be together, but consider for a moment the excuses you are using. If you're in love with someone else, don't lead another girl on. If you say that you'll still be friends with her, don't avoid her like she's a sickness.

Also, don't insert any of the following phrases into a conversation where you intend to break up with a girl:
  • "You have so many awesome qualities that I like..."
  • "It's been fun to get to know you, but I'm in love with someone else..."
  • "I'm going to be moving in a few months, so I don't want to lead you on..."
  • "You will be a great wife and mother someday..."

All of these lines have been used in real life. Ugh.

All I know is that in both instances above with my friends, the guys could have handled the situation SO much better. I've never been a guy before (wha...??), so I don't know how difficult the break-up scenario can be on that end, but time after time after time, I feel like some of my best friends (not just the two lately!) get the short end of the stick when it comes to relationships.

Moral of the story? I don't have one. If anyone has any thoughts/solutions to avoid these inevitable pitfalls, I would love to hear them.