Happy Leap Day! It will be another four years before I can write anything on February 29th, so I decided to hop onto the opportunity...pun intended.

Being the very last day in February, this thereby indicates that starting tomorrow, I will officially be living on pins and needles. Besides rent being due, tomorrow officially marks the day where I can start hearing back from grad schools.

Granted, I probably won't hear back from any for another two weeks. UIUC wrote to say I would hear back after March 11, which is the Tuesday following next. Rick Cunningham from Delware said sometime in the 'middle of March', whatever that means. But as far as UC Irvine I could hear any day.

Pins and needles, my friends, pins and needles. There is absolutely nothing like waiting for a phone call to determine the next three years of your life, and not knowing when that phone call's going to come. My entire future lies in the hands of those recruiters, and I'm just waiting...hoping...and trying not to think about it obsessively all the time...

My parents and I are currently trying to plan a vacation for sometime this year. We're hoping to go to NYC for New Year's, but we're still waiting to see if we can get the timeshare for those dates. If that fails, we may be going on a Fun For Less tour, possibly to Europe. My parents really like Fun For Less, because they're LDS and the groups are fun. We went on a Church history tour while I was in high school, and last fall they and my brother went to Central America. I like them okay, even though I'd be equally interested in just going, and making it up as I went along. That's me, though. This is all way still in the planning stages, of course. We're kind of keeping it quiet until my brother leaves on his mission in two weeks, because we don't want him to feel left out. But we're still going. He wouldn't miss that much anyway--he doesn't like New York City (long story), and he'd be bored in Europe--after about three days of seeing old buildings, he'd be done. So he won't miss that much either way.


Borrowed Wisdom

The following was a post from my friend Jillian, which I found amusing.

" Words of wisdom from Dr. Petersen

"See, grad school is like chemotherapy. It is designed to slowly kill all the stupid parts of you. However, it starts by just trying to kill you. Ah, but then the phoenix rises out of the flames and you get this..."

At which point he indicated himself. This dude is one of the most awesomely Zen people I know, so if going to grad school means I can end up like him it may be worth it after all.

This is why college, even with the late hours, student loans, and all the other crap that goes with it, is great. If you aren't getting anything out of your expirience you aren't taking the time to talk to the right people.

Or maybe all the right people are here at SUU... in which case you're screwed."

I love Dr. P and Jillian, and this was too funny. The idea of grad school still lights a fire within me, and I can't even begin to suppress it. I could start hearing back about grad school next week!


The nature of Boredom

Okay, officially real life sucks. I mean, seriously, what do people do with themselves? I've come up with the theory that people (at least Mormon people) just get married to fill their time. I can't think of a single person I know besides my compadres who didn't get married either IN school, or directly after graduating. Most of my high school friends float that boat. They're in school or they're hitched, or they're in school AND hitched.

But without either of those two items in my life...it's empty. The hours stretch endlessly day to day. Dixy discovered this phenomenon recently, and really started complaining about it today--boredom filled the house.

I've kind of gotten used to it. I've grown accustomed to sitting at home all day long--it's gotten to the point where I don't want to leave the house. I read a lot. I've been trying to write (with only minimal success). I take random excursions sometimes, those are fun, but only by myself and only when I keep myself on a leash. I have a tendency to spend my money whenever I leave the house, and I don't have that much to begin with.

Poor Dixy. She doesn't enjoy reading as much as I do, and she's much more a social creature than I--how odd to hear myself say that! I used to be the most social person in the world (as I saw it), but the years have tamed that side of me, and these days I'm--almost--content to spend most of my days alone. Yes, it's lonely, but I don't freak out like I used to.

So, the nature of boredom. I think this particular bout of boredom (for Dixy and myself) has more to do with loneliness than actual boredom. It starts with having too much time on your hands. We're of a society that feels the need to fill every waking hour with some objective. So when one suddenly has free hours, one immediately feels the need to find something to fill them. For a social creature like Dixy or myself, those plans would best be filled with the company of other people. But without plans, it's impossible to invite other people (particularly young men who like structure) but without these others it's impossible to make plans. It's a strange paradox. So one feels frustrated by the lack of anything to do AND by the lack of other people to share it with.

As a matter of note, Dixy and I completely wasted our evening. We accomplished nothing. We didn't read, write, watch a movie, or anything. Dixy talked on the phone for awhile, I played the piano for a while, we both surfed the net for awhile. I think the proper phrase here would be "killing time." Watching it pass without doing anything to fill it, just waiting for the next meaningful moment.

I need a new hobby. Hobbies seem like a good way to fill this space. But the sum of it all? I can't wait to go back to school!



Last night, driving home from Provo with Dixy, we crested the point of the mountain and looked out over the Salt Lake Valley. "I love Salt Lake, it's so huge," said Dixy. "Yeah," I breathed. "Me too.

It's not quite what I envisioned for myself, true. I pictured myself living in downtown Chicago or DC. I pictured myself taking the Metro or the L to the theatre every day, working long crazy hours with barely enough time to breathe. I pictured myself as a city girl.

But after weeks of a different life, I'm finding that I like it here. I really do love Salt Lake. You would not believe the difference, even from Orem and Provo to here. Everything is so close, an adventure is always five minutes away. I'd find them, if I got out of the house more. :) The possibilities are slowly opening to me. I can do anything.

This week, I bought two pairs of scrub bottoms. Living in a household of nurses, it's no wonder that they're rubbing off on me. (You want more of this story, just ask me about Phlebotomy. Yesterday Dixy and I got out to do a bunch of things--we went shopping, we drove around, and then we ended up going to Provo for sushi and bowling. Yesterday was a great day. I dubbed my red scrubs my "Scrubs of Infinite Possibility." I honestly felt that wearing them, I could do anything. :) But it's not the scrubs--it's me.

Life has been pretty poopy the last two months. There have been good points, sure. But overall, I've felt rather directionless and idle. No theatre, no joy. But I'm slowly discovering that there are other avenues. Real life doesn't have to be dull and empty--I just have to find something to fill it. And here, in Salt Lake City, in my Scrubs of Infinite Possibility, with friends and family supporting me and the drive to move forward with my life--I will find those things.


Across the Universe

Rent it. Own it. Whatever you do--watch this movie, listen to the music. I think I listen to a song (if not the whole soundtrack) at least once a day. This is something else.


Chris suggested that maybe I go to a treatment center

I killed Bertie. One week, that's all he lasted before he died.

What kind of monster can't even keep a goldfish alive for more than a week? Me, that's what kind.

I have this abnormally strong reaction to pets dying. Like, I can handle people dying, even people I know well and love. I was in the house when my grandma died, I went to my grandfather's funeral. These bother me on an emotional level, but I can handle it like a normal person.

Pets dying, though, is another matter entirely. I just freak out. Can't handle it. The cold little bodies... It just gets to me.

Bertie's bowl was in the living room. After visiting him this morning and realizing he was dead (which actually took me about twenty minutes to finally conclude [I thought he was sleeping]) I couldn't bring myself to go in the living room for about two hours. I just stayed in my bedroom, or skipped over to the kitchen, averting my eyes from where he rested. I couldn't even be in the room.

After a while I realized how ridiculous this was. For a time I held the hope that one of my roommates would come home and take care of Bertie so I wouldn't have to. However, it was about 10 o'clock in the morning, and my roommates are hardly ever home, let alone in the middle of the day. So I worked myself up to do it.

First I went and got the little fish-net, and put it in the bathroom. Then I went and did something else for awhile.

Then I went and got the bowl. I tell you, I was shuddering and shivering the whole time, totally freaking out. I didn't even look, I just locked my eyes right out in front of me as I walked to the bathroom. I didn't turn the lights on. I set the bowl on the counter. Then I took the net, fished Bertie out, flung him into the toilet, flushed, and ran. I washed my hands in the other bathroom for about five solid minutes before I calmed down.

I haven't been back in the bathroom yet. Bertie's bowl is still in there. It gives me the heebie-geebies just to walk by.

I know this is not normal. Normal people do not have this kind of freak-out over a dead goldfish they've only had for a week. I just can't handle it, I don't know why.

I need a shrink.


New Snack

Vanilla Creme Frosted Mini Wheats

My roommate Nat introduced me to these little beauties. They're whole wheat, they're decent on the health scale, and they just taste so good! A hint of sweetness over that crunchy goodness. I'm seriously in love. I just eat them raw, like popcorn. Perfect snack. Plus, if you're not into the Vanilla Creme scene, they've got
five other flavors!

Check it out.


Guidance Counselor

I find it ironic that I've become a relationship counselor to my roommates, especially Dixy. I don't seem to have much success, but I suppose I have some experience. Mostly, I guess, I just have hope.


Post V-Day

After getting home from our jaunt to Orem and Springville, Dixy Melissa and I decided to go to Wally World to pick up some ice cream and chocolate. (Dixy=ice cream, me=chocolate, which is the reverse of our usual.) I was banking on the fact that Valentine's Day candy would be on sale the day after.

However, arriving at Wal-Mart, we found only the dregs of the dregs left over from V-Day. I knew I was craving chocolate, but the overpriced, heart-shaped boxes of Hershey's truffles just didn't appeal.

Appallingly, Wal-Mart is already in full swing for Easter. I guess they're mostly skipping St. Pat's day this year, and hitting full on with the bunnies and chickadees, because I didn't see a single shamrock in the mix. So, after rifling through some of the Valentine leftovers, we made our way over to the even more overpriced Easter candy.

If you haven't had Cadbury's Mini Eggs you really must indulge yourself. Click the link--this fellow blogger has really hit the spot on this one.

Sated, we went to get Dixy's ice cream and went home. Woot for Wal-Mart at midnight!


Inspired by Gregory

My friend Gregory recently posted a blog on his MySpace concerning a Life List. He described starting a list in high school, a list of things he wanted to accomplish during his lifetime. It echoed with me, because I happen to keep a similar list. As Gregory himself said: "... partly because I love lists and partly just for fun, I have decided to post my working life list. And I encourage you to create your own list—what do you want to do with your life?

So here are some of the things I want to do with my life: (in no particular order)

--Serve a mission.

--Publish a book (at least one).

--Learn to play the saxophone.

--Learn how to cook well.

--Go to grad school (I find out in March!!)

--Get married in the temple. (Really, what kind of good LDS girl would I be without this one?)

--Raise at least three children.

--Work on a Broadway tour.

--Stage manage all of Shakespeare’s plays.

--Work in politics. (Preferably in DC, because its a great place.)

--Learn to tap dance.

--Travel the world. (Vague, but really I just want to see everything.)

--Live in a big city—NYC, D.C., Chicago, Philly, London, or the like. At least for awhile.

--Live in a small town, at least for awhile.

--Live in another country, for awhile.

--Write a book with Sam. And actually finish it. Maybe it can be the one that gets published!

--Raise pets. Dogs, especially. Beagles.

--Work in publishing.

--Become bilingual, at least. The languages I would most like to speak are: German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, and Mandarin. Following those are the rest of the world's languages.


A new member of the family

His name is Bertie. He's a goldfish.

I went to DI on Saturday and bought a fishbowl for a dollar. What a steal. But when I went to Wal-Mart and talked to the fish guy, he told me that I had to have non-chlorinated water (aka not tap water) for my fish, and that it had to sit at room temperature for 24 hours before I put a fish in it. And, he told me in an aside, they get new batches of fish on Mondays. Wink wink.

So I bought rocks and some little plants and put them in my fishbowl. On Sunday I got purified water at my moms house and poured it in Sunday night. Then, this afternoon, it was back to Wally World to find Bertie.


A Strange New Desire

I want a dog.

I've always liked dogs; my family has had a dog since I was 6 or 7, and I think a dog is the most wonderful companion in the world. Go dogs.

For the next month or so I'm working from home; possibly longer. Even if I pick up a second job, I'll only be out of the house a couple hours a day. And I'll tell you what--this big house gets mighty lonesome when all the roomies are at work and school all day and I'm here, with nothing really to do and nobody to talk to.

I found a beagle for free on ksl.com and this strange new desire sprung forth within me, within about three seconds of looking. She's spayed, she's four years old and already house broken, and she just needs a good home. I would definitely be here to take care of her!

I thought to myself "The roommates will never go for it." But when I hesitantly brought up the subject with Nat, she was all for it. I haven't talked to anybody else, but I took it as a good omen. My next thought, however, was "The Landlords will never go for it." But Nat encouraged me to call just to see. So I called Emily. She said no, but as we continued talking, she agreed to address the subject with her husband, warning me that the answer would probably be no. But her agreeing to ask was something, at least.

I know its ridiculous, that a dog is a huge investment, especially when I don't know where I'll be in six months. But a dog would definitely help those long lonely hours working from home. Who knows? However, if I'm not allowed to get a dog, I'm definitely getting a fish. I may get a fish anyway. Fish are cool.


Day 3: Photos Abound

It's not even funny how excited I was to finally see Wicked.

The Oriental was a beautiful, very ornate theatre. You never would guess from their exteriors how exquisite these buildings are behind the facade. If only I could have taken pics inside...

Thus these are mostly pictures of the marquee. I wanted to take pictures inside, but Nick couldn't handle the crush of people.

I had this thing with taking pictures of the theatres downtown. It was the only time I allowed myself to be a "tourist" and snap photos--because this is what I was in Chicago for: the theatre.

Overall, Day Three was brief and spent mostly at the airport. Nick left early in the morning to catch his flight. Then I had a great interview with Rick Cunningham from Delaware-PTTP. Just really great. This was after helping a little old man cross the street. I'd never pictured myself as that kind of person, the one to stop and help the little old people cross the street, but there I was in Chicago with an octagenarian on my arm, chatting about the snow and the public transportation system.

After checking out of the hotel, I took the El back to O'Hare, where my flight was delayed several times because of fog. I ended up arriving in SLC nearly two hours late, but my dear Christopher is patient, and came to pick me up once we had finally landed.

So I'm back in Taylorsville, heading back into real life again, keeping my fingers crossed for the next nervewracking month and a half before I find out about grad school, and who knows what else.


Day 2: Photos to Come

Day Two began at an obscenely early hour with Nick's alarm. Despite the fact that I had no interviews, Nick made me get up and out of bed. I guess he needed emotional support. :) I encouraged him to go over to the Palmer House and see if Ron Schaeffer from UMKC was still around and could interview with him. So off he went, for nearly three hours. I chilled at the hotel. It was spectacular. Nick came back, having successfully gotten the interview. We talked for awhile, and then out we went.

We had heard that The Goodman offered student tickets for ten bucks. Conveniently, our hotel is only a couple blocks down the street, so we walked down to the theatre. Currently playing is Shining City, which neither Nick or I had ever heard of. The synopsis reminded us a bit of Blithe Spirit. We decided to look around a bit more. Just down the street is the Oriental, which just so happened to be playing Wicked. Now, Nick had already seen Wicked in Chicago, so I was quite hesitant to suggest it, but fortunately he is a loving soul, and he agreed to see it again. So we bought tickets, learning only after purchase that we were attending the 2:00 matinee. We had been planning to go to The Art Institute during the afternoon, and I'm still a little bummed that we didn't get to go. But I wouldn't have given up Wicked for the world!

So, with our afternoon suddenly consumed, we went to a little corner bakery/sandwich shop, where I had a great "uptown turkey" sandwich. Nick and I talked about the pros and cons of revolving doors, while freezing every time someone went in or out of the place. Then we went to Borders to kill time before the show. Nick and I discussed the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, we talked about the Beatles and "Across the Universe", and we seriously delved into the graphic novel section. Nick bought a book of poetry while I seriously resisted a CD and the entire graphic novel section. Then it was off to Wicked.

I heard the soundtrack of Wicked about a month after it opened. A friend of mine went to see it on Broadway, and brought back the CD. This was probably my junior year of high school? Anyway, he got a couple of us together one afternoon, and told us that we just had to come listen to a couple songs. We got in his car after school and just sat there for an hour and a half at least, just listening to the whole thing through. Fell in love with it instantly, and brought this love to many other friends along the way.

So, seeing it at last, in Chicago of all places...nothing like it, my friend, nothing like it in the world. The set was huge and mechanical, the lighting was just fantastic, some really cool moments. The costumes were weird, though I kind of expected that. Why Galinda wears white for so long, I will never know. Defying Gravity was everything I expected it to be. Oh, but the Galinda was weird. Her character choices were very strange, I don't know if they're unique to this actress, but she was jerky and awkward and I didn't much care for her. Because of where our seats were (I think) it was sometimes hard to hear, especially Elphaba (which was stinky), and we had this terrible usher! He kept walking up and down the side aisle right next to us, and during "For Good", he stood behind us making this awful noise, like he was jangling keys or something, it was so loud and distracting! I was hoping Nick would get up and say something, but alas. Overall, though, great experience. I am SO glad we went. Totally worth my forty bucks.

After the show, we went back to our hotel. Incidentally, it was a long freaking show. Nearly three hours, including intermission. At any rate, we took a scenic walk through the freezing, windy streets back to our hotel. It was actually quite beautiful. Back at the hotel, we turned on The Superbowl. Last year was the first year I watched it, and I found the experience quite enjoyable, so I didn't mind a repeat. We watched maybe an hour of the game before we both started to get hungry. I decided that, seeing as how we were in Chicago, we should go out for some deep-dish pizza. (It also seemed like a good Superbowl-watching food.) So, after asking our friendly doorman for a suggestion, we headed two blocks down to Giordano's for some pizza and football.

As we ate our delicious fried calimari and spinach-mozzarella pizza, it started seriously snowing outside. We're talking horizontal, the wind was so strong sometimes. Oh, and by the way? When you're walking on the sidewalks in Chicago, you have to beware of falling ice. Nick and I almost died. Anyway, we watched the Superbowl, until--at three minutes left on the clock--the satellite gave out in the storm. We, and all the other customers in the place, waited for the game to come back on, but in vain. So we hunted for our waitress, left an outrageous tip because we just wanted to get out of there, and off we went into the storm. My poor new shoes were not up to the inches of snowfall, but we were laughing hysterically by the time we got back.

We thought the game was over when we got the TV on in our hotel room, but there was thirty seconds left on the clock, and we watched the madness of the false end to the game, the Giants thought they had won, but one second remained. Down again, and then it was over, the Patriots defeated in their hopes of a clean season sweep.

Then we settled down to watch a special episode of House. About three-quarters of the way through, Nick went to plug in his phone and realized he didn't have it. We scoured the room, missing the end of the episode, but determined he had left it at the restaurant. Poor soul, he had to trudge through the snow, back to the grumpy manager of the pizzeria to get his phone--but at least he got it! And now he is reading Bukowski and feeling intellectual, I suppose.

Nick flies out early tomorrow, leaving me alone at the hotel. I have my interview with Delaware in the morning, then I get to entertain myself until my four pm flight. I have a book with me that I'm sure could keep me occupied for awhile. Maybe I'll just ride the Central loop and see Chicago. It's certainly an appealing place.

Chicago: Day 1

From where this picture was taken, you can see my hotel. Unfortunately, from where this picture was taken, you can't see the Sears Tower today, because it's cloudy, foggy, and cold. Not that cold has anything to do with picture taking, except perhaps the photographer's ability to point and click, fingers being frozen.

Other than the weather, though, Chicago is great! It's a really great city. Of course, I love most cities, but Chicago is definitely one of the most interesting I've visited. The people here are very friendly. They also walk the streets in large numbers very late at night. Seriously, eleven o'clock in the evening, the sidewalks still full of people. Maybe they were all out-of-towners?

My flight from SLC got canceled, supposedly due to mechanical problems. True answer? Delta Airlines is one giant corporate cheapskate. No joke. There were maybe fifteen people waiting for the 200-passenger plane. So what does Delta do? That's right.

However, waiting for the flight along with me was none other than Matt Neves--SUU Arts Admin MFA Director extraordinaire. Those of you who know Matt Neves probably know my opinions about him, and those of you who don't, don't need to. Suffice it to say--I was very grateful that he got me bumped up to first class on the next flight, very grateful that he got me a meal voucher so I didn't starve to death at the airport, and very grateful that he didn't talk to me the whole way there.

Speaking of the meal voucher--I was waiting in line at the Cinnabon (healthy, I know, but I simply could not resist the smell of cinnamon with seven dollars of Delta's money in my hand), I met this random old guy in line. I accidentally bumped into him, and he dripped Starbucks on his hand. I felt awful. Then a little further down the line, he laughed at me as I tried (rather unsuccessfully) to get napkins out of the absolutely retarded dispenser. Only a little further down than that, he started talking to me. (=Tweener) He asked me where I was heading, what I was doing. He has a niece in theatre, so he was enthusiastic in his questions. But then I asked him where he was going. He and his wife were going to Africa for two weeks to work at a medical clinic fighting AIDS, and to go hiking. Not safari-venturing, just hiking. He listed off about a dozen things they wanted to see, all of them humanitarian. I don't know how on earth they'll get everything done they want to do while they're there, but his enthusiasm was really catching. I ordered my Cinnabon and a large OJ, then wished him well. On the way out, I stopped to greet his wife, whom he had pointed out, waiting for him just beyond the cash register. I wished her good luck in Africa, then went on my way.

Once in Chicago, I grabbed my pink duffel and headed off, through the cavernous airport underground, past the music makers dancing in the corridors, to the L. The El? I haven't determined how people actually spell the colloquial reference to the CTA--the elevated train that runs through Chicago and its suburbs. Let me tell you, it took a lot longer to get downtown from the airport than I expected. The burbs go on forever. The L was fun, though. I saw a lot of interesting people, heard their voices and got into the rhythm. I like Chicago.

The hotel, Club Quarters is under construction. The doorman liked me. I sat in the lobby for nearly an hour, waiting for Nick while he finished an interview, and we got talking about the crap that's on TV. There was a lubricant commercial on, and he burst out, "That's just the next thing to porn! And my kid's watching that?" Things weren't like that in his day.

As it turns out, our interviews were all scheduled for Saturday, not Sunday. Nick and I still haven't figured out where we messed up. All the paperwork I've dredged up from the depths of my email say Saturday--though, never in a clearly distinguishable place. I got lucky--both of my interviewers let me reschedule with them. Still waiting to see on Nick's.

Walking back to our hotel from the Palmer House at eleven o'clock last night, a man stopped me on a street corner. I thought he was going to ask me for change, but rather, he asked me for directions. "Where's the Union Station?" he asked. I couldn't quite hear him, so he asked me again where he could find the Union station. I apologized and told him I wasn't from here, that I didn't know. He thanked me for helping. Some people passed by us, and he called out to them, but they just kept walking. "Can't get any help," he said sadly. They probably thought he was asking for change, too.