I hate airlines, airports, airplanes, et cetera and so forth

Travel log:

7:30am EST. Woke up. Immediately panicked, as my flight left at 7:05am EST.
7:31am EST (5:30am MST) Called Mom. Mom said, stop panicking, pack your stuff and start driving, I'll call the airport. (God bless my ever-patient and loving mother.)
8:00am EST. Started driving. Mom called to say she had put me on a flight at 11:10. Started driving faster. (They charged $59 to put me on that flight--the money panic set in.)
9:45am, I took a wrong turn.
10:00am I realized I had taken a wrong turn. Tried to call my mother, but I had no reception. When I reached the END OF THE ROAD (major panic) I turned around.
10:05am stopped at a gas station for directions. The guy laughed at me.
10:15am got back on the correct highway. Started speeding really bad.
10:30am started looking for gas stations so I could refuel my car. Couldn't find a gas station within 10 miles of the airport.
10:45am Mom told me to suck it up, pay the ridiculous price of refueling by the car rental company, and just get myself to the airport.
10:55am FINALLY the Hertz shuttle took us to the airport.
11:00am The Delta guy at the self-service kiosk would NOT let me see an agent at the desk until I had at least tried the self-service kiosk. This guy was a retard. He kept telling me to take my time, calm down, and he'd 'work the magic' on the self-service kiosk.
11:05am the self service kiosk sure didn't work, so the Delta guy finally let me get in line for an agent.
Now, there was one girl working the desk. Two other guys were just standing there talking. I'm sure it was only five minutes or so, but it felt like five HOURS. I even heard her say, "Gee, am I working here alone today?" They laughed, finally finished talking, and one guy meandered over to the desk. He clicked away at his computer and finally asked if he could help me. (I had totally lost it; I was balling my eyes out.)
11:10am He determined that I couldn't make my flight (no duh, you stupid--). He told me at that point that there wasn't another flight leaving for SLC until 9:00pm. Obviously, the water works were flowing. He was like, "Ma'am, I can't possibly help you when you're crying like this. You need to stop crying." Then he looked around and called out, "Could somebody get me a box of tissues please?" That didn't actually help very much. Anyway, he decided there might be another option (click clack at the computer for another AGE). Then he said there might be a flight, but he couldn't confirm it for another fifteen minutes, so I should go sit down, take deep breaths, and come back.
11:20am Texted Melissa, Anna, and called my mother--who didn't answer--and tried with some success to calm down.
11:30am back up at the counter, the guy got me tickets (yay!) that still wouldn't get me home until about 9 (boo) but at least I wouldn't be leaving AT 9. Furthermore, since I had told him I missed my flight because I had gotten lost (and probably out of fear of the waterworks) he was able to get the fee waived, so they didn't charge me all over again for this new flight (hallelujah!) Then with a condescending smile he said, "Now, don't miss this one!" (Jerk!)
11:45am got through security (blah) and found my gate. Went to the bathroom and washed several hours worth of tears off my face.
1:30pm Boarded my plane.
2:00pm Finally left Philadelphia.
4-something pm, landed in Atlanta. Traversed the airport, got a wrap at the same place the parentals and I had wraps on our NYC trip.
6:00pm boarded my plane. Got stuck between a grumpy dude who took over the armrest and never ever relinquished his claim, and a hippie lady who drank nasty-smelling tea and kept laughing really loud at the movie I wasn't watching.
8:30pm MST, landed in SLC. HALLELUJAH!!!
9:00pm, went to visit my grandmother in Bountiful because she'd been planning on seeing me, when I was supposed to have been coming into town at 10 AM and still wanted to see me. I swear, I was so dead, I'm not really sure what we even talked about.
10:30pm, made it home. Unpacked my contact case and my pajamas, cuz that's about all I could handle right then.

I'm now going to pretend that the whole thing didn't happen. I went to sleep in Pennsylvania on Saturday night, and woke up at home this morning. Sunday didn't exist. =P

Also, if you'd like to hear more about my actual experience while in Pennsylvania rather than the debacle of getting home, check out my other blog.


Hel-looo Pennsylvania!

Travel log:

Woke 6:30am, thought about going running as planned, hit snooze button, slept again.
Woke 6:55am, showered, dressed, finished packing.
Departed house 7:35am, best mom EVER drove me to SLC Int'l Airport. Got thru security w/o a hitch, waited. (plane supposed to leave at 9:41am)
Boarded plane 9:32am
Plane takeoff 9:55am
Slept for the first hour or so
Woke up when the guy next to me tried to apply lotion, but in the plane, it kind of exploded everywhere. Gave him my napkins and helped him clean up. Then talked to him for 10min.
Worked on my keynote address for an hour.
Finished a scene in my novel.
Slept again.
Landed 4:00pm EST/2:00pm MST.
Waited. (really had to pee, too!)
Disembarked--and couldn't find a bathroom! The whole freaking airport's being remodeled. Finally found one by the baggage claim, and it was way nasty.
Took the shuttle to Hertz, 4:25pm
Rented a car for the first time, 4:40pm. It was supposed to be a Hyundai, but it turned out to be a Mazda 6. Pretty pleased with that one.
Tried to get to the Reading Terminal Market, 5:00pm. Incidentally, I would advise against trying to navigate downtown Philadelphia at rush hour. After being muy frustrated, I gave up and headed out. (Have to admit that I have mad driving skills that after getting lost trying to find Vine St, I was still able to get myself back onto I-76 and headed in the right direction.)
Got stuck in traffic behind a wreck 5:30pm
Stopped for food, 7:00pm. I had eaten breakfast at 7:00am MST, drank some Fresca and ate a biscotti cookie on the plane...and that's it. I debated seriously about just waiting til Lebanon, but couldn't stand it anymore, so I stopped. Had a roast beef gyro at Arby's--decent, too.
Arrived at hotel, 8:00pm.
Started playing on the internet, 8:25pm.
And here I sit.

Tomorrow morning I'll be working on/finalizing all my presentations. In the afternoon we're going to Hershey for a taste-testing tour/trick-or-treating, where I get to see Ian for the first time in over a year. Then tomorrow evening is my keynote address. Eeek!


Good News Bad News

Domestic Dork

The good news
  • I leave for Pennsylvania TOMORROW! I'm so so so excited.
  • I had a great write-a-thon weekend with Sam last weekend, we got a lot done.
  • Got to see my birthdad and fam on Sunday!
  • My roommate followed through, woke me up, and got me out of bed to go running (well, this morning it was a brisk walk). We are 2 for 2. I'm determined to keep up the schedule while in PA!

The bad news:

  • I'm still not feeling very prepared for my keynote address on Friday night. I have a few notes, and a plane ride. Hopefully it will come together?
  • I really hurt my knee at Taekwondo last night. It's still killing me. Sometimes I hate my body.
  • Because of the aforementioned pain, I didn't sleep well last night (resulting in me still being in bed when it was time to go running) which means I'm really, really tired this morning. Being really, really tired limits my productivity, both on the keynote address front, and the novel front. *sigh*



I have a deep love for NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month. I've participated for several years now, with great enthusiasm.

This year, I'm cheating. You're supposed to write 50,000 words of a NEW novel, one that you haven't started, and preferably one that you don't care about that much, because you're going to be cranking out 50,000+ words in 30 days, which means that quality is not necessarily a priority.

However, I'm hip-deep into this novel I'm co-writing with Sam, and I've come to the decision that it would be ridiculous for me to start another book at the moment. So I'm cheating. I will be writing 50,000 fresh words, but they'll be a part of this novel that we've already begun.

Last night, I told my roommate Anna about NaNo, and when her interest was perked, I realized that I really really really wanted her to do it with me. There's just something about company during moments of insanity. Having someone to rant to about characters who misbehave; someone to have late night write-a-thons and runs for caffeinated beverages. Strangers on forums are no substitute for a flesh-and-blood companion. So now I'm really hoping that Anna will join the ranks of NaNo-ers who will be madly scribbling away this November.



You know those days? Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. Yes, those days.

All I want today is chocolate. Lots of it. Good chocolate, crappy chocolate, I don't care. But it's all I want. Food? Pass. Water? I guess so, but only if it's washing down some chocolately goodness.

PS: On a side note, I've been cracking at the novel this morning...haven't made a ton of progress, cuz my coworker is MIA again, but we're looking forward to a very productive weekend, and I'm stoked.



I just finished my grad school application--put it in the mailbox, can't touch it again finished. In light of my current stage of freaking out, I've decided to blog.

The tournament on Saturday was a lot of fun! It's been three years since I've been to a taekwondo tournament, and I'd forgotten just how much I love them. I think that (for me) they're even more fun as a black belt, because I get to be so much more involved. You know me--I'm an organizer. And nothing needs organization more desperately than your average taekwondo tournament.

Our contingent from Beyond Sports arrived just before 9, just in time for an impromptu judging/refereeing training. We HOPE that most black belts know how to judge the normal TKD events, but it's not always the case. Anyway, then it was off to compete in forms. The black belts go first in forms so they then can judge the color belts. For similar reasons, they usually spar last. It also works as an interest grabber/event climax, respectively.

Anyway, my competition in forms went really well. There were three in my division. The first girl was obviously brand new both to her black belt and to Koryo, her form. The second was a guy who performed Keumgang, the second degree form, and he did fairly well, but nothing extraordinary. I also performed Keumgang, which I learned about a month ago and fell in love with. There were several small goofs on my part, but overall I think I performed well. I received the gold medal!

Then it was off to another ring to judge color belt forms. That went by quickly and without much excitement. However, I was then asked to help judge demo teams. I'd never done this before, and it was exciting. Demo teams are an interesting, multi-headed, and variable creature. Three schools competed, and each performance was very different. There are a lot of unison techniques, and the better the unison, the better the score. But I learned that live music definitely adds to the atmosphere! Very fun.

Next came sparring. I started as the center referee in one of the rings. In Olympic TKD, you have three corner judges who are responsible for scoring points. You also have a center referee, who is responsible for ensuring that all the rules are obeyed, and dispensing point deductions when they are not. I've been a corner judge before, but this was my first time as a center ref at a tournament. It was very interesting! Definitely keeps you on your toes.

I had to opportunity to cheer for most of my teammates during their fights. They all did quite well, with few losses, and even those were close calls. Mine was among the very last sparring matches.

My opponent was a girl named Liz from Logan. She is a front-legged kicker, which isn't something you see in Olympic style very often. About thirty seconds into the match, she kicked me across the face with a front leg hook kick. We had to stop the match (kyeshi=medical time-out) so I could recover. But when the ref asked if I wanted to continue I said, "Yes sir, let's go."

Sparring is as much a psychological game as a physical one. When someone hurts you, you have to get right back up and get them back, otherwise they get the upper hand. Coming back in, I attacked--and pretty much chased her out of the ring and onto her butt. This response, I've seen watching other matches, can sometimes be taken for anger--like you're mad that they kicked you. In my case, that's rarely the case. But sometimes a little acting and lots of ferocious kiyaping can win the match.

Anyway, we continued on into our second round. I kept getting called for pushing. We can only punch with one hand; if you get caught punching with both hands, you can receive a half-point deduction for pushing. I really need to train this habit out of myself, because it was costing me points that I didn't have to give. Her style of kicking was frustrating, because I couldn't use my usual compliment of counters against her. We were down to the wire, and from the screams I could tell it was very close. She came in once again with that front leg kick, and I turned to back kick--and kicked her square under the chin.

Time was up, so they called the match in my favor, but I didn't feel triumphant, I felt rather guilty. She was off having an asthma attack. *sigh* I don't like to totally demoralize my opponents--and I've done that more than once--because I like sparring, and I want everybody to like sparring. Anyway, they took her off to the medic, and my coach soon dragged me off that way too to make sure I was okay after the head kick.

From the medic's impromptu station, we watched as the breaking competition got under way, and I had a chance to talk to Liz for a few minutes. Turns out that she was coming back from a 3-year hiatus from TKD--this week. !!! I can't even imagine. I mean, I was gone for almost that long, but I've been back and reconditioning since May. I can't imagine coming back and that same week fighting in a tournament--her FIRST EVER Olympic-style tournament. Foolish, foolish coaches. Anyway, we talked for a few minutes, and I don't know if it made her feel any better, but at least I felt like less of a monster!

Our team reconvened at TGI Friday's for a celebratory meal, and lots of pictures. We were able to discuss things that we did well, things we need to work on, but mostly we just enjoyed eating for pretty much the first time all day, and enjoying each others' company. I loved the camaraderie, and I hope that we can encourage more of our students to come out to tournaments. They're a blast!


I hope most people are more observant than this. Otherwise, the world is in trouble.

Last night, I was going over my sparring gear to make sure that I had everything I needed for the tournament (TOMORROW!!), making sure my name was written on everything of mine, and dumping out all my excessive gear that just makes my bag really, really heavy.

Anna and Crystal were in my room with me, chatting as I processed the aforementioned gear. I happen to keep one of my old belts (blue, to be precise) in my bag, for stretching and slow kicking exercises. They were curious about the exercises, so I demonstrated a supported side kick on the wall, and with the belt, that means I can go pretty darn high. After demonstrating, I went back to my gear.

Crystal looked at me for a moment and said, "Wait, you mean you're really a black belt? Like, a real one?"


PS: Wish me luck at the tournament tomorrow!


An empty house is very, very quiet.

I just got home (10pm), tired but pleased by my work tonight, only to find nobody home. How lame-sauce is that? When I get home at night, I love having roommates here to chat with, to talk about our days, to listen to their daily dramas...you know, girl-chat. Having nobody here is...lonely.

So I checked up on emails, chatted with another friend for a minutes...and now I'm just sitting here. All alone. In my empty house. I'm hungry, I'll probably cook "dinner" here in a minute. Maybe I'll watch a movie.

But sheesh! Where is everybody?


Domestic Dork

The good news...

  • Autumn is wonderful, autumn is beautiful, and autumn is HERE.
  • Sam and I have been making great progress on our novel thus far this week.
  • Grady comes home tomorrow!
  • I'm competing in a tournament this Saturday!

The bad news

  • It is really, really cold in the office. I'm constantly trying to keep my hands warm, and they're already starting to chap.
  • I STILL haven't written my liberal arts statement. Hopefully Mom will help me...
  • Life is still crazy-busy. I feel like I have no time for socializing. Somehow I have to get this sorted out!


General Conference

All I have to say is that Elder Holland is the man. Seriously.

But with regards to circumstances, I also want to say that I love General Conference weekend. It has such a great atmosphere. Saturday morning session I watched with my ward, along with a big breakfast. Very fun. Between sessions I went shopping with my Mama, whom I love dearly, for some new clothes (desperately needed). Then we watched the afternoon session at my parents' house. In the evening, I drove up to Salt Lake to spend the evening with some gal-friends, Ellen, Melissa and Dixy. We went to the Blue Iguana downtown. I don't think it was as fantasmic as Dixy hyped it up to be, but it was good and we made use of some excellent coupons.

After Priesthood session, we rejoined the menfolk, Matt, Justin and Christopher. We eventually made our way to a corn maze in West Jordan, where fun was had. Melissa and I spent the night on a mattress on Ellen's living room floor--oh the fond memories!

Sunday morning, Justin made us egg mcmuffins and we enjoyed the session (although, because of rain, my scrapbooking stuff stayed out in the car. Oh well). During the break, we watched The Singles Ward, which I haven't seen in several years. It was even cheesier than I remembered, but still funny. Melissa left us then, but during the afternoon session, we had a delicious minestrone soup made by Ellen, as well as a peach cobbler. Mm! That session was the aforementioned testimony borne by Elder Holland.

Basically, I just love the excuse to be with good friends, eat good food, have that crisp fall air (and in this case, a rather Seattle-like precipiation) and enjoy the ministration of the gospel. It's the perfect weekend.

PS: Gregory...I missed you. I don't know if you'd have joined us for conference, but I wish you could have been there for some of the other merriment, regardless. Loves!


Addendum to Hair

I do have to admit that with really short hair, it'd be pretty hard to do this:

pics from my friend Dixy's wedding back in May. This was a good hair day for Valerie.