Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chinese Take-out

Last week I had a crazy craving for lettuce wraps so I stopped at a local Chinese restaurant on my way home for some take-out. As I sat at my desk touching up jewelry pictures and chowing down on my cashew chicken, I pondered what words of wisdom my sweet/crunchy/yummy fortune cookie (Which I've always felt would be better if it came dipped in chocolate. Who's with me?) may have for me today.

As you probably know, the last couple of months have been very up in the air and confusing for me. I've been feeling, what you may call, "a little lost" - but I digress.

Don't get me wrong - I really don't take much stock in fortune cookies (like my men, maybe I'd find them more trustworthy if they were smothered in chocolate). Honestly, who is going to believe the drunk Chinese guy in the back room with a typewriter anyway, right? But,
I don't think I've ever found a fortune cookie more exciting than this one:

My mind went into hyper drive! What could this mean? Will I find the most amazing job ever? Will I make a decision about going back to school? Will I win the lottery? Will meet some amazing guy (who has already won the lottery)? The possibilities are ENDLESS.

I'm hoping that for once, the old Chinese guy got it right and this cookie wasn't actually intended for the gray-haired lady ahead of me in line - but the fact that the waiter gave me three cookies instead of just one in my Styrofoam container made me debate the randomness of the fortune cookie delivery system.

I sat there daydreaming for a good five to ten minutes - jewelry photos be damned - until I started to think about fortune cookies past and that one fateful (or not so fateful) lunch so long, long ago (imagine wavy time travel lines here as we head back to that restaurant in Provo) . . .

It was a warm day in the summer of 1997 (No, I'm not making up the facts. My memory is just that good.) and I sat across the booth from my roommate and her boy of the week. We'd just picked him up and decided that lunch was a necessity. I had the sweet and sour chicken and McKenzie had the broccoli beef
(okay, that part may be made up). Nobody cares what the BF had because he's be out of the picture for a very long time now anyway. The food was satisfying but not overly impressive - which explains why I have no clue as to the name of the restaurant. When the waitress brought the check, we followed the custom and each took the cookie closest to us. I have no recollection what the fortune cookie gods said to the rest of the table, but mine made quite the impression. And to tell you the honest truth, I've still got it taped in an half-finished journal somewhere. I was dating three different guys at the time (none of which knew about any of the others) so I was a little confused when I read out loud:

Which one do I choose? How do I decide? Yeah, and we see how well that one worked out for me. Side note: If I recall correctly (and again, I know I do) this is the lunch where I came up with the "old drunk Chinese guy in the backroom with a typewriter" theory as to how fortune cookies are written.

Now, I know you're dying to do it, so say it with me, "Don't worry. Your problem gets better next month . . in bed." There are so many ways that this could go (I actually had a pretty good list started here) but I've decided that I'll leave the creativity up to you, my loyal cyber-stalkers, rather than getting myself into trouble at the embarrassment of my family and friends (or at least my Mother) who thought I had more tact than that.

Good luck on thinking about anything else for the next 15 minutes. You're welcome.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Girl in the Social Bubble

This is going to be one of those pity party posts that I just have to get off my chest. But in all honesty, I would prefer it if no one actually reads it so why don't you all just give up and navigate away . . now.

For anyone still reading this - you suck. Of course, I'm a rambler anyway so you'll get bored and leave soon anyway so I'm not really worried.

As most everyone knows, about a month and a half ago my company did a mass layoff (they've now lost more than 40% of their staff through lay offs and quitting in the last 12 weeks) and along with 14 other people, I too lost my job. Now don't get me wrong, I'm actually quite okay with it. I was in a bit of a creativity and career rut working there and I had been semi-job hunting for a few months before that anyway and this has just given me the push that is forcing me to move on. Plus, with my tax return, severance, vacation pay and unemployment I'm good for a while so don't be freaking out thinking that I'm going to be living a van down by the river any time soon (but I could end up in my parents basement which is part of my concern and reason for this post). However, I am selling my house so that if/when I do find that perfect job I won't have anything major tying me down that I still have to take care of.

My second major topic for this post is my ward status. For anyone who is an avid reader of my blog (both of you) you know that I was kicked out of my singles ward due to my age. They announced that this was going to happen back in August and that we had until the end of the year to find somewhere else to go - but the only real option they gave us was the family wards - hello nursery*. At the time there were 64 people in my ward that were being put out to pasture and I know of at least four more that were passing their shelf date before New Years.

And within those two stories lies my issue . . I go to a ward where the closest I get to social interaction are the blank stares of disapproval I get from the rest of the ward when I don't sign up to feed the missionaries and the old man that calls me Sister Larsen - he's the Executive Secretary, for Heaven's sake. Guess I won't actually be getting any callings any time soon. Imagine that conversation:
"I need you to call Sister Hansen to come in and meet with me."
"Who's Sister Hansen?"
"The blonde that got kicked out of her ward."
"I don't know who you're talking about."
I believe it ends with "Who's on first?"
And then I stay home all day, every day. My roommate gets up and goes to work, often before I'm even really considering the idea of consciousness and until she gets home at night, I don't hold a single two-sided conversation. I say two-sided because I often talk to Chuck the Wonder Dog but he's not much of a conversationalist and has some really unusual political views, so I try to avoid that all together.

Melissa (previously mentioned roommate) isn't much of a night owl, and I'm not a morning person so we keep very different hours and she's often passed out and talking in her sleep before I've even had dinner which means that I can often go a full day without ever having had talked to anyone at all. Now, to be totally honest, I'm really okay with this. I'm not as social as I once was (okay, I know I've never really been social but for the sake of the post, just go with me on this) but I think this may be becoming an issue. Don't get me wrong, in the past few weeks I've spend quite a bit of time with my BF's because they've been kind enough to come help me on my house, A LOT! Which I totally appreciate and it's been a lot of fun to have them around. But they're all married and don't really live very close and they have many other priorities besides conversing with me. So since I was kicked out of my ward, and thus all single based activities and laid off from work, I've also lost almost my entire social network and I've developed a bit of a social bubble. And by bubble, I don't mean that I'm unaware for what's going on around me. I mean that I feel like the boy in the plastic bubble (thank you John Travolta for blessing the world with that cinematographic masterpiece) where I'm being kept from the rest of the world like I have leprosy or some other horrible contagious disease.

Seriously, this is more action than I've had in much longer than I'm will to admit. Unfortunately, my plastic bubble doesn't allow for making out, unless I'm allowed to start macking on the bag boy at Smith's since he's often the only boy I see for days at a time.

So I ask you this, what am I supposed to do about it? I've discovered that it's much easier to make friends, if you already have friends. No one wants to hang out with someone that has no one else to hang out with - you seem clingy and needy when they ask, "What did you do on Friday?" and all you can come up with is, "I sat at home by myself crying to my dog because you didn't return my call." And unfortunately, friends is something that I don't really have - at least not any single ones. So aside from internet dating (which I am totally against so don't even think about suggesting it), what on earth am I supposed to do to rectify the problem? However, in reality, it's not even a dating thing. Aside from a few wild and crazy (and starving) college years, I've never been much of a dater either. But I've almost always had a large group of friends that were around whenever I needed them. And since it would appear that both joining the ranks of a television sitcom where all we do is hang out at a coffee shop and marriage aren't really options, I seriously think it may be time to get out of Utah and start over somewhere that they don't ostracize people for being single. Next decision . . where to go. I guess that depends on finding a job - or winning the lottery, which sounds a whole lot more fun and less time consuming.

*If I were actually ever called to the nursery, I may have to convert to Catholicism and become a nun. At least then I'd be married to Jesus instead of being "in that situation".

Friday, March 13, 2009

Kitchen Reconstruction

So for the past week and a half I've been covered in paint EVERY dang day. For the first time in nearly two weeks I wore a different pair of jeans yesterday and I found myself wiping butter down my thigh. Guess wearing paint covered clothes has helped me develop some pretty bad habits that I've got to break. I haven't been in the gym in nearly two weeks but I still feel like I haven't stopped moving.

My hands hurt, and not only the joints and all of the places I hit myself with the hammer (I hit my left thumb three times on ONE nail. Seriously. Issues.) but also my skin. It's dry and cracked and ugly from washing over and over again and all of the unnatural chemicals and I'm in serious need of a manicure because most of my nails have broken or ripped off. But that's so beside the point.

Poor, poor Chuck the Wonder Dog has been afraid to navigate through the kitchen for DAYS and he's only been walked three times in the last week.

The good news is, I'm FINALLY DONE (note obsessive use of caps tonight)! The hinges were an issue. I had to drill new holes because the hinges that were on the cabinets were really weird and out dated. But Melissa helped me and we got the last of them up this morning. So, here you go. Before, during and after. Looks pretty good, huh? ALMOST makes me wish I weren't selling. Almost.

And just so you know, every plant like item in my kitchen is an actual living plant. It's been spring in my house for the past six or eight weeks. Check out that tree?!? It started blossoming (is that what trees do? Blossom? Bud? Sprout?) in October! Weird, I know but who am I to argue with Mother Nature. Oh, and be sure to check out that freakin' awesome thing on my dining room table. It's a bulb my sister gave me for Christmas. It's HUGE and really cool looking.

Oh and I've got to thank Marion, Maria, Melissa and my parents for helping me get this all done. I'd probably still be down there working instead of posting about it right now if it weren't for them.
All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies.
- Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.