Let Them Eat Cake!

Once upon a time I took a cake decorating class with some co-workers.  I went purely for the social aspect of it and had absolutely zero interest in actually learning how to decorate cakes, much to the shagrin of the instructor.  She would get on to me for holding the frosting bag incorrectly and using the wrong techniques.  So I would struggle awkwardly while she stood peering over my shoulder and as soon as her back was turned, I would continue in my heathen decorating ways.

The girls I teach at church wanted to learn to decorate cakes for an activity so last night we gave them some cakes and a vat of frosting and let them have at it.

I don’t know my genealogy that far back, but after last night I have a hunch there’s some daVinci blood in me somewhere.

Mona Lisa, Shmona Lisa.

My instructor was a fool not to recognize my talents.  A fool I tell ya!

Martha Stewart Eat Your Heart Out

I have never been a crafty person.  My idea of a successful craft is buying the supplies and giving them to my sister to put it all together.  And while scrapbook paper transforms and does amazing things for her, all it ever does for me is give paper cuts.

Well that’s starting to change.  Between the daycare I’m helping at, the girls I’m over at church, and my nephew and nieces coming for Thanksgiving it seems all I have on the brain are crafts.  A few short weeks ago I had never heard of modge podge and now I have large plastic bin full of craft supplies – and I know how to use them all.

Yeah that’s right, my craft abilities are now up to snuff with 5 year olds.  So maybe I still don’t have anything on Martha but those kids think I’m a master with a piece of paper.  I might as well be doing origame with my feet while blindfolded.

Here are a couple pics of my nieces and nephew doing crafts on Thanksgiving:

Yeah, so um, remember how I said my expertise sort of plateaus with five year olds?  I think that’s pretty evident by the looks on my nephew and older niece’s faces.  Don’t they look absolutely thrilled?

Moving on to the craft to end all crafts for the day – the food craft:

Ta da!

There were some other things I put together with the youngest that involved colored wrapping tissue paper – fancy I know.  And to show her appreciation (at least I hope that’s what it was) she drew this:

A closer look shall we:

Yep, I see a resemblance between the picture of me and a schoolmarm.  Can you?

Tomorrow I pull out the big guns.  Gotta impress the 8-11 year olds.  I’m hoping the tile wall hangings they’re making will do the trick.  Watch out Martha, I’m on my way.

Hiccups and Kids

I woke up with hiccups this morning.  I hate hiccuping.  I don’t think they serve an actual purpose, just a way of my body sending me some sort of warning.  I don’t know what it’s warning me against exactly but the idea of being the next Charles Osborne has my attention.  They disappeared pretty soon after I got on the treadmill which is another thing I’m not fond of right now.  I wish I could be one of those people that love working out and do it willingly and obsessively.  But I don’t and I’m not.  Don’t get me wrong, I love when I start seeing results and I even like how I feel right after a workout but it’s getting started everyday that I dread.

Whoa, as I’m typing this I have the TV on and The Wendy Williams Show just started.  Is she really a guy?

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Seriously, is she?  I’ve never heard of her but she has a RuPaul vibe going on.

Last Wednesday night we had an etiquette dinner for the 8-11 yr. old girls I’m a leader over.  It was pretty nice and the girls all seemed to have a good time.  At one point one of the other adults that was there helping out was telling the girls that while they’re really young now, it’s good for them to go ahead and learn proper etiquette.  That way when “you turn 16 and go on a date you’ll know which utensils to use and how to conduct yourselves properly.”  Are you kidding me?  I’m 30 and have never been taken out on a date to a place so fancy I needed to know which utensil to use.  Matter of fact, I’ve found it more helpful to know which value number I want.

In addition to working with these girls on Wednesday nights, I’ve helped a little with all the kids on Sundays.  Each week at least one of those kids says something that makes you crack up.  One week the teacher was asking the kids what makes Sunday a special day.  She was wanting typical church answers like you get to be with family or you learn about Jesus.  One kid in total sincere honesty yelled out that football was what made Sunday a special day.

And this past week one of the teachers told the kids that something really bad had happened this week.  Why she ever said that I don’t know.  Her news wasn’t really bad and even if it was, you don’t need to tell the kids and especially not by prefacing it like that.  But anyway, as soon as she said it some kid (maybe the football kid) said, “Did someone get shot?”  Good grief.  While it was kind of funny because it seemed to come out of nowhere and he was genuinely thinking he had guessed correctly, there is a little girl whose dad did in fact get shot and killed a couple of months ago.  She was thankfully not there on Sunday and the teacher quickly moved on and just told them the news.  Maybe she’ll think twice before prefacing news like that again.

I think that’s enough boring randomness for one post.  Besides, my allergy (I’ve never had allergies before.  One more sucky thing to add to the list) medication is kicking in and I’m finding it hard to focus through my foggy, medicated haze.

This Week in a Nutshell

First off, they found my brother’s car.  Which would be a good thing except that it now looks like this:

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Not exactly the way it looked when my brother left it at the car repair shop.  News on my car was more upbeat however.  The insurance paid me more than it will cost to fix it so I have some extra cash in my pocket – very nice since I still don’t have a job.  Very nice indeed.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to be one of the leaders for the girls ages 8-11 in the church I go to.  They have activities twice a month and my first one was this past Wednesday.  And you know, it wasn’t that bad.  I don’t know what I was expecting exactly but it was fun and the girls paid attention.  I created a game of Bingo that fit in with the lesson and brought a bag of prizes and a bag of candy…so that’s really why they all paid attention.

Thursday I got sick.  I haven’t had so much as a sniffle in almost three years so I guess I was due.  It knocked me out and I’m only just now getting my bearing.  Fingers crossed I’m good for another three years.

Last but not not least, I spent a few hours lastnight editing pictures I took when I was in Utah this past weekend.  Fall is in full force there and our first day was gorgeous.  Here are some of my favorites:

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Click here to take a look at all of them.

I Should Stick to Saying NO

I’m going on a date this week because I didn’t say no and now I’m stuck.  Yesterday I met this guy who goes to my church.  Let me recap or better, what I should say is that before yesterday I didn’t know this guy existed on the planet.  We had a little of the get to know you small talk right before church started and he’s a nice guy.  As I’m leaving the building when church is over I happen to pass him in the hallway and he asks me what kinds of activities I like to do.  I’m completely taken off guard and am scrambling to come up with something other than the standard (and completely non helpful) “hang out with my friends”.  He tells me to think about it and he’ll give me a call later, he had to go to a meeting.  I barely walk in my door when he calls to see what I’ve come up with.  The only thing I could think of  is that I’ve gotten into hiking and landscape photography this past year but in my mind I don’t think this is going to be helpful to him because it’s about 115 degrees out and there’s no way I’m going hiking in that.  Unbeknownst to me, he’s an avid hiker and knows all these great spots some of which are good for night hiking.  At that moment I think night hiking could be fun and it would give me a chance to see a little bit of Arizona before I leave.  So it’s decided that we’re going on Tuesday at 5:30.  We end up chatting on the phone for another 15 min or so because he’s asking me more get to know you type questions.  I don’t mind talking on the phone.  As a matter of fact, if you’re family or a good friend I really enjoy it.  But I’ve only known of this guy’s existence for about 3 hours plus this is all good stuff to talk about when we’re actually together.

A couple of hours later I get a text message from him telling me about some people getting together to play games and hang out that night.  As I’m reading the message guess who calls?  He was just making sure I got the text because he wasn’t sure if I did texting or not.  I tell him I got it but I’m not going because I was packing.  Sure I was packing a little but the reality was that I just didn’t want to go.  We end of talking on the phone for about 10 min.  About 10 min after I hang up he calls again.  Oh for heaven’s sake.  Turns out he can’t go on Tuesday but could we change it to Wednesday?  Fine.  We’re on the phone for about another 20 min as he’s asking me questions about the type of landscapes I like to photograph.  Dude, I’m not professional.  I just like to mess around with it so I could care less what exactly the landscape looks like.  Finally we hang up.

Five minutes later my phone rings again.  JUDAS PRIEST  MAN!!!!!!  WHAT????  What more could you possibly need to say now???  This time he was asking if I had some of my pictures and maybe he could get an idea from my photos as to which spots would be good to shoot.  Again as my inner thoughts are flying through my brain I just keep thinking that it truly doesn’t matter where we go.  I’ve never been anywhere here in the state and the best thing about nature is that the same spot could look totally different from one day to the next.  Before I really knew what happened I had agreed that he could come over and look at my photos.  So 15 min later he was on my couch skimming through the photos on my laptop.  And the real kicker – he stayed for 2 1/2 hours.

Around 4:30 Sunday afternoon I thought some night hiking and the chance to take some landscape photos sounded like fun and was sort of looking forward to it.  Six hours later I’m sick of this guy and don’t want to go anywhere with him.  I’ve been trying to think of an excuse to use to get out of going.  One that actually sounds plausible and totally out of my control.  But I can’t think of anything.  And to be honest I sort of feel like a real jerk trying to get out of it.  More than a jerk, I feel like a complete tool.  He really is a nice guy and based on our brief conversations I get the drift that he has a lot of friends and likes going out and doing different things.  I truly think he’s trying to help make the most of my last week here but it was overkill.

However, it looks like I’ll most likely be going on this little excursion and you never know, it could be a lot of fun.  Or I could fall off a cliff and die.  Either way, the moral I’m taking from this story is to always first say no.  It’s much easier to change your mind from a no to a yes than the other way around.

Random Tidbits

Here’s another post with the random updates from my life over the past week or so.  I finalized my decision to move back home to Arkansas and have been trying to get everything organized for that move.  If I didn’t own furniture life would be a lot simpler for me right now.  But I do so I’m trying to coordinate with a moving company and people that can help me load it up.  I’m a little nervous about finding help but I keep trying to tell myself not to worry about it until the day before I move because there isn’t much I can do before then.  And it’s not like I’ll be stranded here in Mesa for the rest of my life because I couldn’t load the moving truck.  Somehow it will all work out.

I spoke in church again today.  I say again as though I speak every Sunday – which I don’t.  Matter of fact the last time I did was a year ago but this past year has passed so quickly it feels like I just did it.  Since I live in another state then I did last year, I decided to repeat the same talk to the folks here.  No point in coming up with something new when the old one worked just fine.  I think I’m funnier in person telling stories than I am writing them here.  For those of you who don’t think I’m funny or that this blog is entertaining, to you I stick out my tongue and say THPPPP  and for those of you who already think I’m funny I say “It’s true.  Hard to believe but I’m better live.”  I got a handful of laughs and that’s really all I could ask for.

Last night I jammed my finger trying to kill a cricket in a sports injury.  Ok fine, I was trying to kill a cricket that found it’s way into my room.  I’m not exactly sure how it happened but the next thing I knew my finger bent back and now it’s swollen and bruised.  Stupid cricket.  And to add insult to injury, the cricket made it’s way behind my dresser where I couldn’t get at it.  Cricket = 1  Nandango = 0.  This morning I woke up to find the cricket still in my room near my bed, as though it were taunting me.  With my finger still painfully sore I decided that he had messed with the wrong human and that this was war.  Several shoe throws later he was dead.  Take that cricket.

I had been wanting to go out and take some nature shots but wasn’t exactly sure where I could go and didn’t want to spend the gas money driving all around the state either.  A friend suggest a local nature reserve by her house that she had passed numerous times but had never stopped to look around.  It wasn’t all that fascinating but was surprisingly large for being in a semi-residential area.  I did manage to get some shots and it was nice to get out of my apartment.  Afterward she wanted to go see a movie.  This is fine because I like movies.  I want to interject here and ask did you know that it’s $10 to see a movie??  And I’ll assume that in larger cities it’s more but holy cripes!  I generally stick to the dollar theaters or redbox.  What is all that money going toward anyway?  It’s not like the movies all that much better than they used to be.  The food (which I never buy) I assume is still crappy.  I don’t think the seats are that much more comfortable and the whole place is dark so it’s not like I’m checking out the decor.  And I really hate the commercials they play before the previews.  What happened to Front Row Joe?  They used to have a cartoon with him in it complete with a song and everything.

Anyway, she suggests a movie and in my mind I’m thinking please don’t say you want to see My Sister’s Keeper.  Please don’t want to see My Sister’s Keeper.  That of course is the movie she wants to see.  Great.  It’s not like I thought it was going to be the worst movie on the planet but I’m sure there are other movies playing that I would rather spend my $10 on.  And besides, I don’t like Cameron Diaz.  I knew this was going to be a sad movie and sure enough the entire theater was like one giant snot fest.  You could hear people sniffling through the whole thing and when it was over just about every woman in the place had a kleenex.  I can only imagine what people outside the door where thinking when they saw everyone come out with red, blotchy, puffy faces.  I tuned out the last 20 min or so of the movie and stared at the chair in front of me in hopes I could pull it together before we walked out.  And I really felt bad for the few guys that were dragged there by their girlfriends.  I concluded that they either did something incredibly wrong and this was their punishment or they were planning on doing something incredibly wrong and were storing up on the brownie points.

Well that’s basically been my last couple of weeks in a nutshell.  Mixed with reading books and watching my own DVDs over and over.  Just think, two weeks from today I’ll be writing my entries from home in Arkansas.  Crazy all the things that can happen in a year.

Santiago

I’ve thought about writing an entry on Santiago, Guatemala for a while but was always hesitant.  I don’t know why really.  Maybe because this place and the people there are so special to me I wanted to guard them.  But lately I’ve been thinking a lot about it and since I can’t think up any other blog ideas I’ve decided to go for it.  Many of you know (or maybe you don’t) that I lived in Guatemala for a year and a half doing missionary work.  For 6 months I lived in a town called Santiago which is in the mountains of central Guatemala and sits on Lake Atitlan.  I swear this place was magical or maybe it was just a matter of being at the right place at the right time.  I had already been in the country for 7 months and was familiar more or less with the country, customs, and people.  But Santiago was like going back in time in a lot of ways and I loved it.  I had never before or have since experienced a place remotely close, so in my hodge podge way I’m going to try and give you a glimpse though I will never really be able to capture what I’m really wanting you to experience.

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Here are a few pics down by the Lake.  You can barely see in the first one but there are men out there night fishing.  And if you look to the right of the boats where I’m sitting in the bottom picture you can see a handful of women washing clothes.  Honestly it’s kind of gross when you think about it because that water gets pumped into the town to people’s houses and I can’t imagine how clean their clothes actually got using lake water.  But for a year and a half that’s exactly how I washed all my clothes as well I just didn’t walk to the lake to do it.  So I guess I can imagine how clean clothes got and I can tell you…not very!  I did get quite fast at hand washing clothes but to this day I’m convinced the washing machine is the best form of technology we have ever invented.

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We got all our food from street markets like the one up top.  Though the one we went to the most was A LOT more crowded than this and in a much, much smaller confined space.  Hmm, I’m not sure they have enough tomatoes.  The vegetables were so yummy because obviously they were fresh, I mean really fresh.  Once we were hungry and saw some farmers picking carrots out of field and payed them some money for a tasty afternoon treat.  My favorite were the avocados.  That’s one of the exports of this little town and they would send out thousands every week.  They were ginormous and so very cheap.  And in the spring vendors would sell sliced up mangoes in little bags and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  Like the avocados, the mangoes were HUGE and cost about 30 cents or less.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  And while I’m thinking of bags, you would go into a little local shop to get a coke and they would pour it into a sandwich bag, put a straw in it, tie it off, and give it to you to drink from.  It was cheaper to do it this way and they would make money by keeping the glass bottles and recycling them.  Kind of odd but…*shrug*.

Alright, so the lady at the loom is making one of her shirts (huijpil) and you would see woman doing this everywhere.  Usually they would tie it up to a tree in front of their house.  I tried it once and I think I’ll stick to buying my clothes from the mall.  Or Target.  I don’t remember what festival I was there for but that last picture is a human firework.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Every year they would find some local drunk and put him in that thing.  It comes down to your waist and you can look out through that slot in the front.  They would make sure he was plenty boozed up and then they would light that sucker.  What you aren’t really able to tell is that some of the firecrackers shoot sparks in circles while the ones on the top shoot off like rockets.  All the while the man is stumbling through the crowds having a grand ‘ol time.  I really, really wish I would have taken more pictures of the landscape and all the ins and outs of the town but after a while everything is so common place you just don’t think about it.  So now I’m going to move onto the people I met and would hang out with sometimes.

I loved the people so much but here are a few that I really got to know:

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The man in the top picture is Hno. Tecun and though he looks like he’s over 100 years old, he was still doing all manual labor caring for a little chalet.  Manual labor as in cutting the grass with what looked like slightly large scissors.  And he was still walking the couple of miles into town every week rather than riding in the back of trucks like everyone else.  The next picture is of the Cali Tui family.  I just remember laughing a lot when we would go over there.  They were always so cheerful and constantly joking around.  One of the worst days in Guatemala was when the oldest son (whom I had never met) was murdered.  They had the funeral at their house and we spent the whole day there and I was absolutely sick about the whole thing.  But they were a strong family despite everything.  I think I spent more time with the family in the bottom picture than I did with any other.  Part of what I did when I was there was to teach people how to read and write in Spanish and both women in this picture (Nicolasa and Candelaria) were two of my students.  At some point a few years before I got there, someone had taught Candelaria how to say “Later Dude!” and to hear her say it was hysterical.  I can’t believe she had remembered it after so much time and I’m not sure she ever remembered what it meant.

I swear the kids were the cutest I had ever seen and I wanted to pack all of up and bring them home with me but I guess kidnapping is frowned upon.  But they really were so much fun and so loveable.  I have tons of pictures with them but these are my favorite:

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The little boy in the top is Ceasar.  What a ham!  I asked if I could take a picture of him and he promptly ran home to change in to those clothes and comb his hair.  Totally adorable.  I love how the boys in the second picture are climbing trees with no shoes and playing with machetes.  That was pretty common to see people of all ages walking around with machetes.  The boy with his leg up in the air like the Karate Kid is Daniel (just like in the movie) and I once watched him make a kite out of a plastic bag, sticks, rocks, and string.  I couldn’t believe it.  It was probably the sturdiest little thing I’ve ever seen and he made it in a matter of minutes.  As you can tell from all the pictures but especially this last one, I was a gargantuous white amazon of a girl next to these people.  And really I’m just under 5’6″.  I never understood a single thing that old lady said (spanish is not the first language of the people in this village.  They speak a dialect called Tzutujil) but she was always so happy when we came around and that made me happy.  The last picture is of Maria who lived with her grandma in a tiny bamboo hut like a lot of people there.  And like a lot of people, they were incredibly poor.  Her parents had both died in some accident and her siblings had all been scattered and taken in by other relatives that were not so poor and lived in the city.  This little girl was unbelievable.  So sweet and caring and freak’n smart – she spoke 4 languages.  I was there when she had her 12th birthday and my companion and I decided to make her a cake and drop it off on our way to other appointments we had.  No biggie right?  She was so shocked and stunned she didn’t know what to say and seemed a bit overwhelmed.  As we left, her grandma came out and thanked us over and over because she said she didn’t have any money to do anything for Maria for her birthday and she, the grandmother, had been so upset about it.  Then she told us that this was the first birthday cake Maria had EVER RECEIVED!!  What??!!  Well that about broke my heart right then and there but I was thrilled she finally got one.

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Well speaking of cake, the girls in the top picture wanted us to teach them how to make cake from a box.  Both of them were students of mine so instead of class one day we made a cake.  After we put the ingredients in the bowl I turned around to get a spoon and when I turned back Michaela had already started mixing it with her hand.  Oops!  But then I figured oh why not and it turned out pretty good.  The little girl in the next picture is looking for lice in my companions hair.  She didn’t have lice but it was somewhat common to see mothers doing this to their kids.  The picture makes me laugh because I remember that it felt so good for them to pick through our hair that we would constantly tell them that we thought we had lice.  We knew we didn’t but it felt so good we couldn’t help it.

In the last picture is Nicolasa from a few pictures up.  She progressed so much in her reading in the few months I was there it was insane.  In addition to her regular work from the reading book, she began working on some church assignments as well.  Real simply, the section she was working on had 14 goals that she was supposed to do.  There was an entire list of options and she just had to go through and pick out which ones she wanted to do.  Usually, the girls work on this for something like a year before there is a night that honors the work they’ve been doing.  For different reasons she began working on this project only 2 or 3 months before this big night.  The whole thing may sound relatively easy but you have to keep in mind that she was only just learning how to read and write and the manuals were all in Spanish whish is not her native language.  Plus the terminology in these books were a little advanced even for someone who spoke Spanish fluently.  But she was determined so what happened was this.  She would read the goal or assignment and I would summarize it up for her so she would understand it.  Then we would discuss her thoughts/opinions on it and I would summarize that to a couple of sentences, make sure it was what she was wanting it to say, then I would write it down on a piece of paper.  Then she would copy what I wrote into the book.  After those few months she had completed only 2 of the 14 goals intended.  But she was the only girl in the group to have completed any of it at all.  The program thankfully, had been modified and adjusted to fit the needs of this group and I have never been so proud of anyone in my entire life when she was spotlighted for her achievements and received the medallion or whatever it was that she got.

I really could go on and on and on about this place (and some of you may be thinking I already have) and all the great times and wonderful experiences I had but I’ll stop.  I’ll leave you with a picture of me.  Not because I think I look good, but because my oh so sexy tan line makes me laugh right out loud.

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No Plans but Busy Weekend

I hardly ever have plans for the weekend and this past one was no different.  But where that usually means I spend my time reading, walking, grocery shopping or cleaning, this weekend I actually had a real life!  Friday night I was a sub for a girl on a softball team.  I played with them a few weeks ago and while it was fun then I didn’t really contribute other than being a body on the field.  Which made me feel a little bad because I played softball for 11 years.  I know how to play but was nervous about it.  This past Friday however, I was one of the only girls that not only hit the ball but managed to score a couple of runs for the team.  We still lost 16-11 but on the bright side I did not totally suck.  Yeah me!

Saturday afternoon I went to a friend’s house and hung out.  Nothing real special about that just something to do.  As I was getting ready to leave her place I got a text message inviting me to go to dinner with some people in my complex.  Here was my dilema – I am always saying I want to get to know more people in my complex and expand  my social circle so I feel like I should be inclined to say yes.  However, I had been running/walking that morning and afternoon and needed to shower.  I was 20 from my apartment and they were leaving in 35 min from the time I received the text.  Could I make it?  Should I try?  I sent her a text back saying maybe next time but then drove like mad home to see if I could pull it off.  I got home with 10 min to spare and jumped in the shower.  There was no way I could wash my hair and be ready in 10 min but I figured I could just pile it on my head and get by for the night.  I was actually semi-ready to go in the 10 min. so I called the girl back and was able to meet up with them.  Her text had said “a bunch of us are getting together for dinner” but when everyone showed up, besides myself there were two guys and two girls.  Um, was this supposed to be a double date and I’m now the fifth wheel??  Lovely.  No one was paired off so I don’t think it was an actual double date but talk about awkward.  As we were eating I kept thinking of how I should have stayed home and taken a real shower instead of sitting there as the fifth wheel kind-of grimy.  But no one can say I don’t try and make an effort I guess.

Sunday morning I’m on my way to church when something doesn’t feel right as I’m driving.  I pull over (still in my complex luckily) and wouldn’t you know I have a flat tire.  Awesome.  As I scroll through my tiny roladex in my head, I realize the few people I could call where probably all in church.  So I call a co-worker cringing the whole time because I’m pretty confident he’s working at his other job.  Sure enough, he’s at his other job but says he will be there in about an hour.  His other job is a 30 min. drive from where I live and not only that he was trying to work with some roofers and landscapers at his home and here I call asking for help with my lame tire.  He shows up with his wife and 7 yr. old son and let me just say it was one of the cutest and funniest things I have seen in a while.  His son obviously thinks his dad walks on water and was right there ready to help in any way he could.  I don’t remember what my friend had said but I responded with “Oh I didn’t know that.”  His son turned to me and without any sort of bratiness or attitude of any kind he said, “My dad knows everything.”  It was just a plain and simple fact.  The tire was changed and I got to church with only 15 min. left of the service.  So that was pretty much pointless I guess.

That afternoon I made cookies to bring for my co-worker because the fastest thing I could think of to do for him for his help with the tire.  A couple of friends came over for about an hour and then I was off to dinner at another friend’s house.  It was going alright until they started talking about politics and that’s when I got up and put my dishes in the sink.  I was the odd man out and had complete and total opposite views and opinions from everyone else there.  That and the fact that I don’t like to discuss politics pretty much ever, made it a little awkward.  But the girl hosting the dinner came over and we started talking about photography and have plans to get together next week and work on some photo type stuff and I’m pretty excited about that.  She went to Europe this past summer and took hundreds of pictures and I’m anxious to see them.  I left the dinner and went to a church get together and was taken off guard when one of the girls there made the announcement that I had just had a birthday and suggested everyone sing.  Oh man, I was a little embarrassed but really I loved it.

For not having any plans I had a lot to do these past few days.  And it was awesome!

Catch Up

Get this, I actually had something to do this weekend.  Real plans!  Friday night I got a call from a friend to see if I wanted to go bowling with her and another girl I didn’t know.  I love bowling so of course I was up for it.  You never know how it’s going to be with new people.  Especially when there are only three of you and two of you don’t know each other.  Is someone going to be the third wheel?  Are you going to have enough in common to have a good conversation?  You just never know.  I had no need to speculate because this other girl was totally cool.  Very funny and sarcastic (in a funny not annoying way) and fit right in.  And I kicked their trash all three games.  This really doesn’t say much about my game but just how much their’s sucked.

Saturday I had plans to go to southern Utah and watch a pageant of how the town was founded by the pioneers.  In case you don’t know, people in Utah are pretty serious about their pioneer heritage.  I was a little nervous about this activity because I really only knew one person that was going in the group.  And I must admit that it started kind of rocky for me and I was desperately trying to think of any excuse I could to get out of going and go back home.  We had to divide and take two cars and I ended up in a car with one other person who is definitely not a talker.  Awkward!  I will say the guy I rode with is very nice just extremely shy and it was kind of a challenge to carry on a conversation.  Especially since I’m not usually good with talking to people I don’t know.  But I persisted and though he may have been wanting me to shut up, I continued to pelt him with questions because I didn’t want to ride almost two hours there and back in silence.

Unfortunately the weather was cold and rainy and the pageant was outside on uncomfortable bleachers.  But at the end of the night or rather the next day when I thought about it, I had to laugh.  Taking into account the awkward conversations, the rain, the wind, the semi-bad food, the incredibly cheesy pageant script, it was pretty funny.  And of course this kind of a experience would happen to me my first time out with a new group of people.  But most importantly, I got to meet and hang out with some new people and having new friends is always a good thing.

Sunday I was talking to a friend for quite a while about a situation he was in and he asked me for some advice.  Later that night I was so bothered by the advice I had given I couldn’t fall asleep.  I remember looking at the clock at 12:30 and I must have finally fallen asleep because I woke up at 2:30.  Instantly I remembered the bad advice I gave and couldn’t go back to sleep.  So I got up and started writing out notes on what I should have said to him.  I never did go back to sleep and instead went to work an hour earlier than usual and tried to function on my two hour nap for the day.  Once I got to work I immediately sent him an email with the new advice and for my part, felt much better.  Not that my advice was so vitally important that he was going to follow it, but I still felt like I needed to correct myself.

It turned out to be a day for advice and using me as a sounding board because two other friends I spoke with yesterday had issues and frustrations they were trying to resolve.  I’m glad they trust me enough to confide in me but I also couldn’t help think “you do realize I’m functioning on a two hour night’s sleep right?”  I hope it didn’t show – at least not too much anyway.

Last night there was a church activity that I was not planning on going to.  There’s one every Monday night and I’ve only gone two or three times in the past year.  It’s just not my thing.  I always feel awkward and uncomfortable when I go.  But it was a barbeque so I figured I would go and at least get some free food.  I made some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and was in debate about taking them because the last time I took a dessert there was an entire table full and mine wasn’t really needed.  But I figured they weren’t going to turn it down.  It’s dessert afterall, who’s going to say no to that?  I’m glad I did because someone had brought a package of Chips Ahoy cookies and that was pretty much it.  And you know what?  The activity wasn’t that bad.  Because I had just been with and met a few of them on Saturday at the pageant I didn’t feel uncomfortable being around them last night so I was really glad I went.

That’s my rambling catch up from the past weekend.  Now if I could only catch up on my sleep!