Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Happenings

Brian and I have been busy lately.  I'm still working five days a week at Zales, including weekends, and my only days off are Tuesday and Thursday when I attend my three classes at Utah Valley University.  Brian has had an extremely heavy workload the last few weeks at Culinary Crafts, going in really early and working 12-hour shifts.  On top of that he's taking four classes at UVU (two on campus and two online) and barely finds time to do the coursework.  Heck, we barely have time to give each other a goodbye kiss before we part ways!

But here are some things we have managed to do this month that weren't school/work-related:
  • We attended a doggy birthday party!  Brian's sister Jenny's dog Lou celebrated his birthday on the first.  Since Brian's a pastry chef, we thought some pastry-shaped rawhide treats would be a good gift for the canine.
  • That same night we drove up to Layton to celebrate my (human) cousin Tanissa's birthday.  It was at the Fahrenheit Lounge and it was fun... even if we had to skive off early to drive all the way home.
  • Brian wanted to try out a duck recipe so he invited Stephen and Lexi over as guinea pigs.  The food was delicious and the conversation was great.  We even had Shirley Temples!
  • My coworker Tara invited us out to party at The Madison in downtown Provo the following weekend and we had a blast!  I got to see one of my old coworkers, Riley, and then Brian and I ran into our friends Karrie and Ana on the dance floor!  It was great to see them!
  • I officially became a Utahn this month!  Woohoo!  Or should I say "boohoo"?  I'm not sure if I'm happy about that or not...  Anyway, my Colorado driver's license finally expired on me so I got myself a Utah one.  My buddy Wes was kind enough to accompany me to the DMV and we had so much fun we just decided to hang out all day.  Brett came over later and we played Wii Super Mario and ordered pizza.  Oh, I should also mention I look dead sexy in my driver's license photo, but no surprise there.
  • Glee started this week, which you know I love, and I've also become hooked on The New Normal.  Such a great new show!
  • As far as wedding planning goes, Brian and I have purchased the plane tickets to New York City and reserved the hotel room.  We've also set the date for our reception (November 16), booked the venue (Rock Canyon Room), hired a band (Van Lady Love), registered for gifts and ordered the invitations.  Brian's mom and I even went on a little shopping excursion for decorations.  Things are progressing smoothly!
  • My dad turned 50 this month!  He's so old!
  • My friends Curt and Lamar invited me to their monthly Gay Poker Night.  I've got the gay part down but boy do I suck at poker.  I had a couple of good hands, but ultimately I went down in flames... no pun intended.
  • Brian's sister Courtney turned 17 on the 27th and we celebrated with a family dinner at the Kesler house.  Then my little sister Renee turned 19 the next day, but unfortunately she lives too far away to visit.
  • My friend Michelle (and yes, we're friends again) had her birthday the day after that and Wes and I went to her birthday dinner at Red Robin and then the midnight showing of Looper, which was pretty dang cool!
  • The birthdays continued with our friend Nichole who threw a shindig at her new home in Lehi (which she shares with her girlfriend Emily) and Brian, Mineh and I drove up together to celebrate.  We played some new games, met some new people and had so much fun we ended up staying the night.  Slumber party!
So that was the month of September.  Let's see what October has in store!

Monday, September 17, 2012

School is Super Needy

I realize that I haven't posted hardly anything this month and I'd just like to say that it's all School's fault.  I'm really sorry to say it, but School is just a serious time hog.  I'm always like, "Hey, School, I know you want to like hang out with me every minute of every day, but sometimes I just wanna like go and spend time with some of my other friends, ya know?  Are you like feeling me?"

You probably noticed that I say the word "like" a lot when I'm talking to School.  That's partly because I watched Clueless the other day and partly because School acts like a teenage girl: super needy.  You're probably thinking that School can't really be that demanding of my time if I was able to watch a 90s chick flick, but the whole time School just kept nagging me saying, "Don't watch that movie, come read some American literature with me.  I sure love Booker T. Washington."  Or, "Hey, it's not Alicia Silverstone time.  It's MY time!  Like, you should totally be over here writing papers with me about Kafka's The Trial and not 'rolling with the homies' in some white jeep!"

As if!

So while I'm trying to move on with my life and go to work or play some Wii Super Mario or drop it like it's hot on The Madison's dance floor, School is constantly getting in my way.  I can't even plan my own freaking wedding because School is jealous!  Yes, I said it.  Jealous.  School is jealous that I can possibly love someone else over her, so she fills up my days with constant homework and constant reading and constant writing.  I just can't take it anymore!  I need my space!  Doesn't she understand?  I think we need to go on a break; start seeing other people...

Anyway, I'd blog some more but School is calling.  Surprise, surprise.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


My mother had decided to repaint the bathroom in navy blue, unintentionally intensifying the claustrophobic feel as if the windowless room wasn’t tight and dark enough.  The blue walls matched the American flag shower curtain so the color choice made sense in that regard.  Some visitor upon leaving our bathroom had once commented, “I like the bathroom.  It’s very…um… patriotic.”

I hummed “Yankee Doodle” subconsciously as I brushed my teeth, being careful around the braces.  I was fifteen and pimply, with my carefully shellacked hair and Tommy Hilfiger shirt.  I wasn’t exactly popular but I wasn’t unpopular either.  I was likable, if not truly cool.

“… stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni.”

Damn bathroom, filling my head with silly songs of nationalism.

My little sister Renee came into the bathroom and I yelled at her to leave.  I was only brushing my teeth and the door wasn’t shut or anything, but I still wanted her to leave me alone.  She wouldn’t, of course, so I think I might have pushed her.  I can’t remember.  I do remember shouting, “I’m going to kill you!”  I went back to my toothbrushing.

I hated getting ready for school.  The district I lived in was a little unorthodox, with the school week running from Tuesday to Friday.  We had three-day weekends, but paid for them with longer school days.  So the dreaded Monday for me was actually Tuesday.  I hated Tuesdays and that day was definitely a Tuesday.

Minty foam was dripping out the corner of my mouth when I heard my stepdad exclaim, “Oh my gosh!” in complete surprise.

He liked to watch the news while he was getting ready.  He had a little box of a television in the room he and my mom shared.  The door to the bathroom and the door to their room were at a perfect right angle in the hallway.  All I had to do was lean my head out, toothbrush hanging out of my mouth, and I could see the TV too.  It sat on a rolling cart in the corner near their closet.  The image was a little fuzzy.

That’s when I saw the news footage of a plane crashing into a building.  My knowledge of New York buildings was limited.  Even buildings as seemingly important as the World Trade Center were unfamiliar to me.  My stepdad was a history teacher though, and as he stood there with his chili pepper tie half tied, gawking blankly as the shot was replayed again and again, he understood what this meant:  history was being made.

“You know what this is, don’t you?”

“No,” I said.  I spit into the sink and stood by him in the room.  We both stared at the screen.  My mom was coming down the hall.  My siblings were laughing at the kitchen table.

“This is a terrorist attack.  We’re probably going to go to war.”

A second plane struck.  The Twin Towers collapsed before my very eyes on that small blurry screen.

Suddenly it wasn’t just the bathroom that seemed small and cramped.  The walls of the bedroom closed in on me, the lights dimmed, I felt small and stupid and scared.  Everything seemed painted in red, white and blue.  Red for the blood of innocent people, the whites of their eyes growing wider as they screamed out in terror, the blue of the smoke in the sky, billowing lazily upward as if nothing truly shocking had happened.  As if somebody hadn’t said “I am going to kill you” and meant it.

It happened on a Tuesday.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Key Coincidence

I locked my apartment door, shoved my keys into my pocket, and ran down the stairs and out onto the street, texting, Facebooking, Instagraming, and tweeting all the while.  Waiting at the second bus stop of my morning commute, my normal smartphone activities were interrupted with the strangest thing of all:  a phone call.  Sometimes I forget that our phones can actually do that.

"Hey, Jack.  It's me, Tara.  I'm going to be late for work.  I've been running around trying to find my keys... and anyway, I've got the spare now so I'm on my way."

"That's fine," I said.  "See you when you get there."

I arrived at the mall and sat myself down on the bench in front of Zales, where I work.  My phone continued to entertain me, this time it was an ebook of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and Damned.  Gloria had just murmured "Good-by, you ass" to the poor lovestruck Anthony when the oddly paranoid thought struck me:  Where are my keys?

I set the phone down and felt my pockets.  All of them.  Even my back pockets where I would surely never put keys.  Nothing.  Were they in my socks?  In my paper lunch sack?  They had to be somewhere!

"I'm here," said Tara from behind me, her voice obviously grumpy.  "Today already sucks."

"You had to use your spare car key to get here, right?" I asked her.


"So you wouldn't by chance have a spare work key too?"  I laughed uneasily.

"No.  Why?  You don't have your keys either?"

I shook my head in the negative and recounted the same dull tale you have just read.  What an odd coincidence that we would both misplace our keys on the same morning!  Luckily another coworker of ours, Mineh, was able to come to the store and let us in with her own set of keys.  She laughed at us all the while and insisted that we owed her something big.  Like ice cream.  We willingly agreed to her demands.

The worst part of this whole story is that when I called the Utah Transit Authority to see if my keys had been found on one of their buses, the answer wasn't a very good one.

"Our drivers check for lost items at the end of the day.  You'll have to wait until the next business day to call us or perhaps I can help you locate the bus and you can search for yourself."

"Well, seeing as I'd need to take a bus to find the bus, I'm not sure that'll work.  Besides I have work now.  And I took two different bus routes..."

"I'm sorry, sir.  You'll have to call back on our next business day.  Which is Tuesday."

Tuesday?  Why Tuesday?  Then it dawned on me.  Today was Friday, they are closed on weekends, and the upcoming Monday happens to be Labor Day.  Go figure I'd lose my keys right before a three-day weekend.

"Awesome," I said.  "Just awesome."  I was not feeling awesome.  I ended the call and set to work hastily getting the store ready for opening.

"I think you're right, Tara," I said to my coworker.  "Today already sucks."


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