May 31, 2010

And so it begins . . .

Well, it's Memorial Day. I was thinking about this today--can you wish someone a happy memorial day when it's about remembering the dead? Just a thought.

EFY started today! For those of you who don't know what exactly this means for BYU students, let me 'splain. Just picture hundreds of 14-18 year olds. Now, think about those teens having about two hours off everyday and what that means for student employees at places like, say, the Creamery on Ninth. Yeah. It's fun.

So after work today, I decided to come home and watch some Angel and Buffy episodes while eating pizza. Holiday means no class, which means lazy Whitney. Oh yeah!

So, you all have a great holiday!

May 19, 2010

The Helpless is Calling . . .

. . . so where is Angel and his team of paranormal experts? 'Cuz I've got a nasty Cold Demon that is slowly killing me with a scratchy throat, itchy ears, stuffed nose, and racking coughs.

So, um, Angel, you think you can vanquish this thing for me? The sooner, the better.


May 12, 2010

Book Review

So my beautiful friend Hilary sometimes puts on reviews of books, movies, restaurants, etc. on her blog. I thought I'd try it out with a book I just finished reading literally five minutes ago.

First a little back story. For the editing class I'm taking this spring we had to pick five (adult) novels to read, each from a different genre. This is to take us out of our comfort zone (mine being young adult fiction) so that we can understand better what is out there and what the expectations are for certain genres. My teacher assures me that it will help with my editing. The first novel I read was Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson (and Gabrielle Charbonnet). It was fine, a quick read, nothing that real excited big emotions in me either way and therefore not worth a whole review.

It is the second novel that I think deserves a review. Jamie Ford's Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet follows the life of Henry Lee, going back and forth between 1986 and 1942 in Seattle. Henry was a Chinese boy during the War and become friends with a Japanese girl before her family was shipped off to an internment camp. 40 years later, his wife has died and his son is engaged. As he learns to live without his wife, his past comes back to him in the form of the Panama Hotel in what used to be Nihonmachi (Japantown). The old hotel had been boarded up for 40 years, and when it was bought and reopened the belongings of 40 or so Japanese families are found in the basement.

When I first started reading, I had a really hard time getting into the narrative. I don't usually read things like it and therefore I think my unfamiliarity made it difficult for me to enjoy it. But when I finished, I knew that the ending made it worth it. As I trudged through Henry's hardships both as a child in the war years and an adult dealing with the loss of his wife, I actually began to feel like I understood Henry. I'm not Chinese, I didn't grow up during a terrible war, I haven't ever lost someone I loved, but Ford helped me understand how that would feel. It's a hard journey to learn to let the past back into your life--to come to terms with an oppressive parent, a lost childhood friend, and all the mistakes you made. This book did excite emotions in me--I was on the verge of tears by the end, tears of sadness and happiness (I know, you're thinking that it doesn't take much for me to cry, but it's still a mark of good writing).

I don't know if you'll want to read it, maybe it won't take as long for you to get into it as I did. Maybe it just took so long because of the pacing of my life right now. But I think that you'll be changed a little if you read it.

May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Congratulations to all those moms out there--you made it this far!

Happy Mother's Day!

May 4, 2010

Latvian Independence Day

Today is the day that Latvia regained its independence from Soviet occupation in 1990. My roommate and I celebrated it, because we. are. LATVIA! (Long story involving a mug, a stop sign, and a wall.)

We went to the mall. She treated me to Zupa's for lunch. I'd never been there before, but the "samich" I got was very yummy.

Tonight something very exciting happened! Are you ready for this? We ordered a . . . pizza! Okay, so that doesn't sound super exciting but we got it delivered! Like, a guy in a Papa John's shirt and hat came up to our door and said my name. And guess what I got to say when I handed him the money? Go on, guess.

"Keep the change."


I've always wanted to say that!

Then we watched Dr. Who while we ate our pizza.

Oh yeah. It was a pretty great Latvian Independence Day.

May 2, 2010

April Showers bring May . . . Showers?

I have to admit that I have been very proud of myself this week. It was the first week of Spring term, and I started a class and a new schedule at work.

Before this week started I made myself a "permanent to do list" for Spring. On this list are things that I need to do everyday, things to do every MWF and TTh, things to do on Sunday, and things that are "extra" activities--for when I finish the to do's for that day. Monday and Tuesday I did really good with it, and then I started work and my class.

This term is a little different because I've never worked before class before, but it's fine. I've been able to eat lunch with a friend that works at the creamery after my shift and before my class and it's fun to talk with her about whatever. So on Wednesday everything was going along just dandy and then I went to my class.

I hate the first day of a class. The professor hands out the syllabus and tells you everything that you need to get done in the next seven weeks and you start freaking out because it just doesn't seem that there are enough hours in the day! So I went home, looked at my permanent to do list, and sighed. I wouldn't be able to do those things.

Thursday, everything seemed clearer (except the sky, which was decidedly more cloudy). I got up at 7:30 and by nine I was working on my first paper. I finished the first draft around 10:30, was able to watch an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (my two new favorite old shows), ate lunch and then went to Barnes and Noble to spend 3 hours there for an assignment.

Just so you know, I think it is impossible to spend 3 hours at a bookstore and not buy something.

After I came home I was able to finish my Thursday to do list by practicing the piano and packing up my lunch for Friday. I was feeling better about how this semester would go.

Friday I went to work again, went to class, read the best sentence of my life (from a published novel): "Her body, clothed in a black silk suit, was like a perfectly sculpted ornament on the sea of leather." If you didn't laugh at that, you have no soul. Then I came home, wrote, entered a story of mine into a contest, and went back to work. Yay for working on Friday night. Not. But it wasn't too bad.

Yesterday I slept in until 10. I can't remember the last time I slept in that late. It felt SO good. My roomie and I made breakfast together and then we went shopping! I didn't buy anything (okay I bought some soap at Bath and Body Works, but it was on sale!), but we had lotsa fun. But it was after I ate lunch that my week took a little turn for the dark side of the hill. I forgot my phone was in my back pocket. It's little, it's hard to remember. Well, it fell in the toilet. Again. Except this time, the indicator dot turned that dreaded color of pink. I hurried and took it all apart and stuck it in rice (everyone has told me that it works . . . we'll see). I feel very disconnected from the world. What if someone tries to call me and it's important? Not that people usually call me, but still. And then, what if my (very 'spensive) phone doesn't work? I just need it to somewhat work until October, is that too much to ask? I don't think so. If not, I found a phone on ebay that will work. Le sigh.

And then later that I night I spilled cereal all over the floor! Fail.

Anyway, I'm hoping that Sunday will be better and that I will continue to complete everything on my to do list throughout the spring!