Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I rushed into the office at five after seven, pealed off a layer or three, and joined my coworkers in the conference room. A few minutes later, my boss escorted a black, double-breasted power suit into the room. Chris (my boss) introduced him as "Eric" and said he'd be the host of our "experience", then elaborated further by saying that Eric's company was our newest client. They had engineered a program guaranteed to build group unity. There was only one other program like it in the world. Based in Virgina, it had a two-year waiting list. We were to be the guinea pigs in its sister Salt Lake program. He then handed the proverbial conch shell to Eric the Suit.
Eric introduced himself as having grown up in South Jordan and graduating from the U. After graduation, he was profiled by the FBI and had spent the last ten years working for them as a field agent primarily based in Russia where he had worked undercover with the Russian mafia. He had recently taken a leave of absence as his partner had been shot. Funds from this program would go towards supporting his disabled partner and his partner's family.
Eric then proceeded to tell us that the vast majority of crime in the world stems from mistrust. For example, you can't trust where your money has been. "Seventy percent of paper money has traces of cocaine on it. SEVENTY PERCENT," he said. Therefore, to create unity, trust was the essential element. We would be spending all day and much of the evening participating in activities to build trust. Our experience would include trusting each other as we:
- Ate exotic and possible dangerous foods
- Shot a variety of weapons
- Practiced team formation
- Drove vehicles on a closed course
- Participated in an urban warfare simulation
- Thorougly exhausted ourselves
He then directed us all to a waiting car and told us we would be traveling to west West Valley (the best "ghetto" he could find in the Salt Lake area) to await further instructions. He would meet up with us later.
So into the white van we got (very 24), and drove to a designated parking lot in the warehouse district where we waited for intructions. After about ten minutes, all our cell phones went off at the same time with text messages that read, "Mission compromised! Abort." My boss, Mike, then got a text telling us to check the trunk. In it, we found a large cardboard that read, "TOP SECRET. OPEN ONLY WHEN INSTRUCTED", he didn't wait to be instructed, but tore the lid right off. Inside, there were t-shirts that read, "TEAM BUILDING EXERCISE 2007" and hoodies with our company logo on them (surprise, surprise). There was also a white envelope with our names printed on the outside for each of us. Inside, was $50 and a boarding pass...
... to Long Beach Airport.
"Psyche!" yelled the bosses in unison. "We're really going to Disneyland. Now hurry, get in the car, we're gonna miss our flight!"
We raced to the airport amidst a flurry of questions and answers:
- "Wait, we're really going to Disneyland?" "Yes."
- "Who was that guy then?" "Some guy from my ward."
- "Does he really work for the F.B.I.?" "No."
- "Good. I was really worried about the US Government." "Uh...that's not a question."
- "Do you think there's cocaine on this $50 bill?" "..."
So off to Disneyland we went, one cameraman/women and the rest of us walking three by three in perfect syzygy with our matching shirts. Of course, it rained almost the entire time, so we also wore matching ponchos ): But there were negative percent lines (: Of course, the rain delayed our flight an hour-and-a-half so I got home at 3 a.m. ): But we ate at a fantastic Korean restaurant with a grill right at our table for hand warming (:
Oh yeah, and did I mention we spent the day at DISNEYLAND!?!?!
And wouldn't you know it, we still did everything Eric said we would.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Once upon a time, there was the annual Intrepid golf-a-thon. I got a birdie and a sweet tat for my "skills":
As we were departing from the 9th hole (it was really just a quasi-golf-a-thon), one of my bosses mentioned that our next team "experience" would take place sometime in October or November in Midway. Details would follow.
Several months passed until one Monday morning in our 10 am-sharp staff meeting (it may have been closer to 11, or 12 ... but who's counting?), the bosses requested, nay demanded, that we ensure that the date of November 30th be open from dawn 'til dark (actually it's much longer--6 am to midnight) for the next "experience". They were so serious about the mandatory nature of this "experience" that availability for it was a determining factor in our new hire.
Now, there was a Kaiizen trip that weekend that I am now missing (and I am REALLY sad about it, by the way), but I figured it would probably be worth it, right?
I DON'T KNOW!!!!
They confirmed our booking for this "experience" in September, but they won't tell us ANYTHING about what we're doing or where we're going, only that we're going to be doing it for an INSANELY long time.
And don't think we're taking this lightly. Rumors have been flying around like crazy:
We're flying to Vegas/Wendover
We're going to a sporting event of some sort
We're going to some sort of insane wilderness survival camp
Or worse, we're doing some sort of team-building activity.
Every time the bosses go out, we gather together to postulate, theorize, and otherwise speculate on what we're getting ourselves into (or what the bosses are getting us into--should legal action be necessary in the future . . .)
Our only solid clues are:
Possible location: Midway (from the off-hand remark during quasi-golf-a-thon 2007)
Possible attire: Matching T-shirts and sweatshirts embroidered with the Intrepid logo (from an order I overheard our boss placing last week)
Worst-case scenario: team-building competition with another equally matchy company.
Best-case scenario: Disneyland.
Oh, and I changed my mind. It is always like this in the office . . .
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
6:09 am - alarm rings. (I should get up if I want to shower and straighten my hair. snooze.)
6:18 am - alarm rings. (I can always wear my hair curly today. snooze)
6:27 am - alarm rings. (If I slick it back in a bun, I can do hot curlers tomorrow. snooze.)
6:36 am - alarm rings. (It's winter. No one will see my legs. I don't need to shave. snooze.)
6:45 am - alarm rings. (Sticking my head under the tap is just as good as a shower. snooze.)
6:54 am - alarm rings. (A spray bottle and some bobby pins will do the trick. snooze.)
7:03 am - alarm rings. (Forget the spray bottle. Wild curls are in. snooze.)
7:12 am - alarm rings. (Well, if I'm not going to bother doing my hair, I might as well get in a few more winks. snooze.)
7:21 am - alarm rings. (Okay, okay. I'm up, I'm up. snooze.)
7:30 am - alarm rings. (Crap.)
Monday, October 22, 2007
i tried to update my blog with a new post, new links, and a new look, but my old blog got jealous and started acting like a one-year-old instead of the almost three-year-old he actually is. i have to get back to work, so he's gonna just sit here until he starts acting his age.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Jobs I’ve Had:
1. Co-owner, Corner Candy Store (:
2. Administrative Assistant, Independent Conference Management
3. Technical Writer, BYU OIT Communications and Training
4. Editor, The Intrepid Group
Places I’ve Lived:
1. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
2. Harefield, England
3. Orem, Utah
4. Salt Lake City, Utah (coming December 2008)
Foods I Love:
1. Grapefruit gelato from Maestro’s
2. Cadbury Twirl bars
3. Green apples
Websites I Visit:
4. email sites
Places I’d Rather Be:
1. Wide Awake
2. Love Actually, edited (actually, pretty much any British movie with Hugh Grant)
3. Almost all Jane Austen adaptations
4. X-men (I, II, III)
10 Things About Me:
1. I hate, hate, HATE peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It’s been more than ten years since I had one. I don’t know why they’re so vile, they just are. I’d rather eat snails, frog legs, chocolate-covered grasshoppers, or haggis. In fact, there was one family vacation where I did just that.
2. Air Supply is my not-so-secret-not-even-a-little-bit-guilty pleasure. In fact, I adore the entire era of the power ballad. I wish it would come back like the rest of the 80s. This would be convenient as I would have the best cassette tape collection around and would never have to do my hair in the morning.
3. I talk, laugh, argue, sing, walk, clean (i.e. shove everything in my closet), lock myself out of the house, and break things in my sleep. When I was younger, my mom put a lock on the outside of my bedroom door to keep me from killing myself or someone else. When I got my driver’s license there was much stressing.
4. I collect boxes and ribbons. I put things in the boxes and the ribbons make me feel better about the perma-ponytail.
5. I have some strange quirks: If I’m in the car, the doors are locked; if I’m not, neither are the doors. (I’m getting better about this now that I work in scary SLC.) I organize my empty hangers by size, then color. I don’t care how messy my room is; there won’t be a single thing under my bed. This holds true even if I “clean” my room in my sleep (see #3).
6. I am totally, utterly, and completely addicted to The Office. This is convenient as I now work in The Office. No really, I do. Curious? Just ask.
7. I can objectively analyze my recent moods through various electronic means. For example, my recently played iTunes list lets me know if I’ve got down or gone country, my facebook statii tell me what Meagan is doing these days. The most reliable source, however, is my cell phone. My cell phone has predictive text, but it also has a sweet short-term memory that keeps track of how often I pick a certain set of characters over another and “bumps” the more popular combination to the default. If “5-5” brings up “jk”, I know I’ve been sarcastic a lot lately, which usually means I’ve also been dissatisfied. But if “5-5” brings up “kj”, I know I’ve only been talking about happy things like Disneyland and PETA demonstrations gone awry. This means only good things. Happiness and sadness are also measured by “1-1”, which will bring up either “):” or “(:” However, no matter how many tentative plans, hypothetical situations, or if/then statements I concoct (and believe me, there are many), combination “4-3” ALWAYS brings up “he”. I refuse to analyze this.
8. And per the emoticons mentioned above. Yes, my smiley face is backwards. I never noticed this tendency until someone pointed it out to me. Now I consciously type it “wrong” every time. (: (: (: (: (:
9. My home page is set to Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information. This is convenient as I am also an ADD English major and thus feel the need to research the random thoughts and questions that pop into my head. I may or may not use the recent searches feature when documenting how I spent my day on my timesheet . . .
10. I like spring mornings, fall afternoons, summer evenings, and winter nights. I wish every day was like this. I also wish chocolate had no calories.
Oh, and p.s. I tag Adriane. I think everyone else has already been tagged. If you haven't, consider it done.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
1. I was just as annoyingly hormone-crazed as 99% of all teenagers.
2. I haven't had a sense of style since about 1997.
Monday, August 13, 2007
This is my last week of working here at IT (which I don't want to talk about right now), and part of my to-do list is to clean out my computer. Due to a crazy night, I had a crazy morning this morning (which I don't want to talk about right now) and I forgot my flash drive. I considered emailing everything to myself, but email hates me today (which I don't want to talk about right now).
I was about to give up when I had an epiphany (inspired in part by a recent blog from Jessie, and in part by the annoying buzzing sound coming from my speakers that bears an uncanny resemblance to that car repair short by Brian Regan): Blog! Blog! Blog!
Not only is it the perfect place to store things, but I realize I have some real gems here.
So, F.Y.E. (and my convenience), Good times and good memories (which I do want to talk about right now) :
(These most definitely are Big Ben in January, Milton's sundial, Trafalgar fountain, Whitechapel, Ambleside sunset, and Ambleside daffodils -- all of which I post unapologetically)
So, now that I've got that taken care of, I guess technology and I are back on (though I would leave him in a second for a cottage among the daffodils in Ambleside).
Friday, August 10, 2007
I promise to do better.
And in honor of that promise, here is a blog for purely informational purposes:
On Friday, August 17th, 2007, I will officially graduate from BYU.
On Saturday, August 18th, 2007, I will catch the tail-end of our ward camp out at Yuba Lake (anyone is welcome to join me).
On Sunday, August 19th, 2007, I will go to church.
On Monday, August 20th, 2007, I will start my new job.*
Life comes at you fast, huh?
*For informational purposes, I will be working for The Intrepid Group, a PR firm based in SLC. I will be in charge of writing and editing press releases, designing and producing ads and other promotional materials, and doing a lot of video editing. Plus other duties as assigned. I will be commuting from Orem until December or so, then I plan on moving up to SLC, so if you know anyone who'll be needing a roommate/know the good places to live, PLEASE drop me a line (:
**And also for the record, I am SUPER-excited (:
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
- change a tire (car, bicycle, tricycle, you name it)
- balance a checkbook (not that there was much to balance)
- speak french (horribly-mutated, below-average french)
- cook myself food (if kraft mac-and-cheese can be called food)
- vote republican (at least that's what I told my father)
in other words, i was a woman of the world. strong. independent.
able to take care of myself.
these days, i can:
- call AAA
- unbalance a checkbook
- speak spanish
- order out
- vote however i want to
in other words, i still am a woman of the world. strong. independent.
able to take care of myself.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I would like to point out at this time that although it is an alleged statement, it is nevertheless true.
I would like to further assert that while the above alleged statement may or may not be slightly sadistic in nature, it also illustrates my hidden philosophical depths, as illustrated below:
"It is not funny that anything else should fall down; only that a man should fall down. Why do we laugh? Because it is a gravely religious matter: it is the Fall of Man. Only man can be absurd: for only man can be dignified." -G. K. Chesterton
Just think about it.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
It’s a pretty unremarkable house, but it’s my very own. In fact, I’m the only one that lives there.
For a long time, I’ve worked on my house. I’ve sanded and I’ve swept. I’ve painted and I’ve polished. I’ve dusted and I’ve decorated. It’s nowhere near perfect, but I’ve reached a point where I feel comfortable throwing out the welcome mat.
And then the visitors start coming. I let them in despite the fact that maybe the basement isn’t finished, or my room’s not cleaned, or there are dishes in the sink.
But it doesn’t seem to matter. They don’t care about a few crumbs, or the occasional dent in the wall. They just appreciate all the work I’ve done. They make themselves comfortable. It’s gratifying, having someone appreciate my house, having someone to show things to, and to talk about things with.
But sometimes, after I’ve showed them pretty much everything worth seeing, my guests start talking about other houses they’ve visited. Then they start comparing my house to these other houses. Sometimes, they even start looking out my windows to the other houses on my street. Newer, nicer, more interesting houses.
I don’t want my guests to be unhappy, so I start making sure my house is extra nice. I wake up earlier and earlier to clean up for them, and stay up later and later entertaining them.
But it’s hard making sure everything is perfect. And there are a lot of projects I’ve put on hold since my guests arrived. And there are other guests I want to invite. And there are other houses I want to visit.
But I can’t say anything, because they are guests; and you don’t make houseguests help you with your house.
Because my house is not their home.
And there is a big difference between “mi casa es su casa” and “welcome home.”
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
So basically I've been waiting to play this song for a million years.
Only about two lines are applicable to me, but until they write a song about Meagan, this will have to do:
Let That Be Enough
Wish I had what I needed
To be on my own
'Cause I feel so defeated
And I'm feeling alone
And it all seem so helpless
And I have no plans
I'm a plane in the sunset
With nowhere to land
And I all I see
it could never make me happy
and my sand castles spend their time collapsing
Let me know that you hear me
Let me know your touch
Let me know that you love me
Let that be enough
It's my birthday tomorrow
No one here could know
I was born this Thursday
22 years ago
And I feel stuck watching history repeating
Yeah who am I just a kid who knows he's needy.
Let me know that you hear me
Let me know your touch
Let me know that you love me
Let that be enough
Monday, April 16, 2007
English 495 Final Class (as presented in an email from my prof):
OK, so here is the latest on our final schedule. I was reminded that I promised Trent Hickman several months ago that I would cover for him in administering his 293 final while he goes to some academic conference/tourist junket. Along with my own 293, this puts me at 6 hours and counting in the bowels of the JFSB this Saturday. To avoid any more time in that eternal semi-twilight world, I propose the following.
Instead of Saturday breakfast, we do Tuesday lunch (that’s tomorrow). You bring your presentations and I will bring the Pizza and Apple Beer (or Root Beer for the more orthodox among us). Final papers will be due Saturday via email by 5:00 p.m.--thus prolonging your agony by an extra 8 hours or so should you choose to avail yourself of that time.
Hope this is amenable to all.
English Language 350 Final Class (as presented in story form by my prof):
As you go out into the "Real World", Be Willing To:
1. Learn And Do New Things
2. Do More Than Is Required
3. Express Your Opinion Honestly And With Charity
4. Accept Criticism
5. Work Well With Others
6. Give Credit To Others
7. Give Of Your Talents Freely
8. Ask For Help Rather Than Faking It
9. Be Trustworthy And To Keep Confidences
10. Be A Worthy Vessel So You Can Have The Lord's Help
yep. i'm pretty much jealous of myself right now (:
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Or when you buy M&Ms from the vending machine and get 3 packets for 60 cents?
Yeah...that doesn't happen to me. Things like THIS do:
Yesterday, I got an email from my great aunt that she sent out on our family listserv. She was reminding us to write in to the quarterly newsletter by Friday because she was putting it together and only had a few responses.
I got the same email SEVENTEEN TIMES. No, I am not exaggerating.
The first three or four times I chalked it up to multiple mouse clicks and a dial-up connection.
Times five through nine I figured she had some short-term memory loss and was stuck in some sort of Ground Hog Dayesque repetitive pattern.
By the time thirteen came around, I was guilted into actually WRITING something, which I sent in between times fifteen and sixteen.
After that it just got annoying.
I got a text from a friend in the BYU Orchestra reminding me about an upcoming performance. When I texted back for the price, she responded, "FREE!"
SEVEN TIMES. No, I am not exaggerating.
Sometimes technology is more trouble than it's worth.
And I didn't even win the Mexican Lottery today ):
Monday, March 26, 2007
His brother is, and I quote, "Cute enough, but a little...odd."
Despite my excitement at the possibility of going out with such a catch, I'm not exactly a fan of blind dates, so I politely declined despite numerous attempts to get me to change my mind.
I ran into Aaron today on campus and he again asked me if he could give my number to his brother.
I said no.
He said please.
I said no.
He said pretty please.
I said no.
He said, "With my brother's luck, you'll probably be dating someone by the time he calls you."
I gave him my number.
But before you judge, just remember that it wasn't me who said, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."
Let's just hope that applies to fried eggs as well...
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
No, my professors aren't slowly killing my soul.
No, I'm not depressed.
No, I'm not being bullied for my milk money.
The truth is I'm sick.
I have this rare, degenerative disease that causes me to emotionally regress. The disease has advanced so rapidly of late that I have been reduced to the mentality of a three-year-old. I am having an increasingly hard time counting past "one"; double digits are now laughably out of reach.
You see, it was this exact time last year that I was steeped to my eyebrows in English culture--both refined and not-so-refined. Now I am in Provo, and the mundane aspects of life like trudging around campus hefting a load of editing books that weigh more than an abnormally large baby, or spending half my paycheck on gas, or vacuuming are suddenly so much sadder than they used to be.
This tragic truth is literally underscored in semi-permanent ink in my 2006 journal/planner:
While my 2007 self was cleaning out the garage so the cars could fit, my 2006 self was cleaning out the Cadbury machines on the platform at Charing Cross.
While my 2007 self was programming eacademy, my 2007 self was studying the program while sitting front-row at Les Miserables.
While my 2007 self was reading about the Oxford Comma, my 2006 self was walking the streets of Oxford.
While my 2007 self was fruitlessly battling a never-ending pile of laundry, my 2006 self was fruitlessly battling a never-ending pile of laundry using BioSoap.
Apparently "masochistic" is a word prospective employers generally tend to frown upon when asking prospective employees to describe themselves in three adjectives or less, so the planner had to go.
But I still found myself constantly thinking about England. Something had to be done. Taking into account my cognitive reversal, I decided to try a game called, "Count how many minutes you can not think of England." It went something like this:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 11. ??? Oh, 1611. The year the King James Bible was commissioned. Also the door code to the London Centre. London... Oh blast!
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Elevensies. Like from Lord of the Kings. Written By J. R. R. Tolkien. Member of the Inklings who lived and taught at Oxford... Oh blast!
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Symbolizes perfection. An important element of sacred space. Found in cathedrals such as the famous one in Canterbury... Oh blast!
1, 2, 3, 4. Tea time. Yum. I love tea. Especially blackcurrant. And scones. Especially the ones they had in Ambleside... Oh blast!
So, yeah. It was basically a fantastic failure. Until last night.
Last night I was at school for waaay too long. As a result, campus was virtually deserted as I hurried towards the Marriott Center parking lot. It was bitterly cold, and the snow blew across the tarmac in great gusts. If there was any noise, it was drowned out by the howling of the wind. Despite the fact that I couldn't feel my nose, my ears, or my toes, but could definitely feel my right elbow, I stopped for a moment. It was so peaceful; there seemed to be nobody else on earth. I was the only one. It was a moment of profound inner-reflection:
1. One against the wind. Alone in the elements. (Wo)man against nature. Like Ernest Shackleton. (Ha! For once my stream of consciousness didn't flow into Lake Wintermere, Loch Ness, the Serpentine, or the Thames! Excellent progress. Continue.) Ernest Shackleton. Famous explorer who traversed deepest Antarctica after his ship was crushed by massive icebergs. Later in life implicated with his brother in a famous jewel heist. Jewels never recovered. Popular myth asserts that they are hidden somewhere in the walls of his house. The house was purchased by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1960. Was extensively remodeled and currently serves as housing for BYU's study abroad programs based in London...Oh blast!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Er...yeah, me neither...
Anyway, I'm just trying to illustrate that frustrating things happen, but it's important to just laugh it off.
Because that's a lot less painful than blowing a gasket.
Especially when you discover that you read the room number wrong because you forgot to put in your contacts...
So here are a couple of absurd moments from yesterday that I share for your general amusement:
1. Elang 350. Elang 350 is a class on copyediting. It's full of editors. In other words, Type A central. So yesterday we were exploring the fascinating world of correct comma placement by working our way through a worksheet at an excruciatingly slow pace. We finally came to the last sentence which read as follows:
Monday, January 08, 2007
It took a fabulous hour of online shopping and a divine sample sale at Office Max to do that.
There's nothing like a 55.74% discounted Chicago with a pink and blue argyle spandex cover to bring out the homework-doer in me...
Well, that and the matching knee-socks (: