20 February 2007

Markworthy Events of January and February 2007

January was a crazy month. February is one, too. Here are some merkwurdig (markworthy) things that happened (not in any special order, obviously):

-We finished the training manuals. (!) A newer version will be released eventually. Ha.

-I did performance appraisals with Wil, three of which had negative parts that were not easy to say. One led to an employee deciding she didn’t want to improve, she’d rather quit, which she did. I know she will be happier. I have worked so hard to get her to be more satisfied at work, but it was a constant popularity contest with two-faced, roller-coaster reactions. She is talented and will go far if she can mature a little. Unfortunately, she has had a bad effect on several others. They all blame me.

-The shower drain clogged, causing me to take record-short showers, allowing me to have time to eat breakfast. When I scraped away the hair in the drain and had time for longer showers, I almost regretted it.

-President Monson jammed with me on the piano. He came to the rest home and told stories about his mother and the piano. He said she had always wanted him to go further in piano, but he had only gotten through “Teaching Little Fingers to Play.” I was familiar with the book, so I nodded from my spot at the piano, and he asked me if I knew a song from it. I didn’t, so he sat down and played it. I think it had three notes in it, and he sung to it too. He told the old folks that he never minded sitting next to a pretty young woman. Then he got back up and said he wasn’t sure what the point of the story was, “I guess to always obey your parents.” I laughed at that, because he was talking to people whose parents were long gone. He had a lot of other good stories, like the time a lady at another rest home had yelled out, “I’m cold!” One of the priests at the sacrament table had given her his suit jacket and apologized to President Monson later for not being appropriately dressed. President Monson said, “I don’t think I’ve seen a more appropriate use of the priesthood than you demonstrated.”

-I have been more and more amazed whenever I realize that things are not set in stone—they can change. I like that. I think the Lord realizes that I like that and He allows me to initiate changes—such as the training manual. No one would have thought that you could make new study guides. Heaven forbid! However, heaven did not forbid, and they have been a blessing to training.

-I had a gigantic meeting with the missionary training coordinator, the zone leader, and Wil. It bugged me so much that they wanted to all four meet. So much of it was not needed by the other two. They just kept bypassing me and making me feel like they were ignoring my role. I asked if I could please conduct and make the agenda. Wil allowed it, and the meeting went really well. The biggest part was going over things that needed to be changed in the training manual. It looks like there will be a whole new edition shortly. I’m adding a lot of pictures to make it more visual. Since the meeting, things have been going better. I think they the coordinator is not as hesitant to tell me things.

-Visiting Amy and Paul in California was quite a highlight. It depressed me to come back.

-I thought of a guy I would like to go to the institute comedy night with. As I walked down the stairs from my class to find him, I heard my name being called. I finally realized it was this guy from my class who was above me in the stairwell. I waited for him to catch up and knew it wasn’t a good sign that he remembered my name. I remarked on that fact, and he said, “That’s cause you left an impression on me.” Oh boy. He then proceeded to ask if I had a date for the comedy night. Caught off guard, I ended up going with him. To shorten the painful experience, let me just say that the whole thing was awkward, he embarrassed me, and I was very rude to show my lack of interest. However, he has called me two to four times a week since then. I practically had to break up with him on the phone. He asked why I wasn’t interested. I said I didn’t feel any sparks. He asked what my meaning of sparks was. Then he asked that I not close the door so fast and he told me two things about me that made him like me. In disbelief, I listened to him describe two things I had done during the date to show that I was not interested: I had refused to sit in the love sacks, and I had told him that cars were a waste of money and bad on the environment (after he showed me one he had printed out for me to buy—it looked exactly like his but it had racing stripes on the side. Yech!). He leaves really weird messages, including apologizing about his sister-in-law who used to be his girlfriend and who is on the brink of committing suicide (I might too if I had a brother-in-law like that). I am so rude! I apologize to all those who have read about this poor, poor boy. I go to institute late and I leave early to avoid hardships, but last week, after I refused to go sit by him, he passed me a note with some printouts of environmentally-friendly cars.

-I listened to The Fray for a week straight and succeeded in breaking two CD players while shifting books.

-I set a goal to finish my shelf taping by my birthday. I have set the record of fifteen sections in one day (while not getting much else done, but delegating as possible). Unfortunately, one of those days I discovered I had done nine sections of someone else’s. Shelf taping is hard work. My muscles ache and my back is sore. My hands are raw and I have hangnails in most of my fingers now. However, I have it down to a science (it used to take about an hour per section, I have it down to twenty minutes at top speed).

-I had three dates in one week. One won’t work out as it would be ward incest. The movie we went to was awesome, though: Stranger Than Fiction was superb! I want to look up all the references in there. The other was well-planned out with several activities, but he was touchier than I felt comfortable with (he hugged me when I walked out to meet him) and I didn’t feel much of a connection. The third seemed to be completely successful, but the second date didn’t turn out too well, we were both bored with the other person’s idea of something more interesting. (We went to a barn dance. I can’t learn dance steps quickly. At all. One guy had to keep grabbing my arm and saying, “Over here!” Then when the normal music came on, I wanted to groove, but my date didn’t. I saw a kid who I knew from somewhere and realized later who he might be. I cannot find his email address, although I would love to talk to him.

-I got a new assistant coach: Cheyenne. She is the wife of an NBA Jazz player. She is energetic and happy and she has good tips for everyone. I am quite enjoying having her, especially since she is happy to make some calls and do the driving.

-I watched the Wrights and the Paulsens, and drove the Steiners home from where the bus drops them off after school (in a Lexus that was quite enjoyable to drive). Some of the adventures from these experiences: I hurt my back from trying to drag an unhappy, uncooperative nine-year-old upstairs, I stopped about twenty phone calls to the parents, I called the parents to let them know that somehow the windshield had cracked only to find out that it was already cracked, I saw the most well-behaved side of the Paulsens that I have ever seen, and I learned that you can make a new dinner every night and not have a single one of them be enjoyed.

-I went with Heidi to this organ thing for kids (put on by the Salt Lake chapter of the American Guild of Organists). We got to play the St. Mark’s Cathedral organ, the Cathedral of the Madeline organ, and the Presbyterian First organ. My favorite was at the Cathedral of the Madeline. Wowee! I pulled out the strongest stops and blasted some really awesome hymns. I even got one girl’s number to look into organ lessons. Where would I practice, though? The coolest thing about the whole experience was that I finally gained an understanding of organs. I always just experimented and got by. Now I can tell you which settings will be better for a soft sound, which manuals are which, etc.!!!!!!! I already have experimented on the organ at church by using all three trompette settings on the great and the pedal stops, giving a powerful sound that surprised everyone in the chapel after the closing prayer.

-I succeeded in finding my lost temple recommend, then promptly losing it again.

-I also lost my library card (“Do you want a new one?” “No, then I’ll have to learn a new number and I like that number.” My oddities are never-ending. I would be annoyed if I were not the patron), a $100 bill, and my and Jeff’s tax forms from the bank, even though I completely cleaned out my room and re-arranged it.

-My eyes constantly hurt and are sore. I worried at first that I would go blind from effects of LASIK. I also realized it is worse when I use my blackberry too much.

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