Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sell sell sell!

I feel for salesmen. Seriously. Because I can't sell anything.

I remember being in elementary school and, once a year, going to giant school fundraiser assemblies where us young and impressionable "youth of tomorrow" were presented with slide shows about selling wrapping paper, tubs of cookie dough, magazine subscriptions, or something equally innocuous. These fundraiser assemblies were filled with laser shows, music, repeat-after-me style audience participation, and guys in their thirties shouting things like, "BUT WAIT! If you sell twenty FIVE tubs of cookie dough, you will be sent a NEON BLUE INFLATABLE ARMCHAIR!" The myriads of prizes would be announced and flashed on a projector screen. And I was positively SINGED by the fire of competition. Yes, I truly have marched around my childhood neighborhood, knocking doors, trying to sell those very things-- to suburban people, who make their own cookie dough, already own wrapping paper, and buy magazines when they want them. I also remember breaking down and crying one night because I didn't get 75 magazine subscriptions sold, and I would be one of the only people I knew who DIDN'T get that grand prize-- a limousine ride to lunch at Carl's Jr. Yes, all this is real.

And don't even get me STARTED on my Girl Scout Cookie days.

Unfortunately, I can't sell. Anything. I couldn't sell a pepperoni pizza to a Ninja Turtle. I bet Donatello would just look at me sadly, shake his head, and walk away.

I did however earn that inflatable armchair. It had a hole in it. And much like that armchair, my salesman (saleswoman?)-ship has always remained very much... deflated.

Today, a very kind salesman wandered into the office.

I politely listened as he tried to sell me on his company's services. I felt bad for him, because the only answers I could give him were "Yes, I can take your card, but unfortunately we already have a vendor for that right now." The situation was not improved by the fact that a particularly large something was sticking out of his nose, and made a grand exit when he was mid-sentence.

I just wanted to give him a pat on the back (out of encouragement, and also because it's out of range of his schnoz) and say, "Hey, man. I'm sorry this pitch just isn't going your way. But hey, you tried, and I bet you were the type of kid who got to ride in a limo to Carl's. Props."

I took his business card.

Better luck next time, guy. I feel your pain.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Life at Stanford

A Typical Email:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Top 10

1) Last week I bought champagne for the very first time. I was doing a coworker a favor in picking it up. My coworker said before I left that it may not be the BEST idea to send the Mormon to get the booze, but I think I did a pretty good job picking it out. The label looked fancy and the price seemed ridiculous, so that has to be a signal for good champagne, am I right?

2) I love it when there are special articles or stories on the internet about people’s weight loss. I’m obsessed with reading through big “before and after” transformations. Today I was reading through some I found on, and I had to ask myself, why it is that the “before” picture always looks so much older than the “after” picture? Observe.

(Obviously, the before picture is on the right) I know, right? Why is the Ms. Before 20 years older than Ms. After?

3) I love that Google always knows what I’m trying to say before I say it. I was thinking to myself today: Wouldn’t it be cool to generate your own electricity with a stationary bike or treadmill? I think that would be the coolest way to watch TV. You have to keep pedaling or you won’t know how “Lost” turns out. Or your smoothie won’t be blended completely. And bonus: instead of paying for that electricity, your TV watching/smoothie blending capabilities are FREE. So naturally, I searched for it on Google, only I didn’t know quite how to phrase it. Luckily for me, all I had to type was “Stationary bike that” and look what popped up.

Love it.

By the way, this search led me to an article about a man in San Jose who bikes for 45 minutes a day on a stationary bike in his garage. Last year, this guy pedaled $150 worth of electricity back into the grid and charged his own batteries. Google, I love how you read my mind. You’re almost as good as Harry.

4) Last week we saw “Wicked” at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco with some Law School peeps. This was my first time seeing it/hearing the music. Ten high fives (which makes… fifty highs?) go out to my husband for seeing it with me even though he’s not exactly what we females might call a “musical buff.” I loved it. It lived up to all of my expectations except that Kristen Chenowyth and Idina Menzel (upon whom I have girl crushes) were not on stage. And bonus: we somehow eluded all city traffic and got free parking across the street from the theater. Don’t ask me how it happened. I really don’t know.

5) The time has come for new glasses and a haircut. This may be because I need to disguise myself in my efforts to elude the IRS, or because I’ve had the same glasses since high school and am getting headaches and my hair hasn’t seen a pair of shears since February.

6) Have you ever been at work and started an impromptu taking-photo-of-yourself-making-various-expressions-with-your-cell-phone-and-sending-them-to-your-responsible-and-orderly-older-sister session and run off to the bathroom to take various pictures of your various facial expressions in an ill-lit bathroom stall and sending them while trying not to dissolve in hysterical laughter when you see the faces she sends you? I did today. Good times.

7) Have you ever considered… (cue ashamed small font) not going to a Relief Society activity you just found out about so you can sneak off to see Robin Hood with your main loving man because you didn’t get to see it last weekend and Thursday is the only free night you can see it? I’ve considered it.

8) My brother comes home in T minus 23 days. And I can’t help but wonder what will happen when I see him. Will I burst into uncontrollable tears because of HOW MUCH I missed him? Will I pass out with disbelief at how shriveled his once-Rugby-Water-Polo machine self is? Perhaps jump up and down and shout wildly and cause security to escort me off the premises because of my suspicious behavior? I’m certainly curious, aren’t you?

9) We ate the most scrumptulescent tacos I’ve ever laid taste buds on. They were at a place called Super Taqueria in San Jose. The awesome woman/sister-from-another-mother I serve in the Nursery with on Sundays and her amazingly good looking fam took us down there after a ward bake-off (at which our coma-inducing blueberry pie sold for 25 bones in the silent auction. Boo yah!) last weekend. Totally worth the 25 minute drive it takes to get there. We were the only gringos there and this place was packed to the brim with people. The last time I had a taco that legit was on a remote beach off the coast of Puerto Vallarta on our honeymoon, where residents of the local fishing village had cooked us a fantastic lunch over an open flame grill. I’m pretty sure the tacos are still clinging to my upper thighs. Worth every bite.

10) I love having 7 seasons of "Lost" to watch at my leisure. We started the series over (Harry hadn't ever gotten into it, I'd only seen 1.5 seasons). I'm starting to prefer it to watching movies. Last night, Jack pulled a freaking arrow out of some guy's shoulder before Sayid interrogated him. That's intense. Happy Wednesday to all, and to all a good night watching "Lost."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thanks, Universe.

Don’t you love those wacky little coincidences where unexpected things work in your favor? Observe:

1) I just went to my work Outlook calendar to create a birthday reminder for myself with a pretty picture on it, and realized that I already did that a few months ago. My brain knows me too well.
2) Today I was eating celery with laughing cow cheese, and the factoid inside the laughing cow cheese wrapper said, “You burn more calories digesting celery than it contains.” I wanted to give myself a high five.
3) I came home from work yesterday and sitting on the counter was the exact book I was needing to get from the library. Harry had thought ahead and surprised me with it (can I really give the universe credit for that one though?).

And yesterday afternoon, I received another ladle full of “Destiny du Jour” into my proverbial soup bowl of providence.

I was denied from the Speech Pathology graduate program I had been so eager and excited to apply for.

Obligatory background: I graduated a year ago from BYU, engaged to the best looking man in the western hemisphere (I’ve never ventured into that eastern hemisphere, so I have to allow for the miniscule chance that there may have been someone slightly better, while fully believing there isn't). We’d spent our school year up to that point applying for schools in the same locations, hoping for 2 acceptance letters from the same region of the country. I got one acceptance, one “wait-list,” and four denials. Harry got almost all acceptances, except from two schools. The let down was that my one acceptance came from a place where Harry wasn't admitted. Southern Connecticut University said yes to me, Yale had told Harry in a high pitched nasally voice, “We already have too many smart people. Please shoo.”

It didn’t matter in the end, because Stanford was where we knew we were meant to be. So many things had fallen into place for us to be here, and we were excited to come. And so far, it’s been dreamy and delicious in every particular.

This year, I decided to apply yet again for one local school that had turned me down last year. Months ago I drove down in the middle of a work day to the campus, met with the Dean of the program, personally handed in my hard copies of my application, and tried to demonstrate all the facets of my personality in one 15 minute appointment and two firm and enthusiastic handshakes.

Alas, it’s now many moons after I began this whole process, and yesterday I received the fateful email. Out of 400 applicants, they took 38 students. Come fall, I officially have no books to purchase/tuition to pay/parking permit to buy (cue sad face).

I should be bawling into a pillow, at least a little embarrassed, considering how many people I told about this application and for the previously high level of my hopes. But, I don’t think I’m in the mood to beat myself up or feel like a failure right now. I don’t have the energy. I have a husband who is the MAN and makes my life exciting and intriguing, a brother coming home and an ensuing get-together with my fabulous family, a job that pays me money so that we can do fun things, friends who make me giggle even from too many miles away, and a million things I can be doing/learning to do in order to make myself more interesting.

Harry told me that now I've crossed "Speech Pathology" off the list of things I'm going to do with life.

(cue playing of Coldplay’s “Everything’s Not Lost,” with steadily increasing volume)

So, world, you’re my freakin oyster. On to the next pursuit. Be it a sewing project or a dissertation on world peace, I’m jumping in headfirst.

And hey, undergrad wasn’t a total waste. At the very least, I’ll still be able to write in the phonetic alphabet.

ɵɛɧks, ‘junIvɚs.