The world is your oyster!: August 2010        
 
                 
     
       

These are a few of my favorite things:

summertime
pina-colada flavored italian ice
ribbons
sisters
i.n.s.t.a.n.t...o.a.t.m.e.a.l.
dance parties
pearls
flamingos
America
missionaries
s.u.n.g.l.a.s.s.e.s.
playgrounds
dressing up
love :)
     
       

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My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Monday, August 30, 2010

So Long Sweet Summer

My mom said that when she put Kelly on the bus for her first day of kindergarten, they both cried. As soon as Kelly was on the bus, the busdriver snapped the doors shut and my mom got in her car to follow the bus all the way to Forest Ridge Elementary School, a whole five minutes down the road.

I don't remember much about my first day of kindergarten, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't that traumatic. Once she got off the bus and met Mrs. Robinson, Kelly had a lovely experience in kindergarten, so I don't think I was as nervous as she had been. I've always liked being the second child.

But no matter where you are in the lineup of kids in your family, I think everyone experiences a little bit of nervousness before their first day of school, and I don't think that it ever really goes away.

Today I had my sixteenth first day of school. Here's how it felt to be me this morning:


I love BYU, love being on campus, and (so far) love my classes, but I was still a little less than thrilled when my alarm went off at 7:29 this morning. (Caitlin was probably even less thrilled than me, since she woke up to it and I didn't hear it until 7:52. Sorryy...) I've just loved summer so much and I don't think I was quite ready for it to end. Ohhhh well!

Here were the main things that were making me nervous about my first day:

1. Getting lost. I've always been kind of directionally challenged. I realize this is my third year at BYU and I should know where all the buildings are. Does that mean I do? Not necessarily. Luckily, I was able to get to all of my classes on time today.

2. Sleeping in. I slept through church three times this summer. This is especially embarrassing when you consider that my ward met from 10:00-1:00 and I slept through all three meetings every time. So I was a little nervous that I would sleep in and be late to my first class of the semester. Thankfully, that didn't happen!

3. Ummm yeah that's it.

I had three classes today: Mission prep at 9, Basic Concepts of Math at 10, and Rhythm and Dance at 2. Apparently I am not used to being in school at all because by the time ten minutes of my first class had gone by, I felt a little more like this:


I was ready for my day to be over. Looking over syllabus after syllabus is just so draining.

This is going to be my most challenging semester yet. I am signed up for 14 credits and will be working two jobs, giving ten hours a week each to the Writing Center and Coldstone. I am also going to be the M.O.H. at Kelly and Dahl's wedding in November so I'm kind of going to be planning a wedding while pursuing my education and working two jobs. I'm also going to be forced to have a social life because I'm living with Caitlin and she will probably hate me and move out if I never take time to play. Can you say stressful??

The good news is that I am an elementary ed major. This is good news because it's kind of like repeating elementary school at super-speed, only you're older and recess is a little different and each lesson has a side lesson that teaches you how to teach the lesson later. Also, almost all of the teachers in the department have been elementary school teachers, and old habits die hard. They are all very bubbly and welcoming and patient. We get treats and candy in our classes probably more than any other major.

Today, in my math class, we talked about the difference between addition and subtraction. My homework was a worksheet with about ten math problems.

In my rhythm and dance class, we learned an easy dance to Row, Row, Row Your Boat. We also marched around holding hands in a circle, then split off and made a snake. We just marched to the beat of "Save the Last Dance" by Michael Buble. It was wonderful!

There is entirely too many people who decided to come back to BYU campus. I want to send half of them home. I miss summertime!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Like a MAN.

I've never been the happiest camper. In fact, here is a picture that pretty accurately describes my feelings for camping:


I mean, I went to Girl's Camp every year from the time I was 12 until I was 17, and I always enjoyed myself. But let's be honest, I was sleeping on an air mattress in a cabin (with electricity for the last two years), and there were showers, real toilets, and a pool just up the hill. All this was enough to balance out the horror of all that.....nature with all it's bugs and meteorological mood swings. Besides which, I was with my friends, and there were no boys around, so I always ended up looking forward to it rather than dreading it.

However, some people don't consider this real camping. Don't ask me why. I wasn't sleeping in a real bed, and the bathroom was in a different building, so I think it counts. Well, haters, I went "real" camping yesterday. With a tent and a campfire and no pillow. In the wilderness.

The idea to go camping came up last week, and suddenly, Sunday arrived and I was packing an overnight bag and sleeping over at Jackie and Winnie's apartment. No boys were invited. It was just me, Jackie, Winnie, Suiha, and Ashlyn. Five girls. And we decided that, with no boys around, we would have to man up. This would be no ordinary camping trip. It would be a mancamping trip. We woke up on Monday, chose our destination, and went to the grocery store to get food for tinfoil dinners and snacks. The total came to almost $100, and as we were checking out, the lady ringing us up asked us how long we were camping for. "Oh.....just a day."

Getting all the food into the back of Jackie's car proved to be a feat in and of itself.

Rather than making our dinners at the campsite, where they might get dirt in them, we headed over to Coldstone and got to work, slicing potatoes, dicing onions, cutting up hamburger, and mincing carrots. We put everything together and covered it with canned cream of mushroom soup, all sorts of spices, some cheese, and a few tiny pieces of avocado.


The people actually working at Coldstone seemed a little confused that the back table was being taken over but professional chefs. They might have been further confused if they ever noticed that a ladle and cake pan went missing about the time that we left, but whatevs, I'm oves.

We went camping up AF canyon, where there was a nice little campsite all ready for us. We set up our tent on a nice hard slab of asphalt in a surprisingly short amount of time. We splashed through a raging river next to our campsite. We quietly shook our heads at the motor home set up next to us....some people just don't know what real camping is. Everything we did, we did like men. So far, this was easier than anyone had expected!


I guess we decided to put our tent up on the asphalt because we didn't want to accidentally set it up on any rocks or sticks. We wanted to be as comfortable as possible when we finally went to bed.

Our next task was to get the fire going. After a few minutes of gathering sticks and breaking logs with our bare hands, we arranged some of the wood in a tepee shape and sprayed it with lighter fluid. I think we may have used two matches and about twenty seconds to start the fire. So easy! Why do men think they have it hard? Everything was just falling into place for us when we were so much as thinking like men.

Tinfoil dinners are supposed to be cooked on very hot coals, but we were so excited to eat our miraculous dinners and on such a powerful high on account of nothing going wrong for us that we let the fire die quickly and then threw our tinfoil dinners over the barely heated coals. Before long, we decided that hunger trumped safety and we were ready to eat our partially cooked meals. They actually turned out quite delicious, if a little crunchy.


While waiting for night to fall, we played cards, read about animal safety, climbed up a mountain, scooted through a cool tunnel we found, and bought some more firewood.

Once it started getting dark, we went into our castle of a tent to get ready for our fire dance. We went in looking like nice, innocent girls, and emerged looking like primitive warriors. We had our hair done crazily and our faces painted with charcoal eyes shadow, aka war paint. We danced around the fire, blew flames from makeshift torches, and grunted in a very manly fashion.




When we were able to calm down from the fire dance, we sat around the fire and talked for a little bit before retiring back to our tent for bedtime. "What a great trip this has been!" I thought as I put on my leg warmers. "This is so fun!" I thought, unzipping my sleeping bag. "I love camping!"

Thunk. All of a sudden, my whole entire body was uncomfortable. I shifted around. I laid on my stomach, then my back, and then my sides. I did everything but stand on my head and could not get comfortable. I slowly began to remember why camping is, at most, a once-a-year event for me.

But, like a man, I made it through the night. I not only survived, but I also made it home in one piece and was able to clean my apartment, do laundry, and go to work.

Best camping trip ever? I think so :)

Some of my favorite quotes from this trip:

"Oh, thattt's why we brought Ashlyn!" (she pays the camping fee) "Okay, you can get out now."

"I don't fit in my Powder-Puff sleeping bag anymore! I think this was made for little girls...."
"Hmmm, what gave it away?"

"Tonight is going to be a great night!"

"No guys, you breathe it in. Just....here look. You breathe in - " (breath in.) COUGH COUGH COUGH! "Oh, that's how you do it Winnie?"

"We built this with our own bare hands!"

"Don't be jealous of our tent."

"You do realize that whatever food we don't eat, we're going to have to store in jackie's car. And that's going to smell greattt in the morning...." "Eat it ALLLL!"

"Okay, I'm full." "You're finishing your meal or you're not leaving this table!"

"Now I'm starting to get full." "Yeah, me too." "Ooookayyy, so when I say I'm full, everyone attacks me about how I have to eat more, and now everyone else is full and suddenly it's okay?" "Yeah well, we ate twice as much as you had when you said you were full."

"At the crime scene, lol."

"We're gonna sleep sooooo good tonight!"

"Heather, time to wake up....." "Ok good, cuz this is really really hard and I am not comfortable!"

"You look like a girly version of Ronald McDonald...."

"99 bottles of beer on the wall...." "No, we're not singing that." "How about five? You can start with just five bottles"

"Do you think that woman's hair is real?"

"She probably stores it all in her boobs."

"Who built this beautiful tent?? It looks awesome! I bet it was a bunch of men...."

"Do you guys take checks? Hahahahaha" "I love how we think we're so funny.....do you guys take checks......like how is that funny?"

"Will Ferrell, fart."

"Guys no one is allowed to be on their period because it'll attract bears and they'll eat us!"

"If you see a bear, do not make eye contact. Bears perceive eye contact as aggressive behavior. Throw sticks and rocks and make a lot of noise. Be aggressive!" .....Well which is it, are we supposed to be aggressive or not?

"Like a MAN"

"Be careful because that toilet like might suck you in. No I'm serious. Like I'm not kidding. If you go in the bathroom and put a piece of toilet paper on the edge of the toilet, just watch, it'll like sit there and blow a little, and then it'll just get sucked in. So be careful!" "Ok, if I don't come back, I guess you know what happened."


Friday, August 13, 2010

Here's What I Hate:

Campaigners.

I don't mean baby-kissing politicians who are campaigning for office. I don't mean peppy tweens armed with posters and cutesie catchphrases running for the elite position of student body president. I'm talking about campaigners in the workplace. Have you ever heard of them? Maybe not, but I would be willing to bet you know one or two. Depending on how much your life sucks, you might actually know three, or four, or ten. Whether you work in an office, a retail store in the mall, or an ice-cream parlor, you will, at one point or another, be forced to work alongside a campaigner.

"Campaigners" have also been called any number of the following names:

-suck-up
-kiss-butt
-teacher's pet
-goody two-shoes
-annoying pieces of crap.

On TV, we love them. They provide endless entertainment for us as they trip over themselves, trying to impress their boss, teacher, or the head cheerleader. Here are some of my favorite TV campaigners:


Dwight, from "The Office." As the assistant to the president, he is always trying to think of ways to climb the corporate ladder, improve his sales record, or get back at Jim Halpert. Click here for a video clip of Dwight preparing to ask for a raise.


Marc, from "Ugly Betty." Marc is one of my all-time favorite characters from any TV show ever. He is very eccentric and snaps out the snarkiest lines every time he opens his flamboyantly gay mouth. His sass and wit are only barely stifled by Wilhelmina, the stop-at-nothing schemer he works for. Click here for a video of Marc, (kind of) kowtowing to Wilhemina even while she is in the hospital.

But these people are fictional, and I don't have to work with them. That is the only reason that I think they are actually funny. I guess all I'm trying to say is, a new campaigner came into my life a few days ago. I'm pretty sure I was happier a few days ago, before that happened.

Here are some telltale signs that you are working with a campaigner:

1. They try to boss you.

Feelings you will probably experience immediately:
a. confusion. "WHAT? Who are you?"
b. indignation. "Why are you trying to boss me - me? I know what I'm doing!"
c. defensiveness. "I've worked here longer than you have! You have no right to boss me!"
d. anger. "If he tries to boss me again, I'm going to konk him on the head with a spade."

Possible Solutions:

a. Ignore their bossing. Remember when you were little, and someone at school, or in your family would try and tell you what to do? What did you say in those situations? I don't know about you, but I can remember a few times that I defiantly replied, "You're not the boss of me!" Remember this. The campaigner is not the boss of you either. You don't have to say it out loud, but there is no need to quietly take their bossing, either. You don't have to leave a riveting conversation with your fabulous sister and her awesome boyfriend just because there are five people in line and the campaigner yells "Heather! We need help." In a very serious and bossy tone. They're not the boss of you!

b. Boss them back. Establishing dominance is important. It is hardly effective when everyone acts like the boss in a work setting, but a little bit of this can help put the campaigner back in his place.

c. Konk them on the head with a spade.

2. They act defensive or snotty when you offer direction or ask them the same question twice.
Feelings you will probably experience immediately:
a. confusion. "What did I do to you? Is it such a big deal for you to just repeat yourself once?"
b. defensiveness. "I am being nice! I didn't say that meanly. You can be nice too!"
c. anger. "If he snaps at me again, I'm going to konk him on the head with a spade."

Possible Solutions:

a. Ask them to repeat themselves every time they say anything. Eventually they will get too frustrated to ever talk to you or they will begin to think that they are, in fact, the problem.

b. Never give them direction. Let them end up looking stupid for someone else who wants to set them straight. It's not your job and you really don't have to deal with it.

c. Konk them on the head with a spade.

3. They give pep talks to you and the rest of the crew.
Feelings you will probably experience immediately:
a. annoyance. "Wow, you're annoying. Just do your job."
b. claustrophobia. "Get me out! I don't want to be in this building with this weirdo!"
c. repulsion. "Don't touch me. I don't want to high-five you. Get that hand out of my face."
d. anger. "If he tries to encourage me again, I'm going to konk him on the head with a spade."

Possible Solutions:

a. Walk away every time they start to open their mouth, because they are probably about to give a pep talk.

b. Do a weird high five, like "kissing starfish" or "slug" or "race car." They will be alarmed and probably won't try to high-five you again.

c. Sing louder when they start to make an annoying encouraging comment. Just sing sing sing. If they tell you (bossily) to stop singing, act offended and ask if they think your singing is ugly.

Other characteristics of campaigners that don't necessarily affect you, but will help confirm your diagnosis of a campaigner:

1. They don't want to get anything wrong.
2. They think very highly of themselves.
3. Their mother brings them their dinner every night.
4. They think it's okay to pat your on your sunburned back.
5. They don't have heart-to-heart bonding time with you like all the other people you work with do.
6. They freak out about little glitches that happen on the register.
7. They also feel comfortable bossing the manager.
8. They make the same joke every time you work together about how their mom told them they should wear their Mickey Mouse ears to work, but they forgot to. HILARIOUS! .......Oh wait. You didn't think that was funny? Neither does an-y-one else,
9. They are most likely going to get pranked by Coldstoners in the very very near future and should probably live in fear.


Today, after work, I went over to Crystal's apartment to complain to her about the new campaigner I have recently become acquainted with. She said it was the first time she had ever heard me said the word "piss." Super-sorry. I usually try to be more ladylike, but that's how I felt!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Somebody to Love

Last night, Kelly and I went to Dahl's house for Sunday dinner. After dinner, I was sitting on the couch, waiting for Kelly and Dahl to be ready to go, and I randomly decided to look through the videos on my phone. One in particular made me really nostalgic about my family. Apparently, I forgot how hilarious dinnertime in the Connor home can be!

I will try to put up the video, if I can figure out how. Until then, I will just have to describe it to the best of my ability.

The video starts in the middle of an impressive rendition of Queen's "Somebody to Love" being sung, chipmunk style, at the dinner table. Nicole, the clear ringleader, is sitting at one end of the table, singing so loudly that the possibility of popping a blood vessel in her neck is not such a far-fetched one. The camera then moves to Julie, whose eyes are squeezed shut in the passion of the song. Next we see Joseph, who apparently was not an active participant in the performance until he realized that he couldn't beat the others, so he would have to join them. He seems to have realized this only a moment after I turned to record him, and springs into life, throwing his arms up and opening his mouth wide to begin singing.

Kelly and I were visiting from college and hadn't remembered dinner being such a spectacular display of talent before we left. This whole thing seemed insane to us, but we were enjoying it.

Our parents, on the other hand, were acting as if all this was slightly normal for dinnertime. When I turned to look at them, my mom was calmly checking her phone, pieces of a balled-up napkin stuck inconspicuously in her ears. My dear father was a little more bothered by the scene, and was shoveling food in his mouth as quickly as he could, probably so that he could finish his dinner and leave the train wreck that was his dinner table. However, I noticed that he, too, had pieces of a napkin sticking out of his ears. The poor man.

Sometimes, Dad will get mad at the dinner table when the kids start singing, and acting crazy, but other times, I think he just doesn't have the energy to fight it. When he does come head-to-head with the insanity, he has a few sentences that almost always find their way into the conversation. This is not a comprehensive list, but I think it's a good start:

1. "I can honestly say that this never happened at my dinner table when I was a kid!" My dad grew up in a home with two brothers and no sisters. He will sometimes add something about how, if he had ever started singing at the dinner table, either Glenn or Tracy (his brothers) would have hit him right there for being so weird.

2. "Hey - Joseph! Now I mean it. You knock it off." Out of all the kids in our family, Joseph is probably the one who gets in the biggest trouble for singing at the dinner table. This isn't because he does it the most, or the loudest, or because he is always the one who starts it, or even because he is the least favorite. My dad actually thinks very highly of Joseph. His main problem with Joseph joining in is that he wants Joseph to be as manly as possible....after all, he is the long-awaited boy that finally came to our family after four little girls. Dad doesn't see singing at the dinner table as a particularly manly thing to do.

3. "All I want, what I reallyy want, is for you to act like you've got the common sense God gave to a gopher!" This one has all sorts of variations that never fail to entertain whoever they are being directed at. For instance, "You guys act like you have the brains of half a chicken to share between the three of you."

4. "I don't hear singing. All I hear is a bunch of screeching and it sounds like 'Dad, we hate you, LEAVE!' " Of course, no one really said those (totally hurtful) words, but Dad hates when we sing at the table so much that I guess it feels like that to him.

5. "Why don't we have a discussion. A nice, normal discussion. Did you guys hear about [fill in the blank]." My dad will usually try to distract the choir from their singing by mentioning something that he finds interesting, be it a recent event in the news, or a missionary opportunity he had, or a fun fact he just learned. These conversations might get off the ground, but they will be invariably derailed when someone hears a phrase or word that also happens to be in a song. They will begin to sing, and the rest of the family will enthusiastically join in.

If anyone has a suggestion for what my dad should try next time, I'm sure he would appreciate it, since clearly the situation has spiraled a little bit out of his control.

UPDATE! Click here for the video :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Trilingual Triple Threat

Last weekend was a very productive one for me. I am trying to make the most of my summer, and I know I won't have as much free time when school starts up again. I am compiling a list here of things I want to have done before the summer is over:

1. Learn French. I just signed up to start getting the French word of the day in my email. So far I know how to say, "My mailbox is always empty; no one ever writes me!" and "Chestntuts are surrounded by a stinging envelope called husk." I'm pretty excited about it.

2. Learn Spanish. I also signed up for the Spanish word of the day. This one is harder to get excited about, since I took 3 years of Spanish in high school, but I think Spanish might be more useful than French. In America, at least. Once I learn both Spanish and French, I will be trilingual, which is where the title for this post came from.

3. Ride more motorcycles. I had a goal to ride every color of motorcycle by the end of the summer and I've only ridden two....a red one and a yellow one. So if you know anyone with a green, blue, purple, or neutral-colored motorcycle (i.e., white, black, or silver) and an extra helmet for a nice blonde girl, let me know!

4. Join a book club. There are actually two I want to join....one in Winnie's ward and one in my own ward. Both are led and attended by cute boys. Oh, also, I like reading. And being intellectual, etc.

5. Go dancing with my girl friends :) We are doing this tomorrow and I'm so excited! I haven't gone dancing in a really long time and it's making me a little sad.

6. Learn tennis. I've kind of wanted to know how to play tennis since I was in high school, since they just get to wear those cute little white skirts and tennis shoes and visors, and it's such good exercise, and you can get a tan while you're doing it, and you're athletic, and you can play it with other ladies when you get older and your kids are in school or whatever. Plus they have really cute tennis rackets available, with pink handles and such. Chelsea played tennis in high school and she is going to teach me how to play once she recovers from her apparently life-threatening illness.

7. Earn more money. I'm poor.

8. Get rid of my tanlines. I know, I know. I wrote a post earlier about how much I lovvve tanlines. But I have some ridiculous ones from laying out in short shorts instead of in a real live swimsuit, from the beginning of the summer. They are embarrassing. I need to get rid of them.

So that is my list of summertime goals! If you have any more suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My OTHER Famous People Pants

I talked in an earlier post about a pair of pants that I own, a pair of pants that have been with me when I saw Taylor Swift in concert, saw Donny Osmond in person, and shook hands with Michael Birkeland. In this post, I am going to talk about another pair of famous people pants I have that are cool for a different reason: they used to belong to a famous person, and she gave them to me personally.

Last semester, I was called to be an FHE mom in my ward. I loved my calling. Besides my apartment, there was only one other apartment of girls in our family, and Lindsey Stirling lived there. She taught Sunday School in our ward and she was so entertaining and funny that I went to her class every opportunity I got.

One night after FHE, she asked me what size pants I wear. I told her, and she said she had a pair of pants that she had grown out of that she thought would probably fit me. I was thrilled! I love new clothes, and I was happy to get a new pair of jeans.


Lindsey is a hiphop violinist, meaning that she plays the violin while dancing to hiphop music. She told us earlier in the year that she had been asked to audition for America's Got Talent, but she wasn't allowed to tell us if she had made it or not. I found out that she had a few weeks ago, when I saw her picture on the front page of the Daily Universe. I was ecstatic that she had made it on the show!

Earlier tonight, I watched Lindsey's live performance (on TV). It was so exciting! She is exactly the same on stage, in front of millions of people, as she is in person. This time, she danced and played along to "Break Your Heart" by Taio Cruz and "Tik Tok" by Kesha. Everything about her is so completely Lindsey, from her funky hairstyle to her genuine smile to her stripey stockings. She was an absolute delight to watch as she strutted and hopped all over the stage.

Personally, I called in and voted for her at least ten times. (I lost track, so it was probably more like fifteen....but I wanted to make sure I used all my votes!) I hope that everyone else in America did the same. Tomorrow, I will be watching the results show, wearing my other Famous People Pants and keeping my fingers crossed. Yay Lindsey!