The world is your oyster!: November 2010        

These are a few of my favorite things:

pina-colada flavored italian ice
dance parties
dressing up
love :)


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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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Life Be Like......

Here is my life right now:

Every morning, I wake up in a panic, wondering if I am late. If I am, I panic for a few minutes and then calm down. I consider how much my grade is going to go down for missing class again. If I am not late, I catch the bus ten minutes after waking up and get to campus every day by 9, either for class or for work.

During class, I write letters to missionaries and revise my to-do lists. Except in Brother Bott's class, in which I pay very close attention to the lesson. Also, in my dance class, where we skip around the room and make twisted shapes with our bodies.

During work, I bond with the other tutors who I work with. On Thursday, we make crafts for Craft Corner Thursday and eat yummy snacks, usually muffins that Teresa makes from scratch. I tutor people and fill out goldenrods and sometimes, when there's no one there, I do homework. Otherwise, we have very deep and intense conversations.

I eat lunch with Kelly every day. Usually Winnie also eats with us, and sometimes Kelsey, Christine, and Jackie join us. I try to get all my homework done on campus. I like working in the LRC the best, because I can listen to music in there. As I walk from class to class, I feel seriously annoyed by how cold it is. 12* is unacceptable. I count the days left until I am in Florida. I feel sad and a little excited.

After all my homework and classes, I take the bus home. I hang out with my roommates and eat and watch TV and do more homework. Or, cut out more paper snowflakes. I stress because I still haven't sold my contract. I update the news board. My roommates and I laugh at ourselves. We think about how we should work out. We go to the creamery. We check the mail. We eat more food. We look up some workout video that shows how the Victoria's Secret models get ready for their big fashion show. We consider doing it. I practice juggling the soccer ball. I catch up on my TV shows. I stress about how much I have to do! I make a to do list and calm down. I go to bed and stress about how I will probably not wake up in time for class or work.

Pretty soon, my life is going to change a lot. In a few weeks, finals will be over and I will be flying in a plane back to Maryland. I will play with my family for almost a month. Then, I will fly in another plane down to sunny Florida. I will meet up with Jackie and Christine at the airport. We will take the shuttle down to Disney World, where we will check in. We will get our apartments assigned to us, get our costumes, and start training for our jobs.

I will spend four months in Florida, soaking up the sun, trying to get my tan back, working as a fairy godmother-in-training at the Bibbity-Bobbity-Boutique and playing all the time, all day, whenever I'm not working. I will live by a beach and go there whenever I want. I will make new friends and learn to call another place home. I will laugh really hard and I will take tons of pictures and I will have tons of cool experiences and I will do crazy things and I will love my new life and I will miss Provo like crazy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving with the Pooles

I'd like to call this, "Arizona Turkey."

Once upon a time, there was a depressed family called the Pooles living in Pennsylvania. It was nice that they lived so close to the Connors, because that meant that they got to spend every Thanksgiving together. This year was no exception.

The Connors planned to leave at 4:33 am on Wednesday, but as was tradition, they did not leave until 5:21 pm. They were just too busy trying to run, moon their teachers, and pack the police officers in Coco that it was difficult to get out the door. However, they were finally able to get on the road.

As can be expected around a holiday, traffic was fat! In Dad's car, they passed the time by listening to music from the sphincter checker and waving at hookers in Hummers. In Mom's car, everyone enjoyed (or ignored) an iridescent reading of Pride and Prejudice by Nicole. They may or may not have been treated to a surprise visit from Ecoli Imishi, who left everyone's pinkies prancing.

When they got to Aunt Carol's house, the first order of business was to go and watch "Tangled," a gaseous new Disney movie about a princess, poison sumac, a ghastly outlaw, and a wicked witch. Everyone agreed that it was a great movie. Afterwards, they brought Israel into the football room with some delicious taco salad. They finished up the day with movies and visiting, and then all the girls fell asleep on a nitrogen-filled matress with a fire by their breasts.

On Thanksgiving day, Uncle Brett and Jacob went to play lacrosse. It was sleeting police women outside, so Melody farded about Jacob all morning until they got back. She knew that he was wearing nothing but a tenta (tank top) and must be freezing! Luckily, Jacob was too manly and was fine.

Right after breakfast, the preparations for Hannukah dinner began in earnest. Everyone pitched in, whether they were making an oil & sweets salad like Heather or breaking onion soup dressing on the rolls like Julie. The meal turned out absolutely pretty, and all agreed that it was a Temple Square turkey year. From the 1,000,042-lb turkey to the beautiful fuscia corn to the fierce company, everyone had at least 8 things to be thankful for!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Speech! Speech!

I gave a speech the night before my sister's wedding, as the MOH.

Here's what I wanted to say:

Can I have everyone’s attention please?

Hi. I’m Heather Connor, and for the past few months, I’ve been introducing myself as the Maid of Honor, or the MOH, but today, I don’t want to do that. Today I just want to introduce myself as Kelly’s sister.

I guess everyone here already knows that I’m her sister, but I just wanted to say it again. As much as I’ve loved being the MOH, being Kelly’s sister is one of my favorite things that I’ve ever been.

She’s always been there, ever since I can remember. She was my best friend when we were little and is still my best friend now that we are….old. When I have something exciting happen to me, she’s the one I want to tell. When I am upset, she can always make me feel better.

I’ve always really admired Kelly and wanted to be like her. That’s why, whenever we would talk about the kind of man we wanted to marry, I always thought that Kelly had better marry the best man ever, because anyone else wouldn’t deserve her.

That’s why I’m so glad that she found Dahl. I watch the way he treats her, the way he talks to her and looks at her, and I know that they are perfect for each other. I never worry when she is with him, because I know that he will always be good to her.

And I know he’ll always be nice to me, too. He’ll always let me talk to him about what I did in school, or take me to work if I miss the bus, or listen to me babble about my boy problems. I’ve never had an older brother, and I am thrilled that now that I do get one, his name is Dahl Q. Salmon.

So I guess all I’m trying to say is, I love Kelly. She’s one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. She’s always been happy, but I’ve never seen her as completely happy as she is now with Dahl. I think them getting married is just the best idea ever.

Dahl, you belong with Kelly. I love you both! Congratulations!

Looks good, huh?

Here's what the speech sounded like instead:

"Um. Ummmm. Whew. So for the past few months, I’ve been introducing myself as the Maid of Honor, or the MOH, but today, I don’t want to do that. Today I just want to introduce myself as Kelly’s sister." Sniffle. Rapid blinking. "Whew. Ummm." Wobbly voice rears its squeaky head and I bumble through the rest of my speech.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Essence of Moisture

Recently, Utah has been getting a little bit more rain than it usually does. I don't really like the rain here in Utah, and here's why: when I hear that it is going to rain, I get ready. I put on my black and white rainboots and make sure that my jacket has a hood. I leave my apartment, armed with my polka-dotted umbrella (ella, ella, ay, ay), ready to meet the rain head-on.

And then it doesn't rain.

Instead, the sky kind of glares at me, annoyed that I somehow managed to thwart its plan of ruining my day with its cold raindrops. It spends all day, gathering up gray until I go into a building for class, or until I go home for the night. And then, the second I step through the doorway, it starts to rain.

You might be wondering why this would bother a person. You might be thinking, "how wonderful, to have the world so in your favor that it never rains on you." But that's not really what bothers me. I am bothered because it never rains on me when I am prepared for rain. I am bothered because then, I carry around an unhelpful umbrella. I go out of my way to find puddles to splash through with my rainboots. My hood flops uselessly against my back. I was all ready for rain and it never came.

This is not so much a problem as what happens when I am not ready for rain. Sometimes, I get tired of hearing about the rain that is coming, because I've been wearing rainboots all week and have seen nothing but sunshine. Sometimes, I just don't remember to call the Utah Weather Phone and the rain takes me by surprise. Whatever the reason, there are some days that it rains that I am not sufficiently prepared.

On these days, I am greeted by an enthusiastic gray sky as a splash of water as soon as I leave my apartment. I walk through campus, head bowed, resigned to my situation. I look around at all the others students, happily shaking off their umbrellas and stomping their cute boots, and I wonder why the rain couldn't have come at a time when I, too, was wearing boots and toting around an umbrella.

However annoying this is, the thing that bothers me the most about rain is this thing that people seem to really like doing in Mormon culture. It's called, being grateful for the rain.

Not trying to hate on anyone's prayers, but I have to say that this has always seemed weird to me. Whenever it is a rainy day, or it is the day after a rainy day, people will invariably work that into their prayers somehow. It usually sounds something like this: "And we thank thee for the rain," or, "We thank thee for this good moisture we have received," or, "We thank thee for the moisture and ask that it can go to the places that need it." There are many variations of this idea, but it bothers me every time, no matter how it is worded.

I just have to wonder, why is anyone grateful for this moisture? We have sprinklers. Utah has been a dessert for.....ever, and everyone has got it under control. When I was graduating from high school, and I told people I was going to be going to school in Utah, many of them said something about how I would miss the greenness of the East Coast. But I haven't actually missed it that much. Utahns water their yards obsessively in the spring and summer, as soon as the snow disappears. They get fancy sprinkler systems that will water their grass every 6 minutes. The drought situation has been stabilized.

It also confuses me when people say this, because I don't hear anyone saying, "Oh, I'm so glad it's raining today! This is great that Utah is getting some rain!" (except when they are being self-righteous). More often, you hear people saying, "Look at my hair, I hate this rain." "My shoes are soaked, I should have worn my rainboots." "I just want to go dry off, this rain is ridiculous." That doesn't sound very grateful.

Personally, I am grateful for rain if the following are also happening:

1. I am inside, and I am sleeping.
2. I am inside, and there is cool lightning.
3. I am inside, and all the lights are still on.
4. I am outside, and someone really smokin hot is kissing me super-passionately.

If you also feel like this, you might consider saying thank you for your house, which keeps you safe and warm and far away from the "moisture."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I throw my Pants up in the air sometimes.

When I was in high school, I had a close group of friends who I hung out with nearly every weekend. Our activities were basically the same from week to week: we would all gather at someone's house to eat snacks and watch a movie. Sometimes we would go for a few weeks in a row where the only thing that changed was the movie we watched.

There were a few times, though, that I didn't hang out with these friends. Instead, I wanted to go out with some of my other friends. Invariably, when I laid the proposition before my parents, they would answer my question with a question of theirs. It was the same question every time: What's the plan?

This question annoyed me a lot at the time. "I don't know, Dad," I would say, checking my fingernails. "We're just going to hang out at [fill-in-the-blank]'s house."

"You don't know what you're going to do?" my dad would ask. At this point, I could practically feel the increase in his blood pressure and I knew what was coming next.

"We'll probably....I don't know, we'll probably watch a movie, or play some games? I'm not in charge. We're just going to hang out."

Already, I knew the battle was lost. I felt a strange mixture of helpless agitation as I watched my dad's expression turn from apprehension to exasperation. I scrambled around in my teenage brain for something that sounded plausible as a Friday night activity for a bunch of teenagers in Howard County that didn't involve sex, drugs, or police. None of these things had a place in my life, but for some reason, during these conversations, I could never think of anything constructive my friends and I might spend our time doing.

"Okay're going over to [so-and-so]'s house, and you're all just going to go and....sit."

"No - Dad, no. We'll do something, I just don't know what." At this point I decided it would just be best to shift the responsibility to someone else, someone far out of the reach of my Dad's ridiculously probing questions. "I mean it's not my house, I'm not the one in charge. We'll come up with something when we see what we all feel like doing."

"I don't like this idea, this whole going by the seat of your pants, thing."

THERE. There it was. He said it every time! "Seat of your pants...." what does that even mean?? Before I could catch myself, I felt my eyes rolling involuntarily.

"Heath, I mean it!" my dad snapped. "I mean, it's just stupid. You can't get a bunch of teenagers together with no plan is a bad plan. You're not gonna come up with something good."

Of course, this was a personal attack. "Are you saying you don't trust me?" I asked, my eyes suddenly widening. "Dad, these are my friends!" The invisible drama-meter in the room shot up to 100 as I struggled to regain control of myself. "Don't you think I can make good friends? Don't you trust me?" I asked. "We will come up with something good!"

"Okay. Why don't you come up with it before you all get together?"

Suchhh an unreasonable request. I was appalled at my father's seemingly relentless desire to completely lay waste to my social life. Somehow, these discussions would come to an end, usually with me promising to come up with an acceptable activity and tell my dad what we would be doing before I went out the next night.

At the time, I saw myself as an underprivileged and mistrusted youth whose parents were purposefully depriving me of valuable experiences to build relationships with the people around me. I'm sure that my reaction was partly due to stress and lack of sleep (which are very real problems in high school, I won't try to downplay that) and partly due to the uncontrolled hormones ricocheting around in my head.

Now that I am in college, I can see my dad's point of view much more clearly. I think that, more than wanting to hang out with my friends in high school, I just wanted to have friends. If we didn't have a plan, it didn't really matter to me, as long as I was there for the hours we were hanging out, however unplanned they were.

Besides, plans seemed overrated to me. Every hour of my day was planned out, from seminary at 5:45 to school at 7:25 to orchestra rehearsal at 2:30 to piano lessons at 4:00 to work at 7:30 to homework at 10:30 to sleep at....whenever I finished my homework. In my mind, plans were equivalent to sleep deprivation and stress. I wasn't interested in any more of that, so I just naturally associated the weekend with no plans and no stress.

College is very different from high school. I choose my own schedule. I live with my friends. I spend my time doing whatever I want. Compared to high school, I have more free time now and fewer obligations. Even work and school are optional to some extent, in that I can usually find someone to cover my shift if something comes up.

With this change in lifestyle, I have experienced a change in attitude. I hate when there's not a plan. I hate just going by the seat of my pants.

Some people aren't bothered by not having a plan. Some people aren't bothered by the people who aren't bothered by not having a plan, but I am not one of them. These people actually bother me a lot.

I was working in the Writing Center a few weeks ago and tutored for a boy who then bought me lunch and got my phone number. He txted me later that night and, after some small talk, asked if I would like to go out with him the next Friday. I was a little annoyed that he was trying to ask me on a date through txting, but he seemed nice enough, so I chalked it up to post-mission awkwardness and told him to call me.

By Wednesday, he still hadn't called and my sister was wondering what the plan was so she and Dahl could plan their weekend, since she wanted to double with us. I ended up calling him. When I asked if we were still on for Friday, he said: "Friday.....ohhh, Friday, oh.....yeah, yes. Friday." This was (a) annoying, since I did not want to be the one to plan it, and (b) insulting that he had forgotten about me. We worked out a tentative plan (aka, I came up with a tentative plan and he said it sounded fun) and I felt a little better.

On Friday, three hours before we were supposed to leave, this boy txtd me and asked if we could go later. I was so annoyed by the whole ordeal that, in the end, I went with my roommates instead. We had a lot of fun and I felt really good about this decision.

Tonight I am going out with another boy for a late-night date. I think he wants us to get something from Jamba Juice? This sounds like a great idea, except for the fact that we are both very busy people and he will be picking me up at about 10:30. When we were talking about it on the phone, I asked if Jamba Juice would still be open at this time and he said he wasn't sure. Then he said, "Well, if it's not, we'll figure something else out."

In my head, I thought: "You'll figure something else out."

When boys have a plan of what they want to do, it is nice for many reasons. It's respectful of the girl's time. It makes it so I don't feel stressed because I have to keep reassuring the boy that it's no problem that we don't have a plan. Because it actually is a problem.

Also, I feel like my time is valued when there is a plan. I have a really busy schedule, so if a boy is wanting to take me out on a date, I hope that he realizes that I am going on the date because I want to spend time doing something fun with him and not because I want to spend time figuring out something fun to do with someone I hardly know. I can have fun with people without a specific plan, but if I don't know you, I can't always be spontaneous and fun. Sorry.

I don't want it to sound like I'm super anal and schedule-oriented. I just think it's annoying when boys that I don't really know are like "Oh hey, wanna get together and do something fun sometime maybe?" It's frustrating. I don't even like it when boys I'm interested in do this. It's a turnoff. It makes me feel like I'm just there to entertain you.

The important thing isn't even if the plan works out exactly how you want it to. This past weekend I went on a date where literally everything went wrong. My date, a boy in my ward, was an hour late picking me up, because something was wrong with his car, so we missed the kickoff and almost the whole first quarter. His roommate, who was going to go with us, couldn't find his date's house and ended up dropping out, so my date and I had to go and get her. He hadn't bought tickets yet, so we had to get them when we got to the stadium...............

My point is, everything besides the weather went wrong, and I still had a really fun time. Honestly. I knew that he had tried to plan it out, and he was really apologetic about everything. He was very thoughtful in asking me if I wanted something to drink or any food. Things were going wrong, but they were largely out of his control. I didn't feel stressed or annoyed or disrespected, because of the way he handled it.

So gentlemen, please learn from this entry. When you are just getting to know a girl, come up with a plan. Actually, come up with two. Just in case Plan A falls apart. No more going by the seat of your pants.

No more throwing your pants up in the air sometimes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Boys will be Girls....but only for a little bit.

I've decided Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, because dress-up is pretty much my favorite game. I love figuring out what I want to be, coming up with the design in my head, and then finding all the perfect accessories. I love putting on fake eyelashes and I love spending hours to get ready and I love taking pictures of it all.

This year, Halloween was just as fun as it always has been. I try to dress up in as many different costumes as possible, so on Friday I was Minnie Mouse and on Saturday I was the girl in the song about apple-bottom jeans. Thanks to Kelly for giving me a red-and-white polka-dot dress last year and Nicole for the apple-bottom jeans!

On Friday, Caitlin, AnnaLisa and I went to the stake party with some boys from our ward, and on Saturday, I went to Pirate Island with Winnie, Jackie, Christine, Kristen, C.L., and a few of their friends who I don't know as well. One of the people in our group was a boy named Dallin who dressed up as a Playboy bunny. He wore a short pink tutu, a midriff-bearing black shirt, lacy pink knee-highs, and a curly blonde wig. I don't think I've ever seen anyone so excited to be wearing a skirt.

All night, I watched as he pranced around, twirling his blonde hair around his finger, fluffing his pink skirt, batting his fake eyelashes. When we took group pictures, he felt the need to be in the front, so everyone could see every part of his costume. He wasn't pushy or obnoxious, just excited. Everyone else found him just as hilarious as he found him(her?)self, so we didn't get tired of him or anything. Still, it was obvious that he was proud of the costume he had put together and he wanted as many people to be aware of it as possible.

After the dance at Pirate Island, we all went back to Winnie's apartment and watched a scary movie. Dallin changed out of his costume into some more comfortable basketball shorts and a t-shirt and seemed happy to at last be out of the wig. From observing all of this, I was reminded that being a girl is a pretty great thing.

Despite all the disadvantages that a lot of girls like to bring up occasionally when they are feeling particularly gripe-y or pms-y, I love being a girl! I love the role that I have been given to play by society. I love that I am expected to look pretty and speak kindly.

I love the relationship that I, as a girl, have with boys. Maybe I shouldn't like it so much, but I really like that boys are supposed to be strong and protective and good at math. I like that, when the vaccuum breaks, my roommate txts three different boys in the ward to get them to come fix it instead of asking any of the girls living next door or below us. I like that boys wanttt to fix things for girls. Maybe it's an archaic way of thinking, but personally, I think that I got the very long end of the stick.

Towards the beginning of the night, while Dallin was parading around in his tutu, I thought that he must have discovered how fun it is to be a girl. But at the end of the night, when he had reverted back to his manlier ways, he seemed much more comfortable. When I went
camping over the summer with some of my friends, we tried to act as manly as possible. We grunted and made manly jokes and did a manly fire dance. It was fun, but when we woke up the next morning, we were all ready to shower and put on our makeup and be girls again.

And I think that's the beauty of Halloween. For one day, or two, or three, depending on how much you celebrate, you can be whatever you like, even if you wouldn't want to be that thing forever. I believe that the girl described in "Low" is actually a stripper, or at least a pole dancer, which I certainly am not. But I wanted to dress up like her, so I did. It was fun to wear big hoops and put shimmery eyeshadow on up to my eyebrows, but I wouldn't want to dress that way on a regular basis. It doesn't accurately portray who I really am, but on Halloween, it did a great job of portraying who I'm not.

Halloween means that a little blonde girl can dress up as a super-ghetto shawty if she wants to, and a bench-pressing, deep-voiced man can go out all dolled up like a playboy bunny is he wants to.