Archive for October, 2006

Discipline and Exile

Posted in etcetera, Life, School on October 30, 2006 by drbolte

I am, I think, at least two weeks behind.

I am not surprised at this.  I am, however, saddened by it a little bit.

I have about two weeks to knock out my first draft of my prospectus for the dissertation, and I haven’t finished reading all of my primary sources yet.  That’s my first goal.  Of course, reading and taking notes on these sources serves double duty for me since the other part of prepping for exams is constructing an annotated bibliography.  So I’m killing two birds with one stone, as disgusting as that analogy is, and that’s good.

But it feels at times like slogging through mud.  And I have little discipline to say no to all of the other things that I distract me from the task at hand.  Every single day, there is something else to do…work, FHE, Institute, weekend trips, responsibilities, etc.

So I think that I have decided to exile myself this week.  No Institute socializing–only Institute studying.  No TV watching–only TV taping or watching while multitasking and doing something else (like cleaning my house!).  No IMing or hours of Facebooking or randomly blogging with memes that just waste time.  Just a week full of reading and writing and cleaning and putting together birthday/going away presents.

I am not sure that I can do it.  I am not sure I am disciplined enough. I am not sure I am motivated enough, except when I think about the fact that if I work hard this week, I can play next week, which is VERY important to me.

I hope I survive.   Wish me luck.


Posted in Life, The Single Life on October 30, 2006 by drbolte

I deleted my last post.

Too revealing and, I think, probably a little bit misleading.

Nothing huge happened, except in the sense that I keep learning stuff about myself that opens my eyes to the fact that I don’t have any idea how other people see me. Or, I should say…I don’t believe people when they tell me how they see me.

Me, amazing? Pfft.

Awesome? Suuure.

Cute? Hot? Beautiful? Guffaw.

I have had this running negative dialogue about myself in my head for so long that it’s pretty hard to change the script now. I know it frustrates my friends when I don’t believe them when they tell me things–sorry, guys.

Lately, though, my trial has been to believe the good things about myself. I’m sure a few of you will scoff and wish that you had this kind of growth experience to suffer through–I’m supportive of you in the “gosh, that must be so difficult for you” sarcasm. But it’s still really abnormal for me.

It’s comfortable to continue to hold on to the belief about being the proverbially ugly duckling if it’s what’s been around the longest–and it has–rather than to dare to believe that you might be something better, grander, and more beautiful than that.

So, I’m working on it.

<>It’s turning life upside down a little bit, and that upside down creates a distinctly different perspective.

<>But it’s a much nicer one, because I am literally in awe of my life right now and the sheer magnitude of love that exists in it.

<>So, I’ll keep editing the script. Maybe someday I’ll really believe it.

Regularly scheduled programming will resume shortly…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 22, 2006 by drbolte

…as, more than likely, so will blogging, as I am determined to force myself into productivity this week–and that’s bound to create angsty energy best expelled here.

The short synopsis of my week: a cold hit me hard on the way back from NYC, and Monday through Thursday found me, mainly, doing only the bare minimum and suffering through the snuffly and coughy consequences of flying during cold and flu season. I’m better now, but still downing the cough medicine and attached to a cough drop in any public situation.

I found this, though, on a forum that I lurk at, and thought it was sort of fun. I love these things, as you well know…

If you were a ________, what would you be?

Fish? A starfish.

Dog? A golden retriever.

Wild Animal? Giraffe. Definitely.

Insect? Ugh. Really? Uh, firefly. Or butterfly. Or a LADYBUG!
<>Politician? Secretary of Education.

<>Bird? Hummingbird.

<>Soldier? Huh? If I had to be one, I’d like to be some kind of nurse.

Cook? A Pastry Chef.

Artist? I wish I was good enough to be a cartoonist.

Major Organ? The heart.

Minor Organ? The pancreas.

Planet? Pluto, suckas!

Weather Event? The first snowfall of the season.

SUV? A Jeep Wrangler.

Passenger Vehicle? Honda Accord.

Motorcyle? Uh, no. Unless I had a sidecar. That would be okay.

Cat? One that lives in my mom’s house.

Farm Animal? A lamb. Not a sheep. A lamb.

Reptile? Blech. A gecko, I guess.

Virus? The mildest, easiest common cold.

Mountain? Half Dome in Yosemite.

The idiot moments seem to be coming in waves… NYC Episode 2

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2006 by drbolte

So we finally arrived.  The trip wasn’t eventful at all. We took off. We slept on the plane (which, let me tell you , does wonders for your hair!).  We landed. We claimed our baggage.  We finally figured out the AirTrain ridiculousness. We met my cousin and her best friend.

We were off.

We got to Jamaica Station, which is the subway/transit hub that JFK feeds into. From there you can take the Long Island Railroad to, well, Long Island or the NYC subway into Manhattan.   But first, you have to buy a MetroCard to pay for your AirTrain passage.

This was the first thing that stumped us.  I’m not sure why it would, except that I think the whole idea of subway fare freaked me out.  Because it meant that I would actually be riding the subway…and that was a little intimidating. I’ve seen movies. I knew how it was going to be.

We were standing there, four girls debating what to buy and how much to put on our MetroCard, when a transit worker asked us if she could help us.  Jessica later said that we must hae been radiating a “help me” vibe–which we definitely were.  She helped us figure out what we were doing, and we got to the subway station with MetroCards in hand.

Of course, we were coming from the airport, so we had giant suitcases as well.

This became problematic when we tried to get through the turnstile.  We got stuck. I’m being completely literal. Christa went through, but her bag literally got stuck on the turnstile handle.  So, that bag had to pay for its own fare.  And then I got stuck.  Yeah, you can see the trend here.  Not pretty.

Idiot tourists.

We got on the subway, after a ride in what I can only describe as the worst-smelling elevator I have ever been in (and what certainly must have been a home for someone at some point), and it was quite obvious that we were not from New York.

It wasn’t my Gator shirt. It wasn’t the suitcases.

It was the fact that we were smiling.  No one on the subway smiles. I don’t know if it is some kind of indication of weakness that will get you mugged or killed, but it wasn’t happening.  We, however, were having a great time. We took stupid looking pictures and consulted our trusty map to see where we should get off. I’m pretty sure we didn’t care what anybody thought of us.

We got off at the Port Authority Transit Station on 8th and 42nd.  This time, we learned to throw our bags over the turnstiles before we exited.  When we walked out, it was pretty spectacular. It was like the city literally had a pulse, and seeing the huge buildings and the cabs zipping around was incredible.  We took more silly looking pictures there, to memorialize our first moment of arriving on a NYC street, and then headed to our hotel.

No big deal here. We checked in.  It was fine.  I was cranky, because I was hungry. (Note to anyone who loves me: if I begin to get really quiet and a little less than patient, it might be that I’m hungry…)

So 4 girls headed off in search of food.

We walked about four blocks and all of the sudden, I stopped. I looked around. All around me were these giant billboards–I mean HUGE billboards. And the intersection had an oddly familiar look to it.

We were in Times Square. And I didn’t even realize it.

Idiot.   I blame it on low blood sugar.

The idiot moments continued as it seemed impossble for the four of us to make a decision about what to eat or where to go. Thank heavens for Christa, who sort of took over and herded us in the general direction of food. I was getting very testy and, contrary to my normal way of being, very quiet.  We finally found some pizza and I was infinitely happier.  Sad, but true.

More indecisiveness followed, as we tried to decide what to do that night. Ultimately Christa and I decided to go to a show and Brooke and Jessica caught up with a friend who lives in NYC and went to Serendipity.  More on that later.

I’m happy to say that, while the beginnings of our trip were punctuated by majorly stupid touristy moves, the rest of the weekend highlighted our wit, wisdom, and wilyness.

The Gator Nation is everywhere…NYC Episode 1

Posted in etcetera, Life on October 18, 2006 by drbolte

Our plane took off at 8:30. From the Tampa airport. 2 hours away.

This meant that, in order to be there in time to get strip-searched (I joke…sort of) and on the plane, we had to leave Gainesville at an obscene hour of the morning. Since I am vain, even when I fly, that meant that I had to wake up at an uber-obscene hour of the morning–4:00 a.m.

We (being my best friend Christa and I) didn’t go to bed until 2:30.  We hadn’t seen each other in months, and we had much to catch up on.   It was probably not the best or wisest decision, but it was fun.

Traffic is funnier when you’re exhausted. Well, I should say, my reaction to traffic is funnier when I am exhausted. Somehow the word “sucka” entered my vocabulary in such abundance that, by the time we got on the plane, I was given a daily quota (4 uses per day, for those of you interested) and a fine for overuse was established.  I actually had to pay that fine once.  Hmph.

The most interesting thing about our travel to New York City wasn’t my delirious ramblings. It was the reaction I got to my Florida Gators t-shirt. I wore it because I like it, it’s comfortable, and I’m proud to be a Gator. I certainly didn’t expect it to be a conversation piece!

Apparently, though, the commercial that says that the Gator Nation is everywhere isn’t lying…because I got comments everywhere!

The first? On the shuttle from the long-term parking lot to the terminal.  We barely made the shuttle, and we were chatty at 7 a.m., so we were basically getting some looks from the other passengers that indicated that they would really prefer it if we shut up and rode in silence like they were. That wasn’t happening, though.  A 14 year old boy who saw my shirt asked me if I went to UF (I love little kids who think I look like an undergrad…yay!).  I said yes, and he seemed really excited…like I was somehow a really cool person because I attend the University of Florida.

The second? We were walking from the shuttle to the Delta terminal when some random guy shouted “Go Gators!”  Uh, okay.

The third? One of the flight attendants, as I was walking onto the plane, said “Go Gators!”  Then he gave me extra soda because I was a fan.  That’s right–it pays to be a Gator!

All of this was in Florida, so it was somewhat expected…but the rest is where it gets really weird.

The fourth? In JFK airport, as we were trying to navigate the strange and confusing up-down-up-down process of getting to the AirTrain, a random fellow elevator rider asked if I went to UF and began to chat with me about Gator football.

(This was when we decided that we should keep track of how many times my shirt got mentioned…)

The fifth? The security guys at the hotel, who were checking our keys to make sure we weren’t trying to stalk somebody I guess,  told me that the Hurricanes were better. Uh, yeah, right.  You mean the ones that beat everybody up on the field? Sure…

The sixth? Some random guy who was trying to get us to go to some comedy show (there were three of them–he was the third–and this was the second time we had walked by them already) thought that pulling out the Gator card (and doing the Gator chomp with his arms) would somehow persuade me that he wasn’t an idiot and that the show was worth my while. It didn’t work, but it was funny.

The seventh, eighth, and ninth? Standing in line for half-price tickets to a Broadway show, I got a bunch of comments, including one from a girl who said that she was a Gator as well and proceeded to ask what show we should see (as if we were real New Yorkers! as if we had a clue!).

It was surreal, honestly.  I’ve never attracted so much attention in my life. Despite the fact that I was criticized by my smart-mouthed cousin for looking like a tourist (what? there are no Gator fans in New York City?), I was rather proud to be an ambassador for the Gator Nation.  I felt a lot of pride…and that was new.

Who would have figured that my first story about New York City would actually be all about Gainesville?


Come Speed Date–The Church is True!

Posted in Church, etcetera, The Single Life on October 10, 2006 by drbolte

Creative ways to get Mormons to date…and the 6,732nd reason why I LOVE my ward!

Why I hate, loathe, and abominate UPS…

Posted in etcetera, Life on October 10, 2006 by drbolte

…even though Brandon works for them and they apparently are very good to their employees, I hate this company right now.

Here’s what I think: when you leave a note on my door telling me that MY BIRTHDAY PACKAGE FROM MY MOTHER is at the apartment office, it better be there. Now, I recognize that Gainesville is whacked in the sense that it shuts down like the President of the flippin’ United States is coming when it’s Homecoming. But still. Deliver the package. Do it–or else don’t tell me that it’s there, have me drive over there and look like a numbskull while two apartment employees (who are thinking “why is she such an idiot?” the whole time) rifle through what must have been a 4 1/2 foot tall stack of packages (not envying them) for the two packages I needed.

Not there.

To which I reply GRRRRR! and blog frustratedly.

Obnoxiousness. If you’re going to do something, do it.

And then, I drive back home, and what do I have on my door?

Oh yes. Another UPS notice, this time telling me that this was the final attempt to deliver my packages.

I’m sorry. What?!?


So I hate UPS. That’s it. Now I have to truck my action across town tomorrow to pick up the packages from some storage facility. Of course, they are going to try to deliver ONE of them again…the one I actually want…tomorrow–which I will most certainly miss once more since, well, I have a LIFE.

Have I mentioned GRRR?!?

In other news, I ate some serious crow today in an email. Well, if 5:00 in the morning can be considered “today”–I think, honestly, it should be considered last night since it’s so hecka early. I woke up worried about how badly I had been behaving, decided to make amends then instead of waiting as I had planned to, labored over the email, and then sent it.

Then I subconsciously worried about it for four more hours in my dreams.

And I wake up…to no response.

I mean, I didn’t have to have one. It’s not that. It’s just that when I already feel completely idiotic about something, and have apologized, I like to know that it’s been accepted.

But I have no right to that. So…it will be what it will be. I feel like I did the right thing. I don’t know–I’m becoming more willing to apologize for the stupid messes my big mouth get me in. Of course, the best thing would be to stop allowing my big mouth to get me into said messes, but…that’s perfection and I’m SO far short of that!

A day and a half until New York City…is it weird that I don’t really believe that I’m going?

AAACCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK!!! Rantings of a Control Freak…

Posted in Church, etcetera, Life, School on October 4, 2006 by drbolte

I am in charge of Speed Dating.

I suppose I should back up a little bit.

Our ward is sadly lacking in dating–but I think I’ve adequately covered that in this blog–and I am in leadership. At our last presidency meeting, my counselors expressed a desire (and an idea! yay!) to have more dating activities, especially since as leadership we’ve been hearing some complaining.  Please read that “some” as “a lot” and “consistently.”

So, I decided that it would be a very good idea for me to spearhead the Speed Dating activity.

To his great credit, the EQ president was totally supportive and on-board, and has been using his considerable commitment pattern skills to get people to come to the activity. He has also been…strongly encouraging…positive and enthusiastic publicity. So it’s not like I’m doing it myself. One of the activities committee co-chairs has really taken on most of the mundane, yeoman-like work (i.e. making the flyers,  getting refreshments, etc.).

So what’s my problem?
My problem, quite frankly, is that I am a control freak. I would much rather run the whole program myself on Thursday night than give it up to anyone else.  And I have been told that it would be best if I didn’t run the whole thing.


So, instead, I’m trying to find ways to control the set-up and the organization so that the thing runs smoothly.  I think I can do it.  But I don’t think I’ve ever realized so clearly how much of a control freak I am. When I plan something, I want it to go well. And I’ll do just about anything I have to do to make that happen.

Including being a complete nag to people about the activity, making silly (but effective, I think) posters publicizing the event, and counting how many guys and girls we have committed at 2 a.m.


Of course, I have much else to do. I mean, I’m going to NYC in a week–holy crap, it’s in a week–for the first time and I have done NOTHING to plan what we’ll do there.

I simply can’t think about it.

I really believe that my brain is like a pool.  Stay with me on this. You know how when a pool fills up too much, the excess water just gets sifted out into those little drain holes towards the top?  That’s what happening to me–the stuff that I can’t handle just gets sifted out…

So, just so that I can purge all of this, this is what I need to be doing:

I need to buy luggage for my trip.

I need to buy a sweatshirt of some kind for my trip, since everything I own from last winter is like 3 sizes too big.

I need to finish reading this novel for my reading list and take notes on how it will fit into my project, and then start the next one.

I need to have a Presidency meeting–or at least figure out what the heck is going on.

I need to get Visiting Teaching numbers for Sunday before the Ward Clerk beats me.

I need to figure out, on paper, how this Speed Dating thing is going to work.

I need to get the Institute director’s bell.

I need to learn how to delegate.

I need to clean my house before this weekend, when I think that I will end up having a game night or something there.

I need to do laundry before my trip and make a list of the things that I need.

I need to go get traveler’s checks or something.

I need to plan out what I actually want to do while in NYC.
I need to pay my rent and my car payment.  Holy crap, I need to do that today.

I need to go get a replacement ID and buy tickets for Friday night’s Gator Growl.

I need to buy my mom’s birthday present and mail her birthday card…late!  I am such a crappy daughter right now.

I need a plan to deal with all of this stuff going on.

I need to find a way to not have to sleep 7 hours a night. I would be so happy if I could really legitimately sleep four.  Or if I could get out of this really destructive go to bed at 3 and wake up at 10 pattern.

I need an assistant. Oy.

But, amid all of this, I realize so clearly that I am blessed.  It all gets done. I manage to get it done.  I don’t know how, but it must be divine intervention.

So, despite being a control freak, I need to involve Heavenly Father in more of this.  I’m pretty sure I won’t be so crazy if I did.  But I try to do it all myself…lame.

Well, off to prepare for my meeting with my dissertation advisor.