Archive for July, 2007

snark IS the fountain of youth

Posted in Life, me, you have to be a chick to understand on July 31, 2007 by drbolte

I, once more, was mistaken for nearly five years younger than my age.

When I tell people that I am 29, they are always, always shocked.  Especially the guys. I’m not sure if my age is working against me or not, but I don’t care much.  I figure that if someone can’t see beyond my age, they’re certainly not going to be able to see beyond my more pressing flaws.

But to be thought to be 24 (which was the original guess) or even 26?

I a little bit love it.

I must be doing SOMETHING right.

service is its own reward

Posted in Church, friends, me on July 31, 2007 by drbolte

Tonight, I had the opportunity to play kitchen duty while my wonderful friend Beth, the Relief Society president, held a Visiting Teaching dinner.  For those of you not down with the Mormon lingo, Relief Society is the organization for women (and, unlike most wards, we have two RSes in our ward, or congregation, so I didn’t need to attend this dinner myself) and Visiting Teaching is the system whereby we friendship and take care of each other.

Since she’s the Orange Relief Society and I’m Blue, I got to be her minion for the night, which basically consisted of cooking or heating up all of the food that she had already prepared or gotten all of the ingredients for and, with the assistance of a very helpful Elders Quorum president (the head of the guys organization), serve it all hot and yummy to the sisters while they chatted and learned about Visiting Teaching.

I’ll admit that, when I went over there, I was a bit like “I’m here because I love Beth but I’m not going to love doing this.”  It wasn’t that I was particularly begrudging the time that I was spending there, because I wasn’t, but I had a headache (freaking sinuses due to freaking thunderstorms) and as you all know ad nauseum, I am stressed about moving.  So, I wasn’t looking for it to be a riproaring good time.

But it was exactly where I needed to be.

Beth, as is natural, was crazed and running around trying to get everything done and it was so very nice to be able to be a steadying voice or a pair of hands when she needed it. See, I’ve been exactly where she was–not long ago, in fact, I was a Relief Society president–and so I remember what it’s like to actually have people around that you can count on. It’s irreplaceable. It was nice to be able to do that for someone else like others always did it for me.

But beyond that, there was something truly cathartic and peaceful about being able to just do these things for other people. I didn’t eat anything really other than dessert because I had eaten before I came, so I spent my time cooking and then cleaning up.

It was so much fun.  And by fun I don’t mean riproaring good time. It was just…nice.

In a week full of chaos and running around and being insane, it was really nice to just be.  To handle something. To be good at it and to be able to see it as a job well done.

When a bunch of the sisters came in to thank me, I was genuinely uncomfortable. The peace of the Spirit that I had felt while doing it was reward enough–I didn’t need thanks.  Plus, they didn’t NEED to thank me.  What had I done that they themselves wouldn’t have done for me?  Nothing much. Nothing extraordinary.

It was just nice.  Really nice.  I’m glad I was there.  I feel energized and ready to go for the rest of this week.  I feel like I can do this thing.

What a blessing!

coming through in a pinch

Posted in blogging, Church, friends, ghetto life, life lesson number 498, me, the joys of living in Florida on July 31, 2007 by drbolte

I shouldn’t be surprised, but I have been anyways.

The people that I didn’t expect to be as awesome as they are being about helping me move have been truly amazing. Not only are they happily willing to help, but they’re recruiting more help for me and my roommates. What an amazing church we have. What amazing friends I have!

And I had a friend offer to come and help me pack or even just keep me company while I packed. That’s generosity right there. She JUST MOVED LAST WEEKEND and she’s willing to help me.

How did I get so lucky and so blessed? I have no idea. But I’m grateful for it.

So, while I’m still control-freaking about Saturday and the number of people that will be there, I’m trying to listen to the quiet voice that keeps whispering peace to my heart, keeps telling me “you’re going to have enough and more than enough for your needs.”

And I need to remind myself that I actually CAN do this. I worry that, if no one comes, I’ll have to do it myself. And I fear that I won’t have the physical strength to do it. But that’s stupid because my mom and I did it all ourselves when I moved here, and I was 90 pounds heavier than I am now with a whole lot less energy and whole lot less comfort with Florida heat. Now I’ve been here for three years and, while I certainly still sweat, I don’t wilt like I used to.

I can do it. I need to just remind myself that I have much more strength than I think I do.

What I don’t like lately, though? I don’t like how people look at me askance when I talk about being stressed about moving. Sure, you might move all of the time, but I don’t. I also have more than one bedroom to move and I haven’t moved since I moved here from North Carolina and I’m moving into an apartment that has already caused me more stress than I can explain. I may nickname it “Pound of Flesh and Firstborn Child” apartments, because that’s basically what they require of us before we move in. So, excuse me if I’m stressed, but I am.

Also, I am OCD about moving–when I ask for help from people for moving, I have it all completely organized. EVERYTHING is packed. EVERYTHING is in easy to handle boxes or bags that, if I have to, I can lift and carry and move myself. EVERYTHING is labeled efficiently and completely, and all of the extraneous stuff has been disposed of. So, does it take me a lot longer than you who isn’t even going to pack until the day before you move? Yes. But my move is probably going to be faster, more organized, and easier to recover from than yours–or at least it will be for me. Does it help for you to judge me and call me weird? Uh…no, not really. It makes me feel stupid…and that doesn’t really help me in encountering this task and mastering it. What would help? If people would either be sympathetic or leave me alone until Sunday, when it will all be over.

Then I’ll probably be in a better mood. But until then, I will be grateful for my blessings and try not to grumble too much at the stupid comments I keep getting.

I’m off to search for the Tylenol.

makeover

Posted in blogging on July 30, 2007 by drbolte

Like the new look? I had it all dismal and dark (the Hemingway theme, for you fellow WordPress users), which I was feeling on Friday, but I got a comment that it didn’t really reflect me, which I realized was true. I went searching again, and I rather like this one. I can’t quite find a theme that I totally like, though, so feel free to comment on it when it changes.  I’d like to know what readers think and if I’m contributing to eyestrain or homicidal rages.

<>Thanks.

my to-do list

Posted in blogging, ghetto life, Life, someday I'll be a real middle class girl, the joys of living in Florida on July 30, 2007 by drbolte

Tuesday update: As I finish things, I’ll cross them off. It’s my way of convincing myself that I am, indeed, getting stuff done even though right now, with this sinus headache all I want to do is sleep…holy heck, I really did do a lot yesterday!

I’ll understand if you don’t care about this. I wouldn’t particularly care, except in the larger sense about caring about people’s lives that makes up the blogworld. But, honestly, my life is minimally controlled chaos right now, and I’m packing everything in sight, so I’m going to share with you my to-do list so that a) I don’t lose it…again and b) you can feel bad for me. I like the sympathy right now. I really do.

Things left to do before I leave my little apartment forever:

  • Go to Walmart to buy assorted moving supplies, including wide masking tape, oven cleaner, some kind of industrial strength cleanser for my microwave and refrigerator (any suggestions, Mommy bloggers?), sponges, toilet paper, and some kind of chocolate. Lots of some kind of chocolate.
  • Go to Lowe’s to buy spackle and a spackle knife. I actually quite love to spackle. Am I spelling spackle right? It seems…wrong. (FYI: Walmart has spackle…and paint! who knew?)
  • Plan classes for the rest of the week, including writing a writing assignment sheet for the paper draft they have due on Wednesday. I could not care any less if I tried.
  • Grade rebuttal arguments. See “could not care less” comment above.
  • Pack up extraneous books I’m donating and find a way to haul them and my carcass up to the 4th floor of Turlington.
  • Since they don’t have oven cleaner at Walmart, go to the grocery store and buy some. (none at grocery store either, but thank heavens for Google directions…)
  • Go to Linens n’ Things or Bed Bath and Beyond with my coupon and buy a new shower curtain that matches both my towels and my existing rugs, bed lifters, and a body pillow cover.
  • Go to Walmart (again) on Saturday to buy a trash can for the bathroom and for the kitchen.
  • Resist the urge to eat out for convenience’s sake and instead eat the food that I will have to move if I don’t. (that ship has totally sailed, and I feel okay about it.)
  • Go to U-haul to get a big picture box and some bubble wrap.
  • Be the kitchen minion of my pal Beth during her RS visiting teaching dinner. The only upshot? I get to boss around boys…
  • Clean…everything, but especially oven, refrigerator, kitchen cabinets (inside and out) and bathroom (tub and walls, sink and vanity, toilet, floors, cabinets). The rest will have to wait until Saturday afternoon.
  • Go to Institute, if not for the spiritual uplift (which I totally need) then for the opportunity to continue to ask people to come help me move. I am freaking out.
  • Pack…everything. I’m at that point where there’s lots of stuff packed and the place looks like I have 4000 more boxes to pack because I’ve pulled everything out of its hiding places and am systematically going through it. I don’t move everything–I weed through everything and then pack it. It’s a good thing, since I’ve already gotten rid of like two tons of crap.
  • More specifically, pack the kitchen cabinets, including food; big pictures and shelves; bathroom cabinets; the rest of the desk drawers and the top of the desk; finish the living room boxes that are still open; the closet into bags and boxes; nightstand and other bedroom furniture.
  • Try to maintain my sanity and pray for strength, courage, and help.

I’m not sure why this is such a big deal. I think it’s all finally hitting me that I’m leaving this place. I was writing my best friend yesterday, and I was like “I can’t believe this is the last letter I’ll send from this address, the last Sunday I’ll be here.” It’s weird. I have very good memories there. My little apartment has been very good to me. I know it’s time to move on, literally, but I guess I’m just…oh, I don’t know what I am.

Ridiculous, most likely.

Any moving suggestions, cleaning suggestions, life suggestions are warmly welcomed and appreciated. I KNOW I’m being whiny…sorry. I’ll have stories and fun things to talk about next week, I’m sure.

out of sorts

Posted in Church, etcetera, friends, Life, me, the joys of living in Florida, you have to be a chick to understand on July 29, 2007 by drbolte

I woke up this morning just not really feeling myself. I didn’t feel bad–I had gotten enough sleep last night, woke up in plenty of time to cute myself up for church, and wasn’t late or anything.  But I just, throughout the day, felt progressively less and less good about myself and about things. I mean, I’m sitting here with tears for NO GOOD REASON.

And lest we immediately blame in on PMS, it’s not.  I know it’s not.

I think I’m just sad. I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with that.  I’m stressed out, definitely, and I’m worried about moving–let’s be honest, I’m pretty much freaked out about the whole thing. I’m really excited to live with the girls that I’m living with, but I’ve never done the roommate thing before. What if I am terrible at it? What if they end up hating me?

These are all things that I’m thinking.

Through no fault of my own, I ended up sitting by myself in church today.  Is that a huge deal? No.  I don’t go to church to be surrounded by admirers. But it felt lonely…and I felt put on the spot because I was sitting close to the front and I just in general felt uncomfortable.

It’s how I would best describe my feelings right now–uncomfortable and, as the title suggest, out of sorts.

I wonder where that phrase came from, out of sorts.  It, like so many weird phrases in English, has no inherent logic.  But I like it.  It totally explains how I’m feeling.  Strange.

One reason for this might be that I miss my mom.  I never realize how much I miss her until it hits me, all at once, usually shortly before I get to go home. I’m going home for about 10 days right after classes end for Summer B.  I haven’t seen her since the end of May.  It will be really good.  I am excited about that, but I just miss home and comfort and no stress.   I miss the peace that comes with home.

I think I am just sad about a lot of things, and then I got a text message that basically chewed me out–totally unexpectedly–from someone I thought was a friend, and that was sort of the last straw. I was already fighting back tears in church–for what reason, I know not–and then I got called up to play 72 hour kit Price is Right (awesome idea, guys…seriously) and had to fake enthusiasm (and, yes, I cleaned up. I should seriously be on that show).  And then I sit down and WHAMMO.  Somebody digitally yelling at me.  Splendid.  Gee, thanks for that.

So now I’m going to watch a movie (I originally typed move…funny Freudian slip about what I’m REALLY thinking about), maybe eat some barbeque chicken and mashed potatoes, take some Vitamin C, and try to remember why it is that I love Gainesville.

Because I am NOT feeling the love right now.

toothpick bridges

Posted in flashback friday, life lesson number 498, me, The Single Life, yet another reason why i don't understand men, you have to be a chick to understand on July 27, 2007 by drbolte

IT’S FLASHBACK FRIDAY, AND I’M A JOINER!

Picture it…Bakersfield, California, circa early 1990s, which is best known for this big ugly thing:

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…and these bigger ugly things:

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…and, unfortunately, this:

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For me, though, Bakersfield was all about my friends. I moved there when I was 12, and after a few drama-filled fits and starts, settled into a great group of friends that my Mom trusted (which translated into no curfew for me as long as I called home–whee!).

One of whom was Ben.

Oh, Ben. Oh, dear. There’s so much more to the backstory to Ben, but for now I’ll confine my Flashback Friday narrative jaunt to senior year.

I had decided to take Physics. I don’t know what on the great green earth had made me decide to do this, except that maybe I was trying to pad my transcript on the off-chance that I would apply to a UC school. I am not a science person. Now, lest all of you science people freak out at me and say that there is no such thing, I will pointedly tell you that I am, in fact, evidence that you are wrong. With the possible exception of the summer school Biology class between my freshman and sophomore year that I loved (bring on the fetal pig to dissect! and, yes, that summer has a Ben story too), I have hated every single science class I have ever taken. They’re hard. They make my brain hurt.

And Physics just took the cake. I didn’t understand it. Now, to be honest, if I had studied at all and tried and gotten help, I probably could have been aceing that class. When I apply myself, I am smart.

But I was way more interested, at that point, in boys and friends and doing whatever I wanted rather than doing my homework.

So I was getting a C in that class. And I was NOT happy about it. I knew my Mom would not be happy about it. She wasn’t a grade freak, but she expected me to do my best. C is not my level best–and she would have called me on it.

Ben was in my class too. At this point, we had been good friends for almost four years. We were in the same seminary class, he was periodically in love with my best friend…and I was totally head over heels for him…completely unrequited and completely on the down low. Or so I attempted.

So when Mr. Rappleye, our Physics teacher, gave us the option of constructing a toothpick bridge that would hold a bunch of weight (somehow this was a Physics project, although I didn’t understand how at the time…do you see my problem?) for a heaping pile of extra credit points that I desperately needed (and that basically-average student Ben could use too), it seemed only natural that we would work on that joker together.

I remember very little about working on the actual project except that it was more difficult than I thought it would be, required too much glue and frustration, and eventually held up against more weight than I thought it would. YAY us.

The reason I remember very little? Winter Formal was coming up and my best friend was going with her current squeeze, James–who I later fell head over heels for. (Gosh, we were an incestuous little 90210-like group.) We had decided that I should go with Ben so that we could all go together. Kim, the BF, had sort of tested the waters with him in orchestra about whether or not he even wanted to go. He seemed to be good with it, good even with going with me, which I was honestly shocked and excited about.

So, we had a plan. I was supposed to basically ask him that night when he came over to work on the project. I was supposed to play it cool and not freak him out but just bring it up as a friend thing, so that we could all go together. The boy did not date. He pined, he crushed, he remained totally inside himself.

It was going to be a challenge, but I was up for it. Did I mention that I was IN LOVE with him? And he saw me as just a friend? Oy. I was just a little bit stressed. And excited.
And gosh if the whole night wasn’t one big lead-in to that big topic. I don’t remember how I got to it, but I brought it up. I was not going to be stopped. So close…so very close. Paraphrased, this is about how the conversation went, perhaps with some dramatic license. Please note where all of the action is in the conversation:

Me: “So…Kim and James are going to Winter Formal. It sounds like it will be fun.”

Ben: “Hmm. Uh-huh.”

Me: “It’s our senior year, so it’s the last Formal before we graduate.”

Ben: “Hmm. Uh-huh.”

Me: “Do you want to go?”

Ben (finally seeming to pay attention): “To the Formal?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Ben: “Yeah, I guess.”

Me: “Me, too. It would be way fun to hang out with Kim and James and do the whole thing.”

Ben: “Really?”

Me (at this point wanting to stab him through the eye with a very dull toothpick for his obtuseness): “Yeah. I think it could be cool.”

Understatement of the century. I was already planning the whole thing–the dress, the flowers, the whole nine–followed quickly by our Hallmark-style romance, my faithfulness on his mission, our quick engagement, our wedding, and the seven children we would have who would all have his…verbal skills. I was 16. Cut me a break, okay?

Ben: “Oh. Yeah. Well….do you want to go?”

Me: “With you?”

Ben: “Uh, yeah.”

Me: “Sure. Why not?”

Cue flowers, swelling music, and little blue cartoon birds braiding my hair. I thought I had successfully manipulated the coup of the century–The Boy Who Doesn’t Date is MY DATE!

Imagine my surprise when he is proudly announcing to everyone the very next day that HE asked ME. As if it was his freaking idea. As if I hadn’t completely orchestrated the entire conversation. As if, at one point, I didn’t think I had actually asked him out!

Bah. The things women do to get what they want.

The Formal turned out fun–just like I thought it would–and although it wasn’t the romantic liason or ignition that I had hoped it might be, I was glad to be there. It is a memory that I will never forget. Ben is married now to an adorable blonde and I haven’t talked to him in YEARS.

But he’ll always be the guy who made me associate toothpicks with dreams coming true, and for that I’ll always be grateful. That and the B that I managed to pull off in Physics class.

Even if he did take credit for my brilliant machinations.