Thursday, December 31, 2009

Complete Savings

...is a COMPLETE SCAM. 

>fumes<

Prologue:

I ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut online March 2009.

Chapter 1 (only chapter):

Yesterday morning, on a whim, I logged onto my bank account online to see if my rent check had been cashed yet (it hadn't).  I found a charge on my account from the day before.  That isn't exactly possible right now.  Here, if you want your money that's in your bank account to stay that way, you can only use your credit/debit cards in the ATM.  Otherwise, your card information will be stolen from just about anyone and your money might be gone in a few days.  My parents are taking care of a problem with that right now....

So, naturally, I looked at the charge more closely.  The only charge that might be possible was Amazon, since I just ordered a bunch of textbooks for next semester.  However, it wasn't Amazon, it was Complete Savings.  Attached was a phone number.  I called my mom over to the computer and asked if she knew what that company was...nope.  She grabbed the U.S. phone immediately and dialed the phone number attached to the company's name.  Once she got a hold of a person, she passed the phone to me.

I was informed I had signed up for a membership with their company (a supposed coupon/savings website) during a transaction I had with Pizza Hut.  I was informed that I had taken advantage of a "Check out our website for a coupon for 10 dollars back on your next Pizza Hut purchase" deal.  I remember getting an e-mail about the $10 coupon, but I also remember that I didn't take advantage of it because I read through it and found out that I had to have a membership (12 dollars a month) with their company. 

I was told that I could go and manually cancel my membership, or the woman on the phone with me could cancel it.  I asked her to cancel it immediately, and asked why I was not informed that I would be charged?  She told me that I had been sent an e-mail informing me of this charge; while on the phone with her, I opened up my e-mail account and told her that no, I had not received any e-mail, and it was not possible that their e-mail would have gone through my junk mail, because during the phone call an email from them came through to my inbox.

What makes me really angry is that I was charged 9 MONTHS after I made the transaction online, so as to assure that I would have forgotten about the whole thing and probably not even notice it!

After speaking with their representative, I'm still not sure if I'm getting a refund or not (probably not), but at least I caught it the first time, and it's now cancelled.  I also sent an e-mail to Pizza Hut about it, telling them what happened and that I would not be purchasing anything else from them. 

And here I am to warn YOU not to order from Pizza Hut online!...or Pizza Hut in general, since they're allowing this to happen to others!  Many other companies also have this Complete Savings company attached to their name, so be careful!  You don't even have to give them your credit card information, or even necessarily check yes, that you want their service, to be charged!!!!!  The company you purchased from online is the supplier of your credit card information.

Fun Christmas week activity for me, no?  :) 

We're off to the pool area for a New Year's Eve party for a few hours, can't believe the year is over!

Hope your New Year's Eve is more pleasant than mine!

And good luck in this new year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Arise and Shine Forth

I thought this song was appropriate, seeing as we've just been through Christmas and are now looking to a new year.  Song is by Michael McLean.  Enjoy!

What's Next?

I've only been to church here 5 times, altogether, and you never know what's going to happen! 

The first week here this trip, I went to sharing time for the second hour, and there were 3 children all together; no one else had come.  My mom is Kambrielle's age group teacher in English, and so when it came time for class, I went to Relief Society and Kami and my mom went into another room to have a lesson, by themselves.

The second week, Kari, Kaitlin, my dad, and I were recruited to the ward choir 10 minutes before the Christmas 'program' (we sang a medley of 3 Christmas hymns, one right after the other), as the only strong singer was gone that week, and everyone else was too nervous to sing unless there were some other people standing up there with them.  Then after I went to the English Sunday school (comprised of most of the senior missionaries, the temple president, and a handful of other people), as I was walking to Relief Society, my mom grabbed me into Primary to play the piano for singing time, as the pianist hadn't shown up.  A temple group from Guyana was also there, and a boy and woman from Haiti as well, so we had more English speakers, and the boy spoke French and a couple words in English.  Luckily, one of the ward Elders was from Haiti, spoke Spanish, French, and English, and came to translate for the boy in Primary.  However, mid-sharing time, the bishop came and took him out of the room.  No one could communicate to the boy, but he still tried to listen.  We found out after the meeting that the other woman from Haiti (who spoke only French as well), had had a mini stroke in the middle of Relief Society, and they needed the Elder to be able to talk with her.

This week, today, I found out 5 minutes before we left, from Sister Andersen, that the ward 'organist' (it's just a digital piano) would probably not be at church today, and would I please be the backup for prelude and all the hymns.  Kathy Jackman then asked if I would play for the Primary kids singing in Sacrament meeting as well.  When we got to church, about 5 minutes before it starting, the prelude music was playing itself.  I went up and stopped it and started playing, and after what seemed to be a long while, I looked around and realized that the bishop didn't look like he was planning on starting the meeting any time soon.  I kept playing, continuing to look around, wondering what the heck was going on.  When the bishop finally got up to start the meeting, I looked at the clock and saw that it was 9:25, 25 minutes after we were supposed to start.

I later found out that there had been no bread for the Sacrament, so my dad had to run out to find a store and buy some, and that none of the speakers had shown up, so the bishop was going to have me play prelude for most of the meeting to teach a lesson about responsibility.  Not sure what that lesson was, but I sure wish someone would have let me know that they were going to be starting so late!  Half an hour of prelude music was not what I was planning on!  There ended up being 3 speakers, the bishop and 2 others, who created talks on the spot.  The primary kids never got to sing.

When I got to Primary, there was no pianist again, so I came in and played.  The French speaking boy was there again, but he was on his own this time for a translator.  Sister Rappleye was doing sharing time, but knows hardly any Spanish, so her son who was visiting came up and translated.  It was chaos.  At the end of singing time we all got up and walked down the hall to the Relief Society room to sing the song they were supposed to perform earlier to the Relief Society sisters instead.  At the end of the meetings we found that someone had stolen the keyboard cords, and people who weren't supposed to were taking all the manuals out of the boxes for the next year.

So at the end of each Sunday block, everyone is frazzled, and all you can say is, "Well that was fun.  What's next week?!"

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The First Week

These are a couple views from my fam's apartment here.  The first is just a general view of the city out the family room/everything room windows, and the second is zoomed in to the temple, which you can see easily from here, just not easily on a camera. 



Driving around, here's what some corner markets look like.  This guy just grabs maybe 4 avacadoes in his hands and walks up to your window, knocks and tries to convince you to buy his items.




Here's a Christmas decorations corner store.  Note the Burger King ad, and the beer ad right behind.  Everything revolves around alcohol here, especially Presidente beer.  On the 23rd, I was out grocery shopping with my mom.  In La Sirena (regular grocery store), about 5 aisles were devoted to alcohol, and one entire aisle was for Presidente (the beer this country is famous for).  At PriceSmart (equivalent to Costco), I saw one lady walking around with 4 large bottles of vodka in her cart, just of vodka!  Then she had several other types of alcohol in her cart as well.



After grocery shopping, here are a few of our groceries in the little carts we have to use to get them up to our apartment.  Yes, that is a box labeled Corona.  PriceSmart boxes all your groceries for you.  :)  I used the same box to wrap some other gifts in...



Making cookies to take to all the ex-pats here for Christmas.



On Tuesday the 15th, I went with my mom, Kathy and Sami Jackman, and Nancy Rappleye to a beach called Boca Chica.  I'm sure Nancy would not appreciate this picture at all, but I really love it.  That's really the only time she has ever seen me, so I don't think she will see this picture.....  :)



Boca Chica



This picture was taken while getting a mini pedicure on the beach!  We were swarmed by peddlers the second we walked onto the sand, and we literally had a peddler coming to us at least once every 2 minutes.  That was the only downside of going to the beach.  This lady came by and asked me if I would like a massage, went through a million other things she was selling, and then tried to get me to buy a pedicure.  She was very persistent, but not in a creepy or annoying way; she genuinely needed to work.  I kept telling her no, and when she was finally about to walk away, my mom asked again how much she wanted for a pedicure; she answered 150 pesos (about 4.60).  My mom looked at me, and said it would probably be fun to get a pedicure on the beach, so she took out her wallet.  She told the woman she hadn't brought any money with her, which was the truth (it makes it easier to get out of buying stuff if you tell them you live there and don't have cash with you), so she searched her wallet and was able to find 116 pesos in coins.  She told the woman that was all she had, and the woman said it was ok, that she needed the work.  116 pesos is just over 3 bucks.  I got a pedicure for 3 bucks.  Can't complain.  In the picture you can also see my lovely bruise I got after slipping on some water on our tile floor.  I've still got that baby.  :)




More Boca Chica




These are the lovely yellow steps in front of the shopping area we go to for souvenir-ish stuff.




You know when I want to go shopping for underclothing, the colonial zone outdoor market is where I go....



The sign says "No Estacione" or "No Parking."  They're everywhere, and this particular picture could be taken anywhere in this city and look the same.  No one cares about traffic laws here...



How do YOU get to Funky Town?



Walking down into the caves called "Tres Ojos", or "Three Eyes".  Went there with my mom, and Kathy and Sami Jackman.  It has 3 underground mini lakes, and you pay 50 pesos to get in. 



Sami and I exploring part of the cave.



After taking a small boat ride across one of the lakes, and walking through the darkness with bats above us, we came to this opening.



We were on the other side of the caves all by ourselves, and this little boat was just chilling there.  We could've taken it and gone out on the water if we had wanted to.  Sami and I wanted to go out and do paddle wars or something on the water, but our mothers said no.



On the boat ride back to the other side of the caves.



Found this iguana-something inside the caves.



On a motorbike here, we see this kid carrying a propane tank between himself and the driver.  So safe!!  Seriously, people don't seem to think about consequences here.




I can't imagine the sort of neck strength it requires to carry such a large load on the top of your head.



Waiting for our food at an ocean-side restaurant, called Adrian Tropical.



Kaitlin wants to be a model...




Here she is again, not liking her sancocho soup.  I thought it was good.  You can also see her drink - we each got a chinola-naranja-limon frozen.  Passionfruit-orange-lime slush, basically.  Chinola juice is soooo good!



Here is mine and my mom's mofongo.  It is a bread-y mixture made of plantains and pork rinds.  It was ok.  To moisten it we dipped it in chicken broth that they bring out for you.  I ate a good portion of it. The food here just wasn't good.  Not bad like you might puke or anything, just not tasty at all.




Looking out from our table at the restaurant.



That was the first week here on vacation in the Dominican Republic!

Christmas

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!  On Christmas Eve, we took a chance and went to a restaurant called "La Suerte" (The Luck) for some Chinese.  It was the only one open after 3 PM.  Kind of ironic, when you think about the name.  It  was pretty good food, all things considered.  Not something we would have considered good in the US, but good for here.  My mom, Kami, and I went to the mall so that Kambrielle could do her last minute Christmas shopping (she informed us the night before that she needed to do some shopping....lovely).  She got a pack of gum or candy bar for everyone, and then a pair of earrings for every girl from one of the accessory stores in the mall (most things in the store cost 55 pesos...about 1.50, and they're better looking than most of the stuff in Claire's in the US).  After Chinese food, we came home and watched the movie The Testaments.  Great movie, and talked about it a little afterward, though none of the girls could seem to keep their attention focused very long. 

The family got Rock Band for Christmas, and a few different Rock Band games with it, so all my sisters and my dad have been playing it nonstop since about noon yesterday, taking breaks only to eat dinner and argue over why they shouldn't have to clean anything. 

I've been spending some time trying to figure out how to play the guitar, spent about an hour today, and will use the CDs my dad has to learn how to play tomorrow.  Pretty excited!  As soon as I have some money, I want to try to find a guitar in a pawn shop or off of classified ads and learn how to play fairly decently. 

My mom and I are going to try to go to the beach a couple more times before I leave; we went to the beach as a family (minus Kayli) last Tuesday, to Juan Dolio beach, and found a bunch of seashells, the whole ones you buy at a store.  I tried out snorkeling for the first time (at least, the first time since Guam, I think), which was really scary to me at first, but wasn't so bad once you got used to sounding like Darth Vader whenever you breathed.  We found all the good shells out in the ocean, about 5-6 feet deep.  Got some good sun too, trying to get a good tan before I go back to Logan.  I layed out by the pool on Christmas Eve with my mom, and with my dad and Kambrielle yesterday.  Laying out at the pool in 85-90 degree weather on Christmas day?  I am NOT going to complain about that!

Tonight we're going to a neighbor's birthday party down at the pool.  Gotta go help cook some food!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Scary Vegetable




It looks so icky!  It's gross!  It looks like some form of seafood!






Who in the world would eat this crud?!  It makes me want to hurl just looking at it!

It's gross!!  So gross!!!

It's called a cacao plant which means....

It's...






Chocolate.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Things to Do on Christmas Eve

Kari, my 13-year-old sister, wrote this up a little before I got here.

This is the list of things our family is supposed to do this Christmas Eve:

1.  Wake up, clean the house.
2.  Make COOKIES!
3.  Sing Christmas carols by the fire.
4.  Roast chestnuts.
5.  Dress up like eskimos.
6.  Hang mistletoe.
7.  Watch a Christmas movie.
8.  Make snowflakes.
9.  Read Christmas books.
10.  Watch a Christmas movie.
11.  Eat Chinese food.
12.  See bank lights (since they can't see the Temple Square lights, and one of the banks here has the most lights up that they've seen so far).
13.  Go home, do nativity skit.
14.  Hang stockings, set out cookies.
15.  Set up beds in Kaitlin's (and Kari's) room.
16.  Find it hard to sleep tonight.
17.  Wait for Santa in his guagua (what the bus-taxis that people ride around in here are called).
18.  Eventually fall asleep.

What do you think?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Street Vendors

For the majority of my readers (that feels so fancy to say), you rarely see street vendors. I don't think I ever see any in Salt Lake, and I'll occasionally see some taco stands in Ogden or something. However, every single intersection here has a minimum of 10 people trying to sell you something or beg something off of you. And that is no exaggeration.

My mom hates being the first car in line at a stoplight, because she will be one of the first cars hit up. There are also certain intersections she hates having to stop at, because she recognizes certain beggars. Some of the kids will not listen when you tell them no when they come to wash your windshield. It doesn't matter how many times she turns on the wipers or shakes her head at them or verbally says, "No!", they will still try to wash your windshield, then freak out when you won't pay them.


Some people really do have some interesting things to sell, though. There are the usual: the avocadoes, the bananas, the coconuts, the nut packets. The Claro people sell their phone minutes (Most phones are different here in that you don't have a monthly plan; you pay as you go for almost everything), the SkimIce guy comes around selling popsicles. Some people sell phone covers, some sell TV antennas. Two days ago, there was a guy selling light-up Santa hats. No big deal, sort of like something you might buy from "Christmas on Ice" or something, except that these Santa hats had braids coming down the sides of them. Why? I have no idea, but the guy selling them was wearing one, and let me tell you, nothing makes me want to buy a product more than a creepy old guy missing some teeth wearing a Santa hat with white braids coming down the sides.

There are also the beggars - generally my mom turns away all beggars except the kids - but she won't give the kids money, she just keeps packages of crackers in the car to hand out. The only problem is if they get her right after the light turns red, he'll make some signal to the other kids on the block and soon enough a whole bunch of kids will be coming up to the window to ask for something. Most of the people begging and not selling are missing limbs. Since there are no real safety guidelines at work, and no such thing as workers' comp, people get hurt in accidents at work all the time, cutting off a hand here, an arm there, a leg here. Also, there are so many motorcycles here, weaving in and out of traffic wherever they want, and it wouldn't be hard to get in a major accident on one of those. One man today was hopping over to our car - my mom rolled down the window and handed out 50 pesos to this guy who was missing both a full arm and a full leg on the same side of his body. No crutches, just hopping over to us. One guy, a few days ago, was trying to do tricks in the road in his wheelchair. My mom just shook her head when he came up to the window, and I jokingly said in my Nacho Libre accent, "Sorry, your tricks are just not cool enough. Are you kidding?! At the last intersection, the guy was breakdancing! You were just spinning around! We cannot waste our pesos on you!" Sounds pretty harsh, but when you are accosted by 10-15 people at every intersection....it's easier when you make a joke out of the whole thing. My dad is especially good at making jokes when people try to come beg money off of you.


People also sell other stuff here as well. Yesterday I went to "Tres Ojos" cave with my mom, Kathy Jackman and her daughter Sami Jackman. No one would leave us alone, even after we already had paid and gone down into the cave. "Here is a wonderful memory for your visit at the Dominican Republic! Only 100 pesos! So good deal!" One man offered to take a group picture for us in front of one of the lakes in the cave, with my camera, for the great deal of only 100 pesos. We're talking just over 3 bucks for him to take a picture of me and my mom with my own camera. I think we told him no about 15 different times in separate parts of the cave.


When we went to the Boca Chica beach on Tuesday with Sami, Kathy and Nancy Rappleye, we couldn't get away from the peddlers the whole time we were sitting on the sand. We had people selling sunglasses, jewelry, tattoos, massages, pedicures, paintings, hats, towels, and anything else you might think of. Walking down the beach, the way a Dominican girl wasn't dressed made it clear she was selling something as well. Boca Chica is famous for prostitution.

I actually ended up getting a pedicure from a lady who wouldn't leave me alone, in a non-creepy way. She wanted 150 pesos to give me a pedicure, and my mom wanted to get one, so she pulled out her wallet, and told the lady "I only have exactly 116 pesos on me." The woman said, "That's fine, I need the work!" So she sat down, took her bowl out and got it full of sea water, and gave me a mini pedicure. So nice. :) While she was there, a man missing a leg from the knee down came to us to beg for some money, saying he was trying to save up to fix his leg. My mom told him, "I don't have any money, but if you give me a phone number where we can find you, I know some people who can help you." We then told him how our church gives out wheelchairs to people who need them (I've seen some people on the streets with them), and how the service missionaries could talk to him if he needed one. We ended up giving him their phone number, and he went off. After he left, the pedicure lady said how he did cocaine and had been going up and down the beach for years. My mom said, "Ok, but it is true what our church does with the wheelchairs." The woman said she knew, that she had seen them, then got a little interested, saying that there was a little girl where she lived who had been in an accident and needed one, and we were able to give her the information to talk to the service missionaries here. So I got a 3 1/2 dollar pedicure and we hopefully helped someone out with a wheelchair. Fun stuff. :)


It's a relief when I go home and don't have to worry about most of this stuff when I go out!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Soaring

Can't sleep (3 hour time difference plus a 4 hour nap after church), so I thought I'd come and post a story for you all.

Imagine boarding a plane, ahead of everyone, and sitting next to an old Asian man.  You notice your seat is quite comfortable, next to two windows, and has plenty of leg and elbow room.  As you prepare for takeoff, a flight attendant comes around, taking coats and hanging them up, and offering everyone orange juice and water.  Everyone you can see, that is; you are, after all, sitting in the second row of the plane.  You start falling asleep before takeoff, but don't fully fall asleep until right after the wheels leave the ground.  Soon enough you wake up, finding the plane engulfed in natural light.  You look out the window; it is bright and clear; you can see the Rocky Mountains beneath you, covered in snow, with a few clouds here and there.  As you turn, the same flight attendant comes by, heartily says "Good morning!" and then asks you if you would like some breakfast.  You automatically start to decline, then think "Why am I declining?!"

A few moments later, he asks, "Biscuit or bagel?  Is an omelette all right?  That's all I have left right now."  Of course, you request a biscuit, and suppose that an omelette will just have to do this time.  Soon he places a tray down in front of you.  You can feel the heat emanating off of it; you see a fancy cloth napkin with your silverware rolled up inside as well.  You observe everything on your tray:  a cream-cheese-filled omelette with steaming potatoes on the side, strawberries, honeydew melon, canteloupe, a biscuit with jam and butter, and orange juice served up in a small goblet normally reserved at your house for Christmas dinner or other 'fancy' occasions.

You turn to see what your fellow passenger has been eating, and see that he chose corn flakes.  Really?  Corn flakes, when he could have had an omelette.  Whatever.  Soon enough, the flight attendant comes by again and takes your tray.  The plane touches down probably 45 minutes later in the Dallas airport, and life goes on.  You think, "Wow, don't think that could get any better."  You quickly hurry to your next flight, as it begins boarding momentarily.

Again, you board first.  Predictably, you get the second row, window seat again.  Before the plane takes off, a flight attendant comes by to get you something to drink.  Diet Coke, please.  This flight, the man sitting next to you is a talker.  Not necessarily bad, you just have to keep a conversation going now.  He also knows you are from Utah, and knows and has been to the area several times, so he already has some preconceived notions about you.  He also finds out why your family is in the Dominican Republic, and confirms those notions about you.

Right after takeoff, another flight attendant comes by to say, "Miss Whiting, today for our meal we will be serving a tortellini (emphasizing every syllable carefully) in a red sauce, or a steak with a >insert interesting name here< sauce.  Which would you prefer? (tortellini) All right, and we only have caesar dressing today; will that be all right? (uh, sure)  What would you like to drink with your meal? (just water will be fine, thank you)"  She moves on to the man sitting next to you, who of course wants steak, is fine with the caesar, and would like the red wine with his meal.  When another attendant comes around for more drinks, he requests rum with his Diet Coke.  Because that's always the first thing you think of when you want a Diet Coke.  "Man, Diet Coke.  Doesn't that sound like it would be good spiked with some rum?"

You continue polite conversation with the man sitting next to you.  Someone brings around cups of warm nuts for everyone.  A movie is turned on for everyone to watch.

When the meal comes around, about 1 1/2 hours into the flight, you are expecting something looking similar to what you received in the morning.  An attendant brings around hot washcloths to freshen up with before your meal.  When handed your tray, you see: a steaming bowl of tortellini with a red sauce with mushrooms and other yummy goodness, a side of shrimp with cocktail sauce and lemon, a caesar salad, another goblet (which they will forget to fill, because everyone but you ordered white or red wine with their meal), and a hot roll with butter.

After the movie and lunch are over, you start to smell something delicious from the flight attendants' secret lair area.  Soon enough, a hot, wonderful, chocolate chip cookie is brought out to you.  Then seconds and however-many-more-you-wants are brought out.  You stick with one (good choice).  To finish off the long, 5 1/2 hour flight, they bring little mints out to everyone, telling you, "Thank you for joining us today," as if you had just blessed them with your presence.  The plane is a little late getting into San Juan, so you have to rush off to your next flight again.

When it is time to board your next and final flight, the airport workers announce "Rows 1-7 may now board."  A mass of people rushes to the gate, and oddly enough, even after checking their bags, everyone seems to have 1 or 2 regular sized pieces of luggage that they are holding on to.  You quickly observe how many people just lined up to get on the airplane:  around 50.  You look down at your own ticket.  Row 15.  Doing the math in your head, remembering that this is a prop airplane, if there are only around 60 seats on the airplane, and 50 people just lined up for the first 7 rows, there must be 2 people per seat.  Because everyone is definitely following instructions...right?  RIGHT.  You just shrug your shoulders, say to yourself, "Es la vida," because that's the only way anyone around you would understand, and wait until most everyone has boarded the plane before you go on. 

You hand over your passport, get through, then start proceeding down that thing that you just forgot the name of.  Then you remember, that since this is a tiny airplane, you have to go outside to board the plane.  You are bummed that you can't find where your camera is to take a picture, because you feel so fancy.  After walking quite a ways out on the tarmac, you get to the area where you should deposit your carryon bags to be stowed on the plane.  The woman in front of you is in an argument with airport employees over her huge luggage that she has with her, and the guy across from you just waves you by, telling you to take your bag with you.  You walk up the rickety stairs into the back of the plane, and realize you are on the last full row, so it is good you got on last anyway.  The guy behind you tries to help you put your bag up above your head for you, but he can't make it fit.  You frantically try to pull stuff out of the bag and stuff it in your purse you brought with you.  Thankfully it fits then, because if it hadn't, it would've been tough cookies for you. 

You get adjusted into your seat, thankful that it was still there when you got on the plane.  It is a full flight, and the lady sitting across the row from you is not sitting in her assigned seat.  More people get on the plane and she eventually has to move and sit right next to you.  You fill out your immigration and aduana (customs) forms before takeoff.  The lady next to you is a native Dominican, and she does not.  In fact, she waits until just after takeoff when all the lights have been turned off and she discovers that the lights above you both don't actually work.  Then she frantically begins mumbling in Spanish to you, saying that she can't see very well and asking you questions.  You try to repeat what she is saying to you to verify what she is asking, and then she gets really frustrated at you; you say "Lo siento..." (I'm sorry...).  The lights start to work and she finally finds her glasses.  She borrows your pen to fill out the forms, and thankfully, you fall asleep until 5 minutes before landing.  How do you know it is landing time?  Well, other than the fact that your rickety plane is shaking really badly, the entire plane erupts in applause the second the wheels touch the ground again.  Superstition.  She returns your pen, and you get off the airplane.  As you step off the airplane, you notice a girl on the plane who was on your flight out of Salt Lake.  She notices you too, and even though it is clear she knows the language and you do not, she chooses to ignore you.  You also notice a few boys your age who go to your University.  Basically, everyone knows you are a white girl who can't speak Spanish very well, and no one chooses to help you.  You stand out on the tarmac, not really sure what to do, and then eventually follow the mass of people from the tarmac to the immigration area.  You pass through with flying colors, and get out to the baggage claim quickly.

While waiting for your bags, the girl from Salt Lake approaches you.  "Were you in Salt Lake this morning?" 

"Um, yep, actually, I was sitting right next to you at the departure gate." 

"Oh, ok, why are you here?  Are you visiting...?"

"Yeah, I'm visiting my family; they live here."

"Your family?  They live here?  Why?"

"Um, my dad is here for work.  I'm assuming you go to Utah State?" (Utah State has an exchange program up with Dominican Republic.  There are a TON of Dominican students at your school.)
"Oh, no, I don't go to Utah State."

"Oh, ok."

>awkward pause<

"I go to BYU, actually."

"Oh, ok!  Well, actually, my dad works for the LDS church." (some recognition comes to her eyes) "Well....I'm Mormon.  I'm assuming you're Mormon also?"

"Yes, I am."

"What stake are you in?  What was your name again?"

And without an answer, she just walks away.  Quite bizarre.  You go through customs without any hitches at all (quite odd as well, no one even glances at your bags or anything).  As you walk towards the exit, it becomes clear that some sort of celebrity must be arriving in the Dominican or something, because the whole country and all their dogs are waiting out there.  People are yelling and screaming and cheering, and you start to panic, because this mass crowd goes out the door, into the street outside.  Luckily for you, though, you just have to look for the tall white people.  You see someone's hand shot up in the air, holding a video camera, and relief shoots through you.  Then these tall white girls shoot through the barrier of people, screaming, "Kierstin!  Kierstin!  WOO WOO!  YEAH!  WOOHOO!"  Your dad makes you stop and take a picture, even though other people are trying to run you over with their carts and policemen are telling you to keep moving and your mom is also yelling at your dad to keep moving.  Some lady also laughs at you and screams at you something about "mucha gente" (many people).

At the van, you ask if some sports team or something was coming home tonight.  Nope, just a lot of people coming home for Christmas.  That was quite normal.  And any time anyone came out of the security area, to find their family, the whole airport would erupt in shouting and cheering and clapping.  Not for you, since you are stinky tall white girl, but that's ok; that's why your sisters thought it would be fun to scream at you like you were some celebrity when you came out.  Everyone else in the airport thought it was normal; only you and your family thought it was funny.

You make it home in one piece, collapse into bed, remembering you have to be ready for church at 9 (6 AM Utah time).  Your dad is soon gone, leaving for his own flight at 4:30 in the morning.  He went to Suriname for the week. Actually, right now he's stuck in Trinidad because no one told him he had to get a visa before being able to enter Suriname.  Fun stuff.

And that is my story.  Well, thank you for joining me this evening.  When you travel, remember to fly Whiting Airlines, where it's always free and sometimes worth as much.  :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Poll

My pinky and ring finger on my left hand went numb about 30 minutes ago or more and it's not going away. Raise your hand if you think I should go to the doctor. Raise your hand if you think I should see how long it takes until my fingers fall off. K thanks! :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Grand Tour

I realize you all have been dying to see my apartment as well. No one in my blogging world here has actually seen it, other than my Utah State friends. So, prepare yourself for something awesome.

First we see the front room/living room/family room/everything room. You can see it comes complete with lovely brown blinds, invisible curtains, healthy plant, matching furniture, and a musical instrument. Someone in a past year had a terrible accident on the stool, unfortunately. Moving on.



When we turn around, we can see the kitchen. We are very gifted interior decorators, as evidenced by the furry spiders taped to the back side of the kitchen cupboards.


Long view of the kitchen. Note the healthy food choices, such as Cheerios, Zero Powerade, etc. Ignore the unhealthy ones like Lays Potato Chips.


Looking up the hallway from Kendra's room; there are 4 bedrooms, and the opening on the left side of the picture leads out to the kitchen and the living room.


A rare glimpse into Megan's bedroom.


Our bathroom, which is directly across the hall from my bedroom. You can see the separate toilet room door through the mirror. Note the elegant shower head sticking out above the shower door, which is encrusted with mold, the stains of which cannot be scrubbed off.


First glance into my bedroom. I was going to wait until I had it clean again, but then I thought, well, that wouldn't really be me then, would it? It is much cleaner right now, however. Maybe an after picture will follow.


My desk.


View from standing on top of my bed, looking back at my closet.


My lovely decorations on 70s wood paneling.


To my sisters: no complaining that you have to share a room with any other sister will be allowed.

The other day, I was telling my mom about how the position my bed was in was awkward or something like that, and she suggested moving it. I said, "Where?" She replied, "Oh, just to the other wall." "What other wall?" Well, Mom, I think you see my point now.

No complaining, I really love my apartment. :) Can't wait until next year! As long as psycho roommate plans on moving out, the rest of us fully plan on staying here as long as we're in school here. Fun apartment complex and block!

College Life

Many of you, at times throughout your day, may ponder the question: What goes on at Kierstin's apartment, exactly? Well, wonder no more.

We study:
Wait...that's facebook.


We clean.

Kendra was in the kitchen watching me on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor, and said, "Kierstin, don't we have a mop?"

"Yep."

"Well, why did we buy a mop?"

"I really don't know."

That was the end of the conversation. Now you just got a glimpse into some of our daily communications too. ;)

We eat food.


We wear cute, modest pjs. This makes us really happy, especially when Bryce comes over at 11:30 PM to ask Kierstin for help on his calculus homework.




I also feel the need to point out that while these appear to be leopard print pajamas, they are, in fact, gingerbread men printed on the pants. We can only hope that Bryce realized this as well.


But most importantly, we read our scriptures.


You should all feel enlightened after having a peek into our exciting lives.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Work-out

No, I'm not talking about my spin class. Although I did attend that today as well.

I'm talking about playing the violin! Good grief! I am playing in the pit for an opera that one of my friends from Riverton high wrote, and we had our first rehearsal last week. Now, remember, I haven't played violin, other than by myself for a couple minutes here and there, for over 2 years.

So after last week's rehearsal, I had what looked to be a hickey on my collarbone, from holding up the violin. I had forgotten about that. And then - my left arm has been sore all week! From stretching my fingers to play the notes, holding them tightly to the fingerboard, holding them in an awkward position, and trying to use them to vibrato (quite successfully, I might add ;) ).

Then on Friday night Jess asked me if I wanted to go to the practice rooms on campus on Saturday morning to sightread some music - her on the marimba, and me on the violin. We made quite the combination. Look for us in your town next month - Marimba and Violin: the Unlikely Duet. While messing around then, I realized how sore my arm was.

Fast forward to today, where we had another rehearsal for the opera. Holy Hannah! My arm was so much more sore today, and then from using my right arm to bow for 2 1/2 hours, my shoulder and back started to ache. Then add on a headache with a neck ache from clenching my jaw while holding up my violin and just from the cacophony of all the music being played in general.

So let's review: spin class for 45 minutes, sweat falling off my face, come home and shower - fine.

Play the violin for 2 1/2 hours - hurt like crazy and have an awesome headache.

Lesson: obviously I'm having more pain with the violin, so it MUST be more gain. I think I'll skip out on gym class and just start playing music. Eh?

By the way, the opera is called "The Wolf and the Seven Kids." The composer is my friend Shane M., he is a musical genius. This is his first opera, and he is graduating from USU with a bachelor of arts with an opera major next semester, if all goes as planned. He will also be serving a mission after next semester (again, if things run smoothly). He is also 18 years old. So if you just happen to be in Logan the last week of January 2010, feel free to stop by and watch his opera be performed. He just might become famous, and how cool will it be to be able to say you watched/participated in his first opera?

Gotta run!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

I have a story to share.

Today, in USU 1300, "U.S. Institutions," Professor Lewis announced that his colleague, the head of the History department had an announcement and everyone needed to listen. The head of the history department was at the front of the room and very shortly told everyone to take a seat as quickly as possible. Megan and I usually sit at the back so as to get a seat and to be able to leave the classroom quickly to get to our next classes on the other end of campus. I turned, curious as to why this man was being so serious.

"It has been brought to my attention that there has been some cheating going on within this classroom on tests."

Now he had everyone's attention; I rarely hear about cheating, and when I do, it is always taken care of outside the classroom, if it is even 'taken care of.'

"If you haven't already received it, in your mail today you should receive a letter from the school. In this letter is some more of the information I will be telling you today. After your last test, a student came to my office and let me know that there had been some cheating. He gave me a name, and it has now become clear that there is a class conspiracy going on. I have a list of 52 students from this class who are a part of this. They know who they are, as they should have already received the letter in the mail."

My eyebrows raised about 3 inches when he said the number 52. I only ever hear about 1 or 2 students cheating, not a class cooperating together to cheat! I was suddenly thankful for my C test score, as I couldn't possibly be suspected of cheating.

"Because this is so widespread, we are taking legal action, and in the document we have sent out to you is a date and time when you will have to come to a review. You will tell us what you were doing during this exam, if you know anyone who was cheating, and the names of anyone who was cheating. You will also sign an affidavit, then take an oath that you did not participate in any of this cheating. You will have to come to this review; if you don't there will be legal consequences.

"If you are found to be a part of the cheating conspiracy, you will receive an F for this class. You will be expelled from this institution. You will have a permanent mark on your academic record, and your names will all be published in newspapers across the state. We want to make clear that we do not tolerate this crime, and it is a crime; it is the highest crime on an academic level. You may get legal representation if you wish; in fact, I would recommend it. Questions?"

At this point our professor, Dr. Lewis, cut in. "Do you really think it's necessary to do this? I mean, you said it's 50 of the class, not the entire class! This is really unnecessary to do during class time, involving everyone. They don't all need to go up to this review; this is ridiculous!"

The department head said, "Dr. Lewis, this needs to stop. You are also under review; the way you run this classroom is half the reason for this discussion."

At this point, my eyebrows got all furrowed, and I was thinking, "What in the world is going on here? This is so unprofessional!" He then opened it up for questions:

"How many students are in this class?"

"Ah, let me look at this, it says there are 127 students in this class, and I have the names on this list of 47 who were part of the conspiracy."

"What if we can't make the time scheduled for us?"

"Uh, you will."

"Why is Dr. Lewis a part of this? If there is cheating going on, how exactly is he involved in this and why is it being brought up right now? What is going on here?"

"Miss, the tone you are taking is entirely inappropriate here. That is not a topic which will be discussed today. Anymore questions? Ok, I apologize for what is happening here, and hope that it will not happen again."

Dr. Lewis walked up to the front and center of the classroom again, "Ladies and gentlemen, I realize that what is happening is extremely uncomfortable, as most of you are not involved with this at all. I hope that we can continue with class for the remainder of our time in a normal fashion. Today, we will be discussing what happened during the 2nd Red Scare, and how many people were targeted unfairly for being associated with anything communist, or even if they weren't associated with anything communistic at all."

Insert groan from the entire class. Then applause. I didn't really applaud, I just sort of sat there and was thinking, "What the heck?! This guy is crazy." That was the best that I have been gotten in quite a while.

My Laugh of the Week

Thought this clip was hilarious. Lo siento mis Dominicanitas, Uds. no pueden ver. :( There are also 2 other Penelope clips that you can find on Hulu from the show's page. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Football

So USU basically won another football game today. This year we have increased our # of games won by 200%. Amazing, huh? We usually only win 1 game a season; last year we won one as well, I believe. So this season, so far we have won 3 games! Woohoo!! Looks like hiring the new coach was a good move. Next week: BSU. I would throw some trash talk out there or something, but we already won 3 games this season, so I'm not going to push our luck. :)

I also went to a bridal shower today; my first one for a friend, without my mom. The bride lives downstairs and one door down; I've had a couple classes with her up here and went to high school with her for one year. I rode down to Clearfield with her 3 roommates, and made some good friends. I have now been given official 'permission' to knock and walk into their apartment. Probably going to take them up on that soon here. I also now have 2 Spanish speaking buddies: Monique from downstairs and Travis from next door. Going to join their conversations to try and practice my Spanish some more before I go down to the DOmonicana again!. At the shower, I gave what was probably the lamest gift: a Christmas tablecloth. Oh, well, that's ok. :) I'm glad I went; only 10 people (including myself) showed up for the shower. It was a little odd and awkward, but we had fun anyway. The classic toilet paper wedding dress was quite intricate what with Monique and I making the skirt. We almost made a huge butt bow, but later decided against it.

Here's to a new week - hope everyone's goes well!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fort Hood Shooting

Last week, as many of you know, there was a shooting at Fort Hood, killing several men and women. One of the men killed, Aaron Nemelka, was from West Jordan, UT. A girl in one of my previous wards, Kristin, was dating him, and they may have been planning to get married.

I haven't been great friends with Kristin, ever, but I know that prayers would be appreciated for both her and Aaron's family. Today was the viewing, and tomorrow is his funeral. Flags have been lowered to half staff all over. I can't go to Kristin and try to help; I know she has already been bombarded with people trying to talk to her. But I know we can pray for her and Aaron's family.

Thanks to all those serving in the military; let's honor this soldier's service.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Did It!

Ok, this will be the most 'bragadocious' post (as my uncle calls it) I have ever done, I believe.

Yesterday (Monday) ended a 6 week weight loss program I took on. I wanted to post just what sort of stuff I lost. Maybe some of the numbers aren't needed, but hey - I figure if my aunts post their birth stories, I can at least post how many inches I lost.

Weight lost: 19.0 lbs

Inches off:

Chest: 2.75

Waistline: 2.5

Abs: 5.75

Hips: 2.0

Thighs: 1.75

To celebrate our accomplishments and for sticking out the entire 6 weeks, today my roommate and I went out for Chinese. And Carl's Jr. Yes, I realize it kind of defeats the purpose of it all. But, tomorrow we're starting another shorter round 2 of this program, and also participating in my family's The Biggest Loser, which I will undoubtedly win. Bring it on!!!

You may all now tell me I look fabulous. :) Because I feel fabulous.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 4th

Today. Whew! Ups and downs, it feels like today has been as long as a week.

At midnight I was just getting home from studying at Jeremy's apt. 3 doors down for our Stat 3000 test today. I also stayed over there for a while to just study and get away from our apt. here. Fun stuff, I tell you, fun stuff. I went to bed around 1:30.

Wake up 7:30, go back to sleep until 8:00. Get up at 8, wander around, study, get ready, and leave for classes at 8:10. Hike up the Hill of Doom. Get through calculus, study for stats, get my history test back (got one point better than the last test, a 77....really? What more can I do?), go to linear algebra, get my test back (32 points. 32. Really. 32. With the 10 point 'bonus' (since the professor told us there's no way anyone could have figured out the last problem), it was a 42. I'm going to put everything I have into the final - the professor says if there is clear and awesome improvement, he doesn't care about the grades.), go to Stat and take a test that took every second to finish.

Walk back from classes, see that I have a message from the mechanic I dropped my car off with the day before to call him back. Get home, call the mechanic, get told that nothing is wrong with my car, but that he can show me some things to help the car pass inspection if I get there in the next half hour (he lives 20 minutes from my apt.), sprint to my next door neighbor's to ask Richard if he could drive me out there to pick up my car.

Get in the car and Richard drives me out to Wellsville; luckily his own car did not break down; I seriously feared his car might not make it all the way there. Boyd (the mechanic) comes out to show me where the parts under the hood need to be cleaned, all the while speaking to Richard. I think this is a guy thing - it's my car, I'm the one who talked to him on the phone, I'm the one who dropped it off and arranged everything, and yet he only talked to Richard about the car even though he had no idea who he even was.....pretended I wasn't there half the time....sigh...p.s. Richard is only a neighbor/friend. K?

Get back in my car and drive back to Logan. Grab some paper towels and start to head down to my car. Stopped by another neighbor, Bryce, as he asks me what I'm doing. I say, "I have no idea; I'm just trying to fix and clean some stuff with my car." He follows me down and attempts to be all macho and pop open the hood, but I had to step in and open it, as he couldn't quite figure it out. He then examined everything and laughed at some stuff and then would say something like "Whoa you have a >insert really fancy word
After finishing with my car, Bryce invites me to go get 15-cent wings at a local restaurant with a group of friends. So I go grab my car again and meet them over there. My first time eating at a bar. Hmmm....except everyone had a water and a plate full of wings. Pretty good wings. When I go to pay, he is kind enough to cover myself and another neighbor he had invited. Nice. 'Course, they were 15 cents..... :)

Run to piano lessons and teach some kids some music for an hour. When I walk into their piano area, I look down and see a pigeon in a box staring at me. I'm surprised I didn't jump or gasp or anything. The pigeon was just sitting in the box, chilling there. The girl who I teach walks by and says "Oh he has a swollen eye, so we're taking care of him." She also then proceeded to let me know that she hadn't been able to trick-or-treat for very long this year because she and her entire family came down with the swine flu the day after our last lesson and were just now getting over it. Lovely.

Run back from piano lessons, and see how disgusting my entire apartment is. It really is sick. Megan and I try to clean, but Megan is working all the time, and when she's not working, she's doing homework, and when she's not doing that, she's asleep. So I'm basically the only one right now who cleans here. I gotta be honest, it had been a few weeks since the bathroom was cleaned, maybe a month. It was DISGUSTING. My sink that Megan and I share was pretty clean, but the other sink was growing a yellow ring around it; needless to say, things were looking pretty bad. So I clean in our apartment from 7:30 until about 9:30. Clean the bathroom, clean the kitchen, clean out the vacuum, set up the vacuum, vacuum, clean out the vacuum again, vacuum, clean it out one more time.
In the meantime, I make chocolate chip mint brownies. As soon as I finish them, I text Bryce to let him know to come over, I run to take the trash out, I stop at the Jess's apartment and grab Jeremy and the 3 LBGs (for future reference, this stands for Little Blonde Girls) to come get some brownies, call out to my 2 roommates who were at home, and run to the apartment next door to give Richard some brownies for taking me to Wellsville. Richard isn't home, so his roommate Travis comes over instead. The brownies are half-devoured, and when Jeremy and the LBGs come over, they tell me that I am going country swing-dancing.
K. So....my roommate Kendra has invited me to go country swing-dancing almost every week since this semester started and I have turned her down every time. Mostly because it lasts until 1 in the morning every Monday and Wednesday night. Different person asks me to go, I think you get the idea why I went this time. :) So I go country swing-dancing. SO fun. Jeremy taught me a bunch of the basic moves and a couple guys asked me to dance and then someone tried to do this fancy thing where I swing out and then come back in and flip around and jump and land on their knee and then all of a sudden they throw you back out on the floor. Yeah, pretty fancy. One of the LBGs 'does NOT like Jeremy,' but doesn't realize the effect she has on boys, and doesn't realize that she is leading him on with the way she acts. Now, I'm dancing there having a really fun time with him, and she comes over and he stops dancing right at the end of that song and spends half the night with her. Does it ever stop? Or do guys really always pay attention to the little blonde girls that don't actually reciprocate any of the same feelings? I also saw a guy there who I'm trying to avoid. Nice guy, but I just really don't like him. Sad stuff.

I leave country dancing with the group at about 12:15, and come home to register for classes. The only problem with registering, is that if I fail Linear Algebra, I can't take any of the math classes I have scheduled for next semester. Well, it turns out that that isn't so big of a problem anyway. The one class, MATH 2280 (Differential Equations, the complement to linear algebra, MATH 2270) is already completely full. Only 40 slots for the entire class. Then I register for the rest of my classes. I try to register for English, only to find out that because I haven't taken some computer tests, I can't register for that class. I knew that I have to take and pass the tests, I just hadn't been informed that it had to be done before you could even register for the class. So right now I have 9 credits, where I'm supposed to have 15. I don't really know what to do about it. And now I am typing here at almost 2:00 in the morning, thinking this has really been one of the longest days ever. I just noticed that I'm kind of hungry, and realized that other than a small taste of a brownie and a couple wings, I haven't eaten anything since breakfast. Probably not a good idea.

Recap:
Negative things: C+ on History test, Double F on linear algebra test, Statistics test, nasty apartment, possibly exposed to the swine flu, almost got broken down on the freeway on the way to Sardine Canyon, saw a stalker at the dance, got the guy I was trying to have fun with stolen away, couldn't register for classes, and Hill of Doom.

Positive things: Studying at Jeremy's, getting stats test over with, getting my car back, having a job teaching piano lessons to get a couple extra bucks, getting to go have wings, not paying for my wings, having really great neighbors who just come and talk to me or are willing to spend an hour helping me out to get my car back, having Jess who was willing to skip class for me so I could get to piano if I didn't have my car back, now I have a clean apartment, making mint chocolate chip brownies, getting to spend a lot of time dancing with Jeremy, getting to know some of the basics of country dancing, having fun with friends.

So this is probably one of the longest posts I've made. Congratulations if you made it to the end, and thanks for letting me ramble!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

My weekend :)

Hello All! Happy Halloween to everyone!

What are you all dressing up as? I'm headed out as a hippie. Tie-dyed a shirt with the girls 2 doors down and went out and bought an afro and bright pink lipstick. I don't think the lipstick goes with the whole hippie outfit though...think I just want to wear it for fun. I'm headed out to the store in a couple minutes (hopefully I can sneak out by myself...good grief...) to buy a couple more ingredients to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies...mmm! I'll be taking those to our apartment complex Halloween party downstairs. We're having one apartment set up as a dance area with food, one apartment set up with a super scary movie, and one set up with a mildly scary movie. Gonna part-ay it up!

Last night I went to a 'pre-Halloween' bonfire started by some guys in my ward. Anyone and everyone was invited, so when we left about a half hour after it was supposed to start, I figured we'd show up to the campsite (this took place in the middle of Logan canyon, at Second Dam) with this huge mass of people and maybe have to leave if it got too crazy. Nope.

When Jess and 2 of my roommates and I got there, we had to walk through all these pathways (I had never been there before, so it was a little spooky) to get to the 'bonfire.' It was a bonfire if by bonfire you mean a couple sticks and a ton of ash. There were 5 people there. One girl was wearing a Reese's costume and 2 guys were trying to get the fire roaring up so they could cook their hobo dinners that they brought. We introduced ourselves and tried to talk...somewhat unsuccessfully, but it wasn't too awkward.

After the basketball game ended, more people slowly started showing up (about 9:15-ish). By 10:00 there were probably 20-30 people, and I was having a great time. I even got to talk to a guy a few doors down for a while; that was fun. :) I was having so much fun that when it came time for a certain roommate (I'm really great at this vague description thing) to really REALLY want to leave, I wanted to stay. So I asked the little blondies from 2 doors down if I could get a ride home with them, and their ride (Jeremy, the neighbor I was talking to for a bit) said they could squeeze one more in, on the condition that I would have to be the one to sit on his friend's lap. Sure, why not? ;) We ended up squishing 7 people into his Jeep, and I had the great fortune to sit in the back and let one of my little blonde friends sit in the front with his friend. Came back around midnight, and went to Costco in Ogden in the morning to have a beautiful Polish dog with the berry ice cream for lunch. It was heavenly.

Everyone have fun trick-or-treating or whatever you do!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fort

I've been hiding out in my room since 5:30 today. Ms. Roommate is really angry. She was fine earlier today, but has been in a particularly bad mood since I saw her this morning, just like the girl that I knew last year especially. After last Friday, I started feeling a bit less Christ-like to her cause, as I realized more and more that she had no ground coming out at me like that and confronting me for something I have never done, something that is her problem and her problem alone. However, I did try throughout the week to go out of my way to make sure that I never let her come into a room without saying hi to her and other simple things that make her upset if we, as 'friends', don't do. I tried, and it seemed like we had a better week than usual.

Today after classes, one of my roommates passed by her room and said, "Hey, ___, are you ok?" The sarcastic reply: "NO." "Well, what's wrong?" "Nothing." So she kept walking down the hall to the bathroom. Because when you try to be sympathetic and ask someone what's going on, and you get a sarcastic response telling you of course everything is wrong but they're not going to tell you what, what else can you do? I was taking this roommate to the library on campus on my way out to WalMart to pick up a couple groceries with another roommate. Before we left, unnamed roommate stormed out of her room, stomped down the hallway, and slammed the bathroom door shut. While she was in there, we were walking out the door, and Megan walked by the bathroom, and said, "Hey, ___, I'm headed out to wally's with Kierstin to pick up a few things, I'll be back in a minute." No response. "____?" No response. "_____?" No response. After three or four times of calling out her name and having her completely ignore her, we finally shrugged our shoulders and walked out the door.

Upon coming home, a half an hour later, she stormed out of the house without a goodbye to the two of us standing 2 feet from the door. She had her keys in hand, so I just assumed she was going to go somewhere to cool down or had a study group or something. When I left for a piano lesson 10 minutes later, I found her sitting on the side of the road. As I drove out of the parking lot to go to the lesson, I didn't know what to do. Ignore her because of how she was acting? But surely that would just get me in trouble for 'excluding' her in everything (no joke, my roommates and I have to analyze everything we do like this). So I tried to be the bigger person again, and because I knew she was upset and was definitely not okay, I pulled over on the side of the road, rolled down my window, and said "Hey, are you going to be ok,?" To which she looked at me, glared, rolled her eyes, and before I had even finished my sentence, turned and started walking the complete opposite way.

I avoided coming home after the lesson for almost an hour; I talked to my dad, and he suggested to continue praying for her, be Christ-like still, and keep trying to be the bigger person. I finally got home and walked up to my apartment. When I walked in, she was in the kitchen with her headphones in, making sure to laugh hysterically to prove she was having a good time. I didn't know for sure what to do, as she had made it clear to me she wasn't going to behave like a normal person and was probably angry with me and everyone else on planet Earth for some wrong we had done against her. So I stopped by the counter, looked at her for a second, and she proceeded to turn up her music. So, I picked up my water bottle and walked to my room and closed the door, really unsure of what to do.

And now I'm here. I am seriously considering selling my contract here and moving out before spring semester starts (my contract lasts until summer semester starts); the only thing keeping me here are my other two roommates. I don't think it's right to let her push me around this way; actually, to push anyone around this way, as she did it to everyone in my apartment today. When she confronted and got angry with another roommate about a month ago, she turned on the tears after a while and said that she had nowhere else to go, so things needed to get fixed in this apartment. You'd think if she needed us that much, she would treat us better. Because I know one thing: I do not need her. I will continue to try to be kind and Christ-like, being the bigger person with her, but I am through with this friendship when I move out. There is no more 'fixing' it, because her idea of 'fixing' is that I need to apologize for her insecurities.

So. What do you guys think? Stick it out until May, or move out as soon as possible? Because right now, I honestly have no idea what to do.

Update: I just was given another confrontation, lucky me. I was told that I really hurt her when I didn't invite her to go to the grocery store today. She told me when I took everyone there and specifically left her here, it was extremely hurtful. I clarified that one of my roommates was going to class, and was told "So? Everyone was gone and I was left here. I cried in my room." I told her I don't invite everyone to everything that I do, and she said she knows, that she needs to work on it too, that we all need to work on making sure everyone is invited and no one gets left out. I said I can try to be more conscientious about it, but that I can't make any promises, because I probably won't even think about it. She told me, "See that's the thing; if you're not making a conscious effort you obviously don't care and it tells me you don't care about me; again I'm not saying I'm a perfect person or anything." I just sat there and listened to her tell me a bunch of stuff and just sat and stared at her. She then told me what a great person I am, and how the reason we probably have so much conflict is that we are extremely similar in personality, and that she hopes that deep down I think she's a great person too. I just nodded. I'm not a confrontational person with friends at all, but I'm not going to flat out lie. She ended by giving me a hug and said to make sure that if I ever get unhappy with her to come and talk to her about it. Once again, I am NOT a confrontational person in the way that she is with me.

Maybe I'll take my dad's advice and start living at the library, because it's clear to me that if I want to get out with anyone other than myself, I'm going to have to invite the whole block, and I just don't have that much room in my car.

I need a job and a therapist.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Christ-like Attitude?

I need your help.

Tonight my roommate confronted me about leaving her out of stuff today, and luckily, I was able to tell the truth that I was not trying to leave her out. I said "I definitely did not try to leave you out of anything today." To which she replied, "Just today? Have there been other times that you have?" I had to be honest and say yes, sometimes. She got her sarcastic face on and told me "Wow, THAT'S comforting."

For some reason it just didn't seem a good time to confront her about everything that she does that makes me want to cry and move away from every single one of my friends and be by myself, just to get away from her. Instead I just told her that I will try harder to not come across as leaving her out, and will try to be more sensitive to that sort of thing. I also covered for another friend who she said was leaving her out today as well; I insisted it probably had been accidental. She smiled and said it was ok, that she was probably just paranoid since this has happened to her all throught her life, people leaving her out.

I just want to cry now, and I keep wishing my mom were here to give me a hug. All I could think was that I really wanted my mom to be here, but I couldn't even call her because of the time difference. I finally went and knocked on my roommate's door and asked if she would like a hug, and she told me yes and opened the door and told me she was sorry for confronting me.

I need some help being the bigger person here and being kind to her and not leaving her out of things and including her in stuff.

So if you are one of my friends here in Logan reading this, will you please help me and help all of us as a group by trying not to avoid her? Trying not to have conversations change when she comes around? I know it's going to be hugely hard, as most everything I do, whether it's wrong or right, seems to be wrong to her, but I can try? Surely there's got to be some blessings for trying?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Statistics

Today I had statistics 3000 and would just like to present you with some numbers.

There is a 4 in 85 (guesstimate) chance that you will be asleep at some point in one day of STAT 3000.

There is a 4 in 85 chance that you will choose to read the newspaper in STAT 3000 rather than pay attention.

The probability that you will be able to pay attention for 100% of the class time is .00001 (Since there is usually not a zero chance for most things).

The probability that you will see two boys watching the trailer for Toy Story 3 on a laptop while the rest of the class is trying to convince your professor from Thailand that 39-16 is not, in fact 17, but is 23, is 1. This will absolutely happen.

The probability that I made friends with a guy that lives next door who is also in that class with me and studied together for the test last Friday remains unknown.

The probability that you may wonder why in the world you are taking this class is .8975. It is only this low because you would know that you have to take it for your major.

There is a 58% chance that you will think I'm crazy after reading this.