I am grateful for Lortab.

This morning, I went to the dentist to have a tooth looked at that has been giving me problems for a long time.  I had a root canal in it a few years ago and I thought that was the end of it.  But turns out the sucker got reinfected, so I had to get it pulled and I'll have to get an implant in six months or a year - depending on how I feel about it.  As miserable as I am right now, I'll be glad when it's all healed up because it was giving me headaches and crap before.  For now, I'm doped up on Lortab and antibiotics and spending my Monday off watching the Doctor Who TV Movie DVD I bought over the weekend (I wish there was more Paul McGann as the on-screen Doctor - he was fantastic).

Over the weekend, I attended our stake's Women's Conference.  I almost didn't go because I was feeling so lousy about life and a few other things.  Just - you know - I'm not measuring up to other people's expectations for me and why isn't my success more visible.  Didn't help that on Friday, I spent a shopping trip with my mom and my sisters - including my married-and-pregnant sister whose entire topic of conversation with my mother was squicky pregnancy details and rehashing all the drama that accompanied her wedding (mother-in-law and dresses and all that crap).  Yeeeeeeaaahhh... I had nothing to add to that.  Nor did I want to.  It's not that I'm not excited about her having a baby and me getting to be an aunt - I just don't have any interest in that sort of stuff.  I don't even have any ideas for my own wedding and I never have.  Usually I'm perfectly content to not discuss those topics as they pertain to me because I'm working on school and I have a job that I enjoy and I have other things to occupy my mind.  But it would be nice if other people (certainly other family members) recognized that I'm having my own version of success and that I'm happy.

Back to the Women's Conference on Saturday - Dad noticed that I wasn't feeling too well that morning.  He suggested I go with him on a few errands and I ended up crying about what I just described in the previous paragraph.  Dad, being my awesome dad that he is, pointed out all the great things I've done and told me that he's not worried in the least about me and that I'm doing fine and other people have problems that have nothing to do with me even though I get caught in the crosshairs.  He said a few other things and I felt so much better.

During Women's Conference, the theme was "Count Your Blessings" and it was wonderful.  One of the speakers said something that really hit me hard.  I can't remember it exactly, but it was along the lines of the Lord gives us tender mercies to fit the conditions and particulars of our lives.  What is a miracle to one person might not be the same thing someone else needs.  So, someone could post some silly YouTube video on their Facebook page just to be funny and not think too much of it, but I could see it and it'll cheer me up after a really hard time I've been having and it somehow reminds me that Heavenly Father is still looking out for me (that happened once).

Okay, well I'm going to head back home now.  I just wanted to get that down for posterity.  Made me feel good, anyway :)

This is just a fun commercial and I think it deserves to be spread far and wide.

Super Bowl goodness - yay!  I enjoyed myself.  It helped that I didn't care who won (and I didn't notice Christina Aguliera (however you spell her name) flubbing the National Anthem - maybe I'm bad American or something... Honestly, after all the pre-game festivities and what-have-you, I was ready to get going with the game).  The ads were okay.  Nothing really stood out - it was all Super Bowl quality stuff (really, I think the only way a Super Bowl ad could get noticed is if it were your basic run-of-the-mill regular season ad.  I could have done without all the shameless Glee promos, though.  Seriously - I do not understand the draw of that show.  Is it just the music?  Because the characters are so... WB (or CW, if you like).  Really, since "24" was canceled, I don't watch Fox TV shows anymore.  They all just seem so shallow and pointless (that being said - I probably would enjoy "House" just because Hugh Laurie is amazingly funny and sarcastic, but I'm not much for squicky medical dramas).

What else - had a great class weekend.  Lots of things got done - I feel really good about my chosen field (which, a year into my master's program, is a very good thing).  My adviser is working on finding a library to host me in my practicum this summer, which is exciting.  I'm going to the Utah Library Association conference in May and I can't wait!  But this is a really good story - I was going to ask my classmates if any of them wanted to go in on a hotel room, just to make the cost more reasonable (I'm poor and a little bit cheap at the moment) and three people offered to have me stay at their houses!  Plus, there's one lady who's a substitute for the Salt Lake County Library, which would be a great entry-level way for me to eventually get a full-time job.  I asked her how she got on there and she told me (she's got kids at home, so she's not going to be doing full-time stuff anytime soon) - then, she said that if a position opened up, I could use her as a reference!  I've got some really great classmates. :)

Also - some of my students might go do Region Drama competition in April, which I sort of volunteered to be their coach (still knowing next-to-nothing about drama - beyond having participated in one drama competition when I was in high school, plus directing the Christmas play).  It'll be fun... but piled on top of everything else I'm doing this semester (did I also mention I'm planning a baby shower for my sister in May? - yeah, we'll see how my sanity holds up.  But really, I'd rather be busy than bored out of my skull like I was last summer.  Last summer was pretty crappy (other than being introduced to a certain science-fiction series we all know and love - oh, guess what!  I got a TARDIS USB hub from ThinkGeek! It's sitting on my desk now looking so awesome and I love it!)

Last week I also got released from the Relief Society presidency.  They didn't have us in for too long, but the other counselor went on a mission and the secretary's getting ready to go and the president's been having family issues she's dealing with... which meant I was more or less running the branch Relief Society for two months.  I didn't mind - but I live clear in the heck far away from the rest of the branch, which was really hard for me to do anything.  So, the branch presidency reorganized the Relief Society and I am currently without a calling.  Well, that's not entirely true - I was told they have something for me to do, but nothing's official yet.  Stay tuned for further updates.

I have so much homework to do... except I have at least two teeth that are giving me so much pain and anguish right now.  I have a dentist appointment in a few weeks (after I get paid and have a day off from work), until then, Motrin is my friend.  I'm just lucky this goes in spurts - I won't feel anything for a while, then it'll just start this shooting pain through my head and giving me a headache.  Oy...
(x-posted to Blogspot)

A few days ago, I realized this week I would be celebrating one year since I've been home from my mission.  A year ago today I was in Orange Park, Florida having my exit interview with my mission president with a handful of other missionaries also heading home.  It's so weird that it's only been a year - I feel like I've done so much since then.

Also - yesterday I went with my mom and my sisters to get some stuff for youth conference and I met up with my last mission companion, who is now working and going to school in Provo (I forgive her for that - she's the biggest sweetheart in the whole world and I was very blessed to have her as my last companion).  It was so fun to reminisce about mission stuff and to hear how things went after I came home.

I'm also happy to report that the new mission president is going to keep the mission blog going - my mission president and his wife went home at the beginning of the month and I was afraid that the mission blog was going to go the way of the dodo (different mission presidents do different things).  I just like being able to see what's going on with all those wonderful people I got to serve around.  I recognize the missionaries less and less, but I know the places.  It's like when you've been out of high school or college for years and years, but you still get happy and squee-ful when you hear that their teams are having success (I can apply sports to pretty much anything).

Shifting gears for a moment - I bought my one textbook for fall semester and it was $30 and I am happy.  The syllabus for my other class doesn't list a textbook, so I'm thinking I'll only have one book to buy.  That makes me happy because I'm going to have some excess money coming from my student loan and I can use that for a new laptop and for travel expenses (now I'm waiting to hear back from the high school if I have that aide job - which, it looked good as of a week or so ago.  And I wouldn't have to move).

Beyond that - I have one more project to turn in that's due in two weeks.  It's an annotated bibliography, which feels more like busywork.  I'm trying to find one more article to annotate, but it's getting harder to find what I need for my topic.  Something will turn up, though.  I'm having too good a day to have that go down the tubes.

Oh - for something completely unrelated (but cool nonetheless), here's a video!  I found this when I was lurking about on HillBuzz.org's comment threads and I thought it was pretty good.  I've gotten to where I like to share fun videos on my blog because - well, because I can.  I feel like I have a backlog of stuff to share - I might do some kind of 30-day meme where I post a video each day that I find entertaining.  Hmm... I'll have to think about that. 

It's funny how life works.  You sludge through all the BS The Greater Cosmos(tm) hands you and you take it like an adult because you know somehow, somewhere, it's all going to work out just fine.  At least, that's what you've been told.

Well, how's this for a story?

I just got a phone call from my friend, K (the one with the Glenn Beck kitten) and she's been having a time of it.  She just finished her bachelor's degree in Family, Consumer Science Education and after years upon years of taking crap from life and going to hell and back, she feels like she owns the world.  Until her darling sister comes to visit (and this particular sister makes the Red Queen from "Alice in Wonderland" look like a kind, thoughtful, sensitive individual) and sets off her little "I'm so picked on, nobody likes me, I hate you all" nuclear bomb.  Add to this, K is feeling a little deflated because the school district she'd like to work in just laid off a bunch of teachers and they aren't hiring anyone.  Well, K's feelings are hurt, but instead of feeling sorry for herself, she decides that she is going to get her Master's degree because a faculty member that came to observe her student teaching told her she ought to go for her Master's in Technology in Education (this faculty member apparently is a Big Deal in the Department of Agriculture and he doesn't give compliments lightly).

So, this morning, she went to the extension and got all the information she needs and she's going to do it!  (She might even be eligible for a grant that'll pay for a significant portion of her tuition, which is a plus).  She called to tell me all about it - and minutes after I got off the phone with her, I got some happy news of my own.

I applied for a grant writer position at Snow College (even though I have little formal grant writing training, but I have been writing loan proposals for my family's LLC - how much different could it be?)  I did this weeks ago and had heard a thing from them, so I figured they'd just hired somebody else.  But they called me and told me they'd like to set up an interview with me on Friday!  This is something I actually went to school for (well, I did a lot of different kinds of writing, anyway) and I'd be doing some heavy-duty research, which is something my MLS is training me to do as well.

I just hope something good comes of this.  I'm starting to get a little discouraged from all this applying for jobs and interviewing and having nothing to show for it (except a really high score in Bejeweled Blitz - hey, I have to have something to do to take my mind off things).  But, just to let myself know that things will work out and that I have to just keep at it, this is a talk from the last General Young Women Meeting by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  My mom told me about it and that he said some pretty profound things (and it's really cute when he talks about courting his wife and he ended up giving her mom a ride to church on his bike ^_^) - plus I've been known to liken fairy tale stories to life and the gospel, so this was definitely up my alley (it's fun when you hear Apostles talk about things that you yourself have thought about before). "Your Happily Ever After" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

It'll all work out somehow. ^_^\/
I know that's from a song, but can I remember which one?  Of course not!

I just finished reading "Enchantment" by Orson Scott Card.  And can I just say, that was one of the cutest darn stories I've read in a long time!  Spoilers! )

I also had my class weekend - I think it's just because I had a pretty stressful week leading up to it, but I didn't enjoy class as much as I usually do.  Some of it was fun, but I've kind of been grumpy lately about a whole slew of things that have nothing to do with school.  Maybe The Greater Cosmos(tm) just decided I needed to have a downer week for no good reason.  Wish TGC(tm) would give me some notice about these things.

But church was wonderful today.  There was a lot about being patient and remembering that life works on the Lord's timetable, not mine.  And adversity makes us tougher.  Oh, and we had a Relief Society presidency meeting this morning and we got our first activity planned and started on getting Visiting Teaching going.  And I'm going to be getting a blog set up for our Relief Society so the girls can get online and see what activities are going on.  Anyway, church came at just the right moment.  I love my calling!

Summertime has officially begun.  Which means that I will be seeking out the darkest, most air-conditioned basement to hole up in until September.  I hate the hot weather.  Since coming home from Florida, I've especially grown to hate the hot dry weather (which, incidentally I grew up in - I don't know why 18 months in humid Florida would make that big of a difference).  I like spring and fall weather the best because it's that middle-of-the-road cool/warm.  I hate being sticky and sweaty, even worse than I hate freezing.  At least when I'm freezing I can put another pair of socks on.

Oh, here's a funny story from the weekend - when I go up for my classes, I stay with my friend, K.  A month or so ago, our cat had kittens and K said she wanted one to help keep the gopher population down in her yard.  So, over this weekend, I took one of the kittens up to K.  Now, I had a box to put the kitten in while I drove up.  Most of my trip was out of radio range, so I listened to Glenn Beck's "Arguing with Idiots" audiobook on my iPod.  But when I came to a point where I had radio reception, I decided to switch because my friend Sean Hannity was on.  Now, up until this point, the kitten was happy and content in his box.  But when I switched the radio from Beck to Hannity, the kitten climbed out of his box and demanded that I pay attention to him.  He even climbed up to the front seat and under the pedals (did I mention I was trying to drive the freeway at the time?)  Anyway, Hannity's show got over and Glenn Beck's radio show came on and I swear, the minute Glenn came on, the kitten calmed down and went back to the back seat and fell asleep.  It was the weirdest thing ever.  I told K about it (she's a Glenn Beck fan) and she said that we picked the perfect kitty for her (and yes, she named the cat Glenn).

Quite a bit has entered my mind in the past 72 hours and I need to blog it out of my system.  Sometimes, it helps when I see it out in print.

Job Hunt 2010 has not gone the way I'd hoped (how does that surprise anyone?)  I'm thisclose to breaking down and looking outside of Millard County for work.  Truly, honestly, I want to work in a library since that is what I'm getting my degree in and it'd be nice to have some experience to list on a resume to go along with my fancy degree.  But the Delta library probably won't hire anyone new until someone dies, and even then it'd only be a part-time gig.  Besides, I'm sure I'll be in a practicum next year and I'm 90% sure it'll be in Salt Lake or thereabouts, so I'm going to have to move up there anyway.

My big hang-up is this (and slap me if you think you need to) - I looooove the Delta singles branch.  Love, love, love.  I have an awesome calling (2nd counselor in the Relief Society) and I love the Relief Society sisters that I'm over.  But, there are next-to-no jobs here and I am broke.  I am trying to get through school on student loans, which I am loath to do in the first place, but you do what you have to do.  And deep down in my heart of hearts, I know I would not be happy going to church in a singles ward in Salt Lake.  I tried it once and I hated it.  I know it's not supposed to matter where you go to church because the gospel's the same wherever you go, but I would rather shove bamboo shoots under my fingernails than go to a singles ward in Salt Lake (and you can boil me alive in motor oil before I'll even think of going to a ward in Utah County).

Here's what it comes down to - I love my branch in Delta, but there are no jobs.  There are jobs in Salt Lake, but I don't want to go to church and be forced to have a social life up there.  Don't ask me to explain why because we'll be here all day.

However, a Facebook friend sent me a posting from the Washington County Library System (ie, St. George) and they are hiring and the position doesn't look too bad.  Actually, the pay and benefits are better than that editing job I had in Salt Lake a few summers ago (that one had great pay, but zero benefits - it was a temp job, though).  Of course, it would mean living in blistering 120 degree heat in the summer, but it's an indoor job and they have air-conditioning.  And if it worked out - freak, winter would not be that bad either.  I would have to move of course and give up my amazingly awesome calling in my branch, though.

I don't get it - I love this branch and I love my calling!  Are you supposed to be this attached to a church calling?  I can't bring myself to peel away from it, even though callings don't last forever and callings in singles wards last even less.  I haven't even been in it a month and I just don't want to leave.  But a job ought to take precedence, don't you think?  I don't know... I could apply for this job in St. George and see what comes of it.  There's no guarantee they'd hire me anyway - I'm only in library school and I don't have any real library experience to speak of.  If I already had my degree, that'd be a different story.

...sigh... I wish I knew what to do... I wish I could find something in Delta.  I truly do.
The Greater Cosmos(tm) has henceforth decreed that I shall never again be well.  I woke up yesterday with an obnoxious tickle in my throat that has now expanded to coating my lungs with sandpaper.  Every time I cough I feel like some vital organ is going to make an appearance.  Not amusing.

I have a conundrum - they asked the Relief Society presidency to speak in church next week, which I'm actually excited to do (I think I mentioned I was called as the second counselor).  I left church yesterday feeling like I'd hit the jackpot of Relief Society groups because the girls in my branch are AMAZING!  I love them so much already (and it's only been two weeks) and I'm really excited to get to know them.  But, I have a problem - Sunday is Mother's Day, which is one of two times in a year missionaries can call home (the other is Christmas).  My brother has been out on his mission for a year now and I'm really excited to talk to him this weekend (our missions overlapped, so I haven't actually seen him since I went to the MTC, but I did get to talk to him last Christmas).  The only problem is that he's calling at 3:00 and I don't get out of church until 4:00 (stupid 1:00 meeting time).  Well, I say he's calling us, but we're the ones that have to dial the number.  Anyway, the phone call is slated to take place at 3:00, but I don't know if we're calling from the ranch or our house in town.  If we're calling from town, I could give my talk, skip out on Sunday School and Relief Society (I know, I'm a bad second counselor - but phone call with brother on a mission trumps everything in life) and go talk to my brother.  But if we're calling from the ranch, there's no way I can give my talk and call my brother because it takes me 90 minutes at a minimum to get out there.  It's no big deal if I back out of speaking because the rest of the presidency lives in town and they'd be okay with it.  But I have to know soon so they aren't counting on me if I do have to bow out.  sigh... I'll figure it out...

Oh, and the prom was good over the weekend.  I wound up being the "limo" driver (the limo was my mom's Chevy Suburban with all the seats folded down and a blanket over the top.  And I was the yearbook photographer and I got some great shots, if I do say so myself *pats self on back*  I unearthed my old prom shoes for the occasion - they still fit AND they were actually pretty darn comfortable (you know, for being dress shoes).  The other girls had on this wicked-looking stilettos and none of them lasted the entire night.  I was pretty impressed with myself for keeping my shoes on (well, I didn't dance very much, so I guess I shouldn't rub it in too much).  I do not envy the clean-up job they had to do, though.  Some enterprising individual thought it would be cool to spread glitter all over the dance floor and in the hallway leading into the commons area.  Well, it's their prom, their decoration, their mess, so they got to clean it up ^_^

Speaking of yearbook, the kids are in the home-stretch.  They have until the end of this week to get all their pages done if they want their yearbook before the end of the school year.  I'm thinking of starting a betting pool on the outcome of this.  Right now, it's 2-to-1 odds that they won't get it done (is that right?  I know nothing about gambling...)  I did have the pleasure of telling the two most obnoxious boys to go away because I didn't want to deal with their idiocy anymore (I was a little nicer than that - their other teacher needed them for something else and I was only too happy to oblige him).  Anyway, yearbook - they have four days to finish about 20 or so pages (three, actually, since there's an all-day Pentathlon event on Friday).  It'll look great when it's done, but we have to get to that point.

And just so it doesn't sound like all I do is rag on them, they did get over $1,000 in sponsorship advertising on their little outing last week, so I have to give them mad props for that.  They really do want this to be good, it's just they let all their little drama crap get in the way of doing something really amazing.  Which, I guess that's just how high school is, so I shouldn't fault them for that.  Doesn't help that most of this kids are related to each other, which probably gives them some kind of license to treat each other like dirt.  Don't ask me what it's all about - I have a directive and it's not to referee hormonal teenage spats (I must be in a bad mood - I tried to complement them and I wound up being mean and crotchety again).

There is one 8th grade girl who kicks all kinds of butt in the page-layout-task-finishing department.  She reminds me a lot of me when I was in the yearbook and knew we had to get all these pages done.  And she does a really good job!  When I was showing the kids how to use PageMaker, she took right too it and she loves it!  Everyone else sticks to doing their pages in PowerPoint ("that's the way we've always done it and it works just fine" And your yearbooks have looked like something Coco the Ape threw on the walls XP), but she's a PageMaker whiz!  Anyway, she's awesome and I love her to death in only a way that a yearbook adviser loves the yearbook staffers. ^_^

I've finally picked up some Brandon Sanderson, since a few on my flist have been mentioning him as someone worth reading.  I found "Elantris" at the library and after a pretty slow start (that almost had me setting it aside for other things), it's become quite the compelling little read.  Spoilers )

And "24" is tonight, so look for that as well (if I'm still awake for it - this cough is killing me!)
It feels like it's been a week since I posted, but it's actually only been two days.

I'm trying to take a break from finishing up my reflective journal that's due tomorrow (I know I keep saying I'm done with this semester, but I'm really trying to finish all these little ticky-tack tasks that I need to have done regardless). It would have been done yesterday, but The Greater Cosmos(tm) decided that I needed to have a fight with the stomach flu. The dumb thing is that I felt like I had a head cold yesterday morning, then my stomach started to hurt, but I figured I'd be okay.  I went to yearbook and one kid decided he'd get smart with me, so I gave it right back to him (hey, the school district isn't paying me - I don't have to put up with this little asshat's crap).  Once said snotwipe went off to the corner to sulk, the rest of the kids were actually quite productive.  Today they're going to town to get sponsors for the yearbook and I was supposed to go with them, but... well, I didn't.

Anyway, came home, felt even crappier than before and wound up passed out on the couch moaning and sipping Fresca (with semi-frequent breaks to... yeah, I don't have to paint you a picture, do I?)  On the flip side, I did get to watch some stuff I've had DVR'd and haven't been able to watch lately (Hello "V"!) and I also caught the Jazz-Nuggets game, which after the Jazz beat Denver at home the other night, I thought they'd have this all wrapped up.  Turns out that no, we absolutely MUST go to game 6 (I suppose the "Utah Fans of 'Melo" wanted to get their money's worth - good grief, that was a stupid commercial.  Carmelo Anthony is one of the most overrated NBA players in recent memory and I hate that he's in the Jazz's division and we have to watch him so often.  But I must ask - is there a coalition of "Denver Fans of Kyrylo?")  Sigh... well, another game on Friday.  Here's to another Denver meltdown - plzkthx.

Oh, and today marks one year since my brother left on his mission and one year until he comes home.  Not that I'm going to rub that in to him.  It's bad form to remind missionaries how long they've been out and how long they have left.  It just depresses them.  I speak from experience (though at one point I did have some kind of countdown going on right before I came home).

Tonight I have a Relief Society leadership meeting - oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I got called to be the second counselor in the branch Relief Society presidency.  Number 1 - I'm glad it's not president (been there, done that, got the t-shirt).  Number 2 - I'm glad I have something to do.  But we're also having a presidency meeting before the stake leadership meeting, so I have to drive into town earlier.  Which would have been fine, except I'd planned to go with the yearbook kids on their sponsor-getting trip and just stay in town, thus saving on gas and miles on my car.  But I still felt crappy this morning, so I didn't go, but now I feel better and I want to go to this leadership meeting, so now I'm driving back and forth for the next few days.

This is going to be one crazy weekend - the high school is also having Prom on Saturday and some kids from town are coming out (so our high school kids don't have to go with their cousins), and I've been volunteered to be the taxi driver to and from town.  Boy, I'm soooo glad I got sick this week... because, you know, I had nothing better to do...  And now I think it's going to rain.

Thus endeth the random post of randomness.  Yeah, that's pretty much it.  Except the dog is snoring.  And it's kinda cute. ^_^
Doctor's appointment today - further proving that I am indeed my father's daughter (and my grandmother's granddaughter - just in case there was any doubt, which there wasn't).  I am exhibiting all the classic symptoms of anxiety disorder - I go over and over things in my head so much that I can't sleep and I get headaches and otherwise unnecessary stress.  The doctor prescribed me the exact some kind of medication that he prescribed my dad.  At first, I thought he'd give me an anti-depressant (that's was the first option he mentioned, at least), but then he said we'd try this other anxiety medication that I take as I need it.  It's supposed to help me sleep better, which should take care of all my other problems.

The good news is that I realize that all this stress doesn't make any sense, especially not at 3:00 in the morning.  When I wake up, I recognize that there is nothing I can do about anything I'm stressed out about, yet I continue to stress.  It's a sign that I don't have depression, so I guess that's why he ruled out the anti-depressant.  In any case, I feel better that there's a clinical reason for this mess and that it can be treated.  Obviously, it's a genetic thing (Dad has it, Grandma had it, my children - if I ever have them - will likely have it.  Oh happy day...) Mom says she doesn't get us because she thinks she ought to be more stressed than the rest of us are, but she can easily relax about things, where Dad and I spaz out over some pretty simple things and take things to extremes.  Just add that to the list of things that I'm jealous of my mom over (right after she has a higher metabolism and never gains any weight -_-')

In other news, I stopped by the dentist's office after the doctor and asked if he'd filled the receptionist position I applied for yet.  He was in with a patient, but the lady at the front desk said he'd been meaning to call me, so that's good news.  He's supposed to be calling me today, so I hope he doesn't forget (my sister that used to work for him said he's a little scatterbrained and forgets stuff).

And my branch president just now called me and asked to meet with me tonight at 7:00 because they're going to extend a calling to me.  Don't know what, but I guess we'll find out.

I'm also trying to find out what the hiring requirements are for a school librarian in the State of Utah.  I've called several different places looking for that information, but I don't really understand what they're saying.  Some states require you to have a teaching certificate, which I do not have.  I heard that Utah just requires an MLS plus a state endorsement, which I'll have an MLS when I'm done with my program, but I don't know how to go about getting a state endorsement or what that even is.  I don't even know if that's true or not - that's what I'm trying to find out, but no one will give me a satisfying answer *headdesk*  I guess I just need to make a bigger pest of myself, which I hate doing. (And now I'm back to my original anxiety problem.  I can't win, can I?)
In honor of my watching Sailor Moon in Japanese, I thought I'd take a gander at the live-musical version (as opposed to the live-action version that was on TV).  I found several YouTube videos of it... oh boy, that is nuts.  I guess when you have something that popular, there's bound to be a few odd ideas to go along with it. :/  Eh, maybe it'll grow on me... eventually... someday...  possibly... 

In other news, today was the first day that our singles branch met for church.  We just had sacrament meeting since they didn't have any teachers or leaders called yet.  They presented the new branch presidency and set them apart after the meeting, which was really neat.  The branch presidency spoke as well as both stake presidents.  One interesting story of note (that I could tell about on LiveJournal and most people would get it) is a story that my stake president told.  When he was in college, he attended a student ward at the University of Utah.  His stake president gave a talk in some setting-or-another and had the bishopric, the stake presidency and their wives stand in front of the congregation.  The stake president then said that this was the point of these college kids being together in a ward like this - to get married.  And then he told them to get on with it (He said something to the effect of "Go and do thou likewise").  We laughed at my stake president's story, but then he told us that they were not going to do that to us.  The point of having a singles branch is not to get all of us married off.  The purpose in having this branch is so we have a place to come together and worship the Savior and feel the Spirit.  We have a greater chance to serve and learn and grow in the church in this setting rather than a family ward and we can get to know each other and, yeah, if some of us get married, yippee (those are my words, not my stake president's).

Anyway, it was a good meeting.  My new branch president assured me that they were going to put me to work, which I'm happy about.  I need something to do (crap, I'm going to wish I hadn't said that ^_^).  Like I've said before, I am taking the position that this is a chance for me to learn how to lead and serve in the Church, like all our leaders keep talking about.  I'm part of the next generation that's going to keep the Church going and I'm going to need to know how to do that and this'll help me practice.  I don't say this to toot my own horn, it's just a fact.  So there.
Ahhhh... Spring is starting to want to stick around.  I've been cleaning my room and I got my summer-ish clothes pulled out of storage the other day.  You know, after a while you get sick of wearing the same stuff, but then the seasons change and you get a whole new wardrobe without having to drop a dime!  At least, that's how I operate.

My school projects are coming along nicely.  Not finished by any means, but I'm closer than I was a week ago.  I think a couple more days where I am strongly-motivated might just do it.  Now the fun part is getting to that strongly-motivated state.  And yesterday the yearbook kids got the cover design finished so now we can send it to the printers and they can get started on it! (Oh Happy Day!!!!!)

Oh, and my grandma called yesterday for some insignificant something-or-other.  You have to know, my parents aren't exactly on speaking terms with my grandparents (something that happened while I was on my mission - I've gleaned details of it here and there, but it wasn't pretty).  Among other things, my mom is not happy with the amount of favoritism my grandparents show some of their grandkids and not others.  A few weeks ago, my cousin posted on Facebook how great it was that Grandma and Grandpa came to visit.  Coincidentally, Mom found herself on the phone with Grandma and asked about it and Grandma said that they hadn't seen anybody for months (Grandma doesn't quite savvy how all this internet social-networking stuff works).

So, anyway, I kept my conversation with Grandma short and light on the details.  Not that I enjoy giving my grandparents the cold shoulder, but it's so much easier than having to deal with my parents sniping at me for telling them our business.  Personally, I don't have a dog in this fight.  I just think there are some adults who have been acting like children and need to grow up.  But try telling them that - it's better that I stay out of the drama and let the soap opera play out from here (pass the popcorn, please).

In happier news, I found a high quality fansub of Sailor Moon that I've been watching in my free time.  I've decided to shelve my pride and try it out in the original Japanese - and I have to say, it's grown on me.  There will always be a special place in my heart for the English dub, but as one YouTuber noted, it is possible to like both (I love the music in the English version - and I highly doubt that the Japanese names would be the same if spoken in English.  They rarely are with dubbed anime).  There's a lot more to the story that got cut out of the English version and some of the jokes make a lot more sense in Japanese (of course, I had to look some of it up on fansites to get the full explanation, but once I did, everything was great).  And the phrase, "Tsuki ni Kawatte Oshiokyo" ("In the name of the moon, I shall punish you") is a lot catchier in Japanese too. ^_^  Maybe after this, I'll give the live-action version a try.

Also in the "Happier News" column, Sunday is the first day of the singles branch in Delta, which I am looking forward to.  I met the first counselor in the branch presidency when my brother-in-law was ordained an elder last week in stake conference and he's a pretty nice guy (the first counselor, I mean.  My brother-in-law's a nice guy too ^_^  Strangely enough, the first counselor is my brother-in-law's boss.  Small town living - gotta love it!)  I decided that I need to take the attitude that I'm not here solely to date and find a husband.  In fact, the letter that the stake presidencies sent out about this said that a Young Single Adult (YSA) branch gives YSAs opportunities to serve that they wouldn't normally have and helps prepare us to lead the church in the future.  So, I am going into this as though it's a training and teaching opportunity.  After all, I served my mission faithfully and learned everything I did there and now I need a chance to put that into practice.  I've heard it said somewhere that serving a full-time mission (whether 18 months or two years) gives you the equivalent experience of serving in regular church callings for 50 years.  Whether that's true or not, I figure I should use that more fully than I have been.

It's certain I'm going to get some kind of calling.  Everyone in singles wards gets a calling.  Where this is a branch and it's much smaller, it's even more important that everyone has a job.  Plus, it's standard operating procedure that if a bishop/branch president of a singles ward/branch has a returned sister missionary in his congregation, she must be given a significant position (I'm not saying this to prop myself up - I served as Relief Society president in my student ward a few years ago and when I was selecting my counselors and teachers, the bishopric strongly encouraged me to consider the sisters in the ward who had served missions).  It's not a matter of if I'm going to get a calling, it's when and what exactly I'm going to be.  I make it a point not to say what I would like to do, because you usually end up as something you really don't want to be.  That's how the Lord works, I've found out.  If you say you want something, He gives you something completely different to help you grow and learn.  So, I am just going to say that I'll go wherever the Lord wants me and it'll be great. ^_^
(x-posted in Blogspot)

First of all, I want you to know that I'm not questioning my testimony of the gospel.  I will continue to be an upstanding member of the LDS Church and do everything that is in harmony with my deeply held beliefs.  That being said, if I ever had to question something in the church, it would be this: Family Home Evening groups in single wards.

I hate them.  With a passion unbridled.

This topic comes as a result of a comment made at an Institute activity tonight.  The subject of church callings was brought up and how people seem to get the callings that require you to do something that you haven't exactly been involved in (example - you haven't been to an Enrichment activity, you'll probably get called to be the Enrichment committee leader).  I made the comment that I dodged the bullet - I thought that I would be called as an FHE "Mom" because I hate FHE, but instead I was called as a Gospel Doctrine teacher.

(for those not versed in LDS terminology: LDS families are encouraged to set aside one night a week (usually Monday) to get together as a family and have some kind of family activity - anything from a spiritual lesson to a board game or even a night at Chuck-E-Cheese's.  This is known as "Family Home Evening" or FHE for short.  Those of us single people who are living on our own are not left out - our leaders put us in "FHE" groups with other single people.  Each group is overseen by two group leaders - one male, one female - who are affectionately known as the "FHE Mom" and "FHE Dad."  The official idea is that we can be social and make new friends in our single state of life.  The unofficial idea is to put single men and single women in an environment that lends itself to getting them married.  That's the basic rundown - this knowledge is crucial to my post).

The girl making the comment seemed shocked that anyone would hate FHE!  She and another guy who was listening in asked me how I expected to get to know people in my ward and make friends with them.  I just glared at them and said that I don't want to get to know anyone in my ward beyond seeing them on Sunday.  I failed to mention - and I wish I would have had the presence of mind to say this - that if I met a small handful of people that I could get along with, that's another story.  But I do NOT enjoy being put with a bunch of random strangers and being compelled to be their bestest-best friends.

I have a disconnect about FHE.  It may be the fact that, growing up, whenever a new couple moved into the ward where I lived (again, for the benefit of non-LDS - where you go to church is determined by where you live.  Everywhere is divided up into geographical boundaries called "wards" that are led by leaders who are from the area.  Several wards put together is called a stake - which is also led by local people).  Anyway - whenever a new couple moved into my ward, more often than not their introduction talks would be include something along the lines of "We met in a Family Home Evening group in the BYU 494.3rd ward."  After 18 of hearing this in my home ward, you tend to think that singles FHE groups are purely meant to be meat markets.  And I am totally anti-meat market.

(I'm sorry if any of you married peeps met your spouse at an FHE group in the BYU 494.3rd ward.  No really, I'm sorry).

Nothing in my life is normal (I can enumerate the reasons why later, if you really want to know).  If I am going to meet that "somebody special" it is going to be a completely organic, out-of-the-ordinary experience.  It's not going to be the way that everyone else and their goldfish meets their spouse.  It's unoriginal and it's boring.  I'm actually a fan of how my sister met her husband: our family dentist set them up.  That's the short version, but how's that for a story?  Not to mention the fact that they can get killer discounts on dental work (my parents have a cool story too - involves a wheelbarrow and a bag of Weed-n-Feed).

I am a homebody anyway.  I do not enjoy hanging out with large groups of people.  I hate being in large groups of people, especially when a significant portion of them are strangers that I will likely never see after this year/semester (I find it interesting that they put us in "Family" Home Evening groups.  None of us are related and likely never will be.  Obviously, there are exceptions).  I don't have fun in groups of people.  Period.  Trust me, I've tried.  Hasn't worked in 24 years and it will likely never work.  And that's okay.  If FHE groups are your cup of tea, I'm not raining on your parade.  This is my perspective and I think it will be beneficial to see another opinion out there.  If you're having fun at these deals, don't let what I say stop you (unless you really want to).

It's kind of like Ultimate Frisbee.  I don't particularly enjoy Ultimate Frisbee.  It's great if you do, but don't expect me to wet myself over the prospect of playing.  Ultimate Frisbee is for people who want to play football but can't throw or catch a football.  So, they play with something that will mask their inability to catch.  But I digress - I was trying to draw a parallel.

Bottom line: I want to have fun - but with people that I am extremely comfortable around and that I know for a fact that I can be myself around (those are hard to come by - even within my own family).  I'm an odd duck.  My preferred relaxing evening is a movie or TV show that I've seen probably a hundred times and will probably watch a hundred times more.  Or a book that I'm re-reading.  Or writing.  Or watching whatever football game is on.  I will from time to time go out and wander around Borders or Wal-Mart or Hastings (that last one's only in Logan) - if I'm feeling adventurous, I will order some KFC or Chipotle or Panda Express and bring it home.  I don't socialize for the sake of socializing - there has to be a discernible purpose.  Which the vast majority of FHE groups lack.

Besides, how many Book of Mormon Pictionary games can you play in college?
I seriously don't use this icon enough.  Though, I think I want to get a different one with some snarky text... I'll have to see what I have stockpiled.  Or I could make one.  I actually created a couple for an LJ icontest for one of my comms, having found the virtues of using PowerPoint with MS Paint - yes, I'm cheap and ghetto, but it gets the job done.  The voting for the contest hasn't even happened yet, so we're still waiting on that.  I'll probably post them after the contest is over so all my friends can see my wonderful labor of love ^_^.

Started my temp position today, though it's only for today.  Basically I'm baby-sitting the phone and fax machine while their real receptionist is taking the day off.  I don't mind, though.  The first thing the manager-lady said to me was "Here, I'll log you on the computer so you can surf the 'net if you'd like."

Win?  I think so.

I'm seriously torn on something.  I think I want to go to Family Home Evening tonight, but it's at 8:00, the same time as "Heroes." I know, I ought to be flogged for choosing between the two.  I've never been a big FHE goer, but tonight's different for some reason (OT - boy that fax machine is busy. I just barely put paper in it and it's going to be empty before 11:00).  It could be that I'm feeling a little guilty for being lazy with regards to my church-activities-attendance record - I go to church, just not all the activities (much to the chagrin of others).  I don't think I need to go to everything, but I haven't really gone to anything.  Of course, I should want to go to these activities and if I don't want to go, then I don't have to go.  Hm, oh well.  Just my random thought process and not really anything to be too worried about.  It just helps for me to write it out to work through it.

(heh, they have a typewriter here.  *giggle*)



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