Friday, May 30, 2014

Way Over My Head, Inc.

I started a new internship yesterday. As it turns out, they have pretty fun privacy requirements, so for the sake of simplicity I'll just call it Way Over My Head, Inc. (WOMH).

Here's the thing: WOMH is a difficult place to get into and landing an internship there is a competetive, tough process. I say I'm in way over my head because there are 250 interns and they are from dozens of stellar universities from around the world, have accomplished amazing things, and probably all get better grades than I do. Don't get me wrong, I'm a level 7 narcissist (I know this thanks to the very accurate and definitely not full-of-crap assessment I took in my Organizational Behavior class). As such, I have no shortage of ego. However, it's intimidating to be surrounded by that much talent.

But here's the thing: I have now completed two days of my internship which have been filled with several hours of orientation seminars as well as a lot of time for all interns to network and get to know each other. All things considered, the interns had a combined total of about 3.5 hours throughout a nine hour day to get to know each other. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was energetic, friendly, and talkative. Whenever there was free time the room erupted in chatter and conversation. I am fortunate to be at WOMH for many, many reasons, but perhaps one of the most important is that I am surrounded by incredible peers.

I don't know if this should be attributed to personal flaws, the environments I place myself in, or another factor, but since grade school it's always been easier to diminish the value of hard things, of ambition, of success, and of working hard. It's all too common to participate in or hear conversations lamenting the difficulty of classes, work, applying for grad school, etc. etc. etc. The conversations at WOMH were the exact opposite. There was a room full of 250 twenty-somethings conversing unapologetically about their excitement for the rigor and difficulty of the next ten weeks, our short-term and long-term goals, and our ambitions, to name a few. It was incredible to be in an environment where I was comfortable to talk about big things without fear of being teased or called an over-achiever/teacher's pet/goody-goody/you name it. It's just a good environment to be in.

It was a really great experience to be surrounded by so many driven, ambitious, friendly people. I'm beyond excited for my summer at WOMH. Although, to be fair, I should say that every day since I got the offer I've been perpetually nervous that I won't be able to cope with the demands of the job. But I'm mostly just incredibly pumped to be there AND to get to work alongside so many talented people.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Time vacuum

I go to sleep at the same time every day. I wake up at the same time every day. Usually my schedule is pretty consistent. It goes like this: 
7:30 Wake up
8:00-11:00 Go to school
11:00-12:00 Come home/Eat Lunch
12:00-3:00 Schedule myself to do homework, but really I read, sleep, eat a second lunch, watch TV, sleep,waste time on the internet, or did I mention sleep?
3:00-4:00 Slowly wake up from that nap that I accidentally took.
4:00-7:00 Half-hearted attempts at homework
7:00-8:00 Dinner
8:00-11:30 Incredible, productive homework-time
12:00 Sleep

Why is it that the hours late in the evening are when I'm the most productive? I try so, so, so hard to do things during the middle of the day. I know, looking at that schedule, it looks like I purposely wast time. But really I usually do all of those things by accident. Usually I don't even remember falling asleep. I get woken up from my involuntary nap by a text message or a slamming door and am confused about how I ended up sprawled out on the couch. And then, since I took that nap, I have to slowly recuperate and become a living being again which, obviously, takes forever. But all of a sudden, once 7 or 8:00 hits, I turn in to a homework machine.

Sometimes I've wondered if it's the last minute panic of having an assignment due the next morning, but usually it's not. I do homework that's due in twoo days or work on a small portion of a project that's due in the future. So it's not that I'm a terrible procrastinator, usually, it's some other, unknown reason.

I would have so much more time in my life if I could get my homework done during that vacuum-like time suck called "the middle of the afternoon".

Maybe one day I'll be able to shift my four hour productivity window up a couple hours. Until then, I'll just keep taking inconvenient naps and watching more Friends marathons than I should. I love college.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Loss is a terrible thing and we've all experienced it. It's the worst when you find something that is so pivotal, so irreplaceable and so critical that you can't live without it. Sometimes loss occurs instantly. You don't know where it went and how it got away so quickly. Alternately, the loss can be gradual. You see it coming, but you don't want to believe that one day it will all be gone. 
At the end of it, when you've come to terms with the face that you'll never retrieve what you've lost, you will undoubtedly have one question. Where in the world did all of it go? Bobby pins that is. Seriously, I go through hundreds of those a year. 
I try to be really careful keeping track of bobby pins. Well, not that careful, but as careful as you can be with something that costs .0000001 cents. I have a special cup in the bathroom for them and everything. But no matter what I do, no matter how many pins I put in the bobby pin cup, it always ends up empty every 1-2 months.
Very statistically accurate pie chart. Courtesy of Paul Mitchell research labs.

I wonder if there’s a giant electromagnet somewhere that collects all the misplaced pins. If there is, whoever finds it will (1) make a fortune off scrap metal and (2) be hailed as the national hero of feminism.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


When you drive a lil' 50cc scooter that runs perfectly there is very little that can go wrong. It doesn't go very fast so you can't go on a road big enough to get into trouble. Since it's little and gets about 70 miles per gallon you will rarely have dilemma of running low on gas. And, like I said before, that thing runs perfectly so no problems there. The only thing left is human error.

A human being could crash the scooter by not paying attention, driving into a ditch or a large pot hole, run into another vehicle, any number of scenarios where the individual collides with an animate or inanimate object. That's pretty much it for a scooter crash. And even if one of these events does happen, you're going about 31 miles an hour so what's the worst that could happen. Except death, that's always a possibility on a two wheeled vehicle I suppose. But that isn't the point of this story.

Lucky for me, I've already committed error number 1. It was nearly three years ago, so it was about time for another catastrophe. The second human error is even stupider than the first. You know those days where you leave work in a hurry because you know if you don't get out the door right at that second you will get stuck at the office for another hour? It was one of those days. When you leave in such a hurry your brain is a little chaotic and you're not thinking 100% clearly. In this situation you open the trunk, get your helmet, drop your purse in and throw your phone in on top. Close the hatch and realize you still have your phone in your hand. What did you drop in the locking compartment? The keys. The very keys you need to open said compartment and start your vehicle. That is error number 2. Locking your keys in the trunk.

I've never felt  more stupid in my life. I go back to the office and call good old Dad. To his credit, he wasn't mad like I was expecting. All he said was "Give me 5 minutes to figure everything out and I'll call you back." 20 minutes later he calls and explains his whole plan. For those that are uninformed, I work in Salt Lake. I live in Salt Lake. My Dad lives in Provo. It's 8:30 at night.

 I won't bore you with the details, but I sat and watched a show, and 1 hour later, my Dad shows up with a car, a couple jokes, and 2 spare keys (not only keys for the scooter, but his car as well as mine)--after all, his motto and personal mantra does say 'overkill is underrated'.

Jack has unarguably taken the gold medal for at least the past 25 years running as the worst backseat driver in the world. He might have brought me to tears once or twice while helping me with math homework. I may have been ditched at dance a few too many times, and he might not take no for an answer when he learns that everyone in the world doesn't want to be a mechanical engineer. But I will say this about the guy, when you're having a problem and you have no idea how you're going to get out of the predicament that you oh-so-intelligently got yourself in to, he will do anything and everything to fix everything. And for that I'm forever grateful and I know that I could never wish for a better Dad.

(P.S. Credit for the brilliant title, that I totally stole without permission, goes to Jenny Pate. Who, one day, is going to write a GREAT book about Jack Pate)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Robin- The Former Fatso

I'm going to tell you a story:

Once upon a time there was this girl named Robin. Robin hated running more than anything in the world. Really though. Her top five list of things she hates goes like this: Mushrooms, running, homework, winter, terrorists. Every once in a while she would attempt to be athletic and physically fit and go for a run. She would run for 45 seconds, and walk for 3 minutes, run for 120 seconds, walk for 4 minutes, and then get bored and tired and would take a shortcut home. This would happen 3-6 times a year.
Soon Robin came to college and gained every single pound of the freshman fifteen. So she tried to start exercising again. Lucky for Robin she had a superstar roommat named Lilly who would go running with her and make her run for 5 minutes and walk for 45 seconds, etc. Lilly also wouldn't let her take the shortcut home. Everything was going so well, but Lilly goes to a hard college and cares about good grades and she wasn't able to go running with Robin because she had to be responsible. So Robin tries to keep running, but she realizes more and more that she doesn't just dislike running, she really hates it, the high one gets after a good run couldn't compensate for all the anger she felt while running.
One day Robin is feeling like a fattie, probably because she watched three consecutive hours of Friends and ate a whole box of Chips Ahoy cookies (three hours is probably an exaggeration and it most likely wasn't a whole package of cookies) so she made herself get off the couch and go for a run. This time something was different though. She ran for two miles without stopping and felt great. She even wanted to keep going. So she went for three and a half miles and would have kept going, but it was getting dark so she went home. Robin has been running in this fashion for two weeks. She doesn't know what’s changed, but all of a sudden running is one of her voluntary hobbies that she doesn't hate and actually kind of likes.
It's going to forever remain a mystery of what switch was flipped in Robin's brain that made it so she likes to run around the block for fun, but whatever it was, she appreciates it.

Wasn't that a great story?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hollywood's Most Prestigious Association

There comes a point in every actor's life when they cross a line. It's kind of like a rite of passage that they aspire to reach. A few members of this club include Tim Allen, Greg Kinnear, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, Ben Stiller, Sandra Bullock and Eddie Murphey. I'd also like to take this moment to recognize and congratulate the two most recent additions: Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. The exclusive society these people belong to is none other than the MDAGA-otherwise known as the Mom and Dad Actors' Guild of America. Some see entering this association as a bad thing. Like being at that point of your career is a sign that you're a washed-up, has-been, but I disagree.

There are actors that society never tires of watching on the screen. Every movie they make draws crowds, film after film, year after year. However, similar to real life, different periods of time demand different lifestyles and activities. Your whole life can't be lived climbing trees, drawing with sidewalk chalk, and asking your mom if you can call Jimmy to come over and play. At some point you have to grow up and take on grown-up responsibilities. Likewise, an actor can't spend their whole career being the super hott guy/girl, or the hard core action junkie. At some point your six pack becomes less attractive, and it's not realistic for a fifty-five year old man to do parkour all over *insert any large city here*. It's just not a viable path.

With this in mind, actors, if the're smart will take on roles that are more realistic given their stage of life. If you think about it, it's a complement and a blessing to be able to belong to MDAGA. Many actors aren't lucky enough to stick around in Hollywood that long. For example, Hannah Montana most likely will not have the opportunity to be a mom in MDAGA. It would be unrealistic for a forty year old woman play a pouty teenager, therefore the industry will move on to another Disney Channel starlet and Hannah Montana will end up on Celebrity Apprentice. On the other hand, Ryan Gosling will get the chance to be one of our favorite Dad actors because he's a good actor now and he will be twenty years from now too. His roles will just change from hunky heart throb to attractive father figure.

I will admit though, there are some actors who refuse to apply for membership in MDAGA. Nicholas Cage, for example. Although I wish he would because I can't bear a third Ghost Rider installment. On the other side of the coin though, Denzel Washington, Juleah Roberts, George Clooney and Helen Mirren, to name a few, are some who haven't made a mom/dad movie yet. And as of now it seems never will, nor do we want them to, because they just keep getting better.

So while we mourn the end of Matt Damon's Jason Bourne and Private James Ryan days as well as Brad Pitt's era of Achilles, Rusty Ryan, and Mr. Smith, we get to watch them for twenty-thirty more years as they beautifully master more characters that are suited for their age.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Unforeseen Relocation of The Bermuda Triangle.

College is great. As I’ve mentioned before , there are so many people and things to watch. It’s awesome. But as I get more and more used to school fewer and fewer things seem funny. Until today.
I was sitting in the hall finishing a paper. As I look over I see a person drop all their things which were conveniently not bound together in any manner. All their books and pencils went everywhere. I sighed a sympathetic sigh because I know all too well what it’s like to have that happen. Luckily she wasn’t by herself and her friends helped her pick up all her things and I went back to my paper.
About five minutes passed and I happened to look over to that area and there was someone in the same spot picking up all their things. At first I thought it was the first girl taking forever to pick everything up. But when I looked down at the clock I figured five minutes was way too long for a person to gather their things. Also it was a boy. This means that TWO people dropped their things in the same spot within five minutes of each other! Funny right? Just wait. It gets better.
Less than five minutes later the same thing happened AGAIN!!! Just like the previous two times I looked up and saw someone’s things go flying all over the floor. This time I was struggling to keep from laughing out loud. Honestly what are the odds that three people would drop their things in the same spot within such a short amount of time?      
I kind of do feel bad for laughing when things like that happen. I would be completely humiliated if I ever had the experience. But really, how could I not laugh. So don’t think I’m a terrible person because you can’t tell me that you’re above allowing yourself at least a small laugh on the inside.
As I finished my paper I was wondering, what caused three people to have the same unfortunate experience? The only thing I could come up with is that the Bermuda Triangle mysteriously shifted due to a magnetic shift of the North Pole. But that would be superstitious nonsense, and I don’t believe in such things. But I will admit that when I had to go that way to get to class 20 minutes later, I won’t lie, I definitely went the long way to avoid that patch of hallway. I had way too much stuff in my arms to take the risk.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


When life is hard and full of stress, there's nothing better than one or two days added on to the weekend to calm things down for a bit. However, long weekends are still pretty short, so even though it's technically a vacation, there isn't much time to go anywhere. This is when the staycation (rhymes with vacation) comes in to play. If the name isn't indicator enough, a staycation is a vacation where you stay in town. Hence the name staycation. Can I make it any more clear?  And, just like there are two kinds of people (cat people, and dog people), there are two kinds of staycations, In order to stay consistent with the latest research we'll call them Type I and Type II staycationers. The two types of staycations are outlined below.

The Type 1 staycationer is the kind who, even though there are technically no obligations placed on them for the day, still fills their day with productive activities. They are actually busy on a day fillled with nothing. This is teh typical schedule of events for a Type 1.

  1. 8:00- Wake up, take a shower, eat breakfast (omelettes, french toast, crepes, waffles, biscuits and gravy, or some other food which requires effort and real ingredients)
  2. 8:05- Do make up, hair, nails, etc.
  3. 8:30- Look at the to do list and put the tasks into order.
  4. 8:45- Start on said list which includes, but is not limited to...
    Run errands, exercise, read a book, get ahead on homework, do a craft project, clean the house, get a manicure, cook a legitimate meal, take a power nap (ten minutes at the most, heaven forbid they waste too much time), go shopping, plan next week's outfits, organize the shoes in the closet by size, color, and style, alphabetize the movie collection, draw a picture, and write thank you letters for the most recent gift giving event.
  5. 6:00- Some long weekends are only long weekends for some. For example, one person gets a Fall break, and none of their friends do. If the individual is in this situation their friends will get home around this time and then the staycationer will either initiate the night's adventure or go  along willingly with any ideas their companions suggest.
  6. 12:00- Crash into bed with the last ounce of energy they possess and think to themselves "Best. Day. Ever."

The Type II staycation is the kind where the day begins when the individual opens their eyes at noon (the true professional can push this time as far as 2:00). Occasionally one has good intentions to turn this day into a Type I kind of day, but  in general those plans, however well meaning, don't end up happening. The Type II staycation day goes a little like this.

  1. 12:00- Wake up
  2. 12:45- Roll out of bed.
  3. 12:50- Leave the bedroom (real clothes are optional at this point, pajamas are completely acceptable)
  4. 1:00- Eat a "breakfast" of sugar cereal, scrambled eggs, instant breakfast shakes, toast, or something requiring similar "skill".
  5. 1:30- The staycationer will decide they're still hungry and will repeat step 4.
  6. 2:00- Watch television or Hulu
  7. 5:00 (a)- Shower, get dressed, and clean up your area so whoever's coming home soon won't see what they've been doing all day (or rather, not done all because they've been sitting in the same spot for three hours). This step is necessary because some people are closet Type II staycationers and they don't want people to know of their lazy day habits.
  8. 5:00 (b)- The other option at this point is to continue sitting on the couch, content and at peace with how the day has been spent.
  9. 6:00- A roommate, sibling, friend, or mother takes pity on the individual and makes them a real meal.
  10. 7:00 (a)- A friend will call with plans for the evening. The staycationer will grudgingly agree to take off the stretchy pants and old, oversized girl's camp hoodie and come along for the night's festivities.
  11. 7:00 (b)- If the person in question is not so lucky to have people who feel the need to get them out of the house, or if they turned down any plans that were offered, they'll repeat step 6.
  12. 12:00- Sleep will be attempted, but it will be difficult considering no energy has been expended throughout the day.
  13. As they finally drift off to sleep two hours later, their last conscious thought is "Best. Day. Ever".
So whether you're Type I or Type II, or possibly a little bit of both, I hope you enjoy your staycations whenever you're lucky enough to have one.