Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Of a laptop-owner.

Welcome to the 21st century Diana. So glad you could finally make it.

Despite the pandemonium that is Black Friday, we all have to admit - there are some pretty sweet deals. And even though I'm usually a lover, not a fighter, I was willing to throw some elbows this last Friday. Because it scored me a flippin' computer.

Though we're still becoming acquainted, Pongo has already had an enormous influence on me. First (and arguably most important by most people's standards) is the fact that he has completely revolutionized the way I feel about school. I don't mind going to class anymore, because I have so many more options for when I get bored. This makes it sound like I don't pay attention in class, but on the contrary - when I get bored, I zone out (or worse, fall asleep). And then I can end up in space for the entire class without even realizing how much time is passing. It's a dangerous black hole to get sucked in to, which is why a little menial entertainment is so useful. Also, it's so much easier to take notes! I get sooo much more out of my classes No lie.

Second (and the most important by my standard) I finally have unlimited access to information online. Namely, Wikipedia and Stumbleupon. I know what you're thinking: why squander all your potential with such petty time-wasters? But here's the thing - I can learn about anything, the second the desire comes to me. If I want to read about the world's largest flower or the prettiest birds - I'm Wikipediaing all over that. And thanks to stumbleupon, I've found awesome playliststhe most amazing locket I could ever dream of, and everything there is to know about mythical creatures - all things I'll actually retain and be able to apply with educated conversation at later time while in good company. If that's not fulfilling your potential, I don't know what is. I'm all for the mindset of "the things that mean the most to you and are the most interesting to you are the truly important things in life." It seems cliche and obvious, but people tend to underrate its significance, especially to life in the long run.

Third and most exciting to me, I can finally set up all the things I've been waiting to for so long. For example, my own music library. I can finally sync my ipod with a computer which means I can finally reset it and actually listen to it. Long story, but the point is, this is good news. ALSO, something that has been put off for far too long - I was planning on making this video as soon as I moved away this summer. Obviously I didn't exactly have the resources to do so. So this is quite delayed, but it's been a good pump-up for home. I can't wait to get back :)

A quick side note - I just want to say how grateful I am for the whole concept of forgiveness. Especially from family and friends when you don't really deserve it. Not only does it make fresh starts possible, but it makes the past sweet again.

I really enjoyed making this. I understand that there's a whole sentimental value factor, but I hope you still enjoy watching. This is the story of my summer, spent with some people very special to me - the people that made home what it was.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Of a bridge-burner.

I've had several people throughout my life that have meant the world to me. Many people never even get to see the types of friends that I've been blessed with in my time. You know how people generally refer to soul mates as someone who you are compatible with in every way? I feel I've had various. And most of them are gone.

My motto in life has always been that people always leave. My experiences and the tests of time have proven that over and over. But this is different. I used to say that I was the one who never left. But I was so naive - I forgot how easy it is to fade away.

I tend to lose sight of the things that are important in life. Especially people that are dependable. Once in a while I find someone who makes me feel special, who's a challenge to hold on to, and I put all my effort and emotion in to them. Then, those people who were once my whole life, they slip away. Next thing I know, the entire bridge turns to cinders behind me before I even noticed the smoke.

It started with my first real best friend. To this day, I maintain that she was the best friend I've ever had. She was perfect. I loved her, and I liked who I was when I was with her. And I laughed til I cried when I was with her, and I was completely carefree. I've only felt that way around one person since. (But even that was fleeting, and the wound is fresh, so we won't get into it.) We went to different schools, so I blamed the distance on that. But the truth was that I was just in a rut in my life, and I didn't put forth as much effort as she deserved. The embers took a while to crumble with this one, but the bridge is gone nonetheless.

Losing her is my biggest regret in life. And that's saying something.

It's happened several times since. Usually because I get wrapped up in something new and shiny and I want to keep it and stroke it all day long. Needless to say, I end up losing those too.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I've been thinking about home. Don't get me wrong, I'm stoked to go home. I just feel  for the first time that maybe there's not so much left for me there anymore.

When I was getting ready to move here, all the grown ups told me that high school friendships don't last. That broke my heart a little bit -  I was leaving behind so many people that meant so much to me. Friendships I wanted to last forever, and that I sincerely believed would. When I left, I got a kind of harsh letter from one of my close friends. It brought to my attention some of the things I'd done. Well, I was aware of what I'd done, but he brought it to my attention that he was bothered by it. So here's my confession - that's why I let us drift. I was ashamed and hurt. And I have the suspicion that you might read this, and I know the issue needed to be addressed somehow. And I'm a coward. But I really do miss you. And I'm sorry for everything I did that made me not deserve your friendship.

So that was large friendship screw-up #2. Kind of a package deal, because I messed up two friendships with that one. I still love them dearly, but I fear that they're another pile of coals I've left on the trail behind me.

So home isn't really home these days. It's not where I'm meant to be. Over the weekend, I had began  to think "Provo is my home now." I have great friends here, all of whom I adore, and I missed them tons over the break. But something happened today. I talked to yet another burned bridge, the fresh one. The look in his eyes when he smiled goodbye was probably the most powerful (and painful) expression of a severed tie that I've ever experienced. That's when I realized that here isn't home either.

So what am I doing here? Where do I belong?

I can't get this song out of my head - It pretty much sums things up.

Well, I could give a million more examples of the marred friendships in my past, or I could just give you my word. The point is, the place doesn't make a home. People do. So treat them right, or you'll wake up one morning and realize that you don't know where you belong anymore.

Sorry this is so heavy... I just figured the weight I dropped here would lift some off my shoulders.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Of a victim.

Tonight was Clue night at the Clyde building.

A murderer was "randomly selected" from the crew, and they would go around killing other crew members. Then, every half hour we would meet to see who was dead and try to guess at who the killer was.

Here's the thing - I really wanted to be the murderer. But I wasn't, so that's that. I decided to focus on just winning the game. I had my suspicions, I made my educated guesses, and I was very careful to cover my tracks. When riding the elevator, I would push several buttons and get off at one of them so that no one would know where to follow me. Suffice it to say, I got pretty competitive.

While discussing with Marcus my theory on how Trevor was most likely the murderer, he got me. I had my guard down, because I was assured that Marcus was not a possible suspect. Yet he killed me right there in the elevator. That was frustration number one.

Next I saw Trevor roaming about the building. I was suspicious but he made something up about he thought it would be fun blah blah blah. I don't know how I can't recognize his lies by now. Anyhow, I mentioned that I had been killed, and that I was frustrated because I thought he wasn't even in the game. Now we skip ahead.

There I am sweeping stairs. My guard's down because hey, I'm already dead. Then Spencer comes up and tries to kill me. I inform him that I was already killed. He shrugs it off, thinking I'm messing with him. (It is vital to the story to know that throughout this game, everyone considered me the devious one.)

I see Trevor again, and begin to complain. "Two murderers? Really?" (Frustration two)
"I was just killed twice."
"Wait, who killed you first?"
After a long drawn-out discussion, I let him know that Marcus was also playing murderer. I find out that Trevor WAS indeed the original murderer, but that Spencer had overpowered him and stolen the weapon. Thus, the culprit transferred. Frustration three was that despite murderer additions and transfers, I NEVER got the chance to be one.

The plot thickens as Trevor runs off to warn Spencer, and I find out that it's because they've been in cohorts the entire time. Indeed, Trevor was scouting for victims, and letting Spencer know where to go to take them out.

Anyway, everyone died in the end. Then I found out more about things had played out, for example the fact that the murderer was actually very carefully and specifically selected. That's when I went a little crazy. I definitely went too far with this game. I got way too involved, that was my problem. Or so I thought at first.

Thinking about the things that actually made me mad, I realized I have this huge honesty complex. Only when people lie to me do I ever get truly passionately angry about anything. It just frustrates me when I can't depend on people or things I guess.

But I suppose that's yet another way that I'm just like everybody else.

Joke's on you, you thought this would turn out to be something actually profound.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Of a custodian.

Sure, it's listed as one of the dirtier jobs a person can have. And the whole 5-8 AM shift isn't the most pleasant experience in the world. But on our crew, janitor work has its perks...

First thing you need to know about is our boss, Marcus. He's pretty chill, and has a sense of humor. In addition, my partner Hannah and I clean the stairs, so we could be at literally any place in the building at any given time. These two factors open a world of possibilities.

Every Friday, we have "meetings". From what I understand, these started out being productive consultations during which employees genuinely discussed ways to improve the quality of their work. As time went on, presentations arose that were related to, but less than serious about work. For example, an entire presentation on which water fountain was the best in the whole building, or a satirical training session on our new personal protective equipment - nose plugs. Eventually the meetings turned into an excuse to get out of work for a half hour, joke around, and watch youtube videos.

These meetings have helped to develop a camaraderie among the crew members. And since we're all friends, well, there have to be some jokes, right? Namely, practical jokes. Mostly it's simple things (hiding in stalls to scare the bathroom crew, etc.) but once in a while we try to throw in something a little more developed.  Yesterday, this involved flooding the bathroom with balloons, which would need to be popped and cleared out before anyone would be able to clean the bathroom.

I'd say the whole operation was a success. Even though it didn't really create the annoyance we were going for, bathroom crew had a blast playing with them so whatevs.

So yeah, the little pranks here and there are fun, but the best perk by far of the early morning custodial job is all of the exploration prospects. Our keys let us through most doors and there are never too many people around to monitor activity, so we've made all kinds of discoveries, from storage attics to pulleys in the basement. But my favorite by far is watching sunrises from the roof.

You gotta admit, it's a spectacular view :)

Next week we're playing "Clue" while working. It should be interesting, or at the very least a fun "last memory" to have. Don't get me wrong, I'm stoked to switch to a later shift. I'm just gonna miss my crew. Funny how quickly things change. Funny how something that seems a curse to everyone else, and even seemed a curse to you once, can end up being the best part of your day. Huh. What fickle creatures we are.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Of a blogger.

There are a few reasons a person starts a blog. Generally, they can be categorized into the following:

1. They want to keep distant family up-to-date with their life. We've all seen the newlywed blogs, young families finally out on their own posting pictures and other updates about their daily adventures as they learn how to do laundry for others and coupon cut before grocery shopping. Usually these include countless baby pictures taken one after the other in the same setting. (This shouldn't be interesting to us, but who are we kidding, it's everyone's favorite part.) Well, I can respect this. I have plenty of siblings with blogs, and let's be honest, how much would I really know about their lives if I didn't read about them online? Reason #1 is generally acceptable.

2. They have a really great idea they want to share with people. These can be upliftingintriguing, or just funny. They're almost always themed, limited to that original idea that first inspired the blog. Personally, I think they're clever. Also an adequate reason to start a blog, in my opinion.

3. They think they're life is just so darn interesting that everyone wants to read about it. This is tricky ground. Some people pull it off by being really witty and interesting, and presenting ideas that the average guy doesn't think of every day. Others lead pretty typical lives, and don't do much to mask the fact. I hope I don't become the latter.

Me: "So I think I'm gonna start a blog."
Friend-whose-name-I-haven't-decided-whether-to-disguise-yet: "Why?"
*pause while I try to come up with a good reason*
Me: "For posterity."
FWNIHDWTDY: "Why don't you keep a journal?"
"Too much effort. I'd rather just type things"
"You can type a Journal"
"Not with pictures."
"Then add pictures."
"Okay! I'm starting one because Kiki and Linda [no use for pseudonyms here, they'll be mentioned far too often] begged me to, and I'm bored!"
"See? Why didn't you just say that? That's a good reason..."

Yeah, not really convinced that that's a good enough reason. Yet here I am blogging about blogging, and telling myself it's for posterity. I didn't really know how else to start...

Truth is, I have plenty to say about my life, But none of it's all that interesting. Sure, I have little run-ins with fate once in a while, and I tend to butt heads with irony in a big way. None of that's really too exciting though. That's just my disclaimer - I don't want anyone thinking that I actually believe I'm any more fascinating than the next guy.

Well, here's to hoping that through this little project I can establish a voice, make a difference, and change lives. Or at least make a few close friends happy.