Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I hate flying

Oops... I know it's been a while since I've posted. Everyone has probably stopped following my blog by now. Unfortunately, taking finals and putting out the last editions of the paper and moving from my apartment and getting ready for New York turned out to be a full time job for the last couple of weeks. But now I'm in New York City! I got in yesterday, after the longest red eye flight I've ever taken. I left my house at 9:00 p.m. Oregon time, and landed in New York at 2:30 p.m. NY time so jet lagged I could barely see straight. I would have gotten there sooner, but my flight got delayed. I have the worst luck with flights. I don't know why I don't just automatically schedule my flights a couple of hours early, because anywhere I'm flying to, there's guaranteed to be a blizzard or some other sort of inclement weather. So while I was stuck in the Houston airport for an extra four and a half hours, I amused myself with my standard airport pastime of watching people talk to the gate agents and wondering how they were intelligent enough to manage to book a flight in the first place. This may sound mean, but if you spent the number of days I did stranded in the Salt Lake airport two Christmases ago, you would understand. This time I saw a guy who had to have the meaning of the word "delayed" explained to him three or four times before he comprehended that the plane wasn't taking off for at least another hour due to weather problems. And then he said "Can't you just call them and tell them that it's really important for me to get there on time?" I also cannot tell you how many people I have seen throw a fit when they get to the gate ten or fifteen minutes after takeoff and realized the pilot has not held the plane for them. These people were serious. They actually thought that instead of closing the jetway and taxiing toward the runway ten minutes before takeoff, the pilot and all hundred and some passengers were still sitting there saying "Well, gee, I really hope Mr. and Mrs. Smith get here soon." And yet, their flight always leaves on time, while I get there two hours early and then get delayed another hour or two. Where's the justice in that? Waiting to get on the plane isn't really all that exciting, and then I finally get to board and I think "Woohoo! No more sitting and being bored.... oh wait, my flight is four hours long." And then I try to get a good night's sleep while sitting upright in my chair next to a complete stranger. Before I got old enough to start flying, I used to think it would be so exciting...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Man contests

The other day one of my friends was showing me a picture of her little sister, and worrying that she is now sixteen and can date. I listened to the protectiveness in her voice, and realize that with no little sister to worry about, I am missing out on that highly protective feeling. Of course, I do have younger brothers, but I don't worry about them in quite the same way. When it comes to brothers, your biggest worry is generally that they'll live through their teenage years. Forget about someone taking advantage of them on a date, I'm more worried another guy will offer one of them $5 to chug a gallon of guacamole in a minute, or jump off the roof blindfolded, and that'll be it. Trust me, I've seen them do worse things for less money before. Usually because I was the one offering. When Lance and I were both teenagers, I managed to convince him it would be a good idea to chug a glass of vinegar-- free of charge. It was great, except for the moment when Mom and Dad walked in the door while he was throwing up in the kitchen sink. How did I do it? I invented the term "man contest." I discovered early in life, that the most reasonable guy in the world will do anything for you, if only you throw his manliness into question. This is how I persuaded my straight-A student brothers to do a multitude of unpleasant things, from lying shirtless in the snow to eating dog food (if I was mean enough, I probably could have taken that one exactly where you were thinking it was going). I made it a "man contest," and whoever did the best was the manliest of the three. It worked beautifully every time. Even once they realized what I was doing, they couldn't help themselves-- they had to give in eventually, on the off chance I really would believe they were less manly than the other two. Of course, they have other ways to determine who was the manliest, some more reasonable than others. One of their favorites is who had the most hair. I swear, a guy could walk down the street in a pink cardigan, singing "My Heart Will Go On" at the top of his lungs, and if he had enough hair on his arms they would all be saying "Man, what a stud!" The words "peach fuzz" are an insult of choice at our house, never mind that all three of my brothers can grow a five o'clock shadow before noon. The other most important determiner is the deepness of a guy's voice. If any one of my brothers had the indignity of being a tenor, I'm not sure he could ever live down the shame. I sometimes worry about how my brothers are going to react when I bring home a fiancee someday, but then I realize as long as he's got chest hair and a voice like Barry Manilow, they'll all get along just fine.

The art of procrastination

It's finals week, in case you were wondering what could possibly cause me to go so long between posts. I thought in honor of this time of year, I would write about procrastination... since that's exactly what I'm doing right now anyway. Somehow, writing a blog post seems much more appealing than writing a term paper at the moment. The reason I was so busy last week was thanks to procrastination. I seem to be a creature of habit, because I follow the exact same pattern every semester-- I start off strong, determined to get my best grades yet... then I get partway through the semester, and I wonder why I am studying when there are so many more appealing options available, such as hanging out with my friends, watching YouTube videos, or lying on my bed staring aimlessly at the ceiling while listening to Here Without You for the 100th time. Then I get to the end of the semester, realize I've got 12 weeks worth of work due tomorrow, and think "Oh... that's why." Fortunately I know I am in no way alone on this one. I always laugh when professors go over the requirements for a midterm paper two weeks before it's due, and seem surprised when no one responds after they ask "Any questions?" No one responds because it's written on every one of their faces that they plan to not even consider the paper until midnight the night before it's due. Fortunately, it's possible to get an A on a paper you finished at 3:00 a.m, because most professors at BYU have never experienced a paper written during the daytime hours and profread the next day (or at all), so they think the quality of papers they get in is our best, most polished work, and grade accordingly.