"I can go the distance," said Herc.

"I can go the distance," said Herc.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Anti-Social Ramblings and the Bieber's Demise

60s night a few weeks ago.
Let's face it: I write the best blogs after midnight. And now I have the sudden urge to tell you about my day (technically yesterday) in a very honest/journal-like manner. Be warned, I shall be pretty honest here.

8:00 a.m.: I awake from a disturbing dream, the details of which are still pretty fuzzy.

8:30: My phone alarm ("We Used to Be Friends" by the Dandy Warhols) goes off, reminding me that I had planned to go to Ogden with some Scott, Nate, and Cassie in an hour. With a sinking feeling, I realize this is my last morning of freedom until Monday because I work a morning shift Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and church starts at 10 a.m. Sunday (Ironically it's the same time of my other morning shifts, though church is voluntary and much more enjoyable--when I can stay awake/ on task during Sacrament Meeting. Ask Elise for details of my most recent weeks.) I am not in the right state of mind to go to Ogden, and I really want to get some stuff done before my next three mornings are taken up with sitting at a desk, half awake, occasionally ringing up someone for education or scrapbook supplies or, miraculously, a book. Most people don't really shop in the mornings for that kind of stuff, except for the occasional frazzled middle age woman who stands at the doors waiting for us to open up at ten. I don't know why they stand there, because we are not going to open them any earlier, unless it's raining, or something.

But I digress.

So, I text Scott and tell him I'm not going to make it. Unbeknownst to me, this day turns into an anti-social day.

By the time I get up, I am moving pretty slowly. I start reading one of the library books that is due tomorrow, I bust out my brand spanking new portable hard drive and start backing up my computer (I have the bad habit of crashing computers so I finally bit the monetary bullet and got something with enough drive space to back up all my precious files.) I get to talk to Amber, who I hardly ever see since we are both raging workaholics and when I'm not working I'm usually at the Round House dressed up like another decade. Heck, I even see our one remaining roommate, Mady. Our other roommate, Randi, moved out unexpectedly on Monday. I have my suspicions, but let's just say she is a different egg and she's probably much happier living nearer to her fiance.
Me and Jacie during last week's 30s/40s night. We both unwittingly dressed up as Rosie the Riveter. I do crazy stuff like this every week. For reals. My neighbors must think I'm completely cucku. That's okay, I don't like them much either.

Then... after it all, I finally get ready and go to work at one. I mean to go in early, but as with all things early (1 p.m. is early for me these days), I fail. At least I was right on time--now that's a cause for celebration. I kinda wish I'd get more credit for showing up on time instead of getting congratulations for being 5 minutes late instead of 10. It just goes to show if you are late a few times in a row they come to expect it as normal. Sad day.

Work was BUSY. Holy cow. I also think I have bad computers karma (Remember the note above about why I bought a portable hard drive finally?), because today, while I was using them at separate times, the computer cash register upstairs ceased to work and the fax machine downstairs ceased to print. Dangit.

Tonight was Wednesday, so I sat back in General Books and did some ordering for my boss, Lacey. She's a cutie, but tonight she gave me twice as much as usual and in between doing that, straightening books, hunting down books for customers who called not remembering the exact name, sending faxes on the other, newer fax machine and ringing up customers who couldn't pay upstairs because someone (cough cough) broke the register, I was very busy.

It only pays minimum wage, but I still love my job.

Then I finally get to go home once we close at 8 p.m. and I have a sudden urge for chocolate. Remembering that I finished off the chocolate chips the night before, I head to WalMart and get a bag of Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate chips and some eggs and go home and make brownies. Then I get to spend the rest of the luxurious evening in my old, much loved Angels jersey and sweats, listening to the music I've never heard on my iTunes yet, eating first Chunky soup, then the brownies, and reading Meg Cabot's "Size 12 Is Not Fat." I missed Meg Cabot. Her writing style is great.

Me with the cute 2-week old Alaskan Husky puppy I got to hold at Elise's uncle's house on our mini roadtrip through Idaho. 

Are you still reading this, my dear reader? My, you are patient.

My sister's Facebook status came on my phone around 9:45: "Okay, so the kid on CSI--is that Justin Bieber? Right now channel two!" I couldn't resist, especially if it really is Bieber (Will his voice ever change? He has to hit puberty sometime, right?). I turn on KUTV and sure enough, the Bieb is riding shotgun in some dude's truck, on the lamb from the Las Vegas popo. It ends dramatically, with his accomplice surrendering in a stand-off and Bieber shooting him and then getting shot in the chest and dying. My sister sent me a text soon after: "They just killed Justin Bieber!"

I was wondering if at the time they filmed the episode the cop who shot Bieber's character was thinking the exact same thing--"I just killed Justin Bieber!"

And now I'm here.

Did I ever mention I love listening to Ben Folds when I'm melancholy? Well, I do.

I can't wait for next semester. I like having my own bedroom at Oak Ridge, and not paying utilities, and the fast internet, and the bathroom, and especially the walk-in closet, but the people here are not my kind of people.

Well I guess that's about it for now. If you managed to hang on through to the end of the entire post, I tip my hat off to you.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Easy-Peasy Harry Potter Wands

Last night, I found a blog post where the lady made wands for her son's Harry Potter Party. Well, since I'm going to the midnight premiere of 7.2, I HAD to make one for myself. The process is relatively easy. I was almost done, and then my friends found out what I was doing so it turned into a whole group craft project.

All you need is paint, scissors (in case things go wrong. I'll explain later), lots and lots of hot glue, and computer paper.
Roll your paper into a tight funnel, but with enough room on both ends to fill with glue. We had a debate about this at the Round House. Some people wanted their wands really really skinny. You just have to be able to fill it with glue and give it space to run down the tube. That's important.
STEP ONE: Fill it with hot glue. You want the glue to go down at least halfway, preferably 2/3. You'll be able to tell how far it goes by the heat. Keep the cone VERTICAL. This helps the glue to go down. Your main problem will be in getting it to go down far enough. So just hold the tube vertical and let the glue drip down the inside walls. Sometimes you may want to squeeze the sides of the tube a little to get the glue to go down more.
Once one side cools (which doesn't take very long), fill up the other end. Be sure to give the ends a rounded tip before you paint, or your wands will be funny-pointy. 

Now, you may run into the same problem most of us did. There was an air pocket of about two inches in the middle. So, take a very sharp knife, and gently cut a slit lengthwise in the wand. Be sure it only goes through to the middle, not the other side. You want it to be big enough to get the tip of the glue gun in there. I decided to use this as an opportunity and make it look like a knot in the wood. After all, no wand is perfect, right? 
Above is Scott filling the hole in his wand. The wand needs to be SOLID all the way through, or it'll bend when you try waving it around to cast spells on your friends (or enemies). 

Now, STEP TWO is to paint it! Start with a simple base coat of brown or black. Do you want your wand to look darker or lighter? Use a sponge brush and don't worry about details or being super thorough yet.
Cassie's wand is looking good!
The paint takes very little time to dry if you don't overdo it.

Next, ask yourself if you want your "wood" to have more of a red cast or green cast (or whatever color you want I suppose). Mix the red or green with some brown and brush that on top. Don't freak out if it looks way too green or red! Go over it with some more brown before it's completely dry. To get the woody look you don't want to completely cover every inch with the one color. Feel free to experiment here. You can always paint over your mistakes.

STEP THREE is to add embellishment like a handle or knots, or cute squigglys, or whatever. I used hot glue to make most of it. The others did a lot before they painted it, and that's okay too, but I think it's a bit easier to paint the first coat if it's on a smooth surface. To each his own.

Nate, who is dressing up as Dumbledore for the premiere, made a pretty cool Death Stick!
Now, you just paint over the details you made with more of the same paint from the second coat. Or whatever you want to do. I used some really dark brown just for the details. And then I added sparkles to make it look "magical."

Elise, who will be Professor Umbridge at the midnight showing, made a bead in the middle with glue and then painted it pink. How fitting!

Jacie used a dowel instead of glue to make her wand, and it also turned out nicely. The handle is studded with crystal-like beads.

Cassie elected to carve out a handle. Ooo.

Tesha's wand turned out pretty cool. It had sort of a willowy-foresty look.
Garrett, who will be Severus Snape at the midnight showing, went the extra mile and painted his silver with nail polish (it's all the girls had on hand to give him.).

Scott kept his wand simple, choosing to have a dark, reddish look. Classic.
No matter how you choose to make your wand, remember it's all in fun and it should be unique to you or your character! After all, the wand chooses the wizard...

Friday, July 1, 2011

What you should know before dating a journalist

My former journalism professor posted this on Facebook and it made me laugh my socks off because it is SO TRUE. And I'm not even in the professional business yet. Note: There is mild swearing in this guy's article and his language is pretty sarcastic. You have been warned. If you want to know a bit how a journalist's mind works, read the article here.

And I must say, I totally agree with most of what he says, though I am still working on not saying "anyways" in my daily speech. And I really do intend to write "The Great American Novel" (someday). Yes, I automatically correct every single person who answers "good" in my head when I ask them how they are doing today. And yes, my work does not stay at work, even now. I'm pretty much screwed for life because that's just who I am now. 

I would also agree with the writer's bio on the website, where he mentions he has been to more city council and board meetings than he's ever had dates. So true. My life revolves around my major. 

Example: My parents came up to visit yesterday and take me to the Beach Boys (which, by the way, was AWESOME!!!). We had some time to kill before the gates opened, so my brother David and I decided to give them a little tour around the valley and show them the flooding. And, I really wanted to show them River Heights, the little town I was assigned to cover for my Reporting Public Affairs class this last semester. It has a population of 1700 and is about 6 blocks wide. The whole tour through the town I was spouting off random pieces of information gleaned from sitting through and hour+-long meeting every Tuesday night for four months. 

And you know what the saddest part is? I miss it.