application to go on a date with cicada


What: David Sedaris at the Capitol Theatre
When: October 24, 2006 at 7:00


I have purchased two tickets to see David Sedaris---one for me and one for Mystery Date. If you are interested in the position of Mystery Date, please fill out the application below and either post it in the comments section for everyone to laugh at you or email me at so that I can laugh at you privately.* Women are free to apply but men will be given preferential treatment.

*I am not actually interested in finding a stranger to take on this date. Mostly this is just to be funny. If you know me, feel free to apply and I may choose you. If you know someone who knows me, feel free to apply and fill out the "references" section. If you don't know anyone who knows me, forget it. You have no chance. Buy your own freaking ticket.

Although this application is specifically for seeing David Sedaris on October 24, if you would like to go on a date with Cicada on another day, feel free to compose an essay explaining why you would be a good date for Cicada.

(to see David Sedaris on October 24)

Are you homophobic? (If yes, you need not continue.)

Will you be put off by potential use of the f-word in the reading/performance? (I will not be using the f-word at all during the date.)

The tickets were not inexpensive. What are you willing to do to show appreciation? (Check all that apply.)

0......arrive on time
0......bring flowers
0......dress nicely
0......compliment you (Cicada) on how nice you look
0......treat you (Cicada) to homemade dinner
0......treat you (Cicada) to restaurant dinner
0......take you (Cicada) on a future date
0......make out at the end of the evening

I don't want to waste this ticket on someone who isn't familiar with David Sedaris's works and isn't incredibly excited to see him live. Please write a brief essay on which is your favorite David Sedaris piece. If you are not familiar with David Sedaris but feel that for some other reason you should qualify for this date, write a brief essay detailing your reasoning.

Shamelessly suck up to me right here:

Thank you! I will be announcing the winner as soon as I find one. To all my friends who actually love me, please refer a friend.

The Jack Bauer Conspiracy

Recently, Ambrosia posted about government and torture and I congratulated her for being more up on current events than I am. I have heard news about our government and torture, though, and I've come to an astounding discovery.

Last night I put in an episode of 24 because I miss my boyfriend Jack Bauer (I tried to reconnect with him in The Sentinel but it just didn't do it for me). And during this episode, I watched as a suspect was interrogated by someone who was not Jack Bauer. The interrogator couldn't get anything out of the suspect. But Jack, believing that the suspect had very time-sensitive information, broke into the interrogation room, pulled out his gun, and started yelling at the suspect. The suspect didn't give up any information, so Jack blasted a cap into the guy's leg. As the guy was screaming and as Jack was sticking his gun into the wound to make it hurt more, the suspect gave the information that Jack was looking for. It turns out that Jack and the good guys were seconds too late to stop the bad plan from happening but gosh darn it, Jack got the information.

I'd love to see the stats on how many guys Jack Bauer tortures on average per 24 hours. Let's not forget that episode where Jack gets a guy out of prison, shoots him dead, and cuts off his head so that he can take it to go undercover and prove to some bad guys that he's a bad guy, too. And we ("we" as in 24 fans) watch this stuff and we love Jack (and if we're anything like me, we love Jack and want to have his killer babies). We love him as he breaks all the rules. We love him as he goes against government protocol because Jack makes things happen. I've heard it said that if everyone just did what Jack Bauer told them to do, the show would be called 12.

Allow me to quote a little from Wikipedia:

Bauer's behavior and actions are consistent with the philosophy "the ends justify the means". When innocent lives are in danger he behaves as though obtaining a desired result is more important than how he obtains it, and he frequently performs controversial actions if he thinks they will achieve an important goal. His philosophy was perhaps best expressed after he shot and killed a witness in front of George Mason, then-CTU Special Agent in Charge. George expressed dismay at Jack's extreme action, and Jack replied: "That's the problem with people like you, George. You want results, but you never want to get your hands dirty." Lying, torture, stealing, and even cold-blooded murder are all viable options to Jack, a stark contrast to the vast majority of fictional heroes. Comparisons with the very people he battles are inevitable. As stated by George Mason in Day 1, "Rules don't apply to Jack Bauer. He does what he wants, when he wants, and he doesn't care whose life it affects."
So the question: Is 24 actually a government plot to get people to support the government's right to do whatever it takes to get the job done? We love and praise Jack Bauer for what he does, and whatever measures he takes during torture, they always yield accurate results. We never see the victim of torture confess something that is not true just to escape the torture. We just see Jack Bauer doing what he does and getting results.

Flying High

I work a few miles from the airport, so I see planes coming in for landing all day as I gaze out my window (did I mention my office has a window?). They're close enough for me to determine what company they are---Southwest is the most recognizable to me because that's who I always fly with. And the more planes I see, the more I get excited for next week when I pick Switchback up from the airport.

But all this plane watching reminds me of a simpler life that I once lived. I grew up in Timmins, Ontario where we had a two-terminal airport. One room was Terminal One and the other room was Terminal Two. People left from Terminal One and came in at Terminal Two. It's a small enough city and a small enough airport that air traffic was rather limited.

We also happened to live on a hill in those days, just a few miles from the airport (almost anywhere in the city was "just a few miles from the airport"). So when we were waiting for someone to fly in, instead of keeping up on whether flights were on time, and what new time they were supposed to arrive (do flights ever come in on time), we'd just keep a watch out the window. When we saw a plane coming in to land, we'd pile into the car and drive to the airport to pick up the arriver.

I think that I can get back in touch with that simple life from my office here. I think I may just find out who Switchback is flying with and keep an eye out for the plane while I'm at work. When I see it coming in to land, then I can hop in the car and rush to the airport.

Truly Grotesque

Most of the time, I know where my dreams come from. The other day, I was planning on what I would wear to work as I fell asleep and that night, I was at work in my dream and looked down at what I was wearing and realized that it wasn't what I had planned. That's when I woke up and found out that I had slept through my alarm and should have been at work at that very moment.

But I don't know where last night's dream came from and because the images are still in my head, I must share them with you.

I dreamt that there was a group of anorexic women who were suffering from a disease that ate away the outside of their bodies, too. So in addition to being rake-thin, these women's bones, sinews, and muslces were exposed. It was all a pus-yellow color. They looked like the undead.

I was in a class that studied these women and particularly the unfair treatment they received in society. The one case study that I can remember was one girl who went to try on a prom dress at Bucovetsky's (a department store back home). While trying on a dress, she projectile vomited a lot of blood. It covered the dress she was trying on and the floor. The store manager told her that she didn't have to pay for the damage, but later in the day, called her to tell her that he changed his mind and she would have to pay for the dress that she ruined. This was supposed to prove that these women were treated differently in society.

So, so strange. I only wish I could get ride of the image of this undead, rake-thin, pus-yellow woman spewing blood in a prom dress.

Rhonda's School of Dance

One of the best pranks I've pulled in my life was Rhonda's School of Dance. It was a couple years ago when I was working in "the closet" (a long, narrow room at work with no windows) with Ambrosia and Logan. Every day, a guy named Jimbo would pass our closet and say hello. He was the gregarious sort, and he worked in data entry in a closet a few doors down. Our editing department had absolutely nothing to do with data entry, so we didn't really know Jimbo and his coworkers but one day we decided to form a "closet alliance" between our closet and theirs. We met all of them and started sending emails back and forth a little introducing ourselves. We even brought them stale, 90%-off treats from a nearby BYU Creamery.

One day, I realized that I could get access to their data entry telephone number and we could actually call them. So at about 10:00 one morning, Logan called from his cell phone.

Data entry: Hello, this is Jimbo at Independent Study. How can I help you?

Logan: Yeah, I'm calling about the Rhonda's School of Dance radio contest? The answer is plie. Am I the seventh caller?

Data entry: I'm sorry... this isn't a radio station, this is Independent Study. I'm afraid you've got the wrong number.

Logan: Oh geez. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

He got off the phone and I immediately called from my phone.

Data Entry: Hi, this is Jen at Independent Study. How can I help you?

Cicada (in a hyper, high-strung voice): Yes, hello! The answer is plie! Am I the seventh caller?

Data Entry: I'm sorry... this is Independent Study. You have the wrong number.

Cicada: But---but---but, this is the number they gave out on the radio! [I repeated the phone number.]

Data Entry: Right, that's our phone number, but the phone number is for Independent Study, not a radio station.

Cicada: But they gave this number out on the station!

Data Entry: I'm sorry.

Cicada: So does this mean I don't win?

Later that day, Jimbo swung by our closet. He said, "Hey... you guys... have you been receiving, like, weird phone calls today?"

We said we hadn't, and he explained.

"Apparently some radio call-in show gave out OUR number by accident, so people have been calling in for some dance studio thing. And this one girl---we thought she was going to cry. She just kept on repeating over and over again, 'But this is the number they said on the radio!'"

Of course, we were all laughing uncontrollably, but Jimbo thought that it was just his impression of the pathetic girl who was calling in.

At 10:00 a.m. for the next few days, we'd call in our answers to Rhonda's School of Dance. When we realized that we also had access to their printer through the network and started printing logos and pictures of ballerinas and stuff, they finally got wise and figured out that it was their new, intelligent editor friends.

Mark your calendriers!

At work recently I was charged with editing some French Canadian calendars and asked to pay particular attention to the French Canadian holidays to make sure that they were all there, all on the right days, and all spelled correctly. I was thrilled to get a job that allowed me to not only use my French, but to use my French Canadian. As I read each holiday (sometimes in my head, sometimes outloud) I made sure to pronounce it with a French Canadian accent and add a tabernac!* for good measure. But by the time I got to 2 janvier, or January 2, I became very concerned that a crucial French Canadian holiday was missing...

[segue into story]

Almost a decade ago, when I was still living in Northern Ontario, my mom and I heard of a wonderful shopping city called Rouyn-Noranda. Of course, we'd always known that the city was there (in Quebec) but we didn't know that they apparently had good shopping (in Northern Ontario, you can't get Gap, you can't get Banana, you can't get Old Navy---you can't get any of the stores that one takes for granted). We decided that we needed to take a road trip one day to check it out.

So on January 2, 1998, or 2 janvier, 1998, Mom, The Boy, my best friend, and I all hopped into our car and undertook the three-hour drive to Rouyn. On our way, we listened to my mother's Proclaimers CD and determined that those twins make strange Scottish noises in every single song they sing. But that's beside the point.

The point is that after three hours of driving through snowy wilderness, we arrived in Rouyn. We first saw a large Walmart and noticed that the parking lot was eerily empty. We assumed that the Walmart was brand-new and hadn't actually opened yet. We kept on driving, but noted that store after store after store was closed. Nothing was open except a little diner. Realizing that our three-hour trip to Rouyn would be wasted if we didn't do something (and being hungry after our three-hour trip), we went into the diner for lunch.

When our waitress came to take our order, I asked her why all the stores were closed. If you thought that French snootiness was restricted to France, think again. In her snootiest, French Canadianest French, she told me, "C'est le lendemain du jour de l'an" and walked away, leaving me to translate for my family: "It's the day after New Year's."

But of course! Mais bien sur!
Le lendemain du jour de l'an! It's the forgotten holiday! No one else in the world celebrates the day after New Year's but in Rouyn it was sacred enough for me to be sassed for even wondering what was going on.

And yet, now years later, I am left to look over the French Canadian calenders and wonder where le lendemain du jour de l'an is. Because even though all the stores in Rouyn may close down that day, there's no evidence to support that kind of behavior on the French Canadian calendar.

*If you speak French, this will not make sense to you. If you speak French Canadian, you'll either laugh or be offended. Caulice.

Time Management

Time Management seems to be a whole new game post graduation. Back in August, I was working a part-time job, taking classes full-time, trying to finish projects in time for graduation, spending time with my family in town, trying to get in my last hours of fun with Redras, and job hunting (including going to several interviews in SLC when I was living in Provo). You can imagine that every minute of my time was packed.

But now? It's strange to have entered the Real World and realize that beyond work from nine to five, I have no other commitments. I find myself bored a lot or watching too much television. I need to get a couple of hobbies---I have a couple of projects in mind, but one I can't start until I get a sewing machine and the other is a family history project and there's no excuse for not starting so I'll probably start it today.

Makes Me Happy

Picture the stereotypical Utah Valley girl. You know the one---straight, long, blond hair; really thin; very beautiful; probably fairly ditzy.

Now picture the stereotypical grandma. The one who's skinny, tiny, and has short, curly grey hair.

Two weeks ago, I saw the stereotypical Utah Valley girl driving a huge Geneva steel truck.

Today I saw the stereotypical grandma driving a semi.

It's small things like this that really make me happy. I mean, how cool is it to break out of your stereotype and do something completely unexpected?

Some Roommate Stories

Currently I'm living with El Senor. Before El Senor I lived with Redras who---apologies to any of my other former roommates who may be reading this---was my all-time favorite roommate. She wins the prize.

Nevertheless, it's the bad roommate experiences that drive me to choose to avoid roommate situations and live with brothers. Here, for your enjoyment, is a small collection of roommate stories---from heinous to unbelievable to incomprehensible. I apologize if all of the facts are not correct. I'm trying to be as faithful as possible to the facts that I remember.

My Worst Apartment

I moved in with a friend the summer after my sophomore year. There were four of us in the apartment and the space was incredibly cramped. My bedroom had bunk beds and I was on the bottom bunk (the top bunk was very low). Our air conditioning was broken and my roommate refused to sleep with a window open because the noise prevented her from sleeping. So she would sleep directly under the ceiling fan and I would suffocate on the bottom bunk. In addition to that, my roommates were messy. I decided to conduct an experiment one day---see how long I could not wash other people's dishes before someone finally took the initiative to wash the dishes herself. I waited two weeks while dishes piled up (I started eating out every day so that I knew that I was in no way contributing to the mess). After two weeks, there were dishes on every horizontal surface of the kitchen (stove top and fridge top included) and I finally broke down and cleaned them all. I can't even remember how long it took me. The clincher, though, was when my roommate was letting our tiny bedroom get more and more cluttered with her mess. It got to the point that I could hardly walk in my own room and one day, I got to the bedroom and there, in the middle of my messy, messy bedroom floor, was a used tampon applicator. That same day, I started looking for new housing. I moved out about a month later.

Redras's Roommate

Redras once told a story about a bizarre roommate but I can't remember what the story was because at the very end of the story, she flippantly added, "But then she joined the military and got mono and died."

Scoots (and Poops)

This story has nothing to do with scooting or pooping, but you may remember that Scoots and Poops is El Senor's old roommate's nickname. El Senor and Scoots lived together when they were in Provo, but they originally met in the dorms in Rexburg when they were going to school there. Scoots had a sortof odd roommate who could get upset about strange things. One night, El Senor and his roommate could hear Scoots's roommate yelling from across the hall. Soon after, there was a knock on El Senor's door. Scoots was standing there with his mattress tucked under his arm and announced, "I'm moving in!" What was the cause of Scoots's roommate's tantrum? Well, every day, Scoots was the first person to leave the dorm room so he'd run and pick up the mail. But Scoots's roommate wanted the experience of going to the mailbox and discovering what new mail awaited. (Clearly this was grounds for getting angry.)


A good friend of mine---we'll call her "Twin"--- is back from her mission and moved to SLC so we've been spending a little time together. Friday night, we were both wearing black shirts and jeans---I asked her if it bothered her that we were wearing similar outfits. She said no, but that it would have bothered an old roommate of hers. She went on to explain that she and this roommate had a similar fashion sense and would often buy the same or similar clothes. One day Twin showed up to class to see that she and her roommate were wearing a similar outfit. She laughed and said, "Look! We're twinners!" She didn't think much more about it. Over the next little while, she and her roommate would occasionally wear similar outfits. Her roommate would get ready and leave the house before they ever saw each other, so if ever their outfits matched, it was purely coincidence. One day, Twin went home to find her roommate and her roommate's boyfriend at home. When the roommate saw her, she noticed that Twin's hair was curly (Twin does her hair curly, wavy, or straight). Her hair was also curly (though a good six inches shorter than Twin's hair). Suddenly she raged out at Twin, accusing her of always copying her. She yelled and screamed while Twin stood dumbfounded. Finally Twin was able to tell her roommate that if it really bothered her that much that they wore similar outfits and similar hairstyles, all they had to do was talk every morning and arrange what they'd be wearing and how they'd be doing their hair. The roommate continued to yell and scream at Twin as she ran to the bathroom and put her head under the faucet. While drenching her hair, drying her hair, and straightening her hair, she continued to yell at Twin.

And for all those reasons, my friends, I choose to live with brothers whenever possible. But Redras, dear Redras, the offer is always on the table for you to be my roommate.

Start Having a Good Life

Here are my reasons that I am thrilled to be in the Real World now. I wonder why I took so long to graduate---seriously, why was I afraid to move on?

Jeans Friday is better than Team-Spirit Friday. Yes, Team-Spirit Friday in which we were supposed to think that all of us wearing the same shirts was really fun and "special." Jeans are so much more comfortable and special.

Corporate meetings / parties / events: I'm coming from a job where they wouldn't spend money on a roll of double-sided tape for me. Yesterday, I spent the day at a company kick-off meeting where we had about two hours of meetings, two hours of movie-watching, and one hour of catered lunch. And although that only totals five hours, we were paid for eight. And during the meeting, we were provided with free beverages. During lunch, we were provided with, well, lunch. During the movie, we were provided with free popcorn, beverages, candy bars, and peanuts.

My own office, or my own cube, if we really want to be technical. But the point is that it's mine and it has a window. And I'm the only one in the area who has a cube, so it's not like I'm lost in a cube maze. And I get drawers in which to put fat-free fig newtons and I even brought a milk crate in to work that I can leave under my desk and use as a foot stool to put my feet up whenever I want to. This is much different from last summer when I was sitting so close to my coworkers that when they sneezed, I got wet. (No exaggeration.)

Getting paid to work out: I will never get over how cool this is.

Having a name badge that opens doors: It makes me feel so much better than all of you who can't walk in the doors I can walk in.

Employee discounts: 30 percent is a wonderful thing.

Testing merchandize: The company I work for makes handbags and brief cases and totes. The guy who designs them is a real Italian import and his office smells like leather. He has told me to stop by his office and pick up a bag that I can use and give him feedback on. For someone who already has a mild purse fettish, live doesn't get much better.

Flexibility: My previous student job could be very strict on punctuality and schedules. They said that they were preparing us for the Real World. Well, it turns out that the Real World by all accounts is much more flexible. Get in your hours. If that means you show up at 8:00, great. If that means you show up at 9:00, more power to you. Want to eat lunch at your desk and leave early? Go for it.

I love the real world. Love it. I'll love it even more next week when I get my first check. I mean, seriously, they pay me to have this much fun?

Sleep Music

Back in high school I worked for a lawyer who one day complained about having troubles sleeping at night. I told her that I had a mixed tape of sleep music and if I was having trouble sleeping, I just put that on and within four songs, I was asleep. She laughed at me and told me that when I was older I would have a lot more to think about at night and much more trouble getting to sleep.

I haven't listened to that cassette tape since high school but recently I was reunited with my high school stereo and decided that it was time to recreate my sleeping mixed tape. Only this time, I made it into a CD. Because I can't remember all the songs on the original CD (beyond the first four), I have had to revamp the mix a little. It's updated now and better than ever. I am pleased to announce that I have yet to stay awake beyond the second song. I guarantee you---the sequencing of the music is key to sleep promotion. Here is my play list, and I recommend it especially to Daltongirl. Oh dearest Daltongirl, your sleeping woes would be so easily cured if you just listened to my sleep mix...

1. When You Dream---Barenaked Ladies
2. I Love You---Sarah McLachlan
3. I Grieve---Peter Gabriel
4. Le ciel dans une chambre---Carla Bruni
5. Change of Season---Matthew Good Band
6. 13 anni---Tiziano Ferro
7. L'encre de tes yeux---Francis Cabrel
8. Fade Out---Radiohead
9. Douglas Mountain---Raffi
10. Chanson triste---Carla Bruni
11. Sing---Blur

Seriously though, don't pay attention to anything past song four because you'll never make it.

(Former sequencing of the first four songs was 1, 2, 5, 3.)


Here is a picture of me on my last day of work. This picture will have particular meaning to Ambrosia and anyone who ever worked with me who was forbidden to sit in these awful chairs.

You see, at my previous place of employment, our company rented space from another company that owned the building. I should be very clear with you that the building (which I have called a cement bunker) is not pretty. It is not a place where you want to bring people. It is not decorated nicely on the inside. It's junky and old. There. I said it. And I'm in no danger of losing my job because of it.

Well, the other company has about five or six hideous turquoise leather chairs in a hallway that I suppose they thought doubled as a reception area. No one is ever received in this area. When Ambrosia and I first started working there, we were informed that the chairs were off-limits to student employees.

Later at a meeting, a supervisor made it clear to everyone that the other company had been complaining about student employees using the chairs. We were not allowed to use them. Period. We were specifically not allowed to sit in them while we waited to leave, sit in them while we talked on cell phones, sit in them to do homework, or sit in them and sleep. Off-limits. The other company said that those seats were there for visiting dignitaries.

Visiting dignitaries. What a joke! None of us had ever seen any visiting dignitaries.

Well, before I left, I had the chance to see visiting dignitaries in our building. There was a small group of Japanese dignitaries who had come to visit. However, they were not using the chair. They were standing in a row by the door and when I approached, they opened the door for me and then bowed as I walked through it.

And I thought, "Hey. I could really get used to this dignitaries thing..."

An Impressive Person

Often it's the small things that people do that make them impressive. Several years ago, I was waiting for my mission call. My papers had gone in and I was expecting my call any day. I'd been told that if you lived on BYU campus, calls generally arrived on Tuesdays, but if you lived off campus (like me) calls arrived on Wednesdays. They were mailed from Salt Lake City on Mondays.

On a Monday I was at work talking with my coworkers about when I might possibly receive my call. I didn't know if it was too soon to expect it. A coworker told me that her mother worked in the MTC mail room and that they had access to the shipping info on mission calls. She could call her mother and find out for me if it was in the mail yet.

She called her mother right away and I listened as she made the call: "Hi Mom. I was wondering if you could check to see if the call for Singing Cicada has been shipped... Yeah... uh-huh... oh, okay... uh-huh. Great. Thanks, Mom." When she got off the phone, she said to me, "Yep, it's been shipped. You'll probably get it on Wednesday."

I was thrilled. In just two days, I'd find out where I was going. As expected, I received my call that Wednesday and was shocked to find out that I'd be going to the Italy, Rome mission (in fact, I had to repeat "Italy, Rome" to my parents on the phone about three or four times before they could understand me).

At work on Thursday, everyone was asking me where I was going on my mission. They too were all shocked and excited (and jealous) to find out where I was going. Later during my shift, my coworker came to me and asked if I'd received my call. I said that I had and when she asked where I was going, I told her. She smiled and said, "Yeah, I knew." I thought she was referring to the fact that she found out from people in the office. But then she explained.

When she was on the phone with her mother---when I was standing right in front of her listening to her half of the conversation---her mother had said, "Yes, her call has been shipped and she's going to the Italy, Rome mission."

I am impressed with this girl's discipline. She could have gotten off the phone and teased me that she knew where I was going and I didn't. She could have let me know that she knew where I was going and offered to tell me. Instead, she respected tradition and recognized the fact that opening my call with my family and finding out where I was going together with them would be a more meaningful experience for me. And not only did she not tell me, she didn't tell other coworkers that she knew where I was going, either. She allowed me to have the full mission call experience. I am still impressed with her and I doubt that I'd have the discipline to act the same way.