Careful Texting

It's come to my attention that I need to be really, really careful when it comes to texting with my relatively new phone. Predictive text used to be so straight forward! To write "me," I'd press 63 and get "of," which I'd then have to switch to "me."

My new phone is slightly smarter, though. I'm not sure how it works, but it either remembers the last version of "63" that I keyed in, or it remembers which version of "63" I use most often. Either way, it's clear that I text other people about me more than I texts others of other things.

(As an aside, I may say that predictive text became popular while I was on my mission. After my mission, I was talking on the phone with my Italian trainer, who was complaining about predictive text being stupid and pointless. "It never has the words I need," she said. "Like fascists. It doesn't even know the word fascists." I asked her what kind of text messages she was sending that required the word fascists...)

Now it's becoming clear to me what kind of text messages I send. I start keying in 26627 and sooner than you can say comas, the word "boobs" appears.

And it doesn't end there. I key in 46 and before I get "in," the word "ho" appears on my screen. Earlier today, I wasn't paying close attention to what I was texting about hemming pants and (wisely) read the message before sending it: "In my mission sisters were forbidden to sex for the elders."

While the above message was absolutely true (and I believe applicable to all missions) I really meant to say that the sisters were forbidden to sew for the elders.

So to all of you whom I text, please forgive me if I send you lewd messages. I really don't mean to tell you about my comas or my sew skills.

Suddenly Single

Well, it's official. I've dumped all my TV boyfriends this season. Yes, I'm heartbroken, and yes I'm lonely, but gosh darnit, I have standards, and if I'm going to have to live alone with those standards and a pride of cats for the rest of my life, then so be it.

We'll start with Jack Bauer:

Dear Jack,
Oh, how can I express my disapp0intment? Sure, there was enough material in the four-hour season premiere to seriously test my ability to suspend disbelief, but when hour 5 turned into a soap opera, how could I not laugh out loud? I'm sorry, Jack, but your evil twin brother? (Okay, so he's actually not a twin, but please---can we get any cornier?) And not only that, but you have a "history" with your brother's wife? (And whose son is that, really??) Please. Jack, I'm dumping you because you are a man whore. Every woman loves you and you break every woman's heart because your true love is your country (but possibly you have a little man-crush on ex-terrorist-turned-really-nice-guy, Hassad). By the end of this season, we'll find out that Chloe is actually carrying your baby, and that she got pregnant before you went to China, but that your super-spawn requires an extra-long incubation period. We're through.

Next, we'll go with Danny Taylor:

Dear Danny,
There's just something about you this season that has left me feeling empty and disillusioned. You have continued to dress extremely well, and your hair is still perfectly fuzzy, but there's just something I can't quite put my finger on. You no longer appeal to me. Don't think that I'm leaving you for your coworker whom you call "brother," Martin. Don't think I'm leaving you for your boss who has serious issues, Jack. No, Danny, I'm leaving you because I prefer being alone to being your girlfriend. I know that hurts, but you have to face the facts. And yes, this may have something to do with the fact that you recently hooked up with your Hispanic coworker, Elena. I mean, did the writers of the show really have to do that to you? I don't even like her! And did they write her into the show just so that the two Hispanics could hook up? Oh Danny. How could you forget that I have a Latin name? Wasn't that enough for you? Why, Danny? Why?

And of course House:

Dear Greg,
Sometimes I feel like I'm watching the same. exact. thing. every. week. Get off the freaking pain killers. I'm sure that your writers can still make you interesting without the drug addiction. Or maybe they can't and that's why you're still an addict. I no longer care about you, Greggie. And I'm not leaving you for Wilson, either, because I haven't been impressed at all with his behavior this season.

There's always Gob...

Dear Gob,
I miss you. Please come back to me, Gob. Come back!

Aaaaaand of course Jim...

Dear Jim,
Actually, you were never my boyfriend because I always thought that you and Pam really deserve each other. Best of luck with that---I think you're doing a good job. Yours truly, your BFF, Cicada.

And although none of the men on Lost have ever been my boyfriends, here's a shout-out to them all:

Dear Lost,
We'll be seeing each other again very soon. And you know what? I really couldn't care less. Your show was good first season. It was okay second season. Third season? It's a load of crap. And it's proof that although some American shows really should plan a plot and execute it over a finite and planned number of seasons, no American shows ever actually do that. Your show would have been so much cooler if you had actually planned a beginning and an end, rather than trying to keep this group of people on an island for longer than anyone cares to pay attention. So you came back for a few episodes in the fall and then left off for another four months. Who do you think cares enough to tune back in next month? I'm dumping you.

**Please note that although I have "dumped" all my boyfriends and all my shows, this in no way will affect my watching their shows. I will continue to watch each of these shows (except Arrested Development for obvious reasons) because I still have an emotional attachment to each of my boyfriends that I cannot immediately sever.

My boyfriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble...

As everyone knows, my boyfriend Jack Bauer is back from China. We had a Sunday and a Monday date this week, but we've decided to cut it back to just Mondays for the next few months. You know, he's a very busy man, so I've got to give him his space. In honor of 24's return to television, I'd like to share with you 24 observations from Sunday and Monday evenings:

1. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED. No, for reals though.

2. I know that Jack is having a hard time adjusting from being tortured in a Chinese prison where he didn't speak for 20 months because it took him a full hour and twenty minutes to get a gun. An hour and twenty minutes, people!! Jack's obviously a little sluggish.

3. Jack didn't get much red meat in prison, which actually made killing his first terrorist by biting him in the neck, vampire-style, a tasty, tasty kill.

4. The blood reactivated Jack's vocal chords. No more whispering after biting the guy to death.

5. Some families get up and are all ready for school and work by 6:00 in the morning. Some neighbors are up and ready to beat up or kill prospective-terrorist-neighbors before 7:00 a.m. Some people are really, really morning people. I'm not.

6. The American government does not negotiate with terrorists. Except sometimes they do, you know, like when the terrorist threats are really, really bad. And then they meet terrorist demands because maybe the terrorists will be trustworthy. But then, you know, Los Angeles gets nuked. Maybe the American government should go back to its policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

7. If the American government had arranged for Jack's release about an hour earlier, he would have been sufficiently rehabilitated to stop the nuking of Los Angeles.

8. Speaking of Jack's rehabilitation, I learned that a man can recover from an amazing amount in just four hours. Well, if that man is Jack. Jack was able to speak again, resocialize himself, regain his killer instinct, correctly assess the state of terrorist affairs in America, and get up to full running and killing speed after his Chinese imprisonment and after being tortured briefly. On the other hand, Ahmed (he's going to kill me because I don't know how to spell his name, but gosh-darnit, I know how to pronounce it!) was unable to recover from mere glass being stuck in his leg. Come on. Jack had his nerve bundle tweaked, and he had some horrid, horrid stick thing shivved into him.

9. Speaking of torture, jabbing a pen into a man's shoulder will not make him give up his terrorist secrets. Sliding a knife underneath his knee cap will.

10. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED. Did you think we were kidding?

11. It's really easy to walk into any person's house and find clothes that are such a perfect fit that even while you're not quite "with it" after your Chinese imprisonment and stuff, everyone watching you is thinking, Dang, he looks good.

12. The American government does not negotiate or work with terrorists. Especially not ones who have been terrorists for the past 20 years. Well, except when they are deciding to renounce terrorism and become a legitimate political force now. Then the American government will work with them. It helps if they're tall, dark, and handsome. It also helps if they're really basically pleasant chaps.

13. I really want a Toyota. I can't quite figure out why...

14. I really like Nextel. I can't figure out why...

15. The product placement in 24 provides some much-needed comedic relief. The only thing better would be the actors actually doing the commercials for these products during the breaks. I can see Hassad (Assad?) saying, "Buy Toyota! The ex-terrorist-turned-legitimate-political-entity car of choice!"

16. You should really sacrifice your family members whenever possible. If the wounded terrorist neighbor kid tells you to deliver a package for him or he'll kill your family, let him kill your family for heaven's sakes...

17. ...or call 911 because the cool thing is that they'll put you right on the phone with Jack Bauer. But do that right away because if you wait too long to do that, Jack Bauer won't be able to save the city from the nuclear bomb.

18. In a previous season, the producers discovered that the viewers liked it when Jack Bauer shows his weakness and cries. They cashed in on that pretty early on this season. Poor Jack Bauer. Poor, poor Jack Bauer. If I were him, I'd consider death pretty welcome, too.

19. Girlfriends don't tend to really stick around after you intentionally disappear for a couple of years, reappear for one day (24 hours to be precise), and then go to Chinese prison for another 20 months. Well, girlfriends like Audrey. Girlfriends like me? They're always there for Jack.

20. You shouldn't assume that all persons of Middle Eastern descent are terrorists. Only, on the whole, you'd be safer if you did. Except in the case where the bus driver wouldn't let on the Middle Eastern man who just wanted to get to work. In that case, the Middle Eastern man was safer because he was discriminated against and the bus driver got blown up. By an Asian suicide bomber. Ironic, really. Still, it's a good thing it wasn't Whitey and that it was, in the end, a visible minority. It makes me feel so much safer when the white guys are not the terrorists.

21. Except who's going to be the CTU mole this year? We've had one every year without fail, and it's usually Whitey. Why did I ever trust you, Whitey? Why?

22. When Jack said not to let Kim know he was back, I was kindof glad. And by kindof glad, I mean really, really glad.

23. Even though Jack says he can't do it, he can do it. Poor, poor Jack. He has to do it because no one else can. The world needs Jack Bauer.


Bridal Shower Policy

Call me a frigid witch with a B, but I have a bridal shower policy. See, when I was an undergrad, I went through a period of time when I was receiving way too many bridal shower invitations, many for girls who I hardly had any connection to at all. Now, everyone knows that no one goes to a bridal shower for the games. People go to bridal showers under obligation. And they are obligated to bring a shower gift.

Particularly for a student, having to attend many bridal showers causes serious financial strain. And particularly for a single-with-a-bleak-hope-of-ever-getting-married student, the idea of buying kitchen gadgets for others when you don't have enough money to buy cool gadgets for yourself, isn't appealing at all.

So I developed a bridal shower policy to weed out people who were only gift-grabbing. Now that I am out of school and gainfully employed, I might revise this policy, but who are we kidding? Feel free to adopt this policy as your own, if you feel that you are attending too many bridal showers.


1. I must have, at some point in my life, considered the person a friend. Not an acquaintance. Not a friend of a family member's. Not a roommate who I never really liked. A real friend.

2. I must have hung out with that friend at least once. A friend who was a school class friend or a work friend does not qualify. We must have, at some point, decided to hang out together independently of class or work.

3. I must have spoken to or spent time with that friend within the last year. This is the hardest to enforce, because sometimes I'd get invitations from freshman friends who I really did like at the time, but I'd remind myself that if our friendship wasn't strong enough to have precipitated some sort of contact over the past year, then it's not good enough for a bridal shower. If you want to get a gift from me, you'd better care about me enough to talk to me within a year of your bridal shower.

Happy Birthday, Jennifer Davies

In honor of Jennifer Davies's birthday yesterday, I would like to do something I never, ever do. That is, post a list of real names to the internet. These are real people, like Jennifer Davies, who I've known over the years and who I've gotten out of touch with.

This weekend, I thought of Jennifer Davies because I saw a movie with John Candy, and I always think of Jennifer Davies when I see John Candy because I found out that John Candy died when I stayed the night at her house once. Then I thought about her again yesterday because it was her birthday. Funny that you can remember some birthdays even though you've completely lost touch with a person.

I must add that I feel ready to be in touch with Jennifer Davies again. I didn't feel ready last year, when I was still in college and she was probably graduated and working. She and I got to be friends in third grade and stopped being friends somewhere around ninth grade, I think. Not that we ever really stopped being friends, but we stopped spending time together. We were always singled out for our good writing. I think that landing a job as an editor makes me respectable enough, and before announcing to the internet that I'd like to get back in touch with her, I checked to make sure that she hasn't written any books (she hasn't---unless she wrote Tales Old Gypsies (Country Tales), which I highly doubt; if anything, she would have written "Tales of Old Intergalactic Space Gypsies"). So that means that we should be pretty much equal, I hope. Jennifer Davies, wherever you are, and even if you are sitting on the unpublished manuscript "Tales of Old Intergalactic Space Gypsies," I'd love to get back in touch.

Now on to the rest of you:

Benjamin Packer, an old IS coworker, to whom I always said "I need to maintain a professional working relationship with you" but never did.

Krystie/Krystal Cobel, an old IS coworker, who I may have called a slut in jest one too many times, and whose ward member claimed, "She had a tomb-raider body."

Ashley Wright, my first ever best friend, whom I met one day when I was playing at a neighbor's home without permission.

Secily Saunders, the prudiest freshman friend I ever had, who once accidentally exclaimed, "I'm trying to avoid the pee-ness" when expressing her need to use the bathroom immediately.

Justin Giallonardo, whose Amazon wish list I thought I found until I realized that he never would have requested any of the items that were on the list I found.

More on Pet Peeves

A while ago I was talking about pet peeves with a friend who will remain nameless. She told me that one of her biggest pet peeves was people who refuse to use public toilets that already have stuff in them. I told her that I was definitely one of those people---that I never wanted to risk splash-back in a toilet that already had someone else's stuff in it.

Recently I emailed this friend and told her that now, every time I see a public toilet with stuff in it, I thought of her, and that I was not sure she really wanted me to think of her while I was looking at some stranger's crap. She emailed me back this:

How passing over used toilets became a pet peeve/another thing I may have already told you: I was at a football game in high school and I had to go to the bathroom at half time. The stadium bathrooms were gross, but I really had to go, so I waited in line with the million other women. There was one stall that everyone was avoiding. There was some #2 floating in the toilet, but the stall still had toilet paper, so I decided to go for it because after waiting in line, I REALLY had to go. I took care of business, and this is important--it was #1 only--but it turned out that the reason someone had left their junk floating there was because (I just used "reason is because"--a phrase I hate) the toilet didn't flush. So I left the stall. A girl started to go into the stall after me, but when she saw the poop, she gave me the dirtiest look. I wanted to yell, "It's not my poop!" Anyway, I didn't really know dirty look girl, but I knew she hung out with snobs. So now I assume that people who don't use poopy toilets are prissy snobs. I don't think I'd ever told anyone about this pet peeve before you, and when you told me that you avoided poopy toilets, I had to reevaluate my thinking. "[Cicada] avoids used toilets, and she's not prissy or a snob. Imagine that."

I'm pretty sure I haven't told you this one: When I worked at the wilderness camp, we used to drive past this skeezy Mexican place called Alfonso's on our way to the desert. Alfonso's had crazy huge burritos with every imaginable filling that were called--quite imaginitively--the Alfonso. They were so big that they had be wrapped with two big tortillas. I never managed to eat more than half of one. Even though they were kind of gross, they were good to eat when you knew that all you'd be eating the rest of the week was lentils and ashcakes. In the wilderness, you couldn't really be subtle about what you were going to do when you went behind the tree. If you were carrying your digging stick, everyone knew you were going to take a crap. No digging stick=pee only. People would say, "Going to see a man about horse" or something like that when they were going to crap. One guy who had eaten an entire Alfonso the day before walked out of camp with his digging stick, and said "I'm going to go bury Alfonso." So sometimes I call poop "Alfonso" in my head.

That is it. I have now told you every poop story I have to tell and I will not tell anymore poop stories, because it is bad enough that you think of me when you see poop. I don't want you to always think of poop when you think of me.
Anyway, I loved her poop stories so much that I really felt they had to be shared.

I had a phlebotomy.

I donated blood today and I actually didn't do as well as I always do. That is to say, when I finished the donation, before I stood up, my head started swimming, and then my hearing went away and it sounded like I was under water, and then the girl had to ask me if I was okay, and I said no. And then she asked me to hold something, but I couldn't really hear her because of my hearing loss, but then I held it and she tipped my seat back and then she asked me to cough because coughing brings blood to the head (who knew?) but I felt really silly coughing. So I just laughed (hoping that laughter would bring blood to my head) and asked if I really had to keep coughing, and she kept saying, "Just one more, just one more." And she had to put cold compresses on and beneath my head. And I had to lie there for a good ten minutes.

Apparently I didn't enough fluids and/or food this morning. I thought that I was being good by drinking a breakfast shake, which is full of vitamins. I guess I was wrong. My last donation time was 6:15 (I beat all my coworkers---we're competitive like that). This donation time was about 8:00. Pathetic.

The whole experience, though, wasn't as bad (read: cool) as the experience I had my freshman year.

The good part about it is that now I have an excuse not to work out today (I've successfully found an excuse every day for the past two weeks) and to overeat. I mean, I really feel that my body needs a lot of calories today. Good thing I asked my mom to take me to Buca di Beppo's tonight for dinner. I'd better get dessert, too, just to be on the safe side.

Shouldn't someone specialize?

This year, one of my goals is topical gospel study wherein I will create resource sheets on every topic I study. Because this is patterned after a study program on my mission, I wanted to get a little half-sized binder, just like I had on my mission. Besides which, if I can tie any goal into making any sort of purchase, I'm more likely to do it.

Now, I knew that I wouldn't have the stationery selection that I had in wonderful Italy (praise the Europeans for their superior stationery!), but I figured that Staples would be the best choice for finding supplies. I mean, they specialize in this sort of thing, after all.

After work yesterday, I went over to Staples and went to their binder section. After slowly looking through everything they offered, I found one type of 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 binder. And it cost about $7. Though I was hoping to choose from at least two binders (they had one on the Internet that only cost about $3), I took the $7 binder, tucked it under my arm, and went searching for the other items for a half-sized binder. Next I found a package of 25 page protectors. Since 25 just happens to be the exact number of topics I plan to study, this worked out well for me, except that they cost another $7. Oh well. Can you really spend too much on the organization of your spiritual enlightenment?

Next I needed to find paper to go in my binder. Now, I'm really trying not to compare the US to Europe here, but I'd like to point out that Europe has an assortment of high quality, hole-punched paper that will fit a half-sized binder. At Staples, I could only find note pads that certainly weren't high quality paper and certainly weren't hole punched.

No matter, I thought. I'd go and look at their note cards because at least that way, I'd be using card stock, which would actually be quite nice.

I found their note cards section. The only 5 x 8 note cards were sold in packages of 500. They cost $8. Surely, though, at a store like Staples, there would be smaller packages.

A couple of employees saw me wandering around the aisles and must have noticed the bewildered look on my face because they asked me if I needed help. I must point out that at this point, I still thought that surely Staples had the paper and/or note cards I was looking for, but that I was simply looking in the wrong places.

"I have this binder here, and I was wondering if you have 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 paper to go in it," I said.

"We could cut paper to that size, but I don't know how much that will cost you," she said.

"Well, I'm looking for paper of this size that's already hole punched."

"Um... I don't really think that we have any."

"So you sell the binder, but you don't sell the paper that goes in the binder."

"Well, truckers are usually the only ones who buy those binders and they already have their own paper."

"Oh. I see. Okay. I'm not sure that makes sense, but maybe I can just use note cards. It's just that I can't find 8 x 5 note cards in any smaller quantity than 500."

"We definitely have note cards," she said, and led me back to where I'd been looking at the note cards. She then searched the wall (just as I had searched the wall two minutes earlier) and announced that no, they didn't sell 8 x 5 note cards in smaller quantities. "You see," she said, "people buy smaller note cards in smaller quantities, but people who buy 8 x 5 note cards like to buy a lot of them so that they don't have to come back and buy more."

At this point, I started to get an intense head ache. I realized that my trip to buy supplies for my gospel study was a bust, but at least I could get those stickers that go around hole punches to reinforce them because I've needed those for a while, and for heaven's sake, I was at Staples. So I asked her if she could please show me where I could find those stickers that go around hole punches to reinforce them. Her face lit up as she announced to me that they definitely had those.

She brought me to the correct aisle and proclaimed, "They even sell it in this kit that has everything you need!" On the wall was a kit that included a single-hole punch, and a little machine for putting on those stickers that go around hole punches to reinforce them. It cost $8. I swear I was about to cry. I turned to the girl and said, "I don't really need a whole kit. I just need a small package of reinforcements."

"I should tell my supervisor that we should sell those," she said.

And finally, to add insult to injury after injury after injury, I went to console myself by buying a package of SARASA Zebra pens. You know, I haven't found a place other than the BYU Bookstore (and the whole of Europe) to buy them singly, so I'd have to buy a whole package to get my beloved orange pen. And in the pen aisle, I found one package of SARASA Zebra pens. It didn't have orange.

I'm sure you'll understand, then, that I didn't purchase the half-sized binder or the page protectors. I simply didn't want to give Staples any of my money. I've decided that what I really need to do is find a store that specializes in office and home office supplies. Does anyone have any ideas?

Call me immature but...

...does this skirt make you giggle? Because it made me do a double-take and then giggle all by myself in Old Navy. I mean, as far as design elements go, do you really want to create something that makes onlookers wonder how you pee out of that thing? I mean, I'm sorry, but it's a box flap in the crotch. What would ever inspire someone to create a crotch-box-flap as a neat design element? Sorry, Old Navy. I'll pass on this one.