Sunday, December 07, 2008

Change Sucks... Deal with it.

I came to Church today as if it were any other Sunday. I had an activities committee meeting before hand, and I knew I had to stay after for tithing settlement. But, other than that, it was like any other Sunday, or so I thought. As soon as I walked into the chapel for sacrament meeting, I knew something was up. There were about 15 priesthood holders on the stand all trying to decide where to sit. Obviously, we weren't going to have a normal fast and testimony meeting.

After the sacrament, the stake president got up and started reading from the Church handbook about the Singles Ward and the guidelines in establishing it. This of course put me on edge because I started thinking that they might get rid of the Singles Ward, and I'd have to go to church with my family. But then he laid the bombshell on me. They were creating a singles branch in Allen to be comprised of the Allen and McKinney stakes, meaning that now the Dallas 11th ward (where I've been attending) is comprised of the Richardson and Plano stakes.

What???? What is going on? I can't tell you how many thoughts flooded my mind as they started reading and establishing this new singles branch. They had everyone stand that would be attending the new allen branch, and I refused to stand. No, I will not be going; I don't want to go to Allen. I have to move; I have to find an apartment in Plano, right now. I will just keep going to D11.

Then the person sitting next to me tells me that I have to go to Allen or my home ward. I didn't know what to do. Then, they had everyone attending the Dallas 11th ward to stand up, and I continued to sit. At that moment, I felt lost, confused, and although it's an insignificant and a ridiculous thing to get upset about, it really did shake my testimony. I had just been getting established; I was making friends and having fun. Within an hour, I had so many thoughts and emotions run through my mind as the various stake presidents stood and bore their testimony and their belief that this change is from the Lord.

I couldn't hold it back any longer, I just let the tears stream down my face. (Side note: I went to the bathroom after the meeting, and my mascara was not smeared in the slightest. Go Max Factor.) At first I kept thinking of all the ways that I wouldn't have to go to the new branch. I could just keep going to D11 and refuse to change; I could get married; I could move; I could see if I could get premission to stay. Then I thought about how I still had to help with all these activities; I couldn't just say oh well, not in the ward any more, you're on your own. In fact I still want to go to them and help with them, unofficially of course.

I'll admit it, I was angry and upset, and I wasn't sure what I was going to do, if I could even do anything. But, by the end of Church, I realized that I was just going to have to suck it up because the Gospel is true, and the Church is true. And no matter what happens, no matter what changes, the Savior will always be there for me to help me deal with these changes. I was being selfish, wanting things to work my way, but maybe it won't be that bad. I'm definitely being bitter about it all, but I know that I can't do anything about it. I'm still going to go to activities, and for the friends I made that will be in the other ward, I will definitely make the effort to see them. I'm really really trying to deal with it and be positive... but I kind of want to stew about it for a while. Don't worry, I'll get over it... I'm already starting to.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

What's wrong with Merry Christmas?

I apologize for taking so long to post something. There were many times that I wanted to post, but life got pretty crazy. My Thanksgiving was good, and yes I am thankful for loads of things... I just didn't post about it. Now that the things that prevented me from posting earlier are through with, I can now talk about one of the things that has been bugging me--Why all the hesitation in wishing someone a Merry Christmas?

I came across an article in which many retailers "tiptoe" around "Christmas," opting for the more generic, all-encompasing "Holiday." I, too, have found myself holding back my well wishes just in case because I don't want to "offend" anyone. But after thinking about it, why should I have to be so careful and be so generic when truly wishing someone well? I even bought a set of "winter" cards along with my "Christmas" cards for those people (co-workers mainly) that I was unsure whether giving them a Christmas card might not be the best idea.

You know, I respect the fact that other people have other religions and celebrate other holidays. I'm completely okay with it; good for them that they believe in something. But why does wishing someone a "Merry Christmas" saying that Christmas is the more superior religion (as a woman in the article claims)? I think that shouting "Merry Christmas" to one and all is more than just saying Christianity is better, or that Christmas is the best holiday. In fact, I think that saying "Merry Christmas" acknowledges and celebrates all those other holidays, too.

Ok, stay with me here as I explain my logic/reasoning behind my last statement. For many years I always pretended that the word Christmas came from Jesus Christ (obviously) and the Spanish word mas, meaning more. Although I know that this not where the word actually comes from, I liked thinking that it meant "more Christ." But, recently I started thinking that I had been imagining this new meaning of Christmas all wrong. Maybe, instead of it meaning "more Christ," it means "Christ and more."

I think that we should practice tolerance and understanding (which I'm sure Christ would more than approve of) for those of other faiths and religions and what they celebrate during this time of year. Yes, you could just say "Happy Holidays" and call it good and be safe. But, why not say Merry Christmas and know that it's not a way of forcing your religion on others, but as a way of showing others what you are celebrating and an encouragement for them to celebrate theirs.

If you celebrate Christmas, say it. Tell others to have a Merry Christmas too, because I know that I myself would not get offended or upset if someone shouted "Happy Hanukkah" to me. I'd even tell them to have a Merry Christmas too.

Monday, November 03, 2008

November 4th--E-day

The official election day is tomorrow, and if you were smart, like myself, you opted for early voting. I'm just thinking about how crazy it's going to be tomorrow at the polling stations (and on TV). So, I have many thoughts and opinions about this "historic" election. I've tried to think about how I could make them flow nicely together, and it hasn't worked. Therefore, I'm just going to make a sort of a list about what I think about the 2008 elections. They are kind of long, but are valid, humorous, entertaining, and interesting.
  • Whenever I think about the presidential elections and the campaigns and their ads, I can't help but think about how they are so much like high school class elections. In high school, you have the two presidents who promise many things like, longer lunches, better cafeteria food, more vending machines, less homework, more free activities/events (and in elementary school, longer recess). Usually you went with the candidate that promised and gave away cooler stuff because you thought to yourself, "This guy could definitely make our senior year of high school great. Just think of all the free food we'll get." But then, in the end, no matter who won, the now high school class president still has to report to the principal who has the final say in all things. Perhaps, if you were lucky, you got one free lunch, or they added one more vending machine, or the option of pizza instead of chicken nuggets. But, it was still the same, and the president, despite all his promises the year before, could do nothing but plan the homecoming and prom, as usual. It's almost the same as our U.S. presidential elections, we vote for the candidate that makes the best promises, and promises to give us better things, but in the end, no matter who gets sworn in, he still has to report to the House and the Senate (thank goodness), who can reject his new ideas. They can promise us free lunch (or healthcare) all they want, but we'll see if it actually happens (and sadly, it rarely does).
  • These elections were the best possible thing that could have happened to the media and especially Saturday Night Live. The show was going downhill ever since the better players decided to go out and get movie and TV gigs of their own. But, now that the elections are here, SNL has an infinite amount of news and people to parody and make fun of. What I found amusing was that most of their skits had exact lines from the debates and what not. The debate parodies and mock Palin interviews practically wrote themselves from the real things. It was hilarious how accurate SNL was. I would watch the debates and then watch the SNL skit based on it, and I got the same info, except SNL was shorter and more entertaining.
  • Like I said earlier, I did the early voting thing (albeit the last day of early voting), and I'm slightly embarrassed to say that while standing in line, I honestly didn't know who I was voting for. I had a little debate in my head as I moved up in line. I know what you're thinking: "Mattie, how could this be a debate? Isn't the choice obvious?" Yes, I am conservative, but here's the thing, I really don't like either candidate. I couldn't decide. I had been putting it off, thinking that I still had time to choose, but then it all snuck up on me. The "elite media" clearly votes for Obama, and I have a feeling that no matter how I vote, Obama is going to be the next president (although he could not, who knows). I think McCain is smart and dedicated to this country, after all his slogan is "Country First." But, I worry about how old he is and if he would survive/be able to keep up with this ever changing country. This country is very much about technology and new things, and I think I would want a president who knew a little bit about those things and understood it. That's where his Vice President comes in, right? Someone that if need be could handle the technological aspects of things, someone young and smart... Sarah Palin? While sometimes I wonder that she was secretly picked by Lorne Michaels (he's the producer for SNL) because Tina Fey is so good, I don't know who convinced John McCain that she was the right choice for VP. If you know me well at all, you know I can't stand dumb people; I'm sorry, but I really think that Sarah Palin is dumb. Perhaps it's the fact that she was a "beauty queen," but more importantly, it's the fact that the woman cannot say a complete sentence and that she has to speak in broad cliches and generalizations. There was a Slate article in which they diagrammed her sentences, and boy did it look confusing. (If you enjoyed that, you should check out the one where they turned some of her quotes into poems.) I know it sounds like I'm doggin' on McCain-Palin, but I don't like Obama-Biden any better. I think many of the things Obama suggests are kind of unreasonable at this point, and I think Biden is a ... um... donkey (or the actual word I want to say). I worry for Obama and his safety as well, because I know there are crazy, psycho extremeists out there who might try something just because of his race. I don't agree with some of his political stances on certain issues, but that doesn't mean he's a bad person, or the wrong person for that matter. My younger, free-spirited side was pushing me to vote for Obama, while the mature, conservative side of me pushed for McCain. I really did stand in front of the electronic polling machine for like 2 minutes with my finger hovering over McCain and then Obama. I was thinking to myself how stupid this was, and why couldn't I decide? It was frustrating, I'll admit. But I did it, and no, I'm not telling you who I voted for (unless you really want to know and ask me).
  • Which brings me to my next two thoughts, 1) once you vote for the president you still have to vote for all those other things and people, you know bonds (I'm in Texas, so don't tell me the one that has an 8 in it), senators, railroad comissioners.... I know who the senators are and voted accordingly, but all those judges and railroad comissioners, I have no idea who they are. Some made the choice easy, there was only one person to vote for. But I voted for a few democrats for some and a few republicans for others to, you know, mix it up.
  • 2) If you were like me and couldn't choose who to vote for, please just pick who you think is the lesser of two evils. I always thought (and my mother agrees) that if you vote libertarian or write-in someone, it is like a waste of a vote. There's really no way that that person could win, so make your vote actually count and vote for one of the main guys. You'll feel better about yourself.
  • I'm just glad Hillary didn't win the primaries... I don't think I could have taken the elections if she had.
  • The electoral college is confusing, and I'm not sure I like it. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and I still don't think I understand it. So even though people are getting excited for election day and can't wait till the results are in, we still have to wait till after December 15th to really know who the president is. Dang the electoral college and those mysterious electors.
  • Although we have to wait till December 15th to know who the next president is, I can't wait till November 4th is over. I'm tired of seeing and hearing all these stickin' ads everywhere. I'm sick of all the campaign buttons and banners that are plastered on people's lawns, cars, and facebook pages. I don't like the attack ads, and I think they are ridiculous. I can't wait to watch my television shows when they are regularly scheduled instead of having them bumped because of a debate, news broadcast, press conference, or half hour long reality-series style campain ad.

Those are my thoughts as we near the end of the campaign trail and elections. If you have not done so already and are registered to, go and vote tomorrow. Take a sick day, skip your classes, but go and vote. It'll be well worth it because after you vote for whoever (a main guy, though, remember?), you can take comfort in the fact that if your chosen candidate doesn't win, you can say, "I didn't vote for him," and move to Canada with a clear conscience.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Recession? What?

Like I said in my previous post, I felt that my opinions on the current state of the economy needed to be voiced. I've read many news articles, seen many news broadcasts/ interviews, and watched many an episode of the Colbert Report. All of these sources tell me that Wall Street is in chaos and the stock markets continue to drop several points in one day. I really don't know how the system works, and I really don't know what it all means; however, I feel like we are making the problem worse by worrying. Many are even tossing around the word depression, which only frightens the stock brokers more, which in turn makes the DOW drop.

I know that it is bad; I'm not denying that. I'm not saying it's all in our head and if we only just believed, things would get better. But, I think that while it is bad, worrying about it is not going to do any good; it will just make us feel worse. I honestly believe it is (although it sounds extremely cliche) a sign of the times. I think that this recession/ mini-depression/ downward spiral (or whatever else you want to call it) was something that was bound to happen, and in many ways, needed to happen.

The way that the majority of our society was living needed to be called into question, and hopefully this turn in our economy was a wake-up call to those living way beyond their means. Excessiveness is not necessary and is harmful. No, you don't need that fourth house (or the second or third for that matter); no, you don't need that $500 purse/ pair of shoes (or any other accessory/piece of clothing ). While I feel sorry for those who have truly lost everything (jobs, house, savings), I do not feel sorry for those CEOs that have to "survive" in their mansion by selling their fifth car.

I guess I have mixed feelings about what has happened as a result of the downturn in our economy, but in a lot of ways I think it is good. It made people see that the way their life was going wasn't good for them in the long run, and that we can rise above this like we have before. I always think that looking on the bright side is always the best way to come out of these crises on top. What is the bright side? Well, yes the stock market is going down, but so are the gas prices! Just look at how much it it was a few days ago (it has gone down even more now-- $2.19).

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Holiday Juxtaposition

I know that I seem to revisit this topic every year, but it's because it just seems so ridiculous to me. I don't know why I seem to be so passionate about this topic, I've tried to think about it, and I really can't come up with a good excuse. Are we really in that big of a hurry to get through the end of the year/ holidays? It's not even exciting any more because there's no time to get anxious because everything is all out already. It's almost tempting and taunting you because they put out all of this winter stuff, so you buy it out of excitment for the coming season. But you can't put it up because your house will look ridiculous because it's still autumn.

This year it seemed that this occurance of stores supplying holiday decorations months in advance seemed a great deal earlier than I remember it being. Now I know some stores have it all of the time. Like Hobby Lobby, for example, has had Christmas (along with Halloween, Fall, and Thanksgiving) stuff up since July. But I seem to ignore this because it's a craft store. I feel like they always have all their holiday stuff up all year cause people make holiday gifts way in advance.
Other stores, like Target for example, started putting up holiday stuff around September. I walked into Target towards the middle of September and this is what I saw:

While walking down the aisle, on one side is creepy skeletons and Halloween decor, and on the other is happy snowmen, reindeer, and Santas. I thought it was so humourous and ridiculous and absurd all at the same time that I had to take a picture with my cell phone. Don't you just love the juxtaposition of this:

with this:
So ridiculous... I'm sure it confuses many children. It is no fun anymore if it seems like all the holidays get all mushed together. They have to be distinct and separate. Now I'm not saying you can't sell Christmas stuff till the day after Thanksgiving, but can we at least have Halloween stuff out by itself for a while during October before we start pulling out all the Christmas stuff to sell? (Don't get me started on how alot of the fall/Thanksgiving decor was in the dollar section).

In other news, my first journal that I edited came in today, and my name is in print on the first page! I feel so famous and important. Not that lots of people read it, but it makes me feel special. Be on the look out for another post pretty soon because I feel like my opinions in regards to the economy/politics merits at least one post... perhaps two.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Those Were The Days

You know how there are those people that yearn to return to their golden hay days of high school? I know you know who I'm talking about. They continue to return to their high school to visit; they continue to talk about how they scored that winning touchdown to win the homecoming game/was student body president/took 1st in All-Region. Many of them still act like they are still in high school, or they talk about how bad they want to go back. They definitely attend every high school reunion (because they still live at home), but rarely do they amount to anything in life other than the manager of the local McDonald's.

I was never one of those people, at least not for high school. I mean, I enjoyed most of high school, but I was so ready to move on with my life and leave all the drama and people associated with it behind. I ran to BYU and never looked back. I became a different person. Granted not completely different, but significantly altered. I became more confident; I grew up; I became more extroverted and social; I became my own person that was independent, smart, and fun. I gained tons of friends (facebook and real life alike) and had fun and truly memorable times with those friends.

Now that I have graduated from BYU, moved back in with my family, have a full-time job and a smaller group of friends than I did at BYU, I almost feel like that one person that wants to relive their high school days, only for me it's my days at BYU. Many times, recently, I've thought to myself that I wish I was back with my friends in Provo, just barely getting by on 5 hours of sleep because we had stayed up too late making a music video, or just talking. I know that in the moment while at BYU, I was so excited to finally be done with school But now that I am out and no longer in that environment, I want so bad to go back. I miss my friends and the ability to just gather them up on a weekend to go do something random and fun.

It's not that I don't have friends here because I do. But, I feel like because we are all in different places in our lives, and living in different places throughout the metroplex, I can't just call them up to do something at the last minute. I have to plan ahead, and if I don't have plans for that weekend, I just chill with my family. Which is okay, but after a while I desperately need interaction with people my own age. I just keep thinking how great it would be to go back to Provo and be with my friends up there. But, unlike those who want to stay in high school, I know that if I did go back, it still wouldn't be the same. Everyone, including myself, has changed, and it's impossible for me to go back.

So, while I can still relive those good times in my memory, I've decided that I need to make do with my current situation and have a positive attitude towards it (because I can't change the situation, I can only change how I react to it). In the hopes of trying to make my situation better (or rather easier for me to deal with), I've made the goal that I will try to meet at least one new person every week.

Today I met Matt.

Perhaps I should include in my goal to find out more about them besides their name. I'll do better next week.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


You know how when you yell, "Fire" in a crowded room/building, it's the fastest way to get everyone out? Well, what if you yell "Fire" and everyone just thinks you are trying to get them out or it's a drill; so instead of fleeing to the nearest exit, they begrudgingly trudge towards the door making sure they grabbed their cell phone and some snacks in case they are stuck outside a little while before they're able to come back in?

That's sort of what happened yesterday at work. Around 10:15 am or so, this sound went off (which obviously was the fire drill) that started off slow, almost like someone stepped on a cat. At first I thought it was my co-worker's cell phone (he has some pretty crazy ringtones), but then I realized it was the fire alarm. After having experienced so many fire alarms while I was an RA (since we had a faulty system), I was ready in like 30 seconds. I locked my computer grabbed my purse and cell phone and walked out.

My fellow workers (on my floor and the other companies on the other floors) weren't necessarily as quick to respond as I was. I'm on the 15th floor, in case you were wondering. As I head to the stairwell I hear grumblings about how they can't believe they have to walk down 15 flights, and how they chose today to wear heels. Once in the stairwell, many of the other people from the other floors had similar complaints.

We had several "traffic jams" if you will and we had to stop several times (I still don't know what the hold up was) while in the stairwell. I kid you not, it literally took us 15-20 min. just to get down all those floors and outside to the "safe spot." Many people said if it had been a more serious situation, we all would have died in the stairwell (this statement was later refuted, however, because all high-rise buildings are required to build stairwells so that in case of a fire, the occupants can survive for up to 2 hours).

Many people thought it was a drill. Still others, I'm sure, immediately (or perhaps it slowly dawned on them) thought it was a terrorist, since it was in fact the day before 9/11. You know what I was thinking? All I kept picturing was "The Office" episode where Ryan burns his pizza and so the fire alarm goes off and everyone has to evacuate. Then, Dwight, the couragous, do anything for Michael person that he is, runs back into the "burning" smoky building to retrieve Michael's cell phone, which incidentally is in Michael's pocket. I just kept replaying the funny parts of the episode in my head as I made my way down the stairs (that and how I needed to write a blog post on it).

While I do not want to make light of the fact that today is September 11th and that it seems crazy that it was seven years ago that it happened, I think that those that died that day would not want us to not live our life in fear. Our country has made great strides in our safety and security, and while we do and should remember the tragedy and the lives lost that day, we must also do all we can to live the lives that sadly they could not. Remember the events of 9/11 to improve tomorrow and make the future better so that it does not happen again.

For those that were curious, it was a real fire, but it was in the building/parking garage that is attached to ours (there's a little cafe over there). Not sure how big, but there was a fire engine. Oh, and by the time we got outside, the alarm turned off, and everyone was allowed back in. Yeah, I went out to lunch. (And may I just say, my legs are so sore from walking down all those stairs!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ridiculous Commercials

Have you ever watched a commercial and thought to yourself, that's ridiculous, impossible, or extremely unlikely? I'm sure many of you have thought this, and many times the advertisers want you to think this to demonstrate how awesome the product is and how much more you need it. But, have any of you, instead of instantly coveting said product (like we are supposed to), are put-off and don't want it?

Recently I saw the Subway commercial where you can win instantly if you peel something off your cup. Whenever someone wins (in the commercial), they throw up their cup, full of their soft drink of choice, and then drench their fellow diners in sticky, sugary, brown soda. Despite dripping in cola, the onlookers look at the winner in complete awe, happy for the winner and their newly awarded prize. The soggy people then continue talking and eating as if nothing happened.

What I thought at first was, if I had someone just spill soda all over me, I wouldn't be happy for them, I'd be angry at them. Depending on how many times it happened, I would have demanded they apologize and buy me a new outfit. Then, my next thought is, man, Subway drink lids must be really crappy. The point of a lid is to prevent spillage. If it can't even contain a beverage well enough to prevent a major accident with a gentle toss, what's the point?

Then I thought, well maybe those people don't have lids on their drinks. Who doesn't get a lid? It's like they are asking for their chilly beverage to spill everywhere. Why must others be victims to their stupidity?

Ok, so maybe I analyzed this commercial too much. But, I have thought about these kinds of things with other commercials too. Like the car commercial where the two cars (one driven by a man, the other driven by a woman) play Marco Polo around the city. Could you really do that? I thought the GPS was to determine where you are, not other cars. If it does that, I'm sure government officials and stalkers alike would be excited about that new feature. How are they communicating? I thought it was a pohne, but then it seems like it's another feature of the car. Now that's just creepy.

There are some pretty hilarious and ingenious advertisements out there, but then there are still others that afterwords you just can't believe you wasted two minutes of your life actually watching that stupid commercial. Anyone else feel this way? Any other commercials that spring to mind that make you ask, what was that company thinking; someone needs to get fired for this?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Still New?

I know earlier I wrote an entry about feeling new. I had to get used to a new job, twice, a new city, a new house, new friends, and a new ward. And while most of these aspects in my life have become second nature, or at least familiarity has set in, I still feel "new" in one part. My ward. It might be the fact that there are new people that visit and join the ward every week. It also could be that many go on vacation, several move out/ in, and now that we are nearing the end of the summer, many are returning to school (which means more people moving out and more moving in).

I have been in this ward for three months, but I still feel as if I just moved in. I mean, I've only been at my job for a month and a half, and the novelty has worn off already. So why not in this case? There are a few people I know and have become friends with, but compared to the friends I had up at BYU, my number of friends here are a pittance. At the beginning, I tried to put myself out there, and I tried to meet new people. But like I said in my previous post, it's exhausting to continually be out of your comfort zone. That's why it's a comfort zone; it's comfortable!

I haven't been comfortable for awhile. I still try to meet some new people, but I'm definitely slacking off. I go to church activities, and while the actual activity is fun, I come home and tell my mom, "Eh, it was a dance." I know that if I had been with fun people, friends, then I probably would have come home and said I had a blast. But that variable in the equation is lacking. (The equations being Friends+Activity=Fun)

I did make a good friend at church, and I had fun with her, but she just moved to Utah! I know making friends is hardwork, and for some it seems impossible. But as someone who has made friends with little or no effort, I'm tired of trying. I'm sick of feeling new; I just want to magically have a group of friends that I have fun with and enjoy being around like I did at BYU.

Why can't things be as easy as it was before? I want to feel comfortable and be myself without having to feel like I have to be on my best behavior with everyone I'm around. I know that usually my best behavior is pretty close to being myself, but I don't want to feel like I'm on my tiptoes hoping that my normal sarcastic self doesn't slip out and offend someone.

Well, you know what, I don't care anymore. I'm just going to be myself. It'll be easier for me, and if someone gets offended, so be it. The sooner I'll eliminate the people I have to be nice to and move on to others that could be my friend.

(Ok I realize that this sounds very mean, and I'm in somewhat of a bitter mood right now after having gone to several activities that were partly a waste of my time. I won't be mean to anyone [at least not on purpose], but it'll save me some effort and time by realizing that someone I'm trying to befriend is really someone who will not be my friend. And in all seriousness, they will indeed be missing out, not only on some good times, but on having a friend that is fun, funny, and will always be there for you even when the times aren't so good.)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy "Lunaversary"

So, as of July 23rd (2 days ago), I have been working at my job for one month. One of my co-workers who got hired on the same day, made up the term "lunaversary" in honor of it being one month since our hire date. I don't know where he came up with that, but I'm using it anyway. Now, the question is, how great has that one month been?

Well, I can say that having worked there for one month, I now get all my benefits (health, 401K, etc.), which is pretty exciting. After one month, I think, while I'm still learning because I definitely don't know all there is to know, I know enough to keep myself busy through the workday without having to go run to my boss to ask a question. That isn't to say that I don't still have questions, because rest-assured I most certainly do, but I'm trying to figure some stuff out on my own so I don't look completely incompetent.

I'm excited to get September's journals published for two reasons. One, my name will be in it since I edited several of the articles. And two, once those journals are done, I can start October's journals, and this time I will actually know what is going on since I will be the one who started it.

Since I got hired half-way during the process of publication, my boss just gave me random articles from different journals to edit. So I didn't know what was going on with the journal as a whole or if certain things that were supposed to have been taken care of from the very beginning had actually been taken care of. (I have been told many a time by my boss that my "predecessor" did not do a very good job and basically didn't work, so I have to pick up and clean up the crap she left behind. This means these "certain things" hadn't been taken care of.)

Because of this previous employee, many things have been pushed back, or forgotten about, and so I continually have to go to my boss to see the status of things. But, once I start and finish editing one specific journal, for I am to be in charge of just one journal and then help others edit as needs be, things will be fantastic (because I'll actually will know what's going on since I started it).

I have been to a few meetings, some training sessions, and yesterday I went to our first department activity. (It was a dessert bake-off, and I'm proud to say that I tied for second.) I have gotten to know a few people, although most of the people I work with tend to keep to themselves. I can say that now that I've worked in an office for a period of time, the jokes in Dilbert, and on The Office make so much more sense and are even more hilarious since I know exactly what they mean.

But yes, working is good; I'm still getting used to the whole "adult, real-world, full-time" job, but so far things are good. Of course, it only has been a month, let's see what I say a few months, a year from now...

On the homefront, I'm still living at home with my family. I'm going to the single's ward still trying to make friends since many of the ones I have made are moving/leaving since they were only here for the summer. Also, it probably won't be for another year or so, but I'm going to get a master's degree.

My company has tuition reimbursement, and I really feel like getting a master's is something I need to do. I'm going to try to do it online since that will be the easiest for my current situation what with a job and everything. I want to get a degree in journalism/ mass media communications (which usually end up being the same thing). I did want to go for this one radio, television, and film one that they had at UNT, but I don't think it's exactly what I'm looking for, and I'm not sure it has enough relevance to my job that my boss would approve it.

Like I said, it probably won't be for another year. I still have to take the GRE (and whatever other tests they require), find a school (although I have found a couple), and apply. And it'd probably be good if I worked for my company longer than a month to start asking them for money to pay for a degree that I want to get because it will help me get a different job.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm a Copycat

So, I realize I'm copying a very good friend of mine, but I was bored. Real post soon to come.

To make your own mosaic-
1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page, pick an image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

My answers to the questions:
1. What is your first name? Mattie (apparently this doll is named Mattie, this search also brought up a lot of pictures of dogs... geez thanks)
2. What is your favorite food? Italian (this was the only one of actual food)
3. What high school did you go to? Plano East Senior High (and yes, that is an actual picture of my school)
4. What is your favorite color? Purple
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Jason Bateman (so cute and funny)
6. Favorite drink? Dr. Pepper
7. Dream vacation? London
8. Favorite dessert? Chocolate chip cookies
9. What you want to be when you grow up? A film critic
10. What do you love most in life? Family and friends
11. One Word to describe you. Awesome
12. Your flickr name. I don't think I have an account, but I searched for the name I would use if I had one, met0012, and this was the only picture that came up.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Just Another Day...

So, today is my birthday. I am now 22. I could think about all the things I've accomplished in my life so far and celebrate with others that hopefully there will be many other great things to come. In fact, let's do that now, shall we? I've graduated high school. I've graduated college with a BA in English, minor in editing. I have a full time job as an assistant editor. And yes, I do indeed have many more amazing things to achieve in my life.

The sad thing is though, it feels like just another day. It's sad to think that at 22 I have already reached the point of my birthdays where it just feels like another day. Another day that happens to be the start and ending of another yearly cycle of my life. I told a few of my coworkers yesterday that it felt like just another day, and one was completely shocked and said I was too young to feel that way. I believe she's 26 or so, but she tried to convince me that magical, special things would happen on my birthday...

I slept in, not as late as I wanted, but later than normal. I awoke to my brother stealing my dry-erase board, and when I caught him, he said it was going to be a birthday surprise. "What? You're going to give me my own dry-erase board back?" I asked. No, he was not; he was going to write a note. So, I let him take it. I got in the shower, and by the time I was ready, my brother was done with his sign. My little sister had also done her part by putting a heart and her own name on my door (to let me know she made it) out of pipe cleaners, and a Happy Birthday banner above it (left over from her own birthday).

My family went to lunch at Rockfish Grill, in which I got a free dessert (everyone had a piece, while the older younger brother took about half of it). I wasn't in a very good mood though because I had a headache. After some debate we went and saw Get Smart, my brother leaving before then because he had to go to work. The movie was ok, not as funny as I thought it would be, but still okay. We came home, and I took 3 Advil and a short nap. I ate my left-overs from lunch and talked to a few friends that called.
During my nap, my dad had gone to the store to buy a cookie cake. So, once my brother got home from work, they sang happy birthday and I blew out a question mark candle. I then opened my 1 gift, which I knew what it was, that my two youngest siblings wrapped by piecing 2 different kinds of wrapping paper together to cover it. (It was an air filter for work.) After that, I got on the computer and watched some TV. Then my mom and brother went to Target and brought me back some random magnets for my cubicle (another birthday gift).

That's it. Relaxing, kind of fun, but I wouldn't call it magical... maybe next year.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Nature's Fireworks

In light of Independence Day, the current city where I live, Allen, holds a celebration in which they set off fireworks (among other activities) the week before the Fourth of July. My family is not big on fighting crowds in order to see something we could see just as well from our front yard. So, that's what we did. We heard the familiar booms from the fireworks going off and decided to venture outside to make sure that we really could see it from our yard. However, Mother Nature decided to compete today with her own fireworks show.

Off in the distance (at least at first anyway) lightning lit up the night sky. Soon the lightning got closer, but in the brieft moment the fireworks paled in comparison to the awesomeness of Mother Nature. In case you were wondering, we could see the city fireworks, barely. There was one house in the way, so we could see the higher fireworks just above their roof. A flag was also in our way, but I didn't mind too much since it was in fact an American flag. Rather poetic, yes?

Anyway, it was a sight to see; the Stars and Stripes waving in front of a backdrop of bright green, red, purple, and blue fireworks, and just to the right Mother Nature added to the light show with a little more fire power. If only I had remembered to bring out my camera. My mom and I stayed a little longer after the city fireworks ended since you know there was still a show. I'm sure that ended with a great finale just like the other fireworks, but the show was getting a little too close for comfort to stick around... didn't want to get stuck in traffic... or get killed.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My First Real Job

Yes, after feeling lost, confused, and without direction, I have found a real world job, and as a bonus it's actually a job that has something to do with my degree. Granted, it's not the most glamorous or exciting of occupations, but I'm trying to look on the bright side of things, ok. Hmmm, ok, I'll tell you what the job is before I describe the positives because I know that you are just in complete wonder as to what my job entails.

I am the assistant editor, in which I do technical editing, for the Society of Petroleum Engineers. I will edit technical papers that will be published in 5 different journals for the engineers of SPE.

Ok, go ahead and laugh, but once you see the positives you'll stop laughing.

1) It's a real world job
2) meaning I get a salary
3) and benefits.
4) My title is assistant editor, and it sounds very official.
5) I will get more real world editing experience
6) speaking of which, I'm actually doing a job that applies to my degree.
7) This job also has a program that has tuition reimbursement
8) which means I can get a master's while I'm working.

Ok, that's all of the positives I can think of at the moment, but that's a pretty good list for now. No, this isn't something I want to be doing for the rest of my life, but its a good job to start off with. I mean it's an actual job; how awesome is that? Look how cool my letterhead/ email signatures will be:

Mattie E. Tanner
Assistant Editor
Society of Petroleum Engineers

WOW. Awesome.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Being New

It's always hard to be the new person no matter your type of personality; some are just better at pretending they're not scared than others. Now, those that know me might question the fact that I don't like being the new person and that I am rather shy around people I don't know. I'm sorry to tell you, but I am one of those people that can pretend very well. With my friends, I am very outgoing and loud, but when I am with strangers, I keep to myself, sit in the corner, and don't talk to anyone. Shocking, I know, but it's true. I really, really have to try to put myself out there, and I have to force myself to talk to others. I think maybe it's the fact that I feel like I'm being judged or something; I don't know, I haven't quite figured this out about myself.

Well after returning home after graduating, I have had to force myself quite a bit because I have been thrust into many new and different situations. I told myself that I had to find some friends before my birthday so I could actually do something for my birthday--a party of sorts. So, in order to accomplish this goal, I told myself, I had to really pretend to not be scared and meet as many people as I can. What new situations was I thrust into, you might ask? Well, when I came home, my family had moved to a new house, so I have to get used to a new city. I had to familiarize myself with the people in my family's ward since I didn't know who they were talking about anymore. I acquired a part time job at Bath and Body Works in which I have to meet all my co-workers, and most importantly, I am attending the Singles' Ward in Dallas.

Ahh the Single's Ward. I have, in my short life, attended a total of 6 singles wards (7 if you count the present one). I have definitely had experience, but this singles ward is different. All of the ones I attended previously were student wards, so we all had one more thing in common on top of the fact that we were all single and lived in the same place; we all attended a university in the area. Here, the only thing in common we have is the fact that right now, in this point in time, we are living in the Dallas area and are currently unmarried. Some people here are attending college, some haven't quite started college yet, some have already graduated, some have full-time jobs, some are only here for the summer, and still others are visiting.

There are a few faces that seem familiar to me because I have seen them at church; however, there are still others that I see once and then never see again. With that being the case, it's hard to put yourself out there every week; I mean, it's exhausting! So, what's the status so far? Do I have enough friends to make a party? Hmmm not quite, but I have gained a few more facebook friends... a great start in my opinion for a facebook event.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


I hit a bird today. A total and complete accident. However, being the budding writer that I am, I tend to look at things from other perspectives. I'm sure from the bird's perspective, it wasn't an accident.

I'm not even sure what kind of bird it was. I'm hoping that it was a pigeon because we have enough of those around that at least by human standards it won't be missed. Although, from the bird's perspective, it will be. I'm sad to say that I'm pretty sure I saw two birds; it had a buddy.

I was driving down the street, and these two birds (I'm positive I only hit one) flew directly into my car (the bumper). Maybe they were fighting and not paying attention? I thought to myself, don't birds usually fly away when a car comes? I heard a thud, and when I looked in the rearview mirror, I just saw tons of feathers blowing away. Perhaps I only knocked it unconscious or stunned it; then of course, maybe it's lying there on the side of the street in a crumpled heap dead with no chance of revival. I didn't have the heart to stop and look (I did slow down though), and I sure as heck wasn't going to touch it let alone provide CPR.

I pulled into my driveway and gave my bumper a once over, and there was no incriminating evidence. I felt slightly sad and guilty (probably why I'm posting this), but then I went back to more important things like eating dinner (yeah, it was chicken). I got really sad on the way home when I kept thinking about the bird's perspective. Would the other one go get help? Would he stay with him, keep him comfort? Would there be a funeral? I'm sure the other one kept asking himself why they flew in front of the car in the first place. I bet he was feeling guilty too.

I hit a bird today; a total accident. Whether it was truly dead or not, I did have a small moment of silence and imagined a funeral for it, just in case.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Month After Graduation--Letter to a Friend

This is an email I sent to my friend Mary about my thoughts and feelings about having been graduated for a month now. It is kind of long and kind of like a rant, just to be forewarned.

Ugh... Mary, I feel lost. I only hang out with my family, and haven't made any friends in the singles ward yet (course I've only been once, so that's probably my fault). I am working at Bath and Body Works, so I mean it is a job, but I know I'm supposed to be looking for a real job, a career you know. I don't know I'm feeling kind of depressed.... no not depressed, melancholy if you will. I just don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, and I don't know when I'm going to figure it out. I want it to be soon, but I feel like I am in liminal space with no knowledge of what is to come.

I know what you're going to tell me; Mattie, go pray about it, read the scriptures. But see that's just it, I have, and I don't feel like I've gotten any answers. Don't worry, it's not like because of this I don't believe in the Church and I've lost my testimony because that's not it. I guess this is a trial of sorts, or maybe I'm supposed to do so many steps on my own before I get some light to be shed on some answers. I just don't know what steps!

It's been a month now that I've graduated, and the only thing I have to show for it is an English degree (which I've yet to receive in the mail) in which I have a part-time job at Bath and Body Works which has nothing to do with my major. I am living at home with my family which is ok for now, but I really don't want this to be too permanent of a residence. I only have two friends here, both of which are from high school (which means we aren't that close any more) and are non-members (which means we're really not that close anymore). One works at Starbucks, has been living at home with his family the whole time I've been at BYU and hasn't even gotten an Associate's degree yet. The other has also graduated, is going to be working at a camp all summer, and come August/September is going to Maine (yeah, that's right Maine) to go to graduate school so she can get her physical therapy doctorate/license.

I stay up till 2, 3, 4 in the morning most nights which in turn means I sleep in till 1, 1:30, 2 in the afternoon, unless of course I have work--the only thing I have that will force me to get up before the day is almost over. I feel like a total bum, I haven't even read any books! I have The Host sitting on my bedside table, and I have yet to crack it open and read it because I'm so freaking lazy! I'm in a rut, and I don't know how to get out of it, and the scary thing is, I'm not sure I want to get out of it. I mean, once I start thinking about it, I mean really thinking about it, I realize that this is not how the rest of my life is going to be, and I don't want it to be. But then I think about how easy I have it, I have a roof over my head, a farely decent job where I get a discount and get to test all different kinds of lotions and lip gloss (which also makes me smell like 20 different things by the time I get home), a family that loves me and are feeding me.

It's almost like I'm on vacation, except now, it's been a month, the longest time I've been at home since I came home for summer after my freshman year in college. And that's the problem, that's what I'm realizing. It's not a vacation, it's not like I'm going to go back to school soon, so I'm going to live the good life while I can. Soon, my parents aren't going to like the fact that I sleep in everyday (which I'm sure they're starting to get annoyed with already), and they are going to bug me about how I need to do something with my life besides work at Bath and Body Works (which they often confuse with Bed Bath and Beyond). They're going to kick me out and say, "You're on your own, come visit us once you have a job."

Ok, so I'm being a little dramatic, and I doubt it'll go that far. I don't see my parents ever kicking me out because I don't see myself ever getting to the point where I'm living at home not doing anything with my life. But, that's what I think of whenever I start imagining still living with my family by the end of this year. I don't know what to do though, I mean I can keep looking, applying for jobs, and sending out resumes but if they aren't going to get me a job, a real job, what am I going to do?

I think alot of my feeling this way has to do with the fact that I really haven't hung out with anyone my age in awhile. I miss my friends, quite frankly, and sometimes, ok alot of times, I wish I was back in Utah. I didn't think I'd ever say that, but I really had fun in Provo. Sometimes I think I should have stayed in Provo, but then I think that I would have felt the same way I'm feeling now, only with Melissa and Jill instead of my family. This is just a stage in my life that I was going to have to face, that I am facing, no matter where I ended up living. I just wish that I could get through this stage already and be at a different stage.... like getting married.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Like the Way I Am

Note: This is a little personal and somewhat religious, just to warn you.

I want to be good, but I can't change who I am. Please tell me that I don't have to be a good little Molly Mormon in order to do what's right. I can't change my personality; I like who I am. I like that I am funny, and occasionally sarcastic. I think as long as I know I am joking and the people around me know that, I don't think I'm hurting anyone. I would never want to hurt anyone's feelings, and when I'm being sarcastic that is not my ultimate goal. Please tell me that I don't have to become a sterotypical "Utah" Mormon that prays about every single thing, who is shy and quiet and subservient. I don't want to change into that. I know there are plenty of things I have done wrong that I'm sure I need to repent for. But I hope that it won't mean I have to completely change who I am. I like my independence, my ability to find humor in almost anything, my ability to tell people exactly what I think and how I feel.

I would think that the Lord would not want us to be the same, that He wouldn't want us all to be cookie-cutter Mormons that all look and act the same. I would think that the Lord appreciates those who have humor; I would think that He admires those who can be independent and not have to rely completely on others to survive; I would think that the Lord appreciates those that don't sugar-coat things because isn't that in a way lying? Wouldn't it be better to tell someone the truth so they could become better instead of falsly thinking they are something that they are not. Not that the ultra-Mormon people are horrible; we need people like them in the world (Church) too. I'm just saying that I don't think its possible, necessary or even wanted to have everyone like that.

We are all different, and I know that we are that way on purpose. I think that the Lord wants us to change to become better, but not change to become different than who we were meant to be. I know that we need to change our actions not our personality. We all have different personalities, and we were made that way for a reason. If we were all the same it would be boring and would even lead to mindlessness which in my mind is a lot like Satan's plan. We need to embrace who we are and realize that while there are some things we should change to make ourselves better people, there are things that are inherently who we are that if we should change them we loose ourselves, our identity. Once we loose or change our original personality that God has created, in a way we are discarding this gift from the Lord and essentially telling Him that we don't like how He has made us because we aren't like all those other "good little Mormons." Embrace who you are and your personality because it is a gift and in the end it is all we will have.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hello! Good Morning! The Real World is Calling!

I didn't think it would come so soon. I thought I still had some time left. I thought I could put it off for just a little while longer. You know hit the snooze button a couple times before I had to face the real world, beyond college. Whenever I thought about my future, my life once I graduated, it seemed so far away. It felt as if that day (when I had to survive in the real world) would never come. Last semester that fog started to lift and my future seemed to be a lot closer to my present than I had originally thought it was. Despite the real world being so close and near my grasp, I was distracted by the fact that I was going to be graduating. I only had one more semester until I was finally done with school. I was looking to the future, but not very far.

I knew I needed to start thinking about what I was doing after I graduated. I knew I needed to find a job; was I going to move back home for a while, or only a little bit? I knew I needed to start applying for jobs, but I thought I had time, a month or so at least. Then it happened. The real world called to say I no longer had the time I thought I did. That month I had, or thought I had, was over, and it was beginning to be crunch time. What was this wake-up call? Ironically enough, it was an actual phone call.

Right before my last class of the day started on Friday, I got a call from a number I didn't know. Unfortunately, I was in a basement, so the call was dropped before I could figure out who it was. Then my class started; so I couldn't call the person back. So, after I get out of my class, I call the number back to figure out who it is. Turns out he's a recruiter for an insurance type company located in Dallas, and he found my resume on the BYU erecruiting website. He wanted me to come to a lecture the CEO of the company was giving at BYU, and then come to their booth at the Career Fair so that he could meet me. I gave him my email so he could send me more information on the job.

Oh, funny side note: He thought I had hung up on him when it actually just dropped the call, so he deleted my information and resume from their database. Kind of a quick jump to a conclusion don't you think?

I immediately called my dad to tell him I think I just got offered a job. I was shocked and excited at first, but then I realized yeah, it's a job, but not one I want to do. My dad basically said that a job's a job and that it could be a backup plan. "If you're starving on the streets, a job is a job," says my dad. "You're going to put me out on the streets and let me starve?" I reply. "No. I'm just saying...," my dad sheepishly answers.

Well after that uplifting conversation with my father, the full effect of the real world's call finally hit me. If I want to get a job in something I actually want to do, something I would enjoy doing (because I can tell you right now that insurance job is something I do not want to do. I'm sorry; it does not sound all that appealing to me) for the rest of my life, I need to start now because soon, I won't have any time left. As much as I wanted to put off the fact that I would soon be thrust into the real world, the time has come. I think I'll be okay, I'm not too worried about finding a job (I mean that insurance company is just begging me to come). What I am worried about is finding a career or a job that can lead me to the career that I want.

I've got lots to worry about this semester actually: finding a job, keeping up with my school work, getting things ready for graduation, and later on in the semester packing my things. Even though I have these worries, and I have a lot of things I have to think about, I still am going to try to find a balance and still have fun. It's my last semester, and I want it to be one I will remember. I want to have fun and be with my friends. The real world may be calling, but I have call waiting.