26 March 2009

Procrastinating Great Stories - Part 3/4

My Tale for Seven

It's been shown in marketing studies that if someone has a good experience they tell three people about it. Likewise, if someone has a bad experience, the average retell of the story is seven times. I've already told 9 people my story, and this blog post will make many times more that number.

On Wednesday night a couple weeks ago, I decided it was time to take my scraggly head in for a cut. I decided I would stop by the Paul Mitchell beauty school to see if they could fit a walk-in to their schedule.

When I was finally seated, the student asked me what I was hoping to have done that evening. "Well I would like to have about two inches off the bottom and I'd like to fix my bangs," I said. And since I was there, I asked for her opinion. I had my hair colored at the school in November and was starting to see my roots and was tired of the color. I wanted to move back to my natural color for the summer. The student stylist responded that a PM Shine would be the perfect anecdote for my problem. She informed me that my natural color was a 7N, so they would color it a 6N and that would take out my highlights and red coloring. They warned me that it may be a little darker than my natural color, but it would fade over a period of weeks.

I had done PM Shines before and loved the results. So I agreed and we started, along with the girl next to me who was going to a 4N (dark, dark brown), on the three hour journey to color my hair.

Around 8:00 PM, I was in the wash area and my stylist was finishing her story about her home town as she washed out the dye in my locks. As she blow dried my hair, she would stretch out her curling brush, straightening my hair to the side under the intense heat. The more she did this, the more I noticed that my roots were very much still visable... all over. "I love the color! What do you think?" She asked.

"I'm actually not seeing much difference. I can still see my roots as you pull my hair to the side. And it seems like there is red in my bangs as well," I replied.

"PM Shines usually just blend in the previous colors," she stated. That certainly wasn't what had happened when I had PM Shines done in Rexburg and was not what I had initially asked for when I walked in to the school that day. The Learning Leader came over and also commented on the FABULOUS color I had found. Right... I found that color in November. I exaplined the situation to her, and she was obviously perturbed. "Well what do you want?! A shade darker?! I suppose we could go to a 6N!" Actually, we did do a 6N, a fact I confirmed with my hairstylist in training. "Well!" with an exasperated huff, "any darker than that and you would look like the girl next to you who did a 4!" the learning leader exclaimed. In my mind I'm thinking about how the girl next to me with naturally black/brown hair had yellow streaks when she came in and now did not.

We negotiated that I could come back within two weeks to have my hair redone at a $5 cost. The Learning Leader clarrified that she was Writing DOWN on my ticket that We AGREED on a five dollar cost. Okkay, lady. It's not like I'm going to come back and demand I get it for free. I understand that this is a school, and the supplies cost something. I signed a paper saying that I understood that I would not sue if any damage happened to my hair or belongings. I'm fully aware that I also paid for something that didn't happen.The learning leader stared me in the eyes and said, "YOU have a good evening." Right, you too.

Mostly I was disgruntled that no one was teaching these students how to own a mistake. I understand that the students need to be optomistic about their work. Their still learning. It doesn't sound good when your student hair stylist says, "Uh, oh" whilest cutting your locks. However, I think the teacher should have demonstrated a little more professionalism in helping me resolve the situation. What kind of example are they giving these students?


One week and two days later I called Paul Mitchell Beauty School to schedule my appointment. "Our policy has changed." The front desk receptionist told me. "Redos must be completed within one week of the previous appointment." "That's not what I was told when I had my appointment." Long, unfulfilled pause on the other end. "Well... I don't know what to say to that." And I ended my call.

I was more shocked when I hung up the phone, that I really didn't know how to handle the situation. Hours later when things started to connect I decided that I needed to call back or go in to reschedule the appointment, and if they wouldn't reschedule I would ask for the name of the learning leader and an address where I could write a nasty letter. (I've been really into writing blunt letters lately.)

Luckily, for their sake (I was planning a great speech), when I called again and was able to speak with someone, that person didn't even hesitate to reschedule my appointment. I had my hair done the next day, just on my two week mark, and my hair is now brown.

Despite the now brown beauty of my hair, my faith has been lost in the ethics of Paul Mitchell and said beauty school. They will not find me visiting their establishment again.

25 March 2009

A Loving Family, Ready to Adopt

A now for a brief interuption between procrastinated stories to share a word from our sponsors...

Actually Sara and Steve Chandler are not our sponsors. They're our relatives, and they have just been approved for adoption!! They've been working through LDS Family Services to finish paperwork for months, and now they are waiting for someone to bless them with a baby.

Sara and Steve have one beautiful girl, Addyson, who doctor's have called a medical miracle as the couple has recently discovered that they can no longer expect to have more children of their own. But why am I telling their story?! They've already written it out so beautifully on their It's About Love profile!

Seriously, I opened up the profile this morning at work when Sara emailed, and I about burst into tears. WARNING: Have tissues handy!

If you or anyone you know is looking to place their unborn child up for adoption, you could not find a family with more love for one another nor more adequate preparation to receive a new child in their home.

24 March 2009

Procrastinating Great Stories - Part 2/4

Sundancing and Shopping

My coworker and friend, Ellen Lloyd, is pretty much a pop queen. She is literally a wealth of pop trivia knowledge, and I would not hesitate to put her on my Phone A Friend life-line list should I ever be a contestant on a millionaire game show. She owns over 400 dvds and can Tivo or Netflix anything she doesn't have. She reads the entertainment rumor columns and tv episode recaps in her spare time. And, best of all, the paparazzi have used Ellen as a resource at the annual Sundance Film Festival to recognize obscure actors.

When Ellen informed us that John Krasinski (Jim on the Office) was going to premier his movie at Sundance this year and that she was attending, we begged to come along. Ellen had plans to spend the whole weekend at Sundance, and Scott had had to work on Saturday morning. So Scott and I made the trek up to Park City around noon on Saturday to stand in the waiting line to buy tickets.

When we arrived, Ellen had been in the line for over two hours. The people in front of us were saying that only 200 people would be accepted to stand in the waiting line, and that they knew there were already 220 in front of them. We decided to ignore these comments and waited anyway for tickets to be passed out. (Keep in mind that these were not the tickets to go to the show but the tickets to stand in the waiting line to have a chance to BUY the ticket for the show.)
The tickets were passed out. "Only 100 left," the monitors called. "50 left." There was no way there were less than 50 people ahead of us in the line. We kept walking as tickets were being handed one at a time to the people in front of us. "25." No chance. Somehow, though, the line kept moving and more tickets were given. It was almost like the oil cruse miracle when Scott and I made it to the front of the line and we were handed tickets 198 and 199!

With our miraculous waiting-line ticket in hand, Ellen informed us that it's typical for only 50 people to be let in from the waiting line to buy movie premiere tickets. She and her roommates had numbers in the 60s, which meant that they (and obviously us) had only little chance of seeing the movie that day. Sad day! She then instructed us on how to use the free Sundance transportation system to visit downtown to star search.

We rode the crowded bus to Park City Main Street. There we received a free promotional Nesquik, saw a rock star who I said looked like Sting (Scott wouldn't let me take a picture), and walked past as Heather Locklear went from a ski lift to an internet cafe. Very exciting!

Upon our return, the waiting line was again formed. Everyone needed to be in order by ticket number. Some didn't return as the rumors of only 50 being let in were too dejecting to continue waiting. Ellen and roommates were playing phase ten merrily in the front of the line. We decided to wait just in case. The monitors entered, and the first 40 went in without hesitation. Ten more. Five more. Ellen and crew left us behind. Tickets were offered to approximately 75 people in the end, and there were still three rows of anxious viewers with us at the very end.

Dissapointed that we could not see Jim in person, we decided instead to boost our spirits by shopping at the Park City Outlets. Because what tragedy cannot be solved with a little spending, right?

13 March 2009

Procrastinating Great Stories - Part 1/4

I usually am not a procrastinator. In fact, in college I liked to take the syllabus on the first day and if there was a project or paper for which I had sufficient instructions, I completed it long before the due date. I know, I'm a nerd.

Unfortunately, due to extraneous circumstances I haven't been updating my blog as often as I would like, and I have great life stories to tell. So I am taking this opportunity to write a blog series of random events:

Violation of Security

We had an excellent Christmas vacation with Scott's family in California. We returned home the first week in January so Scott could return to school and I could get back to work in the Career Placement Department at BYU.

Last semester, in an effort to car pool and save on gas, Scott and I spent most of our time on campus and were barely ever home. In the Fall, we left our house at 7:45 AM and came home exhausted at 7:40PM. So this January held the vision for a calmer semester and less expensive gas prices.

It was the first week of class at BYU. I had Cafe Rio-type pork simmering in the crock pot at home. I got the recipe on the internet using a copycat site that Scott's Aunt Lori had shown me (Thanks, Lori! It's our favorite.). When we arrived back at our basement apartment, I still had some preparations to make before dinner could be served. So I went into our bedroom to grab my macBook and relocate the copycat recipe.

My laptop wasn't where I had left it. "Scott, have you seen my laptop?" "I thought you left it plugged-in in the bedroom," Scott replied. "Me too!" So I looked in my laptop bag... and underneath the bed. "Could I have left it in the living room?" I wondered. So I walked out to the living room, scouring the floor. Nothing. Maybe I can do without it. Of course I could always use Scott's computer... but no, I want to update Christy's blog too!

I turned around to head back into the bedroom, and as I rounded the couch I saw that our DVD rack was empty. The two rows of our movie collection that had previous been there were now just two VHS tapes.

Scott! Could it be a prank? Call the police.

Our apartment had been broken into. Inventory of items stolen: my laptop, my digital camera, our 75+ strong dvd collection, and my replacement scentsy candle squares, which happened to be located in my underwear drawer. What a violation of privacy!

The Springville police spent a significant amount of time at our place, taking finger prints from my underwear drawer and taking pictures of footprints in the backyard snow. How did the intruder get it? Well, our front door could sometimes be pushed open, but we thought we had prevented that from happening again when we discovered that in the summer. Both doors were unlocked when we returned home that day. Other possible entry points? Probably.

The police questioned our neighbors to see if they had noticed anything or anyone peculiar that day. Our upstairs neighbors had only recently moved in to the complex, and having only been home a week we hadn't introduced ourselves yet. The couple reported that a man had knocked on their back door. When they answered, the man asked for a "Mike." Since no Mike lived in the apartment, and they were too new to know that there were no Mikes in the complex, the man left.

Since then I've been pretty paranoid about my security while in the house alone. I usually don't answer the door when home alone, unless I'm expecting someone. So what if an intruder were trying to scope out possibilities and I did nothing to signify I was home? Does that mean I should answer the door when I'm home alone? Our landlord came to fix the door locks, but didn't add any new deadbolts. We don't live in a particularly dangerous neighborhood, and it's not like this kind of thing happens often, because it doesn't. Still I feel like it has been more common lately with the perilous economic times for inherently good people to succumb to stealing. (Are you sensing my suspicions in my voice?)

In any case, I mourned for my laptop for several weeks, constantly checking Craigslist to see if the thief was foolish enough to post a sale. I was saddest for my lost homemade movies and pictures unblogged (including the pictures of my prcious macBook and I on the day we first united). I thought I had come close to finding it once, when a student was selling his laptop (legitimately). He had purchased it a few months after I had purchased my own. It looked like my macBook's twin, and (clincher) had a different serial number. I look forward to some day purchasing another Apple. Next time it will be a desktop in our med school home.

I'd like to say that the loss of my mac and digital camera were significant external factors to my procrastination of writing this series of four stories. Not to mention the time to mourn properly! But really the best reason would be the lack of internet service in our home, which should be altered in the next week. Until then, I will continue my stories by using lunch break time on BYU campus.

To be continued...

11 March 2009

Respecting Beliefs and Sacredness

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My mother converted to "Mormonism" as a young nursing student in Boston, MA; so my brothers and I grew up going to church every Sunday to attend Sacrament, Sunday School, and auxiliary meetings.

I remember one such Sunday sitting patiently, and I admit sleepily, in Sacrament meeting. It was the first Sunday of the month, which meant that members fast from food and drink and bear testimonies after the Sacrament has been administered. In our congregation there were always two or three children who loved to bear there testimonies at the front pulpit. They took their turn.

Then a man approached the microphone that I had never seen before. It was not uncommon for member visitors or tourists to come to church while they were in town, or even speak on Fast and Testimony Sundays. But this man was not a visiting member, as we came to discover. He stood from the pulpit and pronounced that we in the congregation were all going to hell and that the things we believed in were phony.

I cannot accurately describe to you the physical pain and weakness which I felt as he spoke. The contentment and peace in hearing children talk about the love which they had for their families and God soon rushed out of my body and spirit, like the tide withdrawing from the shore after a monstrous wave. I was left physically weak and uncomfortable with his accusations.

The leader of our congregation, Bishop Bruin, stood and talked to the man for a minute out of microphone range, and the man returned to sit with the congregation. Our Bishop then bore his own testimony of the church doctrines which he believed and how he respected the beliefs of others. Though the congregation gradually felt warmer throughout the remainder of the services, there was still a foreign feeling in the air.

I've felt that spiritual discomfort with recent events.

Growing up in a small, yet diverse population in Alaska, I was raised to be open-minded and accepting of others beliefs, though I may not agree or believe them myself. These teachings inspired me to take a World Religions class in college, where I briefly learned about many of the prominent religions in our society and how those beliefs connected with mine own. It was a fascinating course that entirely enhanced my appreciation for my own religious affiliation as well as my respect and envy of others' admirable practices and devotion.

I could relate, then, to a celebration of faith which was organized at Harvard University. The purpose of the program was to explore the "overarching theme of faith" on campus. Included in the day long program was a panel discussion among students of various religious backgrounds to describe their personal journies for purpose. Each student was an outstanding example for their religion and illustration of the quest to find meaning in life.

The above picture connects to Harvard's Hillel site and videos from the panel discussion, directed by the woman on the far right, Sally Quinn (Washington Post journalist). Rachel Esplin, on the far left, was the representative from the LDS Community.