28 May 2010

3 o'clock Challenge

Around 3:00 PM my student coworkers have started mentioning things like, "We need to institute a state-wide siesta in the afternoons," or "Man it's only 2:30 PM! Ugh! How am I going to make it through today." They are not used to working forty hours a week. If they were, they like me, would be accustomed to this afternoon slump and would bring snacks or take a long walk to shake it off.

To help them lift their droopy eyes, I have institute the 3 0'clock CHALLENGE! (Still needs game show theme music) Yesterday, at 2:30 Pm (because one of the students needed to be in a meeting at three) we had our first 3 o'clock CHALLENGE – Can you beat Katie’s WPM. TypingTest.com is one of my favorite afternoon brain teasers, and it’s completely worthy of office time to be practicing and bulking up your WPM. Each of us had one practice round, and then we all got down to business with one minute of Top Sports Stories typing test.

The scores:

Katie – 80 WPM
Katie the Younger – 58 WPM
Sam – 81 WPM

Sam won by ONE word! His prize was to raid the recruiting swag drawer.

Katie the Younger is in charge of our 3 o’clock CHALLENGE today, which will actually be held at 11:00 AM because I’m going to the blogger conference. Katie has chosen the Africa geography test on Sporcle.com. Pretty sure I haven’t studied the countries in Africa since Mrs. Bekeris’ class in middle school, so this will definitely tease my brain.

UPDATE: We decided not to go with Sporcle, because it didn't require you to know where the countries are located. LAME! So we're doing Europe geography challenge here.

27 May 2010

Mysteries of Monsters Grove

Author Rick Walton specially created this interactive play for young audiences to be performed at BYU. The play premieres this week and tickets are only $6 tonight! If you are in the Provo area with children, or are just a child at heart, this seems like a great event. My inner child is very curious, and I would be there except a certain husband is going to be out of town SLASH would be hesitant to go to a child's play in the first place. This just brings back so many good memories watching Matt in youth theater or playing at children's museums when I was young!

Here's the synopsis:

"Amelia’s parents are accountants who work for classic monsters like Count Dracula. Things are great until the day her father mysteriously vanishes. Amelia sets out to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance and solves a few other puzzles along the way. Beloved Utah author Rick Walton has created an interactive family production just for BYU that will require the audience to help solve the mystery by voting on the ending. Don’t miss this exciting world premiere! "

26 May 2010

The Most Casual of Bloggers

I never thought I would be saying this, but I am going to a blogging conference this weekend! Crazy, huh?! My good friend Jandee won a giveaway on Marta Writes blog for two free tickets to the Casual Bloggers Conference in SLC and asked if I would go with her.
I'm Going to the CBC!
I am way excited to go with Jandee, because we are both in the same stage of our blogging lives - the comfortable casual blogger phase. And for the most part that is where I plan to stay (every once in awhile I'm tempted to start a non-profit or do some quasi-serious designing)! It's nice to be able to attend this type of event and know that I can just be casual, ol' Alaskan, me.

Some of the CBC workshop topics seem REALLY interesting, while others seem more basic or way not what I'm going for in my blogging life. I was surprised too, to see speakers whose blogs I have run across before like Marta (of course) and April, who has a design blog that I've been wanting to learn the intricacies of for awhile. It should be very educational and a fun break from the slowness of a summer campus.

This is not the only exciting thing to happen this weekend! This will be a high energy, fun filled, back-to-back event packed Memorial Day weekend. My best friend's baby sis is getting married this weekend in Ogden, and then Maura's baby boy, Crew, is being blessed at church on Sunday. I'm so honored to be invited to both special occasions! Also, in-laws Steve and Sara are blessing their beautiful baby girl, Ella, in Cali this weekend. Scott will be driving out there tomorrow to be a part of the circle. And of course, we cannot forget, that our two year anniversary is May 31!

Yay for us! This picture totally reminds me of two things: 1) How one temple worker man was so excited to hand me my GORGEOUS bouquet, but the temple ladies kept coming up to me to tell me I couldn't have it yet in until I got outside. Something about allergies. That happened more than once! and 2) you can tell by our faces that we are So So Happy to be MaRrIeD, AND anxious to see if our extended family is capable of not yelling and clapping for us as we exit, since that is what the cute little door man told them to do.
Happy Anniversary, Schnookims!

21 May 2010

Experimental Tweeting

Last night I was kept up, lying in bed, just thinking. I tend to have a lot of thoughts circling around in my head in the evening. It usually helps if I write them down, because then I can move on from the idea. Otherwise I would keep bringing it up, because I feel like if I don’t, I won’t remember its importance. At night everything seems more important and life altering then it really is. I thought about friends, and how my husband is so funny, and how I never want to take my blog too seriously. I thought about the garden we are taking care of down the street and wondered if I should go visit it tomorrow. oh! My car needs gas… You get the point.

Then I wondered if Twitter would be helpful for this. But I really don’t like the idea of participating in twitter. I barely get on to update my Facebook, and I would much prefer writing out my thoughts in a blog. It’s not like I want to share my every minute thoughts with the world, or feel like they are especially publishable. Though my brain is pretty funny! Plus, Twitter takes up so much time and concentrated effort! But, as it is, during the summer months at BYU, I do have time to write out my thoughts, especially on an extra slow Friday.

So here are my experimental tweets for the day:

8:20 Am Into the office late… again. Pushing that snooze button can be addicting. Read Marta Writes, about her adventures in Cali
8:35 Am Contemplated taking the 411 Daily Universe newspaper into the bathroom with me, but decided that would look like I was planning on staying awhile. :)
9:03 Am Calling all techie peeps: Posted a job for LANDesk Software on BYU eRecruiting
9:45 Am I’ve been updating the BYU University Career Services website for Employers. Yesterday I went on a walk to take some pictures of campus, using not-so-random models along the way. Today I’m getting some pictures up like this one. Katie the Younger makes a good model! Still need 10 good pictures, and I’ve run out of staging ideas.

9:56 Am Going on an ice run. Is anyone else obsessed with Sonic ice? I’ve decided I need my future dream home to be equipped with refrigerator that dispenses Sonic ice. Too bad BYU doesn’t have it in the Cougar Eat.
10:04 Am Read my good friend Shawna’s blog about motherhood
10:11 Am So glad I have a hair appointment tomorrow with Chelsea. My do is in desperate need of some shape.
10:15 Am Time for Google News. Happy Birthday, Pac-Man!
10:18 Am Looked up How to Steal A Million with Aubrey Hepburn on imdb after reading about a Paris art heist that occurred Wednesday/Thursday.
10:23 Am Fishin’ in the Dark. The student in charge of keeping Pandora going at the front desk is on a country kick.
10:48 Am After a rousing discussion with student workers on brand protection for Apple, I sent my friend Jandee Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog link. Neil Patrick Harris was great on Glee this week!
11:03 Am Will we ever hear back from UCD’s Post-Bac program? I would love to start applying for jobs or grad schools, based on either location. I just need to know what city we’ll be living in next month! I guess no news is good news at this point, though.
11:37 Am Talking with career advisor Lisa in the hallway about her trip to Europe and how she’s so grateful to be using free public toilets again.
11:51 Am Definitely ready for lunch, but my diluted apple juice is getting low! Lunch today is burgers and fixings from home.
11:53 Am Remembering that Netflix sent us Fantastic Mr. Fox in the mail yesterday. Date night at home tonight! Now I just need to figure out what we’ll eat.
12:17 Pm Walked out to Scott’s car to find a parking ticket! Dang it. On the plus side I have 3011 steps already today. Maybe I’ll spend part of my slow work day at the Appeals Office.
12:31 Pm Read my friend Rubi’s blog post
12:40 Pm Pandora is silenced, as the student in charge of music is out to lunch. The office is WAY too quiet, though there is some entertainment in watching the custodial workers in the hallway imitate the Soulja Boy dance.
12:51 Pm The Springville Museum of Art sent a mass email to say that they need some help at the Art Ball this Saturday. I replied to volunteer, but as I’m sure many volunteers or interns are anxious to be a fly on the wall at the Art Ball without having to pay fundraising ticket prices. Many are emailed, but few are chosen.
12:59 Pm I’ve just decided two things 1) I’m going to walk over to the parking appeals office once Katie the Younger gets back from her lunch break and 2) this post is getting too long for anyone to want to read.

If you care to see the rest of my Friday’s experimental tweets let me know and maybe I’ll make an extra post. I’m definitely continuing the experiment at least until 5:00 Pm when I clock out. I have too much down time today NOT to write down all my random thoughts.

My conclusion - Tweeting is quite absorbing! If I always had this much time to be a part of Twitter, then I would need a new job or hobby. Also, with the way I write tweets I’m pretty sure no one wants to hear a play by play of my life. I wonder how this experiment will affect my thoughts before falling asleep. I’m starting to wonder if it won't just make them worse, seeing as I’ll be trying to think of more things to write down.

20 May 2010

Today's Internet Finds

My mom sent me this Public Service Announcement made by teens. I've never seen an interactive YouTube before!

They have a website, ThatsNotCool.com, that helps teens talk out difficult issues with dating and privacy. This is the stuff that my marketing dreams are made of! Have I ever told you about the time my mom and I did a Don't Smoke PSA for a Sitka TV station. I was 10. Classic local tv!

Then I saw this amazing backyard in my Better Homes and Gardens email, and thought to myself, "I want to go to there!"

Someday, Katie! Someday this could all be yours.

19 May 2010

HouseParty Advice

I have been so excited to let you know about all the fun parties available to host on HouseParty.com! I had such a great experience with our DiGiorno party and can't wait until I know for sure if Scott and I are going or staying for med school prep so I can apply for my next party. But I've heard from several of you that you were excited to host a party but when you applied you weren't accepted. This was dissapointing since I know that all of my friends who read my newsletter blog are MORE than worthy to host a party.

So I emailed the House Party folks to ask them if they had any advice for selecting and applying for parties. Their Director of PR responded with the following advice:

"We really don’t have specific advice for how to be selected because we pride ourselves on choosing hosts that fit the brand’s criteria. If they love a particular brand, use a particular brand, always have to have that brand in their home – they should apply for the event. If they love to entertain and entertain often – they should apply for the event. If they are active online (Facebook, etc.) – they should apply. And apply often!

We apologize to the people who haven’t been chosen as of yet but again, keep applying and they will eventually be accepted."

Who knows why I was chosen for a DiGiorno party?! I wasn't a huge DiGiorno eater before the party, but we do watch a lot of football at our house and we LOVE to have parties. Then, of course, I have a blog and a Facebook account. Each company that hosts a party on HouseParty.com is searching for a unique combination of attributes for their applicants. So their advice is keep applying and odds are you'll meet your party match. Summer parties accepting applications now include Oscar Meyer, Febreze, and Bulls Eye BBQ Sauce!

I really hope that there are house parties in your future, whether they are sponsored or not! I feel silly telling you all the fun we had and all the potential fun you could be having if there's an intense screening process in your way. Be sure to tell me if you're having a party this summer!

17 May 2010

Eavesdropping at BYU... not just me!

Mmm, k. Preface! I normally don't post so much in one day, but I've needed a blogging break. So I wrote and then changed the posting options to display at a later date. Little did I know that each time, no matter what my precautions, Blogger was going to ignore my posting options specifications and rather post today and now! I'm sure no one else is as disturbed by this as I am. It just feels very out of the ordinary for me to be posting three times in one day. I feel like I haven't given the respect my parents deserved in the original post of today....I really did have an amazing weekend with my parents!!! Oh well, here's my third post of the day!

My friend Jason recently suggested that I add "Overheard at BYU" to my Facebook news reel. I had never heard of it before, but have delighted in it's daily quips - that is, when I login to Facebook. Who knew that there were so many other eavesdroppers on campus?! Or that so many hysterical, culturally unexplainable quotes were occurring around the corner? I'm glad that at least Jason was aware!

Now I get to enjoy quotes like the following:

Overheard Quote 1
“At the CougarEat Taco Bell I told them my name was ‘Plastic Bag.’ When my order was ready the employee held out a bag and said, ‘Plastic Bag?’ I declined to answer.He said again, ‘Plastic bag?’”

Overheard Quote 2
Girl 1: I had that pregnancy nightmare again.
Girl 2: Which one, Benjamin Button or Antichrist baby?
Girl 1: The Antichrist baby.
Girl 2: Maybe you should stop eating skittles before bed.

Overheard Quote 3
Boy: "Yeah, so he's from Manasseh"
Girl" "Oh really? That's neat"
Boy: "Yeah. It's cool because half of his family is like, from Ephraim"

Overheard Quote 4
Professor In Greek and Roman Lit: I bet 90% of this class is single. You should go repent and make a sacrifice to Aphrodite. Great, someone is going to put that on overheard.

Oh BYU! You make me chuckle... and then want to eavesdrop some more so I can post something on Overheard.

Intelligent Naivety With a British Accent

Intelligent Naivety - The Principle from eatbigfish on Vimeo.

So a couple weeks ago I was sitting in a department staff meeting, and someone was proposing an idea, when all of a sudden I had a great epiphany - My experience working full-time may just have squelched my willingness to collaborate. Sad, I know! I would like to say that I am a creative person. I like to find solutions and have fun doing it. But lately I walk into staff meetings and have only defensive thoughts, and don't really want to speak because potentially someone might take my comment and turn it on me in a way I didn't imagine or imply that I need new responsibilities when I am swamped. I think it may even cause me to write ridiculously long, run-on sentences.

In any case, I was quite flattered when my brother Matt said that this video about Intelligent Naivety, narrated by a British businessman, reminded him of me. The title may be a little deceiving, though I would agree that I am rather naive on many a subject. Beyond the title, I think I do have a little of this gift, to walk into situations and provide a new perspective and creative solution. Now I just need to find a job that rewards this quality and makes work fun too!

A Relaxing Week with the Cavanaughs

This last week my parents were in town from Alaska. It was SO fun to have them visit us! They took Scott and I out to eat every day while they were here, which is my dream. (I love how this is what I mention first about their visit...) Not that I don't like cooking or eating at home, because I love to cook and the stuff I create is pretty tasty. Yet eating out always seems to be tastier.

I was lucky to be able to celebrate Mother's Day with my mom in town. Our ward gave out tomato plants to the moms, and my primary kids sang in Sacrament Meeting. My parents also came to primary hours to watch me be the chorister, and we sang a primary welcome song for them. Then after church we were able to have dinner with The Bruins, our great friends from Alaska who now live in Lehi. They are such a fun family, and they were so nice to let us bombard their Mother's Day dinner AND prolong the start a bit for our late church release. It was a great Mother's Day!

My parents spent most of the week wandering around Utah County, as Scott and I were busy at work and school at BYU. But we did get to spend some quality time throughout the work week, and on Thursday evening we all went up to Park City for a vacation. We stayed at this beautiful resort that was so relaxing! The resort featured a relaxation pool with a warm shallow pool indoors, hot tub, sauna, and steam room. THEN, every room had several TVs and a Mr. Steam shower, which is the best shower in the world. I want one!

Besides saying goodbye to my parents several times on Saturday, with promises to visit wherever we end up, I made several goodbyes to Mr. Steam. Scott made his goodbyes to the TVs that would "automatically turn on by motion sensor" (so he said) to ESPN when we walked in the door.

Thanks mom and dad for coming to visit us! We loved having you and hoped you had an enjoyable time. We definitely did and feel very spoiled now! You're welcome to visit us any time!

07 May 2010

Mini Tri for Scouts

This last Tuesday, Scott set up a mini triathlon (way shorter than a sprint - 1.5 mile run, 4 mile bike, about 250 yard swim... in that order) for the young men and young women in our church. Though the race appeared to be unorganized because the participants and volunteers were a little confused on where to go, Scott had it all planned out and it actually ran really smoothly.

The race started at the Springville High track. From there the bikers rode down to a house in Mapleton where one of the scout leaders had arranged to use a family friend's indoor pool for the swim. Scott had arranged for guides to stand along the way (a.k.a. him and I at the various points of turning and traffic) to point bikers in the right direction and help direct traffic. Then Scott even cut up bananas and oranges for the kids to have with sports drinks after the race. The kids loved it! And the leaders loved checking out this amazing house in Mapleton. I'm pretty sure it's my new dream house.

This is the end of the biking path to the house. Don't worry those cars are the leaders who were following the last bikers to make sure they arrived safely.

The house!

Around the back of the house was the entrance to the pool, which had two kiddie ponds, a hot tub, a water slide, a diving board, and a rope swing, as well as men and women's bathrooms for changing.

And it's for sale too!

Good job Scott putting together this amazing activity. You're a natural race coordinator!

P.S. Happy Birthday to my brother, Matt, today!

04 May 2010

Anatomy of the Job Hunt

BYU University Career Services some how attracts a group of amazing, creative, dedicated student employees. One of these is Andrew, who has attended many a UCS strategy meeting (a.k.a. talk session) and he has implemented some great new programs to our department as well. Quite the feat, for a student employee. Well, Andrew recently received two internship offers, after a very laborious process, from two very prestigious consulting firms. He shared with our staff meeting his experience this morning, and I asked him if I could share with you. He agreed.

Andrew and I share a few things in common: we're both brilliant, and humble... we both experienced the limbo of job searching and we now want to give back and help others through this limbo and avoid any mistakes we (mostly me) may have made. Andrew created this timeline (click to visit the interactive timeline page) of his internship hunt process to help students have an understanding of the effort and time involved with searching for an internship or full-time position.

You can scan the timeline by following the link, and then clicking and dragging on the dark gray bar at the bottom of the timeline. In total, this timeline spans four months of the effort (though I know he was working the full academic year towards this effort), 17 applications, six first round interviews, three final round interviews, six no responses, and two offers!

If you are in limbo, waiting for an internship, or your first job, or medical school results... Enjoy the ride! My chinese doctor once told me never say "Don't worry," because worrying with my personality is almost inevitable. Rather, know that it will take some time and effort, but along the way opportunities will miraculously come and in the end you will end up exactly where you need to be. Just enjoy the ride and fight the good fight. I know - I've done it twice before, and am on my third limbo... this time as an attached spectator to Scott. It's not fun to be patient, but it sure does have it's rewards!

AND if you are in job hunt limbo and need a little boost, feel free to comment or send me an email. I've got connections, so let me use them on you!

03 May 2010

Softball Mondays

A couple of weeks ago Cole Lansford texted Scott and asked if he would be interested in driving up to Salt Lake City to play softball on a city league every Monday night. Scott asked me if I would be interested in going up every Monday night to watch him play softball and visit with my best friend Maura and her new baby Crew. I’m surprised he didn’t already know the answer! Of course I want to do that! I used to go up and visit Maura every Tuesday when Gilmore Girls was on the air. It’s always nice to have a good excuse to go 30 minutes north to visit with my best friend, especially now that Crew is here!

The softball team is an interesting group of guys. Most of the team works with Cole at Goldman Sachs and they will email each other at work with messages about choosing the team name (which they said could not have any reference to BYU, when the diamond was so close to the U) the weekly bating line up, and the usual team comradery messages like “Let’s mercy rule them tonight!” Even though the diamond is so close to University of Utah, Scott isn’t the only team member with BYU ties. I feel like the team works really well together, despite having revile sports affiliations, and ignoring the fact that they haven’t won a game yet or been close.

I think Scott really loves the chance to play softball again, especially in a competitive team atmosphere. He gets ready Monday morning with his “baseball bag” packed with cleats, glove, and of course, sunflower seeds. The sunflower seeds say it all… Scott is taking these games very seriously. (Don't worry, his hair has been cut since this picture. I know you were gagging, Martie.)

I’m enjoying trying to learn how to trash talk at a baseball game, which I find is slightly more difficult than basketball. Plus I feel like the old girls fastball chants are not as powerful as I remember. Maybe my time is better spent cooing Crew!

Thank you to everyone who voted for my boss on Advance America's site. As it turns out, the site made me re-post the story because it was accidentally double posted due to an error on their part. Advance America removed both posts, but gave me a copy of the story to repost it this morning. So if you voted, can you please go back to the site and vote again?


New link and everything. Thank you!