Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hello? I am Tony...

The other day I got a phone message that started like this: "Hello Sarah Hall? Hello? Sarah Hall? I am Tony..." Since then I've had about ten phone calls that start the same way.

Tony is cool. He is my friend from South Korea that I met in South Africa, who, after a two-year stint in Canada moved to Texas to open up an Italian restaurant using a Mexican chef. He's fed up with the Mexican... the customers complain the Italian food is too spicy... so he's about to hire an Albanian to replace him.

He came over for dinner the other day and was quite hilarious. It was, however, embarrassing the way he put me on a pedestal. He said he had been wanting to get in contact with me a few months ago and prayed, and then I answered his prayer by sending him an email. I wasn't sure how to react to his constant praise, or how to let him know that I am far from perfect, but I felt a little guilty for not staying in touch with him better. He brought over a whole bag of presents - mostly Christian books and CDs. He bowed to everyone in my family before leaving. Very fun, entertaining, and great guy.

It made me want to go back to South Africa and reconnect with everyone. Anyone up for a little World Cup action?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Why I Should Learn How to Tie a Tie

Because you never know when a quadriplegic will ask you to put his on for him.

Which happened to me, in North Carolina, last week. I met this really cool guy who had been injured while diving into a pool a few years ago. I went to church with him, and before it started, he asked it I would put on his tie.

I had no clue how to tie one. So this other guy got it ready and told me to put it around his neck. I didn't know how to tighten it. To make a long story short, it ended up way too tight! I struggled to loosen it as I thought it was probably fairly uncomfortable for him (and I also realized I had tightened it around his neck ABOVE the collar rather than underneath).

Finally, this random guy comes up and says, "Let me help you with that. Do you have ANY clue what you are doing?" Everyone was laughing really loud. Then my friend (the one whose tie I had attempted to tie) said, "Wow, you really don't know how to tie a tie, do you?"

My niece

I went to visit my sister in North Carolina last week. My niece is the cutest little 2-year old girl in the world.

My sister and bro-in-law keep watching all these British shows, so my niece speaks with a British accent and says things like, "Can I have a go?"

She is also perceptive. At one point, she turns to me and says, "The baby is sleeping so you have to be REALLY LOUD so you don't wake him up!" I said, in a very serious tone, "That makes a lot of sense." She put her hands on her hips, glared at me and said, "This is NO JOKE!"

We walked around the duck pond and visited Duke Cathedral when the weather was cool. We also decorated gingerbread cookies.

On Sunday morning, she did not want to put her dress on. She yelled, "I'm so sorry daddy! I have to do my homework now!" Then she ran to his computer and pretended to type. It is funny how much kids imitate their parents.

I love my niece! The end.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Putting it all behind

Okay. I'm going to purge the past two weeks and it will all come out of me, stick to this blog, and be gone! Venting to an invisible person is refreshing. Maybe someone will even read it. And they will be reading it by choice and not because I forced something on them.

Crazy two weeks. First, we put my otherwise healthy dog to sleep. She had cancer, but was still energetic. She even ran home that morning after we walked her. She was going from person to person even at the vets, wagging her tail. The vet's assistant didn't know what she was doing so it took about 40 minutes to get her down. She kept jabbing the needle in the first paw and the dog kept standing up and falling back down. 20 minutes later, the same thing in the second paw, and the dog keeps looking at the door with sad eyes and trying to stand up and leave, but failing because she's partially poisoned. Not to mention she is now bleeding all over from being repeatedly jabbed. Finally, they go for the jugular and practically strangle her and her head is rolling back and forth on the ground with her tongue out. So bad.

A few days later, a friend from my old ward in Iowa (one of the eight young women I grew up with), commits suicide in a very sad manner. Enough said about that one.

A few days later I go to visit my grandpa in California. I redo his roof for him, redecorate a little, and we make some juice out of this little fruit by steaming it for several hours, and watch home videos for hours on end. He talked about how he is too stubborn to be in a wheelchair. The last night he quotes a poem about how there will be "no crying when he sets out to sea." Of course the poem itself made me cry.

Then I fly to Boston and New York for a few days. It is fun, but I get the flu. Then I miss my 6am flight out of New York even though I woke up at 4:30am. My ride decides at about 5:15 that she wants to do her laundry, and the dryer is broken. So we leave at about 5:40 and I get there just as the plane starts boarding. There is only one Delta employee at the tiny airport so nobody can check me in - it's the same person who just started boarding the plane. I spent 11 hours sitting in a 2-room airport, with the flu, hacking up a lung. This is the day before I am supposed to be back in Utah presenting at the ESR Conference.

I go and present at the ESR Conference, feeling mostly better.

The following day, my grandpa has a stroke.

Then I catch pneumonia. I was forced to buy a really expensive inhaler that doesn't work because the government has banned the kind that works for me for environmental reasons (not health reasons). I am now on drugs that help asthmatics, but cause depression.

I should probably also mention that this is right on the heels of a broken engagement after a full year of exclusive dating.

Things could be worse, I admit. I could live in Eastern Congo right now. Or be in an abusive relationship. Or be terminally ill. Or have a parent or sibling be terminally ill. That would be much worse.

But for some reason (probably the drugs) I have been borderline in tears several times today from the tiniest things people have said that I interpreted to be that they just don't like me. I've also been borderline in tears over things people didn't say-just their body language of addressing other people in the room and seeming to overlook my presence.

So, I am going to count the blessings and try to focus on the positives of the situations now. My grandpa is old and lived a full life. My friend is not suffering from depression anymore. My dog is not in physical pain from the cancer. The guy I dated for a year started dating someone else within a week of breaking up - so what? He's happy and I will get over it. I will regain my health. And I will just have to accept the fact that the government is going to interfere with my right to my previous medicine, get over the pneumonia, and get off of these pills.

Great! It's all settled. The past is going to stay there. Moving forward.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Who's Yo Daddy?

Not the rugby playing dude from New Zealand. That's all I know.

The story. I had been emailing my "dad" for about two weeks. Mostly pouring out my soul about the end of a recent relationship. He emailed back and gave me all kinds of advice. Uncharacteristically, he used words such as, "chill" and phrases like, "feel the positive vibes flowing towards you through space."

I thought, okay, he's trying to be hip and connect with me. "A" for effort.

About a month later it became VERY CLEAR something was VERY WRONG about our relationship. Our G-chat went something like this:

Me: Shouldn't you be at Priesthood session?

Dad: AHHHHHH!!!! New Zealand lost the Rugby World Cup!

Me: Didn't know you were so into that type of stuff :-)

Dad: Of course I am, I'm a New Zealander!

Me: Huh?

Dad: Yep. Didn't you know?

Me: I thought you were my dad!

"Dad": I know. Sorry about that. Thought you would have realized sooner.

Me: How long has this been going on?

"Dad": A few weeks. It is funny that your dad has exactly the same name as me.

"Dad": Anyway, Rugby is way cooler than American football.

Me: Yeah... rugby is pretty... cool

Me: Anyway, I'll make sure I find my dad's real email address...

"Dad": Cool. Sorry about your breakup. Feel better!

The funny part is that he would send emails back in response to emails in which I had clearly addressed him as DAD!

Why I Hate Hospitals

A few days ago, my friend's appendix ruptured. Sometimes in life, one must stop and ponder. Contemplate the great mysteries of life.

For example: why the heck are there ticking time bombs in our bellies waiting to burst upon us when we least expect it!!!

When one reflects that this particular organ is apparently an unnecessary part of survival, one must wonder if this is some type of cruel joke, or merely a vehicle for good organ explosion stories.

The worst part is that the nurses forgot to drip the antibiotics into her for several hours! The bag was there; it just wasn't hooked up to her.

Visiting her brought me back to my days of ruptured appendix.

____________________________________________________

Dream music commence. Flashback begin.

I was at BYU, in my grammar final. I felt very ill. It was multiple choice, so I filled in ABACADABA for the rest of the test. Ended up with a B in the class.

Went on a date that I didn't want to go on considering I felt like Violet the blueberry on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (didn't want him to think I was lame and faking it). Spent most of the date trying to paint the bathroom with carrots to relieve the intense pressure.

Asked him to take me home. He took me on a drive instead. I slouched up against the door with my head down and my eyes closed. I then proceeded to listen to a lengthy one-way DTR. I said, "can we talk about this tomorrow?" Apparently we couldn't. He gave me a present which he had the pleasure of opening for me. About half an hour later I was finally home.

I walked into the front door, laid down in the hallway, and didn't move for an hour.

My roommate finally came home. She looked at me, exclaimed, "you're purple!" and took me to the hospital.

The nurse harassed me about the fact that it was finals week. As if my idea of a good makeup job is putting on purple foundation. My roommate yelled at her. They finally got me in.

I went into the CAT scanner twice. My organs were too small for them to make out what was happening. They unpleasantly pumped me up with fluid and I went it again, looking pregnant this time. They discovered that, oh yes, I am leaking toxic fluid all over my insides.

Pandemonium ensued. I was suddenly on pain medications and feeling very happy. And very hyper. I don't remember anything that happened after that.

Thankfully, things went very well in surgery.

Post-surgery was not so lucky.

The doctor (not the smallest person in the world) walked into the room, tripped over the wheel of my bed, and came careening down towards my person, elbow first! He happened to solidly plant his elbow right in the spot where my ticking time bomb used to lurk. The brunt of his entire body weight jabbed exactly where I had just been cut open.

I formed something of a contorted grin and assured him that it didn't hurt that much, but could feel that my cheeks were wet - I think the tears leaped out of my eyes on impact.

The room had almost completely faded into a lovely raven-black when I heard someone say, "get the epinephrine!" The next thing I knew, I was shot in the right arm with a needle. I felt anxious, alert, and paranoid, glancing at the door behind me every now and then to make sure nobody would jump in and surprise me, as the medical staff began asking follow-up questions.

The end. Good riddance to my infernal organ. You've ticked your last tick.

Katherine, let it go, you were better off without it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Eyes!

I really want some. So I submitted a video to get free lasik. Out of I think 86 videos, mine made the top six in the serious category. Now it is up to popular vote!

So, please do vote for my video "Sarah in Africa" in the serious category at this link: http://www.hoopesvision.com/contest/index.html

You can vote once a day until Sept. 8th. Thanks to anyone out there who actually reads this blog and votes!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Not My Strongest Suit

I have been job hunting. Which means, I've been suit hunting. Unfortunately, I am 5'3" and only slightly under 100 lbs. Even shopping for normal pants, I usually have three options: super baggy pants from the adult section that I have to bunch up with a belt, old lady super high waisted and high water pants from the extra petite section, or pants that fit but are funkily designed, pre-faded and/or have sequined bums from the junior's section.

Suits are even more difficult. I have very narrow shoulders, and as a small blonde woman who could pass as a 19-year old, I don't want to minimize my presence in an office even more by drowning myself in a suit. I tried the Banana Republic outlet and found some suits that fit, size Double Zero. But again, they were fairly expensive and the colors were all faded grays, which is probably why they were at the outlet. Most of the others had long tops and made me look like I had gotten cold and borrowed a man's top. I found a cute black jacket in the junior's section at the fashion mall that fit quite well and looked professional. Except for the shoulder pads, which gave me a football player wanna-be boxy appearance.

It tends to drive me crazy that women need to many types of clothes for so many different occasions. Church dresses, formal dresses, interview attire, professional attire, semi-casual attire, and don't even get me started on jewelry, shoes, nylons, hair styles, and make-up! It seems guys could wear the same suit, socks, and shoes with no accessories or hassle to all these occasions and be just fine - just take off the jacket and tie, unbutton a few buttons, and you are transformed from church/interview attire to professional or semi-casual.

I suppose I should be grateful for the amount of variety I am afforded in my life and wardrobe. And the amount of time and gas money shopping for this silly suit has sucked out of my recent life.

My Dream Job

I'd like to be a cryptozoologist. My definition of this profession would be searching for things that do not exist. I could get paid to hike in Minnesota in hopes of finding Bigfoot, or canoe around the Loch, or spend my life in other exotic locales.

But it's not just the shallow, adventure-hungry part of me that craves this job. The practical, comfort-seeking side of me yearns for the job security, and I can't think of a more secure job. They better not find Nessie before I make it there!

Thoughts on Slogan #4

I just googled "Slogan" to see what it would come up with. The first hit was called "Sloganizer." You type words into the box and it creates slogans for you.

I entered "electricity-generating merry-go-round" because that's what I've been marketing all year. Here are the first three it came up with.

1. "Electricity-generating merry-go-round Rules." Does that mean it's awesome or there are a lot of rules you need to abide by when you play on it?

2. "Don't mess with electricity-generating merry-go-round." I think I'll use this one on the website.

Next I decided I wanted my own personal slogan so I tried typing in my name. Here's what it came up with.

1. "Sarah Hall... whatever you want." I guess that means I'm either a pushover or chameleon.

2. "Sarah Hall Never Die." I like that one!!!

3. "Sarah Hall: To *heck* with the rest!"

4. "Don't forget your Sarah Hall."

5. "I trust Sarah Hall."

6. "Sarah Hall is Your Friend."

7. "Sarah Hall is Good for You." Wow, this is either a confidence boost or a brainwashing device.

8. "Sarah Hall: Yabba Dabba Duh!"

Next, I tried typing in my mom's name. Here are some that it came up with.

1. "Mary Hall: Be Ready."

2. "The Power of Mary Hall."

3. "Mary Hall is a Female Force."

4. "Mary Hall Keeps Going... and Going... and Going..."

5. "Mary Hall, Once you Have It, You Love It."

6. "There's Lots of Fun in Mary Hall."

7. "See you at Mary Hall." That must be a dorm building.

8. "Every Mary Hall has a Story." Is this referring to a person's life account or how tall the dorm building is?

Go ahead and Give it a try!

Thoughts on Slogan #3

Have you driven a Ford?

Growing up, my sisters and I had completely different understandings of this jingle. Maybe the singer didn't enunciate very clearly, or maybe the Hall girls just had hearing problems.

Lucy got it right: Have you driven a Ford lately?

I always thought it was: Have you driven a Ford Taxi? I couldn't understand why they would market to such a small proportion of the population - taxi drivers - during prime time.

Abby thought it was: Have you driven a Ford spacely?

Thoughts on Slogan #2

Iowa's Slogan(s)

Growing up in Iowa, our slogan was always "Iowa: You Make Me Smile." I thought it was a little cheesy, but didn't comment too much about it. After all, it is a true statement. And that smiley face on the billboard as you drive over the border was just darling.

However, in 1999, the new slogan changed to "Iowa: Fields of Opportunity." I was outraged! Fields of opportunity? We don't need to perpetuate corny (pardon the pun) Iowa jokes like that in official slogans! Iowa is so much more than just FIELDS! (Although, I admit, there are several gorgeous cornfields in Iowa).

We may as well be overt and change it to something like "Iowa: Corn capital of the world!" or use catchy rhymes such as: "Live work and play in a cornfield today!"

A slogan should highlight strengths, dispel common misconceptions, or increase appreciation of the unique. Examples below.

Celebrating our varied biomes - "Iowa: We Have Forests Too!"

Celebrating strengths - "Iowa: Our Schools are Better than Yours!"

Dispelling misconceptions: "Iowa: It's not as flat as you think!" or "I-O-W-A does not stand for Idiots Out Walking Around."

Advertising uniqueness - "Iowa: Highest radon concentration in the US!" or "Iowa: Breeder of future space captains!" or "Iowa: All Presidential Candidates Must Endorse Ethanol or they Won't Make it Past the First Caucus."

We could always rip off Field of Dreams and go with "Is this heaven? No, it's IOWA!"

Or a phrase from the music man. "Iowa: We say it, but we don't like anybody else to" or "Iowa: We are so stubborn we can stand touching noses for a week at a time and never see eye-to-eye."

Or, we could modify Paradise, California’s slogan to “Iowa: All it’s name implies.”

That's all I've got. Any other ideas?

Thoughts on Slogan #1

Slogan #1 - BYU: The World is Our Campus

One of my majors as an undergrad was international development. Until the program was cut. During my Swahili 201 class, we were discussing the calamity, and I sadly commented, "well, the world was our campus."

The others three students in the class clapped their hands and told me I was a genius, a reaction I was not expecting. Their respect for me seemed to skyrocket, as they had always considered me a little too preppy and straight laced. I like them a lot and they were my friends, but let me describe them a little to give you a clearer picture. The other two girls in the class had short, spiked hair and looked slightly intimidating. The boy was tall and skinny with long blonde hair. He wore tight pants and wouldn't tell us his real name, preferring to go by his Swahili name: Walialu (Wall-Lee-Ah-Lu). All wore ripped up jeans and denounced money in general, and anything that could be purchased with the filthy lucre. One of the girls even said if a boy ever bought her a diamond ring, she would end things forever and there would be no forgiveness.

The next time the class met they bragged about how they had sneaked out at night and scratched out the word "is," changing it to "was" on a BYU sign somewhere. I somehow felt guilty, as if I had contributed to the willful and malicious violation of public property. The lesson: Don't provide clever slogans to vandals, even if they are your friends.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Judge Not that Ye Be Not Judged

I recently remembered a story my mom told about her trip with my dad to an aquarium in Chicago.

She was looking at interesting creatures when some inner-city kids came up to the same tank. One of the girls read the plaque and said, "Oh look, an an-eh-moan." My mom turned to my dad and said, "Don't they educate these children? Don't they know it's an anemone?"

A few minutes later she was looking in a different tank. She said to my dad, "Wow, what an interesting fish." She read the plaque. "A pin-eh-koh-nee fish. I've never head of that. Have you?"

The same little girl walked up, read the plaque, and said, "Look, a pinecone fish!" Yes, that is pine plus cone.

I thought it was appropriate to remind her of her first trip to California with my dad when she turned to him and asked what the orange fruit hanging from the tree was. He told her, they are oranges. She said, "But, they're ORANGE!!!" An elementary school teacher had told her oranges were only dyed to be orange.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Goals

Recently I've found myself at a loss for what to do and where to go in my life. Being directionless is perhaps, one of the worst feelings in the world. I was looking around on my old computer that I'm going to give to a friend in Ghana for any documents I might want to transfer before I give it away. I found a list of goals from a few years ago.

Here are some of the ones I have actually accomplished since then:
-Get scuba certified
-Get an MPA
-Go to the temple at least twice a month
-Go to Asia
-Start learning guitar
-Run a marathon
-Spend a summer back in Africa on a humanitarian project (I've been back three times)
-Save at least 10% of income
-Pay back student loans within four years (I did it in one)
-Exercise at least three times a week
-Make a flower garden (I made many at the temple while working grounds)

Here are some random ones I have not done yet:
-Make a cabinet
-Get a PhD
-Scripture study in the morning (More often than not, I do it late at night)
-Go to Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho and Swaziland to help with health care
-Visit the Meijsen and Van Zyl and Mwalee families (families baptized during my mission)
-Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
-Have a vegetable garden
-Start a school in Kenya (though I've been helping with one in Congo)
-Scuba in the Great Barrier Reef
-Eat 2 or more servings of fruits and veggies per day
-Learn to play piano well
-Read at least 2 books per month
-Go to Brazil, Italy, and an island (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa)
-Enjoy doing the dishes

I found that at least half of the goals had to do with marriage and family:
-Have 8 or so kids
-Serve as a senior missionary
-Go on family camping trips
-Read bedtime stories to my kids almost every night
-Be at home when kids come home from school as much as possible
-Weekly Family Home Evenings
-Family physical activities together
-Sing with family on Sundays at least once a month
-Family dinner every day as much as possible
-Learning activities with kids (Explorabook, chemistry set, go to science center, museums, stargazing, etc.)
-Talent enhancing activities for kids (drawing lessons, writing stories, etc.)
-Family picnics, kite flying, games like kick the can at least once a month
-Family trips to state/national parks
-Family traditions (ie: cookies together at Christmas)
-Daily family scripture study and prayer

While I thought finding the list might be inspiring and give me lots of things to fill my time with, it turned out that it just ended up depressing me. I feel like a miserable failure in the goals that are most important.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Confessions

So now you will know.

#1. Every time I get on the freeway (unless I am lost, and thus too frustrated), I sing. Not like a little humming. A full-on Broadway belt backed up with the same intense emotions the character of whatever Broadway musical I am playing is feeling. I always hope no one I know will end up in the car next to me. The same activity occurs in the shower now that I have one to myself in the basement.

#2. I ran a marathon. But the longest distance I ever ran while training was 16 miles.

#3. I went on a date this week. After the guy asked me out, I told him, "Okay, I'll meet you at your house at this time." And I did. So much for social graces.

#4. Up until this year, I had no problem wearing white socks with black pants and black shoes. Or sometimes even brown shoes. Then I started wearing tennis shoes and white socks to work with my black pants because they were more comfortable. I figured my feet would pretty much stay under the desk. Not sure how my boss felt about it.

#5. I stayed up until 2 this morning doing yoga. My favorite pose is "Happy Baby."

#6. I used bobby pins instead of staples on a couple of major papers back in the English program. I was docked for unprofessionalism.

#7. I really like Bob Marley. I think I may have been a Rasta if born in Jamaica.

#8. I saw Danny Glover at Runner's Corner last summer. The store manager asked if I wanted to get my picture taken with him. So I did. I had no clue who he was. I have also seen Richard Simmons at the airport... twice.

#9. I have seriously thought about how to successfully carry out a coup in Zimbabwe.

#10. I wrote my application for the Marriott School consulting project in Thailand on the back of a Cafe Rio receipt. Somehow, I was still one of the six selected for the program.

#11. I know how allergic I am to cats. But I can't control myself when I'm around them. I just can't resist picking them up and cuddling with them, then I bring their fur home and sneeze until I end up doing my laundry, sometimes for a whole week.

#12. I once borrowed Abby's sweater without asking her. A cow sneezed on it while I was wearing it. Like a full-blown Jurassic Park brontosaurus sneezing on the girl type of experience. I don't think I ever told her.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Family that Kicks Together, Sticks Together

This was the slogan for martial arts classes in Orem. I liked it. It was a good slogan for their target market, a community committed to wholesome recreational activities with the family. And a good spoof for a community familiar with the similar saying, "A family that prayers together, stays together."

Friday, January 30, 2009

Claustrophobia

I had a situation last week that reminded me of a fear I have not experienced in a long time.

The recent incident:


As I was leaving work, I found that my key to lock the outside office door wasn't working. My work is connected to a storage room, and that room is connected to the UPS store. I figured I would just lock my office door from the inside, pass through the storage room, and leave via the UPS store. I stuck my head outside my office door and saw the UPS store light was still on, so I felt confident I could get in and out of it.

I locked my outside office door from the inside, locked the door leading from my office door to the storage room from my office's side, and proceeded into the storage room. Now I was locked out of my office. I went to the door leading from the storage room to the UPS store. I found that it was locked from the other side. "No matter," I thought. "The light was on, so they are still in there."

I knocked on the door. No answer. I knocked again. Still no answer. I got down on my knees and looked under the door. The lights were off. They must have left the store and locked it down just as I was entering the storage room.

I now found myself in a quandary. I was locked out of my office. I was locked out of the UPS store. Therefore, I was locked IN the storage room. The first thought that entered my mind was, "I wonder if I can stack some of these cardboard boxes on each other and make a comfortable bed." My second thought was, "I wonder if they will miss me at FHE, or if any of my roommates will notice that I don't come home tonight. I wonder if they would think to look for me here. I wonder if they even know where I work." I realized they probably wouldn't even notice if I didn't come home (I live in the basement alone, and tend to come home late). My third thought was, "I hope the dude that delivers boxes here in the morning isn't a kidnapper."

My fourth and best thought was, "I have a cell phone." I called my roommate Rebecca and told her, "I am locked in a storage room." She didn't seem to know what to do. So I said, "Don't worry about it, I'll figure something out." After searching around, I finally found a back exit into a scary alleyway. The door had been blocked by a bunch of refrigerator boxes. I was free!

Incident #2

It was my sophomore year at BYU. One of my roommates was trying to figure out how much 50 pounds was because she was about to fly home on an airplane. She had one suitcase packed full of stuff to take home, but none of us had a scale, so she wanted to find something that weighed 50 pounds so she could could put it in an empty suitcase and compare. After suggesting a number of items, my other roommates had a brilliant idea. "Sarah weighs 50 pounds!" one of them chimed up. "Yeah! Put HER in the suitcase!" another suggested.

It was too late to run. They had all laid hands on me and proceeded to stuff me in the empty suitcase. They zipped it up. So there I was, in a fetal position, in a suitcase, being lifted and dropped by each roommate, who was alternating lifting the suitcase full of home-bound luggage. I also found myself being dragged all over the basement of Maeser Hall. Not quite sure what the purpose of that part was. After a while, it was getting really cramped and a little hard to breathe. I think I will seriously reconsider flippantly making remarks such as, "Oh, you're going to Hawaii? Can you take me along in your suitcase?"

Incident #3

I was a sophomore in High School working at a shake shop. We were out of frozen strawberries for malts, so I went to the freezer room to get some more. The first room was a refrigerator, and the second room was a freezer. To open the doors once they click shut, you have to pull a big heavy lever. To avoid possibly being trapped, I had always propped the heavy doors open with huge buckets of ice cream.

This time was no exception. However, in the freezer room, as I was climbing to the top shelf to find the strawberries, I saw the ice cream container slowly slipping. I jumped down from the shelf and ran to the door, but by the time I reached it, it had already clicked shut. I used all of the probably 85 or so pounds I weighed back then to try to pull the lever, but it was too heavy. I braced my feet against the icy walls and jerked on the lever with all my weight, but it wouldn't budge. I was finally shivering too much, and couldn't feel my hands. I sat back and waited to be rescued. 10-15 minutes later the customer had complained, so someone else came looking for strawberries. I was SO happy that I would survive! I could have kissed her! But all she did was look at me with a judgmental expression (as if I was trying to get out of work by hiding in the freezer of all places), and said, "what are you doing?"

Final incident:

When I was young, I was shoved into a tiny toy chest. Somebody then sat on the lid. I don't remember who. All I remember is being curled up with my knees jamming into my nose and my toes flattened out against the wall. That was my earliest recollection of claustrophobia.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weird Dream Post #1

I have been having some crazy dreams recently, and I am afraid I am going to forget this one until I get it out of my head. So... here it is.

I was in law school. Our law professor was French. We only had one professor, apparently. We were a very multicultural class. About 75% of the class was black, there were several Asians, and only a few whites (myself being one of them). There were NO men in the class.

The law professor told us we were all too beautiful and smart, so she was going to humble us for our own good. She told us we had to wear these huge round animal outfits around school all day for an entire week. I had a rooster outfit with a gigantic round red belly and had to shuffle my feet when I walked. If I sat down, I had to roll around on the ground to build up enough momentum to stand again. My best friend had a turtle outfit. Another law school buddy (my sister's friend Grace from high school), had a cow outfit. I thought she was the only would who would pull off the outfit and make it look cute. She told me she felt sorry for the one that had to be 'the shoe' (referring to a shoe outfit from the story 'The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe.")

It was the middle of summer and sweltering hot. I decided after a few hours on the first day that this was dumb and I was not going to wear mine anymore, so I changed into normal clothes. Every time I saw a law school friend walking around campus in their ridiculous outfit, I told them not to wear it, but they were all afraid the professor would fail us if we didn't. I remained the only one to fight back. The professor hated me for it and told me at the end of the semester I'd be out of school because she would fail me for insubordination.

She summoned us to class by blowing a whistle, after which we would do back flips combined with other gymnastics tricks from wherever we were on campus into the classroom. I refused to do this, too, even though I could. The professor kept blowing her whistle at me and ordered me to do 'three back flips followed by a broomstick' into the classroom. Apparently a broomstick was a double plie in mid-air. I finally did it just to get into class.

Then, during class, she kicked out one of the black students for failing to wear all black to commemorate Martin Luther King Day a few weeks ago. This is when I learned of a new rule--we all had to wear all black once a month every month to commemorate the holiday. This girl had forgotten and worn a white shirt that day. This girl was never allowed to come to class again.

I had enough. I stood up on my desk and scanned the audience--my law school friends still dressed up as various farm animals. I told them they didn't have to take this, we live in a free country, and said professor is not a dictator and if we all rebel together she can't kick us all out, or the administration will be on her back. I told them the administration was good, and would protect us. The professor was still in the classroom, and they all kept their eyes downcast, not responding. I grew frustrated and switched from inspirational speaking to ranting and accusing her of destroying our unalienable rights to particularly the pursuit of happiness. Still, nobody moved.

At this point, I knew my classmates were a lost cause. They were in too deep. So I went to the professor and begged and pleaded with her to be a reasonable person. I knelt and cried, but she would not listen because I was not speaking with a French accent. So I switched to a French accent (but think I accidentally mixed it with German) and told her, "Zome of us you haff kicked out. Zome of us you haff ridiculed and made to look stupid. Now you are still making us wear zilly costumes, and look at zem! Zhey are all dying outside in zee sun because of zee 'eat!"

To which she responded in an American accent, "You are right! They are dying because of eat! From now on, they will not eat anymore, ever again! Or I will fail them!"

I yelled, "Noooooooo!" and the campus police arrived and dragged me away, kicking and screaming. This is when I realized corruption penetrated the whole system, not just the law school.

And that was the end of my dream.

Now I am open to interpretations.