Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wayne Newton's World

It has been awhile since I blogged, but I had such a profound experience tonight, I just had to share it.  I honestly think it may have changed me forever. 
I am in St. George on vacation until tomorrow morning, and when I was planning my trip, my sister Susie told me that this documentary film festival was starting at Tuacahn.  My nephew happens to work at Tuacahn, and he got us $10 tickets to the opening documentary tonight.  As an added bonus, the documentary was about none other than Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton!  And, Wayne Newton was there to perform his greatest hits!
Greatest hits!  Wayne Newton!  What could be better?  The answer to that question should lead an average person to another question which is "Wayne Newton has hits?"  After tonight, I know the answer to that question, and the answer is no, no he does not. 
The thing that Wayne does have is Wayniacs.  Yep, he has groupies and they are called the Wayniacs.  They go to his shows and laugh at this jokes.  And that is saying something.  He spent at least 15 minutes talking about Viagra and condoms.  Ick.  This has to be the last thing I want to hear an old, toupeed, spray tanned man talk about.  Still trying to erase this from my memory. 
There was a woman sitting in front of me who really loved Wayne.  She was hysterical when he came out on stage....riding a horse.  She kept saying to her daughter...Its Wayne!  and he's riding a horse!  Its not like he was jumping through hoops of fire on his horse or anything, yet she was still so excited.  I think she wished she was closer, because there may have been some undergarments she wanted to throw onto the stage.
A serious Wayniac in a sparkley red sweater walked up to the stage with flower for Wayne.  He was quite delighted, and so he pulled her up onto stage, and I kid you not, they started kissing.  Not like a kiss on the cheek, but like one step away from making out.  Making out with Wayne Newton.  Gross.  Even if you are 75.  Maybe she was a paid extra in the show.  Why else would she put herself through that?
At around 10:45 my sister and I decided we had had enough, but then Wayne started singing one of Ferris Buellers greatest hits....Danke Shoen.  Apparently he sang it first, but I think Ferris Bueller sang it better.  Immediately after, we beelined it out of there.  And so did about 50% (possibly 75%) of the remaining audience.
I leared a few things about Wayne Newton tonight.  He has many dear, dear friends including, but not limited to, Senator Harry Reid, seven Presidents of the United States, the entire Rat Pack, Elvis Presley, the mayor of Las Vegas,a POW from the Vietnam War, and Lucille Ball.  He cannot sing.  Not even a little bit.  He can play the violin.  I am willing to pay $10 to see him if it comes with two free snowcones and a free order of roasted almonds.  In order for me to stay any longer, it would have taken free dinner and a $3 refund.
I kind of feel like Tuacahn should have gotten my email address when I bought the tickets. That way, they could email me an apology for the worst entertainment I have ever sat through.   

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Letter to Sean

Dear Sean-
Remember the time that my Visiting Teaching Companion brought some treats to my house to have me take them to the girls I visit teach?  It really is a funny story.  The treats never actually made it to the intended recipients because it ended up that someone ate them before I could deliver them.  I'm not sure exactly who ate them, but I think it might have been me.
You might be wondering why I am telling you this.  Well, funny enough, it has happened again, and in the repeat performance, you play a significant role.  In the new version, you are the Visiting Teaching Companion, and I am...well, I am still me.  The treats in question are these really yummy Christmas cookies that you brought over to my house. You brought some for me, which were delicious, some for Maren, which I gave to her, and some for Luke, which were delicious.
I am writing this letter to apologize.  But it might be a little bit your fault.  We have been friends for quite awhile, and during this time, you should have realized that I cannot be trusted around cookies.  I had to give Maren's to her immediately because after I ate the first cookie out of my bag, I knew the rest of the cookies were not safe.  I didn't see Luke until tonight, which is like a week and a half after the cookies were delivered.  They really didn't have a chance...especially because they were gone three days ago.
Please don't be mad.  I have a problem.  I know it.  I think admitting it is the first step to recovery.  I actually used to have a three cookie a day addiction.  It took me awhile to get over it, and having all those cookies staring me in the face was just too much.  I'm an addict, and you provided me with the drugs. 
I told Luke about the cookies tonight.  He convinced me that I should tell you.  Actually, he told me that if I didn't tell you, he would tell you.  I think it is better that it came from me.  I really am sorry, and I'll try not to let it happen again.  But it might happen again.  And I'll be sorry then too.
Your very favorite Cookie Monster,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Adding Machine

I am an accountant.  What does that mean?  It means that I count.  As part of that skill set, I can also add.  In fact, I can add like a maniac.  Especially when you give me a 10-key.  In fact, if there was a fastest adding contest between me and you, I would totally take you down. 
A few years ago, my nephew Spencer was at Tithing Settlement with his parents, and the Bishop asked him if he had any questions.  Spencer is clever.  And he almost always has something to say.  Unless you want him to say something, and then he will say nothing.  Well, Spencer had a question.  He asked "What is one plus one?".  Spencer knew the answer, he was just checking that the Bishop also knew the answer.  I am pretty sure the Bishop answered that one plus one equals two.
Well, this answer is both right and wrong.  If I have one spoon and then a guest comes over and wants some soup, and I go and buy another spoon for the guest, then I have two spoons.  In this case, one plus one equals two.  (Can you tell that I had soup for dinner?)
About six weeks ago, I started drinking only one Diet Coke a day.  In this case, one plus one always equals one.  I think it is completely logical.  Shockingly, I have discussed this with quite a few people who simply don't agree with me.  They think my adding skills are faulty.  I don't want to embarrass anyone,  but apparently some people-Heidi, Susie, Judy, maybe Stephanie, possibly my mom, my niece Alli-don't understand basic Diet Coke accounting.
I drink my one Diet Coke at lunch.  If I am at home for lunch, I get two cans of Diet Coke.  Each can is 10 ounces.  If I went to the convenience store and purchased a Diet Coke, I would probably choose something in the 24-32 ounce range.  So, two Diet Coke's consumed at home is actually less than one, and doesn't even come close to breaking my Diet Coke rule.  If I go out to lunch, I get my one fountain Diet Coke (which really is the best Diet Coke to drink).  I fill my cup 3/4 of the way with ice...because who doesn't like an icy Diet Coke?  Then I drink it as I eat lunch.  On my way out the door, I refill my cup with a little more ice, and then top of the soda.  I have technically only had 1/2 a Diet Coke because my cup was always 3/4 ice and 1/4 soda.  If I was cheating I could have another 1/2 later on.  But I am nothing if not honest.  And logical.
I think my sisters, mother, nieces, friends, etc. should really learn to respect those three letters behind my name...CPA.  I am a certified expert in adding.  I might possibly be a certified expert in creative adding.  Which is sometimes called creative accounting.  Which doesn't really have a negative connotation, right?  There is no need to worry unless I start  talking about offshore Diet Coke accounting.  Or if I have to borrow a Diet Coke from my neighbor to repay a Diet Coke to a friend who loaned me a Diet Coke as an investment.  Then I might be turning into the Diet Coke accountant for Enron or Bernie Madoff.  If it does come to that, which it might, please remind me that technically one plus one, in most situations, except for a very select few, really does equal two.       

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Whole New World

When I consider the times of the day (morning, afternoon, evening, and night), I would definitely say that nighttime is my favorite!  The hours between 9:00 pm and 2:00 am are the absolute best.  I have always loved to be awake during this time, even when I was little.  I honestly think I am at my most productive, be it cleaning, reading, working out, sewing, etc., during these hours.  Based on this, I would actually be a pretty good Superhero.  My job would be conducive to my favorite hours, out all night catching villains.  Using that rational, I guess I would also make a good villain.  Maybe even a better villain than Superhero because I'm not that strong (even though I usually pretend to be), and I don't have any actual superpowers, and unlike Batman, I don't have unlimited resources to buy superhero gadgets.
Sadly, when I was in college, there was not a major in either Superhero-ism or general Villain-ry.  But luckily, I found something almost as good---Accounting!  The only problem  with this is that the type of jobs that are available to people with specialized accounting skills are usually not available with a start time in the vicinity of 10:00-12:00.  For the last few years (actually seven years, if anyone is counting), I have been the last person to show up in the office at every job I have had.  Sure, there are have been discussions with various bosses, but they have all come around and realized that a work day from 9:00-6:00 works out just fine.  Also working out fine is a work day from 9:45-6:00 or 10:00-10:00 during busy season.  My accounting skills are generally good enough that I have always been given a pass and been able to basically set my own start time.
Two weeks ago, I started a new job. This job is different.  I REALLY wanted it, and I had to fight for it.  I interviewed quite a few times over the course of nine months.  Someone who I really respect recommended me for this position and gave glowing reviews to people at the firm where I was interviewing.  When I finally got the job, I got an email from the HR person outlining my first day.  The email contained words that equate to my worst nightmare...start time=8:00.  Yikes. 
I quickly realized that 8:00 meant 8:00 in the am, not the pm.  8:00?  Who does that?  Crazy people, that's who!  It's practically like starting work before sunrise.  I'm not even sure that it is healthy.  But, out of respect for the person who recommended me, I thought I would give it a try. 
Well, I'm two weeks in, and I've discovered something amazing.  There is a whole group of people that are up and going between 8:00-9:30 every morning.  (Honestly, what time are these people going to bed?!)  It's like they are all part of some kind of Secret Society, and they have now let me in.  I am just waiting for an appearance by Robin Williams telling me to Seize the Day!  (Dead Poet's Society for those of you who didn't catch the reference).  It's kind of exciting.  I feel like there should be some sort of password and secret handshake to signify that you are part of this super exclusive secret society.
If there was a drawback to membership in the society, it would be the fairly significant dues.  I have a weekly Wednesday night date called "snick- snack".  During my first week at work, I had to cut the whole thing short, so I could be in bed early enough to get up for my secret society check-in.  The second week, I had to cancel because I was so tired.  I haven't watched the 10:00 news for two weeks, my DVR it totally overloaded, and at this point the Jay/Dave/Conan rivalry is completely irrelevant. 
I am hoping my new schedule sticks, and at this point I am 60% confident that it will.  The positives are currently outweighing the negatives.  The one person who is really going to miss me is my boyfriend.  We used to see each other at around 11:30 most nights, and now I'm long asleep by that time.  So, I guess it really is time to break up.  I'll miss his humor, height, house band, and nightly guests.  I'm going to miss you, but you can take comfort knowing it really is me, not you.  So this is goodbye Jimmy Fallon.  That is unless you too decide to "Seize the Day", and join the cast of the Today Show.  We early morning people will gladly accept you into our secret society. 
If you have any trouble, let me know...I've got connections.  But let me know tomorrow because right now, I've got to go to bed.  Goodnight.      

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fighting Words

I’ve been practicing my fighting words. I really have. Ask anyone. But today, when I really needed them…they failed me.

A few months ago, I was in a kind of, sort of, argument. Argument might even be a bit strong, perhaps it could be called a heated discussion. This incident ended with me saying “it goes both ways”. In the heat of the moment, those were my fighting words. Yep, that’s all I had in me. I have told a few people this story, and when I get to the end, I’m always embarrassed that I didn’t have something better to say. Not because I wanted to say anything mean to someone else, but for the story’s sake, there could have been a much bigger ending…something like “yeah, well you smell!” or maybe “watch out, your’re going down, D-O-W-N, down!”. Wouldn’t that be so much better? For sure it would be so much funnier.

I went on a camping trip with my sister and her family over Labor Day. Stop laughing…I can camp (especially when there is a camper with a shower involved). Anyway, this is really where I started practicing and perfecting my fighting words. One afternoon I was sitting next to Rachel, my niece’s friend, and she pretended that she was going to flick a bug on me. Trouble. Bugs are not my thing. So what did I do? I poked her on the arm and used my best and most practiced fighting phrase…I hate your stinking guts! I know that sounds a little harsh…it was only a pretend bug. Actually, I think it was a real bug. But just a pretend flick. Anyway, it’s not as bad as it sounds, and when I say it, I kind of sounds like either a four year-old who is stamping her foot because she doesn’t want to eat broccoli or a cartoon villain with a deep, slightly mechanical voice. That way, no one stays mad at me too long after the fighting words are said.

After this episode, Rachel introduced me to some really good fighting words that I have since been practicing. You are ruining my life!!! Awesome, right? My first opportunity to legitimately use my fighting words was today, and instead, silence. So lame.

I have been interviewing for a new job for quite a while. I first interviewed last January and then started interviewing again in August. Continued to interview in September, and finally got an offer in the middle of September. I am starting my new job on November 1st, so my plan was to tell my bosses on October 15th. That way I could have a week or so after the tax deadline to clean up my desk, finalize some projects with clients, and feel like I had some closure.

Most of the people in my office knew of my plan. I know this sounds kind of dumb if I was trying to keep this from my bosses, but I really trust the people I work with. I feel a real sense of loyalty to them, and I think they feel the same toward me. There were a few people besides my bosses that I didn’t tell, but through eavesdropping, they caught onto me. I was a little concerned when I realized they knew, but I still thought they wouldn’t betray me and would be able to keep the news to themselves just out of respect for me.

Nope. I was wrong. You know what did me in. Business cards. My co-worker felt the need to tell my boss I was planning on quitting because she was getting ready to order new business cards for the office. How much do business cards cost? Is it really worth being the office tattle tell? Apparently it is. When I realized this is what had happened, I wanted to have an interaction similar to the camping interaction shared above. The poke would probably be replaced with a slap, the words would have been the same, but the tone would be more snotty teenager, less stubborn preschooler.

Instead, I said nothing. I am just practicing my silent treatment skills because I am so mad that if I actually speak to her I might really use legitimate fighting words. Because of her, I won’t be working until the end of October, I will only be there for another week. There is only one more week, and that week will define how I end up feeling about my whole experience at Daines Goodwin. So hopefully instead of focusing on how much I don’t like what this person has done to me, I will be focused on crazy clients and everyday office shenanigans. Hopefully.

I still might really want to stamp my foot and say the following very profound words, as first spoken by the little rascal Alphalpha….”I hate your stinking guts! You make me vomit! You are the scum between my toes!...Love, Nicole”.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I didn't hear eyes were closed

On occasion, I have complained about my job.  Don't feel bad for me though, I already know that other people have it worse than me.  There are tons of jobs I wouldn't want to do, but today I saw two girls who I think may have the worst job ever!
Being a CPA requires a certain amount of continuing education.  Today, I attended a training class called Business Entities.  It started at 8:00 this morning and got out at 4:45.  I have to go back all day tomorrow as well.  While it was very informative, I'm not going to lie, they can be a little boring.  I went through four Diet Cokes, a hot chocolate, a pack of Starburst, and a bag of Peanut Butter M&M's.  So, in addition to being informative, and boring, it is also going to cause me to gain ten pounds in two days.
I can't even imagine how bored I would be and how much more candy I would eat if I had to sit through two days of training and had no use for the information.  There were two girls who were there as sign language interpreters.  Now, don't get me wrong, I think this is a noble job to have.  You are really helping someone else overcome a disability.  But, the guy they were signing to was probably slightly less interested in the material than he could have been.
I'm not judging, I certainly had my moments of paying less than full attention.  I even sent a few emails and text messages.  But, quite a few times when I looked over at him, he actually had his eyes closed and his head was bobbing...definitely asleep.  And then there were the interpreters.  Still signing all the words to him, while he was sleeping.  Then I glanced over, and he was playing a game on his iPhone.  Interpreters...still signing away.
How frustrating!  I'm sure those girls were bored out of their minds!  The pros and cons of S-Corps vs. Partnerships isn't that exciting for an accountant.  And, accounting instructors don't have the funniest jokes or stories.  And usually those jokes and stories are centered around accounting principles, so they are very audience specific.  And the audience they were signing to was asleep.  I think at that point I would just feel silly. 
If one of my co-workers was asleep, I would probably discreetly tap them on the shoulder.  The only things these girls could do was to just sign more energetically or maybe start signing the wrong words or something.  But the whole room could see them, so any action would have had to be pretty discreet.  But, they remained professional throughout the day. 
I'm sure at some point the interpreters really wanted to smack him, but after watching them today, I think they really could have had more fun with it.  He obviously wasn't paying attention, and I know this because I wasn't paying attention because I was watching him.  So, instead of paying attention they could have talked about how bored they were.  No one would lean over and tell them to be quiet because they wouldn't be making any noise.  I guess that could actually be awesome.  Being able to talk all the time and not have anyone hear you or get upset.  I take back my earlier comment.  They might have my dream job!



Sunday, July 18, 2010

I See Dead People

Every dead person I know rests in Nephi. Okay, there are a few exceptions. But every dead person who I would deliver flowers to on Memorial Day rest in Nephi. So, there is one exception, and he rests in Moroni, which isn’t that different than Nephi. And, unless I’m with my mom, I’m probably not delivering flowers to anyone. But that isn’t the point. The point is, one day, I want to be one of those people. Not the flower delivering people, the other people, the dead people in Nephi.

Ever since I can remember, my parents have discussed where they are going to be buried. No, not as in what town they will be buried in, but where in the Nephi City Cemetery will they be buried. They both grew up in Nephi, and they both have family plots in the cemetery there. My mom always says they should be buried with her family, because the Hall family plot is at the top of the cemetery, where fewer cars drive, and it is shadier. She thinks it seems more pleasant to be in a quieter part of the cemetery. The Ostler family plot is closer to the center of the cemetery, and it is by as major of an intersection as there is in a cemetery. I don’t remember for sure, but it seems like the roads in the cemetery are dirt, so being by such a busy road might make the area too dusty for her final resting place. It makes sense to choose your burial plot using the same criteria you would use for choosing where to build a house, right?

It is odd to think about where you are going to be buried. I went through a phase where I was very concerned about where I was going to be buried. I was in my mid twenties, living by myself in Denver, and I would drive by a huge cemetery almost every day. It was very close to the Casket Mart, Discount Cremation, and other death-centric stores. I got very worried that if for some reason I died when I was living in Denver, I would get buried in this huge cemetery, and everyone would forget about me, and no one would come and visit me. It would be like one of those movies where the girl is taking flowers to her mother’s grave, and notices a crumbling headstone with weeds growing over it. She takes it upon herself to pull the weeds, wipe off the grime, and care for the headstone herself, purely because she feels such pity for the lonely soul buried below. You haven’t seen that movie? I’m not sure I’ve actually seen that movie either, but I’m sure it’s out there. Or it will be…when my blog gets made into a movie.

My mother, being the good mother that she is, calmed my fears by telling me that obviously I would be buried in Nephi. I have taken comfort in knowing that I will end up surrounded by friends and family,…that is until last week. Over the past few weeks, there has been some discussion about how each family will be allocating the plots. While discussing this with his brother, my dad had to concede that he will probably be buried up with the Hall’s. My mom had to call someone in her family to determine how many plots are left in the Hall section. There are eleven. She was telling me this on the phone and was going through the list of people who are quite possibly planning on being buried there. The list was long. Very long. With people I hadn’t even heard of before.

By the time she was finished, I was starting to worry that my place in the family plot was not secure. I voiced this concern to her thinking that my mother, being the good mother that she is, would calm my fears and tell me that obviously there would be room for me. Well, she didn’t exactly say that. She did offer to let me be cremated and placed on top of her headstone. What!? Now I am being forced to be cremated? Just because I might outlive eleven other people? This is totally unfair!! Two of the eleven spots are really already spoken for. And then, you add my parents onto that, and that makes four already taken, so there are only seven left. That isn’t very many. There should be some contest to allocate the remaining spots. I could study up on my family history and win a game of Ancestry Jeopardy, thereby guaranteeing me a spot in the family plot.

I guess technically there already is a contest. A race to the “finish”, if you will. But that leaves the questions, if I get there first, does that make me the winner or the loser?