26 September 2007

You give so I give

I've been thinking about people lately. Okay, maybe not just lately, but always and probably forever. We humans are fascinating creatures and just when I think I have someone figured out they go and do something completely out of the norm. They've gotta stop doing that-it throws me off and messes with my mind, which might be why they do what they do. I won't go into more detail about that, but I do want to share a few things I've observed recently.
1) Let's talk work for a minute. I attend staff meeting with my unit every other week and some units meet every week. My supervisor made a treat schedule so we take turns bringing something for the unit to eat while we discuss work for 20 minutes. Fine. Sometimes our meetings are at least 25 minutes long so having something to eat is very important. Here's something I've noticed with the treats- the person bringing treats wants to bring better treats than the person brought to the last meeting. The co-workers in my unit are pretty great in that we don't care if we have a treat and if we do remember to bring something it's donuts or a bag of chips or whatever else is 2/$5 at the Walmart down the road. One co-worker in a different unit brought McDonald's for everyone in her unit. The next week(they meet weekly) a co-worker gave everyone flowers 'just because' and brought a huge cake and drinks. Nice-yes. Necessary-no. Does the person give so much because they want to or because they feel obligated to do so?
2) This is also something concerning work. Every year we have a Holiday party and usually the employees pay for their own lunch or dinner at the party and the company pays for the entertainment. Well, people have been complaining so someone(I'd like to kick someone, whoever she or he is) decided each unit should be in charge of a party to raise money for the dinner and entertainment for this years celebration of the Holidays. Don't get me wrong, I love dunking my co-workers, eating chips and salsa, bidding on items at the silent auction, and playing bingo, but here's what I find most amusing. People are using the argument "Since we are having these parties, we won't have to pay for dinner at the Holiday Party." WHAT?! Who do you think is buying the tickets to dunk people, to eat the chips and salsa and play bingo? The answer is we are(and in the end you're paying quadruple what you paid for last years dinner), so we're still playing for the party, but keep telling yourself you don't have to pay for anything for the party this year if it makes you sleep easier.
3) One last thought to share, and of course it stems from a situation at work. Have you ever gotten an email at work that says "so and so is getting[insert activity here] and we're having a shower. Bring a gift and be ready to have some fun." Doesn't matter if you started yesterday, be at the shower or else. Then a co-worker goes around the office collecting money for the gift. Or my favorite is when the email states, "an envelope is at the front desk so stop by on your way home and leave some money with the receptionist." How many people give money even when they don't have money to buy groceries, or they give according to how much another person has given so as to not look like the cheapskate they are?
I know the situations about happen outside of the workplace, but work is the reference I have to use for my rantings. It's great to bring treats for a meeting, hang out with co-workers 'outside' our regular work schedules, and bring gifts for a shower; but I wonder about our motivation behind doing any of the above. Do we give because we feel pressured to do so or because someone else is giving?

18 September 2007

I don't need anyone...

in-de-pen-dent, adjective (1): not subject to control by others

Why is it so hard for me to ask for help? I build walls around myself and few make it past the first level of defense. Most get stuck by the flesh eating dragons, the thorny bushes surrounding the wall, or the myriad of other traps I have set in case someone is intruding.

Here's a story that may or may not be true that illustrates my independent streak. Once upon a time a girl named Emily moved into the condo where I live. I soon discovered she was very unstable and was told I could help her because I'm a social worker. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy helping people, but to come home to someone who was very needy and manilpulative was not good for my mental health. Emily was soon evicted, but not before she pushed my roommate and kept the key to the front door. I decided to change the locks myself. I bought a new lock and started on the project, but soon encountered some dificulties. I took the old doorknob off and tried to replace it with the new one and it wasn't fitting right. Eventually I put the old lock back on and admitted defeat. I am happy to report that Jason came to the rescue and fixed the door and a number of other items in the condo.

The other night my friend Lohra called saying she couldn't turn off the dome light in her car. I took some tools down to her and she took off the sunglass holder and fixed the light-amazing. My roommate Jen likes to call me when there's a project that needs attention in the condo. The dishwasher won't close, the fridge isn't staying cold, or the batteries in the smoke alarm need to be replaced. The funny thing is that if I can't figure out what's wrong I call my dad-he lives in Idaho. What's he going to do? I'm not sure, but he's the one I call. Last summer I got a flat tire and again my dad was the first person I called. He talked me into calling someone to help me change the tire and Steve dropped everything and came right over.

So, what I am to learn from these experiences? For the most part I can get by on my own, but it's okay to ask for help. I have to start tearing down the walls I build. I can't expect others to do all the work to get by the dragons. You'd think that seeing my friends with wounds from the thorns and bits of their flesh torn off their bodies would be enough for me to let them in, but for now it isn't. I'll get there. Until then, I don't need anyone or at least that's what I try to convince myself.

16 September 2007

Peanut Sauce anyone

My friend Allison is getting married next month so some friends got together for a Bridal Shower/Dinner/Girl's Night/you get the point night. As soon as I walked into the restaurant and met our waiter, I knew we would have a great time. We had Allison wear a pink feather boa and a tiara with an attached veil during dinner-what a trooper. Such a good idea to go out to eat so no one had to make all the food, come up with a games(not such a fan of games played at bridal showers), or find a place large enough to accommodate everyone.

Near the end of the evening I felt something or someone brush against the back of my shirt. I turned to see a waitress looking at me with a horrified expression. She started to apologize and said something had spilled onto my shirt and she would clean my shirt for me. She continued to apologize and I told her not to worry about it-I thought it was funny, except that I smelled like peanut sauce the rest of the night. When I took Allison home her dogs were sniffing at my skirt and I just knew they too could smell peanut sauce. What a funny experience.

Being with the girl's to celebrate Allison's upcoming wedding was just what I needed. Having great friends is something I cherish and I'd like to think I make an honest effort to be a better friend, but I know there's always room for improvement.

05 September 2007

Semantics Schemantics

I wanted to write about words and their meaning for quite awhile. I am a book snob and sometimes a word Nazi. My friend La-oo-rah wrote a blog that says everything I would want to say so please do the following:

1) look to the right side of the screen where you will see Blog Chaos
2) Click on La-oo-rah, or is it Lohra? Hmmm. Pretty sure it's La-oo-rah
3) read Anti-semantics (copyright Stefanie Star Snow, Esq., Inc., & Co.) and then come back to my blog. This can be accomplished by clicking on the back button on your computer screen. If you don't know where to find the back button, you are an idiot and I can't help you. Please call 1-800-IAM-DUMB. Just a little joke friends.

Welcome back to my blog, if you figured out how to get back here after reading about Anti-Semantics. Come back weekly to read more of my thoughts and in no time at all, you will be a more intelligent person and you might be known as a book snob and a word Nazi. Everyone wants to be me, so don't fight the feeling.

03 September 2007


How do traditions get started and why? My family has been going to the Eastern Idaho State Fair for as long as I can remember, and that's a really long time. The excitement of watching(or clogging in) the parade and then heading to the fair for food, rides, and everything else the fair has to offer. When I was old enough I worked at the fair selling gate admission tickets. I loved seeing friends from my past, making new friends, and watching people come and go all day long. What can I say? I love watching people.
I packed a bag and left for Idaho Friday afternoon. Thinking about our yearly fair traditions made me so anxious to go home. There really is no place like home. Last week was pretty crazy so just knowing that I could drive 2 1/2 hours and be in a place where I could be free from all the worries with work, friends, etc. was incredible. I would be surrounded by people who know WAY too much about me and for some reason still love and accept me. What a great feeling.
My dad takes a week off work to be one of the gate superintendents and I take advantage of the perks that go along with his job. To protect the innocent I won't divulge what perks I receive, but I will point out that the only thing I paid for while at the fair was food so somehow I got into the fair, the bull riding, and the tractor pull for free.
My sister Pip lives on Shilling St which is the street for the parade so we fenced off an area in her front yard and showed up Saturday morning just in time for the police cars to blare their sirens signaling the start of the parade. This year the Idaho Falls firefighters bagpipe band(or group-what do you call a bunch of bagpipers?) played Amazing Grace and it was...amazing. Things I saw during the parade included: horses, go-karts, high school bands, candy being thrown to children, politicians, kids wearing plastic bags as hats, and one of my best friends from elementary school.
Saturday night Pip and I went to the fair with her kids Syden and Avry. We saw the animals-cows, horses, rabbits, reptiles, friends from school(no need to attend my class reunion because I saw everyone at the fair), and we also went to the bull riding event. Time at the fair wouldn't be complete without going to the Bull riding or the rodeo. Sunday Pip, the kids and I visited our Aunt Joyce. Her Schnauzer had puppies and Pip is trying to convince her husband Travis that they need another dog-they already have a boxer named Jack. I predict Jack will eat the puppy if they get one.
Every Labor Day we have breakfast at the fair at a booth called Wimpy's and this year was no exception. I'm not a fan of pancakes, but there's something about the way Wimpy makes his pancakes that I can't resist eating at least one. It's fun to catch up on everything that's happened in the past year with those working at Wimpy's.
Ah, traditions. Who knows how the fair tradition started and it's a simple one, but something I look forward to every year. It's great to be at the fair, sampling new foods, looking at hot tubs and camper trailers, but what I love most is being with my family and creating new memories.
I hope this tradition never dies.