Wednesday, December 10, 2008
So I talked to my parents and they agreed with me. I started looking at used cars online and trying to figure out how much I could afford. (Not much, by the way.) I set the maximum at $4,000, which is hard, but not impossible, I found. After much research, I started calling around and looking more into the 4WD vehicles I was interested in. I looked at Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder, Chevy Blazer, Dodge Durango, Jeep Cherokee, and many others which were in my price range. I also had to inquire at the bank to see if they would even give the money for a car. I was pre-approved. Yay!
Then came the hard, horrible part. Going to dozens of used car dealerships. Luckily my dad was willing to go with me, otherwise, I'm pretty sure I would have been screwed. We went to one dealership when I had seen an ad online for a 98 Blazer and we took it for a drive, but it was just...no good. We drove a white Durango at another place that didn't have a console in between the seats because it was a cop car and they removed it to make room for the computer and all that business. It was okay. Those were the only ones we drove out of all the crappy, scary, shady car lots all along State Street. And, by the way, for the most part, everything you hear about used car salesman is true. Seriously. *shudder* So, after about 2 1/2 hours of misery, we headed home for dinner and to warm up a bit. I had a whole list of other cars to look at, but hardly the energy nor the resolve. My dad and I decided we would look at one more that night because it looked pretty good.
The last place we went to was Smith Family Motors in Draper. I had seen an ad for a 2002 white Chevy Blazer for $3,695. Not bad, eh? I called ahead to make sure it was still there and off we went. Let me tell you, this dealership was a whole other species of dealers. It was clean, the car was clean, the salesman (named Rustyn, by the way) was super nice and helpful. He was nice even though we showed up 15 minutes before they were supposed to close. He let us take it for a drive and told us there was no need to hurry and he explained the repairs that they had done on the Blazer and why they were done. Very upfront about everything. Nothing shady, thank goodness. They specialize in Lexus and Toyota, so the Blazer was a trade-in. No biggie. Rustyn and his brother Corbin had both worked for Larry H. Miller dealerships and then they each opened their own dealerships. Years later they decided to combine the two and make it a family business. They're last name really is Smith (of Smith Family Motors). He told us the whole story while he drew up the paperwork, so obviously I decided to buy the car. It was everything I was looking for and more. I had a really good feeling about it. It's a 2002 Chevy Blazer. White with beige interior. I love it so far. I've had it all of 24 hours, though.
So, besides the blasted sales tax and dealers rip-off fee (required, I find, at even the best of dealers), I'm happy with the result.
And now to pay for it....Grr.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
This is a picture of the lovely meringue cookies that I made. But not without some difficulty. You want the whole story? Okay. So at work, we have a prestigious party in the middle of November which includes many trays of petit fours (which translates to "small cakes"). Although, we're not doing actually cakes. Mostly just cookies and chocolates and whatnot. Anyhoo, these meringue cookies are for that party. So I planned on using the Italian Buttercream recipe we use, but it makes quite a lot, even if you're not adding the butter. I then decided to just quarter the recipe because I had done it before. Not hard, right? Ha! Well, I gathered all my ingredients and off I went. I whipped the egg whites and cooked the sugar to 245F. Next step, pouring the sugar into the egg whites while the mixer is running. A little precarious, but done with little difficulty. It looked okay, but sort of like there was more than usual in the bowl. Eh, oh well, I thought. I then started piping the meringue with a pastry bag, to create the cute little cookies in the piture (at that point it looked a little airy to me, but whatever). Well, when I tried to pipe them, it looked...wrong. Very wrong. And for the life of me, I could not figure out why. I tried whipping it longer, but that didn't help. So I figured I would just add 1/4 of the butter in the recipe and make some buttercream. As I added the butter, it started to liquify. Um, what? Exactly. So, at that point, it was clearly trash. Soupy meringue. Yum. Not. As I was throwing the ickiness away, I started going through the ingredients in my head. Sugar, water, sugar, egg whites...wait. Egg whites. How many did I do? Um, so apparently, I add 1/2 of the about from the recipe instead of 1/4. HUGE difference. Well, at least I know I made the stuff correctly, I just had my brain on pause when it came to amounts. So, to make a long story short (which isn't possible at this point,but...) I screwed up the first time, but got it right the second. The picture is proof of the second batch. The cookies in the the background were sprinkled with cinnamon, the front ones left plain. Looks pretty good, eh? Well, I just thought I would share one of my failures, for some reason. The end, I suppose.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
It has officially snowed for the first time at work. Today is October 11th. I am so not ready!! Did Fall just start? Shouldn't we have a little time to adjust? Yeah, right. So, it started snowing the second I got to work and it continued to do so off and on all day. It was seriously blowing at times too. I know all this because there is a window that looks over a patio right outside the bakery. It's a pretty good view too. I enjoy it. There was a time today, thought, that the snow was honestly blowing sideways. No joke. The trees were all bent over and stuff and I could see the clouds settling in. Really cool looking, but a little scary.
Anyway, with all this snow going on, you know it had to be cold, right? Yeah, well, it WAS!! Honestly, I walked into the bakery and my co-worker, Matt, had 2 of the ovens open for heat. No joke. With that, it felt pretty good. There was a point in the day where I had to be in the freezer for 5 minutes straight and, let me tell ya, I just about lost my fingers. Obviously I'm exaggerating, but still, I really couldn't feel them. So, besides the freezer business, I just went about my business making strawberry shortcake and whatnot. Matt left before 1pm and after that, I just finished up stuff and then typed recipes into the computer. Super exciting, I know. At one point, though, I was finishing up the dishes and freezing my butt off, still, when Mikey, a guy who works in the main kitchen, came over and asked me, "Can I stand in your oven for a few minutes?". Haha! And he was totally serious. We do actually have a "walk-in" oven. We put sheet pans of whatever on tall racks that we roll into this big oven. Yup. So, yeah, I said Mikey could stand in the oven. Set at 400F. Don't worry, he didn't burn himself or die or anything. He stayed in there for a minute, shut the door, and said "Thanks". And that was that.
I headed home soon after that. I took that picture just as I was getting to my car. I am kinda nervous about driving the the snow. And for good reason. I've gotten stuck twice since I've worked at Snowbird. And that was in April and May! Ha! Should be interesting....
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I enjoy the other aspects of my job, but some can get a little monotonous. Like now, for instance. Now is the time for Oktoberfest (and yes, I know it's not yet October. The whole snow thing causes us to move it up.). So, here in the bakery, it means hundreds of both German Chocolate Cakes and Apple Streudels. Oh, yes, indeed. Three layers of cake, two of german filling and ganache, buttercreamed (yes, I just made that a verb. yay!), and then frozen for later use. To finish, they get ganached (yes, another non-existent verb. yay!), covered with more german filling on the top and then cut. We do at least 35 of these each weekend. Now, the streudels are not really my department, for which I'm grateful for. The Sherpas handle most of that. The process starts with tons of sheets of puff pastry (which is used for making danishes and other desserts and even savory stuff) and these sheets are cut into 4 inch strips on each long side. The apple filling is made and added to the middle and then the side strips are folded over the filling, made to look sort of like a braid. They are brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and then baked for about 1 1/2 hours. Yup. That's how the magic happens. The drunks down at Octoberfest just love it. Apparently.
Speaking of drunks, every time we have to take either of these items down the hill to the huge tent, we pass dozens of these sort of people. And they all think it is hilarious to stumble up to us and slur something like, "Oh, gimme some!" or "Cool, you brought me some dessert!" or "Wow, for me? Thanks." Yeah. Almost funny the first few times, but the last few hundred start to wear a little thin.
But hey, only 2 more weeks of Octoberfest left! Yay!
But, besides that, I really do enjoy my job. The occasional cupcake decorating, experimenting with new desserts, working with fun people, listening to music, learning new things, it's all good.
*sigh* Well, I'm getting a bit sleepy, so goodnight.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
So, in case not everyone knows this about me, I suffer from severe migraines on occasion.
Sounds pretty awesome, doesn't it? Yeah. It's kinda like someone trying to over inflate
a balloon inside my skull while having thousands of photographers all firing their flashes
simultaneously. Oh, yeah. It's quite the party, alright.
I remember the first time I had a migraine. I was about 9 or 10 and it was one of my first sleepovers with my best friend at the time, Chasidy. She only lived about 6 houses down and across the street, but it was super psyched about it! I don't remember much about the whole evening, but I just remember looking at one of her books and not being able to see the whole title. I just thought, "Hm, that doesn't seem right." My parents have both had migraines since they were young. My dad told me that the first time he ever had one was when he was playing peewee football. In the middle of the game, his vision started to go wierd. And then this amazingly horrific headache came. After the game, he said he just layed down on the livingroom floor, still in his full football gear, and stayed still for hours. He honestly thought he had a tumor or something. He later described this to his mom, my grandma, and she explained.
So as I was at this sleepover, I was thinking about my dad and what his experience was and I just knew what this was. It scared me, so I reluctantly said good-bye to Chasidy and had my mom pick me up.
After that night, every once-in-a-while I would get migraine. It always started the same. I would be looking at something or somone, and it just didn't look right. I always tried to suppress the thought, trying to think positive, but it came anyway. Every time it happened, a weird, flashing, crescent shape would appear in my vision. The look of it is hard to describe, but the closest thing I can compare it to is sort of like snow on a tv screen. But so, so, so, much more distracting and annoying. If this happened while I was at home, I would just lie down in a dark, silent room and wait for my vision to return. Sleeping was always the best thing, but not always possible. Anyhoo, after the crescent-shape disappeared, then came the horrible, horrible headache. The balloon analogy still applies, but it's also like my brain is too big for my skull and any movement of my head made the dull, pounding ache increase exponentially. And to make it so much better, the dull ache remains for at least 48 hours following. Awesome, right?
Another way to describe it is having what I would imagine to be the most incredible hangover after a long night of tequila shots or something. Which is exactly why I will never, ever drink. Ever. I mean, why would I want to have that experience if it could be avoided? I wouldn't. Because that would be incredibly stupid.
And on top of the vision thing and the headache, migraines make it so I'm super, super sensitive to light and smells and sounds and everything. I normally have a sensitive nose anyway, but even smells I like or don't notice can almost make me puke. Oh, wait. I haven't mentioned the nausea yet, have I? Well, lets add that to the mix. When I was younger, I pretty much always ended up getting sick after a migraine. But luckily I usually felt better after losing my lunch, or whatever meal it is that applies. Now that I'm older, that doesn't happen so much anymore. To make the nausea at bay, I usually just have to avoid strong smells and breathe evenly and keep my head mostly level. Yeah, that doesn't work so well when I'm at work or something. I actually had one my first day of work when I was working at Provo Canyon School the Summer of '06. I normally try not to show what an invalid I become when this happens until I have at least worked there a few weeks, but alas. It happened on my first day. Now I think that maybe that was a bad omen because that job was terrible. Really, really sucked. Really.
The reason I bring up this whole subject is because I somehow developed one of these said migraines this past Thursday at work. It started at lunch time and I can still feel some of the headache even now. But luckily, I like this job and my boss and co-workers are very understanding, so it's not all bad. I somehow live through it. *sigh*
Well, I guess I should share the good news. I have been taking this medication for a while now that seems to prevent my migraines. That wasn't the prescription's original, purpose, but I'm not complaining. Nowadays, if I ever accidentally miss a day of taking my drugs, I most likely get a migraine, which i obviously try not to let happen because of the aforementioned reasons.
So, that's my goal. NO MORE MIGRAINES!!!
Ahem, so thanks for reading this, if you actually made it all the way through.
p.s. I hope no one else ever finds himself or herself in this situation, but if it ever should happen, at least now you'll know . Right? Right.
Well, it's late. Bon nuit, mon ami.
Friday, May 23, 2008
My Grandma has been taking care of him mostly by herself since he got really bad. You'd think she'd see him as a burden, but a while ago she put him in a home just for the weekend and she really missed him. I know it's going to be really hard for her. For all of us. My eyes are tearing up just typing this. They had been married for, I think, almost 58 years. Now that's devotion. I want that some day.
We got the call that he was gone at about 5 or so and we headed right then to be with Grandma. I'd never seen a body that hadn't been embalmed or so close after they passed. It was strange to look at him and know that he has taken his last breath. I know that he has been release from the prison that has been his body this last while. I know he's probably looking down and wondering why we're all so sad. But now I can remember him as he used to be. Whole, joyful, and full of life. So, goodbye, Grant Blackhurst Morrell. I'll see you when it's my time. I love you.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Good evening, ladies and gents. So, remember that other snow story I was going to divulge the next day? Yeah, well, it’s only been a few days, right? Plus, I did say I was using the “tomorrow” loosely, right? Well, anyway, this second encounter with the horrid snow occurred about a week after the first. Apparently, Mother Nature didn’t get the memo that it’s MAY!! Not January. Nonetheless, I made my way up the canyon very, very carefully through the possibly treacherous roads up to Snowbird. I passed Entry 1, 2, 3, and finally ventured down Entry 4, knowing that it was not a good idea. I made it about half the way down before my back tires slipped to the left, almost to the point where I was perpendicular to the road. Scary? Uh, yeah. Somehow, I managed to ease my car so it was heading the right direction and veered to the right of the road, parked, put on the “E” brake, and put on my hazards, which I had never used before, by the way. I called what I thought was the number for the bakery, but all I got that weird sound and some chick saying that the number was out of order. Awesome. Luckily, I had my boss’ number and luckily she was working that day and answered her phone. I informed her of my predicament and she said she was gonna send two of my co-workers, Jesse and Jonas, to come to my aid. Too bad the whole damsel-in-distress thing is so passé. In my case, it was just embarrassing. Twice in a week and a half? At this point, it’s becoming to be more my fault than the car’s. Besides, you’d think that I would be smart enough not to drive on these sorts of days, but no. Anyway, so as I sat in my car by the side of the road, I watched all the people pass by with their 4-wheel drive and snow-equipped cars, giving me looks of pity. I know they’re all thinking, “She tried to get up here in that? She’s crazy!!”. Yeah, well, join the club, dude.
Well, eventually I see someone coming from the direction of the Cliff Lodge, where I work, and it looks like they have checks on (which is what we call our checkered chef pants), but I’m not sure. He (well, I think it’s a he) has a hoodie on and with the hood up and it’s also snowing at this point, so visibility isn’t at it’s best. Also, I thought it would be 2 guys, so, you know. Well, the person eventually got close enough that I could see their face and it happened to be Jesse, my co-worker.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Well, since I haven't blogged since my surgery 2 months ago, I'll fill you in a bit. Ahem, so the surgery went fine. The most annoying part was having my wrist wrapped for 2 weeks and not being able to remove it or shower without a plastic bag involved. However, I became quite good at doing things with my left hand. Yay, me. Anyhoo, so after that, I started to search for jobs again and after a long and unproductive online search, I finally found one that peaked my interest. Baker 1 at Snowbird Resort. Super! I applied, blah, blah, blah, had an interview, yada yada yada, second interview, doo da doo, and I got the job. FINALLY!!! Yes!! I swear, the worst part of being unemployed is the job search. It's very stressful.
Well, I finally started work on April 2, and all was going well. Long commute (45 minutes one way), but I didn't mind. And then, the dreaded event occurred....it snowed. In the mountains. Right where I work. And, let's just say, my car is less than "snow-worthy". It's a Ford Taurus. Very low. Very long. But otherwise, just fine. However, heaven forbid I try to drive to work last Thursday. The road itself wasn't bad, but the parking situation was...less than ideal. Let me give you a picture of Snowbird. It's nearly at the top of the canyon, with only Alta beyond it. The first sign of Snowbird is a sign stating "Entry 1". Anyone unfamiliar with it would be like "What? There's more than one entry? WHICH DO I TAKE?!?". Ahem, well, there are 4 "entries", depending on where you are headed. I take Entry 4 to work and there's a pretty decent hill going down toward the Cliff Lodge, where I work. That particular Thursday, I got down okay, but my usually parking area was blocked. Well, for anyone else, no big deal. But for me, once I find my groove, I NEVER leave it. Better to know where you've been, I say, than the unknown. So, I'm forced to bypass my usual parking, turn around, and venture for some other parking. I headed back up the Entry 4 main road and ended up parking along there. Not so terrible. BUT, there was already at least 8 inches where I was parking. Brilliant. I get 3/4 into the parking space before I seem to find myself...stuck. No going forward, no going backward. Stuck. *sigh* Fine. I just put it in park and went to work. Defeated.
While I was working...it continued snowing. Shocker. At some point during the day, I called my dad to inform him of my predicament. Well, once I got to my car at the end of the day I was --what, ladies and gentlemen?--still stuck. Now, why would I think that MORE snow would allow my car to maneuver more easily? Dunno. Not only did it snow, but the plows and made a few passes cementing me in even WORSE! The snow was higher than my license plate. Needless to say, I wasn't driving out of this without help. Well, my dad decided the best course of action was to come up and dig me out. Mmkay. So, as I waited, I listened to music, chilled, called my mom to tell her what happened, and then texted Kathryn just to vent and to give her a laugh. As I was in the middle of doing this, the sun came out. Only to mock me, I assume. I believe it was saying "Oh, were you waiting for ME to come out? Whoops. I guess you're stuck cause I'm late." I swear I heard it chuckle at me. But, lo and behold, my dad came and I was maneuvered out of it's pile o' snow. When I finally get home, I'm seeing grass. It didn't even friggin RAIN!! It's hard to imagine being stuck in the snow when you're seeing green grass. Stupid frozen precipitation.
Well, I have another anecdote to share about the cursed snow, but it's gonna have to wait until tomorrow (using the term loosely). ;)
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Ahem. So…surgery. Yeah, not a lot of fun in general. My latest will occur in…14 hours and 36 minutes. Sure, it’s just on my wrist, but I’m still just a little bit nervous. For all who would care to know, I sort of developed tendonitis in my right wrist after doing several types of repetitive motion through cooking school and employment in the food industry. At first, cortisone shots did the trick, but my body then began to be immune to it or something. El sucko. So, it was either physical therapy, which takes forever and I would still be doing the work that caused the pain, or surgery, long recovery, but definitely most permanent. So here I am, about to lose the use of my right hand, which includes writing, typing (which means this will be my last blog for a while), eating, and every other thing that I do using my right hand. Showering should be interesting. Makeup, too. And blow-drying my hair. Gall, am I gonna look like crap. Not to mention the difficulty in dressing myself. Yuck. As much as the recovery is gonna suck, the surgery itself is freaking me out too. I trust my doctor and stuff, but going under anesthesia in general is scary. I don’t the like the feeling you have when you come out of it. You’re all groggy and confused and stuff. *sigh* Well, enough about that crap. Let’s talk about something else.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Ahem. So, I've been out of school for about 2 months and unemployed for longer than that, so I've been staying at my parents' off and on. Whenever I'm there on weekends, I go to the family ward where I was a member from infancy until I moved for college. Anyway, when I started going more regularly, I noticed the low numbers of single people (guys in particular). I was bound to notice this since I've been going to college/single wards for the past 3 years or so. It was slim pickings in this family ward, but I did happen to notice one guy who was there almost every week and always sat alone. He looked to be in his late 20s, tall, and pretty attractive. So one week, my mom mentioned something to me about him. His name is Jordan "Jory" Dalling and he lives in the basement of someone in the ward. She said that he used to come every once-in-a-while with his girlfriend, but she hasn't seen her in a while. Huh. Intrigue. So....single? Not sure. I didn't want to discuss this with my mom, so I just listened and gathered info whenever possible.
Over the next few weeks, my mom would write me a note or just mention to me that he was the guy she had pointed out a while ago. Of course, she didn't know that, yes, I did notice that he was there and, yes, did remember you telling me about him. I am nothing if not observant. But what did she want me to do? You'd think she'd know that I don't just go up to guys. I did, however, smile if we ever locked eyes or say hi if we crossed paths. Yup. That's my idea of flirting. Maybe that's why I don't really date.....*sigh*. Anyway, I hadn't been to that ward for a while, so when I came this past Sunday, I was hoping to see him there. And see him, I did. He was actually on the stand and it looked like he was speaking. YES!!! This means that one, I can find out more about him through his talk and two, I can stare at him without drawing suspicion. Everything's coming up Anika. Score! My mom, once again, pointed him out to me and I waved it off, hopefully saying " I KNOW MOM!!". My sister, Alex, did notice that there was a new girl sitting all alone and she thought that she might be his girlfriend. Or sister, she said. Well, you never know. Nothing's set in stone.
So after the first speakers he was up to bat. He seemed nervous (so cute!), so he made a sort of joke and played it off. He was speaking on Repentance and he had a different approach, which is always good. All in all, I nice talk. As he was wrapping up his talk, he casually mentioned that HE WAS MARRIED!!!!!! Um, exsqueeze me? WHAT THE EFF??!!!?!? Well, apparently, they've been married 2 weeks and no one knew he was dating someone, let alone engaged or MARRIED!! How was I supposed to know? He wasn't wearing a ring and I didn't really care to check the finger of the supposed girlfriend. So, I just glanced at Alex and we both bust up laughing because the guy my mom has egging me to talk to is--what, ladies and gentlemen?--married. Huh. Well, that's that. So decided to do the decent thing and nitpick about his new "wife" in my mind. Fake-baker. Bad posture(ha! good one, Anika). Ears are lopsided. Yeah, that's all I got.
Once sacrament meeting was over, I hoped that I would be free of him/them. But, no. We had Sunday School in the chapel with, who, do you ask? Yup, them. They sat one row ahead of us and a little to the left, so I got a nice shot of him putting his arm around her and them whispering to each other. Grr. So I spent most of class with my eyes closed, going through the guitar chords of a song I've been learning. It helped, thankfully. But, then it came to Relief Society and guess who came? Her. And how was she addressed? "Sister Dalling". Yeah. Let's twist the knife a little more. Thanks. Gah. *sigh*.
Anyway, I'm really tired and a bit depressed, mostly because I've been listening to The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" nonstop for an hour, hence the picture.
Eleanor Rigby died in a church along with her name
Father Mackenzie wiping the dirt from his hand as he walks from the grave
No one was saved.
Ah, look at all the lonely people.
Ah, look at all the lonely people.
Alas, good night (or morning, I guess). We lonely people gotta get some sleep.