Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Inspirational Sandwiches

Do you ever feel like a pregnant lady, given the amount of times you crave some new food you've recently fallen in love with? That's what I feel like now. For some reason I'm completely fancied - twitterpated - enamored -  by sandwiches with bean sprouts and avocado in them. Particularly when they also have turkey and tomatoes and yummy fresh bread. I think this fascination started when I had my first Jimmy John's sandwich a couple months ago, and ever since I keep looking for other things with those ingredients to indulge in. But nothing else matches the flavor my tongue so longingly desires!

For only the second time so far in my life, I returned to Jimmy John's tonight. By myself. With Bible study homework on the side. BLISS. I found the sandwich again - #12, no cucumbers - and was instantly in Heaven. My ravenous state at the time only contributed to how fast I devoured that thing, and shamefully, too. I was fully aware at all times that the speed at which the Beach Club entered my digestive system was unnatural, all the while thinking "Those employees who have nothing to do behind that counter besides watch me eat probably think I'm a beast right now." But my self-conscious thoughts could not trample the joy received from my satisfying meal. 

Keep in mind, people, that the Beach Club is not on the 8" Sub Sandwich menu. It's on the Giant Club Sandwiches Menu, which basically means I came about 1.5 inches short of eating a foot long sandwich all by myself, because that's how much I got down before my willpower kicked in and said stop eating or you'll be carrying an uncomfortable food baby later on. I'm actually surprised that I didn't have one anyway, because the amount of food I DID eat was quite a lot. But it was just hitting the spot, you know?? Currently I'm giving myself a mental pat on the back for even stopping at all. If I'm being completely honest, I don't know for sure if it was a foot long sandwich, but it had to have been at least 10 inches. 

This may be the most boring post ever, because who reads one paragraph about my love affair with bean sprouts and avocados in sandwiches, and decides they'll continue pursuing such intellectually stimulating material? If you got to the end of this, congratulations. I never expected my sad period of writer's block to be broken by a sandwich, but what can I say? I was just that inspired. For the duration of my meal I was wishing I could share my joy with somebody, and then I remembered that's what my blog is for, so here I am again! Back on the job. Of ... journaling about sandwiches ... 

Thank you, Jimmy John's for making my day.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Useless Post

Neglect. Abuse. Mistreatment.

I'm afraid I am guilty of committing each of these acts towards my blog in failing to write for over two weeks. I am ashamed and deeply sorry. To whom, I do not know. My inner self, mostly.

How could I not have blogged right away upon getting home from family vacation on Monday? The funny thing about long trips is that when you have too MUCH to talk about, you don't have anything to talk about. That, and I got lazy. And busy. Because work is kicking my butt.

I don't even want to be blogging right now, actually. Although I've had a good week. The major events that stand out are: numerous hours coffee-making, a BBQ with IV down in Salt Lake (where I spent most of the time inside sitting on the floor or the couch to avoid the heat), counting down the days till July 3rd, and wasting nine dollars on The Hangover Part II just a few hours ago. I still have yet to learn that no matter how curious I am if a raunchy movie like that is funny or not, I should go with my instinct and trust that I'll end up being more grossed out than entertained.

I sincerely hope I can get back into the writing mood, because I actually have things to talk about. It's just that stupid writer's block thing, you know? Except a different variety, one where I simply don't feel like writing even though I do have ideas. LAME. The weird thing is that I've checked up on my blog's stats a few times and I still get a few random people reading everyday, even though my last post was June 9th. Or at least they open the site, if not also allow their eyes to scan upon the page and soak in a few words.

This is pretty dumb but there's seriously nothing left for me to say. Click here to find out the song stuck in my head right now (such a good one!). It's about all I can do to let the world glimpse any part of what's going on in my mind at this time, since my words don't seem to be working. Bagigglefleh...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Love Languages

I should be packing right now. Considering I have a limited amount of time to be spent at home in the next 33 hours (working so much!! yaaaaaaah!!) to do so. At least today I planned all my outfits for the cruise, and it comes down to this: 10 shirts, 7 pairs of shorts, 2 skirts, 4 dresses, 1 sweater, 1 bathing suit, 4 pairs of flip flops, and 4 pairs of other shoes. So far. And that's pretty much for 7 days. This is where 100% of the male species scoffs at my ridiculousness, some unknown portion of my fellow females do the same or don't react, and I happily say Man, am I glad to be a girl. Just refer to my past posts about shopping if you need a better grasp on why I love clothes so much. Anyway - vacation time soon. I'm pretty excited.

But the main subject of the post: I'm almost done reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It's essentially a book written to help married couples be happier and avoid the common plagues of, well, unhappy marriages, all through learning how spouses communicate love differently. Sometimes we don't realize it, but people prefer certain expressions of appreciation over others, and it's critical to be aware of that in relationships if you want them to thrive. Based on the stories in the book, it's clear that most marriage problems usually boil down to one person neglecting to express love in the way the other person receives/understands it, because they are unaware that they speak different love languages. This book talks about the theory of the 5 basic love languages, devoting much attention to how you can better show love according to your spouse's preference.

For as long as I planned on reading the book, I didn't know how much it completely focused on marriages. I thought the topic would be spoken about more generally, so that I could apply the principles to all sorts of relationships. It's not that easy. There are different versions of the book (singles, teenagers, etc.), but I actually think it would be a different thing altogether to compare communicating love in a committed romantic relationship to communicating love in platonic and familial relationships. However, I've still found the book pretty interesting, and I'll be sure to keep the wisdom for when I actually do get married.

The whole time I've been reading, I've been trying to figure out what MY primary love language is, out of

Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Giving Gifts
Physical Touch, and 
Quality Time. 

There's a quiz at the end if you really can't tell after reading about each one and following the clues Chapman talks about, but I haven't gotten to it yet. For some people, what they might've suspected at the beginning is completely opposite of what they truly are. In my case, the one thing I was originally sure of ruling out was Giving Gifts, but I'm starting to think maybe that's actually one of my biggest ones. This is because a good indicator of the way you prefer to receive love may be the biggest way you GIVE it, and one of my favorite pleasures in life is giving gifts and surprising people. In every close relationship and friendship I've had, I can think of many instances I planned and planned to come up with the perfect creative gift, whether it was for a special occasion or not, and I get so excited about seeing their reaction. Another reason I say I might be a Gift person is because I have been noticing about myself how much I appreciate those small things, like flowers on the first month anniversary, or the way I was asked to senior prom with a teddy bear (even though I don't really like teddy bears), or the time my dad pulled me out of school to go have lunch just because. Sometimes the forms of expression overlap - the lunch date was a combination of gift giving and quality time - but overall the thing they have in common is that they all showed that I was thought of, and that means a lot to me.

Before I started reading this book, I talked about it with a friend who had just finished it, and my first question for her was how can you only have one love language? Her response, which I'm finding true from the book, is that you don't. Everyone operates within some degree of all 5 love languages, but there is always one or two that you strongly prefer over the others. On a ranking system, those that get higher marks, a 15/20 for example, are more important than the ones getting 6s and 4s. And today my coworker put it in a great new perspective for me: The 5 love languages are all things you need to pay attention to in your marriage to keep each other happy and feeling loved. It would be silly to zero in on the one or two chapters of the book you think apply to your relationship, because all of them include good advice.

Again, so far I've found it slightly difficult to apply to myself, simply because I'm NOT married, and I haven't been in such a serious and longlasting relationship yet. It's hard for me to even figure out what my primary love is, because it's all in romantic terms, and frankly, I'm still a youngin' when it comes to that stuff. I hope in the future I can check out the Singles version and see how it differs, and if I can gain any more insight from comparing the two. But in any case, I will now always be on the lookout to see how my closest loved ones react to different forms of love expression. All in all, whether you place a name on the theory or not, the basic idea behind this strategy and many others is you should pay attention to how people like to be loved, and strive to love them in those ways so they feel the most appreciated. Agree? Ok. Now go read the book and let's have a discussion about it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wedding Dreams

Dear Future Husband,

You are either reading this now because the year is something like 2018 and we are engaged and I've directed you to this page (still on the internet after all these years!), or I don't yet know you are my future husband but you're thinking about popping the question and you want to know what you're getting yourself into. Well here it is - I love weddings. Sometimes all I do for an afternoon is look through random couples' engagement photos, plan my entire bridal party's attire on a website, or watch episode after episode of shows like Say Yes to the Dress. That last one is mostly because my mom usually has it turned on first, but I do enjoy it. Some of my favorite chick flicks revolved around weddings - Runaway Bride, 27 Dresses, and I Love You, Man (ok, not a chick flick, but still gives you the warm fuzzies). Plus, if I ever open a wedding catalogue in the store, you can bet I'll have to plop down on those dirty linoleum floors by the candy bar rack and stare at every page in amazement until my eyes dry up and fall out of their sockets. An estimated half an hour or so at least.

So as you can gather from that first paragraph and the general view our society has from the female gender as a whole, weddings are one of the most fun things for a girl to daydream about. For a long time now I've even been pretty set on the location I want to GET married. I had an actual dream dream where my wedding was being planned, with a date and floral arrangements and everything, but then at the end I realized I didn't have a fiance yet. Haha. So really, all I need to focus on for the next 8 years or so is finding the right person to spend the rest of my life with. Besides college and a career, of course. Because the rest of the details will be cake.

But I digress. The point of this post is that my current obsession on this topic is the idea of having my wedding pictures taken at an amusement park!! I'm always going to be a kid at heart, and never will I stop loving how every part of an amusement park is there to make you smile and melt away your worries about the rest of the world so you can have fun for a day. I'm a fan of classy tradition and all that, but the more appealing themes to me are always the unique ones with bright colors and a cute idea that just oozes energy and happiness. Here are some photos I've found online at various blogs and websites, none of which I take any credit for. They are here because they inspire me, and I hope my wedding pictures can turn out similar, with our own flair. So take note, future husband, because if you're not up for this kind of fun, we might as well not be getting married at all. Except if you're this far already, you probably know me well enough that this doesn't surprise you at all, which is how it should be. And to the rest of the world: Feast your eyes, and be jealous - but don't steal my idea if we know each other personally and you happen to get married before I do.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

#11: Iron & Wine

What a fun birthday present! YB and I gave each other tickets to the Iron & Wine concert in Salt Lake for our birthdays, which are within the same 4 weeks. It was a pleasant evening of soulful, live indie music, one where we strategically found a spot to stand on the steps that gave us perfect viewing of the bands on stage. It wasn't super close, but in the small venue that it was, anywhere was close enough (unless you happened to be all the way back by the bathrooms). For once in my life I was able to overcome my shortness and NOT have heads in the way! Amazing!

Iron & Wine is well-known as an indie-alternative band. Their opening act was The Head and the Heart, from the same genre, but not as well-known. In a few years, though, that might change - their music rocks and the audience loved them. Comprised of 4 guys and a girl who all switched off instruments and sang as well, The Head and the Heart created dynamic songs using all sorts of sounds with varying tempos and rhythms. Their fine-tuned voices all meshed very well and allowed them to portray a wide array of emotions, from melancholy to excited. I really felt a sense of teamwork from the band; not one person was made to stand out more than anyone else. What made the performance even more enjoyable was that they simply looked like they were just having a blast, as if it didn't matter if the venue was full of people or if their audience was only 10. The impression I got was they enjoy what they do because they do it for themselves, not to please other people, but having that appreciation was simply a perk. 

Then Iron & Wine came on and delivered an equally entertaining show, with major rearrangements and switch ups of the songs people know from their albums. I only knew a couple of their songs to begin with, but it didn't matter because I was just enjoying the well-done live music. Sam Beam is the main man in charge here, with the softest voice to accompany his soothing acoustics. I'm thinking maybe his power comes from his righteous beard, which makes him look like Abraham Lincoln and Zach Galifianakis combined, but the band wouldn't be complete without his large company of wingmen. I counted 5 guys in a semicircle behind Sam, 3 on the side playing woodwinds and brass instruments, and 2 backup singers. That's a lot of people. Like The Head and the Heart, they all traded around instruments frequently to create a medley of sounds that could either put you to sleep like a lullaby, or get you up and dancing to their groovy rhythms. I didn't know Iron & Wine could be so funky - I wasn't expecting to be foot tapping or head-bobbing, but it happened. And I liked it.

Overall the night was a success. There weren't any sound problems, except for in the beginning when they were quickly fixed as per instruction from the band members. No fancy lights, projections, or even background posters were made to distract from the music. Some concerts in other genres are made to be half comedy shows with jokes thrown about here and there, but the talk at this concert was minimal and the pleasant sounds were abundant. 'Twas a true indie concert, and simultaneously a rad hipster convention, where the atmosphere was simply "chill" and the thing to look at when your eyes wandered was the whimsical fashions of the guys and girls who dared to be different. Except if everyone's a hipster, then no one's a hipster,  right? I wonder how they felt when they looked around and saw people wearing outfits that were even cuter than theirs. Good thing all I cared about was being comfy, cause that I was. Anyway. Enough said. Picture time: