Thursday, July 3, 2014

Trolls, Trust and the Worst Online Dictionary

If you have been using the internet at least sparingly for the past few years, then you probably know what a troll is.

Well--yeah, there's always those other trolls too.  You know, good old bridge trolls...
Or cave trolls...
Or heaven forbid, those other trolls we try to forget....
Why are they naked.

But anyway, I'm talking about more like this kind:
That's right, the internet troll.
As is usual with new words in English, this word can also be a verb, so that you can say someone is trolling, or that you got trolled (yep, it can be transitive too!).
So how common is this new sense?
Well, if you search for "troll" in Google, it has a chart that shows its usage over time, which looks like this:
So it's obviously being used more frequently nowadays.  Of course, this doesn't tell us which type of "troll".  So if we head over to GloWbE, a 1.9 billion word corpus of internet texts, we can look for the most common words that appear next to "troll" on the internet.  The top 10 are:
1. internet
2. troll
3. concern
4. patent
5. feed
6. obvious
7. anonymous
8. posts
9. calling
10. feeding

So basically, when people are talking about "trolls" on the internet, they're talking about "a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting" (from Google).

So what's my point?  Well, any respectable online dictionary SHOULD be able to give a definition for a sense of a word that is so widespread, right?  As new words come into use, online dictionaries, not burdened by publishing and distribution, can add entries whenever they feel like it.
In fact, according to Wikipedia, this slang use of "troll" has been around since at least 1992.  That's more than TWENTY years ago.  And even if it were more recent, it's certainly widespread now.

So you can understand my confusion, for lack of a better word, when I stroll onto Merriam-Webster's online dictionary looking up the word (for work-related purposes, mind you), and I can't find the definition of an internet troll anywhere on the page.
WUT.  Seriously?  It's first definition is "to fish with a hook and line that you pull through the water".  Ok.  Is that what you thought of when you read the word "troll"?  (If you did, then...go away)

I feel like Merriam-Webster tries to be all hip and progressive, even advocating the use of the spelling "alright" in light of modern trends, but it invariably comes across as unhelpful and outdated with no sense of good priority.  Plus, it has a horrible habit of defining a word by using another form of that word.  And I hate its search engine.

I won't even give you a link to the site because I don't want you to go there.  Please use something else.  And remember kids, while dictionaries can be useful, they're ultimately written by people, not the language gods.  So sometimes you have to trust your own judgment.  Trust me.


Truuust in m--okay, I'm done.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Farewell Fairfield

This post is about three months overdue, but here goes. 

After 4 years and 7 months of working an 8 hour overnight graveyard shift, I finally left my job at the Fairfield Inn in Provo Utah. 

My journey began at the Fairfield in August of 2009. I had recently moved to Provo Utah from New York City. I had previously been a nanny, a stage manager and a musical theater student/Broadway hopeful. I moved back to Utah from New York because I was in love with a boy named Steven who I knew would be coming back from his church mission in Germany and attending BYU that fall. 

When I first moved to Provo I was still attempting to be a Mary Kay consultant, (That's another post for another day...or never. I don't really want to talk about it) and failing miserably. I needed a real job. Anything. 

I was taking summer classes at BYU and a friend in my dance class (Yeah, I used to be a bit of a dancer too...) worked the night shift at the Residence Inn in Provo and told me about a job opening down at the Fairfield. 

I didn't have a car, but I had my old bicycle that I rode everywhere, so down I went to South Provo to drop off a resume. I still remember what I was wearing. Holey jeans and a hand-me-down T-shirt. Hahah. This is only a significant memory because as I was filling out the application to turn in with my resume, out walked the then-manager who said that if I had time he would just interview me right then! 
Longer story short, I got the job. On the spot right then. Because I said I could work nights. 

I worked nights for over 4 years after that. 

Some significant memories: 
-Getting robbed at "gunpoint" (Turns out the guy didn't really have a gun, but he said he did, so same emotional reaction)
-Having a coworker tell us that one of the vacant rooms had an evil spirit, but it was okay because he "banished it with his Priesthood".
-Throwing a coworker a going away party where we all put on fake tattoos
-My first work Christmas party where we tried to have a pinata and it ended with a lot of people getting hit in the face with a broom
-Showing my old boss Mike my engagement ring the weekend after Steven proposed
-All my coworkers making me a cute birthday/wedding congrats sign with highlighter markers
-Volunteering at Habitat for Humanity with my coworkers every Fall, and that one time where we went to a corn maze afterwards
-"Minute to Win it" games during the first ever "Fairfield Summer Olympics".
-Heading up work meetings and inventing fun games to help everyone memorize stuff
-The time Jenna said her favorite color was "Glitter"
-The time Wade said his favorite color was "Tickle Me Elmo"
-All the times Wade drew shirtless pictures of Ben. (I still have those by the way...)
-That one time a naked drunk guy flashed me 
-All of the horrible memories surrounding a creeper homeless guy named "Stan"
-Finding a My Little Pony toy in the lost and found and hiding it in Ben's office...where he kept it always after that. It watches over him. 
-Finding "Fifty Shades of Grey" in the lost and found and reading it out loud with Katie. 
-That time Jenna told Ben she could fit in a dryer. 
-Everything else about Jenna. 
-That time that Ben grew a horrendous beard and we nicknamed him "The Beard" and stroked our chins behind his back while whispering his personal catchphrase, "You will be fired!" 
-All the times I heart-attacked or otherwise surprise decorated people's offices or work spaces for holidays
-Working Christmas every Christmas for 4 years and wearing my Santa hat to stay motivated
-Getting a huge raise after I manned up and asked for it
Of course over 4 years there are a lot of accumulated memories of things, so the list could go on and on. 

The story of getting my new job is for another post. For now, it's time to finally say goodbye to Fairfield. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly, is behind me. I've opened a new chapter, but I will always be grateful for the journey of the hotel night shift, and the over 80 people I got to work with along the way. 

...Yeah, the turnover rate there is insane. 
Fairwell old friend 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

80 Reasons why my new job is better than my old job.

My new job at the Family Support and Treatment Center is the best job in the world. Not only do I think it is superior to every job ever, but especially having come from a graveyard shift at the Fairfield Inn...Ugh. Wow. Really didn't realize how miserable I was at that place until I left it.

Every single day I think of new reasons why I love this job and I decided to make a list.

Here are all the reasons I love my new job:

1. I work with kids
2. Kids draw me pictures
3. Baby birds live in a hole in the wall outside and nobody wants to kill them.
4. I am allowed to listen to music on my shift whenever I want. Pandora all day!
5. Impromptu staff sing-alongs
6. Impromptu duets of "Lean on Me" with my boss
7. We actually have staff meetings. Every week. And everyone gets to contribute.
8. Free food ALL the time.
9. Free J-dawgs and Menchies on my second day.
10. I get to sit down in a big comfy rolling chair.
11. No security cameras causing constant paranoia
12. I have my own desk
13. My desk is huge
14. I work during the day
15. No one is ever naked.
16. No more creepy truckers hitting on me.
17. Nobody is drunk.
18. Everyone I work with is happy all the time!
19. I have a whole shelf just for me to put my school stuff on.
20. I work at my own pace
21. I am accountable to myself
22. I set goals and make projects for myself and everyone likes and praises me for it.
23. My ideas and thoughts matter.
24. I don't feel disrespected by my boss all the time.
25. I don't have to do stupid and tedious hour by hour work emails.
26. My shifts are 5 hours long instead of 8.
27. Early out Fridays!!
28. I never have to work another National Holiday.
29. I have my own key to the building.
30. I get my very own snack drawer to keep all my snacks.
31. I can eat food whenever I want right there at my desk and not feel like I have to hide.
32. We have an actual break room.
33. The break room has a full sized fridge and a microwave and a toaster
34. The break room is always stocked with disposable plates, cups and utensils for us to use.
35. The phone has caller ID
36. I can order office supplies at Staples whenever I want
37. My coworker is open to my suggestions
38. My other coworker tells me jokes randomly during the shift
39. We have inspirational quotes each week that we all take turns picking
40. Our Facebook page has suggestions for how to strengthen families
41. I never have to work another weekend.
42. I am no longer in charge of taking out the trash for everyone.
43. My boss rides a motorcycle
44. My boss is a woman :)
45. My boss never feels like a boss because we are all just such a great team
46. Modest casual dress code, meaning jeans and T-shirts are AOK
47. Stopping what you are doing so that your coworker can show you a funny youtube video is acceptable
48. I have a coworker who is like my own personal redbox and brings me DVD's to borrow
49. I work with therapists, not college students.
50. I get off work at 6pm every day so I can go home and spend the evening with Steven.
51. I work for a non-profit organization
52. I love all the people I work with.
53. Coworkers who are always willing to help out and cover for me if I can't come to work.
54. The sweetest coworker ever who apologizes for having to correct me on anything. haha. :)
55. Fresh flowers at my desk sometimes.
56. Coworkers who bring candy and snacks and food to share
57. "Party Friday"
58. I don't have a mandatory cleaning list, but instead feel helpful doing extra cleaning because I want to.
59. People notice and thank me for doing extra projects/cleaning.
60. Endless office supplies!! Meaning I don't have to ration my sticky-notes.
61. Organizational projects. I love organizing!
62. Upcoming work retreat where we all hang out and play games
63. Everyone was so sympathetic when I got a bad sunburn. Someone even brought me Aloe for it.
64. I work with licensed therapists, so there is always someone wise to talk to if I need advice.
65. I don't have to memorize anything for work inspections
66. Nobody drinks beer at work and then keeps it in the employee fridge.
67. I no longer have to plunge strangers toilets
68. I no longer have to call the cops because there are drug addicts wandering the halls in a creepy stupor.
69. I no longer have to deal with people watching porn in the lobby
70. I can put people on hold.
71. The phone greeting isn't ridiculously long.
72. I don't have to type in a password whenever I want to do anything on the computer.
73. There is a private playground at my work.
74. I get to hold babies sometimes
75. Little kids give me hugs and make me laugh almost every day
76. None of the rooms are haunted or have "evil spirits".
77. The vacuum works!
78. We exist to help families and children, not to make company/bosses richer.
79. People can bring their kids to work
80. I never have to take towels to someone's room and find them shirtless...or worse.

So there you have it. Or at least as many things as I could think of off-hand. I'm sure there will be more. I love this job more each day and am filled with gratitude for this completely new life!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Quotes from tonight's game night

"Walk around it, like a man"

"K...I guess I'll just be a bubble..."
"Why are you in a bubble?"
"I can't control my bubble!"

"Get that cacti! Get it Eric!"

"Smash the bee!"

"Mommy? MOMMEEE???"

"I got 69... ...hundred!"

"I'm feeling insecure. Why did she not want to go out with me? ...did she see me naked?"

"Mike from Gold's gym. The only things he talks about are sex and drugs."

"Hey! I can push things! Did you know that?"

"If I was playing this game I would just bubble-button the whole time."

"Steven! Touch the thing!"
"...that's what she said."

"Lick it...lick it..." *chanting all together* "LICK IT"

"Blow Steve, blow!"

"Good job, Steeeve."

"Steven, do the thingy! TOUCH IT!!"

"Look who has a crown! Not livin' in YOUR shadow anymore, MARIO."

"Let's go to the black thing......that's racist."

"Swap em!" "I swaped them so good!"

"Nobody owes Austin anything!"
"Everyone owes Austin a punch in the face!"

"You're going to kill me? I don't think I want to marry you then!"
"Kill is an acronym for cuddle you with kindness."
"...that would be CYWK."

"Have you guys seen the new Muppet movie? The Swedish chef has some phenomenal lines."

"I don't understand this 3D stuff!"

"Get the bunny! Get the bunny! Get that big fat bunny!!"

"Onee and a twoee and a ready and a play!"

 "Do I have a tick in my ear?"
"'s eating your brains."

"We're done with this world. Lets blow this Popsicle stand."

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Celebrity Crushes. A Valentines Post about imaginary loves.

In honor of upcoming single-awareness day, here is a post dedicated to everyone who has wished that one of the following people were taking them out to dinner on February 14th.

Disclaimer: I am happily married and will be going out on a date with Steven this Valentines, I just thought this would be an amusing post to write. Don't get worried! ;)

Celebrity crushes come in many forms. Some are attractive simply for their looks, but lack any actual talent, and others lack the looks but have the talent. Here are some of mine.


Cha Ching!
Hugh Jackman.
Can we just talk about Hugh Jackman? He is my ultimate celebrity crush. I mean, COME ON. Yum. He can sing, he can act and he can dance!

As Curly in Oklahoma

Ain't nothin' hotter than this!
Also hot, he's been married to his lovely wife for like 9 years and they have two kids. A good husband and a good dad. Now that's hot!

And who can resist THIS?? Answer: Not me! 
Hugh Jackman is a great guy, a triple threat and my number one celeb. crush. 


Gladiator, Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander, Robin Hood...what do these incredible movies have in common? That would be my acting crush, Russell Crowe!

Look at that smoulder! 
Besides his rustic good looks and husky deep voice, Russell Crowe is pretty much unbelievable in everything he's in. There is something so peircing about those blue eyes that just get me. MmmMM! I can't even handle some of the scenes in Robin Hood with Cate Blanchett. So hot!! He's just hot. Also one time I saw him shoot a bow and arrow in real life on Ellen and my heart was shot as well. Something about men and archery. I love it. 

Musical shortcomings aside, Russell Crowe brought something to the character of
Javert in Les Miserables that I've never seen before.
No one else has done him justice in my opinion. 

I can't wait to see what he brings to the upcoming movie "Noah".


Along the same lines as having a crush on someone for their acting ability, does anyone ever fall for a character? My top character crush would hands down have to be....

Captain Jack Sparrow.

Ladies, amiright? Srsly. 

Lets just look at him some more. 

Nuff said. 
Add oddly enough, I don't find Johnny Depp nearly as attractive as I find Jack Sparrow. 

If I were into Channing Tatum I would put him here... But I'm not. So no pictures of him. If you're into that, you can google him yourself. 

I basically just needed a place to put Maxsim Chmerkovskiy from Dancing with the Stars. He's a hottie. 

He could also probably fall under the category of hot dumb guys...lets be honest. But still so hot!

#6 and #7: The bad boy and the good boy. 
Robert Downey Jr. and Ewan Mcgregor respectively. 

Can I get a double yum?

Again, just needed a place to put this hottie. But let's all admit that he's soooo much hotter because of the scottish accent. 

Am I right ladies? You know it! Let's get another BOWM CHICKA WOW for Gerard Butler. 

One picture is not enough. Let's just see a few more. 

You can shush me anytime, Gerard. 
Another good smouldering look. 
#9: (Against my better judgement sharing this with you...) THE GUILTY PLEASURE. 

Ok...ready? ...I told Steven about this secret celebrity crush just now and told him I didn't want to actually put it on the blog because people would judge me. I told him who it was, and I was right, he gave me a judgey look. But then I googled pics of this person and I couldn't help it. It's going on the blog. 


My secret guilty pleasure celebrity crush is...


Mel Gibson. 

I'll allow you a moment to let that simmer. 


I know he's like a crazy old cranky man now, but look at him when he was younger! 

See? Hot! 
Also, look at this hair! Who can say this isn't attractive? 

And did you  guys see Braveheart? Nothing sexier than a man avenging the death of his secret wife by slaughtering literally everyone. 

And even recently .... I mean.... I think he's aged pretty well. ...yep. ....... ...

Stop laughing guys, I know you're laughing. But look at that nice smile. And think of Braveheart! And also The Patriot. That was pretty awesome. 

Ok, I'm done trying to justify my crush on Mel Gibson. 

#10: THE LADY CRUSH(ES). Let's be honest, how could there be just one? 

Number one lady that comes to mind as my top lady crush would have to be Keira Knightly. I pretty much think everything about her is attractive. 

Steven vehemently disagrees. In fact, we have very differing tastes when it come to women. Go figure. However, this is MY blog post, and if he wants to write about his celeb lady crushes, he can write his own. 

Her are some other ladies that I think are super hot. 
Sarah Shahi
Jessica Alba
Naya Rivera (I also love the name Naya!)
Emma Watson (I mean, COME ON,
And Pink. Love her! 
So there you have it. My celebrity crushes categories 1-10. 

On this upcoming Valentines Day if you start to feel lonely, just pull up some google images of your favorite celeb crushes and imagine an evening with them. You can even buy yourself treats and pretend your crush gave them to you. Or set up a romantic dinner for two with a screenshot of your crush opposite you at the table. Some places even sell those life sized cardboard cutouts! Perfection.  

Now, if everyone would please comment with your celebrity crushes and help me feel slightly less weird about writing this post, that would be great. Also, if anyone else also secretly has a thing for Mel Gibson, now would be the time to chime in. 

Mm! Love me some Mel! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Resolutions for 2014

*Taraya Galloway and her husband Joe (Check out their blog HERE) reminded me the other day that it's still Chinese New Year, so I can still count this as a New Years post.*

I have been extremely unmotivated to write this blog post, because I feel like once I do and it's out in the bloggy world, then it means I have to follow through on my resolutions.

Resolution one...procrastinate less? ...?

Okay, so last year was a great year and I had some really awesome resolutions. In fact, I think that blog post was the first one that I linked on Facebook after writing it, and in doing so I got a lot more blog followers. Woohoo! Thanks FB people!

In case you don't feel like re-reading last years post, I'll do a quick recap of my previous resolutions.


Goal #1: Hard core workout at least once a week!

Follow up: Yeah...that didn't exactly happen.

BUT when you publicly declare something over social media it does tend to stick on your mind more!

I had some good weeks and some bad weeks. I had weeks where I even worked out TWICE! Especially when Steven was in Wales. But then there were some months where I only worked out twice the entire month. All in all, I think I worked out more in 2013 than I'd worked out in any other recent year, and apart from when I was like 14-15 and on the track team, I think I'm in better shape than ever before. So, I'm going to go ahead and call that a success.

Goal #2: Health. My goal was to make every recipe on my Pinterest Recipe Board. The idea behind it being that it would encourage me to make and eat more "real" food that I made from scratch, even if it was desserts.

Follow up: *Laughs hysterically* yeah, I didn't even come CLOSE to making all the recipes on that board!! Do you guys understand how long cooking things takes?

BUT on the up side, I DID discover the worlds best chocolate chip cookie recipe this year, and I don't even know how many times I ended up making those!

*Pats myself on the back reassuringly*


Goal #3: Spirituality.
I opened up a lot last year about some struggles I'd had with churchy things. I just wanted to do better in 2013. Pray more, read scriptures more and attend church more.

God must read my blog, because right after publishing that blog post last year I got called to be a Relief Society teacher. This pretty much meant that I was forced to show up for church at least once a month.

And you know what? I made some friends! And then I wanted to go because I had friends! And then I gave up my pride and joined the ward choir, and when they moved our meeting time and we lost our rehearsal space, I volunteered my house, and then I made MORE friends!

And basically I really like church now. So...that happened.

Goal #4: Personality.
Basically I just wanted to stop being so judgey and gossipy.
The one person I had in mind when I made this goal ended up becoming a close friend, so that worked out.

However, my goal not to gossip was not a success. I mentioned that it was hardest at work because I am such good friends with my managers, and I have found that it continued to be a huge discouraging problem.

How do you draw the line between being a good listener/friend, and being a gossip?

Someone please tell me. I haven't figured it out yet.

So there you have it. In the last year I improved my fitness regime (baby steps!), found some great new recipes (cookies!), regained a love of the gospel (Yay church!) and turned an "enemy" into a friend.

Overall, a successful year!

It's actually kind of perfect timing that I waited this long to write this, because the home teaching message for the month ended up being about goals. President Uchtdorf gave a fantastic message about how important it is to set goals for ourselves, and how we shouldn't get discouraged if/when we aren't successful right away. We are imperfect human beings, and we often fall short. The important thing is to keep trying, and get better bit by bit each day. It's really a fantastic message, and if you haven't been home taught yet this month (or if you are not LDS and have no idea what home teaching is) you can read it HERE.

So, in an effort to keep moving forward and improving, no matter how slow the pace, here are my NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FOR 2014!

GOALS 1-4: Recycle last years goals! You can't make progress if you just stand still.

I want to keep working out, keep making recipes, keep improving spiritually and be kind in my words to and about others.

BUT, I can't push myself to become better if I remain in the past, so....NEW GOALS ARE...*drum roll please*

GOAL #5: Update the blog weekly!
I love this blog. I enjoy writing things on it. It is a place for me to both give detailed updates of our married life, and also ramble about things on my mind. I want to make it "a thing" this year. So...buckle up. It's happening.

GOAL #6: Write in my journal.
I used to be religious about journal writing. Throughout junior high and high school I'd do it almost every night without fail! I have some hysterical accounts of my life then. Then there are years and years of nothing but the occasional blog post or Facebook status. I don't want any more years of my life to be missing.

GOAL #7: Accept compliments.
It has come to my attention lately how quick we are to dismiss other people's praise.

As if just accepting someone's nice thought about you somehow makes you conceited. Or, on the other hand, we are all too critical of ourselves and can't believe anyone would actually think we had nice hair, or a nice outfit or a nice face.

It's time to start accepting that we are pretty awesome people. Take that compliment! Feel good about yourself! You are awesome. :) 

LAST GOAL: Get a new job. 
This is the year. It's time. I'm burnt out doing this night shift thing. 
I don't have a time limit on this one, I'm just open to something better coming along. If anyone has any good recommendations, let me know!

So there you have it. 2014 will be a year of better fitness, better health, a more committed spiritual life, kind words, more blogs/journal entries, epic self-esteem and hopefully a new job. Sounds like a great year!

To all who have made resolutions, keep it up! Don't get discouraged if you miss a day or a week. Keep trying!

To anyone who hasn't made any goals yet, just do it. It feels good.