Thursday, August 30, 2007

Class doesn't start until 12 tomorrow, and I am a little bit of an insomniac these days, so I thought I would write a little Howdy do. Also I wanted to tell of my accomplishments.

So it was Jeff's birthday yesterday, so for a little welcome home/happy birthday surprise, I made my very first real home made dinner. Of course, baked spaghetti isn't to extremely difficult, I still have to follow a recipe and bake the darn thing. Anyway, I set up the green table in the sun room, (I can't believe I didn't even get any pictures!!! ARGH! I even said as we were eating that I needed to take some! Darn it all.) and used mom's cute red dishes with the green circle place mats, some goblets and 3 candles. I had salad and french bread on the side with jams and butter and also cookie dough ice cream with the cookies I made on top. It actually all turned out ok! Jeff thought it was super delish, and I was quite proud of myself for actually making something! Hopefully I can stick to my goal of making at least one meal a week!

Anyway, there is my grand accomplishment. Also, mom and dad will be happy to know that we left the place better than we found it. Did the dishes and everything, so never you mind. Anyway, happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

There is a first for everything!

So, since UVSC starts a week before everyone else, I have been living quite alone. Jeff gets back today, but for the past few days (the first few with out TV or giant journals! Yikes!) I have been struggling to find things to occupy my time before I start working and before my friends move in. I did some serious home improvement on my apartment, tightening loose legs on chairs and tables, putting up a curtain between the bathroom area and the kitchen, fixing up my room in preparation for Nicole to move in, etc. But you can only go so far with that, because... well, I am confined to my apartment and the things in it. So, after $80 at Wal-Mart, and a short day at school, I decided to try something a little different.

I have never successfully made good cookies by myself before. Ever. I have never said to myself "I really want to make some cookies right now," then gone and did it. When I make cookies with my friends, usually I end up ruining them somehow, or burning them or SOMETHING. Basically, besides breakfast food, I have NO skills in the kitchen. So, after making a few batches of cookies the other day with some friends, that turned out really good, I decided to take on my own cookies.

Which, by what mom and dad said, were fantastic! Perfect consistency, the melt in your mouth, cooked to the exact second or rightness, and not to mention, they are chocolate cookies with peanutbutter and white chocolate chips in them... Delish. I kinda made them for a little welcome back present for Jeff, which hopefully he will enjoy.

ALSO, I made one of my first meals, which actually requires ingredients and home cookies. Granted, baked spaghetti isn't THAT difficult, and I haven't cooked it yet, but it looks like it is coming along QUITE nicely. I also cleaned up my big mess than I made, which is also a great feeling of accomplishment as well! Pictures will be uploaded quite soon, so stay tuned for those!

So basically, I am excited to continue my cooking experience. I may not be a pastry chef like SOME people, but I guess I can get by in life! I will keep you all posted!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

How can I call this... hoooooooome!

Hello all. Since I am sitting here, along, in my new apartment, I thought I would take this time to let you all know of my knew housing situation!

Basically I moved across the street from my old apartment (154 @ Glenwood) where I am sure our mural is still slapped up upon the wall as a glorious monument to the most amazing girls to live there. It feels VERY strange to look out my window and see my old home, and think of everything that has happened to me there. So many things!
-Probably the most memorable thing, I met my boyfriend Jeff there.
-I discovered the Twilight series.
-I lived with 5 of the most amazing girls I have ever met, and am pretty sure will be connected with them for life. It was fun having Drew's friends as my own.
-Everywhere I turned, there was either someone who knew Drew, was BFFs with Drew, or thought Drew was the coolest. Also, in the crack of the door of his old apartment, he wrote "Drew wuz heer" which was such a wonderful surprise.
-I successfully started the "squid squid" which people continue to do.
-I became an expert on Guitar Hero.
-I managed to keep the ridiculous drama to the very most minimal state possible! Seriously. Not very much drama at all! A Personal record!
-I think I made one legit meal. Sad, I know. But I love pasta roni so much!
-I made EVER so many friends, thanks to my wonderful roomies!
-I endured some of the scariest walks of my life from the underground parking to my apartment.
-I carried on the Graham tradition, and sang a song in the talent show, as well as fulfilling one of my life dreams, choreographing a group dancing to I Wanna Love you Tender.
Well, to wrap the Glenwood up, it was definitely an interesting and crazy experience for my freshman year! Hot tub parties were awesome as well.

MOVING ON! Here I live at the Riviera. Melody used to live here! Also Nicole's mum and dad lived here. My roommates are Nicole (who is my ROOM roommate) and two of Nicole's roommates, Lacey Wells and Keilani Stolk, and then two other girls who we don't really know.

UVSC starts about two weeks before BYU, so I decided I would venture down this way before to save on Gas and what not. It has been fun to have my own place for a little bit. The Riv is surely a lot bigger than the Glenwood. The main differences that I have noticed are:
-MUCH bigger vanity area. Finally a place reasonable for 6 girls to get ready in the morning!
-Kitchen and Living room are separate! It was so frustrating when I couldn't turn up the tv enough to drown out the sound of the dishwasher, or someone making wonderful cookies.
-Probably one of the most exciting things, instead of the Glenwood, Jeff is actually living at the Riv! His apartment is clear across the whole complex, but still! Very exciting. I don't even have to cross the street!

So far, I have bought lots of things from Ikea to cutsie up the place, but I have nice curtains and a big puffy bed, which is all I am concerned about. Not to mention about 200 DVDs which if PERFECT for making about a bajillion friends in the ward. it worked last year!

Anyway, I am excited for my roomies to move in, and you all can come swim in my pool any day! Ta!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

School Days...

Well, I gave in and registered for school. Sigh. I know I would have regretted it if I had not gone, but at the same time, I am a horrible student. A few exciting things though. I am taking water coloring 2, since I was quite good in watercoloring one, a pleasant surprise. Usually it is hard for me to branch outside of my comfort zone in art (pencils, pens, photoshop, etc.) but watercolor has really opened my eyes to my potential! The downfall... about 20 more credits of stupid, stupid generals. I hate generals. I am taking psychology, ethics and values, and I have to find one more class. Intro to film? Perhaps. I have had some practice with that anyway, so we will see.

Some more exciting things:
-I move to the Riv probably on Friday!! It will be very exciting to have a social life again. Especially since I will be living with my security blanket, Nicole. Also, living with two more awesome girls which I can't WAIT to live with, Lacey Wells and Keilani Stolk.
-Jeff comes back on Tuesday!!!!!! I can't believe I made it through the summer, but I am just as excited for him to come back as ever! Hurrah!
-Jeff is living at the Glenwood! He has been uncertain about his living arrangements, but confirmed to me last night that he will be moving back into the G-Hole. Very exciting that he will be across the street. I am very spoiled.
-I am finished at the Church Office Building! It was a fun job, I learned a lot, and boy oh boy did I make a lot of money!!!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I guess it has been a while since I posted, so I thought I would give you MY side of the trip to Nor Cal.

We had a shaky start at the beginning when we hit the infamous California traffic 100 miles away from our destination. I couldn't believe how calm dad was. If I had been driving, I would have been screaming and ranting. I can be quite unreasonable at times (just ask mom, dad, and Jordan about the boy at work who spoiled HP for me...) Anyway, even with two bikes perched on the back of our car, dad easily weaved through the lines of endless traffic, and got us safely to the Catro Valley Inn. Which happened to be 5 minutes from Jeff's house! Huzzah!

So, Jeff was busy with his Friday night performance of the Temple Pageant, and we were starving, so dad typed Olive Garden into Carmen (the Garmin) and we were off. When we found it, there was a half hour wait, and also an ambulance and fire truck parked in the parking lot... We ate there any, and it was quite good. They gave mom free all you can eat soup and salad! I think they were just trying to make it a stress-free Friday night rush. Understandable. I would give people free drinks all the time, so they wouldn't complain. Sacrifices must be made.

The atmosphere was definitely different in California. This was the first time I have actually gone such a long distance to visit someone I know, that isn't family, so it was fun to see the environment Jeff has grown up in. It kind of opened my eyes a little bit. I feel like such a country girl, being comfortable in wide open areas, surrounded by giant mountains, going to a high school so concerned (for the most part) with community standards and rules and such. It was such an interesting journey to see how life is outside of the bubble.

First of all, as I noticed while living in Maryland last year, anywhere outside of Utah Valley is very diverse. I am glad I am not uncomfortable in such a situation, as I have always worried about going out into the world, having grown up in a high school that was 99% Caucasian Mormons. But of course, why should it matter, and it didn't. Just different.

So, Jeff showed up at about 11 pm on Friday night at our Hotel. He was still decked out in his makeup, which made me giggle. His hair had gotten ridiculously longer (don't get me wrong when I say ridiculous, his long hair suits him VERY well. He is getting it cut today. Boo.)And we had a nice reunion after not seeing each other for almost 2 months now! Still the same, ol' Jeff!

So the next day, Jeff took me to eat at a local diner "Doug's", I think it was called. They are famous for their omelets, and as much as it will surprise you, I actually got pancakes instead, which were HUGE! As big as the plate! And two of them! It was wonderfully delish. Jeff then took me on a tour around his home town. He showed me his dad's carpet store, his old high school (which they just built a performing arts auditorium for! JEALOUS!) Then took me to his house! The neighborhoods were so twisty and hilly, I was lost before we had even started! Finally he pulled into a driveway at the very end of this big hill (literally. There was a big yellow sign that said "END".) Jeff had a pleasant home. I giggled at his pictures hanging on the wall, and we sat and played the piano. It was very interesting and bizarre to be there. I have heard so much about this place, and there I was, standing in it. I was very grateful for the opportunity!

Afterwards, he dropped me off with mum and dad, as he had a matine performance, so mom took us on a tour around her old neighborhood. She was reliving her childhood, showing us her exboyfriends' houses (dad was very patient during this) her elementary school, her old hang out spots, we stopped by Fairyland, walked around Oakland, looked in some shops here and there, then it was time to head over to the pageant!

Jeff tipped us off, and told us if we took a visitor's center tour, we could get first pick of seats later! So off we went. It was very nice, they showed movies of the BoM and Jesus, and then we headed over to wait in line. We waited for much too long it seemed, over 45 minutes... But we were first in line! We got prime seats, and I was VERY anxious to see this production. I have heard ever so much about it all summer, so FINALLY I was able to see what Jeff had been talking about all along.

Mom was probably more excited than me, though. She sang along with every song she knew! As did dad, since he knew most of them from mom. Jeff was awesome in the show, dancing away, doing all these complicated lifts and things. He looked quite natural on stage. He also had a tragic death scene, where a guy killed him with a rock. It was very traumatizing as his little daughter ran to his dead body, screaming, "Papa! Papa!" I told him you know you have made it big time on stage when you get your own death scene! (Even if you DO die within the first half hour of the show... *sobs* OK, enough Les Mis.) Such a production! The sets were so professional and interesting, the songs were nice, and the balcony chorus was very powerful and added a lot to the show. Lots of fun songs and sad songs, and spiritual songs. I enjoyed it very much.

Afterwards, Jeff introduced me to his friends I had heard so much about. They were extremely friendly and included me in their conversations and such. I felt very at ease, and had very fun time when we went to Fenten's, the famous creamery in Oakland. His friends were crazy fun, laughing and joking the whole time. It was awesome.

On Sunday, Jeff took me to his Singles Ward. I was not used to the small numbers there, as I was used to my 200+ Alpine ward back home, but still cool. Sunday school was kind of weird though. We had combined Priesthood and RS, and had guest speakers on the 12 step program come talk to us, on lady who was an alcoholic, and another guy who was an overeater. The lady got up there and said, "Hi my name is Jane, and I am an alcoholic." I was very tempted to reply aloud with, "Hello Jane." She had been sober for some years, but still referred to herself as an alcoholic... Strange. I thought since they brought the gospel into the 12 steps, they would think the could completely over come it. Strange.

After church we went to Jeff's house for dinner! I met his charming sisters, who have such spunkiness and charm to them. We immediately got into discussing Twilight, and all was well. After meeting Jeff's parents I finally saw a small resemblance in Jeff and his dad. Jeff's parents were very nice and made an excellent dinner. I was quite comfortable around the Ribeiras, which made it very easy to enjoy myself. I can see where Jeff comes from now.

I was then treated to pictures and movies from highschool. This was the best, as I finally got to see high school Jeff. I have told him so much about my ridiculous high school adventures, and it was pay back time. It was amusing, watching him do boy band dances and West Side Story songs. It was fantastic.

We played games the rest of the night, and ended up braiding Jeff's hair. He was very nice to go along with it.

The next day was Jeff and my big day! We headed over to... some other town, which I can't remember. Ritzy place. They had plastic surgery clinics in strip malls like we have Subways.

After a delicious lunch at In and Out (the original place, not some cheap rip off)we went to see the Simpson Movie... Of course it was good, and we laughed, but it seemed like the writers were feeling very daring as they weren't confined to strict TV restrictions, and took every liberty with that. (Yes, they showed human anatomy, and homer pulled out the Double Deuce. Is that possible with 4 fingers? I guess so.) Slightly uncomfortable, and also some guy got arrested while we were there. His girlfriend seemed pretty put out. But still, a good show. The movie had some wonderful Simpson moments, which we truly loved as hardcore Simpsons fans. It was very appropriate as it was Simpsons that created Jeff and my friendship in the first place.

We were then off to San Fransisco! I haven't been there since I was 7 or 8, and never with a boy, so I was very excited for the journey to come! It was about a half hour ride on the BART, Bay Area...relocation...transport..ation... I don't know, I forget! But there we were! We walked EVERYWHERE! It was great exersize, not to mention how pleased I was that I could actually keep up! We went to various stores, Sharper Image and such, and walked up hills and hills. We were thinking of lots of San Fran related places: Full House, That's So Raven, What's Up Doc, Princess Diaries, Pursuit of Happyness, etc.

OOPS! times up at work, I am out! I shall finish up a little later! TA!