Saturday, June 28, 2008

I won't break your heart shaped glasses

Though I might break my new reading glasses. Yes, dear readers, you heard right. My reading glasses. That I'm wearing. In addition to my contacts.

Do you see why this is so distressing!?

I've had trouble with my dry and sensitive eyes for several years now. I've tried quite a few different brands of contacts and solutions and nothing seemed to help for long. Since my prescription had expired and I couldn't get new contacts without it, I went in for an exam two weeks ago and mentioned the dryness. The doctor asked how long I spent in front of a computer everyday. I was hesitant to admit it was somewhere between 7-9 hours, and then realized I was forgetting the hours of studying I do every week. 7-9 hours was long enough, however, for her to give me a disappointed look and tell me I needed "computer glasses". Which is code for "reading glasses". The girl who helped me pick frames didn't even try to hide it.


My mom has to wear reading glasses, and our prescription is almost exactly mine (which, by the way, was tweaked yet again). The kicker? She got the reading glasses sometime the last few years, and is in her late forties. I'm only in my mid-twenties! Why are my eyes already trying to catch up to hers?

Someone reminded me that I get to rock the sexy librarian look now, which is pretty much every guy's fantasy. Been there. Done that. Was Miss November 2006.

It took me a week to accept my fate and actually order them. I suppose that I really do only have one pair of eyes, and I don't want them to shrivel up like raisins. Also, I did notice that my eyes felt worse on days I was at the computer, comparatively to days I wasn't.

They came in yesterday, and I wore them whilst coding my new website and watching TV. It was the weirdest thing to take off my glasses and still be able to see across the room. I've been wearing them pretty much all day at work today, and yes, my eyes do feel better than they usually do at this time of day. I guess the doctor was right, and I have a third pair of glasses to add to my collection.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

You're a rich girl

I knew going into being a librarian that I will likely never make loads of money, but I'll be secure and happy. That's good enough to me. In a discussion with a law student today the difference between our potential incomes came up.

Future Lawyer: Well, if it makes you feel better, look at this way, a first-year associate at big deal firm will probably make about $125,000 per year.

Me: Uh-huh.

FL: But they have to have about 2000-2500 hours to bill.

Me: Yeah.

FL: Which, since one billable hour equals about 1.5 hours of actual work, means about 3000 hours per year.

Me: So, 60 hours a week.

FL: Right. So, it works out to about $42/hr.

Me: Right.

FL: But the firm bills about $500/hr.

Me: It pays to be a partner.

FL: Literally.

Me: Yeah, between my work, freelance, and school, I'm working about much per week already, and I'm paying for one of those three.

FL: Um, but you're prettier.

And he's going to be a lawyer.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's Raining Men

And I'm not shouting "Hallelujah!" about it. Not this week anyway. If things continue like this, I really will end up being a crazy cat lady. Here's a list, in no particular order, of the guys I've had to deal with this week.

  • The guy with whom I shared sudden and unexpected mutual interest, but after a month of uncertainty finally revealed his girlfriend had come back around.
  • An extremely nice guy with whom I have a lot things in common, but so far I don't feel a spark with. Granted, lots of IMs and one phone conversation are no indication of true feelings, so I'm not giving up on this yet.
  • The guy who seems it's appropriate to expect physical intimacy after only a few nice dinners. "i used to date a girl like that....kissing was it. and after a few dates i was thinking "ok spending money, taking you out, etc etc...and all u wanna do is kiss? i dont think its gonna work" When he asked if I was a "romantic", I said yes. I didn't realize that "romantic" now means "promiscuous and easy".
  • The guy who was offended by my admission that I was physically uncomfortable (aka in pain) with the way we were sitting.
  • An old friend from high school who is stationed near here, with whom I was planning to spend my Saturday, who completely stood me up and has yet to contact me with any sort of explanation. (No reports of "training accidents" from Ft. Meade. I've checked.)
  • The guy who invited me to play tennis with him and in the course of scheduling our game revealed he has a fiancee. That's inappropriate and uncomfortable for me. It would be social event, outside of our current professional relationship, and there is no pre-existing friendship. This is the first week we've even talked about anything more than music. I wonder how his fiancee would feel about this?
  • The guy who has once again postponed our date for another week. Since being on-call at the hospital (did I mention he's a doctor?) and going home to visit family are legitimate reasons that I was warned might happen, this is another one I'm not completely giving up on.
I really hope things turn around soon! Even Eilonwy admitted that I "have a very interesting social life." I like interesting good. Interesting awkward and bad are just that.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Straighten up and fly right

And now! I bring you the exciting conclusion to The Trip That Almost Wasn't:

Ms. [Armstrong]:

Thanks for sharing your recent experience flying with Frontier. It’s very easy to let stress build when you know you are running late and may not make your flight; our agents are unfortunately used to dealing with that stress that boils over when a passenger is told that they are too late to make the flight. At least you were offered the option of flying without your luggage or waiting. Most of the emails I get are from passengers who were told the only option was the next flight.

The reason for the 45 minute cutoff is twofold: (1) to make sure that the passenger has enough time to clear Security (even with a line delay) and reach the boarding area on time and (2) to make sure that the airline staff has enough time to load and balance the luggage; prepare the necessary paperwork such as passenger manifest, boarding list, and other FAA mandated documentation; board the passengers in an orderly fashion; and complete the pilot's check list prior to departure. At 45 minutes, the baggage cart leaves the bottom of the conveyor belt and heads out to the aircraft to commence loading; the computer closes the flight and begin to create the passenger boarding list; and, in most stations, the ticket counter is closed down so that the personnel can complete the other tasks that need to be done to get the flight in the air.

I will forward your remarks to the Washington Station Manager and to the In-Flight Supervisors office for their internal review and resolution. There is no excuse for rudeness – but I feel absolutely sure that the flight attendant was trying to make a joke . . . . one that in a more relaxed state of mind, you might have found amusing. Because of your experiences with our personnel, we will provide a $50 transportation voucher for use on a future Frontier flight. This will be sent via US mail to the address listed in your email, along with instruction for using it.

Thanks for visiting us at

Customer Relations

Not bad. I'm glad they responded so quickly, though I could have done without the part of why they have their policy. I'd mentioned at least twice that I understood that. Oh well. My trip home for Christmas just got $50 cheaper!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer time, and the living is easy

It's officially summer! Okay, so the summer solstice isn't until June 20 at 23:59, but I don't care.

Here are some the things that make it officially summer to me:

  • Duck Beach
  • Sunday Night on the Mall
  • Warm, violent thunderstorms (nature is so cool)
  • Barbecue
  • Flip-flops and shorts
  • Star gazing
  • Sunsets after 8 PM
Since I've now enjoyed all these things, I officially consider it be summer now, which makes me very happy.

Another one of my favorite things is the influx of "summer songs" - the songs that just mean good times with good friends and beautiful weather. They aren't the most amazing, critically, and I certainly don't "smoke funny things", nor endorse such behavior, or Kid Rock in general, but here are a couple of songs for Summer 2008:

New Kids on the Block - Summertime - Jordan Knight looks like a former bishop of mine, which is a little unnerving.

Kid Rock - All Summer Long - Don't judge me. I could do without the video and about half the lyrics, but the rest just begs for cruisin' down the street.

And a few from years past:

LFO - Summer Girls - The lyrics are just awful (When you take a sip, you buzz like a hornet / Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets), but the music is fun!

Len - Steal My Sunshine - How can you not love this song?

Tommy Lee - Good Times - Drummer turned vocalist? Why not!

Have a great summer! And don't forget the sunscreen!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hello new shoes

Hello, my name is Amanda Stretch, and I'm a shoe-aholic. Yesterday, I bought my (unless I missed some) 70th pair of shoes. They were the fourth pair I've acquired in the last week. (Two were because I had no luggage, and one were my mom's old hiking boots.)

Would you pass those sweet things up at $7? I don't think so. Cute, yes?

I looked at my shoes as I was counting them and putting them all away and came to the conclusion that I really do wear all these shoes in a year's time. A lot of them are dance shoes, so I can't wear them regularly, but even my silver boots made an appearance this year.

As you can see, I'm out of shoe storage space, but that's not likely to stop me. I'll just figure something out. The best part is that I do it on the cheap, and if I keep rotating like I do, they won't wear out very quickly. Rock on.

See? Lots of shoes!

A cute pair of shoes I found at Unique with Fergie.

The pair I'm wearing right now

Also, I apologize that my pictures are often grainy. I'm, obviously, using my camera phone because it's what I have on me and it's easy to email pictures to myself, plus my actual camera is on its last legs and wouldn't look much bettter.

I love shoes!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wild, Wild West

(I apologize in retrospect for my recent silence and boring-ness. I apologize in advance for the length of this blog post.)

I love going home. I love being with my family and friends and being back in the mountains. What I do not love is having trouble getting there.

Approximately one minute before I was to leave my office to meet my ride for the airport, the entire district received an email that we were on lockdown due to the tornado warning. We were not allowed to leave our buildings at all. I waited for an hour before the weather cleared and my building supervisor more or less said "It's your life. Good luck." I navigated the out of order street lights and moron drivers, grabbed my luggage, and jumped in my friend's car, only to get stuck in rush hour traffic to the airport. Lovely.

With 26 minutes before I flight took off, I arrived at the airport and had an experience that inspired this nastygram:

To whom it may concern,

I was completely dissatisfied with the customer service I received on my most recent trip. I was running late due to a bad storm and terrible traffic, and I arrived with about 26 minutes before my flight. I understand that there needs to be enough time for my luggage to get on my flight with me, and the need to adhere to policy. What I do not understand, nor tolerate, is being treated with disregard and rudeness.

The first agent at the desk said, curtly, there was absolutely nothing she could do. Either I go without my luggage, I fly out in the morning, or I shop around with the other airlines. In my experience with other airlines, this is a service they have done for me, in order to get me to my destination as soon as possible. Then, while looking up my information, she abruptly left and handed me off to another agent, who stayed on his cell phone for a minute before finally ending his conversation. I had to repeat my story, and he was equally rude about his inability to help me. Once again, I understand policy, but their tone, which was short, annoyed, and demeaning was absolutely uncalled for. I was clearly upset and there was no attempt or to do anything to help calm me down.

Once the decision to fly without my luggage was made, I had less than twenty minutes to get to my plane. I asked if the agent could alert the gate that I was coming as fast as possible and hold the doors as long as they could, to which he said, without apology, "No." I left my bag with a friend and literally ran through security and to my gate.

Once seated, the head attendant got on the intercom and said in a "hypnotizing" tone: "You will all sleep until Denver. You will not bother the flight attendants", emphasis on the word "bother". Now, I won't ask one to shine my shoes, but their job is to make sure we have a pleasant, safe flight. I was not amused.

I do not appreciate such treatment, and will be reluctant to fly with your carrier again.

I was not happy, but I was fairly sure that I had everything with me that I absolutely needed. That is, until I was talking to my seatmate about it and suddenly gasped.

18-year-old Jewish kid: What?

Me: Do you know about Mormons?

18YOJK: Yes.

Me: You know our big white buildings? Temples?

18YOJK: Yes.

Me: Well, we have to be a member in good standing to enter, and we have to have sort of a card that says we are.

18YOJK: Oh, so a "Good Mormon Card"?

Me: Yes. My "Good Mormon Card" is in my luggage.

At least that made me laugh, and I've learned that there are ways (and phone calls to bishops) to get around it if it's not on your person.

The rest of my flights were fine, both there and back. I feel like I know Terminal A of the Denver airport like nobody's business though. I know only London-Stansted, UK, and Hamburg- Lubeck, Germany, better.

I also found that if there's anywhere to go without your luggage and "Good Mormon" paraphenalia, it's Utah and your parents' house. Thursday afternoon, I got to go shopping with my mom and grandma for enough new clothes and toiletries to last through the weekend, on my parents' dime. It was awesome!

That same evening, after some difficulty of getting my parents out of the house (totally raising my mother's suspicions), my siblings and I threw a well attended and happily received surprise 25th anniversary party. Their anniversary was in April, but since we'd been planning this since January, we didn't really do anything then, and my dad had been a little miffed. Not so, now! Everyone had a great time, and my parents were thrilled.

Just after we cleaned up, my brother went to say farewell to a friend who was leaving for a long vacation and lives a block from our house. He took his longboard. It was dark. There was a pothole. The longboard stopped. My brother didn't. Not surprisingly, his collarbone didn't get along with the pavement and quickly became Z-shaped, broken in two places. For those of you who know, this is the same brother (well, my only brother) who shattered his elbow in a bike accident, and had to go home from his mission. Many people haven't been surprised to see him in a crazy sling contraption again, until they realize it's on the right side this time. He should be waking up from surgery right about now. Silly boy. Trumped me for recent trauma tales at the family reunion. However, it is highly entertaining to walk by his bathroom and realize he's stuck getting out of his shirt.

The rest of the weekend went pretty much without incident. Friday was the celebration of my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, which we spent in the Logan temple and Bluebird restaurant. My brother, being on the Lortab, couldn't be there with us, and I was sad, but I was also overwhelmingly happy that I have the kind of family I would be in the temple with. Saturday afternoon was a family reunion and Saturday evening was a wedding reception for some friends. There I ran into both an old friend from high school and a guy I took on a date here in December who almost immediately left the ward as soon as he'd arrived. Apparently, he moved to Arlington, then back to Utah to date the girl he was at the reception with. High school friend? Super fun! Date with new girlfriend? Not so much. Also weird was the 20 year old sister of the groom and her 60 year old boyfriend (the wedding photographer).

Sunday, we celebrated both my birthday (late) and Father's Day (early) and took family pictures. It was a really chill day, which was extremely nice. Monday was back to DC.

Overall, it was a great time, just maybe a little too adventurous than necessary.