Utah Summer Games

fireworks

When one takes the off-ramp into Cedar City, they are met with a cute little sign that says: Welcome to Festival City! Festival City, indeed. There are all sort of quirky celebrations that take place during the summer, including (but not limited to) the sheep parade, UFO festival, and Renaissance Fair. I once heard someone say that the reason why Cedar City has so many strange festivals and celebrations is to make up for the lack of anything else to do. Before you dismiss Cedar City as some tiny, backwater town, I will let you know that Cedar does have the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and for us poorer folks who can’t afford tickets there is always the bowling alley.

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Music Soothes the (Not So) Savage Beast

earbuds

On today’s episode of first world problems, we will discuss how a missing pair of earbuds is causing Calli to slowly sink deeper into her madness.

They weren’t much to look at, just the generic set that is included when you purchase an iPhone, but those somewhat uncomfortable earbuds have gotten me through some hard times. They fell out of my ears every now and then, and untangling them was a gigantic pain in the rear. In fact, I probably wouldn’t be as upset as I am over their absence if it wasn’t for the fact that those were my only set of earbuds. I tend to hoard money, and if I can get by on one pair, then great! Except, when that pair goes missing I find myself in a pickle, and those who know me know that I can’t stand the smell of pickles.

Ever since their disappearance last Saturday, I’ve spent the entire week tearing my room and the rest of the house apart just to find them. Obviously, my frantic efforts haven’t yielded any results because I’ve sat down to write this post with my old (AKA broken) set of earbuds—the ones where only one side works and the other bleeds sound if it’s turned up too loud.

My left ear is enjoying the break from the constant assault of sound, but I’m starting to get a little twitchy with only hearing things in my right ear. I like balance, and if I can make it so that my ears lose hearing at the same time rather than my right ear taking an early retirement from listening, that would be fantastic.

sanders

Earbuds and music are a safety blanket for someone with social anxiety. They are the perfect excuse to walk down a crowded hallway of vendors, which is quite common at the university. Earbuds are the universal sign for “not interested, but thanks anyway”, and although not everyone recognizes that, most people get the message. Other times, when I’m feeling a little shaken up from an interaction or I need a confidence booster, the right song can do wonders to calm me down. Earbuds are a way that I can temporarily block myself from the stress and craziness of my surroundings and worry about nothing but the song lyrics.

I feel really exposed without them. Good thing music is a little harder to lose!

It’s a little scary to think about how much music controls my life. I grew up surrounded by music. My grandmothers on both sides of the family were very musically inclined, and that ability passed along to my mom. Some of my earliest memories involve listening to her play hymns on the piano on Sundays and going for rides in the car, listening to country music (I can hear the groans of “ugh, country music sucks” from here, and as a girl raised on country music, I will politely ignore your complaints).

I have a music playlist for just about any and every mood. I listen to the one titled “For Those Angry Days” while I shoot my zombie-themed Nerf gun at my flower-printed pillow (a great way to release some steam), and my dance-themed playlist tends to get me off my butt so I can bounce around the house and laugh at myself every time I pass by my reflection in the mirror.

Groot

My dancing gets about as wild as baby Groot’s, which I see no problem with because baby Groot is fabulous.

Every car ride is a karaoke session on wheels for me. I’m not half-bad, if I do say so myself. I love it when the singer hits a note so high that my warbling turns into a shriek that causes the dog in the truck next to me to perk his ears and start to bark.

Music is sometimes the only thing that helps me to plow through my truck-load of homework. With the right instrumental music, reading Jacques Derrida’s “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” becomes a thousand times more interesting. Granted, I still had no idea what he was saying, but at least my confusion was partnered with a great soundtrack.

I spend so much time listening to music that I could accurately quote lyrics from thousands of songs. Unfortunately, this skill does not extend to more important things that I should know, like my bank account number or the test answers or the name of that most-likely poisonous berry I might one day eat out of the desperation to survive.

But I can sing word-for-word the lyrics to ten songs from this one Irish band that no one in the United States has heard about, so that seems like a pretty good trade off.

Twenty Twenty

Cupcakes

Birthdays are strange for me in that the day seems like it should be special, since it is technically my “special day”. Granted, there is probably at least 30,000 other people who share my birth date of May 9th, but that doesn’t impede me from enjoying family and cake and stalking Facebook for the occasional birthday message. It’s nice to pretend that you are center of the universe for a day.

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Hair, Hair Everywhere

hairdryer

I don’t think there was ever a time where I enjoyed getting a haircut. As a little girl, it was because a stranger was taking a pair of scary-looking scissors to my head. Now that I’m older, it’s because a stranger is taking a pair of scary-looking scissors to my head. And now I’m expected to make small talk while they do it, which is all sorts of torture for the introverted, social anxiety driven side of me.

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Breakfast is the New Dinner

crepes

My elementary school had various methods of torture, such as homework and assigned seating and lunch worker duty, but the worst was how early it started. Shipping a child off to school at eight in the morning and handing them a sharp, pointy object like a pencil is not a good idea. The early attendance also left little room for a full breakfast, and most of my mornings started with either toast or cereal. This wasn’t a bad thing, but it meant that I didn’t even know pancakes were technically a breakfast food until I was eight years old.

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Sickness and Finals: a Recipe for Disaster

blackcat

The black cat is my spirit animal, and trust me, it is not by choice. As much as I would love to think that the animal I best represent is a dog or cheetah or porcupine, there are times where my bad luck strikes me so hard that I stumble around the rest of the day in a haze of stars. I’m not always a walking disaster, but once things start going downhill for me, a fissure opens up right before I hit the ground and I find myself somehow falling deeper.

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To Train and Be Trained

rubberbands

Back before the insanity that is turning out to be this April , things got a little switched around at my work last month. With ten of our fifteen student workers leaving the university’s post office, my boss decided that it would be a good idea to get some new people hired and trained before the summer rolled around.

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