Friday, October 29, 2010

My day.

10/29/1929: arguably one of the worst days recorded in history. Did you know the stock market crashed on October 29th? That's right. Black Tuesday, the beginning of the Great Depression, was the 29th. (I didn't know this until like 6 months ago.)

10/29/1979: arguably one of the best days recorded in history. :) Karen Ella Cottle graced this earth with her presence 50 years later. I like to think I'm the equal-but-opposite force for good in retaliation for that black mark back in the twenties. Ha! I'm so presumptuous.....

I'd like to take a moment to thank all the wonderful people who have made this day great throughout the years. I am sure there is no way I can remember all 31 of them, but I will attempt to highlight a few of the memories:

Thank you to all my childhood friends from those important years of my life who can all claim their status as professional Halloween BINGO players. (Gotta love the ever-present orange and black birthday decor and jack-o-lantern cheese sandwiches.)

Thanks, mom, for all the beyond beautiful cakes with perfect decorations, little collectible figurines (that I still cherish), and sometimes even the bubblegum border. Thank you for countless trips to dancing and hours of loud music. Thank you for teaching me so many vital skills. Thank you for guiding me through tough lessons in loving, forgiving, and enduring. Thank you for being an example of righteousness, generosity, and support.

Thanks, dad, for baptizing me during one of the best last-weekends-in-October in history. What 8 year old wouldn't canonize being baptized, celebrating a birthday, getting her ears pierced, trick-or-treating, and being confirmed all in one 72-hour period?! Seriously. Greatest. Weekend. Ever. Thank you for living your life in such a way that made it cool to be "Mr. Cottle's daughter." Thank you for your willingness to bless not only me, but also my friends at the drop of a hat/any hour of the night. Thank you for being an example of diligence, fairness, and endless hard work.

Thank you to all my siblings for making my 20th birthday WAY better than expected. Frustrated at the vestiges of pending adulthood, I sulked my way into Lee's Marketplace to work all evening on 10/29/99 instead of going to eat/celebrate with the rest of my family at Formosa. The tear duct walls were nearing breaking point when I reached the breakroom...and was greeted by the greatest sight ever! My wonderful mother, anticipating my mood, secretly delivered a huge "birthday cake" of cupcakes that read H-A-P-P-Y B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y K-A-R-E-N-!-!-! in green icing, green balloons, and a sign that read, "Take one, and tell Karen Happy Birthday every time you see her." Words fail.

As if that weren't enough, THEY ALL CAME to Lee's later that night. They brought me Formosa and gifts to open right there, and then they sang (beautifully) to me right there at the cash register. Best. Family. Ever.

Thank you to all my friends and family who made the seemingly impossible task of surviving the rough "growing up" years plausible, memorable, and enjoyable! There are SO MANY of you, I can't even being to try to name you. From the delivered flowers to the surprise parties, from the Ute football field cake with bendy-straw uprights to the BYU blue football helmet on last year's cake, from the endless delightful lunches/dinners to the insanity of a night at the warehouse full of trampolines...

I. Love. You. All of you. You make :)

And so, here's to many many more. Most definitely off to a good start with the FRIENDS-themed party planned for Sunday evening...

Love you all.


(Please, if you have a fond memory of a particular year, include it in a comment! I love having my memory jogged for me. :) )

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What do you do in your spare time?

You're right. For one Karen Ella, "spare time" is a mythical wonder that resides excruciatingly out-of-reach like marital bliss...or smaller bazungas... But alas, at times Creative Karen is called to the rescue, and the hours of 5pm - 4am are awarded a new label: spare time.

It all began with a simple text around 2pm a few Fridays ago...

  • one roommate in charge of the BYU Graduate Student Society
  • one Homecoming parade
  • one professor's SmartCar
  • one sketch of a whim on a napkin
  • NO TIME in the life of graduate students to consider it until the night before
Mix together in one medium-sized room. Add 12 large foam core boards, a splash of huffing-worthy glue, navy broadcloth, a sewing machine, shiny braid, killer knot-tying skill, and a pinch of insomnia. Shake well until 4 am...VOILA!


Left a mark on the 2010 pa-to-the-rizz-ade, yes I did...

We finally went to bed at 4 am, lethally giddy at the fact that it had actually worked. But, we were meeting the car in the parking lot at 8 am for the moment of truth. (Yes, it was concocted without the actual car.) SO, we enlisted Awesome Isaac and his truck...and then I proceeded to freeze what is left of my keister off whilst riding in the truck bed, clinging to my precious, random creation at 7 freakin 30 in the morning for the 5 mile ride!! I have no idea how long it is, but it seemed to last FOREVER. Isaac had to go slowly enough to prevent the hat from taking flight. Holy cold!

That's me on 3.5 hours of sleep after a horridly long week (borderline maniacal). But it was a HIT. Could not have fit the car more perfectly. Get it?
  • Graduate Students (Society)
  • SmartCar
  • Throwin' Smarties
  • Awesome.
Done and done. They lined up to spread the goodness all over P-town. I took my lovely self home. And died.

Like I said, SKILLZ.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Does anyone else...

  • smile at the sight of fall leaves?
  • enjoy How To Train A Dragon much more than expected?
  • savor the moments spent with a bag of Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips?
  • dance a jig of joy when hoodie weather finally returns?
  • hyperventilate at the aging effects of a nephew's call to ask about APA citation format?
and finally (which was actually the first, post-provoking thought)
  • wait until the last possible infinitesimal moment to make the trek to the lavatory? (What IS that?!)
Just wonderin...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today, if I could...

(inspired by RG and The Blur)

Today, if I could do anything my heart desired...

I would sit on my parents' deck swing, watching the yellowed leaves fall, enjoying the gentle waft of Cache Valley in the fall. I would hug each and every one of my nieces and nephews and try to fill in with hugs the places where words fail to express how much I love them. I would go for a leisurely bike ride. I would not have any assignments, papers, or research to worry about because I would be Ph.inisheD. already.

Instead, I will sniffle and cough my way through the first of this year's colds in Utah County, trying not to break under the sheer weight of the enormous mountains on my plate yet to be traversed...


Friday, October 8, 2010

5 years, 11 months

I know, you're thinking...why not wait the other month? But, I needed to get this out today. Today, I have been at my job for 5 years and 11 months. HOLY. MOLY. Can you say unexpected?! Yowza. 5 years and 11 months in this insanity they call Utah County...sheesh.

Here's the part that engendered this post: I am just beginning the PhD. In all honesty, it will take about 4 years (hopefully not too much longer than that). 4 years. On top of 5 years and 11 months. That's right, folks...I will be here for 10 freakin' years of my lifetime. What the!? That's shockingly close to 1/3 of the total, people! How did that happen??

I gotta say, when I relented and came down here, I must have missed the fine print regarding signing on for a decade. Wonder what else I missed...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Strike 1: the Madonna homage episode last season
Strike 2: the Britney and the nastiness
Strike 3: the OBVIOUS veiled insults to religion, especially those that have a stance on same sex anything....

The kicker: the missionaries and their perfectly-timed example tonight.

The result: I am I'm done with Glee. Sad. It WAS seriously entertaining, but that one was just a bit TOO far on the offensive side.

I'm out. Peace easy, Glee...I have more important/right things to focus on.