Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I came to work for Prospective Student Services 3 years ago. When I came there was a "Grow-a-Boyfriend" attached to my boss's mailbox. We laughed about it once or twice and it was not until last week that someone actually proposed that we grow the Grow-a-Boyfriend.

As you can tell, the glass jar that we grew him in proved to be restricting for our little fake fellow. Our Grow-a-Boyfriend wanted to grow and he could not do that within the confines of this Best Western candy jar.

So, being the clever things that we are, it was decided that instead of finding a larger container, we would simply dismember the Grow-a-Boyfriend to make more room for him to grow.

Just in case you can't tell, summer is a very slow time for us. Perhaps these are the effects of the office equivalent of cabin fever.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Old School

Ah, the wonders of modern technology. A little while ago I ended up connecting with an old friend on Facebook. Five years ago Eliza moved to London with nothing but her guitar and a credit card. She played in the tube stations, met the love of her life and is now playing gigs in London and, last night, in Salt Lake City.

I went up with my friend Erin and we got to the Nobrow Coffee Shop just as the first set was ending. The first performer was also named Eliza Wren. What are the chances of that?

The place got crowded pretty quickly, there was another act before Eliza and Erin hadn't had anything to eat, so we went out to explore the area. We found Sicilia Pizza on 300 S and we loved it. I think what we loved the most was that the girl behind the counter hardly spoke any English at all. We felt like we were back in Italy. We finished our pizza just in time to head back over to Nobrow and hear Eliza.

On the way back we passed a little hole-in-the-wall venue that had some seriously angry music blaring from the open door. The name of the band was painted on the window and it was seriously offensive. I was doing a double take to see if someone had seriously written that on a public window when a policeman on a bike who was stopped on the same corner as we were told us not to look.

I guess chivalry is not dead. I love that he tried to protect us from that garbage.

Anyway, Eliza was great. She is so incredibly talented. She makes everything seem so effortless. She is talented in a way that when you watch her you know it would take more effort that you could ever imagine to even try to be anything like her, and yet she is herself with such grace. As I watched her I kept thinking about how Eliza was living the dream. She had thrown everything that was superfluous to her dreams to the side and had embraced everything she loved the most. I don't know if I could ever be that brave. I think I will just keep being brave in my own way and loving those who are maybe a little more brave.

After the show there was a brief and mildly awkward high school reunion and then we snuck out. It was too hot, but in the end, it was a lovely evening.

You can check Eliza's music out at http://www.elizawrenpayne.com

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Breaking the Sabbath

Sunday afternoon I got a call from my good friend Vanessa inviting me to a potluck at her house. An invitation to a potluck on Fast Sunday? Who can say no to that? We ended up ditching the potluck and eating potstickers. When the party had died down we went to go see our good friend Adi. Pretty sure we interrupted his Sunday nap. While we were waiting for Adi to come up Vanessa grabbed a mini bag of M&Ms and started sorting them by color. I couldn't resist grabbing a bag and doing the same. Soon all the bags of M&Ms were open and sorted. We made a beach scene, complete with a red umbrella and a Hersey bar Marriott Hotel.

Speaking of Hersey bars, while building our hotel we had a brilliant idea. The idea was s'mores. Hersey bars are basically worthless unless they have graham crackers and marshmallows. We emptied the candy bowl and headed to Vanessa's to help them realize their full potential. As we were walking to my car we saw a tow truck that was getting ready to tow some poor sucker's car away.

"Is that your car?"

"No way, I am totally parked 100% legally. Or not."

The tow truck was backing up to MY car. I had innocently parked on the curb and now my car was about to be towed. As I ran up to the tow truck he was about 5 inches away from my back tires. I pleaded with him to let me go, we had just run in to get our friend. He looked at me, shrugged, and drove off.

I stood on the curb with my illegally parked car, heart pounding, not believing what had just happened. Not believing that he just let me go. I now love s'mores even more than I did before. Saved by a s'more. Who'd have thunk?

Needless to say, (but important to show) this little miracle of the tow truck and the s'mores made me very happy.