Monday, October 14, 2013

The Smartest Kid



Growing up, September meant the Apache County Fair and with the Fair came the Carnival. A place filled with sketchy rides and even sketchier people. People we unwisely trusted to toss us about until we tossed our cotton candy.

Last month I was able to return after an absence of four years. The Fair was just as memorable as always and quickly turned into a contest of who could consume the most rubbish.  I was a strong contender.

After we had eaten all the ice cream, funnel cake, caramel apples, nachos, and Mexican food we could handle we gathered to the carnival. Since I felt myself an old pro when it came to the carni scene, I volunteered to go on the rides with the nieces and nephews.

The first was the Sizzler. A ride that in a spinning furry launches you in the crowd and snatches you back in. It was a personal favorite of 12-year-old Lora.

23-year- old Lora, not so much. I feel like giving birth would do less damage on a body. My taller physic made me highly susceptible to whip lash and it was a real treat acting as the cushion for other passengers to slam up against in an extreme version of “corners.”

It’s cool though. I broke a rib, but what’s that to a good ol time?

When the ride finally stopped, my niece Audrey called out to a local girl to help us out of the contraption we were currently trapped in. She replied “um, not I’m not staying here any longer,” and left. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to call someone, let alone a 13-year-old girl, an offensive word more than that moment.

Afterwards the family gathered to go on the Ferris Wheel AKA the bane of my existence. Nicholas, my oldest nephew, was equally not thrilled with this prospect.

I pulled him aside and told it to him straight, “Nicholas you can either go with me or that psychopath” I said pointing to his little sister Audrey, the known cage rattler.

I could tell he was really weighing his objects so I gave the kid a moment. “Ok” he whispered.


As we slide in our little cage Nicholas started chanting “we’re going to fall we’re going to fall.” I laughed and took this photo. When we reached the top I silently joined in on the chanting.

I kept trying to come up with comforting things to say, but all I could think about was the screw squeaking on my left and the likelihood it wouldn’t hold up for the remaining 8 minutes.

Finally I put on a brave face and leaned the cage forward, “Let’s look for grandma.”

“NO!” Nicholas shouted pulling me back in. And he went back to chanting “it’s getting faster, it’s getting faster”

At that point I diagnosed us as lost causes and just sat back praying the screw would hold.

To Nicholas’ surprise, we survived. With our feet safely on the ground, we found a bench to catch our breath.  Within minutes,  Audrey came running up asking if we wanted to go on the Tilt-a-Whirl. We glanced at each other and gave her a firm “no”. As she skipped away Nicholas relaxed and kicked out his feet.

“I’m the smartest kid here,” he said with a solemn look on his face.

“Oh, why’s that.”

“All these kids are just going to get sick and dizzy. Not me. Nope, I’m the smartest kid here.”

I took a good look around at the nauseous spinning lights and felt my bruised side, “Yes you are Nicholas.”

We spent the rest of the night on that bench watching the kids stumble from one ride to the next and every once in a while Nicholas would mutter “I’m the smartest kid here.”

Pre-carni terror footage below: 



Nicholas won the 4H Service Award and made a pretty penny on his Pig Twinkie. 






Don't be deceived by the smiles, Kyle wanted off that death trap. 


I really do have the cutest nephews.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Lora Goes Rock Climbing

My name's Lora and I don't do heights. It's not that I'm scared. I just respect them... a great deal. And just like my respect for roaches, I stay far away from it. That's all. And if I do happen upon heights, I just whimper a bit...out of love of course. Not fear hahahahahaha ha ha ah. And even though some describe my reaction to heights as, say crippling, I say everyone shakes and cries when faced with pure happiness... right?

Ok so fine, I hate heights. I hate them. I hate them more than hang-nails and slow drivers, but when my friends suggested we have a go at rock-climbing, I thought why not. I haven't made a fool of myself in ages. 

Upon our arrival at the rock gym, I took a good look around and I knew I needed to mentally prepare myself for a hysterical breakdown. I calmed myself rather quickly, I mean the walls look high, but by no means impossible. Plus our group was peppered with nervous little faces that decreased my dread exponentially.

Since I was a virgin climber, I had to watch a video on how not to kill your partner. All it showed me was the various ways I would kill my partner…and that guys should shirk from such tiny shorts. 

Then a Rock Climbing Pro (RCP) came to show me the ropes. PUN!



In order to test my knowledge, he challenged me to only climb half-way up and then come down. Piece of cake. I started my journey and I have to say I thought I was pretty slamming. After all, there I was confidently latched onto a wall of questionable safety with a smile firmly planted on my face. I was basically this sans the mask:


As I continued up, a curious familiar feeling echoed through me.  It grew stronger and more forceful until I recognized my my old clingy friend Sheer Terror. Reunited at last.

Luckily, I knew I had surely gone above the half-way point and now I would be able to descend with grace and dignity. I glanced down, giving what I believed was  a relaxed smile, and said in a voice that sounded much too high to be my own “ok ready to come down!”

RCP: You’re literally a couple feet off the ground.

Me: “ummm, I’m pretty sure this is half-way.”

RCP: “yeah, it’s not”

I slowly grabbed two more rocks and lifted myself up. I felt my hands begin to quiver. At any moment my little fingers would give up their will to grip. I looked down from my higher perch and found his blond head give a disapproving shake.  After a few more “is this half-way?” we agreed on a mid-point. Sensing my not so subtle resistance to this whole adventure, he insisted I make it to the top. I insisted that he get me down that second.

I won. Dignity gone

With my feet firmly on the ground and the RCP gone to torture another victim, I convinced my partners that belaying was my calling in life and nothing was more fun for me than watching them scamper up the menacing cliffs.

I guess I didn’t quite convince them, because they were pretty determined to have me get above 10 feet. So out of pure peer pressure I climbed that stupid wall and I have to say it wasn’t that bad. Ok it was, but I did it so now I get to act brave.

To cement my small success, I commenced in "Lora and the Wall: round two." To my surprise, the second time featured a significant decrease in whimpering.


Oh and everyone else did awesome. Yay them...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lora gets LASIK

While in college I tried to limit my spending. It was really hard. I supplicated my poor sad self with DI books and dollar menus dreaming of the day I wouldn’t have to glue my phone back together and wear the same pair of contacts for months on end.

What ultimately lifted my spirits was making a list of things I deserved once I got my first real job. The list goes as follows:
  1.  A smart phone: I had a firm believe college kids did not deserve fancy phones with even fancier payments.  
  2. Books: Not just one or two, as many as I wanted whenever I wanted them exactly as I wanted them.
  3. New clothes: One day we will all realize we are better than Charlotte Russe.
  4. England: I was spending years studying about locations I could only dream of seeing. I was getting tired of dreaming and demanded reality.
  5. LASIK: Developing a stigmatism made me a teen movie transformation in reverse. Meaning instead of snapping my glasses in half, straightening my hair and buying new clothes to fit my shiny new exterior; I gained glasses, lost the will to do my hair, and began to wear clothes from my high school years. It was pathetic.

The first few were simple enough. Even the England trip fell right into place. The only tricky part was getting LASIK. Tricky in the sense I’m a pansy and don’t do well with pain. Luckily I had my LASIK experienced sister who painted quite the rosy picture. Between her and the doctor, I was under the impression I merely showed up, looked at a light, and BAM perfect vision.

The day of the surgery I was a tad nervous, but by no means worried. It’s when I had to sign the release that said I wouldn’t sue if they cut off my eye-flap. 


The nurse was conveniently on hand with valium.

Valium = :)

Two minutes after I swallowed my pill, I was staring at a laser with a cap strapped to my head, booties snug on my shoes and a teddy bear firmly clasped in my arms. The doctor then began to walk me through the steps of the surgery in a soothing voice. He told me I would feel a slight pressure and it could become intense. Apparently intense is code for blinding pain.

Poor teddy almost had his head ripped off.

The procedure was over in minutes and I was soon escorted out with a handful of drugs and instructions. The Vicodin was only to be used in extreme cases, so of course I downed that sucker the second I stepped out into the sun.  

It’s a good thing I did, because by the time I got home the numbing drops had worn off and my eyes were ready to explode. The sleeping pill however worked like a gem, but even it couldn’t take the pain away. The result was me stumbling around with sleepy limbs trying to find more drugs. I might as well have been wielding four pool noodles. When I finally made it to the medicine cabinet I just started pouring unknown amounts of advil down my throat. I finally passed out at 6 pm and slept until 7 am.

Big fan of drugs. HUGE.

Let me tell you the worst thing you can do after eye surgery besides pouring salsa in your eyes: going to work. I don’t know what was worse, navigating morning traffic through blurry eyes or starring at a bright computer screen for 8 hours.

Now I realize I’m a weak dramatic little thing. I realized this most when I was talking to my cousin who just had a baby.

Nicole: “They finally got the epidural in on the third try and then I was taken into surgery to have a C-section. The worst thing was all the epidural attempts gave me a spinal headache and I could barely get out of bed all week”

Me: “Uhuh uhuh that stinks, so yeah as I was saying, they put these really scary suction things on my eyes and as the darkness took over, my life started to play out before me…"

As I droned on I can only imagine she was thinking something along the lines of “yeah sure eye surgery, getting a human being cut out of you, same thing."

Now I feel the best way to test out my 20/15 vision is to take it overseas.



Monday, June 3, 2013

Working 9 to 5 (sort of)

Today was my first day of work at my new job. Which is excited when you think about, or at least it’s supposed to be, after all this is my first adult move. Now you may be doing the math in your head. She graduated in December. It’s June. What has she been doing for 6 months? 

Well let me tell you, absolutely nothing. Nothing! I simply existed in beautiful nothingness and it was quite lovely. My days were spent by the pool sipping my sonic half priced drink and catching up on the latest books. But not today, today I entered the work force sleep deprived and suffering from a bad case of laziness.

I realize I have yet to introduce my job ahem after months of living in and out of interviews, being called everything from ungodly to amazing, I accepted a job at University of Phoenix as an Enrollment Counselor!

Doesn’t that sound all grown up to you. No? Well I’m working on it.

So after my 6 months living as a very happy hermit I was a tad nervous to have responsibilities extending beyond making my bed. And to make matters worse I have a long history of bad first days. Days that consist of harming a small child, being called an imbecile, and trying to talk my boss out of hiring me. That being said,  my mantra for the day was "pull it together Patterson, you've already spent your first paycheck."

I arrived at work a full 15 min early and just in time to prepare myself for introductions (it seems like you never really escape having to sum up your life in a sentence). Soon the room was filled and the intros began. There were the chatty cathys that can’t help but recite their past 10 years of life experiences, the people with a masters, the people with two masters, the people working on a PhD, and me…achieving nothing, feeling like this

After intros, we began the training from 7:30-4:30. I must have blocked out how miserable working 8 hours is because I certainly cannot remember hating life to this degree. The day soon became one of those experiences that is so bad it’s almost spiritual. I could probably whip it into an inspiring sacrament talk someday.

Speaking of sacrament, for some odd reason after I announced my recent attendance at BYU I had several people come up to me and start the exact same conversation. All of them first confirmed I went to BYU then glancing side to side leaned forward and whispered “are you Mormon?”

“Yes?”

Very strange to say the least. 

In conclusion: I have a job! I am no longer a dirty little moocher. HUZZAH!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pomp and Circumstance


I have officially graduated from BYU. Which is just like me technically graduating in December, but now I get a mini diploma which makes it all the more legit. I mean, if you can’t carry your diploma in your wallet what’s the point of even going to college?

In order to official graduate I made the arduous trip back to Provo to don grad gear which depressingly enough covered up my classy wear and my well-deserved tan. All well, don’t want to make the pastys depressed.

While in Provo I made the routine grad visit to the bookstore to load up on BYU t-shirts and sweats that I would have never worn while attending. I just didn’t want to be that girl. The one who only dresses in sweats to class and justifies it by claiming school spirit. No thank you.

Now that I have left the campus I feel a certain pride wearing my newly purchased apparel about Mesa. I even dared dawn a BYU t-shirt  at a stake FHE only to run into BYU haters. These people openly admit to never actually living in Provo YET they have extensive knowledge of BYU’s many faults. I think it all boils down to the letter of acceptance they didn’t receive. 

Ok that was harsh and a big part of me hates that I even wrote it, but somehow BYU cracked my “Provo sucks” attitude and apparently now I’m taking any and all opportunities to defend its honor.

I don’t know how it did it, wait, yes I do. It was that blasted campus (oh and the teachers/classes/friends/blah blah blah etc.) 

Heaven help me, that campus was beautiful. And it wasn’t just in the fall with the deadening leaves or the spring where plants are literally leaping onto the sidewalks for you to admire. It was all the freakin time.

That campus was like that privileged girl at camp who woke up looking shiny and rosy even though the rest of us were breaking out and tying our hair in knots just because letting it loose on the camp site was not a good idea (ok maybe that last one was just me).

My point is, BYU was (is) gorgeous year round. To this day I crave my ritual walks to class where I was greeted by the morning pushing its rays through the trees to gentle smack me in the face. And yes I know there are numerous ways, better ways, to talk about walking in the sun, but it really doesn't matter because no matter how many ways I try to say it nothing will ever compare to what I experienced. 

Enough about the campus, the point is I graduated huzzah and here are some photos from the blessed event. 
 

My mom and my sister Jill were able to make the big day. They're just so great. 



Somehow Kelly and I were able to be near each other during the whole experience which is fitting since we've been taking the same classes/living together for years. I can't imagine anyone else I would rather be with through it all. 



Graduation was a blast, but being able to spend time with these girls made the whole journey worth it. I can't believe how incredible lucky I was to have such amazing roommates. I just wish all the Sperry girls were able to be there that night. 

P.S. I have a confession to make: I see myself pressuring my children to go to BYU. I know, I'm talking crazy. Apparently the spirit of the Y is a real thing and it'll get you whether you want it to or not. You have been warned.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Princess and the Pea Malady

I’ve had a bout of the Princess and the Pea Malady for about two weeks now and this is my story.

For those of you that have never heard of  PatPM, let me explain.


The disease has it's roots in a common fairy-tale. The story goes a Princess has her princesshood (real word? Probs not. Shortening "probably" = grammar offense? Likely.) questioned by a skeptical mother-in-law to be. The MIL tests the Princess with a pea hidden beneath many a mattress and blanket. The Princess proves her royalty by sleeping on this precarious bed and waking to bruises covering her delicate back from said pea. Frail skin = ability to marry prince (I'm really getting into using =)



The symptoms displayed by the Princess parallel those effected by PatPM; meaning, patients with PatPM are unable to undergo any amount of discomfort without semi-permanent damage to their body.

Now on to my story: Two weeks ago I slept on my arm wonkylike and awoke to a function-less limb. Literally could not use my arm for days. This was only the beginning. 

Last week I went to the Easter Pageant with friends. Upon arrival I was informed that instead of sitting in the white chairs spread before us, we would sit on the grass. You know, why not? According to them (boys) the ground is a lot more comfortable.

Is it? IS IT!

Well it probably is for the usual girl, but not for a girl in mid-battle with PatPM. When I got home I was experience slight discomfort and by morning I could not leave my bed. I wish I was merely kidding. I couldn’t move. It was pathetic.

It took about 2 days till I started to feel like going about in my regular routine (though my mom would argue lying in bed all day is already a part of my regular routine. Rude).

Saturday came and I woke to my brother pitifully shoveling tons (imagine a rather large mountain of dirt) into a wheelbarrow and pushing it to his newly acquired backyard to spread about. I quickly headed out to help which resulted in me spending the day hunched over pushing and pulling dirt with a rake (not an ideal tool for the job) trying to level the ground. It actually wasn’t bad. I even had the na├»ve thought that perhaps my disease had gone into remission.

Twas not so.

To be fair everyone involved with this project suffered intense side effects, but I like to think I suffered the most. Probably for the attention. You just never know when people will give you a chocolate milkshake for your pain.

Anyhoo, I've come to the hard realization that this malady could be a permeate function in my life (there is no known cure for PatPM). And I need to face the fact that I can no longer jump into situations all willy-nilly like. Now I need to take into account my new fragile existence, but I hope that one day I will be able to find a way to live a happy and productive life.

In conclusion: I live with PatPM, but I will not let it define me.

If anyone would like donating money to research a cure for this terrible terrible illness, call me and I'll make sure it gets to those in need i.e. me.

Friday, February 1, 2013

What's in a Name?


People keep asking me and asking me and asking me "Why did you change the title of your blog!!" Ughh, I feel like Maroon Five. Why can't they understand! I just want it to be a secret!!

Ok, fine. One person asked me. But considering the actual readership of this blog, that's about 25 percent. So a quarter of my fans want to know and you've got to give the people what they want because lets face it, I'm not Maroon Five, I have the moves of an 80-year-old lady gearing up for a hip replacement.

Wild times was great and all, but I was really banking on marrying a guy with the last name Wilde and since that never happened the title has begun to mock my failure.

Can we just take a moment to imagine how magical my life would be if my last name was Wilde. The blog would of course transition to "Wilde Times" and it would have a tear-jerking/romantic/enchanting post on how we were fated to find each other. Girls would hate me, guys would envy him, and I would love every second of it.

But let's put the blog to the side for now, THINK OF THE CHILDREN. My firstborn son would of course be named Oscar. And I would dress him like this. (And no I didn't just find a random baby picture on the internet. I'm not a lunatic. I just morphed my face with James Marsden's...)


And I would only address him as his full name Oscar Wilde. My daughter would be Olivia Wilde and she would always come second in my heart because lets face it, my son is name after one of my favorite authors.

Poor Olivia.

In return she would despise dear Oscar Wilde and pine after the love I so cruelly kept from her. But in the end it would inspire her to write a New York Times best selling memoir The Importance of Being Oscar Wilde which would be accompanied by the sequel, The Picture of Olivia Wilde. Her success would help her gain the glory she needed to finally receive her mothers love. Ahhhh It's like a fairy-tale.

But alas, my dream was destroyed (ok I'm 22 it could still happen, fingers crossed.) and I had to title it something else. Since Wilde had failed me I turned to Shakespeare. I realize how cliche it is to be an English major who loves Shakespeare...but I really don't care. So I spent a while looking through my favorite plays for the perfect title and there was a lot to choose from. The blog was almost called "Howl, howl, howl, howl!" BUT I thought that might make me seem completely unmarriable. I finally settled on a line from my favorite play "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

"The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling."

No this is not me claiming I'm a poet (terrible doesn't begin to describe my attempts to rhyme). This line comes at a point in the play when no one believes the tale that happened on a one midsummer nights eve. They accuse the characters of confusing the mundane with the other worldly, calling them poets with ever rolling eyes turning to the imaginative.

I don't know if you've been reading this for long, but my tales tend to drift into the exaggerated and unbelievable side of life leaving my readers thinking things like "there's no way that happened," or the more unfortunate phrase, "you can't possible be that stupid." But that's why this quote is perfect for my blog. I want to forever lean to the embellished/fantastical/bizarre side of life.

So here's to a new title, a fresh start, and more completely unnecessary pictures.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When Interviews and Wal-Mart Unite: A True Story

Let me tell you a little bit about my week. As some of you know I’ve been on the job hunt which means I basically spend my days alternating between living on my bed and going to interviews.


The interviews have been fine. All you really need to know is how to lie sell yourself. But last week was especially exhausting. I had 5 interviews and some of them were 4 hours long. My last interview was by far the worst experience of my life. And like most bad experiences in my life, I could have easily prevented it… but I didn’t.

Here’s my story

Friday I went in for my second interview at a new and upcoming marketing company. The job was for a marketing management position. My first interview went extremely well and I thought I was a shoe in for the job. When I showed up for the second interview they had a little surprise for me. I entered the office and was immediately introduced to two guys who would “show me the ropes.” But first they were going to take me to lunch.

This fact excited me until I found out I would be paying which isn’t a big deal unless you factor in that I’m unemployed and broke.

After lunch they started describing the job and everything seemed to be going as planned until they told me they had a strict policy that no one could be a marketing manager unless they first did sales.

OK

They said it would just be easier to show me what “sales” meant. The next thing I know I’m following them as they zigzagged their way out of the valley and into a Wal-Mart parking lot. I parked and creepily watched them as they changed from suits to polos and then I continued to follow them as they set up a table and started selling satellite TV to already aggravated walmartites.  

I.Am.Not.Kidding.

The next four hours were the worst of my life. They combined my three biggest nightmares:
  1. Having to go to Wal-Mart in the first place AND not even getting a pint of Ben and Jerry's out of it.
  2. Becoming that annoying sales person who badgers people until they finally have to tell them to F%@# off (not kidding, I probably heard this phrase at least 3 times that day).
  3. Standing on my feet for long periods of time ( for some reason they turn bright red after a couple of minutes and then break out in this bizarre rash all over my legs…too much info?).

The only highlight of this experience is when a meth addict came in the store and started stealing merchandise. Luckily a sales woman, who spoke in mostly expletives, scared him off and then told us how he pulled a knife on her just last week.

I just realized that wasn’t really a highlight…

When I finally got home and told my siblings about my “interview”, I had to wait a good minute or so to get a response other than laughter. Their unanimous reply was why in the world didn’t I leave after a couple of minutes.

BECAUSE I CAN’T

I can’t disappoint people who are expecting something from me. I can’t. I couldn’t leave Mr. A’s world of music class even though the rest of the room cleared the second the lights went off. I couldn’t leave the embarrassing bridal shower that ripped my innocence from me. And I couldn’t leave Wal-Mart as those fools followed old people around trying to get them to buy overpriced satellite TV.

It was bad people. It was real bad. 

Here’s to another week of pj’s and suits.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A New Blog

William Hazlitt argued that books act as "links in the chain of our conscious being. They bind together the different scattered visions of our personal identity." And that quote completely encompasses how I view literature. I am a piece of everything I have every read.

When I stand in front of my books I see my entire identity spread before me. There lies my history, a record of my happiest moments and my saddest. And every book not only shapes how I view and process the world, but they store the memories of every time I turned to them for… well, anything. My poor copies of Ella Enchanted and Harry Potter have probably suffered the most damage, but they were always there when I needed them. Mostly because they didn’t have a choice.

The bottom line is that like Ray Bradbury I will forever “lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfume” because I can’t exist without literature and I don’t even want to try.

In honor of this maddening love Ms. Kelly Badger and I have decided to start a new blog dedicated to reading. So if you are interested in discovering new amazing books to read, feel free to follow us from a safe distance

It's called Kelly and Lora Reading and here's the link.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Post Grad

Welp, I’m a college graduate living in Mesa trying to mold my life into something more than a one way street to never leaving my bed and forever mooching off my siblings.

If you really want to get a behind the scenes peek into my life watch Post Grad. Alexis and I are pretty much living twinsy lives… except I don’t have the amazing internships at famous publishing houses, a crazed family, or two attractive men vying for my affection BUT other than that it’s basically the same.

I mean come on, we're both recent college graduates with a degree in English and a love for Literature. AND we're both unemployed and desperately trying to find the perfect job. It's a bit uncanny if I do say so myself. 


Anyhoo, this pre-documentary on my life inspires me to not be so disappointed that things aren’t happily-ever-after quite yet. Though technically Alexis got her happily-ever-after relatively quickly (88 minutes to be exact), but I do believe the movie spans a summer of suffering so I guess I only have three more months of interviews and rejection. Pip pip, here we go!

What I really learned from her experiences is that even if I did get an amazing job at a publishing house I would throw it away just to be with my guy. SO I don’t even have to worry about not having that position since I would quit anyways to go into the New York sunset with my…oh right. Details details.

P.S This movie also shows that if you ever have the chance to get with a hotty Brazilian go for it, that’s what I’ve always done…