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Adventures in Coffeeland.

For those of you who don’t know and don’t closely monitor my personal life, I recently started a new job.

I am now a Starbucks barista! I make drinks, take orders, take your life savings, and give you coffee in exchange. It works out well. For me.

When I first started this job, I didn’t hate it. No, I was a full step past hating this job; I nearly quit on my first day after training. I was one incident away from handing my used green apron to my manager and walking out the front doors. Thanks to a pep talk, however, I made it through my first eight-hour shift only slightly winded, cried it out on my way home, and survived the rest of the week with nothing more than throbbing feet and coffee stains in weird places.

Now that I’ve been working here for about a month, I’m a lot more comfortable with the register system and I’ve actually gotten to where I know what I’m doing on bar (aka the making of the complex drinks). I enjoy the job. I don’t love it; it’s a job, after all, and not a fabulous one, but it pays.

The thing that’s keeping me at this job (other than the fact that I have to pay rent again in a couple weeks) is the people. I work with some amazing people. If it weren’t for the people, I really think I would still be hating this job. It’s hard, emotionally demanding, stressful, and fast-paced. But then again, I like that I’m always busy here. I don’t like sitting still (and I’m not good at it), so constantly being on the move is really a good thing for me.

The ‘group’ that I’ve clicked with here includes five people; JT, Kyla, Chelsea, Peyton, and myself.

Peyton is the dark-humored and hilarious guy in our group. He’s one of the most unlikely Starbucks employees. He told us once that when they told him in the interview that h had to wear the green apron, he almost turned the job down. He likes Darwin Awards (natural selection at its finest), has some hilarious stories, and is very intelligent.

Then there’s Kyla. She’s quiet at first, until you get to know her. Then she’s not exactly loud, but she definitely has her moments. We spent about 20 minutes quoting Emperor’s New Groove and YouTube videos the other day when we were working together. Kyla and Chelsea both understand my Doctor Who and Sherlock references, as well as most of my other nerd references  Kyla was one of the first people to ‘take me under her wing’ at work since we’d known each before. She offered to help me if I needed it, point me in the right direction if I got confused, that sort of thing. We get along smashingly, basically.

Chelsea I bonded with almost instantly. The first time I met her she showed me her phone case, which has the TARDIS with 221B on it. Best mashup ever. Every time we hang out and learn more about each other we find more in common. She’s a youth pastor at a church in the area and it’s so nice to have found a friend that not only shares a lot of my interests but also my faith. She’s also one of the goofier people at Starbucks and keeps things interesting.

JT is a shift supervisor, which is Starbucks’ annoying way of saying assistant manager, basically. He is without a doubt one of the most hilarious people I’ve met here and working with him is one of my favorite things. I look forward to working with him regardless of who else is working. He’s another Christian (honestly, I was surprised with how many people I met that shared my beliefs) and should be a pastor when he’s serious. When he’s not in a serious mood, though, all bets are off.

I’ve gotten used to working night shifts and then hanging out for a bit with the people I work with. I usually don’t make it to bed until the wee hours of the morning.

I used to have a rule that I wouldn’t be friends with my coworkers outside of work. Since starting here, however, that rule has been shot to pieces. Chelsea, Kyla, JT, and I even decided we should start a band, open a bakery, or a million other ideas. It’s cool to have a team at work that you know beyond the work environment.

Anyway, I just wanted to assure you all that I didn’t die, drop off the face of the planet, or come into contact with Gamma Radiation of Mysterious, Extra-Terrestrial Origin.

Working at Starbucks is a bit like living on a different planet, though…

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Coffee For A Cause.

On September 12, a group of friends and I will be hosting our first fundraising event for human trafficking awareness. The group we created is called Be Her Voice, and you can find the official Facebook page right here. We’re hoping, with this group and a partnership with Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s Orange Movement, that we can get the community involved in ending human trafficking.

September 12 will be an event we have dubbed ‘Coffee For A Cause’, a night of coffee-drinking and friend-making that will allow my friends and I to introduce the Orange Movement and the causes we are fighting for.

The event starts at 7pm, and will go until 9:30. Marci Piper and her students will be speaking, we’ll have live entertainment, and we’ll have coffee galore.

We are asking a $5 donation to buy a coffee cup–one you’ll get to take home with you. The $5 covers the cup, coffee, and snacks. The Orange Movement is planning on bringing their merchandise and information packets, we will provide fact sheets, and hopefully you’ll leave with a passion for ending human trafficking!

We hope that everyone in the community can come out and join us. The event will be at Bartlesville Southern Baptist Church, and more information will be posted on the Facebook page as we get closer to the event. If you have any questions, feel free to message the Be Her Voice group or myself, comment on anything on the page (or this post), and don’t hesitate to reach out to us! If you’d like to donate a mug, contact me or take your cups to The Rock, care of Amy Rice.

I hope this event will open your eyes to the tragedy of human trafficking! I hope you can come drink coffee with us and learn about what we can do to fight it. Most of all, I hope you’re moved to action!

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Stash Dash.

So my friend, who runs The Knitting Goddess blog, introduced me to this thing called the Stash Dash. This is basically a challenge to crochet/knit/spin/etc 5K of yarn between May 23rd and August 7th. In ‘Murica terms, that’s around 5,500 yards of yarn in a little more than two months. Sound easy?

The average crocheted scarf uses about 400 yards of yarn. If you crochet nothing but scarves, you’d have to crochet more than thirteen scarves. That’s kind of a lot of scarves.

The goal is to use yarn from your ‘stash’, or the enormous piles you’ve built up and have nowhere to put. But since I seem to have managed to collect only one ball of each kind of yarn and can’t finish a project with three different weights of yarn in all different colors, I may have had to buy a bit more yarn to really be able to finish the dash (which technically is cheating, but seriously. No one wants a scarf that looks like a knot or an afghan that does not and will never lie flat or be soft enough to use).

Although this is the first year I’ve participated (or really even know about) the dash, I am proud to say that I have COMPLETED the Dash–two and half weeks early!

That’s what you get when I’m unemployed. A crocheting fiend.

So, in order to prove this (because I still feel a little like it can’t possible be true), I give you…

Picture proof.

photo 1 (2)photo 5 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4The top picture are the first two scarves I made without any pattern or direction. They turned out amazingly and I actually sold the solid blue one a couple days ago.

The next picture is the scarf I’m currently working on. I’m making it in Gryffindor colors–maroon and gold–in honor of Harry Potter. I also just finished a Slytherin colored one–silver and green–that has smaller stripes. I’ll be keeping the Slytherin one. Hehe.

Next is another one of the scarves, just showing off the tassels and the length. Not counting the tassels, the scarves are about 6 feet long (basically, I can hold them up and they’re the same height as me).

Then there’s my first granny-square continuous afghan. That blanket took me the longest because I had to switch colors at the end of every row. It’s not very big, but it’s definitely warm.

The last picture is the one I’m proudest of. This afghan is a good-sized lap blanket and was crocheted with two colors of yarn held together to add thickness to the stitches. This blanket is another that makes me feel like I cheated because I used twice the amount of yarn on what could have been half that. The blanket is super heavy and thick and I love it. Totally worth getting overheated while working on it…

Anyway, those are my crocheting endeavors! Any ideas what I should crochet next, now that I have some yarn inventory?

 

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Working Mind, Restless Hands.

Here’s the thing about me;

I love to read. I really do. I have spent a lot of time reading in my short life so far. I read classic literature, young adult fiction, the occasional adult fiction (if it looks decently clean), and sometime non-fiction.

On New Year’s Day, I decided that I read an unhealthy amount of fiction. I made a resolution to read one non-fiction book for every three fiction books I read, and so far, I am happy to say that I have gone above and beyond my resolution and actually–wait for it–enjoy reading non-fiction.

But here’s another thing you need to know about me.

I enjoy reading a million times more when it’s a book I’ve chosen to read, and not a book that has been a) forced upon me, b) assigned to me, or c) required for something I am doing.

So the fact that my application for a missions trip requires me to read a book is causing some angst.

I know that sounds a little dumb. Gasp, something that requires Christian ethics, morals, and a strong sense of calling makes you READ something? What? I know, I know. But I would have been glad to read it had it been on a suggested reading list, or suggested by someone else as helpful for this process. Because it is basically an assignment, I am having some problems forcing myself to read it. Which makes me feel like a terrible person. TERRIBLE.

Add to that the fact that this application has a deadline and, let’s be honest, I feel like I’m back in school, except now I have a job and all that grown-up stuff to worry about.

There is something wrong with me. It’s like my brain is wired wrong.

If I really wanted to just get it done, get it out of the way, I could probably have this book completely read by tomorrow afternoon. I could have the statement of faith required upon completion of the book written by Saturday afternoon. I could be done with the whole application by next week.

But because it’s required, I don’t want to do it.

Here’s another thing you should know about me;

When I watch/read/do things, I like the activity best when I’m completely busy.

When I watch a movie, I usually have a snack and I crochet. When I work, I like it to be something that requires some sort of motion (like writing) that also requires my brain to be engaged. Because reading doesn’t give a lot of opportunities for your hands to be free (holding pages open requires hands, people), I get restless when I read something that’s not super action-packed for too long.

So, because of the nature of this required book, when I start reading, my hands get bored. I know that sounds weird, but it happens. I have actually been reading less since I picked up crocheting again because my hands get restless now. Just ask Kelly; I’ve been super productive with my crocheting this year (multiple scarves, an afghan completed and another almost done).

Can I get this in an audiobook?…

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Welcome to the Alps.

This past week, despite temperatures in the Ville being in the upper 90’s range, Kelly and I were desperate for a little heat.

Don’t get me wrong, the weather was definitely too hot. And our air conditioners, though they believe they’re the Little Engines That Could, cannot quite cool the entire house. Despite our best efforts, the house was a bit on the Toast side of things.

The problem was not in the house, or outside of it. Oh, no. The problem was with the pipes.

Early last week, there was a busted pipe. We found this out not because there was water everywhere. Quite the contrary. The water was off. We came home and tried several different things; the shower, the sink, the dishwasher. Nothing. So Kelly called and got it turned back on and found the source of the leak–and pipe in the utility room, which apparently was gushing water and more or less flooded the room.

After the water was turned back off, it was another day or so before anyone could go out and fix the pipes. Once that happened, I took a shower and we rejoiced in the water flow.

The next day, however, Kelly’s shower turned a bit frigid. And by ‘a bit’ I mean she had approximately two seconds of warm water and then nothing but ice-cold. She took what we can probably assume was the fastest shower ever taken (by her) and then jumped out. When we both got home from work, we tried a couple different things. I ran the shower for almost ten minutes trying to get it warmed up. The dishwasher was run. I think we may have left a sink tap on for a while. Of course, nothing worked. This was Wednesday of last week.

I took one ‘shower’ in the cold water. It was roughly forty seconds of torture; I rinsed myself down (splashed water on my arms), washed my face (while standing at the farthest corner of the shower), and then got out and ran my hair under the sink so I wouldn’t have to stand in the spray. I think I got hypothermia. It was one of those days where, no matter how warm it gets outside, you can’t quite seem to get sufficiently warm–all because of a shower in ice water.

By Friday, we had had enough. I called my dad (my Mr. Fix-It) and he came out and tried for about twenty minutes to get the water heater from ‘misbehaving’ to ‘functioning’ with no luck. After his attempts failed, we called the landlord (granted, she had known about this for a couple days; we were just hoping that my dad would fix it and no one else would need to expend energy).

She sent over our neighbor, who helps with the lawn care and a couple other things and is a great help. After Peter (unsuccessfully) fiddled with the heater, we all threw in the towel and, on Monday, called a plumber for the second time in a week.

The water heater, it turned out, had been completely drenched in the Pipe Breakage of ’14, and a part had to be replaced. The plumbers did it super quickly and, after they left, I stood in the bathroom and ran warm water just for kicks. It was nice.

So after nearly a week with no and/or freezing water, I am happy to report our water is now sourced from Natural Hot Water Heaters and not Snow of the Alps.

Good heavens. Those pipes.

For now, we’re just hoping nothing else got drenched and has yet to be noticeably malfunctioning. We’re hoping that everything is now in Working Order and will remain so for the rest of…well, however long that house stands, but at least as long as Kelly and I are occupants. Seriously, we really have no idea how to fix things. We’re hopeless.

But really good at calling a plumber.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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We Call Him Joseph.

We don’t know why. There’s nothing about our apparently-friendly poltergeist that screams ‘CALL ME JOSEPH’. There’s nothing definitive about the ghost who inhabits our house, causing minor problems, weird noises, and the occasional bump in the night.

In fact, the name Joseph is really just a convenient scapegoat Kelly and I use for the inexplicable things that happen in our house.

“Why was the door unlocked? Must have been Joseph.” “Did you hear that? Joseph must be taking a walk.” “Why is it sticky right here? Joseph, clean up your messes!”

Just in the past couple of days, Kelly and I have been finding more and more to blame on Joseph. Earlier this week, we were under a ‘significant weather advisory’, whatever that means. Apparently the weather was significant. It was raining really hard, our electricity was flickering, and the thunder was shaking the whole house. After it stopped raining, Kelly stepped in a puddle…in the middle of our living room.

This wouldn’t have been a big deal except that 1) despite the holes in the walls, the water could not have traveled THAT far into the middle of our house, 2) there’s an upstairs and the ceiling wasn’t wet, 3) the puddle was in a small area and was under the rug–the top of the rug wasn’t wet, just the underneath and the floor right next to it, and 4) we tested it, and the floor wasn’t leaking or wet in any other places.

Where did this random puddle come from? We figured it was the storm and tried not to think too much of it. But then we remembered earlier that week, when Kelly’s arm had suddenly gotten wet after she picked up something from a shelf in the kitchen. And we remembered when my fingers had gotten soaked when I was just sitting at the table. And then, just today, Kelly suddenly had a wet spot on her face.

What did we blame these random spontaneous condensations on? Joseph. Joseph created the puddles on the floor, he tried to kiss Kelly and got her wet, he grabbed my hand and Kelly’s arm. Spontaneous condensation isn’t exactly something we appreciate, but blaming it on Joseph means we don’t have to think too hard about where the puddles come from.

Another thing Joseph seems to enjoy doing? Taking late-night strolls in our upstairs ‘room’. The first night we were here, Kelly and I both heard footsteps upstairs. It sounded like someone was pacing the entire length of the room, back and forth a couple times. When we went up to investigate, wielding a flashlight and some sub-par karate moves, there was no one there. We went back downstairs and within minutes heard it again. We went back up, made sure the windows were locked, and checked every nook and cranny. Nothing.

We have heard the Pacing Person a few more times since then. Each time, we look up at the ceiling and say, “Joseph is pacing again” and that’s that.

Then there’s my air conditioning window unit. While I know there is a perfectly logical explanation for its behaviors (it’s really old), I like to blame the bangs, thuds, and shaking on Joseph. Joseph walks through my room, whacks the unit, turns it down, turns it up again, etc. He just likes to fiddle with things, Kelly and I have decided.

He really is a nice ghost. He doesn’t throw things across the room or hurt us or cause serious problems. He just…creates puddles and walks restlessly at night. We’ve actually grown quite fond of our friendly household poltergeist and, since we can’t have pets, have decided to keep him.

If you can even decide that with a ghost. I don’t know. I’ve never had one before.

For a little insight into where the name came from, check out this video:

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Not-So-Awesome Possum.

On Sunday evening, Kelly and I discovered something that no two twenty-somethings want to find in their house: A possum. A real live, tail-and-all possum.

Kelly was in the laundry room doing…well, laundry…and it walked past her. She said it was less than a foot from her, looked up at her in a miffed sort of way, and kept walking. She screamed, and I don’t blame her one bit for that.

I was occupado in the bathroom at the time, and let me tell you, I think that was probably the fastest I have ever pulled my jeans back up. I rushed out into the living room to find Kelly in the middle of the room, basically as far away from the laundry room as you can get. She was a bit hysterical, and when I was finally able to get her to tell me what happened, her voice was roughly an octave and a half higher than it usually is.

“There was a THING! and it LOOKED AT ME! and it had FUR! and it’s in our HOUSE!!!”

Being the brave and slightly retarded friend that I am, I grabbed a broom and pulled myself up onto the washer, brandishing the broom like a spear, ready to…you know, I have NO idea what I would’ve done if I had actually seen the possum. But I didn’t see it. I heard it hiss, in the back-off-stupid-human way that animals hiss when threatened, and I hightailed it outta that laundry room and slammed the door behind me.

Kelly, hysterical again, called her mom. I stood, slightly helpless, still brandishing the broom, more like a shield now, while her mom told her to be careful and not get rabies. Kelly, by this point, had her mace in her free hand and was keeping her eyes fixed on the laundry room door. I think we were both imagining our house suddenly overwhelmed with rodents.

“I don’t know, mom. It was either a small possum or the biggest rat I have ever seen!” Kelly said. It was at that point that I decided a possum wasn’t such a bad thing, after all.

Kelly hung up. We continued to stare at the laundry room door, and I finally picked up my phone and called the nearest Brute Squad I could think of; my friends/brothers, Ben, Seth, and Josh.

Less than ten minutes later, they come through the door. Ben comes in with gloves and a sheet (the closest thing to a trap that was on hand). Seth has gloves and a long pole. Kelly and I are nodding approvingly–and then Josh walks through the door with a sledgehammer. Kelly leaned over and said, “He’s my favorite.”

For real. That possum needed a good smashing.

The boys open the door slowly, Sheet Trap spread out, and closed the door behind them. Instantly, the door started shaking and the boys all started yelling. I think Kelly may have hit her head on the ceiling, she jumped so high. And screamed.

Josh opened the door, huge grin on his face. “We had to…sorry…” then closed the door again. I rolled my eyes as Kelly tried to regain control of her lungs and heart.

Eventually, the boys determined there was no longer a possum in our house and that there was a hole in the side of our house. Not so cool. They used a couple of very large rocks to cover the hole as best they could, then took out our trash (real gentlemen!) and took their leave.

Kelly and I searched the house to make sure no other critters had managed to find holes in the side of our house, then tried our bestest to get sleep.

When I woke up the next morning, Kelly looked at me, slightly bleary-eyed, and asked if she had dreamed the whole thing. The only reason we knew we hadn’t dreamed it? All the cardboard boxes that had occupied our laundry room were now in our kitchen.

No possum. Hole in the side of our house. Boxes in our kitchen.

This house is quite the unexpected adventure. Kelly and I are trying to decide if we like it.

I’m not Bible Baggins, and to be honest, I’m kind of tired of these little ‘surprise adventures’ in our new House Adventure.

Kelly and I also decided that we either need a ferocious dog who loves us…or a guy roommate. Or both. Both is good, really. Anything to keep the possums away (and take out the trash every once in a while).

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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