Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Week Two

Well, I went to church and  I accidentally showed up an hour early so I got to talk to some old ladies. They were cute and they knew everyone because they have lived in the area forever so they introduced me to some people. There were only three people my age so I just hung out with the moms. Kara called me the mom of our apartment (since I cook, clean, check up on everyone etc) so it makes sense that I fit in with them.

More salad dressings. Nothing new there.
I found out I live within a couple miles of a prison. Pretty exciting. One of my coworkers told me that it is part of the reason the mall I live by is so ghetto. I live by thugs.

The vice president came today. It was interesting. I showed off my salad dressings which he liked. At some point during my presentation of the dressings he criticized my choice in shoes... I was a little confused why he even cared but I guess I won't wear those shoes to work again.
Went to institute. It was pretty fun, I met a bunch of people which was exciting. Turns out there's a bunch of things planned for the weekend. I just hope I can actually get to those places...

Had the worst night's sleep ever out of anticipation for my call. It didn't come. Hopefully I don't drive myself crazy.
I randomly hiccuped at work and I realized that I hadn't for awhile. I figured out the last time I did was about two weeks ago. Then I hiccuped about once every hour and it is still continuing.
An old man told me I looked nice at wal-mart today. That was exciting.
My salad dressings are finished! I made larger batches of the tests and they're going to be sent off to be taste tested. I am pretty proud of them, they taste great. They could save a company a whole lot of money (maybe a million dollars over a year!!) so I am pretty excited.

I am not done with salad dressings apparently! My other dressing was a creamy one that is not shelf stable (needs to be refrigerated) so I'm making one that is shelf stable. It's more of a vinegar and oil based dressing.
For lunch I brought salad so I could use my dressing. It was absolutely delicious. One of my coworkers wants to take some home to keep in her fridge which means I did a good job.
I have learned all about brand name products this week. Some of the things I bought generic, and they do not have the same taste as name brand (which I knew). However generic products sometimes don't have the quality either meaning they go bad faster or become stale faster. Even for things where you wouldn't expect the quality to change it probably does. I bought some grated Parmesan cheese and just got the generic brand. We tasted it and decided there was a lot of filler. Compared to the Kraft brand, you could taste the difference, although Kraft still has some filler in there.

More work on salad dressings. I went to the store and bought a few so I could see what is out there. Mine tastes different from the few I bought. Although, the ones I bought all tasted quite different from each other. It will be interesting trying to figure out what I need to do.
I have also learned about the deteriorating levels of consumer acceptance. We now have much lower standards as consumers for almost all products. We accept things just because it's name brand or it's convenient not because it tastes good. A great example is Kraft mac 'n cheese or shells and cheese with velveeta. If you have ever had homemade mac 'n cheese it is about 1000x better. The Kraft stuff does not even taste like cheese to me. Everyone is sucked into the "blue box" and that's what we think of when talking about mac 'n cheese, our ideal is skewed.

Surprise trip to West Virginia? Heck yes!! There was a tri-stake ysa spring festival down there. Someone had mentioned the festival at institute but I didn't realize it was so far away. I ended up talking to someone who knew about a carpool just a couple hours before it was leaving, so pretty spontaneous. The trip was good, a two hour drive that was fun. It was supposed to be a major ysa all day event but only twenty or so people were there. We played games and had dinner. With the few people it was nice, we got to know each other and I learned most everyone's names. The games were perfect with only a few people but when it got to the dance it was weird, even worse than a stake dance! If we had moved to a smaller room it could have worked but there was too much space in the gym for too few people. It made me miss the dance parties at sparks!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May Quotes

Here's some I've collected for the past couple months... I kind of forgot about them.

"Have you been tested by the FDA? Because you're intoxicating."

"Don't use that pot! I boiled my toothbrush in it!" -Anna

"So do your teeth have lice?" -Kaitlyn

"Anna, I am not wearing this jacket!! I look weird!" -Laura

"I used a cup because I didn't want to make a plate." -Anna
"Out of clay?" -Laura

Here are some really strange messages I've received in the past couple weeks without any of the context in which they were sent. Interestingly enough, Anna is the only one to send me strange things.

"Tom Selleck could have been Indiana Jones! I love his moustache!"

"Remember limiting reactants from chemistry well I used that principle to figure out how much of rice crispy treats I could make"

"At least its not lupus."

"You actually would hate me."

"Today someone on facebook said sweet photo and I read sweet potato."

"He admitted to me that he likes to use bath and body works lotion."

"I'm feeding evil children."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

An Unbearable Break the Fast

My freshman year, I lived in Heritage Halls which has a kitchen. As freshman living on their own for the first time in their life many people realize that they don’t know how to cook. My apartment was actually full of people that could cook. We decided to use our skills during the first break the fast. I made lasagna casserole, and instead of lasagna noodles it uses penne or rotini noodles. Since we were fasting, we were really looking forward to eating it since we were starving. The casserole came out of the oven right when the break the fast started. Since everyone actually came on time, due to their hunger, we were in the back of the line.

We placed the casserole dish on the table and looked at the variety of foods. There was some really weird stuff there. Like I said, in the first week people realize they don’t have a clue about cooking. There were corn dogs, pizza, other frozen foods, and a couple plates of food that contained questionable, weird colored mush. My food was pretty top notch compared to everything there, even though it is one of the simplest foods I make.

We had to wait in a long line at the bitter end. We kept looking to see how much was left from the casserole. As we moved closer we noticed there was enough for a couple of servings but there were still a few people ahead. Somewhat jokingly I whispered, “Eww that looks gross,” not intending anyone but my friends to hear it. Unfortunately, my voice carried and the guy serving himself some of the lasagna heard it. He looked at me and gave me one of the worst looks I’ve ever gotten in my life. My eyes bugged out and I apologized and tried to explain that I had made it and that it was in fact delicious. He just moved on though and didn’t listen.

Afterwards we just laughed about the awkward encounter that happened. I also don’t remember who the boy was but he possibly was in our FHE group. Luckily it was not brought up again except when my roommates wanted a laugh.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Week One

First, I should have put this in my last post but I didn't so it's going here.

New glasses!  Also, you can see a small portion of my room. I'll get real pictures sometime...

Here is my car, a 1999 Ford Taurus. I decided to name him Magellan.

I don't have an oven! That means no baking and limited cooking which makes for a sad Laura. The thought crossed my mind I should get an easy bake oven (I've never owned one) but I don't think that will happen.
I ate out at a sit down place by myself for the first time. It was a sandwich and soup place although I thought the sit down part was unnecessary. Basically all they did was put it on a nice plate and I had to pay a tip for it.

Roads here are ridiculous. There is one intersection where I have to turn left at an angle that is practically a u-turn. The intersection was made up of about 8 roads coming together. I have no idea who approved that, not a good idea.
My first day at work. It wasn't much only because it was all paperwork. We went out to eat for lunch. I got a chicken bacon ranch stromboli and it was really delicious.

I did cheese tasting! I tried some of the normal cheeses and then some concentrated cheeses. They purposefully made me taste some nasty ones.
I made up a few concentrated cheese samples from blocks of cheese and various ingredients. Concentrated cheeses are very strong smelling. If you accidentally pour some on your hand or if you work with it too long you smell like cheese. Sometimes rancid cheese.
I saw my first Amish or Mennonite people. They looked exactly like polygamists with the long hair in braids and long dresses. They live close by so I'm sure I will see more. One of my coworkers promised to bring me some of the baked goods they sell on the side of the road.

I made up sloppy joe mix and put in various concentrated cheeses. This was my first time working with our products in other goods.
I went grocery shopping and I accidentally bought stuff I need an oven for! Luckily I can do some baking at work.

I made up some salad dressings to try with one of the cheese concentrates. I used a recipe but I had to add in a few ingredients and change amounts of ones I already had. So this was my first real product development! It's just an introduction for now, I'll get to pick something I want to work on later when I get the hang of it. I'm thinking cheesecake and adding a cream cheese concentrate to it. I could definitely do various types of cheesecake all summer. That would be awesome.

I went to my hotel pool and hot tub (I know surprising it took me a week to go). A horde of 12-14 year old boys greeted me with stares for the first couple minutes I was there. Awkward. They had a game of marco polo going and were rough housing. At one point a couple of them almost ran into me but one of them told the other, "Watch out for the lady!" At least they had some sort of manners. I was in the hot tub and some 14 year old girls came and sat with me and we talked a little about how the boys were being awful with their noise and games. This goes to show that I'm pretty popular with the middle school crowd.
I ventured to the mall by my hotel. It's kind of ghetto. There was a store called Rainbow and it was pretty colorful. In the display there were striped rainbow leggings with stars on them. It was insane. One of the major stores at the mall is Bass Pro Shop. Right outside of it there is a huge display so I took pictures. You're welcome.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hodge Podge

Caution: random post up ahead.

It's not entirely a secret but I haven't really told too many people. So here it goes, I'm going on a mission!! My call comes in hopefully one week. It will be interesting as to where I go. The other night I had a dream that I got sent to Washington DC and my start date was in June, the middle of my internship which was a sad mistake. In my dream, I was upset about being called to the east coast, I mean I live about 2 hours away and I've been there quite a few times. Although somewhere along the east coast could happen. Interestingly enough the next night I had another dream about my call. I got my call to Finland same as my friend Sarah but it was to another Finland mission (there isn't a second Finland mission). Then I just dreamed about the MTC. I am not sure what these two dreams mean, probably just that I worry too much.

I have avoided it for the better part of three years and it has come to the point where I can't postpone any longer. I have a skype.... I realized it's necessary so my family can videochat when I get my call so I am giving in. I assume that if you are reading this, you are one of the people I would give it to myself, but it's just easier this way. laurakjohnson100

In other news, I got a splinter from my piano bench. I don't know if that means that I'm a hard core pianist (not) or if I'm just a wimp.

On my birthday my sister slammed the car door on my leg. I now have a bruise, awesome. I guess it could have been my hand or finger which would have broken/fractured so it could be worse.

Our poor white van was broken into. Whoever those thieves were, well they're not smart. They didn't check to see if there was anything of value in there before breaking in and they didn't even take the radio! Seriously, they were not smart thieves. At least when Anna went looking through the van she found some stuff that we had lost in there including a pancake turner.

And I am at my internship! It's pretty exciting. I'll update at the end of the week when I have more to say.

I looked up the town I'm living at. As I was browsing I noticed the Susquehanna River is located near me and it passes through Three Mile Island. I recognized the name but didn't know from where. I realized that I learned about it this semester in physics when we talked about radiation. There was the largest nuclear waste accident in US history in the area by the island. So that's kind of cool.

Also, I named this Modge Podge??? I meant Hodge Podge... Crafting on the brain I guess. I really should get more sleep or something. Just forget about this if you didn't notice.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Attack of the Movies

The summer after my freshman year, I lived in Provo for the summer. I lived half a block from my sister so we were always doing things together. I went to a few of her ward activities including a jello fight, and a pie making contest. Her old complex, Campus Plaza, has a pool and is very social. The complex put on a movie night in the pool which was sweet. They set up a projector onto a screen so we could watch Finding Nemo. The screen was made of a whiteboard type material and was supported by PVC pipes.

It was really fun for the most part. It was actually cold due to the wind and the fact that it was night and the pool was unheated. I had to stay mostly underwater minus my head or I would freeze. Halfway through the movie, it got a little too windy and the screen actually fell over into the pool. Lucky for me, I was standing near the back of the pool. There was a couple watching right at the edge that wasn't so lucky. There wasn't enough time for them to move out of the way so they dove to the bottom of the pool since it landed right where they were. The majority of the people laughed at the weird scene. It kind of floated at first but then slowly started sinking. We all grabbed hold of it and pushed the screen back onto the poolside. After learning the hard way, the screen was secured with cinder blocks. The movie was not quite the same after that sudden interruption. I could not stop my random bursts of laughter during parts that were not particularly funny.

A month or so later, I went to a movie in the park. I went with Anna and some friends from her ward. We went to see Planet 51, a movie about what else, aliens! A human lands on the planet and the aliens go all crazy. They can't decide if he is safe or going to attack. 

The movie was pretty entertaining, it was a kids movie but had some funny jokes adults would appreciate. The most entertaining part of the movie was when we had this weird lighting happened across the sky. A thunderstorm was going on in the distance and it was also when the sun went down so it was a strange combination of lightning and the sunset. The sky was purple with an eerie glow across it. Now remember, this was during an alien movie so it really added to the scene. Some people were laughing, saying that aliens were coming to invade and I laughed until I cried.

It truly looked like everything you would imagine an alien invasion would be like. The lightning would occur sporadically and it moved closer as the storm came towards us. It looked like a rocketship coming closer to land. The thunder was overwhelmingly loud and sounded exactly like a rocketship moving through the air. Sadly, our fun was ruined when the storm was too close for comfort so the equipment was taken down. I haven't watched an alien movie since but I definitely have high expectations since this incident.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Life in Pictures

First a funny picture from BYU Memes, then all things from the end of the semester until now.

Ryan Gosling, no explanation necessary.

Kara is now graduated! That is ridiculous! And she even rocks the giant nightgown look! 

Sam's Club had Oreo's for $3 with three packs inside! They even had birthday cake ones in there! Kara and I hunted for them this semester and they were all out, so my mom and I couldn't resist buying the last seven boxes... whoops!

 Anise cuddling in the blankets at my dad's feet.

Friendship bread!! For Kaitlyn, Hannah and Anna. Also, I think friendship bread should be renewable since it is magic and can last FOREVER.

Matching hot pads I made with my mom at a Relief Society workshop.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Quotes

A text to Kara: "Speak of the devil. Yay! So sweet. Farty."

"I'm so sorry I forgot!! Here have a juicebox!" -Katie

"Let's say you're the queen." -Dustin
"I like where this is going." -Laura

"Do you speak Laos?" -Aislynn
"Do you speak America?"

"I didn't know you have shoes!!" -Aislynn to Stephen

"Sometimes we have crepe parties." -Aislynn
"Crate parties??" -Everyone listening
"Yes, sometimes we have pallet parties too!" -Aislynn

"She's not really a giant annelid." -Kaitlyn

"There's a hole in my bagel! I'll pay you with a dollar with a hole in the middle!!" -Kara

"Who sings earth, wind, fire? I mean...." -Laura
"And in that day, Laura practiced for Jeopardy." -Kaitlyn

Text: "A mar?! Is that a nap or a momentary angst relapse" -Kaitlyn