Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Booger Whistle

I'm not sure why I'm writing about another entry that's snot funny, but it's been on my mind. You see, it started in Toronto back in '06. I was walking down Earnscliffe Road and noticed that my nose was whistling while I was breathing. It sounded like a tea kettle. I thought at first that it must be some sort of reed shaped booger that was making my nose so musically inclined, but neither pick nor blow quelled the piccolo. Elder Booras affectionately referred to it as the "booger whistle," which became the name of my prized instrument. It didn't really become a problem until I noticed that when it was quiet enough my nose sounded like a train approaching from a distance. No one really nose how or why, but it still, to this day, makes cameo appearances from time to time. It came back for a visit during finals and a couple of other times during the year. If anybody has any solutions, toss them my way. If you're dry on humor, you can whet your whistle with this. I've often felt like I'm a member of this family. The sound quality is pretty poor, but you get the idea.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

After a Nap

I decided I'm pretty much worthless for about fifteen minutes after a nap. Yesterday my roommate came into my room and woke me up to inform me that I had a visitor waiting for me at the door. I had been sleeping soundly trying to recover from waking up at five o'clock in the morning to study for finals. I arose, rubbed my eyes, and staggered downstairs to converse with my guest, but found myself pausing several times during the conversation as I tried to collect my thoughts. I was being asked simple questions but my mind was clouded. I think I might have to have to call the visitor a little later and explain that I really am capable of producing meaningful conversation, and that he can excuse my incoherent ramblings as the byproduct of being stirred from a siesta. To add insult to injury I had two pieces of pepper in my teeth. Oh jeez. I guess it's better than when I had blue tooth and inflamed gums right after my mission, eh? Too bad I didn't know what blue tooth was until after I'd been laughed at a few times.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Should I be embarrassed?

This morning, as I was leaving work, I walked outside and caught myself quietly singing "Let the Rain Fall Down" by Hillary Duff. What the? Should I be embarrassed? Sometimes I'm not really sure where the songs I sing come from. There was no catalyst to provoke the song that once lay dormant in my mind. I suppose it could be worse. I could have that whistling song from Robin Hood stuck in my head for twelve years like Johnny. Ugly songs are good to have in your repertoire though, for occasions, such as when you're on your mission and your companion makes fun of your hair, leaving you no alternative but to quickly quip the touché "Quit playing games with my part."

Leaving Linda Kessler Messages

So, I tried to leave Justin a "Happy Birthday from Linda Kessler" message, but I'm pretty sure he saw right through it. But, I thought it was worth a try, to call and leave a message like, "Hello Justin, this is Linda Adams Kessler. I was just calling to wish you a happy birthday! I feel like I haven't seen you in ages! Anyway, I was just visiting with Ruth Ann this morning and remembered that you're down in St. George. I'm actually planning to take a trip down to St. George in a week or two and was wondering if I could stay at your place. I heard you might have a sofa bed. Even just a sofa is fine, I'm not picky..." I could go on forever, baby, but, you get the idea. Sometimes when you can't imitate the voice, equally funny is saying that you're somebody else while not disguising your voice at all. I don't really have the Linda Kessler voice down, per se. I think in order to get it down I'd have to hang out with her more often, which is something I'm not sure I am willing to commit to doing. Sometimes in life we have to make trade offs.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bobby the Bean Counter

I had an oral examination today for the accounting program. I always feel weird when I tell people that though. I always feel like they think I'm going for my nine month check up at the dentist. Anyway, the exam covered topics from my three accounting courses this semester and my three accounting courses from last semester. It was pretty intense trying to remember things from so long ago.

Each accounting student was given a time that s/he was to meet in the Tanner Building and then each student was assigned a professor and the exam was given in the professor's office. Luckily, I was assigned to one of the nicest teachers in the accounting department. She started things off by saying that she remembered me from a presentation she had judged the prior week. Then she asked if I had any plans for the summer. This is where it's important to shoot the breeze. I started talking about summer plans and possible vacations and she soaked it all up.

About seven minutes into our conversation she said, "Oh no, I guess I should probably ask you a couple of these questions." She proceeded to ask me two questions I felt very comfortable answering and then ended with, "What's one thing that you'll take away from this year?" Now, that's what I call an oral exam. I felt really good about it. Knowing how my sense of how I did on a test correlates with my actual score, though, I wouldn't be surprised if I got a zero. That's just the way the cookie crumbles.

Accounting has served me well, though. I filed taxes on my own this year. I used an online service for my federal return, but kept running into sites that wanted $30 to $40 to file my state return. So I says, "No way, Jose," and I filed them myself. I guess it's not too hard when you don't make very much money and don't itemize. I felt cool being able to help others with their state return, though. At least I did until they asked me what to do if they're not a Utah resident. "I dunno, I guess you're screwed," I said. Not really, but that's what I was thinking. So, they just filed as Utah residents because no one else knew how to help them. It's all fun and games until you get interest penalties for filing an incorrect return.

I did get some good news on Monday, though. I was accepted to go to three different summer leadership programs, one in Chicago, one in Charlotte, and one in Salt Lake City!

I'll be in Chicago during the third week of July with Pricewaterhouse Coopers. This program was the most competitive. Most of the firms just have local summer leadership programs but this one with PWC is on the national level. They had over 2,200 applicants and only accepted about 250. I didn't think I was going to get in because my grades weren't as good as a lot of the other students applying. They're going to put me in a nice hotel there, though, and we'll have some fun activities. I think there will be some case studies and other things related to accounting and then there will be a kyak race and other more extreme activities. The recruiter told me it's kind of like EFY for accountants. Haha, what is that supposed to mean? Are we going to do a tax return as an ice breaker? I'm really excited though, because a lot of the national partners will be there and I know the firm will totally spoil us. Plus, it will be good to get more of a feel for the type of people that work there.

*I've enjoyed the activities sponsored by PWC in the past. Back in September they sponsored an activity called the The Pit Crew Challenge, where they brought in a stock car and I got to be part of a pit. We lifted the car with a hydraulic jack and changed all four tires and then tried to improve our time. In October competed in the xTax competition sponsored by PWC. My team placed third and I won a digital picture frame. PWC also paid for some cool motivational speakers to come and paid for a woman from the Business Intelligence Association to come teach us how to tell when people are trying to deceive you. In February, PWC had a ski day up at Sundance where they subsidized the cost of a lift ticket so it only cost $10!

Charlotte was a good surprise for me. I applied for the summer leadership program and put my location preference as 1. Charlotte and 2. Atlanta. Ernst & Young had a really nice dinner for all of the applicants the night before interviews and I was placed at a table with a recruiter from Atlanta. He told me that because the Charlotte program was so small I probably wouldn't be able to get in, but that I might be able to come to Atlanta. Anyway, the recruiter from Atlanta called me Monday morning to ask me about my ties to Charlotte and also whether I had applied for the master's program in accounting. Then, later that night, he called and said that I was invited to go to Charlotte for their leadership program, which is for three days in June. He said it was really competitive, but I had interviewed well, and that I might as well go to Charlotte since it was my first choice. The guy that interviewed me was really cool, though.

*I didn't really have too much exposure to E&Y until a couple of weeks ago when they held a big recruiting activity. They took us up to the Olympic Park in Park City and we got to sit in a harness and ride a zip line down the mountain. Then we went to the hill with the downhill speed skiing and rode down the hill about six times in a giant white water raft. It was so fun. They also randomly selected a group to do a run on the bobsled. I don't think I'll be doing anything like that in Charlotte, but hey, you never know.

In mid-June, I'll spend half of a day at the KPMG summer leadership program in Salt Lake City. I'm actually really excited about this one, too, because I want to see what an accounting firm feels like in Salt Lake, because it would obviously be the most convenient to get a job here. We'll spend half of a Friday and then go to a partner's home for a barbecue.

*KPMG is the smallest of the Big Four accounting firms. My roommate, Reed, did an internship with them in Denver last summer and loved it. I wasn't able to make it to their big recruiting activity because I was hanging out with members visiting from Toronto, but they did pay for all the students to take an expensive personality test, which was cool. It was really accurate.

Anyway, this is more to let everyone know what I'll be doing this summer than it is to brag. These programs will be a good opportunity to see where I want to work, though. Accounting firms handle interns differently than other companies. There is sort of an unwritten rule of intern etiquette in the accounting industry that you accept a job at the office where you intern. It's very rude to intern in Atlanta and then go work in California. I've thought of a few different cities where I may like to work or live, so this will be a good opportunity for me to check out those offices and those cities and see what I think before I tie myself down to one city or one firm.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Congregitis

Sometimes it's pretty tense at the end of a sacrament meeting when the speakers have all gone over their allotted time and the conducting member of the bishopric doesn't announce how many verses will be sung. It's like a game of alouette roulette and you never know when the song will cease. That's why it's so important to watch the conductor, so you don't take a big breath and start singing the next verse loudly amid silence, falling over the proverbial edge, as it were, like a lemming into a lake of lyrics. Today, I witnessed such a case of congregitis, during Hymn #243, "Let Us All Press On." The congregation was wary during the first verse, but once they were given the go-ahead for the second verse, the conductor was ignored, and the Saints took matters into their own hands. Half of the congregation was three words into the third verse before they realized they'd been had. The conductor muttered a sheepish sorry as she scurried to her seat. There was safety in numbers, or so they thought. Let us all press on, indeed.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Oh Shift!

Imagine that you're driving down Interstate 15 just after six on a Friday night. You notice that the gas light just came on, but you have no time to stop at a gas station because you have to be to work in Provo at seven. Traffic is slow and go and you wonder if your car is going to make it.

Now, change gears for a minute into neutral, which you do because it will lower your gas intake as you coast down a hill. Listening to the radio you notice your speed slowly dropping so you decide to put the car back into gear, but you forget that "Drive" is one slot back on the gear box and accidentally push the shifter forward, nearly into "Reverse." Imagine you pulled a Maggie, but that nothing dropped from the car during the transmission transition. However, the car no longer accelerates and leaves you frantically trying to make your way through traffic from the fast lane over to the right shoulder before your car runs out of juice.

Imagine that you start talking aloud to yourself and say, "I'm such an idiot! Oh my gosh, what did I just do?" As you look to the dashboard you notice several lights are now illuminated that should never be illuminated on the freeway (e.g. Brake, Check Engine, You're an Idiot). Luckily, after you turn off the car and started it again, everything works just fine. You wish that you could go back in time and not make such a stupid mistake, but you get scared to put your life in reverse. You suppose you won't really ever know what happened to the car, but you know that it can't be good.

Yeah, that would be crazy if that really happened.

Friday, April 11, 2008

That's Snot Funny

Dear Blog,

Yesterday I had a stuffy nose that was a little hard to manage. I was studying with a group on the first floor of the library and I thought everything was under control until I stood up to get ready to go. I packed up all my belongings and then pulled out my water bottle to take one last swig before I ventured off to class. Some of the water went down the wrong tube and I coughed, which, because I had water in my mouth, forced the air out my nose, which was stuffy, which caused a Bubble Baron snotty discharge from my nose. Yeah, it was embarrassing. Sometimes I look back on the situation and think that it wasn't so bad, but the thing is, it was. It was a protrude awakening for me.

Usually I only choke on water during the sacrament, which is also embarrassing, by the way, because you keep coughing and coughing and can never really stop until after everyone in the congregation has stared at you and the bishop has resumed announcing the rest of the program. Anyway, luckily I had a napkin in my pocket to wipe the slime off my face. And for those of you that are dyslexic, no, I didn't wipe a smile off my face.