Sunday, September 28, 2008

Swag

The last couple of weeks have been even busier for Glenn at school because it is recruiting season. This is the time of the year when all of the oil companies descend on the school to fight over which students they can recruit to work for them in internship or as new hires next spring. These oil companies really pull out all of the stops to get the students attention. Almost every evening after classes there are a couple of info sessions where the companies set up a buffet for the students and hand out a bunch of free stuff and then give them an hour long presentation about their company. After those presentations there are often nice dinners at restaurants that some of the students are invited to so they can shmooze some more. So depending on how many info sessions you have in a given evening, you could be eating three free dinners on a given night. This past week Glenn was invited to one such dinner and he asked if I could come. That was nice considering I wouldn't have seen him that day if I didn't get to go. So, I was able to join him that evening for two info sessions. One info session was for the Devon energy company. They gave the students box lunches with really yummy sandwiches, cookies, soda, chips, etc. It was my lunch at work the next day. Then we had an info session with a company called Newfield. They also had a nice buffet table set up with tons of food and they gave us a goodie bag with free stuff. After their presentation we went downtown to a nice Italian restaurant called Carmellos for a dinner courtesy of Newfield. The food was fairly expensive and it was SOOOO good. We just sat at a table with three recruiters and four other students and chatted and ate delicious food.
Each company is usually in town for another day or two after their presentation doing interviews with the lucky students who they have selected to interview for a position with them. Glenn has interviewed with 9 companies in the last two weeks and at many of these interviews they give out an interview gift. One last parting gift to impress. One company gave Glenn an Ipod Shuffle after his interview. Glenn has started a "swag hall of fame" in his office. He has so much stuff. Tons of ear bud headphones, mints, pens, t-shirts, water bottles, a wireless mouse, and other goodies.
This is all after 2 weeks of recruiting and because this is the best program for petroleum geologists in the nation, every company wants to recruit from their program. More companies are coming for the next 4 weeks.
What is the deal? Does this sound like the typical grad school experience to you? It's so crazy to me that the oil industry has this much money to throw at people they want to recruit. I would love to get my masters here at UT. They have an amazing program in Applied Theatre that is easily one of the best in the country. However, after I finished would there be anyone fighting over me? Who would take me out to dinner and give me free stuff? Does this process even happen with good lawyers and doctors? It blows my mind that none of these students will have to look for a job when they graduate. So many companies want them that it's not going to be an issue of if they get a job, just with which company.

It's been a very eye-opening week. They had a similar recruiting season with the geology students at BYU, just on a much smaller scale and I never witnessed it first hand. This week I had dreams about oil companies and their pitches about who could make my family the most happy. It was a bit disconcerting. However, for a boy who loves free things, this week has been really fun for Glenn. I haven't cooked dinner for Glenn for a little while now. That is kind of nice. Especially when I get to eat free food with him!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Texasness

I haven't blogged for a while. This one's going to be enormous as a result. I've been thinking lately about Texas and why the adjustment has been kinda rough. Some days it's all good. Some days it's harder. It's a great place to live. It really is. It's just different from where I come from so it's taking some getting used to.
In the meantime I've started a little list. Not by any means a list of things that are super hard, I'm dealing with those, just a list of things that are different. I'm sure the list will grow as time goes on but this is my 5 weeks of living in Texas list.
Funny things that are different in Texas:
1. Sideways stop lights. Why?


2. Lots of these little guys.

They're not mean, they don't hurt me. They're tiny and I guess they could be cute... but they just kind of creep me out. Maybe it's the fact that many of them are transparent. Maybe it's the fact that I have dreams about finding them in my food or crawling on my sleeping baby.
Sometimes I drive up our driveway late at night after work and as I open the garage door there are a whole bunch of these tiny lizards that were just hanging out on the door and they go scrambling down to the bottom as the door moves up. They get to the bottom, hang off the edge, and fall off. It's kind of creepy. It makes me feel like I'm Indiana Jones going through some lizard-infested cave in the amazon.

You may have to enlarge the picture to see this little guy. They're really tiny. 3. So many freeways. I tried to go exploring a couple of weeks ago and scope out the closest mall. My GPS took me on 3 different freeways, one of which was a toll freeway. Nope, I didn't have change at the time. Three different freeways just to get to the mall. Thank heavens for our GPS. I don't think I would have found my way home.
4. More crime than I'm used to. In our little shopping center two stores have been broken into since I've been here and one manager was held up at gunpoint for the deposit on her way to the bank in the morning. It's not super scary. Just makes you more aware of the things we should be doing to be safe and cautious anyway.
5. Football is a religion. I bet you didn't know that in Utah, but here football actually is a religion. The school song is sung in hushed reverence, many around us even removed their hats. The least important game of the season is attended by ninety-seven thousand people who come to worship. EVERYONE in attendance is wearing their burnt orange "worship attire". It's insane. It's also interesting to me, as a Mormon who tries not to curse, that there is so much cursing going on during this particular religious service. They have a chant that they say any time something exciting happens. It's like saying "Goooooo cougars!" but not. Probably 30 times a game they chant, (pardon the profanity) "Give them h*$@, Give them h*#%, Make them eat s@#*!" Wow.

This is Bevo, the University of Texas mascot.

My cousin Amberly is really good at finding little things to be grateful for in any given situation. So, following her example, I've also made a list I've made of things I'm grateful for in Texas.

1. My sweetheart. He's awesome. He's handsome. He likes to cuddle me when I'm happy, sad, barfing, pretty much any time at all. He cleans the house. He tells me to buy maternity clothes which we affectionately call my "stretchy pants" when I worry about the price. He misses me and texts me all day when he's at school. He's SO excited about our baby boy and it's adoreable. He's just the greatest husband in the whole world and he makes Texas fun.

This is Glenn's "first day of graduate school" picture. Now seriously, who wouldn't have fun with this guy around?

2. My house. I love my house so much. I have everything I need to be more than comfortable.
3. My ward. There are a lot of people our age and even though we haven't made any tight friends yet, it's comforting to be around a whole bunch of people who are in our same situation. Plus, I love going to church here. It's like a break from the rest of the world and a chance to recharge spiritually for the next week.
3. Gloomy days. I'm usually not a fan of lots of gloom. For some reason gloomy days, especially if they're rainy, just feel so cozy here.
4. Stores that I recognize. It sounds funny, but sometimes it's nice to just walk around in a Target when everything seems foreign. I used to live across the street from a Target. I like Target. It feels like home.
5. Lots of festivals and fun things going on. Glenn attended a hot sauce festival our second week here. Basically a whole lot of free chips and different hot sauces. He ate hot sauce and chips for 2 hours straight. Then there was the bat festival where a bunch of people gather to watch the bats come out at night from under Congress Bridge. There are a lot of fun reasons to get out and celebrate as a community.

6. Cheap gas. I haven't seen gas higher than $3.70 here. I just filled up today for $3.54 a gallon. It's still not awesome, but it sure is better than back home!
7. Lots of outlet malls. I'm not a huge spender but I really like to look and I REALLY like getting a good deal. So outlet malls make me quite happy!
8. Driving here may be complicated, especially for me, but the freeway systems are very forgiving. If I get off at the wrong exit it's easy to get back in the right direction because each exit has a U-turn where you can just drive under the freeway go back the other way. It's like Texas' way of saying, "It's okay that you messed up. Let's just try that again." It's nice for someone who makes a lot of mistakes and misses a lot of exits.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Little Man

We found out on Friday that we're having a boy! He is not very shy little boy. It was only about 30 seconds into the sonogram when he decided to declare his gender. I said to the nurse, "Wait, are you sure?" And she just said, "Are you looking?" He's a proud little guy. We're super excited. I'm a little nervous because boys are just SO different from girls and sometimes I'm not sure what to do with the boy that I have. I'm sure I'll figure it out along the way. Glenn couldn't possibly be more thrilled. He came in to my work on Saturday and spent about an hour picking out an outfit for the little guy. It was so cute to watch him get excited about the little boy clothes and think about what he needs to be sporting in which season. He was adorable. I'm sure he's going to be looking for a miniature lacrosse stick and it will be in our son's hands before he even knows how to sit up.
It finally feels real that we're having a baby. I'm not showing much yet, I just feel pudgy. I look like I ate a HUGE Thanksgiving dinner but I can't suck it in. So it was amazing to have an ultrasound and see our little guy who is a whole person already. He definitely needs to get bigger, but this little dude has arms and legs and fingers and toes. He has a nose and a chin and a tiny heart. It was without a doubt one of the coolest things I've ever seen. So here are a couple of pix of our little man. Keep cookin' little guy. See you soon!



Saturday, September 6, 2008

Payday.

Big day. I got my first paycheck from Janie and Jack. It's not much, but it's more than nothing and at this point that's awesome! Try to ignore my lack of waist in this picture. I do.

Driving around here we see a lot of homeless people. They're on every corner and intersection with their signs asking for money. Most of their signs are pretty standard pleas for money, "What would Jesus do?", "Hungry children at home, please help." I don't think I've ever given money to a homeless person from my car before. Today on the way home from work we had to give this guy some change we had in our car because he had a whole stack of signs that said really funny things and he was flipping through them. Glenn and I were busting up in the car. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  • Wife and children killed by a ninja. Saving for karate lessons.

  • Why live in a $200,000 home when you can live under a $2 million dollar bridge?

  • Wife at home with PMS and a hand gun. Must bring home the bacon.

  • Road rage? Yell at a homeless man for 50 cents O.B.O.

You gotta give that man some credit for creativity.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh Matthew.

Glenn and I went to our first UT football game last weekend. That was a story in itself. But anyway, Matthew McConaughey was there, as he apparently is at every UT game, and they offered a chance to go to the premiere of his new movie on the jumbo screen if you texted in. My husband, excited as always by the chance to get anything free, texted in 15 times. He won the tickets and we got to go to the big premiere in downtown Austin this past Wednesday night.
I drove downtown after I got off of work and arrived at the theater just in time to see Woody Harrelson and Matthew arriving at the theater. I had a really lousy day at work. I barely fought back the tears as I was trying to find a place to park in the city. I drove down one too many one-way streets in the wrong direction and had been shouted at by one too many seasoned Texan drivers in the process (I'm sorry lady but I REALLY don't understand how to drive in your city!)...and yet when I saw this "movie star" about 6 feet away from me I couldn't contain a girly smile and a little giggle of excitement. It was like my whole awful day hadn't happened.
I'm not a huge McConaughey fan. I thought "How to lose a guy in 10 days" was a cute movie but other than that, I don't really know or love a lot of his work. But there I was, grinning like a school girl in the presence of this celebrity. Is it just cool that I know his name and can say that I've seen him and witnessed his cuteness and sweatiness first hand? He is very sweaty by the way. I mean HUGE sweat tacos when the man lifts his arms. I walked down the line of cameras as he did his interviews and snapped some pictures while crazy older ladies around me with much too much of their chests exposed reached over me taking as many pictures as they could and shouting at him. I'm glad that they were there to make me look less dorky because I really couldn't wipe the grin off my face. It was kind of fun to get this flash back of my inner giddy school girl. Does that make me an enormous dork?

Woody Harrelson
It almost looks like he was looking at me right?
Pix with the main squeeze.
This one's for you Mal. Those sweaty pits are even more sweaty in person!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, here's our home! It's wonderful. It has a big family room, three bedrooms, an awesome living room and a great kitchen. My parents and little sister came out after we made the drive to help us put our house together. They spent almost 3 days with us helping unpack and get things in their place. They even helped unload the piano from the moving truck which was much more stressful for me than everyone else. Everything got inside with no collateral damage! Considering the very long trip, that was quite a relief. It felt much more like our home by the time they had to leave. It was still sucky when they had to leave mind you, but it was easier because it felt like our place.

My dad and Glenn, trying to fit our closet organizer into their little rental car. They were both very good sports with all of the necessary shopping those few days. I'm pretty sure my dad was buiding up a nice sized migraine the entire trip.
Mackers chilling with our little Rosie in the babe's future room where she stayed with mom and dad. She was a great help and had a lot of fun with Rosie and her Nintendo DS.
This is the family room. The kitchen is through the opening at the back and then the living room is through those pretty doors. Hopefully that is where I will be teaching piano lessons eventually.
The kitchen, obviously.
I think this is my favorite part of the house, today at least. The built in book cases with all of my books and fun stuff are just so cute!
We're so lucky to have such a wonderful house to live in during grad school. It will be so nice to have a place to have friends over and it just feels like the perfect place to bring our little babe home!