Thursday, August 9, 2012

Almost a Good Samaritan.

The other day I was driving home and pulled into my neighborhood. And on the sidewalk was sitting a crate.

The crate had a sign on it. It had a picture of something, but I couldn't tell what. The only word I could make out was "FOUND."

I kept driving, but thought it was weird that someone would set out a crate with a found sign on it rather than just, you know, doing what most people do and taping the posters up on light poles and whatnot.

And then, as I'm about to pull into my driveway, the thought occurs to me: Ohmygosh what if there's a puppy trapped inside that crate!

Keep in mind that I live in Texas and it's like at least 100 degrees here. Texas heat + puppy - water = dead puppy.

So I pulled into my driveway, ran upstairs and quickly changed into some clothes that wouldn't cause me to melt into a puddle. Then, I went for a little stroll. You know, in the scorching, furnace-like, Texas summer heat. All the way to the entrance of our neighborhood (it's about, like, half a mile, total, going there and back to my house. Maybe less. I don't know. But it felt SUPER LONG.)

I was going to be the super hero. Save the poor dehydrated puppy in that crate. Take it home and give it water and if it was a chihuahua, name it Jorge (pronounced "hor-hay", not "George". Chihuahuas are Mexican and therefore deserve the Spanish pronunciation of the name).

So, I got there, looked in the crate...and it was empty.

Well, it wasn't empty...there were rocks inside. You know, so the crate wouldn't blow away. You know, because there's so much wind in Texas in the summer. (I wish...)

And in all honesty, as relieved as I am that there wasn't a puppy in there...I was also kind of disappointed. I wanted to bring home a puppy. (Plus it was SO not worth the walk).

So I trudged back another half mile (or whatever) in the scorching heat and then went swimming in my imaginary pool to cool off. Since, you know, this story is full of things that I wish had happened but didn't. 

So that's my I-almost-saved-the-day-but-didn't-because-I-underestimated-the-goodness-of-mankind story. I have a couple of those, now.

I have an active/slightly wild imagination.

But it's okay. My mom still thinks I'm great and that means I must be doing something right.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

And the Curse Continues.

So I bought a Mac last week. Because Macs are supposed to be top of the line and you know that's what I need with my technological issues.

Oh, but I am still having technological issues. I bought the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 Home & Student software and, well, it wouldn't work. So, I called a number that Best Buy gave me in order to fix the problem.

And this is (more or less) the conversation I had with Microsoft:

Automated Voice: Hello, welcome to Microsoft. Do you have your set up wizard open on your computer?

Me: Yes.

Automated Voice: Please say or enter your product installation number. The product installation number is a long number set apart in different groups. Please read me the first group of numbers.


Automated Voice: I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. Please say "try again" or "transfer to a live person."

Me: Try again.

Automated Voice: Transferring to a live person.

(This is where I hung up the first time. I did not want to talk to a live person. I wanted to enter my number and get the thing activated. However, the scenario above was repeated about five times before I finally decided that a live person would be more helpful.)

Tech Support: (In a very thick Arab accent) Welcome to Apple Tech Support, jdkafjdhafhda fjakfjaklsfjds?

Me: Uh...I'm sorry, can you say that again?

Tech Support: Welcome to Apple Tech Support, what is ffdjaklfjdkalfjdasklfjkalfjldfjfauriof?

Me: I'm sorry, I'm having trouble understanding you. One more time?

Tech Support: Welcome to Apple Tech Support, what product fkdajkdajl calling about jfldkajfla?

Me: What product am I calling about?

Tech Support: Yes.

Me: Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 Home & Student software.

Tech Support: And what is the problem?

Me: The PIN number I need to obtain the product key in order to activate my software is not activated. The store from which the software came gave me this number to call to activate the PIN.

Tech Support: Please read me the PIN number.

Me: *reads PIN number*

Tech Support: That is the product key.

Me: But it says right here, in big letters, "THIS IS NOT YOUR PRODUCT KEY."

Tech Support: It is the product key.

Me: Okay....

(I enter the PIN number where I am supposed to enter the product key).

Me: It says the product key is not valid.

Tech Support: Please hold.

(Two minutes later...)

Tech Support: Thank you for holding. Do you currently have an internet connection?

Me: Yes.

Tech Support: Please turn off your internet connection.

Me: (confused) Okay....

Tech Support: Now enter your product key.

Me: You mean the number I gave you a few minutes ago?

Tech Support: Yes.

Me: (even more confused) Okay...

(I enter the number again, not sure how turning off the internet will have helped).

Me: It still says it's invalid.

Tech Support: Let me transfer you to customer service.

(Five minutes later...)

Customer Service: What product are you calling about?

(Side note: This guy was easier to talk to. Because the other guy didn't understand what I was saying and I didn't understand what he was saying because he doesn't speak very good English and I don't speak very good Arab.)

Me: Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 Home & Student software.

Customer Service: And what is the problem?

Me: My PIN number says it hasn't been activated and I can't get the product key to activate my software without it.

Customer Service: What is your PIN number?

Me: *reads PIN number*

Customer Service: It says this PIN has not been activated.

Me: Yes...I just said that...

Customer Service: Please hold.

(Five minutes later...)

Customer Service: Thank you for holding. This PIN has not been activated. It can only be activated at the store from which it was purchased. If the product key was not activated, we could help you with that. But we have a deal with all the stores that they are the only ones who can activate the PIN. You will need to contact them to activate your PIN.

Me: (frustrated) Okay....

Customer Service: Thank you and have a nice day.

Me: Thank you....?

I should also mention that I don't think I was even talking to someone in the United States, considering that both of them were clearly Middle Eastern (judging by the accents) and I called at 10:30 at night when everywhere in the United States is closed. And he told me to have a nice day. I was about to go to bed.

Not that there's anything wrong with's just A LOT easier to talk to someone who, you know, speaks the same language as you...

So, after wasting 30+ minutes on the phone with these people...and found out nothing that was helpful...I went to bed, extremely frustrated.

We are going to Best Buy to exchange the software. Hopefully the new one will work better.

And, to answer the question that everyone was wondering: No, the highest quality laptop you can possibly buy is apparently NOT the answer to the curse that technology has thrust upon me.

But, I should have known. Something about my Mac had to be Kayla deficient, and I think I found the lucky winner.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger...

 ...or just really tired.

We slightly changed the words to Kelly Clarkson's song to fit HEART. But that's as far as we got, because we fell asleep after that. :)

Anyway...THIS is the post you have been waiting for!

Honestly, I have dreaded writing this post. Why? Because it was three weeks of constant wouldn't be a post, it'd be a book.

And honestly, I DON'T want to write all of that. So instead, I'm going to give a brief summary of what we did, why we did it, and I WAS going to show you a couple videos, but I'm giving up on that. I will post them in the future if I am able to. So please enjoy this picture-less, video-less, very, very summarized summary of HEART!

What is HEART?

HEART stands for "Hearts Eager and Ready for Training". It was the summer training program that my church's youth group offered to the girls this summer. The guys had one too, called SWEAT (Student Work Experience and Training). We love acrostics at my church.

The program was open to all students 6th-12th grade. Students had the option of going three weeks, two weeks, or one week. The girls renovated a lifeless house; the guys transformed a barren property. The first week we had 9 girls. We added 8 more the second week and 10 the third week for a grand total of 27 girls.

We had guest speakers throughout the weeks to come talk to us about things such as finances, relationships, dating, cooking, and first aid.

The point of the program was to teach young men and women a good work ethic, diligence, perseverance, and teamwork as well as important life skills, all while learning to live together and provide for each other.

We cooked meals together, cleaned together, tiled floors together, painted together, scraped floors together, ate together, laughed together, learned together, and most of all, we grew closer to God together.

There was a lot of togetherness.

What did we do?

  • First, we ripped out the carpet. It was GROSS. Awful. And we couldn't move our bags in until that happened. That's how bad it was.
  • We then spent the next three days scraping the brown moss of terror.
  • We painted all the walls and ceilings. The people who had previously lived there were smokers and the poor dry wall was suffering from that.
  • We cleaned. Because all the surfaces in the house were as gross as the carpet.
  • We laid vinyl tile in the laundry room, dining room, and kitchen.
  • We meal planned, grocery shopped, and cooked.
  • We did dishes.
  • We spackled with hot pink spackle that turns white when it dries. Awesome.
  • We caulked.
  • We did minor landscaping.
  • We wrote songs.
  • We saw the boys once a week (!).
  • We made necklaces, hair flowers, trivets, soaps, bath fizzies, and other things that I don't remember.
  • We worshiped Jesus.
  • We learned, grew, and endured.
  • We made new friends.
And, last but not least,
  • We had fun!
Believe it or not, yes, we had fun.

What is "the brown moss of terror?" 

Well, underneath the carpet in the kitchen, dining room and laundry room, was this wonderful little brown carpet pad that was glued to the floor underneath. Literally. It would not come up. And it needed to. We spent three days scraping it. And it looked kind of mossy, so it was dubbed the brown moss of terror.

Songwriting? That sounds fun!

Yes, yes it does. One Friday the boys came over and had written us a song to the tune of "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction. So we wrote them a song to the tune of "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen and sang it for them the following week. Unfortunately, I don't have a video of that.

I do, however, have a video of this song that Meredith and I wrote while painting the bathroom...which I was going to post, but now I'm not. So...sorry! haha

We also had a High School Musical dance party. It was epic. I know you're jealous.

What does the house look like now?




It's practically a castle.

Well, compared to what it DID look like, at least. :)

So, now you know how I spent the last three weeks of my June (after my senior trip). Exciting right? It was a great time, and a great experience, but I'm glad to be home and back at work. About to start college. Oh, I'm a sophomore now, as of yesterday. Cool right? I'm probably the only freshman at UTA who's actually a sophomore. Hehe. I cheated the system.