Monday, January 30, 2012

Would You Like A Scone With That?

I have never washed that many dishes in one day in my entire life. Not even on Thanksgiving. And certainly never that many tea pots. And tea cups. And tea strainers. And tea spoons.

(In. AWE.)
Let me explain. Earlier this week I was unexpectedly offered a job at the London Tea Room in the city (literally right around the corner from the awesome City Museum). Its this lovely tea room run by a British family who just so happens to know us through homeschooling and when Steph-Jimmer, Laurel-Jimmer, and several other Jimmers were filming for our school film, "Pride and Parody". 

I'd visited the Tea Room several times in the past and just loved the atmosphere and, of course, the tea and goodies. A few years ago I wrote a story for literature class about a quirky place called Cafe Character. When I walked into the tea room for the first time it was a bit like walking into my own story. 

Needless to say, I was ecstatic about the offer. 

Details like schedule and the long commute had to be worked out of course but at 11:00 a.m. sharp I was in the door and ready to go.

(source: The Star-Crossed Blogger)
Now don't get me wrong: Its hard work. Especially with the unusually large crowd of crumpet-starved people and the back to back high tea reservations we were all running. Or at least a dignified jog. Between washing dishes, busing tables, more dishes, replenishing tea pots and cups and silverware, and a few more dishes I didn't stop moving for 6 hours (and I probably should have taken my break a little earlier). Lets just say that when I got home that night my feet were not very happy with me. At all.

So yeah, my feet wanted to run away to a convent without me. And I'm glad its only once a week. But the truth is I really enjoyed doing it. My co-workers are fun and really patient with the newbie, my boss is the best (and British! Everything sounds better with a British accent), the pay is good, and I get to drink tea on the job and bring home leftover baked goodies. For me, personally, this is the best first job ever. Not so 'glamorous' as Wallmart or Price Chopper (my runner-up options)...but I think I'm good right where I am. You might even say that its my cup of tea. (Punderlicious, eh?)

Maybe even as cheesy as this. But I doubt it. 

Jam 'n' Crumpets,

Friday, January 20, 2012

Love Letters and Judgmental Senior Citizens

Growing up can be scary. Yes, its "turning a page in your life story" or "finding a deeper meaning or purpose with your destiny" but when you are fidgeting in the unforgiving wooden desk and preparing to take a test that could alter your future...its just scary. Like many other scary things though (mystery meat stew, the near-death experience between turning off the light and landing in bed, deleting important files accidentally) there is a bright side.

College, for example. Now thats a whole can of worms I'm not going to try and pry open in this blog post (perhaps in the future) but it is rather like training to be a ninja. Only a lot less awesome. From birth you are trained in by special teachers to know everything you must know to be a competent human being and student. You read, study, test, and then cram constantly in preparation for (DUH_DUH-DUUUUHHHH): The Test. Whether you call it the SAT, the ACT, or MY WORST NIGHTMARE, every teenager comes to it. Its time to put all of your experience to the test and you are suddenly wishing you hadn't spark noted that one lengthy tome in Lit. Class. (Not that I would do that. *cough,cough* >->). The sad part of my ninja analogy is that instead of gaining the honor of the silver dragon warrior (or whatever it is ninjas get), I get a piece of paper with my name in curly writing. And it doesn't even get you free food. But oh well.

So now that I've completed that ordeal, I was expecting rejection galore from colleges. For some reason when I think of a college board I imagine a scrubbed oaken chamber with two rows of grim old men who smell faintly of talcum powder. I see them sneering my grades, my essays, even that kindergarten drawing of a mentally unstable cat. I feel enraged just thinking about that imaginary room. HOW DARE THEY JUDGE ME!?!

But I was pleseantly surprised. Universities of this and that have been sending me emails constantly with titles such as "We Want You To Attend Our College, Hannah!" and "So Glad I Discovered You!" and "Very Impressed With You, Hannah!" and "Hannah, You're Extraordinary." I'm not even kidding, those last three are actual emails from universities. As flattered as I am, I must pull my self from this lovesick daze of flattery and be reminded that they only want to take all my money. (Hahaha...only I have no money...). Plus most of them are Catholic schools in the middle of the desert. Why?

So this is a message to all you young things out there who are similarly scared of the future and rooms of judgmental old men: One day you too will take a big test and receive loads of flattering fan mail from universities. Just wait.

Laughing Hedgehog,


Thursday, January 12, 2012

"The Hiding Place", aka, "The Book You Must Read NOW"

I just finished reading (and theres no denying it, sniffling) Corrie ten Boom's book "The Hiding Place". I literally began to read and didn't stop until I had turned the final page of revelations. Well, that's a lie. I did get some hot chocolate. But still.

Corrie ten Boom
If you haven't read this book, You. Need. To. Right now. After you finish reading this blog. It is simply amazing and definitely now on my list of top 5 books ever. I'm usually a person who avoids war, horror, and depression in book genres and movies but this is the exception.Yes, unspeakable things transpired in this book and it paints the bloody picture of what it was like to live in the times where Hitler is on your radio and concentration camps are an everyday horror. It also is one of the most inspiring and hope-filled books I have ever read. To live at the lowest condition of humanity and to praise God...not many people could do that.

The secret room
For me I have to say that my perspective on life has shifted from page 1 to the back cover. It really begins to put what is "unfair" in perspective. The trifling, everyday nuisances don't seem like that big of a deal. The Bible looks different, too. The Bible seems like a cheaply produced book you can find anywhere. Bookstore, libraries, even seedy motel rooms. To Corrie and the other women at her prison and concentration camp, it was priceless. To think that the same words that I might skim before I go back to reading my action adventure novel or go to bed with little thought or insight are the same words that a group of people, barely human, risked their lives to smuggle and spread? I think I'm going to put a little more thought into what I read tonight.

Jesus is Victor,


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Signs the World is in the Handbasket

Humanity, I am disappointed in you. The constant stream of news about wars, violence, hunger, desperation, and death was bad enough. The day that I realized just how creepy the telletubies were (despite their awesome toaster), it was sad. But has the process of the degradation of the world finally reached the point where I'm on my running route passing a string of middle school buses, smile, and get multiple birds and other obscene hand gestures from the kids? Two days in a row? SERIOUSLY? The thought that comforts me is that I ever pass a school bus of 9th graders again I'm going to beam, point at me, make a Justin Beiber heart with my hands, then point at them and wink. Try and dodge them flying cooties, buster. Thats right, you can't run away because you are wearing your jeans at your knees with the boxers hanging out. HAHA!

Really though, i'm pretty sad with humanity. For example, the other day at Zumba. Me lovely friend M'-Jimmer and I had just suited up and were stretching to get ready for some salsa when one of the younger girls in our class turned to her friend, sighed, and said, "Gosh, I HATE my legs. They are SO fat. I wish I had yours." From a 90 something pound girl who is maybe even under the suggested weight. Of course this one comment sparked several rounds of the "Fat Game". It has to be played with 2+ people and the person who wins is the person who gets the most attention for complaining about how she is a size 2. What is wrong with you, people? Go eat some fries!

Another small but still irritating thing is the Unspoken Teenage Girl Dress Code. Did I miss a universal memo? Was I absent that day in Do Or Die Class? Am I the only one who sees this? I'm starting to think that i'm in some weird, alternate universe where they clone all the teenage girls after one person with not that great of a style sense. I'm the last person to be lecturing on what to or not to wear (hello, pink zebra print rain boots and floral skirt in Winter), but it is sad to see a group of 16 girls walking down the street and every last one is wearing the exact same thing: Uggs, leggings and shorty shorts or sweatpants, a sweatshirt from their high school, hair pulled up in a pony tail and a neon headband. Everywhere. Is there no originality anymore?

Of course there are some huge, world effecting concerns. Things like the fact that every day 115, 000 unborn babies are being murdered daily worldwide or that there are children starving in Africa. Small indicators too, though. Like the fact that Jersey Shore exists.

But there is a bright side to every handbasket. Especially if there is a tropical fruit assortment or perhaps some ugly cupcakes (muffins). Like that every day more and more people are exposed to Kpop, new Doctor Who episodes are being released, and more devices to kill lady bugs invented. (I really hate those things). And no matter how bad things get, I'll always have God, my family, and my friends. And chocolate. Especially chocolate.