Thirsty Thursday

Sometimes I’m bad at blogging.

And other times I feel so guilty about it, I write about something lame so I don’t feel bad that my last post is 3 weeks old.

This is not one of those times.

Because this topic is not lame.

What I have to write about today is something that has becoming increasingly important to me as the semester has continued. It’s a Provo YSA 9th ward tradition that has been passed down through the Belmont generations and landed squarely in my lap. It’s a celebration of life and happiness, and a responsibility I feel firmly on my shoulders.

It’s Thirsty Thursday.

My lovely neighbor Olivia started this tradition last year. She would announce it at ward prayer every week, using the same old spiel:

Hey, guys. So Thirsty Thursday this week at my apartment. I’ll have cups and sharpies, so you can write down all your sorrows on your cup and then drink them away. I know, it sounds weird, but it’ll be fun! Bring a drink to share.

I have to admit that last year I was a total Lame-o and did not really socialize that much with people in my ward. Which is lame and I regret deeply. But I started going over the summer and thought–wow! This is fun! Olivia is one of the coolest people I know! I wish I could be like her!

Little did I know, I would have the opportunity to be like Olivia would be coming very soon.

Disclaimer: I am in no way implying I am as cool as Olivia. It would take me years to reach that status of awesomeness.

A week or two before school started, many of my summer friends left the ward, including Olivia. On our last Thirsty Thursday, we bemoaned the fact we would no longer be able to gather once a week and share our sorrows with our friends. We hoped that we would all be able to get together still, but let’s be honest–it’s hard to be friends unless you have some sort of consistent activity to invite those you love to partake in the simple pleasures of life with you.

Foreshadowing

When I was talking with my new roommate Desiree about Olivia’s unreachable level of coolness and how we wish we could be like her, Desiree had the thought: Hey! Why don’t we take over Thirsty Thursday?

Psh–why hadn’t we thought of this before!

The first Thirsty Thursday was nerve-wracking. 10 minutes to the appointed time, I broke out in a cold sweat. What if no one came? What if there weren’t enough drinks? What if everyone thinks that I’m an impostor and not nearly cool enough to do Thirsty Thursday? When people started showing up, I acted like I hadn’t just had a mini panic attack and started playing hostess.

As so often happens to me, it turns out my episode was completely unwarranted. People came, there were enough drinks for everyone, and all the chatting among friends meant that I didn’t have to do any awkward-silence entertaining.

Thirsty Thursday was a hit.

And so, every Thursday at 9 o’clock, you can find our apartment filled with friends, sharing sorrows and drinking away their woes. I understand that at most college campuses, Thirsty Thursday has a very different connotation than our little ward tradition does. But in the 9th ward, we get together not to drink away our sorrows, but to celebrate the blessing we have in the great friends around us.

So if you’re ever free on a Thursday night, drop by Belmont 16. You’ll be glad you did.

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That’s One Way to Kill a Spider

When I checked my Facebook when I got home from school today, I found this posted on my wall by my dear roommate Lais.

It made me laugh, because I really do hate spiders. Whenever I see one in the house, I become a hysterical mess, jumping all over the furniture until someone with presence of mind kills the blasted creature. After I began my homework, though, this funny image was soon forgotten.
Until.
I was in the front room with my friend Kyle and half of my roommates when we smelled something burning. We assumed it must be the heat that Jennie had just turned on, but after a few minutes of the smell getting worse, we ran to the oven.
Only to discover it was on fire.
We were surprisingly calm in the moment. After staring at it for a minute and deciding it really was on fire, Kyle, ever the hero, grabbed the fire extinguisher from the front closet and sprayed the heck out of it. Meanwhile, Desiree called the fire department while Lais and I sat and talked about how funny this whole ordeal was. 
(By the way, I have to include Desiree’s account of her conversation with 911)
Operator: Is everyone evacuated?
Desiree: I mean, I guess we probably should evacuate, shouldn’t we?
Operator: Are there flames?
Desiree: Hmm…hey guys, are there flames? Andres? Andres? Yeah, there are flames.
Oh, how I love that girl.
After messing around with the fire extinguisher for a while (although I have to admit it was a blast), I decided someone should actually try turning off the oven.
Oh, the silly people I live with.
The fire department still wanted to come check it out, though, so while Desiree was still on the phone, 4 police cars and 3 firetrucks pull up, a half dozen firefighters crossing our front lawn to our open door. They rushed in bravely to put out a blazing fire, but stepped in the smokey apartment to find an oven covered in extinguishing foam. They milled around a while trying to find the source of the fire, when they realized a certain silly someone had used the broiler pan as a storage place for a plastic cutting board.
Oops.
After telling us not to be dumb anymore and assuring us we were protected because we watched General Conference this weekend, they took a picture with us and were on their way to those big red trucks.

After laughing about it for a while longer, I decided to go to bed, after checking Facebook one last time, of course. I get on only to find another post from Lais:
Well, you got the spider!
Just another day in the life of Belmont 16 🙂

Caught in the Act

“Rylee, I’m going to need to take that from you.”

My eyes darted up as my heart dropped in my chest. I had gone through my first four years of elementary school without incident, and it was now, in the 4thgrade, that I was going to get a black mark on my record. No more straight A’s for me, no more honor roll, and certainly no more teacher’s pet. And all because I couldn’t put down Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book. I had been caught reading from “Little House on the Prairie” during math time, and I just knew that Mr. Mac was going to punish me. 
As he took the book away and placed it on an upper shelf, I pondered on what my future held for me. What would my sentence be? Staying in during recess? A trip to the principal’s office? Or maybe they would just kick me out of school immediately—I would be doomed to wander the streets, looking for a job that only required a 4th grade education. It wasn’t my fault I had been reading—I was at a crucial moment in young Laura’s story, and I just knew that I wouldn’t be able to focus on anything as trivial as math until I knew the resolution of her spat with Nelly. 
After we finished reviewing the multiplication tables (insert sound of disgust here), Mr. Mac called me to his desk. He explained to me that he loved that I was reading, but asked I do it during reading time or at home. It was then that I realized that I had a problem. 
I was addicted to reading.