Oct 30, 2006

Reese and Ryan: Another One Bites The Dust

They were my favorite Hollywood couple. Seven years of marriage is a long time for young celebrities, and we always said they'd be one of the few that would last. But no, they announced their separation today. They are such pretty people. And far more classy than your typical Hollywood romance. And by all accounts, fabulous parents. It's a shame, really.

Oh well, it's still good to know that Ryan Phillipe is single. Because let's recall (how could anyone forget?) that he was my celebrity match on my Matchmaker in 10th grade. That means we were meant to be.

The Most Horrifying Thing I've Seen To Date

I'm not going to lie about something of this kind of importance: I love the song Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler. Nothing like an 80s power ballad when you need something that's high emotion and fabulous to sing along to. And of course everybody in the world connects with the line "Once upon a time I was falling in love. Now I'm only falling apart." I've never even figured out precisely what the song's about (what really is the relationship here?). But that doesn't mean it doesn't sound like the story of my life.

However, this doesn't mean that this song cannot be a source of great trauma. The other day my roommates and I thought it would be a good idea to watch the music video. Worst mistake of my life. See what I mean:

Aghh, the glowing eyes and flying choir boys!! Horror!! And the...dancing ninjas? Not to mention Bonnie Tyler's hair (though that's to be expected).

After seeing the music video, those "believed to be Belgian" passengers that are suing Air France for having Bonnie Tyler sing on their flight (I'm not making up this story, read it) suddenly have my full support. My reaction a couple months ago when this happenned was "Oh please, don't you have something more important to worry about? Like making waffles?" But now that I know the trauma that the song is capable of producing, I think they have a very strong court case.

Oct 28, 2006

I hate to admit that I'm bored with it, but...

There's a BYU game on right now, but I'm doing homework. I check every few minutes to make sure we're still winning, but I can't get into this one. It's the third quarter and the score is 24-0. We've slaughtered our last four opponents and I think this will be a fifth. And while it's nice to win, I'm getting tired of not even having close games. Not since losing to Boston College back in week four have we even been down at any point during a game. We need to be losing at some point in the game to make winning any fun. I want to play someone harder.

Except Air Force just barely scored...perhaps I shouldn't wish too hard. 24-7.

Oct 27, 2006

Everything In Its Right Place

I'm always done with my work way too quickly now that I'm working the noon to eight schedule. I don't know it's any different than the nine to five. I used to have a big list of things to do at the end of the day for the next day, but with this schedule I'm spending seven to eight drawing pictures on my white board and alphabetizing check copies that I'll never look at again and writing really lame blog posts.

I love my cubicle. I've had very few spaces in my life that are completely mine. Everything has a place in here and it stays there. And I keep it looking pretty and looking organized and get plenty of comments "Wow, you're workspace is perfect," and the like. You think I'm exaggerating. But I'm not. It's a good space.

Oct 24, 2006

Hillary Hilarity

"You ever see a picture of her back then? Whew. I don't know why Bill married her... "

After hearing this, I was a little disappointed to find pictures of a young Hillary Clinton and discover she wasn't ugly at all. I wanted her to be hideous, and believed she was as soon as I heard it. Not that Hillary's GOP Senate opponent John Spencer is the world's most reliable source on how attractive she was in her younger years, but, I mean...look at Hillary now, it's easy to imagine an ugly teenager becoming that woman.

And let's face it, her current cheeks do look like plastic surgery has had its way with them. But apparently she had those cheeks in college.

It's not a bad strategy to accuse your opponent of plastic surgery. Let's recall how John Kerry lost the 2004 presidential election due to all the Botox jokes. Or maybe it was because he didn't have a personality, I forget.

My roommate Steffanie: I would fight to the death to keep that woman from becoming president. I'm more serious than you think I am.

Where's My Delicious Coffee?

Yes, Isaac was eventually on last night. I love Isaac Mizrahi with all the love that I can possibly have for a gay man. I wish he were my best friend. And we could go shopping together. But the bad news of the century is: Giovanni was nowhere in sight.

Oct 23, 2006

Barack Obama: One Of The Good Guys

There are policies that I disagree with him on (affirmative action and abortion, for example), but I love Barack Obama. He's intelligent, a fabulous speaker, and I believe one of the few politicians that's really in it to help people.

Born to a Kenyan father and a white mother with no particular wealth and living in Indonesia for a few years during his childhood, he knows what poverty and prejudice look like. It's a typical American dream story, he worked hard and learned a lot and after breaking out of the party lifestyle of his early college years ("Junkie. That's where I'd been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.") eventually graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. And is now a US Senator.

He's only a junior senator, but has been a political media darling ever since the 2004 DNC keynote address, of course. There's a reason for that: it was a great speech. Even Republicans had to agree with that. And now there's talk of him running for president or vice president. He was on the cover of Time last week next to the title "Why Barack Obama Could Be The Next President". I think it's a pretty long shot because there's not a ton of history to judge him with. We have little evidence to see what he'd be like as a leader. But he's only in his mid-40s for crying out loud, and perhaps his inexperience is a good thing. Something new and fresh and enthusiastic. It's all a lot of speculation at this point, of course, but still, he's one to keep an eye on.

On America's place in the world:

American leadership has been a mighty force for human progress. The steady march of democracy and free enterprise across the globe speaks to the steadfastness of our leadership and the power of our ideals. Today we face new and frightful challenges, especially the threat of terror. Never has it been more important for American to lead wisely, to shrewdly project power and wield influence on behalf of liberty and security. Unfortunately, I fear our once great influence is waning, a victim of misguided policies and impetuous actions. Never has the US possessed so much power, and never has the US had so little influence to lead.

We still have the chance to correct recent missteps that have put our principles and legacy in question. Indeed, it is imperative to our nation's standing and security to do so. It will take a change of attitude and direction in our national leadership to restore the values and judgment that made and kept our nation the world's beacon of hope and freedom.

On blue states and red states:

The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states. But I've got news for them. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states and have gay friends in the red states. There're patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all defending the United States of America.

On what the working class wants and knows:

Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don't want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or the Pentagon. Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach our kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things.

Plus he's cute. And his daughters are adorable:

Oct 17, 2006

I'm actually scared of a lot of things...

Eight things that scare me:

  1. Using the word "definitively" in writing. What if someone accidentally reads it as "definitely"? I've totally made that mistake before...it's too easy of one.
  2. Janet Jackson.
  3. Plastic jump ropes.
  4. These aspects of driving: parking, merging, yellow lights.
  5. Angry people. They don't have to be angry at me, angry at anything is terrifying enough.
  6. Playing trivia games or "name this band" or any of those sorts of things. I'm generally pretty good at them, but that doesn't mean it doesn't make my stomach churn with nerves.
  7. Men.
  8. Permanent marker.

Eight things that don't scare me:

  1. Silence. I love even awkward silence most of the time.
  2. Insects, snakes, spiders, etc. They're small and you see them all the time. The only creatures I'm afraid of are alligators/crocodiles and sharks.
  3. Public speaking. Even though I'm not what one would call a good public speaker, I enjoy being the center of attention and people having to listen to me.
  4. Storms, earthquakes, tornados, etc.
  5. Michael Jackson.
  6. Calling strangers on the phone. My work has gotten me out of that fear in a hurry. Calling people I know is still a different story, though.
  7. Moldy food.
  8. People thinking I'm weird. I'm afraid of people thinking I'm dumb and I'm afraid of people thinking I'm ugly, but I really don't have any fear at all of people thinking I'm weird or nerdy or any of that sort of thing.

Oct 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

Bad luck for the general population today means good luck for me since my job is essentially ruining people's lives, yes? Maybe I'll get the necessary employment information for people I've been trying to sue for weeks now, or maybe I'll find a new address or phone number for someone we've lost contact with and still owes big money. Let's hope.

Oct 12, 2006

Woman Talk

The room I work in contains eight cubicles. Each of these cubicle houses a woman, which means there is a lot of relationship talk in this room. Four unhappily married (Adriane, Jennifer, Jane, Arlene), one divorced and bitter (Jessica), one happily living with a boyfriend (Celeste), one happily single (me) and one who hardly speaks any English, so I have no idea (Natalia). Lots of husband bashing goes on in this room, and I have to say, it does little to make me respect my coworkers. It's kind of sad, really. I don't know many details about everyone's situation, but I do know that Jennifer's husband has sent her flowers thrice since I started working here, and she's never even grateful. Things like that.

Jane: I think there's something wrong with my husband's phone, I've been getting texts that say "I love you," all morning from him, it's driving me crazy.

Jessica: So are you going out with Jose tonight?
Adriene: Jose? No way! Jose's my husband; you're thinking of Victor.
Jessica: And you're in love with Victor?
Adriene:No, he's just a sancho, I'm in love with Rick.
Jessica: Oh.

Celeste: Brandon and I have talked about marriage, but it seems like people just start to hate each other when they get married, and we're so happy with what we are now.

I have no evidence in this room to counter that, Celeste.

Oct 9, 2006

North Korea and Nuclear Weapons

It may seem like a big deal, but I'm having a hard time being super concerned about North Korea's nuclear claims.

Remember in 1998 when Pakistan announced it had successfully tested nuclear weapons and all they got was some international scolding and then got to just keep their nuclear weapons and nothing changed? Not many are seriously worried about Pakistan launching any kind of nuclear attack these days, because there's no reason. Hating India is not good enough to attack them with the kind of power that would have near every nation in the world hating them. And for North Korea, hating South Korea or the US is not enough reason either. The retaliation that would come from launching a nuclear attack would be quick and overwhelming. North Korea's regime would be out in a second. And as much as North Korea's leadership likes to put on the face of being absolutely insane in order to get what they want, I believe they're smarter than that. Having nuclear capabilities is a trophy case of wrestling awards in the living room. Impressive and intimidating, but not threatening.

The only legitimate concern I can think of is that of a country leaking a nuclear weapon to terrorists...the only people that are crazy enough to use one. But I don't really see it happening. With very few nations out there with declared nuclear capabilities, it wouldn't be too hard to figure out where it was coming from, and then that country would be squashed into oblivion.

There's even some truth to the idea that nuclear proliferation makes the world a safer place. It's the Cold War syndrome: try to match the other so that neither will attack. If nations have the ability to turn major cities into parking lots with one bomb, they are not going to use them if they know that the country they're attacking will come back with the same force. So everyone sticks to "civil" conventional weapons.

It's too bad that we have to put sanctions on North Korea over this. They should have some sort of punishment, and military involvement is most definitely not worth it and just saying "bad North Korea" does nothing, so economic sanctions is really all we can do. But I hate that the country is gettting even less money in while its people are starving. The people are starving while the regime puts their funds towards weapons programs. That's the real crime. Not having the weapons, but putting money that could be going to so many better things on weapons.

Something I've never understood: why in the world don't more nations have nuclear capabilities? The US had them for 50 years, and we can't possibly be that technologically ahead of other nations. I understand that there are many nations out there that don't want nuclear weapons, but how are there still people that are trying to do it and can't?

Oct 8, 2006

Those quizzes that we used to do on the bus from Seventeen magazine in 8th grade and now thanks to the joy of the internet can take far too many of

I know they're really lame. But I spent basically my entire day doing these things with my coworkers on Saturday, and really, I still have to share, even though I know nobody cares. Take all answers for what their worth:

Who's your celebrity style twin? Jessica Simpson (except I hate fake tans)

How girly are you? 44% (I hope that doesn't mean the other 66% is masculine.)

What city do you belong in? Paris (C'est vrai!)

Is your ex over you? All signs point to your ex digging you! (Are you really?)

What kind of sexy are you? independent sexy (their nice way of saying "anti-social sexy")

What fall fashion trend should you try? pencil skirt (on my shopping list now)

What foreign guy should you date? You should date a Japanese guy! (I could've sworn all my answers were pointing to Europe, but I guess the quiz knows me better than I know myself.)

What do guys think of your hair? sexy, desirable and hard to please (except my hair's kind of boring)

Who's your inner pop princess? Kelly Clarkson (better than most, I suppose)

Are you attractive? You attract a good amount of guys. ("Good amount" is too ambiguous for me, that could mean I'm not attractive, oh wait, but I am)

Are you a socialist or a capitalist? 16% capitalist and 84% socialist (I was very surprised to come out this socialist, I think of myself as approximately half-and-half)

Who's your inner European? Spanish (well I do enjoy a good night of flamenco dancing followed by some flan)

What's your kissing style? sensitive kisser (true enough)

Are you a girl or a woman? woman (I wish this one had been one of the percentage answers, because of course I'm "not a..."...actually to prove I'm a woman, I'm not going to quote Britney Spears)

What kind of a girlfriend are you? You are an understanding girlfriend. (Hear that boys?)

What kind of intelligence do you have? Your dominate intelligence is linguistic intelligence. (then how come I agonize over speaking and writing?)

Who's your celebrity boob twin? Paris Hilton (I like this quiz because it's based on one scientific question instead of all of this wishy-washy stuff. I wear the same bra size as Paris Hilton, that's all there is to it.)

What's your dating speed? You are a look before you leap, yellow light dater. (boring, it's always bad when you fall in the middle, even if it's definitely true)

Are you high maintenance? You are medium maintenance. (boring)

What kind of dog should you have? A beagle. (I don't like dogs all that much, but I like beagles...)

What fashion designer should you wear? Moschino (a do-able option).

The end. Let's admit...it's kind of fun. And you're thinking about taking some of these quizzes yourself aren't you?

Oct 7, 2006

"Cult"-ural Differences

Just let me rant about a pet peeve of mine for a moment:

This world is full of rampant abuse of the word "cult" There's no set criteria that makes a religious movement a cult or not. There are all of the normal signs that makes a religion cult-like: the charismatic leader, the weird rituals, etc., but no combination of cult-like attributes makes something definitively a cult. The abuse tends to happen in relation to trying to prove a religion is not a cult, even though that's impossible.

The most basic definition of the word "cult" in regards to a religion is just any religious group. Various dictionaries and encyclopedias add their own take on the word taking the negative connotations of the word into account, but there is no standard definition. What those connotations mean vary from "outside the mainstream" to "excessive zeal" to "ritualistic", depending on who you ask.

Latest subject where you hear it all the time: Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda's Growing in Grace movement. You hear people on the news arguing if it's a cult or not or describing the religion as "bordering on cult-like". But it means nothing because the word "cult" is not a category...it's just a word.

When people call Mormonism a cult people get up at arms: "No it's not!" But who's to say it's not? There's nothing about Mormonism that makes it not a cult, as with any other religion. So if people want to call it a cult...okay. I don't like the negative connotations, but there's nothing that can make it not a cult definitively. And the same goes for any religion.

I personally don't like using the word in relation to any religion, it's too iffy and too touchy. However, I love using "cult" in relation to just excessive zeal about an idea or person. Like the cult of the Mac, or the cult of the offensive, or the cult of those people that for some reason can't drive in the right lane even if they're going 30 mph on the freeway or are going to make a right-hand turn in two seconds.

And I know that this post has the lamest title of all time, but I couldn't stop myself. I promise you that I'll try to avoid puns or anything like unto them in the future.

Oct 6, 2006

The Most Puzzling Issue Concerning the Foley Scandal

Why in the world does Rep. Hastings go by "Doc"? Who runs for Congress with that name? And then wins? Richard Norman Hastings had a nice Congress name. It sounds like a solid American. Dick Hastings is a good Congress name. Nothing wrong there. The name "Doc" to me (and I'm sure I'm not alone in this sentiment) means either one of the seven dwarfs or the name of a small business owned by a man who enjoys hunting and NASCAR (something like "The Lube Doc").

Oct 5, 2006

Nothing like a miscreant Republican to make you want to vomit....

Sometimes I read or see or hear things that I really wish I hadn't. The IM transcripts of Rep. Foley and a teenage boy's sexual conversations definitely fall into that category. I would've been fine knowing the story without reading those details.

Oct 3, 2006

If Only...

If I could have any occupation in the world, I would be a dancer, a writer, or a musician. You can tell my period's going to start any second now because I've just been crying through the BYU devotional featuring a bunch of our dance ensembles. Crying because I wish I could express myself by dancing. I'm honestly jealous. When I watch good dancers, all I can ever think is: "What have I been doing with my life? I should've dedicated myself to dance long ago!" And of course the same thing happens to me when I'm reading a great work of literature ("Why am I not slaving over the next great American novel right this second? I need to get to work!") or watching/listening to a great musician perform ("Why did I stop piano lessons in 8th grade? I need to re-learn piano and flute and take up guitar and violin and french horn pronto!").

I'm not especially good at just saying how I feel, but it's better to be able to show it with movement or music or written words that are supposedly about other people anyway. It's a more ambiguous way to express, and feelings are such ambiguous things that describing them directly with spoken words never feels sufficient.

I could be a dancer, though, right? I have a good sense of rhythm. And I'm not too short and my boobs are small enough. Sure I can't touch my toes or run a mile without being very out of breath, but I can work on the flexibilty and endurance and strength. Why did I not continue with ballet after 5th grade? Whyyyyyy? This is how I feel about it::