Nov 30, 2006

I know I've developed far more worthwhile skills since, but..

I used to be way better at Bejeweled, Tetris, and Minsweeper when I was in high school. This makes me sad. Or rather, I choose to be sad about this.

Nov 29, 2006

How About I Just Curl Up and Die Right Now?

It's that time again! At least twice a month (often more than that) my brain goes on an embarrassing memory rampage and I want to quickly disassociate myself from every human being I've ever had any contact with.

There's a classic Dave Barry column from the 80s that describes this phenomena quite well:

Your brain cherishes embarrassing memories. It likes to take them out and fondle them. This probably explains a lot of unexplained suicides. A successful man with a nice family and a good career will be out on his patio, cooking hamburgers, seemingly without a care in the world, when his brain, rummaging through its humiliating-incident collection, selects an old favorite, which it replays for a zillionth time, and the man is suddenly so overcome by feelings of shame that he stabs himself in the skull with his barbecue fork.

At the funeral, people say how shocking it was, a seemingly happy and well-adjusted person choosing to end it all. They assume he must have had a terrible dark secret involving drugs or organized crime or dressing members of the conch family in flimsy undergarments. Little do they know he was thinking about the time in Social Studies class in 1963 when he discovered a hard-to-reach pimple roughly halfway down his back, and he got to working on it, subtly at first, but with gradually increasing intensity, eventually losing track of where he was, until suddenly he realized the room had become silent, and he looked up, with is arm stuck halfway down the back of his shirt, and he saw that everybody in the class, including the teacher, was watching what he was doing, and he knew they'd give him a cruel nickname that would stick like epoxy cement for the rest of his life, such as when he went to his 45th reunion, even if he had been appointed Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the instant his classmates saw him, they'd shriek: "Hey look! It's ZIT!"

And I'm far too much of a chicken to write the moments I'm trying not to think about right now in this venue. But just know: I'm a shame to the human race.

I don't know what the answer is.

A post that's really had me thinking from...well, from the ex-boyfriend's best friend's blog (Even though I don't personally know him, I've long enjoyed Mac's blog and I've added a link to it on my site because a) he discusses interesting things, b) he updates fairly regularly and I don't have enough friends that do that to keep me entertained, and c) it's an attempt to make it look like I have male friends, when we all know that I don't (this is also why I have a link to Jeff Lund's blog, even though he's on a mission in Brazil and obviously won't be updating there).):

For a long time it has been a dream of mine to teach in a school like this. I'm sure it would burn me out quickly, but if I could help a single student make something better of his or her life, it would be worth it. There are so many kids out there who have no idea of their potential, and if there was any possible way that I could help them reach it...I don't know if I could do much, but it's certainly a cause that's worth putting a full effort into.

I'm going to school to be a teacher. I forget this too often. I get so caught up in the little bits of school: I'm writing this paper for a grade. Grades are horrible motivation for me. I've never been able to care about them that much. But I really want to teach. After parents, I would say school teachers have the most influence on who a child grows up to be. And it's not just helping people get a diploma (which undoubtedly helps their employment chances). Learning brings confidence like nothing else does. Confidence changes lives, making success feel not completely out of the question.

I don't know how to recover situations like the New Orleans Recovery School. The problems in harder-off areas is the complacency. The attitude is what needs to change the most; kids need to be excited about learning. I don't know how to change that. But I know it's changeable. Though I've never been complacent about learning, I've certainly had my phases of complacency about school, and gotten out of them (only to fall back in again and again, but that's a different story). Goal-setting and looking at the big picture do wonders, though. I'm going to be a teacher and change lives...okay, back to homework.

Snow, snow, I love it so.

Yesterday we had our first serious snowfall of the season. I love it. There are some major icicles hanging above the window in my bedroom and I woke up to the sun shining off of them. (Because our bedroom window is always open ever since the day we moved the desk underneath it...I tend to forget this often, but luckily I generally don't change on the side of the room that the view would be unobstructed.)

I love the sound of snow compressing under my shoes.

I love the snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes.

Nov 27, 2006

A typical BYU single's ward sacrament meeting...

starts out with the girl who reads Footprints in the Sand and ends with the guy who credits the win over Utah to the fact that more BYU players pay tithing. Windows of heaven and all that.

I recall being told once in elementary school...

that Betsy Ross invented the five-point star. I'm pretty positive that it was a flat out lie. They do that in elementary schools sometimes. And some of the lies (like the classic "there are no dumb questions") are still told by college professors. It only encourages the dumb-question-askers who are going to be talking too much anyway.

According to my own can't-fall-asleep calculations and the flags of the world poster that hangs by my bed, five-pointed stars are featured on 25.7% of the world's flags.

Nov 25, 2006

Rise And Shout the Cougars Are Out!

I just spent the last several minutes jumping up and down in my living room and hearing the yells of joy coming from BYU housing all around me.

BYU 33, Utah 31

Our last touchdown in the last zero seconds of the game.


Nov 23, 2006

I Love To Eat The Temple: Part II

You may recall the fateful day freshman year that Melanie and I made a replica of the Salt Lake Temple out of sugar cubes:Well, on Sunday we totally outdid ourselves. It was Melanie's genius idea.
It took basically my entire day. But it was worth it.Yes, those are cheese cubes. (That people actually ate! They didn't have to know that my hands had been all over it all day.)And yes, that's me looking really creepy. But as chief architect, I think I deserve to look however I want.I know that it's not technically a competition. But we definitely won sweet swap. (Don't worry, we had legitimate treats provided as well.) Do try this at home. It's a good Sabbath activity. I recommend using something softer than cheddar, it was tough to work with. The mozzarella worked nicely, though.

My thanks go out to Ellie, who was the only person who took the project as seriously as I did. Without her, it would've never happened. Emilee and Melanie totally pooped out only two hours into construction.

Nov 22, 2006

I feel like such a moron...

So I thought that my uncle was coming to pick me up tonight to take me down to St. George for Thanksgiving. When I talked to him he said he'd be here at eight to pick me up. I got off work an hour early so that I could walk home in time for them to get me. I waited at home for an hour and a half and finally called to see what was up. Apparently he meant eight tomorrow morning.

And everything I have to do is in my cubicle at work. I thought that I wouldn't have any time to do anything until I got back to work on Friday because I'd be in St. George the whole time. So I'm home alone with no school supplies and without the book I'm reading and without the supplies for a little project I'm working on that I'm not going to announce to the public yet (which would've been perfect for tonight because I have no roommates home).

I wish people would use military time. It makes a thousand times more sense.

I'm thankful for the U.S. and A.

I often associate American patriotism with the person who drives a pickup with a gun rack and the bumper sticker that says "Support Our Troops" next to the one that says "Bush Cheney 04" . This person believes that the war in Iraq is the same thing as the war on terror. And it turns me off in a major fashion when it comes to patriotism. Loving America is the job of the ignorant. Thanking God for this country is for...them (you know exactly what people I'm talking about). The pickup also features Calvin peeing on Osama bin Laden.

But when it comes down to it, I'm so blessed to be living here. And this Thanksgiving I'm putting it towards the top of things that I'm grateful for.

A month or so ago I had dinner with a group of friends that included a girl from Belarus. She has a brother who attends the national university there. A year ago, there was a rally for the president of Belarus and all of the university students were supposed to attend. Her brother already had a ticket for the train home that weekend, so he didn't go. When he got back, all of his stuff had been confiscated and he was told he was not allowed to stay in the college dormitories anymore because he hadn't attended the rally for the president. Rent was too much elsewhere, but he was able to bribe an official and stay in the dorms anyway.

A few weeks ago we had elections in our country. Plenty of people are unhappy with the results, as with any election. But the people that were fairly voted in will take their positions and there will be little ado about it. The system is stable and people don't question it. They complain, but nobody's trying to overthrow the government. Elections are not this tidy in many places.

A few days ago China unblocked Wikipedia for internet users across the nation. And then blocked it again. Can you imagine living somewhere where the government has such control over what you can learn? Even when they unblocked Wikipedia, certain subjects were blocked that were too sensitive to be allowed.

A classic quote from Dr. Murdock (my 20th Century China professor last year): "We have Chinese government officials come here all the time. One of these times ask them how many people died in Tienanmen. And then BYU security will get really mad because you're provoking a guest. But do it anyway."

It could be a lot worse. We've got some good things going for us. I love the United States. There are some good people, some beautiful places, etc. I'm trying to be more grateful for it.

Nov 21, 2006

Pack It Up

It is time to decide what to wear for the days in St. George for Thanksgiving. The rules for packing clothes when seeing my family:
  1. Pack as many new clothes as possible so that my sisters can think I'm cool.
  2. Pack at least one item that my mother might question, so that I can either get away with it and therefore feel like I'm not a scandalous dresser, or assert my independence with something like "I'm twenty years old, Mom, I think I can dress myself," when she questions.
  3. Pack at least one item that my mother will definitely not question, but think is adorable so that she doesn't think she has failed as a mother.
  4. Pack as many accessories and smallish clothes as is reasonable so that my sisters can borrow them and love me.
  5. Pack at least one item that rouses nostalgia, such as a pep band tee or a piece of jewelry made at Girl's Camp, so that we can have those fabulous trips down memory lane.

The trouble is, I'm not going to be there for very long. I've got two outfits to try to get all the rules in. Three if you count pajamas.

Don't Judge Me

This is the first time I've ever done one. And Rach and Laura did it first. And I'll admit they're fun to do.

And I'll admit that I re-typed all of the last questions so that they aren't in all caps. You'll notice on Rachael's and Laura's that starting at question 21 the questions are in all caps. It's important to me that these things are consistent. Now it would make more sense to make the first questions all caps, because there are less, but capital letters make it look like somebody is angry.

But I digress, onto the quiz:

1. Someone knocks on your door at 2 a.m. Who do you want it to be? Wouldn't he like to know? But really...anyone who isn't a serial rapist/killer, which would definitely be my first suspicion.

2. Your boss tells you he/she will give you a $20 raise if you'll do your job naked. Would you stay? I'd work naked for free if it were socially acceptable; clothes are an inconvenience.

3. Put yourself in a nutshell: It's a little crowded, but cozy. And I'm enjoying the smell of pistachio.

4. Have you ever seen a ghost? I doubt it.

5. Are you happy with your body? Almost always.

6. A reason you would move to Iceland: I love moving. And saying the word "Reykjavik".

7. A place you've lived that you miss: West Lafayette, Indiana.

8. A job you would never do no matter how much you were paid: I'm pretty sure I could enjoy any job there is out there, particularly if I was getting paid well, but I wouldn't do anything that goes against my morals: stripper, drug dealer, collector for an advance payday loan place that preys upon people that "need it now" and then screws them over with interest...oh wait.

9. A band that you thought was cool when you were 13? *NSYNC (but let's just be honest and admit that at the ripe ol' age of 20, I still enjoy a good round of Tearin' Up My Heart or the like from time to time).

10. You have a nightmare. Who's the first person you think to call? I've never thought to call anybody because of a nightmare. Ever. I don't even know. It would depend on what sort of nightmare.

11. Do you want to have kids before you are 30? Yes.

12. A memory from high school: Of course the immediate response to this is "Noooooo!!! Aghhh!!!" as the flood of embarrassing memories comes pouring in, but we'll stick with a happy one. Namely, talking to Mr. Conaway all night on the way to New York. I love that man. (Though last I heard of him, I was told he recently highlighted his hair, which is just another clue that he might not be as straight as we'd all like to believe he is.)

13. Ever had a crush on one of your friend's parents? No. (Has anyone ever answered yes to this one? I mean, much as I adore Larry the Luminous, I've never thought of any friend's parent as crush material. Ever.)

14. Naughtiest thing you've done at work? Skinny-dipping in the RB pool when I worked custodial there. Hands down.

15. Do you look more like your mom, or your dad? My dad.

16. Something you've always wanted to learn how to do? Spell the word "guarantee". It trips me up EVERY TIME.

17. Still friends with your exes? Yes.

18. Where you'd like to be in 10 years? Happy. Other than's pretty negotiable. Plans for that far in the future never come to fruition anyway; life doesn't work that way.

19. Something you learned about yourself this year: I need to get to work.

20. What do you want for your birthday? How about for Christmas? I can't think as far ahead as my next birthday. First five things that came to my mind: a tool set, an atlas, a big box of crayons, Boggle, and a subscription to Newsweek. I'm sure there are plenty other things; I'll get to work compiling the annual mile-long wish list here soon.

21. Three things you did today: Bought fruit and crackers for my work snack supply (Who knew that they make whole wheat Ritz? I haven't tried them yet, but find it an intriguing concept), talked to my boss about my options for switching to part-time or an earlier shift or quitting my job (finally worked up the guts to do that decisions yet, but I've discussed my options, so that's good), walked at least a mile barefoot (I walk several miles a day, but every once in a while still think it's a good idea to wear uncomfortable shoes).

22. Last item you bought yourself: Since nobody cares about food, cleaning supplies, etc., we'll go with the latest impulse buy. I'm really into coffee table books (I think it's an under-used but truly great form of expression) and bought Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife about a week ago.

23. Do you have an ornament hanging from your rear-view mirror? Do I have a rear-view mirror? No.

24.What did you have for breakfast? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That's totally a legitimate breakfast in my book. Creamy peanut butter, peach jam, and wheat bread, to be specific.

25. A celebrity you have a crush on: While I think many celebrities are attractive, none are at the "crush" level.

26. The last three bands you saw live: The Format, The Rentals, Burroughs High School Symphonic Band (I needed something, I've only seen two real bands live in my life).

27. How many hours of sleep do you get each night? Seven-ish.

28. Have you ever been tied up? Probably.

29. What do you wish you were doing right now? Don't think I'm weird, but I wish I were doing homework. I've been on a school kick lately. But homework requires too much thinking to do during work, so I'm plugging away at this ridiculous quiz instead.

30. Who's the first person in your phone book in your cell? Bishop, Emily. It's alphabetical, you see.

31. Last time you witnessed a fight: I've probably witnessed a fight before. I can't think of any, though.

33. Do you like your hair pulled? Rarely. Only if it's braided.

34. Three places you would like to travel to: I have a list even longer than my lifetime reading list. Three places randomly selected off this list: Angkor, Rome, Boston.

35. Do you know how to ice skate? As long as no sharp turns or going backwards is required.

37. Something you like that's out of the ordinary: The smell of skunk.

39. What do you think of Brad Pitt? I don't think of Brad Pitt. Somehow he's on the "boring" list of celebrities for me. There is no rule to how someone gets onto the "boring" and "interesting" lists. But pretty much every celebrity fits neatly into one of these in my mind. The only way Brad Pitt is interesting is in his connections with "interesting" Angelina Jolie and "interesting" Jennifer Aniston.

40. The friend you have the most in common with: Emilee is exactly the same as me as well as my polar opposite. We have more twin outfits than you can imagine, have shared a bedroom for five semesters and sometimes share toothbrushes.

41. What color are your toenails? Surprisingly: bare. I don't think I've gone a week with unpainted toenails since I was 12. But I have this week. I don't know why.

42. Last person you talked with on the phone? My mother.

43. Do you own anything with a skull on it? No. I don't think I have since the day I got rid of my pog collection.

44. Have you travelled to Europe? It's on my to-do list.

45.Three people you would trust with your life: My dad, Tim, Allison E.

46. Last movie you watched: Step Up (the worst/best movie ever).

47. Where were you when you had your first kiss? I can't remember what the park is West Lafayette.

49. Last board game you played: Imaginiff.

50. Leather or lace? Definitely lace.

51. Have you ever had a black eye? It seems like I have, but I can't think of any specific time. I've given someone (Laura) a black eye before, can I get half-credit for that?

52. Where do you rent your movies? I practically never rent movies...wherever is convenient.

53. Do you know anyone in prison? I have a couple debtors (through work) in prison. Does that count?

If you notice the layout/color scheme changing constantly...

I'm playing with my blog today. The goal is to have settled on something when I leave work today, so we'll see what happens.

Nov 17, 2006

Four Unconnected Thoughts

  1. Free food: one of the most powerful forces in our society, motivating the laziest of mankind, mobilizing entire nations. But the trouble is you must eat it because it is free. You're not going to say no because it's free and you know that you'll be hungry later and the food that you'll eat later will be food that you bought with your own money. I wasn't hungry when they brought out the pizzas. Four slices later and I'm still not hungry.

  2. I had a dream last night that my ward was a unit fighting in a war and we were sneaking up on the enemy only to be found out because some guys were cheering too loudly over a football game on a portable TV we brought along and the enemy threw white fruit snacks shaped like Disney princesses at us. The game was Ohio State v. Michigan. Michigan won 24-17.

  3. Two places that I would love to visit: the Jewish museum in Berlin and the Georgia aquarium.

  4. While I recognize that it's utterly ridiculous, every time I hear "Someone left the cake out in the rain. I don't think I can take it, 'cause it took so long to bake it. And I'll never have that recipe again. Oh, nooo!" my thoughts are always, "I know exactly how you feel Richard Harris."

How do I still have an hour left of work?

I spend my days kind of working and mostly reading stuff (I hate the word "stuff", but nothing else fits) on the internet. The morning begins with the news and related research. It can go anywhere from there with my attention still fixed. But the last couple hours of work...there's nothing left to read about that will hold my interest and I'm halfheartedly reading the blogs of friends of friends that I don't care about or...looking up the nutrition facts to everything I've eaten in the last week or some such ridiculous and pointless activity. Most of it involves learning facts that will never come in handy but will stick with me forever, while I still routinely forget my siblings' birthdays.

The first recorded use of "Joy to the World, Barney's Dead" was in Foster City, CA. (Wikipedia on anti-Barney I ever got to that subject beats me.)

Nov 15, 2006

A Theory

Two mysteries of life: 1) When you put four socks in the wash and at the end of the process only have three, what happened to the other sock? 2) Just one load of laundry produces enough lint that you'd think you'd miss all of that fabric on your clothes...where does it come from?

On the way to Salt Lake on Saturday, I learned of a theory that must be given merit on the sole basis of creativity: there is a vast conspiracy between cotton growers and dryer manufacturers. Dryers are all equipped with a sensor that finds socks and pulls one out each load. This sock is then incinerated and the byproduct is deposited on the lint catcher. So people have to buy more socks. Cotton growers are either paying or blackmailing the dryer manufacturers for this. I hope it's blackmail.

Thank you Matt and Brian.

P.S. I safety pin my socks together when I put them in the dirty clothes basket. If you aren't doing this, do it. It'll change your life. I'm told that it prevents the dryer from sensing it as a pair of socks.

Not Again...

I'm trying to do schoolwork, but am so sure that I'd rather be doing something else that instead I've been rocking back and forth in my chair and staring at the computer mouse for...too long. And that something else for the moment is move to a cabin in some remote part of northern Minnesota, purchase a typewriter and three kittens, not speak to another human being for a year, and emerge from my cocoon with the finished manuscript of the next great American novel.

I talk like this too much even though I know it's not that interesting and I know it's not that uncommon and I know what I want is not only unreasonable, but generally not even what I want.

Things I crave: change, recognition, protein, a cause.

Nov 14, 2006

More Stressed Than I've Been In A Long Time

Every week at work they have a stress management class that meets for a half-hour. It basically consists of a lady telling you to get more and more relaxed as she counts to ten slowly over and over again.

I've never gone because it seems like a waste of time. Work has never stressed me out. But today is my birthday, so I thought I'd treat myself to thirty minutes of relaxation. Bad idea.

I don't know what to blame it on. Maybe I'm getting sick and just sitting there thinking about nothing brought out the symptoms that I'm too busy to notice in the real world. Maybe it's my low blood pressure and relaxing like that meant my body wasn't getting the blood it needed. I don't know, but during that session and now an hour later...I feel horrible. I'm nauseated and I'm seldom nauseated. I have a headache and I haven't had a headache for years. And I never have menstrual cramps this late in the cycle, but they are definitely there. I honestly thought I was going to pass out or vomit during the entire class. It was awful.

And the lady was convinced that I must be one of those high strung people that can't handle relaxation and wouldn't believe me when I told her that I have no problem relaxing in normal situations and it's just this situation that somehow causes me to think nothing but "lower back pain" and "dizzy".

Nov 13, 2006

It's for insurance? Who knew?

I've wondered about her for ages, but not enough that I've ever paid the immense amount of attention required to figure out what is going on in her commercial. A bit of an explanation from Slate:

"Erin Esurance has become a bit of a sex symbol for a certain kind of dude." What is this certain kind of dude? Is touting pink hair and insurance policies a good method to get men?

"Oh, it took Bell to make the telephone ring...

And it took Edison to light up our way. Oh, it took Robert Fulton in a steamboat to go chug-chug-chuggin' down the bay. Howe knew how to make a sewing machine. The Wrights knew the right way to fly. So when you're spelling the word Am-er-i-ca: don't forget to dot the 'i' for the inventors, don't forget to dot the 'i'!"

I want to continue ("George Pullman made the sleeping cart for railroad trips at night. Lou Waterman made the fountain pen so everyone could write..."), but it's not going to get it any less stuck in my head, I've already written far too much, and nobody cares except perhaps Rachael.

I've had a fine Wikipedia session investigating American inventors that started as a legitimate homework-related activity, but has now consumed half-an-hour of my day when it should've been a quickie. But imagine the horror when I looked up rotary printing press and "It was invented by William Bullock." My entire life I've been singing that it was Richard Hoe! But never fear, I figured it out: Bullock improved the rotary printing press during the 1860s that Hoe invented in the 1840s. Both can be cited as the inventor just depending on which step of the matter you consider the true invention of the rotary printing press. Whew...

Remember that phase during childhood when you wanted to be an inventor when you grew up? And wasn't it a shame when you found out that it's not a legitimate occupation? You can't major in inventing. You can't set up an inventing shop and make a living off of it. It was a bitter day indeed when I found out that it needs to be a hobby or directly related to some other occupation.

Nov 12, 2006

Adventures with Laundry Boy

It has long been an unspoken rule of my apartment complex that people do not talk in the laundry room unless absolutely necessary. Yesterday I figured out why. Decision: The laundry room is not a good place to try to make friends.

Random guy in the laundry room (from here on out referred to as "Arnold" even though I never got his name): Man, it's cold outside.

Me (folding a huge t-shirt with a hole in it, turning my back to him as I assume this is the end of the conversation): Yeah.

Arnold (putting various wet clothes into his dryer): So what apartment do you live in?

Me (thinking "oh no, he's trying to have legitimate conversation and I'm working on this pile of t-shirts," going to my dryer to pull out something feminine so that he doesn't take me as a pile of t-shirts person, deciding on a brown dress): 328.

Arnold (fiddling with his quarters, depositing them into his dryer): Ah, a third floor-er! How's it living up there?

Me (thinking "what kind of a question is that?" flapping the dress in the air to get the wrinkles out, laying it on the counter, going for a skirt):'s good. Top of the world, really.

Arnold (leaving): Haha, I bet.

Me (grateful he's leaving so I can fold my underwear without a male right there): See ya.

I get back to business and am heavily involved in a tricky entanglement of a thong and tank top straps when he unexpectedly comes back with another load.

Arnold: So what time does your ward meet for church?

Me (frantically throwing the tangled mess back into the dryer, pulling out a pair of jeans which is far less uncomfortable to work with in front of him): 9am.

Arnold (loading his clothes into his dryer practically one item at a time for no apparent reason): We did that last year, but now we have 1pm.

I pull a sweater out. A pair of socks and a pair of panties stick to it long enough to get out of my dryer, then fall to the ground. He notices something fall and reaches down meaning to help, realizes there's a lacy pair of panties involved, springs back up as if it were a tarantula, and CRACK! He hits his head hard on the open dryer door.

Arnold (acting as if nothing had just happenned, quickly dumping the rest of his wet clothes into his dryer): Well, see ya around!

Me (trying not to laugh because he's trying so hard to play it cool): Are you okay?

Arnold (briskly exiting the room): Huh? Oh, yeah, I'm fine. See ya!

Nov 9, 2006

Walrus Mustache Ought To Go

Don't ask me how I managed to do this, but today is the first day in my life that I've seen a picture of John Bolton. They never said on NPR that he was mustachioed. I had no idea. He looks completely different than how I imagined him, and I now have to re-evaluate everything I ever heard about him with this face attached.

The main point of this post is it's an excuse to use the word "mustachioed". These opportunities don't come as often as we would all like and must be seized before they slip away from us.

And I'd like to point out that I haven't made a single reference to Bob Boisvert in two paragraphs involving mustaches. Believe me, it was tough.

Nov 8, 2006

Best Day Ever

First the perfect weather, then Rumsfield announces his resignation, and then management brings in disinfecting, scrubbing, citrus-scented cleaning wipes. I think I'll burst with happiness. That smell that has forever been in the fridge and microwave in the break room should say its prayers. When is my next break?

It's funny, I'm known as the neat freak in the office but at home I'm Messy McGee. Both of those people are me, just different parts of me. I have it in me to be a neat freak because I'm very detail-oriented, particularly when it comes to the way things look. However, I don't need organization or cleanliness; I just think it's fun to produce.

Sports Voting

A nice, non-controversial, semi-election-related story I liked from Morning Edition today:

"Hey I just voted 18 times already today for the NHL comeback player of the week, the poker all-stars, and whether or not my baseball team should try to buy a Japanese pitcher. Let somebody else pull the levers for my governor or senator; I've done my job as a responsible American voter."

Who knew there was a minor league team who had fans vote for the starting line-up? Who's awful idea was that? Though apparently it wasn't that serious of an idea when it started out. According to a Boston Globe article about the team, "The project's backers said they were surprised they could persuade a real baseball team to play along." Democracy at it's finest.

Oh my heck, what is with this state?

Not really surprising, but the front page headline of Deseret Morning News today is "Utah Stays Course" in big bold letters. Way to keep...positive? I'm sure there's a subtitle somewhere that says something like "Dems Take Control of House: Are Our Children Safe?"

Nov 7, 2006

I'm not actually quitting my job

Sorry to those that thought I was serious. I'm not quitting my job, not for at least another month, that is. I was just talking because I'm going through one of those horrible restless phases of life where I need something major to change soon. And will I be like this my entire life and is that wrong? I'm not into stability.

I slept on the couch instead of my bed on Saturday night, and that was enough change to tide me over for a few days.

Nov 6, 2006

Now I Get It...

I just had a really good moment. I just figured out that Tenochtitlan and Teotihuacan are two different cities. Those dang Aztecs and their similar sounding names (Teotihuacan is much older than the Aztecs and was in ruins during the beginnings of the Aztec empire, but the name that stuck with the city is the Aztec one). Whenever I've heard either Tenochtitlan or Teotihuacan in the past, I imagine this city that has the Pyramid of the Sun in it and is half-an-hour's drive northeast of Mexico City, but also somehow the basis for Mexico City. And I imagined that it was a Maya or maybe Toltec city that must've been taken over by the Aztecs later. That's the only way I could figure the non-coorelating dates. Except they talk about the Aztecs building their city practically on a lake...and there is no lake in site when you see pictures of the ruins of this city. So you can see the confusion I've had. Not that I've spent a ton of time thinking about it (or else I would've figured it out long ago, I suspect), but still those "Ohhhh....I get it..." moments are some of the best we get in life.

This is not as life-altering as that day a few years ago when I realized that the Balkans and the Baltics are two different parts of the world (how did it take me until my first year of college to finally get that?), but nonetheless one of those things that you find out and feel this huge sense of relief that comes from understanding.

I'm teetering on the edge of going into an extensive history lesson about these two cities, but I'll spare you because a) probably nobody cares, b) it'll mean that I never finish writing this and it'll join the already overflowing world of draft posts I've accumulated and c) if someone honestly wants it, wikipedia (ah, that blessed website!) will do the trick:

I'm leaning more left by the second...

It's been a long time since I've had a good political discussion. Meaning a discussion with people that know what they're talking about. It was Emilee and me representing Gandhi versus Steffanie and Owen representing Hitler.

Melanie comes into the room for a second and says, "Andrea, I need to talk to you." I go into her room and she says, "I don't want to get into involved here, but: Steffanie and Owen are for No Child Left Behind??!! Are you kidding me?!" Because let's be honest, the only good thing about the act is it has a nice name. Because I'm not for leaving children behind, of course.

I'll admit my deep dark secret: If there was not an explicit church stance against it, I would be strongly in favor of legalized gay marriage. It makes so much more sense to me for reasons I won't discuss here, because my real stance is just to trust God on this one.

I lose respect for people when I hear things like, "I don't see how any good Mormon can justify voting Democrat." And this is from a guy who wasn't born and raised in Utah and swears he would never raise his kids in Utah. Your typical Utah natives are much worse. It's a rampant problem that I've always had issues with, but has become really grating since coming to BYU.

It's weird to be on the liberal side of things when most of my life I've argued the other side. A big part of it is the natural inclination to have all sides represented, and you have to be the liberal if you want all sides in on the conversation in this state. But I need to spend more time constructing arguments to get any good at this; I intend to spend some serious time researching political theories over the next bit of my life so that I can be a proper liberal. And then move somewhere liberal and be the best conservative you ever met.

Nov 3, 2006

Des Moines

It's one of those tired of everything kind of months. I'm considering moving to Iowa. Or changing my major to math. One or the other.

But I'm not quitting my job until after November 8th. I'm counting down to that day as if it were Christmas. You see, if someone has promised payments, but we haven't gotten any for three months, then we can sue them. When I started here, I got a ton of debtors that had their checks returned on August 8th, because that's when I first got my own pool of debtors. There are still a good 30-40 people that had checks returned on the August 8th that haven't paid in full in my pool. I of course don't have the right info for all of them, and some of them are faithfully making payments, but...there are still quite a few people that I get to go legal on in five days. I can't wait. You get your money a lot faster when you're garnishing their wages. And then I won't have to deal with them any longer. Yes, I'm a cold calloused collector.

But after November 8th, I'm off, you hear me?

Nov 1, 2006

All Hallows' Eve

Your normal Halloween festivities. Nothing too exciting to report. Everyone dressed up at work and didn't work really all day. And ate too many donuts.

My coworker Rozy: You can tell which guys work in the software department because they're wearing Star Trek and Lord of the Rings costumes.

I have a confession to make. I realize that this will cause many to judge me, but, nonetheless: I was once Spock from Star Trek for Halloween. But it gets worse: All of my siblings (or most anyway, I don't remember if it was all or not) were also Star Trek characters. But it gets worse: We decorated our wagon to be the Starship Enterprise and took that around with us. But it gets worse: Inside the wagon we had a cassette player playing the music from Star Trek. And I think it might've all been my idea, though I don't remember that clearly.

My million-year-old U.S. History professor last year on Halloween: It's a shame nobody dressed up for Halloween today. I would've done it if I was allowed to. Some of those Darth Vadar masks they have these days...whew, realistic.

And the evening ended with a program about exorcism on the History Channel with Emilee that completely freaked us out. I think I prefer the evenings that end with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant kissing on the streets of New York to the evenings that end with demon-possessed people crawling and writhing around on the floor.