Feb 28, 2007


I've never had a swearing habit until recently. (Note: swearing habit in my world is very different than what you may be thinking.)

The word "damn" started flirting with the border of my vocabulary a few months ago. Every week or so he'd come in for the sake of entertainment, gradually becoming a more regular sight. He'd vacation there for days at a time, mostly just out at night, timidly, with the lower end of society. The vacations became frequent enough that he started looking at getting a permanent place set up. He grew more comfortable and confident, shopping in the nicer stores, associating with more prominent members of the community. Bought a house. Planted a flower garden in front. A vegetable garden in back.

I'm okay with it. I wouldn't dream of saying "damn" in front of my family or select other associates; he'll always know he's an immigrant. But he's established and comes in handy frequently enough that he's welcome.

Feb 27, 2007

Child Abuse?

A fascinating story that I can't help but write something about the role of government after learning of: http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/02/27/obese.child.reut/index.html

It would, of course, be ridiculous if they took away the child. I completely support the decision to let the mother keep him. There are plenty of overweight children out there and it sets a dangerous precedent to have one taken away. And if letting a child eat massive quantities of junk food is enough to have him taken away, plenty of other bad parenting problems could be next in line, and it's not something that anybody can keep up with.

But I think I agree with the concept in theory. As I've said many a time before, my idea of good government is one that makes people as free as they can be. This only applies to the freedom of adults, however. The freedoms of children ought to be restricted to ensure that they are more free once they become adults. That's why there is mandatory schooling, an age of consent, etc. I would actually be okay with requiring healthy eating for children. There's no way a real government could do this properly, but again, this is all theoretical. And getting into even more theoretical because I know there's no way in heck this could be done properly: It would be ideal that there be a test that people have to pass to be allowed to reproduce.

I know that I'm generally rather libertarian, but it's so sad that one child lives a healthy life because his parents require him to eat vegetables while another dies of a heart attack at the age of 32 because his parents gave him all the over-processed food he wanted. The essence of life is that it's not fair and that different people have their different challenges, but that doesn't mean that there oughtn't be anything done to try to combat those problems.

Then again, I might not actually mean what I say. Is it more traumatizing to a child to be separated from his mother than to be obese? Would that be far more limiting to his future? Ah, the grey areas of life.

Feb 24, 2007

What the heck happened to February?

I know it's not an interesting thought, and a million people have said it already, but still...I swear January just ended.


I've been seriously considering doing a field study in India this fall. I've done a lot of figuring today and determined that it would fit reasonably enough into my academic program and into my financial situation to be do-able.

I would be doing an individual research project of my own design (the work is almost entirely independent) which is kind of nerve-wracking, but also exciting.

The only reason I've wanted to do it for the last month was essentially because I want a picture of Melanie and me in front of the Taj Mahal (Melanie's going). The last few days I've been a lot more serious about it, though, as I've decided what I want to do for my research and have discussed a little more with the program people.

No decisions for now. But soon. Plenty of pros and plenty of cons.

It's a good time of life when you have no real attachments and it's completely okay to be dirt poor.

While I'm not a picky eater by any means and can't think of a single food that would go on a list of things I don't like to eat, I'm really not a huge fan of curry. It's not that good and it doesn't bode well with my digestive system.


I feel sorry for Britney Spears. I know she's brought most of it upon herself. I know that she's done some really tasteless things.

I've always liked her. I'm not sure why. I like her music. Call me tasteless if you must, but I do. And there's something so sad about her bald head.

Intended to justify numerous fictional characters; Not intended to be read into too deeply

It happens all the time in movies and books and TV programs: the name slip-up of a former flame or a more-desired person for the person you're actually with. I've always thought it a really lame device; it's unoriginal and unrealistic. Nobody actually does that.

I totally called Tony "Tim" last night. Not to his face, but still embarrassing. Apparently it's not that hard of a mistake to make.

Feb 15, 2007

"Democracy Now!"-Induced Valentine's Day Guilt

If you ever want to feel like a horrible person for living a comfortable life, a good program is Democracy Now! found on your local liberal-bent radio station. You can listen to the Valentine's Day special and hear stories that make you want to go out and change the world because there's so much injustice even in the day that's supposed to celebrate love:

Those lovely flowers you received - they were probably genetically engineered and grown in Colombia on a giant pesticide-soaked factory farm run by U.S.-owned Dole Foods. How about the chocolate? Well, over 40 percent of the world’s cocoa comes from the Ivory Coast, in West Africa, where child labor and child slavery is widespread. And diamonds? They are a girl’s best friend. And they have been used to finance some of the most brutal warfare of the last two decades.

Labor Conditions at US-Owned Plantations Show Hidden Realities of Flower Industry

Child Labor: The Hidden Ingredient to the Billion-Dollar Chocolate Industry?

Global Witness Founder Charmian Gooch: “The Diamond Industry is Failing to Live Up to Its Promises”

But then your date for the evening shows up with a lovely flower for you and you realize that while it may have been produced by a single mother working for no pay and physically abused by her supervisors in Colombia, it really will look pretty in your apartment and you forget all about her.

It's horrible, but what can you really do about it? You still really like flowers and really like chocolate and really like diamonds and intend to enjoy them. There are companies that guarantee that their diamonds don't fund the torture of African children and companies that promise their cocoa was produced by well-paid laborers, but you don't have the time or money to buy from them. You don't have the money to buy diamonds at all, of course, but you ignore this fact for a minute for the sake of argument.

You settle your feelings by saying a prayer of gratitude that you're not a child slave in Côte d'Ivoire and then go to the kitchen for another chocolate.

Feb 12, 2007

Sore Throat

My trusty immune system has let me down. It's a good immune system. I'm not even that sick, but this is definitely the sickest I've been since high school.

Feb 10, 2007

Not Even A Legitimate Post: a compilation of several thoughts, written purely for the sake of writing something because it's one of those days

I once had a writing professor who would always say "If you want to be a good writer then write! Write everything you can as often as you can." I think about that all the time, because it's important to me to be a good writer, or at least as good as I can get. It's such a useful tool, the written word.

And most of the time it makes me laugh because I'll think of it while composing a text message or the like and think "There is no way that 'What time are you good for dinner?' is making my a better writer." But when I'm in those phases of life that I don't write much, I feel guilty, because I could be doing more. My entries in my personal journal have pretty much sucked lately and are only written out of habit (and the fact that I'd be very mad at myself down the road for missing a day when I haven't for four-and-a-half years).

Mostly because I'm bored, but also because I am in a rare (for the last couple months) mood to write (this doesn't mean you should expect anything well-written at all, I'm not in a mood to tediously write), here are various thoughts I've had throughout the day, some related to each other, some not, some related to at least something, but some not:

  • You would be surprised at how many people in this world think it's a good idea to do their own ringback tone by recording a minute of music off of the radio as their voice mail prompt.
  • I liked the song "Stars are Blind" by Paris Hilton before I knew it was her. I know this is the sort of thing that there is no redemption for, but I think confession will make it sit easier in my heart. It was the ringback tone of one of my debtors, and I remember hearing it the first few times and thinking "This is catchy!" Nowadays she has "My Love" by Justin Timberlake, which I think we all can safely agree is a great song. She hasn't responded to the dozens of messages I've left her, but I call her regularly just to get a taste of music that isn't the same few songs that Jane in the cubicle next to me listens to.
  • It won't be too much longer before everybody's tired of Barack Obama. Too much media attention in my opinion. An article from Slate that made me a little uncomfortable with the blasphemy, but the quote at the end about him taking notes makes it worth it: Obama Messiah Watch.
  • I talk too much on dates, in general. It's odd because I'm pretty quiet in all other social situations, but dates are horrible. And it seems to be directly related to how interested I am in the guy. If I'm not interested at all, you can expect me to have covered every single subject I know a thing about by the end of the evening and he'll have said three words. If I'm somewhat interested (I haven't been on a date where I'm really interested in so long that it's hard to say how that goes) I'll be a little better.
  • I'm sorry, but Anna Nicole Smith was not an interesting person.
  • Today is a lazy day. Saturdays at work always are. And I don't even feel guilty because I've been an amazing collector thus far for February. I have the highest calls per hour in the place and I'm in sixth place for money considering everyone above me and most people below me work full-time. And I realize that I can be really good at this job if I want to be. It's just I still don't especially like it and I really enjoy the extracurricular web surfing and such that I normally accompany work with. But I'll be good for the rest of February (except Saturdays) because this company has been good to me and I want to be a good worker.
  • I've had far more ugly days than my allotted one per week lately. I need to pick somebody to have a crush on promptly or this will continue indefinitely.
  • On Monday I'm moving from my beloved cubicle to an office. I'm sharing the office with someone who works the later shift because I work mornings. It's an office, but a shared space so I couldn't decide if I should think of it as an upgrade or a downgrade until I realized that the lady I'll share the office with has stuffed animals all over the desk. It's a downgrade.
  • Is there something wrong with me if I honestly think Doonesbury is a legitimately funny comic strip? I don't think so.
  • I've never had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day, and I'm kind of glad. What do you do with a boyfriend on Valentine's Day? You have to do something special and probably exchange gifts, but it's not even exciting because everyone else is having romantic experiences as well and it's all so forced. It'd be nice to get flowers or jewelry or something (tip to males: stuffed animals or any sort of jewelry that's shaped into a heart are tacky, don't do it), but you'd have to get him something and what the heck do you get a guy on Valentine's Day?
  • It's been over half-a-year now that that "Sexyback" has been all over the place and I still can't get enough of the song. You must dance when it's on, it's part of the human condition.
  • I almost bought a car the other day but decided I'd rather save my money for a plane ticket to India. I'll probably post more about this later (why I've decided I'm not in the market for a car these days as well as my tentative plans for India).
  • I'm not often in the SWKT computer lab, but when I am I sit at computer eight on row eight whenever possible. About a week ago I was headed for that computer and noticed someone was there and had a small crisis on my hands as I realized that in that area my only two options were computer seven and computer nine. I never sit at odd-numbered computers, but I would look ridiculous going to another row at that point. I choose nine because it's a perfect square. These are the sort of things that go on in my heard all the time but I don't share with people.
  • I definitely judge people that go to sporting events and then sit in the stands and do homework (there are more than you would think), but I totally did it at the basketball game against UNLV last week. If I need to be doing homework, but want to have a constant update on the game, it makes sense, doesn't it? And I justified it by knowing that I know more about BYU basketball than at least 75% of the females in the Marriott Center. I'm not exactly sure why that makes it okay, but in my head it's a sound argument.
  • I wrote Mackey Arena at first when I meant to write Marriott Center. Totally weird. I definitely think about and attend games more often in the Marriott.

Feb 7, 2007

I'm sorry...

I've been messing with the look of this for the better part of the morning and now it is this glorious pastel monstrosity you see before you now. I'm trying slowly but surely to get away from my deep fear of color (my favorite color honestly is brown) . Wearing color often is too big of a step, but I can put them onto this page and they will work. Or so I thought.

I realize this is really hideous right now, I promise to fix it within the next few days, but I'm tired of playing with it for today. I'm unfortunately too lazy to save old templates, so it's just going to be in whatever middle stage it's in now.

On the bright side, through lots of guess and check work, my knowledge of html is continuing to improve and I've been able to do some good tweaking of format that I never knew how to do before. It's kind of fun.

Feb 5, 2007

Just So You Know

The surgery went well. While the doctors were in there they discovered some sort of complication from when he got his appendix out a year ago (I'm not exactly sure what, it wasn't properly explained to me...), but it's apparently a blessing that he needed the gallbladder out because then they caught the appendix issue, even if it meant three-hour surgery instead of the anticipated two-hour. He was released from the hospital on Saturday.