Dec 30, 2008

Moving to the Country; Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches.

Since last Christmas (which was spent with Trevor's family), Trevor and I had been planning on going to California to see my family for Christmas this year. However, we found out sometime mid-December that Trevor would have to work Christmas Day, so that plan seemed like it wouldn't happen. But at the last second, we found out he could get it off (thanks to his ability to make friends with his supervisors), so we rented a car and drove down to California to surprise my family for Christmas. We arrived shortly before Christmas Eve dinner and my mother died of happiness as expected and it was a grand time.

During this trip, Trevor and I spent a good deal of time discussing moving somewhere. Generally to whatever place we happened to be driving through (with a lot of emphasis on Vegas, since we were stuck in traffic there for at least an hour), but the two main factors were: we like warm weather and political/religious/cultural diversity. We do not get those in Utah. We were pretty set on moving as we drove through Nevada and discovered that it wasn't butt-freezing cold ever. I knew we had to move during a tour of Ridgecrest when Trevor expressed amazement at how many non-LDS churches there were in town (in Utah, you're either atheist or Mormon).

I've lived here for almost as long as I've lived anywhere in my life ("here" referring to Utah County; a move from Provo to American Fork doesn't really count as a move, since we still hang out with essentially the same people and the culture and climate are essentially the same). I think the longest I've ever lived in one place at one time was five years between the 6th and 10th grades in Ridgecrest. I'm almost at four-and-a-half years in Utah. And feeling antsy.

Trevor's whole life has been spent in Utah and Salt Lake Counties, so moving somewhere completely different is a little more intimidating to him (I don't mean that in a derogatory way, he's not naive or scared or anything, just inexperienced when it comes to life outside of northern Utah), but he seems to have warmed up to the idea significantly of late.

And so begins the research. Here is a list of things to consider (that I haven't run by Trevor, so maybe he'll differ on some of these, but I think it stands fairly accurate):

Things we care about
  • no/little snowfall (I'm more fond of snow than Trevor, but both of us agree that we would be fine/really happy without it)
  • well-educated population
  • job availability (both of us have the most experience working in the tech industry, but I'm sure we can find good work in any "growing community")
  • affordable housing that is not next door to a crack dealer
  • good public transportation
  • political diversity (liberal-leaning is preferable to conservative-leaning, but anywhere diverse is great)
  • vibrant music scene
  • personality of a town/city (we have several personalities we would be happy with, but we would prefer for the place has to have something unique to the feel of it)
  • air quality/water quality
  • decent amount of things to do (museums, theaters, restaurants, libraries, parks) (outdoorsy/athletic things to do will be taken into consideration as well, but aren't as important)
  • pretentiousness (most pretentious places are probably already ruled out with the "affordable housing" requirement, but it is something that will absolutely not be tolerated)
  • decent population of people in their 20s
Things we don't care about
  • hot weather (both of us are fine with 100+ degrees).
  • professional sports in the area
  • fabulous shopping (decent options are necessary, obviously, but we're fine without a plethora of designer outlets at our fingertips)
  • tax rates of different states
  • physical attractiveness of the general population
Any suggestions?

Dec 23, 2008

Office Christmas Luncheon-rrific

The office I work at has approximately 25 employees. Four of us are female. Approximately three of us are under the age of 30. I am the only female under the age of 40. This has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantage: I am, by far, the most fashionable person in the office.

Disadvantage: At office events, I tend to stand by myself while a bunch of 45-year-old men talk about whatever 45-year-old men talk about.

I spent today's office party pretending to be occupied with my food, standing near a conversation about college football desperately wracking my brains for something I could say to join their little circle. Eventually I caught wind of a video game conversation across the room and figured I'd have better luck with that (the football conversation was initially chosen because I figured I'd be more likely to have something to say there than in the the house prices conversation or the let's-recall-the-plot-of-every-Bond-film-ever conversation), so I migrated. But even that showed no promise, as the emphasis was on shooter games that came out 5+ years ago, so I'd only heard of a few of them and played none of them. There were brief glimmers of hope from time to time, but the only times games I have played before were mentioned, it was in passing (when a game was described as being "open world, like World of Warcraft", I wanted to scream "I can hold my own in a WoW conversation better than probably any other game! Please continue this thread!", but no such luck). I never said a word.

And now I am back at my desk, as the luncheon continues downstairs. I'd just rather do my job than try to make friends with my coworkers.

Dec 19, 2008

Black Smoke Siberian: Mission Accomplished!

My cat Lyric is a very unique cat in looks and personality. I know most people would say this about their pet, but anybody who knows Lyric knows it's especially true for him. I've been on a quest to pinpoint his breed ever since we got him. Not that I think he's a pure-bred show cat or anything (we got him through PetsMart Charities for $85), but he's unique enough that I've always been pretty sure that he has some pedigree blood in him. I haven't been searching diligently or anything, but for some time now, when I'd get bored with anything else I could do on the internet, I'd read about cat breeds and try to find something that sounded like him.

I had a breakthrough yesterday when I discovered that the cat fancier's term for fur like Lyric's (we've always called it "wolf fur") is "smoke". A smoke cat is a cat with hairs that are white on the inside and colored on the ends (like a natural blonde who dyed her hair darker a couple months ago and hasn't touched up her roots since). I normally refer to Lyric as a gray cat, but the proper term is "black smoke" because his real color is black, he's just missing pigment near the roots. (Cat trivia: cats come in red smoke, calico smoke, tabby smoke, etc. as well).

At this point, I read up on cats that come in black smoke and the description of Siberians jumped out immediately. He seemed to fit the description of the basics (like face shape and build), but when I got into specifics, he seems downright typey. The fur of a Siberian will get much thicker in the wintertime; we've definitely noticed Lyric getting fluffier the last month or so. Siberians are known to get along with other cats and unknown humas exceptionally well; Lyric has never had trouble with this (it took Julius a while to get used to Lyric when we first got him, but none of it was Lyric's fault). A Siberian cat will let you "hold him like a doll"; Lyric totally lets me do this (so much so that I've thought for a long time that he probably has some Ragdoll in him). The clincher for me was that several sites described Siberians as having a "dog-like personality". We've been saying this about Lyric for ages (he is a wolf cat in looks and personality). The only thing that didn't seem to fit: Siberians are supposed to be fairly quiet cats, and Lyric is one of the loudest cats of all time, but that seems minor, as the noise factor wasn't a major part of any Siberian descriptions I read.

I started looking at pictures the internet provided of black smoke Siberians (and compared them to other pictures of black smoke cats, because I'm a carfeul researcher like that), and there's no doubt in my mind that Lyric is very closely related to these (I wish I had a picture of Lyric himself, but I don't have a camera):

A very Lyric position:
A little browner than Lyric, but I bet he looked a lot like this as a kitten:
Santa Lyric:This one looks EXACTLY like Lyric (in the summer), If you told me this is a picture of him, I'd believe you:Old Lyric (especially if he continues his eating habits):
Lyric when he lets his ear hair grow out:

Most of the cats in the pictures above are pure-bred and would easily sell for $900+. Siberians are rare in the US (they weren't imported from Russia until after the Cold War) and the black smoke variety is particularly rare. I'm glad we got Lyric the way we did (saving a cat from euthanization > paying tons of money for a pet). I just love him.

Note: This post is essentially about how great Lyric is and I just want to mention that I love my other cat, Julius Caesar, just as much as I love Lyric. Let nobody accuse me of favoritism. And it may be one of the most common cat types, but isn't he an adorable domestic shorthair red mackerel tabby?(The picture is genuine Julius. Thank you MacKenna and facebook.)

Dec 18, 2008


When I got off work yesterday, I absentmindedly typed "/logout" into the field I was in, waited a good five seconds, realized that nothing was going to happen, looked around in fear that someone had noticed my shame, then logged off my computer in the usual Ctrl+Alt+Delete fashion.

I don't even play WoW that much.

Dec 15, 2008

Ummm...I'm THAT white.

On Friday I hosted an ugly sweater party and I posted about Stuff White People Like. Two days after this, the Stuff White People Like blog is updated with: #118 Ugly Sweater Parties.

Dec 12, 2008

How White Are You?

I recently came across a book titled Stuff White People Like. It's pretty brilliant. Here's the complete list from the book and my honest evaluation of how white I am.
Conclusion #1: I hate how true this is.

Conclusion #2: My ex-boyfriend, Tim Boisvert, is the whitest person on earth. I couldn't believe how many things on this list were things I'd heard him rave about.

Dec 9, 2008

Man, I Feel Like a Woman.

1) I'm having a Christmas party this Friday. As it is a party I'm hosting, there is dressing up involved (what's the point of a party if you wear something you would wear normally?), and "festive attire" is highly encouraged. Meaning the most horribly Christmas-y things you can find. As I was going through my clothes Saturday to see what my options were, I realized I have at least four viable outfit options. I told Trevor about this and he just kind of looked at me and said "You're acting like I should be surprised by this." And then I realized I am the same person that had called him from D.I. just that morning to say "There's this really huge faux fur coat for $12 and I want to buy it because you never know when something like that will come in handy." I'm kind of a huge costume clothes hoarder.

2) You know the cliche scene in many a film/TV program where the woman walks through the construction site and the men are all ridiculous? That happened to me this morning! I was walking to the bus stop through this patch of the road with several men working on it. I heard "Whoop! Brunette crossing!", saw heads whip around at the sound of my high heels on the pavement, and, I'm not making this up, a guy tipped his hat and said "S'cuse me ma'am." It was oddly insulting/flattering, but mostly I just couldn't believe it happened in real life.

Dec 6, 2008

The Poem Game

Recent blog idea from Laura: take your very favorite lines from some of your favorite songs and arrange them into a poem (as described here). I have come up with mine. It's significantly shorter than the other ones I've seen, but I personally feel that the point of poetry is to keep things short. I'm pleased with it:

Circus life. Under the big top world.
So long ago, I dreamt about a city built on rock and roll.
I want to believe in you.
Don't you want to dance? Say you want to dance! Don't you want to dance?
Here we are now. Entertain us!

Phony people come to pray.
I had a plan that was built on thinking too long.
I'm not living; I'm just killing time.
When will we say it aloud?
Even if it's alone.

Dec 5, 2008

The Blogroll (Mammoth Post)

I didn't promise anything worthwhile; I only promised huge and ambitious.

You may or may not have noticed, but my blogroll has grown substantially over the last while. It seems more and more people are jumping on the blogging bandwagon and that's fine with me as it gives me stuff to read when bored at work.

I occasionally get the "So how do you know [whoever]?" comments. And I'm sure there are those who are just looking for something to kill time with occasionally wonder if any of the blogs I have on the list are worth reading. So, as a public service, let me introduce you to all of those on my blogroll:

Aaron and Brandy: Brandy is my first cousin on my mother's side of the family. Yes, that's the side full of hunting stories and fart jokes. They're great. When I was young, Brandy was the cousin a few years older than me that I was always like, "Man, if I could be as cool and pretty as she is..." (I suspect every girl with older cousins had someone like this). Now she is married to Aaron and they have a couple adorable children. Their blog consists mostly of family happenings, which I suppose it what happens when people have children (not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that). Blog recommended for: fellow Davenport relatives who like to keep up with family; people who like pictures of adorable children (including a recent picture of "grumpy eyes" that I think is precious); people who like being disappointed when they go to a blog that had the phrase "fart jokes" in it's description but then find there isn't a single one on the site.

Allison: Allison has been a dear friend and on-again-off-again roommate over the last four years of my life. She is probably the absolute most unique person I have ever met. Seriously. And I've known some doozies. I would try to describe her, but I've never been successful at this. If you know her, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, you won't get it anyway. She posts fairly regularly, which is appreciated, and the posts generally fall into one of two categories: 1) something randomly embarrassing/hilarious or 2) deep discussions about the purpose of life, etc., that are generally fairly insightful. Blog recommended for: those who know and love Allison; those who are interested in random cultural facts about India (she spent a semester there last year and is going back in the semi-near future and she always has great posts about the people there); people who think there are no truly committed Mormons in the world anymore.

Becky: Becky is a dear friend from back when I lived in Indiana. We both came out to BYU at the same time, but I haven't hung out with her much since high school. However, we will always have making sarcastic comments in seminary. Blog recommended for: those who like to know they aren't the only people who are very single, very broke and unsure of what to do with their lives; those who love Jane Austen (not that she discusses Jane Austen much, just that kind of know who you are); single men looking for a hot Mormon girl (thought I'd throw a plug in there for you, Becky).

Brian and Kristy: Brian is another cousin on my mother's side (fart jokes!). Brian was just a little too old to be my cousin crush (who was obviously Jason Prisbey), but I always liked him because he's a funny guy. And Kristy is his wife who I have always liked quite a bit (and I don't just say these things because you're reading this). When Trevor and I got married, I remember going through the cards and all of them had some sort of mushy something or other on them and the card we got from Brian and Kristy said simply "Rock On!" This, in a nutshell, is why they are great people. And if you are ever unsure if you want to have kids or not and want to be persuaded, read nearly any entry on their blog and you're guaranteed to fall in love with their children and need some of your own. (most recent entry is a perfect example). Blog recommended for: see "Aaron and Brandy"

Cassie: Cassie is another cousin, on my father's side of the family. She is a few years older than me and I spent much of my childhood in her hand-me-down clothes. We've always gotten along splendidly, mostly because we're both smart, fun-loving women (go us!). Shortly after Trevor met her for the first time, I remember he kept on talking about different friends of his he wanted to set her up with, which I think is a great compliment to any girl (it was, of course, mostly because she has excellent taste in music). She has recently gotten herself married though, so sorry to the single friends of Trevor's who are reading this. Blog recommended for: anyone who wants to know what's going on in Cassie's life (fellow Wonnacotts and people with an unnatural fascination with relatives of mine); lovers of good taste; people who like the kind of blog with a wide variety of topics discussed.

Emilee: Emilee and I were randomly assigned to be roommates during our first year at BYU. Good work BYU housing department, you created a monster. We have since had many an adventure together, and I will always consider her one of my best friends. There are really not that many genuinely funny females in this world. I have been blessed to have known a few great ones, though, and Emilee is right up there. She moved to Texas this last summer, and as she is pretty much the opposite of Texas, you know there is going to be some good commentary. Blog recommended for: people who squeal just thinking about how cute cats are; lovers of all things luxe; those interested in a woman of well-rounded intelligence.

Erin: I used to work with Erin back in the Heritage days. We have been dear friends since the day when she confessed to me: "Andrea, I saw your blog on facebook and spent several hours last night reading it and now I know everything there is to know about you." I, not to be outdone, soon did the same, and came to work knowing everything about her. It's one of those friendships that would probably have been more of an acquaintance if technology wasn't there to aid us. Ah, technology, how I love you. Anyway, Erin is the most-often-posting-est person on this list, and for that she ought to be congratulated. Most of her life now consists of taking care of her newborn child, so...good luck with that Erin. I do not envy the lack of sleep you are experiencing. Blog recommended for: friends of mine who like to whine about me not posting enough (Go look at Erin's blog! There's something new there! Pretend it's me if you like!); those interested in the daily ins and outs of being a young new mother; lovers of witty commentary on music, family, etc.

James: James is the only ex-boyfriend of mine who I still have amiable relations with. We went to Prom in high school together when I lived in Indiana (how cute are we!). He's typical of a boyfriend of mine: into music and computer stuff and sweeter than you'd think upon first meeting him. He lives in Seattle now, because he has a smart computer person job there. His blog is pretty basic and fairly "this is what's going on in my life" and not updated as often as it could be, but otherwise amusing. Also, I love that the link to my blog on his is called "mormons having fun". Blog recommended for: anyone who appreciates a random (and I'm talking random) youtube music video from some song you haven't heard for a while embedded in a post; nerd boys; people who appreciate the charm of a lot of "uhh...", "hmmm...", etc.

Jason and Kris: Jason is a high school friend of Trevor's and Kris is obviously his wife. They also have a tiny daughter, who is pretty cute. Whenever I think about Jason, the first thing that comes to mind is "Jungle Japs". Though I was not there on the occasion when he misread the "Jungle Japes" Smash Bros level, the story is told pretty much every time we play on that level. He will forever live in infamy. Blog recommended for: people interested in what life is like for a young Utah family (...I know, these are getting lamer by the second, but you try to come up with three things for 20 different blogs); people who really like exclamation points (notice every single post title ends in one...); those who want more material to make fun of Jason with (aka Trapper).

Jenn: Jenn is another dear coworker from the Heritage days. Loud, sassy fun-loving sort, but not brash by any means. While I was dating Trevor, she was always the one to ask "How're things with your boy?" And was always a good person to talk about the ups and downs of a relationship with. Also, I'm pretty sure she likes every kind of music. Which is something some (aka my husband) may scorn, but since I'm like that as well, I say "good girl." Blog recommended for: people who hate Utah; people looking for a good blog meme; those who appreciate a loud-burping woman (not that you'll get to hear her burp on her blog, unfortunately, but she's definitely that sort).

Jonny and McKenzi: McKenzi is a friend from the BYU days (and roommate during one of those years). She and her husband Jonny are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. I'm not kidding. The very nicest. Their blog isn't updated very often, but I've just noticed that they have another blog they run,, that is more interesting. On that site they answer questions about the LDS church that readers submit. While this kind of thing generally makes me wary, Jonny and McKenzi are both intelligent people who give well-thought-out answers and are also very clear that their site is not in anyway connected with actual church leadership, so more power to them. Blogs (both) recommended for: people interested in what life as a Mormon is really like (and would rather ask them than me, I guess); people who had lost hope that there are good people in this world; BYU students.

Laura: A good example of how awesome Laura is: her two most recent blog entries have been about freaking Buffy the Vampire Slayer and they're both highly amusing and more insightful than you would expect. Laura and I have been friends since early elementary school and she has always been one of the most intelligently hilarious people I have known. She also deserves the largest share of the blame for my blog's existence. Nearly four years ago, I started a blog that she was pretty much the only reader of. And now well look at how far I've come: I get about 20 visits a day on this site, and only 18 or so of them are me (me thinking "maybe somebody left a comment...please...need...validation"). But enough about me. Laura is great. She is now adventuring in Australia, because she's just that cool. Blog recommended for: people who believe life is epic, if a little dull; review readers; anyone who can appreciate that after a photo tour of her apartment, comes: "Now, the question I know you are all thinking is 'Well, this seems fine and dandy but how will you fare in the event of zombie apocalypse?'" followed by a complete analysis (aka anyone who would be friends with me).

Mark and Heather: Heather is my cousin, and Cassie's sister. I also wore a lot of her hand-me-downs as a child. She's married (to Mark, obviously) and has a baby that's pretty much adorable (I know I keep saying everyone's children are adorable, but it's just true every time). Also you should note that on a recent post they totally used the date idea I gave them (go me!). Blog recommended for: Wonnacotts and Wonnacott lovers; single people who secretly enjoy the agony of reading about an adorable happily-married couple; people who like pictures of cute children and still have the energy to look at more after all the other friends that have them on their blogs.

Melanie: This is up there on my list of highest-recommended blogs. Melanie is very good at taking everyday events amusing/interesting/meaningful. We have been friends since a fateful game of Jenga in late 2004. We were roommates during a ridiculously fun period of my life, and she was a major contributor to it all. She is now a psychology graduate student at Utah State, I don't see as much of her as I would like, and her blog is a nice dose of Melanie for me. Blog recommend for: those of our generation who enjoy hearing about other's experiences with facebook, Twilight, Outkast...all the important things we live with every day; people who enjoy playing the "guess what song this blog title is taken from" game; fans of the Muppets.

Monique: Monique was my roommate for the last semester before I was married. She's a total sweetheart and pretty to boot! My favorite feature of her blog is that she starts with a quote every time. These quotes are sometimes from famous people, sometimes from literature, sometimes from scripture, sometimes from The Office, etc. She is a woman of varied interests. Down-side is: she hasn't posted in a couple months (Where are you, Monique? You think you get a boyfriend and can neglect my need for things to read on the internet? What do you mean he's more important?). Blog recommended for: people who appreciate a well-balanced blog (good balance of pictures and writing, good balance of topics...she's actually done this better than pretty much anyone I know); lovers of old school glamour; friends and family of Monique (duh, I know...).

Nishi: Nishi has been my friend since that fateful day when I was asked to help the new kid make her prayer rug in Mrs. Campbell's 7th-grade world history class. The new kid turned out to be a fun girl who had just as horrible of a fashion sense as I did in those days. But I don't want to talk about that. Or think about it. Ever. We have grown up into beautiful, successful women, thank you very much. She's a really good friend, and somehow always knows better than anyone else what's going on in my life even though we don't speak nearly as much as we ought to. Blog recommended for: people who would definitely buy tickets if N'Sync ever reunited to tour; 22 year-old girls who thought life would be simpler once they moved out of their parent's house, but found it's much more complicated; those that think 3-4 months is fine between postings.

Rachael: Rachael wins the silver medal for the Andrea's friend who most often posts on his/her blog contest. This is in part, I'm sure, because we both share a strong tendency to procrastinate. We've been friends since junior high and spent many a good time...uh...what do we even do? Like...quizzes in Seventeen or something. Anyway, she's a dear friend and one of the few people from the high school days that I keep in regular touch with. She has also recently gotten engaged, so it's wedding plan time in her life. Blog recommended for: people who appreciate a regular poster; people who, while Mormon, can't quite understand the BYU lifestyle (she goes to the one in Idaho); sarcastic people.

Trapper: This is not on my blogroll for obvious reasons. But deserves an honorable mention.

Travis: Travis is one of Trevor's old roommates. Technically he was never Trevor's roommate during the period of time when Trevor and I were dating, but you'd never know that by looking. We'd come home from church every Sunday and there would be Travis, who had obviously just let himself in, sitting in the living room watching football with something cooking in the microwave. I always liked him; he's a funny guy. His blog is rarely updated, but there are definitely treasures in there. It's generally more philosophical than anything else, which can be interesting. Blog recommended for: those who enjoy rather personal revelations about how someone else sees the world; people who only read blogs every few months and enjoy the relief of "oh, I didn't miss anything in all that time"; girls who like the sensitive type.

Trevor: Trevor, as I would assume you know by now, is my husband. He's great. And his few blog posts are great. But few. Every once in a while we have the "Why don't you post more?" "Because nobody reads it." "That's because you don't post often enough." discussion to no avail. I just skimmed over all of his old posts, though, and each one is a treasure. And to comment on his most recent post: we had even gone so far as to skim through the Wikipedia articles on the major Australian cities to decide where to live (and decided on Perth) (this was decided before Laura was living in Australia, but she would have been the first consulted upon a McCain victory). Anyway, if you want to do your part for humanity, I would encourage you to post a comment on Trevor's blog to let him know that people do care what is on that site. And then he'll probably be more disinclined to post because he hates being told what to do, but so be it. Blog recommended for: people who like to hear a furious young man rant about the majority of things around him; those who enjoy an epic tale of bravery, romance, betrayal, and glory over a tankard of ale; lovers of fine cheeses.

Valerie: Valerie is an old friend of Allison's who I had heard many great things about before I met her and seen a few times, but didn't really get to know until we ended up roommates the summer of 2007. Valerie will always be a part of the Trevor and Andrea love saga, because he totally asked her on a date when I was her roommate. But that is a tale for another day. Valerie is the sort of soft-spoken sweetheart person that is always nice to have around. And then every once in a while she pops out with something utterly hilarious. She has since gotten married, moved to Canada, and gotten knocked up to boot. Blog recommended for: those who think a certain woman named JuDene in Mesa, AZ is the greatest thing to ever happen to this earth; people interested in the details of day-to-day pregnant life (This used to be Erin's role, but her child has been born. Luckily Valerie got pregnant just in time that the all important position of Andrea's blogging pregnant friend was never vacant...way to take one for the team, Valerie); that group of guys who think anything having to do with Canada is hilarious for some inexplicable reason.

Note #1: If anyone reading this blog is a dear friend and/or a person craving attention and has a blog not represented on this prestigious list, please let me know and I'll be happy to review your credentials and make a decision from there.

Note #2: Family/couple blogs are all represented with the male's name first and the woman's name second. This does not mean I'm some sort of sexist. My initial thought was to put the name of the person I was closest with first in each case, but that provided two problems: 1) some would have a man first and some would have a woman first and what if someone thought I was just being sloppy? and 2) someone might be offended that they were not first in the list. (I do realize that in reality the chances of someone noticing these things are slim and the chances of anyone caring is even slimmer, but better safe than sorry.) I also thought that perhaps going with a last name might be appropriate, but the mix of first and last names on one list seemed like a full out crime against organization. I needed uniformity and the only other option that would provide uniformity was putting the woman's name first, which makes me feel like some sort of radical feminist. So, tradition ruled. Though now that I think about it, on all of the couple blogs represented, the woman definitely does more posting than the man. Oh well. Remind me to avoid ever making friends with a gay couple with a shared blog.

Note #3: Blogs are listed alphabetically so that nobody accuses me of favoritism.

Note #4: One can be removed from the blogroll by doing one or more of the following: 1) Provide me a written request. 2) Go longer than one year without posting. 3) Consistently write posts that are mean-spirited/offensive (this has only happened once). 4) Change your blog to a private setting (which I realize Aaron and Brandy are about to do, at which point they will be removed).

Note #5: This quote kept running through my head as I wrote this, since it describes several of the people on this list: "It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both." But I've realized that's pretty much a really dumb line. Charlotte wrote what in the book? Three words? Does it kind of sound to you like E.B. White just wanted his friends to read that and think "Oh, I know someone else who's a true friend and a good writer! I better appreciate him!"?

The Important Side of Politics: Michelle Obama's Inaugural Ball Gown

This morning I watched a slideshow of potential designs for Michelle Obama's inagural gown. My thoughts:
  • You can tell designers are excited to have someone so young and slender in the White House again. After several years of long sleeves and trying to disguise waists, everyone is jumping all over themselves to design for Mrs. Obama.
  • White is a really good color choice. So classic and it looks fantastic on dark skin. Reds and purples also seem to suit Michelle's coloring really well, but we've seen her in a lot of that already. Anything too red-white-and-blue-y is a really bad idea.
  • Watching the slideshow and trying to guess who the designer is is a fun game. Even if I only got four right (the easy ones: Oscar de la Renta, Betsey Johnson, Isaac Mizrahi, Zac Posen).
  • I think my favorite is Diane von Furstenberg's. I kind of hate that it's a wrap-dress, since that's so cliche from DVF, but I kind of love that it's a wrap-dress, because it's such a unique idea for a formal gown. And it pretty much captures subtle sexy, which is what the occasion calls for, in my opinion.
  • I think all these people that are expecting Michelle Obama to be the next Jackie O. are going to end up disappointed. She makes smart fashion decisions, but I really don't see her becoming a fashion icon. She is too...normal (normal isn't quite the right word, but I can't think of anything better).
  • Several of these gowns (particularly Carolina Herrera's and Monique l'Huillier's) are beautiful, but too red carpet. An inaguaral gown should be a little more conservative, in my opinion.
  • In writing this, I obviously did some research on inaugural gowns throughout history and was surprised to find that one of my absolute favorites is from 1909. Mrs. Taft's dress is lovely. I would wear it today.

Dec 4, 2008

Sexist Me (Still not the mammoth post)

I try to be a fair-minded person. I pride myself on my openness to new ideas and understanding stance toward ideas I don't agree with. But today, in a moment of introspection that came while reading the wikipedia article on Courtney Love, I realized: I'm a pretty sexist person.

It is, of course, naive to think that women and men are exactly the same and it is natural to treat them differently in some respects, but in this one aspect of my life, I think I have probably crossed a line into sexism.

My problem is this: I expect a lot out of women. A lot more than I do from men.

Example: I was hanging out with a couple recently, and the male was smoking a certain illegal substance. I thought little of it, as I had seen this happen on many an occasion, but the second the female in this couple took a hit, I felt a little shiver of revulsion. The same shiver of revulsion that I feel when I'm around a woman who swears frequently.

A different, but similar, shiver of revulsion strikes me when a woman is poorly-dressed. A poorly-dressed man causes no reaction.

I look down on a woman who reads romance novels and other woman-reading rubbish, but a guy who reads a trashy sci-fi or fantasy novel gains immediate forgiveness, when it really is the literary equivalent of Taken By The Viking.

I trace this to five main factors:

1) As a female, I assume that other females can do anything I can do. This doesn't mean that I think I'm really great, just that the things I'm good at should be easy for other women as well. I find zero appeal in any sort of substance abuse, so any sort of drug or alcohol abuse in a woman makes me go "Oh come on, why would you do that? You know it's not healthy/smart." I was raised in an environment that instilled a great deal of politeness, so when I see a rude woman I think to myself, "Common courtesy should be natural for you!" When a male tells about his latest experience on mushrooms, I think, "What a troubled soul." When a male is rude, I think, "Must be a guy thing."

2) The media (in an effort to not be seen as sexist, I'm sure) tends to portray women as more caring, more insightful, and often more intelligent then men. Lois is a normal, kind person, while Peter has a Squeeze-It for a brain. There is probably just as much sexism toward women in the media as toward men, but growing up in the culture I have, I immediately see the sexism toward women and denounce it. The sexism against men is more subtle (example: you notice that a scene suggests that women are too dumb to realize all this guy wants is sex and say to yourself, "that's not really an accurate portrayal", but you don't notice the other message: all men want is sex).

3) Despite all politically correct campaigns against it, cultural and biological human nature will always tell us: it is more important for a woman to appear attractive than a man. This one actually doesn't bother me too much. Men are under more pressure to make money, etc., I'd rather be under more pressure to look pretty and under control. Sorry to you radical feminists out there (I say as if I, Miss "I hope someday to have a rich husband so I can be a stay-at-home mother with lots of fabulous dresses and high end makeup", have radical feminist friends).

4) I feel that any woman who makes a fool of herself makes the rest of us look bad. Sometimes I want to scream, "Listen, you've had a couple drinks, just stop! Don't you see that each drink after this chips away at the fragile reputation for respectability and intelligence woman have in this world?"

5) While I am happily married, I'll still never entirely shake the "all women are competition and all men are potential mates" mentality. It makes me look for the imperfections in women and the bright side in the men.

Now that I've recognized this flaw in my life perspective, I'm interested in trying to change how I look at things. I can't decide which way I'd rather go, though. Should I hold men to the same high standards I hold women to? Or should I loosen my standards on women? Naturally, the best answer is find a happy medium, but when making a conscious effort to change something that comes's just too much work if I don't pick one direction.

Nov 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

First five things that popped into my head when thinking about what I am grateful for:
  • My family (this includes my husband, my extended family, my cats)
  • The internet
  • Grocery stores
  • My job
  • My clothes
Also, you should know that about a week ago I started writing the longest blog post of all time and now that I have put a lot of time into it, it must be finished. I feel like a bad person posting this one before it, but I need a significant amount of time still to finish and I don't really know why this makes me feel like a bad person anyway. I sometimes have a problem with feeling guilty for things that there is no reason whatsoever to feel guilty about. Just make sure you appreciate this post when it is published. You will know it when you see it. Thank you.

Nov 20, 2008

And the winner of the Andrea's Birthday Poetry Contest is...

Allison Ellsworth. For this beauty:

Happy birthday to an awesome young lady.
I'd say you were fly, if I were Slim Shady.

If I were a Ninja Turtle, I'd say that you're awesome.
If it were somehow complimentary, I'd call you a possom.

If I were a gangsta, I'd say you da bomb.
And ballin', and tight; then I'd insult your mom.

If I spoke almost no English I'd still tell you you're super.
And you're definitely more amazing than a Star Wars storm trooper.

If I were studying for the GRE, I might call you callipygean and pulchritudinous.
But I won't, because nothing rhymes with that.

Sorry Mom, but "Roses are red. Violets are blue. My baby girl got married, and turned twenty-two," just didn't make the cut. And sorry to all of you who weren't aware of the contest since it was only invented today, nearly a week after my birthday, because I decided Allison's poem was so awesome it needed a contest to win.

On another birthday note: My sweet grandmother called to wish me a happy birthday on November 13th. I decided not to tell her that she was off by a day when in our conversation she mentioned how sad she was that she completely forgot her daughter's birthday earlier this month and how hard it is to be losing her memory as she's getting older.

Nov 18, 2008

Why My Husband Is The Best

Trevor, looking sadly at the computer: You didn't write a new blog post.
Me: No, I haven't.
Trevor, looking sadly at me: Don't you love me at all?

In an effort to prove to my husband (who apparently takes the frequency of my posts more seriously than I ever thought) that I do in fact love him, here is a post. And to strengthen the argument past breaking, this post will be about how much I love him. So take this, Trev:

(I apologize in advance to those that get uncomfortable when things get mushy.)

Reasons I Love Trevor, My Darling Husband
  • I've never been told so many times that I am pretty, smart, fun, ect. He's always overflowing with compliments and I feel like the most beautiful, appreciated woman in the world when I'm with him.
  • When I ask him in the morning if he wants the sugary cereal du jour or Grape-Nuts for breakfast, nine times out of ten he picks Grape-Nuts because he takes his fiber intake very seriously, even though, as we all know, Grape-Nuts is basically a discussion on 18th century European economics in your mouth. But he never judges me for choosing Fruity Pebbles for myself.
  • He loves our cats as much as I do. This means a lot.
  • He makes me laugh. He can still catch me off-guard quite often and we just have a grand time.
  • When someone around us makes a grammatical or logical error, we always look at each other and know exactly what the other person is thinking.
  • He gets really excited about things that he likes. His whole body lights up when a song he likes comes on or when he sees a toy/gadget he likes at the store. He lives his life with such a passion that it's never boring to be around him.
  • He thinks nearly every woman is beautiful. It used to make me jealous somewhat when he'd comment about some random girl on the bus, "She has sexy hair," or about some friend of mine "She looks really good in that dress," but as time has gone on and I've grown more secure, I've realized that it's just good old-fashioned appreciation of beauty, and I admire his ability to find the attractive in everyone. And I love to see the smiles when he compliments my friends or mother or sisters on how they look.
  • He has the cutest dimples. This was one of the first things I ever noticed about him and also the first thing my mother said to me about him when she met him. I want to kiss his cheeks all the time.
  • He's a very generous person. He gets excited when he has an opportunity to help someone. He's the sort who always tries to give something to the homeless person, or go out of his way to walk a lost person home, or make a point to say something nice to the gloomy-looking person. He's always on the lookout for ways to be helpful and is a huge example to me in that regard.
  • Often when I'm falling asleep at night, Trevor will cuddle up to me and whisper a line from a children's book in the sweetest, cutest voice of all time: "Hush,'s sleepytime for kittens."
  • He puts a good deal of time and thought into grooming and dressing himself.
  • When we disagree about something, he still repsects my opinion and tries to make sure he understands why I feel/believe the way I do.

Nov 11, 2008

A Collection of Election Day Conversations Including, But Not Limited To: Unrealistic Expectations and Me Making A Fool of Myself in Front of a Jew

for L

Random person on the bus on election night: Man traffic is bad, aren't these people supposed to be home watching the news tonight?
Bus driver: I know that's where I'd like to be; I've been asking every person who gets on the bus which states they know have been called so far. But we won't have to worry about traffic long, it looks like Obama's going to win and before you know it, we'll be using converted military helicopters for public transportation.
Me (laughing): That's awesome.
Random person: Do you really think he could do that? I mean, we need a military, right?
Bus driver: It was a joke.
Random person: Oh.

Saudi Arabian guy who called into Talk of the World day after election:
I would like to see an Obama presidency use its power to help bring democracy to the Middle East.
Neal Conan: Well, I'm sure you're aware that American efforts to bring democracy to the Middle East don't have a stellar track record.
Saudi Arabian: Yes, but America didn't have Obama before.

Guy behind me on the bus on election day, pointing at my "I Voted" sticker (or my breast): So who did you vote for?
Me: Obama.
Guy: Do you honestly think he's going to cut taxes?
Me: No, not really. But I don't mind paying taxes if it means everyone is getting health care, or more money is getting put into the education system, or whatever.
Guy, looking at me as I'd said something disgusting: Oh.

Text message Trevor received from our dear friend Francesco shortly after the election was called for Obama: ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE TO REPORT TO THE COTTON FIELDS BY 7AM TOMORROW MORNING FOR ORIENTATION

Person in line behind me at my polling place: This is American Fork, UT, I'm probably the only person in this place who's voting for Obama.
Me: I'm voting for Obama.
Person in line in front of me: If Obama wins, I'm blaming you two when tax season comes around.
Poll worker: It's nice to see so many young people at the polls this year.
Person in line in front of me: It would be if they weren't sending the country to hell in a handbasket.

Trevor shortly after coming home from voting: I voted for the Libertarian for Attorney General, just to spice things up.
Me: No way! I did the same thing!
Trevor: Got to love those races you know nothing about.
Me: When it came to the school board race, I just kind of "Uhh...I'll pick the woman." Do you ever wonder how many people's livlihood depends completely on people who come to the polls and say "Welllllll...he has a cool name"?

Coworker #1 on the day after the election: I heard Obama has already canceled all the tax cuts he kept promising.
Coworker #2: I'm not surprised one bit. I have no idea how he duped so many people.

Guy sitting next to me on the bus on election day: Did you vote today?
Me: Yes, I did.
Guy: McCain?
Me: No. Obama.
Guy: Yeah, I like some things about Obama, but I don't trust him enough on foreign policy. For example, you know that McCain is going to stand up for Israel no matter what, but you don't really know what Obama would do if there was a decision over Israel. And I just think we should stick with our allies.
Me: I personally think America's unconditional support of Israel is a little ridiculous. We're always saying to the rest of the Middle East, "We know none of you like this, but we're just going to do it anyway." I understand it's good to have allies in that region, but I think a lot of other countries would be inclined to be our allies if they weren't so bent over Israel.
Guy: Well that's your opinion. I moved to the United States from Israel five years ago, but most of my family is still over there.
Me: Oh.

Nov 1, 2008

Final Days of the Race

  • November 4th will actually be the first time I will ever vote. At 21-years-old, I could have voted the last three years, I know. But it hasn't really happened due to concern about whether I should register to vote in California or Utah coupled with the boringness of non-presidential year elections. I turned 18 less than two weeks after the 2004 presidential election, which I often look at as a blessing these days, as I totally would've voted for Bush, but now I can say "Well I never voted for the man, I have a right to complain."
  • I have seen several pro-Obama campaign ads on TV in the last couple weeks (and none for McCain). Every time I see these, I want to shout: "What campaign strategist thought this was a good idea?! Spend your money elsewhere!" Not even the most optimistic Democrat could possibly think Obama has a prayer in the state of Utah. But I've recently heard that the Obama campaign is worried about getting all of the money they have spent before election day. This is probably why I'm seeing ads. What a problem to have. On Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me they were talking about ideas for how they could spend this money and someone suggested: if Joe Biden makes it to the 4th without saying anything else stupid, the Obama campaign will give everyone in American a free taco. That's change I can believe in.
  • A couple weeks ago, I realized that election day was coming up, and I couldn't even tell you what I'd be voting for aside from president. But I've been doing my research since. As far as the "yes-no" type measures go, I'm voting "yes" on all of them. There is nothing controversial on those points. I agree with all of the Utah State Constitutional Amendments on the ballot because they're all simple changes made for clarity or for getting rid of something archaic. I'll agree that all of the judges stay on because there aren't any major problems with any of them. But I do have a vote for governor and for state- and federal-level congressmen, so those are somewhat exciting. I sometimes catch myself in an interesting mind-set when I think through these races. In an effort to not be Uninformed American Citizen Who Votes Straight-Party, I find myself tempted to do something almost as bad: be very purposely bi- (or even multi-) partisan. I'll be reading about the different candidates thinking things like, "Well, if I'm going to vote for the Democrat for this position, I should probably vote for the Republican for this position," or "Maybe I should throw in a third-party vote for one of these, just to make sure there's some representation there". I'm fighting it, but keep worrying that I'll end up being just as bad as the Straight-Party Voter.
  • Aside from the presidential election, the most interesting thing to see on Tues night will be how the Prop 8 vote turns out in California. And if there are any friends of mine in CA who haven't voted yet (the only ones I can think of would probably be voting absentee, but you never know), I would highly encourage you to vote "yes" on Prop 8. Do it because you believe in the sacredness of traditional marriage or do it because you believe that democracy should trump abuse of judiciary power, but please do it. I, though generally fairly liberal on these things, think it's very important. This clip sums it up fairly well in my opinion:
  • Confession: I know that it is the job of Uninformed American Citizen to vote for a candidate based on something ridiculous, and this obviously isn't the basis of my decision, but I still can't help thinking, whenever I hear John McCain speak, "This guy doesn't know how to use a computer. This guy is old. This guy said his favorite recent film was Casablanca." Visions of an old man struggling to utilize MS Office applications ("Cindy! What does this thingamabobber do?") swim in front of me and I can't help but think to myself "We expect him to run a country?" I know he's actually an intelligent man, and I try to fight these things. But it just happens.
  • Perhaps some may argue with my assumption that McCain is an intelligent man above. McCain used to be smart in nearly everybody's eyes. But he has sold out. Sold out to his party and stuck to his guns on things that I think he could be more flexible on in a changing world. This article in Slate sums up what I'm talking about nicely.
  • When I said I'd be voting "yes" on all of the "yes-no"-type ballot questions, I forgot a possible exception to that rule. On my sample ballot, there are 5 "American Fork City Ballot Propositions" on there, and until today I couldn't find anywhere that explained what any of them are, with the exception of a road bond, that apparently someone was bent enough over that there's a blog about it. And (here's a case of someone making a difference in their community through something simple), I'll probably vote "no" on that bond. Just because I have read a list of cons and nobody on the internet offered pros. Making a decision based on who-even-knows-whose arguments? Yes. I've decided it's too much work to be Informed American Citizen. And, I admit, I haven't even read any of the rest of the city proposals yet.
  • And for something utterly useles, but highly amusing:

Oct 25, 2008


Note: This started out as a post that tried to be really deep about how household chores will always be part of the human condition and modern technology makes them easier in that we have machines to help and such but also makes things harder because we have so many possible ways to distract ourselves and we're used to comfortable lives, etc. However, it ended up sounding too dumb for publication so I erased it all (I know...I many posts you've seen on this blog have been too dumb for publication, and why would I have this sudden change of heart? Well, the answer is this: I don't want to talk about dumb past posts, forget about them and I'll try to do the same). I instead wrote a short little useless post under the same post title. It went like this:

I like: laundry, mowing the lawn, general tidying, taking out the trash, cleaning the litter box.

I do not like: dishes, cleaning anything in the bathroom, floors (vacuuming/mopping/sweeping).

A couple times a month, things get so bad that: Every time I walk into the kitchen, I am faced with the question: "Do I do the dishes or just kill myself?" I seriously weigh the pros and cons of each option. I decide to decide later. This means they pile up further. I generally go with the former eventually, but it's a tough internal struggle.

Note: I realize that I have over-used colons in this post. I don't care; it is definitely my favorite punctuation mark. So much promise follows a colon. And including one often means a sentence ends up less wordy than it has to be. And colons sometimes mean lists, which I also like.

Oct 24, 2008

I love technology, always and forever

  • The voicemail function on my phone hasn't worked for days and when I call Sprint to see if I can fix it, I just get a circular phone menu and can't get through to a person.
  • My car will never run again.
  • The computer I've been switched to at work has a grand total of 256 MB of RAM. I'm pretty sure that's as much as like, my graphing calculator.

Oct 14, 2008

Timeless Glam? Probably Not

So apparently Lindsay Lohan launched a line of leggings called 6126 a couple days ago. Why 6126, you ask? It Marilyn Monroe's birthday. According to Lindsay, Marilyn and her collection share a "timeless, confident glam". Ummm...leggings?

Leggings SCREAM 80s to most of us. There is very little less timeless than leggings to me. And can you imagine Marilyn Monroe in leggings? It would be horrific for a woman of her figure.

It took me a minute why this infuriated me so much. It's not like we expect Lindsay Lohan to make well-thought-out decisions. And it's certainly not the first time a pop icon has been used to promote something fairly unrelated to him or her. What it comes down to, though, is this:

A clothing line channeling Ms. Monroe would be an awesome thing. This awesome thing has been completely mangled by Ms. Lohan. While Marilyn, granted, does have some qualities I generally hate (fake blond hair, exploiting sexuality for profit, etc.), she represents a romantic, glamorous time when the women were curvy and being sexy involved a lot more teasing and a lot less overt sexuality. Lindsey represents a brand-driven Young Hollywood that would love to imitate the class of Golden Age Hollywood but never gets farther than wearing red lipstick and Marcel waves on the red carpet before someone's boob falls out of her dress. Leggings represent all the ugliness in the world.

Oct 12, 2008

Style Icon

This may not come as a surprise to those that know Emilee and I, but it still never ceases to amaze me when this happens. She came to town this weekend (hooray!) and as I embrace her in the first time in months, I notice: she and I are wearing virtually the same black turtleneck.

The first summer after I met Emilee, she and I both came back to Provo in the fall having purchased the exact same maroon polo while apart. The summer after that, she and I came back with the same blue top.

You see, Emilee and I went through the "fashion awakening" period of life during our time as roommates. As our tastes developed from the not-so-great high school style we started out with, we discussed clothes, went shopping, and watched Style Network together. And since we are both people of good taste (or so I like to believe), this was only a good thing. So here's to you, Emilee.

Oct 2, 2008

Overheard Conversation: Must-See TV

The moment we've all been waiting for has arrived. The VP debate. I expect this to have much higher ratings than your average vice-presidential debate, judging from all the talk there has been about it.

Coworker #1: Are you excited for tonight?

Coworker #2: Not at all.

Coworker #1: Why not? It's going to be a big night for Palin.

Coworker #2: Gwen Ifill is in no way unbiased. I can't believe they picked her to moderate.

Coworker #1: But won't people see right through that?

Coworker #2: In our country? Are you kidding me? People are raised on the liberal media and go through our liberal education system. If I were the McCain campaign, I would demand that they have someone else do it. Or even have a conservative moderator, since everything else is liberal-bent.

John McCain: I think Gwen Ifill is a professional and I think she will do a totally objective job because she is a highly respected professional...I have confidence that Gwen Ifill will do a professional job.

Sarah Palin: I'm not going to let it be a concern.

Coworker #1: I didn't know the moderator was a liberal. That's infuriating. I might not even watch it then.

Coworker #2: Yeah, well I'm having a few friends over to watch it at my house on the big screen; you're welcome to come join us.

Coworker #1: That would be great; I didn't have any plans for tonight other than watching it.

Love these people.

In other news, I tried ChaCha out yesterday and am already pretty sure it's the greatest thing ever. Because you never know when you're going to be at the bus stop and have it suddenly become very important to know which countries have legal gay marriage. I love the information age.

Sep 30, 2008

Business Plan

I am definitely not the "how can I make money off of this?" kind of person, so don't get me wrong here. This idea has come out of a sincere desire for a service that I and those like me would utilize daily. If I make tons of money off it, so be it. But this is for the people. And my yacht.

Here it is: A toll-free Wikipedia/any other resource website-on-demand hotline. Have you ever been in the car without internet access and thought to yourself "How old was Marie Antoinette when she died?" Did you resolve to look it up when you get home, but forget until it randomly crosses your mind in the grocery store (where you are also without internet access) a week later? Did the Unknown Factoid build into a major stress in your life that you can never quite pinpoint, reach the point where you bring a gun to work, shoot the place up, and end up on death row?

Our hotline can help. With [company name to be determined], you will never have to wonder about anything that can be found on the internet again! Here's how it works: you call in, listen to a brief advertisement and then a customer service representative with internet access will look up whatever you need to know. Want to know how many seasons Smallville has been on the air? No problem! Want to know what the average bra size for an American woman is? We've got it for you! Want to know what the ideal growing conditions for Easter Lilies is? We're here for you!

When I told Trevor about this great idea of mine, his response was something like, "You would be their number one customer. People aren't obsessed with every random thing they can think of like you are." Now, as a reader of my blog, I am assuming you are a dear friend of mine and therefore probably a bit of a trivia whore yourself, as these are the kind of people I gravitate toward. However, it's not just you and I that can find a use for this. Regardless of who you are, everyone has those moments walking out of the theater wondering, "What other film have I seen that guy in?", for just one example. No matter what a person's interests are, everyone uses the internet, so everyone would have a purpose for a hotline like this. It could be "Who won the Phillies/Brewers game this evening?" for the guy coming out of the business meeting, "What's the difference between chuck steak and flat iron steak?" for the housewife in the grocery store, "What are the requirements to get on Survivor?" for the I'm-going-to-be-famous-one-day 20 year-olds hanging out in the park, "Which UC schools have the highest and lowest tuitions?" for the worried high school student, "What was the name of that one lady who shot Andy Warhol and why did she do it?" for the crew at the coffee shop, or "Which film got better reviews: Sixteen Candles or Can't Buy Me Love?" for the indecisive couple in at Hollywood Video (on her night to pick, obviously).

Probably there would have to be some sort of stipulation on what kind of questions could be asked. I can see this being abused in a lot of ways (people who want to be read directions to a place they're traveling, want answers to something that would require an essay to answer, want an answer to something with an objective answer, etc.). The best way I can think of to address this would be to set a time limit. Tell the customer we'll give them as much information as we can find on whatever they want, but when time is up, that's it. If the customer calls in with "Tell me everything there is to know about Bangladesh", the customer service rep will give him or her a two minute rundown (perhaps after a pertinent question to help narrow it down a bit "Are you looking for history? Or perhaps you're wondering about tourist attractions? Contemporary culture?") and that'll have to be enough. If it's something that proves difficult to research ("What happens if a presidential candidate dies?") or to explain ("How does a sewing machine work?") the rep will give it the two minutes and if they can't find an answer, apologize and move on.

The company would be centered in a college town and offer very flexible scheduling and slightly-above-average hourly wages. This would hopefully attract intelligent, internet-savvy, college-aged employees. Turnover is high in all call center environments, but the job would be more interesting than the average marketing or customer service call center job, since you're learning things along with your customer, so I think it would be manageable. Especially since there isn't much training required.

The hotline would become archaic eventually, as more and more people are gaining mobile internet access, but there are definitely several years of potential in this.

I don't see how this could fail to make me filthy rich. Investors, please?

Sep 24, 2008

Okay, so I was horribly wrong about Sarah Palin

When Gov. Palin was nominated as the Republican VP candidate, I was positive that it was the last nail in the coffin of the McCain campaign. They were doomed. Nobody had heard of her and it seemed like the most uninformed, last-ditch-effort, purely-politically-motivated "hail mary pass" of all time. I could understand the reasons they did it (women voters, get some attention, Washington outsider, etc.), but I knew it would fall flat on its face. Women aren't going to love her just because she's a woman, you morons, women get excited over Democrats (who talk about education and health care and heart-wrenching stories about poor people struggling to make ends meet -- things women care about more than winning in Iraq or whatever). Just because you nominate a no-name woman doesn't mean the media is going to fall all over you like they did in your glory days, John McCain. And I couldn't help thinking it seemed like a very George-W.-Bush-nominating-whoever-that-random-lady-was-to-the-Supreme-Court-a-while-back-and-everyone-was-like-"huh?"-and-Congress-was-like-"nope" kind of thing to do. The sort of thing that someone who listens to just a few advisors and isn't in touch with the American people does. (That's not change. That's more of the same.)

Man, was I wrong. I still don't agree with the choice, necessarily, but as a political move, it was brilliant. I guess the McCain campaign analyst people know more than I do about what gets people on your side. And what gets them attention. Suddenly Palin's on the cover of every magazine where it used to be Obama (McCain isn't attractive enough to ever be the magazine cover guy). And we've all seen the jump in the polls. Especially among white women. I haven't been alive that long, and didn't follow politics for a good chunk of my not-long life, so this statment means virtually nothing, but I've never known of a VP candidate that has had such an effect on a campaign.

Much has been said about how you'd think the ticket was Palin-McCain, rather than McCain-Palin and how Palin draws far larger crowds than McCain at rallies, and I still keep telling myself it's because she's new blood and people want to get to know her and it's still the bump from the RNC, but then I realize: most Americans know more about Sarah Palin than they do about John McCain already (because she gets talked about in the news) and the RNC and her nomination were almost a month ago (longer than the average American's political attention span, let's be honest). Oh my goodness, it's practically October already. The actual election is going to be any second now. She will be a major factor. There's no getting around that.

The most interesting part to me is the Sarah Palin as an Agent of Change Factor. Apparently the Republicans finally got the memo that people are not happy with the status quo and went "Oh, we need to start talking like Obama is talking." I was amazed when I watched her RNC speech at how "change-y" her rhetoric was. If it wasn't for the sarcasim and a few minor policy bits, I'd think she was speaking at the DNC. I know McCain has always talked about "shaking up Washington" and such, but not as strongly, and definitely not as believably.

And after all of my initial doubt, I realize: she's got my attention, as well. I watched nearly every night of the DNC, because it interested me, but wasn't planning on watching more than McCain's speech at the RNC (and that only out of duty to Political Fairness, and not because I anticipated anything interesting). Once his VP selection was out, though, I couldn't wait to watch her speak. I was caught up wondering with the rest of our country, and came out impressed. People are, of course, more impressive when you go into it expecting a poor performance, but still, she was on the money. When John McCain came out at the end and asked the cheering crowd "Do you think we made the right choice for the next vice president of the United States?", if the CNN cameras had panned to a certain lone viewer on my couch in American Fork, UT, they would find me, with a puzzled look on my face, slowly nodding my head up and down, thinking, "Maybe they are on to something."

Side note: If it's acceptable to write/say "VP" for vice-president, I think it should be acceptable to write/say "P" for president. Wouldn't that be awesome? "John McCain for P!" "Primary votes are in, and it looks like Obama will likely be the Dem's P candidate." In my middle-class-white-person mind, I think "P candidate" sounds kind of gangster. Which is always a good thing.

Sep 22, 2008

Letter from Thomas to Jared and Nathan

Here's another one of those exploiting-of-younger-siblings-for-cute-posts-that-I-don't-really-have-to-do-any-work-for-but-are-generally-crowd-pleasers posts.

An email my little brother Thomas wrote to Jared and Nathan (who are both out on missions now), along with the interpretations from my mother:

judxdfsz (Thomas says this says "I love Jared. I love Jared because he can run.")
hvfxexsed( I love Jared also because he can walk because he has no owee now.)
xcgfhjut ( I love Jared because he can jog.)
xgdthjtew( I love Jared because he is a missionary now.)
ffdxrxafr(I love Jared because he can also pretend like he is a chicken.)
bhvtfgsw(also I love that Jared can catch people.)
hfvc(also I love nathan because he can kiss people on lips thats actually OK because you do that when you marry people).
vbryry4bfggbggghfbfbng5bgygt45ggggghybbvt5ttvtvdexedaezzadx(I also love Jared because he can kiss people the right way like this)
bfvytvhvgrycgyhvvtvbygtbvtvvvvvvvvvvvrgbuttttgybtvg (i also love nathan because he can jog and love people)
xzxsfsrdfrfgrfghgbn (I love Nathan because he can cluck like a chicken)
njhbfcdxde ( I love Nathan because he can walk in halls because we are supposed to walk in halls)
vgcdxftwge ( i love Nathan because he can eat food and grow up.)
bhgdg (I love Nathan cuz he write his name like cursive)
ngvhfbv fdhcfrf (I like Nathan because he can write a letter in his name like "Y")
thats it!