Mar 31, 2011

You Know You're a Girl When...

You get a little teary-eyed during cat food commercials.

It's so fluffy, I'm going to die!

Mar 25, 2011

Character Strength Test

Inspired by Allison's time-wasting with this questionnaire, I spent a chunk of my time today answering 240 questions to find out what my Character Strengths are. They have 24 different strengths that the rate you on. Here are my top ten:

#1 - Humor and playfulness
You like to laugh and tease. Bringing smiles to other people is important to you. You try to see the light side of all situations.

#2 - Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

#3 - Appreciation of beauty and excellence
You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

#4 - Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.

#5 - Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who you are. You are never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.

#6 - Capacity to love and be loved
You value close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.

#7 - Forgiveness and mercy
You forgive those who have done you wrong. You always give people a second chance. Your guiding principle is mercy and not revenge.

#8 - Leadership
You excel at the tasks of leadership: encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony within the group by making everyone feel included. You do a good job organizing activities and seeing that they happen.

#9 - Fairness, equity, and justice
Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.

#10 - Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness
Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.

I feel like this is pretty accurate, though I kind of hate that my number one strength seems kind of frivilous compared to some of the others. Though that's perhaps why it's number one in the first place; when self-reporting, I'm far more confident in saying "yep, I'm funny" than "yep, I'm fair" (or whatever the case may be), because I don't over-think it as much as some of the more serious personality traits. Though I guess my ability to make life fun has been an asset in many aspects of my life, and, I daresay, the lives of those I associate with (yeah..."Modesty and Humility" was way down at #20...).

My #24 (last place) strength: "Bravery and Valor". I'm a total wuss.

Mar 22, 2011

Sibling Wedding Extravaganza

MacKenna got married in December, Jared got married this month, and now Melissa is (surprise!) getting married in May. Because she must've known I haven't had my fill of sibling weddings yet...

At least I'm getting my money's worth out of those adorable yellow slingbacks I bought a few months ago (the wedding colors have been/will be, respectively: gray and yellow, red and yellow, purple and yellow).

I was teasing Nate that Melissa beat him to the altar, because he would be next birth-order-wise and he said that we should trick Lowell (Melissa's fiance) into marrying him first and then make him work another seven years to marry Melissa. That is why Nate is awesome.

Mar 15, 2011

The Boulders Apartment Fire Update

Two women were confirmed dead in the fire last night. My heart goes out to their families and to all the people who lost everything they own in the fire. I can't imagine having to start from scratch like that.

The worst part of the night was how helpless I felt. I wanted to help, but there wasn't much I could do. I was able to loan a couple camp chairs to the displaced people watching their building burn. Unfortunately, that's all I've got.

Oh what a night. The light and noise of firefighters and police officers didn't really die down until 3am or so. That plus the general nervous atmosphere made it very difficult to sleep. Julius, who was outside during the whole thing came home around 4am pretty anxious. I'm sure all the commotion was scary for him.

Apparently the cause was arson. By this woman who I totally recognize from around the complex.

Some pictures I took of the aftermath this morning:

Trevor and I have been debating whether we want to renew our contract at The Boulders when it's up in July. We like the neighbors and the cheap rent and how the management isn't full of sticklers for rules (like the last apartment complex we lived in). But the place is pretty old. There are sparks when you plug things into certain outlets in our apartment and the heating never worked very well. Until the arson reports came out this morning, we were both convinced that the fire had been caused by something wrong with the apartment, electrical or gas problems of some sort. So we knew we needed to get out. There was another fire in this complex that killed a woman in 2009. As far as I can find, the cause of that fire was never determined. We don't really feel safe. Now that we know it was arson and the building itself wasn't the cause, I feel like I should feel safer, but I don't really.

The good news is, Trevor and I spent a good amount of time last night talking about the best emergency routes out of our apartment and where we would meet in case we were separated in some sort of emergency and that sort of thing. I feel like we're better prepared now. I encourage you to make sure you have emergency plans in place for your family if you don't already. I remember my parents were good about this when I was growing up. We'd have fire drills where my dad would be the fire -- waving his arms around and blocking different paths. And we all knew to meet at the mailbox so we could make sure everyone was out. It was kind of fun as a kid to crawl around (to avoid the smoke) and climb out windows and such, but it was also a valuable teaching time. I hope to be good about this kind of thing when I'm a parent. For now, I'll just have to be sad that you can't really run cats through fire drills.

Mar 14, 2011

Apartment Fire

Here's video I shot about 10 minutes ago. A building right behind my apartment is on fire. The neighbors are saying they saw a lady jump out of a second floor window and then she was taken off by an ambulance. I don't see anything yet in the news, so I don't know much yet. The neighbors say there was a big bang when the fire started, but I didn't hear anything, so I don't know...

It's hard to be so close but not be able to help. I'll probably post tomorrow with more info. For now, witness the insanity:

Probably time to think about renter's insurance.

Probably isn't time to boast but...I believe I broke this story! I don't see anything else about the fire online yet. Makes me feel cool. Except that the only people who will read this post will be my friends when they start getting bored at work tomorrow afternoon...

Mar 11, 2011

Apparently I'm Much More anti-Muslim in My Dreams...

In a dream last night, I lived in the Philippines which looked kind of like Mordor. We were ruled by Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi made me kill a donkey because he wanted to "teach his people how to kill". There was also some sort religious significance to the donkey-killing ceremony, but it was lost on me. I just know that having to kill an animal with just a knife made me really sick/sad.

And then all the women were having a meeting and Gaddafi came in and said he was going to lock us in the building and burn it to the ground unless we got on these green buses that would take us somewhere where we would be forced to do more killing (presumably people this time). But I escaped with my sister through the help of a man named Thomas Cross and we lived in the lava mountains in fear of being found until I woke up.

The part that was most disturbing (while the donkey-killing scene was awful), was waking up and realizing how much anti-Muslim, pro-Christian sentiment was in this dream. Down to the green (traditional color of Islam) buses and the hero being about the most Christian name my subconscious could come up with.

Mar 7, 2011

"When I'm Rich" To-Do List

  • Throw an over-the-top themed party every three months.
  • Have a home somewhere warm and on the ocean. Must include pool.
  • Purchase some sort of good-looking, fuel-efficient vehicle that can easily hold an electric wheelchair.
  • Give fabulous honeymoon packages for wedding gifts to any close friends/family getting married.
  • Buy my parents a second house in St. George, UT.
  • Start a foundation for disabled pets (why not disabled people? because cats/dogs are way cuter, duh).
  • Biddy biddy bum (all day long).
  • Wear at least one new outfit per week (related: give the best hand-me-down clothes ever to my sisters).
  • Visit as many Wold Heritage Sites as I can.
  • Get a college degree in something really interesting but fairly useless for fun (something in history or the arts).
  • Put more money/effort into trying to be environmentally responsible - solar panels, buying local/organic, etc.
  • Fund the professional recording/mixing/producing of a Part II album (Trevor and Tylor's semi-defunct band).
  • Buy all sorts of fancy sewing equipment and spend some serious time trying to develop skill there.
  • Give money to public radio to make up for years of taking advantage of free entertainment/information.
  • Have a Beauty-and-the-Beast-style library in my house.