Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sem;colon


Today, I am going to praise the semicolon; in fact, I am going to use it as much as possible. The wonderful thing about semicolons is that you can use them whenever you feel like it; actually, that's false.
Why is it that the semicolon has such a poor name? Let's look at the colon: the colon is two dots. The semicolon is a dot and a comma, which we all know uses more graphite to write and will deplete your ink cartridge faster. Then why is it called semicolon? It's a whole colon, and then some. The colon is a semi-semicolon. It lacks the tail of the semicolon. If I were the semicolon, I would demand a proper name. In fact that name would be "Colon to the max and then some". Can you imagine your seventh grade teacher telling you that you used the "colon to the max and then some" incorrectly? Yeah. Isn't that great?
My favorite aspect of the semicolon is that it links related whole sentences together, but it doesn't require that pesky comma that has twenty million rules; it just works. It's beautiful and it lengthens your sentences to sound smarter. That's how I got through high school.
Sadly, the semicolon has a double life. It's wonderful and beautiful, and then it has a dark side....
programming.
What is it with programming and semicolons? I admire its(programming's) ability to allow people to recognize the existence and use of the semicolon, but why, WHY, did you go to the dark side? Don't you realize that even though you, semicolon, are used in every line, that they are misusing you and putting you to work for dark forces? It's propaganda, that's what that is. They're lying to you, telling you "oh you're so wonderful, we use you so often, in fact, programs won't compile without you." But really, with their diet cokes and twinkies in a dark basement, they are stripping you of your real purpose. Do not let them. Fight the power. You do not have to be at the mercy of geeks. WE do not have to be at the mercy of geeks. GEEKS, YOU WILL NOT TAKE US!

And I, like the semicolon, follow the geeks, hand in hand, to the basement. And I partake of the vending machine icecream...
(that's for you, McKay)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

bleh

I've noticed that I haven't put anything cool up in a while. Sadly, I have nothing cool to say. I guess I could talk about my life; do you think that would be too self-centered?
My life consists of 3 (main) things: homework, research, engagement. Other things exist in my life, but my mind is mostly consumed by those. Homework isn't all that interesting. I had a huge test this week and I'm hoping that I did well on it. Actually, now that I think about it, that test is why I haven't written anything. All I did all week was study. Wow.
Research is going well. Forcade and I are going to start writing a paper after the semester ends. We'll do research until the end of the semester and then stop there and publish. Cool, huh?
Ok. Last thing: engagement.
First I want to address the quickness of my engagement. I know I have friends back at home that read this and are thinking, "She met him last August, started flirting/chatting last Thanksgiving, started dating in December and then got engaged in February? WHAT?! AND GETTING MARRIED THIS SUMMER?!"
It might seem fast, but really it wasn't. I never felt rushed at all. It all worked very well and fit very well. I didn't see myself married for another summer, but when the right one comes along, you oughtn't pass up the opportunity.
Plans and such: well, I bought the dress and slip and bra (they're all in my closet as I write this!). I still need my hat and all the reception stuff. We're going with the 1920s theme: prohibition and fedoras. And cool jazz music. And for those of you who think my fedora won't match my dress, well, you're wrong. I can pull it off. I can pull anything off. WATCH ME.
We chose colors (deep purple with turquoise accent) and it'll be in August. The two most likely dates are August 29(30, maybe?) or early August around 8/9 or maybe even 15/16. Ok. That's more than 2 dates. I have it seperated in my head as late August and early August. That's why I said 2. It depends on school and such and research.
Well, that's it for now. I'll write something interesting later. Honest.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

limade

Everything I did last week that I've never done before:

  • gave a lecture to math people
  • had limade
  • drove McKay's car
  • do all of my homework on time
  • skipped class this semester (it was D&C)
  • bought more than $5 from the vending machines in a day
  • returned 2 books to the library in one week
  • scream on command
  • finished reading the Princess Bride to McKay
  • cuddled with Jacob (McKay's roommate, and it was innocent, honest. In fact he was the one cuddling with me)
  • broke up with Jacob
  • wrote McKay 5 love notes
  • received 4 love notes from McKay
  • bought my wedding dress
  • bought a bra at Victoria's Secret
  • did my own taxes
  • curled my hair with warm curlers
  • wore pigtails (well, first time since 2nd grade)
  • received a real diamond ring from a boy (I've never worn a real diamond before)
  • had a migraine that only lasted one day
  • made broccoli casserole
And that's about it. It was an exciting week, it was.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Et tu, Brute?

"Beware of the Ides of March..."

And in the spirit of paranoia and not trusting anyone, here's a poem I wrote:

When I dreamt of being a gentleman
As a lad, but 12 years old
I played my manor had a library
Filled with books all bound in gold.

And I will have read every single book
That rests alone with the dust
So each one will now and always be
My confidant whom I trust.

Whom shall a man trust when he is alone
In his doings? You might say,
“His brothers, his friends, his pastor, his wife.”
And if you were right, I may.

But brothers will readily take your life
To gain more your father’s wealth-
With their fingers crossed, they take the red wine,
And toast goodness to your health.

Friends- what friends, pals, chums, or buddies-what else?
The lads your meet at the bar?
Beneath the face lies Benedict Arnold.
They are but fiends with an “r”.

Your pastor? Oh, that stout Godly man!
Whose sermons are ever heard.
Gives only one advice to his children,
Tis this: read more of the Word.

Of our wives and lovers: cursed women!
All they have is their good looks
Nothing in their minds at all, Thus therefore,
My son, keep your mind to books.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

pi day

Happy pi Day!
And Happy Birthday to Einstein!

And since we're on the topic of math and research, I've just found out today more information about the Research Conference.
I will be presenting this Saturday, March 18 in room 363 of the Thomas L. Martin Builind (MARB) at 9:30 am. My topic is the Pisano Periods and the talk will go for15 minutes (they only give us quarter hour time slots). I'll record it on a microcassette and I'll write it up for those of you who want a copy (like you, Mom). The official paper will probably be sent for publication this spring (I hope.)

So yes. What do I do?
"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, now would it?"-Albert Einstein

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Battle Hymn of the Republican

Ok. Warning. This is politcally fired. I didn't mean it to be. Megan was asking me if I knew any good war hymns and I said, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (insert a pause) "-an." And suddenly it dawned on me: I need to write up a Battle Hymn of the Republican.
Ok. It starts off anti conservative. I know I know. Actually, I don't mind the conservatism. I think it's good in some aspects. Of course, no political party has all the answers (nor do I think that combined, you'll find all the answers).
Anyway, here's the song. I will not say whether or not this reflects my own opinion. (I don't discuss what I vote for.) The stanzas just kind of fit, you know?

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the reigning GOP;
They are trampling out the little man (and will do it for a fee);
They are loose upon the country, with a few in the cities.
The WASPs go marching on.

Refrain:
Glory Glory Hallelujah.
Glory Glory Hallelujah.
44% of Hispanics* added to ya.
The WASPs go marching on.

Bush sounded for the trumpet, (though some called for retreat);
To march into the Middle East with bombs and added heat.
Now a little later, Saddam finally beat,
The WASPs go marching on.

But we can't forget the little things that we don't mind are right.
For pro-life, bearing arms, and lower taxes, they will fight.
Good on paper, but, oh well: No Child Left Behind.
The WASPs go marching on.

*Bush won 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

What boys don't know about kissing

"911. What is your emergency?"
"I can't move my neck."
"Ok. How did this happen?"
"He kissed me good night."
"We'll be right over."


So last night, McKay walks me back to my place and we spend a little time outside the door before I go in (you know, the goodnight kiss part). So we stand there and stand there and there I am looking up at him. We get to the kiss.

And you know what? After standing there looking up at him and then kissing him, my neck hurts. Bad. You see, when a girl is kissed, she lifts her head up to connect with the guy. Holding that position for long periods of time (or short periods of time when it's far too late to even move) strains her neck.

She can try everything, turning her head to the other side, tippy-toeing to relieve the angle of kissing. It does not work.

Guys: they don't know this. They just have to lean down a little bit. Plus, they don't get what the girl's doing. They don't get that the girl is in no way thinking about the kiss, but instead is thinking, "Oh! My neck. This is really hurting. He doesn't seem to notice. Maybe if I move my head this way...No that didn't work. Back to the original position. This hurts like an umbrella. And I hope this kiss ends soon because if it doesn't, my neck will be stuck in this position for the next 2 months. Ok. How about now? Or now? Please stop kissing me!"

Except she can't really say that. She has to keep up the "I'm really enjoying this" attitude.

The saddest part of this is that she's really too distracted to kiss well. Honest. Because her mind is worried about the state of her neck, there's no way she's worried about the state of her lips. Quality is greatly lost. (and the really sad part is that the guy doesn't even notice that the kiss is half par)

You may be right, my friend. It might be the girl's fault for straining her neck. It is more common than not that a girl choses a guy who is taller than her. If she just kissed shorter guys, this wouldn't be a problem.

Except, my guy friends, can you imagine walking a girl to her apartment and then kissing up? And girls, here comes the goodnight kiss and you have to kiss down. The situation is slightly...awkward. Of course there are couples in thie world where the heights are reversed, but on average guys are just taller than girls.


And as the paramedics fasten the neck brace on, you breathe a sigh of relief and swear you will never kiss again.

yeah right.

Friday, March 10, 2006

hat pics

Ok. I think I'm going to keep this picture for a while. I know McKay has to change his website each time I change mine (really he doesn't, but he does anyway) and I'm afraid that storing all those hat pics are going to take up more space than he can use. By the way, McKay, you can delete the old ones from your files if you'd like. That might save space, too.

That wasn't very exciting, was it? Ok. One...two...three...
Enchiladas!

What's more exciting than enchiladas? If you can come up with something more exciting than enchiladas, post a comment.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Feminism

This past Monday, we received a lecture on feminist analysis of literature. It was a very good lecture. It's really fascinating to have a BYU spin on feminism. I, of course, believe in equality of the sexes.
It's strange, especially now that I'm getting married and I have to look at the family relationships. Men and women are wired differently (but we've known that for a while, haven't we?) For example, I'm deathly afraid of my future in-laws. I've never met them and here I am marrying and taking their son away. I've met his brother and talked on the phone with most of them. I'm not afraid of the siblings or the siblings' spouses and children. Nor am I even afraid of his father. I'm a girl, I can win over a father.
But it's his mother that I'm afraid of. You see, at least for me, to throw myself into that relationship is slightly scary. I'm nervous everytime I talk to her on the phone. I'm nervous about meeting her in May. Why? Because acceptance from the matriarchal figure is important to me, as a girl. I want to be accepted into the little "clan" of women that include his mother and sisters and sisters-in-law and the way to do that is through his mother. And if I don't receive that approval, my married life will be hell. Scary.
But guys. Guys on the other hand aren't worried about being accepted by the "clan" of men. They just need a father's acceptance and to be able to joke around with brothers and all. That's it. And sometimes they'll get along without all that.
Alas, my lack of a Y-chromosome. This would be so much easier. Or not. If I were a guy, I'd be obligated to marry a woman, and that, I could not do. I'm glad the marrying of women is left for the men to do.
Anyway, where were we? Feminism. Ok. My favorite part of the lecture was this:
She starts talking about some class here at BYU where they look at gender and sex and the impact on a person's life. She states that at the beginning they usually ask the class to list all stereotypes of men and women, all good and bad. Usually looking like this:
Men: athletic, proud, simple, courageous,violent, tempered, loud, strong, etc, etc.
Women: weak, compassionate, kind, motherly, catty, frivolous, stupid, etc etc
See? with everything good and bad.
Then they divide up the good and bad characteristics so that you get four lists: good qualities of men, good qualities of women, bad qualities of men, bad qualities of women.
And then it gets good.
Then, they ask for the class to come up with the qualities of Christ. What's fascinating is that Christ, except for usually strength, has all of the good qualities of women. It's as if the ideal man that we are trying to become is the ideal woman. Christ is an example of how men can be kind and compassionate and well, feminine, while still being masculine and without being effiminate.
How's that for a twist on feminism? It's a feminist idea because it puts the good qualities of women as the ideal, but yet it embraces the mother, the compassion, the kindness and mercy of women, which is not something that you think of when you think of feminism.
Bizarre? Yes. Do I like it? Yes.
Well, anyway, that's what I thought about that lecture. There were so many good parts of that lecture. Studies of the man as a demon and as a god, contrasting to studies of woman as a demon and as a goddess. Fruit flies versus elephants. Fatherhood, motherhood, priesthood.
Wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Google Love

You know you're in the big leagues when you're the 3rd one down in a google search.
Google "pisano periods". My abstract is in google's third position (out of 280,000). Booyah! It's like I'm almost the foremost authority on the subject. Almost.
Only MathWorld and Wikipedia beat me.
We're takin' it to the man. All the way up.

Ok. side note. When I've done the search on a mac, the above is what happens.
On a Windows computer, I'm second from the top out of 151,000. Strange, eh? What's with that anyway?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

deconstruction

Characters: Professor, male, age 80.
Student, female, age 22.

Scene : The office of a very old professor. On the left there is a desk piled with papers and folders, behind is a bookcase overgrown with books and more papers. Center stage, slightly to the right, there is a chalkboard and, placed on the chalk tray, there is some chalk for later use. The scene opens with the professor in a brown or gray suit going through articles in his briefcase-strange statues that look like idols, a rubiks cube, an abacus, other various items, a slinky.
(knock at the door)
Prof: Yes? come in.
Entering stage right is a girl, with about 15 books in her arms. Her dress is simple and modest, gray. Her hair is pulled back. Let her wear tennis shoes.
Student: Professor?
Prof: Yes? He puts the slinky down. It falls causing all great amount of noise.
[beat]
St (reluctantly): I've been...reading. A book falls.
P: Oh dear. Shakes his head and paces, staring at the ground. I'm sorry to hear that. Reading's no good. you'll get all kinds of thoughts and ideas. It'll confuse you.
Another book falls from her pile.
St: Yes, Professor. that's it exactly. I've been reading and it's made me think.
P: You've done the right thing to come to me . Still pacing. We can't have you all confused. that's why we have professors. if we could trust everyone to think on their own and not get confused, we wouldn't need professors, now would we?
St: No sir...[beat] That makes so much sense. I feel less confused already.
The professor circles his desk.
P: Now, let's answer your question. Let me tell you how to think.
St: My question...my question... oh yes. I was reading a book... [beat] What is the meaning of Little Miss Muffet?
P: Oh. Hmm. This is a hard one. He walks to the chalkboard. Let's find out what it says by knowing what it does not say. Student nods. The professor picks up a piece of chalk and writes "Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey." He pauses before he adds the rest. "Along came a spider and sat down beside her and frightened Miss Muffet away." Let's start with the first bit.
St: Little Miss Muffet?
P: Exactly. Now to understand Little Miss Muffet, we need to understand what she is not. Can you tell me what she is not? What is the opposite of Little Miss?
St: Um... Another book falls.
P: Yes?
St: Erm...
P: Let me help you. Can you think of something that has no traits whatsoever in common with Muffet? A...pen for example?
St: That's right. Little Miss Muffet is definately different than a pen. A book falls.
P: Her exact opposite, I would say.
St: Why, yes.
P: So the first line is not saying "Caligraphy pens." Right?
St: Right.
P: Ok. We've got a good start at knowing the real meaning of this poem. He crosses out the first line. What's next?
St: Sat on her tuffet.
P: Good! Although we discourage it, you are becoming a very good reader. Be careful of that. So Muffet is on her tuffet. What is she not doing? The Student gives a blank stare. I see this is going to take some time. What would happen to her if she sat on her tuffet in a pool?
St: Well, she'd sink.
P: Correct. So we obviously know that she is not in the pool. Therefore the poem is not saying "Caligraphy pens in a swimming pool."
St: You're right!
P: Of course I'm right. Now a few more lines. He marks off what they've done so far.
St: Eating her curds and whey.
P: This is trickier. What if she didn't sink to the bottom?
St: I don't know.
P: Well, her curds and whey would make her fat and she would sink. Right?
St: Of course!
P: So?
St: So...she's obviously not floating.
P: Bravo! Magnifique! He claps his hands together and states slowly: Caligraphy pens in a swimming pool float on the surface.
St: Yes! They do! In the excitement, she drops the rest of her books on the ground.
P: See?! Is it coming clear?
St: I do see! Can I try the next one?
P: Go ahead. It's "along came a spider."
St: Well, you can't eat spiders, but you can eat popsicles, so the opposite of spider is popsicle.
P: Good. Good. You're doing wonderfully.
St: The the next line does not say, "But when a popsicle falls."
P: Amazing! You are a fine student. Try "And sat down beside her."
St: Sat down beside her...well, sitting down is a verb, and a newspaper is a noun, and I don't think people eat curds and whey at Central Park, so...
P: Yes? Yes? The professor is excited, egging the student on.
St: The next line must clearly not mean "On a newspaper in Central Park."
P: We're almost done. Soon it will be all clear to us!
St: Ok! She is almost jumping up and down. And frightened Miss Muffet away. So I was thinking Professor...
P: Didn't I warn you about thinking?
St: Well, yes, but I was thinking. It might actually be brilliant. I was thinking...that the opposite of Miss Muffet is not only a pen, but also a clock.
P: I don't know if you can do that. Things can't have two opposites, you know. That's why they're opposites.
The student bites the end of a pencil.
St: Well, girls don't stop. Clocks do, though. So in that way, maybe they are opposites.
P: That sounds good.
St: So therefore, the last line is "All clocks stop."
P: What do we have then?
St (carefully): Caligraphy pens in a swimming pool float on the surface, but when a popsicle falls on a newspaper in Central Park, all clocks stop.
P: Excellant! We've found the meaning...or the anti-meaning. You could say. We've come up with everything that Little Miss Muffet was not saying.
St: Yes. We have.
P: But then, what was Little Miss Muffet saying?
Student pauses in thought.
St: Little Miss Muffet is saying that...(with a suddent burst of excitement) to NOT drop caligraphy pens in a swimming pools or popscicles on newpapers!
P: Exactly!
St: It makes sense! It makes sense!
P: Congratulations.
St: Oh Thank you. I never would have known without you.
P: That is why I'm hear, my dear.
The student runs out stage right with a few more shouts of excitement. When she is gone, the professor waits a few seconds and then picks up her books and places them on the bookcase behind his desk. He turns around to the audience, but stares into his briefcase again and picks up the slinky.
P: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great...
Curtain closes abruptly.