Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Cost of Neutrality

It's not an easy task to find someone who is familiar with your situation, but is also a fair and neutral listener.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Aaaah...

After having crazy tests, I have no assignments due Friday!

Tons of free time!

So now to my long to-do list...alas!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Trials

This is a topic I've been thinking a lot about lately. It may be that I've become nostalgic and I'm thinking about my life and how I've gotten to this point, or it may be that Relief Society lessons/Gospel Doctrine lessons have referenced Matt. 11:28-30 these past two weeks.

Lessons on taking up Christ's yoke and giving him our burdens always bring out trial stories, stories people tell in class about the trials of their lives. As I was listening to these stories in Relief Society on Sunday (and past Sundays), I did a lot of thinking. Some of the stories were:

Sis. M-- and the loss of her home when it burned down.
Sis. D-- relating her experience with 3 miscarriages in the past year and a half.
Sis. E--'s experiences as a rape survivor.
Sis. S--'s struggle to become serious with a boyfriend (to wanting to marry him) to find out he didn't want to get married, and also the loss of her mother as a youth.
Sis. O-- getting in to graduate school with a full ride, but because of her husband's education, may not be able go.
One sister's experience as a single mother and deciding to not give her child up for adoption.
And, almost every Sunday, I look at the large amount of widows in the ward and know that they've all lost their husbands and have to finish life lonely.

As I was considering these experiences, I've decided that trials are not original or out of the ordinary at all. I'd say it'd be unusual to not have any trials. Most of the things that happen to us happen to other people as well.

I think the best example of this is death. The older you get, the more likely it is that someone close to you will die. In fact, I'd say that almost everyone has to experience the loss of a loved one at some point. Although it is very hard to go through this, no one is alone in it and there are people who can relate and sympathize. This can extend to pretty much every trial including divorce, miscarriage, sexual assault, &c. No one* is ever the first to experience a trial. No trial is so unique that nobody can relate.

I've thought about this in my own life. I have what I consider the usual trials: getting over procrastination, learning to forgive others, making sure I read my scriptures daily, etc. But then I have some extra ones thrown in, that to me, seem very unique. I'm quite the statistical outlier. I don't ever mention these trials in public (e.g. Relief Society) because they are so rare and I don't believe many people can relate (and because they are almost or are a faux pas to speak of). I was thinking about those specific trials during Relief Society, and decided that part of the reason we all have trials is so we can sympathize with one another. Of course Christ has perfect understanding of our trials and feelings and we can (and should) go to him, but I think our trials help us to go to each other as well. It allows us to take on the role of Christ and help others through their trials (which is excellent, since we are striving to be like Him anyway). Essentially, trials allow us to be Christlike.

And that's the end for today. I've just had that on my mind lately.


*Well, Adam and Eve's family were the first on this earth, but it's been a few years since then.

To Tie a Shoe

So, I've discovered something interesting this morning: McKay covets the way I tie my shoes.

This morning, I saw him tying his shoes (which is odd because he doesn't usually untie them when he takes them off). He was jealous that I could tie my shoes faster than he could. Really, I just use more motion conserving moves. He told me that he's always been slow at that and has wanted to learn how to do it faster, so we sat down on the couch and practiced tying our shoes.

All I have to say about the whole ordeal (about 5 minutes or so of tying and untying) is I never thought I'd teach my husband how to tie his shoes...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Running

Ok. I'll admit. I went running yesterday. But in the spirit of women's history month, I'd like to thank society for allowing women to run long distance (if they'd like to).

Quick history lesson:
Early twentieth century mindset felt that running long distances would cause a woman's ovaries to "fall." I personally don't know what that would entail, but pretty much, running was believed to harm the reproductive system. In 1926, Violet Piercy ran a marathon in 3:40.32. Then, in 1928, the women's marathon was added as an Olympic event. However, when 3 of the runners collapsed at the finish line, the media played this up to 5, 8 women, barely making it to the line because of exhaustion. After this, the women's marathon was not an Olympic event until 1984.

In my opinion, the most significant figure in the history of women's running is Kathrine Switzer and the upset she caused at the Boston marathon in 1967. Read the story on the page I linked her name too, the Boston marathon part is about half way down the page, where you can see pictures of her running while Jock Semple attacks her from behind, grabbing her shirt, to get her out of the race. He boyfriend is also picture there, body slamming Semple out of the way.

Now we would think it crazy to believe that women can't run long distances. In fact, at the Rex Lee Run yesterday, more women ran the race than men. Every time I go running, I like to imagine it's the 1950s and how at that point in history, running was a faux pas. It's like stickin' it to the man every time I go running. Maybe I like running because of its historical significance for women and not because running is fun. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's the reason.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Perspectives on Eternity

I just got out of a strange conversation. It's been a while since I've run into someone with a different view of the eternities than myself and so, I'd like to explain my view to everyone. I don't know the someone's name, only that he was a double major in math and economics, so from here on out, his name is going to be...Ben. Ben is a good, fairly neutral name. So onto a rant, because you like those.

I feel that the eternities are going to be pretty close to what we are now experiencing, minus pain, suffering, temptation, and all other bad stuff. In fact, I'd go so far as to say we'd even eat in the eternities. Ben, however, was VERY against eating in the eternities. His points (and they are fine points) are that we won't have bodies of flesh and blood, so we aren't going to require food, and that we wouldn't just eat for fun because that's a lust of the natural man, which we will have put off. I understand his point, but I feel differently.

Eating is very good. I like some foods for their texture (enchiladas definately go into that category) or their tastes (ice cream!) or both (cake). I do not eat just because I have to eat to keep myself alive, but because I enjoy eating. There are situations that I find myself in (e.g. parties), where I'll eat a piece of cake that isn't necessary for my survival. This may constitute as gluttonous, but I would disagree. I eat a piece of cake, not the whole cake. Cake is something I enjoy, like I would enjoy art: I enjoy textures and colors in art as I would enjoy textures and tastes in food, and I like experiencing both. Now, I know that God promotes creativity (hence, his own creation), and that art is a very worthwhile endeavor and I don't think that art will be outlawed in heaven. And so I don't think that food will be outlawed in heaven.

In general, I feel that everything good will be in heaven. This includes (but is definitely not limited to) the following: cake, trampolines, family, music, art, physical intimacy (under lawfully married circumstances, of course), Dr. Suess' ABC book, hopscotch, calculus, and balloons.

And just so you all know. I have dibs on making a planet of lemon trees and sugar cane and lots of fresh water. You can all come over and we'll have a lemonade party. Actually, it wouldn't be that hard to genetically engineer the sugar cane to produce citric acid and taste like lemons... Hmm... Maybe I'll just need lemon-flavored sugar cane...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Life and Death

Here's the life! This is an onion. It decided that the top of our refrigerator is a good place to sprout.



And now the death: this is what I look like after I run.

See how red my face is? Masque of the Red Death.
Also note the beautiful cinder block exterior of our apartment complex.

I'll note though, that I only walked 2 blocks today (of the whole 30 minutes!). Granted, I did a really slow jog, but I'm improving. Rex Lee Run is this weekend. Tomorrow we pick up our numbers and shirts.

More on death:

I don't have a will or anything that'll help anybody out if I were to die right now. I like how my dad summarizes life insurance: You're betting you die, and they're betting you live. Do you really want to be on that end of the bet?

But, I do have wishes for my funeral. Note: I don't plan on dying anytime soon. In fact, I don't plan on dying ever. It's kind of like how I plan my life: I never planned on being an art major, so I'm not an art major. I never intended to do a full time mission when I turned 21, I'm not going on a mission. I don't plan on ever dying: I won't ever die.

But, just in case I had a funeral, this is how it would go:
Opening Hymn: Redeemer of Israel #6
Talk consisting of one scripture: 1 Thess. 4:13-18
Closing Hymn: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty #72

Drive to the grave site. Tie balloons saying "Happy Death day!" near the grave. Have a gypsy dance on the grave after I'm covered up. Commence eating cake (preferably in a picnic manner at the grave site). And NO funeral potatoes. I hate funeral potatoes.

Ok. So now I suppose you all are going to want some explanation.
The hymns were chosen because they are my favorite hymns. Praise to the Lord is my all-time favorite, so we all get to sing that one last so it can stick in our heads as we go about the rest of the day. The scripture is simple: read the last verse. Paul says, "Wherefore comfort one another with these words," meaning, "if you are mourning the loss of someone, this is how to comfort each other." And Paul was an apostle, and it's usually good habit to follow the Apostles' words. Thus I have required it to be spoken at my funeral. That way, you're all not committing sins of omission from attending my funeral. ;)

Death day balloons. Well, I think that that's just good manners. Balloons are fun. Death is not usually fun. So it'll brighten up everyone's day! Even mine. Especially mine. I don't want to see you all crying at my funeral! Do you think that's how I want to start off my afterlife? I don't think so.

Gypsy dancing on a grave: I saw this in a movie once and I really liked it. It'll also brighten up the mood. Plus, it's cool. I'd prefer if everyone danced, but I wouldn't want to keep you all from getting to the cake sooner.

Cake/picnic style. Once my family went to visit my grandfather's grave in Ohio. It was about lunchtime. I suggested we have a picnic near Grandpa and leave him a plate and utensils and such. My mom thought this would upset my grandmother, but I don't think Grandpa would have minded, and we didn't have to tell Grandma! Grandpa probably would have enjoyed it. I'll enjoy it. And cemeteries are so nice and peaceful. It'd be a great picnic. And cake is some of the best food on the planet.

So there you go. If I died, that's how everything would go down. Actually, I'd like to go down holding some flowers (meaning in my casket). And you could probably dye my hair. It'd be cool to wake up, resurrected, saying, "Wow! My hair is fire engine red!" and showing it off to all the other resurrected people in the cemetery (who'll all be jealous that they didn't get a great surprise.) Oh! And one last thing. I want a coffin with a little drawer for notes. When my grandfather died, his had one and we all wrote notes to him and put them in the drawer. When he gets resurrected, he'll have mail! And I love getting mail! That would just make my day. That and being resurrected. And my hair. And cake. Definitely the cake.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Learn to use a computer.

Three times this month, I've emailed people, not using my own email accounts.
Three times this month, I've found access to these accounts without their knowing.
Three times this month, I've come to a computer to find that people don't understand Macintosh computers.

Ok. Brief lesson: When you click the "x" on a program whilst on a Macintosh computer, it DOES NOT close the program. It closes the window, but the program is still open, working in the background. What does this mean? It means, when you are using a web browser, you are not automatically logged out of everything when you click the "x". If you depend on the computer to log you out of your email accounts, you will NOT be logged out.

Frankly, people just don't realize how much they put themselves at risk. This is not the only way I've gotten people's information. At the beginning of the semester, I found 2 add/drop cards. These show email addresses, ID numbers, and the times of classes you will be at (or are trying to be at). If I were a stalker, I'd have a lot of information.

Now, you are probably saying. Wow, what was that first line of this post? "Three times this month, I've emailed people, not using my own email accounts?" You get their accounts and play with it?

No. I'm not creepy like that. Just creepy enough that they (hopefully) do better next time. I send them an email from themselves saying, "Hey you didn't log out and now I have access to your account and this email is proof, be more aware next time." I don't actually use their accounts for anything malicious.

People, all too often, leave too much information out there. I probably do it too, though sometimes I actually want people to know where I am (e.g. Women's Day Demonstration).

In all: Learn how to use the computer you are on. If you are going to use a superior operating system (like OSX), you need to have superior awareness and knowledge of the system and how it works. Don't leave yourself vulnerable.

Monday, March 19, 2007

a quickie

School has me bogged down. So here's a quote that embodies my view of cell phones and technology in general, just to keep you all coming to the site!

I don't own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time. If someone wants to get a hold of me, they just say 'Mitch,' and I say 'what?' and turn my head slightly.
- Mitch Hedberg

Friday, March 16, 2007

Synesthesia

After Beth decided that I'm purple, McKay and I got into a conversation about people and their colors. I think people/personalities have definite colors. Also, I think school subjects have colors (although that may be due to color coding folders in elementary school).

People who have colors (to me):
McKay: Leaf Green
Dad: Midnight Blue
Mom: Cerulean
Rick: Burgundy
Lori: Purple
Jared: Scarlet
Carolyn D.: Yellow
Scott D.: Burgundy
Melissa M.: Pale Blue
Megan B.: Spring Green

Pretty much everyone has a color, but if I were write up the list, it'd take me a while. If you want to know what color you are to me, let me know and I'll tell you. Not that it's very interesting. As for myself, I don't give myself a color, as I can't see myself in 3rd person very well (my downfall as a performer).

This also made me think of synesthesia. I don't think I have synesthesia, but my color/personality thing may be a little along those lines. Frankly, I think everyone has interesting associations. For example, I can definitely link feelings/moods with months of the year. I love the October mood. Mmm. It's like mini butterflies of excitement.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus...

So last night I was reading the Spencer W. Kimball manual for church; next week's lesson is "Discovering the Scriptures for Ourselves" and I felt a little more guilty than usual about not having read the Bible through. McKay and I started last year, but are only as far as Deuteronomy (I must admit, sometimes rushing out the door for school, we forget to do our reading together).
So this morning (in Deuteronomy), looking at the size of the Bible and feeling fairly safe that we won't start having children for a little while longer, the thought comes to me:
Why don't we wait to have kids until we finish the Bible?
Finishing the Bible is going to take us a while, admittedly.
Then, when we want to have kids, we can use that as an incentive to finish the Bible (not that I wouldn't want to, but having a deadline is much better for me). Sounds like a beautiful plan.

So, McKay and I finish with our chapter, and I turn to McKay and say, "Hey, why don't we wait to have kids until we finish the Bible?"

And surprisingly, the response was, "I was thinking that exact same thought..."

"Really? It's a sign..."

"Really, but not a sign."

Alas!
So, he thought it up, too, but I guess he'll want kids sooner than we'll finish the Bible (noting that at our rate, it'll be several years before we finish). Drat.

Also, McKay wanted me to note before I posted this that he doesn't actually want to wait until we finish the Bible to have kids. Just so you don't think he does, because he doesn't. Clarification out.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Soap boxin' it

You may ask my friends (ah, the few I have) and they'll all say the same thing, "She likes a soap box." In fact, I'll just go out and say it: I like a soap box.

But you will notice, I don't really use this space for said boxes. This space is more of a shoe box than a soap box: larger, holds more things, doesn't necessarily smell nice.

What I'm trying to say here that I leave a lot of my life out of this space: personal opinions*, views, philosophies. I read some of my friends' blogs and they don't leave this out. And after much thought, I've decided to open my blog to that. The reasons I hadn't really before is because, well, my belief system is rather radical and I didn't want people to not read my blog because they were offended or other varieties of excuses. But I don't not read other people's blogs for those reasons, so I guess you're all going to deal with it.

Things I will comment on: religion. My religion is so much a part of my life, I can't not mention it. It's part of everything I do, and by not having it in the blog, you aren't getting a huge chunk of my life.
Things I will still not comment on: politics. I will not endorse anyone on my blog. Politics are so ridiculous anyway. Especially lately. Although one comment on politics: Why do we expect politicians to be perfect when we definatley aren't? The "ideal politician" (in any office) is a person who grew up in a little bubble, did nothing wrong growing up, and graduated top of the class at an Ivy League school. If a person didn't do this, then they will have a problem running for office. If we are going to expect our leaders to be clean cut, clean record, clean shaven(?), then we need to expect that of the rest of the country, too. And so ends my political rant.

*Ok. You do get some of my personal opinions (i.e. I don't like doctors), but not personal opinions, opinions about things that are dear and close to me.

PS. It's pi day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

want to

I really want to post something, but I don't know what. Lots have been going on, but nothing really important . We have pictures up on our blog. Yesterday I've run the farthest I ever have since I've started running (and I hadn't run since last Wednesday). I still don't enjoy running. I tried to map out a route beforehand that would force me to run along busy streets (the peer pressure keeps me from stopping to walk), except that I hate busy streets and prefer the peaceful residential ones. Also, I was running right by the middle school when school let out. Munchkins everywhere.
We made fudge yesterday so we could use our new serving plate. I should take more pictures of things. The fudge was great. We also used our new nut chopper to chop the walnuts! That might have been the best part of the whole day.

<---mysterious playback-->

Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Saturday night, whilst looking for a new casserole dish.

McKay: Too bad we can't find a nut chopper like your parents have.

Suddenly, the heavens open and choirs of angels sing as a light descends upon the shelf right in front of me.

Me: Oh, you mean this?

<--mysterious forward to today-->

I love our nut chopper. Handiest thing ever. It even has measurements on the side so you know how many cups of nuts you've chopped.

Anyway, the weekend was pretty productive. McKay took me on a real date with expensive food and everything. I love lamb. I think it may be the best meat in the world. And Monster House was a good movie.

Daylight savings caused a beating on me, though. At least we were at church on time. Carolyn came an hour late. Poor girl... That's twice that she's missed sacrament meeting. Shame shame on her.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Stalk Me, the celery says

I know you all wanted to know what I'm having for dinner every night this month. So now you all know too much information about my life! I'm hoping the recipes I sent Beth are correct!

Now, to cook that chicken pot pie!

PS. If you are really intent on knowing where I'm going to be all the time, tomorrow at 11, I'll be attending the International Women's Day Solidarity Demonstration at Brigham Square on BYU campus, I'll be one of about 40 girls demonstrating statistics: one in three will wear signs representing sexual assault and one in eight will represent rape, according to Utah's statistics*:
1 in 8 Utah women will be raped in her lifetime.
1 in 3 Utah women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.
Utah's rate of violence against women is 18% higher than the National average.
Only $300,000 annually is allocated to rape prevention in Utah, this coming from a Federal Grant, no state funds.

*Information from the Utah Department of Health

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Test

McKay doesn't like the background, but I like it. Let me know what you think.


Added later:
McKay's exact word was "grandma-ish".

I'll see of I can't make it (the background) lighter. I've already toned it down about 2 degrees already (you should have seen the original!)

And to answer Beth's question:

  1. I was really getting tired of the yellow/orange thing. The colors are not very inviting. Also, my life in general has a different feel than it did when I first made the blog, so now the blog has a different feel.
  2. I was jealous of Beth's prettier blog ;)
  3. It's fun to play around with html. There are still somethings that I'm looking at for change.
McKay liked the idea I was playing with earlier. Maybe I'll change to that and see how everyone likes it? Maybe not.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Salty

In Sunday school yesterday, Sister Parry was giving the first lesson on the Sermon on the Mount. It was a very nice lesson. I enjoy the Sermon on the Mount very much, but I enjoy shenanigans much more.

We go to Sister Parry and her discussion on the salt of the earth:
"So, can anyone give me some characteristics of salt?"

(me, to McKay under my breath): "It makes you retain water."
However, we were sitting in the first row, within 3 feet of Sister Parry and, well, she heard my smart-alecky comment, and to me says:

"I agree with you, but I'm not going to share that with the rest of the class."

A little embarrassed from being caught, I attempt to smooth over everything:

"Oh, but you see, Christ is the living water! We can retain that."

Right... good one.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

March

Happy Women's History month, everybody! I'm so excited about it! Women's history is so fascinating! Don't forget to experience and celebrate it!

Cool ways to celebrate women this month:

March 8- International Women's Day. In Russia, men and boys will give flowers to the women in their lives. How sweet!
March 12- Girl Scout Day
March 17- The 165th anniversary of the organization of the Relief Society, which now has 5.2 million female members in 170 different countries!
March 18- My mom's birthday! If I can get Rick to relent, we'll be giving her an awesome gift. If I can't, then I'll be giving her an awesome gift.
March 20- National Quilting Day (I know not all quilters are women, but the history of the quilt is very tied with women's roles at home and in the work force)
March 21- First day of Spring!

Interestingly, I don't know if they planned it, but today the school paper did a large insert about domestic violence and helping women to get out of abusive relationships. The front page also had an article on anorexia and overcoming eating disorders. Although neither of these topics are solely women's issues, they typically involve women.

I'm also planning on knitting many things for many women this month, and finish my brother's scarf, but first, I'm off to apply for graduate school (application due: TODAY!)