Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Yesterday my mom and I drove down to see two of my uncles and their families. One, I was not so excited to see. As my mom always says, "He's perfect. Just ask him." I was rather miffed by his dissing the cover art on my mom's book (naturally, his son could have done so much better) and by his asking how my brother got into the army with his record. I guess my uncle has blocked out of his memory the fact that his own son, who is also in the army, narrowly escaped three felony charges for making an explosive out of newspaper and powder and lighting it. You can't join the military if you have felonies on your record. Conceited man.

My other uncle and aunt I've always like visiting. We sat and talked with them for hours. Subjects ranged from advice to anecdotes to religion. My uncle even gave me a book about the Creation and the theory of organic evolution. I think he was rather thrilled to hear that I am studying English. He talked about it for quite some time, decrying newspapers for their horrible grammar and apparent lack of editing. It made me chuckle.

It gently snowed all of yesterday, and we left probably later than we should have. It was dark out when we finally hit the road. The wipers on our car are none too impressive and the switch for the front washer fluid doesn't work, so we had to go really slow because the dirty sludge hitting our windshield was oily and the wipers weren't helping. It took more than twice as long to get home than it did to get down there.

My relatives never cease to amaze me. But I suppose that's what you get when your extended family was raised by an "Okie from Muskogee."

Listening to: "The Ballad of Jed Clampett"
Reading: Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners by Josephine Ross

Sunday, December 27, 2009


What day is this? Oh, Sunday? Okay. They're all starting to seem the same. Naps don't help. Naps make the days run together even more by messing with the already existing days.

I finished Pride and Prejudice and Zombies last night. Parts of it were absolutely hilarious, but it was generally weird. I think I much prefer the original.

That's basically all that's gone on in the past few days. I did watch a little Babylon 5 on the other day. Those old sci-fi shows crack me up. Though I must say, I think Space Above and Beyond is my favorite.

Listening to: "Lighter Touch" by Heart
Reading: Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners by Josephine Ross

Friday, December 25, 2009


My brother managed to make it down from spending time with his friends in Evanston to spend Christmas with us. I was reminded yet again of how oddly I react when reuniting with people. I am rather unfamiliar with the concept of constantly missing someone. I have moments when I feel their absence sharply and want nothing more than to share whatever I'm experiencing right then with them, but generally I am caught up in my immediate surroundings. Goodbyes are hard for me, painful even. I don't handle goodbyes well. Even if I know they'll only be for a little while, I grieve deeply and often cry. However, I soon recover. Hellos are quite different. Given the depth of my partings, I would expect my reunions to be more exuberant, but the best word I can come up with to describe them is mundane. Instead of making a big deal of my reunions, it's almost like something inside me nods and goes about it average life, and I go about doing my common, everyday things. It's like I feel that whoever it is is there now and life can go on as normal with no theatrics and no big production. They just get folded back into the normal as though they never left. I always fear that this may seem heartless and unfeeling to some, but it just feels to me that those people I have such trouble saying goodbye to have their own, unique places in my heart that they will always fit back into easily. It's like a jigsaw puzzle. Some pieces put up a fight when you try to separate them, the interlocking sides getting all twisted together and requiring no small bit of effort to wiggle them apart. But when you put the same two pieces back together, they neatly interlock and lie quietly, taking no more than a second to settle serenely into the way things should be.

Happy Christmas to all, especially those pieces I'm missing right now.

Listening to: TSO's interpretation of "Carol of the Bells"
Reading: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Yesterday was a very awesome day. Or rather, afternoon. My mom, my cousin, and I went to Temple Square to see the lights. We left in the afternoon so we could get there early enough to tour the Conference Center and see the originals of the Book of Mormon artwork. It was awesome. The detail was just exquisite. We also went into the Tabernacle and chatted with two sister missionaries for a while. One was from Germany and the other was from Switzerland. From the Swiss sister's accent, it sounded to me like German was her first language. I'd almost forgotten how entertaining sister missionaries are. Next, we went to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and ate dinner at the Garden Restaurant. We weren't really picky about which of the 10th floor's two restaurants we ate at, but the wait for the Roof was about an hour longer. The highlight of the meal was probably the fried dill pickles. After dinner, we went and viewed some of the lights, including my mom's favorite tree: the giant one covered in red lights. It was rather bitingly cold out so we didn't hang around outside for too long. We hopped over the the Church history museum to look at the masks of Joseph and Hyrum and at the miniature replica of Salt Lake City. My favorite part was the Mayan themed Nativity scene they had up.

Listening to: "100 Years" by Five for Fighting
Reading: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The past few days have been uber-relaxing. Mostly I've slept and...actually, no and. Mostly I've just slept. I have however spent some time reading or playing Apples to Apples with my cousins. Okay, I'll stop lying. That was only once.

Compared to the past week, today was as busy as all get out. Please excuse my use of hackneyed phrases; I'm on vacation. Anyway, this morning my mom basically dragged me grocery shopping with her and my cousin. It was tortuous. I didn't know it could take two hours to check off all ten items of a rather short shopping list.

This afternoon was much more exciting. Translation: I got to see my childhood best friend for the first time in years! Huzzah! Though really, we were extremely quiet for having so much catching up to do. I wish I had more to give her for Christmas. She got me one of the coolest things ever. That's right: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! So far, it's absolutely stupendous. The author maintains the Austenian English, artfully throwing in the undead for a book that is truly epic. I'm so excited. I may sleep a little less for the next few days just so I can read it. Wouldn't that be something.

Listening to: whatever comes up on my ipod
Reading: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I flew into Salt Lake City yesterday in the late afternoon. As several people can attest, naturally I procrastinated packing until yesterday morning. When the plane got to Salt Lake, we actually had to fly around a little bit because of weather or some such nonsense. I couldn't quite make out the real reason. The guy who was telling us all of this information mumbled like none other so all I could really make out was "enjoy the scenery."

Wanna know something interesting? Utah is cold in December. Arizona must be making me soft because this is ridiculous. Though it feels indescribably good to see mountains again, and not just any mountains but the true Rockies. That makes me happy.

I went with my cousin to see Avatar last night. It was absolutely awesome. And, it was in 3-D. I could go on about this for a while, so I think I'll save it for a YouTube video.

Listening to: the furnace
Reading: Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bread and butter pickles.

After my math final on Wednesday, I think I slept for three hours. Since we have to move out for winter break or pay an extra $400, I'm installed at my dad's house until I fly to Utah tomorrow to spend Christmas with my mom.

Sleeping in feels great.

Listening to: Wife Swap
Reading: Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cinderella Paper.

I have the urge to run through campus with my fists in the air screaming, "Yesss!" I still have my math final to do this afternoon, but I think I know how to find the volume of a cone by now. Thank you, Academic Bowl.

My greatest victory was completing my English paper around 1:30 this morning. I've already passed the finish line. That last math test is just dashing by the water table on my way off the track.

Listening to: the Rocky theme. In my head.
Reading: Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Queensberry rules.

Round 12: Rebekah is reeling slightly. She looks unsteady on her feet, and if I'm not mistaken, she's limping a little. She's sporting a doosy of a shiner and a split lip. I wouldn't be surprised if she had a few loose teeth after that last round. In the other corner, her opponent is light on his feet and looks eager to get back in the ring. I hate to say this so early in the match, but it looks like it's not going to be a good day for Rebekah's career. The English Paper is well on his way to winning this one.

But hey, my physics final is over. I don't know how well I did, but it's done.

In other news, they found octupi using coconut shells for shelter in Australia and the bookstore would only buy back one of my books. Apparently they've already met their quota for my physics book and didn't want it. I've been advised to keep trying in case they change their minds. The great news is that I got rid of that silly book about Lewis and Clark and how Thomas Jefferson thought they could find a transcontinental water route. Haha, Jefferson! Boy, were you wrong. North America isn't quite as symmetric as you thought, now is it? Seventy-some pages talking about Jefferson's ignorant geographic theories and thirty pages on how Lewis and Clark interacted with the natives they met. It was almost as bad as trying to slough through The Sword of Shannara. Now that was an awful book to read. It finally got interesting about three-fourths of the way through, but it was totally not worth forcing myself to read the preceding 400 pages.

Listening to: Dollhouse
Reading: Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

Cricket. Cricket.

I think my history test went rather well today. The rest of the day was basically wasted. I meant to work on my English paper, but ended up taking a two-hour nap, a walk, and chatting with, like, five different people on facebook.

I did get a little done in the way of sources. I think turning off the Glee soundtrack and instead playing Heart in the background really helped. While I'm always tempted to rock out to Heart, Glee is much more distracting.

On another note, my roommate had her last final this evening and left for home. The room is kind of lonely now. She's the lively one. I just sort of sit and stare at my computer. I don't think that's healthy. I think I miss her Christmas lights the most. And her singing.

Listening to: "Treat Me Well" by Heart
Reading: Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I got to see my mom today for the first time in months. She was picking up my car on her way to Utah. I also got to see two of my puppies (who aren't so puppy-ish anymore) and our friend Robb.

They gave my roomie and me a ride to Target. I wanted to get something for my dad for his birthday, and my roommate was in search of TimTams. For those who may be wondering, TimTams are delightful cookies made by Pepperridge Farms out of layers of chocolatey goodness. As though these wonderful little treats weren't close enough to ambrosia by themselves, my roommate's friend introduced us last night to something called a TimTam Slam. I don't know how easy it would be to replicate just from a description, but I'll try to give a general idea what it's like. You're going to need some hot chocolate. Bite off a bit of each of the ends of a TimTam, then put one of the ends in your mouth. Without using your hands, dip the other end of the TimTam into the hot chocolate and slurp some up through the cookie. The cookie will get all melty and soggy, so when you're done slurping, throw your head back and slam the cookie down your throat, pausing to chew somewhere in there. Once you're good enough, you should be able to do all of the slurping and slamming sans hands. I have yet to reach this level expertise.

My roommate actually managed to convert a 50-year-old lady in the cookie aisle to the idea. As we were leaving, she was tentatively putting packages of TimTams into her cart. Apparently she has a party tomorrow. Can you imagine a bunch of old ladies with their cookies and hot chocolate as described above?

This evening was our ward Christmas party, with dinner provided by the bishopric's wives. I will never tire of fancy cheesy potato stuff. Never. That is perhaps the most noticeable effect of my foray overseas. I'm like an addict.

The short musical program after the dinner was mind-blowing. I will never listen to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" the same way again. I will always hear an echo of the mind-blowing-ness I heard tonight.

As a complete and utter sidenote, perhaps one of the greatest results of my mom's short visit was the gifts she brought me. Among other things, she somehow managed to find SoBe Nirvana at a Chevron. It's my favorite flavor, but it's nigh on impossible to find. It's kind of a mango-melon experience. I guess I'll have to frequent Chevron more often. For the record, I love my mom.

Listening to: Trans-siberian Orchestra on Pandora
Reading: Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

Friday, December 11, 2009


I finally cleaned my side of the room last night. My roommate tidies up regularly, but I rarely do. I sometimes feel like my side of the room is a disgrace. Yesterday, it got a thorough sprucing up. I even made my bed. I didn't realize how many newspapers I had saved over the semester. The recycling can started out almost empty, and now it is nearly full. I need to toss them daily next semester to avoid a repeat performance. On the bright side, I found a bunch of blank sudoku to occupy my time. Though I really should be working on that English paper I got an extension for. Hm... Facebook is not helping on that front either. But hey, my room looks great.

Listening: Trans-siberian Orchestra on Pandora
Reading: Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

Thursday, December 10, 2009


As yesterday was the last day of classes (pretending I'm writing this on Wednesday), today is a day set aside by the college and christened "Reading Day." It's kind of like the calm before the storm, as finals start tomorrow. I guess they're assuming we'll use this day to read. Oh, those silly calendar-makers.

Today my roommate and I went to the dollar store to buy stuff to make finals survival kits for our VT girls. We're companions. We got baskets, juice boxes, bubbles, Care Bear gummy bears, Smarties, Nerds, Crunch bars, coloring books, crayons, pencils, erasers, star-shaped post-its, and Silly Putty. We delivered them this evening and they went over smashingly. Mission accomplished.

We also had to sort out some library drama. My roommate often checks out books from the public library, and today she got a notice in the mail telling her she had a book a month overdue. She was rather distraught as the book was nowhere in our room, and she was fairly certain she had turned it in, anyway. Having had some friends in the business and knowing a bit about the inner workings of a library, I suggested we go down and see if we could find it on the shelf, as I've known books to sometimes get overlooked. Well, wouldn't you know, there it was. The lady at the counter was also very nice when we brought the book up to her and explained the situation. She waived the late fee and sent us on our merry way. Mission accomplished.

Listening to: How to Deal
Reading: Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


College has pounced upon with me with a finals-week ferocity and I haven't had time to post.

Before I forget them, there are a few quick anecdotes from Sunday I want to mention. First, I went over to Anne's house around three. She had been making candy all morning with her daughter and one of her friends. When I got there, they were cleaning up even though they hadn't finished making all of the candy. Apparently, they managed to burn out a Black&Decker mixer. Which meant when her son and my dad arrived, she instantly started telling them about how her power tool had burned out. Which got her son thinking. He came into the living room ten minutes later with one of the mixer attachments clicked into their power drill. The best part is that it worked!

Later that night, my aunt brought out some family history for me. I'd asked her about it a few weeks before and she finally found it and pulled it out. It was amazing! I found my grandma's patriarchal blessing and a pedigree chart that went back to the 1500s. There was also an entire book dedicated to the Foote family, the chief portion of which told the story of David Foote, who joined the Church in 1835. Probably the most exciting thing in there was the passing reference to the mummies he saw in Kirtland. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, during the Kirtland years Joseph Smith acquired several mummies. Encased with them were the papyri that became the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price.

Yesterday and today were chiefly spent trying to finish an English paper. I didn't succeed, but the teacher allowed deadline extensions. I'm really going to miss that professor. He was superb. It was kind of weird because he used to teach public speaking, so he is usually a very adept public speaker, but today he sounded like he was coming down with a sore throat. When asked about it, he said that he had just had a very emotional day. This became more apparent as he neared the end of class and was wrapping up, telling us about how wonderful we had been and quoting T. S. Eliot: "This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a wimper." As he got near the end of his remarks, my professor's voice started shaking more and I think he was almost overcome when he left the classroom. It was a melancholy parting for all in the class.

Tonight, I got together with my roommate and some of our friends for pizza and a movie. We watched Hancock. Afterward, since at 9 PM 24-hour quiet hours were supposed to start and carry on until the end of finals, we adjourned to my room because the way our suite is set up is unique and we have two doors between us and the hallway instead of the usual one. Almost everyone played Apples to Apples, but another girl and I sat and read MLIA entries. While everyone else was gone to walk someone to their car, we took the opportunity to make a youtube video, which can be found on my site. Our similar taste in TV shows is uncanny.

As a side note, my roommate got some multi-colored Christmas lights and strung them up above our window. They're inside the curtain so we can enjoy them. So far they've been on 24-7. I love the way the soft rainbow lights sparkle off our windchime as it turns slowly in the current from the air conditioning.

Listening to: Castle
Reading: Falcon Fever by Tim Gallagher

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I woke up today (or would that be yesterday, now?) around 11:30 and generally wasted the day clicking around on various time-wasting sites. When I finally got around to trying to do research for the paper I have due on Tuesday, I realized that since I was at my dad's house instead of on campus, I wasn't connected to the school's network and therefore didn't have access to the internet databases provided through the library. Well, poo. Since it was then around 4:30, I decided to do a load of laundry so the day wouldn't be entirely squandered. It was too cold outside, so I had to hang everything up in the bathroom. Too cold in Arizona? What kind of sick joke is this? Ah well. I suppose the desert has as much right to get chilly as any other climate on the planet. Especially at night. While it's certainly not parka weather, it can get a mite uncomfortable without a jacket. It seems some people are even breaking out the long johns.

But anyway. I spent the evening at Anne's house. A couple of her son's friends were over and we all sat down to watch Van Helsing. I got to pick the movie. Red, one of the friends, got uber-excited when she saw which movie I was putting in. About halfway through we made eye-contact and laughed a little because everyone else was asleep. I thought these high school kids were supposed to be night owls. No stamina, I tell you. Tsk.

After that was over, Anne and I were the only one's left since her son had to take his friends home since they have curfews and such. I popped in West Side Story to wile away the time since my dad was at my uncle's house watching the UFC fights on TV. He showed up not long after it started and sat down to watch with me. Anne was already asleep, but Dad managed to stayed awake most of the time. He'd only been asleep for a little while when I saw that it was already 11:30 and decided that maybe it was time to go home and go to bed. I think I'll continue with the Sharks and the Jets tomorrow (or is that today?). We left off on what I suppose would be the equivalent of the balcony scene.

I think it's time to call it a night, since my clock already says it's tomorrow.

Listening to: West Side Story
Reading: Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I've spent way too much time in the past few days watching youtube. Namely, It has inspired me to create my own video blog. Of course, I'm pretty sure most of you reading this already know. Nonetheless, I thought I'd mention it. If you find people sitting around talking about books boring, you probably wouldn't enjoy it, but if you're curious, the link is provided below.

Listening to: "Bust a Move," Glee style
Reading: Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Word nerd.

After math today, a friend and I went into the college bookstore. I had every intention of just getting a notebook to make notes at church, but my friend started browsing the shelves and before long I found myself sitting on the floor in front of an entire little section of books on the English language, including Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Biting the Wax Tadpole, both of which are books I saw and read about in the Bas Bleu catalog and am actually dying to own. Well, not literally dying, but definitely pining. Instead of walking away with either of those, though, I purchased Stone the Crows: Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang. I am so excited! It covers English-language slang all the way through the 20th and 21st centuries, from all English-speaking countries. For example, "ace boon coon" came into being around 1962 and basically refers to a best friend. Groovy, no?

I did actually get a notebook, too. It's pretty awesome. It has a cool beach-with-palm-trees-and-sunset silhouette on the cover and it's an orange-red color that changes when you turn it in the light. I decided to get a two-subject notebook so I could use one part in church and use the other for my home scripture study. I was going to get two notebooks, but one just seemed so much more sensible.

Also, I'm thinking of starting a youtube channel in addition to this typed blog. My idea was to do video posts about books I've read or movies I've seen. I guess it would kind of be like reviewing them. Good idea or not? I may just do it anyway and darned to the depths with the man what thought up parley. Wait. Dang! That movie quote just does not work right there. Um, moving on.

Listening to:
Reading: Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I forgot to mention last night that one of the talent show acts was called "McMuffin Making." Basically, a guy made a homemade egg McMuffin. All it took was two pieces of bread, a cup, an egg, and a griddle. Oh, and I suppose if you don't want to burn yourself flipping the egg by hand you might want a flipper-thing. Is it PC to call it a spatula? So first, the guy used the cup to cut circles out of the two pieces of bread. He used one of the leftover crusts as a mold for the egg. Now, I know this next part may sound tricky, but stay with me, huh? When the egg was done cooking, he cut it out of the bread and set the bread mold aside. Then, he put the egg between the two bread circles. And...tada! Yeah, that was it. I don't know why you would waste all that bread instead of just making an egg sandwich, but whatev.

Today was pretty awesome. After Institute I bought a copy of the Conference Ensign for eight bits, and not two and a half hours later I was officially done with physics labs. Forever! Well, I suppose I was done with actual, test-this-out labs last week, but I don't have to go to the lab class anymore, just the lectures. We took the lab final today, which was basically just a ten-question quiz over all of the labs we did. It wasn't too bad, and we were provided with blank copies of the labs if we needed to reread the directions.

Minor bummer: part of my newspaper was all torn up. I don't think it was just some malicious newsie either, since I saw later that a girl in the elevator had a newspaper with the same page torn. Maybe it was just a fluke in the printing. I wasn't too bummed, though, because the comics, the crossword, and the sudoku were all intact, and really, those are why I get the newspaper.

I got a nap in this afternoon, so I was able to stay awake during my physics lecture, which is fortunate because we were talking about nuclear fusion. And Einstein. I kept having the urge to abbreviate his name as Einy in my notes. I can't fathom why I didn't, but of course just thinking about doing it got my mind sidetracked with DeLoreans. Luckily, I was still able to focus because we were talking about uranium and...plutonium! There are just way too many parallels here...

Whoa, sorry! Got sidetracked on wikipedia just now. Did you know that Michael J. Fox initially turned down the role of Marty McFly because of scheduling conflicts?

English was rather uneventful. It was an optional-attendance day meant to be used for asking questions and doing research. Which, I sort of did.

The evening was wiled away with physics homework and explaining Elf Quest to my roommate.

And I just had a bit of a blog-scare. When I first went to publish, the site asked me to log in again, which looked bad from the onset. It wasn't a scam site, but my entry wasn't published! I freaked out for about 30 seconds before I remembered that blogger auto-saves drafts. Whew! That meant I only had to retype two paragraphs. Then of course I decided to add this one. That is all.

Listening to: Shakira on Pandora
Reading: Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory