Thursday, August 30, 2007

Happy again

Okay, I know that not a lot of you (any??) are gonna care about this, but right now I'm watching a college football game on ESPN. Why am I telling you this? Because it's college football season again!!!!
Here are some pictures to show you why I'm so happy.

Honestly, when there's a play like this, how could you not be excited?:

I know that not too many of you are going to care about these links, but they're pretty awesome.
8-minute clip of the 2006 BYU-Utah game.
Another shot of Beck-to-Harline.
Great hits from the last 10 years, with stupid music.
2006 BYU season in review.
Punter Matt Payne tackles hard. (but he blew the field goal at the end...)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I am caught!

Well hello my bloggy friends! I'm still in the middle of moving because I keep doing other things in the middle of moving. I'm glad that I still have until Friday, but I'd rather just finish up by tomorrow night...We'll see, eh?
I've had all of these great ideas for a blog entry, but honestly cannot remember one of them. I'm gonna be really exciting when I'm settled into our new apartment--which I'm sure I will accidentally call P6 instead of 331 for like 2 months or something.

Oh, so you know (maybe) how I ran into my cousin in Lisbon? Well, I ran into him at UVSC where he's taking a Portuguese class right after one that I teach. That's not quite as exciting, I know. But today as David and I were moving a desk to his apartment (he also lives at Old Mill), I hear my name shouted out and I look over and it's my same cousin. So Chance is in my ward, along with Brock. Go figure. I keep running into these people. They were supposed to live at Parkway Crossing (or something like that), but the apartments were filthy in every imaginable definition of that word... Nasty. I love how I run into family everywhere, whether in Europe or my new ward. Honestly.

I thought I'd post some quizzy things that I did recently. So maybe they're not too shocking. But I chuckled.

B.A. meetings anyone?

72%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

70% Geek


(Turn the face and strain)

I moved some stuff today to my new apartment. Doesn't that sound weird: my new apartment. I've lived at Pinegar for 5 years, you know. After Em and I were done moving stuff into 331 and giving tons of things to DI, we met Claire and Bradi (a girl) for dinner. I ate too much and had way too much Mr. Pibb. I pretty sure that I passed thru about 30 minutes of the closest thing to a hangover I'll ever feel. Seeing as my condition was less than exemplary, Em and Claire dropped me off at Pinegar.
I walked into P6, noting that Gretchen's car--the yellow bug (Black Cat)--wasn't in the parking lot. Walking into P6 I could feel that it was different. The apartment became very empty when Stick departed for Cedar. Now that the Newt's at her place the apartment doesn't feel like my home any more. Newt and Stick aren't very sentimental people, especially outwardly, and I pretend that I'm not. But I'll admit flat out right now that I miss P6. I'm here right now, but it's not P6 anymore. (This should make it easier to move, eh?) Oh my, this has now become a sob story. Sorry about that.
The time that I've spent here has been wonderful. I've lived at places that have been apartments, but P6 was my home and a place to come to where I felt safe. I'm going to miss this.
There's a lot of change going on now in my life, with my master's program coming to a close, teaching at UVSC, Cindy moving to Virginia, not having P6 as a home and not having the SF home. Life right now is weird. My goal is to come out alive, eh?

So, to quote the lyrics to Changes by quite possibly the creepiest musician of the 70s, David Bowie (Labyrinth, anyone?):
I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Huggy Huggy

No, this blog entry is not about a step in the Bishop's intimacy chart. But it is about a conversation that I had with friend's tonight at Jenn's birthday party.
We were discussing when you hug, what situations are okay for hugging, who you hug, who you are socially allowed to hug, and why.
Alex said that you don't hug your roommates and definitely not inside the apartment. That's very understandable if you're a guy. Rules are much more sketchy if you're a girl. What are the rules?
What about the mission? Who do you hug from the mission now?
What am I leaving out? What qualms have you, my blogosphere friends, had with hugging?
It was a very funny conversation. I'd look over at Liberty and she was laughing so hard, especially at Dan's mother's "under" hug.
Oh, and Gretchen's been having a rough go lately, so you should all give her a hug to cheer her up, let her know that you care.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My life (and yours) just got better

Google Earth has updated and now includes Google Sky. It's awesome, and you should download it here.
Look at what you can see!!!: Constellations! Galaxies! Big Stars! Stars and Galaxies! Nebulae!
It's amazing. I'm never gonna get anything done.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Juvenile Jokes

My mom's moving to Virginia because of a better job and some new scenery, etc. This means that the house is up for sale--well it soon will be. Thus we are getting it ready by painting, etc. Gretchen was downstairs working on the bathroom walls. I was taping a lot of paper on the floor and other places to protect from paint drippings. But in a spurt of juvenility, I taped a sign to Gretchie's back. I'm not so sure that I have ever done this before.
We got a lot of the painting done, save the bathrooms and an accidental strip in the hall. I love painting, so fun.
There's this episode of Cheers where Norm does some painting work (wish I had a clip) and realizes that he actually loves to paint, so he gives up his job as an accountant, which he hates, and become a full-time painter. I'm just saying...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Learning how to drive...

I was thinking about an FHE spin-the-bottle activity that we did once at the Bishop's house. One of the questions was, "Did you pass your driver's test the first time you took it?" I did, so my answer is very uninteresting, but then I thought about the first time I got behind the wheel.

Scottie and I wanted to play basketball, but my dad's car was in the way. He told me that I should back it out. I was 14 and admittedly I could never remember at the time which was the gas and which was the brake. I tried to ask my dad, but he was impatient and told me just to back out. So I put my foot on the brake and didn't go anywhere, switched to the gas and started to move.
The problem was that I didn't have a feel for how fast the car would move based on the pressure applied by my nervous foot. I went a little fast and freaked and pulled my foot off, but I was going backwards into the street. My foot was just hanging in the air and the car was continuing its progression into the road, bouncing off the curb. So I, at this moment completely panicked, dropped my foot down onto a pedal again, hoping for the brake, but nailing the gas. By now I'm cruising across the street headed straight at the neighbor's house. I see my dad start sprinting at me, arms flailing, "Brake, Vanessa, BRAKE!!!!" I finally switched my foot to the left pedal and my dad's car abruptly stopped. I was about 4 or 5 feet away from Garry and Mary's tree and was most assuredly on the sidewalk.
Clark had by now caught up with me and angrily said, "Get out of the car, I need to drive it back to our house." I was laughing; it was intensely funny. One of the funniest things, however, is hard to describe. It has something to do with a family birth defect that I call the Swenson Slows. We are a speed-challenged family, and even when I was a kid and only ever played sports, I was pretty slow. My dad's defect is only further pronounced by "The Penguin." The faster my dad walks the farther apart his toes get, while his heels stay the same distance apart. Instead of his feet looking like this | |, they look like this \ /. It was hysterical. Think of it, you're zooming backwards toward a tree, your dad comes running slowly at you, running like a penguin, screaming wildly at you, "Brake! BRAKE!!!" I died, I was laughing so hard. This only angered Clark more.

It was a happy memory. I was reminded of it every time I looked across the street and saw the dark tire marks on the sidewalk just a few feet from a very lucky tree.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Total ward domination

Since Bepa doesn't live here anymore, someone's gotta do it.
I was for sure going to be here on the 19th, so I'm teaching the lesson in relief society. No biggie. Then Liz wasn't going to be at church and asked if I'd conduct the hymns in sacrament meeting. Alright.
Then Brittany called me and asked if I'd print off the program again this week for the meeting because she'll be at home in New Mexico. It means I get to use a copier again, so I'm fine with that.
Brother Green just called and asked if I'd be here on Sunday. I admit my "Yes" in response was mingled with a slightly maniacal chuckle because I knew what was coming.
"Bishop was wondering if you would be willing to speak this Sunday."
"Of course," I respond, with a burgeoning desire of ascendancy creeping into my heart. "I'd be happy to." The long-awaited possibility for a despotic reign of terror is finally falling into my lap. I must take advantage of this opportunity.
I hang up the phone and text Emily (LewDavis) and let her know. She's from one of the wards that will be combining with us on Sunday, a sure accomplice with a disarmingly honest face.
I text Gretchen who initially tries to usurp some of my power by offering to teach RS to take off the "pressure," I imagine. Probably recognizing that she's tipped her cards, she quickly sends another text saying that we could probably work it out for my teaching Sunday School as well. It is a good idea. But from now on I'll be keeping a closer eye on Newt.
I think Liz was suspecting something and called me to tell me that she'd be here on Sunday. Although I did have an elaborate scheme planned, I think this will only be a minor setback.
I plan greater things: the program, the talk, the lesson...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just put down the thesis, ma'am, and walk slowly away with your hands in the air

So Saturday afternoon I fell asleep while working on my thesis. I woke up and hour or two later and my eyes HURT like nothing else. When I moved them at all it was like I was contorting every eye muscle in ways never before discovered. They killed. Then I looked in the mirror, and what did I see? This. My eyes were so red that the white seems to be the aberration of coloration, not the red. I had totally pulled my eye muscles while working on my thesis:

So did you know that you get a nice warning bar on the top of your Gmail account if you hit 95% of your mail capacity? This is what I found out. My account was stuffed. So I've been slowly working on cleaning it up. I've got it down to 43% full. It's a tedious job, I tell you what.

Later that night we went to a BYU 73rd Ward reunion. Bepa's family had opened up their back yard for one exciting Dessert Night. It was so cool to see everyone again. Some of the people I hadn't seen in, oh, I don't know, 3 years or something. The 73rd Ward has been a good home. You know you're from the 73rd Ward when you fight back tears when seeing a video of an empty P4.

Speaking of empty, Kathy just moved out. She and the family are on their way down to Cedar City as I type. This makes me intensely sad. Kathy's great fun. :`(
Gretchie's moving next week probably. Then I'm gone, and P6 will be no more the P6 that we've known and loved. I admit it. I hate change.

Speaking of, I found an apartment yesterday at Old Mill. The real draw is the fact that it has a lot of storage space. I've got too much stuff and my free storage will be no more in a couple of weeks (my mom's moving to Virginia). Emily (Lewdavis) and I'll be moving into an apartment and we're hoping against hope that no one will move in with us. (Keep your fingers crossed) Well, I guess if the other possible chicks are cool I'll be fine with it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A prank from yesteryear

I've finally uploaded it to YouTube. Soon it'll be up on Google Video, too.
I hid in the closet waiting for Heidi to come home. Listen for my accomplice Gretchen clue me in that Heidi was home. Then she totally played it off like she had no idea what'd happened. (To me) "How did it go?" (To Heidi) "What'd she do? Tell me about it."
What do you think it is that Heidi says after "Don't ever do that again." Because we've been trying to figure this out forever.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Some things that intrigue me

How many of you know about PostSecret? It's a website that every Sunday has 20 new posts of postcards that people have sent to the man who runs the site, Frank SomethingOrOther. He receives thousands and posts a few representative ones every week. People send him things that they've never told anyone before, some are troubling, some are happy, some are heart wrenching. Check it out. This week he's actually posted a short movie from YouTube. You could always do a Google Images search for some past secrets. It's interesting to see what keeps us going or what hold us back.

For those of you that like Harry Potter trivia thru book 6, click here for some fun. For those of you who have read thru book 7, click here and help the 20 questions game with their programming.

Oh, and here's a CRAZY clip about pistol shrimp. It's only a minute and a half long, but it'll blow you away.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Some very exciting Simpsons clips

the Simpson go to Ikea--well SHØP

Lisa Simpson or Eva Perón?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hodge Podge #2

Lydia, this is what Spaghetti Pie is. It's darn tasty. Here's a recipe, but I don't like the bell peppers in it.

Today Kathy was talking about Molly Weasley and referred to her as Sister Weasley. Hah!

I was looking something up on Wikipedia, and learned that Michael Flatley of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance fame is a trained Kosher chef and can levitate. I think that someone's been having some fun on Wikipedia, no?

Look what I stumbled onto online.
You can find the funniest things.
I don't know why this caught me so, but I laughed really hard.
Do you guys remember when at the dance devotional, the kid praying said, "Father, we recognize that Thou are the Lord of the dance" ??!!
How do you not laugh?

Oh, I'm gonna show off (my nerdiness) a little bit here.

If you click on the picture, look at #2. That's me with all of the questions answered on the Harry Potter Wizard Challenge on Scholastic. You get three chances to guess incorrectly. I still had two balls left floating around Lockhart's hands.
Go ahead and click the picture for a better look. I felt like a total nerd, but was very satisfied at the same time.

Heidi, our long-lost roommate (because I'd lost her info, my fault) stopped by tonight. Gracie's really cute and her Jiu Jitsu helmet is reshaping her head nicely. I love Heidi, we always laugh so hard when she's around. She admitted tonight that she's not as staunch a republican as she once was. She was pretty staunch, so I was impressed. She said that it was her sociology classes that helped her realize that no one's got the answer. But who knows, maybe she'll come over to the democrats someday.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Blog Tag

Jobs I've Held:
1. Portuguese teacher
2. Portuguese Tutor (Senior MTC and elsewhere)
3. Copy Center (I <3>

Movies I Can Watch Over and Over:
1. Ocean's movies
2. Star Trek (esp. IV [whale one], VI [Klingon explosion one], First Contact [Borg/Earth])
3. Clue
4. Home movies

Places I Have Lived:
1. Spanish Fork, UT
2. Cambé, Brasil
3. Lençóis Paulista, Brasil
4. Proveaux, UT

Shows I Enjoy:
1. Baseball Tonight
2. Sportscenter
3. Baseball games
4. West Wing

Places I've Been on Vacation:
1. Brasil (and Argentina, Paraguay, Chile on the same vacation)
2. Minnesota
3. Portugal & Spain
4. Washington, D.C. & New York (same vacation)

Favorite Foods:
1. Sandwiches
2. Spaghetti Pie
3. Beans & Rice
4. What Gretchen cooks

Websites I Visit (almost) Daily:
2. the blogosphere

Body Parts I Have Injured:
1. Right hand (face-first encounter with a curb)
2. Left hand (a post-game home-base slide)
3. Wrist (working on my thesis [nerd alert])
4. Baby toe on right food (running it into a CD stack trying to rescue Sarah and Sally and an exploding toilet) **Addendum: After I either severely jammed my toe or broke it, I mostly sat in the hallway watching Sarah, Sally and Gretchen since I wasn't very useful. I was never meant to be a superhero.

Nicknames I've been called:
1. Vemonator
2. Venom
3. Van
4. V

Now I Get to pick 5 other Blog buddies to do this! Tag your it!
1. Sarah
2. Anna-Lisa
3. Myra
4. SallySue's friend Heidi
5. Emily
(are there more of you who haven't done this, because I lost track)

Those feet, they're important

I think my friends are worried about me. They often list off names of myriad guys and extol their virtues, then repeat my good points finally ending by discussing our children and eternal happiness. They do it to get at me, mostly because they list off tons of guys at once.
But lately I think they're afraid that I'm not taking this marriage thing seriously (whatever). The standards that they're now basing my possible dating partner are pretty basic. One recent possibility seemed to boil down to the fact that he breathed.
Tonight Stick mentioned this guy, code named The Defender, I'll just quote how the conversation went.
K: Well, I don't know, there's The Defender.
V: Uh huh.
K: I mean, it could go well with you two. I mean, look, he's got...feet.
--stunned silence--
--uproarious laughter--
--Kathy dejectedly dropping her forehead onto her left palm, recognizing, that, WOW, that was a dumb thing to say--
--continued joking about how The Defender and I will really hit it off since we have the amazing similarity: feet--
--Kathy pointing that since she doesn't have feet, I just can't understand what life's like, footless, and that I should hook up with The Defender, The Footed Wonder!!--

I must point out, that this discussion of my dating and the on average 7 guys that I should be dating and marrying, according to Kathy, do vary over the years, but she's brings this up daily. Funny thing is that when there's anyone who could really be a whatever, she shuts right up, as if she could jinx it or something.

Feet. Honestly, what was she thinking?

Wouldn't you rather have a low voice than interesting feet, or feet at all, for that matter?:

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

don't quite know

I don't quite know many things tonight.
One thing I don't quite know is why I've got such good friends. I've always had really good friends--often being my salvation. Today I had some great visits from friends, two of whom would like to open a fine cheese producing dairy. Bizarre, because they had not discussed this with each other.

Another thing I don't know is why I don't like sauerkraut. I really like cabbage. I really like vinegar. I really like dill pickles, and doesn't sauerkraut seem like the dill pickle of cabbage? I like Kimchi. But I don't get a big kick out of sauerkraut. The reason I say this is because some of the aforementioned good friends and I went to Gandolfo's so I could have my first Reuben sandwich. I'd never had one before because of the sauerkraut problem. And again, I really like corned beef, rye bread and spicy mustard. But the Reuben was just a so-so experience. They'd forgotten to put the Swiss cheese on, so that got put on later and only made things worse anyway. Again, doesn't a Reuben sound like something I should like? Well, I didn't hate it, so maybe that's something.

Another thing I don't know is why I like music so much. I am addicted to getting new music. Right now I've got 34.19 gig of music (and Harry Potter audio books [4.8 days or 2.83 gig], 228 podcasts [5.9 days or 5.16 gig] and 1.25 gig of LARGE thesis interview files). So, really, I've got about 26 gigs of music on my computer. But I'm still missing music that I have as of yet to put on my computer. And I still get more and more. I love finding good new music. I'm really enjoying Ryan Adams lately. Listen here. And here is his UBER weird website. Just be patient and wait for the stuff to load.

I don't know how I feel about Barry Bonds breaking the major league record for home runs. People like to claim that nothing has ever been conclusively proven, like in a court, that he was taking Human Growth Hormones. The closest that anything has ever been said is that he might have taken something accidentally or because someone else gave him something. Bob Costas makes a good point in an interview that I just linked. What Bonds did and maintained had never been done in baseball until the exponential muscle explosion over the last 10 or 15 years.

So here's what I don't know, and I'd like your ideas, opinions and wisdom on this problem. I'm not necessarily talking baseball here inasmuch as the battle of right and wrong, and what is the esoteric right and wrong, but the situation is in baseball. The evidence is overwhelming that many ballplayers were on steroids during the muscle (and home run) explosion of the 90s and early 00s, but baseball turned a blind eye. Bud Selig (the commissioner) even tried to claim that he'd heard nothing of the like until just recently--although statement he made in the mid-90s completely contradicted him and made him look dumb. But if baseball and the leaders are turning a blind eye, how tainted is Bonds' record now? There are lots of players that did steroids, but none who came close to breaking the record, so there has got to be some innate talent in there somewhere.
So what's your take? Is the record tainted? If so, how much? Was Bonds doing something wrong if Major League Baseball wasn't doing anything, giving a silent "okay" to what was going on. How much blame does MLB have in the situation? They're cracking down now and are placing the blame solely on the players. Is this right?

One thing I do know is that my brother and I are very similar. He took the Jane Austen heroine quiz and also got Elinor Dashwood.

Another thing I don't know is the reason people read FanFic. For those of you lucky enough to not know what FanFic is, it's fiction written by fans of a book or movie or whatever. It's often horrific. I deeply regret that introed Kathy to it.

As an introduction to the next entry, we sorted Rebekka, Emily and G&K into Hogwarts houses. Rebekka: Gryffindor Emily: Hufflepuff Kathy: Gryffindor Gretchen: Hufflepuff
I was REALLY surprised by Gretchen's and mildly surprised by Emily's. I'm Ravenclaw, if you remember.

The following entry is a Harry Potter entry, so Cassidy, don't read it unless you're done with HP7. That goes for the rest of you, unless you like spoilers.

My first real Harry Potter spoiler post

I was very happy with the way the whole Kreacher story turned out. Kreacher never completely bothered me in the way that Lucius Malfoy bothered me: cruel for cruelness' sake. But I was still irked by the betrayal of Sirius at the end of book 5.
I'm with Hermione in the whole S.P.E.W thing and would've spent 2 sickles for a badge which I probably would've forgotten to sew to my bag. When Harry, Ron and Hermione ended up at Grimmauld Place with Kreacher, I was happy to see what came of it all. I was glad that Regulus was R.A.B. (and that it was Voldemort who killed him like the rumor had suggested [even if technically it was his dark magic]), and I was glad that Kreacher helped in the downfall of a Horcrux. I was disgusted at the pain that Voldemort put him thru in the placing of the Horcrux. But what can one expect? Voldemort often used the causing of pain to those near himself and his servants as a tool of manipulation and control.
But, to get to the meat of my post, I really appreciated how Harry's kindness in giving the locket to Kreacher helped to turn the elf's heart (HP7 pg 199-200). The locket meant a lot to Kreacher: a Black family symbol that he now owned; it was the item that his master had used to take down not only the Dark Lord, but Kreacher's torturer; Regulus had drunk the potion himself instead of forcing the elf to suffer again, which must have meant a lot to Kreacher.
On page 192 of HP7, Kreacher goes for a poker because he'd failed, supposedly, Regulus' orders to keep the locket when Mundungus had nicked the Horcrux. Rowling wrote that Harry "reacted instinctively" and stopped Kreacher from hurting himself. Harry had no desire to see the elf hurt himself and didn't like the way that the elves hurt themselves when they'd disobeyed. Harry actually innately cared for Kreacher and all house-elves alike.
I've heard before that a person or a society is judged on how the "lowest" or poorest members of society are treated. Looking at how Harry and Hermione instinctively reacted to the house-elves and their plight is a good example of their street cred as very kind protagonists.
Anyway, it was this treatment of Kreacher, simple kindness and respect for Kreacher as a being, and solely based on his existence--a sort of "All men are created equal" ideal--that led to the way that Kreacher felt about himself and the way he treated Harry (HP7 227).
The very end of the book was poignant to me (page 734) when Kreacher comes running in leading the house-elves with the battle cry, "Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!"
The reason why this scene was so powerful was the point that Rowling makes that kindness can overcome cruelty, that it can change a person, that it can help a person recognize their own worth, that it can inspire greatness and cause the person to be kind in their own actions.

I really liked Kreacher's redemption and think that it might be my favorite subplot of Deathly Hallows.
Oh, as a side note, I didn't like that the 3 objects were called Hallows. It didn't seems to fit for me. It seemed like a misnomer, almost a literary tool to lead us initially to a different conclusion, a distraction tactic.
Your opinions about Kreacher and the name Hallows?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Corn on the cob

There's some good corn on the cob in Utah Valley right now. My mom brought me some this afternoon, six total. That works out just great for us in P6: two each. Except that while Kathy and Gretchen were up Big Cottonwood Canyon tonight with their family I ate four. Now before you call "Pig!" know that that's 1/3 the amount that my home ward bishop's wife ate in one sitting. Can you imagine eating 12? And I did four in two sittings. That's some carbohydrate fortitude on the part of our neighbor, Mary, don't you think?

August is one of the best times of the year: hot and a lot of fresh corn!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Jane Austen personality quiz

After seeing FoxyJ's personalities on her page, we at P6 decided to do the Jane Austen one. Mind you I'm know-nothing when it comes to Jane Austen, but I took the quiz anyway.

Here I am:

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Here's Kathy:

I am Elinor Dashwood!

And here's Gretchen:

I am Marianne Dashwood!

What does this all say? Kathy and I are old maids and Gretchen's the younger, more daydreamy sister.
Anyone shocked by this?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Another goal in life

This is one that I'm going to fail at throughout my life because I'm just like everyone else, pretty much. But this particular goal is one that means a lot to me and has for a long time. But tonight I'm having a hard time with the order of the phrasing of the goal, which for the last few hours has been a topsy-turvy internal struggle. I want to live my life, every day, in a way that isn't cruel to those around me but instead kind. Or is it that I want to live every moment in a way that is kind to those around me avoiding anything that is cruel?
Before you think, "Wow, Vanessa, big difference," I want to explain why I'm so essentially irked tonight. My whole life, as far back as I can remember, like three or four-years-old, I remember having the utmost disdain for the cruelty of injustice and the injustice of cruelty. I know that life isn't fair, often because we equate fairness with what we consider the ideal path of our lives. But I hate it when I see other people be mean because of how it affects those around them. I've just seen too much of it tonight to be able to push this out of my mind. It's interesting how we can learn so much from the events around us, even if they are so terrible...

I know deep down that I should live my life striving for kindness (hence avoiding cruelty), but I hate cruelty so much that my goal is often to do everything possible to eschew viciousness and then wait for the kindness to set in.
So my goal is officially to be kind to people--not just nice, mind you, which can be false and not very helpful--so that those around me know that I care for them and what happens to them, that they are worth a whole lot and I know that they are. The problem with a goal like this is that I'm going to blow it throughout my life. But now that it's out in the open, I'm held to a higher standard.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A funny prank blamed on me

I didn't do this one. You might think that I'm lying, but I'm not. I'm extremely frustrated that I didn't do this prank. Someone wrote Vegas or Bust on the back of Gretchen's car (sorry, I don't have pictures because she quickly washed it off). But then a couple of days later someone decorated Andy's Jeep. Of this I do have pictures:

Now if you're confused about the initials here, Andy's middle name is Whipple and Gretchen doesn't have a middle name.
Although it appears like the culprit seems to have an affinity for Vegas...

And maybe in homage to AWS and GR's new-found love, I'm posting a video that has a song that I really like. There's nothing to the video but a picture so that the person could post a great song on YouTube. It's by Ryan Adams and it's called Desire.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

SWKT balloon bomber

The bookstore has a nice game for all of us to enjoy: dropping balloons on unsuspecting walkers-by, like students, professors, Ute fans, BYUSA president. It's a kick. Have at.
Oh, and I really like the Spare me my life! survival phrase. Very handy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Housing and who I heard from

I hate looking for housing. Pinegar has been so ideal in tons of ways, that the idea of moving someplace else makes me thoroughly annoyed. But I know it's time to move on. Emily, Yasmina and I went looking this morning and found good and bad in all of the places where we looked. I hate looking for places. I haven't looked for a place since August of '99 thanks to friends finding places instead. Blech.

But on a happier note:
I was up late last night, until about 2am. Okay, this isn't late for me. Anyway, I heard the sound for new instant message chat come up. The person was supposedly Megan Neeley, but her gmail chat thing said that it was probably just her sister checking the email. But then this person asked me how the Tribe was doing (Cleveland Indians). Hope against hope! Could it really be our dear Cectpa Neeley all the way in Lithuania? Why yes! It was! We got a 3 minute chat in before she had to log off. I told her how the Indians were doing and she said that she loved Vilnius. It was so cool to hear from her. I guess she can use her gmail address. I'm glad I didn't go to bed but decided to finish off just one more section of my thesis before going to sleep. Ahhhh, life is sweet when you're a night owl.

Here's Megan's chat with me. I'm sure that there are a few of you who would mildly care about this...

1:39 AM Megan: and how's the tribe?
let me know if you get chance. hope you're doing well.
me: i'm assuming this isn't really megan
is it really you?
Megan: da
me: well, hello friend
Megan: are you reallly awake?
me: can i email you
of course
1:40 AM it's 140am
Megan: yes.
me: no biggie
Megan: isn't that the best news ever?
me: am i allowed to email you
Megan: i can email everyone
me: you serious!!!!
from this email?
Megan: yes! i love it
i think so
me: the tribe's 1 game back
Megan: my trainer does.
me: SAWEET!!
Megan: oh you're the best
me: i was hoping it was you
1:41 AM Megan: it is me
we have to go pretty soon though
but i LOVE it
me: but cleveland's firmly in 1st place in the wild card
i'm so excited to talk to you!!!
Megan: sweet deal
me: i've missed you
Megan: just 2 more months eh
me: how's lithuania
i know
i'll keep you updated weekly now
Megan: ya toje
me: ummmm
Megan: saweet
me: oh, ok
1:42 AM Megan: lithuania's great
i wrote the parents a novel this week
me: yeah? what do you like about it
Megan: but i think we're ready to go
me: i'm excited to get it
Megan: love you
me: love you too
Megan: i'll email you next week
me: it was good to talk
i'll email you to
Megan: yes
me: good updates
Megan: sweet
me: take care, my friend!!

Now that made my day. Best thing that's happened since being in Europe, I wager.