Sunday, August 23, 2009

TED vid for this week

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

not my poll

This alone shows how much U.S. Americans don't understand sports around the world:
The Super Bowl? The Super Bowl is tied for 1st?
The World Cup is #1. I mean, nearly 2 billion people tune in.
Ask people outside of the US and you'll get the World Cup at 70%, the Olympics at 20%, the World Series at 6% and the Super Bowl at 4%.
Yes, this shows how much Americans don't think outside of their borders in sports (reality?).

Here's the "view map" portion of the poll. Look at Utah, one of the two states that has the World Cup as the biggest sporting event in the world. I'm thinking this is all of the RMs that have actually lived outside of the US and know what's really going down. That's my guess.
See, missions are very important.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Graduation + Pictures

Receiving a master's degree does not mean that you are smart enough to figure out how to put on your regalia. Don't worry, though, I finally figured it out, probably. The sleeves for a master's have this goofy extra bit of fabric that you might as well store stuff in. I should've hidden a bagel or something. However, I was in the front row, so that would've been tacky.

Sometimes the speeches can be fairly boring. But it was as if the speech at my convocation had been tailored for me. One of my favorite professors gave a talk that included many etymologies of words. Talk about awesomeness.

Walking out afterward, I saw my mom who was already tearing up. I hugged her and started to cry, of course, but mostly remained tuff. My dad cried pretty hard when he hugged me, which caught me off guard, thus destroying my composure. I am a bawl baby. Again, I reference this video.

Anyway, pictures:
Notice the nifty temari ball in my hands, that Aunt Suezie (Gretchen and Kathy's mom) made me. I'd received another one from her at the 5K that I'd kept by my computer as I finished the thesis.

Me and my mom:

Dad, me, Mom:

Dad and Mom showing the love:

My friends (Gretchen, Aunt Suezie, Kathy, me, Shannon):

I graduated at the same time as my friend PatrĂ­cia. Arwen, on the right, is the graduate secretary. She is a huge reason why a lot of us graduate, I think.

Later, my coworkers stealthily decorated my cubicle. They also gave me dried mangoes and a bag of broccoli. They know me well.

So there you have it. I finally graduated. After 25 years of being a student, I find myself still feeling like I have homework to do at night, flummoxed when I realize that I have nothing due. I think I might take UVU up on their free 3 course credits a semester. I love learning.

City pictures key:

Friday, August 14, 2009

It finally happened/Hair cut/Poll

So I just graduated this morning. I'm at work right now because I've got a lot to do. So instead of doing my job, I'm blogging fast. That's okay.
Here are my announcements, in case you have seen the lovely camera/computer work of Brian and Julie Rae:
First, the real one that we sent out:
Next, this is the goofy pictured one that we decided to make into a prank one to send to my dad. We sent the real one a couple days after. He didn't even say anything. What a party pooper.
Finally, this last one takes a bit of explaining. For my first Halloween my mom and dad dressed me as a ballerina. My mom even made the tutu. My dad had high hopes that he'd have a daughter who'd love ballet and would be all refined-like. Instead he got a baseball-loving, head-strong, ballet-hating tom boy. So this announcement is in honor of my first Halloween. If you look at the little picture in the middle, you'll see that even at 7 1/2 months I was completely hating on the idea.

So, the feminine of Master is Mistress. Do you think it's a bit too crazy if I go by "Mistress Venom?"

**I'll post other pictures from the graduation later on and talk about it laters.**

So I got a hair cut yesterday just in time for graduation. I'll show you front and back. Then you can vote on the poll.

Please vote in the poll at your right.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cousins, Conversational Anecdotes, Jeopardy

My cousin Jill just got back from a Spanish-speaking mission in CA. It's nice to have another Spanish speaker in the fam. This meant that we got to have a homecoming and a party with the extended family. The aunts in my family were great and always organized parties for us when we were younger. Seriously, it was like once a month, I swear. The wonderful effect of this is that my cousins are my friends.

Because of this we have great conversations. My cousins are hysterical. But I noticed something today. This is how convos often work with me:

cousin1: funny anecdote
cousin2: witty comment
(continued laughter)

me: trivia comment worthy (if lucky) of Jeopardy
cousin3: another funny anecdote
cousin2: witty comment again
(continued laughter)
cousin1: awesome story
me: (silent for a while contemplating the syntax of a sentence and, consequently lost in the continuing conversation)

anyway, I'm a professed nerd.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

TED vid of the week

This woman is extremely inspiring.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


This story happened last fall and I often ruminate on it.

So there was this divisive proposition on the California ballot last year, as you recall. Protests for and against it were happening all over the state. On both sides there were groups of people that crossed the line. I think that's why this story that I'm going to summarize seems so singular to me.

I have a friend who's dad was in charge of a religious congregation. There was to be a protest outside the church building where they met. He decided that he was going to have fresh homemade cookies for these protesters, that it was better to show Christian kindness than to allow for a situation that could erupt into anger on both sides. His family and (I think) other members of the congregation were there with milk and cookies. After all, the protesters had a right to be there. This simple act defused what might've ended up being a very tense situation.

This idea was probably in my fuzzy subconscious when I decided to take this leap. I'm not perfect in my interactions with my fellow human beings, especially when political ideas are involved. This story just gave me a higher level of kindness to shoot for.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Polling about Star Trek

I do love my Star Trek, I admit it.

So, polling about captains...
Jean-Luc Picard.
Jonathan Archer.
Benjamin Sisko.
James Kirk. Hah.
Kathryn Janeway.

And The Original Series movies:
1-The Motion Picture.
2-The Wrath of Khan.
3-The Search for Spock.
4-Voyage Home.
5-Final Frontier.
6-Undiscovered Country.

The TNG movies:
2-First Contact.


TOS Characters:
Nurse Chapel

There, I think I have that fully covered.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The _REAL_ Hannah Montana

Sometimes my dreams might as well be movies. A few weeks ago I had an especially intriguing dream. Frankly it was extremely important as the temporal salvation of this Earth goes. I think it might be time to let you all in on it:

I was at a hotel outside of L.A. with a friend (*whose identity many of you know, but I can't reveal for reasons later explained). A bit after we'd checked in, say 3pm-ish, we find out that the Chinese premier is in town and will be giving a big speech the next day. To do this, he's been mostly left alone by member of his cabinet. Well, Friend and I decide that it's time for an intervention. It's been 20 years since Tiananmen, but human rights reformations are still lagging. Also, really, Taiwan should just be allowed to be its own country. Friend and I go in and talk to Mr. Wen Jibao, using impassioned and factual arguments from the hotel's library (my kinda hotel [ok, there were more books than Gideon's Bible]) and the internet on my cell phone. We are making some headway, but the cabinet members are starting to get worried and are coming up the stairs. Friend and I decide to leave.

It's now late and very dark. Friend and I are both hungry so we go find someplace to eat. I plug my cell into the car since the battery is nearly dead. I go in to let the host know that we need a table for 2, while Friend goes on a quick errand. Unbeknownst to me, a couple of people (your regular plot antagonists) recognize me and Friend, who is driving away. They suspect that we will play an important role in the future salvation of the world. They sit at a place in the restaurant where they can spy on me. I realize that there's something drastically wrong and try to discretely exit the place. They follow; I run, unable to alert Friend, b/c I don't have my cell.
I'm almost run over by Antagonists, who are dressed in too-stylish jeans and too-expensive T-shirts. I swerve to avoid their attack, and at that very moment Friend appears. I dive into the back seat of the small SUV she's driving and we're able to get away.

Later we're talking, realizing that things are getting to the point that people, especially the wrong sort, are going to continue to suspect that Friend plays an important role in the Earth's future salvation. We wonder if it's time for her to reveal her true self. She somberly looks at me and responds, "No. No, the Earth is not yet ready for the truth. Soon, perhaps, they will be and it will be time for me to reveal my true self. But now I must still remain in the shadows, performing the deeds that my title and gifts endow me the ability to accomplish. I am fine allowing another to claim the glory for the time being. One day the truth will be known; Earth will be set free."

What, you might ask, is Friend's truth? She's the real Hannah Montana.


So now you see why I couldn't reveal Friend's current name. Although, there might come a point, perhaps soon, when she decides to reveal herself to Earth. I'll keep you in the loop.
And who knew that Hannah Montana was endowed with such great powers?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

according to the people who've voted...

So, it seems like presently there's a unanimous vote on the poll that I should be going to London for my next international excursion. It also seems that only 2 people have seen Harry Potter 6. I have a feeling, though, that this is all due to the fact that I didn't broadcast that I'd put new polls up.

So, here's some picturesque info:

Also, I'm glad that those who voted were unanimous in that Natalie should blog more so that we can see pictures of the cute kids.