Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ensign thoughts

I'm not sure if I've really mentioned this before, but I've been really into Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series lately. I found her books obsessing enough that I stayed up all through the night to read them. Both of them (although on different nights, about three weeks apart). Anyway, Margo recently mentioned to me that there was a story by Stephenie Meyer in the December 2006 issue of the Ensign (from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), called "Hero at the Grocery Store." I quite enjoyed the thing -- it reminded me in many ways of her fiction writing.

I also got looking today at the January issue of the Ensign (actually, I was thinking that it was the December issue and was looking for Stephenie Meyer), and I was amused and slightly dismayed to find an article in it entitled "Home Teaching the Single Sister." (Sorry, I can't find the HTML version to link to, but the pdf version of the whole issue is here.) I haven't actually read the thing yet, but a preliminary glance seems to indicate that it is mostly about single mother sisters (as opposed to just single, unwed sisters ... who probably warrant an article of their own ... see rest of post to appropriately gauge level of sarcasm intended). What amused and dismayed me is the idea that single sisters are apparently such a mystery to the general membership of the Church that we have to actually address separately the question of how to home teach them. I get frustrated by this kind of thing, since it seems to me that people should be able to just treat us like ... well, people. We're nothing other than that. Just people. We happen to be single, and we happen to not hold the priesthood (though I, personally, think there is a general lack of understanding of just how close a tie sisters have to the powers of heaven, but that's another post). But that's all. Just treat us like people, take an interest in us personally, and that's all we really need.

This reminds me of something I was talking to my brother-in-law about the other night. At the time we happened to be talking the pressure to marry that singles get in the church (in particular). I told him that I think the leadership, and just the older and/or married membership, of the church have a hard time understanding just how great the pressure is, because they have either been married so long that they've forgotten, or they got married so young in the first place that they never really experienced it. I think this is true about the marriage/single divide in the church in general. It frustrates me that the divide is so huge, and I have a hard time understanding why that is. I have several married friends who are able to still relate to me on a normal, human level, regardless of the number of children they have or the length of time they've been married. But I also have a large number of married friends who don't seem to be able to do that anymore. I understand that there is a huge shift in the focus and responsibilities in a person's life after they marry, but it seems silly to me that singles and marrieds shouldn't be able to relate better regardless. What's happened to the common denominators that bring us all to the same level? In the end we are all in basically the same position, trying to do basically the same things, just doing it under somewhat different circumstances. Why can't we focus on that?

I can’t tell you how to make it go
No matter what I do, how hard I try
I can’t seem to convince myself why
I’m stuck on the outside (30 pts)

The last quote was from "It's a Wonderful Life" -- congrats to Elliespen (as usual). And oh, for those of you who know him, AT (aka Thurbs) got his mission call. He's leaving for the MTC on May 9, 2007, to go to the Spain Malaga Mission, and he's way pumped!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Having been recently informed just how long it's been since I posted, I thought I'd better. First off, congratulations to C & P, who recently had a brand new baby. I'm so excited for them -- they'll be wonderful parents!

Next, Happy End-of-the-Semester to you all, even those who aren't in school. You want my semester to be over, believe me. It's been rough this year, and I'm thrilled to be able to sleep in these days. Right now I'm in northern Utah at my sister's place, and last night I was so pooped that I fell asleep on the couch, fully clothed, and didn't bother to change them even when I woke up at 4:30 in the morning (to the sound of my cell phone alarm, which I hadn't changed from the night before) and realized where I was. And I look like death warmed over today. The good news, though, is that I found out that the shirt I was wearing (recently acquired from my former roommate as she was cleaning out her closet before moving) doesn't really wrinkle, so that's nice.

I'm getting really excited for Christmas. My sister and I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" this afternoon and I wrapped the presents for her and her family, and I'm starting to want to listen to Christmas music. The past few weeks I've been ignoring Christmas, since I was wrapped up in the end of the semester junk I had to do, in all the new music I've recently discovered that I love, and in the fact that it was frequently still into the 70s in Texas.

Last night I went to my niece's orchestra concert. She plays with the intermediate youth group associated with the Utah Festival Opera. The beginning group really wasn't great -- they had a lot of tempo problems -- but the intermediate and advanced groups were great. The advanced group played the first two movements (the only ones, actually) of Schubert's unfinished symphony, and I'd forgotten how much I love that piece.

In the vast configuration of things, I'd say you're nothing but a scurvy little spider! (18 points)


(Oh, and the last quote, from before Elizabeth Bennet, was from the Gershwin song "How Long Has This Been Going On?")

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Yay!

From a friend ...

I am Elizabeth Bennet!


Take the Quiz here!





Another "yay!": During the next two days, there's a Medieval Symposium on campus, and I'm totally going to go and geek out with my friend NM.

Friday, November 3, 2006

more noveling troubles

Last night, Erin and I traded and read each other's novel beginnings. I was almost surprised at how good Erin's was. I say "almost" because I would expect Erin to be a good writer, with lots of humor and a no-nonsense attitude about her subjects, and she is; it's just that after hearing her lament over her writing during that first noveling session we had together, I began to wonder whether it was, after all, as horrible as she thought it was. It wasn't though -- quite the opposite. She gave me hope for my own writing as well, claiming that enjoyed my first chapter. I trust Erin's opinion, and I hope we know each other well enough at this point that if it really was tripe she would tell me so. (Right, Erin?)

So last night I went to bed feeling much more hopeful about things and spent about half an hour considering the rest of my novel and how I wanted things to shape up, before I got to sleep. This morning I got up and spent about an hour writing, and got a good 800 words out, feeling quite happy with how they were working out. And then ...

After making some lupper, I sat down just now to get going again and discovered that I had somehow neglected to save what I wrote this morning. All of that 800 words of genius, gone!
I could cry salty tears. (25 points)

By the way, the last quote was from The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

let the noveling begin

So, Erin and I started our novels yesterday. We're shooting for about 2,000 words a day. Yikes, it's hard! We spent a lot of time griping about how horrible our writing was, and getting blocked because we got frustrated with the tripe we'd written so far. Erin suggested last night that maybe we need to have other people read our stuff and see whether it really is as bad as we think it is.

Last night we also discussed how many books we've read that were absolutely awful, and I decided (long ago, actually) that anything I write has to be better than Romancing the Nephites, and at least as good as The Scandalous Miss Delaney and A Lady in Disguise -- preferrably much better.

As we talked last night, I tried to describe Romancing the Nephites to Margo, and I made it on the prestigious Quote Board! My awesomeness is now no longer a matter of opinion -- it is a fact, corroborated by a large piece of cardboard covered with the most exclusive collection of quotes. Here's how I made it: "He kept using, like, pseudo-Hebraic pick-up lines!"

The last quote was from the song "Ruby Blue" by Roisin Murphy -- thanks, Erin, for introducing me!
"I'm not talking nonsense, lass. I'd give you the whole of the moon if I could, and throw in the stars for good measure. You couldn't be content with less?" --42 points

Friday, October 27, 2006

aarghs and yays

Aargh 1. I'm really annoyed with my students. I think I'll have to give them the lecture on Monday, about how they're in college now, and they're responsible for their own education, and it's not my job to remind them every day of what homework they're supposed to do.

Aargh 2. I was supposed to get Vertigo in the mail today from Netflix, but it didn't arrive. That's the only time so far that the a movie from there hasn't gotten here on time.

Yay 1. NaNoWriMo is almost here! I got a new idea for part of my plot the other day in a Linguistics class, although I'm not sure yet if it will actually work.

Yay 2. The other day I had an appointment with my professor for Research Methods and Bibliography in Linguistics (which, incidentally, is the class where I got that idea for my novel). We were supposed to meet to discuss these papers we're working on, the first part of which (intro and lit review) we turned in recently. It was a very good meeting, and coming away from it, I felt reassured about my ability to make it in the academic world.

Yay 3. Today I finally went to a study group session with some of the girls from my Old English class. The other day I had decided that I really needed to start making allies in that class, and I did have some good conversations with a couple girls when we recently met in the Rare Books Room of the library for class (we practiced transcribing different hands from medieval manuscripts -- great fun). So I promised faithfully that I would come to the study session today. And about half-way through it, I thought to myself, "I'm good at this. I can do this. I like this a lot." Unless something stops me, I'm going to go ahead and switch to Medieval.

Yay 4. In lieu of our not-yet-arrived Vertigo, we are watching The Three Faces of Eve tonight. Margo and I have never seen it before, and we thought it would be a good, somewhat-creepy movie for Halloween.

Yay 5. Margo's been doing an internship at the local hospital, and they had their annual bake sale today -- they have their neuro patients bake the stuff, using the activity as a therapeutic communication situation, and then they sell the stuff in the hospital lobby and donate the money to a charity. So Margo and I drove out there today during lunch-time and bought some stuff, and we're eating it while we watch our movie.

You used to make us laugh -- really was a gas. 33 points

Monday, October 23, 2006

it's official

Well, I'm doing it. I'm going to write a novel in November, as part of National Novel Writing Month 2006. I've also conviced that_one_erin to join me, and elliespen had already committed; I believe that JaneHeir is doing it, too ... let me know if you're planning on it for sure. Though it isn't required, I also signed up on the website, which will allow me to do weekly (or other-ly) word counts and let you all know how it's going. Here's a link, in case anyone else wants to join in the noveling fun:


Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Participant


The last quote was from "The Thin Man," as elliespen guessed. Amazingly, she says that she hasn't seen this in years, but she still remembered quite a few details from the scene. That's my girl! ;)


We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing. (82 points)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

medieval summer and noveling November

I have been loving my Old English class, right? I think you all know this by now. Well, today, I went to see my professor to ask him some questions about changing my focus to Medieval Studies, rather than Poetics. Though I love stylistics, I have been very frustrated with my program here, and every time I have considered transferring to a different university, I have been pulled back -- apparently Heavenly Father has strong reasons why He needs me here, thought it certainly is not my first choice. But Medieval Studies would give me scope for lots of the things I'm interested in, and it would be much more marketable in the end than a Poetics degree. And, I can still use my Linguistics/Stylistics background to analyze medieval texts.

Since the field is, by nature, interdisciplinary, I would be able to take classes in music, art history, history, and even law, along with my classes in Literature to round it out. Plus, it would make sense for me to learn Latin (which, geek that I am, I've been wanting to do for some time now). My professor recommended that I go elsewhere for an intensive summer course in Latin, since what they offer here at UNT will be very elementary and very slow. I have found about four courses that I'm really interested in, at U of Toronto, Notre Dame, CUNY, and University College Cork. My favorite option, of course, is Cork; not only does the tuition include accomodation (for the others, it's additional), but it's in Ireland, for crying out loud. Chances are not good with that one working, however, since in addition to the tuition and fees, I would also have to spend money for tickets. Toronto is the cheapest, but I'm not especially keen on going to Toronto (not that I don't want to go there, just that I would rather go elsewhere). I really the options for CUNY and Notre Dame right now. I just think that would be amazingly fun.

I'm not ready to actually change my focus yet, but I am seriously considering it, and I have one more semester to mull it over before it will start affecting the classes I take.

I am also considering joining in with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. It's a fun-centered program that got started in 1999, where you write a 50,000-page novel in one month. I've wanted to write a novel for ages now, and this summer I actually started working on one a little bit (before long I decided it was something I would need to do lots more research on ...) But I did the math, and to write 50,000 words in one month, excluding Sundays, I would have to write 2,000 words a day. That's do-able. So I'm considering it. But, if nothing else, I have at least spread the word a little further. Anyone want to join me? (elliespen, I know you're pining to!)

Last quote was Natalie Imbruglia's "Shiver" -- a song I just love, and one that always reminds me of Lancaster (I heard it a lot over there).

I don't like crooks. And if I did like 'em, I wouldn't like crooks that are stool pigeons. And if I did like crooks that are stool pigeons, I still wouldn't like you! (122 points)

Monday, October 2, 2006

a little update, plus some thoughts on OE, PIE, and vowels

I haven't been feeling well, yesterday and today. I am staying home from classes today, so I've been sitting on the couch reading Agatha Christie and watching Murder, She Wrote.

I have been really enjoying my classes this semester. I feel like things are going a lot better in the ones I'm teaching -- it really helped to have one semester of that class behind so that I could take in all my mistakes from that term and try to fix them this time around.

And I'm still having a blast with Old English, and even with Historical Linguistics, even though that one is giving me a run for my money. It's still a struggle keeping my head above water all the time, but I don't mind so much having to sit around and memorize Old English verb conjugations, or comparing sets of data from related languages to figure out how they have changed.

You know, speaking of OE verbs ... When I tell people about Semitic languages like Hebrew, ancient Egyptian, and Arabic, and how they don't write their vowels (except for the 'weak' or 'semi-' vowels /w/ and /y/), but that they only write the consonants and then change the vowels to conjugate their verbs or decline their nouns -- when I tell people about this, they seem to think it's utterly incredible. However, English does similar things. This was brought home to me while I was studying my OE verbs the other day. See, in Old English, there were two basic types of verbs, weak and strong. The weak verbs form the past tense by adding a dental (a /d/ or /t/) to the stem, much as we do in Modern English: look, looked; rule, ruled. The strong verbs, on the other hand, form the past tense by changing their vowels: meet, met. This can (and frequently does) also include the past participle: sing, sang, sung; write, wrote, written. (I have used Modern English examples here, since our verbs have inherited these weak/strong attributes from Old English, and most of my readers, I imagine are more familiar with ModE than with OE.) As it turns out, these strong verbs, the vowel-changing verbs, were inherited from Proto-Indo-European (PIE), while the weak verbs were inherited from Proto-Germanic. That is, the strong verbs came from an ancient, unwritten language, while the weak verbs were made up later, after that language had already split into several different languages. That means that PIE verbs, like Semitic words, only alter their vowels to change their grammatical function. It seems entirely plausible to me, then, that PIE and these Semitic languages might be related to each other, at least in phonological processes if not in semantic or syntactic structure. If PIE had been written, might we find that it indicated only the consonants, and not those tricky, shifty vowels?

The last quote, correctly identified by both elliespen and emily, was from The Music Man, one of my all-time favorite movies.
Jump the tracks, can't get back, I don't know anyone 'round here, but I'm safe this time. (32 points)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

with apologies

So I realize it's been ages since I posted anything. Hopefully the last post explains some of that. I flew to Idaho to be with my family and attend the funeral of my oldest sister, Laraine, and was gone about 10 days for that. I'm doing all right about it, myself; I'm more worried about a few of the other family members. And I certainly don't evny my parents, who have to battle the legal issues (Laraine was killed in a car accident, and she left no will behind, including no power of attorney or anything), nor her daughter, who's in the hospital with a severed spinal cord and is paralyzed from the waist down. I certainly have much less to deal with, even though it all adds up to significantly more than I'm used to.

The day after Laraine's death, I was sustained and set apart as the Relief Society President in our student ward down here. That's been keeping me pretty busy these days. It's been great, though, and in many ways I'm very excited about the calling.

School is also quite time-consuming. I find myself just barely keeping my head above water, both with the classes that I teach and those that I take.

I recently joined Netflix, which I'm very excited about. I think when my roommates move (in December) and I'm in my own apartment, I might forego cable and just keep myself entertained with Netflix movies. They have a huge variety of DVDs to rent, including movies, TV shows, and documentaries. The first one that's coming in the mail for me is Jeeves and Wooster, so we'll be watching that this weekend. You're allowed to have up to 500 movies in your queue, and I already have 375 waiting for me. I'll keep you abreast of how things go.

The last quote (from before Laraine's obituary) is from the writings of Paul the Apostle, Romans 8:31.
Well! If that isn't the best I ever heard!

(This is a bit difficult to get without the following line, but that will give it away pretty easily. So, since it's a fairly general quote that might come from just about anywhere, I'll give 78 points for anyone who gets the source I have in mind, plus an extra 10 for the appropriate following line.)

Saturday, September 2, 2006

In Memoriam: Laraine Wilkins

Laraine Wilkins 1965 ~ 2006 Laraine Wilkins, 41, of Salt Lake City, former Idaho Falls resident, died September 2, 2006, at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident near McCammon, Idaho. She was born 1965 in Provo, Utah. She attended schools in Provo and Idaho Falls; graduated from Skyline High School, Idaho Falls, in 1983; earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in German from Brigham Young University; and did additional graduate work at Harvard University. She married George in 1986 in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple; they later divorced. She worked on university library staffs, taught German language on both the high school and university levels, was a technical writer and software support technician, and served as editor of Irreantum magazine and as director of Development and Community Affairs for the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in Salt Lake City. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she served frequently as an organist, as well as in the Relief Society and Young Women organizations. Laraine was a skilled pianist and writer, and a person of widely varied talents and interests. She loved writing poetry, drawing, cross stitching, running, camping and hiking, especially in Arches National Park and Monument Valley, classical music and the Arts, including concerts, art galleries, and museums. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com

Published in the Salt Lake Tribune on 9/4/2006. (edited by gryffinkat)

Some of Laraine's poetry, published at Weber Studies

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

all the news

There's been a lot going on lately, and I don't have much time, but I did want to try and let everyone know about the important things.

New York


I had a blast in NYC with Katie. We did all the touristy things, my feet hurt really bad, I got some blood blisters, and I still have grime on my heels from the subway. The last night we were there, we went to see Sweeney Todd on Broadway, which was fabulous! I'd forgotten how much I love that show. The director won the Tony this year, and he surely deserved it. All of the actors were also the orchestra, so they had chairs and instruments placed to the side of the stage, where they would sit and play when they weren't directly involved in the scene. There were no scene changes, and no exits/entrances, so with the whole thing was intricately choreographed; every step taken was purposeful and exact. It was like watching a gigantic, three-hour dance.

Lava Hot Springs


In Idaho, the family got together to go to Lava Hot Springs for our annual "family reunion" (just the immediate family, which is why I did the extra quotes), where we had a great time floating down the river/creek on tubes. Our oldest sister didn't show up for any of it, and it wasn't until we arrived back at my parents' house in Idaho Falls that we found she -- along with her boyfriend and daughter -- had been in a terrible car accident, just a few miles from where we were in Lava. The boyfriend was driving, when a semi-truck lost control of the steering and got the trailer across both lanes of the highway and even onto the shoulder. There was no place for them to go, so they just ran into the trailer. The boyfriend is pretty scraped up and, if I understand correctly, has broken some bones. And he's the best off out of all of them. My sister was life-flighted to Idaho Falls, where she is in the ICU being treated and monitored for head trauma; it turns out that IF has one of the best head trauma units in the world, and they are trying to prevent swelling, clotting, or stroke. She's being kept under heavy sedation. Meanwhile, her daughter was life-flighted a day later to Salt Lake. She is more stable than her mom, and more conscious, but her spinal cord was severed and she is now paralyzed from the waist down. We are all praying hard for them and anxiously keeping each other updated about their condition. I will be sure to let everyone know about further developments as they arise.

new school year


The new term started yesterday, and I am feeling rather overwhelmed. For one thing, I had planned my trip to come back on Sunday night, so I didn't really have time to get myself prepared. I'm also having some trouble financially, and I don't have any of my books yet, which is starting to worry me. I also am taking 12 credits of grad courses this semester, instead of the more usual 9, and I'm beginning to worry about my ability to keep up with everything. On top of all that, I will soon be sustained for a new church calling, but more about that later.

On the other hand, though, I'm excited about all of my classes. Two of them are electives -- Historical Linguistics and Old English -- and the other two are required for the doctorate degree -- Scholarly Writing and Research Methods in Linguistics. I'm way pumped about my two electives (the second of which I will attend for the first time in about 1-1/2 hours), since I'm a geek and I love language. (I'm currently sitting on the floor of my living room, having just finished the first assignment for Old English, in which I read more or less slowly Old English sentences to understand the pronunciation. Those diphthongs can be troublesome!) The other two I'm actually also excited about. I expect them to be very helpful and informative. I just worry about the work load from all of it. I'm considering dropping Scholarly Writing and taking it next semester instead, but I can't decide just yet.

quote


The last quote was from The Third Man, which I was watching at the time. Can't say that I'm surprised no one got it.

If God be for us, who can be against us?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

stuffs

Gacked from susygwen on LJ




Instructions:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag five people.


"And when Mother and Father had announced to them that they were leaving the city to move to North Carolina, of all places, Valentine knew that they never expected to see Ender again. They were leaving the only place where he knew to find them. How would Ender find them here, among these trees, under this changeable and heavy sky? He had lived deep in corridors all his life, and if he was still in the Battle School, there was less of nature there."

That's right -- Ender's Game was the closest book for me tonight.

So You Think You Can Dance


Just one more quick note -- if you take a look at the sidebar, you will see that I'm currently watching the finale of "So You Think You Can Dance". I would like to comment about this a little. When I first watched a few episodes of "Dance" earlier this summer, I thought it looked pretty stupid. I didn't see how it could possibly become as popular as "American Idol" -- I just didn't see America clamoring for dancers. Frankly, I still think that could be a problem; I really don't think there's a very strong ... well, market for professional dance in America these days. But, I have to admit, watching the finale and the last episode before that, I have been very impressed. I think what has made both these shows -- "Dance" and "Idol" -- so successful is that they have focused on one particular talent and, bringing in experts who have worked extensively in that industry, they have trained their performers as they go, preparing them for an actual career with that talent. That makes the performers, in the end, much more performance-ready than shows like "Star Search" ever did. And, I'm really glad that Benji won; he's an excellent dancer, and he has a great stage presence too. I would be happy to watch him dance pretty much any time.

Ah ... "The opportunity to lecture [has] restored my good humour," as Amelia would say. :) Now I can go. I'm trying to decide between going to bed early and reading more of Ender's Game or watching The Third Man on TCM (it's Joseph Cotten day), going to bed later, and reading less of Ender. I'll probably do the former, but I sure do love The Third Man.

Quote


The last one was from "Here It Goes Again" by Ok Go, as Erin said. Sometime very soon I'll write all about how much I love this band, who I've only just discovered, thanks to my wonderful friends Kimberly and Erin. (Thanks, guys!) But not today.

Man: We do a little show each week. Last week we did Hamlet, and the week before that we had something ...

Sergeant: Striptease, sir.

Man: Yes, Hindu dancers, thank you, Sergeant.

(122 points)

Monday, August 14, 2006

important sightings

I saw The Albino Squirrel again today on campus. He was in the same place as where I've seen him before, between the Union and the Student Services Center. But this time, some guy was kneeling next to him, feeding him nuts out of his hand.

More importantly, I saw our good friend Thurbs yesterday at church. He came in late to our first meeting and sat down the row from me and passed me a note a few minutes later, saying he was sorry he hadn't called us earlier (broken cell phone, he claimed ... sure!). He also asked if we were busy that night. So I had to explain that my roommates were out of town for the week, I was all alone, but I wasn't doing anything. He didn't say anything else about the evening after that ... The fact is, he really just wanted to hang out with Erin, and since she wasn't around, he figured I wasn't worth his time. And really, I can't blame him -- if I were a 19-year-old guy, I would much rather hang out with Erin than with me any day.

Last quote was from "Seinfeld."

It might be ten, but then again, I can't remember half an hour since a quarter to four. (86 points)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

high and dry

All right, so my two roommates both left this morning to go home for a little while. For that matter, so did two of my good friends, and others have already left ... Clearly, it's the beginning of the between-summer-and-fall break. I've been left high and dry. And I have mixed feelings about it.

I will be working full-time all next week, since the girl who was working the afternoon shift at work quit this past week. Beginning Tuesday, I'll also be training the three newly-hired front desk workers. That should be fun.

I'll be all alone in the apartment this week, which will be nice in some ways. I can use a little alone time and the quiet atmosphere for some much-needed pondering. On the other hand, though, it makes life very ... well, quiet.

Did you know that John Hancock, before becoming a member of the Continental Congress, was a highly skilled smuggler? Yup. He took great pride in evading the British customs officers and helped to foster the all-important American spirit of insurrection. (I'm watching The History Channel right now, which is running a show called "Rumrunners, Moonshiners, and Bootleggers".)

Last night we went to the local YSA dance, which was really a lot of fun. We ended up getting there right at the beginning, before anybody else had really arrived. We spent about 30 minutes playing "volleyball" with beach balls (the dance had a luau/beach theme going on ...), and that was a blast! It reminded me a lot of the good days in Cinnamon Tree at BYU, when basically the whole ward would get together a big game of volleyball in the courtyard. I enjoyed that. I met several new people, including a girl who has just barely moved into our ward, and a couple of girls from one of the Dallas wards who were in the MTC together. And, most important of all -- I got to watch Erin shake her booty. Along with Michelle, which was really quite entertaining; those two look like twins when they're dancing. Oh yes, and I also found people to teach my classes during the two weeks when I'll be gone.

I just found out yesterday that the tentative Spring 2007 UNT class schedules are available online, so I've been trying to figure out what I am planning to take. I was excited to see that they are offering a class on Medieval English literature, which I will probably take. I expect I'll also take a class on American Lit. And maybe I can get started on getting permission for extra Special Problems courses and get going on metaphor, LDS literature, computer-based corpus linguistics, et cetera. For that matter, maybe I could take one or two of the computer classes and/or foreign language classes I've been looking into.

The last quote was from "Hello, Dolly!" Mr. Horace Vandergelder is really hilarious, and I've always liked Walter Matthau in that role. No points for you!!

Do you really wanna have fun, or are you just saying you wanna have fun?! (10 points)

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

odds-n-ends

So Margo and I helped take care of the dinner before the fireside on Sunday. We had a good time. Our friend Nikki is in charge of those dinners, and sometimes she's a bit shorthanded, so we offered to help out. We had spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, and chocolate chip cookies as dessert.

After that, we all trooped into the chapel to watch BYU-TV for a while. The part we watched was a talk about personal revelation. It was really very good, and he brought up a lot of important principles concerning revelation. Things that the people in our ward need to know and practice.

Also on Sunday, Erin had a really bad migraine and ended up staying home from church. Since the light hurt her eyes, she tacked up a blanket over the window in the living room. Sometime before we came home from church, she decided to move it and herself into the bedroom, since she didn't think it would have been nice to make us sit around in the dark in our own living room, talking quietly so that her head wouldn't hurt too much. When Margo and I got home, we found her sitting in there, in near-complete darkness, huddled over her computer and trying to finish the homework she had due that day. The three of us chatted (quietly) for a while, and then Erin said that she thought we should keep the blanket up indefinitely. I wasn't entirely keen on that, since the darkness it creates is almost depressing to me, but I agreed that we could try it for a week or so and see how it worked out. Well, this morning, when I got out of bed, I was really very cold. Well ... chilled. It's hard to be actually cold in Texas. But I started thinking that the blanket over the window might not be such a bad thing after all. It's probably helping us save money, for one thing.

Oh yeah, yesterday I talked to the office at my apartment complex to see if they have any efficiencies or one-bedrooms that I could move into in December. They don't know yet what's available in December, and won't until early November. But they informed me that I could sign up for a transfer, which are offered on a first-come first-served basis, and I have to pay a thirty-dollar application fee. And, on top of that, there's a two-hundred-dollar fee for transferring once the apartment is assigned to me. So I think I'll be checking out a few other complexes in the vicinity to see if I can find something cheaper -- which I'm pretty sure I can.

I only have one and a half weeks left at work. Good thing, too -- today somebody made me so angry with her presumptuous impretinence that I nearly blew my top. I won't go into detail ... but I will say that it is someone I rarely work with there, and I've never yet been so angry at work. Generally, I quite like my job there. Most of the people I work with are very nice, very cooperative. And they generally like me, because I'm also nice, conscientious, and I actually do the work I'm assigned. But it will be nice to get back to teaching.

We're watching a Bones re-run on TV tonight, and I'm really enjoying it. I haven't seen it for some time, and I'd forgotten how much I love this show. Booth is wonderful! In this particular episode, he's being very protective of Brennan, since someone shot at her earlier, and it makes me really jealous. And also very anxious for the inevitable moment when he finally just takes the plunge and kisses her. *pause* I really need to start watching my real TV-boyfriend, Josh, again. I haven't seen him for some time, and it's clearly having an adverse effect on me.

For dinner tonight we had some Italian chicken from the crock-pot. Luckily, Erin was in communication with Kimberly, since it turned out that we didn't have one of the ingredients. Kimberly graciously consented to provide it from her own stores, and in return we allowed her to eat with us. And Margo made no-bake cookies for dinner, at my insistence. Yumm!!

I've been having a super time with the 2007 IKEA catalog the last few days, dreaming about what I would get to furnish my own apartment. As their website says, it puts all kinds of ideas in your head.

The last quote was from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. And in case I neglected to mention it (which I'm pretty sure I did), the Shakespearean Festival was fabulous. Especially Brian Vaughn in Hamlet. Stupendous, even. Vaughn is, without a doubt, one of my favorite actors on the legitimate stage.

Ninety percent of the people in this world are fools, and the rest of us are in great danger of contamination. (13 points)

Friday, August 4, 2006

super geekin' out!

Gosh, I can't even explain how obsessed I've been this past week.

But I'll try.

I've been reading more and more of the Amelia Peabody books that Kimberly has lent us. She did give me due warning that they get pretty intense. This past week I found myself entangled in the midst of a four-book "story arc," as Kimberly calls them (I don't know where she gets that term, but it works; I always wonder whether it's something she picked up during her English degree, which would make sense, since I have not spent much time in the world of English academics). One night, I had been reading later than I should have, and as the clock neared and passed midnight, I decided I'd better stop soon -- I would finish this section I was on and then go to bed. But then something immensely important happened. So of course I had to keep reading. And then in the next section something even more important happened. And so on, for the next several sections. I'm not just talking mild importance, either -- I'm talking major revelations and conflicts and resolutions that turn into even bigger conflicts. So then it was close to 3 AM before I finally made myself put the book away and lie down to sleep.

But that's only the beginning. The truly alarming thing is that it was another two hours or so before I was actually able to sleep. I was so thoroughly concerned about what was going on, and so completely at a loss as to how it would all resolve itself in the end, that I couldn't manage to get my mind to stop whirling. Even when I managed to force it away from thinking about Amelia and her family, it then immediately turned to some similar problems, of an equally vexing and equally fictitious nature. The last time I looked at the clock, it was past 4 AM, and it took me quite a while after that to finally sleep. I had to force myself to stay in bed -- to not camp out on the couch that night and read myself to sleep. Finally, I drowsed off, but even then I dreamt about Amelia. The odd thing about it was that I didn't dream about it in movie style, where you see the things going on; rather, I dreamt about myself reading about the situation and its resolution.

The last time I remember being so distraught about a book was during my senior year of high school. (There have been plenty of other obsessions since then, notably a semester at Ricks College when I devoured the Anne of Green Gables books, but none of them had quite the same emotional impact on me.) At the time, I was reading George Eliot's Middlemarch, and my mom and I had gone to Utah for some reason or other (quite possibly My Brother The Chiropractor's graduation from BYU) and were staying with my aunt. I was sleeping on the couch, and as I was determined to finish that book if it killed me, I read for several hours before going to sleep. As I went, I kept getting more and more involved in one particular plot (the main one, concerning Dorothea Brooke Casaubon, her crusty and pedantic husband, and his nephew, Will Ladislaw). [Mild spoiler ahead, inviso-texted between the asterisks.] *** I started to think to myself, "If only that nasty Mr. Casaubon would die!! That would take care of everything!" And then, at the end of that very chapter, he did die!!! I felt like I had personally killed him. It was terrifying. And no, it didn't solve everything (as one might have expected), so of course I had to continue on for another chapter or two. *** The chapters I read that night are among my favorites in the book, largely because my emotions were so highly involved in the development of the plot.

I've also become more and more interested in the ancient culture of the Middle East. I've long been interested in the languages (and thereby also the cultures) of the ancient civilizations of that region, and with the Amelia books being set in Egypt book after book after book, it's hard to curb my desire to learn Middle Egyptian, anything written in cuneiform (Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian ...), and even Arabic (though it is, of course, a much more modern language than the others).

In the midst of all this, I'm becoming increasinly annoyed with my program here. I feel very much as though I am ready to just strike out on my own and do my own research. I'm having a hard time deciding what I ought to do next in all of this -- transfer somewhere else (like the U of Chicago) where I'd be doing less English and more Linguistics, get going on a dissertation by distance from Lancaster, or just stick it out here. Some of the projects I'm interested in will take much more time than I can give them in a semester, or even in a few semesters with coursework going on, and I'm not very interested in most of the classes I have to take. (Except, of course, for Old English and Historical Linguistics this fall!) If anyone has some helpful advice, or even not-so-helpful advice, I'd love to hear what you think.

In the meantime, here's one of my favorite quotes from this week -- On Sunday, the Bishop mentioned that he'd like to talk with me for a few minutes, but said he didn't have time that day. Then he asked, "Will you be in town this week?" "Yep, all week," I told him. To which he promptly replied, "I'm not." Hmmm. That might present a slight problem, then. :)

Words are grown so false, I am loath to prove reason with them. (20 points)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

geekin' out

I've been re-reading The Scarlet Letter during the past week. I read most of it in high school for my junior English class, and I remembered really liking it, but I had forgotten most of it. So I thought I'd give it another shot and see what I think ten years later. So far I'm really loving it. There were plenty of things that just didn't hold the same meaning for me earlier. I'm anxious to read some commentary about it (my favorite site for that is SparkNotes) and see what insights they may have that I've missed. But I can't read anything yet, since I don't want to spoil the ending for myself.

WARNING: Spoiler ahead. I have "inviso-texted" the following paragraph, since it deals with an important plot spoiler. If you would like to read this paragraph, please use your cursor to highlight the text between the asterisks; otherwise, just move on, my friend.

***

I'm especially interested in the way that Hawthorne treats the character of Arthur Dimmesdale. I remembered from last time that he was Hester's partner in sin, so I didn't experience the shock of figuring that out as I read this time. But Hawthorne drops that information in with such subtle pervasiveness, I had to wonder when I would have realized it if I hadn't already known. There are several subtle clues along the way, and they grow stronger and stronger, until -- without ever saying anything quite explicit -- the conclusion becomes inescapable.

***

I'm also struck by the simplicity of the story. The plot involves so little -- so few characters, so few twists and turns -- but at the same time it is a deeply complex novel, dealing with deeply complex themes of the human experience.

Oh, and there's also the question of onomastics and reference, which I've been really interested in lately. There is so much characterization that an author can sneak in with this seemingly harmless technique, just by the choice of what to call his characters and what to have his characters call each other. I'd like to do a short paper about this sometime soon, probably using some short stories of James Thurber's. But I've found it very interesting in SL as well -- for example, Chillingworth is almost exclusively referred to as "old Roger Chillingworth". And the narrator so rarely refers to anyone by just their first name, except for Pearl.

We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing. (20 points)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Having received a number of complaints recently from my regular readers, I have decided that I'd best update my blog. So here's the low-down:

Still working at the Management Department as a receptionist. Still OK with that. Still ready to start teaching again in the fall.

Planning a trip to Cedar City at the end of July for the Shakespearen Festival. Way pumped about that!! What could be better than Shakespeare and Gilbert & Sullivan all at the same time?!

Planning a trip to NYC at the end of August with Katie. Also pumped about that! Immediately after NYC, going to Idaho for a few days. (I miss the old days, when I could so grab a book, hop on a train, and spend the weekend travelling with so little trouble ... Ah, so many things I miss about England!)

Geeking out these days about stylistics and LDS literature studies. I've been reading articles from the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies online and finding some interesting fodder for research. Also some good (OK, flimsy, but existent nonetheless) excuses for learning ancient languages like Egyptian and Akkadian. :)

Getting really excited for my Old English class this fall. It's one of the two classes I'm registered for that I know will be held (I'm always on the edge of my seat wondering about the linguistics classes -- they frequently get cancelled due to lack of interest, which is really frustrating, but more on that later). I keep getting all het up about the English language and how wonderful it is, and how we were writing all kinds of things in our own vernacular tongue -- including even sections of the Bible -- centuries before the other Western European countries started to do so. I tell you, there are excellent reasons why English is the language of the Restoration, and it was no accident that that's the language Joseph Smith spoke and the one he used to translate the Book of Mormon. Anyway ...

So I've been getting a bit frustrated with the Linguistics division down here. As I mentioned, there are not that many of us taking linguistics courses, and it's always a bit of a crap-shoot trying to figure out which ones are going to end up being cancelled. I've been looking into the idea of transferring to U of Chicago, but for one thing I'm really not so sure that would be able to get in there. For another, though, I got thinking the other day, along these lines: My faculty advisor here is Haj Ross, who is quite well known in linguistic circles, and he has a lot of clout with the department. His philosophy is that he is here merely to facilitate the student's research, and he is perfectly willing to help me out in any way necessary. I already know that he is willing (among other things) to help me get permission from the graduate chair to take extra courses in Special Problems (aka independent study). I might be able to work things out so that I could take most of the rest of my Linguistics coursework as independent study, which would allow me to highly personalize my degree to what I want. That is, I could do a course on metaphor, or one on LDS Literature Studies, or on corpus-based stylistics, or ... the list goes on. I could then use all of that as a springboard for my directed research and dissertation stuff. That might be the best thing I could possibly do for my particular interests. So, I'm also strongly considering staying here. Even though I hate the climate. Hey, if I were doing independent study, I could also conceivably leave a lot earlier and start getting settled someplace else. Someplace where it's not so hot all the time.

I am also considering doing a pass-through Master's degree in English Literature while I'm here. And I've even been considering the possibility of doing two dissertations, one at UNT and one by distance education at Lancaster Uni, and getting two PhD's. That would be interesting ... but it would also be A LOT of work, which I'm not sure I'm up for.

The last quote was from Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. "... Britannia's sailors rule the waves! And shall we stoop to insult? No! NO!" *sigh* I'm so excited to see it at ShakeFest!

Arrows that continually glanced off from [his] breast and fell harmless at his feet, might, I knew, if shot by a surer hand, have quivered keen in his proud heart -- have called love into his stern eye, and softness into his sardonic face; or, better still, without weapons a silent conquest might have been won. (81 points)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

the latest news

I haven't been feeling at all well lately, for the past several weeks. So finally, last night, Erin and Margo managed to convince me that I really ought to go ahead and see someone at the Student Health Center to see if they can figure out what's wrong. They had already convinced me to get a medical exam, but I had figured that I would see My Brother The Chiropractor when I go home in July. But it's gotten to the point that I just decided I'd better see what they can say here. There was nothing that decisive, and we're getting some lab work done to see if that will help us to a more conclusive diagnosis. But ... it seems there's a good chance that it might be diabetes and/or other metabolism- and insulin-related problems. I'm not too happy about that, but I can't say that I would be too surprised, either. And, luckily, My Brother The Chiropractor has lots of great ideas for helping control diabetes without necessarily having to deal with the constant blood testing and insulin injections and such (depending, of course, on how severe the case is).

In the meantime, I'm still enjoying the graciously-lent Amelia Peabody books from Kimberly and generally feeling queasy, achy, and slightly feverish all the time. Oh yeah, and SUPER thirsty! And tired. Anyway... I'll be sure to keep the blog updated as I find out more.

Oh, and we finally got our internet router to start working again. We've had plenty of problems with our internet connections during the last week or two. Our ISP finally fixed the connection, but then the router wasn't working properly, so we could only access the internet from Erin's computer. That was all right, since there wasn't anything I particularly needed it for, and Erin has online classes she has to use the internet for. But today, finally, it's back working again. We don't even know why. It just decided it liked us again, I guess. Or that we'd suffered enough.

As many of you knew, the last quote was from "Kryptonite" by Three Doors Down.

Shall we submit? Are we but slaves? Love comes alike to high and low! (103 points, and an extra 20 if you can quote the next line)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

stuff and junk

I've been really getting in to CSS code lately. I knew about CSS from my web design class that I took years ago at BYU, but I only ever used it for text presentation and didn't really get it very well. It's only been in the last week or so that I have started learning myself how to do layout with CSS. I've re-designed my website homepage and am working on my classes page, and I'm very excited about it all. I'll be sure and let you know right away when the new version goes live so that you can see what I've been up to. Also, I'm trying to find a new place to host my blog, where I can get more sophisticated with it. I need to talk to Paul about that.

I went to see the new Pixar movie "Cars" last Thursday, and LOVED it!! I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard, let alone at a movie. (Actually, come to think of it, I think the last time I laughed that hard was when Katie came to visit in April.) Erin and I were saying we felt like we had missed half of the movie, because you know that there's so much more going on in each scene than what are you are aware of at any given moment. I will definitely be seeing that again. I just can't emphasize enough how much I love Pixar.

Oh, and Kimberly got a new computer. *sigh!* It's a Mac. *sigh!* Don't get me wrong -- Ladislaw/Percy has been very good to me, and I'm still very happy with him. But he is getting older, and I'm starting to really need more memory than he has, and I'd love more resolution as well. And -- don't tell him this, but I really wanted a Mac in the first place. I won't be affording that for some time still, but for now Kimberly lets me come over and salivate over her new laptop, which hasn't been named yet. (Lest anyone worry, I want to assure you that I don't literally salivate over it -- not only would that be detrimental to the computer, it would also be just plain gross.)

Plans are shaping up for the Shakespearean Festival (lovingly referred to as ShakeFest2006) trip in late July. I'm also seriously considering a short trip to New York City with Katie at the end of August, before going back home to see my family for the annual weekend-before-the-weekend-before-Labor-Day event.

"If I go crazy, will you still call me Superman?" (40 points)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

the only radio station you'll ever need

Erin just introduced me to this great website, www.pandora.com. It's an online radio-station maker, so to speak. You type in the name of an artist or song you like, and it searches their database to find music that's similar, and then creates a radio station playing that music. You can give it feedback about which songs you like or don't like -- even which ones you like, but you're sick of hearing them, so that the station won't play it again for a month. Pretty darn cool stuff. And they even have people like Rosemary Clooney in there, so it's a pretty safe bet that you can find something you like in all that. I can't wait to start using this at work -- I've been listening to some AccuRadio, but their volume is kind of sporadic, and it's hard to find a level that's quiet enough it doesn't distract others working around me, but loud enough that I can actually hear it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

back from memorial day

I had a great time during Memorial Day. I went out to Idaho and visited the fam, and it was wonderful. I got to see all eleven of my nieces and nephews (six and five, respectively). Baby Chloe is three weeks old now, and I had a super time holding her and playing with her. She is adorable, with bright eyes that make her look very aware when she has them open. Chloe's sister Alyce (three in August) is talking better than ever and likes to tell us her needs. She told me she loved me while we were coloring on the couch (we were coloring in coloring books, that is, while sitting on the couch ...), and she had a super time listening to me sing her the name game song with all the names we could think of (you know -- "Chloe, Chloe, bo-bloey, banana-fana fo-floey, me my mo-mloey"). Little Emma, Wendy's girl who will be two this December, is also talking more than ever, and she loves to read! I got her to recognize my name, although she wouldn't really say it -- close, though.

I didn't get to spend as much time with the older kids, mainly since they are able to take care of themselves and entertain one another quite well without me (or anyone, for that matter). Lena, who will be 17 in a few weeks, has a beautiful smile, which I hadn't quite noticed before. And Porter, who's 15 on Monday, is feeling pretty excited that he has gotten his braces off. He really wants an iPod for his birthday ... he's hoping that if enough people give him money as their birthday present, he might be able to manage it.

I forget how cold it is in Idaho. I enjoy the cold, I just forget how much colder it will be. And I also forget to factor in the wind. There's a lot of wind in Idaho Falls, which can make it very cold. Decorating graves was a very chilly affair this year.

This was the first time that we've had the whole family together for many years, so we got family pictures taken. They turned out very nice, most of them. Afterward, the photographer asked if anyone wanted to take individual family pictures, so after Laraine and Guy and Dana and Amber had finished, Kip and I had a few pictures taken. We figured since we're the only two single ones left, we're kind of our own little family together. :) We had lots of fun taking them, and most of them turned out great.

Oh! and Wendy and I are both getting obsessed with Clay Aiken again, after seeing him during the American Idol finale. He really does have an amazing voice, although listening to some of his songs from that season was not the greatest. I think he's improved a lot since then, and I wish that I heard more of him these days.

The last quote was from Strictly Ballroom, which I need to watch sometime soon. Kimberly let me borrow it, and it's been a long time since I've seen that movie.

I was on my way to be with you today -- I was almost there when the motor died. (52 points)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

not much to say

I'm getting ready to go home (Idaho) for a week. Leaving tomorrow and coming back next Tuesday. I will start my new job the day after I get back, which I'm excited about. Today I have to run by the office to hand them over my hire packet, change a few students' grades (minor mistakes on my part), and then head to Curves for a work-out and a travel pass.

In the meantime, I'm trying to think of new books to read. I have Kimberly's Amelia Peabody books to keep me busy for most of the summer, but I would like to read a few others as well. It might be time to pull out the old "Books to Read" list that I started a few years ago, back in my MTC-working days.

The last two quotes were, indeed, from Dickens's Great Expectations, one of my all-time favorite books. (I've given Ellie full points and Kimberly half points, for recognizing the author.)

(with Austalian accent) "Well that was unexpected." (23 points)


P.S. Oops! I just realized that I accidentally got rid of the old scoreboard -- lost in cyberspace with no way to get it back, you know? So I've started it over again. Hey, it is summer after all, and that's always a good time to start new.

Friday, May 19, 2006

new boyfriend

When I was at BYU, right after my mission, I had a really cool roommate, Beth. Beth was cool enough that she could get away with all kinds of dorky things without seeming dorky at all. One of those things was her multiple "boyfriends." Beth had a basketball boyfriend, a movie boyfriend, a commercial boyfriend, and a TV boyfriend. Like I said, with her it didn't seem desperate or dorky, although with others it probably does. Like me, for instance.

When I was living with Beth I decided that my TV boyfriend was Jeff Corwin (from Animal Planet). I haven't seen much of Jeff lately, though, and the other night while watching The History Channel with Erin, I decided on a new TV boyfriend -- one who's much cooler, much more my style, and wasn't around back when I first met Jeff.

His name is Josh Bernstein.

Josh hosts the History Channel original show "Diggning for the Truth" (DFT). It's a documentary-style show, about mainly archaeological stuff, but with style. One of the best things about watching it, in my opinion, is Josh himself. Not just because he's so darn cute (although that ceratinly helps), but because he has this great personality. He is a very curious, very passionate person, and he's not afraid to get himself in the middle of the action.

One of my favorite episodes is about the Nasca lines in South America. His tour guide takes him out the coast to watch these fishermen at work, explaining that they still do the fishing in much the same way that the ancient Nasca would have, so this is supposed to give Josh some insight into the lifestyle of the ancient folks. So Josh and his guide are standing there watching these dudes walk out into the water with all their nets and other gear, and out of the blue, Josh pulls off his sandals and hat, hands them to his guide ("Hold these, would you?"), and runs out into the water with these dudes. They have no idea what he's doing, he has no idea what he's doing, but there he is, waist high in the ocean, pulling on these nets to bring in the fish. Later in the same episode, he walks through part of this long aqueduct from one access hole to another, talking all the while about the importance of this aqueduct to the ancient Nasca people.

Just today I learned that Josh is also the President and CEO of BOSS, Boulder Outdoor Survival School. It's this school in Boulder, Utah, that has been around since 1968, where they teach people how to survive in the outdoors without all the modern conveniences of camping supplies. How to make a fire witout matches, how to hunt your own game, how to keep yourself warm on a cold night, and so on.

*deep, drawn-out sigh*

My boyfriend is SO cool!!

In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong. (32 pts)


Same author and book as last time, but I'm waiting until we get a winner.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

the post with no title

So I'm sitting around watching the final episode of "Will & Grace," just for kicks and giggles. And I thought I'd post something, just to let everyone know what I've been up to. I found a job for the summer, working as a receptionist at the Department of Management (in the College of Business Administration) on campus at UNT. It'll be from 8:00 to 12:30 every morning (Monday through Friday, that is), so it's about 22 hours a week, and it's early. Oh well. Sometimes you just have to deal with an 8 am day.

In other news ... well, there's really not much else, actually.

I have been cooking the last few days. Tried a few new recipes, mostly from Alton Brown, which have been fabulous. [roasted veggie spread] [pocket pies]

I've watched a ton of television during the past week. Becoming a Regis and Kelly junky. *sigh*

I am ready to start scrap-booking again, but I first have to get some more cardstock pages and print some of my digital photos. Hoping to start on that next week.

Next week I'll be flying home for Memorial Day, where I plan to spend a few days with my sister and then a few days at my parents' house.

Erin and I wanted to watch Just My Luck today, but Kimberly couldn't come, so we decided to put it off until we can all see it together.

New niece got born last week, May 9th. Her name is Chloe Elizabeth. Adorable, of course!

Been reading lots of books on Kimberly's recommendation. She got me interested in Amelia Peabody mysteries, and now I'm anxiously awaiting the box from her mom in which she sent the rest of the series from their house (apparently there are 16 in all).

In the mean-time, I'm re-reading the 6th Harry Potter book, since I've only read it once since it came out last summer.

Hoping to be able to go to the Utah Shakespearean Festival this year with Jen and Emily, in late July. They're doing some great plays, including Hamlet and -- wonder of wonders! -- HMS Pinafore!!

Longing for a cat. I really want a korat. *deep sigh* Can't hardly wait until I have an apartment and a job to allow for that.

I'm always quite amazed at how much I can say even when there's nothing to say.

The last quote was from Mary Poppins, although it's quite obscure, so I'm not surprised no one has known it (or least, apparently no one has).

We Britons had at that time particularly settled that it was treasonable to doubt our having and our being the best of everything: otherwise, while I was scared by the immensity of London, I think I might have had some faint doubts whether it was not rather ugly, crooked, narrow, and dirty. (96 points)

Monday, May 1, 2006

hail the conquering hero!

So this weekend I went to Lafayette (laff-ee-yet), Louisiana for a conference on Language and Literature, where gave a presentation about the research I did for my Master's thesis. I rented a car here in Denton and drove down (about 7 hours) on Friday, presented my paper on Saturday, and drove back again on Sunday. I was really nervous about it, but knew it was something I had to do to start getting used to presenting my research, start getting my name out there, and work my way around in the world of Academia. In the end, it was a really good experience for me, and I'm very glad I went.

The conference was quite a bit smaller than I had anticipated. I knew it wouldn't be that large, but there were only about 60 people there in all, I'd say. That meant that during my panel, only about 12 people were in the audience. I was very OK with that. I was the only person there to do a PowerPoint presentation at all, which surprised me. Most of the other students there were working on degrees in English, Rhetoric, or Folklore, and apparently these disciplines still just read their paper from the lectern. I, on the other hand, didn't even stand behind the lectern at all, and I used the computer for my notes, and didn't even have a fully-written paper with me. In fact, right before the panel started, I got super worried that I might not be able to get the computer to work and would have to just do the presentation from memory. I had written up an outline in a Word document as back-up ... but I had never printed one out to use, so that would have been a problem.

Anyway ... to make a long story short ("too late!"), the presentation went very well. People seemed fairly interested, although there weren't any questions for me (or for anyone else -- there was very little time left). I got to talking with the guy who presented before me, and it turned out he was also Mormon, so we bonded on that level. We sat by each other for lunch, which was right afterward (Mom asked me later if he was single, cute, nice, etc ... oh, those moms!). Almost as soon as I got into the room where they fed us lunch, one of the professors came over to ask me some things about the computer program I had used for my research. While I was talking with him, one of the other professors came over and said he was hoping to sit by me and ask me some more questions about this research. And, in one of the afternoon sessions, someone told me that he had really enjoyed my PowerPoint presentation, that it had just the right amount of information to keep him interested and engaged, but not so much that it was overwhelming. So all in all, it went very well.

Dr. Rice, who talked to me during lunch, also reminded me of just what a unique position I'm in. He mentioned, first of all, what a small area stylistics is in the US, which in many ways is a huge advantage to me. He also got talking about the unusual combination of interests it takes to do corpus stylistics, since you have to have an interest in computers, analysis, and mathematical things, but also in literature, language, and art. And he also brought up the point that that is a very marketable combination of skills, since they are necessary for a lot of jobs in, for example, information mining and other software-related jobs. One of the many reasons why I think I need to do more with computer-y stuff.

OK ... Erin also wants me to talk about the time, a couple of weeks ago, when I was going home for Easter. After we got on the road (and Erin was gracious enough to drive me down to Dallas to the airport), I realized that I had no idea what gate I needed, or what flight number I was on, or even the airline. I had to call about 5 people before I got hold of our friend Matt, who looked up the info for me. I had taken my confirmation number, but I forgot to look at any of the other stuff. Oops. Lucky for me, I still made it.

The last quote was from Stan Freberg's "The United States of America."

Never confuse efficiency with a liver complaint. (82 points)


P.S.: As you can see, I have also changed my template. Time for a change. I am still working on getting my sidebar content staightened out, so you'll have to bear with me for a while.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

the struggles of a teacher

Today one of the students in my afternoon class confessed that he didn't write the first two papers he turned in. He's been really busy, he said, and he just used some papers that his sister wrote. There are only three papers in our class, two response papers based on a piece of literature, and a final research paper, which we're working on right now. That means that all of the papers we've done so far, he's plagiarized. The official policy is that this requires me to fail him in the class. I went to see Dr. Raign, the director of the Freshman Writing program at the university, but she wasn't around. So I talked to Dr. Phillips instead, who is the assistant director. Dr. Philips said she would be willing to give a student the opportunity to re-write the original papers; she also recommended that I talk to Dr. Raign and predicted that she would say to just fail him. "Basically," she told me, "it's your choice what you want to do with him." I haven't spoken to Dr. Raign yet, but I'm having a really hard time deciding what to do with this. I don't like the idea of letting him escape the consequence for a very serious transgression. On the other hand, I do feel a certain responsibility to dispense mercy. "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure yet mete, it shall be meted to you again" (Matthew 7:2).

Teaching has certainly given me a lot more appreciation for Heavenly Father and the Savior and their immensely difficult jobs as judges.

On the brighter side of things, I am getting ready to give a presentation at a Graduate Student Conference on linguisitcs and literature in Louisiana this weekend. I'm pretter nervous and excited for it, and I'm feeling a bit stressed about getting the presentation ready. I'm a little worried about squeezing 60 pages' worth of research into 20 minutes. But it's definitely something I need to do if I want to have any kind of career in this field.

Also, Erin is going to make dinner for us tonight. Chicken parmesan and ratatouille. Mm-mmm!! I bought tons of frozen foods the last time I went to the store, and since then I've been sharing lots of it with Erin, as she's been super busy with her final paper for a class. So she offered to make dinner sometime during this week to make up for taking all my food. :) We're pretty excited ... especially since it's parmesan chicken, after all!

Rumble, rumble, rumble - mutiny, mutiny, mutiny. (12 points)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

5 weeks = not a month

I have been avoiding talking very much about Jim on my blog, because I don't want you all to get sick of it. But I do have to let you know about something that happened recently.

A couple weeks ago, after some already frustrating occurrences, Jim came over. He came just for a walk around the block and to let me know, basically, that he wasn't sure about our relationship and wanted out. It's now been 5 weeks since things started spiralling. I count from the day he decided to go home and nap instead of coming over to my apartment after church ... I guess since that was the first day he made me cry.

Take my word, the mockingbird will sing the saddest song of all -- he knows things are wrong, and he's right. (22 points)

Monday, April 3, 2006

feeling good

So life has been quite happy today. Katie Bills is here to visit, and that always makes me happy. My British Lit professor actually liked one of my response papers and asked me to discuss it with the class. We had "homemade" Boboli pizzas for dinner. I got to chat with Christina, which was wonderful -- I don't get to talk to her a whole lot anymore, and the conversation was fabulous. We had apple-and-blackcurrant flavored squash (a British specialty) with dinner. General Conference was, of course, marvelous and inspiring, and I'm still feeling the effects of that. I found the courage to quote C. S. Lewis, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Book of Mormon in today's response paper (about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). We're having bruschetta later on. We got to have M&Ms and ice cream, which Erin bought for us. I got a letter outlining all the financial aid that has been approved for me for summer classes. I registered for my classes for summer and fall semesters, and I got into all the classes I want/need -- with the small exception of one, which claimed that I needed special departmental consent, and I'm getting that worked out with the department head. I found out that I have a federal Work Study grant for the summer, which means I should have little trouble getting a job on campus during the summer. I have NO (count 'em, NO!) evening classes in the fall (although both of my summer classes are evening, are they are l-o-o-ong). I'm sure there are plenty of other things to add to the list, but this is good enough to give you all an idea of how happy I am about life right now.

The last quote was from The Scarlet Pimpernel, the 1934 Leslie Howard version ... and I must say I'm rather disappointed that no one got it. *sigh* Oh well. Here's another from a fantabulous movie.

I think it's only fair that any further instructions or explanations be given on your bathroom time, not mine. (245 points, just because it's such a great movie, and if you know it, you deserve super points)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

some frustrations

This morning there was a national news item about a man in California who found a purse full of jewelry and turned it in to the police. Apparently, he thought it was all costume jewelry, but it turned out to be real, and all together it was worth around one million dollars.

And I thought, "This is sad, when a person doing a simple act like trying to return a lost item to its owner makes the national news."

...

In other news, I got really angry with my students yesterday and all but yelled at them. For some time now, they've been annoying me by asking questions that are answered on the syllabus, or not having their readings done and claiming that they didn't know about it, or trying to get extra points out of me. Yesterday, though, I hit my limit pretty quickly. They turned in their first papers, and I noticed that several of them hadn't formatted them correctly, despite the clearly-laid out formatting guidelines in their syllabus, along with the threat of a 10-point deduction for not following said guidelines. So I mentioned that deduction (which, admittedly I shouldn't have done), and they all went crazy wanting to come get their papers and staple them, or re-format them and hand them in later that day, or ... And it didn't take long for me to start telling them, "Look, I'm sorry, I don't want to take points away from you, but that's the policy, and no you can't change your papers now that they're turned in, and I did tell you about the formatting before, at the beginning of the semester, and it's in your syllabus and I shouldn't have to tell you anyway, and guess what? -- life is tough, and it's time you get used to it!" I just felt sick and tired of taking so much responsibility for them and helping them out so much -- especially when they have a syllabus that has all this information on it to begin with.

Oh yes, and I got an email yesterday from one student, explaining why his paper is late (he is having a hard time juggling two jobs and school) and asking me to still let him turn it in and get a grade on it. A big part of me wants to just say no, it's not fair to all my other students, and you knew about this deadline from the beginning of the semester, so I absolutely will not take. (I also have a "no late work" policy, which is clearly printed on -- you guessed it -- the syllabus.) But part of me also wants to be merciful and take it for a reduced grade or something ... it's worth a total of 20% of his grade, which means the highest grade he could possibly get if I don't take it is 80%, and most likely he would end up with a C of some kind. *sigh* I might have to call Katie and see if she has any advice on this one.

...

The last quote was from The Thin Man, a movie I just love!

Plain? It's as ugly as a parson's widow! (62 points)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

a new update

spring break


Spring Break was lots of fun. Only Erin and I went, and we left on Saturday morning. Erin was fun to drive with. She always chooses a ‘guy’ — someone who’s driving just a little faster than her, or about the same speed, so that if there are any cops or there’s anything troublesome ahead, her ‘guy’ gets the brunt of it, and she’s been warned already. I never did that before, but I rather enjoyed the experience. We had lots of good conversation, too, and Erin is one of my favorite people to talk to, so that was great.

We didn’t really do anything in Missouri, we just hung around, did a little bit of homework, and ate lots. Erin’s mom is a great cook, and she had wonderful food for us, and they also took us out to eat a couple of times. My favorite part of the trip was when we went to Sikeston, Missouri, and ate at Lambert’s CafĂ©, “the only home of throwed rolls.” It was a little like eating at Tucano’s in Provo (mmmmm, Tucano’s ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... OK, I’m done zoning off and salivating now) — Right. It’s kind of like Tucano’s, since there was tons of food, I was super stuffed afterward, and they came around giving you free food if you wanted it. They had fried potatoes, macaroni and tomatoes, and fried okra, among other things. (By the way, I tried fried okra for the first time this trip, and I really enjoyed it.) And one of the other things they had were some fabulous, fresh, hot rolls, which they threw at you. So if you wanted a roll, you’d just stick your hands up in the air, and they would throw one at you, even from all the way across the room. It was great fun.

I stayed until Thursday, and that morning I left and drove home. In fact, I got a tad lost on the way home. It was sunset, and I was driving west, so I missed the sign that indicated I was supposed to turn left to stay on Highway 380 going west, and thus ended up on Highway 69 going north. Before long, I figured out that I was on the wrong road, and I stopped at the next town and bought a map. The whole thing only took about 45 extra minutes, and I got home in one piece. And I had a fabulous time driving my rented Ford Escape. Happiness.

like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife ...


Since the beginning of the semester, I have never yet had my British Lit professor commend me for anything I’ve written. On occasion, when something catches his eye that one of us has written about in our response papers, he’ll mention it in class and either ask us to tell the class about it, or if we don’t want to, he’ll tell them. But he’d never said anything about my stuff. Most of the time that doesn’t bother me, since I usually write a bunch of crap for that class, but every now and then I’d really spend time on it and give it some real effort, and I still got nothing.

The last day before class, which was also the last day that I posted here, I was agonizing over writing a response paper for “The Watsons” by Jane Austen. I finally forced myself to write something, which started out “I’ve had a really hard time appreciating ‘The Watsons’ ...” And then I finished it up by writing about what a difference it makes in how you read when you’re internally motivated to read something versus when you are forced to read it for, say, a graduate class. The whole paper really said nothing at all about “The Watsons” itself, but I managed to squeeze out two pages of it.

And ironically enough, Scott (my professor) asked me to talk about it in class. He said he was surprised to hear me talking about this, since he feels like he doesn’t really force people to read. I think he may have missed much of my point. He told us to read as though we’re reading for fun — meaning that we don’t have to try to analyze while we’re reading, or try to find significance in things, or whatever else. And he did mention that he’s had several students over the years write about how they hated something so much that they didn’t even finish reading (which I’ve done more than once, though I haven’t written about it). But my point was that I wouldn’t even be reading half of this stuff on my own, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m in this class and he’s assigned it to us.

monday, monday ...


Yesterday wasn’t such a great day. It was rather productive, so that was good. But other than that, it was pretty frustrating. My iPod, which I just sent in about two weeks ago to get a new battery, no longer works. I’m not sure that it’s still under warranty, so I don’t know if I can get it fixed again. And then, my internet is on the fritz. I’m worried that it may be a problem with my Ethernet card ... *sigh* That means that I can’t rely on being able to check my email, or Google things, or IMDb them, or FTP stuff for my website, or chat with Jim, or ... the list goes on. I tell you, you don’t realize just how much you rely on these things until they’re gone. It kind of reminds me of the time when I was so excited to get sheets after I first got to Lancaster.

the quotes


The last quote was from Toy Story. Gosh! I just got looking at that post again and realized just how long it’s been since I last posted. That seems like ages ago.

"I read where you were shot four times in the tabloids."

"It's not true -- they never came near my tabloids."

(83 points)

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

procrastinating ... again

I should be writing a response paper to "The Watsons" today, and boy am I having trouble with that. I suppose I could write something about Zofloya instead ... except that I haven't even begun reading it yet.

I'm really excited for Spring Break, which is next week. It looks like Erin and I will leave Saturday, and we're going to visit her family in Missouri. I've been looking forward to it for at least three months, so it's nice that it's finally so close. I'm not too picky on what we actually do there -- it's just the thought of being somewhere else, and not having to go to classes every day that makes me so happy.

I really, really, really don't want to go to my class today. That's largely because I don't have a response paper yet, and little hope of having a well-written one by the time I get to class. I'm trying to really force myself to go, though, since I have already missed more days in that class than I should have. And because it's good for me to be doing things I don't want to do.

The last quote was from Key Largo, a great movie with Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, and Edward G. Robinson. Classic. I expect most of you will know today's quote, but I have to add that Jim is not allowed to score points on this one, since we were discussing it last night.

Farewell, my friends, I go to a better place! (13 points)

Monday, March 6, 2006

aaaah!

This week is the second week for visual texts in the English classes I'm teaching, and we're supposed to watch a film and analyze it. I've been debating with myself since October about what films to show, and I still haven't decided!! We start watching these films tomorrow, and I still don't know what to do about them. Good golly! I've been strongly considering The Third Man and The Princess Bride for some time, but I just can't quite bring myself to a point.

In other news ... well, there's really nothing else to say. Nothing that interesting has gone on lately. Except that I did take a 4-hour nap on Saturday. We had an early temple trip that morning, and by the time I got home, I just couldn't function anymore. So I took a nap and didn't get up until 4 hours later. It reminded me of the time right after my mission when I frequently wound up taking naps that lasted anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. (Yes, I said naps.) I was just so physically exhausted from the mission, I couldn't control the desire to sleep whenever possible.

The last quote was, indeed, from "Love Changes Everything," a song by Andew Lloyd-Weber. And the other one in that post was from Alannis Morissette's "Head Over Feet."

One Rocco more or less isn't worth dying for! (181 points -- it's rather obscure)

Thursday, March 2, 2006

4 weeks = 1 month

I have been avoiding talking very much about Jim on my blog, because I don't want you all to get sick of it. But I do have to tell about something he did today.

About 5:20, there was a knock on the door, which I recognized as Jim's. He came just to bring me some beautiful pink tulips in commemoration of our 1-month anniversary. We count from the day he asked me out ... I guess since that was the first day he made me outrageously happy.

Anyway, I just had to share how wonderful my Jim is. I really, really like him. And he treats me great. "Like I'm a princess," in fact. (17 points for that one)
Yesterday's quote was from School of Rock.

Love makes fools of everyone -- all the rules we make are broken. (22 points)

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

barefoot

So today I wore my flip-flops to class. They're rather flimsy, and I've had them for most of a year ... they're not in the best of condition anymore. We went outside for class, and right after I sat down, I realized that my left flip-flop had completely come apart. Which meant that when I walked home, I was going to have only one shoe, and I decided to just walk home barefoot. Hey, as long as one foot's gonna be dirty and hurting, why not both of them, right? So I walked home barefoot. It was nice. Really!

I think it's important to walk barefoot every now and then. For me, it's a reminder that life is not always about constraints or protecting yourself. That sometimes, life should be about being vulnerable. That it's good for the soul to remember the care-free days of childhood, running around the yard barefoot and running through sprinklers with all your clothes on.

Who knew that walking barefoot could do so much for a person?

procrastinating

I should be writing a response to Lady Susan right now, but I'm having a hard time finding anything interesting to write about it ... I haven't had so much trouble with a response paper yet this semester. I just don't seem to be able to think too well. So I thought I'd post to my blog quickly.

Last night we had the missionaries over for dinner. It was good. We had pork chops and creamed potatoes with green beans (which Erin made ... yummy!). We have a brand new elder here now -- he just arrived last week sometime. He seems pretty nice.

Oh, and the weather has turned really warm. The last few weeks it was rainy and cold every day, but it's now warmed up again. And I mean warm. It's currenty 78°, and it's supposed to get up 87° before the end of the day. It's only March, mind you. Oy! The one thing I most dislike about Texas is the heat. This also means I'm going to have to give up wearing my cute new pajamas with the sheep on them.

Well, I guess I'll get going now ... I only have another 30 minutes to finish my paper, if I'm going to have time to actually get ready for the day before leaving for class.

The last quote was from "The Great Muppet Caper" and the one before was "Muppet Treasure Island." Sorry, Elizabeth -- close, but no cigar.

It will test your head, and your mind, and your brain. (41 points)

Monday, February 27, 2006

adventurous sabbath

Last night, there was supposed to be a YSA fireside in Plano (north of Dallas). So Margo, Hector, Jim, and I tried to go down there for it. "Tried" is an operative word in that sentence. And really, the whole thing could probably be put down as my fault. Here's what happened.

After church, Jim asked me if I would get directions for the meetinghouse in Plano, since he's the ward clerk and therefore had to stay after church. He usually gets done by around 6:00 pm, but we needed to leave here around 6:30 to make sure we had enough time to find the place. So I readily agreed to find the directions. I asked around a little after church, and no one was entirely sure where the fireside would be, but someone thought it was probably at the Roundrock chapel. That sounded all right to me, and from what I could tell from the bulletin board at the church, there seemed to be only two chapels in Plano. When we came home, I got online and found the address for the Roundrock chapel, along with the driving directions (thanks, GoogleMaps!). I also found that the Roundrock chapel is the stake center, so that seemed likely to be where the fireside would be held. Just to be on the safe side, I thought I'd get the directions from Roundrock to the other chapel, in case we got there and found that wasn't the right place.

Jim and Hector (who is also a clerk in our ward) came over about 6:00, and we decided that Margo would drive. We set out, with directions in our hands and hope in our hearts. :) But fate seemed to be against us. First, there was a whole debacle with the tollway ... but that's for another day. In any case, we got off at the correct exit in Plano and followed our directions until all we had left was to turn onto Roundrock Trail and find the chapel. But we couldn't find Roundrock. After several miles, we decided to stop at a gas station and ask for directions. The man at the counter didn't know where Roundrock Trail was, but he did have some maps that we were able to use to figure out where we'd gone wrong.

We finally found Roundrock Trail and the chapel ... but there was no one there. In fact, there was some kind of construction going on, at least in the parking lot, if nowhere else. So we figured it must be at the other chapel. Good thing we wrote down those directions, right? We followed the directions with no trouble, until -- once again -- all we had left was to find a street called Legacy and then find the chapel. But we couldn't find Legacy (does this sound at all familiar?). We did eventually find the chapel, and there were at least a few cars out in the parking lot, so we got out and went inside. It didn't take us long, though, to figure out that this wasn't actually the chapel. We think it may have been a Korean church -- we're not sure. We got back in the car and continued down the street ... and finally found the chapel. For real, this time. There were some cars out in the parking lot, and there was a group of three young adults standing outside, which seemed to us like a good sign. So we went inside.

There were people there in the building, and we thought we were in the clear. We were about half an hour late, but hey! at least we'd made it, right? Wrong. About the time we got to the chapel (where you'd expect the fireside to be held), some folks sitting in the foyer asked if we were looking for something, and could they help us? We explained that we were looking for the fireside, and they all looked a bit blank. Apparently we weren't in the right chapel, after all. One of them finally found an events calendar that actually said which chapel the fireside was being held in, and they gave us directions to get there. Margo prudently asked them, though, how long it would take us to get there, and they estimated about 20 minutes. By the time we got there, the fireside would be over.

So we went back home instead. And ate cookies that Hector had brought us. And life was good.

At least we can say that we made a darn good effort to get to the YSA activity, next time the bishop asks.

"Look, Daddy, a bear!"

"No, honey, that's a frog. Bears wear hats."

(21 points)


I'm a bit disappointed that no one seems to know the last quote, but if you get this one, it might help. In other words, the last quote is still open for point-getting. I also have to add that Erin is barred from guessing on today's quote, since I just quoted it to her the other day, but she can still get points for the last one.

Friday, February 24, 2006

celebrating the pathetic

Yesterday I spent a good couple of hours (on a break from my homework ...) playing Noah's Ark. I did the free-fall style, and I got further than I've ever gotten before. I just had to share that accomplishment with you all, since I know you care deeply.

LEVEL: 102
ANIMALS SAVED: 4,956
COMBOS: 359
BIGGEST COMBO: x12
TOTAL POINTS: 1,535,130
RANK: Super Beastmaster

The last quote was, indeed, from "A Close Shave," a classic short film starring Wallace and Gromit.

Beware running with scissors or any other pointy object. It's all good fun, until someone loses an eye. (17 points)

Monday, February 20, 2006

what's been going on

I know I haven't posted for quite some time, so I thought I'd take a minute or two today. The last few weeks have been really eventful, and really great, mainly due to the fact that I have started seeing this guy from my ward, Jim, who I really like (no, I mean really a lot!). He's absolutely amazing, and I'm constantly shocked that he would be at all interested in me, but miracles never cease, and he is. I would tell you about all the great things he does, but they would just sound silly and mushy to most of you, not being able to hear about them in person. Suffice it to say that he's wonderful, he really likes me, and I really like him, too.

We went to the Mozart concert last week that I talked about in my last post, and it was wonderful! Honestly, how can you go wrong with Mozart, the Dallas Opera orchestra, and UNT and SMU singers?

I'm trying to think if there's anything else I should tell you all about, but that's pretty much it. I spend a lot of time with Jim these days, and that means that I don't spend a lot of time with my homework anymore, or with anything else. Nevertheless, my classes are going all right, though they would be much better if I were putting in more time and energy with them. I have a lot of reading to do, and I'm way behind. Mondays are the worst day of the week for me these days, because I have a really long day, which is not at all conducive to seeing Jim. So that means that I do a lot of sitting around starting blankly at walls with a silly grin on my face, or just staring blankly at pages of stuff I'm supposed to be reading, without getting anything done. Today, though, I'm really determined to get productive things done. In about half an hour here, I'm going to go to Curves and do my work-out, reading on the bus, and then I'm actually going to go to both my classes today! It should be a good day.

Margo also can't think of anything else I should talk about, so I guess that means I'm done.

Elizabeth was right with the last quote, from a song called "You're Just in Love".

Not even Wensleydale? (32 points)