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.