Wednesday, April 25, 2007

announcement and secret confession

Actually, there are two. First, I finally did laundry today. I don't dare confess how long it had been. But I'm now pleasantly surprised to find the floor of my room nearly empty these days.

Second, after many months, I have finally converted all of my music files into mp3 format. Which means that I can now edit them, or give them to people (without authorizing their computers for my iTunes account). But I have well over a hundred dollars' worth of music in my iTunes shopping cart. It will likely be many more months before I can buy all of it. *sigh*

OK ... three announcements. I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for a weekend in Nauvoo with Margo. Yay!! I'll be driving to Kansas to meet her and some friends from the area, then driving on to Kansas City, where we'll spend the night ... before driving to Independence, Missouri, to meet up with the other YSAs and take the bus to Nauvoo. Whew! And then, on Saturday night, we get to do that all again, in reverse. I haven't been to Nauvoo before, though, and I'm excited to see Margo ... I just hope she'll consent to let me also do some homework (which sorely needs to be done!) as well.

secret confession
I recently admitted to myself that I have a favorite cuss word. And it's not a nice one, at all. The kind that I would never say, but every time I hear someone else say it, I get a little kick out of it. I blame Erin.

today's quote
It's not a love story -- it's a hate story. [about Wuthering Heights] (101 points)

Caveat: Erin can't get points for today's quote; she'll recognize it too easily. (That's what you get for corrupting me! HA!)

The last quote, as Elizabeth correctly guessed, was from New Moon.

Monday, April 23, 2007

happy st. george's day!

Yup, today is St. George's feast day. And you may have noticed from the side-bar, we're currently reading a bunch of St. George legends for my Medieval Lit class. Good timing, I'd say.

Here's a little about what's been going on for me lately.

Mormon ... is she, or isn't she?
The other day I mentioned to a girl in my program that I'm Mormon, and she responded, "Don't take this the wrong way, but you seem like a Mormon -- very together, centered." I had to laugh as I told her that, during my first semester here, when I told another girl that I was Mormon, she had exactly the opposite reation: "You don't seem like a Mormon to me." This seemed to mean, that time, that I wasn't pushy about my religion. Exactly opposite reactions, yet I took both of them as a compliment.

BYU baseball
I went to Fort Worth Saturday night to watch BYU baseball against TCU. Unfortunately, BYU didn't score at all that particular night, although we'd won on Thursday and lost, but scored, on Friday. So, the most exciting thing that happened during that particular game was that I got a full paragraph of Wulfstan's Sermo Lupi translated from Old English -- I've been working on it all semester long as part of my final paper for Medieval Lit.

getting up early
Friday night, I slept out on the futon, since both of my roommates were gone, and I just felt like "camping out." Then I slept in really late the next morning. The good news about this is that I woke before my alarm went on Sunday morning -- a sure indication that I'm no longer sleep deprived. So this morning I got up at 6:16 and worked out before coming home to finish homework (and blog). I'm hoping to keep this up until the end of the semester -- I'm much happier and more productive when I get up early and go to bed early.

I'm also much happier when I work out, and even though I haven't been for almost a whole month, I can already see and feel my biceps growing. And I'm really serious about that -- it's not just psychological.

IndieFeed podcast
If you remember, I posted an entry a while ago about the podcasts I subscribe to. At the time, I had only just started subscribing to the IndieFeed Alternative & Modern music station, so I didn't really know whether it was at all good. Well, now I know.

It's great!!

They play all kinds of different music, many of which you can buy on iTunes and many others of which you can only get by visiting the artist website. Naturally, I like some better than others, but it's great to be able to hear what's going on in the music world out there.

One of my favorite songs that I've gotten to know from IndieFeed is "Ikea" by Jonathan Coulter: "Ikea: just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen ... Everyone has a home, and if you don't have a home, you can buy one there." I love it.

If JoCo is not your style, though, they've got lots of other folks on IndieFeed: Mates of State, You Say Party! We Say Die!, Calling All Monsters, Tom Thumb and the Latter Day Saints, Snowden, +/-, The Dead Science ... you name it, they got it. The DJ also usually has some nifty trivia tidbit at the end, which is fun.

quote of the day
In the meantime, I'm still obsessed, although I don't have time to indulge this particular obsession right now.
I bet she's tougher than that -- she runs with vampires. (71 points)

The last quote, which no one guessed, was from a Muse song (shocker!), "Blackout."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

missing matt

Well, Muse is no longer in Texas.

They were in Houston last Saturday and San Antonio on Monday, supporing My Chemical Romance. In between those, they played in Frisco (near Dallas) at Edgefest, a big annual rock concert sponsored by one of the local radio stations. Unfortunately, that was a Sunday, and with it being such a busy week, it was impossible -- well, at least unplausible -- to go to Houston or San Antonio.

It took major effort to refrain from going to see them in Frisco. Only the fact that it was a Sunday kept me.

Oh well. After all, they were only supporting MCR, who I don't really care about anyway.

Now I have grand visions of going to Chicago in August for Lollapalooza -- the next US gig they're playing -- but it's really not practical. Oh well. Maybe they'll hang around in the States for a while after that and I can catch them elsewhere.
This life could be the last, and we're too young to see. (37 points)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

the small things

I've been majorly stressed out the past week or so, and I keep having to remind myself to not growl at people. I don't remember ever having been this stressed out in my life before. And it's not going to end here -- as my professor has said a number of times, "I thought graduate school was hard. And then I got a job."

But a few things have been going well, too, and I wanted to celebrate them with you.

First, I got to hear "Hold Me Now," by the Thomspon Twins, on the radio today. It made me genuinely smile -- as opposed to all the fake smiles I keep forcing out of myself -- for the first time in I don't know how long. And it also made me realize one of the things I enjoy so much about 80's pop music: even when it's frustrated or unhappy, it's really not that frustrated or unhappy. Much as I enjoy the angsty music of the late 90's and 00's, it's refreshing to hear someone complain in song and still make it snappy.

Also, it's been raining a lot lately, and I've been loving it! I feel almost like Heavenly Father has ordered it just for me, knowing how it would ease the stress I'm already feeling too heavily. It makes homework so much nicer when I can do it sitting in a chair in front of my open window, listening to rain pattering down outside.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, are the comments I received on my abstract for a paper in my Scholarly Writing class. All semester long we've been working on revising the same paper, one that we had already written before the class started. I am working on one about the characterization of King Alfred and King Ethelred in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which I wrote for my Old English class last semester. This Scholarly Writing class is one of the most useful and demanding classes I've ever had -- after about three weeks, I began to sneer at my paper rather than looking at it, feeling certain that I and my mediocre writing abilities would never be able to shape it into anything remotely resembling the level of writing I will need to build a career in academics. But when I took a look yesterday at my professor's comments on the abstract I turned in a week ago, she had written at the bottom that she thought I should send it in someplace. I had to re-read the sentence a couple of times before it sunk in: "She thinks this is good enough that I could actually send it in to a conference!" It gave me warm fuzzies all down my spine for a good 15 minutes!
The preacher lights the coals -- he knows I'm gonna stay. (12 points)

The last two quotes were from, first, Muse's "Apocalypse Please," and second, the Platters hit "Twilight Time." (Ha, ha! Get it? Twilight time!)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My 10-year high school reunion is this summer. And the queasiness in my stomach is not from the utter lack of food consumed over the past two days.

I remember, back in 2002, worrying that we would have a reunion. Same feeling then.

I'm not sure just why this is such a terrifying thought to me. I enjoyed high school -- I truly did. I was happy, for the most part, I had friends, and -- although I admittedly did some really stupid things -- it was not the angsty experience for me that it is for so many.

I think I dread the idea of a reunion largely because I have felt so much more content after high school. I loved college from the first minute I set foot on my new campus. I loved the classes, the teachers, the freedom, the people I met.

Most of all, the people. I have found so many people after high school who understand me so much better than the small circle of friends I had then. My truly best friends -- the ones I can talk to about anything, even when it's been months, the one who appreciate my nerdy-but-fun character, the ones who make me feel at home even when I'm not home -- have been the ones I've met after high school.

I've found so much of myself after high school that I almost want to deny that part of my life ever happened -- and I'm even willing to throw out all the good things about it to have that wish fulfilled. Even though I consider myself quite a confident person, for the most part, just the thought of facing high school again makes me want to cower in a corner.

The wrenching in my guts reminds me of the feeling I get when I contemplate the possibility of living in my parents' ward (the one I grew up in) for any length of time. There is something about that time of my life that -- despite all the happy, good times I had then -- makes me feel deeply unsettled.

Whew! There is a lot of angst in me over high school.

I may have to stay away from that reunion.
Declare this an emergency! Come on and spread a sense of urgency! (22 points)

The last quote ... well, no one has really had time to comment on it, so I'll let it stand for now -- points are still up for grabs.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

a mess of memes

That's right, friends ... It's Twilight time. Again. We recently borrowed New Moon (I've been waiting for the paperback before I buy it) so that NM could read it ... and, admittedly, so I could re-read it. I wasn't planning to read it anytime soon, but I did anyhow. So now I'm obsessed again.

I've always loved taking idiotic character quizzes, largely just for the fun of seeing how horribly they're put together and how off they are for me.

Tonight's winners are ...
For 40 % you are: You're Carlisle Cullen, the most compassionate Cullen in the whole family! You love helping people, especially your family, even if the problems are physical or emotional!

This first one was entertaining -- Much as I would love to be like Carlisle, I have nowhere near that kind of self-control. And I don't think I'm near as compassionate as he is, either. Obviously wrong answer. (Access this quiz.)

You are Edward
Vampire. You are very careful about what you do, especially around Bella. You are sweet.
Take this quiz at

Again, can we talk about self-control? Definitely not Edward.

Which Twilight Character Are You?

Bella Swan

You are the very clumsy and shy Bella Swan!! Your father is the Chief Police and you live in Pheonix, Arizona but are now with your father in Forks, Washington. You are not very athletic and trip over yourself. You are in love with Edward Cullen.
How do you compare?

Take this test! | Tests from Testriffic

I have to admit, I used to really hate Bella. Really. But the more I've read and thought about her, the more I can appreciate her. (I feel myself straying into a new post...) However, I'm still not her. And can we talk about how inane the description of Bella's character is? We are talking about personality, right? What does Police Chief Swan have to do with Bella's personality? *sigh* At least they got that last sentence right. ;)

I find this one rather intriguing:
You scored as Jasper Cullen. you are jasper you do not have very good self control when it comes to you and your families diet you are the youngest vampire in your family making the lifestyle you have choosen hard you have a strong relationship with your family

Jasper Cullen


Alice Cullen


Edward Cullen


Bella Swan


which twilight character are you like?

created with

Jasper, eh? OK, I can see that. I am the youngest, after all, and boy, my self-control is not great. I know I'd have a hard time living the lifestyle of a Cullen. I've never thought of myself as being particularly capable of influencing others, though.

I think I agree most with these last two, which are actually the first two quizzes I took. We don't know really that much about Esme yet, but I can see a connection. Again, though, there's the whole self-control thing, and I don't know that I'm quite as compassion-driven as she is. I do like to look at house-plans ... I wonder if that counts as "hobby: architecture"?

You scored as Esme Cullen. You're Esme. The sweet, loving, mother figure of the Cullen clan. You're extremely happy that Edward has found Bella and are very careful not to scare her off.

Esme Cullen


Carlisle Cullen


Alice Cullen


Charlie Swan


Jasper Cullen


Bella Swan


Emmett Cullen




Edward Cullen


Rosalie Cullen


"Twilight": who are you? (now w/ pics)
created with

You scored as Esme. You are loveable and loving. You'd make a good mother.

















Which main character from twilight by stepanie meyer are you?
created with

Oh, and in case anyone was unaware, the third book of the series, Eclipse, is due out August 7 this year. The "special edition" of New Moon, which will include the first chapter of Eclipse, is apparently also going to be published sometime this summer ... but I'm still unable to find any date for a paperback edition. Not that it will matter that much, in the end, though -- I'll probably end up buying Eclipse as soon as it comes out, anyway, so I guess I may as well give and get New Moon, too. That means that my super-special copy from Margo won't fit with the rest of my collection, but oh well -- you can't have it all, right?
Heavenly shades of night are falling... (76 points)

I must admit, I'm disappointed that no one got the last two quotes. "It was a disaster, Faye!" is from What About Bob? I had a mission companion who said it a couple of times, and it's always stuck with me since then. The previous quote -- "As he pretended not to see me, I pretended not to see him" -- is from one of my very favorite scenes in Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone enjoyed the celebration of the Resurrection yesterday. I know I did.

Our bishop's brother spoke in Sacrament Meeting, and as soon as he started, I turned to my roommate and said, "He clearly has the same dramatic streak in him." At times, it almost felt like we were watching a televangelist preach to us. And he made reference to a couple of things that only Mormons would have understood, which made me sincerely hope that we had no investigators with us (I don't think we did). In Sunday School, our teacher had a sinus headache and had taken some Zyrtec for it, but was "learning the hard way," as he said, that it is a drowsy medicine. Relief Society was wonderful, on the other hand. We recently called a new teacher, and this was her third lesson, I think. It was really amazing. She puts a lot of time and effort into her lessons -- much more than I do when I teach in church.

I had been planning to make strawberry pie with our dinner, in celebration of Easter, and I offered to take some to our missionary couple -- the wife hasn't been feeling well lately, and I wanted to let her know that we appreciate them. But I've never been much of a pie baker, and things didn't go as well as expected. The pie crust shrank together badly when I baked it, and it really didn't look pretty when I took it out. But, not one to let the aesthetics of my baking deter me, I decided to go ahead with it. However, then I made the gel filling that holds the strawberries together, and it didn't seem to be setting up like it should. Again, I was hopeful, so I went ahead and poured it into the pie crust. But because of the weird shape of the pie crust, the filling ran over its sides that it was between the crust and the pie pan in several places, and it just didn't look at all pretty. Even then, I would still have taken it to our missionaries, but I still couldn't see that the gel filling was setting up, and it looked like the pie was going to be really difficult to try to eat. I decided to put it in the fridge, in hopes that the cold might help it set up, and I looked at it and thought today's quote:
It was a disaster, Faye! (33 points)

So, I made some chocolate-peanut butter brownies for our missionary couple instead, which seemed to turn out just great. When I came home from their apartment, I took another look at the pie in the fridge, and although it still didn't look pretty, the gel did seem to have set up after all, so we ate it later ourselves. At least I have some helpful notes to add to my recipe now.

With dinner, we watched Ben-Hur, which I had never seen before. It was pretty good, all things considered, though I couldn't help but think that I would have preferred to read it as a book.

(I'm leaving the last quote un-identified until the next post, when I'll reveal both that one and today's.)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Ioan movies

I've been Netflixing lots of Ioan Gruffudd movies lately, wanting to see his acting (and, admittedly, his face) in a variety of contexts.

Last week I watched him in a BBC/Masterpiece Theater production of Great Expectations, in which he played Pip. Now, as many of you know, this is my favorite Dickens book, so I was excited to see how Ioan did. From a purely objective standpoint *snicker* I thought he was quite good. I have to take issue with the writing, to an extent, although I wasn't as upset by it as many of the online reviewers I've read. But I did think that Ioan did quite well in the role, with what he was given.

The next one I watched was Very Annie Mary, which is set in Wales -- I was excited to hear Ioan speaking in a Welsh accent, and I was not disappointed, not in that respect. The movie wasn't that great, overall. The writing was pretty silly and see-through. And people just kept doing stupid things. But Ioan played a gay shop-keeper, along with his best friend Matthew Rhys, and they were hilarious. Probably the best part of the whole movie is the scene where they are having singing lessons from Annie Mary, and they rehearse "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun," from Annie Get Your Gun. And ever since then, I keep getting lines stuck in my head in that great Welsh accent: "Ah, poo-r little Bethahn Bevahn" or "He eats twoo full sahndwiches with ehvery mee-al" or "You're sittin' on a gohld mine, lass."

My next Netflix movie is The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain, with Hugh Grant. I've always liked that film, though I haven't seen it for some time, and I'm curious to see how the accents stack up.

"As he pretended not to see me, I pretended not to see him." (12 points)

The last quote was from Elizabeth Peters's Amelia Peabody series.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

go Shep!

I have been subscribing for over a month now to the "Fox News Flash" video podcast. They put out about three of them a day, hosted by different Fox News anchors, and they sum up in about a minute the stories that are making the rounds on Fox.

I especially enjoy those hosted by Shepard Smith.

This morning, I've been catching up on this week's News Flashes, and Shep had a story about a coffee producer in Panama who is making a 750-gallon cup of coffee, in hopes of breaking the world record for the largest cup of coffee. When he was finished with the story, Shep looked straight into the camera and muttered, "That's stupid."

Thanks, Shep. Thanks for making my day just that much brighter.
Love has a most unfortunate effect on the brain. (62 points)

Today's quote further explicates my feelings about Shep. :) The last quote was from Milton's "Paradise Lost," which I recently read for the fist time ever. Enjoyed it. But that's a post for another day.