Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Oh man, you guys. Oh MAN this is funny.

Seriously. Go watch it.

Hee hee hee

hee hee


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ugh =

Any day you've already done eleven hours of school work by 3:30pm.

And did I mention that my ice scrapper BROKE as I tried to clean the solid sheet of ice off my car this morning? Yes, yes, it did.

And that I apparently haven't learned my lesson, because the new jeans that I just bought for $8 on black Friday are ALSO sliding down on a regular basis? It's called a "belt," Margaret. Or a pair of jeans that, what do they call that?, oh yes, FITS. Sheesh. :)

OH! And that I'm writing an abstract for a conference that my two bosses and I will hopefully get to go to next May? And that it's in DC??? :) :) :) :) :) (The conference, not the abstract.) And that I don't mind writing, but it's almost finals week and I have three, oh, make that four other papers to write and I want to be done with this abstract but I also don't want to embarrass myself by sending a half-baked one to these profs?

And that I'm getting sick? You can blame this post on the Sudafed.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I found my local Justin!!

And just like the original Justin was when I first met him, he's a cute little 18-yr-old, pure and cheerful and good and happy and...what's that one word that means something like "really chatty and social and charming and good at talking to people?" Gregarious.

And he is now aware of his new status as my local Justin. And oh, he totally gets it. Witness the conversation we had last night at the Institute building, where there was a potluck before the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. I was chatting with my new Justin, we'll call him E, since that's his initial, right before Bishop and Sister N were getting ready to leave and give E a ride home:
Me: I just want to tell you that you remind me of the little brother of a good friend of mine, and it makes me really happy.
E (not bitterly, just observing): I think I'm the ward's little brother. Everybody tells me that I remind them of their little brother.
Me: Well, you remind me of Justin, the little brother of my good friend, Josh, and they are both my dear friends. So it's not like you're my little brother [and I made a motion like I was patting a small child on the head], it's more're my Justin.
E: Well, if I'm your Justin, let me give you a hug.
And he did.

See?? He totally gets it!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

It's been a busy couple of weeks...

I mean, how could you expect me to get my school work done when I was so busy choreographing and practicing and making costumes for this?!

(This entertainment was brought to you by Elise, who said, "One might wonder why I don't have a job...until one receives links to dancing elves. Then the mystery is solved.")

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Welcome to my psyche.

I am on campus, and somewhere in the building, someone is playing really cheery polka-y Christmas music. Loudly. Two songs, again and again and again. I think I might go insane. Or home.

Except that last night my upstairs neighbor's two dogs barked for MORE THAN AN HOUR while I was trying to do some reading for class. Yes, I timed them. And yelled, "Shut yer dogs up!" at the ceiling.

Yesterday while I was getting ready for school I had these two songs in my head:
1) "Zero population," from that monstrosity, "Saturday's Warrior"
2) "I'm an ordinary man," from "My Fair Lady"
So yes, I was stuck with combinations like, "She'll have a large bognarian [??] mother, with a voice that shatters glass" and "zero population is the answer my friend, without it, the rest of us are doomed!"
I have no explanation for that.

I also had one of those between-hitting-the-snooze-button-every-9-minutes dreams in which Ron told me that Chad was leaving the next day to move to Columbia to play soccer. I was not surprised that his mad soccer skillz would allow him to do that, merely sad that I wouldn't get to see him before he left.

AND - I have plane tickets - I'll be heading back to the land of my family on 17 Dec, and I will be there for a WHOLE MONTH!!

So please, Chad, or anyone else, don't move to Columbia before I get to see you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm totally caving to materialism. But just for this post.

Ok, people, I need boots. And guess what?! Daring Young Mom is having a give-away on her blog from a SHOW COMPANY, and they make BOOTS! And if I link to the contest, like right here, for example, then I can get entered TWICE in the drawing!

So there you go. Check out her contest, and the boots I will get if I win. :) :)

P.S. Did I mention that it snowed last night? :) :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

I think I'm really funny and it's late at night. And if you think those two statements are not connected then you don't know me. Or my blog title.

So I just got this email from my older sister:
Subject line: facebook

you need to get on!! there is a [ward from my home stake] friends group and they want to get together and someone was looking for you to organize a get-together:) Plus, there is an awesome picture of [that one guy] taking off a garter from way up on [that one girl]'s leg--hee hee!
And I started to write back to her, and then the profound truths listed in the title of this post hit me, and so you all get to read my reply, you lucky internets, you.
OK, but I REALLY don't need something ELSE to keep me from getting my work done, and you KNOW I am OCD enough that I would have to connect with everyone I've ever met, including those people from my alma mater who I never actually met but saw them walking on campus all the time, and because I spent SO MANY YEARS on that campus I'm sure they must have been in my ward at some point, so I introduce myself, and then sure enough, we don't know each other and now I look like a weird stalker freak. (And yes, that happened to me about a month and a half ago.)


I feel like I'm the only person in the free world NOT on facebook. And I take a wee bit of pride in that. Kind of like I took a wee bit of pride in high school about not wearing make up, and I've tried to start wearing make up now several times, and I own some nice Mary Kay eyeshadow that I have been taught to apply by a friend who always looks REALLY nice with her make up, and I just don't do it.

So let's just say that facebook is the Mary Kay eyeshadow of my web presence.
But secretly I'm really flattered that those fun people want me to plan a get-together. And I'll probably do it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Good thing my gloves and scarf are red...

...'cause I'm going to the football game tomorrow!! (And our school color is red. Just in case you didn't get why that would matter.) I'm really excited!! I wanted to go to one of the games, but couldn't afford the time or the money to get season tickets, and turns out...when you go to a Big 10 school, you, um, can't just "pick up" a ticket to a home football game. It doesn't work that way in the big leagues. :) But my fun friend J got tickets from her work and invited me to go with her - WOOHOO!!

And also - why do I stay up this late when I'm not being productive?

But sometimes my "to do" list gets overwhelming, and apparently all I can do is eat my $1.96 Totinos pizza and two servings of ice cream for dinner (that's what they call a "balanced diet") and read blogs until all hours of the night.

Oh wait! I got up at 5:30am to do homework today--suddenly my inability to function makes sense! When I have to actually function that early I later get past the point of being coherent, and then become incapable of being proactive about progress, such as turning off my computer and going to bed. It's awesome.

But the reason I got up that early was to prep for my group meeting, which went well! AND I got my car back after hitching rides for the last three weeks, and the guy replaced the fuel pump and the timing belt for FREE and only asked me to pay for the parts, and I am SO GRATEFUL!!

And tomorrow is Super Saturday, and I'm making - oh! I almost said it! I'm making Christmas gifts for my nieces and nephews. :) Wouldn't want to spoil the surprise! (Since they are all under the age of 11 and none of them read this blog. Or know it exists. Or would care if they DID know. Or can read. Just kidding - several of them can read.)

Whoa nellie. Time for bed. Look at me all being proactive and getting my tush out of my chair and stuff!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why You Should Use Your Brain When You Read Statistics: A Case Study

So I got my electric bill over the weekend, and it was $23.83, down from $27 last month. (Woohoo! That's 3 Frosties!!) (It would have been 4 Frosties, but they raised the price on the 99 cent Frosty - now it's $1.19.) (Which totally defeats the purpose of the 99 cent Frosty, if you ask me.) And there was a little blurb on the bill saying that I could sign up for the "budget payment plan," which equalizes your payments over the whole year, based on the average billing amount, so that you can avoid spikes in the bill and plan your monthly budget more effectively, blah blah blah, and my monthly payment would be...$15.

Uh, now, I know I'm not a math major, but unless there have been MAJOR changes in the way numbers work since I last calculated a mean, $15 is not the average of $27 and $23.83. Even though I am not a math major, I do know that $15 < $23.83, so on the theory of, "gosh! wouldn't it be nice if $15 WAS the average of $27 and $23.83?!" (just THINK how many Frosties I could afford!!) I called the electric company to check up on it. And sure enough, they got that amount by averaging electricity costs in the apartment for the last 6 months...during which the apartment was unoccupied for several months. So yeah, $27 and $23.83 and a couple of $0's? They do average out to $15. And when they went back to check the time period during which the apartment was occupied, the average was $40. And I know that $23.83 < $40, so I'll just stick with paying my actual bill, thank you very much.


It's nice to know I'm not the only one...

...who makes a fool of herself sometimes.

Thanks for sharing, Josh. :)

Friday, November 07, 2008


So it just occurred to me that perhaps the reason that I've had to hike up my favorite (only) blue jeans every two seconds during the last couple of weeks is that I've lost weight.

Yup. Just figured that out.

Well, they never said you had to be smart to be in grad school.

Oh, wait - they did?


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If it seems like it's too good to be true...

OK, fine, so I'm a sucker. And a romantic. But is that news to anyone, really?!

Well, it was fun while it lasted. Moving on...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

There is no subject for this post.

So my brain is a little

Yeah, that's as far as that sentence got. Reminiscent of another time when I stopped partway through a thought. No, I'm not saying that my brain was a demon.

Hey - another of my hilarious cousins started blogging! Check her out!

And my sister posted about something important - Yes on Prop 8!

And I'm just a leeeeettle obsessed with this right now. I know, we've been over this before, but if I can live vicariously through my curling iron, surely I'm allowed to be really thrilled about someone else's romance. Seriously, grab a cup of hot cocoa and a fuzzy blanket, cozy up on the couch, and start at the beginning. It's a good story. And then you'll get addicted like me and keep on checking for updates 9 million times a day, when digging up citation information and transcribing interviews (1 hr to do FIVE MINUTES of an interview - you have GOT to be kidding me!!) just isn't puttin' bubbles in your milk anymore.

And speaking of milk, did you notice my new profile picture? Here, have a closer look.

So I went to the Minnesota State Fair over Labor Day. This is one of the many fun things I did at the end of the summer about which I have not yet blogged. Like the show in Chicago. And the concert. And the family vacation where I did not lose the pictures but did get to hang out with some of the people in the tractor picture. Oh, and France 2007, which was not at the end of last summer, but which is yet another cool thing about which I have not yet blogged.

But I digress.

So they do this cool thing at the Minnesota State Fair, where you spend $1 for a cup, such as the one I'm holding in the above picture, and then you can get free milk all day long. (And a week later, as long as you bring back your cup, right, R? :) )


:) :)

OK, but really, it's pretty cool. And you can get chocolate or white milk. And it's actually quite hilarious, because, um, everybody's doing it. Really. A couple of the images that I hope I never forget from that fair were of really tough looking guys, or really punk teenagers, standing around...drinking milk. And eating chocolate chip cookies, because someone had the brains to say, "Where there is milk, there must needs be cookies," and so put up a cookie booth. $16 for a plastic bucket of chocolate chip cookies. Yeah, um, we stuck with milk.

And we drank a lot of it. I'm holding up four fingers because I'm just then drinking my fifth cup of milk for the day. Yes, four fingers for my fifth cup of milk. Apparently my brain was a demon that day, too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The most human-flesh-colored food I have ever eaten*

Salsa scrambled eggs. Mix in half a cup of salsa for every 3 eggs you scramble. It's a yummy variation on scrambled eggs, but the color is a little...disturbing.

* What? You don't keep track of that? That's so weird.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On doing dishes

If you eat today's lunch with the same spoon that you used to eat yesterday's lunch, you too could have curry-flavored apple crisp.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am drug free, and so is my 5-year-old niece.

Apparently she came from from school wearing a bracelet that proclaimed that she was drug free, but when her mommy asked her if she knew what that meant, she had no idea.

Aah, the power of education.

I, however, KNOW what it means that I am drug free - it means that I have not taken any pain medication since 2:45am Saturday morning - woohoo!

What, you haven't either? Ok, fine, but here's why mine is significant:

So I went to the emergency room at about 12:45 am on Monday morning. My left ear had been hurting for a couple of days, and Sunday night when the pain woke me up, my BFF ibuprofen helped me get back to sleep, but Monday night - no such luck. I called the Nurse Hotline to which I have access with my health insurance, and after ascertaining that I did not have a "foreign object" in my ear (and how could you tell if it was foreign, you ask? by the accent, my friend, by the accent), she said that "the protocol suggests that you seek medical attention within the next 4 hours." I'm not a math major, but 12:30am + 4 hours = the middle of the night. So after sitting on my living room floor crying for a few minutes (no couch to sit on, as of yet) (and no, that's not why I was crying), I decided that this was why they invented emergency rooms, and so I went.

The ER was fast (read: "empty") and by 2:15am I was home with amoxicillin for the infection and vicoden for the pain of the partially ruptured eardrum. (The PA told me they'd give me amoxicillin for the infection, and then he looked at his watch (1:30 am) and then at me, and said, "And since you're here now, we'll give you something for the pain, too." I about fell off the hospital bed with gratitude.) The PA that gave me the vicoden told me that it would make me, and I quote, "drowsy," and asked how long I would be able to sleep the next day. I said that I had class at 9:30, and he looked at me like I was an idiot, so I said, very insincerely, "...but I'm not afraid to miss class." I mean, come on, I know I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to pain, but miss class?!?! Whatever, dude. Give me the drugs and let me go home. College students go to class feeling "drowsy" all the time.

Well, he was right about "drowsy," if what he meant was "totally incapacitated." Oooh, the nausea, the nausea!! When I got up at 9:30am and called my boss to tell her I would not be coming to work, I had a hard time staying vertical long enough to call her. She was like, "Uh, I'm going to hang up before you throw up!" They had prescribed hydrocodone, which I took as prescribed until that afternoon, when I decided that if they said, "take it on a full stomach" and the taking emptied the stomach, that was not acceptable. Then I called around until my doctor (who I've never met) told her nurse to tell me to stop taking the hydrocodone (duh! yeah, I maybe could have thought of that on my own if I hadn't already been totally out of it!), and to resort instead to my BFF ibuprofen. LOTS of it.

So I alternated ibuprofen and Tylenol, as even prescription-strength ibuprofen didn't kill the pain long enough for me to make it from one dose to the next without being in considerable pain. And this worried me, because the PA at the ER had told me that the antibiotic would take 24-48 hours to kick in, and I assumed that that meant that I would then be able to reduce my pain meds. But no. Whether the amoxicillin kicked in or not, I was taking full doses of pain medication all through Friday. (I'm going to the doctor this afternoon to make sure that the healing is proceeding as it should.)

Side note: After walking around for a couple of days cupping my hand over my left ear (the pressure helped alleviate the pain a little), I laughed outloud when I realized where I had seen people doing that before--on trains in Romania! There is this old superstition in Romania about "curent" - a draft or blast of air, or a cross-breeze. The idea is that you don't want a breeze to blow "through" your head--that is not good for you. So, for example, you can have the two right side windows of a cab open at the same time, but not both front windows - the cross-breeze is bad for you. So we'd be riding on trains in the middle of the summer, and when we'd open the window to the train AND the door to the compartment, any old Romanians around would cover their ears, and often their whole heads!, to avoid the badness that would come with the "curent." Apparently they didn't hold with our feeling that surely any "badness" would be more manageable than the discomfort of suffocating heat and still (and usually smelly) air. We now return to the regularly scheduled program.

And as fascinating as you find your field of study, throbing pain in your ear is a LEEEETTLE distracting. I was fine until I'd try to sit in one place to read (oh wait, that's all grad students DO!), and then all I would think was, "language learning...PAIN...Contrastive analysis hypothesis...can I take more medication yet?...midterm next week on this stuff!...PAIN."

Yeah, it was pretty rockin' awesome.

So when I woke up in a GREAT mood on Saturday morning, it took me about 15 seconds to figure out that the reason I was so cheerful was because my first thought was not "PAIN." What a glorious feeling that was!

And so gentle readers, I have now been drug free for two and a half days, and while I am not pain free, I am so eager to be drug free that I'll put up with the minor pain that kicks in now and then.

And this is already really long, but I have two final thoughts.

First, I really need to not get sick for the next, oh, 5 years. I was comatose for one day, and not good enough to be up to studying and attending class the next day, and I am AMAZED how far behind I got!

Second, I have no idea how an eardrum can be only "partially ruptured." I feel like that's a binary (that word's for you, Jer) condition--an eardrum is either "ruptured" or "not ruptured." Whatever. It hurt A LOT.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Today I got my first paycheck as a grad student TA.

This I do not love about being a student.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The clothes make the (wo)man

So one thing that I like about being a grad student again is that I get to return to my preferred manner of dress - jeans and hoodies.

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Granted, I have a much nicer wardrobe now than I did a year ago, when I started the job that required me to wear "business casual" 5 days a week. And I have discovered that I actually like some of those clothes, and I have been realizing that if I want my professors and fellow students to take me seriously as a scholar, I shouldn't dress like a shlump, but still - put me in a hoodie and I'm a happy girl.

And I was thinking about this last Friday, when I spent all day doing homework and didn't move from my seat for 8 hours. See, I don't have class on Fridays, so I feel even freer on those days to dress in my preferred mode. And I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I hobbled to the bathroom around 8:30pm (yeah, I was a little stiff from 8 hrs of sitting still - I'm getting old, what can I say?!), and had to laugh when I realized what I was wearing:
  • the flipflops that I bought in the European country that I visited in 1992, 2001, 2006, and 2007, and plan to visit multiple times in the future
  • a t-shirt from my alma mater
  • a hoodie from the large U.S. city I lived near for the last year
  • a baseball cap from the concert I had attended the previous night (which I really need to blog about because it was A.W.E.S.O.M.E.)
So, um, would you like to know about my life? Ask me about my clothes - apparently they define me. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Note to self:

Check for a posted chart of "scoop size" before ordering your ice cream.

I just ordered a "double" and then had to eat all NINE OUNCES of ice cream.

Don't get me wrong, I like ice cream, and it was GOOD ice cream, but still...9 oz...


Monday, September 15, 2008

This is not the actual news update that I know you are all waiting for.

But I just wanted to express this, right now while I am feeling it, even though I feel it pretty often these days.

I am kind of intensely happy in my life right now. I'm really grateful that I feel that way, but it's kind of crazy, and really cool. It usually takes me a few months to adjust to a new situation and really like it, whether that be a new apartment or a new ward or a new state or whatever, but I am already feeling adjusted here and really enjoying my life, and that is a really fantastic feeling. I don't have a lot of time to post right now, so I may have to come back to this idea later to better communicate what I mean and to develop this idea, but almost every day I have a moment, like I did just now, of realizing how much I LOVE what I get to do right now.

I am in a PhD program that is really my field, and I am LOVING my coursework. (Weird!) Even the really long day spent all in one place the other day didn't drive me crazy because the work I was doing all day was so interesting to me! For my student job I get to work on the project that initially got me interested in this university, and within that job I get to do several different types of tasks, most ;) of which are really interesting to me, and that, again, are really in my field.

I am living alone for the first time ever, and I am loving it. I am really happy in my apartment, and I am actually cooking pretty much every day (shall I pause while you pick yourselves up off the floor?), and I bring my leftovers to school for lunch like a good little poor grad student. I clean my apartment, and I make my bed every day, and I have two bookshelves and a desk, for which I paid a grand total of $0.99. (And that was for pegs to hold up the shelves of the bookshelf that I found next to the dumpster at my apartment complex.) I bought my flatware at the dollar store, and don't own a frying pan yet, but there's lots that you can do with a saucepan with a flat bottom. ;)

I like my town, and I read on the bus, so my 30-minute commute to and from campus doesn't drive me nuts.

So it's not a glamorous life :) , and maybe I'm just in a "honeymoon period" and this feeling will wear off as I get used to things and get into the rigor of my program, but I really hope it doesn't wear off, and I feel so calm and normal about everything that I really don't think it will. Quite honestly, it thrills me, and startles me a little bit, how happy and content and at home I feel in this crazy new life of mine.

Just thought I'd share. Here's hoping that sharing doesn't jinx the feeling and make it go away! :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

If you are going to spend all day doing homework and having group meetings in one campus lounge, and literally not move from your seat from 1-8pm... might as well be in a room in which one wall is windows and there is a big lake on the other side of the windows.

Wow. That came out WAY not as cool as I meant it to sound, but I'm too brain-dead to try again, and too desperate to have something on my blog besides the one about the maybe-missing-pictures to wait and try again later when I'm not so brain-dead.

And I did not lose the pictures. And, wow, that's really old news. Sorry to leave you hanging on that for an ENTIRE MONTH. You probably thought I lost them and was so sad that I moved halfway across the country and started a PhD program to try to get over it.

Well, I didn't lose them. But the rest is true.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Holding my breath...

I just had THE. MOST. PERFECT. vacation weekend with some extended family, including two ADORABLE children who now love me, and just now at some point in the process of getting the pictures from the weekend off my camera and onto my computer the camera battery died and the photos had NOT yet appeared on my computer and I am hoping hoping hoping that they didn't just vanish in the process but I won't know until the battery is charged since I can't check on the camera to see if they are still there without a battery and if I lost them all I may just have to resort to drastic action.

Like weeping.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

On reading. Sort of.

So is it cheating that I just read the synopses for ALL the Twilight books on Wikipedia? There's been so much hype about the fourth book coming out, but I have no real desire to actually read the books - I heard them described as "sensuous vampire" books, and that, uh, didn't really, como se dise?, strike my fancy. And now I know how it all ends, so you won't change my mind. :P

But it does make me think about reading in general. (And yes, I'm a little embarrassed that it's the Twilight books that finally prompted me to write all this out.) Unless it's 1am and it's a book that I haven't read before and I'm halfway through and just want to find out how it ends, dang it!, I typically don't read books just to know the ending. I have a cousin who reads the ending FIRST - that way she knows if it'll be worth it to read the book. I've never really understood that, and I don't even agree that you could tell if it would be worth it to read the book just by reading the ending. You would be totally missing the significance of the events! Ok, sure, there have been times during movies when I've been nervous or scared and if I'm with someone who's seen it before I'll say, "just tell me - does so-and-so die??" And sometimes they tell me and sometimes they don't, but typically I want to see the story develop. (P.S. And I'm reading a book about D-Day right now, and yeah, I know how it ends. But don't get me going about the movie Titanic - everyone knew how that was going to end, too, but TOTALLY different league here, people - this D-Day book is LITERATURE.) Books that I read again and again, and there is a list, are typically books that are satisfying because of the development of the characters - the realizations the characters come to - typically the recognition of their own worth / talents / heritage. I like books in which a character realizes that, even without any major personality changes, s/he can do stuff. You know, like beat the bad guys, or solve the mystery, or whatever.

One time for Enrichment meeting a few years ago we each were supposed to bring something that symbolized "us" - who we were. I grabbed "The Blue Sword," by Robin McKinley. It's at the top of the list of books that I reread frequently, and there was a summer, a few years before this incident, during which I read it about twice every three weeks. Really. I would finish it, and then a few days later pick it up and start again. Apparently there wasn't much else going on in my life that summer. :) So I grabbed it, kind of just on my way out the door to Enrichment, thinking that if I had to I'd say something about how I love reading, blah blah blah.

But then I got to Enrichment and started thinking about it, and not being one who can let the chance the deliver a good line pass me by, I decided to say a little more about why I like this particular book, and thus I put into words for the first time what has since become my philosophy on life (or not, but I still really like this summary of the book and of every teenage girl's psyche) (ok, fine, and my psyche, too):
Who wouldn't want to find out that, not only do they really not belong in the world in which they feel like they don't belong, but there is a world in which they do belong, and not only do they belong there, but they get to get into really good shape, be a hero, have magical powers, and marry the king?!
Sounds pretty good to me.

(And I just right now added that bit about getting into really good shape. Huh. It is true to the book. Huh.)

I really do love it, though, when a character realizes that they already have what it takes to accomplish the whatever-it-is that they need to accomplish. I feel really strongly about the idea that the goodness and power and strength we need are already in us. And part of the strength is in recognizing our own strength.

And yes, I do think some of these thoughts are at the front of my mind right now because I am grappling with the idea that I, silly normal me, am starting a !!!PhD program!!! in a few weeks and have also just decided that I'm going to get !!!my own apartment!!! in my new town instead of signing on with roommates. These are both big steps for me, and it's a little disconcerting to be making them both, and both at the same time. So here's hoping that I find the magic sword and use its power for my good and discover that I really truly do have in me what it takes to make this a success.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A certain kind of misery

So I really like this idea of Camie's, so I'm copying it for a second.

I was talking to one of my coworkers yesterday about my imminent move to the land of perpetual ice and snow, which yes, Jer, turns out to be geographically identical to the state of having no money, and she's lived in a place with similar scads of snow, and said to me, in an attempt to prepare me for JUST HOW AWFUL that much snow is:
You've lived in NY and UT, but there's a certain kind of misery that comes...
Oh goodie, something to look forward to.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No, this is post is NOT the sum total of all my research on this topic.

So as part of my transition away from my job and back to my, ahem, natural state, which seems to be student life, you know, that period of time, which is temporary for most people, during which you have homework and no money, I have to get a new phone. Since November I've had a Treo, which, while it's really fun for that whole "I can check my work email from my bed" and "I can find the address of a restaurant from my car" thing, is kind of big and clunky and fake pretentious. ("Fake" pretentious instead of "real" pretentious because honestly, it's not that great.)

So - any recommendations? One of my former coworkers, who left the company a few months ago, got a pink flip phone when she left and had to turn in her Treo. She called it the "Anti-Treo," because it was as different from a Treo as anything she could find. :)

I'm thinking about the LG Chocolate - in baby blue. :) Mostly because I can get it from free with a 2-yr activation plan with Verizon, which is the service I currently have.

And since I'm heading back into that afore-mentioned state of having no money, a phone that costs free dollars sounds pretty good to me.

But I would love to hear your recommendations...or where I could go for good info (I've been to Or, you know, your rants on cell phones in general. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Take a listen.

OK, Jer, this is for you.

And for me. In 5-7 years.

And for Chris, in a few less than that.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One Reason I Think San Diego is Really Cool - A (Very Short) Essay

One reason I think San Diego is really cool is because you might just get out of the car at the grocery store and see this:

The End.

Monday, July 21, 2008

So should I be honored...?

...that her biggest spit-up to date was when I was holding her?

Or should I just feel stupid that I was too lazy to get a burp cloth that time?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

New life

I've had blogger's block for about a week now, which is not really that long, but the last time I remember feeling this way about blogging was right after President Hinckley died. I wanted so badly to write something profound, something meaningful, something significant, about his life, or what he meant to me, or how he impacted my life, and I couldn't get the words and thoughts to come together. I wanted to post this picture, my favorite picture of him, and to explain that it's my favorite, even though you can't even see his face, because what you can see is the love of the people for their beloved prophet, and their joy at being able to greet him. And because it's my dad's favorite picture of him for that same reason, and he sent it out to us after President Hinckley died, with some of his thoughts about him.

But I couldn't get the words to come together, and I didn't want to offer only a half-hearted post for something so important to me, even though I guess that's what I just did. :{

Well, my sister had her baby girl last weekend, and I'm feeling that same speechless kind of feeling! I am SO HAPPY that she's finally here, but I've been trying to figure out since she was born what I want to say to portray all that I feel about it, and I'm not sure I've figured it out yet...

I've seen pictures of her, and she is a CUTE little thing, with lots of hair, her momma's nose, and her daddy's toes. :) And I'm going to visit next week, for a week, and I'm really excited to BE there and to get to meet her and hold her and tell her I love her and see my sister and brother-in-law as parents!

And I've already had precious, precious conversations with My Sister The New Mom and My Brother-In-Law The New Dad about their baby, and about getting her here, and about what she means in each of our lives, and what we mean in hers. And she looks like both of them! I don't know why it surprises me, with each baby I see, when I see pieces of their mom and their dad in them, but it always does. It's humbling and beautiful to see how Heavenly Father took the physical characteristics of both parents, and mixed them, and came up with a new unique little person!

And my mom is there now, and I'm deep-down-to-my-core pleased and happy and satisfied that she gets to be there. She flew in about 6 hours after the baby was born, and I love LOVE LOVE that she is there - for my sister's sake, and for my niece's sake, and mostly for my mom's sake. Her kids, and consequently, their kids, are so important to her, and are the focus of so many of her actions and choices, and bring her so much joy, that it makes me profoundly happy to know that she is there and is so happy to be with her newest grandbaby.

And I was so THRILLED to hear that my niece was born that after I sobbed on the phone to My Sister The New Mom when she called to tell me the news I immediately stacked up and planned to return those 4 library books that I'd been renewing online again and again with the thought that I'd read the series again. It seems silly to me now, and it seemed a little silly to me then, that that was my big reaction to the news, but I needed to DO something right then - to have some kind of a fresh start, however small. It didn't seem worth it, with this new wonderful LIFE in the world, to let unnecessary and unimportant things clutter up my room or my life.

Happy Birthday, Baby Casey! I'm so glad you're here and part of our family!

Monday, June 23, 2008

When life gives you lemons, don't rub them on that paper cut you gave yourself yesterday.

So I'm in a really sticky situation that has been going on for several weeks now and that I admit is at least partially of my own making. I don't really want to post any details here.

And it hurts. I'm struggling with how to act and how to feel, and it IS a struggle. I am trying to stand up for myself (which I'm not very good at), but also not be a total jerk to the other people involved, and I'm not sure that I'm doing a very good job at either.

AND I'm trying to have faith that this will work out, and I'm trying to be ok with the fact that I don't get to define what that means, but that Heavenly Father does, and that that is better than me defining it.

Really, it's better. Really.


Pray for me, please?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Now give three cheers, I'll lead the way!

So last night I went to see Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore at Wolf Trap. YAY!! It was such a fun show! I mean, it IS a fun show, and it was so fun to see it in that setting! I've been wanting to go to Wolf Trap for a while, and when I heard about the show on Thursday I was thrilled at the chance to see that show there!

This may be news to some of you, but I love ridiculous songs (I know - shocker!), and the songs in this show fit in that category. In fact, it is perhaps because of Gilbert and Sullivan that I do love silly songs. I grew up listening to, and memorizing, The Pirates of Penzance, Pinafore, and The Mikado. Once on a road trip I sang all of Act I of Pirates with my friend Lisa's brother. We were alone in the cab of his truck, so we didn't inflict our singing on the whole group. :) And my dad sings "I am the Captain of the Pinafore" and "When I was a Lad," with my sisters and me as his back-up, er, I mean, his crew. So you might say that these songs are deeply important to me, as much as anything can be deeply important that is "full of sound and fury and signif[ies] nothing." You might say, if you were being sentimental, which I frequently am, that they are part of the soundtrack of my childhood.

I was on the lawn for the show last night, too far back to see things like, oh, facial expressions, but I could hear well, so I sat under the stars and chortled over love-sick sailors, pompous nobles, and ridiculous songs and situations. I did manage to refrain from singing along to any of the songs, but it was difficult. :)

(Image from Wikipedia)

Friday, June 20, 2008

I may have to cancel my move.

I JUST found out that one of my very favorite bands, Great Big Sea, is playing at Wolf Trap on 22 August.

That's the week AFTER I'm moving out of the state. why WHY WHY?!?!

AND they are playing with Eddie from Ohio, who I would also LOVE to see in concert.


I really don't know how to convey how heartbroken I am about this. GBS has kept me sane on MANY a 40-minute commute, and several of their songs have consoled me to the point of tears of relief and release when I have been stressing out and worried about things. (That sounds a little weird, even to me, and I'm the one who lived it and wrote it...) Even my very hip brother-in-law enjoyed their music on my mp3 player, and for a geek like me, that's a BIG DEAL! ;) And you would think that listening to the same songs day after day for weeks at a time would get old, but it hasn't happened yet! I sometimes vary the soundtrack on my commute for fear that I'll get sick of GBS, but I usually last only one or two commutes on a different group before I'm back. They have been the soundtrack of my life since about October of last year, and now I'm going to miss their concert. :( :( :(

I think I'll go see this in Chicago with her and her and Elise to console myself.

And maybe I'll go see this at Wolf Trap tonight so that at least I can be in the same place where Great Big Sea will be on 22 August...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The thing about big crazy thunderstorms... that they allow for really cool ones of these:

And do I think that this principle applies to more facets of life than just weather?

Perhaps. ;)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Some people can't just TELL you their big news.

No, they have to IM you as follows:

Jeremy: have you seen my new blog theme?
um, not since last week.
10:00 AM did you get it back up and working again?
Jeremy: i haven't restored the old stuff
but I create a new summer-time look
me: ok, i'm checking right now
Jeremy: what do you think?
10:01 AM Brooke doesn't like it
10:03 AM me: um, is this a subtle way to make me find out that BROOKE IS PREGNANT WITH TWINS?!??!?!!
:) :) :)
Jeremy: what do you think about the theme?

Nice, Jer, nice.

And he pulled the same stunt on Alan, but Alan isn't obsessive about being up-to-date on everyone's posts, so after he responded that he didn't like the theme, Jeremy actually had to prod him...

Alan: Then he said, well did you read the first post.
me: ah HA!
Alan: and I said, sure...started reading.. got bored, said I'll finish it later.
me: lol
Alan: He said no, keep reading.
Alan: So I skimmed to the bottom.
me: no shame.
Alan: Sure enough ultrasounds, and I thought it was a joke.
You know, Jeremy.

Congrats, guys! Just think - in 7 months you'll have twice as many kids as you do now!! Hee hee! :)

P.S. OOooh, he didn't like this post. :P Next time - just tell me your news!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I should stop reading badly-written novels right before going to bed.

My between-hitting-the-snooze-button-every- nine-minutes-for-I-refuse-to-admit-how-long dream this morning involved me being given temporary responsibility for NoSurf and Merrily Karolys children. Apparently both couples were going out of town and I was babysitting.

And training for a marathon.

And apparently we (there was a group that was training for the marathon) were at the beginning of our training, because on this particular day, that training involved running a fairly short distance, but we only had a small "track" so we were running lots of laps. I think 24 laps. Or maybe 28. And the track was in maybe a warehouse or something, because there were rolls of carpet and boxes that we were running around and between.

And in my dream NoSurf only had 2 kids, and one was a baby, so her baby and Jr Karoly were in car seats, and apparently I felt it was sufficient supervision that I would be passing by these 2 babies 24 (or 28) times during my run.


Do you feel dumber after reading this? That was how I felt after reading that book last night.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

So, um, weather.

So in case you missed it, I live on the east coast now. And I used to live in a desert-y area in the west. And believe it or not, the weather is different here than it was there. I know - shocker.

When we lost power the other day it was because a tree got blown right over on the main street near our house and pulled the wires down with it. I saw the tornado warning on TV that afternoon, and not 10 minutes later the power was out. (P.S. It was back on when we got home from work the next day, so it was out less than 24 hrs. And our water heater still worked, so that was nice for showers the next morning. But funny thing about washing your hair when you have no power - no hair dryer. Yeah, that was awesome. And a whole nother topic.) The rain and winds came roaring in - there was a quickly moving stream along the side of the road; I was really amazed at how quickly there was a TON of water around. I think I lived in the desert too long. :) And apparently the winds were 50-60 miles an hour - the top of my neighbor's tree blew right off - 20 feet of tree, lying in her yard!

And tonight - it started to look like rain, and then the thunder and lightning started. I stood on my porch and watched for a while - it really was beautiful. The rain doesn't always break the humidity, but sometimes it helps. Tonight it was a heavy hot wet feeling, and the sky was lit up again and again by lightning. Sometimes you could see the strike of lightning itself - a jagged line down the sky - and sometimes it just lit up the sky without the distinct stripe. I was amazed by how it continued - I stood on my porch for a little while, watching it. The memories that I have of lightning from when I was a kid were just brief, violent storms - a few flashes and then gone. This was more than that - I watched the location of the lightning move across the sky - the flashes came one right after another - again and again and again. And the thunder - a constant background noise behind the lights in the sky. Since the sky was dark, the clouds were light against it, but then when the lightning would flash the clouds would appear darker in contrast to the lit-up sky.

It was fun to watch, and new to me, even though I grew up on the east coast - I don't remember the lightning and thunder continuing like that.

And it was peaceful, in a wondrous-dangerous-weather kind of way. I like where I live. :)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

To the powers that be...

PLEASE let the electricity in my house be back on when I get home! We just hit the 24.5 hr anniversary of it going out because of the storm, and I would REALLY like to arrive home from work to a well-lit, well-air-conditioned, well-refrigerated home!

After all, last night I had to eat an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream so that it wouldn't melt in my freezer, and I'd really like to avoid that in the future.

(never mind that I bought the ice cream after the power went out)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Apparently I have a price attached...

Yeah, so I bought some new pants on Saturday, and while I was talking to someone at work today I went to put my hands into the back pockets, and couldn't, because they were still sewn shut. So why did it feel like there was a rectangular piece of paper INSIDE the sewn-shut pocket??

Oh wait - it's not inside the POCKET, it's inside the PANTS...Yup.

Next time remove ALL tags before wearing...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm tired. And not tan.

So I worked 10 hours today, and that's after 4 nights of less than 6 hrs of sleep per night, and 3 days of walking all over DC with Kate, who bused in from the north, and Megan, who flew in from the west.

And I mean all over.


I think we decided it was about 900 million miles. And our calves, and knees, and backs hurt. And don't get me wrong - it was FUN! And I'll be posting more about it soon, with more pictures, but for now I'll leave you with this shot of me at the National Cathedral. Not sure why I tilted my head. Probably because I was just too tired to hold it up anymore. Oh yeah - see? - I'm leaning it against one of the flying buttresses.

P.S. Danielle - We all used Blue Lizard. See how sunburned I'm not??

Friday, May 23, 2008

My mom's on the internet!

Dad got her a computer for Mother's Day (I KNOW!! isn't he FABULOUS?!?!), and she's having a GREAT time getting all set up and used to things. :) :)

I just taught her to copy and paste using ctrl-C, ctrl-V. Hee hee!

Now we just need to get her IMing, and reading my blog! :)

Hi Mom! I love you!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Déjà vu

I just had a déjà vu - one of those moments when what you are doing/saying/hearing/seeing feels very familiar, like you've "already seen" that moment. I was typing an email for work, about coordinating between two timekeeping systems, listening to "In the Highways," from the "O Brother, where art thou?" soundtrack, and suddenly it all felt familiar.

I like that feeling; it makes me feel like I have intersected a moment of eternity - like I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right things.

That probably sounds really superstitious, but it was such a nice peacefully familiar feeling that I thought I'd share.

Weight-loss tips from Allie

So at the end of the six-week Biggest Loser competition, she wrote:
I think our scale is broken...because it only works right if I hold onto the desk, stand on one foot and lean hard to the right. Which is really weird, because when the competition started, it only worked right if I stood really still holding a watermelon. So weird.
So how does that translate into being able to fit back into those, ahem, "out-grown" clothes??

Really, Allie.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I met the President! TWO of them!

So remember how I mentioned my first ever professional baseball game? Well, the Nats lost. :(


I met George! And Abe!

Apparently, George was taller than the photographer thought...

And I don't know these people, but I had to get a photo of Abe. Amy, this one's for you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

My car has rich friends.

Yes, those are 2 Porsches, and the third one, the humble little Mercury? That's mine.

Apparently some people in my building make a lot more money than I do.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

But officer, I was trying REALLY HARD to be legal!

Car registration fee: $89

Postage to overnight the "I live out of your state but still want my car registered there because I am only a temporary resident of the state where I now live" paperwork to state of previous residence, including a prepaid overnight envelope so they could overnight the sticker back to me, since I didn't mail this until 2 days after my registration expired: $32.50

Postage to AGAIN overnight the aforementioned paperwork, including ANOTHER prepaid overnight envelope, after the whole stack was returned to me, in my prepaid overnight envelope, with a little note that said, "We don't accept counter checks - your name and address must be printed on the check," even though they had my phone number TWICE in the paperwork and could have CALLED to tell me that: ANOTHER $32.50

Peace of mind that I can FINALLY drive past a cop , or stay in the lane where the cop is right behind me, without worrying that I'm going to get pulled over and have to tell this whole dumb story and rely on the mercy of a total stranger: Priceless

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

Am I missing something here??

So my Alma Mater is interviewing new faculty, and since I'm still on the grad student email list, I'm getting all the emails about the interviewing schedule. And there is a line that says this:

09:00 a.m. –
Room 166 – Presentation and Q&A to faculty/students
(45 min. – Q; 45 min. – A)

So help me out here - 45 minutes of questions, and then 45 minutes of answers?? How EXACTLY is THAT supposed to work??

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I am totally petty enough... move the Pop Tarts that I like to the back of the cupboard in the office kitchen, hopefully hidden well enough that no one else will find them and eat them. Yes, yes I am.

In other news, I'm going to my first ever professional baseball game this weekend! Wahoo!

And hi, internets. I'm back. :)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Happy Monday.

So this...

is me icing my swollen sprained ankle on a bag of frozen corn propped up on a cardboard box under my desk. Yeah, I'm awesome.

And go ahead and laugh [insert fake bitter voice here] but no one was laughing on Saturday when I sprained it during the 4th quarter of my ward basketball game. We, one of the three weakest teams in the league, were only down by FOUR POINTS in our game against one of the three strongest teams in the league, and we SO wanted to win!! We lost by 8 points. :( And yes it was a partial triumph because we did hold them to 32 points, but the other team's low score is only really useful if your score is HIGHER, which ours was not. Ah well.

But my roommate offered to buy me some frozen peas on the way home from work. You know, just for variety. That's the kind of support I need! I mean, my ankles are pretty picky about their veggies.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Life's big questions

With all of the political rhetoric flying across the airwaves and internet, it can be really refreshing every once in a while to get a straight answer to an important question.

Like the one addressed at this site.

Thanks, Josh.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I work for Jane Austen?!?

I mean, I just sent an email to ebennett@[mycompany].com - and WHAT IF SHE ANSWERS???

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Go ahead, zoom in.

So here's a thousand words about what I saw, bought, rode, and LOVED in NYC last weekend. Wahoo!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Does throat spray bounce on ice, like blood does? What if it's RED throat spray?

So my friend C emailed about going to dinner and ice skating with a group tonight. I responded that I woke up with a sore throat but was carrying throat spray around with me all day in hopes that it would get better, and would love to go to dinner even if I didn't ice skate.

To which C responded with:
I like to see you being a trooper and taking one for the "I don't care if I infect everyone" team.
Yup, that's me - I am SUCH a team player.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I had forgotten that I have a mantra.

So thanks for the reminder, Jer. It's a good one. The mantra, that is.

I remember feeling really strongly about that when I worked on campus (is that what makes it a mantra?) (feeling strongly about it, not working on campus), and I remember that those who knew me well could tell when I was really FEELING that mantra. One time, after I spoke, er, strongly on the phone to someone who I felt qualified for the second half of the mantra, one of my coworkers popped his head in from the back room and said, "Remind me never to get you mad at me." And I remember being a little proud, and a little ashamed.

And I've been thinking about that recently, because in my new job as a manager there are moments when I am tempted to speak strongly to people who do dumb things. And yet - I am learning that getting mad and speaking strongly like I have done in the past is not professional. OK, DUH maybe?? I witnessed a situation recently in which I felt that a person in authority at work had every reason to speak strongly, angrily strongly, to someone, and yet - she didn't. She dealt with the situation, everyone knew that she was in charge, but she didn't use anger to take care of it. I was very impressed.

And as I analyze that in light of situations in which I might be tempted to use my "mean and impatient voice," I think my "take away" lesson is that losing self-control, or even pretending to, to make an impression, which is often what I used to do, is not being professional, is not being a true adult. It really is a way to try to manipulate people into doing what you want so that you won't...won't what? What kind of threats are we making when we do that? And what makes us think it's acceptable to treat people like that?

It reminds me of another conversation I had recently with a friend who is a teacher. We were talking about discipline in the classroom, which was always really hard for me. In my mind, it has to do with authority, and with acknowledging and knowing the bounds of your own authority. There were times during that first and only (so far) year as a public school teacher when I wasn't sure how to deal with a given situation because I wasn't sure what I was allowed to do - I didn't know how far my authority went. I figured out some parts of that as a teacher, and now I find that I'm figuring out some of the same sorts of things in this job as a manager - what things are my call, and what things I need to escalate. It's really been an interesting process for me.

AND - same topic - I've been reading these books the last two days that my sis and bro-in-law gave me for Christmas. I've read two in the series so far, and I found that I was getting annoyed at some of the kids in the book because they were NOT going to the adults about what was going on, and so they were getting more and more buried in trouble that was not their fault. I felt like if they had just gone to the adults, and explained, then the adults would have been on their side, the kids wouldn't have gotten in trouble, and things would have gone more smoothly. It was a little bit of a shock to me when I realized that that was what I was feeling - what's with me and authority??

And wow - this is a little more serious than I've been on here lately, or ever, maybe :) , but my (sometimes excessive?) respect for authority is something that I've talked about with friends before, and thought about A LOT, and obviously there have been some things recently that have brought it to mind. And I'd like to get to the bottom of it, but maybe not right now, when it's this late, and I've been spending probably too much time with some good friends today. Yes, I DID leave my house. I walked to the 7-11 behind my apartment to get another gallon of milk so I could eat more Cheerios. So there.

This is one of the things I love about where I live.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thursday afternoon, except that it's Wednesday

It's the simple things that make life fun.

Like the new brown pants I bought at NY & Company last night and that I LOVE.

And the Christmas gift card from my office that I'm going to use to buy sweaters to go with the new brown pants.

And the Lubriderm lotion that is next to the sink in the office kitchen. I love that stuff.

And I just have to say, that if you, like me, are ever in your office after they lock the doors, and you need to use the bathroom, which is outside those doors, and take your keys with you so you won't get locked out, and you have no pockets in your pants, and the thought of laying your keys down on the counter in a public bathroom makes you want to throw up and so you decide to stick them in your bra - you might want to warm them up a little bit first.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I USED to work with foreign languages.

And now I work in a computer field that I know very little about, and sometimes ... it's not that different. Today, for example, one of our engineers sent out a question to a distribution list that I am on, so I saw the question and the responses, one of which ended with this:
Always a bummer to have 4gig DAEs and spindles running at 2gig.
Yeah, I really hate it when that happens.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Living vicariously

It's bad enough when we try to do fun stuff vicariously through roommates, friends, family, coworkers, tv actors, celebs, the garbage man... But it reached a new low yesterday, people.
My curling iron is going to Hawaii for a week.
This is not a joke. Oh wait, it IS a joke - a REALLY BAD one. WAY worse, despite what some of you say, than a pun, which you know I love and consider a very high form of humor.

Uh, I've never been to Hawaii. That's one of those things that I always think, and frequently say, when people mention Hawaii. For example, witness the ACTUAL conversation that took place between me and one of my roommates when I found out a few months ago that the big conference she plans every year is in Hawaii and that she gets to go for a week:

Me: You get to go to HAWAII for work?! That's so cool! I've never been to Hawaii. [sighs deeply]
Her: Well, it's not like I'll get to see that much, I'll be working the whole time.
Me: But you'll be working IN HAWAII! I've never been to Hawaii.
[sighs deeply]
Her: But I won't get to tour, or go to any of the other islands. I'll be in the conference center all day.
Me: But the conference center is IN HAWAII! I've never been to Hawaii.
[sighs deeply]
Her: But I'll be physically chained to my desk, which is not within view of any windows, with rottweilers guarding the doors so that even if I could saw through the chains with the metal file I'll have sewn into the hem of my Hawaiian shirt, I couldn't get outside to see anything.
Me: But the rottweilers are IN HAWAII! I've never been to Hawaii.
[sighs deeply]

You get the idea. And I really would love to go there someday. I mean, other dreams have come true, why not that one??

And all that stuff about "But I'm not really going to get to ENJOY Hawaii, or really SEE too much - I'll be working the whole time, and my boss won't let me stay an extra day or two for fun..." Yeah, blah, blah, BLAH! I know about doing conferences in cool places, people. I mean, I went to Amman, Jordan, a couple of years ago for a conference. And yes, I was in the conference center all day, and yes, I was really busy, and yes, I didn't get to see as much of Amman as I would have if I had been a tourist, but good grief - I was IN JORDAN! And the two or three, or was it four?, nights during those two weeks when I went out on the town, and the one day that they took all the conference staff and attendees to Jerash and the Dead Sea, those were enough of a taste that I definitely claim to have been to Jordan.

So, please, spare me the qualifiers. It's in Hawaii.

And she asked to borrow my curling iron for the week, so it'll be there, too. And it'll see even less cool stuff than she will. I mean, it'll be stuck in the bathroom in her hotel room the whole time! So I just have one request - would you take it with you when you go running on the beach that first night that you get there? Maybe I'll be able to smell the sea and feel the breeze the next time I use it.

I've never been to Hawaii.
[sighs deeply]