30 August 2007

Google My Name

Have you ever Googled your name? Are you the result? Because I am. When I Google my name, the top result is me. The real me; not just somebody by my same name.

There are 72 relevant hits when I search my first and last name in quotation marks. I have to use quotation marks because my last name is a first name, and if don't use quotation marks, there are about a billion hits, and most of them just happen to have my first name and my last name (as somebody's first name) somewhere in them.

While I was looking through the hits, identifying the ones that are me and the ones that are not me, I found a few pages I didn't even know existed. I remembered that I had spoken to a reporter about Dick Cheney's visit to BYU. I remembered some work I had done with Freshman Academy. The other hits were for my WVR piece that I blogged about on Monday.

You may not know it, but Google is FANTASTIC for genealogy. Google "newton van dalsem." He's my great-grandpa. Yeah, the one with the matches. Google "sherman danby." The hits there are for my great-grandpa and his son (my grandfather). Yeah, those are really him. Google "stephen sexton chicago pioneer." He's my fourth-great-grandpa, and you can get his biographical sketch as simply as that. Google any ancestor you've got with a unique name. If he's out there, and somebody has transcribed a biographical sketch about him, written about something he's done, or anything of the sort, you'll find him. You might have to dig through irrelevant data, but you'll find him. Also, you'll probably want to put the names in quotes. And if you know the middle name, try it with and without the middle name.

So, what happens when you Google your name? Is it the real you?

28 August 2007

World Vital Records

Here's something I wrote for work. Enjoy!

27 August 2007


Spouse and I went to Lagoon (an amusement park near Salt Lake City) on Friday with my brother and his family. I love roller coasters. I always have. When I was about 5 my family went to Six Flags Over Texas, and I loved it. I rode everything I was tall enough to ride. I was devastated that I was too short to ride the Texas Giant and would have to wait until the next time. My favorite ride was the Shockwave, a metal coaster with two loops. I also loved the Cliffhanger, a ride that makes you fall really fast.

And that is why I've never understood people who don't like roller coasters. Because I've always loved them. I've understood when people get sick on them because that really can't be helped. But I never understood when people were too afraid to ride them. I mean, you're strapped in. You probably won't fall out. And despite the terrible event that happened in Kentucky recently, it is very unlikely that a cable will snap and you will lose a leg on the ride.

When we got to the park, Eric informed me that he doesn't really like roller coasters. WHAT? It made me wonder why he had come. Nonetheless, he had a good time, and he even rode a couple of rides that he didn't really want to ride.

Two of my nephews (the two old enough to actually ride rides) were kind of chickeny kids. And it bothered their parents. Especially the nine-year-old who was perfectly content to ride some rides three years ago that he wouldn't ride this year. Even though they were bothered that their kids wouldn't ride the cool stuff, I thought they handled it really nicely. They never forced a screaming kid to ride a ride he didn't want to (which we saw happen). Then again, their kids were content just to quietly say they would pass on that one. Instead, they told the kids if they didn't want to ride, they didn't have to, but they would have to wait in line just the same. I liked that policy.

When Eric and I have kids who are too chicken to ride the good rides, they'll still have to wait in line with us. Then again, I guess Eric will tend the chicken kids and ride the chicken rides while I do the fun stuff with the non-scared children. Because, after all, if the kids are scared of coasters they will have inherited that trait from him, not me.

22 August 2007

Here's to you, Library Girl

I'll admit it. Sometimes I am very bad about turning in library books. I just forget when they're due. Or I'm not done with them, and so I keep them.

This happened during Summer term. I kept three books six days late, and one book ten days late bringing my fine total to $28. Usually when I had turned in books late to the HBLL I was not fined, but I was fined this time because somebody was waiting for the books.

Last week, I figured I may as well get the fine paid so I wouldn't have to wait for my diploma. I walked up to the the nice girl at the circulation desk and told her that I had a pretty hearty fine, and I wanted to pay it so I could get my diploma. She looked me up and then asked me if I knew the fine policy. I told her that I guessed the fine policy was something like, "If you turn in books late you have to pay a fine. Although, I've never actually had to pay a fine before. I guess I was fined this time because somebody had the books on hold." She said that my assumption was correct. And then, the nice girl won my heart when she said, "Since you've never had a fine before and you're about to graduate, I'll go ahead and clear the fine. Just make sure you turn in your books on time in the future."

Anything you say, Library Girl.

21 August 2007


It's been far too long since I've given a really substantial post. So here it goes, in bullet-form:
  • I graduated. Officially. I am no longer a student at BYU.
  • I am no longer an intern. Instead, I'm a full-time, salaried employee of World Vital Records. And I have benefits. But mostly, I have a real job! I real, bonafide job. Did I mention the stock options? Those come in a year.
  • My brother-in-law, sister-in-law and their two kids (ages: 3 years and 7 months) came into town for three weeks. Yes, THREE weeks. You are probably wondering what cute things the kids did. Well, first of all, the baby never spit up on me. This is a big deal because that baby spits up more frequently than I check my email. And yet, she never managed to get her spit-up on me. She gets a gold star. The three-year-old boy, Caleb, is the most talky three-year-old boy I've ever met. (Yes, John, he tops Dave in talkiness!) Here are a few funny Caleb stories:
    • Caleb could never remember my name. I would say, "Caleb, what's my name?" And we would reply, "What's your name?" If you said, "Who is Sherry?" he could usually point me out, but not always.
    • One day on the way to the pool, he told EVERY stranger he saw, "We're goin' swimmin'! It's gonna be FUN!"
    • Whenever we returned to the house where he was staying, he would exclaim, "You came back!" Likewise, when he would return to the house, he would proclaim, "Look everybody, I came back!" One time, Eric and I "came back," and I wanted to get Caleb's attention. After repeating his name a few times, he finally noticed me, and I said, "Caleb! You're still here!" He then said, "You came back!" Then he ran to Eric and said, "Ewic, you came back! And your girl is here too! Your friend came with you!"
    • One day he wanted a "brown pocksickle" which was actually a Nestle Crunch ice cream bar. His repeated requests finally morphed into "I need a brown pocksickle, okay?" Clearly reflecting his parents' use of the term "okay" to soften the blow when they break bad news to him like, "Caleb, it's bedtime in five minutes, okay?"
  • We had the family reunion in Park City. It was mucho-lots-o-fun. (Except for the non-diplomatic game of Diplomacy which consumed approximately 40% of my husband's time and 99% of his thoughts.) We played lots of games, slept in, stayed up late, went swimming, smashed a pinata, went down the Alpine Slide and ate lots of good food. It was a fun time, as always.
  • Math and Michelle moved. Now we have no married friends left. We need to get some so they can be sad when we move away.
  • After the reunion we went to the outlet malls in Park City. I bought three polos (each for $6 or $7) from Old Navy; an Argyle sweater from Van Heusen; and a lavender, long-sleeved button-up shirt plus a FANTASTIC button-up, 100% cotton black dress with white polka-dots. Truly, it was a fantastic find and a fantastic purchase. The only bad part was when I found a great sweater to wear over the lavender button-up, and Eric said, "I'll give you $23 NOT to buy that sweater." ($23 was the price of the sweater). That's what Eric says when he doesn't want me to buy something.
  • Today I got a package in the mail from my dad. Those are always fun. He always includes coupons and other things like jokes, anecdotes, memories or genealogy knowledge (especially since I've been working on his mom's side). Plus, he included at least 10 comments to my blogs. Which thoroughly and utterly amused me- not just because they were comments to my blog posts, but because they were hand-written and snail-mailed to me. Very dad-like. :)
  • Also, we're moving this week. Into Eric's parents' house.
The end.

13 August 2007

No more homework, No more books!

I'm finished with school. And life is great.

I remember thinking during the Winter 2007 semester, "Oh man, I can't wait to be finished with school. Once I'm done my life will be so much better- so much less stressful. Wait, self, don't get so excited. What if being done with school isn't as great as you think it will be? Don't get your hopes up."

But, do you know what? It IS as great as I thought it would be. I love coming home and not doing homework. I love not having lingering thoughts of "You should be studying," anytime I'm doing something fun. I love that I don't have to take any tests. I love reading what I want to read. And, I'll admit it, I love sitting around doing absolutely nothing on occasion.

I've felt like I've been done since I only took one class in the Spring (the one where I said that my paper wasn't good, but it was good enough- and I actually got an A in that class). And I only took one class in the Summer- my internship class- the one where I never had to go to class, take any tests or do anything remotely academic except for submit a one-page, double-spaced paper at the end explaining what I did and what I learned.

It's great to be done. I'm excited to readreadread, get going on genealogy for fun, brush up on my Spanish with some Spanish language software, go on more walks and hikes, and... anything that isn't school.

08 August 2007

I'll Take the Stairs

Eric and I pay reduced rent to cook dinner for our landlady, Louise, every night. We also take care of a few household chores and yard work. When a day comes when we do not have to cook dinner, we relish it. Tonight through Saturday we don't have to cook dinner for Louise, so we've decided to go out to eat a few times.

Tonight Eric came to pick me up from work at 5 so we could go get some Cafe Rio. He arrived in the parking lot, and I suggested that he come up so he could carry some boxes to our car. (The boxes are for the upcoming move). A few minutes later, he still had not arrived, and I was beginning to wonder what was taking him so long.

Then the president, David, said "It looks like the elevator is broken, so you'll need to take the stairs."

Oh dear. My immediate thought was that Eric must be stuck inside the elevator. Then, "No, that can't be. Probably he is just staring blankly at the closed elevator doors wondering why the elevator isn't coming to get him."

And then I called him.

He is currently stuck in the elevator.

05 August 2007

Vote Out One of Eric's Ugly Ties Each Summer Program

It's a fact. Wives should be in charge of husbands' wardrobes. That's just the way it is. I've been giving Eric guidance (sometimes involving scowling) for the last two years. I am gradually weening him from his teenager-clothes and am working on helping him learn what clothes are good for him and what clothes are not so good for him. On occasion, I rummage through Eric's clothes and choose about five shirts and say the following, "You never wear these shirts AND they're ugly. Therefore you may keep three of them." It helps to clear out the closet of stuff that he never wears and of stuff that is too ugly to wear. He is generally pretty willing to go along with this and sometimes even does the same for me. It's good to know which of my clothes he doesn't like so much. And it's always good to be reminded of old clothes you haven't worn in a while.

As it turns out, some husbands are not so obedient. They need to be taught. Their wives only want the best for them. When my husband meets strangers, I want them to say, "Wow. He's a sharp dresser." (Plus, if they're thinking about how good Eric looks, it can only reflect positively on me!)

Before I continue, let me say that Eric is, in general, a rather nice dresser. He usually makes it a point not to look sloppy or wrinkled. You'll never catch him wearing white socks with his dress clothes or a baseball cap at a sit-down restaurant. He just has a couple of areas that need help, the main one being ties. For some reason, he just can't let go of a few of these.

Which is why I've started the new Vote Out One of Eric's Ugly Ties Each Summer Program. Each summer, I will post pictures of all of Eric's ugly ties. You, the readers, get to vote on the worst tie via comments. (This is an excellent time to comment if you have not yet!) You may only vote for one tie. You may tell all your friends about this program and refer them to my blog. If your friends don't feel like adding comments, you can add a comment for them that says "Here are the votes for everybody in my office, my extended family and all of my Facebook friends," and then proceed to give the counts. When the tie is selected, Eric and I will donate the tie to a local thrift store, and we will buy him a new, nice tie to replace the ugly tie. Here are this year's candidates:

As you can see, there are six ties in this year's program. Voting will end in two weeks (Tuesday, 21 August) at midnight. All comments must be submitted by that time. Let the voting begin!

02 August 2007

Genealogy, I am doing it!

My brother-in-law, Nathan, recently asked me "Is blogging family history?" Definitely. One of the things I like best about blogging is that I actually do it. And, when I do blog, my personality shows more than when I hand-write in my journal. I doubt I ever would have written in my journal about my grandpa's oatmeal cookies, the absurdity of health insurance companies refusing coverage of birth control until the development of Viagra, or even my reading of Harry Potter.

Any time I blog, I know that it's open for the wide world to read. Likewise, when I write in my journal or write letters to people, I try to keep in mind that posterity will read it. Hopefully, I'm not sugar-coating my life. At the same time, though, I think that there are certain aspects of our lives that we want our posterity to know. Likewise, I try to leave out things that other people wouldn't want their posterity to know.

Obviously, I'm a genealogist. When I think about what's going on now with genealogy, I can only imagine what it will be like when my ancestors are researching me. Surely somebody will have digitized my hand-written journals and letters and made them accessible and fully searchable. That means that if I've mentioned you in my journal (and I probably have, with first and last names) your posterity can find out about you through me!

Blogging, for me, began as a way to keep my friends updated about my life. Gradually, it has become a way for me to write for fun. I wrote quite a lot in high school. During my first three years of high school, my English teacher required us to write at least one editorial and one poem every six weeks. She would then send those off to various publications so we could be published. Plus, I was on the newspaper staff for my last three years of writing. I did a lot of writing! I loved to write about my thoughts and opinions, and I really missed that when I got to college, and blogging has gradually become my creative-writing outlet.

Fortunately, blogging satisfies my creative-writing needs as well as keeping me in touch with people I care about now and people who will be interested in me in the future.