28 June 2007
There are no snakes in New Zealand or Ireland. Let's move there.
Tomorrow and Saturday I will be canoeing down the Snake River, named such because of the snakes which haunt it.* Eric has done it a few times, and he assures me that I will be fine because he did it when he was 11. Last year we went on a back-packing trip, and he told me something very similar. "I did this when I was about eight, so you can do it." I guess he was right. I did it. But, I hated it and have vowed never to do it again. Maybe back-packing, not there, and definitely not for such a distance. So, I guess I'm doubting whether or not Eric is right. Can I really do this? Eric says it was the most stressful canoeing he's ever done. Canoeing is not meant to be stressful!
I'm only going because we are going to see my brother, his wife, three sons and brand new daughter (one week today). Really. That's why I'm going. And because Eric wants me to. And I'm a good wife.
Please pray that I do not get eaten by snakes. Or drown. Both would be bad. Snakes would be worse.
*I realize that Snake River is named because of it's curviness, but that does not further my argument, so I altered that fact.
27 June 2007
At this point, I had had braces for about two months. As you can see, the dontist put springs around the wires to push that snaggle-tooth out. Those springs were intense.
And here are my teeth now. Hooray! Beautiful, straight teeth!
Feel free to shower me with compliments.
26 June 2007
1. National Public Radio (NPR). I love NPR. I love listening to it while I walk to and from school. I love listening to it while I work. I love listening while I drive. It's slightly liberal, but I find that far more palatable than being very conservative, which all other news radio is. I love the following shows: The Diane Rehm Show, Radio West with Doug Fabrizio, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me, Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, and All Things Considered.
2. Cuddling. I like feeling cozy, warm, safe, and loved.
3. Relishing literature. I feel like I rarely really relish a book. I'm usually working too hard to get through the book to finish it on time or to find out what happens. I love reading well-written paragraphs over and over and enjoying a talent that I don't have.
4. Cooking. I really like trying new recipes and eating new recipes. I get a great sense of satisfaction out of feeding people. Perhaps cooking is my love language.
5. Getting good mail. You know, not bills, not ads, not boring things from BYU. My dad sends me a lot of real mail (usually a note and a package of coupons about once a week). My grandpa used to send a lot of mail too. Mostly cards. For lots of holidays. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, New Years, etc. I love getting mail that is not lame or boring.
6. Show tunes. I'm really not sure why. I've just always loved them. Usually if I am listening to music, it's my show tunes play list. I think it's because I can sing along so much better than the radio-music that I like. My favorites are Wicked, Beauty and the Beast, The Sound of Music, Les Miserables, and Aida.
So, what are your favorites? (Please note that you don't have to put anything about your favorites on your blog if you don't want to. This isn't one of those tag-blogs. Maybe it was, but it's not anymore.)
22 June 2007
I made oatmeal cookies with coconut and raisins last Saturday. For bribery purposes, really. We had told our Primary class that we would bring them treats long ago, and I finally got around to it last week.
And man, did I ever enjoy those cookies. I enjoyed them so much that I decided to make some more, this time without raisins, per Eric’s request. I didn’t have any reason for making about three dozen cookies except that I like cookies, and I wanted some more sugary-oatmeal goodness.
I think the reason I like oatmeal cookies so much is that the remind me of my grandpa, Captain Jack. He was not a captain, nor was he named Jack, but that is what he liked to us to call him if we weren’t calling him grandpa. (Actually, the nickname came along when my older siblings were small and needed help distinguishing between my grandpa and his father. So, his dad was “grandpa” and he was Captain Jack. The name stuck.)
When I was little we went to my grandparent’s house every week. My grandma died the day I turned five, so after that it was just my grandpa’s house. My grandparents weren’t necessarily the type of grandparents that you think of- baking cookies, giving horse rides, dressing up as Santa Clause. As little children we were expected to sit on the hearth. We were also allowed to go to the back room and color, but the house belonged to Grandma and Grandpa, and we needed to stay out of the way and let the adults visit.
With that said, my grandparents were not entirely unlikeable people. In fact, I really liked both of them. I especially liked my grandpa as I got older and he found things he could talk to me about. But even when I was little and didn’t have anything good (read: adult, boring) to talk about with Grandpa, I still liked him. I think it was because he piled on the sugar.
We always left grandpa’s with bags of candy. Good candy. Always in the “fun” size, (which we know is small, and therefore not as fun as the name would indicate). Snickers, Hershey’s whatnots, Jelly Belly jelly beans, and other such cavity-making treats.
Plus, Grandpa almost always gave us ice cream sundaes. He would brush his hands quickly together, point to my brother to go get things started in the kitchen, and then point to me to get the TV trays. As he did so, he called us by our nicknames, Irving and Trixie. (Don’t ask me why those were our nicknames. I have no idea.) I would dutifully get the trays, and Steven would help make the sundaes.
These were no ordinary sundaes. Grandpa always had deluxe ice cream. He topped the ice cream with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, caramel syrup, and he put cookies on the side. Which brings me to my point. Usually he included oatmeal cookies. They were just some good-quality store-bought oatmeal cookies.
Some grandparents give homemade cookies, or malts or berry-shakes. My grandpa gave us sundaes with yummy store-bought cookies. And one day when I’m a grandma, there will be too many sundaes to count. But I’ll probably serve them with homemade cookies.
20 June 2007
And so I pursued my internship at World Vital Records. I chose it because my bishop is the CEO. Because it's an Internet-based genealogical company. Because a girl in a few of my classes works there, and she said I should try to do my internship there. Because it's in Provo, and I can ride my bike there.
I have one more hurdle to jump (the writing of the 8-week internship plan), and then the internship is mine, all mine.
I am so excited to learn and have fun and not commute to Salt Lake City every day. And not wear pantyhose when it's 4 billion degrees outside.
19 June 2007
I'm so excited to be finished. Now I just have to figure out what to do in all the spare time I'll have.
18 June 2007
Recently he went to EFY. Before going to EFY I'm pretty sure he never even uttered the word "girl." When I first saw him after he got back I said something along the lines of "So, did you meet lots of cute girls that you can take on dates?". To which he proudly responded, "Yes. Lots of them." I was shocked- not that he liked girls, but that he admitted he liked girls. This was something that has never before happened!
A few days later I was at the in-laws' house, and I needed to use the computer. Upon the keyboard I found a list of email addresses of all the kids in his EFY group. He came upstairs and asked me what I was doing. I told him "I just emailed all the girls on this list. I said you thought they were hot and want to go on dates with them. You shouldn't leave your in-box open like that." To which he responded, "Well, I already did that, so you didn't need to." Ha! He hadn't actually done it, but that he took my teasing in stride greatly amused me.
It's been fun watching that kid grow up. I look forward to continuing.
12 June 2007
In college, I rarely needed Belle anymore. Since I used my credit and debit cards for all of my purchases and rarely even had cash on hand, Belle filled very slowly. I rarely took the time to empty her and count her contents. When I needed quarters to do laundry, I would reluctantly turn to her for help, and because she is so faithful, she would always help me.
Then I married Eric. He uses cash more than I do, and I informed him that he needed to deposit coins into Belle at the end of each day; he obeyed. Soon I found that Belle was rapidly gaining weight, but because I didn't have the need to empty her, I continued to allow her to fill. Sometimes, out of boredom, we would empty Belle and count the change we had accumulated.
Last night I decided it was time to roll some coins and deposit them in a more secure bank, one which is FDIC insured. We emptied Belle, sorted coins and began rolling. Sadly, we had too many nickel and dime rolls and not enough quarter and penny rolls. Nonetheless, I took $59.50 to the bank today. It had been nearly four years since I had thoroughly utilized Belle's resources. We probably would have had about $25 more if we had adequate rolls. We could get more rolls, but I think we'll wait for another big cash-in.
But, actually, this post is not about my recent need for spending all my husband's hard-earned money. It's about babies.
I have a strange fascination/obsession with pregnancy and labor. I always have. When I was a teenager I loved wasting my summer days watching TLC's A Baby Story. In my college years I've spent a fair amount of time researching the history of birth control and midwives. Pretty much any time I'm waiting for my prescription at the pharmacy or waiting to be seen by my orthodontist (usually the wait there is approximately .00001 milliseconds long) I select the magazine about babies. You know, the one that always has a baby on the cover and is full of articles about how to get, care for and raise a baby. I am fascinated with the idea that all of us lived inside our mothers, and then one day we came out of our mothers! Not only that, but one day there will be a person living inside of me! It's just mind-boggling and amazing.
With all that said, I'm not going to have a baby any time soon (at least not within the next 40 weeks, to my knowledge). I really just said all that to be a disclaimer for the forthcoming story and for all forthcoming blogs in which I may happen to mention babies. It is highly unlikely that I will announce anything exciting (such as a pregnancy) via my blog. If you are a near and dear one to me, you will receive some sort of personal notice should such a thing need to be announced. Okay, this disclaimer is finished.
My fascination as of late is in vitro fertilization. It is an incredible process. Not only can it help people who have fertility issues, it can also help people who carry terrible genetic diseases. This weekend I met a couple (actually, I met them once before at another such gathering) who used in vitro fertilization because of a genetic defect. The husband is a carrier of a genetic defect. He has three brothers, and two of them are carriers as well. One of those brothers passed the defect onto his son who lived to the age of 4.
Usually people who have the defect do not live long enough to be born or live only a short while after being born. This man's mother had numerous miscarriages. The man's father (who passed the gene to his children) was an only child because his mother also had numerous miscarriages.
The couple I met have never tried to become pregnant naturally. Instead they used the money inherited from the maternal grandmother (who specified in her will that the money was to be used specifically for in vitro fertilization) to undergo in vitro. Of the embryos created doctors were able to determine which did not have the defect and planted two into the mother. Both embryos took and the couple was blessed with two, healthy girls two months ago. Recent tests have shown that the girls are not even carriers of the defect.
Modern medicine really is a miraculous thing.
09 June 2007
We actually only went to one store, and it wasn't that great, but I did get two new shirts, and so my appetite has been momentarily satisfied. We also went to Bath and Body works which is having a big sale. It's really great timing seeing as how I just finished off some shower gels that Eric got me for Christmas 2005. I find it amusing how quickly money goes when there is a sale.
On the up-side, Eric was working while we shopped. (He takes care of mentally handi-capped guys in a group home, and we took one of them with us because he was in need of some new clothes as well). In the end, we made more money in this shopping trip than we spent. (By we, clearly I mean Eric).
05 June 2007
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Wow. Wow. Wow. I loved it in every way imaginable. I loved Jane. I loved the people she loved and disliked the people she disliked. I loved the story. I loved the writing. I loved the voice of the person that read the book.
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Wow. Wow. Wow, for entirely different reasons. I did not love it in every way imaginable. I did not love the characters. I did not love the story. I did like the writing itself, especially the part where three conversations were going on at once. I did not love the voice of the person reading the book. The whole story was bizarre and creepy, and far too sexually charged. It happened to be the only book I took with me to work last Thursday or else I would have stopped listening to it after the first CD. I've only read some of 1984, but I found it much more palatable than this book.
Next up is Anna Karenina, which I should be able to start and finish this week. Then I'll listen to 1984. I'm almost done with my last. class. ever. That means I won't have to feel guilty when I actually read books for fun at home.
Immigration has been on my mind a lot for the last three years, more so in the last year when it suddenly became a hot-button topic, and all of America began talking about it virtually overnight. I intended to blog about it then, but just didn't get around to it. And now I'm going to.
Our nation has been built by immigrants. All of us (unless you are a Native American, and you probably aren't) are Americans because our ancestors immigrated here. Some of those were fortunate enough to get here before America ridiculous laws on immigration. Laws on immigration, when looked at from a historical viewpoint, have always been for the purpose of preventing different people from coming in. Laws were placed on Chinese immigrants early on. Later there were laws which limited the amount of people that could come from each country. Those people from countries similar to America were allowed to immigrate in far greater numbers.
Regarding today's immigration issues- A lot of people dislike, even hate, immigrants. Some people say they only dislike the illegal ones, but I think, on the whole, people are scared that American culture (which is, let's face it, really just T.V. and movies) is being infiltrated by another culture. There are all sorts of ridiculous arguments about how bad immigrants are. I read one on this site, and I found the rebuttal far better than the argument itself.
Our country needs immigrants. We need a lot of immigrants. They really will do the work that nobody else is willing to do. They are not taking jobs away from Americans. In fact, the five states with the highest levels of illegal immigrants (California, New York, Texas, Arizona and Illinois) all have very low levels of unemployment, and unemployment is only measured based on U.S. citizens. Illegal immigrants help our economy because they will work for cheap. If the labor is cheap, the prices are, in turn, cheap. Produce prices are expected to be higher than usual this year because there simply aren't enough illegal immigrants to harvest the crops, and Americans won't take the jobs.
Illegal immigrants put into the system more than they take out. Because illegal immigrants are illegal, they do not file their taxes, and all of their income tax goes into the government and never comes back. That means (at least for the ones who use stolen Social Security numbers rather than the immigrants working under the table) that the money they pay in income taxes isn't coming out. They aren't mooching off American health care and American schools. They are paying their share, and they're not going to receive Social Security payments for the work they do.
Immigrants do not come here because they want to expand their countries. They come here because the opportunities in their countries can only be seized through corruption or with great luck. I have known people from my home town who were very educated in their home countries (lawyers, teachers, accountants) but who came to the States to work as janitors because they are paid better as janitors than as professionals in their home countries.
These people would love to come here legally, but America's system is so convoluted that it's impossible for them to do so. The lines are ridiculously long. The number of immigrants America is willing to allow in is so impossibly small that people who want to come to the States have no choice but to sneak in.
I believe there are two types of immigrants, and this theory comes from and illegal immigrant that I was well acquainted with. The first type is the one who wants to live better. He brings his family here because they can own a house with a washing machine and a dryer, maybe have a car, and they will always have clean water, if nothing else. The second type comes because he wants to be better. He does everything in his power to improve his situation in his own country but finally comes to the States. When he gets to the States, he abides by all the laws (at least the ones that won't send him back to his dead-end life in his home country), he learns English (yes, he learns the language that will most readily help him move up in society), he saves his money and hopes his children will be able to attend college. He would rather be a professional, but for now he is content taking a low-end job, because that's what it takes to move up in this new society. There really is a difference in the ways people behave when they get here. Those who want to live better sometimes make those who want to be better look bad.
Too many people think that immigrants are here to mooch. They are here because their countries did not provided the opportunities we are blessed with in America. Americans are not worse off because immigrants are here. Certainly, there are cultural differences, but that is why America is known as the "great melting pot."
Regarding the learning of English- Immigrants just need to do it. It would be completely impossible for governments to put signs and forms in all the languages that immigrants speak. It would be ridiculous, and it certainly wouldn't help immigrants advance in society. It would only hold them back. In some ways, being an immigrant is a blessing because it (ideally) forces people to become bilingual, making them far more marketable than those of us who only speak one language.
So, what should the government do about illegal immigration? I'm not entirely sure. Of course, our borders need to be secure, but a giant fence isn't going to do that. Just ask France; they tried it after World War I. We certainly can't send everyone back. How on earth would we find all those people? And besides, there are a number of "illegal immigrants" who have been here since they were babies. Nobody should expect them to return to a country they are unfamiliar with because their parents brought them here illegally.
To decrease illegal immigration, we need to make legal immigration easier. People should be able to come over and work. More families should be given the opportunities to come so their children can receive adequate educations. The answer is in greater numbers of legal immigrants. I think some aspects of the new bill are great. Immigrants need to learn English. Immigrants need to have jobs. Immigrant children need to attend school. Immigrants need to obey the laws. If they can do these things, they'll be doing better than a lot of American citizens.
My roommate and I once: sang "Jesse's Girl" at the tops of our lungs after buying "sandwiches" at the mall.
Never in my life have I: had a pedicure.
High school was: barely tolerable.
When I'm nervous: I shake.
My hair: is great because I can curl it one day, and it will naturally stay in place for about two more days.
When I was 5: my grandma died on my birthday.
When I turn my head left: I see a white board.
I should be: working or writing a paper.
By this time next year: I might be in New Zealand!
My favorite aunt is: the only one I actually know.
I have a hard time understanding: people who print photographs from the computer. I'd rather spend a few more cents and take my jump drive to Macey's.
You know I like you if: I tell you so.
My ideal breakfast is: Waffles with whipped cream, stawberries and chocolate syrup. Sometimes I do actually miss the dorms.
If you visit my home town: you should eat lots and lots of Tex-Mex. And maybe go to a professional sporting event- Rangers, Maverics, Stars, Cowboys. You pick.
If you spend the night at my house: you will have to sleep on the couch. I apologize.
My favorite blonde is: NOT fake-white blonde. That's just gross. Really, that's to all of you who die your hair platinum blonde. You're not fooling anybody. And if you're not trying to fool anyone, why not try just to look nice and not ugly?
My favorite brunette is: mine. Golden brown. With God-made highlights. :)
I shouldn't have been: so frustrated that I couldn't play X-Box well.
Last night I: watched Batman Begins with Eric and John.
A better name for me would be: My name is perfect for me. :)
I've been told I look like: the girl from that movie that came out in high school where a boy makes a nerdy girl the prom queen.
If I could have any car, it would be: a Hybrid Toyota or Honda.
04 June 2007
Whenever I live in a new apartment or house, I always make mental notes about what I like and do not like about the kitchens. When we are looking for new apartments, the size of the kitchen is of great importance to me and thus of great importance to Eric. Janssen's recent post about dishwashers and my recent living in a million places at one time have prompted this post. I couldn't sleep last night because I was thinking of all the things that make a good kitchen. And here are the requirements, in no particular order, for my dream kitchen:
- Dishwasher. Janssen really said it best. First of all, no washing or drying by hand. Second, huge time-saver. Third, sanitation. Fourth, no clutter on the counters when you don't have time to wash dishes or when you're waiting for dishes to dry. (Speaking of which, I was telling somebody about Janssen's post and how I'd never thought of the clutter aspect, and the somebody told me she once hid her dirty dishes in the oven when her mother-in-law was coming over and she didn't have time to get them washed!)
- Garbage disposal. A heavy-duty one. I want to be able to send down lemon rinds and potato peels. Mostly because it's so much easier on your back to peel into the sink than it is to peel into the garbage can.
- Side-by-side fridge with water spigot thing. Water from those things just tastes better. And I won't need a great deal of freezer space because I will have a
- Deep-Freezer. Let's face it, if you want to save money, you need a deep-freezer. You can stock up on things when they go on sale, like when Macey's sells chicken breasts for $.99/lb, but only when you buy 20lbs. A great buy, and you need a deep freezer to capitalize on it.
- Island. They create SO much more counter-space, not to mention cabinet space.
- Regular counter tops. Not granite. Some people like granite counter tops because you can use them as cutting boards. GROSS! I would never feel like I could get those counters as clean as a dishwasher could get my cutting boards.
- Wood cabinets. I know it can be very fashionable to have colored cabinets, and I often can appreciate them, but with colored cabinets you have to be wary of trends. What if the color you choose (avocado green, for example) is suddenly not as pretty as you once thought it was? Cabinets are more expensive to replace than other things, and to have to re-do your whole kitchen just because you picked a lousy color would stink. Wood is just more enduring.
- Gas stove/oven. More even cooking. You ALWAYS know when a burner is on, so you are less likely to melt things like cutting boards (2), cheese graters (1), spatulas (1), oven mitts (at least 3). I hate electric stoves, but I especially hate the flat ones. They are really hard to clean. Convection ovens are generally unnecessary because you always have to worry about the conversion times.
- Trashcan with a lid and a foot-pedal because touching the trash can is gross.
- Deep, steel sink. I just prefer this kind. I don't need the room under my sink for the trash because I don't like trash to go under the sink. If the smell of the trash is bothersome, it needs to be taken out more frequently, not hidden.
- Dishes. Lots of styles of dishes. I am tempted to buy a new set of dishes almost every time I go to Ross because they usually have all sorts of fun sets for really good prices. I like the idea of rotating sets of dishes when I get bored. My dishes now are plain white, which is great because they go with everything, and I know they'll never become dated. But, when I have more space and more money, I intend to own several sets of dishes. It will be fun and festive!
- Tablecloths. Like dishes, they really jazz things up. Again, a reason I like my dishes is because I can set them with any color of table cloth. Of course, I only have the green one (which I quite like) that Brian and Brianne gave us for our wedding. But one day I'll have more, and I'll use them frequently, even if I do have to put a plastic one on top to prevent having to wash a tablecloth every day.
I think that covers everything. One day, when I have my dream kitchen, I will invite you over for dinner.
01 June 2007
You see, as it turns out, the Pill has been around for about 40 years, but most prescription plans did not cover the pill until just a few years ago. Why is that? Because health care companies (and the world in general) are run by men. Men felt that contraception should not be covered. Which, frankly, does not make sense since the Pill is substantially cheaper than the medical costs of having a baby, or a dozen babies for that matter. But, I digress. Men didn't feel it necessary to cover the cost of contraception because it was (is) women who deal with the consequences, not the men.
So, why the sudden change? Viagra. That's right, the first drug to treat erectile dysfunction (commonly known ad ED, in case you haven't heard enough television commercials) opened up prescription drug coverage for contraceptives. How? Well, it shouldn't be surprising that the men who run health care companies decided that Viagra was worth covering under most health care plans, and they basically got forced into covering birth control as well.
Thank you for letting me rant.