29 January 2009

Real Mail!

Guess what I got today! A package. If you read my blog much, you know how much I love getting real mail! I happened to win a blog giveaway a couple of weeks ago over at Jenny's blog, and my package came today! Huzzah!

I am so excited to keep journaling (I have recently gotten back in the habit, although I'm still not as diligent as I once was), writing some letters to people, and reading new books! In fact, I'm going to visit my brother tomorrow, and I am uber-excited to read That Yucky Love Thing to my four-year-old nephew!

28 January 2009

Maybe You Just Had To Be There

Do you remember exactly when you learned that some stories are only funny to the people who were there when it happened? Because I do.

I was playing baseball with my older brothers (John and Steven) in our front yard at the old house, where we lived until I was 6. Something happened which made me fall down and land on a little plastic cow figurine that belonged to part of some farm toy set. It happened to cause me significant amounts of pain, and I yelped. John then said, "Calm down Sherry! Don't have a cow!"

As a four-year-old kid, this was pretty much the funniest and cleverist thing that had ever happened to me in real life. I remember telling several people about this absolutely hilarious anecdote, but most of them didn't find it nearly as funny as I did.

And that's when I learned that for some things, you just had to be there.

25 January 2009


I feel like I've done this before. But here I go again:

4 Things I'm Passionate About:

  • Good spelling and punctuation
  • Cooking
  • Genealogy
  • Books
4 Words or Phrases I Use Often:
  • "And then I died."
  • "Why do you hate me?"
  • "When I get a job we can buy ..."
  • "Don't be such a teenager."
4 Things I Want to Do Before I Die:
  • Go skydiving.
  • Go on a mission with Spouse.
  • Meet a Prophet.
  • Go for a hot air balloon ride.
4 Things I Have Learned From the Past:
  • Practical jokes are usually not that funny.
  • Speaking in haste is usually not a great idea.
  • You can pick and choose which Uni assignments to complete, which to do half-way, and which to ignore altogether.
  • Not everyone is as interested in politics as I am. And most of those people are wrong, anyway.
4 Places I Want to See or Visit:
  • Italy (to see The David, the Sistine Chapel and the Pieta)
  • France
  • England (especially London and out and about to do some family history)
  • Chicago (mostly for family history purposes)
4 Favorite Restaurants:
  • Cafe Rio
  • J-Dawg's
  • Mimi's Cafe
  • Chef's Table
4 Things that Happened Yesterday:
  • I woke up at noon.
  • I went to the library.
  • I watched the second disc of the HBO mini-series John Adams. It's awesome. I highly recommend it.
  • I went to a Chinese New Year party. Bring on the ox!

23 January 2009

I would love to use my memory for something more useful, but alas...

I had a chat with my friend Jenn today, in response to her comment on a recent post. It went like this.

: also, would you like me to tell you my entire high school schedule from freshman through senior years?
because i can.
Jennifer: haha
no thanks
i would be interested in reading a blog post about it, though...maybe including the good and the bad of each class
and let me know which ones i was in, too. thanks
The thing is, I can remember lots of things from the past, especially things from high school, which is actually unfortunate since I hated high school so very, very much.

And so for Jenn:

Freshman Year:
1- Technology class with the druggies. MASSIVE waste of time.
2- World History with possibly the dumbest honors teacher I had my entire high school career.
3- GT English with the best teacher ever, DeBord (later called DeGunn)
4- Geometry with a very good math teacher who was sometimes boring
5- Biology with Coach Haney. Jenn was in this class with me. Coach Haney hated me. He was also not a very good teacher, but he wasn't terrible either.
6. Spanish
7. Color Guard first semester, band (percussion) second semester. I rather disliked the percussion director and was pleased when he didn't return

Sophomore Year:
1- Newspaper with DeGunn. Awesome.
2- Spanish- I remember getting better grades than some of the native speakers. Yes, I'm awesome. Also, I can spell. There was a set of twins in my class. I could never keep them straight.
3- GT English with DeGunn
4- Algebra II with the same teacher as the year before
5- World History with Coach Anderson. Coach Anderson hated me. This was the class with the kid who took me on a date as BET. Still not over that. (Hello nearly ten-year grudge).
6- Chemistry. Jenn was in this one with me. It was my favorites science that I took in high school, but I wouldn't have touched the college-level class with a ten-foot pole.
7- Color Guard first semester, band the second

Junior Year
1- Spanish first semester, Econ the second- When I had the first period class one of the twins was in that class. Then, second semester when I had Spanish last, the other twin was in that class. I also worked with one of them that year. I still don't know which one. Econ was, hands down, the best "regular class" I took in high school.
2- U.S. History- With Jenn. We spent many a day talking about our BYU applications.
3- GT English with DeGunn
4- Speech (as in giving speeches) first semester, Business Law second semester. I survived these classes only because of my friend, Fermin. He was (and still is) awesome.
5- Newspaper with DeGunn
6- Pre-Calculus- This was an interesting class because even though I had it with my "regular" group of friends, I hardly worked with them. Usually I worked with three boys of different races, and we exchanged racial slurs as we worked through problems together. It was a good time. My favorite was to ask Phong if he ate dog for dinner the night before.
7- Color Guard first semester, Spanish the second

Senior Year
We went to block schedule that year.
1a- Spanish
2a- English (far easier than my previous three years with DeGunn, but the teacher was also far inferior). Jenn was with me in this one.
3a- Physics- I never would have survived this class without my friend, James. Unfortunately, he skipped school a lot that year.
4a- AP Bio. What a joke! We had piggy-back ride races and played "the color game." Jenn was with me in this one.
1b- Teacher's Aide for DeGunn first semester, Health with freshman second semester. I usually found a way to leave class and go back to DeGunn's room to work on something.
2b- Newspaper with DeGunn. Jenn had yearbook at the same time. Sometimes I hung out with her while she developed film.
3b- Calculus. I wanted to die. Every, single day. Then I got a 3 on the AP test, and it was all worth it. Jenn was in this one, too.
4b- Psychology first semester, government second. Ms. Bourgeois taught both, and she was awesome. I was very sad to hear that she passed away a few years ago. Jenn joined me during the second semester. (Um, were you also there first semester? Because I'm pretty sure you had Color Guard then).

18 January 2009

Just when you thought we were done with 2008

Swiped this little meme from Janssen. Feel free to swipe it from me. (Just be sure to link back to the person you got it from, which is me).

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?

I moved out of the country to New Zealand.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't really make New Year's resolutions, so yes! I'm awesome!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
About four gazillion of my college friends had babies, especially in May. More importantly, I got a nephew in December. And a couple of very good friends from New Zealand also had babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
The mother of one of my best high school friends passed away.

5. What countries did you visit?
New Zealand, Australia, Tahiti

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A job that I really, really love.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 21. Because we did that day twice, and it was the day of the surprise.

8. What was your biggest personal achievement of the year?
Learning to knit and crochet and making things for other people with my newly learned skills. Also teaching early-morning seminary.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Losing my job and not finding a replacement.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
There was the ovarian cyst rupture explosion in January. That was lousy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A car for $800.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
William's, when he said my name first!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Both appalled and depressed? Maybe Rob Blagojevich.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Grad school tuition. And ridiculous cost of living in New Zealand.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Coming home early as a surprise.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
In the Bleak Midwinter, because Eric taught it to me this year, and then we picked it as the family musical number at Grandma and Grandpa L.'s for Christmas Eve. (Excellent Christmas carol that you've never heard!)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) sadder
b) fatter (ack! Where did that 10 pounds come from?)
c) substantially poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Mindless computer activities.

20. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Yes, with Librivox.org.

21. What was your favorite TV program?
Still the only show I watch - The Office.

22. What was the best book you read?
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Being able to play a few hymns.

24. What did you want and get?
Awesome pictures from New Zealand.

25. What did you want and not get?
A new job.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Sting. I know it wasn't made in 2008, but I just saw it this year. Awesome.

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 24, and just like my 23rd birthday, I drove in the car. All day.

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not losing my job or else finding a replacement very quickly. Also, having insulation in my apartment.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Layers. Because it was freezing.

30. What kept you sane?

16 January 2009

Review: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin was phenomenal. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did was completely hooked.

Team of Rivals truly is a masterpiece. The book, as the title would indicate is about Abraham Lincoln, but in her narrative Goodwin manages to include dozens of other characters, and she does so with an amazing ability to distinguish each character so they do not become muddled for the reader. Her use of primary resources to create the narrative is astounding; the end result is a coherent story that doesn't require a history degree to understand and enjoy.

I closed the book completely satisfied that Lincoln deserves every ounce of praise he has ever received. Lincoln was a political genius. He managed to take his political rivals and make friends of them. Despite the many people who sought to assail him in politics, he did not hold grudges and maintained a pleasant demeanor toward even his most abrasive critics.

Those who served him loved him because of his love toward them. When he presented ideas to his cabinet he did so knowing that his ideas might be criticized and hoping they would be. He recognized that he needed other men of genius to help guide him in his political moves from the beginning of his presidency.

I have a new favorite president. (I don't know who the old one was).

15 January 2009

D.O.L. and D.O.M.

When I was in elementary school, my teachers had us start the day by doing D.O.L.s and D.O.Ms. These little lessons stood for Daily Oral Language and Daily Oral Math and would be written on the board when we came in the classroom in the morning. As students, we were expected to write down our answers in or D.O.L. and D.O.M. notebooks as we came into class and listened to the morning announcements. Then, the teacher would stand in front of the board and go over the answers.

I don't remember anything about the D.O.M.s, but I have distinct recollections of the D.O.Ls.

Usually, they were sentences like this:

do you want two come too the store with me to by some plane flower jeremy asked johnny

The students would, of course, write the sentence correctly. Then, when we went over the sentence the students could correct their mistakes. If I remember correctly, my teachers would even have us raise our hands to identify corrections that needed to be made, and then we could go up and make those corrections on the board. So, by the end of the exercise, the sentence would look like this:

"Do you want to go to the store with me to buy some plain flour?" Jeremy asked Johnny.

D.O.L.s were one of the best things about my elementary education. They are the reason I am so critical of written language and why I often think, "Oh come on! Didn't you learn anything in elementary school?" when I see things like "alot" and "could of gone." Those sorts of things make me want to stand at the chalkboard and smugly make the corrections. Unfortunately, I don't often see those on a chalkboard or a piece of paper; I see them on computer screens where I cannot fix them.

14 January 2009

Right vs. Wrong

I'm quite particular about a lot of things. In my world, there are the Right ways to do things and the Wrong ways to do things. Some things are more devastating than others if they are not done the Right way.
  • Enchiladas MUST be made with corn tortillas. Flour tortillas don't bake well. And that's all there is to it. If you use flour, it is clear that you have never had real Mexican enchiladas in your life, and that you are doing it WRONG. (Things made with flour tortillas include soft-shell tacos, fajitas and burritos).
  • Silverware goes in the dishwasher with the prongs down. When you take the silverware out of the dishwasher, you should only touch the handles, not the things I will be eating off of at some point. If you put them with the prongs up, you are doing it WRONG.
  • Highlights in your hair. If the end product looks like you are a bumblebee or a tiger, then you have done it WRONG. (I've actually never had highlights, and I'll likely never have them for fear of looking like a bumblebee).
  • The spelling of my name. It is the same as the wine. S-H-E-R-R-Y. If you spell it any other way, you are spelling it WRONG.
What are some of your things that must be done the RIGHT way?

08 January 2009


Spouse and I started watching Anne of Green Gables last night. I'm finding it utterly adorable. At some point in the evening, this conversation ensued:

Me: Do you love me?
Eric: Of course I do. Why else would I watch so many movies about little girls growing up with you?
Me: "So many" movies? Like what?
Eric: Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, [long pause] The Dark Knight, Wall-E
Me: And Gettysburg, too, I suppose?
Eric: Yeah, and Gettysburg.

Let the record show that it is highly unlikely that Eric will ever catch up to me in hours spent being coerced into watching movies.

07 January 2009

Lurves... and Hates

Being back in Utah has reminded me of a few things:
  • I love watching snow fall.
  • I hate when the snow morphs into muddy slush.
  • I love what the complete lack of humidity does for my hair and face.
  • I hate what the complete lack of humidity does to my skin.
  • I love the darkness of my room and the lack of light at 4:30 a.m.
  • I hate the darkness of my room and waking up at 12 because there is no sun to tell me to get up. (Actually, today was marked improvement; I got up at 11.)

05 January 2009


Also, there was a layover in Tahiti for eight hours on our way back to Utah. It wasn't that great. But here's a picture anyway.

03 January 2009

Great Barrier Island

I bet you've been dying for the pictures from Great Barrier Island. Well, quit dying. They're here.

We ate fish,


pippies and cockels,

and mussels.

Unfortunately, we didn't eat these rotten pigs that chewed through our tent to get our food.

The tribe arrived the night before we left. It was fun while it lasted.

The highlight of the barge ride was seeing a dolphin:

The lowlight of the barge ride was puking and napping on a hard bench so I looked like this when we arrived in Auckland: (and no, I was not "pulling a face" I was genuinely trying to smile)