30 August 2010

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

I had heard a lot of good things about Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad, and Eric picked it up on audio from the library several weeks ago. He has taken to listening to audio books while he makes his thrice-weekly (or thereabouts) commute to and from Provo. As he listened, he filled me on his own opinion of the book. When he was finished, we had just started our first family reunion in Park City, which meant that now I was doing the commute from Park City to Salt Lake City every day. He suggested I listen to Rich Dad Poor Dad during my daily journeying.

In short, this book just didn't resonate with me. There are a couple of things the author and I can agree on:
  • People just don't know enough about money and how it works.
  • Schools should focus more on teaching financial skills.
  • Many things that people consider assets are actually financial liabilities.
And that's about it.

Kiyosaki seems to think that everybody wants to be uber-rich. In actuality, I think most people just want to be comfortable; of course "comfortable" has different definitions for different people. On the whole, though, I don't think most of us have a life-long desire to be extraordinarily wealthy. Because of his assumption that everybody does want to be that wealthy, his message seems very misdirected.

He talks a lot about getting out of the "rat race" and having your money work for you. Kiyosaki acts as though having a full-time job (of which a reasonable portion of your income goes to taxes) is the worst thing in the world and anyone who is doing that is in the "rat race." While I can certainly agree that your money should be working for you (by investing it wisely and earning interest rather than paying interest), I am not personally willing to take big risks with my money. I am perfectly content putting money into a Roth IRA every year and putting a portion of my earnings into a 401K while also setting aside regular savings into a money market account and CDs at the credit union. Sure it would be nice to have a risky investment go extremely well, but the risk is not worth it to me.

And besides, we can't all get out of the "rat race." Who would keep my water running? Who would manage my apartment building? Who would pick up the garbage? Who would run my bank where my money is kept? Who would invest my retirement savings? Some salaried employee has to be doing these things, and I would appreciate if those people would stay in the "rat race."

Personally, I don't mind the "rat race." I like my job. I'm good at my job. I have very few stressful responsibilities at my job. I have health insurance, 401K, paid time off, maternity leave and job security. If I got out of the "rat race" I might lose a lot of these things, and I like them!

What really irked, me, though, was Kiyosaki's idea of "giving back." First of all, let me say that I have listened to Dave Ramsey's finance show three times. I agree with much what he says, although I find his show beyond irritating. (To me it is the product of sound financial advice mating with shock jock radio, which makes me feel inordinately stupid to listen to. We can thank NPR for making me feel too intellectually superior to listen to any other radio programs in existence.) One of the things I do like about Dave Ramsey, is his emphasis on giving. He promotes the idea that we should be financially stable so that we can take care of ourselves and our families AND give back and use our money to serve others when we have the opportunity to do so. I wholeheartedly approve of this message.

On the other hand, Kiyosaki promotes giving as a means to getting something for yourself. He basically states that whenever you feel like there is something else you want, you should be charitable so that you can in turn have good karma and get the thing you want. It's giving for the entirely wrong reasons, and I wholeheartedly disapprove of this message.

28 August 2010


I did something pretty dumb today.

Our copy of Mockingjay (the much anticipated third and final installment of The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins) arrived in the mail today. Eric spent the first of his waking hours finishing the second book in the series in preparation for the third. We'd agreed that he would read the third one first, and then I would read it, most likely on my way to Dallas next week.

Eric took the jacket off the book. We are both removers of book jackets. Books are just so much easier to deal with when they aren't wearing jackets. Then Priscilla came over so we could transfer copies of the photos she took in San Francisco. She happened to mention that she was headed over to the library to turn in some books, but she wasn't going to actually get books there. Then I told her that we were just about to go to the library anyway, so I could turn her books in for her.

I'm sure you can see where this is going - I turned in Mockingjay to the Salt Lake City Public Library this afternoon. We didn't get home from running all over the place until after the library had closed, so we didn't even realize that our book was missing until it was much too late to just run in and get it. Poor Eric is dying to read the book, and it's only a few blocks away.

Hopefully the library will realize that one of their patrons very stupidly dropped her VERY OWN BOOK in the book return and will not distribute it to one of the 4.5 gazillion people who have the book on hold.

Did you do anything really bright today?

26 August 2010

Literal Wake-up Call

The first year that I lived away from home, I remember my roommate commenting that my family liked to call me early a lot. That wasn't really true. I got early phone calls maybe once a month. But her family never called her early in the morning. There were a few major reasons for me getting more early morning phone calls:
  • My family is an hour ahead of Utah time. Her family was in California and hour behind us. For my family to call me at 7, they only had to be up by 8. Priscilla's family would have had to have been up at 6 to give her such an early call.
  • I am the fourth kid in my family. In other words, I had more older siblings who were up and doing things to ready themselves for work in the mornings. Priscilla is the second kid. Her siblings may have been up for school, I guess, but they wouldn't be up as early as my siblings and parents who were getting ready for work.
  • My family had more big events my freshman year than hers did. There was a baby born, and though he wasn't born until that afternoon, I did receive a call that morning that my sister-in-law was in labor. Plus, there were other things that went on that year where my family waited as long as they possibly could to call me - at 6 a.m. (One time my sister called pretty early to tell me it was snowing - not my little sister who was twelve. Oh no. My older sister, who was 32. I was not amused.)
Other than those reasons, I think it just had to do with certain members of my family knowing that they could pretty much always catch me early in the morning. Sure I may have been asleep, but they hadn't heard from me in a while, and they knew that I was sort of like a captive audience.

And things haven't changed a whole lot. I am easier to reach because of my cellular device, but I still do occasionally get calls that for me are kind of early. Usually it is because my family assumes that I will be up getting ready for work. What they don't seem to realize is that I don't have to be at work until 10. It takes me three minutes to walk from my door to my desk (literally). I shower at night. Eric often works late, which means I stay up late (or my sleep is interrupted). Although I am generally up by 9, I sometimes I am not up until 9:30 or 9:40. I'd rather be on an earlier schedule (and I'm 100% positive that I will be in just a few months), but right now my schedule is on the late side.

But my family's schedule is still on the early side. So family, don't be too surprised if one morning I block your phone number from my cell. I am an especially grumpy pregnant lady.

23 August 2010

Winding Down

Folks on Facebook are talking about going back to school and sending children back to school. I guess the summer is pretty much over. I have found adjusting to non-school life difficult in the sense that I have a harder time keeping track of what time of year it is. I know it shouldn't be that hard; each season has a distinct weather pattern. Yet, when the end of a season comes, it always throws me off just a little bit. I think I feel especially thrown off by this summer because it has been so busy.

First of all, my work has been busy. And then there were some huge changes at work that have made my life immeasurably better (the small company I work for was purchased by a much larger company, so I went from having very basic health insurance to having far more benefits than I ever would have imagined.)

Eric's family came into town twice this summer. The first time was unplanned - Eric's Grandpa L. passed away, so all of Eric's siblings and most of the nieces and nephews were in town for his funeral. (I never blogged about it because I never felt like I could write about Grandpa L. in a way that would really show how much I loved and respected him.) Then, Andrew left on his mission nearly two weeks ago, so all of Eric's siblings and their kids were in town again. We managed to squeeze in a family reunion in Park City, and I still managed to get in 39.5 hours of work that week.

My brother also came to town for a couple of days with his wife and kids. They happened to be in town just a couple of days after we sent Andrew off, so it made for the end of a very busy week. Somehow, Eric and I had not seen their whole family since we went up to visit them last July. I had seen my brother and sister-in-law numerous times in the last year, and one of my nephews as well. We are planning a trip to go up there (Jackson Hole) for a weekend, hopefully soon.

At the end of July I went to California for a few days with my old roommate, Priscilla, and Eric to attend my other old roommate's wedding. It was a great trip. There was a lot of driving in not a lot of time. It was in that trip that I met my cousin for the very first time.

Early this summer we went on our cruise.

In the middle of the summer Eric took off for a couple of weeks to go on a 540-mile canoe trip. I kept very busy while he was gone.

For one night per week for about four weeks we went over to Grandma L.'s house to watch the BBC series Little Dorrit. We were glad that we got to spend time with her. She had mentioned that she missed watching movies since Grandpa passed away because she doesn't really like to watch them by herself. We figured this was our perfect opportunity to get Grandma to join in our love of BBC series.

Last week we had the giant annual L. family reunion in Park City. It was a lot of fun, and like last year I commuted to and from work. That was not as exciting, but it did mean that I didn't have to use vacation time.

We only have a window-unit air conditioner in our flat. It happens to be located in the dining room. It follows, then, that our bed also happens to be located in the dining room. When the weather is consistently cool enough we will relocate the bed to its appropriate place, and maybe at some point we will buy a dining room table. I have a feeling we will make do with the card table and folding chairs for a while longer, though.

In about a week and a half I'm going to Dallas to visit my family. I haven't been down for over a year, and one of my best friends is getting married. I'm excited to see everybody, and I don't know how long it will be until I manage to get down there again, what with a baby coming and all.

After that, I'll probably consider the summer over. That summary was not in any particular order, and it may not have made it seem like my summer was all that busy, but I think because the month of August was such a maelstrom, it made the entire summer feel like a blur. I am really looking forward to some winding down. Do you even know when I last finished reading a book? Neither do I!

My fall wish list:
  • reading, reading, reading, reading
  • baby prepping (No, I have not begun. I have fourteen weeks left, and I plan to be a Baby Minimalist.)
  • lots of walks in cool weather
  • a successful BYU football season
  • spending more time with Eric before our honeymoon phase is officially over (I'm pretty sure both of us would say that part of our marriage has been over for some time, but lest there be any confusion, it will definitely end when the mancub gets here.)
  • ample quantities of wassail, hot chocolate and baked goods
  • finding at least a couple of maternity sweaters (Sweaters are easily my favorite things to wear, and I just won't be fitting into any of mine this fall.)
  • a healthy third trimester

22 August 2010


My midwife's office is located in a neighborhood with very straight, narrow roads. Many of the intersections in this area are four-way stops; many are two-way stops; and some are just intersections where one person has no stop and the other has a yield sign. I had never really encountered yield signs, apart from merging, until living in Utah, where they are used quite abundantly in neighborhoods. They are actually quite nice because when you approach them, you just need to slow down and have a look around you rather than coming to a full stop.

I've noticed when I drive in this particular neighborhood that many people come to full stops even if they don't have to. I think it is just habit because there you are driving along when you approach an intersection and see that there are other cars to your left and right that have stopped. You don't happen to have a stop sign, but you see that these other cars are stopped and assume you are at a four-way. But usually people just slow down a bit, look around and realize they don't need to stop. I drive very carefully in this neighborhood because the intersections can be confusing.

On Wednesday I was driving North and I came to an intersection in which the northbound and southbound drivers had neither a stop nor a yield sign. The eastbound and westbound drivers, however, had a yield sign. As I approached the intersection, an eastbound driver was also approaching the intersection. Because I was turning to go East, I slowed down, and it was a good thing, too. Because this lady just plowed right on through the intersection not even realizing that she had completely ignored a traffic sign that gave me the right-of-way.

I rarely honk at people, but I honked at this lady. It was partly because I was irritated, but also because she seemed completely oblivious as to her error. I wanted her to realize that she needed to pay better attention to the signs.

And then, what do you know? But she turned into the medical offices parking lot that I was turning into. (We were at the intersection by our medical offices when the near-miss occurred.) I went into my midwife's check-in area, which due to construction in the building is now being shared with some OB/GYNs. Incidentally, this lady went to the same place. As I was checking in with one of the midwife's secretaries, this lady was checking in to see an OB/GYN. While she was checking in I heard her tell the secretary that she had been having contractions for 18 hours, and they were now spaced 5 minutes apart.

I began to feel a little sheepish.

But then, when I was leaving, she was leaving too, and the secretary asked her where she was going. She replied that the doctor told her that her contractions were not strong enough and to call at a later point.

I do feel a little bit badly about honking at a lady in labor. But I also don't. Lady, if you are in labor, you maybe are not qualified to be driving.

16 August 2010

25 Weeks

I really am pregnant. My pants are fastened with a pony-tail holder.

15 August 2010


My friend, Ana, is hosting a giveaway of some hand-knitted baby mittens. So far, I am the only one who has entered to win said mittens. (Which makes me wonder why I'm bothering to spread the word when right now I have really fantastic odds of winning, but I digress.) Ana makes all sorts of cool stuff with yarn and knitting needles and crochet hooks. She is one of the people who taught me to knit and crochet. You can look around at her Etsy shop and see some of the cool things she has made.

And also go enter her giveaway. Even if you don't have a mancub who would fit into the mittens, they would be a great gift!

High School Newspaper

I was on my high school newspaper staff for three years. It was a great extra-curricular activity for me. Because of my time on newspaper staff, there are a few things that I have natural preferences for.

One is single spaces after periods. Double spaces are a waste of perfectly good space, and they are not used in newspaper writing, so I don't use them still. Plus, they are pretty out of date now anyway, which I find rather convenient.

The other is candid photos. We were each assigned one or two events every six weeks that we were supposed to photograph. We were not allowed to photograph other members of the newspaper or yearbook staff. (This was because we shared photos between the two publications, and it is in bad taste to post pictures of your own staff throughout your publication.) Sometimes this couldn't be avoided, and that was understandable. We were also not allowed to take obviously posed photos. We were taught to believe we were actually participating in journalism, so the pictures needed to be candid. Because of this, I almost hate posed photos.

I know that may come as a surprise since most of my photos are posed, but that is because Eric is the primary photographer, and he always makes me stop and smile for the camera. Plus, with only two of us, I start to feel kind of goofy just standing around taking photos of Eric playing the tourist. One day when I am ridiculously wealthy, I will pay a photographer to follow our family around on vacations and take candid pictures of us.

The thing is, in journalism, you want a picture that tells a story. Your caption should be able to illustrate what was going on in the photo, and having a newspaper or yearbook filled with, "Eric and Sherry smile for the camera," would be quite possibly the most boring publication known to man.

For example:

A caption for this photo could be: Eric, Gordon and Andrew stand and smile for the camera after their 540-mile canoe trip.

Sure the photo shows that they were tired and furry-faced, and there are two canoe on the van behind them. But compare that rather lame caption to the one accompanying the following:
Sherry was ridiculously bad at rowing the boat in Seattle.

I mean, really. My face in this picture is just priceless, and I find it one of the most amusing pictures in our collection.

The other reason that I prefer candid photos is that they don't interrupt the event. Eric has an inherited tendency to make me stop in front of every possible photographic thing in our travels so that he can take a picture of me smiling in front of the photographic thing. I find that it interrupts my actual enjoyment of the photographic thing, and I would rather he just take a few candid shots of me. Granted, I don't hate all posed photography. I think a lot of it has its merits, particularly with things like weddings and family photos. But I really like there to be a mixture of both the standing-in-front-of-and-smiling photos as well as the candid shots.

If it weren't for my years on newspaper staff, I probably wouldn't notice double spacing after periods, and I probably wouldn't be nearly as bothered as I am by non-candid photos. Alas, I will never get those three years back, and I doubt my preferences will ever change.

13 August 2010

Zombie Jim and Pam

My old roommate, Priscilla, and our good friend, Chad, are REALLY close to winning this contest. They need you to vote for their video by clicking "Like It" beneath the video. You can vote on Zombie version of Jim and Pam (from "The Office") here.

And the thing is, if you watch the original clip and the first-ranked clip, you will quickly realize that Chad and Priscilla are FAR superior to the guys who are beating them. So help them out and vote really quickly.

Or else.

12 August 2010

Fancy Ultrasounds

Since I am in my mid-twenties, at any given time I have about 4.9 gazillion friends and/or family members who are pregnant. I keep encountering this odd phenomenon on Facebook: 4-D ultrasounds.

Excuse me?

I know of three measurable dimensions:
  • height
  • width
  • depth
The fourth dimension is an abstract idea used by really brilliant physicists and mathematicians. It cannot be measured and shown in an ultrasound. Sorry, it's just not possible. In former days the fourth dimension was considered to be time, but Wikipedia informs me that that idea of the fourth dimension as time is outdated, which is too bad because I was kind of imagining these 4-D ultrasounds as a super-intelligent means by which to travel through time to see what your baby will look like when it is no longer inside of you.

While I may at some point be interested in getting a 3-D ultrasound (but not likely because those cost money), I positively refuse to get a 4-D one, because those companies are insulting my intelligence.

Anyone care to guess what exactly these so-called 4-D ultrasounds are measuring?

04 August 2010

Disappearing Act

A few tidbits to tide you over until I have time to write a real post:
  • Work has never been so busy for me. This is what I call job security. No fear of getting laid off for me.
  • Eric and I have been watching the BBC series of Little Dorrit. The extra-double-super fun part has been watching it with his Grandma L. We love getting to hang out with her, and we all really like the series.
  • My belly has really been protruding in the last few days. My midwife told me that it was likely between my last appointment and my next that I would just pop right out, and that has been true. No pictures. Sorry. We can't find the camera.
  • I went to California this past weekend with my old roommate and Eric to attend another old roommate's wedding. It was a great trip. After the wedding the one old roommate headed down to Southern California to visit her family, and Eric and I headed to Northern California to visit my cousin whom I've never met. It was way awesome.
  • I usually like to sit down and write three or four blog posts in one go. I was going to do that last night, but my brother distracted me with family history queries. You can blame him if you don't hear anything from me for the next week.
  • Eric's family will all be coming into town in the next few days because my little Andrewton is leaving for his mission ONE WEEK FROM TOMORROW.