Sunday, November 21, 2010

I can't - I have to write a paper

1 hour of sleep in 36. That's definitely a new personal record. And no, I'm not tired at all...

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Okay, for all of you who have been complaining that I have disappeared from off of the blogging planet and have left you hanging, wondering what has become of me and the unfinished stories of dilemma and woe... okay, maybe that is no one, but I realize it's been a while so I thought I would take today to catch the record up to speed with my current life situation. So let's see, where did we leave off...

My car was successfully repaired and we have had no more incident on that account, for which we are grateful. As we were reunited, I have finally come up with a name for her: Louise, or Lou as she will most commonly be referred to. I think it is very fitting; it means 'warrior' and is the feminine form of the French Louis, and as she is yellow it reminds me of Louis XIV, the 'Roi du Soleil,' or 'Sun King' for you non-frenchies. It's been a long time coming, but better late than never.

I have been promoted to a student lead position at work, which is kind of exciting. It's always nice to know that my hard work ethic is appreciated and recognized and that I can be put in a position to teach this to others. This means that I am in charge of about 4 workers in my area, I get a whole $1 raise, I have to work about 6 hours per shift (as opposed to the 3 I was working previously), and attend work meetings every other Thursday with all the other student leads and managers. So far it has been really fun - training new employees, coordinating and supervising prep tasks, and just having the opportunity to have my voice heard and help improve things. I really love my prep workers, they are really good. Usually there are a few good workers interspersed with a lot more mediocre workers, but mine are all really assiduous. They learn quickly, are extremely punctual, and have a general cheerful attitude and willingness to help out. I can't rave about them enough!

Yet another semester has dawned at BYU and I think it promises to be a good one. I'm very excited about my classes, so here's how the schedule looks:

Humanities 101: Introduction to Humanities - I absolutely adore this class! Humanities is basically the study of the arts: painting, sculpture, dance, literature, music, drama, that kind of thing. The professor is so wonderful - she loves her subject, she's excited to teach it and discuss it and share her knowledge with her students, and she isn't particularly concerned about whether we make mistakes or don't understand initially so she is extremely approachable. Even though it's at 8 in the morning, it is not one I anticipate skipping for the sake of sleep. Sis. Haddock is so engaging and makes the class fly by so fast. She tells stories about the great Renaissance artists and we look at art and learn how to judge and analyze it and before I know it the bell is ringing. It's going to be a great class!

Astronomy - This is just a fun whimmy class that I decided to take #1: because I knew it's taught in the planetarium and the seats in there are so comfortable! and #2: I really like star gazing and have always wanted to learn the constellations better. The professor is J Ward Moody, which I think is just hysterical. Luckily he's a lot like Sis. Haddock and appreciates the humor of his name; he made 3 references to Harry Potter on the first day alone and they have been scattered here and there over the subsequent lessons. (I learned that Rowling was really brilliant in using astronomy in her books, but that's another post.) He's very nice and tries to be engaging so we don't fall asleep in those lovely soft reclining seats. It's really amazing to look at pictures of the stuff out in space and realize the beauty and complexity and sheer magnitude of Heavenly Father's creations and then learn a little better how they work.

Chemistry 111H: Honors Principles of Chemistry - This is the most intensely involved class I think I have ever taken! I am beginning to question just what I was thinking when I signed up for it, but it is a challenge I am determined to conquer. I think my thought process was something along the lines of "I don't know what I'm doing anymore. Maybe I want to major in science. I should explore that a little. Hey, chemistry! I've never taken that before, I think I'll try it. But I already know about atoms and molecules and that stuff, I should take Honors. They learn about thermodynamics. That sounds cool, I want to know what that is. Okay, I'm signing up for the super-intense-every-day-move-through-stuff-really-quickly chemistry class!" Yeah, that may have been a little ambitious. It takes me hours to read the book and finish my homework, but so far I think I am comprehending, so I'm going to stick it out. Hoping I can find the time to excel. Cross your fingers.

French 361: French Civilization until 1715 - I really love history and I still want to take French classes even if I don't major in it, so this was the choice. After the first week, I was a little nervous, because the graduate student who is going to observe our class in preparation for his first time teaching it next semester was in charge while the actual professor was giving a presentation on the cathedral of Ghent, Belgium in front of said cathedral. He is the leading expert on it, and so I was worried that it was going to be intimidating and he was going to expect a lot. But he is the funniest french professor and he has no problem having discussions in either French or English, depending of course on the language of the primary text, and he doesn't really worry about your grammar. That is really nice, especially because we are talking about complicated issues relating to culture so you can just concentrate on formulating the concepts instead of the sentences.

New Testament - That class is going to be just terrific. Sis Burgon is the sweetest person and she just loves the Lord. She has given us some really fascinating insights into the background of the New Testament, with all the wars and conquests of Israel and Jerusalem and how all of it was really important in preparing the people in that area to receive the gospel. She's also talked a lot about knowing Christ, not just in the sense of knowing facts about Him and His ministry, but to really know Him as He is. She spent all of the last class period talking about how in order to truly come to know Him, we have to know not only who He was on Earth, but also how He was before He came to Earth and the nature of His Godhood. She really knows how to bring the Spirit in and I've already had some major revelational breakthroughs. I just really like religion classes and I've been very lucky as far as professors go. My testimony is definitely going to grow and be strengthened!

I'm thinking of starting another blog and cataloging all the amazing stuff I learn about. If you'd read it, let me know and it will get done faster! :)

The only other update is that I've got some new roommates who are just awesome! Samantha moved in with me and we've been having a blast! Okay, that's it 'til next week! :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

My baby is sick!

We two have become quite the icon in our neighborhoods, both at home in AF and in Provo. Ever since I was blessed with her two years ago, she has become my identifying symbol. People at school or church are constantly saying, "I saw you in your yellow car driving by, or at such and such a place." Two days ago even at work there was a kid who recognized me as "The Girl who won the car." Now, after all the good times we've had together, crisis has struck.

Three weeks ago, I was driving to work, and just as I was pulling into the lot where I normally park, the engine stalled and refused to start back up. Great! I am already late and now I have coasted to a stop right in the middle of the parking garage, in everyone's way and just shy of a spot. Luckily, someone was driving by and helped me push it out of the way, halfway between a regular spot and a service spot. Hoping I wouldn't get a huge fine, I ran off to work and hoped things would work out when I got back. They didn't. The poor thing was still stranded there, refusing to start. Luckily though, I didn't seem to have a fine for being kind of in the service-vehicle-only spot. I tried to contact some people to help me try to jump it, but to no avail. I walked home, feeling like a cat abandoning her kitten to the elements.

The next day, my dad came to help. Jumper cables: fail. Battery tested at Checker: only taking half charge, could be the problem. New battery: $84.99 - fail. We are out of ideas. The next thing we could think of is that there is something clogging the fuel filter so we aren't getting fuel to the engine. We can't do anything more where we are, so we begin the tense task of towing it back to AF. I have never done that before and I must say, it was quite the experience. As dad was linking the cars together with the tow rope he brought, he explained to me that he would be the gas, I would be the brake. My brakes have been complaining rather noisily of late and I thought in my head, "Uh oh, I wonder if they can handle it. Couldn't I be the gas and you be the brake... oh wait..." So one and a half slow, white-knuckled hours later, we had arrived and were ready for the next treatment option.

Dad found a mechanic who was willing to make a house call and his diagnosis to the malady could be a faulty sensor in the engine, the camshaft sensor (I'm not sure what it does exactly). We ordered the part: $140, nonreturnable - fail! We are at our wits' end, and nearly our wallet's. After another inspection, diagnosis #2 was a worn out timing belt. This is bad. This is a routine tune up that is supposed to be done at 100,000 miles and for some reason, both dad & I thought it had been done. Nope, we were wrong.

For those of you unfamiliar with how an engine works, I will explain. I found it fascinating to learn. Inside the engine there are cylinders (mine happens to have four). Inside the cylinders are pistons attached to the crankshaft that turns your wheels, makes the car go. At the top of the cylinder is a valve that lets fuel in which, combined with the fire from the spark plug, causes an explosion that pushes the piston down, turning the crankshaft. There is a gear connected to all the valves and another connected to the pistons. These two gears are connected by the timing belt, which ensures that the valves open when the pistons are down & close when the piston comes back up so that they don't hit each other. There, now you know how it works.

The bad news is that because the timing belt seems to have worn out while the engine was running, the timing may have gotten off in the momentum after it stalled, meaning that the pistons could have potentially hit and bent the valves. If that is the case, changing the belt will not help much and it will take roughly $1800 for a valve job. That was not an option. However, I was not going very fast when I stalled, so there wasn't much time for it to get out of timing. Plus, I would think that if something is hitting something else in my engine hard enough to damage it, I would have heard something. I did not, so I decided to take the risk & gamble the $350 to change the belt (and the water pump, as it is normally recommended to change both at the same time). That has been done and she started! However, we aren't completely out of the woods yet, because after the mechanic left, my parents took it around the block to make sure she sounds ok and everything. I've had to work everyday in Provo, otherwise I would have done it. As they were driving it around, it stalled every time they slowed down or stopped. That was a little disconcerting, so the mechanic was called back. He drove it, and it didn't stall at all. Then my mom drove it to Walmart and it stalled as she was turning a corner, but only on the way there. So the conclusion is that we won't know until I drive it and see what happens, as I am the normal partner in travel. Hopefully all goes well and we can cruise the highways together once again.

Friday, June 18, 2010

She did it!

My wonderfully gorgeous, intelligent, talented sister graduated! Now she can come have fun with me in college! Here are some of her incredible accomplishments.

As everyone knows, Samantha was a member of the American Fork Marching Band and participated as a bearer of a big stick (aka clarinet for those who don't know the band lingo). She always did a great job, and I always loved going to watch her competitions.

She was chosen as the American Fork Sterling Scholar for Visual Arts, and she got all the way to the finals- don't know why they didn't pick her, but we aren't bitter or anything.

Samantha is an incredible artist! So I thought I would put up some of her portfolio.

Self Portraits

This one makes me giggle because I can just see the attitude seething. This was a school assignment and she was obviously not too thrilled about it. :)

I love her eyes in this one.

Tiger Love
This blows my mind. Pointillism. Millions of dots. Those are all dots! Needless to say, she was working on this for quite a while.

Close-up of the eye

Milo the Guinea Pig
Since the moment he was born, he was Samantha's baby. He and his siblings were born on 9/11. He's the second one from the front with the white stripe on his nose. He was a great pet, & Samantha really loved him.

AragornThis is something called a lino-cut. She carved out a piece of linoleum (that's really hard, by the way), then rolled ink on it and stamped it on paper. She didn't really like doing it and wasn't super thrilled with how it came out, but I still think it's a cool design.

Eiffel Cat
I'm proud to say I helped inspire this one. Ok, so it's only because the Tower is my picture that happened to be sitting on my floor behind Ralph, but still. :) This is white pencil on black paper, which is more difficult that one would think. Instead of concentrating on creating the shape, you focus on the highlights. Neat.

Fruits of "Pear"adise
She submitted this one to the Reflections contest where it won second place on the district level. It's kind of a funny story, because it was a last-minute submission, so she didn't actually title it; her teacher did. It was done in prismacolor colored pencil and has stripes of solarization.

This is a favorite picture of our father, taken for a faculty picture at BYU. We think it's got lots of character.

This is a French poet with one of his poems about death along with a red anemone, symbolizing death and a withering almond blossom, symbolizing hope, or rather a lack of it. It's incredible to me how piercing his gaze is, despite the pastel with which he was created.

Old Tractor in a Wheat FieldThis is a collection of pictures my dad took on his mission that Samantha did in acrylics. I like the colors and the way the medium adds to the rustic feel.

London ManAnother of my dad's photos, one he took on a band tour in England. This one has been chosen to hang in the Covey Center until August.

Hanashi-Banashi (chit-chat in Japanese)
Again, a mission picture from Japan- just a bunch of old ladies waiting for the bus. It's terrific!

Tea Time
This is Samantha's first watercolor. It's absolutely incredible, looks just like the photograph. In fact many people think it is a photo when they first see it.

So there you have it, just a few of Samantha's masterpieces. Be sure to look for her name in famous museums 10 years from now! :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Spontanious Rain Dance!

About 15 minutes ago as we were watching Over the Hedge, we began to notice lightning flashing in the sky... rain dance!! We tore outside and performed our ridiculous whirligigs and before long, fat, healthy rain drops came pouring out of the sky and we continued to celebrate. It was nice, warm concrete beneath our bare feet and cold droplets falling on our heads. When we got tired, we went upstairs and just smelled it as it escalated to a full-on hail storm. Ah, I love my family! :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I feel so handy!

For the past few weeks we have been hearing constant running water in our apartment. Research showed that the 5-decade-old pipes had had about enough and were leaking somewhere under the house. Oh, so that's where that giant crack in the driveway is coming from. Today the contractors came to run a new line from the road and attach in to the house as well as to cap off the old line to prevent further leakage. Consequence: we are without water this morning from 8 till between 1 and 3. One of the guys had said at 10:35 that it would be back in about 20 minutes, but who ever keeps to such schedules? Needless to say, we were not surprised when that turned out not to be the case. I'm not sure exactly when it came back on, cause I gave up waiting for it at 11:30 & went to school dirty (I know, gross, but what is one to do in such a situation?).

Anyway, water's back and our unquenchable thirst and preoccupations with all the things we could not do without the water - shower, brush teeth, wash dishes, fill water jugs, make pasta, wash strawberries, etc - have disappeared. However, we noticed that as the afternoon progressed, the pressure seemed to slowly decline. After a call to the handyman/landlord/my daddy, I was told that the screen in the faucet was probably clogged with dirt and rust and just needed to be removed and cleaned. Tools, assembled. Attempt, failed. Mild frustration level, attained. Proper rotational direction for removal, verified. Attempt #2, success! And yes, as suspected, a fair amount of debris was interfering with the works. It was really neat to look at all the parts that are in such a small, taken-for-granted part of everyday life.

This means I have now taken apart a portion of both sinks in the house and am now on my way to bigger and better things! Adventure is out there!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Best thing I've ever seen!

I'm driving home from my choir concert (which went well, other than the fact that people seem to forget about dynamics as soon as they're faced with front sides of seats) and it is a gloriously sunny afternoon/early evening. I am at a stop sign and I happen to glance across the street and to the right. What should I see but this:

That's right - a cat hiding in the gutter. He's a big cat too, completely hidden except for his mischievous little eyes peeking over the top. Huh, odd. The car I am waiting for drives by him and all of a sudden he jumps out! At the car! I could just hear him, "Rawr! You better watch out, mister, cause I live here and I will not tolerate trespassers!" Then, as soon as he was sure the car was movin' on, he slinked back into the gutter. I wasn't sure I'd really seen it until I continued on my way past his jungle of a yard. What do you know, the little tiger jumped out at me too! Playful like, though, like he was pouncing on a grasshopper just for fun, but still the attitude. I. laughed. So. Hard!!

I wanted to play too, and I almost started peeking through my blinds and exploding out of the front door at passersby, but I had to save Nina from a meltdown. So, I ended up spending my evening with my new favorite addiction, Gilmore Girls! I adore Alexis Bledel, I think she's a brilliant actress and Lorelei & Rory's dialogue just tickles me, they are so witty. Sharpens mine. Oh, and sell-by-yesterday doughnut holes. Awful. Completely stale except for the sugary coating. Just the thing the sitch called for. Gilmore Girls and sell-by-yesterday doughnuts. Can life get better? I submit that it canNOT! Ok, two more weeks of nocturnal-ness and then it'll be early to bed, early to rise. Promise. Signing off! :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Funny Story...

So I'm walking home from the library at midnight Monday night (Tuesday morning? Either way...) I would have still been there, but they kick everyone out then. I was working on this heinous paper and ended up spending ALL night on it. But that is beside the point. Back to the story, I had parked my car in the graduate parking garage, which is down this ramp next to the business building. At the top is this sign:

Ok, so maybe this isn't the exact sign, but it gives the same message. So there I go, minding my own business, trying to stay positive about my paper progress when I hear the noise of a coasting bicycle. I was about 3 feet from where the ramp connects to the parking complex so I decided to take 2 steps to my left towards it to let the bike pass. Poor moment of judgment on my part. Next thing I know I am listening to squealing brakes, a male voice exclaiming, "Oh, shoot!" and a dramatic crescendo of the violin section as I found myself tumbling to the ground. Yes, you guessed it. I was run over by a bicycle! I'd wager I'm am going to be champion of "Have you ever" from now on. :) After a 5.2 second self-analysis, I concluded that I was not seriously injured, scrambled slowly to my feet and turned around to survey my assailant. He turned to be a very attractive boy. I begged his pardon for getting in his way and he sincerely apologized for being so reckless. (Ok, not in so many words, but he was truly sorry) He asked if I was ok: yup. I asked if he was ok: yes, yes. what? For a split second I thought about giving him my insurance info, but I didn't think the situation was that drastic. So I just walked away with "Have a nice night!" Ignorant me, I didn't even get his name. But the next time I decide that the eyes in the back of my head are better than the ones in the front of the extremely good looking cyclist's head and end up putting myself right in the line of fire, I will have a much better game plan prepared. Hopefully my keester will be on board with that.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In all her wisdom and glory

I simply adore my lovely roommate Nina and I have been so blessed to have her in my life. She never ceases to amaze me with her wisdom and insight, far exceeding her years. Last night we had a marvelous chat session. We talked about school and friends and boys (but only a little bit, cause we're both kind of anti at the moment, so it was more of that aspect than the traditional girls-talking-about-boys stereotype). But mostly we talked about life. Our wishes for life, its hardships, the treasures that make it all worth it. And goals. She makes me want to go out and conquer the world, but mostly myself. She is helping me conquer myself. One flaw at a time, and she is so good at it. She just has a way of pointing out what needs to be worked on without making it personal or judgmental and giving me the motivation to actually accomplish it. But what's great about it is that for all of our polar opposites (and there are a surprising number of them; exactly, completely opposite), we are so similar in so many other facets, so I don't feel like I have to do it alone or that she is dictating from on high. We're a team, a self-betterment team. Friends. Love you oodles, Nines!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ode to Socks

Ah, laundry. That cyclical household chore. It's an interesting thing. It's one of those things that you don't really think about as being on your to-do list (at least if you're a college student like me whose to-do list consists of homework and ways to recuperate after completing it), yet you always have to do it. And for what ever reason, I really really dislike it. Dread it, if you will. I may even go so far as to say that I hate laundry. Though I'm not sure it merits such as strong word. But close. Every once in a while I get up enough gumption to do it and it ends up being this huge, all day process. Probably one of the reasons why it is so distasteful to me.

Anyway, I was just finishing up my socks and got to thinking what it would be like to be a sock. (I know it's weird; don't judge me, just hear me out) I mean, think about it. Every time you get washed you get folded together with your partner (provided he wasn't eaten by the dryer) who is only your partner because the two of you look exactly the same. You probably didn't get to pick each other. You were just made as identical copies and then flung together for the rest of your smelly, foot-covering lives until you are worn too thin and just can't take it anymore and then you are just unceremoniously chucked in the trash. It's really a shame about socks. So as I was contemplating and feeling very blessed not to be a sock, I saw the most curious thing in my laundry basket. About half a dozen of my socks had had a meeting in the dryer and decided they were sick of it and were going to revolt. There they were, in this strange lumpy mass, all twisted and stuck together with a strange combination of fibers they had probably heisted from the lint rack, determined not to be separated from their unconventionally chosen partners. (Sorry I don't have a picture of it, my camera is currently on strike as well.) I must admit, I admired their spunk. Unfortunately, as much as I can now sympathize with socks, I can't bring myself to be the kind of person that wears mismatched socks. Colorful socks, yes. Socks with character, yes. Crazy socks, yes. But I'm just not cool enough to throw all my socks in one drawer and just dive for two before heading out for the day. I just can't do it. So I gave them a moment to say their last goodbyes to each other while I went to get the scissors. In my defense, I really do take great care of my socks, probably more than most. I still have hope for that growing pile of unattached singles, even though more likely than not we will never see their partners again and I also give even the dying socks more of a chance than they probably deserve; as long as they still cover at least one toe they may still live in my drawer.

So there you have it. All you probably ever wanted to know and more about what goes on in my head in relation to socks. You are now free to either have your own meditative moment about the stockings in your bureau...or you can just write me off as a loony and go on with your sensible laundry-cycling lives.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Is this a good thing?

So apparently I've been given the title of "Detailer" at work. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. So far it has earned me the honor of being chosen for those tedious tasks such as cleaning the automatic meat slicer (an awkward machine that gets dirty in strange places) and the conveyor belt toaster (a charcoal disaster). Every time my boss comes up to me and says "I have a job for you!" (which is nice because there is never anything to do by the time my shift rolls around) or "This calls for your detailing skills." or something similar. It's kind of nice to be appreciated and he does say that he chooses me because he knows I will do a good job. Plus I'm the kind of nerdy, OCD perfectionist that enjoys those kinds of tedious jobs. So I guess it's a compliment. Yea, I have a purpose in life!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Founding of Snartoofle

Once upon a time there were two best friends named Nina and BreAnna. They did a lot of things together like impromptu dance parties in the living room, reading stories before bedtime, and battling for the coveted title of card game champion. One day they wanted to do something fun before Nina abandoned BreAnna to go play with her cousins so they set out to invent a new game. It was called Snartoofle. They even made up rules to it.

It is a game that involves two people, two tennis rackets and one medium-sized inflatable ball. It must be played on a semi-cloudy night (the more clouds the better) when the weather is brisk but not chilly, preferably with no wind. It is a fairly simple game, similar to badminton/tennis. The ball is hit between two people, but it must be hit in a crooked, badly aimed fashion 2/3 of the time. It can be hit through the air or across the lawn. Three points are awarded to anyone who stops the ball from going into the gutter and 500 points to anyone who happens to pet a stray or neighborhood cat who comes by (though that rule is currently being disputed by the co-founders). When the ball is no longer hit-able (which is decided solely by the players), the first player to shout at the top of their lungs "MY POINT!!" when the ball has come to a complete stop gets 1 point, but if they exclaim prematurely, they get -1000 points. The game is over when the players hands are too cold or their stomachs are too sore from laughing. (Tip: the game is more fun if you are at the point where you have drank [drinken? drunken? drunked? anyway...] enough water that when you laugh you are in slight danger of wetting yourself.)

After finishing this delightful game, the two best friends came inside and enjoyed a few last moments before her cousin whisked her away to Idaho Falls, separating the bosom friends whose hearts ached at the parting, even though it was temporary. They await their reunion with great anticipation. The End.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Have you ever thought about that question? If you think about it, it really is the central question to life. But why you may ask? There you have proven the point because you can't ask the significance of the question without using it.

Simply put, life requires meaning and in order to discover its meaning, you must ask why. I have been asking myself a nonstop series of why questions: why is it that I have chosen this career path? Why do I force myself, against my nature, to get up at insanely early hours? Force my brain beyond its limits for hours on end? Stay up too late doing things that don't matter and then even later organizing myself for things that do? Fluctuate between such extremes of emotion and purpose? Why is it that I set such high, detailed plans only to be so easily swayed by those around me? Why? Because this stubbornness that is my character is a battle, and I'm losing. Innevitably, my more stubborn side defeats my stubborn side and I am left in the middle, feeling both triumphant and despondant, not knowing whether the better half of me has gained ground or lost it. So the answer to all those why's is simple, after all it's complexity: I don't know. Or maybe I do, I just can't remember. So I pose the question to you; answer it how you will.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Dual Personality

So I just changed the background on my gmail and I just found the visual representations of my alter-egos - It made me laugh so hard!

This is the conversation that goes on in my mind CONSTANTLY!:

"I don't want to do homework anymore! I'm hungry! I'm tired! I just want to play!"

"NOOO!!! You have to work! Get up off your lazy butt RIGHT NOW!!!! Not kidding!!!"

Monday, January 4, 2010

And Relax!

Yea! I made it through finals! That was such a relief. And I actually did pretty well for myself. Here's how the stats stand:
American Heritage: A
Advanced French Grammar: A-
French Choir: Pass
History 201: A-
Physical Science: A
Book of Mormon: A
(PS Just to ease my conscience, I'm not bragging; I'm just sayin'...)
Ironically enough, I am .01 short in my GPA for a continuing scholarship. I think I am going to try to resolve this. Hopefully Mme. Thompson is sympathetic to my plight. Anyway, off we go for another round!