07 December 2010

Open Dialogue, Better than Sanctions Since 1944

(I just chose a date, it has no significance. I saw this article (op-ed) on ccn.com this morning and think that she makes great points.)

Hiker freed from Tehran prison: Time for U.S.-Iran ties
By Sarah Shourd, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Sarah Shourd was freed from prison in Iran 2½ months ago. Shourd, her fiancĂ©, Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal were hiking in the mountains in northern Iraq in July 2009 and were arrested by Iranian border guards, accused of spying and imprisoned. Shourd was released after 410 days in solitary confinement; her companions remain imprisoned. To learn more, visit freethehikers.org.

(CNN) -- When I was in Evin Prison in Tehran, a guard twice brought flowers to my cell. Each time, I'd hear the door open and look up to see her standing there with a huge smile and homegrown roses. I was speechless with gratitude.
When I broke down and cried, she would hold me in her arms, look me in the eyes and say, "God willing, Sarah, it's going to be OK."
Since my release, many people have wondered why I have not been more condemning of the country that kept me in solitary confinement for 410 days. They have wanted to know why I speak with such conviction about the need for an improved Iranian-U.S. relationship and highlight my love for the Middle East and respect for Muslim culture.
At a very personal level, I never would have been kept in jail for 14 months if Iran and the United States had a better relationship. My fiancé, Shane Bauer, and our close friend Josh Fattal would not still be in prison in Iran today on the baseless charge of espionage.
But there is more to my conviction than the merely personal. I don't believe that the animosity between Iran and the United States is an insuperable obstacle; it's the responsibility of all governments to engage diplomatically, regardless of their differences, and when they can't or don't, it is their people who suffer the most.
This week's nuclear talks in Geneva, Switzerland, involving Iran and the United States, the first in more than a year, are a hopeful sign that there can be a dialogue, as difficult as the challenges may be. Both countries have taken positive steps in recent months that offer some encouragement. Notably, the U.S. has officially designated the Iranian militant group Jundallah a terrorist organization, a decision applauded by Iran.
There is a long way to go toward overcoming the animosities of three decades, but now is the best time for dialogue. When I ask my government, and the Iranian government, to seize this opportunity, I'm thinking of the future. I'm thinking about the children I hope to have someday and about my children's children.
Shane and I had been living in Damascus, Syria, for more than a year before our fateful trip to Iraqi Kurdistan with Josh. I was teaching English to Iraqi refugees and Shane was working as a journalist. We hoped to use our work to counter the negative perceptions of the Middle East and Islam among many Americans and act as a bridge between our cultures. Josh, an environmentalist, was visiting us. He had heard about our experiences and came with an open, curious heart to share in our passion for the region.
How different our situation would have been if the United States had an embassy in Iran when Shane, Josh and I were arrested on the border with Kurdistan, where we had gone hiking. In the absence of a normal U.S.-Iranian relationship, we sat in our cells for two months before our families had any information about us, or we knew anything of what they were going through.
When Swiss diplomats, who represent U.S. interests in Iran, finally got to see us, I was so shellshocked by my isolation that I could barely utter a few words to pass on to my family. At the same time, over the course of my imprisonment, the belief that we could somehow emerge from a very painful experience better equipped to face the problems of our world helped Shane, Josh and I through the seemingly interminable days of loneliness, uncertainty and despair.
In prison, we gave ourselves a choice. We could come out as better people or we could let our experience crush the part of ourselves that we value the most -- the part that allows us to see beyond the differences that appear to divide us from people of other cultures and religions or with different points of view. This vision of religious pluralism and respect for knowledge is rooted in the ideals upon which our country was founded and is something all Americans can share.
More than anything, I want Shane and Josh to be free. I also do not want what happened to us to happen to other people, American or Iranian. I hope our leaders find the courage to begin to break from our nations' hostile past, just as the prison guard who brought me flowers was able to see past my nationality and recognize our common humanity.
The guard and I had very little to build on in terms of a common language, but I would say "one God" in Farsi and she would repeat the words with a solemn nod of the head.
When she found out that I was being released, the guard asked whether I would forget her once I got back to America. I told her I never would.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Sarah Shourd.

01 December 2010

Let's Be Upfront: I'm not anti-The Pill

I'm not against using the pill as a means of birth control. I'm not against birth control in general either. That being said, I found this article to be really interesting to read.

If you're making a choice, you should have all the information...imho.

17 November 2010

For The Love People...for the love

Helpful tip: perfume should be used sparingly. Seriously. Do not, under any circumstances, bathe in it. Trust me. This is for you. And mostly for me.

I'm highly allergic to perfume. ALL perfume. I'm just talking perfume. Not scented candles, not scented lotions or anything like that. But perfume. It's something about the chemical base of it that leaves me...well...gasping for air.

Brand doesn't matter. Price point doesn't matter. If you have perfume on, I will experience all of the following symptoms:
  • pounding headache. (seriously pounding.)
  • burning eyes.
  • sinus pressure...which leads into
  • sinus pain that radiates through my whole head...even my teeth will start to hurt. I'm not being hyperbolic.
  • inability to breathe.
  • desire to claw the skin off my face.
  • slight fever...seriously...
  • hacking cough.
  • sneezing.

Why am I posting about this? Well, I don't want the people of the world to have to stop using perfume. That would be cruel. Also...some of y'all smell. I'm just saying, less is more.

I went in to use the restroom at work today. And walked out experiencing all of those symptoms. Why? Some coworker of mine decided it would be a good idea to bathe in perfume in the bathroom at work. Did I mention that this room is completely enclosed. It's not even set up with one of those really high windows that could be cracked open to fumigate the room. Nope. Dead center of the building. No windows. It was so bad, I could taste the perfume. Of course, I couldn't breathe through my nose either...that had been destroyed by the fumes.

I just really hate perfume. Use it sparingly people. Like makeup, perfume should enhance your features...not hide them!

16 November 2010

Snowboarding or Skiing?

I've never done either. I'm going to do one this year. But which one?

15 November 2010

Damn...I Had a Good Rant Too

I had a rant all prepared about how much my life sucks and how much I hate my job. It also included plenty of "I know I should be grateful, but I'm not." Things such as "it insults my intelligence" and "Clearly, I wasn't meant to get my Masters." Also on the list was "I'm never going to tell anyone to get a degree of any kind, because I'm still stuck in a job that someone with a HSD would do....so it's not worth it." And end it with a "God doesn't care. I don't care if you think he does, because I'm just not feeling it right now. And that's fine. Don't tell me that I'm wrong."

Those were the highlights.

Then I opened my email. One of my former students, with whom I also took a class, emailed my former advisor. The place he works is looking for editors in his department. Working for his boss. He's going to tell his boss to look for my application. I'm filling it out tonight.

They say networking is the way to get jobs. I hope this works.

10 November 2010

Because Geese are the New Duck

Because sometimes people's stupidity just leaves me speechless.

08 November 2010

Sometimes...Play-Doh Breaks

My heart is heavy today. No parent should have to go through what my cousins are now experiencing.

Saturday, my cousin was in an accident. Due to unfortunate events, he was accidentally strangled while playing. It was no one's fault. It was an accident. Things looked good. Like he would make it. Sadly, he did not.

When things looked good, like he would make it, a friend said to me "God makes kids out of Play-Doh so that He can fix them easily." I had hope. Because it's true. Kids bounce back from things like you would not believe. I've seen my nephews do things that if I did, I'd be out for the count. Total KO. But they just keep on going. No broken bone or scrapes. I joke that kids have bendy-bones and thus, they don't break easily.

But, Play-Doh sometimes cannot be put back together. Sometimes bendy-bones are not enough.

And so today, I was asked to say goodbye to one of the most amazing little boys I've ever met in my life. He had the most beautiful face and such a sweet spirit about him. No one should have to say goodbye to a 3 year old. Especially not their parents.

I take comfort in my faith today. My faith that teaches me that little children are innocent beings that are saved should they die because they are without sin.
Doctrine & Covenants 137:10 And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.

I take comfort in my knowledge that he is with his G.G. (Great-Grandma), Great-Grandpa, three of his cousins, and an uncle. All of whom had passed on before. And I'm sure there are others who welcomed him with open arms and warm embraces.

I take comfort knowing that I, too, will be able to see his sweet face again someday.

Today I am grateful for my faith. It gives me hope, it brings me understanding when faced with the unimaginable.

So if you have little ones, or big ones...or love anyone at all. Let them know. Today. Tomorrow may be too late.

It has been raining here all day. Yesterday it was raining in Boise. The angels were crying. I think the earth knows what she lost and is mourning that. The rain, today, is a poetic reminder of my grief.

06 October 2010

Sadly, A New (Not so) Secret Shame

I saw this show yesterday. I don't even have words...

You heard it here...it's a message from God.

09 September 2010

Paradigm Shift

I have a Master's degree. My bound theses copies came yesterday. (Way to go BYU on getting my accent in my name!! w00t!) All I need is that peice of paper now and it's 100% legit.

Unfortunately, this makes me unemployable.

Unfortunately, I'm working as a receptionist. (With great people!! I love the people here.)

Fortunately, I now understand why I'm working here in this job.

I was questioning God. I knew He helped me get this job. I was promised a job that would cover my needs. This job does that. What I didn't understand is why I got a job that did not use my degree, or a job that didn't directly use my degree...but still used it.

I was pondering this as I was reading Church things the other day and I finally understood. This is my vacation. God knew I really couldn't take time off after my graduation to destress and declutter my brain. (My poor brain/body...you have no idea what it's been through...shingles, carpal tunnel, anxieties...to name a few.) My body needed a rest too. I couldn't keep going. I literally couldn't go into a job that was high stress. I would have burned out, quickly.

I'm grateful that God knows what I need even when it's not what I want. I'm feeling much more rested and happy lately. I've been applying for jobs still so maybe I'll get one in the near future.

Wish me luck!

08 September 2010

I So Need to Marry an Ethnic Boy

White boys don't dance like this. Love these kids!

07 August 2010

Up in the Dark

It's no secret why we're here
You can't keep it from it
In another moonless minute it's open wide

You hide secrets from them
You hide secrets but they're spent
All that kept the lights on when the power went

What's love?
What's love?
What's love?
What what turns up in the dark?

What's love?
What's love?
What's love?
What what turns up in the dark?

What turns up in the dark?
What turns up in the dark?

You can't see them in it
It gets weaker, watch them go
Wrap yourself around me in the shadow show

You hide secrets from them
They were the weakest ones we heard
Only when the lights were killed they sang that verse

What's love?
What's love?
What's love?
What what turns up in the dark?

What's love?
What's love?
What's love?
What what turns up in the dark?

What turns up in the dark?
What turns up in the dark?

What's love?
What's love?
What's love?
What what turns up in the dark?

What's love?
What's love?
What's love?
What what turns up in the dark?

What turns up in the dark?
What turns up in the dark?

07 July 2010

The Top 5 Guys

Once upon a time, a friend of mine was asked out by a boy. She said no. I was shocked, I told her "YOU DON'T SAY NO TO A TOP FIVE GUY!!"

But she did.

So Roommate and I decided that if we were going to allude to a Top 5 Guy list for our ward, we should probably make an actual list. To protect their privacy, we have changed their names:

  • Mr. F
  • Rupert Baldwin
  • Murdock
  • Doyle
  • McCartney Darcy
(These are in no particular order. We often place them in a specific order, but thought it would be best if they were randomized here. That way should any of them figure out (1) where my blog is and (2) who they are on the list, they won't' feel bad about their placement.)

Someday I might fill you in on the details of how these names came to be, but for now: nope.

You've heard me talk about Murdock on here before; yes, he's in the Top 5. No, he wasn't placed there because he intrigues me. He genuinely is a Top 5 sort of guy. What makes a Top 5 Guy, a Top 5 Guy? Here's the short list:

  1. Honors his Temple Covenants
  2. Respectful of women
  3. Priesthood holders
  4. Active in church
  5. Dependable
  6. Motivated
  7. Ambitious
  8. Genuine
  9. Funny
I could keep going, but I think you get the picture. Now to tell you a story: Rupert Baldwin wasn't on the list. I believed he would NEVER be on the list. And then we found out that he had such a deep respect for his Temple covenants that they were the first priority in his life. I can't get into the details, but when I heard that, I was floored. He jumped onto the list and he hasn't left it yet.

The thing is, these guys are really good guys. I'm glad to call them my friends. And truth be told, that's what started this Murdock intrigues me thing. I knew he was Top 5, but I didn't know anything about him nor why he was Top 5 material. I knew why the others were, they're my friends. So I decided to figure him out. And that's that.

My ward is full of really great guys, even if they're not on the list*, they are still worthy of it. We made this list as a joke, and we still tease my friend about rejecting a Top 5 Guy. But truth is? Rejecting pretty much any of the guys in my ward would be a mistake...with a few exceptions, but every ward has a creeper or two, right?

So here's to you, Top 5 Guys!

*That's the other nice thing about made up names. They aren't really that specific person I had in mind because it's just a made up 'nym. It could be for anyone in the ward.

02 June 2010

Stupid Chinese Spammers

I will now be moderating comments so that Chinese spammers don't show up on my blog anymore.

Okay. Love ya bye.

23 May 2010

I Like Them Whiter than Sour Cream

TheRoommate and I were rocking out to Weird Al's White & Nerdy the other day. See, we have a type...we both like the white and nerdy types. But...as we were singing the song, we realized that it's because we're white and nerdy. (Well, I'm slightly olive and nerdy...but....yeah.) For those that know us, the fact that we fit the song isn't surprising. It's also probably not surprising that we go for the white and nerdy types. So, without further ado (or adieu...for those that get the joke...) here is a list of things that we realized we actually look for in a guy, a la Weird Al....

  1. "Keep your 40, I'll just have an Earl Grey tea" (tea is sexy, not going to lie...but just like the more refined palette this implies)
  2. "My rims never spin, to the contrary, you'll find they're quite stationary" (no pimped out cars, please)
  3. "Steven Hawkings in my library" (This one may not be as true as others, but he'd have a love for non-fiction....or he's out)
  4. "Yo, I know Pi to a thousand places" (read: smart)
  5. "Ain't got no grills" (see #2)
  6. "...my fingers movin' so fast I"ll set the place ablaze" (dirty. ;) actually, reference to MineSweeper)
  7. "There's no killer app I haven't run" (tech geeks...LOVE!)
  8. "Do vector calculus just for fun" (I may or may not do this for fun....)
  9. "Happy Days is my favorite theme song" (LOVE this show...Fonz, he still got it.)
  10. "I can sure kick your butt in a game of ping pong" (yeah, nerdy games are best...)
  11. "I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on" (fore play?)
  12. "My ergonomic keyboard never leaves me bored" (tech geek...see?)
  13. "I memorized Holy Grail really well" (I may or may not be able to quote this....)
  14. "Spend my nights with a roll of bubble wrap" (it's sorta addicting....)
  15. "...nerdy in the extreme and whiter than sour cream" (yeah, i don't get this attraction, but it's there)
  16. "the only question I ever thought was hard was Do I like Kirk or do I like Picard" (Picard. Hands down. Kirk is too much of a play boy, Picard....*sigh*.....*blushes* oops....)

And for those that were counting I know for a fact Murdock is about half of these, I'm hoping to learn more soon. Now, there's nothing to report. Still keeping this one on the down low.

Yep, White n' Nerdy!

30 April 2010

I HATE Lady Gaga, but!

I love me some US Soldiers....

22 April 2010


Except not. I hope you weren't all excited that I was announcing something. I'm sorry, I'm not.

Sadly...for you!

For me, I get to talk about how amazing ducks are. (I'm not really sure if they're amazing...but the url made me do it...or makes...)

Unlike lobsters, ducks do not mate for life. These two ducks just happen to be together, eating right now...but not for long. See, once she's laid her eggs, he'll leave her. Until the next year, at which point she'll probably end up with a different male duck. And so the process goes.

There are some really horrifying things out there about ducks. But, it is the "wild" kingdom after all...and we can't expect these animals to act civilized all the time. Thankfully, they don't have the same cognitive skills we do...so we can be glad of that.

20 April 2010

Life is The Suck

Well, BYU has done it again...and it's not really anyone's fault. But...my life is still inconvenienced by them again.

I was planning on defending my thesis on July 2. However, time lines have changed today because I would have to have all changes made/approved by July 6. This is a newer deadline that just got handed down. No one saw it coming.

This means all my previous deadlines are now bumped up a week. Yep. Lucky me. Well, that gives me 5 weeks to write the thing. Think I can do it? I don't. I honestly don't.


In other news...I looked hot when Murdock saw me last night...though that doesn't mean a whole lot.

We'll see.

19 April 2010

Presenting TheNiece!

I can't get over how beautiful she is. She's perfect. I haven't even met her yet, but I love her already.

My lil-bro and his wife do good work, don't you think?

13 April 2010

I Laughed, I Cried, I Cheered

Love this.

And now the moment you've all been waiting for

So, I don't understand the love of random.org. I put in the numbers and kept getting "7" as the response. I did this 10 times. Just so you guys don't think there was any rigging involved, I have decided to be transparent.

I went through the comments and labeled y'all 1-6. I had promised Karen, that she would be on the list as well...since her story started all this. She was #7.

Guess who won?


That's right, Karen won this competition a total of 10 times. I don't think random.org's random number generator is completely random. Though the 11th time I did this #2 won. She's my sister and I decided that I was giving up at this point and Karen was clearly the winner.

Maybe the Universe is just trying to make up for that horrible date?

Well, Karen...email me and I'll get you your CDs.

08 April 2010

Retro Games Destroy the World...

...this is pretty awesome, if you ask me!

really, tights are not pants...

I found this while stumbling around the internet...LOVE IT!

07 April 2010

Like Getting Rick Rolled...only WORSE

Today I was Britney Speared. Yep, my good friend gromit said "No it is entirely by mistake. Oops! I did it again..." in response to my accusation that they were liking my forum posts on purpose. Now, I like having people "like" what I say. But I had pointed out earlier that I had given 61 likes and received 61 likes. I had matching numbers. She, of course, liked my comment...putting me out of balance. Then more people started. And so I accused them of "liking my comments on purpose" and that was gromit's response.

Then she quoted herself and posted a link. I should have known better. Suddenly, I was assaulted by Britney's music video.

I was Britney Speared.

This is the part of the story where I admit, that I know every word to that song. And actually enjoyed it. I am ashamed. I did not enjoy being Britney Speared today. It brought up my shame and it's like I'm 17 again and the shame is all too real.

On a happier note (and as an apology for everyone that will follow the link and watch Britney) remember when The President was Rick Rolled?

I do.

06 April 2010

Music and Life

Music is very important to me. To be sure, you don't develop a fan-crush without loving music. So it's not surprising, that I associate certain music with certain people/times in my life.

Murdock = jazz. I don't know why. But he does.

Roommate (Kalliope) = death metal/Green Day

Ex-BF (and that whole time) = "dirty hippie" music

Spring = Dear Prudence by The Beatles

Summer = Maroon 5

And so on. Music is important and each style reminds me of someone or some place. And each person can make me think of a song or artist that they seem to be represented by.

Also: anytime I wear the flowers my sister made for me...I get the lyrics to San Fransisco stuck in my head.

01 April 2010

My Last Will and Testament....

As I'm sharing some happy news with my sister, she says "If you die because of this, just make sure it is in the will that Greg gets your car...and I get your shoes."

She's a gem, that one. So to ensure, that should I die, my wishes are met...here is my "Last Will and Testament" as dictated between my sister and me.

Me: Thanks. And my clothes go to? My books? Movies? Music?

TheSister: Clothes for Jenn. Books to Kristie.

Me: Anything else I'm missing?

TS: Movies and music should be split up amongst us all.

Me: How? That might be hard. would Greg get the laptop too?

TS: Yes, please. Oh, and I get the desk.

Me: Um, no. Dad gets that back.

TS: With music and movies, make a list of people in order of picking and let everyone pick one each, as we go through the list. Until they're gone.

Me: Can't I divide by genre? Or something? Mom gets the musicals, Dad the action, something like that?

TS: Would work.

Me: But that might be considered an unfair division. (You'd for sure get all my 80s movies...or Kristie.) Yeah, let's just do the picking order list thing. Ladies first, by age...then boys, by age. Nephews/niece included.

TS: Good because you have some Disney that the boys would want. (Or she wants for the boys, but we'll let her believe that the boys want them...)

Me: Right, and I don't want you to feel you have to give up your choice to the kids. Plus, this means you and Greg will be top of all the lists since he's the oldest boy...and you're the oldest girl. Plus, oldest male grandchild.

TS: Hey, fair is fair.

Me: It just worked out that way. I'm going to blog about this, I hope you know. That'll totally make it legal.


TheRoommate gets my kitchen stuff, with the understanding that anything she doesn't need/want is given to my family to divide as they will.

Picking order:
Dad (I know he's not a girl, but he IS the ultimate oldest...that counts for something)
TheRoommate (she needs in a few rounds, I have movies/music/books she'd love)
Sis-in-Law #1
Jenn (see note above)
Sis-in-Law #2

There you go!

Disney's Ducks

And no, I don't mean The Mighty Ducks or the Anaheim Ducks. I'll talk about them later.

No, this is a way to tell you guys that I went to DISNEYLAND!! And I loved it. Every minute of it. I have the best aunt in the world. I just had SO. MUCH. FUN. with her. And spent WAY. TOO. MUCH. Oh well!!

Yes, the Happiest Place on Earth, comes complete with the Happiest Ducks on Earth. This particular duo, lives in the shadows of Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

They seemed quite content with their lives, and I'm pretty sure that the tourists feed them well.

I can attest to this, because whilst eating at California Adventure...I may have fed the ducks some AMAZING sour dough...just saying...but that is another post for another time.

Disneyland has the happiest ducks on earth. And probably the richest...note all the pennies that they swim above. So happiest and richest ducks on earth are found at Disneyland.

31 March 2010

Speaking Moron

This blog has been taken down, because someone opened their mouth about my blog to people that were mentioned herein. LAME!

I have it saved elsewhere...and may put it back up later. Okay, love ya bye!

It's About Time I Did This....

So, I read a lot of blogs, with giveaways. I've been wanting to do one, I don't have many followers, I'm sure. But, why not reward the few, the proud, the Xan-Fans? (Totally calling you guys that from now on. You love it.)

Here's the deal: I make CDs...like mixed tapes. I LOVE them. I do. They make me happy inside. My newest ventures in the mixed tape arena have created "Allergic 2 Love" and soon to be "Too Allergic 2 Love." (The name is a reference to a song by The Shins. In case you like random facts...) The winner of this give-away will get both of those CDs...unless you're one of the Xan-Fans that already has "Allergic 2 Love" at which point, you can choose from such greats as "Drinking Songs" or "Songs about ........" (You can fill in the name of that boy there. It's different for each girl...or girl's name if you're a guy.)

How to enter?
  1. Read my friend's blog about her most recent, worst-date-ever.
  2. Post about your worst-date-ever in my comments.
That's it. Except not...I am now updating this post, because I'm a moron and didn't put a deadline. Hmmmmm....April 9. That gives you a little more than one week.


29 March 2010

Formula for a Great Weekend

Despite it all!

Sitting outside with kids running wild around you.
  • and by kids, I mean, yes...there may have been people over the age of 27 running wild as well.
Hanging out with really cool people and getting to know them better.
  • TheGirlDennis...you rock...not that you read this, or need an online 'nym, but now you have one!
Watching Down With Love
  • So cheesy, and so stupid...but I love it.
Having HIM smile at me.
  • Priceless...I'm such a girl.
So despite having to move out of the one place where I actually had a good roommate, the weekend didn't suck as badly as it could.

24 March 2010

10 Things Every American Should Know About Health Care Reform

Thank you to MoveOn.org for publishing this list. I've read most of the sources cited below too.

1. Once reform is fully implemented, 94% of Americans will have health insurance coverage, including 32 million who are currently uninsured.

2. Health insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny people coverage because of preexisting conditions—or to drop coverage when people become sick.

3. Just like members of Congress, individuals and small businesses who can't afford to purchase insurance on their own will be able to pool together and choose from a variety of competing plans with lower premiums.

4. Reform will cut the federal budget deficit by $143 billion over the next ten years, and a whopping $1.2 trillion in the following ten years.

5. Health care will be more affordable for families and small businesses thanks to new tax credits, subsidies, and other assistance—paid for largely by taxing insurance companies, drug companies, and the very wealthiest Americans.

6. Seniors on Medicare will pay less for their prescription drugs because the legislation closes the "donut hole" gap in existing coverage.

7. By reducing health care costs for employers, reform will create or save more than 2.5 million jobs over the next decade.

8. Medicaid will be expanded to offer health insurance coverage to an additional 16 million low-income people.

9. Instead of losing coverage after they leave home or graduate from college, young adults will be able to remain on their families' insurance plans until age 26.

10. Community health centers would receive an additional $11 billion, doubling the number of patients who can be treated regardless of their insurance or ability to pay.


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10. "Affordable Health Care for America: Summary," House Energy and Commerce Committee, March 18, 2010

3. "Insurance Companies Prosper, Families Suffer: Our Broken Health Insurance System," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Accessed March 22, 2010

4. "Affordable Health Care for America: Health Insurance Reform at a Glance: Revenue Provisions," House Energy and Commerce Committee, March 18, 2010

5. "New Jobs Through Better Health Care," Center for American Progress, January 8, 2010

8, 9. "Proposed Changes in the Final Health Care Bill," The New York Times, March 22, 2010

10. "Affordable Health Care for America: Health Insurance Reform at a Glance: Addressing Health and Health Care Disparities," House Energy and Commerce Committee, March 20, 2010

18 March 2010

Pity Party of One? Your Table is Ready

My life is great. It is. I have a good job, that uses my degree. And my review went great. There is a possibility of a promotion in the near future.

So why am I so bummed?

I get to tell my family and my friends about it. But that's it. I know, I know, I know. I don't need a man. I don't. I'm happy. I am. But sometimes, when I get great news like this....I want someone else to share it with. I want someone that I can say "hey, I want you to know how happy I am" to and have them understand in that way that a SO would.

Am I crazy? Am I stupid? Or...am I just being a single girl with a real life that is stuck in MarriageLand?


15 March 2010

An Oldie...but a Goodie

Sorry about all the videos lately, but they're brilliant, and you know it.

Also, Ellen interviewed the Old Spice hottie. Love it.

When A Cardinal Speaks...I Listen

Francis Cardinal George | Catholics and Latter-day Saints: Partners in the Defense of Religious Freedom | February 23, 2010 | BYU Broadcasting

The link will take you to the video of the Broadcast. Enjoy. I know I did.

*To watch the video, you might have to download BYU's player format...otherwise, maybe you can just listen.

....The Man Your Man Could Smell Like....

Best. Commercial. Ever. Period.

Baby Ducks...or Why You Shouldn't Get Married

I know what you're thinking....babies are not why we shouldn't get married. Nope, especially when you have potential for cute babies. Like these beautiful ducklings to the right. Aren't the so sweet? I just want to cuddle them.

I don't know why they called the book the "Ugly Duckling." Ducklings are NOT ugly. And for that matter (I know that it was a baby swan, cygnet, and not a duckling in the story), but they're not that ugly either! Small, fluffy ball of feathers? Yes, please. They're adorable. I can't stand it, and I bet you can't either.

It's almost Spring. (Saturday to be exact) Babies are going to be everywhere, if not already. And what's not to like about them? They follow their parents around and they don't tend to attack you. But watch out for their mothers...they will go full-Mommy-terrorist-mode if they think you are getting too close to their beloved offspring.

For those that have been around a while, you know that there was a case of mistaken identity between a Canada Goose, and a duck. Now, take into account this picture of a baby goose. If you look up at the baby ducks...you might notice that they are both yellowy in hue. However, this goose is clearly darker than the ducklings. So I still don't see how there can be confusion.

Roommate works as a writer for an online bird watcher's site. She's working on identifying distinguishing markings between different fowl. Some are so hard to tell apart that she'll exclaim "THEY'RE THE SAME DAMN BIRD!!" (They're not...but they could be!) Ducks and geese are NOT of this variety. They are clearly different. Stop being confused.

And now, for why you shouldn't get married. A "wise" *cough* girl just said to me: "Don't get married. You turn into an idiot."

I could not agree more. *wink*

12 March 2010

How to Get Out of a Library Fine

Today, I have a story for you. I thought about making the two stories into one blog, but decided giving them each their own blog was more important. They both warrant it. Here we go!

As many of you know, I'm a graduate student. It's getting down to crunch time and I have to work on my thesis. Someone, unaware of this, had the nerve to recall one of MY BOOKS. I was not okay with this. I was sick, so I didn't have energy to work on reading the book. I tried, honest. But I was just too sick.

It came due. I had a choice: return it and wait 3 weeks for it to be returned to me, or keep it and pay $10. I chose the latter. It made more sense.

I worked with the book over the weekend. I finished gleaning information from it on Monday. I went to return the book. Roommate tagged along. I walk up to the Circulation Desk and toss my book on the counter.

Me: I need to return this book and pay my $10 fine.

Young Boy Librarian: Okay, I can take care of that. Can I see your card?

Me: (hands card over...smiles) I needed the book, or I would have returned it on time. I'm just trying to write my thesis.

YBL: That's fine. (clicks away on the computer...I put my leg up on the chair, I'm tired. (He was sitting down at the wheelchair accessible desk.)

Me: So, is it going to let me pay tonight?

YBL: (looking anywhere but at me) Well, you haven't had a fine in awhile....and I'm feeling generous tonight. (still unable to look at me)

Me: REALLY?! (smile big, put leg down to leave, and put card away) Thanks!!

YBL: Yeah, no problem.

I didn't realize what I'd done while I was doing it. I really was just tired when I put my leg up. It's not MY FAULT my legs are 4 feet long!! (not hyperbolic...they pretty much are) The poor kid, he didn't even know what had hit him. He later checked a few books out for me and told me how to "put a trace" on a book that I couldn't find.

My legs should really not be allowed out in public.....

11 March 2010

Pure Awesome

Today, you get two videos that are "pure awesome." The first is Enter Sandman on kazoos...yes, you heard right. Kazoos. They look so serious.

The second is a gay-love-ballad by Mick Jagger and David Bowie. Yes, Dancing in the Streets appears to have connotations that were unintended when these two dance their unchoreographed hearts out.

Happy Friday!!

03 March 2010

Things I Love About Work

  1. My phone - that doesn't work.
  2. My computer - that sounds like it's going to explode.
  3. Other Writer - that declares himself a feminist...regularly...and he is.
  4. Coworker - that says "I'll cut you" to me...all the time. (Incidentally, she said "I'll cut her too" once)
  5. Job Description - that basically says "Be a grad student. We'll pay you." (I'm a writer, I research topics...and then write about them. Sort of like a grad student. Only, I get paid.)
  6. Water Filter - that has had many songs sang about it. By other coworkers (not previously mentioned)
  7. My iPod - that I get to listen to it. Green Day helps me work.
  8. My Research - that is always on really interesting topics. (Tattooing? FUN!)
  9. My Office - that has a window that looks into the hallway. I see all of you as you go to the restroom...I know what you're up to.
  10. QA Guy - that just makes me laugh because he's so funny without intending to be.

Suggestions from Friends

Coworker suggested that every time I think about Billie Joe Armstrong, I should link to this blog I wrote. I said "that would get ridiculous."

And it would.

Another suggestion from a friend was to find a new therapeutic option for me. One that didn't include infomercials or killing people. Thankfully, Roommate jumped in and said "I'm sorry. That's all there is." And Roommate was right. That is all there is.

Not that I've ever killed anyone, but I have "wanted" to. It would make my life easier if we started going Darwin on these people and thinning the herds of stupid. I'm just saying. I think evolution is too slow sometimes. Survival of the fittest would work faster if the "fittest" took matters into their own hands. Ranchers do it all the time. Thin the herd, that is.

And for those that will say "but how do you decide who is stupid and who isn't?" That's the beauty of a dictatorship. I decide. If you want to know, ask me. I'll tell you.

Glenn Beck? Needs to be thinned out.
Rush? Same there.
Ryan Seacrest? Only if the Pope is Catholic.
Pat Robinson? His time is up.

And there you have it. The short list.

I'm not literally advocating killing anyone. If you think I am, seek help. I'm not. No one deserves to die at the hands of someone else. Everyone is entitled to their opinions even if I find them to be stupid. Okay? I'm not justification for your inability to tease out sarcasm from reality.

26 February 2010

22 February 2010

FNAM - Update

Some of you know what FNAM is, some of you don't. To put it simply: it was a plan created by two ex-roommates to get me married. They had no hope for themselves, so I became the project. What did they do to help FNAM? Not much that I can tell. They just ask me how "FNAM" is going on occasion. I tell them "I'm still not dating, does that answer the question?" Usually, they laugh.

You see, none of us is particularly good at the dating boys thing. (Or the dating girls thing for that matter....) We don't play the game that most girls play, where you pretend to be more demure and sweet and innocent and unopinionated and simple and homemakingish and etc..... (I clearly don't have an opinion about these girls....) We say what we mean and we mean what we say.

Last night, I was talking to a friend (guy--he's married) about it. I've been toying with the idea of taking the reins and asking a boy out. (This is not me. Though I don't subscribe to normal gender roles, I still think the men should do the asking. Weird, I know...but I think it's what a gentleman should do.) I asked him how I could go about this. His advice? Show genuine interest in the guy and try to show that I'm not intimidating. He believes that guys may be scared of me, and if I show that the guy has no reason to be scared of me, he'd ask me out. To do this he suggested, I isolate the boy and me from the group (if we're in a group setting.) and tell him I noticed that he does x, y, z and I'm curious about the motivations behind x, y, z. Then be un-intimidating and I might get asked out instead of having to do the asking.

I'm still for doing the asking. But I think this advice is valid. He didn't tell me to turn into a simpleton or to dumb-myself-down for the guy. He just suggested I show the boy (whomever he may be) that I'm interested and not really all that intimidating. Because I'm not. I'm not as mean as I appear or as out spoken as I appear. Some of it is a protective measure, and some of it is learned for other reasons.

Long story short. I may be trying this theory out soon. :)

19 February 2010

Four Years Ago (Yesterday)

Dear Grandma-

Just thought I'd fill you in on what's been happening over the last four years. Mostly life has plodded along as if nothing changed, but everything changes. There's an old saying "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Am I right??

I've started graduate school. I'm almost completed. I need to write my thesis, but there is so much more I want to do than sit at a desk and write it. However, I need to get it done so that I can move on to the rest of my life.

I have a job now. It's actually a good job. The best part is that it uses my degree. I don't think life could have worked itself out any better for me.

Of course, I'm still single. But then you probably knew that I would be. You were always so much more aware of us than we gave you credit. (PS, be nice to my kids...don't teach them too many of my old tricks, they don't need the help!! I've met Wesley and Maxwell...they have your handiwork written all over them.) I'm happy with my life, I don't regret the path I've chosen. I wouldn't trade my time away at school and this job for any of the "typical Mormon girl" life choices.I am a published researcher, you know. I was able to present in Hawaii at a conference there. Twist my arm. :)

I never would have done half of this without your influence in my life. Between you and the other Grandma, I couldn't have asked for better examples. You two taught me what it meant to be a woman. You are both feminist and probably didn't realize it. But you knew what you wanted from life, and you got it. All of it.

Sometimes when I'm driving up Emerald (or Five Mile, or any of the streets near your home) I forget and put my blinker on like I'm going to see you. I'll even move into the turn lane before I remember I can't stop by and see you.

They say time heals all wounds, but time will never heal the loss I feel. Most days are great, I hardly miss you. But then something happens, and I'm reminded of you and the pain is as intense as it was four years ago. I think what really happens is that time puts a scab on the wound. So that it doesn't hurt constantly. Until you catch that scab on something and it rips up a bit, the pain comes back and is intense for a short time.

I miss you.



18 February 2010

A Day Late

For Lent, I'm fasting from the following:

  1. TV
    • I'm hoping that giving up TV will force me to be more productive with my free evenings.
  2. Fast Food
    • I am always trying to be healthier, of course.
  3. Soda
    • I have been having massive heartburn issues lately, I'm hoping that cutting soda will eliminate the problem.
Well, there you have it. I Lenten Fast to be proud of.

A Rant

Dear BYU:

Look, I know I didn't enroll in classes, so it was technically okay for you to tell UHEAA that. But I'm a grad student. I'd taken 8 credit hours last semester and did not need to take classes this term since I only have the thesis left.

See, I probably wouldn't be upset about this if you also hadn't put my account on hold because you don't believe me when I say I have external health insurance. *sigh* So thanks for making me have a complete meltdown over how to pay you $200+ that would then just be REFUNDED to me because you won't take Visa. Why won't you take Visa? Because when I called to ask why you were charging a usage fee which is against your contract with Visa, your representative at the Health Center said, "yeah, that's why we don't accept Visa for Health Plans and Tuition." Direct quote. I swear. They don't use Visa because they can't charge us extra with Visa. That's ridiculous.

I hope it's all taken care of. I really hate you guys. I'm glad I won't have to be in school much longer.


P.S. BYU boys: if you see a girl struggling to carry 50 pounds of books (no exaggeration) offer to help. Trust me, no amount of girl-power-I-don't-need-a-man attitude will prevent her from accepting. Who knows, it could be the start of something beautiful.

16 February 2010

Happy 100th Post Bitches!

Don't like me swearing, too bad! It's the 100th post!! :D I finally made it! And so, without further ado:

Sex with Ducks

Nothing better than pro-gay marriage music and ducks.

Happy 100th Post!

05 February 2010

Public Service Announcement!

Also: Next Post will be post 100!! Look for it!

Random Musings on a Friday Morning

"The birds are coming back. Spring is getting closer."

"I don't know why she's looking at me. I drive a nondescript car."

"Sometimes, the only reason to call my sister is so I don't start talking to myself."

"Tazo Chai Tea Soy Latte? Yes, please!"

"I hate writing goals. Some of these things are hobbies, but if I don't keep writing things, they'll think I'm not taking this seriously."

"This job has no bearing (that I can yet see) on my future goals. How do I say that without upsetting them?"

"I have a bruise on my arm."

"Now I know what "ballast" means and why they put papers in lights that say "bad ballast."

02 February 2010

Losing Weight In Winter: Achievable?

I'm not sure. Think about it for a second. In the summer months salads are all the rage. Fish too. Fruit abounds and veggies are growing! It's like the cornucopia of good for you food. But what about winter?

Bears put on weight and then sleep through winter, but they need that extra weight for the sleeping, and the cold. Most animals, it should be noted, also bulk up for the winter cool down. My parent's cat certainly does.

My roommate and I are trying to be good about what we eat, this includes eating more salads than other things. But when you get home from work and the 30 degree weather, the last thing you want is a cold bowl of lettuce in your stomach. What you really want are the stick to your bone type dishes that fatten you up. Why? Because we're animals, people! We want to bulk up for the winter when it's too cold outside for skinny--er--sane people. Our natural instinct is to go for the chili and stews and leave the light-weight food for the animals (where some would argue it belongs).

So imagine my dismay when Punxsutawney Phil decided we had 6 more weeks of this hell to go through. Thankfully, my dear friend Newt sent me a link to the wiki page for Groundhog's Day. A quick tally of the 14 groundhogs represented found that the majority are predicting early spring! Take that Phil! (9 to be exact. Which is right at the 2/3 majority line.) So I'm planning on that early spring now.

Bring it on.

29 January 2010

Me? A Fashion Expert?

Well, probably not. I don't want to be. I don't care enough. I do however, hate that boys wear skinny jeans. Hello? Can we say gay? I'll let you read the post.

Turns out, that is the single most influential post I've written. Seriously. At least that's what Google Analytics tells me. 37 people have come to my site from searching about boys and skinny jeans. This is out of 51 visits from google searches. That makes it 74% of the people that use google to access my site come for that blog. Insane.

2 people that searched wikipedia found me. I tried to duplicate this, and I didn't show up on the first page. So I don't know how that happened.

My daily visits are up. I'm hoping this is because I'm blogging more. I still think my "unique visitor" count is too high, I'm hoping that averages itself out over time. Though if it doesn't, oh well. Right?

On this note: 188 visitors only came once. (Sad. Come back! Also: 66% of my visitors haven't come back. *tear*) 12 people have returned 9-14 times since I started this game. And only 1 person has come back 15-25 times.

I need more repeat visitors. Get to work people!

(I promise not to blog about my stats regularly. I hate blogs like that. I just find it really amusing that people find me for my rant about boys and skinny jeans, don't you?)

My Blogging Life is Complete

The Boob Nazi commented on my blog. :)

28 January 2010

Wikipedia is Amazing.

I just happened to sign on to facebook while at work. My sister-in-law had posted that J.D. Salinger had passed on. To be honest: all I knew about him was that he'd written Catcher in the Rye. So I went to wikipedia for a little more information on a man I knew so little about.

His death had already been recorded.

My news feeds are not that fast. Crazy people. :)

What I didn't realize, was that he was still alive. So when I first read the announcement, I thought "Really? I thought he was already dead." Oh, uneducated me. You really can't fault me though, (I suppose you could...) most American authors that are forced upon you in high school are dead. And we didn't spend much time on their lives anyhow. Other things I learned about him: he was reclusive. This makes me love him all the more. I hate authors that live for the spotlight. I enjoy when they go into hiding because "they never thought anyone would read their drivel." Or something along those lines. Makes me comforted to know that there are still people that just write what they want to and have no expectations of fame. They just want to write what they want to write....audience be damned!

So, rest in peace, dear friend. Your book touched my life.

26 January 2010

Modesty Be Damned?

Recently, my friend sent me a link on our forum about modesty and girls. A reader had sent in a question to the 100 Hour Board talking about his issues with woman's fashion. (side note: that link does not take you to the question I'm discussing...just to the page in general.) In a nutshell, he thinks that even if a girl isn't showing cleavage, she's being immodest if too much of her "upper chest" area is exposed. He also claims that this leads to impure thoughts in men. Clearly, the girl's fault.

Hold up. I get sick of men writing in to BYU's paper or anywhere claiming that the way women dress is to blame for impure thoughts in the menfolk. I thought we were all free agents? In a sense, mind you. When did I (or any girl) become responsible for your shortcomings?

Don't we believe that "...men are free according to the flesh...they are free to choose liberty and eternal life...or to choose captivity and death..." (2 Nephi 2:27). And further we believe that "men will be punished for their own sins..." (Second Article of Faith). Now, I know that I cut that last one without finishing its thought. (Which is "...and not for Adam's transgressions.") But, I maintain that if we are not held responsible for his sins, we won't be held responsible for anyone's sins, but our own.

Choosing to dress immodestly does not make the girl responsible for the impure thoughts of the men around her. I'm sorry, I will never believe that it does. She has no real control over what a man thinks, only he does. She might act as a catalyst for the initial "hey......" moment, but he is ultimately in control of his thoughts and can put a stop to them. It might not be easy, but he can....and should.

This is not to say that girls should dress however they want. Modesty is going to be the better option. (Even the best option.) Like I mentioned, dressing immodestly will trigger a natural man reaction. Girls do need to be aware of that, but it's (again!) not their responsibility if the guy can't control his thoughts.

Lastly, what of the men? Why don't they have lengthy discussions of modesty thrust down their throats? You might say, "cuz girls aren't visually stimulated like men are" but I would disagree. We might be less so, but we have eyes, and they do see. I admit, that when a man in a nicely cut pair of pants walks by, I take notice. I may even rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. Is this his fault for putting on "suggestive" pants? No. I have the ability to stop, and I do stop it before it moves from a playful rating game to something more inappropriate.

Bottom line boys: man up. You have control over yourself, and nothing a girl does will prevent you from having impure thoughts if you're not in control.

25 January 2010

I Might Need to Seek Help.

Billie Joe Armstrong is by far the sexiest man alive. I know I've mentioned this before, but I felt it needed repeating. To quote a blog I found whilst searching for an appropriate picture of him to put up,
"Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day is the Sexiest Man Alive. With his floppy hair, eyeliner, small stature, and the best known punk growl and snarl in the business he is walking sex......and the fact that he's married to his lifelong love, has 2 children he takes on tours, and also finds time to be a political activist, supporting both the NRDC and Obama.....Billie lives up to the most commonly found slogans: Billie Joe is God and Billie Joe turns straight men gay."
Or turn a girl into a fan of skinny jeans on men. One or the other. I might point out here, that his wife is pretty smokin'. Not surprising really, just thought I'd put that out there.

What makes this obsession even more disturbing: today at Maverick I nearly swooned over a guy that looked like Billie Joe. He had 1" gauges in each ear, and that was not enough to deter me. Not that I asked for the guy's number, or left him mine. But I was schoolgirl-awkward for the entire interaction. Pa-thetic.

I suppose I should get used to it. I'm sure there will be plenty more awkward moments with men that remind me of Billie Joe.

Seriously? He's a rock god.

Told you she was smokin', I don't lie. Anyway. I'm done.

A Little More Michel For Everyone

I don't eat bagels. Bagels are like glue in your intestines and ensure that everything that enters your body will remain there until you die.
I love me some Michel.

Looooooook at it.......

Don't stop looking just to read what I'm writing. I didn't tell you that you could stop looking.

Well, It's my 90th post, 10 away from the great 100th! And do I have something great planned for you! You're welcome.

22 January 2010

Thoughts for the Day

Brought to you by Michel of Gilmore Girl Fame:

"Look, I've had my peace with the fact that everyone who calls here is a notch above brain dead, and that the pennies I am thrown each week are in exchange for me dealing with these people in a nonviolent manner. And usually that is fine, but today, sorry lady, I have ennui."

"People are particularly stupid today. I can't talk to any more of them."

Have a great weekend! Next post will be about DUCKS!!

05 January 2010

A Haiku

CaraCara Orange
Sweet nectar of gods above
Winter happiness.

04 January 2010

Flying High

I love sitting next to the window on flights. You miss so much when you sit on an aisle, imo. During my flight to visit my family, I took an aisle seat due to ease of accessibility; it was a boring flight. Saturday, I flew home from vacation and sat next to the window.

As I watched my beloved home town go from life-size to ant-size, I marvelled at how it looks like my dad's train set. If, of course, you were to view it only from above. I looked down on cars driving to wherever, and thought "they don't know anyone is watching them...creepy." I continued to watch as the mountains rolled out beneath me, swathed in white. It was beautiful...white snow blanketed the whole landscape below. I was finally able to locate the road upon which I tend to drive, and that made me happy. I, now, want to find all those non-driven (by me) roads and see where they take me. My eyes would follow them until they disappeared. They were easier to spot as they cut their way through all the white, so it was easy to dream about following them.

I also looked down upon clouds. Does any one else wish they could jump into the clouds? I know they won't support me, I know they lack any semblance of being solid...but I long to run around in them/on them and just be in them. They look so soft and inviting!

Anyway, random yellow musings from my flight home.