blur of a week and back at home

Last week flew by!

After I

  • finished my internship with the Maxwell Institute
  • got an internship for next fall and winter with BYU publications
  • saw the Hannah Montana movie with my roommates
  • watched 24
  • packed my stuff into 8 to 10 bins plus a dresser
  • cleaned all the kitchen cabinets for cleaning checks
  • went to a game night with my friend Cheyne
  • went to Red Robin for a chocolate shake with Michael
  • finished off the fifth season of Gilmore Girls (watched while packing of course)
  • stopped by and visited one of visiting teachees
  • fit all my stuff plus Emily's into a storage unit once Dad came into town
  • stopped by and said hi to Michelle & Co.
  • ate dinner with Dad's cousins
  • got new tires for the car after one of the tires went completely flat
  • stopped by and hung out with Brooke and then with Katelyn
  • an 8 to 9 hour drive through southern Utah and the Rockies
I'm home for four months!


how about a filtering system?

I've had an account with goodreads.com for a while but haven't really done anything with it until now. In short, I love it. Of course. It's like a not-stalkerish facebook for cool people who read. It's incredible. Over the weekend I spent undisclosed amounts of time perusing the pages and pages of quotes, which was way fun, but I did find one thing slightly unsettling: several quotes per page were from the Twilight books. Granted, I have read the Twilight books, and I enjoyed them for the basic story line. (I even posted about it last summer.) However, the writing is truly deplorable. When I told Mom this afternoon about goodreads catering to Twilight quotes, she responded with "What can you quote from Twilight?!" Yup. I refuse to add those quotes to my favorite quotes list; you will not see Twilight quotes on my goodreads sidebar. Ever. (Harry Potter quotes will grace my goodreads quotes rotation. Obviously.)

I vote for implementing a filtering system: any proposed quotes to be added to the goodreads quotes archive, just pass it by me. I'll sign off. Then we can avoid travesties like this one: however enthralling sparkling vampires are--and I admit to reading all of them and enjoying the concept--Twilight is literary kitsch, not literature. No way.

Elitist? Maybe.

"I can't help it, baby; this is who I am"--Jimmy Eat World.


Till September

VT email reminder--check
BYU Magazine editing/proofreading/writing tests--check
Heidegger research paper--check
Money to Alison--check

Student ratings--check
Print final supervisor eval and give to Don--check
Tolstoy research paper--check

Essay exam 2--check
Banana chip bars for class party--check
whisk copies: $23.49 per copy. Yikes.--check
Scholarship deadline--check

"A Boring Story"--check
Buy a new D-string--check
A Grief Observed--check
Change Ensign mailing address--check

"The Forged Coupon"--check
Internship paragraph of advice--check
Internship paper--check

Editing portfolio--check
Lit/Film final paper--check
Hadji Murat--check

Final whisk log to Bro Gardner--check
Tolstoy take-home final--check


rewind a couple years

Isn't it funny how you can hear a song and instantly be transported back to a very specific part of your life? I had made a Genius playlist (iTunes's most genius idea to date) of "Bruises" by Chairlift and on it is "Let Love In" by the Goo Goo Dolls. I bought this CD one of my last weeks in the dorms. It was this song specifically that attracted me to the album, because it was the song to a YouTube video documenting the love story between Jim and Pam from "The Office." Ha. Anyway, this song started playing, and I was thrown back to two years ago when I was packing up and moving out of David John Hall. Good times.

by popular demand

For my fellow whisk members, the banana chip bar recipe:

3/4 c. margarine
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 medium bananas, mashed (it works well to keep old bananas and freeze them for this very purpose)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 6-oz. package of mini chocolate chips

Cream together margarine, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla--beat well. Stir in bananas. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat well until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread evenly in greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. **Useful tip: these are way better overdone than underdone.**

I loved working with you girls this semester! Enjoy :)


campus puddles

Apart from the fact that every route up to campus requires trekking up a hill, there's not much I dislike about campus. Except the puddles. I don't know what it is about the campus paving, but the pavement is rolling. When is rains or snows (and by the way, what's up with the snow in April--snow), there are seriously deep puddles everywhere. And then when you think you've successfully navigated the puddle labyrinth, you feel a huge wave of water spill over into your shoes, soaking your feet and a foot of your jeans. Why can't campus be level?


tie-dye foot

Last week we had a couple rainy days. One of the days I was wearing my trusty Danskos and a little bit of water got into my shoe. Not thinking that it was a big deal, I went throughout my day with a semi-wet sock. Whatever. Then I look down at my foot mid-afternoon and see that the dyes from my shoe bled into my sock. Oh dear.

Fearing for my foot, I carefully took off my still-damp sock. And found this:

The pictures don't do real justice to my bizarrely colored foot. It took a couple showers to get the dye out. I'm hoping the dye comes out of my socks; they're my favorite classy-yet-whimsical socks.

lovely Easter

I have so much to catch up on, so I'll just start at Easter. Maybe I'll rewind, maybe I'll fast forward. Hold on for Charlotte's blogging ride. Man, school has been eating me alive. But I'm still alive. Pretty much. Last day of class was today--ShamWow.

And my Easter . . .

was stellar.

Emily and I exchanged Easter baskets on Saturday night (followed by a Brooke date to dinner at Red Robin and "Bedtime Stories" at the dollar theater)

My basket was awesome, complete with Coke Zero, dish towels, Burt's Bees, a Borders gift card, and more.

Oh yeah, and the creepy clip art.

I gave Emily a couple cute Target plates and glasses, and among other things a super creepy miniature lawn gnome found in the dollar (which has recently been more like the $2.50) section.

Anneli asked me to play my violin in Relief Society, and I had a pretty arrangement of "Beautiful Savior" prepared. I took out my violin to practice the piece a couple more times until I had to go to church, and much to my dismay, my D-string snapped. (Please, please, don't read that wrong. Ha.) So, no musical number in RS. I'm scheduled to play next week.

The best part of the day was going over to Michelle's. We ate dinner, talked, and played Cities and Knights of Catan with Max and Lucas. Lucas is quite the competitor--he completely betrayed Emily at one point in the game. He's ruthless.

The most important part of the day, however, was the opportunities I had to reflect on the Atonement and the Savior. What I love about Easter is that we have the chance to simply rejoice; it's important--essential even--to understand how we can and need to use the Atonement, how to take advantage of its all-compensating power; however, sometimes we need to take a moment and simply offer gratitude and praise for that miraculous power. That's what Easter is--a celebration.

It was a good Easter :)


what a winner

Because I don't have any access to live TV in my apartment, I always end up mooching off friends. Tonight, I went to Emily's dorm (yes, you read that correctly) and watched The Office with her friends in the dorm lobby. (I know, I know--kind of a lame venue.) So I sat down with Emily and her friends, all excited to be reunited with one of my all-time favorite shows.

And then the piano girl came.

She sat down and started pounding out this run-filled piece, showing off for whom?? No one. Does she think that makes her cool?? Because it doesn't. We ended up turning the volume up all the way and crowding around the base of the TV, craning our necks to look up at the mounted television. Ridiculous.

And then Piano Diva decides to "grace" us all with "Flight of the Bumblebee." Because, again, we think that's really cool. Super awesome. Really. I only wish I were that cool.

I think I'll watch The Office over again tomorrow--it will be like watching it for the first time! . . . again.


dirty work

At the Maxwell Institute, the FARMS Review takes an apologetic stance on many anti-Mormon issues. (And I didn't know this before I worked here, but apologetics is a defense, not an excuse or correction.) As such a publication, the Review often (not all of the Review content is apologetic) confronts anti-Mormon material and rebuts it in a scholarly and solid way. However, as the peon of the Maxwell Institute, I find it my responsiblity to complete the source checking, going through and making sure that every quote and page reference is correct. The book this one article is reviewing is quite nasty; part of me wants to take a break, refuel with Book of Mormon reading, and pick up my duties again tomorrow, but the other part of me wants to finish this source checking as soon as possible and never have to look at it again. It really is a nasty book, and thankfully, the article confronts it and reveals its many shortcomings and falsities; but I do wish that source checking weren't part of my job description today.

Before I go to class, I think I'll need to wash my hands. Today, editing really is hideous.


Conference recap

So school has been so incredibly busy that I haven't gotten a chance to blog about my awesome weekend!

Michelle invited Emily and me over, and we ended up spending the whole weekend with her and her family. Watching Conference is just so much more enriching for me when I watch it with my family; and despite my immediate family living five hundred miles away, I feel such a closeness and solidarity knowing that they are watching the exact thing I am at the exact same time. Testimonies are so unifying.

Saturday night, my grandparents from Canada took Emily and me out to dinner. We didn't know they were planning on coming into town until we got a call from them on Thursday night--what an amazing surprise! It was so great to see them; because they live in Canada, we're never quite sure when we'll next get to spend time with them. Much to my blogger dismay, I didn't a get picture :( It was definitely a highlight of my weekend, though.

Another major highlight was doughnut night on Saturday!! It was Michelle's first foray into doughnut making, and I will testify that she is a born doughnut maker!! Delicious :) We all watched Conference on Sunday and then had Sunday dinner. We played games and just relaxed and had fun together. I had such a great time, and I left wondering why Emily and I don't come over more. And now next semester, Michelle and her family will be in Paris. Blast. (For us, not them :) )

I wish I had more time to thoroughly document all aspects of my weekend, but alas, the clock is telling me that I need to get back to writing my essay exam. (I have been thoroughly unproductive in the school department today.) So here are some quick highlights from my Conference experience:
  • Live providently--in such times as these, we need to learn to live within our means, and we'll be okay.
  • We need to become acquainted with the voice of the Holy Ghost.
  • Obedience gives us greater control over our lives.
  • Covenants produce the faith necessary to persevere.
  • Our opportunity to face adversity manifests God's infinite love for us.
  • If we do all we can to be worthy of the Lord's help, we will have no need to fear.
  • Learning lessons from the past helps us build our testimonies.
  • Doubt is not a principle of the gospel.
  • Prayer will fortify us against temptation
  • We should enhance our prayers with song and fasting.
  • Nothing but the gospel of Christ gives us a permanent solution.
  • We are endowed with the spirit of fire
  • Discipleship is a journey--we demonstrate to ourselves the extent of our own faith and endurance.
  • We must remember who we are and what we have.
  • To those who are alone, feel alone, or are abandoned, remember that Christ experienced true and absolute loneliness so that we would never be truly alone. We are never left alone or unaided, even when we feel that way.
  • May we always stand by Jesus Christ, for that is how he stands by us.
  • Let's take our thoughts away from our troubles and instead focus on our blessings as members of the Church of Christ.
  • If we stay with Christ, there will be nothing that can defeat us.
  • Satan desires to make us common, while Christ desires to make us precious and unique.
  • Temple preparation should be the focus of all we do.
  • Member-oriented missionary work is what will bring success. Our full-time missionaries are trained to teach--let's give them those opportunities by finding them people to teach.
  • If we haven't already, we need to make an active decision of whom we will serve.
  • We need to nourish our testimonies--they will protect us.
Okay, so those are a lot of highlights--it was just a great conference!!

I'll blog more about my life when I have a minute to breathe.

PS--What's up with Michelle, Emily, and me not getting a SP?!?


English major's nightmare

I was ready for a few hours at the library. I had my smuggled 32 oz. of Big Gulp Pepsi and was pumped to get some quality work done on my critical theory research paper. I put my flash drive into my computer and clicked on the folder that housed my document. And I was consequently informed that the file or document was corrupted and unreadable. It wasn't saved on my computer, because I'd been working on the school computers all week. My paper was gone, kaput, corrupted.

. . .

I sat at the desk and cried for at least fifteen minutes--tears literally streaming down my face. Seriously. My whole heart sank at the reality that I had to rewrite the first four pages of my research paper. Having to rewrite four pages of a paper would be a bummer anyway, but rewriting four pages of a critical theory paper?? You've got to be kidding.

After I grieved, I bit the bullet and dived back into my paper. I buckled down and was able to rewrite what I'd lost and then continue to write a bit more, reaching a good stopping point for the night around midnight. The rewrite isn't as good as what I had the first time, but oh well; it's rewritten, and now I just have to make sure I can finish this fifteen-page paper by next Thursday at five. Dad was trying to find some application that could restore my files from my flash drive, but I decided to just start rewriting anyway; if there wasn't a way to restore the file, then I would have lost even more time to write.

It turned out okay, though (especially with the Caramello bar Katie gave to me earlier this week). Emily posted a shout-out to my dire situation on her blog, and I definitely felt the Lord's strength in getting me through the evening. Something was a little off, because I found I kept leaving out words in my sentences, and I didn't always agree my subjects with my verbs (it was bizarre--I don't know what misfired in my brain), but it got done.

And last night, I felt the true power of solidarity and tender mercies: I was texting my parents, who we giving me cheers and encouragement, and honestly the blog comments were so bolstering. Emily left me a spirit-lifting Post-It on the car for me to see when I finally left campus, and I ran into my friend Emily (different from my sister :) ), who gave me a conciliatory hug, and I saw my rooommate Katie in the LRC. Even though I suffered a significant academic misfortune, things turned out okay. I felt loved last night, and even more than needing my paper to magically reappear, I needed to feel loved. Thanks :)


what the heck it's wednesday

So, believe it or not, it's Wednesday already. I've actually had a pretty good (but way busy) week, and I've wanted to blog about it; alas, the library has claim on my existence for the next two weeks. Ew. I'll try to escape for a few minutes sometime and do some real blogging.
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