Sunday night - Mom and my sisters have gone back to town, so it's just me, Dad and the dog hanging out with no football to watch, but plenty of homeworky-type things to do.  Am I doing any of it?  Oh, heavens no!  But I am blogging a list.  And what a list it is -

- Mom and I had a nice chat about things and that was good.  She's a bit happier, which I think is fantastic - been planning a few things for herself that have nothing to do with certain unpleasant things that usually bring her down.  We talked about the baby shower I'm throwing for my sister in May and I'm excited to for that.  Not just the party, but the fact that I'm going to be an aunt and I'll have a little one to spoil greatly and have fun with without actually being the parent (still don't know if it's a niece or nephew yet.  Sis and Bro-in-Law know, but they aren't telling anyone right now.  Should I be running a betting pool?)

- Like I've said recently, it's really nice to throw things away.  We've been cleaning things that have been in storage since we moved nine years ago.  Most of that stuff was stuff that, at the time, I couldn't bear to part with.  But now, I'm happily throwing things out in the trash and in the burning barrel and watching it go up in smoke.  It feels like a metaphor almost.  I'm getting rid of old crap that was weighing me down and now I have room for things in my life that are new and wonderful without worrying if they'll fit in with the old stuff I had hanging around before.  I have so many ideas and fun things I want to do - I don't want to feel beholden to the past as though I owed it something (that was profound and deep, actually).

- I really, really, REALLY like cinnamon gummy candy.  These cinnamon Easter bunnies are the best!

- I bought a plastic needlework thread organizer box for all my stray cross-stitching floss.  I'm starting to feel like a real cross-stitcher-person-thing!  It's just so relaxing to me and I love it.  Though, I need to find something to do with all my cross-stitching projects when they're finished.  Gifts, I suppose.  I'll see how this works out.

- I have so much to be happy about right now.  I'm right in the thick of my Master's degree, I'm going to do a practicum this summer, I'm finally getting to move out of my parent's house(!), I'm in a fandom that I completely adore and I find things to be absolutely giddy about at the drop of a hat.  And I'm in a job that I love that will help lead to other good things that I just can't wait for!
You've seen those news stories and specials about people who hoard, right?  Like, you go into their houses and there is nowhere to stand because there is so much junk and garbage stacked all over the place.  Well, Thursday's CSI was about a lady who hoards all kinds of crap and they find a bunch of dead bodies in the house - it was pretty gross (but anything for more Nick Stokes love, right?)  I was bored and started watching it - it was really interesting.  Hard to follow, but it got me going.

After I finished watching, I had a sudden urge to clean out some of my crap.  This actually started last week when my dad announced he was going to sell the house he inherited from his parents that we'd just been using as a storage facility (more or less).  I still had some stuff there and I actually ended up throwing about half of it out (I didn't find any dead human bodies, but there were some other little creatures nestled in some of those boxes.  Ew).  The fascinating thing is that some of that stuff I could not bear to part with four or five years ago.  Maybe I'm more objective now or I'm so far separated from it (or I've been living in small spaces for so long) that now, I can take whole cardboard boxes full of sentimental stuff and unceremoniously dump it in the trash.

It's very therapeutic, I've found.  Sort of like paying off debt - it's like my attachment to this stuff was an overdue debt that seriously needed to be paid so I could move on, but I couldn't do it for whatever reason.  But now I don't feel like I owe anybody anything so I can in good conscious throw it out (this was stuff like pictures and newspaper clipping and toys that I thought I'd want when I'm older... well - I really don't want any of it).

Some of the stuff I kept - it was still in good condition and I wanted it.  But it's just nice to clear out bad memories from the past.  Even better when you can pack up some of that stuff and chuck it in the burning barrel (which is what I did today with the stuff out of my closet).  Now I feel like I have room for things that I actually want to keep around - not the crap I've been just shifting around so I can deal with it "later."  Well, it's later.  And it's gone.  And I feel great about it.
Had an interesting thought today and I just wanted to get it down here.  Kind of deep, but it made me feel good about life.

Oy... I woke up this morning in one of my "What-am-I-doing-with-my-life?" funks.  Even knowing I'm doing everything I can possibly do at this point in my life, I still feel like there's more I could be doing.  It's just one of those irrational, everything-must-be-perfect-so-how-come-it-isn't-and-I-suck-because-I-haven't-accomplished-XY-and-Z moods I get in.

So, I'm sitting in church today thinking about all these things and I feel like my brain is about to explode from all these self-deprecating thoughts I'm having.  I fished out my writing journal that I keep in my church bag and started writing down everything I 'd been feeling and I came up with the most random, yet encouraging things I've thought of in a while.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was "Charlotte's Web" (bookworm+farm kid = loves "Charlotte's Web" - I have yet to hear of anything to the contrary).  I even had a little piglet I named Wilbur.  I still hate spiders, though.  Anyway, there's a point in the book (and in the movie too, now that I think of it) that Wilbur is feeling really low because he misses Fern and he feels like there's no other reason for his life than becoming pork chops and bacon - and he doesn't want to just be a fat, lazy pig in the farmyard.  In the movie, the line is that Wilbur can't sleep because "his stomach was empty and his mind was full" and that's about where I was (my mind was full - not necessarily that my stomach was empty... just go with me here).  But then he meets Charlotte, who uses her ability to show that Wilbur is more than a typical farm pig.  But through the story, Wilbur never really does anything beyond what he's accustomed to doing - he does put on a little show when people come to see the spider's web, which could be out of his comfort zone a little.  But really, he's just himself all the way through the book - it's Charlotte's friendship and the fact that she sees something special in Wilbur that ultimately saves his life.

Sometimes, when I feel like life's just about checking off "go to college, get a degree, get a job, get married, have kids, blah, blah, blah..." it gets so bland and so routine (sort of like a grocery list - but when you get to the store, you can't figure out where certain things are hidden in the shelves).  It's like waiting around and fattening up just to be made into pork chops.  But even though the things I'm doing now may seem bland and boring, something's going to happen that makes me amazing - and that I'm not just here for the things that people have told me I'm here for.

It's been years since I've read "Charlotte's Web."  I want to read it again.

I Must Rant

Jun. 9th, 2010 02:30 pm
And it's all due to my own scatterbrained stupidity -_-'  But in the interest of not spoiling your day, the following will be placed under a cut so you can continue with your sunshine-and-lollipops day, if you so choose (but if you're really curious of what's got me so uptight, then consider yourself warned).

PhD - Piled Higher and Deeper )

PPS - Cutting through my rantings and general frustration with life (and so you don't think that my life is a total crap-sandwich), I found the first(ish) episode of "Doctor Who" online (the first one with Christopher Eccleston - which confused the heck out of me because I thought David Tennant was the main guy.  But then, Wikipedia obliged with an explanation of the Doctor's regeneration and what-have-you and I was satisfied).  Anyway, I quite liked what I saw and I have since set my DVR to record "Doctor Who" because I'm not a fan of watching shows online with Chinese subtitles.  I figure since "24" has ended and "Heroes" is set to end and "CSI" has jumped the shark, I guess I need something new to fangirl over (and none of network TV's summer offerings look that great - then again, do they ever?).  S'pose I should find some "Doctor Who" iconage to go along with it (yay!  Something happy to look forward to!!)
I'm back from my class weekend - new semester, new instructor, new set of rules to get use to, but I love it.  Oh, and two EXTREMELY funny YouTube videos that were shown in class (and I'm too lazy to embed them, so just hit the links)

Improv at the New York Public Library: here

The Gen Y Guy: here  (this one, I have to say - I am 25 and I write in cursive, I would rather handwrite a note, and with text messaging, I spell everything out AND I use commas.  Just goes to show that generations are NOT exclusively exclusive... yeah... anyway... )

It's going to be a good semester.  Oh, and I found "Enchantment" by Orson Scott Card at Barnes and Noble (I rarely have a class weekend where I don't find the siren of B&N calling me over to spend money I don't have during my Saturday lunch break - luckily, this particular volume was rather affordable).  It came HIGHLY recommended (as in [ profile] narniadear  insisted I put it up at the top of her list of books for me to read, so I'm going to take her advice), so I'm excited to read it.  I also found "Iron Man" at Wal-Mart for a reasonable price, so I used my birthday money to buy that DVD, which I will watch and then go see "Iron Man 2" while it's still in theaters.

Also, somewhere along the line of driving home from class this weekend, I launched into a monologue about the Arizona immigration law and some of the arguments people have made against it.  I was in the car talking to myself (yes, I am that nuts) and just gave the whole speech as though I was in front of a big crowd of supporters (or non-supporters) of the law.  I felt a lot like Julia Sugarbaker when I was formulating it, actually (thank you for introducing me to Miss Sugarbaker).  It went in some interesting directions and if I can get the whole gist of it into print, I think I might post it.  I'm sure my flist can guess where I stand on it, but my answer of why I feel that way may surprise you.  But I'm in too good of a mood to post it right now.  Maybe tomorrow.

And I think I've got my mom convinced to go back to school.  She has her associate's degree and we kids are more or less raised (the youngest two are in high school, but it's not like they need constant attention like when they were babies) and I've thought for years that she should go back and finish her degree.  So, that's going to be my next project is helping my mom get through school (she can do it - she just needs to have the confidence to actually do it.  Maybe that's a trait of many adults going back to school later in life?)

OH - and I keep forgetting - I got "The Blind Side" on DVD for my birthday and it is EXCELLENT!!  I'm a little upset at myself for not seeing in theaters, but whatever.  I think if your'e looking for a happy, upbeat, feel-good movie, that is a good one to see.  If you know next to nothing about football, the movie explains everything you'd need to know for the purposes of the story so that's not an excuse.  Sandra Bullock is one of the actresses I like to see and she's fantastic and the kid who play Michael Oher is really cool too and SJ is a hoot (he's the younger brother).  You know what, I just LOVED this movie!!  And I think everyone else should see it and love it too! (but decide for yourself).

That's my weekend updates.  I have a lot of stuff going on, so that's why things have been so scattered lately.  Hopefully things will start to calm down at some point and I can post more directed subjects and not just "What I Did Today" kind of stuff (the final "24" Rehash EVAR! will be on time, don't worry about that - not like you were, but you know...)
I woke up this morning with the dog curled up on my stomach.  I looked around the room and realized that the laws of entropy are alive and well in my life.  I leave for a week and... well, for one thing my room is a royal mess.  I don't think it was that bad when I left, but there are four little agents of chaos that frequent my home, even when I'm not here (legitimately it could be five, since my sister is here but she typically stays in her own room in her own world - but that's not conducive to controlling the young Chaos Trolls).  But I need to clean it and pray that I find my red jump drive because I cannot for the life find it and it's got some pretty important crap on there - school work, yearbook pages, the backup of my book - and I use it with great frequency.  So, I'm a little stressed over losing that.

Side note on these Chaos Trolls: I have long asserted that the best form of birth control is baby-sitting - especially the Chaos Trolls.  Mom always said I was overreacting and they're actually very cute kids.  And they are - when they want to be.  Well, once upon a few months ago, my sister and her husband were enlisted to baby-sit the Trolls while their parents went to the temple.  Sis and Hubby gladly watched the kids, but by the end of the night, they were frazzled and - to quote what my sister told my mom: "We're never having children."  Even my easy-going brother-in-law was not amused - maybe because my sister came uncorked at them and that is not a pretty sight.  Well, it's funny when she's mad at someone else, just not you.

Speaking of chaos - I also have to keep a close eye on all the critters that camp out in our yard, more specifically, the dogs.  They are their own breed of Chaos Trolls.  Oh, and did I mention that our weenie dog is in heat?  That adds a whole degree of entertainment.  There is no way little Scout will get pregnant by any of the farm dogs (I don't think I need to explain the biology), but there are plenty of alpha males that will probably get into fights just because she's there.  Personally, I will count it as a blessing if our border collie, Butch, mortally wounds (read: kills) that idiot Flip who I hate so much.

One happy side effect of growing up on a farm - there is little need for any of those embarrassing "birds and the bees" talks.  You already know what's going on by the time you're seven.  Sure, you still get the talks, but Mom has an actual context to work with.

The living room is a mess and the kitchen is a disaster - our dishwasher still isn't fixed yet even though we order the parts two weeks ago.  So, I am washing dishes by hand, which is not bad because I insist on using one of those scrubbie wand thingies (I think I was scarred as a young child by reaching into murky dishwater, not knowing what lurked beneath the greasy former-suds.  That can be a scary adventure - even worse than the Terror Ride at Lagoon - that's another "scarred-for-life" story I need to tell).

Oh - and homework - March is my most busiest month this semester.  Seems like everything is due at the end of the month, though one of my professors was kind enough to make everything due in his class on the last class weekend, which is April 24 and that's not going to be as stressful.  But so much must be done.

And the yearbook - we finally have a consensus on the cover design and a few other things - they're getting a hardcover book, which I lobbied hard for (this softcover spiral-bound nonsense has to stop - it's a yearbook for Pete's sake.  I've seen the condition the old softcover ones at the school are in and it's is vomit-inducing).  Now, we just have to get the pages done.  They're working on it, but it is sooo tempting for me to take on a few pages myself just to speed the process along.  But I have to not do that because the kids need to know how this stuff works.  Sure, I could do the whole thing for them and it'd look okay, but it wouldn't mean anything.  So, I have to swallow my impatience and let them learn on their own.

(Dear Heavenly Father - I know I need to learn patience.  I get that lesson every single day.  Is there any way that I can possibly have a Spring Break from this life lesson?  My blood pressure is starting to rise - again.  Oh - I can't?  Mm... didn't think so.  Can I just say - I have a feeling that I'm about to learn some kind of hard life lesson.  I know it must be done, but it doesn't mean I have to look forward to it).

Oh, and there's all my self-inflicted projects that keep me sane.  Those are also on The List for the very real fact I hate not finishing things.  So, I have a few cross-stitches I'm doing, plus some fun books I'm reading and the one I'm writing (which has been put on the back burner because it seems like someone has something else for me to every time I try to sit down and work on it.  And it's usually my dad with some spreadsheet or another for me to draft.  I guess I just need to turn off the phone for long periods of time).

Aww... cute - Cash (the youngest of the Chaos Trolls) just came over to keep me company.  And to watch "Tom and Jerry Blast Off to Mars" on our big TV.  You see where I rank, don't you?  Luckily, the older Trolls are in school, which means he can't do too much damage and I might be able to get a handle on it.
Now it's been over a week?  In my defense, I have been away from internet access since last Thursday.  Plus, I spent last Wednesday and Thursday substituting at the school again.

So, yeah, here's my life since then.  Be warned: it's long.  Just pick a cut link and here we go!

Oh stink, Fred Thompson's out of the presidential race.  Well, maybe Romney will make him the VP candidate.  In the meantime, I need to go thaw.
(Why is my iTunes shuffling through all the depressing songs I have?)

I realized I haven't posted anything pertinent to real life in a while (or maybe it just feels that way).

Last weekend was fun.  I went with my family to Hurricane to watch Delta play their playoff game.  The first half was a big defensive battle, so no one had scored by halftime.  After halftime, Hurricane came out all fired up, so we figured that they would score and that it would be all over.  Except we got a defensive stop at the two yard line and one of our guys stripped the ball and ran down the field to about the ten yard line (none of the refs had blown the play dead, so the kid just took off).  Delta ended up winning 6-0 (they missed the extra point - the kicker's kind of a scrub).  And their big reward is... to go play in freezing Logan tomorrow and get massacred.  Oh well, my brother's looking forward to basketball season, so hopefully that'll be better than football season was.

Once we got home, we had [profile] adjie1026's birthday party and then we just played Halo all weekend (there wasn't a Sunday Night Football game because of the World Series - I'm not really into baseball, but I wanted Colorado to win.  I have to pose a question, however.  Would you rather your mascot be a big, imposing, mountain range or would you rather it be something that gets lost in the dryer?).  She got another Xbox controller for her birthday so we could play three at a time, so we did a big Halo tournament-thing with my siblings and my cousins.  I usually suck at Halo, but we played the King of the Hill game and I actually didn't do too bad (it's easier when you know where everyone's headed instead of just free-for-alling it and waiting to get sniped).

We came back to town on Monday, but I didn't come into Salt Lake until later in the day.  Tuesday, I didn't do much except read, but yesterday I got a call from the employment agency and they had an envelope-stuffing job for me.  All I did was stand by the conveyor belt and put CDs into these mailing sleeves with this really ugly and kind of creepy-looking kid on them.  But it wasn't too bad.  The people I was working with were nice and they let us listen to the radio.  It almost felt like a Young Men/Young Women service activity back in the day, except I'm getting paid for it (Money = Win).  I spent six hours there, but it felt like it went a lot faster.

Then, last night my roommate and I went to the YSA Halloween party up Millcreek Canyon.  I really hadn't planned on going, but my roommate wanted to go and I figured I still had my Hermione costume from all the Harry Potter hoopla over the summer and I might as well use it.  The party was okay, they had music (and supposedly a spook alley, but I don't think they ever got it together) and food.  The costumes were pretty fun.  Our bishop and his wife dressed up American Gothic and one of his counselors and his wife were a butterfly catcher and a butterfly (the butterfly was in the net - that was cool).  Someone else was a stick figure (they wore white sweats and used black tape to "draw" the stick figure shape) and there was another couple that were a pair of eyeballs.  This one group of girls dressed up as those old-school Trolls complete with the jeweled belly-buttons and the stick-up hair.  They told us that they had each put a whole bottle of Elmer's glue in their hair to make it stick up the way they did, which, I don't envy the job they're going to have getting that stuff out.

Anyway, that's what's been going on with me.  I'm going to have a book review post since I've finished a few books (and it'll probably be beneficial to more than a few of you, so look for that).  I'm debating whether I want to go home this weekend again, since I need to get working on my missionary paperwork and such, but I might need to hang around here in case someone wants to come see my apartment and (hopefully) buy my contract.  We've had a few calls, so that's good (please, someone want to come live here - pleeeease?)
It's Wednesday!!  Yay for being halfway through! ^_^  And I bought a bag of Claey's root beer barrels at Sportsman's Warehouse last night, which are now housed in my desk drawer.  Heaven ^_^ (I may have to get the cherry flavored ones next time though... I can't pick!)

Today I have my shooting test for my hunter's safety class, which I'm not terribly worried about.  All I have to do is get 15 out of 30 inside the dotted line on a paper-target-rabbit from 50 feet away.  As long as I know which target is mine, it shouldn't be too difficult (I'm going to write my name on my target with a big red Sharpie so the cocky little twelve-year-old kid to the right of me knows that's my target and not his).  The last time I went target shooting, I pretty much blasted the crap out of that paper woodchuck.  And when I've passed the class, I will be presented with my very own, brand-new small game license.  Beware little woodland critters - Beware.

But before that can happen, I also have to pass my written test on Thursday, which I am a little nervous about.  Where they will allow you to take the shooting test until you pass, you have to get the written test in the first round or you don't pass and you have to take the class ALL OVER AGAIN! (a passing score is 38 out of 50 questions correct)  Though, most of the questions I think are basic common sense gun safety things like treating every gun like it's loaded, the basic parts of a rifle (stock, action, barrel), don't wear red, white or blue when you're turkey hunting because you could be mistaken for a turkey and get shot - mostly stuff I've been taught since I was five years old and my dad took me out and showed me how to shoot a gun (one of the many benefits of growing up in the sticks is that you get to do things that people in the city can't do without serious repercussions ^_^).

There are a few slight issues that I've never thought of before that are actually laws that I've always taken for granted.  For example, it's illegal to have a loaded gun in a vehicle.  Yeah, my family's driven around with a loaded gun in the truck all the time (for clarification, the loaded guns were usually in a case, stashed under or behind the seat not in grabbing distance, so it's not like we had any malicious intent.  Mostly, it was laziness).  Anyway, as long as I can remember what's in the book and the stuff the instructor's drilled into us, I think I'll be okay.

In work news, there's this accreditation group here to see if the university still deserves it's street cred in the rounds of higher education.  It really doesn't affect me much other than I have to dress up more than usual for a couple of days.  Unless the accreditation folky-days want to interview me on my role in *sigh* "fulfilling the university's mission statement," which means I go into BS mode really fast and pray that they don't ask me any hard questions (to be honest, I come to work, I do what they tell me to do, check LJ a few times a day, don't get caught, collect my paycheck, promptly proceed to blow it all at Barnes and Noble after I have responsibly paid the bills, of course).  I highly doubt that they'll come talk to a lowly rookie editor, but you never know, I suppose.

[Random Tangent Alert!]  And I have no idea where my Gryffindor wall banner is!  I asked [info]adjie1026 to bring it out one weekend, and she says that she gave it to Mom to give to me, but it's not anywhere that it should be!  And that distresses me. [/Random Tangent]



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