Saturday, December 30, 2006

Jean-Luc Picard is my Hero!

Okay, I love my family. Love them to pieces. Seriously. But they're a little out of control in the way of nerdiness. I would dare say every single member except my sister and I could be squarely classified as what one would call a "trekkie." Just in case you don't know, "trekkie" is a term used to classify those obsessed with all things Star Trek.

Indeed, my trekkie family has star trek paraphernalia, magazines, books, all 178 Star Trek: Next Generation episodes, and pretty much all Star Trek movies ever filmed. In fact, taking my family's lead, I'm thinking of starting another blog which will function as a tribute blog to Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Okay, not really. Just a bit of tongue-in-cheek sarcasm for ya there.

But instead, I will offer up some random, but incredibly stimulating Star Trek facts:

1) The Star Trek: Next Generation franchise has made over $500,000,000

2) Commander William Riker was called Bill in two episodes only

3) Casters origionally wanted Sidney Poitier to play Geordi LaForge

4) The show brought in roughly about 20 million viewers weekly

5) Patrick Stewart's birthday is July 13, 1940

6) Because Spock was only half-Vulcan, he had green blood (T-negative)

7) There is a model of the Starship Enterprise at the Smithsonian

8) Q was named after Janet Quarton, a British fan

9) Next Generation was the first series to be nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding drama

10) In 2370, Deanna Troi learned that she had an older sister who had drowned when Deanna was just a baby

And in case you're hungry for some more Star Trek tidbits, Klingon is actually a real, honest-to-goodness language. Here are some Klingon basics that I hope you'll try out at your next party. Trust me, it'll really impress your friends ;)

What's happening?
qaStaH nuq?

Where is the bathroom?
nuqDaq 'oH puchpa''e'

We are Klingons!
tlhInqan maH!

Your mother has a smooth forehead!
Hab SoSlI' Quch! (This apparently is a strong insult)

Still hungry for more Klingon language info? Visit the Klingon Language Institute here.

Okay, time for me to Sujatlh 'e' yImev...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter...

It's on everyone's minds (should be anyway). I had a bit of an epiphany earlier today and I thought that I'd share it before I read about it on someone else's blog and then can't claim it as my own theory. That being said, someone else probably has already come up with the same theory, but I haven't read it yet, and I can pretend I'm the first.

Since reading book 6, I've been under the impression that Harry Potter will die. It's the classic, tragic ending. So thoroughly heartbreaking, yet memorable and touching. Harry Potter (the obvious Christ figure), so talented, gifted, and loved, dies to save the wizarding (and muggle) world from the evil Voldemort.

I no longer believe this.

Harry Potter is too pathetic to kill off. He may be talented, gifted, and loved, but he is terribly alone. His entire background is tragic. I don't think that Rowling would make someone with such a tragic background into the tragic hero. It's just too much tragedy. Instead, Ron will die.

And here's my reasoning: Ron, although possessing many good qualities, has not really pulled his fair share in the Harry-Ron-Hermione trio up to this point. Harry of course has been marked for greatness and as we all know, he is awfully brave. Just like his parents. Hermione is clever, smart, and can think quickly. Ron.....wait a sec, nothing really comes to mind. He has a cute sister? Good for a laugh every once in a while?

I think what he really brings to the table is loyalty. It's an underveloped trait of his we'll say. All that jealousy stuff sort of deterred him from fully developing it. But think back to the first book (I know it's been ages). They're all making their way together to find the Sorcerer's Stone. The first couple of obstacles, they face as a trio. Then at the chess match, Ron sacrifices himself so Harry can go on and do what he's gotta do. Rowling has previously said that Harry must face Voldemort alone (Hello! Dumbledore really is dead!) just like he faced Quirrel and Voldemort alone in book 1. Book 7 will play out similarly, but this time, Ron will sacrifice himself for real and Harry will go on to defeat the Dark Lord. Ron will then be immortalized by his willful death.

And I think Snape will die for Harry as well, proving once and for all that he is not evil. I'm not actually so sure about this one, but I really want him to be good, so I'm going to believe this theory until proven otherwise. (And I've changed my mind about Allen Rickman not being attractive as Snape. Hello! He's attractive in everything! It's definately the voice.)

And that is officially all of my Harry Potter rantings. For the moment.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Rock on!

So normally, I'm not a big fan of those quizzes sent over the email, blah blah blah, I don't really care that much and I really don't want to take the time to fill it out. I have better things to do with my time. But being slightly music obsessed (that's putting it very lightly) I couldn't resist this quiz I came across on My Mom Thinks I'm Cool. I found out that most of my life can be accurately described using only John Mayer and Nickel Creek lyrics. So here goes....

The Rules: Take 20 fairly standard and innocuous questions and answer them with music lyrics. Rock on, I say! It may take you some time, but it is always fun to find the perfect song lyrics to answer a question... and now, to the questions!

1.) Are you male or female?

She is frequently kind
And she's suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases
She's nobody's fool
But she can't be convicted
She's earned her degree
And the most she will do
Is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me

She's Always a Woman, Billy Joel

2.) Who are you?

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Rainbow Connection, Kermit the Frog

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here...
And I know that I am, I am, I am the luckiest

The Luckiest, Ben Folds Five

3.) Describe your neighborhood:

But the Colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye
Rocky mountain high

Rocky Mountain High, John Denver

4.)How do you look?

I love you sweeeeatshirt
red hooded sweeeeatshirt
dip dip dip sweeeeatshirt
shama lama ling dong sweeeeatshirt.

Red Hooded Sweatshirt, Adam Sandler

5.) What is love?

You got to leave me now, you got to go alone
You got to chase a dream, one that's all your own
Before it slips away
When you're flyin' high, take my heart along
I'll be the harmony to every lonely song
That you learn to play

When you're soarin' through the air
I'll be your solid ground
Take every chance you dare
I'll still be there
When you come back down
When you come back down

I'll keep lookin' up, awaitin' your return
My greatest fear will be that you will crash and burn
And I won't feel your fire
I'll be the other hand that always holds the line
Connectin' in between your sweet heart and mine
I'm strung out on that wire
And I'll be on the other end,

To hear you when you call
Angel, you were born to fly,
If you get too high
I'll catch you when you fall
I'll catch you when you fall

Your memory's the sunshine every new day brings
I know the sky is calling
Angel, let me help you with your wings

When You Come Back Down, Nickel Creek

6.) If you could say one thing to the person you love, what would it be?

Today skies are painted colors of a cowboy's cliche'
And strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky
Are next to mountains anyway
Didn't have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I will tell you all about it
When I'm in the mood to lose my way,
But let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
It brought me back to life

3x5, John Mayer

7.) What's your secret?

My beloved monster and me
We go everywhere together
Wearing a raincoat that has four sleeves
Gets us through all kinds of weather

My Beloved Monster, The Eels

8.) Are you strong?

Sometimes I pray for a slap in the face,
Then I beg to be spared 'cause I'm a coward,
If there's a master of death
I'll bet he's holding his breath,
As I show the blind and tell the deaf about his power
I'm a doubting Thomas
I can't keep my promises
'Cause I don't know what's safe,
Oh me of little faith

Doubting Thomas, Nickel Creek

9.) Where do you wish you were right now?

Do you want to go to the seaside?
I'm not trying to say that everybody wants to go
But I fell in love on teh seaside
On the seaside
On the seaside

Seaside, The Kooks

10.) What do you think about your friends?

You know it's nothing new
Bad news never had good timing
But then the circle of your friends
Will defend the silver lining

The Heart of Life, John Mayer

11.) Any words of advice?

Little child, be not afraid
Though thunder explodes and lightning flash
Illuminates your tear-stained face
I am here tonight
And someday you'll know
That nature is so
The same rain that draws you near me
Falls on rivers and land
On forests and sand
Makes the beautiful world that you'll see
In the morning

Lullaby for a Stormy Night, Vienna Teng

12.) What do you wish you were doing right now?

Road trippin' with my two favorite allies
Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies
It's time to leave this town
It's time to steal away
Let's go get lost
Anywhere in the U.S.A

Road Trippin', Red Hot Chili Peppers

13.) What do you think about drugs?

Judging by the look on the organ grinder,
He'll judge me by the fact that my face don't fit.
It's touching that the monkey sits on my shoulder.
He's waiting for the day when he gets me,
But I don't need no alibi - I'm a puppet on a string

Out of My Mind, James Blunt

14.) If you could say one thing to your enemy, what would it be?

I hope you meet someone your height
So you can see eye-to-eye
With someone as small as you

Somebody More Like You, Nickel Creek

15.) What do you do on Friday nights?

Girl, put your records on,
tell me your favorite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans,
I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let you hair down.

Put Your Records On, Corinne Bailey Rae

16.) What would you do if you won a million dollars?

So tonight I'm gonna party
Like it's 1999
Lemme tell ya somethin'
If you didn't come to party
Don't bother knockin' on my door

1999, Prince

17.) How do you feel right now?

It's late and I'm feeling so tired
Having trouble sleeping
This constant compromise
Between thinking and breathing

Trouble Sleeping, Corinne Bailey Rae

18.) Are you for World Peace?

It's the blind leading the blond
It's the cops collecting for the cons
So where is the hope and where is the faith
And the love... what's that you say to me?
Does love light up your Christmas tree?
The next minute you're blowing a fuse
And the cartoon network turns into the news

If God Will Send His Angels, U2

19.) Where were you born?

Flying Utah!
Flying Utah!
We'll be Flying Utah...

Utah!, Friday's Tribe

20.) Any closing words?

I listen to the wind
To the wind of my soul
Where I'll end up well I think,
Only God really knows
I've sat upon the setting sun
But never, never, never, never
I never wanted water once
No, never, never, never
I listen to my words

but they fall far below
I let my music take me where
My heart wants to go
I swam upon the devil's lake
But never, never, never, never
I'll never make the same mistake
No, never, never, never

The Wind, Cat Stevens

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Pursuit of Happyness

Overall Rating: Worth paying full price if you're rich, matinee if you're short on cash

Starring: Will Smith and Jaden Christopher Syre Smith

Note: Be forewarned! This plot description spoils the ending! Skip to the second paragraph if you don't want to find out what happens.

The movie is about Chris Gardner's (Will Smith) rise from poverty into affluence. At the start of the story, Chris is just trying to make ends meet (and failing miserably) so he can support his wife and son (Jaden Christopher Syre Smith). The situation gets worse and soon his wife leaves him to care for their son alone. A chance encounter with a stock broker (and his fancy convertable) leaves him feeling that he should move into the stocks and bonds business. He applies for a competitive internship, actually gets it, and then finds out that the position isn't a paid one. He still takes the job, but because he is unable to pay rent, he and his son are stricken homeless. Luckily he has the drive and ambition to keep working for his dream and after an immense amount of work, he secures a salaried position with the company.

While the movie is predictable and a bit cheesy at times, both Will and Jaden Smith's performances make up for it in leaps and bounds. Their on screen chemistry is amazing (gee, almost like their related in real life or something) and their characters never seem unnatural or forced. The movie was heartwarming, a bit inspiring, and the perfect flick to see as a family during the holidays.

Christmas Truce in the Trenches

There's a Christmas story that my dad shares every once in a while and I thought I'd share it with all of you because it is a most wonderful story.

In 1914 during World War I, soldiers on both sides were stuck in awful trenches with no respite from the harsh winter elements and under constant threat from the enemy. On Christmas Eve however, German soldiers began a "Christmas Truce" by delivering chocolate cake to the British along with the resquest for a cease fire so they could have a concert. The British answered the German request with a gift of tobacco. Thus began a truce of magnificent proportion, never seen before, never to be seen again.

The cease fire spread a 27-mile length along the front. Soldiers from both sides met in no-mans-land, exchanged gifts, played a bit of soccer, and sang Christmas carols together. In some places, the truce lasted through New Year's Day and it touched soldiers from both sides deeply.

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." 1 John 4:10-11 (KJV)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Linus Pauling

Who's the supernerd to the left you ask? This is Linus Pauling, one of my top three favorite scientists of all time. Yup, I realize I'm a supernerd too. But listen to what this guy did during his lifetime:

He was born in 1901 and went to college at Oregon State University to study chemistry. The semester after he took Quantitative Analysis, the school invited him to teach the class. He went on to research the link between structures of different substances and their physical properties. His important discoveries helped found the emerging field of quantum chemistry. He also advanced the science of X-ray crystallography, a very important tool for determining chemical structures.

In 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research done on the nature of chemical bonds. Along with his major contributions to the fields of physics and chemistry, he made massive contributions to the field of biology. He was the first to suggest that proteins were made primarily of alpha helices (think DNA) and beta sheets. He also discovered that sickle cell anemia was a molecular disease involving hemoglobin.

After World War II, he was deeply moved to warn people about the harms of nuclear weapons. He protests led him to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962, making him the only person ever to receive two unshared Nobel Prizes.

C'mon, now tell me that's not cool...

Very shocking

Gee, can you tell that maybe the post before this was made by a certain younger sister who got into my blog?

Blonde One

see the blonde one...shes my favorite

Friday, December 22, 2006

Late Night Pondering

Okay, my stressful week must have thrown my body into overdrive because I can't frickin' go to sleep. I swear I haven't had any caffeine! Only massive amounts of ginger ale! So this is why you're getting two random posts from me in the middle of the night. woohoo!

I was looking through the stuff I had saved on the fam's computer, and I found this picture of Lyndsi (my cousin) and I. I had forgotten about it, but I like it quite alot. It was taken very spur of the moment.

Also, I found a letter saved from an old friend whom I neither see nor talk to anymore. I despise the fact that we're not good friends anymore. I hate that it's just not possible to stay close friends with everyone. If I could, I'd just keep collecting people and never let my relationships grow distant. Is that too much to ask for? It's really hard for me to realize that some friendships are meant to be life-long and others only for a short time. Is it just me who has this problem? How do "normal" people cope with changing/losing friendships?

Enough late night pondering for me...

Most Beautiful Landing Ever

Ahhh... Finally home. I usually don't like flying, I'll be honest. I get motion sickness very easily, but I loaded myself up on ginger ale at the airport, and it seemed to help a bit. The ride turned out to be quite lovely. As we were nearing Minneapolis I looked outside and it was amazing. The stars were wonderfully bright in the dark sky and they lit up the clouds below just enough to make it look like an ocean of cotten candy. Then as we descended below the clouds it was like miniature world with all the lights from the city. Really very, very pretty.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I Have Seen My Death

Yesterday I found out that I am going to die on Thursday. No I'm not planning on my plane crashing. Actually, my mother informed me that she and my dad were both working the night I fly into Minneapolis so my brother would be picking me up from the airport. So what's the big deal, you ask? My brother just got his driver's license a few weeks ago. Not only did he just get his license, but he failed the driver's test twice before he got it. Ack! So why don't I insist on driving home? Good question. I was planning on that until my mother informed me that he drives a stick shift. And as scary as it will be to have him drive, it will be much, much scarier for me to drive. We'd be more dead than we already are. If that's possible. So in preparation for my death, I would like to write out my will beforehand. Very morbid, I know. But just in case as it seems somewhat likely.

Jill - All math books including calculus, ordinary differential equation, partial differential equations. Also, all solution manuals to these books. The entirety of my religious book collection.
Lizbrith - Biochem book (Very pretty cover) and my car.
Sam - Both physics books and my physics lab manuals and all shoes with less than a two inch heel.
Ben - Organic chem book and solutions manual and all my original photographs.
Mal - Solid state book and bike.
Jane - Inorganic chem book and all Ute paraphernalia.
Heidi - Analytical chem book and any of my shoes with more than a two inch heel.
Coxy - Physical chemistry and History of Jazz book and accompanying jazz cds.
Lyndsi - Art history book and scarf collection.
Bawden - All computer programming books and all Elvis cds.

Think that pretty much covers it right there. Let me know if there are any disputes or other requests but please make sure to get them in before Thursday afternoon.

Stranger Than Fiction

Overall Rating: Worth paying full price if you're rich, matinee if you're low on funds

Starring: Will Farrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Maggie Gyllenhaal

Note: For those of you who haven't seen this movie yet and don't want the ending spoiled, you should probably stop reading here. Go see the movie though, it's worth it.

The basic plot of the movie is this: An IRS auditor named Harold Crick (Will Farrell) who leads a boring, mundane life suddenly starts to hear his life narrated by Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), a famous author, who most unfortunately for Harold Crick, is in the habit of killing off her main characters. After he learns of his impending death, he seeks professional counsel from a literary expert named Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman). Jules encourages Harold to find out if his life is a comedy or a tragedy by seeking out a relationship with Ana (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a woman Harold is auditing. He and Ana begin to fall in love and Harold is inclined to believe he is in the middle of a comedy. It is then that Eiffel finally breaks through her writer's block and figures out how to kill Harold. Before it is typed and set in stone however, Harold tracks her down and gets to read the ending of his life before it actually happens. It turns out that he will die saving the life of a little boy who finds himself in the path of a bus. Harold, the altruistic hero, gives himself a death sentence by telling Eiffel to go ahead and type it. All goes as planned. Harold is hit by the bus while saving the boy, but before Eiffel can actually pronounce his death, she chickens out. She instead lets him live with massive injuries. At the end of the movie, Jules and Karen discuss the new ending to the book. They both know that the literature is only mediocre with the new ending, and that the book would have been much more powerful had Harold been killed. Karen says that she couldn't have killed off someone so good, since the world needs as many good people as it can get.

First, I want to say that I really loved this movie. I loved the director's (Marc Forster) style and both Thompson and Farrel did a wonderful job acting. I was shocked to find that Will Farrell can indeed act, since he is usually too over the top for my taste. The movie was both witty and inventive. Unfortunately, it is the ending that usually makes or breaks the movie or book for me. I feel a little bit better about the "all-is-well, perfect ending" since they did admit it would have been a better, more powerful story if Harold had died. Still, I feel the ending was bit of a cop out. Our society is too afraid of sad endings. Some of the best movies I have ever seen (Hero, Million Dollar Baby) have less-than-happy-endings, and I don't think that Hollywood should be afraid to embrace the fact that sometimes the story is just better when the ending isn't Disney-ified (no offense to Disney). The movie was definitely still worth watching though and I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't yet seen it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Some Random and Probably Incoherant Thoughts for the Day

Mwahahahaha.... I'm supposed to be taking a couple of my senior comps right now. But clearly I'm not. Because I'm a chicken liver and rescheduled them. Anyway, I'm kinda scatter-brained right now, so here are some random thoughts for ya.

1) I've decided that my life is fairly pathetic. And I'm drop-kicking it to the curb. I deserve better.

2) Heidi has the biggest collection of shoes I have ever seen. Being in her shoe closet (much more like a shoe room) is like being in a shoe store where all of the shoes are cute and come in my size.

3) Been thinking about the difference between the words appreciation and thankfulness. Technically the definitions are the same, but to me the connotations are different. Appreciation is much stronger. These are the people in my life that I appreciate the most: The Savior, my family, Matt, Ben, Sam, and my roommates.

4) Here are some recent photos. The first is Mal and I. The middle one is of Matt and Grant posing with Marshmallow Cream. The last is of Ben and I.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Top 5

My roommate Downi has this slight obsession with having a top 5 guy list. And by slight I mean quite large. So whether or not the rest of my roommates and I had actually thought about our top 5 before living with her, we now have our top 5 lists ready to go anytime anyone should happen to ask. And thanks to Andrea's blog about Jimmy Fallon, I have been inspired to share my top 5 with all of you.

1) Christian Bale. Is there any way I can get the Batman version?

2) Jon Stewart. So funny, so smart, and hey, I sorta like older men.

3) Jimmy Fallon. Also incredibly funny and just all around hot!

4) Edward Norton. I think it must be the eyes. And the goatee doesn't hurt.

5) Alan Rickman. Ummm....the non-Snape Alan Rickman.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Amos Lee Day

I am officially naming today Amos Lee Day in SLC. He's actually performing today, but I decided that maybe I should be responsible and not stay up freakishly late at a concert the night before an eight o'clock final. I hate being responsible. Anyway, Amos Lee is amazing. Such a beautiful voice and his songs are so powerful. My favorites are: Night Train, Speed of Sound of Loneliness, Black River, and Arms of a Woman. Amos used to be a school teacher before he decided that he just wasn't cut out for the job and now he's making amazing music instead. Here's a couple of links to music/interview sessions he did for KCRW if you're interested:

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Where the Wild Things Are

Tonight I found myself in the Barnes & Noble children's section, looking for "The Littlest Angel." On my way through the isles however, I found myself picking up all these books that I loved from my childhood and ones I hadn't heard of but had beautiful covers. Yup, that's right, I judge books by their covers. Anyway, one of the books I picked up was "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. As a child, I always loved this book and I still love it. It's definitely my favorite children's book and one of my favorite books in general. So good! The illustrations really are masterful and I love the story. Max reminds me of my little brother. I think when I'm rich and after I've bought myself a nice road bike (priorities!), I'd like to collect children's literature. Some of my favorite memories from when I was little are those of my parents reading to me. I'd really like to do the same with my children.

Final Today

Just found out that I got 99% on my american government final and the final I took today was A LOT easier than I thought it was going to be. Woohoo!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Can you hear me now? How about now? No? Now? Better here?

It may very well be that I'm just excessively tired because finals and senior comps are looming over me like a pro-wrestler getting ready to body-slam me, but I swear people are committing my #1 pet peeve more and more as of recently. What is this pet peeve you ask? Here are the two very related parts to my pet peeve:

1) People talking on their phones when I can't escape the situation. This includes people talking on their phones in the elevator, in the same car/bus/train as you, in the computer lab, in crowded stores, etc. No I don't want to hear your conversation with someone else. Of course there are exceptions, but you had better have a darned good reason for making me suffer through a one-sided conversation. Hang up and call them back in a few minutes. My favorite example: The girl who was breaking up with her boyfriend on the phone while riding a public bus. Seriously, do you really want other people to hear that? Isn't that sort of a private conversation? I definately don't want to hear it. Uncomfortable!

2) People giving their phones priority over me when I am with them in person. This one has more exceptions than the first, but still, as a general rule, people you are with have priority over people who are calling you. If you're expecting a phone call (or need to make one), you should let the person you are with know that you may have to take a phone call. You should also make the conversation as short as possible. Try to leave the room if at all possible (refer to above paragraph). And you should never, never answer an unknown number when you're with someone else. That's like saying some unknown person is more important than whoever you are with. Ouch!

Okay, I feel much better after sending my complaint off into cyberspace. Btw- I do realize that there are much, much worse things in the world than my minor complaints. I do have some semblance of perspective.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Blood Brothers

Author: Elias Chacour

Rating: Go read this book now!

Without a doubt, one of the best books I've read in quite a while. It's basically an autobiography that details the life and ministry of Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Christian. The book starts off by explaining the circumstances of his childhood in a small village in Galilee called Biram. As Zionist forces move in, Elias's family is forced to leave their home and belongings. What follows is an account of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict intertwined with Elias's development as a Christian leader. Though the book reads very simply, the story is incredible.

Throughout the book, Chacour is explicit when he states that his mission is not to turn the world against Israelis, but rather to unite the Christians, Muslims, and Jews. His entire life he has worked to raise the Palestinians out of poverty by educating and instilling hope in the Palestinian youth. In my opinion, this is a must read.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Google Trends

Recently found out that google tracks the searches made according to region and city and has made this information available to us all at

Did some investigating and found out that Salt Lake City and Minneapolis citizens are searching for some odd, surprising, and not-so-surprising things.

Searching for Snow:
1) Salt Lake City
2) Denver
3) Boston
4) Minneapolis
5) Melbourne

Searching for Swimwear:
1) Salt Lake City
2) Brisbane, Australia
3) Sydney, Australia
4) Melbourne, Australia
5) St. Louis, Australia

Searching for Biking:
1) Denver
2) Salt Lake City
3) Vancouver
4) Auckland
5) Calgary

Searching for Pornography:
1) Delhi, India
2) New Delhi, India
3) Chennai, India
4) Salt Lake City
5) Mumbai, India

Searching for How to Make Meth:
1) Oklahoma City
2) Edmonton
3) Portland
4) Minneapolis
5) Los Angeles

Searching for How to Make Bombs:
1) New Plymouth, New Zealand
2) Aukland, New Zealand
3) Perth, Australia
4) Adelaide, Australia
5) Brisbane, Australia
Note: Both Salt Lake City and Seattle were the only American cities to make the top ten on this list

Searching for Wedding Rings:
1) Salt Lake City
2) Oklahoma City
3) Phoenix
4) Minneapolis
5) Portland

Searching for Dance Dance Revolution:
1) Salt Lake City
2) Orlando
3) Minneapolis
4) Chicago
5) St. Louis

Interesting results to say the least. I find the fact that good ol' SLC scored highest on both Wedding Rings and Dance Dance Revolution. And find it perplexing that people in New Zealand and Australia seem to care a lot about how to make bombs. Are there a lot of bombs that go off there? Interesing...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Teeth!

Ack! Getting ready to get my wisdom teeth out tomorrow. Really don't want to, I'm sort of attached to them. But I'm being forced to. The bright side of this situation is that I may get rid of this perma-headache I've had for the last couple of years. My oral surgeon thinks it's being caused by my four wonderful, impacted teeth. Here's to hoping.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Salt Lake City Favorites

The Christmas lights on temple square have had me thinking about all the things I love in Salt Lake. Thought I'd actually make a list of my favorite things that I get to enjoy while living here. Here's my top ten in no particular order.

1) Everything outdoors. In the summer there's so many places to go biking, camping, hiking that it's out of control. In the winter (brrrrr...) there's always skiing.

2) Cocoa Cafe. 300 E. 900 S. One of my favorite places to go and do homework or read a book by their very toasty fireplace.

3) The downtown library. I could write an entire series of blogs on everything in the library that I love from the children's section to the overlook at the top of the building to the art gallery on the 4th floor.

4) Cathedral of the Madeleine. Gotta love those bells (You know you love them Ben).

5) Memory Grove/City Creek Canyon.

6) Temple Square. The tabernacle, the temple, and of course, the Christmas lights.

7) The waterfall up Big Cottenwood Canyon.

8) Abravanel Hall. Ummm...hello. The symphony. Need I say more?

9) The Gallery Stroll every 3rd Friday of the month.

10) The Farmers Market every weekend during the summer at Pioneer Park.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ah, it's Christmas Time!

As much as I feel like living in Salt Lake is sucking the life out of me, I really do love Salt Lake City. There are so many things here that I love. The lights on temple square every Christmas are hands down one of my favorite things here. And now that I live just down the street, I get to see them every time I walk out of my house. Lovely! And I don't have to worry about crazy down town parking if I want to go see them because, hey, I can walk. Took some pictures last night and I really liked this one. The tree still has some leaves on it, so it looks especially red.

Also, on a completely different note, this is Jill, me, and Danny hanging out on Mars. We're supposed to be lost (that's why no one is looking at the camera) and clearly I didn't read the sign that said to stay on the trail. Whoops...

And Jill, Sam, and Danny on the moon:

And for the especially good news of the day - I went to talk to the Chemistry Undergraduate Secretary today and I found out that I do not have to take my senior comprehensive tests next week. Instead I'm scheduled to take them after finals. And she's letting me take them in a different order than most people take them in. I'm taking the Physical and Analytical ones the first day followed by the Inorganic and Organic ones. This is good because I'll probably need that extra time studying for the organic test. But to ease my fears, she said if I happen to fail it, I can take it again. So no worries.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I need to move. I feel like I'm suffocating.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Word Play or A Dry Plow or Ward Ploy or Day Prowl or Yard Plow or Pal Wordy

So I have just recently the movie Word Play which is a documentary about people who do cross word puzzles and Will Shortz the editor of the New York Times cross word puzzle. This movie has inspired me to make two new life goals (besides marry Jon Stewart who apparently loves cross word puzzles):

1) Make a smart, creative cross word puzzle of my own. Sounds easy, but I think it'll be quite difficult. Especially difficult to make a good one.

2) Make my own documentary. Or mocumentary. Or maybe both.

Feeling seriously inspired.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Aversion to My Winter Coat

It was so cold this morning that I finally had to break down and dig my winter coat out from underneath my bed. Every year I try to put it off until I'm so cold that I'm completely numb and have no other choice. Like if I don't put on a coat it won't actually be winter. I realize this is completely illogical. But it makes me feel better. And colder I suppose.

Anyway, I pulled out my coat and threw on one of my favorite scarves (knitted crimson red with tassles) before I headed out the door to my classes. As I was walking to my car I thrust my hands into my pockets to combat the cold and to my surprise there was stuff left in my pockets from last year. I pulled the goods out to examine them and found two very pleasant surprises. The first was a very wrinkled dollar bill (love finding money!) and the second was a folded paper towel. Written on the top of the paper towel were three question marks and on the inside was written "A love note." It was an old note left in my pocket by Marie last year when I was having a hard day.

I love finding good stuff in my pockets when winter starts! Maybe next year I won't put off pulling my winter coat out for so long...

Friday, November 10, 2006

I'm weak!

As graduation draws nearer and nearer I keep having thoughts about things I would like to do before December 15. I realized as I was studying last night that I have never once pulled an all-nighter while in college. Not ever. How is that even possible? I'm a major procrastinator and college is supposed to be full of late night/early morning studying. So I decided that I would try to pull one last night for my test this morning. How hard could it be? I know plenty of people who do them all the time. Not to mention it'd give me plenty of time to solidify the my knowledge of boron and group theory. It went swimmingly until about 3:30 when I sort of collapsed. I'm weak, it's true. I have no idea how people can go without sleep. I don't think it's physically possible for me. All I can say is it's a good thing I zonked out on my floor since I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been able to pull myself out of my warm bed at 7:00 this morning.

On a completely different note, I finally read "The Giver" by Lois Lowry yesterday. Most people end up reading it sometime in their growing up years, but somehow I missed it. It was an absolutely beautiful book. There were a few little things I didn't like in it, but I think it makes it onto my favorite books list. Even though it's technically a children's book, it has very deep themes running through it that can be enjoyed by any adult reader. Definately one of those stories that you can't stop thinking about after you read it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Forgot one!

Forgot this one. Lizzie and my dog Baerli.

Pictures of Siblings

My little sis just sent me some fantastic pictures of my siblings and I from years ago. Top one has Nathan, Steven (my uncle), myself (that is one sweet headband), and Lizzie.

This one is Lizzie, Nathan, and Jared.

Lizzie and I. I must say that my hair has absolutely never looked better than in this picture. I have got to bring back this look. I'll get right on that...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Laurence Christopher Freaks Out

My bike (Laurence Christopher) decided to compeltely freak out today while I was riding the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. First I popped a tire (the third in 9 days!!!), then my chain went crazy, and then my brakes/back wheel decided to spaz. All in all, it wasn't the best day for biking. Luckily, I still got a decent ride in, but I'm going to have to take my bike in to get it looked at. Not too happy about that...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Mayhem

Just wanted to post a few pictures from this past weekend's Halloween mayhem. Mal as innocent Snow White, Ben trying to look like a sexy vampire (though the vampire teeth sort of kill it), and myself as jolly Santa.

Mallory as a not-quite-so-innocent Snow White.

Meghan, Lyndsi, Michael, and I. You can't actually tell from the picture, but Michael was extremely proud of the fact that he fit into his sister's pleather pants .

On a completely different note, I spent a freakishly long day in chem lab making these metal complexes. Twelve hours for this? I was completely jipped.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Weird Self-Portrait

Although this is my last semester, I have unfortunately put off a couple of classes that I should have taken as a freshman or a sophomore. One of these classes is Physics 2 lab. Possibly the lamest class ever with the exception of Physics 1 lab. It doesn't help that I actually took Physics 2 about 2 1/2 years ago. But alas, I am forced to go for three hours a week and pretend that I really care about that class in the least. This past week we were doing an experiment with electrons inside a glass ball. I took this picture because we were trying to measure the radius with the mirrored ruler in the back. The picture didn't actually help with that, but I thought it was a kind of interesting picture anyway with myself reflected in it. Sort of a weird self-portrait.

A recent picture from the top of City Creek Canyon (one of my favorite places to go biking):

Monday, October 23, 2006

Question by the Old 97s

Ack! Today while I was making a cd for a friend, I was browsing itunes and came across a wonderful song that I haven't heard in ages and previously didn't know who it was by. It's called "Question" by the Old 97's. Sooooo good! An old friend used to play it all the time on his guitar but somehow I never found out who originally performed it. A very cute song that you should check out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Those sexy little atoms

So while studying for my test tomorrow (uh, actually today I guess), I picked up some interesting tidbits about a few elements. Pretty sure none of these will be on the test.

1) Of all the elements, sound travels the fastest through Beryllium. A whopping 12500 m/s!

2) Roentgenium has never been seen by the naked eye, but theorists say if someone ever saw it, it'd be gold.

3) Group 5, also called the Pnictogens, got it's name from a greek word meaning to stifle or choke. Funny since nitrogen is in this group and it makes up the majority of the atmosphere.

4) When heated, arsenic smells quite a bit like garlic.

And now I am going home...

Monday, October 16, 2006

No more OChem! Ever!

First things first. Today I turned in my last lab report for my advanced organic chem lab. That means that after suffering through two OChem classes and three labs, I am finally done with it! Done Done Done!

Time to celebrate, I mean, errr... study for my inorganic test tomorrow. Sigh...

Yes, once again I am back at school. Since I was starting to fall asleep studying at home, I made myself come back. But let's look at the bright side. At least I'm in the chemistry building and not in the library again. I'm a firm believer that the library has full power to numb brains and devour souls.

Tonight as I was parking my car I think I finally lost my mind. I was actually contemplating spending the night here. In fact I still am. There's a wonderful room with very comfortable couches and I wouldn't have to waste time getting ready in the morning. If I was thinking of such things when I left my house, I would have packed a toothbrush and a change of clothes. But alas, I wasn't thinking of such things. I just don't know if I can actually bring myself to such a low, pathetic level.

No worries though, I'm sure to regain my sanity tomorrow after "Hell Tuesday" is over.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Let the Countdown Begin

After spending a great deal of my weekend in the library (and anticipating spending most of the next 48 hours in it as well) I have grown frustrated enough to calculate exactly how long I have until my last final of my undergraduate career is over.


60 days, 16 hours, and 24 minutes

Note: This includes daylight savings

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Many Virtues of Mix CDs

Just the other day, my fantastic friend Sarah Sossy decided to grace me with a surprise mix cd to help me through midterm madness. There are very few things in life that are better giving a mix cd and even fewer things that are better than getting a great mix cd.

Here are just a few reasons I get such a kick out of mix cds:
1) You get to "unwrap" the present for about an hour and a half
2) It's easy to put meaning or multiple meanings behind your gift. In the words of Wikipedia, a mix cd can be "a highly personal statement tailored to the tape's [cd] intended recipient"
3) Or it can have no meaning and contain pure randomness
4) Weeks and months later you can still enjoy the gift
5) Years later you can "unwrap" the present all over again. When I listen to old mix cds from a few years ago it puts me back in a different place and reminds me of people I love and miss.
6) I'm usually introduced to at least one new song or artist that I end up loving and playing to death
7) Mix cds are an optimal blend of low cost and high thought

One of my favorite mix cds I've made:
-House Carpenter, Nickel Creek
-Passage, Vienna Teng
-Comin' Home, City and Colour
-You Belong to Me, Jason Wade
-Pretty Dress, Rosie Thomas
-Goodbye My Lover, James blunt
-The Lighthouse Tale, Nickel Creek
-Shadow on the Wall, Brandi Carlile
-Empty, Ray LaMontagne
-Farewell, Rosie Thomas
-Annie's Song, John Denver
-Nothing Compares to U, Sinead O'Connor
-It Don't Matter to the Sun, Rosie Thomas
-A Case of You, Joni Mitchell
-When You Come Back Down, Nickel Creek
-Whiskey Lullaby, Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss

With all that said, it's possible I'm just easily amused and/or very sick of school...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Trip to Yellowstone

Since I lost my USB cable to my camera, I haven't really had any posts lately, but I'm working on ordering a new one from Sony. Hopefully I'll be able to start posting regularly again.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip to Yellowstone I made with my sister at the end of August.

The first three were taken in the early morning after a rainy night of camping. Yellowstone generally has a certain amount of fog since the ground let warm moist steam into the chilly morning air, but this was more fog than usual.

This one's a view from Upper Falls (Part of the Canyon Area of Yellowstone):

Amazing colors by a thermal pool:

A very tired looking Lizzie:

Woods at the end of an early morning hike:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Magic Disney Ball 2

So, I've done some major work on my Magic Disney Ball. Unfortunately while doing all that major work, I've run into some massive problems. First, it took forever to cut through the ball. Then we found out that we had to cut through the liquid container. Who knew that this is what the magic eight ball looks like inside. I swear the magic eight ball company wants to keep people out. Well, too bad, because here are pictures for all to see. Look at how huge that die is. It has like 24 sides to it. How come I always get the same fortunes?

I made the die for my Disney ball with such fortunes as "The dream that you wish will come true," "Don't underestimate the importance of body language," and "Squeak Squeakity Squeakin." It made of wood though, so I'm trying to waterproof it. I bought sealant, but it didn't work on the first die and it was impossible to see the fortunes. So this time I'm painting it with clear nail polish in hopes that that will work better. I'll probably still put some sealant over that just in case. I'm also going to make the water inside the ball a light blue instead of dark blue. Then if it happens to get water in the die, you'll still be able to see the fortune.

Another problem I've had is making sure the cylinder with the die and colored water contains no air. I brought home a syringe from work that seems to work well. I can then fill it completely with no air bubbles and then screw the cap on. And hope for the best. After that, it should be smooth sailing. Just glue the two sides together and decorate the outside. That'll be the best part. I got this very fine sparkly powder in light blue, pink, and purple. And Disney princess stickers. So I'll paint the ball white and then decorate it with those, then mod podge the entire thing to seal it and make it glossy.

This is the plan. Hopefully it works out....

Friday, July 14, 2006

Magic Disney Ball

A few weeks ago I read a book called The Jane Austen Book Club which was surprisingly good. Especially if you love Jane Austen as I do. Anyway, in the book, one of the members converts this magic eight ball into a magic Jane Austen ball. Decorates the outside in Jane Austen theme and replaces all the fortunes with lines from Miss Austen's books. I thought it was such a wonderful idea that I am making a converted magic eight ball for my friend Samantha's birthday. I decided however to go with a Disney theme, since she is fairly obsessed with all things Disney. Today my mechanical engineering friend Danny is coming over with his hacksaw to help me get it apart, so hopefully all goes well!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Lovely Bones

Author: Alice Sebold

Rating: Go read something else

Parts of this book were wonderful to read. Sebold has a beautiful writing style. But there are some serious bones I'd like to pick with it (lame pun intended). First, it felt like she was just hurrying time towards the end. The beginning is filled with an incredible richness that is neither hurried nor slow. It's somewhere in the middle that the story starts to feel skimmed over and rushed. Like she's trying to get to the end without letting the reader enjoy the journey. The second issue I had with the story was when Susie comes back and inhabits Ruth's body so she can make love to Ray. Can we say just a little bit far fetched? Come on. This scene felt completely out of place with the rest of the story. At that point the only reason I kept reading was because Sebold's writing style is entirely lovely. She might want to work on content next.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Biker Guy with Trailing Gorillas

Mallory and I were driving the other day and pulled up at a stoplight where this biker trailing a pair of stuffed gorillas was stopped next to us. How awesome and random! You can't see it, but on the other side of this gorilla is another slightly smaller female gorilla. I love it!

Hippie Style

Really! I don't look like this all the time! We had this faux family feud thing last night where there were themed families and I was in the 70's family. Hence the sweet hippie look. I cut up a pair of old jeans, inserted fabric to make them into bell bottoms, and ironed on flower patches. I also made myself some love beads and got super cool sunglasses at Big Lots (one of the best stores ever!). It made me sort of wish I had lived in the 70's. It was fantastic to be decked out in tie dye. I think my favorite part was pulling up next to other cars while I was driving and seeing the people in them do double takes. The super tall shoes were a bit painful though, I must admit.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Ack! So I got to class today and realized, oh wait, everyone is silent and bent over working. we have a test? Oh yes! We had a test! Why is that I've been such a space cadet lately? Hello! Who forgets things like tests? Apparently I do. Sheesh.

I went and bought Eric Clapton unplugged today. I think I will soon be in full Eric Clapton obsession. It's kind of weird how since my parents raised me strictly on things like classical music and marty williams, I now get to go back and discover music that everyone else has been listening to for ages. Not that I didn't know the most popular Clapton songs, I just didn't fully realize how fantastic it all is. A year ago this same thing happened with James Taylor. And now I'm a full fledged James Taylor addict.

On a completely different topic... I have recently been rereading Jane Austen's novels and the question my girlfriends and I have been discussing is this: If you had to pick any of the male characters (not just the lead ones) to marry, which would you choose. I'm having an awfully difficult time choosing between Colonel Brandon and Mr. Knightly. Both very gentlemanly and fantastically rich. Although maybe I would have to go for Mr. Knightly because he seems to have a more developed sense of humor.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Space Cadet

Once again, I have proved myself to be a full-fledged space cadet. It was raining when I went to school and I accidentally left my lights on the whole day. Needless to say, my car did not start when I tried to go home. Luckily my fantastic roommate Mallory decided to come help me out of the goodness of her heart. Someday I won't lock myself out of my car, run my car battery down, lock myself out of my house, etc. I had actually been doing pretty well until this little mishap. It had been almost 6 months since I did something of that sort.