Friday, January 30, 2009

I want to be amazing like other people

When I handed my license and boarding ticket to the security fellow at the St. George Muncipal airport Wednesday he glanced at it, said "Oh!" quickly looked at me, then down at my license again breathing, "Ohhhhh…" and said, "Andrea Jolene….Angelina Jolie….that was pretty close! I was going to ask you for an autograph!" You should know I'm 5'1, with brownish hair, greenish eyes, and not even remotely Angelina in lips or chest. Not to mention the absence of beautiful for life Brad Pitt attachment or clinging ethnic children I've adopted from third world countries. It was still probably one of the best moments of my life. Though upon inspecting me he realized I was not even remotely an exotic high profile celeb (because flying from a Muncipal airport in St. George Utah wasn't tip off enough), I was still ALMOST mistaken for Angelina Jolie. How many people can say that? Its moments like these that create sunshine in my life.

I was also informed by a friend a la Provo that an ex-b/f of mine was voted most eligible Bachelor of BYU Law School. Wow. Not bad. I dated the most eligible bachelor at BYU Law School. Not bad at all. I mean – did you know that back in the day one Steve Young was voted the most eligible bachelor of BYU Law School? I didn't either – but someone told me that and I chose to believe it. So really – I kinda dated Steve Young. Thus I was kinda dumped by Steve Young too. Hm. Still, not bad either, and a great t-shirt logo to boot: "I was kinda dumped by Steve Young." The ex could wear one that says "I am kinda Steve Young." It's still positive even being dumped by "Steve Young." It's like saying "Oh yeah I dated Brad Pitt for awhile even though he dumped me." Well hey! At least you dated him! And lets be honest – being not really at all mistaken for Angelina Jolie is pretty much like almost not even remotely dating Steve Young. Wait a minute! What this really boils down to then is this (try and keep up with the logic – it's going to get sketchy) – as of Wednesday evening I almost dated Brad Pitt. Think about it! Look how things can work to our advantage if we really delude them. Yet another thing that brings sunshine in my life – delusions.

Truth is though, I'm not that amazing. Not because I'm not Angelina or because I was dumped by the most eligible bachelor at BYU Law School, but because I know a lot of amazing people, who do amazing things, and have incredible experiences, and I wish I were like those people, and am completely 100% not. I have amazing aspirations. I WANT to do and be and create what these amazing people I know do, are, and create, but for some reason or another, I can't, or won't, or maybe never will.

I just really want so much more than I might be destined for. I don't want the world (or even Brad Pitt – Steve Young I'd take), I just want to really live. For some reason I feel like I'm running out of time. Like, even just at 25, my life has been wasted on self-indulgent frivolous things, or massive nothings. Do you ever feel like your life is a waste of time? Like, you should be doing something better, something so much more, because it's so short? I mean, are you supposed to have a mid-life crisis at 25? I think I'm more scared that if I don't start doing amazing things now – I never will. I'll get locked into a life less extraordinary and ultimately alone, and miss out on more amazing experiences and adventures. Pretty soon – no one will even "mistake" me for Angelina Jolie! Nooooooooo! Anything but THAT! It would be nice to feel like I was making a significant differences in someone else's life and furthermore, that my life was being fully lived. It's hard to come to that "carpe diem" realization and not feel like you have the freedom (or money or people who need you) to really do it.

I have a friend who just had a baby. That's so amazing to me. I had a friend who just got engaged. That's really amazing. I have a friend who put out her first album, a friend who's backpacked around New Zealand, a friend who lobbies for civil rights in Washington DC, a friend who travels all around the US for fun, a friend who is incredibly talented at everything he does, a friend who is loved and respected by anyone she comes in contact with, a friend who loves everyone he comes in contact with, a friend who cooks like a master chef, and I just want to be amazing like those people. I want to really live too… or be mistaken for Angelina Jolie again. Seriously ya'll – that was awesome.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

She's only happy in the sun

Welp! I made it. Sorta. I'm sitting here at the St George Muncipal Airport for 3 hours. What in the world am I going to do for 3 hours? Why am I even HERE for 3 hours? There's a good question. WELL! I thought I could snag an earlier flight. I was done with my last presentation early so I took a risk and rushed to the airport to see if I could snag the 2:40 flight. I got here at 2:30 - and apparently that wasn't acceptable. Mumble. Grumble. Gripe. Fiiiiiiine. I will SIT here for 3 HOURS! Sigh. Well, I thought so long as I can connect to the Internet I can handle it. And ta da! Here I is! Huzah for Internet dependence! I also am reading David Copperfield which helps. I had lost my Copperfield copy a couple weeks ago on yet another trip to St. George - and thus had to find other reads to fill the space. Happy day though - I found it again and have been eagerly reading it since. Seriously. Dickens? GENIUS! I've said it before and I'll say it again - how is it possible I've not experienced Dickens "in first person" until this year? A crying shame. I think of it as a tender mercy really. However, I will save my Dickens praise for a later time - when I finish the genius that is David Copperfield. Oh - there's so MUCH to be said already...refrain...refrain.

Anyway - I've made it through my last trip to St. George - mostly. I shouldn't speak too soon - that just begs the plane to crash down in a wreath of flames and death. But hey, irony and I have gone the rounds before and we can do it again! To be honest - the trip wasn't so bad. Flying is very much the way to go. It made everything bearable, shorter, and easier. The aloneness wasn't so acute - I spent some time listening to Govn'a Huntsman's State of the State - watched 2 hours of LOST (bom bom), and oh how I've missed Dr. Jack. Mm! MM! He's so....MM! Ya know, come to think of it, there was a boy I had a class with back in the UofU days who looked a lot like Dr. Jack. We were in the same "group" for something or other and I wish I would've had more confidence to ya know..."whatever." He was really nice too. Huh. Where is that boy now I wonder? (adding "The return of Dr. Jack" to things to pray for). I also went to ROSS where I did NOT find the red Buddha head I had so stupidly NOT purchased the last time I was in St. George which would've been perfect for my bedroom decor, but I did find an incredibly adorable dress for 16 bucks as well as a few other small articles. I then ventured to Pier 1 (I know, right? They had a 75% off sale sign! I didn't have a chance...) and found several more excellent items! Oh wait - let me take a pic with my phone...(folks here are looking at me like "is that something a terrorist would do, Earl? I think it IS!")

The Buddha (not just the head)
($5 marked down from $20)

The Jewelry Box (my first "real" one in 10 years)
($14 marked down from $25)

And another saweet item I bought from that fab sale is waiting for me at the Pier 1 in Orem. It's a 4 foot tall kneeling, praying, wooden monk. Freaking cool. $20 marked down from $80. My room is peaceful. My room is "centered." My room is "young glasshoppa." My room is complete...almost. I need a bookcase and my beloved books to fully complete the feel. But the "Asian persuasion" room decor is coming along nicely. Quite. Quite.

So there's that; did some shopping and remembered my true love of Dr. Jack. All these things helped the ordeal - but to be frank - I think the biggest factor that effected my mood so completely was the sunshine. The sun was out - the sun was warm - and I felt so much happier for no reason at all. By all accounts this was supposed to be another lonely extra miserable trip to St. George - but it wasn't! The afore mentioned circumstances and excellent purchases helped - but mainly it was the Sun. I suddenly realized I probably have that mood/weather disorder. What is that called? Seasonal...Mood...Disorder? (pause to google...ah yes) Seasonal Affective Disorder. I checked it out - and here are the symptoms:

Winter-onset SAD include the following:
  • A change in appetite, especially a craving for sweet or starchy foods

  • Weight gain

  • A drop in energy level

  • Fatigue

  • A tendency to oversleep

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Increased sensitivity to social rejection
  • Avoidance of social situations and a loss of interest in the activities you used to enjoy
More Found here

Yep. Definitely been feeling some of those...most particularly the "increased sensitivity to social rejection." Lip quiver. I also don't think it helps that I gradually get uglier as the winter goes on. I'm serious! In the summer I'm more active, eat better, have better color, my skin looks better, I have more freckles (which I like), my attitude is better, my hair looks better, I like clothes better (skirts and dresses)...seriously. Winter makes me ugly. I'm not happy when I'm ugly!

Thus, what I thought was going to be a horrible stint of depression having to go to St. George all alone...again...come to find... it wasn't so bad. And it wasn't so bad, because the sun makes me happy. I always feel like I'm much happier in the Spring, Summer, and Fall anyway. It's not even so much the warmth - as the Sun. I need it! And the terrible inversion in SLC that's been plaguing us for weeks has literally taken a toll on my mental and physical well-being. With all of other life's stresses bearing down on me - suffering from SAD isn't something I had even considered as a possible player in my little crumpled world. It made it seem much more crumpily than it was I think. The sun makes everything better - and now - I don't want to leave it :(

There's that irony again. Psh.

Can I tell you I seriously almost lost this entire post?!?!?! I hit a wrong button and POOF - erased! I prayed "Please let the auto-save be working. Please let the auto-save be working." So totally WAS! Life is really looking up! Thank you SUN!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I really can’t describe how much I don’t want to go to St. George again...really

Really. For some reason we (as in the universal...yes, I am now telling you your opinion) find it a truly “romantic” idea to “travel for work.” Yes – I could see it if perhaps you were sent to mingle with foreign dignitaries in Washington DC or to discover the best places to this, that, and the other in Singapore, or even studying the mating rituals of squid fish in Bali. This I could see as being a romantic ideal for “Oh yes I travel for work.” However, going to St. George for the fifth time in two months, in the winter, all alone, is not even in the remotest way appealing nor enjoyable. The first time I went to St. George was an incredibly rude awakening to just how far away St. George is from SLC. I mean I figured like an easy 4 hour drive – turns out – it’s more like over 5 hours on one of the most boring stretches of road I’ve ever encountered – and yes I’ve driven to California before. This. Is. Worse. For. Me. Worse over and over and…sigh…torture.

I’ve been listening to books on tape trying to pass the time on these drives. And though the car ride is bearable – staying in a hotel all alone for days without anyone to see or anything to do but watch cable and order out “for one” – well – not particularly awesome. It’s rather pathetic to be honest. My work trips usually take 3 full days. It’s exhausting. Last time I was in St. George it was for an entire week! AN ENTIRE WEEK! It’s your most basic form of cruel and unusual punishment. I had a friend to hang out with for a little while – so that helped the beginning bits of the trip– but mostly – it was hard and long and lonely. Very lonely. Exquisitely lonely. I think it was worse because I expected it to be more of the opposite of lonely.It's harder when I expect some hope of relief from the everyday heaviness...and it's just more heaviness. There’s no other way to make sure you are truly and utterly alone than taking a business trip…alone…utterly....exquisitely. Not only am I alone on my trip, but I have time to contemplate my “aloneness.” I’m dreading the loneliness that is going to cover me like a dark and menacing cloud which constantly settles over my head when I take these trips. These loooooong long, trips. I dread them. And after last time – I kinda feel a little like throwing up thinking of driving down there again. It’s too much. I don’t wanna! (Stomp foot, fold arms, crinkle face, pout lip).

Well, I’ve had it. I usually drive a rental because I’m scared to death of those little planes. Yes, I have the option of flying. Shudder. I get kinda “ick” on planes and I’m just scared of those little ‘uns, thus why I’ve opted to drive. Those little planes are always crashing! Doesn’t it seem like they are always crashing?!?! They are AL-WAYS crashing. I really don’t want to fly down – but even more than my not wanting to fly down is not wanting to take an entire 5 hours and drive down. I don’t want to have to drive through town after town – it makes me hurt inside just thinking about it. Some things you just don’t want to remember. So – I’ve chosen death. Or rather, I’ve chosen to cut my lonely trips to St George in half – fly strait down – and fly strait back. I’ve worked very hard to make this the shortest trip to St. George possible and I swear I am NOT going back there (alone) for a very very VERY long time. I still feel panic at the thought of having to occupy myself for an entire evening/afternoon after my presentations are done on Tuesday. I will just be thinking of what I COULD be doing if I had someone to hang out with. That makes the lonely far more acute. I’m trying to think of things I can do to make the time go by quickly and keep my mind occupied - like go running, go to a movie (alone), eat dinner (alone), watch cable (alone) lip quiver….. because singles don’t feel lonely enough. I’m so glad this is the last time…this year…of going to St. George alone. I’m sure I will feel lonely for a solid 3 years more without St George “work trips” reminding me of how utterly alone I truly am. And 3 years is being ambitious, unfortunately. Buuuuuut between being alone and being repeatedly crushed - weeeeeell - I guess I will be alone then. Are those really the only two choices I get? History says - sigh, yeeeeah, so far...


Monday, January 19, 2009

The Bachelor - or Something New and Fun to Mock



I watched The Bachelor tonight. Snicker. Doesn't seem like my kind of show does it? WELL! That's because it's NOT!'s pretty stinking funny. And by funny I mean ridiculous, catty, and even scary. Mostly scary.

I just don't get this show to be honest. I mean, okay, so there are 20 some odd girls who volunteer to go on a nationally televised prime time reality show and display every catty, pathetic, and dare I say desperate longing they have to "find the love of my life...blah blah blahtty blah." If that isn't enough - all these emotionally high strung women are supposed to compete for the same man - AND they all live together under one roof. Shudder. I can't even imagine living with 20 girls under one roof - let alone 20 girls who are all grasping for the same man's attentions. That just spells D-R-A-M-A; cat fight! I suddenly just realized why this show is still on the air. You should all be ashamed of yourselves! I'm ashamed for you! (and me ;))

That said, tonight I watched an episode where Mr. Jason (aka THE BACHELOR) picks up little miss super model Natalie for a high rise date in Las Vegas. And what Vegas date would be complete without first adorning her with million dollar jewels and taking her on a helicopter ride above the city where later she describes it as "It was so neat to see all the things that nature has - like Hoover Dam." Cricket chirp. Yes...nature things like Hoover Dam...and Casinos...and...pools.

Poor Bachelor. He's having a really hard time with this one. They take a ride on the strip in a limo, he's all hands, and mentions to the camera in passing "She's really beautiful I really want to like her (code: I really want to make out with her for more reasons than her hooters)."

He keeps trying like the trooper he is. They commence eating dinner at a schwanky little club, and he asks her ", what is unique about you?"

Natty Patty: thinking for a moment...another moment...face lights up "Oh! I really likes bears..."
Bachelor: "Oh like Kola's er...."
NatNat: "Oh no like all of them. Like, once when I was little, I lost my stuffed bear, and like it even made the news...and...wait..sorry...I just don't remember what we were talking about..." eyes glaze over, awkward pause, both sip bubbly...
Bachelor: "So you want to dance?"
Nat: "Oh like okay!"

Pan to next exclusive camera moment: "She's beautiful and beautiful. She's also really hott, I really want to like her (code: is it so wrong to go really "man" about this whole thing and grab her butt anyway?).

Pan to exclusive personal camera moment with Nat Nat: "So...we're totally connecting."

Jason and Natalie are wrapping up the date with some more booz (Jason hoping the alcohol will blurr his need for semi-intelligent conversation, and Natalie hoping it will loosin tie) and some dancing when Jason, finally, with a look of "All men in the world are going to mock me forever when I dump this hott piece of dame who seems like she really wants me right now..." sits Natalie down for the big decision. Does she get a rose?


And Natty is PISSED! She begins by making sure Jason knows that there are mean girls in the house...but like...I totally don't want to name names cause I love the girls ya know?...but should know that there are mean Erica's and Megans in the thinking of you! Like...I totally cant believe you don't want to make me. I love small people...ya know..the mini tiny adults (Bachelor: "kids?") YEAH! Love those! And I'm so ready to not party and settle down I can't believe you did this...but I love ya...Oh! Fine take the diamonds! *%^#$!!!*&$%!!! #$@&*! You #$*@&!!

And lovely Natalie is sent home. Oh, not before the Bachelor camera crew come into the Mansion a la Claws and take her bags to send with her. This causes a cat-pede (get it?) and all the girls squeal, "Oh my gosh! They're taking her bags! Oh my gosh! Lets watch them and cackle sympathy of course. That poor hott girl whom I love so dearly. Aw. I wish she were still here competing with me for the same dude."

That's the other thing - they all sit around discussing the situation with each other. It's so odd to me. When one girl is off on a date with cutsy bootsy Jaaaaaayson, they all sit around and discuss how she is good for him or like "not so good for him but totally a great girl I'm sure." Doesn't that seem weird? To be discussing the guy you are all trying to "win?" They also, of course, sit around secretly hating each other. Sending Natty Bratty home wasn't the end of the charade. Ohhhhhh noooooo. We get to see two other kitties sent home. Now lets talk about drama. They shoot an entire evening with these girls semi-dressed in semi-dresses, discussing Jason and the other girls while he ceremoniously picks each one of them to have his "one on one" time with. Naturally - they start to claw at each others eyes a little bit and when it comes down to it, you have girls rolling their eyes so far into the back of their head you think they're head might start spinning around too! Actually, one of them did keep throwing up. I don't think it was projectile green vomit - but she was so nervous and irritated at the extreme tension in the room that she had to excuse herself to vomit. Oh, she's also an obsessed stalker. Yeah - she cried when she let Jason know how in love with him she was on the Bachelorette. They just keep on recycling these people! That comment made her an excellent candidate for the next Bachelorette fooooooor sure. And she suddenly be cool, calm, collected, and calculating vs her vomitus stalking mess of a hussy. Er...meh...I already said it so I guess I'll stick with it. Hussy.
Thus, Jason lets the cats verbally say "I hate her but man I love her" for awhile, and then the ceremony begins. Two girls go home...what's her name and the shorty looking one with the "not so perky" chest. Serves her right! She should've thought "support" rather than "au natural." Please honey, no one here has organic boobies. The barfy/crier got to stay though. I'm telling you - that girl is going to be BIG! Or go "Kerry" and kill everyone. Either way - en-ter-tain-ment!

Anyway - I think I will make this a regular little blurb on my Bloggy McBloggerton. Like, Secret Bachelor DVR Monday or something. It's sick really - I watch it - laugh at it - and yet - will come back for more. It's like reading a really bad teenage vampire romance series the whole way through, even though you know you should just put it down and save the brain cells, but continue to troop on anyway. M'oh well. Stay tuned for more Secret Bachelor DVR Mondays. These are the things worth discussing...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cliches and Literary Devices - It's how I blog about life lessons, faith, and pushing forward

I keep trying to find something worth blogging about. Even more, something interesting to blog about. Mmmmyeah. It's rough. Most of the "events" that have happened in my life the past week or so aren't really things I...want on the Internet. Ya know? So how do you write about something - without writing about it? One of life's really tough questions.

Today I went to church in my new ward. I really like starting a new ward. New faces. New callings. New beginnings. CLICHE! Hey, cliches are formed from truths. That's why they're cliches - truths that are experienced so much in life the lessons lose meaning and resonance. We keep trying to find alternative ways to describe the same problems, the same life lessons, the same ideas. That's how you know you're a good writer - you've found a better way to say "It's not the end, it's only the beginning." Well, one way you know you're a decent writer at least.

In sacrament meeting, a girl gave a talk about trials and tribulations. She used an analogy. I love analogies. Analogies. Parables. They just make otherwise complicated concepts attainable across the board. It's the ultimate device to aide a broad audience grasp deeper subjects using simple comparisons. I totally nerded out just then didn't I? Back to the point - in sacrament meeting, a girl gave a talk about trials and tribulations. The analogy she used involved teaching ski lessons to 5-6 year old kids. She is a ski instructor at Alta, and commenced to describe the different kinds of "students" that come to her. I'm going to expound on her analogy by dividing these students into groups:

1. Scardy Cats: These kids come wide eyed and trembling. They continue to wide eyed and trembling through the duration of the lesson. They cling to the instructor and beg them to do everything for them: point their skis in the right direction, hold their hand the entire time, guide them down the mountain, never leave their side, and if they happen to fall, to pick them right back up. They fear the future. They fear the unknown. They think they can see what will happen and therefore, don't want to do it on their own. They don't give themselves a chance to learn. They don't take a risk in faith.

2. Take it easy: These kids are fearful, but not as entirely dependent. They go down the slopes a couple times, fail, realize it's hard, and ask their instructor if they can just go in the lodge and have some hot chocolate. It's cold outside, they're not catching on. And the lodge seems so nice and warm. They don't want to learn to ski the hard way - but would rather sit it out. They'd rather not face what's ahead. When things get complicated, they leave.

3. Fallen and Lost: These kids give up after trying for awhile. They come ambitious and ready, but after some failed attempts, some frustrations, some tears and crying, they give up. They wander away and build a snowman elsewhere. They write it off. They don't want to learn anymore - the experience isn't what they thought it was going to be. They'd rather just find something easier, something better to do, and never learn the lessons they were so eager to be a part of before.

4. Eager Snow Bunnies: These kids are gung ho, I am the best, I'm going to conquer this, get me on that MOUNTAIN! They're not as scared as the other kids, and these starters want to take matters into their own hands "skiing" before they've been taught anything. They zoom strait down the bunny hill without heading the instructors patient warnings. They run faster than they are ready for, they go life more than they have strength, they aren't ready, and every time they won't heed the instructors direction, crash into the fence. They will hit the fence and hit the fence until finally, they realize that what they want takes time. Sometimes, they are eager, but not patient, and sabotage themselves.

You see where I'm going with this. Using this analogy, the instructor is the Lord, patiently trying to teach us, the eager ski students, or rather more potently, the eager children who need his loving guidance, to teach us how to navigate down the slopes. What I liked most about this analogy, is the idea that the Lord is there to help us, and he will pick us up and put us on our feet again, but allows us to learn, to grow on our own, and doesn't always point our ski's down the hill or hold our hand as we slowly descend the mountain. He even wants us to pick ourselves up and try again, trusting that he will always be near.

The cliches:

  • If we don't struggle, we won't learn.
  • If we don't fall, we won't know how to get up.
  • If the Lord held our hand the entire time, we wouldn't learn how to continue ON OUR OWN.
  • If we took it easy, we'd never progress. We'd never get better. We'd never increase in knowledge and understanding.
  • If we are scared, if we don't try, we won't move forward.

When that good sister was explaining the Lords role in our trials and struggles using this analogy, I found some answers in my own life. I began to wonder what student I was. I've been the Scardy Cat, not willing to take risks and make my own choices, trusting that the Lord will guide me. Where there's fear, there can not be faith. I wasn't trusting the Lord like I thought I was. "I trust you - but you have to answer me right now."

I've wanted to take it easy before - just go in the lodge and put my feet up - sipping hot chocolate and watching the other kids struggle down the mountain. The irony is, those struggling kids who seem to be going no where, are the ones learning to ski. They're learning to navigate life's trials, and if I sit them out, I won't ever learn how to deal with tribulation. I can't sit in the lodge and expect to endure.

However, the student example that hit home the most for me was the Eager Ski Bunny. There are many times when I've tried to run before I have the strength, where I've tried to cut lessons or trials off at the pass. Patience. I struggle with patience. I wanted to learn the lessons I needed to so I wouldn't have to fall down the hill. In my life I've tried so many times just to go for it, to shoot down the slopes and run into the fence over and over, hoping that I will eventually understand enough to turn, to not run into the fence, withouth the patience to wait for the answer. I knew I needed instruction, but I wasn't patient enough to get the entire picture. I've noticed patterns in my life that because I fear (cliche warning) being hurt, I fear having to endure more pitfalls and trials, so I try to beat trials to the punch. I try and adapt to situations that haven't happened yet. And in the process, what I'm scared of the most happens anyway. The things I try and avoid happen anyway because I've inadvertently caused them while trying so hard to avoid them. I've tried to run faster than I was able - and unfortunately - tried to drag people with me. They can't do it. And I can't let go of them when they can't keep up with my headlong dash down the mountain. I hope one day, they will overlook my weakness and forgive me for trying to push them along with me before they were ready.

I talked to a friend the other day who said they didn't know what I wanted. They were confused about what I was trying accomplish, and because of my fear of being hurt, caused them not want to be around me anymore - the very thing I was most scared of. The idea of "trying TOO hard" does exist. I tried too hard. I tried to grip Jello, and it squished through my fingers the harder I tried to hang on to it.

Like analogies, I also like irony. It's a powerful literary device that can be utilized in a variety of scenarios. Shakespeare was a master of irony, among every other literary device. He used dramatic irony - letting the audience in on the plan without the characters knowing. He's used it for humor, and most powerfully, he's used it to teach lessons, to drive a point home, and create situations that change his characters perceptions forever.

So in the spirit of cliches and literary devices - I've tried to blog about something worth blogging about. It's a personal liberty I feel I can take on my blog to explain how my life's journey is going. I've learned some pretty hard lessons the last years, and most particularly in the last 6 months, that have changed me and who I am. It's helped me realize I need to slow down, trust in that higher power that lovingly instructs and guides, and realize I need to learn to get back up on my own sometimes, or I'll never really learn. I know that I still have a lot left to learn. Lessons always keep coming and when one thing ends...well, you know the rest.

Monday, January 12, 2009


The final step for my MPA application for the UofU is complete. Finally. And I'll tell you what - I was very worried.

Today I took the MAT or the Millers Analogies Test instead of the GRE. If there was any way to avoid the GRE (read Math portion) then for heavens sake I wanted it! I bought me a MAT study guide back in mid-November to start the preparation process. At the time, I was living at my Aunts and working all day. It was hard to keep my eyes focused on studying when I was so tired - but I tried - for about two weeks.

Then I stopped. Not intentionally, but I just couldn't find the time or the motivation to study anymore. Work had me traveling to St. George (which is where I am CURRENTLY) and I started working at Barnes and Noble at night. I was stressed out because I needed to find somewhere reasonable to live, and everything kept falling through. I was gaining some pounds because I had to eat out all the time - and basically - feeling rather miserable does not connote good study habits. I had some emotional stresses to sift through and it was just beginning to build. The MAT was not on the priority list - though it desperately needed to be.

Even when things started to somewhat look up - I found a house to live in and moved - and I got to see some old friends. Still, moving is stressful, Barnes and Noble kept my nights occupied, and even now an emotional explosion or two had to be thrown in for good measure. I decided that when I went down to St. George (as in right now) I would take the MAT at Dixie State College and just hope and pray for the best. This weekend was supposed to be fairly stress free and laid back - which helps when mentally preparing for a test you aren't prepared for at all. Kinda a - detoxification. Ya know?

WELL, some unexpected emotionally crippling rounds later, I walked into the testing center today rather tired, still a little stressed, ready to be gone from St. George and back to SLC (dreading that I still have to come back here one more time...shudder), and extremely worried that I would not even remotely pass this test with any score resembling graduate school quality. I sit down...and begin.

Not that bad. Huh...not that bad at all. That stupid Kaplan study guide FREAKING me out with it's obscurely hard practice questions. Psh.

Gets a little worse. Okay, well I expected it would get harder. I hung out with my friend Steven this weekend and he should know that I got many a medical/anatomical question on this test right because of his fascination and thus tendency to get overly excited and talkative about the anatomical structures of the human body while we're hanging out. Scapula, Steven? Yep...used it. Pulmonary and Respiratory? Yep...had to know that relationship. Tibia. Yep. Had to know that too. See? I do listen..and retain..and utilize. Gold star.

Then, test gets impossible. Crap.

I finish...barely.

They give you the score right there - right after you take the thing. I hold my breath and squint my eyes. Maybe if it's blurry it won't be so bad. It's only an hour test and really - it was awesome to completely focus on something else for awhile. School, tests, reading, playing music, and sports (which I got to play some great volleyball on Saturday - oh it probably saved my life) takes me out of my head full of stresses and confusion and hurts, and lets be relax for awhile. Even if a bombed the test - that hour of freedom from my own thoughts was blessed.

My score is posted. What the? Huzah!!! I got above average! At least as the raw score of the freaky test known as the MAT goes. Snap! I was hoping to breeze by with a 60 percentile and that was on a prayer and a hope. Above average means I got at LEAST in the 75 percentile. Wow! Yes. I mean - in school I was one of those kids who exploded when they didn't get in the 90th ranking - but college made me realize I could tone it down a bit. And for a test I didn't have the mental capacity nor the prep time to get ready for - shoot I'll take it!

So that was a blessed moment of light in the midst of a rather rough St. George trip. Well that and it's 60 degrees outside. Bwah! Take that SLC! Wallow wallow wallow.

I am relieved to have the test over with. It was the final requirement on a long list of requirements for MPA admission. And now that it's done - school is the incredible light at the end of a dark tunnel. Being able to have progress in my life, focus, and agenda, SOMETHING to count on, is what this program is for me. It's going to keep me going - keep my focused - and keep my stable.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Review You've All Been Waiting For aka English Major attempts objectivity about Vampire Love Series. Ahem.

Lets start by saying - I won't be objective. :) That was to sucker you IN! No - this is purely my op-in-ion on a little series you may have heard being "squee'ed" and "sighed" over in dark corners of Middle School girl locker rooms or at "married-far-too-young-dissatisfied-and-groping-for-some-romance-and-adventure-in-their-lives-middle-aged-wives" club; Twilight. Yes I am aware of my stereotyping just now. I am FULLY aware there are more folks out there than enamored teenage girls and high strung sexually frustrated middle-aged women that read this obsessive over. I have many a wonderful friend who LOVES them. LOVES! But lets be honest - those wonderful people are the exception to the rule...and much nicer than I am.

First, I'd like all the Twilight lovers to know that I feel strongly about experiencing something before you vomit all over it. I mocked Twilight mercilessly and hadn't read a single page. I felt it was a dark moldy patch on the words "literary series", "novels", or even more seriously and personally offensive "Harry Potter." Dammit! It is NOT like Harry Potter. Okay? There's a difference between "fad" and "classic." So lets get that out there right now. I get very defensive about my Harry JK Rowling...her genius...the genius of the entire series! It's. Nothing. Like. Harry. However, I also get angry when people vomit on Harry Potter when they've never read it. And NOOOOOOO "I saw the first few movies" does NOT count. How many times do we have to beat the "oh wow the book is so much better than the movie" horse? Are we all really still surprised by that outcome - over and over again? Most especially since Hollywood has run out of their own ideas and now have to pay authors gobs of cash to their ideas. The books are always better. Try not to expect something different. Well, except in the case of Princess Bride. Any of ya'll ever read that book? Not that great.

Anyway, we're not here to discuss Harry Potter. No. We are here to discuss what one snobby English Major thinks about the Twilight series. And this snobby English Major read the Twilight series so she could informatively and ceremoniously barf all over it. What this English Major found, however, was a conflict - dare we say a paradox? This English Major perhaps, PER-HAPS, might've even LIKED parts of this painful, poorly written though impressively popular series about vampire love, wolf imprinting, over the top mushy puke fest love scenes, dim-witted antagonists, melo-drama to the utmost "Days of Our Lives" extreme, the blatant mockery of foreshadowing, and some surprisingly entertaining creative moments and, dare I EVEN say it, "against my better judgement" likability. Oh the internal conflict! Alas - let us begin...

Book 1 - Twilight

This one I actually read. Don't get your panties in a twisty. I read Twilight and listened to the rest of them on my journeys down to St. George for work. Honestly - not having to read the typos (did they even hire an editor? They fired an editor for sure) which I don't fault Stephenie Meyer for (you noticed she doesn't even spell her name "right"). It's not her fault the publishers didn't do their job. At any rate - I read Twilight. I read it in...oh...3 days. It's lengthy, but an incredibly easy read, and, well, somewhat enjoyable. I'll be honest - the first 3 pages in, I hurt inside at the run-on sentences - but again - not her fault. I kept going. Intriguing. Predictable. It began with a relocation of a backwards teenager who doesn't know how beautiful she is, yet everyone in the school insists on telling her so (eye roll). Ya know, cause misplaced and misunderstood teenage plots aren't overdone. I kept going. How could I not when I read 30 pages in about 10 minutes?

I met Edward.

Ohhhh Edward. Edward is melodramatic. Edward is a pansy. Edward is the cause of those Middle School sighs and squee's. Edward is a Vampire. Kinda cool. Being one who likes such things as X-Files and Star Trek, I liked the vampire idea. Vampire love? Well...I'll get to that. But the Cullens I liked. I liked the creativity in forming what a vampire is, what they do, how they're created, and how many of the myths surrounding our traditional vampire ideas were cleverly circumvented. Meyer created a realistic vampire - something believable - and I enjoyed that aspect of the series. I mean, who can take an age old monster myth and transform it into something modernly believable? I'm going to say not many. Not that I've seen. So Edward and Bella. The first book is about their love, being together, and it's so sickeningly pathetically gooey I rolled my eyes and scoffed out loud many times at their declarations of 17 year old true and undying love for each other. Puh-lease. Not to mention the pages and pages of repeated dialogue that drags through dregs and dregs of annoying relationship blather as only 17-year-old hormone driven teenagers (vampire or no) can do. Yeah right!! Like teenagers stop to discuss their of them being a 17 year old dude. Clearly, a woman wrote this. But the story was entertaining, and I found myself skipping over Edward and Bella to find more enjoyment in Alice and Carlisle. You'll hear it said by many followers "are you on team Edward or team Jacob?" Well - I'm on team Carlisle. Ya know - if I pick a team.

Verdict on Book Uno: 3 of 5 stars. Not bad. But not enough for me to keep neglecting Dickens for Meyer. Just didn't seem right...

Book 2 - New Moon (4 months later)

I didn't get to New Moon for awhile. Meh. I thought I might get to it eventually when I was extremely bored - but after going to California, coming back, having to job search and house search and clothes search - it wasn't on my priority list. My first work trip to St. George approaches and Ms. Michele - a co-worker- lends me the series for the drive. Alright. This seems reasonable enough. I'm not wasting perfectly good leisure reading time on the series, but I still get to see what the fuss is about. Alright cool. I can do that.

It began with a "velvet voice" and "granite hands." Apparently - when it comes to describing bits of Edward - Meyer felt these two points really needed to be driven home...and driven home...and driven home. Well, first vomitus chapter discussing their pukey love (of which I seriously considered turning it off and driving 5 hours in silence than endure such torture) morphed into a second chapter where Edward broke up with Bella and left. I wish I could say I was surprised - buuuuuuuut, ahem. It was clear it was coming - because if there's one thing I'd learned from the first book - it's that Meyer missed the class on foreshadowing. It means hinting that something is to come - not completely spelling it out over and over and over before it FINALLY, FIN-ALLY, happens. Sheesh! I hate knowing something hundreds of pages before it happens. I just want to get to it so we can carry on with the story. Also, I'm beginning to discover that Bella is a complete idiot. Serious. She literally needs the sun pointed out to her, "Hmm, my skin feels warm. I can see better now than I did at night. I'm squinting against some incredible light reflecting off that water...I don't understand. Edward? What is this?" He smiles his winning smile, and points at a big fiery ball glowing in the sky with his granite hand and explains with a voice of velvet, velvet, velvet "It's the Sun, Bella." ... ... ... 100 pages... ... "Ohhhh..."

We meet Jacob. Like, not as a tack-on side character this time.

I like Jacob...for awhile. Nice kid. Good guy. Not a pansy waste of a melodramatic vampire like SOME characters we know (hint: granite hands and velvet voice). But then, Jacob becomes a werewolf, ya know, to protect the good people of his tribe and the town of Forks from vampires. Oh geez!!! Wait! The vampires? The Cullens are Vampires? Protect the city against the CULLENS!?!?!? I just put two and two together!! Bella moment! The entire book is far far far....faaaaar two long. Pages and pages of her wallowing inside a hole in her chest where her "Eddy" used to be. She really thinks he doesn't love her and that's why he left her. Puh-lease. We ALL know he's Mister "I must save her from me" hero. The ultimate quality that solidifes the middle-aged woman following forever. Scoff. Hero. Well Bella jumps off a cliff because she's become reckless and stupid - and Edward thinks she's died. Ya know - cause Alice can see that - but inconveniently can't see the futures of werewolves - and thus missed Jacob saving her from the churnning water. What a pain in the arse. So what does Edward do? Well he goes to Italy to find the Volturi (enters power hungry possibly gay Aro - head of the vampire royalty) to end his life. He can not live without Bella. Over dramatic boy is going to commit suicide. I mean he can't very well go on living without her? (thus clenching teenage fantasty following). Are you freaking kidding me?!?! Well, Bella saves him. She presents herself as alive...and you'd think the story would end. Noooope. We have to sit through this whole Volturi situation and then go back to Forks and then have a confrontation with Edward and Jacob while the entire time Bella is sure Edward is going to leave her again because he really doesn't love her. The sun Bella. That warm, light, squinty thing is coming from the Sun. Look! LOOK! IT's RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE!

Verdict on Book 2 - 2 of 5 stars. And only because I did like Jacob...still on team Carlisle though.

Book 3 - Eclipse

I really don't remember what this one was about. I think it was an entire 400 pages of nothing. Hm. Let me think. Oh no - it's an entire 400 pages of Bella trying to make Edward who loves her and Jacob who loves her friends although they are mortal enemies...who love her. Borrrrrrring. I think my mind phased in and out during most of this book. It was incredibly anti-climatic. I think Meyer forgot where she was going with the actual PLOT of the story and made sure the frustrating and redundant dialogue kept on trucking...and trucking...and trucking...velvet, granite. Oh, and Jacob is "so tall with such big hands." Hand fetish anyone? So really, Eclipse, not much to say. Oh, Bella really wants to have sex with Edward and he's scared that he will break her in the process so he says if she will marry him then they can "try." She says no. HA HA HA HA! Of course she does! Oh! And she and Carlisle have a pact that he'll make her a vampy right after graduation. Which of course, Edward doesn't want. HA HA HA HA! Of course he doesn't. This is teenage true love after all. How will it all conveniently fall into place without either side having to suffer? Stay tuned. The foreshadowing will blatently tell us!

Book 3 - ? out of 5 stars. Cause really, I can't remember most of it...

Book 4 - Breaking Dawn

My hand was on the "stop it now for the love of all that is good!" button most of the way through this one. Yup. Bella and Eddy get married. I did like that portion actually. By this time I've learned to ignore Bella's dim wits and ridiculous "oh please don't try and make my wedding beautiful, Alice" attitude. Yep. Done with it. They go on their Honeymoon - which honestly - was weird. I don't want to discuss it. Let me just say twice. And then Bella gets sick. When that happened I thought "Oh no Meyer. No. You. Didn't." 200 pages of "foreshadowing" and "Bella searches for the bright warm maker" later - we find that Bella is pregnant with a half-monster baby that's beating her up from the inside. Flash to Jacob.

Because Jacob gets an entire 200 pages of this book in his own head. We get to follow Jacob's thoughts. Cut out this section and it's no big loss what so ever. Seriously ya'll! Think about it! It's rather pointless and utterly ridiculous. Sorry. Nothing redeeming...oh wait...nope, nothin.

SO! Pregnancy - being beat up from the inside - barfing blood and being ripped open by Edwards teeth to get little monster out. Freakish. I was disturbed. It was the first time I was hoping for the gooey love fests back. I almost turned it off right then. I couldn't handle how grotesque and plain stupid this whole plot was. And of course, Bella would be conveniently practically dead after all that, that Edward would have no choice but to turn her into a vampire. Luckily he had prepared a syringe full of his vampire venom to inject directly into her heart. Phew. Milked his fangs in advance. Good thinkin!

2 days later.

Bella is a vampire. And now the story picks up. After suffering through 3.5 books of melodramatic teenage love sonnets, made up words (really Meyer - only Milton and Shakespeare are allowed to make up words because...well...they're Milton and Shakespeare), predictable plot lines, no plot lines, anti-climatic plot lines, mocked foreshadowing, and grotesque spine snapping and blood barfing, the story picks up. The last half of book 4 was enjoyable. Bella was FINALLY a vampire, meaning she see's the sun a little more clearly, they're altogether, everything that's been coming and been discussed and beat to a bloody pulp since book 1 FINALLY comes to pass, and Meyer throws a plot in there that I can't see the ending of. I guess it only takes about 2,000 pages to finally start improving your writing. Maybe she signed up for a creative writing night class? Hired a better editor? Hired a better writer? Whatever it was, the last bit of book 4 redeemed, well, at least all of book 4. This one I kept going not because I have an OCD "I must finish because I started" mentality - but because I wanted to know what would happen. Because, shock of all shocks, I had no idea WHAT was going to happen or how it was going to come together. How refreshing! I also actually read the last .5 of this book. I was used to the typos - but it didn't detract from the story. "The story." I'm even going to go ahead and say, there was some really poetic sentences in that last half. It was pretty good. And I use the term
"good" loosely - but really - you can't ask for too much more. She finally came into her own with the last bit of this book. Finally. Finally...

Book 4 - 3 of 5 stars...because the first bit of the book was STILL that bad.

And there you have it. My review on the Twilight series. I would give it an overall rating of 3 of 5 stars and of course, never read them again. But hey, at LEAST I read/experienced them all before saying "I told you so." I would recommend it to those whose "other good reads" include Cosmo and Seventeen...and sexually frustrated middle-aged women. It helps with the sexual frustration. Meyer writes a pretty love scene. I was sucked in a FEW times. It was the granite hands. Mmm.

For more snide remarks

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Unexpected St. George Road Buddy. Thanks for

I am in St. George again for work. Really ya'll, it doesn't get more exotic than this. Lets. Be. Honest. HEY! Snicker if you want - but while you're all braving yet another freakish blizzard of death in SLC - I will be in St. George enjoying 52 degrees of winter relief. I hope your cackles freeze right in your THROAT! Wow...hostility. Excuse me. Let me start this over...

I am in St. George again for work. It's probably the longest drive ever. No, it isn't...clearly there are longer it sure is long and boring. It's just...strait. And just...goes. On and on. They have at least 10 "drowsy driver" signs along the way that make you anxiously glance at the few cars cruising next to you to notice if they are looking bleary eyed and "weavy" inclined. Maybe they could shake things up and put up clever billboards that say things like "Poop" or "Just checking to see if you are alert" to see if people are paying attention. Did I used "clever" and "poop" in the same sentance just now? Anyway, luckily my good work-pal Michele provides MUCHOS entertainment for my long drives by letting me borrow her books on CD. Even when they get stolen out of my car she nicely allows me to take more! What a friend (what a sucker?)! Funny thing is - I didn't really admit that her books on CD had been stolen with my other wondrous music last week until, er today. Ahem! Ha! My brilliant plan was to secretly replace the lost books and give them to her when I was "done listening" to the obscure series about creeper vampire love I'd just like to finish so I can informatively mock it. ;) In fact, since moving (pictures and post to commence on my oober cute new house and super hot roomies next week), I found that one of my new roomies owned the series and snagged the 4th book so I could still "update" Michele on the story, and of course I wanted to finish it. Why suffer through 3.5 books and just stop? No. Can. Do. Such a clever plan though, right? I mean, if I'm updating her then clearly I'm still "listening" to the story. Ahem. Well, Michele happens to be smart and mostly figured out that her CD's were stolen - but then of course I threw a wrench in her theory with the daily "so this is where I'm at now" updates. She said she wondered about that - but didn't want to say anything. I came clean today though...when she gave me Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Love, Pray because I was "almost through listening" to Breaking Daw...I mean...the 4th installment of the obscure vampire series of which I will have a conflicted review (stay tuned). POINT! Books on CD make long drive enjoyable...or rather...endurable. And Michele saw through my crappy "cover up."


I was listening to Eat,Love,Pray (which I'm really loving...especially after...ya know..the other series), and between the small town of Nephi and 100's of miles of strait lined highway NO WHERE - I notice this car...

You can't see the license plate (or the car very well for that matter. Sorry - cell phone picture) - but it says "Endliss." Okay. What does that even mean? I could think of a few ironic meanings. I really dislike vanity plates - but that's another rant for another time. At any rate, I notice this car because for the past 45 minutes of driving - it had passed me - then fell back - then passed me - then fell back - then passed me...well you get the idea. I had no idea how long I'd had this "pass and fall back" road buddy...but clearly long enough I'd finally noticed a pattern. Weird. Doesn't it always seem like you find a nice little group of "road buddies" your constantly noticing when you are both driving on the same long stretch of highway between civilizations? Sometimes? It encourages commrodery I think; "We are on this journey together. We might as well keep each other "car company."" Well it happens for sure. But THIS car - well - it was genuinely odd. It also made me nervous. The left front side of the car was a little smashed and bashed. So you have to immediately judge the driver as being crappy. Oh come on! You do it! Don't you just look at a slightly bashed car and think "Oh great...clearly this person can't drive that well because there car is battered." Sure it might not have been their fault. But just like seeing a cop passing you in the opposite lane even though you aren't speeding or doing anything illegal, you immediately straiten your shoulders, stiffen your posture, and try to "subtly" make your way far away from them anyway. Yup. We do that with dented and bented cars for sure. It's not great evidence of the drivers ability and I'm not taking any risks hoping that I've judged them harshly. I'd rather save my car!

Well this car looked a little smashed. Between this "evidence" of "possible" lack of driving skills and the drowsy driving signs warning that "you had better pull over if you want to live" - I was a little antsy about this car being my "road buddy." Pass. Fall back. Pass. Fall back. I had the cruise on my rented Grand Prix set at 80mph. A nice, reasonable speed, and mainly contained myself in the right lane. Pass. Fall back. Pass. Fall back. DAH! Come on girl! Pick something! "Endliss." Psh. Either pass me and leave me be. Or fall and back and hang tight! Shoot! She'd pass on the downhill, and I'd catch her on the uphill. On and on this went and all I could do was watch her taunt my little car which classically drove at the exact same speed for 2 hours more hours of nowhere. It was like a bouncy puppy jumping around an old and mature senior dog. Did I just describe myself as an old and mature senior dog? Rock. Bottom.

Well anyway

Puppy car got bored with me and finally passed me completely when I hit the first Cedar City exit. Thank Goodness. Though, I did feel like we bonded a little bit being road buddies for so long. It was like a "I hate you but thanks for hanging" moment. It was the passing and falling back that got annoying...over...and over...and over.

Good thing I had something to keep my mind occupied - er - other than safely and non-drowsily driving of course - instead of just sitting there watching this "commitment phobe" driver try and make "to pass or not to pass" decisions. Some people just take time.
Anyway,thanks Michele for helping make my drive more endurable. And I promise if these CD's get stolen I will tell you immediately.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Resolutions (aka Really Original Post I'm Sure No One Else Will Think Of)

Come on ya'll. It's January 1st! Of COURSE I'm going to talk about New Year's resolutions. Duh. I won't bore you with the sentimental blather of "Oh it's a New Year...a New Beginning"...okay I might. I feel like 2008 was probably the most...intense year I've ever experienced. So many incredible ups and downs - so many difficult lessons thankfully learned - refinement - maturity - phew. Yup. I'm pretty glad 2008 is over. So let it be written, so let it be D-O-N-E - Doooooone!

SO! That SAID! Here they are. New Years Resolutions. Expect the usual...

  • Healthy Living - duh. I have a crock pot now and have lately become obsessed with vegetarian meals. Though I've not had the "kitchen freedom" to cook to my hearts content - since I'm finally moving into my own little place again - I'm going to be a cooking crazy! And I want to eat to feel good - not just look good. You can post that quote in your kitchen on a cutesy home made plaque if you'd like. I want to cook a lot. I really like it. I'll predictably throw in exercise and drink more water in here too. Who doesn't resolve to exercise? But I'm a fairly consistent exerciser so I'm not TOO worried about that one. I like me a good sweat. Guys like a chick who can sweat. Sexy. (ahem)
  • Learn 4 new piano songs - one of which includes mastering Pachelbel's Cannon in D. My new roomie has a piano. No excuses not to practice. Now to choose 3 other songs. I just listened to Rachel Yamagata's The Reason Why. Yeah...maybe that one. Mix it up - one classic - one contemporary - what else? Suggestions? Oh - I really want to get Dawn from the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack down too. I've been working on it when I can - but honestly - I should have it by now. Okay - one more. Now you may suggest things...
  • Practice my guitar. Yep. Eating vegetarian meals and strumming on the strings. Ultimately, I will be a hippy. Just gonna say I want to be better at that. With all these music goals I'll soon look like Bert in Mary Poppins! Ya know! At the first of the movie when he has the accordion, the big drum strapped to his back, the horn Okay...maybe not..moving along..
  • Finish writing that novel. Isn't that one of the great American dreams; start your own business,  and write the next great American novel. I choose the novel track. Look for me in the young adult section end of next year...ahem...ideally.
  • Go somewhere I've never been. I'm pathetically poor and want so much to travel it makes me hurt inside. So, this year, I just want to go somewhere I've never been before. It doesn't have to be anywhere exotic or unique (though I wouldn't say no to Thailand - especially a really great Island called Koh Tao or Turtle Island with beach side bungalows and scuba diving and beautiful scenery, white beaches, blue clear water...did I mention the bungalows! Nope...wouldn't say no at all), but just so's I've never been there. I've never been to Seattle. Wouldn't mind going there. Anywhere on the East Coast would be new. Goodness - I've never been to Lake Powell in my very own state. I just want to go somewhere I've never been (Koh Tao, Koh Tao, Koh Tao). Dat's all.
  • Get another kitty. :) That's it. I just want a kitty. A black one with green eyes - I shall call her Daphne. Aw. Ickle Daphne. Ooo - maybe an orange striped one called Traddles. Yeah. Traddles. 

Alrighty. Pretty boring right? I know. Health. Music. Writing. Travel. Ickle Kitties. WELL! Those are the things that interest me and make up the "good" in my life. They make life more livable. 2009 will be happy. That's really the all encompassing resolution for 2009 - be happy. Just be happy. And get Daphne...and check itineraries for Koh Tao.