Sunday, November 30, 2008

NaBloPoMo Finale

Well, folks, it's pretty amazing - with this post I will officially complete NaBloPoMo. Hurrah!! I have actually finished something that I started. I'm still pretty bummed about Nanowrimo - I really wanted to win on that one, so this is my little consolation, finishing this. I'm sorry that the posts haven't all be exciting - some of them are pretty stupid, I know, but it gets kind of hard figuring out what to write about each day. If I look back over this past month, though, I should have quite a few reminders of what I was doing (or not doing) this month.

So, I just want to say that I am celebrating completing this. I have been nervous that I would forget one day or that I wouldn't get to my computer before midnight or that gnomes would steal my laptop or cut up the router, or something, but I guess I have shown myself that I can do something consistently for a month, and I'm so glad that gnomes did not sabotage anything. Yea! (Speaking of gnomes, I have inherited one - isn't that great?! Maybe I'll call him Charlie - any suggestions?)

You can celebrate my completing this because that means I won't be writing every day. Those of you who have been keeping up, pat yourself on the back for pushing through it - you're amazing. I am sorry that I have not been reading blogs this month, but I plan to start that up again. What a month! And now we're in the Christmas season with exciting things coming our way to write about. Over and out!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Nutcracker

It has been years since I have seen The Nutcracker. I used to watch it each Christmas, but it hasn't worked out for a long time now. Earlier today, Former Roommate and I were checking out what was going on in the area, and we saw that there was a company performing The Nutcracker. Former Roommate had never seen it and wasn't opposed to doing so, so we decided to go. The woman who sold us the tickets gave us a deal, which was nice of her. We were able to see everything pretty well, and I'm glad we went. It was relaxing and beautiful and I even cried at the beginning. What I like about ballet is that it reminds me that the human body is really wonderful. My favorite part of The Nutcracker is the Arabian dance. It is so beautiful. Today's performers did a great job, too. The girl was super flexible and just amazing. I wish that dance was a little longer. And, I'm happy that I finally got to see it again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Platonic Relationships

I feel like there was something I wanted to blog about, but I can't remember what it was. Maybe I'm just crazy. Oh wait! I am. Mystery solved. Instead, I will talk about platonic relationships. One of my friends once told me that he doesn't think a guy and girl can maintain a platonic relationship for a long time. I think I agree with him. I mean, my B.G.F. and I have been friends for a long time, and, as I think I have told you before, it is very much platonic. However, it doesn't feel quite right somehow. It probably doesn't help that he's REALLY good looking. I mean, let's be honest here - the guy's a babe. Tonight we hung out at his place for awhile. Then we went to a party, and one of my other friends met us there. When she and I left, I asked her if she'd noticed his hair - he's growing it out. Last time I was visiting, he told me that's what he was doing, but I had forgotten, so I was momentarily surprised when he opened the door this evening. I told him he looks like a bum. I meant a surfer bum - you know the type. I told Friend that sometimes he's really cute, but I also laughed about his hair - I think he's too old to still be doing that. At any rate, Friend pointed out that he's still a looker, and the whole way back to her house that's what I thought about. Anyways, I don't have a crush on him - we've been friends far too long for that, I think, but I still say that something feels a bit out of place in a boy/girl friendship that last forever at that level. So, I guess my friend was right and wrong. He was right in that it feels a little off, he was wrong in that I am proof that you can be friends with someone for a long time without it having to move into relationship or parting-of-ways status. And I'm glad for that because he's a great friend. The end.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Things I'm Thankful For

At first I was going to write a list, but I think I'll just write a paragraph, which is still a list but not so vertical. What with today being Thanksgiving, I thought I would let you know some of the things I am thankful for. I am so thankful to know that there is a god and that He is our father. I am thankful to know that He sent His son to save us, and I am thankful that the Saviour was willing to suffer for us. I am thankful that I can repent. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for friends. I am thankful for the earth - plants, trees, flowers, sunsets, mountains, moonlight, animals, etc. I am thankful for my country and the founding fathers and the constitution and history.

Things I'm Currently Obsessed With

- Robert Pattinson

- Twilight (I saw it for the second time today. Still liked it, although I noticed how emo it is this time. I also noticed Stephanie Myers' cameo this time.)

- Into the West - Annie Lennox (Return of the King)

- Alan Rickman

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Poor Bugs

I wish I had my camera with me this morning, not because the picture would have been nice but because you would have been able to see what I'm about to describe. Just before I went to unlock the bathroom doors, I noticed something in the corner between them. I thought it looked like an animal, and when I went to investigate, I found out that I was right. It was a bunny rabbit that was once probably very cute. In fact, just yesterday it was probably very cute. This morning, however, it was missing it's head, so it wasn't looking so good. Not only that, but its innards were popping out through its neck - gross! I felt bad for the rabbit. I also pictured one of my students being traumatized if she saw it, so I knew we had to get rid of the carcass. I got the T.A., she grabbed a trash bag, I grabbed gloves, and off we went. When we got there, I couldn't bring myself to pick it up, so we put the bag over it and put some rocks on the back to keep it from blowing away. Fortunately, the other teacher showed up at that time and removed the rabbit and cleaned things up. I just never know what I'll find when I go to work.

This is unrelated, but I'm still thinking about Twilight, and I may have to go watch it again.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Twilight

Some nights it gets a little difficult for me to know what to blog about. Tonight, there is no question. Once again it's all about Twilight, but this time it's about the movie. Before I even give you my review, I have to tell you that I got to go to it with Lu, so that already should indicate a good evening to you (I wish I had taken my camera so I could have documented our evening). Lu was such a saint, too. When she came to pick me up I admitted to her that I was currently having a panic attack, and she offered to put off the movie viewing for another time. I didn't want to flake out, so I said that I still wanted to try to do it - not only that, but I probably would have had the same problem whenever we went to see it. It was really nice to know that she was willing to be flexible if I couldn't make it through. Anyway, we got there, and the previews were awful!! The only good one was for the next Harry Potter, and that one does look awesome, but the rest looked filthy. That definitely did not help my nerves. However, finally there appeared on the screen a scene of greenery and a girl named Bella, and things started to feel alright.

Now, I've heard several reviews of the movie. I've mostly noticed on Facebook that people think it's okay. One of my students said he liked it because of the action. Another student told me he heard it was awful. A sibling told me she didn't like the characterization so much. I have long been expecting a mediocre, not-true-to-the-book movie, and that's the feel that I have gotten from what others have said, only they have led me to believe it might be a little more disappointing. Maybe that's the best was to go to the movie - not expecting a lot. AND just going to enjoy it.

The reason I say that is because, I totally liked the movie! I thought it was great! It was pretty much like I thought it would be - only better. The trailers had shown me enough that I knew it was going to be pretty different plot-wise, so I just went and kind of enjoyed seeing how they were going to get the main points of the plot across. I think that it was very helpful to have read the book before. It helped me understand some of the character cues that I'm not sure other people would pick up on. I actually liked the characterization and think some of the characters did a good job portraying how they were feeling without having to say anything. There were only a few things that I had a problem with - one of them I think is kind of important - but I'm still okay with the movie overall. I would see it again. If you want to see it, just remember that it's not a masterpiece. It's not supposed to be. It's a teen romance, and that's okay. And I liked it. And, it was much more pure than I thought it might be, which was a huge relief.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Few Thoughts

At F.H.E. tonight we wrote stories for the activity. It was one of those random story-writing games, where you write a line or a sentence or two, then you pass the paper to someone else. They add their part and fold the paper so that the next person can't see what you wrote. The paper keeps getting passed along until you fill the page or feel like stopping. I really like that type of game. It was fun listening to everyone read the stories at the end. There was one that almost had me crying, it was so funny.

I still feel very upset about failing Nanowrimo, but I talked to my students about it today, and I hope they will push me until I finish.

I am trying to make yams for the first time.

I miss my baby sister. It never feels like she's here much anyway, and even when she is, she's usually doing homework or talking to a friend or boyfriend, but it's still not the same having her here. At least I get to see her later this week.

My prego sister and my youngest brother are going to my school's Thanksgiving meal tomorrow - yea!

I'm going to Twilight with Lu tomorrow night - what could be better?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Night of Woe

First of all, I am irritated because I just wrote a post, but it disappeared. "No worries," I thought. "Auto-save will have grabbed it," but it didn't. Okay, here's take 2:

Tonight is a sad night for me. I am failing Nanowrimo. For those of you who know me, that's probably not surprising, and I am a terrible procrastinator. I have been trying to come to grips with my failure, but it's very hard for me to. You see, writing the book by the deadline wasn't just about that to me. I had tied success with the goal to competency for being able to attempt other goals. Failure at it means I still don't know if I can do the others. I hope I can get away from that thought or I will doom myself, I think.

I told myself that if I wasn't to at least 30,000 words by the end of this weekend I would give up. Otherwise I am afraid I would spend all of next week tired and cranky. If I had made it to 30,000 words I would have tried to spit out 20,000 more by the end of the week. However, family wanted to visit and my apartment needed to be cleaned, so I didn't make it.

Many of you have given me words of encouragement. Thank you! You were all great! I'm sorry I didn't make it. I'm still planning on finishing, but it won't be by the deadline. I think I've come too far to not finish, so I'm trying to make a new goal. How about the end of the year? Complete it by the end of '08 and start '09 ready to move on to something else? I hope you all are getting done the things you want to. I'm trying to console myself by being glad that unless I forget to post, I should make NaBloPoMo. That's something (although not nearly as hard) right?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Grandma Jackson

The grandmother to some of my cousins passed away Monday evening. I grew up pretty far away from my grandparents, but this woman lived in my hometown. She and her husband became another set of grandparents to us. We weren't super close to them - we didn't visit them very often. However, I have vague memories of being there when I was much younger. Not only that, but my family and I have gone to sing We Wish You a Merry Christmas to them on Christmas Eve for years. Grandpa Jackson died several years ago, but we continued to make our annual visit after he passed. Two of Grandma Jackson's daughters and their families also live in my hometown, and those who are around are always gathered together for Christmas Eve. When we arrive each Christmas Eve, we knock and once Grandma Jackson or some other family member opens the door we start singing, and whoever answers the door hollers to everyone else, "The Christensens are here!" and some of them come to the door to listen to our one verse of the song. Then they invite us in, and we chat with everyone who is there. The Jacksons are a wonderful, friendly family, and they have always made us feel welcome and a part of them when we visit. Last year, when we got to Grandma Jackson's no one was there. Huh! We figured they must be at one of the kid's that year, and we knew we had two choices. "Let's track them down!" we said, so we did. When they opened the door, we sang as usual and told them afterwards that they couldn't hide from us - Nosiree!! And they said, "We were worried about that. It's not Christmas until the Christensens come and sing to us." It has become as much as a tradition for some of them as it has for us. I am so glad we went and found them last year - we didn't know it would be the last Christmas we would sing to Grandma.
My sisters and brother-in-law and I drove home yesterday to go to the viewing, where we were welcomed. Grandma Jackson looked so tiny. I'm glad I got to touch her hand one last time. Today we went to the funeral. My mom got to help play most of the music for it, and she did a wonderful job - I consider myself to be talented at sight-reading, but I could not have pulled off what she did today. The services were really beautiful. I didn't think I was going to be very emotional. I loved her, but I believe this life isn't the end, and she lived a very good, long life here, so I didn't think it would upset me too much. During the first song I learned otherwise. I was really glad that I had a tissue in my purse from the night before. I don't know why I bothered putting makeup on before it, either. Anyway, I learned that Grandma was a huge baseball fan. What I was really impressed with, though, was how one of her daughter's told us that Grandma had taught them not to gossip, and I thought about how I need to work on that. Pres. Nelson, the stake president, spoke last. He talked about how constant the Jackson family was. They were a pretty solid, faithful family and a good example to all those around them. I also thought about how I need to try to lead a quiet, constant life like Grandma Jackson did.
After the funeral I got to visit with my aunt and uncle and their children, as well as some of my cousin's cousins, who are kind of like cousins to me, too. I had been thinking, "What will it be like this Christmas without a Grandma Jackson to go sing to?" My quasi-cousin also questioned what it would be like for them when we didn't show up singing this year. I told her mom maybe we would still find them this year and she told me where we should go, so the tradition will hopefully live on. I think it will be a little bittersweet this year, though.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sarah McLachlan

Do you ever dream about celebrities? Sarah McLachlan was in my dream last night. She was really nice. I think we talked about how I was going to her concert. It was like she was a part of some concert where several different artists were performing. I went to find my spot, I think, and then I saw a couple of my cousin's cousins, and I talked to them a little. Sarah will be performing here soon, and one of the local radio stations has been advertising the concert a lot, so that must be why she showed up. She was really nice in my dream, though, so I highly recommend seeing her if you get the chance sometime.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gas Prices

I remembered something that I wanted to post about last night that I couldn't remember last night. I don't know what gas prices are like where you live (unless you live where I live), but they are down to under $2.00/gallon at some stations. If I had my camera with me yesterday or today, I would have taken a picture of the prices for you all. I saw one gas station today at $1.95/gallon. I ended up paying a little more than than at the station I stopped at: $1.99/gallon, I think. Can you believe it? When was the last time prices were that low? Why are they that low again? I don't know, but I'm sure glad, and I hope they stay that way.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Gettysburg Address

Today is the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Isn't that neat? I finished reading Twilight to my students yesterday, so I decided to do what I used to do at the end of the day - look up some "This day in history" stuff, and that's what I found. It's a great speech, isn't it? And it was given by a true statesman, I believe. I wanted to rant about politics tonight, but I don't have enough time, so I'll just leave this little positive moment in history with you all:

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . .can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . .we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead,who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember,what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . .that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . .that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . .and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . .shall not perish from this earth.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Tragedy! Today was supposed to be a marathon book-writing day for me. I left work about as soon as I could and headed home with the intention of taking a nap (I was pretty tired from last night) and then spending the rest of the evening writing. When I got home I realized that I didn't have my laptop! It must still be on my desk at work. No! So, I stole my sister's laptop and wrote for awhile, and I used my youngest brother's laptop for a bit (including right now), and I may borrow my roommate's for another little while. Uggh! I'm not sure if I'm going to make it at this point, but I haven't given up yet. I hope to have another marathon day on Thursday, and hopefully I'll remember that I kind of need my computer if that's going to work out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Marathon Workday

I spent 13 hours at work today!! Crazy! My nurse sisters is probably thinking right now, Big deal. That's a normal workday for me. While I'm not trying to minimize that, I just want to remind you all that I will go to work tomorrow through Friday. We had our open house tonight, and it went really well, I think. It was pretty mellow, we just had guests until after 9:00 tonight. One of my students had put together a slide show of the kids, which was really nice. At any rate, I'm exhausted, so I'm going to bed. Good night!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fiddler on the Roof

Today, my dad pointed out that I've been blogging a lot lately. In case any of you have forgotten, there is a reason for this. I joined Nablopomo, which means I committed to write daily for one month. Don't worry; it won't last forever. After the end of this month, I will stop posting so often. If some of you are getting a little tired of all the posts, just remember, you don't have to read all of them - I'll never know.

This evening, my roommate and I (my bro was there for part of it, too), watched most of Fiddler on the Roof. I have really been wanting to watch one specific scene. We kind of decided to watch the songs we like, but I actually like almost all of the songs, and my roommate wanted to watch the only one that I was okay with skipping. Hence, we pretty much watched the movie. It's so good. During the 2nd daughter's song I started to cry. The scene that I have been wanting to watch, though, is the one that really gets the tears flowing. It's the third daughter's song, and I tell you what, tonight was no exception. The bad thing about crying tonight is that I had makeup on. Well, once I start to tear up a little, I think makeup starts getting into my eyes, which aggravates them, which means I have a hard time watching the scene because my eyes are in pain and don't want to stay open. Oh well. It was still great - and sad. I just feel so bad for Tevia, who bends and bends until he just doesn't feel he can anymore, and I don't blame him. I also love his relationship with God, which we didn't actually watch much of tonight, since that's dialogue. I've actually had his "on the other hand" monologue go through my mind as I've thought about different societal issues and how to deal with them, and I have had his "No! There is no other hand!" decision come to me. I love good movies or books that have wonderful messages in them and that help articulate how I feel sometimes!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Leaky Washer

There once was an apartment where four girls resided. They loved their apartment. It was nice. It had a washer and dryer. One day one of the girls noticed a big pool of water in front of the washing machine! Oh no! The girl went to the manager and told her of the leaky washer, and the manager told the girl that someone would come look at - on Monday!! That meant a weekend without a washer! Can the girl who has decided not to do laundry until it is fixed make it that long? It remains to be seen. Not only that, but can the floor make it through days of wetness without getting moldy? Can a post get any more stupid? I don't know, but I didn't have anything in mind to write about, and I really want to get to Harry Potter.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I know I've sung their praises before, but I love Lu and her husband, The Rock. While driving home today, Lu called to see if I could do something for her back, which apparently hasn't been very happy lately. She was en route to her home, but I figured that she and I would probably get there around the same time. When I did arrive, I was surprised to find The Rock there - but no Lu.
"Hi, The Rock! Has Lu called?"
"I don't know." He checks his phone. "Yes, she has."
"Well, we didn't think you were here, and she wants me to work on her back . . . And, can I come in and wash my hands?"
So I came in and washed my hands, which had remnants of sanitized pop on them from my trying to pick up garbage that spilled out of a dipped bag before I left work. Then I squirted tons of hand sanitizer on my hands - hence, sanitized pop.
"Do you mind if I take Lu for awhile tonight?"
"No. That's fine." Lest you think I am awful for taking my BF away from her husband, he was already planning on spending the evening studying.
I really appreciate it that I still get to hang with her sometimes, and that he doesn't mind.
And, I just love Lu. She showed up about then, and we left for my place. We took care of business, went to my ward's barbecue, and then finished off the evening by watching High School Musical, which neither of us had seen before. Nor had I been planning on watching it, but it seemed like an okay idea at the time, and I have to admit that I enjoyed it. Cute. High school. Good choreography.
Thanks for a great evening, Lu!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I missed it!

Right before I left Dashboard to come in here and blog, I noticed that I have 106 posts. I like commemorating things, and somehow I missed my hundredth post. I don't even know which one it was. Sad days. I guess I'll have to wait until I get to 200 or something.

Changing the subject, do you live in an apartment? I do, and it makes for an interesting life sometimes. The neighbors that we used to have were generally pretty quiet - except for when they were having a party, which meant what sounded like a lot of drunken college students dancing to songs that have lyrics like "She moves her body like a cyclone." The most exciting night, I had fallen asleep on the couch, I think, when I was woken up by police banging on the door and yelling to announce themselves and demand that the door be opened. They proceeded to do this for what felt like a very long time, to no avail. I'm not exactly sure where the party moved to - did everyone jump out of the windows? I'm not even absolutely positive that it was my neighbors, but I'm pretty sure. What I do know is that it stayed quiet the rest of the night.

Now we have neighbors who don't throw wild parties, or at least I haven't noticed them. However, they do seem to be morning people. While my roommates and I are struggling to keep our eyes open to read scriptures in the morning, they're chatting and laughing, and they continue that all the way to their car/cars, I presume, because we can hear them as they leave their place and pass ours. Houses are nice and quieter, but it's kind of fun having neighbors sometimes, too (or obnoxious, but that's okay - I should remind myself that I'm somebody's neighbor, as well).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What to Do When Having a George Costanza Moment

Tonight I got home later than I would have liked to, but happy with the evening. I thought that hot chocolate sounded really good, and I was looking forward to having some. When I went into my apartment, however, I noticed that my sister and one of my roommates had the leftover apple pie out. I love apple pie. I wanted some. I hoped they would divide the pie into three pieces; it looked like there was enough. They didn't. In all fairness, my sister asked me if I wanted a bite, but as she had not had any when we first had it, I declined her offer. She was like, "Don't you want some?" "Yes," I replied. "This is cruel. I had to smell pie baking all during my class tonight, and then I didn't get any because I had a meeting while my class was sharing the pies." I still declined her offer. Instead I persisted in hoping Roommate would cut me a slice, but she didn't, of course. So, I totally went into this George Costanza moment, where I wouldn't say, "Hey, I know I didn't care about eating the apple pie until I saw it. In fact, I was looking forward to hot chocolate. But, now that I see the apple pie and am reminded that we have some, I really want some, too, and I'm going to feel totally slighted if you don't share!" but I sure felt it. So, I was upset that I didn't get apple pie, and I was irritated with myself for being childish and not just asking for some if I wanted it that badly and selfish for not being content to let my roommates enjoy their slices of apple pie and making some hot chocolate for myself to enjoy.

Fortunately, I did something I don't normally do. I made this goal that I won't blog until I've prayed at night because I've been falling asleep a lot lately without praying. I wanted to blog, but I remembered my rule and prayed first. I feel much better now, other than stirring some of that back up in writing. So, my point is, when I'm having a George moment, I should probably get out of the situation and pray. You all are probably a little more grown up than I am, but if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, it might work for you, too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This morning my roommate and I went shopping so that she could buy new bicycling clothes. While she was working on that, I found the book section of this outdoorsy store. While in the book section I found a beautiful, hard-bound book that I believe was called The Endurance, or something like that. I used to have a different book with almost the same title that recounted the same story - perhaps you have heard about it already. Back in the early 1900s there was a ship captain, Capt. Shakleton, who led an expedition to Antarctica. I don't remember their exact mission. At any rate, they became shiprecked and had to go through a lot. The amazing thing is that every man survived. They all made it. The name of the ship was The Endurance. Or maybe it was just Endurance. I am reminded that Shakleton's family's motto was "By endurance we conquer." This is a good phrase that is applicable to many different things we go through in our lives. For now, I think I will apply it to writing my book. It's too late for me to figure out the exact count, but today I wrote around 2300 words - yea! I just have to keep doing that. I have received more words of encouragement and thank you for them. Well, that's all I've got for tonight. You should all read it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cornish Pasties

Tonight my roommate and I went to a restaurant for Cornish pasties. I've never had a pasty (pronounced pass-tee, my roommate taught me) before, so it was quite the treat. Basically, it's meet and vegetables baked inside a thin dough. My filling was like a stew; it included rutabaga. It might be the first time I've had rutabaga, only I forgot that was one of the ingredients, which means I didn't pay attention, which means I still don't know what is looks or tastes like. My roommate's filling was lamb and mint, which was kind of interesting and good. Anyways, it was pretty good. However, I hadn't eaten much throughout the day, and then we didn't eat until around 9:00 tonight, so I think my body wasn't exactly sure how to take something so heavy under those circumstances. Oh well. I'm glad we were able to do it.

If you can't tell, Nanowrimo has not been going so well. I just received a couple of pep talks, though - one from a nanowrimo person and one from a friend. Friend wrote this to me: "Keep going! You have to keep writing! You can't give up now!! You've never given up on anything in your life, and you're not going to start now!!!" Here's my question: Is this a quote from something, or did he write quote marks to indicate to me that I should picture him saying it to me? I feel like it might be a quote - at least the last two sentences. If any of you recognize it, I would appreciate knowing what it's from. I suppose I could always just ask him, but I guess I'm asking you anyway.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


My roommates and I really like squash - I like spaghetti, banana, butternut, and probably more. One of my roommates and I talked about how we didn't grow up eating it. We were curious about why, as it is such an "exemplary vegetable" (name the quote). Roommate talked to her mom, and we found out why she didn't eat it; her mom despises it. Roommate even gave me the phone so her mom could tell me herself about her abhorrence of the food. I finally asked my parents tonight about why we didn't eat it, and there really isn't a reason. I thought that perhaps they don't like it, but it turns out they do. They said that when we lived in Utah we used to eat more of it. They just didn't buy it much after we moved, which is when I was still quite young. I'm kind of surprised it isn't a super popular food to eat; it's so easy to prepare. You just cut it in half and stick it in the oven for around an hour, then you put butter and salt & pepper or brown sugar on it and . . . Voila! Yumminess!

Regardless of the reasons we didn't grow up eating it, I'm glad that my roommates and I have discovered it's deliciousness. We just had some for dinner tonight. We invited some boys to come eat with us, and though they were not very familiar with it, they seemed to enjoy it. So, squash, beware!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bed Sheets and Toilet Bowl Brushes

Tonight as I was putting clean sheets on my bed, I thought a little about some little things that define me. Do you ever notice little things in your life that prove that you actually are your own person. Lest you think I'm going to get deep here, let me get to the point. I have flannel sheets. I didn't grow up with flannel sheets, but I thought they looked so soft and warm that I bought them. I don't know if I ever want to go back. I recently bought a feather pillow. I really like it. Unless I get rich enough that I decide I can buy one of those expensive, weird-shaped pillows, I could see myself sticking with feathers. That's another thing I didn't grow up with, although I do remember enjoying the feather-pillows at my grandparents' house. One other, non-bed related thing I thought about is how I clean. I learned from a former roommate that when you clean the toilet, you can leave the brush suspended between the seat and the bowl after you finish cleaning. The brush can dry before you put it back in its little holder, which means the holder doesn't get nasty water building up in it, which means you end up with a funky-colored, really gross brush after awhile. I thought about how I will probably consciously teach my children to deal with the toilet-bowl brush that way someday. These are some of the little things that define me that I thought of today (and now you'll probably never be curious to know what I'm thinking about again).

Friday, November 7, 2008

426 Today - 7774 Total

Today I just want to give a big THANK YOU to one of my friends who actually reads my blog. First of all, it makes me so happy that someone actually reads it - usually I just figure that some of the members of my family read it out of guilt and to humor me, but I don't really think many others do. I got the nicest comment of encouragement from my friend Katy today. You should check out her blog, which I have a link to on the right. Her blog is really fun to read - I totally enjoy it.

I have not worked on my book yet today, so I can't post today's work count yet, and since I'm less than an hour from midnight, the count's not going to be very good tonight. Before I sign off of here, though, I wanted to say that my roommates and I watched the first Harry Potter tonight, and everyone looked so cute!! They were so young and adorable. I'll be excited next summer to see number 6 (that's the one we're on, right?).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

1813 Today - 7348 Total

I know I'm still behind in my word count, but I think I'm going to be okay with today's efforts. I had my first what-am-I-thinking, why-am-I-doing-this? sort of moments today. My book is going to be awful; I've known that since before I started. Today, though, I just didn't want to keep writing. I was still planning on it, but I thought I'd quite for the day a little while ago. I forced myself to keep going until I'd written more than I had yesterday. Nanowrimo must really have this thing down, too, because I received my first little pep talk from an author since the month began. He encouraged us to plow ahead. He says that page 70 is the hardest to write. I'm not even near 70 yet, so I can only imagine. When I get to my 70th page, I'll have to let you know if I agree.

The bad thing about blogging after working on my story is that I'm all burned out and don't feel like I have anything worthwhile to talk about on here. I mean, it seems to me like I've had a couple of brilliant posting ideas hit me recently, but my brain feels like mush now. The lack of sleep I've experienced lately can't help anything, either. I'd better just go to bed. Good night!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

1678 Today - 5535 Total

As you all can see, I'm getting pretty behind with Nanowrimo, and this is only the first week - yikes!! I'm blaming it on the elections, though, which I feel were a bit more important than my poor attempt at a book. I'm going to have a lot of work ahead of me over the next few days. Let's see if I'm up to it. I think I can do it.
Since I don't have anything profound to write about, I will announce that I have had my first two graduates within the last couple of weeks. Isn't that exciting? It's so nice to see the kids finish. I'm hoping for at least 4 more this year out of the students that I currently have. Then, if I don't come back next school year I think I can feel like I've accomplished my goal. I'm not certain about all four of those students, but I'm going to try to encourage them through their courses. Actually, I should have a few more than that. I guess I've got my work cut out for me not only in my writing, but more importantly, in my job. Isn't it great to have goals?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

1499 Today - 3857 Total


Well, the title says it. Today was election day. It wasn't just any election day, either. A black man was elected president. Yea for the fact that color did not keep someone from winning. Despite my being glad that that can finally happen in this country, I kind of surprise myself with the depth of lugubrious feelings I'm experiencing. I knew what the outcome of the presidential race would be. I don't even really care for McCain. In fact, I am remembering that there was a time when I thought I would vote for Obama. Wow. Strange how much one can change how they feel about someone or something. Somehow, I feel very depressed in spirit about the outcome of the race. Perhaps I should be happy that democracy works and that the majority of voters in this country got what they wanted. I just watched McCain's speech, and he was good and gracious about the outcome. My roommate assures me that I will not regret this - that things will change for the better, but I can't help but feel differently. It's not that I thought McCain would be an amazing president. I just am troubled because I feel Obama will take us in unhealthy directions if he's able to. I studied history - I love our nation's foundation. I love the founding fathers. I love the constitution. We, as a country, have strayed so far from our foundations - I don't even think most people know what those foundations were. I don't know all of it myself, that's for sure. But, from what I do know, I'm nervous. From what I know of other countries we seem to be following, I'm more nervous. I guess it remains to be seen. It would be great if four years from now I could be seen saying, "Thank you all Obama supporters. You guys were right." At this point, I don't feel confident in that happening, though.

I must remind myself that, as I told a few others, the president was not the part of the ballot I was most concerned about. I was most concerned about Prop 102, and it looks like it has passed. God be thanked!

Obama is a good politician. He is a good speaker. I just watched his address. He referred to the foundation of our country, which I found interesting since that's what I talked about above. He said a few things that heartened me. He encouraged us to be active. That reminded me that I can still be excited about government because I still have the right to work for what I want and believe in. Obama just said, "God bless America." I pray He does. That's the only way we can make it, and I would have believed that no matter who won the race.

230 Words Yesterday = 2358 Total

Monday, November 3, 2008

Defying Gravity

I'm stealing tonight's post from my roommate. I found this on her blog, and I thought I would try it. Here goes (first of all, let me say that I didn't put my whole library on shuffle. I took out the songs that I thought might be sacrilegious - um, and then I still skipped a few religious-sounding ones that popped up, so I cheated a little, but here's what ended up coming out):

1. Put your music library on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

Larghetto From Clarinet Quintet In A (Lifescapes)

Pieces of the Sun (Test Your Reflex)

Finale "Wicked" (Wicked)

You Might Think (The Cars)

Crash and Burn (Savage Garden)

Arioso From Cantata No. 156 (Lifescapes)

I Know There's Something (Frida)

The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Wimoweh (The Tokens)

WHAT IS 2+2?
Wisdom (Gran Ronde)

Somos Novios - It's Impossible (Andrea Bocelli & Christina Aguilera)

This Magic Moment (Jay & The Americans)

Candle On the Water (Helen Reddy)

Green Onions (Booker T. & The MG's)

What Is This Feeling? (Wicked)

Ain't No Sunshine (Bill Withers)

Cars (Gary Numan)

I Will Follow You Into The Dark (Death Cab for Cutie)

Crazy (Gnarles Barkley)

Tequila (The Champs)

D.A.N.C.E. (Justice)

Minuet From Sonata In G-Op 49, No. 2 (Lifescapes)

We Got the Beat (The Go-Go's)

You Give Me Something (James Morrison)

Indiana Jones Theme - from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra & Richard Edlinger)

Buildings and Mountains (The Republic Tigers)

In Her Eyes (Josh Groban)

Symphony No. 2 "Mysterious Mountain", Op. 132, III. Andante Espressivo (Fritz Reiner)

O Fortuna - From Carmina Burana (Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir)

Then I Kissed Her (The Beach Boys)

Theme From Moses (Yo-Yo Ma, Roma Sinfonietta, & Ennio Morricone)

Defying Gravity (Wicked)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

NaBloPoMo 2

No word count for today, as it's Sunday, but tomorrow night I hope to tell you I'm at around 4000 words. This weekend I went home to visit family. An uncle and aunt came down from Idaho. They spent the night at my parents' place. They're the ones in the picture. It was nice visiting with them - I love family!! It was great to see my parents, as well, and it was nice to relax a little. Well, I'm feeling totally un-creative at the moment, so I'll sign off. Before I do, however, I will ask you something - if any of you want to throw out a random part of speech (noun/adj/verb/adv - you know, that kind of thing), I will try to include it in my story the next day. Happy first week of November!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ready, Set, WRITE!! No, BLOG!! No . . .

November 1st - the countdown begins. 30 days of posting on here and one month to write at least 50,000 words of a book. And with this post I will fulfill today's requirements. I spent several hours writing today, but I got up a lot and did other things, so I'm hoping that during the week, when I don't have several hours to kill, I can write enough words to stay on pace for having the book written by the end of the month. The way I figure it, I need to write 2000 words a day because I'm not planning on writing on Sundays. That's the day I worship and it will be my day of rest from writing, as well. I'm not sure what to blog about each day, but my roommate is an experienced NaBloPoMo-er, so maybe I can ask her for ideas. I will probably give you a daily update on my word count, which today is 2128 words. W00T! Wish me luck and send creative vibes my way.