"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Like Turtles

Have you ever had one of those light-bulb moments about something where it just made sense, and then you wanted to write something about it...but when you sat down to do it you ended up with a beginning about one topic, and by the second half it had morphed a bit and you weren't sure whether to change the first half to be like the second, or the second to be like the first, or to just write two separate things that are similar...so you just don't finish writing it at all? Maybe not. But that's me for you. So, every time I decide to blog I start thinking "oh, I should finish that post I started..." and then I don't want to so I do something else and don't even post at all! Problem solved! Ok well not really.

BUT today is my day off (and it's Wednesday! Ballet day!! Yay!!!!), and Trevor will be at work and school for most of the day, so here is my chance to post lots and be wonderfully productive!

My "to do" list (in no particular order or priority):
- don't eat cookies for breakfast again
- drink enough water
- set up another doctor's appointment for my seemingly chronic nausea
- do laundry
- go to the DMV and get my name changed, and a new driver's license
- clean my room
- do the dishes
- call the relief society presidency to confirm the 'welcome to the ward' for me tomorrow
- practice the piano (I have been re-inspired! Thanks to Harry playing Harry Potter, and the Imperial Lament. Brilliant! and ridiculously talented!)
- stretch
- shower and look awesome
- finish that blog post I started forever ago
- write a post for every day I missed
- go to ballet!!!
- read more of my old textbook Fitness for Life (it's good stuff! Funny how much more interesting text books become when you haven't been in school for over a year...)

Ok so I'm being really ambitious, and considering my track record of getting things done on my day off...I'll be lucky if I do three of those. But I can dream, right? Also, it's almost 11:00 and I still haven't eaten any cookies, and I've had at least one or two cups of water so far, so basically I only have to do one more on my list before I can feel awesome by the standard I just set for myself in this paragraph!

Next on the list is calling the doctor! Onward to victory and success!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What's Up Doc?

My Dad introduced me to the movie What's Up Doc? many long years ago, and it has been one of my favorites ever since, so I decided to introduce Trevor to this wonderful movie of happiness tonight! After watching it he said he loved it too, and his initial reasons were so different from mine - not to mention random - that I was thoroughly amused, and decided I better document them before I forget :)

Reasons Trevor like the movie:
- a blue light indicating HD audio lit up on our sound system for the first time ever when the movie started. He likes good sound.
- Howard Banister is a musicologist, which is basically what Trevor is going into (applied physics with an emphasis in acoustics)
- Howard's character reminded him of Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation
- the WARNING information showed up in Romanian after the movie (he was a missionary in Romania)

I love that guy :)

Other things we love about that movie:
- Howard carrying around a tuning fork and banged on rocks
- Judy just being so random and crazy
- the literal humor ("what are you doing?" "taking a bath!")
- music in the fight scene at Mr. Larabee's house, and that nobody could hit who they were supposed to
- the car chase with the ladder
- the whole hotel fire scene
- "admit it, just admit you're a lucky dog." "I'm a lucky dog."
- "What kind of wine are you serving at table one?"
- "I know I'm different, but from now on I'm going to try to be the same." "The same as what?" "As people who aren't different"
- "Aw come-on, Steve, you don't want to marry Eunice."  "I'm not Steve. I'm Howard."
- "What kind of house detective are you? Cannot commit a simple burglary." "I'm ashamed." "Never mind. I will return the case to her room, while you detain her." "How do I do that?" "Use your charm!"
- and, well, basically every other scene and line from the movie! It's just so wonderful!

I Believe in Lucky Pennies

My freshman year of college I started picking coins up off the ground. I kept them on the edge of the shelf above the head of my freshman dorm room bed. Then one day I realized that the number of dates I had been on that school year was the same as the amount of change I had picked up. This pattern continued throughout the school year. It’s amazing how many dropped coins you find when you take the time to look for them.

 I told my new roommates about it the next year, and the search for dates – um, I mean dropped change – continued. One roommate found a coin from Canada. She got a boyfriend. One day I found a quarter…that was a busy weekend! Ok so I didn’t actually get 25 dates, but that day I had to cancel my previously tentatively planned girl date with a roommate and choose one of five different options for Friday night plans - each with different boys - that had suddenly sprung up over the next few hours. I continued to tell my new roommates each year, and we continued to search for lucky date coins.

I don’t remember finding any pennies before my first date with Trevor. That wasn’t luck; that was divine intervention :)

To this day, even though I’m married to the love of my life, I still stop and pick up pennies. They’re still lucky. And who can say “no” to a date with the man of your dreams?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie-n-Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar

I found this piece of heaven today on my newsfeed this morning. I will DEFINITELY be trying this heart attack out soon :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Catching Up: Yoga, Stomach, Always a Dancer

Ok I've been downright terrible at posting this past week. My excuse this time is going to be that I worked about 40 hours, so did Trevor, and it was education week...so everything was just a bit scattered. Which reminds me, education week was absolutely incredible and definitely merits a post or two! Those are yet to come :)

As for today, I went to a real yoga class for the first time ever! It's the 4th week of the month, so my focus is going to be mental/emotion health or whatever you want to call it. At my doctor's appointment last month, I was told I probably had IBS. Since then I've looked up a bunch of stuff online and I definitely disagree. I'm pretty sure I either have dyspepsia or gastroparesis, or something along those lines. I'm going back for another appointment this week, so maybe my diagnosis will be a little more sure? Anyways in my researching of both diseases/conditions/whatever they are technically called, I've discovered that there is no treatment or cure. Only things you can do to try to relieve the nausea, but they don't necessarily work. One thing that was said to help is yoga. So, I'm attempting to be a good little yoga student and hopefully help get my stomach a bit more under control! And my work schedule conveniently allots time for both ballet and yoga a couple time this week!

Tonight was my first class. It didn't start out too great. I got dressed up in my cute new yoga pants/shorts with a pink waistband, and headed out the door a couple minutes late. Then I drove the wrong way. Actually, I was going the right way and doubted myself and re-routed...and lost time. Not too much though. Then I found the place and walked up and opened the door under the sign...which turned out to be the wrong door, and actually opened up into the front of the studio where class was going on. Oops. I did find the right door eventually though, and jumped right into the thick of things since class had already started, and pretty soon another wave of nausea came on thanks to the upside-downess of the downward facing dog. It wasn't bad though and thankfully passed unusually fast.

I actually really liked the class! I couldn't help thinking that I wished it was ballet though. Part-way through the class the teacher came over and asked if I was a dancer. I told her yes and asked if it was that obvious. She just smiled and said she could always tell. After class she came over to me again and told me I had done really well, especially since it was my first time and the class was "not for beginners", and asked me where I was dancing. When I told her I wasn't exactly a dancer anymore, and that it had been years since I was really involved in ballet she just smiled again and informed me "once a dancer, always a dancer". I guess it's true. In any event, ballet is tomorrow. My first class since that true first one almost a month ago! I can't wait :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Swamp Muck Smoothie

True to my word, when I woke up starving and wanted to just grab a cookie, I restrained myself and started looking up healthy fruit smoothie recipes online to try to cram in as many servings as possible at a time. Unfortunately, most of the recipes I found on Allrecipes.com (my go-to site for good recipes)  looked more like yummy fruit incorporating treats. I was looking for a true blue healthy fruit smoothie. I tried looking at health sites, but I just didn't trust that they didn't taste too 'healthy', plus with all my fruit and vegetable and soy allergies, my search proved a bit, well, fruitless.

Long story short, I decided to try my hand at making up my own! And I actually loved it! Possibly only because it tastes so much better than it looks? Who knows. I plan to keep experimenting, but for a first try with made up amounts I was pretty impressed with how good it was!

Here are the results:

- 1 cup frozen banana
- 1 orange peeled (I broke it into 3 pieces but I should have broken it up more)
- 1 cup spinach
- 3 oz. vanilla yogurt (1/2 of a little container)

I added a couple ice cubes for good  measure, but I don't think they really made much difference.
Make sure it's really blended...a big piece of spinach can really put a damper on your smoothie enjoyment :)

Fortunately for Trevor, he's still asleep so I won't make him try my green concoction :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sweet Salty Greasy Fatty Junky Processed Food Glorious Food!

I LOVE food. Specifically the kinds that are terrible for me. Don't get me wrong, I like healthy foods too, but they are not what I usually crave. Plus they don't fill you up with that pleasant yummy feeling. They have a nice cleansed healthy nourished feeling that is absolutely wonderful...but I usually give in to the cravings instead. I'm a work in progress.

You may recall me deciding to have weekly goal focuses in New Patterns. Well this week is supposed to be my 'eat tons of fruits and veggies' week...and I majorly failed today. So in honor off my failing, I decided to post about some awfully wonderful foods that I have weaknesses for!

Chocolate chip cookies - real butter, semi-sweet chocolate, a little on the salty side, nice and chewy...oooo heaven!

Fries - specifically steak fries! Salty fatty deep-fried salty and I just can't get enough!

Fry sauce - I love it. I have no clue why the East Coast hasn't adopted it yet, but I guess they are obese enough over there without having to dip their deep-fried foods in even more fat?

Bacon cheeseburgers - oh my goodness, those are my favorite! Especially with onions.

Black olives - did you know that just 6 olives is an entire serving of fat? I have 10 fingers though, so 6 is not an option

Reese's - Anything peanut butter and chocolate is absolutely divine, but Reese's has it down to an art. Reese's sticks, Reese's fast break, Reese's peanut butter moose tracks ice cream, Reese's milkshake, Reese's Puffs, an original Reese's peanut butter cup, or whatever it may be, there really is no wrong way to eat a Reese's. unless it's not at all.

Rich chocolate cake - especially frozen, or with pudding, or just all the time.

Brownies - the thicker and fudgier the better, and edges and walnuts are a definite plus! Betty Crocker's mix just doesn't cut it. Too oily and not enough substance. BYU brownies aren't very good either. Western Family is undoubtedly the best option. Freshly baked brownies with ice cream...oh goodness I LOVE them!

Ranch and Thousand Island dressing - the sauce pretty much makes the sandwich. And the salad. Yum!

Donuts - love love love! Apple fritters, regular raised chocolate frosted donuts, and sour cream or buttermilk donuts are my absolute favorites! I love them all though!

Cinnamon rolls - big fluffy soft melt-in-your-mouth buttery sugary caramely goodness

Popcorn - air, butter, and salt. Perfect :) Especially kettle corn, or caramel corn, or peanutbutter chocolate poppycock

Toasted onion bagels slathered with cream cheese - ok maybe not as high up there on the 'junk' scale, but still bad for you, and still ridiculously yummy!

Garlic toast and cinnamon toast - on thick yummy white processed 0-grain bread! I could eat it all day!

Chocolate - especially milk. Hershey's kisses, chocolate truffles, chocolate-covered raisins, chocolate-covered anything, chocolate and caramel, etc etc. mmmmmm

Toblerone - ok technically this falls under the chocolate category, but it's just SO good I thought it deserved a category of its own :) This and the Symphony bars with toffee and almonds. oh my goodness. I've eaten an entire half pound bar in one day. It's true

No-bake cookies - they're like a mix between Reese's, cookies, brownies, and chocolate. Really, what more could you want?

Pizza - um, delicious! Onions, chicken, tomatoes, and olives please! Not to mention Papa John's garlic dipping sauce for the crust! Papa John's really is better pizza by the way. Just saying.

Orange chicken and fried rice - I hadn't really ever had it till my aunt and uncle took me to Panda Express 5 years ago. Then my life began. Good thing my husband is an orange chicken lover too!

Costco muffins - well, more like jumbo cupcakes maybe. One muffin has nearly 1000 calories, depending on the kind. Not a healthy breakfast by any stretch of the imagination! Apple crumb is my absolute favorite! Chunks of real apple, cinnamony oaty topping, maple icing...yum! Close behind are vanilla chocolate chunck, french toast, and almond poppy :)

Oh I could just go on forever!!!

As much as I absolutely LOVE them (ok that may be a bit of an understatement!), my body deserves to be treated better. So hopefully thinking about all these yummy snacks will help curb my appetite for them, at least for a little while :) So from now on till the end of the week, I am resolving to actually eat my fruits and veggies, and cut back on the junk a bit!

Best Friends Make Bad Days Better

This is over-due, but I just haven't sat down to write it until now, so here it is.

This Wednesday was yet another affirmation that yes, Trevor is indeed my best friend. I love him :)

A little back-ground info: Wednesday is the day I have ballet (aka my new favorite day of the week!) and I have been looking forward to it and talking about it since my first class in nearly 3 1/2 years last Wednesday!

Tuesday night we were up till probably after 2 AM. Trevor was up late finishing his take-home final for a math class, and I was entertaining myself on my laptop. Fortunately, we were both off work on Wednesday, and Trevor was done with classes, so we slept in till probably close to noon. Then Trevor double-checked his late-night calculations from the night before before turning it in at 1:30. In response to me asking what he wanted me to make him for breakfast, he said chocolate milk. I was about to say no, but then I realized I had just eaten three cookies for breakfast...so I made him a good strong glass :)

I stayed at home and tried out the Yogaesque game we got for our brand new Kinect while he turned in his test, and then we went for a run together! Ok well more like a walk with short spans of slow jogging. Trevor is a really good sport about doing things at my speed, even though it probably bores him to pieces sometimes. Wednesday is ballet day remember and I didn't want to strain or exhaust myself too much and compromise my experience! Especially since I'm working during ballet next week, so this was my last shot for at least two more weeks, possibly longer. After running I stretched for awhile so I wouldn't be stiff for ballet, plus I've lost quite a bit of flexibility over the years! I had to be ready! Then I took a nice relaxing hot shower, grabbed some dinner, and hurried off to my haircut appointment where Trevor would join me later.

My appointment was at 5:15 and I only wanted a trim, so I figured I'd have plenty of time to finish, talk to the admissions department about what else I needed to turn in to get me to the top of the wait list for the Physical Therapy program (starting in less than a month!! knock on wood!!!!), check my work schedule for the next day, and get to my ballet class which was at 8:00. It was going to be great!

I told the hair student what I wanted, she ran it by her supervisor/instructor/whoever he was, and she started cutting. She said she was graduating from hair school next week, so I figured I was in good hands. (Not to mention she was one of the only students there with normal-looking hair, so I trusted her judgement a bit more than the ones with, say, short black hair and a bleached mullet. Yes, one of them had that. It was super ugly in my opinion, but what do I know?) Then she had to have the instructor person come over and show her how to layer my hair, and I got a little worried (isn't that a pretty standard thing stylists should know BEFORE cutting a customer's hair?), but I pushed my fear aside. We had a lovely chat while she was cutting my hair; one of the best I've ever had actually. I found out we were actually a lot alike! If we were in the same ward, we may very well be friends.

Then Trevor showed up for his haircut around 6:00. He ended up at the booth right across from me, and sneakily peeked around the side part-way through to ask if I was single and wanted to go on a date with him later that night. I said yes :) A wash and a haircut later he left, and I was still sitting there getting my trim. By this point I was starting to get more and more worried about the skill-level of this hair student, and frustrated with her lack of speed. I reminded her that I needed to be done no later than 7:15, and she said we should be fine. The hair helper people had to come over probably at least five times during the haircut to check up on her and show her how to do things (like trim my bangs, texture and point-cut the ends of my hair so it wasn't a straight chop, etc.), and then FINALLY she decided it was done and showed me the back...and it wasn't even how I wanted it! I have thick hair, so I like having long layers to break up the thickness so it doesn't just look choppy. Instead of long layers, it was pretty much all the same length, with just a tiny amount of hair layered. So little that you can hardly tell. By this point I just wanted her scissors out of my hair, and I wanted to be out of there so I could go to ballet. Unfortunately, it looked too bad to just leave. The hair instructor person came over again and told her what to do to make the bottom layer (practically all my hair) look better (it was seriously just cut straight across in a straight chop), and I decided to not worry about fixing the layers because that would mean re-doing pretty much everything that had been done - which had already taken FOREVER - and I was frustrated with having spent so long there, and I had places I needed to be, and important things to do. Namely, ballet!

Finally I just told her it was fine and left. It was 7:35. Almost 2 1/2 hours for a stupid trim. Unheard of. Forget about my other errands, I drove home as fast as I could, bolted through the door and down the stairs and started getting ready for ballet faster than I probably ever have. Trevor saw my need and helped gather my things for me. I put on my leotard and tights and threw my hair into probably one of the worst buns I've ever done. A fresh haircut takes a bit of getting used to. She hadn't parted my hair where it usually parts so that was a bit of a mess, plus my bangs had been trimmed and they didn't want to have anything to do with looking good pulled back, and with all my hair the same length there were ends sticking out everywhere that not even a hairnet and monster pins could control. At least not in the 2 minutes I had to do it in. Trevor was behind me cheering me on the whole time. I looked at the finished product in the mirror and knew it was just not going to work, so I started hastily taking it out to re-do it and hopefully only be a forgivable 5 minutes to ballet, but then I looked at the clock and class had already started. There was no way I would make it.

I know missing one silly ballet class isn't really that big of a deal, but I guess after all the built up frustration of my hair cut experience, plus not getting my important errands taken care of, plus the stress of trying to still make it, plus the realization and disappointment of having to miss my only chance to take a ballet class for a couple weeks when I had built it up for the past week, I just couldn't stand it. I'm not a crier, but this was enough to break me apparently. Trevor just held me for a bit and let me cry it out. Then he turned those tears to laughter, and decided to occupy my sudden extra two hours by cashing in the date he asked me on earlier! We went on a lovely walk in this nearby park that I love, and sat by the pond and made fun of the ducks and talked and laughed. Then we went to Sammy's for dinner! I love a good burger and fries :) It was national S'more's day, so we went over to his parents' house for s'mores, but we were actually full of pie-shakes so we didn't eat any. Then we picked up a movie and headed home to stay up late watching it. It was a wonderful date, and even if I wasn't already dating/married to Trevor, I might have still kissed him afterwards :)

Trevor just makes me feel so happy even when we're doing nothing, not to mention he's really good about keeping a level head about things so when I'm getting dramatic or worked up about something stupid he helps me chill out and get happy again, without even telling me I'm being stupid. Most of the time I can figure that out for myself anyways :) Those are just two of the things I love about him, and if I were to write out a list of all the other reasons I love him, it would just take forever. Maybe in a later post. Anyways, my husband is ridiculously awesome and I love him and I'm getting tired, hence the dwindling focus in this paragraph, so now I'm going to go tell him I love him for real instead of just writing about it :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Part-time Geek

"Geek" is a word I don't usually use to describe myself...but, try as I might to deny it, I do have my moments. Never in a die-hard textbook definition sense of the word mind you, so maybe "geek" is too strong a term. Maybe more like "obsessive in spurts"? Who knows. I guess I'll leave that up to the nerds to determine.

Anyways, I had a Lloyd Alexander phase for a couple years starting when I was 9 or so. He's a fantasy author. I read every single book by him that I could get my hands on. There are quite a few! The "Chronicles of Prydain" series was my absolute favorite, and I read it over and over and over. Those characters were good friends of mine. I used to dream of being Princess Eilonwy and having a beautiful white horse named Melangar (which is obviously a better name than Taran's horse Melanlas!). Glu's horse-sized kitty Lyan was another one of my favorites :) And Taran was undoubtedly my hero. I researched a bit about the author and his experiences growing up, his inspiration for writing, etc. and I started writing a book about a girl who read his books and found herself inside one of his stories. I even wrote a song for the movie of the final book in the series "The High King", which would star me, of course. When I found out Disney was making a movie of "The Black Cauldron" (the second book in the series, except the movie covered the first two books if I remember correctly) I was really excited until two of my friends saw it and told me about what happened in it and I critiqued it to pieces because it botched my favorite stories and characters up so badly! I vowed not to watch it because it clearly wouldn't be worth seeing, and to this day I still have no desire to watch it.

The next phase I remember was Harry Potter, which I guess doesn't quite count since I think a good number of us caught that bug for at least a little while. Also, I wasn't into it as much as several other people I know. And definitely not as much as this girl! Buying costumes, wand replicas, or other such things wasn't my thing, but I was very into memorizing details and specifics. My dad would read the books out loud to us before bed and we would do puzzles while we listened. I read all the books at least once if not three times on my own too. One of my cousins had Harry Potter Clue and we played it for hours on New Year's Eve one year. We also starting writing our own Harry Potter Adventure, but I don't think it ever got past the first chapter or so. For whatever reason, I really wanted to be Hermione in the movies, and I looked up information on a Harry Potter fan site about how to audition. Then I took pictures and filled out the by-mail audition application, mailed it, and waited hopefully. I wrote a letter to J.K. Rowling too, asking her if the role had already been cast, or if I could still hope for a chance. I was a weird kid.

Larry the Cucumber was next. A Christian bookstore my mom bought some of our home school books from played Veggie Tales for kids to watch while their parents shopped. Then a couple years later one of my friends was really into it too, and got me a lot more into it. Specifically Silly Songs with Larry. We did a lip-sync of "The Dance of the Cucumber" for a ward talent show. My friend was Bob the Tomato and I was Larry the Cucumber. The song was in Spanish, and I didn't understand Spanish, but managed to memorize the whole song word for word just by listening to it enough. Someone in the Stake remembered liking it so much that she asked us to perform again in a Stake Roadshow the following year. By that point I had bought a Silly Songs with Larry CD and memorized nearly every song word for word, as well as learned to play most of them on the piano thanks to the piano book my parents gave me for Christmas. I can probably still remember all the words to that one in Spanish :)

Lets not forget about Knighthood (one of the first games facebook came out with once it stopped just being a place for pictures and statuses, and started having applications and games). It was seriously like the dumbest game ever. You invited your friends to be your vassals, and you could assign them to build things, or protect your village/castle thing, or get more money. Then you'd build buildings and get supplies, and raid other castles and steal money or capture other vassals and make them work for you, and everything would earn you different amounts of points. What made it so dumb is that you didn't really do anything, you would just click a button that said 'raid' and it would tell you the results. There was little to no animation, just numbers and scores. Basically it was just chance if you did well or not. Well, chance coupled with the number of times you hit buttons. Regardless, I was sooo into the game, and I wanted to have a higher score than a particular one of my friends SO BAD! Huge chunks of my days were spend clicking that 'raid' button, trying to make my friends be my vassals and play so I would get more points, or building things. I think I might have skipped class to play it at one point. Or maybe I just thought about it. Or maybe he skipped to attack me...I really don't remember. In any event, I am ashamed to say, out of the several hundred students at BYU who also played Knighthood, I was ranked in 3rd place. It's true. Such a dumb game. SUCH a waste of time! Don't worry, that only lasted a few weeks of my college experience.

Avatar: The Last Airbender was another phase. My roommate and her boyfriend are responsible for my first exposure. My roommate had all three seasons, and me and my boyfriend James watched that show religiously. For a month or two our relationship consisted of little more than hurrying over to my apartment to watch episode after episode of Avatar until we finished all three seasons! We did other things to, but many of them centered around watching Avatar. Date night? Hurry and make dinner and eat in the living room while watching Avatar. Day at the pool? Bring along the laptop and watch it while sunning. Picnic in the park? Bring the laptop to watch in the shade while eating. Family reunion with no electricity? Charge up the laptop before coming, and watch Avatar until the battery runs out.  We broke up before we ever ended up watching the movie that had just come out, which was probably a good thing considering how much of a let-down it was after falling in love with the TV show. I watched it with Trevor and was thoroughly unimpressed. Trevor hadn't ever seen the show...he was pretty unimpressed too. The show was definitely better.

My current little geek-like obsession is Star Trek: The Next Generation. Trevor got me into it, and...I love it :) I'm really not a sci-fi girl, but I still really like this show. Probably largely because Trevor loves actiony boy movies, and I love chick flicks and fairy tales, so it's nice to have something that we both like, so we can come home from a long hard day's work and relax and both be happy. Plus a show that has almost 200 episodes, teaches good morals and principles, and has lovable characters is just an all-around win! What triggered this post and sort of clued me in to my current geek-ness was two things. First, I had a dream last night that I married one of the characters from Stark Trek. Well, maybe it wasn't exactly him, but someone that looked and acted like a mean hostile version of Worf the Klingon. Technically it was more of a capture than a real marriage. Anyways, the real kicker for me was when I found a facebook status on my newsfeed posted by the mother of one of my best friends growing up.

She (the mom) is a physicist, acclaimed science fiction novelist, dancer, singer, teacher, etc. and her status said that F. Patrick Hubbard, the Ronald Motley Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina, wrote an article for the Temple Law Review called "'Do Androids Dream?' Personal and Intelligent Artifacts" that references one of her books The Veiled Web which focuses partly on "the question of whether or not artificial intelligence can have a moral compass or even a soul". My first thought was "oh my gosh, that's exactly what the episode of Star Trek we watched the other night was about!" The episode I'm thinking of is called "The Measure of a Man", and some scientist wants to take apart Data - against his will - to study him and create more androids like him, so they have to hold a court-type session to determine if he is to be treated as a person or as the property of starfleet. I went to the linked paper, and got really excited while just reading the abstract. All I could think of was "if they had just had this paper written back in that show, they could have won the case for Data easily!". Needless to say, I have downloaded the entire 99 page document, and plan to read it all :) I got so excited I texted Trevor at work and told him all about it, and showed him as soon as he walked in the door after he got off! I am so cool. It's true. And if anyone else wants to be as cool as me, here is the link to the video clip of the trial by Riker against treating artificial intelligence as a person, and here is the trial by Captain Picard in favor of it. And this is the 99 page article :)

Oh and by the way, while writing this post, we have watched two more episodes of Star Trek :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What am I writing about again?

A little interesting tidbit of information: My mom recorded some notes from my baby blessing in her journal. It says I was blessed with the ability to express myself completely, and that my mediums of expression - or whatever you want to call them - are spoken word, written word, dance, and facial expression. Dance is a pretty obvious one considering I've been dancing since I was five, and I just can't get enough. Facial expression is probably equally obvious. Everything I feel shows in my face. Written and spoken word...well...not as much. Specifically written.

That being said, now that I've managed to establish somewhat of a habit of writing/posting (ok the past couple days don't count!), I'm noticing a slight change in the way I think about things that happen. Instead of scrambling to get on facebook and post about it, or re-hashing the drama/excitement/despair/you name it of whatever it was to the nearest person that will listen, I want to think about it, learn from it, and write about it. I guess I've kind of always been that way a bit, but didn't necessarily have a good way to accomplish it.

Unfortunately, a lot of the things on my mind recently are pretty big topics to tackle. In case you haven't noticed, I'm not exactly the best writer ever. My writing tends to consist of the meandering of my thoughts around a general topic, instead of something organized and well composed around some sort of thesis. (We just won't even mention grammar and punctuation :) Plus it doesn't help that a good number of my posts were written while lying in bed as I was falling asleep, and I can't even remember half the stuff I wrote the following morning. Anyways, the idea of trying to write about some of the 'real' things on my mind instead of just trivial day-to-day events is more than daunting, so I usually give up before even thinking of a decent title, post about something like spiders or a movie, and move on with life. But that kind of defeats my whole purpose for starting this blog in the first place, as I explained in happy friday!.

So basically, I don't even know what the point of this post is...but for the sake of having one, lets say it's a commitment to myself to actually write about the more important things I have on my mind, and a disclaimer that it's hard to stick with, and that those posts will be staggered between many fluffy happy random Karin-flavored posts about day-to-day adventures! 

Um, the end.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Excuses Excuses...

I've been slacking and not writing, it's true. Here are my excuses.

Thursday I finished up at work, did some grocery shopping, came home, and made a nice long list of things to do (mostly cleaning and housework) to do till Trevor got home at 10.  I made myself a nice post-work turkey/lettuce/tomato/thousand island dressing/grandma sycamore bread/cheese sandwich, got dinner going in the crock-pot, spent a good 45 minutes or so cleaning the kitchen (it was in dire need), and then I found a couple more spiders. So my schedule got put on hold while I ran around spraying them and spraying all over our apartment and soaking the window tracks. I most definitely do NOT like having spiders in my house! That interruption segued my evening from productive to procrastinative, and I spent the next few hours wasting time. My stomach was acting up too though, and feeling nauseous always puts a damper on my productivity. In the end, Trevor did come home to a clean kitchen and hot dinner so all was well :) Then we watched an episode or two of Star Trek: The Next Generation and went to bed. We've been watching Star Trek for the past couple of nights and I love Captain Picard. His character and presence really reminds me of someone else - I think from another movie - but I can't figure out who. I think it might be President Deiter F. Uchtdorf actually, but I'm not sure. Anyways, with all that stuff going on, a blog post got neglected. But other good things did get done :)

Friday I made cookies while Trevor was at work. In my post about our first Sunday in our new family ward I mentioned signing up to take cookies to a funeral. Well I soon realized I didn't know who to give them to, where to take them, or when they were supposed to be there. I also found out that there wasn't even a funeral on Friday like I thought. They were actually Thursday and Saturday, and one hadn't been announced. I made cookies anyway though. But first I called my mom and my sister, and spent like an hour and a half on the phone between the two of them. Sadly, the cookies turned out terrible! I have this awesome recipe that I made nearly every Sunday during my teen-age years, and they are just divine! Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips, plenty of sugar and salt, extra large eggs, and tons of real butter...mmmmm! I just haven't been able to get them to turn out right since I came to college though, and it's so sad! To make matters worse, I was using a different oven this time, and one of my pans wasn't an airbake one. The first batch tasted wonderful, but was really flat and dry. I added a bit of flour. The second batch was burnt (oops...) and had nice body, but was too bland. I added a bit of salt. Then they were too salty. I added some vanilla and sugar. Then they weren't buttery enough. Blast. The first batch tastes the best by far. I should have left well enough alone! The last batch wasn't bad though, but they're all too dry. Ugh. Someday I'll perfect my recipe in my new oven! Fortunately, I never found out what I was supposed to do about the funeral, so no one had to eat my awful cookies! I got to chat on facebook with my friend Cathy for an hour or two while I waited for Trevor to get off work (4 am is way too late!) and that was super fun. I also went through my pictures of my wedding day! I love them! Anyways, once again, blogging was forgotten.

Saturday, Trevor picked me up from work and we went to Target to spend up our wedding gift cards and buy the stuff on our registry that we didn't get! Oh and we also bought a kinnect for the xbox :) So if you ever feel a need to look absolutely ridiculous, come over and play with us!! After a long evening of shopping, we went home, tested out the kinnect, and watched some more Star Trek. My stomach was NOT doing well though, and I ended up re-locating to the bathroom where I stayed till about 2 in the morning. That was quite the opposite of fun. I am so sick of this whole fickle on/off unprecedented intense nausea thing. Literally. Once again, no blog posting.

Today I'm getting back into the habit though! And I'm falling asleep as I'm typing, so I guess that means I'm done. Trevor went to bed with a sore throat poor guy, and now he's making cute little noises in his sleep. He is SO cute when he's sleepy. I love him so much :) But I suppose it would be hard not to, he's just so ridiculously wonderful! Ok now I'm finishing because I keep dozing off and I don't want to fall asleep and drop my laptop!

And here is a fun little youtube video just because I like it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Patterns

Quote of the day:

"If you want better results to happen in your life, you can't keep repeating past pattern habits and expect different and better results. You need to be able to focus and be committed to step out of your comfort zone and do what it takes to create the success you always dreamed of and be committed to follow through to the end of any tasks until you see the results you've been looking for." ~ Artie Hoffman Inspirations from Positive Thoughts

There are a couple reasons I decided this was a good one for today. First off, it's a good quote and it's the positive thought of the day from the site linked about. Secondly, and more importantly, it's just flat out true and I've learned a bit about that today. 

Earlier at work I was talking to a co-worker about how I'm seemingly always nauseous. In his opinion, I'm largely sick because I expect to be, so my body delivers. It's always on my mind and I'm always worrying and looking for symptoms and afraid they'll get worse, so even if it's just some tiny thing I freak out, and then my worrying just makes it worse, and pretty soon I'm taking pills to stop the nausea, hiding in the bathroom, and feeling rotten. I'm certain that there is an actually physical problem with my body, but I also agree that the emotional/mental state I have worked myself up into is exacerbating the problem. 

Assuming good health is the "success" or "results" referred to in the quote, I've already made a step out of my comfort zone by actually going to see doctors, and switching when I wasn't happy with my current one. Now I need to stop repeating faulty pattern habits of the past, and follow through to the results! Unfortunately, based on my online research, of all the diagnoses with trademark symptoms and situations comparable to mine I looked at, none of them are really treatable, and certainly not curable. This is a struggle I'll have daily for a long long time. But that doesn't mean there is nothing I can do to help myself! As I exemplified in my post "you reap what you sew", when I don't eat well, I feel miserable. I also get full really easily, and if I try to stuff myself I'll be nauseous for hours without fail. I usually binge eat when I'm tired, eating comfort/junk food (double nausea!), eating quickly without thinking, bored and eating for pleasure, and sometimes when I'm dehydrated (and then I'm thirsty after eating, but already burstingly full, so when I drink water it's just incredibly awful and sloshy and sick and miserable!). 

SO...now I've decided to follow through and help myself out as much as I can by making an effort to be as healthy as possible. It's a process for sure, but I'm much better when I write goals down and am held accountable. My goal for at least the next several months is to have a focus each week. 
- Week one I'll focus on getting enough sleep / sleeping during decent hours
- Week two I'll focus on drinking 8 cups of water a day. 
- Week three I'll eat lots of fruits and veggies!
- Week four...I haven't decided yet for sure, but I'm thinking of focusing on mental and emotional well being (yoga, meditation, more goal setting, me time, scripture reading, etc.)

So anyways, we'll see how this goes. It's not a cure, but it's a step towards being more healthy :) I would have put exercise in there, but my job requires a bit of physical labor, plus if I'm going to ballet every week and running with Trevor occasionally I should be getting a decent amount. Enough that it doesn't need to be a focus as much as the other ones do at least. 

Wish me luck! And feel free to join me!

Back to Ballet!...almost

After receiving the rest of my edited engagement and formals pictures from my photographer today, and being promised my wedding day photos by next week, not to mention seeing other people with super cute pictures on their blogs, I decided there is a definite lack of pictures here. I intend to solve that problem :)

Just a bit of background before my actual post. This picture was taken in April of 2008 just a couple days after my last ballet class as of this moment. During this photo shoot I sprained or minorly fractured part of my foot and I never went back to class. As a result of that injury, the blood vessels in my foot were damaged so fluid leaks out of my blood whenever my foot isn't elevated - which is always. Basically my left foot is chronically swollen, but it's not usually very bad.

Today I had off work so (after sleeping in till 11, running a couple errands with my beloved husband, and being wonderfully lazy), I called a ballet studio nearby that offers classes tonight, and decided it was time I finally started ballet again! I had trevor help me dig through my stuff and find my old leotards, tights, and shoes. I opened a brand new pair of tights I never used before quitting, and put on my favorite leotard of course. Funny how losing so much weight can make your stuff not fit so well anymore. I probably should have started getting ready earlier considering I lost my nice big ballet hairpins and had to improvise a little. That made me a little late leaving. Had I actually gotten the right directions from google I could have made it in time, but I ended up on a wild goose chase going the wrong direction looking for the wrong address, circling back like 5 times, and stopping at a gas station and entertaining a bored cashier by having her re-google the directions - which were still wrong.

Finally I decided to go to where I originally thought it was before I looked up directions. I was right :) By that point I was 45 minutes late, so I just sat and watched the last half of the class. Oh man, sitting and watching that ballet class through the window was so tantalizing and such a relief at the same time! As excited as I am to be a part of ballet again, getting back into shape is going to be a ridiculously long, hard, frustrating road. Plus watching brought back memories of all the parts I don't like as much, like sweating and overheating, being tired and having your legs shake from exhaustion, fighting your hips to rotate, having to remember long complicated combinations, the frustration of not having good extension or falling out of pirouettes, tripping and slipping on tape on the floor, drinking water in an effort to stay hydrated and having it slosh around uncomfortably in your stomach for the next 2 hours, the burn of tendonitis, the burn in general, sweaty ick hair and clothes after class, feeling sick or tired during class and having to just press on, slacking off to save energy and getting called out by the teacher, banging your wrist while doing pirouettes at the barre...oh it goes on and on. That being said, I'm still just jumping up and down inside at the thought of actually taking a real ballet class tomorrow! The first one since the first week of April 2008 :) I can't wait!

Confession: wearing a leotard and tights again actually feels really good. I'll start to dislike it again very soon I'm sure, but for now, it's so reminiscent and familiar I could probably sleep in them :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thoughts of the Moment

- I just checked my blog statistics and I just have to say I think it's really interesting that the posts that have gotten the most views so far are Ballet Nostalgia and Mary Kay mascara...and those are probably two of the most boring posts, and definitely two of the least effort ones. Oh well! I guess that's how it goes sometimes.

- This template is too stuffy. I seriously am having the hardest time finding one I really like. All I really want is one that's cute, bright, un-cluttered, girly, happy, and just really me. Haven't found it yet, despite the literally hundreds I've looked through over the past week or two.

- Smoothies! I had this great idea for easy smoothie mornings! Since Trevor isn't the world's biggest smoothie fan, and getting our huge man ice-killing blender dirty every day for one serving is just not practical, plus who has time for all that preparing and washing before work (or who wakes up early enough to do that?!), I decided to just make extra and freeze it! But wait, that idea has been thought of before! And when you get your frozen smoothie out of the freezer, it has frozen into a solid block that you have to chisel away at forever and eat in tiny scrapings, or you can leave in out on the counter (or microwave it if you're impatient like me) for like an hour and try to smash and mix together the parts that are liquid and the parts that are still frozen solid. In either case, it's hardly ever the right consistency again, and it ends up taking more time and being more work than just making another smoothie. Wrong! If you portion out a 1-cup (ish) serving and put it in a ziplock, then label it and lay it flat in the freezer, it works perfectly! It's thin enough that it thaws quickly (while I did last night's dishes...haha whoops), or you can just squish it around in the bag a bit and/or run it under some warm water, then scoop or pour it into a cup and you're ready to go! I'm so proud of myself for being so obviously cool and smart haha :)

- I've already had about 175 page views! My goodness! Now I've decided that once I have over 200 views and/or 10 followers I'm putting in an ad. I'm guessing I'll think it's annoying and take it out after a couple days, but it's free to put in, and I get paid (probably like $.01 or something ridiculous like that) every time someone clicks on it, and who doesn't like getting paid for doing something they were going to do anyways for free? We'll see.