Saturday, December 20, 2008

Communication Breakdown

So part of the reason I am out in Utah a week early is so that I can spend some much needed time with the family. But also--I worked it out so that I could have students email me their final papers and final exams this week. 

This is a problem when internet is sketchy at best. My mom has internet at work, and our next door neighbors here let us hop on their internet when necessary, but I've felt pretty cut off. Which is just fine because I have a phone!

Yeah . . . 

 Yesterday my wonderful mom washed my clothes. I left my phone in my jeans. Bye bye phone. Bye bye phone numbers. Hello panic attack.

Yesterday my wonderful mother suggested I join their family plan and save myself some serious dough. Wahoo!  Bye bye phone numbers on old bills now that my account is closed.

Today we braved the snow storm and drove in my dad's big ol' truck to Logan where I bought my dad a new cell phone for Christmas and took his old phone as my own. The customer service people were able to pull up my past bills so I'm trying to find phone numbers on the bills. I may be calling you within the next few days. The bill has phone numbers, but no names.  If I don't call you--feel free to call me! 

I was pretty on edge this morning as I was trying unsuccessfully to check my emails for student's papers and I couldn't make any phone calls. I hate grading! Crystal just wrote a blog about this--and girl--I feel you!! There has to be an easier way to do this. Each semester I think I have it down--and then things just fall apart. It's difficult because I can't give out A-s or B+s. I have to give an A or a B. 

It has been wonderful to be with family though. I love them so much! I met my nephew Konner today! And I filmed my brother's Choir Concert. I can't wait to be able to use my own computer and load some pics and videos!

Send me phone numbers-- or better yet-- call me! 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Vacationing in Our Lovely Deseret

I am in the lovely Deseret!

I'm so happy to be here! I realized how excited I was to take this trip when I couldn't find my driver's license late Thursday night. It was horrible and awful--and I cleaned out a lot of purses and coats--then finally went down to the DMV and begged for a replacement license just in time.

Friday night weather was wonderful. The trip was long though. I left for the airport at 3:30pm and reached Salt Lake City at midnight--2am DC time. There is a reason I don't do this trip very often.

Heather and Michael picked me up. We had a great time chatting it up till late and then she took me to breakfast at Mimi's. So good! Then I met my step-family for lunch and we all went to Holland's basketball game. My nieces and nephew are sooo stinking cute!! After that, Elaine and Emily and I went to see 4 Christmases. Then I went to Kjersti's for a much needed reunion with one of my favorite people!

It dumped snow yesterday--so Elaine bought me snowboots as an early birthday present! I'm so glad it didn't snow on Friday.

I can't wait to get home to my immediate family--but that will have to wait until Tuesday. I'm off to visit my Grandma in Bountiful! I'm happy to spend some much needed time with her. Her cooking is divine--and we have a lot to catch up on.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lesley's Visit

Lesley came up to visit this week.

We had such a wonderful time! She performed for my Acting Class! We had Thai food, went Christmas shopping, watched Australia and watched Buffy. She is an angel. I love having Lesley around because she makes me feel great! We have such a fun time. I wish I had words to describe how much her friendship means to me. I don't. So I'll stop trying. But, I am so grateful that she drove up to spend the day with me.

Go and see Australia. It's too long to watch on the small screen.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Packing Light

I am leaving on a jet plane. tomorrow. I'm really excited!!

Packing is becoming an interesting feat. I'm a little afraid to start putting clothes into the suitcase.

I have gifts for family members and friends. (That's going to take a bit of room.)

I have to pack for Utah and Phoenix.


It's gonna be fun.

Oh--and I'll be working throughout this vacation creating a curriculum for 2 new classes. This means packing books.

Ugggh. If only I had finished the curriculum earlier this quarter. Oh well. Such is life.

I'm half tempted to box up stuff and mail it to myself in order to avoid hauling it. I hate hauling luggage. I have very cute luggage. It is small with shiny leather and leopard print. It's perfect. It is small.

I am going to pack light! I am determined to pack light!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Watching The Practice is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I feel guilty for watching it because there's just too much sex and not enough substance. Tonight, the show totally proved that assertion wrong.

Tonight's episode was about choosing life over death. They showed this in three different ways-
1) abortion
2) choosing to save the baby instead of the mother in the coma
3) a man killed his wife who was suffering from a painful disease.

All three of these situations are about the same things. When is it right to let someone die? Is it right? In the 3rd situation--we discovered that the husband clearly wasn't trying to save his wife from pain--but he was trying to save himself from pain.

In the 2nd situation, the baby would have died if they hadn't delivered her via c-section instead of making the comatose woman deliver naturally--which might have brought her out of her coma.

I think 2 and 3 were there to help us understand abortion a little better.

Abortion has been on my mind this week. We discussed it in class on Thursday and there was an article about abortion in the Washington Post this past week.

2 helps us to see the view that sometimes allowing someone to die in order to let someone live is incredibly painful, but a valid decision.

3 gets more complicated. The show clearly came down on the side against choosing to end someone's life purely to end your own suffering.

I always expect television shows to err on a more liberal side--but as the episode ended--I really felt like the writers were painting a very subtle protest against abortions that are performed for selfish reasons through situation 3.

In my naive world, I can't believe that anyone would ever choose to get an abortion for selfish reasons. I choose to imagine a world where people would agonize over such a choice. And I choose to believe that these choices are made because the woman truly feels that her decision, as painful as it is, is a sacrifice she must make in order to help a child to avoid the pain of neglect and poverty. (I am only trying to empathize and not to judge. I simply will not presume to know the feelings of someone who has had to make this decision.)

I am pro-choice--but against abortion. It's complicated.

I believe that the biggest downfall in this national discussion on right to life and right to choice has been in underestimating the complexities of this choice.

I believe it is a horrible burden to place this task of choosing solely on women. I cry when I think of friends who have agonized over this decision--knowing that they alone would carry the burden of that choice.

Women were never meant to make such choices alone. Children should be conceived in families. And if and when choices need to be made, in a perfect world--they should be made prayerfully, by couples seeking to do what's best for their family.

Unfortunately this isn't a perfect world. And too many women make this choice alone.

Before I step off this soap box--I'm going to state my conclusions--
1) If the government chooses to legalize abortion--they need to take responsibility for the choices being made and provide state sponsored counseling and follow-up with people. Just because it's legal doesn't take away the psychological consequences of the choice. It isn't simple. We need to stop acting like it is. Perhaps then, people might take "making life" a little more seriously.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I'm up late again. I'm feeling rebellious this week. I'm drinking egg nog and mentally refusing to make time to go to the gym. I watched Arrested Development instead of grading papers today. I am supposed to email the book selection for next semester's classes. Instead, I'm going to play Tetris. I will probably eat m&ms in bed too.

There are things that I can't control. When I feel like I don't have control over the events of my life, I rebel and take control in my self-destructive, deluded way.

If I'm going to be unhappy--I'm going to be unhappy on my terms. It kills me to think that I might try my hardest--workout, get plenty of rest, eat right--and I'll still end up lonely and miserable. At least this way, I'll be able to pinpoint a controllable reason.

The fact that I recognize this pattern--and consider it sort of logical is SOOOOO disturbing to me.

I'm just overanalyzing my life.

I'm tired from Thanksgiving and I have to figure out the end of this quarter and next quarter/semester's classes all before I go home to Utah next week.

It's been 2 years since I was in Utah. I think I'm subconciously very very nervous to see people. I'm excited, but I'm really nervous.

I wish my natural answer to stress and nerves was to eat salad and get to bed early.

Oh well. Good weeks, bad weeks.

I'm still a good person! And next week will be a good week.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Brother Nick

Today is Nick's 16th birthday.

I was 14 when Nick came home from the hospital in his little stocking. He has been everyone's favorite in our family from the day he was born.

Tonight he is celebrating his birthday at a Vivaldi Concert.

When he was a newborn, I used to lay him on my lap and play the piano. Now, he loves to play the piano, the organ, and the trombone.

When Nick was a baby, he and our dog Snickers ruled the roost. Mom and Dad would each hug a side of their king size bed and the little dog and the baby boy would spread out like starfish in the middle of the bed.

He used to love to watch Cinderella or "Gus Gus" in his room in the middle of the night. And every morning at 4am he would have "Mommy and Me" time.

My poor parents were raising 6 teenagers and a baby at the same time. Insanity.

When Nick was potty training, we were standing outside in the neighbor's yard, and I asked him, "Nick, do you need to go to the bathroom?" He replied in the affirmative and proceeded to pee on the neighbors roses.

Last week he went on his first date with the German foreign exchange student.

When he was learning his numbers, colors and abc's--his evil older brothers and sisters taught him that the sky was green and that 3 came after 7--among other "facts". We wanted to know if he would see the world differently if we taught him different colors! It was a noble experiment. Unfortunately, his kindergarten teacher set him straight before we could really see the results of our experimental teaching.

When he was 10 he wanted to see The Lord of the Rings but he wasn't 13. My mom told him that he could see the movies if he read the books. So he did.

When he came out to visit me in Virginia, he had just finished reading Gods and Generals. When we went to Gettysburg, he found Joshua Chamberlain's statue. He had just finished reading The Killer Angels. He got a little choked up and said, "He's my hero!" I think he was 13.

Nick has always been everyone's favorite. There's just something wonderful about him. We used to try and guess what he was going to be when he grew up, but frankly, he could be anything he wants.

Thanks for coming to our family Nick. We love you!

Finding away to avoid doing work

I'm experiencing the post-Thanksgiving partum. Or posty thingy.

Wrapping up Thanksgiving took a LONG time.

It was worth it to have so many people in the house, but taking out the garbage yesterday was crazy and perhaps the most disgusting thing I've ever done. I won't describe it.

I rounded up a truck and some willing men to help me return all of the chairs and tables to the church.

And this morning I finally got around to scrubbing out the turkey roaster pan.

We gave pie to everyone who came for Choir. So that's done.

And now I'm trying to get myself to grade papers. I have to return all of their rough drafts to them tomorrow night. I can't get myself to do it.

I don't even like what's on tv right now. I can't find anymore "Buffy" episodes to watch online. And I stayed up playing tetris last night--all to avoid grading papers.

I'm really excited about coming to UTAH! It's going to be great! I need to figure out my calendar.

Oooooh!! Something to do that isn't grading papers!!