Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Man, I love reading!

I copied this from a friend’s blog with my own answers:

Here’s how it works:

The Big Read says that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read

2) Italicize those you intend to read.

3) Make the ones you loved obnoxiously large

4) Reprint this list so we can try and track down these people who’ve read only 6 or less and make them read.

And now….. THE BIG READ TOP 100

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4. The Harry Potter Series JK Rowling

5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6. The Bible

7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials - Phillip Pullman

10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare - I've read some and I own the complete works.

15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20. Middlemarch - George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - I have read some, but I want to read all of them.

34. Emma - Jane Austen

35. Persuasion - Jane Austen

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41. Animal Farm - George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - I've read most of these, I think I still have a couple at the end to get to.

47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52. Dune - Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov Nabokov

63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding

69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72. Dracula - Bram Stoker

73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses - James Joyce

76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal - Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession - AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker - I read as much of this as I could; it's so sad.

84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry .

87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94. Watership Down - Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I've read 25.

I want to read 26.

People Say the Darndest Things

I am in Washington right now for a family reunion. It's been a great 5 days, and I'm still here for a few more! I'd have to say that one of the best things I'm experiencing here at the reunion is the little kids in my family. Only one of my nieces is here, Taylor, but I have some younger cousins here, and my cousins' children are all quite young. They are so much fun to listen to because they really say and do some funny things. Here are a few examples:

My cousin Mette's daughter Olivia was describing why she doesn't like wearing shorts. We think she was describing a wedgie. She said, "My underwear scrunches up and sticks to my bum." I laughed so hard when I heard this!

Mette's youngest son, Gareth, is maybe 6 months old, and a very fat, happy baby. I have had so much fun tickling him and making him laugh. The funniest thing to see is when he really isn't happy (when he's hungry or tired) and he tries really hard to be happy so he'll smile a little and he won't cry, but he'll make these funny grunting noises and his eyes look worried. You just know that he'd prefer to be happy, but he just can't help himself!

My cousin Betsey's daughter Mercy was coloring with some crayons and singing to herself. I wasn't really paying attention to the words, but my aunt told me that she was singing, "Silver where are you? I need you green. Blue, come here." She was singing to the crayons that she was using! What an imaginative mind!

This next story is about something funny that I almost said. I was laughing at myself all day about it. I was sitting outside, and I heard a child saying over and over "Ow. Ow. Ow." I wondered who was getting rereatedly hit. So I looked around and saw my cousin Mette's son Justice whacking himself again and again with a stick. It was obvious that he wasn't really hurting himself, he was just doing it for something to do. I wanted to say something to him so that he would stop (it was annoying), and I was about to say "Justice, self-flatulation is not acceptable." Fortunately, I realized that was wrong and took a moment to think about that statement, and at the end of that moment Justice had stopped hitting himself so I didn't need to say anything. It took me several minutes to realize that the phrase I was looking for was "Self-flagellation is not acceptable." Wow, big difference there!

Anyway, we're having a ton of fun, and I look forward to more fun stuff!

Monday, July 28, 2008


My first tag...

Attached or Single: I'm attached to my very good friend Dave! :)

Best Friend: Emily Mullins, my mission companion. She and I lived together all but two months of our missions, and we were companions three times for a total of 6 months. VERY fun times!

Cake or Pie: Cake, with frosting, and ice cream that melts and soaks into the cracks of the cake.

Day of Choice: I like Saturdays the best. They're the one day of the week I don't have to get up in time for my 6 am job, plus the day is just so full of POSSIBILITY!

Essential Items: Books. Yep.

Favorite Color: Blues, browns, greens. I don't like wearing too much bright stuff, it draws too much attention.

Gummy Bears or Worms: Worms. They're fun to eat one colored segment at a time.

Hometown: Flagstaff, Arizona, although I was born in Concord, California, and have lived in Gilbert, Arizona. I judge every place that I've lived in by comparing it to Flag.

Indulgences: Sleeping in. I didn't used to feel guilty about doing that, probably because I didn't used to be so busy. Now that I really could be doing semi-productive things most hours of the day, I do feel a little irresponsible when I spend those hours lying in bed.

January or July: January. Well, depending on where you live. I like cold weather. I would prefer to be cold than hot. And I love winter sports. Sledding and snowball fights are so exhilarating. But you have to have July to appreciate January.

Kids: I love my nieces and nephews. They are so much fun.

Like or Love: Like leads to love. So both of them are great!

Marriage Date: Yes, someday. Umm, whenever we want to get married.

Number of Siblings: 7. I'm the second to last. It goes Joel, Joy, Jenny, Jill, Ben, Matt, Me, and Erin.

Phobias/Fears: Choking. It's the only time I get claustrophobic.


  • "I believe that phonology is superior to music. It is more variable and it's pecuniary possibilities are far greater." - Erik Satie
  • “It would not be fair to inquire into a young lady's exact estimate of her own perfections.” - Jane Austen

Reason to smile: I am generally just a happy person. I am satisfied with life and all of the great things in it. The only downside to this usual smiley personality is that it's pretty obvious when I'm not happy, even when I try to hide it.

Season: I like all of the seasons, they complement each other so well.

Unknown fact about me: You already know about my fetish for lint. What more do you want!? Hmmm, I have a goal to run a marathon sometime.

Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals: I oppress animals and vegetables.

X-Rays or Ultrasounds: I'd rather have a baby than break a bone? Ultrasounds? :)

Your Favorite Food: Ice cream, by far.

Zodiac: Aquarius. "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius. AQUARIUS!!!!"

Tag Six: Erin, Craig, Dave, Jenni, Sierra, Megan.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Job Hunt is Over

Well, it actually wasn't much of a hunt...

I have been a custodian for over a year. Last summer, for the first 4 months, I was a full-time custodian. That's right, 40 hours a week! Then I've been doing it part time while doing school since last September. Last summer I started work at 8, but since September I've been starting work at 6. And I've had enough!! In January I started working as a TA for an introductory linguistics class as well as being a custodian. This was nice because my major is linguistics, and I like the idea of using my brain for work. That was my first real taste of getting paid for my skills. And I liked it. A LOT! Then, when that job ended in April, I was offered a job as a research assistant at the National Middle East Language Resource Center (NMELRC) on campus. I am basically a secretary, but for a very language based office, so it still falls into an area I like to call "resume building." Unfortunately, the guy who worked there before I was hired is just in California on an internship, and I was under the impression that my job there would end when he came back. So I decided that I would just have to find another job to fill the part-time hours I need to pay for life.

In the meantime, besides all of these jobs, I have been filling my time by volunteering in several ESL classes and doing various tasks that give me experience in the ESL world. All of these hours are for my TESOL internship for my minor. One of the classes I intern in is ELang 105, the freshman writing class for international students. The teacher, Alison, is great! She invited me to intern with her after the second time I met her, when I wasn't even looking for an internship yet. I was visiting her class to ask her students to take a survey for a paper I was writing in my grammar class, and I'm so glad that I did. I've been interning with her for almost 4 months, and she just offered me a job as her TA in fall (a PAID position) after my internship hours are done. I get paid to do what I've been doing for free! And then yesterday my boss at the NMELRC asked me and my co-worker Michael if we were planning on staying on during the fall because Jacob will apparently only be working about 4 hours a week when he gets back. Life is really good right now!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My House Hunt is Over

I've lived in my currant apartment for more than a year. I've had one roommate that entire time, and some other roommates through various semesters, and all of them have been great. But all of my roommates (current ones and past ones that are still in the complex) are moving out this fall. One of them is going to India, one of them is going to Ghana, a couple of them are married, three of them are moving to other apartments, and one of them is getting married. That's Lorie. I was a little sad at first about the idea of being the only one left here and starting out with new roommates. I really like the place I live in, and the friends I have in my complex and ward. So I almost decided to stay. But there are lots of other people in the complex that are moving out for the fall too, and I knew it wouldn't be the same to stay here anyway. So I was thinking about finding a new place to live.

My roommate Lorie is not getting married until November 29th, and she told me that I could come live with her! She's going to live in the apartment she and Alec will share until they get married and he moves in, and she invited me to live with her until then. I'll get to pay cheaper rent and it will help Lorie not have to pay so much rent by herself. It seemed like the perfect deal for both of us. But the only problem was finding good housing.

Lorie looked at several places by herself, or at least she tried. There were several times that someone rented the place she really wanted right before she got a chance to see it or make an offer on it. So she was way frustrated about that. Plus, Alec is in New York right now, and I wasn't available to go with her, so she'd been doing it all on her own. Then she left town to go home to Colorado and then to San Diego with her mom to visit her grandma for several weeks. So the hunt fell to me.

I looked at a couple of places. It was hard because I either had to get a ride from someone or walk to whatever place I was looking at. My car doesn't have a working clutch, so I'm footin' it around Provo these days. So it was nice when I finally found THE PLACE WE'RE GOING TO LIVE!! Br Br-Br Brrrrrrrrr! Heritage Court is the place! We're going to live in a basement apartment, one bedroom, little kitchen, little living room, little bathroom. It's WAY far south of campus, so I'll probably do a lot more walking than I've been doing, or using Lorie's bike. Exciting!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Canal

As a child, I was told never to go near the canal that ran behind my aunt and uncle's house. The concern was understandable: there were always a lot of young cousins at those family gatherings, and it was hard to keep track of them all. The swift-moving canal was the last place the family wanted to find the children at.

But that's exactly where I was yesterday! A few of us older cousins decided to get tubes and raft a mile or two down the canal. It was cold!! But the enjoyment was endless as we indulged in the feeling of being old enough to do something we had been forbidden to do in the past. Who says aging is unpleasant?

Friday, July 4, 2008

First, a Confession

I like cleaning lint from odd places, like my belly button, or between my toes, or around the bobbin in a sewing machine, although cleaning it out of a dryer isn't as likable because then it's a job. Why do I find this satisfying? I don't know. And why am I sharing this on my blog? How else would I start my blog? I felt like I needed to get that out there so you could really feel comfortable with me while reading my personal thoughts and feelings. I didn't want you thinking, "Why would I care about Merry's life decisions and adventures? I don't even know if she likes cleaning lint from weird places!"

So, now that we have that out of the way, I'm excited to get underway in my blogging adventure! I have looked forward to this for a while, and I have high hopes that this will be a place for me to really explore my life!