Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Beautiful Moment

Today I was humming "The Impossible Dream" as I walked down to my office from my classroom. I don't know why these lyrics touch me so much; I just really love them. They express the love of a doing what's right (and the love of a challenge) that I have.

As I was walking down the stairs, I could hear the echo, even though I was just humming. So I sang a little bit outloud so I could really hear the echo. It reminded me of the many practices that I had in that stair well with my a capella group, UpBeat. The stair wells in the JKB (JKHB then) always were the best ones for singing in.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Some Things on My Mind

Dear Utah,

It is officially spring.  However, the weather outside does not belong to spring.  It looks like you are trying to make me happy to move to the heat of Nevada later this year.  But it's not working.  So just stop it, okay?


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Miniguns and Zombies

My in-laws are really gung ho about emergency preparedness; they are also really gung ho about guns. It turns out that those two topics often conflate into one. The other day I sent them an e-mail regarding the seeming inevitable combination of emergency preparedness and firearms, I re-print it here for the reading pleasure of our five readers.

Dear Fam:

I love that "all" emergency preparedness discussions in the P****** et. al. family return to one subject: guns. It is way more interesting to talk about guns than millett and red winter wheat (or rice and soy flour). So... I figure I'll add my two cents to the discussion.
If you are planning on hoarding tons of food for Armageddon you will definitely need a good gun for fending off the hungry hoards...I recommend a minigun with water/oil cooling. On a cheaper budget I suppose a high powered shotgun would be the second best. The added benefit of the shotgun is that if the zombies are coming, they are good for stopping zombies (whereas the efficacy of a minigun is unknown at best). The transportability of a minigun is a major issue, as well as cost. The best bet is probably to wait until just after Armageddon and then steal one from a military installation. Another alternative is to buy an assortment of high caliber rifles and shotguns, which are cheaper and have the same efficacy as the minigun, but then again you'll have to have a number of different triggermen, which means sharing the hoarded food. Also, prior to Armageddon you'll have to avoid those pesky ATF guys (think Ruby Ridge and Waco). Also, you'll want to get a gun with a very common round size because you're likely to need ammo at some point and nobody will be making it any more so you'll have to scrounge what you can. If you have to make your own ammo, I know a guy who developed a great (gluten free) gunpowder recipe just before blowing himself up. If I can find it I'll add it to the discussion.
Hope that helps,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

No More Reading Blogs

What a sad title to a post. But it's true. The time has come for me to stop reading blogs. Period. I am not keeping any of my blog subscriptions in Google Reader. Actually, I've made a list of them all, and I will start reading in the blogging world again someday. But for right now, I need to cut this hobby out of my life.

Why am I doing this? It's because I am working on my master's project like crazy, and I just don't have the time to keep up on the lives of all of my friends. And if I keep subscribing to blogs, I will want to read them. I can't ignore all of the unread blog posts in Google Reader! So I just have to unsubscribe from them all. This is in the hopes of cutting out a major distraction that is detrimental to getting my master's project done.

Will I continue blogging? Yes. Dave and I are going to be living apart for the next few months, and we'll have twice as much "life" to talk about here. And I want to still be a writer. There is something very therapeutic about writing that I think will be good for me as I face these months of hard work and spousal separation! So if you are a follower, please don't drop me just because I don't comment on your blog anymore. I'll be back to blog reading and commenting in about 3.5 months.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I win, I win!!

Do you remember this post about Janette Rallison's blog and the awesome month of giveaways she's having?  Well, I won!!!  Yesterday she posted that I won a copy of her book Just One Wish.  I am pretty stoked.  I rarely win things from online giveaways.  And this is not just any old thing.  This is a good book by a great YA author.  Check out her blog and enter to win.  She is giving away something new every day.  She usually gives away one of her own books, but sometimes it's a book by another author.  Today it's two books, Chronicles of the Broken by Amanda Washington and Bone Warriors by Bron Bahlmann.

A Little Clarification, and a Lot More Details

So, several of you commented on the last post, wanting more details about Dave's announcement about Nevada. I don't blaim you! So here they are, along with a clarification.

Details: Last Tuesday afternoon Dave was offered a full-time job in Nevada. And last Wednesday morning he accepted the position. He will be a clerk for a judge in Nye County, in Pahrump, Nevada. It's about an hour away from Las Vegas. The position is a 1-2 year position. So we will definitely be in Nevada at least until next April, and maybe for another year after that. So yes, this move is pretty permanent.

Clarification: Dave will be moving to Nevada in April. Merry will be moving to Nevada at the end of the summer.

Details: This is the part that will not be so much fun. I have to complete my master's degree this summer. If I don't, I don't know if I'll ever finish it. So I need to stay behind and get things while Dave moves to Nevada. He will be leaving on April 16th, which is, unfortunately, right in the middle of finals for me! Dave will be leaving before finals start at the U, but he doesn't have any finals to take this semester. He will finish up his papers in Nevada and email them before the finals period ends.

More Details: Dave and I are going to look for housing in Pahrump this weekend! Google Maps says it takes 7.5 hours to get there from our house, so we'll be testing that out. Also, I may start looking for jobs for the Fall semester. There are a couple of community college campuses in Pahrump, and I could also commute to Vegas if I was able to get a job teaching English somewhere there. So we're going to have a fun weekend preparing for our future in Nevada!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

King Benjamin's Court

As I drive home from school/work every day I drive by a housing development called "King Benjamin's Court." It should be noted that Merry doesn't see King Benjamin's Court when she drives home from school/work because, despite many timed trials proving that my way is faster, she insists on taking the main thoroughfare. At any rate, King Benjamin's Court is a housing development full of stucco coated monstrosities that resemble a grotesque combination of an Olive Garden restaurant and a Soviet era Russian apartment building.

(Olive Garden + Soviet Aparments = Stucco McMansion)

As I drive by King Benjamin's Court I think, "'Hmmm, I wonder if King Benjamin would really be all that cool with his name being used to christen a housing development for upwardly mobile suburbanites?' 'King Benjamin is a character from the Book of Mormon who taught all about giving everything we can to help and support God's children because nothing we really have belongs to us, but is really a loan from God.'" On the upside, after a busy day of writing briefs and trying to keep people in jail, driving by King Benjamin's Court is sometimes the only time I think about the Book of Mormon; it reminds me to always be thankful for what I have and share as much as I can with others. It also sometimes makes me think a bunch of snarky things about who ever lives in King Benjamin's Court in their monstrous houses, but then I have to repent.
In other news, Merry and I are moving to Nevada in a month or so.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Giveaway Month!

Janette Rallison (author of My Double Life, Just One Wish, and My Fair Godmother) is doing a month of giving away books, either some of hers or from other authors.  Check out the giveaway here.  And yes, I am shamelessly posting about this on my blog so I get more chances to win one of the books that she's giving away!  I've never read any of her books.  But they are on the "To Read" list that I'll get to someday.  So while I can't recommend her books to anyone, you should at least check out her site!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Husband, the Book Reviewer

So, Dave hasn't been posting very much on the blog lately.  I think it's because I'm so racist.  :D

Anyway, he has been posting on another blog of note.  It's a book review blog that a co-worker of his writes, and she asked him to do a few guest posts on some books that she lent him to read.  Here are some of his book reviews:

Even, by Andrew Grant
Die Twice, by Andrew Grant
The Breach, by Patrick Lee
Ghost Country, by Patrick Lee

And maybe we can convince Dave to come back and update here too!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Valentine's Day!!

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." -Germaine Greer

I love this quote.  I found it on someone's blog, I think, but since I started this post almost a month ago, I can't remember whose blog it was!  But it is so true.  Dave and I are not the same people that we were when we got married, even 18 months ago.  And we are not the same people that we were when we got engaged 22 months ago.  And we are certainly not the same people that we were when we first met 26 months ago!  We have changed, and we have had to fall in love with each other again and again.

I think that this quote is referring to something a little more long term though.  I mean, even though we have changed, we haven't changed very much.  And I think that most of our changes have been positive ones!  So it's easy to keep falling in love with each other.  But over the course of a long life (which I hope we both have!), we will both change in ways that we can't even think of now.  And we need to be willing to step back, see the person that we're married to for who they really are, and then decide to fall in love with each other again and again.

Here are some words that have given me comfort about relationship, dating, and marriage for many a year. They are the words of President Spencer W. Kimball.  They are from his book Faith Precedes the Miracle, and he used them in talks on several occasions.  The point that he was making was that people often confuse lust for love, and then he follows that point with a clear, loving, wonderful definition of love.  I've underlined some of my favorite parts.

"There must be common ideals and standards. There must be a great devotion and companionship. Love is cleanliness and progress and sacrifice and selflessness. This kind of love never tires nor wanes but lives through sickness and sorrow, poverty and privation, accomplishment and disappointment, time and eternity. For the love to continue, there must be an increase constantly of confidence and understanding, of frequent and sincere expression of appreciation and affection. There must be a forgetting of self and a constant concern for the other. Interests, hopes, objectives must be constantly focused into a single channel."

I'm working on some of these, so that I can love better.  And I am so happy for the 3 wonderful Valentine's Days that I've had with Dave.  To avoid sounding oober cheesy, I will end this post here.  Thanks for reading some of my favorite thoughts on love.