Tuesday, December 11, 2012

threatening to spill into words

Sunday School is usually my least favorite hour of church. It just is. Notable exceptions are when I had a crush on the teacher, and when I was the teacher. (I apparently have a hidden attention-getting streak. And there's nothing like an excuse to stare at someone for an hour.)

Mostly it's boring. Sometimes I feel like the teacher wasn't prepared (or doesn't know how to prepare well). But I'm good at dealing with it, and I try to at least volunteer to read a scripture every week.

Last month I must've been in a really antagonistic mood, because through the entire Sunday School lesson I was downright hostile. I glared at my scriptures in order to not glare at the teacher -- but that didn't make me feel any better because we weren't even using them.

I ended up writing backwards for much of the time. I do that when I have feelings. I'm embarrassed that I had to physically write reminders like, "Keep it together" but that's the kind of day it was. Or I really just didn't like the lesson.

The teacher kept asking questions that have answers in the scriptures, but we never looked them up. (We didn't even open them.) Instead he would keep asking the question over and over until someone's floundering guess was close enough to the answer he was looking for. And they were vague questions too. I hate vague questions that only have one right answer.

So between the questions and the lack of scriptures, I was annoyed. Even more annoyed when I found out that I'd known the right answers to his questions but hadn't dared volunteer them because everyone else (who were giving adequate answers to my mind) was wrong. And I dislike being wrong.


I knew that yesterday it'd be time for that teacher again, and I thought I should prepare just in case I could salvage the lesson for myself. So I read up on it from my favorite Gospel Doctrine blog, and skimmed the chapters.

And it made a huge difference! We still never opened the scriptures as a class (actually, a girl asked if he could hand her a spare set and I scoffed inside because we weren't going to use them) but I opened them! And since I'd read ahead, I knew the answers to his questions! And since I'd been thinking about the lesson a little bit, I could provide answers even in the "discussion" questions. And participating (even though I blushed every time and even though I couldn't quite keep from glaring while I did it) helped me feel more engaged in the lesson. Also, bonus: it moved the lesson along because he wasn't trying to eke out the right answer from other classmates.

I could also see where he was going with his monologue. It wasn't totally random like it seemed last time. He was actually using the scripture block in some way or another. And that made me feel better.

So the moral of this story is: Read the lesson ahead of time. It makes your experience better. I felt the Spirit. I wasn't hostile. And it's even possible that someone in the class was impressed with my participation and I'll get a date out of it. (haha, like that's ever happened.)

Title text: "Between"

P.S.: I had a specific picture in mind for this post, and I looked for it longer than I spent writing. I don't feel comfortable uploading the screenshot but couldn't find another version. So it's another picture-less post. Sorry. (It was perfect, too. This sweet teacher never fails to fill me with hostility, because it's her picture I see every time I get kicked off the online seminary site in the middle of doing something. So the parallels were nice.)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I can trace all my books [November 2012]

114. The Whitechapel Conspiracy by Anne Perry
115. The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
116. Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
117. Traitor's Gate by Anne Perry
118. Banana Split by Josi S. Kilpack
119. Ungifted by Gordon Korman
120. Still Life with Shapeshifter by Sharon Shinn
121. The Five Books of Jesus by James Goldberg
122. Bah, Humbug! by Heather Horrocks
123. The Danbury Scandals by Mary Nichols
124. A Time to Love by Barbara Cameron
125. Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
126. The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper
127. Pride and Precipitation by Heather Horrocks

I'm mostly just proud I figured out how to copy and paste! Not sure I can replicate it though...

Friday, November 30, 2012

that kind of grateful

Thanksgiving morning I sat down to complete my "I'm grateful for..." list that I've been compiling for a blog post, a la my 2009 adventure.

But then I paused. As much as I enjoy my vague and layered expressions of gratitude, they seemed to be missing something. Then I realized: In expressing gratitude for things, I wasn't paying enough attention to who I was expressing gratitude to.

About the time I realized that, I looked up at Kyra & Kevin and said, "Thank you for having me." It felt awkward but I also thought I'd better at least try to practice what I was deciding.

So I decided instead of posting my "I'm grateful for..." list, I would instead be more deliberately grateful to others for what I have.

Most important is my Heavenly Father, to whom I have expressed gratitude for my many blessings -- including most of my abandoned list (patience during traffic, for example -- I think that is definitely a divine gift). And to whom I am trying to remember to express gratitude a lot more often, for everything.

More mortal gratitude expression...I'm still working on. One of the things I was "grateful for..." this month was a book that I read twice in succession the first time I read it, and then when I picked it up at my grandparents' house again (because I couldn't help myself) I still loved it and cried and then picked it up again at the end to see if I could translate the character's voice in my head into my own voice (not very well, sadly, because I'd love to read it aloud to someone so they can hear it the way I do). I really should write this author a letter letting him know how much I've enjoyed this book of his and how grateful I am that he went to all the work to make it worth reading. I'm scared to, but I think we'll both appreciate the gesture if I ever get around to it.

And all the other people in my life that I haven't expressed gratitude to, sorry. Maybe I'll get to you too. For now, just know that I am grateful for your presence in my life.

Title Text: "The Last Snowfall"

Thursday, November 29, 2012

hoy cerrado

Here's a nice bit of symmetry:

We went out for street tacos last week just before I hopped on a plane to Michigan.

We went out for ... street-ish tacos in Detroit just before I hopped on a plane back to Utah.

And lucky me, to get tacos twice in a week!

Title text: "No Gringo" ~ Vienna Teng
[Nothing's closed, it's just Spanish, okay? I thought it might be better than "tan amargo"]

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I can trace all my books [October 2012]

I believe I have smashed my previous record. Train rides are amazing. And so are evenings that are long with no electronic devices to distract me. I've decided to start going out some evenings (FHE, Institute, temple) so November shouldn't be as dramatically long a list.

92. Cast in Ruin by Michelle Sagara
93. The Road to Yesterday by L.M. Montgomery
94. Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
95. Allegiance by Cayla Kluver
96. The Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas
97. Wake by Amanda Hocking
98. Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child
99. Deep Blue Eyes and Other Teenage Hazards by Janette Rallison
100. Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To-Do List by Janette Rallison
101. Revenge of the Cheerleaders by Janette Rallison
102. Redoubt by Mercedes Lackey
103. Dodger by Terry Pratchett
104. Pride & Pyramids: Mr. Darcy in Egypt by Amanda Grange and Jacqueline Webb
105. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
106. The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
107. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
108. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
109. Cardington Crescent by Anne Perry
110. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
111. Rutland Place by Anne Perry
112. Daisy by Josi S. Kilpack
113. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Monday, October 1, 2012

I can trace all my books [September 2012]

81. Struck by Rhonda Stapleton
82. Tiger Lily by Jodilynn Anderson
83. A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry
84. The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
85. Twin Targets by Marta Perry
86. Storm Warning by Linda Hall
87. Flight of the Doves by Walter Macken
88. The Fighting Ground by Avi
89. Eventide by Tracy & Laura Hickman
90. A Year In Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath
91. The Kindling by Braden Bell

Sunday, September 16, 2012

blazing speed-of-light machines

I like to walk fast. I like to hear the swift, business-like click of my heels along the sidewalk. I like to feel my stride lengthening until I hit my accustomed pace. I like arriving at the crosswalk seconds sooner than the people I shared an elevator with, even though we all cross at the same time anyway.

(Mostly I like the way it feels. It feels healthy.)

Sometimes I imagine the people I leave behind mocking me inside their heads. "Look at that girl, she's going so fast when we're all getting to the same place at the same time." But I'm really not out to race them; I'm out to walk as fast as I feel like going.

(Interesting side note:  when I'm sad, I walk way more slowly. It's almost like wandering instead of walking. It's as if my emotions have drained me of the energy I would use to put one foot in front of the other.)

Obviously I have paid attention recently to my walking pace, but usually it doesn't make very much difference -- maybe I'm waiting a little longer at the elevator or the crosswalk than the people behind me.

I did notice the difference it made when I was actually walking with a group. (Of girls. I think part of my problem is walking in groups of men, who also tend to walk faster I guess.) I was just going along my normal pace and I kept having to stop and wait for my sister and her friends. This happened several times! We weren't in a hurry, so I wasn't walking fast. I was just walking. They were just slow.

I also like to drive fast. I don't know if they're related, walking fast and driving fast. But I almost think the end result is the same: we're getting to the same place at the same time, why rush?

Maybe I just like the way it feels.

But let's be scientific here: does driving faster actually improve your travel time? Let's say you're traveling 80 miles one way. (Randomly picked that number out of a hat.) And let's say the average speed limit is, oh, 65. (Also a random number, of course.)

How long does it take to drive 80 miles going 65 mph the whole way? My handy dandy calculator suggests, 74 min.

But we're in Utah. Everybody goes 5 over. It's our right as Americans. How long does it take to drive those same 80 miles going 70 mph the whole way? Calculating...68 min.

A whole six-minute difference! Does it really save you that much time to speed? Not really.

(Oh, but what if you decide to go 10 mph over the whole way! That brings you down to 64 minutes. A ten-minute time difference, for 10 mph velocity difference? I'm not sure where the benefit really is here.)

So...why speed?

I don't know. I like to walk fast too.

I got a new car! It has cruise control, so it's much easier to control my speed instead of just going with flow of traffic. It looks like this:
And while I'm on the topic, I'll explain the name really quick. I decided to name my car Tia, even though ... I don't think it looks like a Tia. But I almost felt like I had to. See, this car is an Elantra. Elantra sounds like Elantris, which is a book I like. In the book, there is recurring silverness. So I wanted to name my car something from that book. In looking through the glossary of Aons (just read the book I guess) I found the Aon for travel was Tia. Travel! That is exactly what I do with this car! So I decided that driving in the car was almost exactly like close enough to drawing the Aon for Tia. Hence, the name. I know everyone was so curious about that.

Also, I feel like I have to admit that I could do a lot with 10 minutes. But I've had that portion of the post written in my head for over a year now and finally decided to post it in an attempt to shame myself into going the speed limit.

Title text: "Enough to Go By"

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I can trace all my books [August 2012]

I thought I'd read so many books this month! But when I sat down just now to enumerate them all it's actually not that many. (Of course, since I didn't enumerate until today, it's possible I forgot some.)

Sorry that all my posts lately have been about books. I do have another couple posts in the pipeline, if I can remember them. But in the meantime, here's my list for August:

70. Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
71. Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart
72. Second Glance by Jodi Picoult
73. Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leef
74. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
75. Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame
76. The Far West by Patricia C. Wrede
77. Rebecca's Rose by Jennifer Beckstrand
78. The Confession by Charles Todd
79. Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack by Wendelin van Draanen
80. Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I can trace all my books [July 2012]

I am just not reading as much these days. And that's okay.

60. A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse
61. The Day of the Storm by Rosamunde Pilcher
62. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
63. Fateful by Claudia Gray
64. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
65. Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
66. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
67. Thunder over Kandahar by Sharon E. McKay
68. The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma
69. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Monday, July 2, 2012

I can trace all my books [June 2012]

Hello! It's actually the second day of the month, but yesterday was relatively crazy (either that or I really wanted to take a nap instead of post) and I wanted to make sure and take the time to make this post worthwhile. Since it's all I post these days. (I only have one idea, and it's not good enough.) At any rate, the list:

51. Slayers by C.J. Hill
52. Leaving Gee's Bend by Irene Latham
53. A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
54. Daughters of the Sea: Lucy by Kathryn Lasky
55. The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
56. The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina
57. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
58. Death comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
59. The Selection by Kiera Cass

I've had a request to list the books I've read that I'd recommend for family members and such. I'll include it at the end of my six-month stats here.

Books read: 59 (if I'd known, I'd have squeezed in one more book to make it round. I like round.)
First-time: 56
Reread: 3
Fiction: 58
Nonfiction: 1
Average: 9.83

The reason I haven't made recommendation lists in the past is I read such a variety of books. I never know what will appeal to people. I'll just assume that people have about my same taste.

Stand-out books:
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I loved the way this story tied together. Some of it was predictable (it's a Cinderella story, after all) but I really liked the differences and the new technology/mythology that the author incorporated. YA fiction, but I'd let anyone with the right reading level get into it. Only problem? It's probably a trilogy.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
He did a great job with the emotions and relationships in this book. (John Green is a fairly popular author for a reason.) Caveat: I definitely remember at least one swear word. And it's YA material. (Oh, and it's about cancer. If that's a problem, don't read it.)

Cold Cereal by Adam Rex
Silly grown-up. This book is for kids! What if cereal box mascots were really refugees from like Fairyland or something? (I remember thinking that children would enjoy this book, and I think I enjoyed it, but it was a little below my level.)

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs
Basically this guy ends up going to spy school even though he's not qualified at all, but don't worry, he saves the day anyway. I think. Since everyone at the school is in middle or high school, that's the intended audience. It was a fun book, though.

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
These orphan boys are told to learn how to become the missing prince, not realizing the danger they and the kingdom are in. Loved this book. It's YA/J? I can't remember if it had any YA material in it. I think it's safely J, and it's fun for boys and girls.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
I loved this book a lot. At first I was a little skeptical -- racing bloodthirsty water horses along the sea where they're more likely to savage people seemed like a recipe for disaster to me, but the relationships sold me, and I truly appreciated the mythology as a perfect backdrop for the way the people on this special island interacted. Spoiler alert: Savaging by mean water horses does happen. Sometimes to people.

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
I think the base fairytale is the Frog Prince? But it's hard to tell because this family seems to get tied up into every fairy tale possible! I was impressed at how she was able to incorporate them all into one (mostly) coherent storyline. YA, but I can't remember any reason someone with the appropriate reading level wouldn't enjoy it.

Do you know my problem? I liked every book I've read so far this year, otherwise I wouldn't have read them. I am not sure if the ones I chose are the ones I should recommend. (If you're into YA love triangles, I didn't include those. If you're into Paranormal YA romance, I didn't include too many of those either. I read them though! And liked them.) But you can start with this list and I'll try to be more discriminating in the way I recommend in future.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I can trace all my books [May 2012]

Fewer than 10 books this month. I moved, and didn't take any books with me. My mother will occasionally bring down library books for me, but I kind of savor them because it's not like I spend that much time free to read.

I also noticed that I forgot to do my 2012 stats at both the quarter and the tri. At 5 months makes no sense, so I'll see you next month with some numbers!

42. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
43. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
44. Trapped by Ronda Gibb Hinrichson
45. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
46. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
47. Kate's Song by Jennifer Beckstrand
48. Destined by Aprilynne Pike
49. Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
50. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Sunday, May 13, 2012

late afternoon settles over the land

I've lived away from home for two weeks now, but it's okay because not a week has gone by that I haven't seen my mom.

Yesterday she came down for my sister's baby shower. Afterward I was hungry, so she took me out to lunch. While at lunch, we got a call from another sister, who had popped the tire on my car. (Our car. Whatever.) So we headed down and found it and changed the tire. My mom is awesome at reading manuals and changing the tire. (My sister is, too. I stood and watched.)

After we got the car to the tire place, we went to my rundown apartment and she helped me fix my bed. Or at least try. Then she tried to unclog my sink.

My mom's so handy!

Then we went grocery shopping and bought 3 things because that's all I wanted to buy. She let me buy them, too, which is how you can tell that I am growing up.

When I am actually grown up, I hope to be like my mom and able to do amazing feats like buy lunch and remove tires and not faint at the smell of the water coming out of my bathroom sink. (I wasn't even close to fainting, but the smell wasn't pleasant and the looks of that water weren't pleasant either.)

There were three sisters in this story. But you probably only noticed two. I guess that's where we use names?

Title Text: "Daughter"

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I can trace all my books [April 2012]

Halfway through the month of April I'd already read as many books as I managed to read in the whole month of March. But then I guess I didn't read much else. Things happen.

32. A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler
33. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
34. Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
35. Everneath by Brodie Ashton
36. Dorchester Terrace by Anne Perry
37. Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
38. Scored by Lauren McLaughlin
39. Divergent by Veronica Roth
40. The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
41. Wonder by  R.J. Palacio

Monday, April 9, 2012

I can trace all my books [March 2012]

23. Cold Cereal by Adam Rex
24. Brightly Burning by Mercedes Lackey
25. As The Pig Turns by M.C. Beaton
26. Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
27. Torn by Amanda Hocking
28. Spy School by Stuart Gibbs
29. The Genius Files #1: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman
30. Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
31. The Genius Files #2: Never Say Genius by Dan Gutman

Thursday, March 15, 2012

one step, two step, you fall behind

Things I've Been Doing Lately that are Stupid and I Should Stop

1. Taking my phone places (like class, and firesides) and not turning it on silent.
2. Thinking of things to say and letting them pass the "Do I think it's funny?" checkpoint and not making them pass through "Is it actually funny?" or even "Is it appropriate?" before I open my mouth.
3. Going to events and activities by myself, and not making friends.
4. Not putting away clothes or making my bed.
5. Having a crush on a teenager...again...

There's an easy solution to all of these!

1. I just won't take my phone anywhere anymore.
2. I just won't say anything ever.
3. I just won't go anywhere ever. Alternately, I'll make sure to take a book. Books are always my friends.
4. This really isn't a problem to me. I only assume it's stupid because my dad tells me so.
5. Have a crush on someone else. (hahahaha)

I could probably think of other stupid things I do. If I remember some of the ones I wanted to add to this list previously, I will. But I will focus on the good things I'm doing in my life instead! (I'll abstain from making that list, because I can't think of anything right now so I don't come across as bragging.)

[Mom, please don't ask me about this boy I have a crush on. You already know you're right, so let's agree to never speak of it.]

Title: "Grandmother Song" ~ Vienna Teng

[Which reminds me of the other stupid thing I did on Monday -- snowmobiling. My quads got fried and I'm only just starting to walk like a normal person. Barely. It was fun, though.]

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I can trace all my books [February 2012]

I spent half the month with only one book on my list. I am sometimes picky about the books I'm willing to read -- I started and gave up on more books this month than ever. But then the library runs got useful and I read a few books. Almost a book a day, sometimes. I do like reading still.

Can't even tell you what I was doing instead. Studying? Kind of. I stopped keeping track of movies and TV shows but I didn't feel like I was watching that many. And I haven't been doing my visiting teaching either.

Anyway, here's the 8 books I managed to read in February:

15. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
16. Star Crossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
17. Liar's Moon by Elizabeth C. Bunce
18. Extraordinary by Adam Selzer
19. Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
20. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
21. Witch Song by Amber Argyle
22. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Sunday, February 5, 2012

tell your story now

The following is a story I've been meaning to tell for a while. Shortly after it happened I used it in a Relief Society lesson. Then I joined a Parables class at the Institute, so thought I'd better save it to use there -- which I did, in December. Ever since that day I've been planning to write it up and post it here, but I didn't get to it until today. It's a good thing this isn't a parable about procrastination.

In August my family decided it was time for our yearly float of the Oneida Narrows. It was my first time doing the whole run, so I was a little bit nervous. I was prepared -- I wore long shorts, sandals with backs[1], and sunglasses. Also sunscreen. (Always wear sunscreen! It's gross, but better than a sunburn.[2]) But none of those things would really protect me in the case of a spill, you know? They just enhanced my tubing experience.

One thing I did have was a length of PVC pipe to steer myself away from obstacles, and you can bet I kept a firm grip on it! It came in useful when I got too close to rocks and didn't want to (or couldn't) push off with my feet. And it made me feel more secure.

It didn't take long on the river for me to get separated from the rest of my family. (It's so typical.) Also my tube was often sideways or backwards, but I always made sure to turn it back around or at least check that I wasn't approaching rapids -- I was way scared of rapids!

Any time I was in a place of moderate roughness, I would pray constantly in my heart that I wouldn't fall out of my tube. I don't like to think about what could happen to me when I fell out -- I could pull an important muscle or break something or hit my head and go blind -- or drown. It was a scary prospect, so I just made sure to use my pole to keep me safe.

There came a place where the rapids got kind of crazy. Straight ahead I saw a dip, which meant there was a rock. Even more concerning was the fountain of water on the other end of the dip -- it seriously went up like 3 feet![3] I started praying out loud. Not very coherently -- more like a litany. The dip got closer and closer. I couldn't paddle away from it in time. I had time for one more prayer when I hit the rapid. I closed my eyes and my mouth and away flew my tube.

Oh, I forgot to mention I was wearing a life jacket. Also, I still had hold of my pole!

So there I was, floating along the rapids, banging into rocks, doing my best to swim to my tube. I was able to get to it before it got too far afield, so I held onto it while still not navigating the rapids with any efficacy. I knew I needed to get back on the tube or I could get really hurt, but it's kind of hard for me to climb into things like that, even when I'm not rushing along a river. I tried once, and got pretty close, but then I lost it. After another failed try, I got a very distinct prompting:

Let go of the pole.

Wait a second, I thought. This pole has been useful (kind of). I don't want to lose it -- what will Dad think? I'm sure I can make it.

But I couldn't.

With a sigh, I relinquished my hold on the pole and watched it start to float downstream. With one more herculean effort, I pulled myself back onto the tube. I was safe! And I hadn't even lost my sunglasses.[4]

Anything else that happened on that trip was basically nothing compared to what I'd already been through. I was even able to make it to the dock without too much trouble (which is a far cry from the year before, when I was in danger of floating away forever).

Not only that, but I was able to catch up to my pole and bring it safely home as well.

The end!

Now. I told this story to both my Relief Society and my Parables class, and they came up with way better interpretations than I did. You can probably see them for yourselves -- being prepared for the storms of life won't protect you from everything, sometimes you have to sacrifice something good for something more important (and maybe it'll still work out in the end), listen to the promptings of the Spirit (when is that not an application?), etc.

But I still like my interpretation best, because it was what I needed to hear at the time -- and, to my shame, what I still need to hear: Let go of it, Leslie.

There are things in my life that I wish were better. Nothing's bad but I could be spending my time a lot more productively than I often am. Like everyone else I'm struggling through life, trying not to get too battered by the rocks[5], attempting to get stable enough to make it. I know that if I stop wasting my time and start serving the way the Lord wants me to, He will help me do what I need to do to be safe and happy.

So, let go of it. Whatever it is that's keeping you from being the person you know you ought to be, you know you don't need it.  Just let it float out of your life for now. And it will all be okay.

(Some restrictions apply; use your own agency and inspiration to apply this counsel to your life as needed, and I will too.)

[1]My sisters were not thus prepared. They ended up duct-taping their flip-flops to their feet. Yep, pretty ridiculous.
[2]I'm trying to talk myself into this. I don't like sunburns, but I really don't like excessive sunscreen.
[3]This section works better in person. Actually I'm starting to think that this whole story works better in person.
[4]I love those sunglasses. Ironically, I seem to have lost them in the last few days. I'm not happy.
[5]That reminds me! I got an awesome bruise on my leg from my little experience! It was way deep; I could still see the outline 3 months later.

Title Text: "Shine" by Vienna Teng (until I can find a more applicable one or need this one for another post's relevancy)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I can trace all my books [January 2012]

Well hey there. It's February! I had kind of a busy month in January, I guess. It's hard to tell -- this is the first month I've kept track of my movie and TV watching, so I don't know what's normal. My number of books is what I would call "average":

1. Snow in Summer by Jane Yolen
2. The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman
3. Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance by Richard C. Francis
4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
5. The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill
6. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
7. A True Princess by Diane Zahler
8. PIE by Sarah Weeks
9. The Glorious Adventures of the Sunshine Queen by Geraldine McCaughrean
10. The Blackhope Enigma by Teresa Flavin
11. Johnny Swanson by Eleanor Updale
12. Angelica by Sharon Shinn
13. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
14. Switched by Amanda Hocking

I'm trying to decide if I want to post the movies and TV too. Would you guys be interested in that? It's mostly for my own benefit (and embarrassment -- do you know how much Sarah Jane I sat through?) but if anyone's really curious we can work something out.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

a connection never hoped for

Sometime in the last week I seem to have somehow strained my hamstring. It hurts a lot. It's kind of funny, too, because every time I stand up and wince and limp around I remember that a strained hamstring is the initial diagnosis for the pain in my leg. Even though, having experienced both, they are nothing alike.

(Oh, I should mention that my pulled* hamstring is in my right leg. My pained leg was my left. Sometimes it still hurts...and it's still nothing like a pulled muscle.

*I'm keeping things conservative from now on. It's not like I actually know what a strained hamstring feels like.)

But I do know where the doctors came from in reaching that decision: it hurts in the same place I complained about and some of my phenotypical manifestations are the same -- that was completely the wrong word. I was being far too clever and referring to how things look rather than how they are...uh...genetically? See, the metaphor breaks down way too quickly. Anyway, I limp with both legs.

Probably strained pulled it falling down while playing basketball last week. Twisted my ankle, bumped my chin into my knee, and hit the floor heavy as a bag of rocks. I'm so hazardous.

Anyway, I'm sure that's fascinating for all of you.

I threw away most of my old papers today. I sorted them out for discarding yesterday and today I did it. Lots of them were just old church programs, because I used to hoard every blank piece of paper I got in church so I could doodle and write backwards on them. It's pretty crazy how I don't remember who a lot of those people are. Not so crazy. Now that it's 2012 it's been like 4 years. I also threw away nice notes from people that I don't care about anymore/I have no idea who they were.

I also threw away Christmas cards and birthday greetings and nice notes from people that I was way, way close to. That was harder. But if I never look through them except when I'm looking for things to throw away, what's the point in keeping them?

Goodbye, all my old friendships. Some of us still get to be friends. I just don't keep your written words anymore.

Here's the thing, though!  I have a block about throwing away missionary letters!  Any of them! I can't do it!

I mean, I still have all the letters from that one kid who ended up going off the deep end a little bit. (I initially called him my crazy ex, but I decided that was unkind and probably not even true.) And the letters from my high school friends that I never really hung out with again and then they all got married. Plus other letters that still mean a lot to me. I can't get rid of any of them.

I'm wondering if it's because they're letters from a ~missionary. (I'm fully guilty of throwing away nice notes from one friend but keeping all their missionary letters.) I'm not sure why it makes it a difference, but it must. Was it because it's so fun to get mail? And write mail? And especially when it's, as I said, a ~missionary because they're special? I just don't know!  All I know is I can't get rid of them yet.

And I don't even want to.

("Unwritten Letter #1")

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I can trace all my books [2011]

It was a good year for reading. Statistics to follow.

1. The Snow Queen by Mercedes Lackey
2. Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
3. Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
4. Intrigues by Mercedes Lackey
5. Palace Beautiful by Sarah Deford Williams
6. The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little
7. Schooled by Gordan Korman
8. The Coming of the Dragon by Rebecca Barnhouse
9. Lemon Tart by Josi S. Kilpack
10. Clockwork 3 by Matthew J. Kirby
11. Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland
12. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
13. The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry
14. Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Neilson
15. Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier
16. The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
17. English Trifle by Josi S. Kilpack
18. The Mage's Daughter by Lynn Kurland
19. Princess of the Sword by Lynn Kurland
20. Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith
21. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
22. Pillage by Obert Skye
23. Matched by Ally Condie
24. Choke by Obert Skye

25. Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
26. Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier
27. The Rise of Renegade X by C.M. Campbell
28. Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner
29. The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
30. Once by Morris Gleitzman
31. Alcatraz versus the Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson
32. The Running Dream by Wendelin van Draanen
33. Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry
34. Drive by Daniel H. Pink
35. Cast in Courtlight by Michelle Sagara
36. Cast in Secret by Michelle Sagara
37. Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree by Nancy Atherton
38. Cast in Fury by Michelle Sagara
39. Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton

40. Cast in Silence by Michelle Sagara
41. Courting Miss Lancaster by Sara M. Eden
42. Cast in Chaos by Michelle Sagara
43. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
44. Key Lime Pie by Josi S. Kilpack
45. I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison
46. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
47. Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
48. All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot
49. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
50. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 2: The Hidden Gallery by MaryRose Wood
51. Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
52. Around the World in 100 Days by Gary Blackwood
53. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
54. Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell
55. A Time to Die by Jeffrey S. Savage
56. The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
57. Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs

58. Entwined by Heather Dixon
59. Peasant Queen by Cheri Chelsey
60. Crunch Time by Diane Mott Davidson
61. Treason at Lisson Grove by Anne Perry
62. Red Glove by Holly Black
63. Murder Afloat by Jane Leslie Conley
64. Virals by Kathy Reichs
65. No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko
66. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
67. Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke
68. My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison
69. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

70. Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
71. Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
72. My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
73. The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
74. The Trouble with May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm
75. Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales by Tamora Pierce
76. Illusions by Aprilynne Pike
77. Till Death Do Us Bark by Kate and M. Sarah Klise
78. Dying to Meet You by Kate and M. Sarah Klise
79. The Midnight Tunnel: A Suzanna Snow Mystery by Angie Frazier
80. Pegasus by Robin McKinley
81. My Double Life by Janette Rallison
82. Wrong Number by Rachelle J. Christensen
83. Cross My Heart by Julie Wright
84. The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones
85. The Lost Queen by Frewin Jones
86. A Stranger to Command by Sherwood Smith
87. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
88. Murder By Design by Betsy Brannon Green

89. Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn
90.How to Take the Ex- out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison
91.The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall
92. Horton Halfpott by Tom Angelberger
93. Crystal Bones by C. Aubrey Hall
94. Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway by Wendelin van Draanen
95. House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones
96. Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen by Wendelin van Draanen
97. Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher by Wendelin van Draanen
98. Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
99. It's a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison
100. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
101. Soulless by Gail Carriger
102. House of the Star by Caitlin Brennan
103. The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip
104. The Moon and the Face by Patricia McKillip
105. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
106. To the Rescue by Heidi S. Swinton
107. The Girl in Blue by P.G. Wodehouse
108. The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
109. Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
110. A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

111. Chronicles of the Red King: The Secret Kingdom by Jenny Nimmo
112. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
113. Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
114. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
115. Blackberry Crumble by Josi S. Kilpack
116. The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum
117. Come Fall by A.C.E. Bauer
118. Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
119. A Glory of Unicorns edited by Bruce Coville
120. Heartless by Gail Carriger
121. The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine
122. Changeless by Gail Carriger
123. Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith
124. Sidekicks by Jack D. Ferraiolo
125. Gilda Joyce Psychic Investigator: The Bones of the Holy by Jennifer Allison
126. The Evolution of Thomas Hall by Kieth Merrill

127. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
128. Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen
129. Warped by Maurissa Guibord
130. Foggy with a Chance of Murder by G.G. Vandergrieff
131. Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher
132. The Secret Prince by Violet Haberdasher
133. Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster
134. FitzOsbornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper
135. Jane by April Lindner
136. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
137. A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
138. Queen of Hearts by Martha Brooks
139. You'll Like It Here (Everyone Does) by Ruth White
140. Visconti House by Elsbeth Edgar

141. Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
142. Leave it to Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse
143. Red Blazer Girls: The Mistaken Masterpiece by Michael Beil
144. Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder
145. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
146. Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright
147. Geek Fantasy Novel by E. Archer
148. Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan
149. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
150. Deadly by Julie Chibbaro
151. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
152. The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan
153. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
154. Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

155. Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
156. I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
157. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
158. What Your Doctor Can't Tell You by Kevin B. Jones
159. Across the Great Barrier by Patricia C. Wrede
160. Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
161. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
162. City of Orphans by Avi
163.Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
164. A Plague Year by Edward Bloor
165. Adventure at Simba Hill by Susan Runholt
166.Troublemaker by Andrew Clements
167. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
168. Seeking Persephone by Sarah M. Eden
169. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
170. As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott
171. Changes by Mercedes Lackey
172. Snuff by Terry Pratchett
173. 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass

174. Sammy Keyes and the Night of Skulls by Wendelin van Draanen
175. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
176. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
177. Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
178. City of Lies by Lian Tanner
179. Secrets at Sea by Robert F. Peck
180. Conspiracies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
181. Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey
182. Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
183. Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
184. Pumpkin Roll by Josi S. Kilpack
185. Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
186. Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

187. Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey
188. Bad Guys in the Book of Mormon by Dennis Gaunt
189. Kat Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgie
190. Genesis by Bernard Beckett
191. Flint Heart by Katharine and John Paterson
192. Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
193. Dragon's Tooth by N.D. Wilson
194. Variant by Robison Wells
195. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
196. Dragon Castle by Joseph Bruchac
197. Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
198. Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemmon
199. Bumped by Megan McCafferty
200. Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
201. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
202. The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell
203. Possession by Elana Johnson
204. Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
205. The Education of Hailey Kendrick by Eileen Cook

Total number of books: 205
Number of First-time Reads: 183
Number of Rereads: 22
Average number of books per month: 17.1
Number of nonfiction books: 4
Number of fiction books: 201

Anything else you'd like to know about this list? I can break out just about anything.