Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Next time you don't want to get up in the morning...

read this blog.

(you can read abut the whole fascinating project here.)

My number one fear:

Not death. Not taxes. Not even public speaking. (I actually kinda like to force large groups of people to listen to me.)

I am afraid to call people on the phone. It makes me sweat. It keeps my visiting teaching from getting done. It keeps me from going out to dinner with people. It even keeps me (gasp!) from eating pizza.

What are you all afraid of?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lily's thoughts on friendship

Lily: "Friends bite you."

[pause; contemplaive look.]

Lily: "No, No, Friends!"

Sad Facts Learned from Today's Research

of books sell only as well as their marketing predicts

of books sell better than their marketing predicts

of books sell worse than their marketing predicts

Kristin would like me to tell you all

that I totally take her quotes out of context.

which might be true.

or might not.

you decide.

Things Beauty Queens Say

Miss Provo: "So, I totally had this dream that I was floating in the ocean."

Me: "Oh?"

Miss Provo: "And there was a shark there, and he was my boyfriend. He was really sweet, though."

Me: "Oh?"

Miss Provo: "And when I woke up, I was really sad that he wasn't my boyfriend!"

Me: "Oh?"

Miss Provo: "And then I found out it was Shark Week on Discovery channel and I realized that I'm totally psychic."

Me: "Oh?"

Miss Provo: "Will you record Shark Week for me?"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Things Beauty Queens Say

Me: "Why don't you spend the night at my house tonight? Since you don't have air conditioning at yours?"

Miss Provo: "Because I can't."

Me: "Why?"

Miss Provo: "Because I can't go to the gym without my eyebrows."

Me: "Huh?"

Miss Provo: "I can't go *anywhere* without my eyebrows. Not to the gym, not to the grocery store. Nowhere."

Me: [?!][silence][?!]

Miss Provo: "Seriously. I can't be SEEN without my eyebrows."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

She was the reason I played the bassoon

Christina was so good at the flute that it was legendary. They said she was completely unbeatable in a challenge and every time I heard her play, I agreed. I had never heard someone play an instrument so well in my life. (And she was so nice that you couldn't even hate her for it; all you could do was listen in awe.)

So when I started high school and knew I'd be in the same band as she was, I was completely intimidated. I had been first chair flute in junior high and thought I was pretty dang good. But I wasn't Christina good.

Which is why I decided to switch to the bassoon. Just couldn't handle the idea of trying to compete, I guess.

But I loved the bassoon.

It was unique and it was a challenge and the junior bassoon player named Tristan I sat next to was totally cute. I got into every honor band and the highest BYU audition bands without even trying. (My BYU audition? "Uh, what instrument do you play? Oh, the bassoon? Yeah, that was your audition. You're in.")

So thanks for that tiny little bit of joy in my life, Christina. Maybe the smallest good thing to come from your life, but nevertheless appreciated.

The world truly is a bleaker place without you.

Christina Yu: 1978-2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

My baby is not only a friggin genius, she's, like, a friggin *artist*

There were some flip flops on sale for fifty cents, so I bought them and then gave them to Lily along with a tube of paint. (Pink paint, of course. Lily thinks that pink is the ONLY color worth loving.)

This was what she created:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

My computer is back!! Yay!!

when my doorbell rang this morning, I *thought* it might be my computer, so I ran to the door even though all I was wearing was a towel. (The FedEx lady laughed at me.)

but now I have my own computer again and steve won't have to look forlorn when I borrow his! Yay!

Morning Conversation

Me: "Lily, are you a genius, or are you an *evil* genius?"

Lily: [Coy smile]

Me: "No, I really want to know."

Lily: [left shoulder raises to make contact with chin and coy smile intensifies]

Me: "So. Evil? Or just a genius?"

Lily: "I see JESUS."

Sam: "yeah, my sister is an evil genius."

sometimes the gym is an exciting place

Where I:

1) Did this yoga pose for the VERY FIRST time in my life (never could do it before) and held it for like ten seconds!

2) THEN ran into Marcus from Last Comic Standing! (He was using my favorite weight machine. Hello Marcus!)

Apparently, our heterosexuality extends even to our choice of baked goods

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Treasured Family Recipe

Chocolate Cheese:

1) Take a bottle of chocolate milk and give it to your four year old.

2) Ignore all the people that start making fun of him because he is so old and still drinks a bottle. Even the rare few that aren't adults.

3) Close your eyes as your four year old walks away with the bottle.

4) When he re-appears without the bottle, don't ask him where it is. (This is part of the fun.)

5) Three weeks later when you are trying to figure out what the *&^%$ that smell is, clean out his toybox.

6) Remove the chocolate cheese from the top.

7) Eat on crackers. Or maybe toast.

Sam keeps telling me how much he misses his "fwiends"

they're in England on a study abroad trip for two months. Sponge Bob just hasn't been the same without them.

Holy Crap my baby is a GENIUS!!

Scene: We're all sitting around a picnic table in the woods. Lily is bored because there is no television in the forest and without a television, she can't watch Barney. So, she comes and sits on my lap (only EXTREME boredom could possibly drive her to seek physical contact) and watches me write people's names on a paper plate. After a bit, she starts suggesting people for me to write. Then she gets bored with me writing and grabs the pen out of my hand.

I figure she'll scribble for awhile, since that's what babies do. I start to engage in grown up conversation. Something very mature like who passes gas more often at night or who thinks that hiking naked is a super fun idea.

After a minute, though, I look down at the paper plate and see that Lily has written this:

Now, I'm not hallucinating, right? My itty-bitty can-hardly-talk 26-month-old baby did just create a readable likeness of her own name, right? Without me ever really teaching her how or drilling her with flashcards the way my parents did when I was a baby?!

Oh my goodness, the kid might just be able to make good on her plans for world domination!! Be AFRAID!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Things Students Will do for Grades

They will do an impression-filled skit about logical fallacies in politcs all while wearing really pretty barrettes!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Steve's Idea of a Fun Date

Finding as many cars as possible that have stickers like these:

And then adding to the end of the family a sticker like this:

Hidden YA Sexism of the Day!

Been reading a truck load of YA books for my marketing research. One of the books that I identified as having sold more copies than it should have had the following (paraphrased) exchange:

kid-who-asks-dumb-questions-just-to-forward-plot: "Do you really think that the tale of Arthur is true?"

supposed-to-be-wise-old-man-but-is-really-just-a-pompous-a$$: "Well, I don't think *all* of the tales are true. I seriously doubt there was ever a lady of the lake, for example. But Excalibur? I believe in Excalibur."

Um... Because a magical woman is SO much more unlikely than a magical phallic symbol that gives magical power?!

Dude. Just DUDE.

Monday, July 14, 2008


a.k.a Fear of Twilight. a.k.a what my friends Carol and Cheri have.

Words of Wisdom from an Anonymous Member of my Family

"Well, when your life sucks so bad, the only thing you can really do is blow your brains out. But, since you're Murphy's daughter and all, the gun would probably mis-fire and then you'd just be ugly AND depressed."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I had to borrow my husband's computer because I was going through withdrawl

I typed windmillwatching into Wordle and this is what I got:

I'm a fan. Thanks to Sean for the idea!

(the picture published a little small--if you click on it, you'll get a better view)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Computer going into the shop

They tell me it will be back in five business days. But they also told me they'd send me the box to send it to them in two days. It took them two *months.* So, we might be going caveman here for awhile. I might be able to use other people's computers occassionally. We'll see...

Friday, July 11, 2008

One of my students confessed she'd been avoiding boys because she was afraid to get married

I said, "Uh... you know you're allowed to say 'no,' right?" (Because I actually didn't know that at her age.)

Over the years a lot of my students--all girls, actually; no boys yet--have told me about how afraid they are to get married.

Now, I've been married almost eight years now, and, y'know, it's not *that* scary. You'd think that the very idea of marriage shouldn't terrify my college students so much that they'd avoid the oppossite sex altogether.

Which made me wonder... If so many girls are afraid to get married... Is it *their* idea of marriage that needs to be changed, or *ours*?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Answer: 20

Question: How many dollars does it cost me to drive to work and back, based on the current price of gas and the specific gas mileage of my car?

Hopefully, this will be the next car I buy:

An Englishman, an American, and ten Australians walk into a Welsh bar...

And suddenly, you have the weirdest chance ever to learn about variations in the English language!

My favorite word from the night: "clucky." Adjective. It describes someone who is baby hungry. Like, "Every time Stewart comes over to my house, he gets all clucky when he plays with my two year old." (True quote from the evening!) Origin: referring to the relationship that a mother hen has with her chicks.

It's a common word in Australia, but not in England, Wales, or America. And less embarassing to misunderstand than say, "pants" or "napkins." (underwear and maxi pads in Britain)(cue hilarious memory of Steve making huge hand gestures to the London waitress five years ago and saying, "We're going to need NAPKINS. LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of NAPKINS!")

(Oh, and BTW, I didn't drink at the bar, if you were wondering. They all made fun of me, too, and kept competing to see who got to buy me lemonade. I finally let one of them buy me a diet coke. That's about as risque as I get.)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Amanda Wickel!!

If you still read my blog, send me an email.

Help me name a town

I'm trying to name a (fictional) town.

The town was supposedly settled by a (also fictional) crazy-a evangelical preacher named Jeremiah West during the religious revivals of the 19th century. (the town is in the mountains somewhere in Ameria; the specific mountains are flexible. Appalacia is fine. The West is fine. Wherever. But there do need to be mountains.)

Here are some of my (lame?)ideas:

Hallowed Peaks
God's Hallowed
Enoch's Landing
Enoch City
Grove Hallow
New Hope
New Enoch
New Zion
Zion's Chosen
Rapture Hollow

You guys have any ideas? Like any of my ideas? I'm stumped so I'd love any ideas you have! (And if you're my student, I'll give you extra credit if you respond. ;-))

Monday, July 07, 2008

Evidence that my brain has a problem with obsession

Remember this post?

I didn't get it. I mean, when I did the math I saw it was right, but it didn't make *sense.*

So I obsessed. I obsessed and obsessed and obsessed. Weeks passed. It still didn't make sense.

Until yesterday. I was pouring some soap into the bathtub, and I suddenly *got* it.

It all came down to this (kinda dumb)joke my dad used to tell me. "If you have a man and a woman, and the woman travels half the distance to the man. And then the man travels half the distance to the woman, and so on, how long will it take for them to get to each other?"

The answer? "They'll never get to each other. But they'll get close enough for all practical purposes!"

Only engineers think this joke is funny.

Anyway, I realized that the distance the people are travelling a few steps in is a lot smaller than the distance they first travelled, even though each leg is 0.5 times the size of the last. So, even though the 0.5 is constant, the actual distance changes.

Then I realized that the gas mileage thing has a relationship to that kind of exponential problem and suddenly, it actually made sense.

So, thanks Dad. All these weeks later I can FINALLY stop friggin trying to figure it out!

Lily is not a morning person

Let me re-phrase: Lily likes to get up at the butt crack of dawn. But if she hasn't slept enough? She is a beast. Like, a truly terrible beast.

So when she woke up kicking and screaming and crying and yelling and screeching, we had to think quick.

"Barney!" thinks Steve. Because Lily really likes to sing.

So, he turns Barney on. And it's working. Lily calms down a little, stares at the TV. She is still grimacing like a beast, but, yanno, she's *quiet.*

Then Barney starts to sing, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands."

Lily raises her hands as if to sing along. But then, midway up, she freezes. She grimaces even harder at the TV and growls, "Not. Happy." And instead of singing along, she just gives that dinosaur the nastiest look ever.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

things I hate about jet lag

1) the vomitting
2) the peeing my pants that accompanies the vomitting because I have two children and my bladder control sux
3) the tripping over objects as I try to teach a class shortly after landing
4) the risk of electrocution that ensues after my tripping while teaching leads to the pulling of an electrical outlet directly out of the wall
5) the soaking wetness of clothing due to the fact that when you are holding your water bottle when you teach and you then trip the water is lible to splash all over the place
6) the showing of undergarments that unintentionally follows your attempt to dry off the soaking clothing that accompanies the throwing of water that accompanied the tripping over objects and the risk of electrocution due to the dislocated electrical outlet caused by the said tripping over of objects.
7) more vomitting
8) more peeing of pants
9) an eerie repeat of #6: but smellier due to the nature of the fluid
10) did I mention the vomitting?