Monday, September 13, 2010

And Now, for my Next Trick...

I will summarily show why my social life is in danger of imminent disintegration!

Well, it's been eons. Sorry about that. Though this was my 6th summer as a college student (yipes, that sounds bad....I just have a long degree, I promise!), I apparently haven't learned yet that in spite of my predictions that summer will be just oozing with free time to lounge around and post in my blog all the time, it in reality tends to be cram-packed full of activity, and inevitably feels just as busy as the school year. Perhaps more so, since it's at once less and more scheduled during summer. Let me explain:

-I worked somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-45 hours a week, took on a big new calling as Relief Society pres (which requires lots of planning), and continued to attend FHE and Institute, hence more scheduled.
-I often found myself engaged in day trips, spur-of-the-moment hanging out, meeting new people and making new friends, and impromptu actities, hence less scheduled.

Still, it was surely a summer not to be forgotten. Some highlights:

Well, above all I would have to see the journey to Nauvoo was the most memorable, useful, important, and wonderful learning, growing, and enjoying experience of the summer. There ended up being about 13 of us going --let's see if I can name them all!
Big breath.....
Me, Joe, Sarah, Scott, Jared, Dayna, Krista, Kylee, Nicki, Michaelene, David, Nate, and Marcus!! I did it without looking!
Man was that an amazing trip. Among other things, we got to visit Joseph, Emma, and Hyrum Smith's grave sites, the Homestead which was Joseph and Emma's home in Nauvoo, the Mansion House they later lived in, the Red Brick Store where Relief Society was begun and several important revelations in D&C were received, homes of other important church leaders (John Taylor's house??? I should remember this...), as well as do a baptism session in the BEAUTIFUL Nauvoo temple, check out a blacksmith's shop and a wheelwright's shop, and see the Visitors' Center and the Family Living Center, where we learned all about what life was like living on the banks of the Mississippi back in old Nauvoo. Being there, it was so clear the sacrifice made by the early Saints as they sought for Zion and suffered so many hardships. I especially liked the evening when we walked along the road leading down to the literal banks of the Mississippi where, about every 20 feet or so, a different plaque was mounted on a fence with a snippet of a saint's diary entry from their time in Nauvoo or the exodus from there. Especially beautiful was the sight of the temple, rising up on the horizon like a beacon of warmth and safety, as we moved farther and farther down the road. I also loved going to Carthage, where the Prophet and other 3 church leaders were incarcerated preceeding the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum. Such a special spirit was there, so quiet and pensive. The drive to and from was of course fun as well. I rode with Scotty, Joe, and Sarah, and I particularly remember singing hyms through the hills and fields of Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois as we got closer and closer there, and Joe's exclamation of excitement as we neared our campsite of Camp Nauvoo ("Shut my mouth, it's the Mississippi River!!!!"). The boys showed us girls such sweet, kind chivalry the first night we were there. We arrived fairly late, around 1 in the morning, and had two cabins set aside for us, but because of the hour, we had to sort of let ourselves in a figure out where to park and all that (as there were no parking lots, we ended up parking our cars in the grass alongside the cabins, with the result that for the rest of the week the grass along the front of the row of cabins became sort of a mud river). The boys automatically surrendered the nicer, cleaner, bigger cabin to us, but when we couldn't figure out how to turn on the lights or the A/C, they swiftly traded us for their cabin, which did have lights and A/C. Then Scott, in all his engineer-y ingenuity, discovered the breaker for the big cabin and got the lights and A/C working, so they AGAIN moved so that we could have the nice big cabin again. I really have never met such kind, gentlemanly fellow who instinctively do their best to treat us girls like respected ladies. :) Fun, too, were the late nights in the girls' cabin (SANDWICHES!! PLANES!! BABIES!! PHEREMONES!!!) and the meals we all ate together. All in all, an extremely fun, memorable, and economical trip that was, most importantly, a learning and growing experience for me spiritually and a loving, bonding experience for all of us as friends. :)

Outside the Dutch Mill Bakery, an awesome little place where we had breakfast our first morning there.

Joseph Smith's Red Brick Store! That is definitely root beer in all of our hands. :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Squash(ed) Plants & Space Pens

Okay, so.

I'm fairly technologically inept...well, I don't suppose that's super true after all. I'm not terrible. But it's true I don't have a laptop or internet on my phone, and I once tried to turn in a college paper on a floppy disk. So this whole uploading pictures thing is still kind of new to me.

All that as a preface to explain why I haven't blogged until now. I'm trying to make it an at-least-twice-a-week thing but so far we're seeing only weekly blogs, and mostly because I don't really LIKE blogging that much unless I have some fun pictures to share. Pictures really attract an audience, you know. Anyway, I borrowed my mom's camera to go to the Cosmosphere in Hutch with Bro-ay and Scooter on Saturday and took a bunch of great pictures that I think would be fun to post. So we'll see what happens. OH! I also wanted to blog big time about my new SPACE PEN that I got. Scooter gave me the idea. So, we're standing around in the Cosmosphere gift shop (which, by the way, on a Saturday in May is full of kids having the best time ever and tons of space toys and gadgets that nobody c'mon, why do I need a plastic stick full of glitter and plastic rocket ships? And did you know that gummy worms magically turn into "space worms" inside the Cosmosphere?) and Scooter, Bro-ay, and I were all admiring the space pen I picked out and wondering if all the things it claimed to be able to do on the packaging were true. Supposedly, it writes between -25 and 400 degrees Farenheit, upside-down, over grease, and under WATER. We really couldn't believe the last one, so Scooter's like "You should write a blog about this and test it to see if it's true. Oh yeah I read your blog by the way." Ha. So I decided, naturally, that it was an ingenious idea and put it to work straightaway.

Exhibit A, The Pen:

(Everything sounds fancier when you add -A-MUNDO to the end of it)

Writing upside down:

That's like way hard to read but what it says is "This is mildly impressive and potentially useful."


This picture was extremely difficult to take, by the way. I think I ended up holding the notebook with the hand that was also holding the pen AND my knee.

I couldn't find a way to test the whole -25 degrees or 400 degrees thing without burning or freezing my hand off, and the grease thing seems implausible to me. Like, why would I even need to be writing on grease? And would it even show up? I thought grease was BLACK, just like the ink from my pen. But, whatever. It's probably important for astronauts.

Writing under WATER:

IT WORKS!!!!!!!

Can you believe it???

So as I'm doing this, I'm freaking out about the fact that MY NEW PEN WRITES UNDER WATER and my dad walks into the kitchen and I explain how cool the pen is and he checks it out, and then he's all, "Yeah, the grease thing would be hard to test. But you should take that paper off and then see if it will write on just the waxed plate. Writing on a WAXED PLATE under water would be even MORE impressive." Of course he was right, so I had to try it.

Writing under WATER with NO PAPER on a WAXED PLATE:

My new pen might just be my new best friend.

Look how it barely even smears after you've dumped the water out of the plate and rubbed your hand across it:

Thanks for the blog idea, Scooter! That was really fun.

In other news:

Well, I promised I would blog about strawberry plants, Yoder, and Delta Zulu Foxtrot. The strawberries will kind of have to wait, because I was going to write about them and then post pictures, but for some reason Facebook's not accepting my mobile uploads right now. So suffice it to say that I went shopping with a certain Institute teacher's wife a few weeks ago and we bought little baby strawberry plants. My dad and I planted them two weekends ago and they ALREADY HAVE STRAWBERRIES GROWING. I am super excited about this (as if the bold caps lock didn't give it away) because according to my dad's friend Kurt, who's like this master gardener, strawberries often don't even produce fruit their first year. GO MY STRAWBERRY PLANTS! Get that. Heh heh heh. I'll figure out how to post pictures and then get them up here somehow. In addition to the strawberries, my dad and I planted two tomater plants and a squash plant this weekend, the latter of which got effectively squashed by the storm that blew in tonight (oh, sweet irony, thy bitter cold is so cruel). Hence the name of today's blog. Let's hope the tomatoes fare a little better.

Delta Zulu Foxtrox, a.k.a. Fatty the Wonderfish, is my wonderful aquatic friend. I've had him for about two years now and he is very precious to me. Let me tell you why. Once upon a time, when I had no idea what I was doing with fish and aquariums and all that, I bought two tiny goldfish, and because I'm obsessed with avionics I decided I was going to name every fish I ever bought in accordance with the aviation alphabet. So I named one Charlie Delta Gamma and one Delta Zulu Foxtrot (I had this idea that each successive fish I obtained would be named for the previous one's middle name). Fast forward to a continuation of my ineptitude with fish environments to two sick fish who've come down with fin rot from all the excess ammonia in their filterless bowl. Sadly, Charlie didn't make it through the epidemic, but Delta in his unexplainable wonderfish way, somehow made it long enough for me to transplant him to a new, big tank complete with filter and proper biofilter and pH, after which he approximately EXPLODED into the present fattyness he now enjoys today. I don't know what it is, because I seriously feed him the right amount. Fishes' stomachs are only about as big as their eye, so I only put a few flakes in once a day (which he snarfs down as if I haven't fed him for weeks, every single time) but he's still ginormous. But I don't care how fat he gets, I don't care how many strange habits he has like bubbling at the top of the water, which makes a "pop-pop-pop" sound, or cleaning the gravel for 11 hundred hours after I feed him, I will never, never get rid of him, as long as he lives. I will buy new, bigger tanks to accommodate him as he proceeds to loftier new realms of fattyness, but I will never get rid of him because he is the (once)little fish that could.

Les deux poissons, pre-fin rot and in the old, too-small bowl. The orange one with the white accents was Charlie. The white one with the orange accents is Delta, 78% of himself ago. Seriously, picture that, but like 4 thousand times bigger. That might be a SLIGHT exaggeration.

So yeah. That's Delta/Fatty.

Okay, Yoder. So, anyone who knows me fairly well probably knows that I have a very strange affinity for the Amish. I am fascinated by them and really admire their hard work and the austere, pure life they lead. So even though Yoder, KS, has become something of a tourist town, I still love visiting there to see all the Amishy and Mennonitey sites. And eating at Carriage Crossing. Let's not forget that. I will never, ever forget the time KooBear and I lunched at Carriage Crossing and toured around Yoder and we passed by a farm where an Amish farmer and his two sons WAVED at me. Best day ever. So, I was extremely excited for the Cosmosphere/Yoder trip with Bro-ay and Scooter Saturday, and it did not disappoint. It was fairly heavy on the Cosmosphere end and not so much on the Yoder side, but that is just fine. I will find time this summer to go back and document my experience with photographic evidence.

In terms of the Cosmosphere, that was pretty darn great. I'm hardly surprised, because it had all the ingredients for a great time: two of my goodest, hilarious, friends, beautiful spring weather, interesting facts about space, explosions (although I didn't catch that one on camera), and insightful, often witty commentary about historic events in mankind's relationship with the cosmos. I could tell you the whole story myself, but I'll let some of my photographic evidence do that job. After all, what's that they say about a thousand words?

I hope these two genteel sirs don't mind my posting of aforeposted pictures, by the by....:)

Isn't life great? More next time!!! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Why not? I'm so terrible at keeping my journal, probably because, although I really love the actual process of writing and practicing neat handwriting and all that, the way that I write dictates that my hand immediately becomes sore after 2 and 1/2 words. I'm not even kidding you, I flipped to a page in my journal from last October that read as follows:

"Wednesday, October 21st 9:38 pm

So, it's been forever "

THAT'S IT! "So, it's been forever"

No period. Apparently my hand was so tired it sent lazywaves all the way up my arm and into my brain, making it forget how even to use correct punctuation.

Anyway, all that as a preface to tell you that a big part of why I'm starting this blog is to hopefully begin a healthy new habit of regular journaling. So that, in 43 years when I'm 68 I won't be wondering, "I wonder what I did on April 26th," I'll just look at the blog archives for 2010 on my 3D holographic computer.

It's been a long time since I kept a blog. Back in '03, when I first joined Xanga, I thought that was going to be it, but I ended up breaking things off with Xanga for Facebook (Sorry, Xanga, I shouldn'tve done that to you, that was cold) and my most recent Xanga entry remains the March 23rd entry from last year.

I thought about going back to Xanga, except that 1. Nobody uses it anymore (how strange is it that that makes me feel sad for Xanga?) and 2. I figured blogspot seems pretty reliable and decent. Also because I feel that I need a nice new blog to reflect the grown-up me, and if I went back to the one I used when I was 17 I'd also have to start painting my jeans again and listening to Smashmouth (Oh wait, I still like Smashmouth....)

At any rate, I'm going to try to start using this as a means of documenting my crazy life. The inspiration for such comes from a certain excellent un-fireable housewife whose site is way more cool than mine will ever be. I think I literally had the thought "Wow, this is way too hip for me understand" at several points while reading hers. I'm fairly certain this is also the first time she has learned that I have even read her blog (if indeed she's even happened across this page) which is probably pretty creepy, my admitting that in my own first post, but oh well. C'est la vie, as French people and B*Witched would say.

Can I just say how thrilled I am that this semester is coming to a close? I knew it would be busy, but whoosh, I've had exactly no time for any of the things I love (music, reading*, gardening, cooking, walking barefoot on the grass, watching the Discovery Channel, knitting, flying kites, visiting Yoder, writing letters, or any other of the plethora of mostly-domesticy things I love to do) as I've been ensconsed in a rigor of academia that's given me a pretty viscous dosage of 20+ page paper writing, classroom observation, and late-night studying. I've been "barely-ing" my calling with Institute thanks in large part to the Herculean efforts made by my awesome number two (who maintains a school-work-RS president schedule with flying colors herself)and the fact that in a rare instance of foresight on my part I prescheduled a lot of the necessary Institutey things (meetings, spiritual thoughts, etc.), allowing me to coast through many of the weeks. No more! I'm stoked that, as of the 2nd-3rdish week of May my schedule will be scaled back to a mere 32 hours of working a week at El Banco, so I'll have much more time for REAL LIVE PLANNING OF GOOD AND AWESOME AND SWEET SUPER NIFTY activities and ideas for Institute, not to mention a ton of the aforementioned sometimes-domestic activities loved by yours truly.

This summer is gonna be spectacular.

Speaking of spectacular things,:

Well, I was going to post some pictures of Fatty the Wonderfish for you all to look at, but they're taking longer than I hoped, so in the interest of finishing this post and retiring to my bed, I'll leave you with some others:

Broomball is a sport that I have fallen unexpectedly in love with. It started as a one-time activity a few months back for the combined singles wards and has morphed into a fun weekly activity that myself, Scooter, Jactually, Bro-ay, and others have developed quite an affinity for (I've also borrowed the abovementioned housewife's penchant for pseudo-anonymity with friend-referencing; usually a good idea for the intarweb and anyway those of you within named know who you are). The results of this zany game include but are not limited to 1. unavoidably bruised/mashed up knees, 2. Mormonite (That's Mormon and Mennonite) cameraderie, 3. sore inner thigh and back muscles, 4. heretofore unknown competitiveness in yours truly and 5. increasing hand-eye-broom-coordination. I might also mention that we don't actually use brooms as shown up there in the picture. That must have been some sort of one time thing, because now we use sticks that have rubber triangles at the bottom for hitting (much more convenient both in terms of velocity and ice-stabbing).

Speaking of brooms:

So, big thanks to my favorite radish-earring-maker-and-fellow-penguin-lover for clueing me in to the Haps at Wichita State. Seriously, this Quidditch thing has been going on WITHIN THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT for several months now, and I only learned about it because she saw an add in the CITY PAPER and linked it to me via FB message. I'm ashamed of myself. But anyway, of course, once I learned that people here are trying to form a real team to compete in the real live league (laugh all you want, naysayers, it's up-and-coming)I of course had to be a part. Thanks to my insane schedule for the bulk of this semester, I've unfortunately only been able to make it to one practice but because the captain of said team is an awesome person, she's made me feel more than welcome and I know that once I stop being so busy (I'm counting the days) I'll be able to start attending practice regularly.

Well, that's quite enough for one post; it's been rather sport-ish, which is fine, just unusual for a person who named their blog based on their immense love for music and reading.
*About that, what do you all think of the name LedgerLineLiteraries? It's supposed to be an amusing alliterative allusion :) to the fact that my two main loves are for books and playing the flute/piccolo (which often ascend into the stratosphere of ledger linery). I'm still cooking on it, so let me know if you have any better suggestions.

I think that's about it for now, but remind me next time to blog about Yoder, Delta Zulu Foxtrot, and strawberry plants, among other things!!