Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Rest assured, friends, that my latest absence has been due to immense relaxation in uber-snowy Northern Mass with Jay's family. It's been most fabulous!! We've spent our days reading, watching movies, playing with li'l sis and numbing our minds with Wii games (and by the way, our 5-year old competitor kicks major booty at bowling) and I've even managed to squeeze in a little time to cook and work on my quilt that I started forever ago. Bliss!!

Knowing myself all too well, I thought it best to "personally" wish each of you a very Merry Christmas now, so that I don't forget (like I did on Thanksgiving) even though I have a hard time believing that our Savior was even born during this time of year. Funny that us Mormons seem to give in to all the hype and Pagan traditions, even though we believe Jesus was more likely to be born around Roman tax season-- April 6th-ish. However, you will never hear any complaints from me, I just love Christmas!

Thought it might be notable to mention some other major major historical events that just happen to have happened today- it is Joseph Smith's birthday and even more importantly it is Jay's half birthday! So I think between wanting to remember Christ's birth (though not at the right time of year) and these other two very important events, it is a great time to celebrate :) So

a) Happy un-birthday Jesus
2) Happy birthday Joseph
d) Happy half-birthday Jay
Merry Christmas to the rest of you :) May your season be full of pajamas, delicious food, and fun company.

PS even if you're Jewish or a Jehovah's Witness or anyone else that doesn't celebrate Christmas, I don't see why you couldn't also have a Merry December 25th. God Bless and eat up :D
PSS if you noticed the Christmas movie referenced in this post, and can name which one, you get a gold star at the top of your tree.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Happy twelfth day of the twelfth month! And for all you 12 days of Christmas do-ers, tomorrow is the first! (or is it the twelfth... does it count up or down?) Recently I've had a great desire to do the twelve days of Christmas for someone, but I've never lived in the same place for all 12 days of Christmas since leaving for college 5 (woah!) Christmases ago... perhaps next year I'll be more stationary.

Anyway, I took my last final today and now have to finish up a project due tomorrow. 10 pages isn't so bad when you can include all kinds of Matlab figures, right? After turning it in, my next project will be to pack up my life, again, and maybe get in some Christmas shopping before I leave for Mass on Saturday morning, although I really doubt it. But most importantly, Saturday ends my time away from Jay, and we'll finally be living together- forever :)

PS I've always really liked the number 12. It's divisible by 1,2,3, & 4, which is cool, and if you were to go to an amusement park with a group, I think this is the best size of crowd, because you could evenly be divided for seating on pretty much any ride.

Monday, December 10, 2007

One Final Blurb Before Finals are Final (Finally!!)

I must write today because I know there will be little time until my finals are in fact that- final.

For those of you who knew of my insane schedule as of late, this weekend ended up in overall success! Yesterday, my ward had their Christmas party and since I'm a newbie in the ward and only will be around until March, they saw it fit to put me on a committee that I did not know existed beyond singles' wards- (where there are more people than callings with the absence of the youth, primary, and nursery programs, but I digress...) the ward activities committee.

I'm still amazed at how every time we thought we were out of food, another person would show up late with another lasagna to put out on the table. (which reminds me... I wonder how mine tasted...) And even though after all were fed and ready for dessert, all except the committee who were cleaning in the kitchen and replenishing said food, we (at least I) had begun to stare at the left-over rolls, wondering how many we would need to get full... when magically, one more lasagna appeared- thank goodness for MST! (Mormon Standard Time- i.e. late). Looks like we got our own little Christmas miracle ;)

The musical number (What Child Is This for a 4-part female harmony) I put together also went fairly well, I'm so proud of us and our mere 3 practices! Though I must admit that it's always the primary kids who make the evening! I just love seeing them in their white sheets and tinseled heads and love to ponder on what they're staring at over there. One of the Peery daughters was waving her hand around to match the chorister, and with great deliberation, I might add.

Tonight was the stake performance of "The Heritage of Christmas" concert with a bell choir, yet another primary showing, and my choir (The Menlo Park Stake Choir) did a number of pieces- some with audience participation. I just love the spirit that dwells in a room with songs of such praise. Truly "the song of the heart is like a prayer unto me" and I'm so glad because I much prefer singing and playing piano to voicing my thoughts in prayer. I just usually don't feel like I'm capable of expressing myself as well as poets and composers.

Okay, okay, I wasn't going to mention anything, but I just had to note the other best thing about sitting in the choir seats- looking at peoples' faces while they're watching other performances. I had picked out two particular people that just made me laugh every time my eyes passed their position. One guy, I couldn't tell if he was angry or just soooooo completely and unbelievably bored that he thought his life might be over at any minute. His wife played the harp for one of the children's numbers, so it's clear that he was under obligation to be there. Perhaps he was enjoying himself though, who knows...

One final diddy- perhaps it is against my best interest to share this, but I am just so amazed by the absurdity of my action today, that I feel it may give some delight. Today, while making French toast for linner (that's what you eat when church is from 1-4 and you sleep in, eating breakfast at about 10:30) I was talking to Jay on the phone and- maybe because I was listening and should have been paying attention, maybe because my brain is fried from all the bustle and cramming- I, for some reason, cracked one egg right into the garbage can.
Tap tap on the bowl, and plop into the trash.
Just like that.
I then nearly threw my shell into my bowl but realized my mistake and promptly rolled into laughter. Oh well, I needed to get rid of them all by Friday anyway, right?

Well, I'm off to bed to prepare for a long week of tests, late-nights, packed boxes, cheat sheets and LaTeX. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Not much time in the bustle but

Today I invented (as far as I know) an emoticon- one of my goals since leaving the womb. (or at least entering the world of online chat) Now, I must verify that it is widely recognizable. What do you think it is?

hint: think Christmasy

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Inventory/Invent-ary Chef

Well friends, it's official. I'm moving next quarter into "couples" housing on campus with Jay. Because of that and the fact that I'm leaving next Saturday, for three weeks, means I'm trying to eat everything I have and only everything I have, so as to minimize the amount of things that can go bad and the amount of things I'll have to transport to my new place.

Needless to say, this has left me with some pretty interesting meals. Probably the best was tonight's dinner: a tortilla (now I have only one left) the other half of my fritata I made yesterday (using my last two eggs, half of my last onion, and my last potato), with a large squirt of ketchup (I have no idea why I bought this, I swear this is probably the second time I've used it this fall) and half a can of corn. It's quite an adventure, really. I'd even say it's one of my newest most favoritest game. Really, it's an optimization problem... which reminds me... back to work!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Deeper curse than perfectionism

In case you haven't noticed, it's been nearly a month-wait! let's not be so negative- it's been 3 weeks since my last post. We all know that I have excellent excuses that have been milling around in my head about how intensely busy I've been, or about how when I'm finally with my husband I just can't stand to break away from basking in the beautiousness of being in the same room, no, state, no, even time-zone as he is in, that I might be commiserated with. Somehow I don't really feel like excusing myself anymore because I've recently realized something so blaring about my personality that I am completely shocked and appalled that I have never voiced it before. So let's cut to the chase.

Hi, my name is Libby, and I am an all or nothing person. Shall I explain?

I finally understand why though I need order and cleanliness to feel like there is joy in the world, my room manages to get disorderly. Why I've been so bad at journal writing my entire life. I never really knew what one was supposed to write in their journal, so succumbed to describing everyday life. The problem with this is that I never (ok, not NEVER, but almost never) wrote in my journal daily. This is a problem because every time I went to write in my journal, I felt this need to get "everyone" (who ever that is) caught up on all the goings on for the past while (usually year) since I've written. I knew this would take forever, and I just never have enough time to do all that catching up- forever is quite a long time, you see. This blog has been very nice for me because I have felt no pressure to keep people up-to-date on my life, and therefore, I even considered a few quick blips after the long pause, with no acknowledgment of my absence at all. You can see, though, that I gave in.

Now I can rest at peace when I just don't want to organize my closet, or fridge, or bathroom cabinet, because I know that if I do it, I'm going to do it "right"- take everything out, wipe everything down inside and out, mend/build shelves and/or paint walls and/or vacuum, and then carefully and deliberately place everything in its own special nook until... several hours later... am satisfied by its perfection- and that's just going to take more time than I have right now. Perfectionist? Yes, I have always been aware of this curse, but this "all-or-nothingness" realization has brought my neurosis to a new, more manageable level. I feel more at one with myself knowing that having finally discovered the exact problem, I may be able to figure out some way of mastering this peculiarity. Now I can begin the long journey of overcoming me by making conscious efforts to discard my binary approach to task completion, and break things into "some"s and "bit"s.

For my first feat, I will attempt to clean the bathroom sink and only the sink (without a net). A difficult thing for me, for sure. The spotted mirrors cry out while the grimy grout in my shower calls to me each morning- yet noises have been subconsciously muted and neglect prevailed, waiting for enough time to allow me to conquer the whole. Then, perhaps, the next day I may just wipe away the dots in my reflectionary device, and stop there.

Tomorrow, I stop after a piece,
and I gain peace of mind.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Toastest with the Mostest

I had a similar experience concerning toaster vs. toaster oven.

I, myself, was born and raised in a toaster family- four slots, extra wide (plenty of room for a bagel)... However, right before coming to Stanford, my grandma gave me her old toaster oven to suffice all my toasting needs.

I quickly became accustomed to the beloved "toasted cheese bread" with my soups and found great pleasure from the delightful "ding" on completion. After the sad passing of the oven, (thankfully on the last day of school last year) I was confronted with an important decision: do I now buy a toaster or a toaster oven?

I purposely avoided the question all summer while living with my parents, but post-wedding, I found myself back at school without the convenience of quick toast. I had to make a decision... I promptly headed off to Target (with gift cards a-plenty), still completely undecided... toast? toaster oven? toast?! toaster oven?!! Beads of sweat formed on my brow as I walked down the appliance aisle. And then I saw it:

The Toastation!

It was just what I had been looking for! A toaster and toaster oven in one! Genius! My decision was made, and I've never looked back since...

Probably the most exciting perk is being able to see your toast as it's toasting, through the glass door.

Thanks Toastation!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Consider my foot placed securely in my mouth

Well, friends, it seems I've spoken too soon. I paid dearly for my earlier comment via a ruthless fluid mechanics midterm this morning. I only hope that it was enough to appease the wrath of the Stanford gods until I have turned in my last midterm of the quarter tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


I've been a bit MIA due to a midterm I will be taking in less than 30 minutes and another one tomorrow morning. However, I'm pretty sure my brain is incapable of any further knowledge absorption, so I thought I should reassure my 5 (5 now!) readers that I'm indeed still breathing. It's funny how grueling mid-terms/finals always are and amazingly enough, I've managed to survive them all. Hopefully this will be no exception.

I have some exciting news. Probably not for anyone, but myself, but due to the fact that
P(of this ever happening | me) << 1,
I thought that because this being the first and probably last time it will ever occur, it would be fitting to make it a once-in-a-lifetime holiday that I should rejoice in with all of you.
I got 100% on my CFD midterm last week! Can you believe it? I thought they didn't make those anymore!! It has been a long time since I've even seen that on a homework assignment, let alone a midterm! Just so you all don't think I'm too special, I might add that it was a pretty easy test and I think a lot of people must have done really well... (I know of at least one other person who did as well) BUT, needless to say, the number still stands. For me, this is an achievement I will never forget, for when I take on a midterm, I don't see it as me against all these other poor sleep-deprived souls trying to scribble out equations on severely small desks... no, it is me against the system... against all those people who care about grades and not learning. This, my friends, is the ONE time I took out not only Stanford, but "the man" on a midterm. I can now rest at ease.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cell Battery Life Query

I feel the need for a survey. My old phone battery was AWESOME. I would charge it a couple of times a week and it would only take 10 or 15 minutes to become full again. My NEW battery needs charging every 24 hours (or more frequently if I talk on it long) and it takes 2 or 3 hours to become full. Is this normal?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I just HAVE to share!

I've been trying not to post more than once a day, but I MUST share this fabulous piece of my family.

Is it wrong...?

that I, for some reason, have a strong desire to keep my emptied jam jar? Just looking at it makes me want to be crafty...

and what if I need it?

I guess technically I'm too late...

But it's not MY fault I was doing homework all night! (Okay, you're right it is...)

I wanted to make sure to wish you all a HAPPY HALLOWEEN anyway :)

[caption: Charlotte, my roomy and I carved these while Char was in town. I think they're all somewhat descriptive of each of us... Charlotte is happy, roomy is artful, and I'm a pirate!]

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The momements I've been waiting for...

Moment 1:
I finally got my cell-phone! YAY! Turns out, the PO peeps are complete... well, they's not the sharpest tools in the shed. We discovered that my phone was actually there THE WHOLE TIME. Apparently they were looking for an Elizabeth Day at 1413B. The fact that the package said Elizabeth Day McCarthy at 1413B just completely didn't register that it could possibly be the same person. Luckily, I didn't leave after they told me it wasn't there... I pushed and pushed and made them accommodate me, and... 40 minutes later, voila! A phone! I'm very proud of myself because I'm usually a complete push-over/not wanting to cause problems, but thank goodness I broke out of my shell this time. I feel like every other instance of impatience when I felt like I was dealing with incompetence (for some reason, waiting in line at WalMart and the PO seem to top the list right now) when I just kept my cool, exploded all over those poor, pathetic, postal people yesterday.

My new phone flips. I'm not sure how I feel about it... I really loved my old Nokia. I must say, though, my new phone does have a camera, which means I hope to be posting more pictures now. (My digital camera ran out of battery and I seem to have left my charger in Utah, which means I won't be taking any shap-shots on that until Thanksgiving.)

I have officially turned off my old phone, probably never to turn it on again. Not only has it provided me with instant interruption by any and all who are graced with my number, but it posed as a watch and an alarm-clock as well. Plus, having a hubby on the opposite coast lends itself to frequent calls with much longevity.

Farewell, dear phone. I only wish I had given you a name...

Moment 2:
I finally felt an earthquake!! I use to shrivel on the days of my youth when I would arrive at school and my fellow pre-teen pupils would proclaim, "Did you feel the earthquake last night? My bed moved across the room!" And I would just stare at them like, "I missed it?! How could I miss such an exciting event! The one time something cool happens to me, I totally sleep through it!" Well this time, folks, I was wide awake.

It was pretty darn awesome.

I think I may always associate eating macaroni and cheese (cheap-o version, from the box) with being in an earthquake, since both happen to me on extremely rare occasions, yet they happened today at the same time.

Monday, October 29, 2007

After examination...

and no noticeable smells or discoloration...
I used my comb today!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mysterious Foodstuffs

Today, I acquired two mysterious items. These items were given to me... well, actually I took them. I have tried to be more experimental with my cooking, lately, and ever since my lovely fennel and leek casserole success, I have developed an gravitation towards unknown ingredients.

For all you who are familiar with Mormon culture, it will be no surprise for you to hear that today, upon entering the room for Relief Society, stood a table, upon which was a box, a sack full of plastic grocery bags and a sign that said please take a bag of ....

Well, that's the problem... You see, it was a box full of an exciting eatables that I have never before experienced, and I said to myself, "Why shouldn't I have some of these... ? I can just Google them when I get home and find me a tasty recipe. I really should be eating more fresh fruits and vegetables anyway".

However, I have now found myself at home with two shiny, orange, mysterious foods (note the picture) and without the memory of their names. Can anyone help me out?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I have never flipped anyone off before, but...

Yesterday, I was pointing the moral equivalent of my middle-finger to the post office all day in my heart.
I reiterate what I have previously said. I don't mean to be redundant, but the experience I had this week is, I believe, much more convincing as to the evils of monopolies, particularly those run by the generally incompetent government.

Let me start at the beginning.

So, Jay gets a phone-call from my dad, the Saturday during my surprise visit , to let Jay know that my family has switched from Cingular to Verizon (yes, I'm still on my families' plan...) and so he may not be able to get a hold of me as my phone will no longer work. (Don't worry, they didn't bother trying to tell me about it at all). So all of a sudden, I have no cell phone. Luckily, I had only slight delays flying back to SJC, because if I had another 5 hour incident, having no phone would have been terribly inconvenient. So anyway, my mom double-checks my new Stanford address and sends it on its way on Monday, October 22, 2007.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007, evening, Lyman mailroom:
Yessss, a package slip! My cell phone must be here now! On the slip it says my package will be ready to pick up at the Stanford PO the next day. Having learned my lesson about the slowness of every USPS office (yes, I've sampled quite a few across the country) and having a rather large impatience problem, I decide to go first thing in the morning, to avoid waiting in line.

Thursday, October 25, 2007, 9AM, Stanford PO: Yessss, only 3 people in front of me. (10 minutes later...) I hand the dude my slip. He looks at it, "Oh," he says. "We have not received the truckload of packages yet today. I'll go check, but it's probably not here". He leaves. (10 minutes go by...) "Yep, I was right, come back sometime after 1pm today. It should be here by then".

Thursday, October 25, 2007, 1:15PM, Stanford PO:
Of course, there is quite a line... 30 minutes pass and it's finally my turn. I begin to realize that convenient communication will finally be mine. I hand my slip to a lady this time. "I'm sorry, but we have not received any packages today. You better come back tomorrow, sometime after 1". I leave, very deflated and slightly annoyed. No worries, I will at least get my cell-phone for the weekend.

Friday, October 26, 2007, 1:00PM, Stanford PO:
Yesss, there is only one person in front of me for the package line! We wait, behind a closed door. I turn to the kid in front of me "Did you ring the bell already?", "No, but the guy saw me". Ok, this is a Stanford student, he must know what he's talking about. 3 minutes pass, a line is accruing behind us, the kid finally rings the bell. 2 more minutes pass, one of the regular PO people yell, "how many times have you rung the bell? Maybe try it again". (Note to self, always ring the bell multiple times because perhaps when the sign says "ring bell for service" it actually means that it can only be heard when you know the secret number of times you're supposed to ring it.) So he rings it again. A short dark-haired man emerges from the door next to the one we're waiting behind, bearing a sign that reads "Please pick-up packages in main line today". He tapes it on the service window and goes back into his hole. By this time, we have probably 10 or so people waiting in line. We all snake around and get in the back of an already 7-person line.

20 minutes later...
I finally have made my way up to the desk. I can almost feel the cold, hard phone in my hands and see my reflection in it's shiny new screen. I hand her the package slip. "One minute please" she tells me as she walks off to the left.
4 minutes pass... she emerges from the right. "I'm sorry," she begins, "I can't find it, so I'm having my supervisor look for it. Would you mind stepping aside while I help the next customer?" I politely step aside and stare off into space, wishing they would just let me back there...
8 minutes pass... the same short man emerges. "I'm sorry, we have not received our shipment of packages yet today. The truck has just pulled up and we're expecting 3 more. Would you mind giving me your phone number so we can call you when it gets here?" A nice gesture, I think, "Actually, no, you can't call me because the package contains my new cell-phone", realizing that they'd probably never call me ANYWAY, I add, "could I get yours, so that I can call you?" and then realize that I have no phone and won't be able to do that either... He gives me the number and tells me to try back later that day. Yeah right.

On a slightly related note, my mom emails me today:
Subject: Where are you?
You haven't responded to my phone calls. Are you still in MA? I thought you were there for just the weekend. Let me know you're ok.
luvu mm

Silly mother...

Fishy Comb

I dropped my comb in the toilet today... I'm not sure what happened, but I'm pretty sure it's my comb's fault- it must have wanted to go swimming. No matter, it got its wish. It is now soaking in very very hot soapy soapy water until I am satisfied of its sterility. Any suggestions are warmly welcomed.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Maybe this is just funny for me, because I know all these people...

One of these days I'll get on youtube and you'll all be the firsts to know about it :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hiatus Explanation part II

Well, I've done it again. I knew the breaks would be if not consistent in spacing, consistent in existence. Such is life, but for good reason (once again). No, I didn't get married again , but I did plan a surprise trip to visit my new hubby for the weekend, which sort of took up my scant free time. (Getting ahead on homework and planning a conspiracy preventing him from becoming privy to my arrival was more work than I had anticipated). I had an excellent (if I do say so myself), very elaborate plan worked out so that things I needed would be picked up and passed along to someone else, who would then pick me up from the airport. Meanwhile, I had even arranged for someone to meet with him during the window of time I would need to arrive at his place and decorate his apartment with homemade signs, balloons, etc etc. It was perfect! Nothing could go wrong!

Alas, the weather foiled me in Chicago... my 1 hour lay-over turned into 5, and my plans were in need of severe alterations. I gave in and gave away my secret behind tears in a rainy airport, once I realized that my 8:30pm arrival was becoming a post-midnight arrival. Since I was going for surprise and not heart-attack, I thought it was a good idea to alert him to the late-night guest he should be expecting. Though now, I'm a bit curious as to what would have happened if an unannounced being snuck into bed with him in the night...

Anyway, I told him that my plans had been foiled and that I would call him to pick me up from the airport once I had arrived. However, a stroke of genius hit somewhere over New York, and I instead called a friend to my rescue. I found myself tip-toeing through Jay's small apartment, wishing his AC was running to muffle all the creaks from his floor and my feet, while setting up my original plan. Turns out, he's a much heavier sleeper than I give him credit for (which I should have caught on to when I accidentally popped a balloon outside his apartment) and I am more competent as ninja than previously supposed. After carefully hanging punny signs, laying out desserts, and lighting some candles, he awoke to the sound of his girl through the mouth of his cell-phone. It was quite entertaining to be able to hear his sleepy voice in-person and through my phone just outside his cracked apartment door. I will treasure the cute "just out of bed and pleasantly surprised" look on his face when he discovered me behind his door. (just wish I had my camera ready...) If all toiling was just to see that, 'twas completely worth it. We had a lovely weekend of no-stress, no homework, and no responsibility and I have paid for the neglect ever since leaving his arms - but I'd do it again if it weren't for the grad-student pay-check on which I live.

Anyway, I'm officially caught up and thought I'd fill you (all 3 of you) in. I hope you derive pleasure from my efforts :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Makes me wish I had kids... I can remember to teach them all this great stuff! Two really great inspirational presentations about raising children "right". Immunizing against Immorality and Parents and Self-Worth . Though a lot of it is centered around LDS beliefs (especially the first one) I think anyone could take away a lot of helpful ideas. I especially like the idea of involving your children in family counsels where everyone decides together what is and isn't appropriate for your home (from the first). Not mentioned, but related, I think it's great when parents let their children choose an appropriate punishment for themselves when they break the rules.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fame has graced my presence!

My earlier suspicions have been confirmed... Steve Young is in my new ward. Sweet eh? He taught gospel doctrine today about Paul's teachings on justification in Romans and it was so funny that he kept using football analogies. Turns out, there's a whole website about famous and rumored to be famous Mormons , that is, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-Day Saints . Por exemplo, can you believe that Christina Aguilara's parents met at BYU? Probably not my first choice as an LDS representative... but kinda crazy. My favorite LDS actor/producer is undoubtedly Jon Heder, or as I refer to him Napoleon Dynamite. Go Mo's!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Time-travel is for Amateurs

For all you Harry Potter fans out there, I just wanted to inform you that I have become like Hermione. It's true. No, I cannot cast magical spells, no, I am not the top of my class, and no, I have never snogged with Rupert. (Though I do love that kid... in an adorable little brother kind of way). But I am taking two classes that meet at the same time. Once you find out that I am able to watch the missed class at my convenience online, you may not be so impressed. BUT I just discovered the other day, that I am capable of watching a 75 minute class in only 60 minutes, by changing it to play in high speed in WMP. Now I must decide what to do with all my saved 15 minuteses!

Kinked back?

You know how sometimes if you move suddenly in an odd way you can get a kink in your neck? WELL, I'm not really sure what happened, but somewhere in between the time I picked up my clean laundry from the drier and when I set it down in my room (after lugging it up 4 flights of stairs) I discovered that I seem to have kinked my entire upper back. Yes folks, I can no longer turn my chin past either shoulder and it not only hurts my neck, but every muscle in between my shoulder-blades. Sometimes I amaze myself with what I am capable of... Anyway, I slept on a cold pack and now I'm trying to get my mini hot pack to be situated such that it will cover a maximal amount of afflicted area. Any advice on how to over-come would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fun in San Fran

A dear friend from home came to stay with me this past weekend. I always love to have visitors because, despite my living less than an hours drive from San Francisco, I rarely take advantage of the wonders it has to offer unless I have visitors who want to be tourists. Though most of our weekend was spent "conferencing" I decided to skip my CFD class on Monday and spend the day with her seeing the sights of San Fran. It was so much fun! We got "lost" a few times, but that is quite meaningless because we weren't really trying to get anywhere... we just wanted to see the city; so even when we were not anywhere touristy, we still felt like we were getting a more realistic taste of city-life. We did manage to happen upon a scenic route that took us to the top of a hill with a fantastic view of the whole city, and this was just the beginning... we saw the Golden Gate Bridge several times (according to our guidebook, it is the most photographed bridge in the world. I'm not sure how they can get statistics for something like that, but I kind of believe it. Together, we probably took over 20 pictures of that bridge, from almost every angle imaginable), wandered through the Golden Gate Park, touched the ocean (which I've actually never done in No-Cal before), drove down Lumbard Street, posed on a trolley (my first time on one),
had dim sum in Chinatown, hot chocolate at Ghiradelli Square... we even drove through very small Japantown. Yes folks, we did it all. We even timed it perfectly so that we got to experience real-live California traffic on our way home. Luckily, with the two of us, we got to dominate the carpool lane :) All that, and we made it back with plenty of time to get in a couple hours of homework.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fun with Numbers!

I JUST now realized that my ring ceremony took place on September 8, 2007. Oh wait, I already knew that... BUT that means it was on 9/8/07!! Cool eh?

Monday, October 8, 2007

General (ly amazing) Conference

Well, they did it again. Conference was sooo great! I can't wait until the Ensign comes out so I can read through them again. I feel like ever sentence was so packed with goodness, that I missed out on a lot the first time through.
Go President Beck with her notion of women power! She's so awesome! And it was such a testament of the "world-wideness" of the gospel to have so many 70 speakers with accents! It was so awesome!! Although I must admit that it was hard to pay attention to Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. because the whole time I was debating with myself... "where's he from? It's either South Africa or New Zealand. I think South Africa. Wait maybe it IS New Zealand!" Turns out, he's from South Africa (once again Wikipedia saves the day). The Hinck was cuter than ever and I'm so excited about Eyring's new position. I just love listening to him speak, and I suspect we'll get to hear him more often now. :) Ohhhh, and my heart goes out to Elder Wirthlin!! Such a sweetheart! It was so hard to watch him up there shaking so much, but it was also amazing to see him struggle through, out of breath, so that he could say what he came to say- like it was so important, it needed to be said. I was a bit surprised by Elder Holland's zinger about the notion of the trinity being incomprehensible, though very true and very funny. It makes me realize how lucky we are to have these seemly-obvious-but-apparently-not-so-obvious things pointed out to us so that life makes sense! I just love the gospel!
Anyway, now I'll spiritual-high-ified and had to say my two cents. I'm pretty sure you can watch, listen to and/or read any of these online .

Oh yeah, and my little sister is engaged!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

4 weeks of marital bliss!

Just realized I've been officially married for 4 weeks! Best 4 weeks ever!! :) I love you Jay!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Random Rants

YAY! I finally finished my Numerical Optimization project and turned it in last night. Don't worry that it was actually due last March... most of the class has not turned it in either, and actually, there are people who took the class the previous year and they still haven't even turned theirs in! Which begins my rant... Who does our professor think he is to assign a project that he knows is too much for his students to finish within the quarter. The homework was hard enough to get turned in on time, and completed, so where, I wonder, does he think we're going to find extra time to work on a huge project? Anyway, good riddance. I am free again!

This next item is a more minor rant, more of a pet-peeve. Really, it just gives away my intensely anal nature, but nonetheless, I feel the need to project it into cyber-space and get it off my chest. What is it with professors who don't erase the board completely before they begin writing? Can't they see the remnants of the equations from 10 minutes ago? Can they not hear their poor cries: "I make no sense now that 2/3 or 7/8 or 99999/100000 of me is missing! Please put me out of my misery!"? Not to mention, stray marks can make l's turn into T's and functions can magically earn derivatives. I will never understand...

On a lighter note, we have a very interesting clock in my CFD class. Every class it portrays a different amount of mis-guidedness. Our first day it was 16 minutes behind schedule, the next class nearly on-time, only to be foiled by yesterday's 13 minutes ahead. Why the rush, I have no conjectures. Now, if only our professor would follow its counsel and let us out early :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chocolate is closer to sinnlessness

Last night, I finally got around to doing what I have been meaning to do for an entire year. The problem with my intentions, is that they can only be done once (maaaaybe twice) a year, otherwise it is simply too late and you must let it weigh on you for an entire school year, until the start of the next... This task is meeting my neighbors! I'm so embarrassed to announce that last year, I never ONCE met anyone living, not only directly around me, but on my entire floor! Absurd! The problem, though, is that knocking on doors after the first month of school just to meet your adjacent inhabitants will make people think you're the weirdo-neighbor, because, why do you care to know who I am now? We've been here for many moons already!

Anyway, this year, I was not going to let that happen to me again. Last night, my roommate and I made oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies, and though we sampled a cookie from each pan that appeared from the oven with lovely chocolatey-gooeynesses, we still had enough to knock on every door in our hall and give away several. Now, hopefully I'll be able to at least recognize my neighbors next time I see them.

On a related matter, I recently discovered that there is no caffeine in chocolate! How Marvelous! This is just one more reason why I shouldn't feel guilty about eating my favorite consumable object :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Smarts is all in your head

Here is an excerpt from Leadership is a muscle that I would like to share.

"Earlier this year, Dweck and two colleagues, Kali Trzesniewsi of Stanford and Lisa S. Blackwell of Columbia, ran an experiment on junior high schoolers. If they trained the students to have a growth mind-set, would the kids' math grades improve? In less than two hours over eight weeks, they taught the students concepts such as: Your brain is like a muscle that can be developed with exercise; just as a baby gets smarter as it learns, so can you; everything is hard before it gets easy--never give up because you don't master something immediately.

The results were astonishing. The brain-is-a-muscle students significantly outperformed their peers in math, many showing dramatic turnarounds, such as the student who went from a failing grade to an 84 on her next exam. Dweck's work shows that a pure idea intervention can have a substantial effect. "The brain is a muscle" is an idea that stuck."

Something I've always thought to be true. Glad to see it get verified. :)

Similarly, I remember reading something as an undergrad, for an education class, about another study where they tested expectations of teachers and quality of learning. I don't remember the specifics exactly, but basically, the experimenters gave a teacher 3 bunches of randomly chosen students and told the teacher that one group was the most exceptional students in the school, one group was average, and another was below-average. After teaching the three groups for some time, the students' knowledge or ability was rated somehow and the best results came from the class the teacher believed to be exceptional and the worst from the group thought to be below-average. I wish I knew where this study was... If I come upon it, I'll for sure post it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Keep the government out of my light

One of my very best friends from high school sent me an interesting, though a bit long,
article about light pollution. I definitely agree with their idea of encouraging people/institutions to adjust their outdoor lighting to promote less light pollution, particularly after taking an astronomy class my freshman year at Brown and having to strain our eyes to find the big dipper through the Providence lights... but do they really need the government to become more involved? It seems to be clear that the benefits are for us scientists and star-enjoyers as well as the light-fixture "up-keepers", as these improved lights use much less energy and perform just as well, if not better than the old alternatives. I think their money would be better spent simply educating people who install outdoor light fixtures rather than letting our government, who has already shown themselves incompetent in oh-so-many-ways (no child left behind as only one recent example), stick another foot into our business. If it really saves money, light providers should need no government enforcement, it's just a smarter solution!

It seems funny to me that so often when the government screws up, people seem to be right ready to let them do something else to "fix" their mistakes. I say, if they can't fly the plane, quit riding with them!

On an unrelated note, there is a quite interesting correlation pointed out between breast-cancer and employees who take night-shifts. Apparently, messing with ones' (is that wrong to pluralize one?) circadian rhythm can affect amounts of what is normally produced during sleep- in this case, melatonin. However, could there also be a confounding variable of lower-income employees who are willing to take night shifts?

I can't help but point out, though, that if their findings are correct, this is just one more example of how amazing and ahead of his time Joseph Smith was. (Doctrine & Covenants 88:124) I guess he did have quite a bit of help from above though, eh?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Why do we love babies?

Well, now that I'm married, I'm starting to feel the pressure (mostly from mom) about having babies. Has anyone else noticed that when you finally feel relieved that you'll never have to deal with being asked "so when are you going to get married?" suddenly you become bombarded by "so when are you going to have little *insert your and your spouse's name here*s running around?" Consequently, this has gotten me thinking...

Why are we all so enamored with babies? I won't deny that I think they are the most adorable thing that humans (with some major help from God) can make, but really, why?

I recently (while on the honeymoon) read through this great art book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, in hopes of saving my futile attempts at putting recognizable objects on paper. Though I'm by no means the next Degas, I feel like a learned a lot about seeing things differently and placing them on paper in meaningful ways. Anyway, I bring this up because it talked a lot about proportions and overcoming your symbolic left-brain tendencies to draw symbols that represent objects, versus how they actually appear. The author also helps with common mistakes drawing human faces, and helps you look at certain proportions more clearly and relatively. I have some pictures posted of my 4 nieces/nephews (all under the age of 3) and quickly realized that baby's are completely out of proportion by comparison to someone we would consider to be handsome, beautiful, or even cute! Their heads are HUGE compared to their bodies, their arms and legs are very short, they have chubby bellies and cheeks... not to mention the smells and screams they are capable of creating. I don't think I'll ever understand what we find so delightful about their appearance, I just know that I'm excited to have one of my own :)

In light of all this, it's hard for me not to remember that episode of Seinfeld where someone (I can't recall now) had an ugly baby, of which us viewers never get a glimpse. Has anyone actually ever seen an ugly baby?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hiatus Explanation

Although my posts have been absent for quite some time, my thought have been with blogging almost every day. The past three weeks have been probably the most blog-worthy of my life, which is why I did not have (or rather make) time for blogging. Isn't that just the way sometimes?

For all those who care, my wedding(s) went dazzlingly well, and I have posted pictures in an album on facebook of the Utah celebration. Mass ones are still to come. My surprise honeymoon ended up in Sedona, AZ with beautiful scenery of the red-rock formations from our hotel room. I am positive that this was the most relaxing vacation I have ever taken. There was literally nothing to do (besides hiking, which we opted out on since we were there only to relax) except watch movies and read and lounge around by the pool, which we had pretty much to ourselves (everyone else was out hiking). Now my body is making up for lost time and stressing out over my first week of school that starts tomorrow.

I have many more interesting things to write about (at least I think so) and I took note of them in random spaces in my "real" journal, and sticky-notes on my personalized homepage, so hopefully I will be blogging more frequently to get to all of them out in cyberspace. I can tell you people are hankering for some entertainment. (so perhaps you should seek elsewhere?) For now, I go to bed to prepare for the chaos that is figuring out how to shop 3 classes that meet at the same time. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Odorant Boycott

As a self-proclaimed scientist, I am all for pursuing experiments to further my understanding of my surroundings, and especially my hygiene. For example, it took years of experiments for me to be able to get my hair to go curly in a way such that it isn't frizzy, nor crispy, yet bouncy. I think my biggest beauty problem has been my over-zealous (brace yourself, all who fear TMI) under-arm sweat glands. One of my most annoying woes has been dealing with this fiasco-- particularly the ring-stain left on my shirts which is caused by the deodorant, NOT the sweat. However, I have always feared too much the consequences of not wearing deodorant, to try it out. Luckily, earlier this week, I somehow managed to skip over the part of my morning routine that involved my "deodorant" application and I have made an amazing discovery. Wearing deodorant not only does nothing for the amount of sweat I produce, but I believe that I actually sweat LESS when I don't wear it! Not only that, but I can't smell anything! (and yes, folks, this is fiance approved. Keep in mind that he has an incentive to be truthful, because if he says I don't stink, and I in fact do, then he is the one who has to smell me for the rest of our married lives together) So I have decided that deodorant does not deodorize my pits, but in all actuality, gives them an odor. Yes, perhaps it is a pleasant "powder fresh" or "shower clean" smell, but it's not worth it for the stains and sometimes awkward marks it leaves on your shirt if not put on carefully enough. So I have decided to boycott this so-call "deodorant".

However, for all of you who are not so brave (and I don't blame you) you may find this useful. I have not tried any of these yet, but perhaps I will try to revive some of my old stained shirts.

PS 3 more days!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The mystery of the tarnished rings

I had an interesting experience today.

Jay loves to swim. His family owns a lake house in central Mass and they go there almost every weekend during the summer. However, he is spending this summer with me and my family in Utah, and though we spent the 4th of July swimming with his family there, I can tell he is suffering from withdrawal. So, me being a loving fiancee and sneakily trying to get out of running one morning (we've been trying to exercise every day except Sundays together, and running is the free-est thing we can do, though definitely not my most favorite form of exertion.) I suggested that we do some laps at a nearby pool, that also happens to have a really cool water-slide. To my dismay, he suggests we run there, instead of drive, so I didn't get out of my run, but at least we had a fun slide as our reward. :)

We enter the club confronted with a large sign warning us of some disease, coslp;aoidjoweia, that people seem to be contracting from the pool. They are thus, not allowing anyone with diapers (Jay lovingly announces at the counter that I must remove my diaper or we have to go home) or small children in the pool and they highly advise us to not drink the pool water. (who drinks pool water?) We ran all the way there and we were not leaving without using the water-slide at least once, so after no debate we agreed not to drink the water and headed for the locker rooms. (I'm proud to say, I only had one naked-old-lady-encounter and she was at least wearing some undies) Everything seemed fine, except the water was a bit warm for my taste, and the pool seemed to be extaordinarily chlorinated - probably overcompensation for the coslp;aoidjoweia discovery.

Jay, with a bit of bewilderment and chagrin, noticed that the high chlorine content had turned our sterling silver CTR rings a nasty shade of gray - not how silver usually appears when tarnished. (This doesn't regularly happen, does it?) Luckily, my white gold engagement ring escaped unscathed :)

Upon returning home (after 20 laps and several slide runs) I tried soaking the rings in my ring cleaning fluid and then vinegar, neither worked. Luckily, the internet was, once again, able to save the day, and I discovered a lovely home remedy for tarnished silver. Note: you cannot simply sit the silver item on the aluminum foil, you must rub the foil all over the item, so get a container big enough for your hands and the object. Pretty cool eh?

Now we await the potential attack from coslp;aoidjoweia...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

2 More Weeks 'til Marital Bliss

Well, it's been awhile since my last post (and honestly this does not surprise me... I tend to be a sporadic record keeper) but I mostly blame my wedding and high school reunion plans. The reunion is tomorrow and soon my efforts can be completely focused on just one thing. (after I register for classes, that is...)

It's amazing how many marriage experts exist in my midst. It seems that everywhere I go, people have figured out the best way to stay married. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I find the info to be quite useful, and even when it's not, the entertainment value is still pretty high.

Take, for example, my dad's old (very old) mission companion who stopped by for a random visit. He's in town from California for his 9th of 10 kids' wedding. After a quite intense (and lengthy) "discussion" about the speculated whereabouts of certain Book of Mormon sites, this white-haired, X-elder turns to us and says something about how he used to be a marriage counselor for the church and has some advice for us. "Fine, let's hear it", I think. Is he planning to take this to the "just do whatever she wants and you'll be happy" extreme we got from my bishop, or will it be more like the old classic "don't go to bed angry"? I quickly discovered that he had only one thing he was concerned about... "When you're on your honeymoon, take it slow and start from the top, working your way down". Wow, not exactly what I was expecting.

My hair dresser gave me a lot of advice about buying furniture. Some of it pretty practical, depending on where I end up living... Something I had never thought of was the suggestion of buying a kitchen and dining table that are of the same height and width (even exactly the same, if you can) so that during holidays you can just push them together and seat a large crowd. She also emphasized going into debt to get the entire couch set because "by the time you save up enough money to get the last chair, they won't be making it anymore!" Don't bother with love seats- they're not big enough if you have sons, who like to sprawl :) Definitely get a recliner so that when you're pregnant, you can put your feet up; but don't get the kind that is a part of the couch because your husband will always sit there and it will be uncomfortable to cuddle with him. Priceless gems, eh?

I think my favorite thing she told me (I was quite surprised she did, as she had to bend down and whisper it so others couldn't hear) had to do with leaving a "surprise" in her husband's suit pocket when he went on a business trip as a friendly reminder of his loving wife. However, he reached into his pocket and didn't notice it, and when he pulled his hand out, it flew onto the floor and several people bent to help him pick it up. He then found himself needing to explain why he had a pair of red panties in his suit pocket. Tee hee.

Anyway, though I'm pretty sure nobody who reads this is married (all 3 of you), I thought I'd encourage anyone to comment with their favorite piece of marriage advice.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It's Paste, isn't it?

I had an ingenious idea the other day. After a bit of googling, I'm finding out that I'm not the only one, BUT I want credit for thinking of it anyway.

Why does everyone insist on selling tomato paste in a can? I've never used a recipe that called for a whole can... it's always tablespoons at a time. Then I'm thrown into this frantic state of "I have an open can of tomato paste sitting in my fridge (ew) and I need to only make recipes that call for tomato paste until it's gone". Yeah, I could dump it into a small tupperware container (and waste some of the scrapings)... OR I could buy it in a tube! (just like toothpaste) Hello! What an amazing idea! I'll squirt out my tablespoon, screw the lid back on, and stick it back into my refrigerator until I need it again. Genious! Yet, grocery stores insist upon selling it in cans... Perhaps I'll have to do all my tomato paste shopping online, from now on.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Harry Potter the Last

Well, I was bewitched by J.K. Rowling by the "onicus more chaptericus" curse, and I finished the last couple hundred pages at 3:15. That is the latest I have stayed up since my over-nighter of winter finals. I think I have a problem. Between this and my obsessive watching of 24's first season (on dvd) I think I need to avoid reading/watching thrilling time consumers. Perhaps I should stick to books on cd.

Luckily, I can avoid giving anything away. Mostly because Jay finished reading it before I did, so we were able to discuss it this morning at breakfast, and I was able to get it all out. (Poor Jay... I'm not sure how he can keep it all in). All I will say is I was right about Snape.

36 more days!

37 more days!

That's all I really wanted to say. Not many interesting things about 37 (feel free to prove me wrong). It is prime though (like me).

Also that I'm reading the last Harry Potter. (If you are planning to read and are nervous about me spoiling anything, don't worry, you may read on) It is dang good and it's going to be a fantastic movie, if you ask me. After having just seen the 5th, it's hard to believe I'm going to have to wait a few years to finally see the last. Jay thinks they could even draw it out into 2 movies.

It's kind of weird, but now when I read the books, I picture the movie characters, instead of who I used to imagine... actually, I can no longer remember how I originally pictured them. Can't decide how I feel about this.

Anyway, too much suspense to keep blogging. Must read.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

No Turning Back Now!

Well, it's official! The wedding announcements are in the mail. Jay and I spent all of yesterday, handwriting over 200 names and addresses, much to the demise of our poor hands, and I sealed them all and took them to the post office not a half hour ago. I really really really wanted to use sealing wax, but the post office people said it could interfere with their machines and it would cost like twice as much for them to be hand sorted, or something. BOO. This really doesn't help my already low opinion of the USPS. Although today was a record low for time spent in the waiting line, for me: < 5 minutes. I don't know about the rest of the world, but EVERYTIME I go to the post office (except today, of course) I end up waiting at least 20 minutes, no matter how few people there are in line. And is it just me, or whenever they must retrieve something from the mysterious back room they walk like they're on a peaceful Sunday stroll, taking in the sweet smell of stamps and enjoying the shiny packing tape. Indeed, I have had so many annoying experiences that I decline to give them too much credit for this accidental expedience, for it is a Saturday and I have a feeling a lot of people don't know that this particular post office is open on Saturdays until noon. Perhaps I have already given away too much and ruined my future chance of swiftness in this Saturday line ever again. Regardless, it will take a lot more than one pleasant experience for them to erase all the harm they have done.

I think the all time classic example of how annoying the post office is takes me back to a time when I wanted to ship my friend a birthday present from the Stanford PO. I told them I wanted it to get there quickly and they said I could have it overnight for some ridiculous amount (on the order of $15- mind you, the present only costed about $30) OR it might get there in 2 to 3 days for $6, but there was no guarantee. Otherwise, I would pay $4 and it would just get there in its own sweet time. What's the point of having you pay more so that it MIGHT get there earlier? Honestly people... I hate government monopolies.

I've notice this blog has turned into a ranting one, which was not my initial purpose. Come to think of it, I have not decided upon a specific purpose for this blog as of yet, but in hopes of convincing any readers that I'm not a complete whiner, I will add one useful thing I learned in a podcast recently. (The knitting cook) If you cry when you cut onions (oh how they cause me to weep), try lighting a candle while you do it. Supposedly it burns the fumes and prevents them from reaching your eyes. I have yet to try it, but I most certainly plan to.

PS 39 days 'til I wed <3

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I'm not sure I realized when I ran for Senior Class VP how annoying it was going to be to organize the class reunions... what was I thinking? I've become the ultimate stalker- far beyond any facebook stalking I've done in the past... We're talking, googling people I've never even heard of and calling hundreds of disconnected numbers trying to track down some of the 550+ people I graduated with. All I can say is thank GOODNESS for the internet. How people did it before, I will never know.

Perhaps they just didn't.

Actually, if it wasn't for the internet, I probably wouldn't be spending so much time trying to maneuver through over-done myspace pages (seriously, most of these make rococo look plain), separating the useful from the useless, squinting at blurry pictures and trying to compare them to those in my 5-year-old HS yearbook. No. The internet has cursed me with TMI and NESOFOWIN (not enough simple ways of finding only what I need). In the back corners of my mind I keep thinking, perhaps they have a blog? What about facebook? Maybe a sibling on myspace? Is 25 out of 992 search results enough to check for me to be completely sure that the John Smith I am looking for is not actually going to be found online?

Perhaps it is my perfectionist genes I should be cursing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

In the beginning...

I have succumbed to peer pressure and started a blog. Though I have attempted to keep a journal ever since my blue baptismal gift, the sparsity of entries in it leads me to believe this will be no different. However, facebook has been a quite convenient procrastinator for me as an undergrad, and since I have nearly abandoned it since beginning grad school, perhaps this can fill that void.

Being my very first post, I feel great pressure to produce something spectacular and incredibly perspicacious, so I will begin with a disclaimer that any such writings will be a rarity for this site. If it is insight and wisdom you seek, flee far from this spotted spot. If it is impeccable grammar and perfect spelling, shield your eyes, for I make no such promises. I just give you my thoughts.