Thursday, February 28, 2008

Not too Different

I've always had the idea that it's hard to change things about myself, but if I had some BIG event in my life I would change more easily. To some extent it's true too. I was a "shy nerd" in high school, and I let out my inner extrovert my first year of college. I definitely had to change a lot of things in my life when I got married too. But two weeks ago, I had my first (and hopefully last) trip in an ambulance, which pretty much saved my life. And do I feel different? Not much.

Differences: I am tired with less than 12 hours of sleep, I have a new scar, I have aches and pains, I bought a new dishwasher, I lost weight.
Similarities: It's still hard to pay attention to the Isaiah chapters, I still boss Dan around a bit too much, I still remember to say my prayers only after I've already gotten into bed, I still am not excited about my job (understatement), I still like talking/chatting with friends more than working, I feel like my testimony is still the same (there, but not as great as I hope it ends up someday).

But. The other day I talked with my little brother - he called me. And when I mentioned my concerns about how I must be a lump of coal because I hadn't drastically changed, he said something like, "Well, you sure changed me! I'm calling everybody a lot more now and just talking with the family." Awww... maybe more things have changed that I haven't noticed yet either. As for myself? I'm back to trying to make changes the slow way - reading scriptures, praying for guidance, and paying attention to the things I like and don't like about myself. That's probably how things were just meant to be.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Books I wish I had written

There is something that is so fundamentally annoying about the Harry Potter books that, in spite of the fact that I've enjoyed reading them (and re-reading them), they just don't... do it for me. The problem is the premise of how magic works in the HP world. The idea that you can say a bunch of latin words (I should say latin-sounding) and produce magic is just a little counterintuitive to me (not that magic should necessarily be an intuitive thing). Why latin? Did the romans invent magic? No explanation I can think of is very satisfactory to what seems like a very amateur way of thinking about magic.

One author that gets it right, in my mind, is Ursula LeGuin in her Earthsea trilogy. In that world, magic is based off of calling things by their true name, the name by which they were created in the beginning in a sort of Adamic-type language. In the books, the worlds of magic and nature are intertwined since magic is, after all, just another way of interacting with nature. Things will naturally respond to their name in the language of the creator, whether its an animal, a person, the wind, or the fabric of space. In a way, it reminds me of our Mormon "magic", the priesthood. In blessings, we call people by their proper names, and address things in the language (or authority) of God. So LeGuin's magical world almost feels natural to me since I've grown up believing that things will respond if addressed properly.

I'm always thinking of books I would like to write someday, and I sometimes sit and try to think of interesting plots and worlds that I'd like to write about. Sometimes when I read books, I judge them on whether I would have liked to write them or not. Harry Potter, not so much, for the reason I gave already- that the whole system of magic is counterintuitive to me (though the money would have come in handy). The Earthsea trilogy, yes. I don't really have a favorite book, but these definitely are in the top 10. When I sit and think of what kind of world I want to base my to-be-written book in, if the genre is fantasy and magic, my thoughts always turn to an Earthsea type universe, and thats when I say "Doh!"- that world is already taken.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Garden Journal, volume 3 issue 1

So what if there is still 6+ inches of snow on the ground? It finally getting up into the lower 40's, the sun feels strong, so I planted the first round of seeds in the greenhouse. This was Lucy's third year of helping in the garden. The first year she just sat in her excersaucer and ate onion stems. The second year she dug holes in the beds with her shovel and dumped the dirt in the pathways. This year she actually helped plant the seeds. I helped her plant a whole pot of onions, then she got to cover the seeds with dirt, water it, then put the pot up in the greenhouse.

I think she liked it. I'm going to take her out every few days to show her the progress of the seeds, and once she "gets it", we'll plant some more. (also: I think I may be losing my hair)

Other things planted today: 20 better boy tomatos, 10 cherry tomatos- I tried to get the large cherrys this time, not the tiny sweet 100s, which are good but annoying to pick, 20 bell peppers, and a bunch of lettuce (8 different kinds), spinach, basil, and oregano. Its supposed to drop down into the teens for the next few nights, but the cold shouldn't hurt the seeds before germination. After Friday, it stays in the upper 20's which is not so cold that the greenhouse can't protect them at night. I felt inside the greenhouse today when it was 45 outside and it was very warm, so I think they'll germinate ok.

We've had tons of snow this January- usually its just clear all month with an awful inversion that traps in the air pollution, but this time we've had a snowstorm at least once a week, sometimes twice. There is still at least half a foot in the back yard.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Second Choices

The votes are in. The people have spoken. I've counted, and recounted, and I've come to the conclusion that there may be a few Republican Obamababes among us. There are 5 of us that are planning on voting for a Democrat in the primary (and by "us", I mean "you all"), but will not vote for the other democrat in the general if she (or he) ends up winning. Others of us wanted a Republican, but will vote for another party if our guy does not get the nomination. A small minority of us are Republican party loyalists. No Dem. loyalists here (or none that will own up to it).

I'm curious about people's reasons for voting for the other (or another) party if their preferred candidate does not win. I'll start.

I had already said that if Romney didn't win, and either McCain or Huckabee win then I would either sit this one out or vote Dem. I stand by that if Huckabee wins, or if he is the VP pick for McCain. If McCain wisens up and makes a good choice for VP, then I'm torn. My original reasons for not liking him were a combination of his past and current positions on things like campaign finance, drug reimportation (the pharmaceutical companies are "bad guys"), and immigration, but more because of his temperament. I thought he ran a poorly organized campaign, and became disgustingly Clintonian toward the end what with his last minute lies about Romney's Iraq position. He holds grudges, has a well documented explosive temper, and is far too much like Bush in the sense that he is stubborn about his frequently not quite thought out positions. I wanted competence and intelligence in a president for once, and it seems like what we'll be getting instead is Bush-lite. Granted, he is a respected war hero (read up on his POW stories- they really are quite impressive), and has an admirable determination to cut wasteful spending. So even with all my previous bluster about not ever voting for him (I voted with those saying they would switch to a Dem), I may still come around by november, hold my nose and vote McCain. Maybe. On the other hand, if he loses, then Romney will be well positioned to be the presumptive nominee in 2012, and if Obama (or Hillary) runs as liberal of a presidency as he is advertising, then we may very well end up with a President Romney in 4 years.

Anyone else?


Friday, February 01, 2008

Michael Jackson is a wizard

straight from diagon alley. Read this article with its accompanying descriptions of Jackson trying to blend in to the crowd, and tell me if you don't immediately think of Arthur Weasley and other wizard adults trying to blend in with muggles.