About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!

About Me
Columbus, OH
Political Score:
Temp @ JPMorgan Chase
Ohio State University
Political Science, International Studies
High School: Home Educated
Reading, standing in line for things, writing, research

About My Family
My mom is a
lawyer in Pickerington; my stepdad and dad are computer guys, and my stepmom (who works with my dad) is an engineer. My sisters are, in order of age, a photographer, an artist, and a person too young to have her own website. My brothers are, in order of age, living up north, and again, a person too young to have a website. At some point soon I'll be collecting links for my aunts, uncle, and cousins. ^_^

Message Services
(Please see the notes below the Comment Policy before sending me a message)

My CafePress Designs

Even More CafePress Designs

Star Wars: Episode 3 Line (Hollywood)
My Star Wars Line page

NaNoWriMo 2007:
My Novel: Cipere Lumen

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2006:
My Novel: The Manatee Conspiracy

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2005:
My Novel: Beyond the Cliffs of Kefira

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Participant

NaNoWriMo 2004:
My Novel: sul Okyar tir taTz'ileea

National Novel Writing Month

Sunday, February 27, 2005
Cleaning up the house!  
Well, it isn't as exciting as "Burning Down the House," but it'll have less of a negative impact on my parents' insurance rates, so I'm sticking with cleaning.

Tonight I've fixed up my blogroll (yes, I knew that Alice Bachini moved to blogspot last year... I'm just lazy, all right?) and now I'm going to clean up my room. I want to get everything off the floor (I know, I know) and all of the trash and stuff that doesn't belong to me out of the area altogether. If I can manage that in the next few hours, I'll also start opening up some more boxes. And I'm on the hunt for another lamp. Or three. And a few extension cords...


Saturday, February 26, 2005
New Site of the Moment!  
Stephanie at LiningUp.Net told us about this, and I think it's a cool idea.

A Beaten Path

It's user-submitted reviews of, well, everything. Go to it! I want to be the first to review Disneyland. Actually, no, that'd be silly... but I was thinking of reviewing those restaraunts nearby. Lots of innocent people spend their money on that gross buffet pizza place across the street, and that's a crime in my book. ^_^ Anyway, go forth and review!


Oh, wow...  
Okay, I know, it's a wimpy thing to say, but...

This site totally made me misty-eyed. There are photos of displays I'm pretty certain I actually helped put up (I won't claim the messed-up Bruce plush in Adventureland, though... or the missing light-up Sorcerer Hats and nearly empty regular Sorcerer Hats in New Orleans!) And I think I know some of the Stores CMs in the pictures (I didn't notice any Attractions CMs though, and most of the other departments I had friends in, were either in DCA or were backstage)


Friday, February 25, 2005
I am quite glad I'm not a librarian,  
As it spares me from the indignity and, frankly, dishonor, that would come in having such a man as this claim to represent my interests and point of view.

I have, at the least, discovered the heart of his argument, which I think quite the achievement after having slogged through his brief yet unfocused drabble of a statement. It's a bit of a challenge -- you have to delete lots of "filler" in the middle -- but it comes down to this:

The Blog People? Ugh!

While I'm sort of appalled at the idea that a supposed scholarly mind would actually be referring to 3 million independent publishers, authors, and editors as "The Blog People" (doesn't it strike anyone as a bit like "The Red State People," or "The Religious People," or other useless ad hominem garbage titles?) I shall, nonetheless, take on his appellation proudly.

I am a Blog Person. Hear me, you know, type.

H/T: Slashdot and InstaPundit.


Thursday, February 24, 2005
Places to go, people to see, stuff to do...  
And not nearly enough time in which to accomplish any of it! Bah, humbug.

Seriously, I need to find a job, walk for a really long time (like an hour,) finish preparation for Sharing Time this Sunday, organize my lesson for (again) this Sunday, go get stuff from Wal-Mart, and clear all the blasted snow off of Gene's car.

And all I can really say about any of that is, again: Bah, humbug.

Oh, I forgot to mention the Flashback results! Congratulations to the Blue, Orange, and Green teams for your awards (particularly the Blue team, to which I am loyal.)

Note to Glenn and Sandy: give the color Red a hiatus. Have a Fuscia team instead. Or something. One year is unfortuante. Two years is bad luck. Three years is a disturbing trend. That team has moved beyond all of that and is now officially in Cursed territory. Come on, guys. Spare yet another cast this agony. Please?

Anyway, yes. Humbugs. Too much to do. That is all.


Go Blue Team!  
My friend Jackie is about to walk out onto the stage at the Hyperion theatre (in Disney's California Adventure) for the last time, as part of this year's Flashback performance. They're going to have an actual finale this year (unlike LAST year, in which we all just... kind of stood out on stage and bowed) in which they sing a sappy song from the Golden Dreams show. Which I think isn't quite as spiffy as a gospel-ized version of Phil Collin's "True Colors," (which is what we did in 2003) but that's not the point.

The point is that this blog, along with all other right-thinking (right as in correct, not political wing) blogs in the blogosphere, is rooting for her team, the Blue team, and its performance (based on the glorious West side -- more specifically, Adventureland and Frontierland -- to which I am permanently loyal.) May they all win many awards (particularly in the areas of Best Story, Best Choreography, Best Singing, and all the other award titles I can't remember at the moment) and may they all decisively avoid running into any walls.

At some point I have to go get a nice non-alcohol beverage at the Lost Bar and toast this year's performance, as I did last year's. May the partying go on all night, and may the Guests refrain from complaining too much about the noise. If the Mouse is kind, may the security guards chill out about the partying, as well.

^_^ Seriously, I wish I was there right now. I hope -- no, I know -- they're having fun, and there's a good cause and all that too. Go Flashback! And, go Blue Team!


Here are the lyrics to the song they're singing. Aren't they sappy? Of course, sappiness is to be expected when you've got 250 or so young people who already live at the edge of poverty and near the borderline of their own sanity, who get together and devote nearly every spare waking moment of their lives to putting together a gigantic musical and raising a bunch of money for a worthy children's charity...


One dream... we come from everywhere with just one dream;
This home is where, we all can share in just one dream.
One day... I still believe if we can see the possibilities, the world can be a better place.
So many miracles are happening around us everyday;
Look to the mountain top, not the mountain in your way.

Side by side, heart to heart;
We can finish anything we start.
Anything can be done with just one dream.

Sometimes... the hardest thing to do in life is try to understand
The reason why we have to cry.
One friend... you know that's all it takes, is just one friend to lend a hand
A helping hand, that's all it takes.
So many people miss the miracle of what it is to care.
Love is what brings us all together... anywhere.

Side by side, heart to heart;
We can finish anything we start.
Anything can be learned with just one dream.
Hand in hand, we can do what it takes to make our dreams come true.
Each of us, if we trust in just one dream.

We are the wings, we can fly into forever.
Like the promise of the sun we're born to shine;
We have the strength... we can change the world together.
To the stairway to the stars, then we could fly.

Side by side, heart to heart;
We can finish anything we start.
Anything can be done with just one dream.
Hand in hand, we can do what it takes to make our dreams come true.

Each of us,
If we trust in just one dream...
In just one dream.


Friday, February 18, 2005
Well, I was close...  
I didn't get into the Foreign Service this time around. But I was really close. No, I mean really really close. The cutoff score was 5.25 -- I got 5.0. Heh, yeah. It was kind of surprising -- of the ten people in my group, at least half didn't make it. As in, like, no less than 4 out of the 5 people called to the exit interview before me. And they were all really qualified; I was sure at least two or three of the ones I know didn't make it, would have made it.

Unsurprisingly, I did the best (higher than 5.25 -- they don't tell you more than that) on the written case management exercise. Heh.

Now all I have to worry about is getting a good job, saving up for the Star Wars line, and paying off all my student loans. This thing has kind of kept me at a higher stress level than normal for the last few weeks (months?) and it's kind of nice to know it's over, even though I'm disappointed.

They gave me a copy of my signed NDA, so I can't really say more (you can't talk about what the test was about -- the NDA doesn't say I'm to refrain from saying what my score was,) but yeah. Good times.

I'm going to go buy a Star Wars book, I think.


Thursday, February 17, 2005
Off I go, into the wild blue yonder...  
Well, it's not really wild. I don't think national capitals are supposed to be wild, really -- it doesn't seem like the sort of thing to inspire confidence in one's government, you know? I hear Georgetown is pretty smokin', as it were, which is why I'll probably stay far away. ^_^

Anyway, my flight leaves at 9am, and it's 2am now, and that's not a good thing. I just wanted to mark this, the last of my blogs before heading off to take this dread oral assignment, before shutting the browser and packing the last of my stuff up.

Oh! Might as well tell you all what I think my odds are.

Of passing the FSOE (score of 5.25): 40%
Of passing the FSOE and getting an immediate conditional offer of employment: 15%

And, should I get that conditional offer:
Of getting a "Secret" security clearance without any difficulties: 5%
Of getting a "Secret" security clearance after a lot of hassles: 30%

Yeeeeah. I'm not signing up again for the exam right away if I don't get on the register list. I need to fix my financial situation, get my degree, and have a real (normal, uncool, not-the-job-of-my-dreams-but-it-still-pays-pretty-well) job for a while. It's high time that the mistakes of 1997 be put behind us all, and that includes me.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005
You know what would be good?  
A group blog written by LDS single adults (and young single adults.) I wonder if there is one out there already -- these things are harder to find than one might think. Hmm...


I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing  
InstaPundit and others linked today to the March cover story of Popular Mechanics, which discusses various conspiracy theories pertaining to the Sept. 11th attacks.

Now, I should preface my forthcoming comments with this: before today, it never occurred to me to doubt the accounts of what happened on that day: I was watching most of it on TV as it happened, after all. This article was my first introduction to any of these "alternative" explanations.

Which is why I was so baffled to find myself wanting to believe them -- instantly taking on the role of the skeptic, the disbeliever, what have you, when faced with accounts from engineers and rescue workers and pilots and government officials. I saw this event on TV with my own eyes, as it happened. I remember looking at buildings sagging, getting ready to collapse. I remember the thing with the President in that classroom, with the TV reporters confused about whether or not there was a fourth plane missing. This is something that happened only a few years ago.

And yet, still, the notion that "they can't be trusted, don't listen to them, etc." comes to mind immediately. What's up with that??

I guess I've got a lack of trust thing going on. I don't believe other people when they speak; I don't buy into their authority or something. Which is dumb, really -- I have no reason to distrust them, I just do automatically cause, well... ummm, why?

In any case, I think that this thing, this "prove it to me... now... and no, none of your accumulated evidence is enough, darn it" attitude, is probably counterproductive in general, and also detrimental to my spiritual (and psychological) well-being.

Therefore, from now on, I'm going to try and convince myself to believe all such accounts: from Joseph Smith, or from the apostle Paul, or from engineering experts, or whoever. Until such time as they let me down, anyway -- and one let down doesn't mean I stop trusting everyone.

I wonder if all this started when I realized that people (i.e. adults -- people older and wiser and holding general authority over my well-being) have their own agendas, and don't always tell the truth, or do the right thing? Heh.


This is sad...  
I just saw this speech last Sunday night (not yesterday, a week ago). And then I read yesterday that Sister Nelson had passed away...

What is most important to Sister Nelson and me now? That we are husband and wife, wedded for time and all eternity. Our children are born in the covenant and are sealed to us forever. What joy that knowledge brings!

When we married in the temple, we didn't know many scriptures. But we did know Matthew 6:33: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." As mentioned earlier, that became the lodestar for every decision we made together. Only years later did we learn that the Joseph Smith Translation of that verse was even more compelling and clear: "Seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you" (JST, Matthew 6:38). We have been guided well by that scripture! I have been inspired well by this woman of faith who stood beside me all these years. Blessings that mean the most to me have come because of her.

I remember thinking, while I listened to that address, that Elder Nelson must have an incredibly beautiful relationship with Sister Nelson. It's good to know that relationship will continue, even though she's no longer on this Earth.


Monday, February 14, 2005
Finite Resources & Like Endeavors  
It occurs to me that the reason Grouchy Week has resulted (yet again) in lower levels of mail group postings (when I always think it'll mean lots and lots of mail group postings) and much higher levels of blogging (when I assume blogging will drop off to nothing) is because message board activity is much more like blogging than it is, fundamentally, like mail group activity. I read mail group postings at my leisure, I store them in one box (really three, but it's a fixed number of easy to remember spots) and I can always go back to them -- the oldest message currently in my Yahoo! mailbox is from 2002.

Message board posts are flexible and instable, like any other web format -- but in particular, like blogs. You have to click on a bunch of different links, deliberately choosing to read in a specific subject area or writings from a particular author -- or choosing not to read something, for whatever reason. Conversations are highly compartmentalized: someone says one thing, a few other people respond to it, and it has no real link to other conversations (even though they involve the same people) just one click away. I was trying to describe message boards there, but it'd work just as well for a blog.

Anyway, Grouchy Week nearly always comes about as a result of my frustration having expressed itself inappropriately on a message board or a mail list (blog posts and comments are terribly public; I rarely let my emotions get very far in writing publicly, especially when compared to the more informal and intimate message boards and mail groups I'm a member of.) So I'm intentionally avoiding one or the other (almost always a message board -- I rarely get only just annoyed enough with a mail group to stay away for a single week rather than leave altogether) for a while.

But I'm very used to commenting, writing, etc. about 1500-2000 words a day on the message boards and mail groups I'm a member of -- mostly the boards, these days. Moreover, without nearly as much fear of retaliation or dismissal -- this blog is my space, on my time, in my way -- I already prefer it on principle to message boards and mail groups. The only reason I post on a message board rather than my blog is the conversation; the fact that people are reading and (hopefully) thinking about what I've said. I'm avoiding conversations during Grouchy Week, to reorient myself (and refamiliarize myself with the signs I've posted by my computer, reminding me to be restrained and civilized.) By abstaining from the boards, I'm suddenly left with an extra couple thousand words... and a blog entry fills the gap of a message board post almost exactly.

Now, I should point out here that for a long time, I was a "mail group only" kind of girl. I'd post my 1500-2000 words a day on a mail list or two, and be happy. It wasn't until around 2001-2002 that I got involved with message boards (and then by force, as the majority in the LUN group simply don't like mail groups) and then blogging (as distinct from my old webpages, which have been around since forever.) That's probably why I tend to think that I'll post a lot on the mail groups -- that's what I used to do, after all.

But with the blog here, almost none of the excess words show up in my mail groups. And now I think I know why. ^_^


Catching up...  
Okay, well, unsurprisingly, I didn't just set out on the whole walking/exercise thing -- I don't do "directionless" well. Now, the lynchpin in my plan -- the thing that keeps me doing the walking when I'm quite sick of it and would really rather play The Sims or perhaps study for the Foreign Service Exam some more -- is the President's Challenge thing. I pretty much hate nothing more than those little incomplete stars. It's worse than the old half-completed caterpillars I'd have to fill out to keep track of my reading (one little section of the caterpillar would represent a chapter, or a book, or a set number of pages; you colored in a section when you completed the reading.)

But, I also have a larger plan. It's basically a model along the lines of what worked for me during NaNoWriMo; I have the electronic "pressure" (I check my progress as compared with Ohioans, 24-year-olds, Americans in general, and people who choose walking as their form of exercise, on what amounts to a daily basis), and I have a spreadsheet.

And my, oh my, what a spreadsheet it is. I have the BMI formula stored in one cell, so that when I enter my current weight it tells me what my current BMI is (I'm proud to say I'm no longer "extremely obese" -- I'm somewhat baffled by the idea that I've been "obese" since I was about 14 years old.) I enter my current measurements in five columns, then present them as a single number in a sixth column. I track how many "points" I earn on the website (they're based on how many calories various activities burn) and how much time I spend doing low, medium, and high intensity activities. I track how fast I was able to go for at least 30 minutes straight.

And then I can compare my progress to pre-set goals. My goal was to lose 2 lbs. a week, to lose a set number of inches (I tried to account for a slow-down in progress,) to work out at an increasing intensity (number of points earned) and for longer periods of time...

Moreover, I set myself up to be behind at first. I counted a whole week of complete inactivity, so I was 200 minutes and 590 points behind.

Last week, of course, looks REALLY bad on the spreadsheet. I did, like, nothing. As of Saturday morning, I was 330 points and 190 minutes behind.

But so far this week I have 2 days and over 150 minutes logged. I have at least three days left, and I will (hopefully) be able to log at least an hour per day (that's 220 points) -- and if I am successful, I will be ahead of my goals for the first time since I started keeping track.

All of which makes it slightly depressing to think about all those years of school -- including the time I was home educated -- where I never really understood how to motivate myself. Sigh. Now that I know how to look at the situation, the solution is really insanely obvious, and honestly, always has been.


Sunday, February 13, 2005
Yes, your worshipfulness...  
On Times & Seasons there's a post asking about worship in the LDS church, in particular how it relates to behavior and reverence in the Sacrament...

I commented; this is part of what I said:

As to the actual worship thing... I'm not sure I know. I never feel like we're much "worshipping" anything except during prayers, hymns, and the Sacrament itself... the Primary (Sharing and Singing Time, anyway) always feels more like worship than Sacrament meetings, Sunday School, Relief Society, Young Women, etc., probably because of the songs. Everything else, including the talks in Sacrament, feels more like "lessons" than "worship" -- with a lesson, I tend to feel like I'm at best watching someone else recite something they produced worshipfully, or perhaps (on a really great day) listening to someone else worshipping something. If I'm paying attention, I'll be able to incorporate what I've learned in these lessons in my own worshipping efforts. My own private worship is more, well, private -- prayers and music and scripture study. And I can't place my finger on why. Sacrament and the other church meetings feel more like we're worshipping on a technicality; it's worship on the grounds that we're all there, all listening to the same truths, etc. It's like a salute -- a formal observance. Maybe I should just force myself to listen to the talks, even when I'm finding it absolutely impossible and frustrating; there's nothing to say that worship has to be fun. Or is there?

I must mention here that Dictionary.Com is of no help in sorting out this matter.


Supreme Court Quiz  
Don't worry, it's multiple choice, and there are no "wrong" answers.

I got:

  1. William H. Rehnquist
  2. Antonin Scalia
  3. Anthony Kennedy
  4. Sandra Day O'Connor
  5. Clarence Thomas
  6. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  7. Stephen G. Breyer
  8. David H. Souter
  9. John Paul Stevens

It's supposed to indicate whose decisions you'd agree with the most. I like to think of myself as somewhat random, but that seems like weird list to me.

H/T: Prince Roy's Realm, another FSO blogger.


I have to re-do my Sharing Time presentation. My new topic is "I Show My Love For Heavenly Father By Following His Commandments." I wrote most of it while waiting for the Sacrament meeting to start, so I was able to get my kids to help answer questions, to use as materials for the lesson. There were, to put it lightly, some issues in getting their answers...

Worst moment? I said: "What are some of God's commandments?"

The first answer I got: "You can't marry a boy. If you're a boy, I mean."

Sheesh. These kids are six years old. Part of me is distressed from a philosophical standpoint -- I mean, really, is that all that Heavenly Father cares about? But I'm mostly just freaked out that this answer occured to any of them at all. I don't think you could have gotten that out of me when I was six years old, no matter how much you prodded me for it. Have things really changed that much since 1987??


On Lessons and Presentations  
I'm about to go give my latest Sunday School lesson its first public display... and go find out if the Primary Presidency listened to me tell them which lesson I was going to use for Sharing Time, and NOT the number of the lesson (which I got wrong), because I don't have time to write a script for a new one today before church, and that means I'd have to deliver the new scripts to 8 different houses on Monday. Also it took a really long time to write the other script (you try writing a presentation for 6 year olds!) and I want to enjoy the fact that I don't have to do another one of these till October.


Cry me a river...  
On CNN right now they're whining that "off the record is dead" -- please. You try defending Creationism, advocating a flat tax policy, or promoting full gun ownership rights in a room full of journalists and politicians who are supposedly off the record and see what happens. They're just being pissy because it's their guy, who said something they agree with, who got cornered. The blogosphere, at least, is fairly equal-opportunity when it swarms/storms/whatever. c.f. Trent Lott.

I will, however, give them credit -- one person, whose name I didn't catch because I was Googling something else at the moment -- said that the real problem for Eason Jordan was that he didn't answer quickly, and demand a transcript/video right away. Then he compared it to SwiftVets and John Kerry. I'm pretty sure this guy just meant to stir up "ack those evil Conservatives, death to Bush" type reactions in his viewership, but he was actually right about the answering quickly thing, so yay him. Sort of.


Saturday, February 12, 2005
I have THREE church lessons I have to prepare tonight!

-- First, I am in charge of the Sharing Time (it's a Primary thing) for this month, and so I have to teach my kids their parts in an as-yet unwritten presentation on, essentially, choices and accountability. Yes, I will be looking at the Young Women value stuff for my (our) presentation.

-- Second, I have to write up a lesson for our actual Primary meeting, which will be shorter than normal (usually I teach from 3:15pm to 3:45pm, plus ten minutes for art, five for clean-up, five for adminstrative stuff and prayers and announcements, and five for wiggling) since, you know, we have to learn our parts and all that. I have to try and make the presentation a little more active than normal, I think, so that they don't get fidgety.

-- Third, I have to prepare my YSA Family Home Evening lesson (I volunteered because I already had a lesson planned, and becuase I can't be there next week.) Fortunately, since this is an Articles of Faith puzzle, I was already more than 75% done some 150 years before I was born (don't talk to me about being prepared!)

On top of all of that, since I won't be at church next week, I also have to find a substitute teacher for my class, and I also have to write next week's lesson. Eeeeeeeeughhh...


Blog Law  
Hat Tip: Volokh.

"Blog daily from news-tip and hat-tip; blog long, but blog not too deep;
And remember the Pundit's for linking, and forget not that he has to sleep.

The new blog may free flame the Jordan, but, Cub, when thy archives have grown,
Remember the Big Blogs are hunters -- go forth and get scoops of thine own."

The Law of the Blogger

I link mainly because:
a) I think it's funny, and I think at least one of my readers will too,
b) I saw it before the InstaPundit linked to it (or at least, before his post appeared in my aggregator), because I was actively reloading Volokh at the time, and I think that's awesome,
c) I don't want to forget this, and since I email both of my email accounts all of my blog posts automatically (thank you, Yahoo! Groups), this is a very effective memo system, and
d) I want this thing to show up higher on Google, BlogDex, etc. -- every link is like one vote in a very complex ranking sytem, in which only links count for much. Mine is smaller than Glenn Reynold's, but it's better than nothing. ^_^

Oh! And as a public service, here's a link to the original work...

Rudyard Kipling


Look out for that dog catcher...  
He's totally caught onto the hostage-taker's schemes.

My favorite quote? The one that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and totally validated?

There also is no room for error in cooperating with the United States.

This is what I'm saying!

Until such time as I can find a better metaphor out there, I have decided that North Korea is officially the hostage-taker in the big scary house, with the whole town (most especially that dog-catcher) standing around, trying to settle this peacefully.

It's up to you to decide who the dog-catcher is, of course. ^_^


Is it at all obvious...  
That I'm trying to get myself to go to bed early, and I don't want to, and have been procrastinating by writing blog posts?

I think it's very obvious, myself.

Sigh. I should really go to bed now. I will say good things about Qatar and Iran and perhaps -- perhaps! -- Bulgaria, tomorrow.


I'd like to give  
A great big "Hi, how are ya!" to the following Mystery Visitors... I had one visitor (in the last two years) from each of the following countries:

Barbados (not a country, but still very cool in its own right)
and Nigeria

WOOT! Welcome, welcome, to you all. I promise to try and say something (hopefully something good) about all of you soon.

And lest those from Argentina, Korea, Taiwain, South Africa, Cyprus, Venezuala, the UAE, or Saudia Arabia feel slighted -- never fear, my bretheren from such exotic locales; you have fellow visitors from your same country!

Now, what I want to know is, how on earth did so many people from Portugal (5), Malaysia, Finland, Israel, Mexico (6), Japan (8), Belgium, the Philippines, Denmark (9), France, Singapore (10), Germany (13), Australia (16 -- you can't ALL be Aussie Caroline, can you??), Sweden (20), and the Netherlands (23!) end up here?

I kind of expected the high number of Canadians, since I know so many of you. There are a surprising number of British visitors, though (58).

See, this is why you ought to be clicking on me! I'm always a fan of trolling my referrer/visitor logs.

Now I want to know why someone at one of the world's leading maganese providers spent so long (nearly 12 minutes!) reading my blog entries from last September. Yesterday. Weeeeeeeeeird.


They would do this on Friday...  
It's Battlestar Night. Everyone's off watching cool shows on SciFi (sorry, Enterprise fans...) and of course, Eason Jordan WOULD resign. Oh, and there's that whole "bury the story until Monday, when something else will be big -- and hey, look, shiny North Korean nuclear weapons are OVER THERE!" angle to the timing of this announcement, too.

But darn it, I was busy and didn't notice until almost four hours after the event. Again. Honestly, for someone without a life, I'm finding myself very busy.

Fortunately, at least some of these people are awake and watching the newswires. Actually, I don't think anyone watches the newswires -- I'm not even entirely certain there ARE newswires anymore -- but they were watching TV and other blogs, instead of Stargate/Battlestar, and commented far more quickly than I would have even I had been alerted right away. I'm more of a "listen, and watch, and think, and ponder, and speculate, and ruminate, and diddle, and daddle, and get dinner, and THEN blog" kind of girl. No wonder I can't even keep up my status as a Flippery Fish (I should have gotten a screenshot.)

As to my take, seeing as how dinner and rumination and even some solid Star Wars novel reading (what else am I supposed to do on the treadmill?) have been taken care of...

This was totally dumb on Eason's part. If he resigns, he should take at least two or three publicity/public relations types, and maybe a lawyer, along with him. What the heck? This guy is as clueless as those Battlestar characters who lied -- giving conflicting stories no less -- in this most recent (in the U.S.) episode. Don't do that. Everyone knows you don't do that. If you're in hot water and there's nowhere to turn -- that is the one final moment when above all else, the truth IS your friend. It was your friend way back at the beginning, too, but seeing as how you're already in desperate straits it's too late to think about that. Instead, think about how people would rather hear a contrite confession -- replete with head hanging apologetic wimpering -- than see you try and wiggle out of whatever it is you're accused of (or stand perfectly still and pretend that you aren't in massive amounts of trouble.) Maybe they should add a course in "Crisis/Scandal Management" to the requirements for journalism/communications degrees.

Bah, humbug, in any case. If the man was so great at his job, and such a good corporate leader, he would have known all of that, and have been able to articulate it better than I can at 1am. The fact that he's allowed this little thing tells me that he was either incredibly (legendarily, beyond belief) evil in his original remarks, or incredibly (again, legendarily, and beyond belief) stupid in the way he thought he could deal with it. And to be honest, I'm pretty well forced to conclude that he's both evil and stupid, seeing as how he still, right now, this very moment, is refusing to be even an itsy bit honest. It's like Dan Rather, only he didn't even have a vaunted (if not particularly well deserved) public sense of trust to fall back on.

Fine role-models for all those looking to make a career in this industry, these guys.


And then we have that whole "health" thing,  
Which hasn't been going so well this week. See, last week, I was doing great -- I had gotten my "I can go a whole hour straight" speed up to 3.2 miles per hour (I think I could, theoretically, pull off about 4.2 or so -- I wanted to go slowly, so that I'd stick with it), and I was around Minute 35 on the first day I tried going 3.3mph for a half hour straight (I do 15 minutes at a lower speed, to warm up). Regrettably, I didn't stretch that day. Yeah, yeah, I know. Trust me, I know.

Anyway, my left leg began to hurt. A lot. A whole lot. "Please doc, just cut it off now" type a whole lot. I thought, this isn't good. I got off the treadmill and cooled off and sat down and typed for about twenty minutes. Then I got back on. I got up to all of 2.7mph before the pain -- ah yes, agony, my old friend! -- returned. Sigh.

The next day I couldn't even get to 8 minutes at 2.9mph before the pain became nearly unbearable. I welcomed my sisters coming down to interrupt me -- oh, you need me to get off the treadmill and find something for you that's buried in my room and will take forever to search for? Oh well, I guess I could take a little break... Hah.

Now, other people, in this situation, would assume that they'd pushed it too far. Not me. I was pretty much torn amongst diabetes, bone cancer, and a kind of heart/vascular disease. "CALL A DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY IF IT STOPS HURTING WHEN YOU STOP EXERCISING" all the websites said. And me without health insurance. Argh.

Caroline suggested it might have to do with the fact that I never eat, and especially that I don't drink enough milk. Hmm. She also thought I should take a few days off. Coincidentally, I had to go to Michigan to help out my mom -- no treadmill up there.

So I took a (several day long) break, drank a lot of milk (I need to go buy more tomorrow -- and mom, if you're reading this, we're out of toilet paper, too), and started back up yesterday, going really slow and being sure to stretch beforehand.

I did 30 minutes at 2.9mph yesterday, no problem.

Today I stretched a little first, did 15 minutes, stretched a whole lot, did 15 minutes, stretched some more, took an hour off to watch Battlestar Galactica (good episode, BTW -- I kept yelling at assorted Galactica crew members for their idiocy under interrogation, but no matter), came back downstairs, stretched some more, did 15 minutes, STRETCHED AGAIN, and did 15 more minutes. Then I did 5 minutes at reeeeeeeally reeeeeeally slooooooooooooooooooooooooooow speeds (I start at 2.0mph, decrease every 30 seconds, and stop when I get completely bored -- 5 minutes is the absolute longest I can tolerate, and I can't do more than about 45 seconds at 1mph; drives me nuts, and I actually trip over myself.) Then I stretched again.

Overreaction? Maybe. But I'm not taking any tension or difficulty in my legs lightly... I can go (and have gone) more than 20 miles straight in the past, and I don't generally tire out first. The weak spot is actual pain (as opposed to shortness of breath or something), and I am therefore going to avoid causing any such pain to myself.

Because I gained a pound during my convalescence. Grr. AND now I have NO room for wiggling in the Presidential Fitness thing; I have to have three perfect weeks in a row. Arrrrrrgh.


Friday, February 11, 2005
And then there's the Hermit Kingdom...  
You know, the world waits until I say "I'm not going to blog for a while" to start an accelerated messiness process (I mean, it's always messy, and usually getting messier on principle -- it's the big movements that wait until I'm annoyed with the world) and I'm really tired of its lack of sensitivity. I mean, what about my needs??

Anyway, North Korea decided to make its semi-regular contribution to the global messiness level today, with a public announcement regarding it's possession of a nuclear bomb.

Now, who is surprised by this? Really. How many regimes on this planet, which don't already have nuclear weapons, are known to be trying to get them? And which one is the most secretive, least likely to be swayed by global opinion or under-the-table international bribery efforts, and so forth? I mean, duh. These people have been asserting their right to have one for, oh I don't know, as long as I can remember. They supposedly told US negotiators that they already had one almost two years ago. And I think that Iraq's example has given everyone on this planet a really clear notion of exactly why you don't want the US thinking you have weapons of mass destruction, unless you're serious (and maybe not even then, but we know that North Korea's government is even less prone to rational thinking than most governments, and no government is exactly getting an A+ in that subject even on a good day) -- they know that we aren't joking around, and they know that we assume they aren't joking around.

Anyway, it seems to me that this all amounts to the equivalent of a man who tells the police (who have him surrounded) that he has a gun, too. He knows there are 80 of them and one of him, and sure he's got a couple of hostages, but he can't really watch/control them all that well, and he's got like, zero actual power over those guys in the uniforms. Saying he has a gun seems, from his position, to be a way of leveling the playing field -- he's powerful, and someone to be listened to, and someone to be consulted, and you had better not be trying to sneak his hostages some food while he's not looking, because he can shoot them, or you, any time he wants.

Before, it was like "Umm, chief, he might have a gun" and lots of worried "let's see if we can watch him to figure out if he has a gun, and maybe if we provide him with steel that's only good for making spoons, he'll be so happy that he'll forget about wanting a gun" talks, with the guy who owns the building next door and the governor and the hostage-taker's wife, and the dog catcher, and a few eager but relatively powerless police officers all in on the conversation. It was like a group conference by telephone, with more worrying about the placement of flags and who gets to sit where, than one would ordinarily expect.

Is it, therefore, any surprise that the hostage-taker, in that scenario, demands to talk only with the chief negotiator/police chief, and tells the dog-catcher and his friends and everyone who's listening on the radio that he has a gun, too? No it isn't.

In any case, the owner of the building and the hostage-taker's wife and everyone listening on the radio knew he had a gun already, and even if he didn't for sure, he was still awfully dangerous, what with the hostages and his gigantic collection of hunting knives and the stockpile of rat poison in the garage. Now we've all admitted it to each other -- how's about we actually solve the problem that's been there, staring us in the face, for the last 50 years?


We are not amused.  
No, really, we aren't.

I'm sorry, but this guy doesn't get my "ooooohhhh, how sweeeeeeet!" romantic side (admittedly, one of the more underdeveloped aspects of my personality) even half excited. So he's finally marrying the woman he had on the side -- the woman who wasn't his wife, and it's not like he wasn't married at the time -- after what, twenty years? Woo. Hoo.

Doesn't it bug anyone that the function of the royal family -- particularly the Queen herself, but her heirs and relatives too -- is primarily to serve as a moral authority, and the symbol of both the United Kingdom and the Church of England? Doesn't it bug anyone that this is a set of people who have admitted they didn't fulfill their most basic, sacred oaths -- and in particular, in His Royal Highness' case, an oath to a woman he deliberately elevated into a position where he could betray her? What kind of romance is that?

In any case, all the best and so forth, of course, because you're not allowed to shout (ala the hag in "The Princess Bride") and boo at weddings and even their announcements. But could we stop playing sappy music on CNN in commemoration? I'd hardly call this a triumph of anything other than, perhaps, all-too-traditional self centeredness and royal indulgence.


Thursday, February 10, 2005
Regarding Grouchy Week...  
Okay, that was a wierd announcement. I shall therefore attempt to clarify -- next time I have to declare a Grouchy Week, I can just link back to this post, and all will be happy. ^_^

Basically, if I get to a point where I have a sufficient level of stress, and things to take care of, and stuff that's fallen by the wayside, I have a tendency to get grouchy. I read things written by people I already find annoying, and instead of saying "wow, that guy's still really annoying," I find myself writing a really long response to him. I read something which is intentionally provocative -- doesn't matter what the issue is -- and instead of saying, "wow, she's really trying to get to me," it actually gets to me.

I don't like that.

So, when that happens -- when I get to the point where reading an email makes me get teary-eyed, or want to type in all capital letters, or throw something -- I take time off. I'm too grouchy to deal with you on a rational basis. I don't really care that you never, ever deal with me on a rational basis, whoever you are, I have higher standards, and darn it, you and the universe are NOT permitted to goad me into failing those standards. Or rather, I'm not required to let you.

Grouchy Week usually lasts 5 or 6 days. I generally don't need more than 3 or 4 days off -- if I took time off from the internet altogether, and didn't spend any time with people, and didn't watch TV, and didn't have any books around, it'd probably take about 36 hours. I always say I'm going to take a whole week, so that it doesn't alarm people when it really does take a whole week. I try to stay away a day or two longer than is strictly necessary, so that I'm really happy to be back when I come back.

I should point out that in real life, I tend to withdraw partially in the middle of heated arguments and the like -- and that I tend to be more guarded in person than I am online. It's basically a protective measure, but it requires a consistently lower level of social performance than I'm really happy with. I go all out online, but that means I have to take really long breaks every once in a while. If I was getting hatemail, or annoying helpmail (like Steven DenBeste), I'd probably need a Grouchy Week once a month. ^_^

Anyway, I'll be back. Already I feel like posting on political stuff again; I should be happy to talk about religion in another day or two.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Grouchy Week!  
I'm declaring it Grouchy Week. I've decided I'm not going to comment on people's blogs, or on message boards, until the 16th. I probably won't say much here, either. I need to a) remember why I like commenting on stuff, b) chill out, c) focus on preparing for the Foreign Service Exam, and d) get a bunch of stuff (Ohio State bills, auto/health insurance, temp agency registrations...) just plain out taken care of.

I'll stay on the email lists that I'm already on though, probably. ^_^ And if, you know, something blows up, I'll probably start talking early again.


Sunday, February 06, 2005
Jordan Eason  
And "Easongate," as this blog puts it (HT: InstaPundit). What can I say? I'd hate to find myself participating in a "blog-swarm" or "blog-mob" (I like the second one better -- it has a fun sound, like "blogosphere" and "bloggernacle" do.) But at the same time, I was behind the curve on judging/analyzing both Rathergate and the Trent Lott mess -- in the first case, by about 12 hours; in the second, by more like 6 months (I wasn't blogging very actively at the time, and I wasn't reading many of the blogs I read now -- Disney sucked my life and intellect out through my ears on a daily basis, remember?) I'd hate to, you know, continue a trend.

At the end of the day, I really feel like something more ought to get out here about this before I decide what I think. I don't want to judge someone -- or call CNN to complain about them -- on the basis of comments no one seems to have transcribed. I'd really like it if this guy would just come out and say what he means to say, in a public forum with cameras and people (not of his rarified social strata) standing nearby. Failing that, though, I feel a little like there's gotta be a time limit -- after a certain point, I have to assume that what people are saying he said, is what he actually said, and that he means it the way he said it, but doesn't have any actual evidence to back it up. There's only so long you can give someone to respond to this sort of situation, and if he'd said something vile but from a conservative standpoint, I think the media and the Congress (with both institutions' propensity to having their members standing up and screaming their opinion in as loud a voice as possible -- and pretty much for the same reasons) would be having a field day. And yes, the fact that they're ignoring this has factored into my growing belief that this is what it looks like on first blush.

It's very frustrating, overall. I don't want to be the girl who believes the worst out of those she disagrees with, and never actually listens to what they say anymore. I wish that those who disagree with me would be a bit more forthcoming and straightforward and all that... this whole "what, did I say anything?" attitude of late (the last 2-3 years) is really unbecoming of our elites, regardless of the political persuasion of those involved. The fact that it's people I disagree with makes me feel more uncomfortable with straight up denouncations...


(for a full run-down of what this whole navel-gazing post is actually about, please see this post... this is just a tease, mind you, originally from a different blog altogether:

During one of the discussions about the number of journalists killed in the Iraq War, Eason Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted.

(my emphasis)

Yeah. It gets cloudy from there, which is why I think you should read those posts I linked before you come to any conclusions... especially since conclusions are hard to come by, at the moment (see the above drivel ^_^)


Friday, February 04, 2005
Leeeeeavin', on a...  
Okay, I'm not leaving on a jet plane for another two weeks (Washington DC, here I come! After Valentine's Day, I mean...), but I am going on a quick trip to Michigan for two days to help my mom with law school stuff.

I also plan to finally decide what on earth I'm going to say for my 1138th post on LiningUp.Net. I really will post that by Sunday, honest.

Speaking of Sunday, I'd like to remind the YSAs of the church that it's not just SuperBowl Sunday, it's also Young Adult Broadcast Sunday. I know where I'll be... even if it means I have to bring my own munchies to the stake building.

And thus ends (or rather begins) the guilt trip. ^_^

[edit: it seems my "I've hit 1111 posts on LUN" post has vanished into the wilds of the internet... such is life. Suffice to say I was happy, and meant to share it with the world, and have added this post disappearance to my 'how annoying Blogger is' list -- I will be sure to mention when I hit 2222 as compensation for you, my audience...]


Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.