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. ^_^

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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

Monday, March 28, 2005
In the absence of Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society  
One must make one's own way through the yearly Church curriculum. I mean, yes, of course, preparing my Primary lessons does give me new insights -- but we spend a lot of time on very basic stuff, and at my level (6-7 year olds) very little to no time on the deeper scriptural insights (deeper than "love one another" and basic "this happened and then this happened" history.) Even the oft-derided correlated adult curriculum is deeper than that. But just reading the manual lessons does not a proper gospel study make.

Which is why I've decided to use that wonderful site everyone mentioned about two months ago -- http://scriptures.byu.edu -- as a source of inspiration/insight into David O. McKay, the subject of this year's Relief Society/Priesthood study.

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, this is a site that lets you look at all the General Conference addresses since 1942 in terms of what scriptures they cite. You can filter the results to only show you which scriptures were cited by a particular speaker (e.g. President Hinckley, or Sheri Dew) -- and you can list the results in frequency order. I'm thinking of doing some extended analysis of this stuff later -- themes that recur, in particular. What did President McKay talk about then, that resonnates across the conference addresses since? What does President Hinckly still talk about that President McKay emphasized? What new themes have emerged? All that kind of junk. I also want to do that "read the verse before and after" exercise, because if a certain amount of scripture study is good, then clearly, three times as much is at least twice as good! Or something like that.

The top 10 scriptures David O. McCay cited in his Conference addresses (after 1942) were:

Moses 1:39 [21 times]
For behold, this is my work and my glory -- to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Acts 4:12 [16 times]
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Article of Faith 1:13 [14 times]
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul -- We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

2 Pet. 1:4 [13 times]
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Matthew 6:33 [12 times]
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 28:19-20 [12 times]
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 25:40 [11 times]
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the bleast of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 5:16 [11 times]
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 4:10 [10 times]
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

John 14:6 [9 times]
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

For what it's worth, the top 10 scriptures out of all conference addresses for that period (1942 to 1970) are:

Moses 1:39 [131 times]
(also on President McKay's list)

Joseph Smith History 1:17 [107 times]
It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other -- This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

Matthew 6:33 [89 times]
(also on President McKay's list)

John 17:3 [83 times]
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Romans 1:16 [75 times]
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

D&C 93:36 [53 times]
The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.

Articles of Faith 1:13 [52 times]
(also on President McKay's list)

Matthew 5:48 [49 times]
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Acts 4:12 [49 times]
(also on President McKay's list)

Matthew 24:14 [48 times]
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

While these scriptures have been on top for President Hinckley (there are eleven, since there's a tie):

Moses 1:39 [11 times]
(we really like this one, it was first on President McKay's list and the overall list, along with this one)

Acts 10:38 [10 times]
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

D&C 13:1 [10 times]
Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.

Articles of Faith 1:13 [10 times]
(another favorite, on both other lists)

1 Peter 2:9 [9 times]
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

Alma 37:47 [9 times]
And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell.

D&C 76:22-24 [9 times]
And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father --

That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.

Isaiah 9:6 [8 times]
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Luke 23:34 [8 times]
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

1 Corinthians 15:22 [8 times]
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Book of Mormon title page [8 times]
Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites -- Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile -- Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation -- Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed -- To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof -- Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile -- The interpretation thereof by the gift of God.

An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven -- Which is to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever -- And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations -- And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.

Phew! Anyone who actually read all of that, gets a prize. ^_^


Sunday, March 27, 2005
The hand-off  
Has taken place. Sort of. I gave the Primary President my teacher's manual today, because I couldn't find the substitute she had designated. Hopefully she (the sub) will get it before April 10th -- there's lots and lots (and lots!) of advice in it. And, you know, the lesson materials (those are available online, though.) And the list of Primary Presidency members.

Anyway, it was both sad and fun, despite a (very) rocky start. I have some kind of cold/allergy thing going on, and I also slept in. A lot. As in, we normally leave for church (which starts at 1pm) around 12:15. My sister Laura woke me up at 12:16! So I rushed out, and forgot the glove (for the cool death-and-resurrection object lesson) and the eggs (each with the name of a witness of Christ's resurrected body inside) at home. And when we got to church, everyone had moved up a row, which meant we weren't in the second row from the front (as normal -- and generally no one sits in front of us) but rather in the front-front row (excluding the half-row reserved for families with diabled members, which is the real front row.) It was just very bizarre. I also begged off giving the closing prayer (a continual risk, sitting in the front -- usually the bishop either asks my stepfather, or the mom or dad of the family that sits two rows behind us) because of my voice (I sound like a frog -- and no, fasting didn't help that condition; next time I'm sick I'm NOT going to avoid drinking water and juice, as I could barely talk by the time Primary started.) That worked out okay, because the brother who gave the closing prayer did an awesome job; much better than I would have.

We also had investigators (or rather, a member and an investigator) sit in our row. It was really extraordinary.

So then we went to Jr. Primary (not my sister, just me and the kids and the other teachers, obviously) and I found out that it was totally okay that I forgot the glove and the eggs -- first off, both Singing Time (pick an egg and inside we have the next song we're going to sing!) and Sharing Time (pick an egg; inside is a symbol relating to Easter and also a scripture we'll read!) used eggs. Then I got the (I think pretty cool) idea of using my nylon dance jacket as an object lesson -- the jacket represents the body (instead of the glove.) This results in a much more effective demonstration. First you do a dance, then you throw the jacket on the ground, and then you say, "Can it dance now?"

Admittedly, the shock value is somewhat higher. But I didn't "get" that glove thing until I was about 14 years old and had seen it at least three times, and I think they "got" it with my demonstration. ^_^ So it's really okay that I forgot the glove, honest.

We went over the "I'm leaving for two months" thing again -- further annoyance was declared due to me missing one of their birthdays, but also, "It's okay, because you'll be back practically right after." We also had some fun with "will you be back by Christmas?" type questions. And I told them I'll be contacting the sub to find out how they behave, and their behavior will translate into more (or fewer) CTR Points. Forgot the stickers I was going to use to reward them, but it didn't seem to matter. I may not need to work as hard at getting them away from "materialistic" rewards as I thought I would (though I suspect it'll all be ruined next year by some super cool teacher who gives them stuff all the time.)

Oh, and speaking of annoying cool teachers. I told the kids we wouldn't be having any kind of a snack today since it was Fast Sunday. Guess what EVERY OTHER LITTLE KID IN THE ENTIRE WARD had when exiting their classes? Hmmm?

Let's just say it was pastel and chock-full of SUGAR. Argh. I stand by my policy, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the kids think it's massively unfair and arbitrary. I would, too, in their position.


Nooow it's time to say good-byyyyyyyyye....  
Okay, so I'm not actually leaving for Los Angeles until the 4th, right? Right. But tomorrow will be my last chance to see my CTR7s until May twenty-somethingth (so not a word.) Which means that tonight was the night to write the "Sub Pack" for the marvelous substitute teacher the Primary Presidency found to cover for me for seven weeks (no class on April 3rd, due to General Conference.)

It was kind of sad, but also fun. This sub pack has to be a lot more involved than the one I gave Caroline, since I'll be gone longer and since this teacher hasn't heard about these kids every Sunday since January 1st. My favorite part?

This is how our class is usually organized. Feel free to deviate or make up a whole new routine on your own; the kids have been warned and they all agreed it was their job to follow your rules. They're looking for all the cool stuff that you come up with that they can tell me how to do, when I get back.

We talked about it in class last Sunday (I got lots of hugs.) And they were the ones who came up with the "we'll watch for her good ideas so that we can tell you about them when you come back!" thing. Isn't that cool? I think it's cool. I'm not sure how firm an awareness of "two months from now" these kids have (most aren't even seven years old yet) but they know it's a long, long time. I'm glad they're not freaking out, and have (hopefully) internalized the idea that it's okay and expected that they accept the new teacher's regime. Says the woman who has yet to teach the Last Lesson. Eeeeek...


Saturday, March 26, 2005
Stubborn, Bull-Headed, and Single-Minded all at the same time!  
Yes, that's the number one reason I'm lining up for Star Wars. I'm intractable.

Really, I am. No ride to the St. Patrick's Day parade? Fine, I'll walk. Have to get there by 9am? All right, I'll leave at 4am. Have no idea where it is? That's okay, once I realize I've gone three miles out of my way, I'll turn around, go back, and (having gone effectively 1/4 of a mile towards my destination, 23 miles away) start over again in a more-or-less accurate direction.

I mean, sure, by 8am (with about six miles to go) I was really wishing I had a cell phone and money for a taxicab. But by 9:15am (less than 2 miles to go!) when I was picked up by another parade participant's mom, I was kind of feeling sad about not seeing the whole walking plan (which was born barely 12 hours earlier) through.

I try to redefine "determination" every few months. Which is why all the perfectly reasonable blocks to my participating in the Hollywood Star Wars line simply haven't detered me. Sure, I live in Ohio, and need to be getting my degree, and won't have any way of getting around LA once I get there. But I said I'd do it, darn it, and I will, even if I go insane in the process.

And that's why it ranks first on the list of reasons why I'm lining up for Star Wars. ^_^


Getting your money's worth...  
Wow. So I didn't actually intend to drive people to the blog from that comment at Times & Seasons. Mostly I was hoping to get included on their blogroll -- I feel quite empowered by my inclusion on Millenial Star, you see.

Which is why there's hardly anything recent here. Or, rather, why I feel bad about said same lack of new stuff.

So! To solve this, let me give you Part I of my Grand Theory of Star Wars Line Motivation.

Yes, that's right. Thanks to my self-imposed absence from LUN (I cannot overstate this enough: don't post angry -- or sad, for that matter) I've had all kinds of time to think about stuff. Including that all-pressing question: why on earth am I doing this crazy thing?

Today I'll give the list. And in the coming days, I'll explain it. Woohoo!

Note: the list is in a combination of "relevance" and "truthfulness" orders. That is, if I were to give each reason a score from 1 to 10 (how relevant is the statement to my participation, how truthful is the statement), a combined score could be assigned, and the reasons ranked on that basis. No, I didn't actually score them; I have a bad enough "obsessive compulsive nutty person" reputation as it is.

Anyway, enjoy:

1. I said I'd do it.
2. I don't back down from a challenge.
3. I need more geeky "war stories."
4. My friends are, for the most part, in Southern California.
5. I grew up in CA; it's in my blood (as is going to see important movies on Hollywood Blvd.)
6. It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime things.
7. It's going to be fun!
8. I might very well meet someone famous, or get on TV for a few more seconds -- and I'm all about the celebrity thing.
9. I like Star Wars!
10. I really enjoy camping, sleeping under stars in tents, etc.
11. Last time was so gosh-darned awesome I just had to do it one last time.
12. I am a huge Carpenters groupie, and could not pass up the opportunity to sit in front of their star for six weeks.

Draw your own conclusions from the above. ^_^


Thursday, March 24, 2005
Unadvertised side effects...  
Okay, so my experiment/feasting deal has been going well (even though I forgot the New Testament CD, and thus made do with the Book of Mormon study guide audio set -- which is actually pretty informative; I'll probably go all the way through that before moving on to the NT,) I think. But it's having bizarre effects on my life.

For example, some of my readers may be aware that I'm currently driving my stepdad's car (a similar model to Jackie's car -- only older, and with a manual transmission, and white, and not dying, and not in California -- but otherwise very similar.) This car has a tendency to like to make its doors slam on you while you've turned to grab something from the passenger's seat -- especially when you've parked face up on a hill, such as the one my mom's house is on. This usually happens while your leg is out on the ground, and thus your leg gets squished.

Normally I say, in my mind, something like "HEY, QUIT IT," when the car does this.

Today I said, in my mind, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that she was annoyed. Yea, she was annoyed both in the morning and in the evening, and yea, both in the driveway and in the parking lot; verily I say unto you, she was annoyed unto the very depths of the cul-de-sac, and thus was the car door cursed for all of time."

Yeah. Exactly. Somewhat scarily, this effect actually shows up -- at least for me -- if I read more than about 10 verses on any given day. It only gets a little worse when you go from a chapter-a-night silent reading to "listening to the scriptures on MP3 for six hours a day."

Anyway, yeah. For I forsee in my mind's eyes, indeed my friends will find this aggravating before long. ^_^


Wednesday, March 23, 2005
I'm afraid she's gone and done something rather rash...  
Okay. So an hour of reflection, some meditation, and a firm committment to not go back to LUN for two days (never post angry -- especially when you're actually angry at the actual people for actual real-life decisions, as opposed to hot air swirling about the boards) have caused me to rethink me posting my complaints about LUN's latest decision kefluffle on this blog.

I don't think it was wrong to post my complaints -- there or here -- but the reason I did it was lousy (I was really, really, really upset.)

So let me take this opportunity to repent of the spirit in which my previous post was written. The issue still needed to be addressed, and there's no reason to hide from the public (though I'm not sure that my 14 visitors/day counts as "the public" exactly) but I was coming from the wrong place when I posted, and as such that was wrong.

Ahhh, that felt good.


I may go insane before this is through  
Or possibly, before it's even started.

LUN has been planning the Star Wars line as a collective for over a year.

We've known the Star Wars line was going to last six weeks since 2002.

We've known that "Ep. III Release Date" - 6 Weeks = April 7th for at least as long as the collective has been in force.

Mysterious forces decided -- without public discussion that I saw, or any kind of "hey, guys, just to warn you, we're thinking of starting this thing early" notice to the general community -- to start it on April 2nd, on Friday (15 days before the start of the line.)

I had changed my plane ticket from Saturday the 2nd to Monday the 4th (since I couldn't make their INSANELY EARLY BRUNCH either) on Thursday.

Yeah, see, and I'm on a team whose goals include convincing people in other countries and states that we really want them to come to the line. At least with other changes, new people wouldn't have known about the "old" ways, and it wouldn't have bothered them.


This is what I'll be posting to LUN just as soon as the posting mechanism is back up. Yes, it's insanely bitter. I'm kind of in that mood right now.

I'm sorry, but this is really bugging me now.

Can I please get an affirmative, "we love people from other states and countries, we really want you to come to the Star Wars line, we understand exactly how expensive and disruptive to your lives it is for you to come down here, and we realize that it's hard to coordinate your participation in our line and we're really glad you're doing it and YAY for you" post from everyone right now?


Because right now, as an out of towner, things aren't looking that great.

I mean, okay, team meetings can't be attended. I can see that. Teleconferences are impractical, can't be held effectively in restaraunts, and anyway cost me long distance money.

Some people found travel hours incredibly offensive and/or unfair. I can see that. They change the final line-up order and so forth. Did you really earn those hours or not, etc. And travel hours made me 11th in line instead of 10th, so.

Now the line date -- we've been talking about a six week line for what, three years? What exactly is [the movie release date] - 42 days? What was the supposition in the FAQ? What did Sarah (the other Sarah, the real one) say in that thread from not even two weeks ago?

Moreover, where was the "umm, hey, what do you all think about moving the line date to five days earlier than normal" thread? Where was the "is a fancy Saturday brunch better than the evening get-together going to achieve our purposes" discussion? Where was the transparency? Forget the transparency, where was the advance notice???

Anyway, I won't yell anymore (though you all have most firmly reestablished my belief in my own unilateral decision-making process.) But I'd appreciate a little reassurance right now. Out of towners invest a lot in this line, in terms of finances and time, all in one fell swoop -- to say nothing of the emotional/psychological investment. The kids in my Sunday School class were near tears when I said I was leaving for two months.

I'm sort of feeling like they're the only ones who care.



Or, not so much...  
Then again, it could turn out that I've forgotten (again) that the church still hasn't put out an MP3 version of the Old Testament. D'oh!

The only other MP3 version I can find has music in the background (I find it distracting and overbearing -- I want to hear the message from the writer, not the composer, thanks,) so I'll just press forward with the Pearl of Great Price and then, straight on to the New Testament! I'll probably listen to the Book of Mormon again after the Doctrine & Covenants is done.

And I emailed the church's web managers to ask when the Old Testament (and the Joseph Smith History!) will be put up in MP3.


Feasting on the... yes, exactly.  
I'm up to Ether 11 now. My job keeps only lasting 6 hours a day instead of 8, so it's going to take about half of tomorrow to get through the rest of the Book of Mormon.

Then I will be faced with a choice (!)

I've decided, I should have done this in chronological/thematic sequence (i.e., the Pearl of Great Price, Old Testament, Book of Mormon, New Testament, and Doctrine & Covenants -- in that order.) Since I can always do with extra exposure to the Book of Mormon, I am therefore going to start with the Pearl of Great Price and the Old Testament tomorrow or Thursday (don't know how much longer the rest of Ether plus Moroni will take,) and then listen to the Book of Mormon again. Then I'll move forward with the New Testament and D&C. After that, I figure I'll listen to "Jesus the Christ," then start on the BYUTV commentaries and recent conferences other than General Conference. Once I'm done with all the commentaries and such (looks like that'll take about 258 hours -- or three and a half weeks at 10 hours/day,) I'll either start on the April 2005 General Conference (and work backwards until I run out of MP3s) or find something else to listen to. There are a few hundred pieces of literature out there on MP3 (that's just the free stuff, mind) and there's always... all of the stuff above, but in another language!

This could easily take years. Woohoo!


Sunday, March 20, 2005
Title change...  
I don't know what my eventual line position will be for the 2005 line -- and while at this point my plan is NOT to change the actual title of the blog (it has a definite quirky/geeky/mysterious air to it, IMHO) based on my line position in the Episode III line, I thought it appropriate to change the title of the blog on a temporary basis to reflect my current situation.

So as, until the line starts (in early April) I'm *almost* actually in line, and then I'll *actually* actually be in line, that's what the blog's title lines will say.

Don't worry about changing the title in your blogroll links, though. I'm still eleventh in line at heart. ^_^


Don't Tread On Me.  
No, really. I mean it.

I always thought McCain-Feingold was dumb, and even on the brightest and sunniest of days knew it was at the least the equivalent of TP'ing the First Amendment's house.

But now I'm actually *$#&ed off (I bet your imaginations are better than mine -- go ahead and insert the appropriate word in the above space; it'll be more fun, I swear.)

My first amendment rights include whatever I doodle on a napkin at Denny's, and the stuff I chart about my novel-in-progress in my notebooks between church meetings, and what I put in my Amazon.com book reviews, and most assuredly everything I put on this blog.

Meaning, basically, that no matter if I post the most offensive, irritating, and/or boring stuff on this blog I expect the US government (particularly that pesky Congress which was actually mentioned in the previously referenced amendment!) to back me up. I might lose all my friends (or readers!), I might get fired, but I had better not be fined by the FEC (or FCC, for that matter) or otherwise harrased by the duly appointed representatives of this democratic, federally constituted republic of ours.

And if it looks like they're going to start said same harrassment, I'll be sure to be offensive, irritating, and/or boring on an ever-increasing basis. Grrr.


Annoying and alarming your home teacher in less than 80 minutes a month...  
So, my stepdad was asked to join the High Priests' Quorum, since he's, you know, not 30 anymore. When that happens, they give you a new home teacher. In our case, perhaps our new home teacher selection was due to the fact that I bugged the bishop over when we'd be getting a new assignment -- because he assigned us his father-in-law and elder son.


See, we're nuts. Really quite mad, sometimes. And we're not afraid to show it. We have beer steins on the piano and three cats and a half dozen musical instruments and a library with something like 4,000 books (and a lot more books in boxes not currently in the library), and a sword collection and oh yeah, five crazy people, in our house.

Our last home teacher -- the dad of one of the kids in my Primary class -- was great. He's a therapist of some sort, and I think his professional outlook really helped him cope with us. He was always: smile -- "wow, that's great" -- nod politely -- "as I was saying..." to our diversions, such as talking about my stepdad's time in Baptist day school, Caroline's dislike of patronizing/condescending religious discussions, and the Star Wars line.

Our new home teacher just gets this look which seems to say, "how exactly am I supposed to explain this in the next meeting with the bishop?" And his grandson -- who's in between Caroline and Laura in age -- mostly sits in the corner (normally he's a little annoying, as 16-17 year old boys tend to be) and distracts himself with the cats. Today we went crazy -- it was a lot of fun. My best line was in response to a question re: the Atonement of Christ. The home teacher said: "What had to happen first, then?" (he was looking for the Fall of Adam, I think.) I replied "The War in Heaven. Or, you know, matter coalescing -- but that's getting into questions you don't want to deal with during today's lesson on Easter..." The younger home teacher then put in something about those "chicken or the egg" questions. About five minutes later, my stepdad started showing off the swords.

I'm pretty sure we're going to get called in for a "what on earth kind of drugs are you people on" meeting any day now. My only defense is that I was the only one wearing shoes today -- and I had my scriptures with me. ^_^


Thursday, March 17, 2005
An experiment upon the... well, you know.  

But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

I have a confession: I've never actually read the Book of Mormon all the way through. And I've only read probably 50-60% of the Doctrine & Covenants. Thanks to Seminary, I've actually read the Old and New Testaments, but I mean, come on. I'm the girl who's already read the textbook before class starts. This is pathetic. How on earth can I say I believe in something I haven't even read?

So, I've decided I'm going to listen to the scriptures on tape (well, MP3 -- you can fit the entire Book of Mormon on about 60% of a single CD.) I'm going in this order:

1. Book of Mormon
2. Doctrine & Covenants
3. Pearl of Great Price
4. New Testament
5. Old Testament

So far I'm through Mosiah 13. And I think it's working. Will comment more later -- I'm also going to take all of the last six BYU Womens' Conferences and a bunch of General Conferences and a ton of BYUTV shows with me to the Star Wars line. Should be fun times, I think.

And if nothing else, I figure I'll have the scriptures themselves memorized before the six weeks of the line are over. ^_^

*note* reading is a really, really, REALLY hard thing to do in line -- and you can't read at work (at least while you're actually working); I don't want to get into the "woohoo, I've finished 2nd Nephi, now I'll take a week off" mentality, since that always turns into "wow, it's been a year since I last picked this book up... where was I? Nah, nevermind, I'll just start over... 'I, Nephi, having been born...'" Yeah, no. Not this time. Grr.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Lileks takes mailbox into own hands,  
Risks everything for a minor quip.

Okay, no. But dude -- I'm a fair-weather Objectivist on the best of days, and I seriously considered writing an email. Really. Why poke keyboard-wielding people in the eye when there are so many illiterate folks without so much as a modem to their names, in our world? He should recognize that it's approximately as useful as giving crummy services to a nationally syndicated columnist. You don't step on Superman's cape, you know?

But that's okay. He knows it was a silly thing to do, and you have to respect him for pushing through anyway. I think he's nuts, and I'm sure he knew better, but you gotta admire someone for insisting on stepping in the doggie doodoo after they know what it'll do their shoes. As it were. Hope he's got a new filter set up on his email...


Sunday, March 13, 2005
Oh, my goodness...  
This is way too cool. BYU TV has hundreds of hours of downloadable programs -- Mormon TV. I'm like, completely overwhelmed. I'm still downloading, but it looks like I'll have enough to listen to two or three hours of this stuff every day during the Star Wars line, without repeating anything. I've finished getting the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and the first New Testament roundtable on my hard drive -- each one is like 30+ hours of material. I'm working on the second New Testament program and the most recent BYU Women's Conference will be after that. ^_^

It also turns out you can watch BYU TV online. They have a streaming video link. I have no idea how I failed to notice this... but I'm taking advantage of it now! Right now it looks like a tribute to Hugh Nibley. I'm sure all of you in Utah think this is very minor. But dude, I'm in the mission field. It's like I've hit an oil well or something. I've put the link to the streaming broadcast in the sidebar, below KZION radio.


Saturday, March 12, 2005
The power of just one link...  
So imagine my surprise when I reopened my personal start page (wrote the HTML myself, of course -- who needs a flaky corporation doing things like that for them?) and found that today I'm a Crawly Amphibian in the TLB Ecosystem.

Why, you ask? Why, when I've been a crustacean for most of the last two years, and a fish for only 3 out of the last 7 months (not consecutively, either?)

Because someone cool linked to me! And I don't just say that she's cool because she linked to me -- her coolness rating is a matter of strictly objective observation on my part. I like DDR too -- and yes, I'm definitely a Tolkienite -- and Russian, though sadly you can't tell from my blog (and I haven't updated SamizBlog in approximately two years -- maybe that's a good project for the line?)

Anyway, yay! I've got to write my Primary lesson for tomorrow (I believe we've finally gotten to the lesson on baptism -- since we did repentance last week.) But I'll post more later; I've finished compiling a fairly authoritative list of media contacts here in Columbus (I still need all the university-based papers and radio stations in Ohio,) and have written to both of the Star Wars line participants in the Columbus area (one I know will be at the Lennox -- I don't know if the other will be at Grauman's, the Lennox, or what) to find out if they want me to mention them in my letters and phone calls. I even posted a note to the spoiler filled Columbus Fan Force boards... hopefully what I said won't be considered spamming. I hate it when I break rules and such, even if it's unintentional (their TOS didn't say I couldn't -- but you never know.)

Anyway, will post more later tonight. For now, the Primary 3 manual calls to me...


Saturday, March 05, 2005
So, 168 minute long phone calls are expeennnnnnnnnnnnnsive.

I need to not call LUNers, hostels in Washington, and (emphasis here) people who can call me for free after 9pm their time, the way I did in December/January. Unfortunately, this feedback comes after February concluded -- hopefully I won't have nearly the long distance charges I had to deal with this month, while I'm away at the line.

Anyway, no steak for me for... a while. ^_^


Alessia is a member of my church in Belgium, who has been (in large part thanks to the attitude that we're a cult) been forbidden from having contact with the church by her foster family:

During the first months of her stay in the foster home, Alessia continued to show the firmness of her faith and her commitment to the Gospel. She was still able to communicate with Nina, whom she paid furtive visits. Through Nina we got glimpses of the girl’s new life. She had to read anti-Mormon slander, which the foster father provided. She was not allowed to attend Church. She was coerced to break the Word of Wisdom, as coffee and tea were the standard drinks. She did not receive the letters and cards Mormon friends, made at youth conference and camps, sent her.

The little Mormon branch brought up the money to have a tombstone placed over Tatiana’s grave. They had a small commemoration ceremony when it was installed. Alessia, invited, did not receive permission to attend.

The breaking point came over tithing. From the little pocket money she received, Alessia continued to pay tithing. She gave her cents to Nina, who gave it to the branch president, who wrote out the receipt, which Nina returned to Alessia.

Until one day the foster father, enraged, called Daniella. He had discovered the tithing receipts. That was it. From now on, he claimed, Alessia had decided that she did not want anything to do anymore with the Mormon church. If there would be any form of contact from us, any letter or phone call or whatever, he would alert the IACHSO and the press, to expose the Mormon cult as threatening his foster daughter.

Apparently they attempted to enlist the support of Adelbert Denaux (apparently a man who is personally familiar/friendly with the church -- but who also is an "anti-cult" expert,) but he was either a) unaware of their request (this is what he appears to claim now) or b) okay with the whole thing. Good times.

In any case, I am praying for this young woman, and hope she is doing well -- and will soon have the freedom to act and worship according to the dictates of her own conscience, and not the dictates of a bureaucracy's list of cults.


Friday, March 04, 2005

My internet connection is behaving in a screwy manner, and I can't reliably
connect to any given site for more than about thirty seconds. After having
reset our wireless transmitter and the router, and restarted my computer
twice, I officially give up. I'll post more tomorrow, hopefully. ^_^


Wednesday, March 02, 2005
New Scripture and Quote of the Moment...  
I've decided that four and a half months is a long enough moment -- therefore, these are the new scripture and quote of the moment:

Scripture of the Moment

Isaiah 29:14

Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

This is a scripture which members of my church believe foretells the restoration of the Gospel in our time (i.e. 1830.) I like it not just for that, but for the testimony it bears of the Lord's interest in what happens to his children on this earth. It's important that we have the truth -- and he'll make sure we have access to it -- and we should do our part to make sure we know what the truth is.

Quote of the Moment

William Penn

Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders, than from the arguments of its opposers.

This one is more or less another one of those "hey, you, be a nice person!" quotes. But I picked it because of the example I've had recently, in some of the public forums I've been a part of, of people doing more harm than good in the way they bear witness to the people they call friends. I'm not a big fan of telling people they're condemned to eternal misery, and I wish that those who nominally agree with me, would abandon the tactic. It's not worthy of us, and it's most assuredly not worth of Christ.

Whee, I love having judgemental quotes of the moment. It's very cleansing. ^_^


Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Dread Tales of the New Jedi Order!  

No, really, arrrggh. I bought Vector Prime about three years ago -- two weeks before moving to California, actually, in November of 2001. I haaaaaaated it, because I can't stand RA Salvatore. Every three paragraphs I come across something that shouldn't have survived even a cursory read-through by his editor, and it really annoys me. Also, he manages to make me hate characters I've always liked, simply due to the pain -- nay, the agony -- of slogging through his characterization.

So it's not really surprising that I left it in Ohio when I moved.

Of course, then I moved back -- and during those early days with little to do and not much unpacked except the clothes I'd brought with me, that evil book was sitting there saying, "Hey, have you read me?" Of course I hadn't. And an unread book is, to me, what an unopened package of Oreos is to the general public. Unsurprisingly, I read it. I think my eyes bled a few times, but I got through it.

And then I was stuck. It was a cliffhangerish, "turn the next page to see the start of chapter 47" ending.

I bought the Stackpole books (Dark Tide I and II) a few weeks later. That was seven weeks ago. Since then I've read 17 of the next 18 books -- I have two left, plus Ylesia, an e-book I won't buy until it's in print somewhere.

And I don't even really much like the series. I just couldn't stop.

So I'm going to inflict the series on you all. I'm re-reading Vector Prime now (THE PAIN!!! THE UNENDURABLE, INDESCRIBABLE PAAAAAAAAIN!!!!) and will review it this week sometime. We'll only have 20 to go through after that, I swear.

You probably don't want to hear about my Star Trek novel collection today, so I'll hold off for a while...


LDS Blog vs. LDS Blogger  
Okay, call me short-sighted, but it never really occured to me that there would be LDS Blogs out there until I stumbled onto Times & Seasons (and concurrently, Jeff Lindsay's Mormanity blog.)

I knew there were LDS Bloggers out there -- Gordon Smith, for instance -- and after all, I was one myself. But LDS blogs? I wasn't even particularly aware of narrow topic blogs like that until I read some of the relatively obscure blogs that Glenn Reynolds likes to link to.

Anyway, since then I've become rather enamoured of the various LDS blogs, as such -- but I still prefer to read the blogs written by people who are LDS, but which aren't limited to LDS topics. Indeed, other than Times and Seasons, Millenial Star, and Mormanity, the LDS bloggers in my blogroll are general topic types -- Celibate in the City, Job 21:3, etc. I kind of find it boring to read about nothing but LDS stuff all the time, but I like reading things from other Latter-day Saints out there. I like the perspective, not necessarily the constant focus on church topics. That's what I hope I'm doing here at EIL -- it's pretty obvious I'm LDS, but (except for my occasional "I hate preparing Sharing Time lessons" post) that's now what I'm really writing about. Which is not to say I write about any given topic with any great frequency...

All of which is a very roundabout way of saying to those of you who are trying to categorize Eleventh In Line: I am an LDS blogger, but this is not an LDS blog. Please categorize accordingly. ^_^


Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.