Monday, December 22, 2008

Maybe I should change my name to Betty Crocker

So I've done some more baking since I last updated...Big surprise? I think not (maybe you do, but I don't think it's a surprise). Wednesday, I made DELICIOUS chocolate chip cookies. I enjoyed them with a nice big mug of gourmet hot chocolate.
The biggest compliment was taking them to church on Sunday as the nursery snack. We ended up with more adults than children in there and the gallon zip lock bag of them was soon gone. Having something I make disappear quickly is the greatest compliment there is.
On Saturday I spent the day with Sister Anderson. Aside from painting the floor, I made two batches of love letters. A regular cookie recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of flour, one, maybe two sticks of butter. For anyone who doesn't know, the love letter recipe calls for 4 sticks of butter and 6 1/2 cups of flour. Think of how much dough that makes, and I doubled that.
I turned out a few hundred cookies. It was AWESOME! I made angels, stars, Christmas trees and bells. They will be frosted by sister Anderson and handed out to those she loves. I'm a big fan of aiding the creation of holiday cheer.
Today, we made sugar cookies with the girlies (Carly Fay and Eve). It was just bag dough and store bought icing, but the happiness it spread was priceless. I wish I had recorded it because hearing Eve go on and on about her cookies was TOO CUTE! She's two and a half and everything she says is a crack up.There is the lovely pile of delicious cookies we made. I do think I'm going to need to take a baking break, however. I need to reserve my energy and desire for when Brit and Camille get home. There are pies to bake, and black and white cookies, and other YUMMY little treats to be passed out to friends and loved ones.
I do not have money to spend or a car to cruise around in, so this is what I do. I bake. It's a good life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm EXPLODING with Christmas Spirit!

So, I totally got my bake on, and, let me tell you, it was AWESOME. However, let me first take a moment to mention the best Christmas gift ever: my new apron! Susan, my fabulous baby sister, sewed me an apron for Christmas. We exchanged gifts the night I got in because I bought her a camera and we knew we would each would be wanting to use our gifts while we were here. So every time I've baked I've worn the apron and I adore it.
My new apron and it's creator. Beautiful!

Now, I'm going to confess a deep, dark secret. I want to be a food blogger (on the side) when I grow up. I want to cook and bake and have my own little blog where I document the experience and share the recipes. You know, because home making and child rearing are just so easy that I'll have plenty of time to keep up a food blog (don't worry Christene, that was sarcasm). This is why I am so eager (and lamely excited) to chronicle my baking experience here.

I've baked two different cookie recipes so far. First I baked a chocolate cookie with a delicious peanut butter center. They were difficult to get the hang of, I had no idea how far the filling would go, or how potent it was. There were also temperamental with their baking time. The longer you baked them, the harder they got. I am happy to say that despite these factors, baking them was not a disaster. The first batch was a little low on peanut butter and had crispier edges, but luckily these cookies are perfect with milk and I had no problem "unloading" them. The next two sheets came out much better, softer and better balanced flavor wise, but even then I had peanut butter filling left over. These were very good cookies and I am excited to make them again now that I know how they work. Next time I make them they will be perfect.
The two doughs I had to work with.

I made each cookie by hand. The chocolate dough was like working with delicious play dough. Next time I think I'll roll the chocolate dough into a log and cut it. It will be a much quicker way to get the desired size and thickness.

YUM! 'Nough said.

For my second holiday treat, I baked sugar cookies. You might be wondering what I am going to do with so many cookies. Well, I'll tell you. Holli has visiting teaching to do and so we wrapped up a couple dozen in these adorable, little holiday boxes we found at Pier 1 Imports to be gifted when she goes out and about. Spreading the holiday cheer. You bet your sweet bippy!

They're even pretty without frosting.

But don't worry I did frost them. I made yummy butter frosting and split it in five parts to create various colors. I made blue, purple, and then red, green, and white (of course), and loaded them into Ziplock bags, cutting the corners to allow designs to be made.

ACTION SHOT!

The best part about this was that once everyone realized I'd been frosting for quite some time, they came over to see the finished product. Upon investigating my handiwork, they all saw how much fun I was having and just BEGGED to join in. Just kidding they were like "cool" and I was like "wanna try?" and they were all like "yeah totally, oh my gosh!" and I was like "for sure, like totally come get your frosting on!" Okay, you caught me, I'm kidding again. I simply asked if they'd like to frost one and they said yes and everyone really had fun frosting the rest of the cookies.
The Kodak moment...

When Holli saw everyone decorating the cookies she turned on Christmas music and the tree lights. That's when , you guess it, I teared up. Big surprise? No. It was just so sweet seeing everyone so jovial and having the holiday ambiance thing going on made it a perfect moment. I just felt so wonderful spreading Christmas cheer like that. Hip hip (hooray)!Fin.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Aw Yeah!


Isn't California beautiful? Let me answer that question for you. YES!

I must say, it is delightful to be back. After 8 hours of traveling I made it to the Golden state and boy was the lack of humidity a shock. I forgot what the crisp cold actually felt like. Though I have been freezing most of these first hours back, it has been a nice change. It truly feels like winter. It was so wonderful to come home from church, get changed into some sweats and slippers, and have a nice hot bowl of pea soup and grilled cheese. I LOVE the feeling of hot food traveling down into my belly, particularly when I'm a little on the chilly side. It's just really nice to be back.
The best part? Tomorrow I get my bake on. Tonight I made brownies out of a box as a little warm up, but tomorrow the I'm pulling out the big guns. I have two wonderful types of cookies planned. "And what is Jessica going to do with all of those cookies," you might ask. Well I'm gonna bake them for Holli's visiting teach-ees (KJ, if somehow you're reading this, I freakin' love you!). I'm very excited to begin tomorrow because Susan made me an Apron for Christmas. I cannot wait to put it on and bake away. She even made a matching hairband with the extra fabric. Awesome? I think so. I'm gonna be a smokin' hot cookie machine tomorrow!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Lake La'ie" or "When it rains, it pours"

The last two days have been VERY exciting. Well...exciting by La'ie standards.

SIDE NOTE: For those of you that don't know how to say it (I didn't until I came here) La'ie is pronounced "luh eeay." The "apostrophe" is not an apostrophe, but an 'Okina and acts as a glottal stop. It is considered by many Hawaiian language speakers to be the 8th consonant (Hawaiian Alphabet = a, e, i, o, u and h, k, l, m, n, p, w), but back to business.

Remember, Thursday, my beautiful beach day? If you don't you need to read the previous post and maybe go see a doctor. Anyway, so that night it began raining. This is common occurrence so I thought nothing of it but then it began to poor. It ended up pouring for a good 8 hours. We're talking Noah's ark rain with thunder and lightening and everything. It was so intense I was woken up periodically through the night. The next morning, at 8 am, I brave the still heavy rain to take a final and walk out of my door to find campus flooded. The general classroom building was sitting in a literal foot of water, the streets were like rivers and the hallways were flooded as well. I had to take my shoes off and pull up my sweatpants to make it through without getting soaked. The BYUH campus was lucky, compared to the rest of the town though.
Campus sits high than most of the town. It's up against the mountain and there aren't really any houses behind us. So as you leave campus you travel "downhill" and head toward the beach. This was TERRIBLE for all of the town's residents. Check it out.

A good number of houses are built up off the ground. Some are built on stilts or only have garages on the ground level, others are lifted maybe a foot off of the ground, but most are built normally and those home suffered.
Now, I did not take that picture. I had no desire to brave the floods. However, I did go out that afternoon to grab some shots. Most of the water had disipated by then, but there were still some heavily flooded areas, including the front field of the school.
That sign says "WARNING! KEEP OUT Run off water maybe polluted." Why? Because La'ie does not have a sophisticated sewer system. Did this stop idiots from playing in it? NO. They were playing flood football in their own sh...all we move on?

Our beautiful lake front Stake Center.Don't be fooled. That puddle is about 4 inches deep.

After traipsing around campus, I headed into town and got some great shots of damage there and people starting to clean up. I then headed to the beach where I had spent my Thursday. Needless to say, I did NOT find the shores so appealing. This is why (please ignore the LAME narration on this video as it was spur of the moment)


Post Storm from Jessia Davis on Vimeo.

Silly, I know, but nasty none the less.

So the moral of this post is it rained a lot. It rained a lot, and I'm glad I live on campus in an upstairs room. One last photo...



That's a centipede. We get those there. That one was dead and washed up on the shore; there would be no way in HADES you could bet me that close to one that was alive. I about peed my paints just finding it dead. Finding a dead one means there are more like it alive somewhere. SICK.
Hawaii is nuts!

Whoever can tell me which old school cartoon I've taken my title format from wins a prize. Post it as a comment. Sorry Susan, you can't play because I know you know.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CAUTION! I'm going to brag about the weather.

Disclaimer: if you live in Utah, Idaho, Virginia, Vienna, or any other snowy landscape, proceed at your own risk. This post is about being outside and not being miserable.

Last week was brutal. I had a final project due pretty much every day except Wednesday. The final project I had due Monday ended up being 14 pages long. Anyway, today was a final free day so I decided it was time I went to the beach. Much to the dismay of those of you in colder climates, I have not been to attend the beach this semester. Other than the trip to Waimea and 2 snorkeling excursions, I haven't been at all this semester...pathetic, I know. So this morning (11am, I'm not that ambitious), I packed a little bag and peddled three minutes down to the sea shore (are you jealous yet?). This is what greeted me:


My Beach from Jessia Davis on Vimeo.

How blessed am I?! It was wonderful beach weather, a sunny 72 degrees with a gentle breeze blowing, and though most of the day has been slightly cloudy, I was blessed with clear skies. It was magnificent. I laid out and even went for a little dip. I was surprised by how warm the water was. I love going to school here. Yeah, this side of the island can get pretty trashy in places and the certain aspects of the school frustrate the sin out of me, but all of that disappears when my toes touch the sand. There are many reasons why I'm grateful to be here, and the beach is one of them (albeit a very dominant reason).
Oddly enough, despite my warm weather adventure today, I am looking forward to going home to chilly weather. It will be very nice to bundle up, drink hot chocolate and enjoy the crisp winter weather. There are tons of wonderful wintery things that don't have the same effect when it's always warm outside. It will be very nice to go home and experience a more traditional Christmas season.
However, I'm not there yet, so here's one more picture of my beautiful beach!
(And yes, the video and the photo were both taken today, which means I have my camera back!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Don't you judge me.

It's the last week of classes and my days fly by me before I even notice their wings have begun beating. I so look forward to Friday when all of this is over and I can lay on the beach enveloped in sunlight. Constantly trudging under florescent bulbs has got me burnt out (pun fully intended).
Though, I must say, the short time I did spend reflecting on everyday, my eyes were most definitely opened to the nuances of daily life. It was a fun venture.
I do have quite a bit to be grateful for.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving!!

My Thanksgiving was simple and humble, but it was wonderful. I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to consistently reflect on all there is to be grateful for in my life and enjoy that feeling of contentment with people I love. Hooray for this American tradition.

5 Fabulous Things:
1. My roommate has a fridge.
I was able to store my left overs and eat them at my own Leisure.
2. Sister Anderson called me
I felt so loved!
3. The GCB was left open.
Not only did this mean movie watching, but it also meant that I didn't have to wait for an RA to go on duty to eat my dinner (the dorm microwave is in the kitchen which has to be unlocked by someone with access to the key aka an RA).
4. I learned a new card game today.
It's called Rage and Birgitte taught me.
5. MORE LoTR special features to watch!

5 Moments of Gratitude:
1. Always having enough to eat.
I don't have to go hungry or wonder how my next meal will be obtained.
2. My ward.
They are the best. They kept Thanksgiving from being depressing.
3. Left overs!
Nothing is better than Thanksgiving dinner round 2!
4. Microwaves
5. Christmas.
'Tis officially the season!!

Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart...

For Tuesday
5 Fabulous Things:
1. I had two incredibly long conversations with my sister.
2. Shizuka brought Spam and rice sushi style, and brownies to class.
Yum! (Don't judge me.)
3. I didn't have to give my last lesson.
I'm giving it this Tuesday.
4.I spent the night in.
I had hula, enrichment night and lots of things to do at the library, but I took a night off and it felt so nice.
5. No rain!
I know, I know, I love the rain. I've said it many times here. However, no rain meant I got to lay in the sun and goodness knows how I love that.

5 Moments of Gratitude:
1. Hawaii
I get to live here.
2. Cell phones.
Think about it. I push some buttons and start talking into this little plastic box and I can speak with someone thousands of miles away.
3. Almost everything I need is in walking/biking distance.
I am so grateful for accessibility.
4. The internet.
or as I like to call it: the intraweb
5. flip flops
my feet like to breath

For Wednesday
5 Fabulous Things:
1. I wrote my research paper for religion in 3.5 hours.
I'm not proud. It's just fabulous that I managed to do it.
2. I didn't puke when I accidentally ate a pickle.
I did get really nauseous though.
3. We watched Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers extended edition
Love it!
4. I bought kettle korn!
5. My camera is fixed!
It will be sent to me in Approximately 4 business days.

5 Moments of Gratitude:
1. Kettle Korn!
It's so good it gets two slots...
2. The air conditioned GCB
Where else would we watch movies?
3. Email
4. Stars
5. My talents.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's just another manic Monday!

I'm almost caught up...

5 Fabulous Things:
1. The new term system might not go into effect.
I know that there are good and bad points to that, but for me, it's mostly good.
2. I had a nice long conversation with Marie.
Hip Hip Hooray for reconnecting with very dear friends.
3. She reminded me I had to go to class. bonus: Class got out early.
I know it sounds lame but that class is once a week so absences really matter.
4. A young man (whom I do not know) went out of his way to hold the door open for me today.
Hooray! Chivalry isn't dead!
5. I had a wonderful group project meeting.
Often times group projects SUCK, but this semester I was blessed with an awesome group to work with in History

5 Moments of Gratitude:
1. My bike
2. Long grass
3. Patience
Mostly I'm grateful others exhibit it with me because I feel as though I lack it. But I'm trying...
4. I'm so grateful for hope.
'nuff said
5. My laptop
It's making my education possible.

SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!

That post title is said like a radio announcer, by the way.

5 Fabulous Things:
1. Wall*e was available to rent out of the box thing.
Love that movie! So uplifting!
2. Jessica Creamer sat next to me in Relief Society.
It was fun. I don't think I've sat next to her all semester
3. I had the room all to myself that evening.
A little "me" time was in order.
4. I had the opportunity to fulfill my calling
5. Our ward choir is going to sing a song for Christmas.
Hooray for Christmas!

5 Moments of Gratitude
1. My ward.
I'll live on campus until I graduate just to continue attending with such a great congregation.
2. My sister.
I love you Sushi!
3. My talents.
Be able to express myself with written language has saved my sanity.
4. Where I'm at in life.
1 year ago, I didn't think I'd be living life as I am (as odd as that sounds) and I'm SO grateful for the decisions I made to get myself here.
5. Hot running water.

Saturday is a special day...

Finals are almost here and I have way more projects due than test to study for so give me a break about these being tardy...

5 Fabulous Things:
1. I woke up to rain.
What better to follow a cozy night than a morning spent in bed listening to the rain?
2. No one was in the Library
3. We had LoTR special features to watch.
4. When my Whoppers SUCKED Ben shared his candy with me.
5. Tums were on sale.

5 Moments of Gratitude
1. Good health
Yeah, I have my off days, but this semester has been a relatively healthy one. Thank goodness!
2. Comfortable furniture
The lack of it here has sprung up a new gratitude in me.
3. Silver lined clouds
4. Primary songs
5. Sweat pants
They might not be the most flattering of garments, but boy are they comfortable.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Donkey Sneakers (It's Friday)!

I am aware that this post is late. However, that does not change the sincerity of the items listed.

5 Fabulous Things:
1. Due to a stop on the way home from Kaneohe Thursday, we had Sweet n' Salty Chex Mix to enjoy while we watched our movie
2. It was a great hair day
3. The rain stopped long enough for a bike ride to Foodland.
4. One of the cool security guards was was working (This means we were not hassled by the man, but politely reminded it was time to go at midnight).
5. The constant rain has lowered temperatures, so I got to cuddle up all cozy like when I went to bed instead of sprawling myself out in shorts and a t-shirt like I normally do (Those of you in ID and UT had best not start hating on me. You could go to school here too, ya know...)

5 Moments of Gratitude
1. Peter Jackson
Weird I know, but he did the Lord of the Rings films, the first of which I watched tonight (extended version! yeah baby!).
2. Umbrellas.
Heaven bless the dude that invented them.
3. I'm half way done with my undergrad. Woot!
I cannot tell you how anxious I am to get out of here and onto real life.
4. Winter
I really do miss it. Well, the CA version of it...okay, I miss real winter a little as well.
5. Organization.
Only this semester have I begun to effectively manage my time and, let me tell you, it makes a world of difference.

This was for Friday, by the way.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

DDDD DAY THREE!

5 Fabulous Things:
1. The sweet Polynesian lady who works in the post office noticed I'd cut my hair and complimented me on it.
2. Jaimie and Wolfgang had us over to watch The Office.
Hilarity ensued.
3. I gave my first course evaluation today.
The end is near! It is in site!
4. The chocolate chip cookies at Subway (eat fresh!) were just out of the oven.
What's better than warm chocolate chip cookies?
5. I remembered to send off all the post cards I'd been harboring to those I love.
I love sending postcards. If you'd like one, let me know.

5 Moments of Gratitude:
1. Ben.
He's the best.
2. Hawaiian Studies.
Yeah it sucks having a 7am class, but I love being able to learn about the culture of the islands.
3. Cultural Diversity.
I walked into the caf today and they had gone all out decorating for this Japanese festival (I'll edit this post tomorrow with the festival name). It was crazy and I loved it.
4. Respect.
I'm very grateful for those who offer it to others. This isn't about people showing me respect. I appreciate when I see people show respect and kindness towards others, perfect strangers even. It restores my faith in humanity.
5. Hygiene.
I'm grateful for being able to afford a rigorous hygiene routine. It sounds odd, but I love being clean.

I love doing this. It makes me feel better about life.
And, just to rant, Pam (on The Office) really pisses me off sometimes. Oh, and my heart goes out to Toby. Can't that guy catch a break?

Day Two

I almost forgot to do this...

5 Fabulous Things:
1. A stranger gave up his seat on the bus for me today.
Hooray for Chivalry not being dead!
2. One of the little girls I worked with while volunteering at the elementary school saw me in the grocery store, got very excited and proceeded to wave a very enthusiastic hello in my direction.
3. The film I had to watch for my History 202 course was not boring, but very uplifting and inspiring; it also has me turned on to some sweet new music.
4. Hercules (the Disney movie, not the campy TV series) was playing in the cafeteria giving me the opportunity to be infused by a little Disney magic.
5. I got to sleep today in today and I'll get to sleep in tomorrow too!
Hooray for 7 and 8:30 am classes being canceled!

5 Moments of Gratitude:
1. Laughter.
I am so grateful for not only being able to enjoy laughter, but for being able to give it to others as well.
2. Sunshine.
It feels so good! Plus, being in the sun makes you happier. It's a proven fact.
3. Pillows.
What a luxury they are, and we take them for granted.
4. Alicia.
I love you, miss, and I'm grateful you're a part of my life.
5. Research Papers.
Well, more like I'm grateful for the lack there of. Winter semester I had five to do. This semester I have one and it's only 5 pages. Woot!

I'm really glad I remembered to do this. As I rode down to Kaneohe today to run errands I was remarking on how I'm already feeling better by doing this. It forces me to reflect on the positive things that happen every day and to notice the little things that make life so grand. My goal is to not repeat moments of gratitude or happiness but to find unique things for every post. We'll see how I do...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Very Good Idea

It is the end of the semester and I'm starting to get pretty burnt out. Right now, for example, instead of quickly writing my 700 word reflection paper I'm updating my blog. I just don't have the mental energy for the task. I feel as though the burnedouted-ness (Hey look! I made up a new word!) has made me rather cranky so starting today, to combat that, I'm going to be listing, every day five great things that happened that day and five things I am grateful for.
Here we go!

Five Fabulous Things:
1. A nice cool breeze blew all day.
I cannot tell you how nice today's mild weather was. The cloudy, blustery afternoon made it feel very much like fall. When if feels like fall that means winter is close behind. Winter close behind means CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE! Woohoo! If that's not fabulous then what is?
2. Tracie commented on my blog.
I love Tracie (you hear that? I love ya, kid!), so know she is interested in what I am up to and how I'm doing made me feel great.
3. My 7:00 and 8:30 am classes were cancelled.
This means that Thursday I get to sleep in. Enough said, right?
4. My camera can be fixed for free.
Approximately a week after getting here my camera began telling me there was a lens error and it couldn't start. Well I finally called Canon today to find out about repairs an the delightfully nice lady in Illinois told me that if I sent my camera to dell it could be fixed for free because it is still under warrenty. Hooray for free things!
5. Christene updated her blog.
I love the Petersons! Because I'm so far away from pretty much everyone reading all of your blog updates is very exciting for me. I feel like I'm still apart of everyones lives even if I can't be there and that is wonderful. That means all of you need to update more (myself included), and if you're reading this and I love you but you don't have a blog, you should probalby start one, because updates make my day.

5 Moments of Gratitude:
1. Always having enough to eat.
What a blessing it is to be born in a place where even the most impovershed have it better than many of those in third world countries.
2. A caring roommate.
Karuna is so sweet. She stopped me and asked me how everything was going in my life, just out of the blue. How nice is it to have friends like that?
3. My talents.
This isn't about how I am or am not awesome so we're not going into detail here suffice to say that I am so very grateful for how I can affect the lives of others for the better by utilizig the gifts my Father in Heaven gave me.
4. Living close to the coast.
As I rode my bike to hula practice today the wind began to blow and I could smell the ocean. There is something that you don't get at the other BYU campuses. Hooray for Hawaii!
5. Technology.
I was able to wrtie and turn in that paper I mentioned earlier without leaving my dorm room. How freakin' cool is that? Technology opens up all of these amazing doors in the field of education and it is awesome to study how it can change your learning experience (see my EDU 305 blog and website). Even with all the challenges it creates, technology is definitely something to be grateful for.

Well that Tuesday's list. I know it says I posted this Wednesday, but, despite it being 12:21 am here, I still consider it Tuesday because I have not gone to bed. Luckily it is my blog so I get to make the rules. Check back tonight for Wednedays update. This will be going on until I am finished with my semester. Hopefully it will bring me back down to earth and get me back on a positive track.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How much does it suck to be an English language learner?

About this much:

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sleeve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?

Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!


According to the website I "stumbled upon:" Multi-national personnel at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters near Paris found English to be an easy language ... until they tried to pronounce it. To help them discard an array of accents, the verses below were devised. After trying them, a Frenchman said he'd prefer six months at hard labor to reading six lines aloud.

Yeah, reading that definitely made me grateful to have learned English as a first language. It is an unnecessarily complected language.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What a Close Call

Some where in my hours of study yesterday I decided that I was going to head on down to Kaneohe and get my haircut. I made the appointment, and after a midterm (which I aced, by the way), I took the not so long bus ride ride down the shore. While I wait for my appointment time to come around, I walk aimless and buy some hair care products (a nasty addiction of mine). On a side note, professional hair products really do work better and are worth the money. You use ten times less and they make your hair amazing. The following story is proof.
[The before shot. I figured it'd be interesting to see how much I ended up losing.]

So I walk into Bellaviva Salon and Spa at 6:15 for my 6:30 appointment. The receptionsit immediately goes and gets the stylist who then walks out to greet me. Now, I see the stylist and she has a terrible hair cut -- there is like an entire chunk missing from the front of her hair -- and I begin to become EXTREMELY worried. I sure as heck do NOT want to end up looking like that. However, I give her the benefit of the doubt and reserve judgement and happily walk to the back (it turns out she let a friend in hair school use her for a test; yeah that girl failed). She shampoos and conditions my hair, giving me a DELIGHTFUL scalp massage. It was like little angles here dancing on my head. I then sit in the chair and we discuss exactly what is going to happen. I inform her that I like the style and spacing of the layers I currently have and would like to keep them. However, I am looking to cut my hair shorter, about an inch, inch and a half off my shoulders, so there will be come length that needs to go. I told her I'd like the front to taper down with the shortest layer hitting my chin and that basically I'm looking for a style that frames my face very nicely.
Things start of well. She begins to cut and we chat it up and I'm like "Wow, see, no need to fear getting your hair cut by people you don't know." She then asks me if it's short enough. My hair is hitting my shoulders, so I resond that I'd like a little more off. I want it completely off my shoulders. She's replys "Oh, so about to your neck," and I say yes thinking she means the base of my neck and not where my neck meets my head. She begins to snip away, finishing the back and beginning on the from. Seeing her cut, I soon realize just how short she's cut it I start to panic. Apprently I do need to fear having my hair cut by people I don't know. I close my eyes pretending to be enjoying the feel of someone styling your hair (which is quite nice) instead of trying not to cry. She finished cutting and starts to style. This is the part where I start to get queezy yet still can't tear my eyes away. It was like when you see at a terrible car accident on the side of the road. The carnage is awful and sad, but it's so horrific that it's captivating. She proceeds to round brush and flat iron my hair. When she finishes I look like theres a big blond bowl on my head and I am NOT happy. I looked like a little boy in the seventies or an old lady trying to be hip in the eighties. NOT OKAY. I pay the receptionist, tip the lady really well and leave (No sense in being stingy. She spent over an hour and a half on me and did a good job even if I didn't like it.) I'm freaking out at this point. My hair is my security blanket. It's one of my favorite phsycial attributes and I just ruined it. To make matters worse, I walk out of the mall and it's raining. This means my hair is going to become unruly and do as it pleases (In this case, doing what it pleases means flipping out funny and making me look like a conservative housewife from the sixties. Apprantely my hair likes to time travel.) Sadly, vanity got the best of me and I spent the night complaining about it. However, lucky for me (lucky meaning I was completely underserving of the attention and care given me considering how petty it is for me to be so upset about something so unimportant), I have some amazing friends whose reassurance and comfort had me hitting they hay optomistic about my hair.
Waking up today I decided we'd give this "hair-do" another go and see what we could make of it. I washed out the nasty products that the stylist used, put in my own and blew my hair dry with an optomistic attitude. As I turned to look in the mirror and put final product in I was shocked and awed by what I saw. My hair looked completely different from yesterday. Better yet, I LIKED it! I was ready to bow down and worship my shelf of shampoos, conditioners and styling products (but I didn't because that would be worshipping false idols and I rememberd reading somewhere about that not being a good idea).

[The after after shot. There was no way in Hades that I was posting what I looked like last night.]

Okay, The moral of the story is I'm a cranky, spoiled, vain brat who really loves her hair after all. Thank you to my stylist and thank you Matrix's Sleek Look line of products for being amazing. Also, I'm really sorry I wrote such a long post about hair, but it is my blog, though I do promise I'll write something of value soon.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth.

This semester is kicking my trash.
Last semester sucked because I was NOT motivated to get through my classes. This semester sucks because I actually like my classes and want to stay on top of my coursework, which is plentiful. This means countless hours spent in the library. I'm actually paler now than I was when I got here. Not that I'm complaining. I'm being saved from death via skin cancer. But it would be nice to not have quite so much studying to do. All in all though life is beautiful here in Hawaii and I've had a lot of fun opportunities.
One fun experience I've had was jumping off the big rock at Waimea Bay. Waimea is where all of the big surfing competitions happen in winter, but during summer is this beautiful, calm, white sand beach where dolphins play and tourists flock. Let me tell you, jumping off of the rock, while fun, exciting and something I recommend doing, isn't something I'll do again in the near future. It was intense to say the least. I got up there, looked down and realized that I would have to jump before I talked myself out of it and looked like an idiot. It was so high! Probably 25 or so feet. I stood at the edge peering down into the water. I watched a little italian boy run off without hesitation, and his father soon follow suite because if his son could do it, he could. Finally, I was like, "What the crap, Jes? A seven year old just did this. Jump already!" After a couple of "1, 2, 3's" I did it. I jumped off of the edge and and sailed down. As I jumped, I resolved to keep my eyes open the entire time. I thought, what's the point in jumping if I don't experience it. So I'm looking down at the water, watching it come screaming at me. In that moment the funniest thought came into my head. I'm looking down thinking, "How does anyone commit suicide this way. It's like you step off the edge and immediately regret the decision. Then you have to live with it while you rush towards the ground. I will never commit suicide this way." Just look at that close up image of me. My mouth is wide open (evidence of the involunatary screaming that was occuring). About half way down I caved and close my eyes. I was just imagining all of the terrible things that could happen. What if a shark were to swim up from the bottom and catch me in its waiting jaws? What if the tide were to go out in the next few seconds and I landed on nothing but sand? Or, more realisitically, what if I hit the bottom and paralyze myself? Scary crap. It hurt hitting the water, too. I didn't keep my legs together and so the water it my pelvis like a ton of bricks. It knocked the wind out of me to say the least. But you should totally do it!
So, despite the tyranny that is my university education, I've had some fun times. A couple of other cool things: check out my website (click here). It's just this lame little thing for one of my education classes, but it's really getting me excited about having my own classroom. My favorite part is the brochure I had to make. Navigate to the "My Brochure" page and follow the directions for reading. Basically it's my goal to have my own learning center some day and that's what it's going to be called. I'm not going to tell you here because I want you to check out the site, but yeah. Have fun. I'll update soon with some more fun experiences, but for now enjoy the site and my lame EDU blog. Haha!

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Macintosh Adventure

So, for EDU 305 we have to do a video project. The school provides the cameras, the software to edit, everything (except the tape). That sounds simple enough, right? WRONG! The cameras don't do digital, so I HAVE to buy the tapes (which also means downloading in real time; ten minutes of video=ten minutes of download), I can't store it on a SD card (very inconvenient and time consuming), and (the clincher here) the software we have to use is iMovie. That's right, we are being forced to use Macs. Now before all of you who faithfully love Macs (Alicia) don't get your panties in a knot--hear me out. Macs are good computers. They are slim and sleek and they most definitely can get the job done. Personally, though, I prefer Macs. I am not saying one is better than the other. I am saying one is better than the other for me. Meaning that in regards to my needs and my desired user experience, a PC suits me better. If you are a Mac person, all the more power to you. I am of the belief that Mac and PC users do not have to go to war over which is better (can't we all just get along?). To each his own. So anyway, I have to upload and edit all of my video to the Macs in the Media Lab, edit on their hours with iMovie and create my desired project. I'm not very happy with this. Today in class, just playing with iMovie and the built in web cam, the computer froze. I hadn't even gotten into heavy duty editing or anything yet. Now I'm sure this could have been because they are a school computer loaded with crap. I am not complaining about all Macs in general, just the ones in the Media Lab. Needless to say, I feel some cheating coming on. The odd of me uploading and editing on my lap top and then transferring it to the Mac are very high. I'll save myself from the stress of the University Macs.
This short video is the product of my 50 minute class period. It documents today's journey through iMovie. There is no sound, so below will be a corrisponding description.

BOO EDU 305 from Jessia Davis on Vimeo.
The phases of Media Lab Mac use
1. Unhappiness--thumbs down on having to use Macs, but we'll give it a try
2. FRUSTRATION--really? You're going to freeze AGAIN, iMovie? Really?
3. Disappointment--I just realized I have to create a 4 minute video this way...No bueno.

Monday, September 8, 2008

For EDU 305...

...I had to create a second blog.
engineeringintelligence.blogspot.com
It's all about technology in the classroom.
It's pretty boring, but through it you can find everyone else in the class' blog. Theirs are much more interesting.
Enjoy!

p.s. I'll update soon with something exciting--just give me some time. My computer doesn't work so I have to fix that problem before I fix my blog.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

EAT YOUR HEART OUT


Jacob Daniel Lopez
6lbs. 12oz.
and absolutely perfect

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

it was my birthday

I stayed with Alicia in Anaheim Friday and Saturday.
We went to sushi and to CA Adventure where we enjoyed all that the Disneyland resort had to offer.
Sunday I enjoyed dinner with half of my family (the other half being out of town). We went swimming and my sweet Isaac made me a cake.
Monday Holli, Lance, Logan and Chris celebrated with me--love them.

I apologize for any spelling errors that there might be in this post. I also ask that if you have something rude or scathing to say you call me directly 760-917-9527 and let me know instead of hiding behind the anonymity of the internet. Maybe then you could speak with me like an adult and find out what is new in my life.

Anyway, I thought I'd let "you" know your pleasant remarks succeeded in making me feel pretty crappy; thanks for that.

So much for this being fun...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sin City does it again!

Before I say anything else, I want to know why the HECK (!) anyone would ever settle (let alone build up) a place like Las Vegas, Nevada. It was so dang frickin' hot all the dang time! It was brown and bleak. The city itself is like a concrete waste land in the middle of a miserable, swealtering sand box. It is literally 1oo degrees at night. You step outside and you're like "Why?! Tell me WHY?!" However, Vegas did have it's good points, namely Brit and Camille.Look how cute! We had tons o' fun. The occasion for our meeting up in Sin City was their neice's first brithday. I simply hitched a ride to town like before and joined in all of the fun. We, of course, spent the weekend celebrating Maddie, but in between we visited the outlet mall (pictured above), had an unforgetable Mexican dining experience, and enjoyed a hillarious scavenger hunt on the strip. More than anything, it was nice just to get away. It's been a long, hard summer. Health scares, money troubles, work stress, car problems, and school upsets among other things have created a summer vacation that is only one name. I cannot express how wonderful it was to forget everything and just enjoy being with my friends again. Baby kisses, late night conversations and laughing fits make it so much easire to remember that the summer won't last forever and that trials are not the reasons for our existance.Even more important, this weekend was a little reminder to how much of a gift the gospel is in my life. Not to get all gooshy, but seeing the thousands of "lost" people flocking to Vegas searching for fleeting pleasure and instant gratification made me so appreciative of the perspective I have on life. How empty so many of those people must feel. Hooray for knowledge! That's for sure.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Desperate times...

So, apparently crime in the "happy village" of Fallbrook has risen 27% since this time last year. In my head that means that this year, about twelve bikes were stolen instead of nine. However, for others I know, it means their home was broken into and their safety compromised. Things have been pretty bad here since the fires, but I didn't know they had sunk so low. Apparently multiple homes in a gated community in town called Peppertree Park have been broken into, including the home of our friends the Holmans. So far, all the burglar has really stolen is cash but either way the stories of these break ins are unsettling. In one home, the thief crept in through the master bedroom's sliding screen door, snuck past the parents bed, over a child asleep on the floor and into the home. In the Holmans' case he crept in through a kitchen window and searched most of the bottom floor of the home, including the garage and cars, before their dog finally noticed and started barking. Just think about it. How scary is that? It was so easy for the man to creep into their homes, their personal, private space. Imagine if he were vicious, or unhinged! I really think this man simply needs money to feed his family. He hasn't taken electronics, credit cards, or any other valuables, just cash. The economy is terrible at the moment and it's placing a lot of people in some pretty tight spots. I can't imagine what it would be like to be an illegal alien who no longer has any day labor and has to feed six children a wife and probably some in laws. I know my family has been a pretty tight spot for sometime; what must their life be like?
All in all, I just want to take a moment to be grateful for the roof over my head, the food in my fridge and the secure job that I have. I have a family who loves me and honest parents who do an honest day's labor to provide for us. Luckily, our mounting money troubles are only bringing us closer together. Sure things get stressful and, some days, my aunt and uncle are on pins and needles, but we're all pulling together to get us by.
I hope whoever is breaking into these homes steers clear of our gated community and realizes there are better ways to meet their needs. I pray that something comes along for him before someone gets hurt.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

OHMYGOSHYOUHAVETOWATCHTHIS

Wow, I need to be better about this. I haven't even gotten on my computer really for the last week. There's so much going on right now that I'm just tired at the end of the day. But holy crap do I need to talk about the last two movies I went and saw.

First, Wall*e
Oh how masterful this little movie was! Let's just start with the fact that even though the first thirty minutes of the movie almost entirely lacks dialog, the viewer still becomes engrossed in the story and invested in the characters. Through pristine animation and noteworthy character development your care is centered around a remarkable little robot. The use of light and simple movement create personality for an object that is supposed to be inanimate. It is so well done that the viewer never questions the little guy's personality. Secondly, the artists who wrote and directed the film utilized the robot's reaction to nostalgic aspects of culture to coax Wall-E to life (remember the spork confusion?). My favorite part of this was the use of a musical as a representation of the expression of humanity's inner most desires. Musicals, as campy as they can be, are, after all, all about our basic and most universal wants and emotion: acceptance, love, unity, mourning, hope, fear, longing, excitement. This uniqueness of character, coupled with the visual appeal of the film through color usage, and animation style as a means of thematic contrast, make it a truly unique viewing experience. Even better, the movie touched on some pretty heavy themes without being preachy. I particularly enjoyed the animation during the credits; not only did it visually represent the theme of the movie, but the art was done in the styles of various world famous artists: Van Gogh, Renoir, etc.. This movie was so complex and communicative that I need to see it again. I adore it.

Now for The Dark Night
The best part about this movie was the fact that it was good in it's own right. It wasn't just another Batman movie. It was a true piece of cinematic art. It had everything, astounding cinematography, stellar performances from a strong "all-star" cast (Michael Caine anyone?), a moving score and a script that possessed depth not seen by any other "comic book" movie. This movie lived up to and surpassed all of it's hype. For example, let's take a look a Heath Ledger's character of the Joker. Everyone went on and on about how good it was and that he deserved the Oscar and blah blah blah. I wasn't buying any of it. I simply believed (with all do respect) that he did a relatively good job and everyone was blowing it out of proportion because he'd died. But, let me tell you, I really was impressed by his portrayal of Batman's arch nemesis. More than just character detail (like the Joker's tick), or the believability of his interpretation, I was struck by how he sucked you in. You watched the Joker move, or speak, and you were glued to him, you couldn't look away. His character was so egocentric and self-righteous that it literally stole your attention. I am definitely going to see this movie again. There is so much more I loved about it, but I want to see it a second time (NOT at one in the morning) before I go on.

Now, I have to go to bed. I have heart-burn and it's about time I sleep it off. I can't imagine what life is going to be like physically when I'm old. I mean I can already feel my body aging, and it's already making me crotchety. I just know I'm gonna be that cranky old lady refers to children as hoodlums and hits people with her cane. But this post is about movies...so, all in all this has been one heck of a "movie summer" and I cannot wait for what's next.

Oh yeah, and Susan comes home today. Hooray!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Real 4th of July Post

So the 4th of July? Yeah? How about them fireworks? I know right, awesome! And the BBQ? The best of the year? Totally! Haha!
Obviously, Friday was Independence Day. For me, the day was filled with sleeping in, BBQs and fireworks (all of the American holiday musts). I spent the first half the day with Holli and her family. We had some good ol', down home, real, American fun. How? Fighting! Haha! To be more specific, we had a water fight...sort of. The intention was to fill up hundreds of balloons and go at it. Amy, Holli's sister, even came up with idea of a super soaker-esque gun made of PVC pipe. However a few things got in our way, namely the hands of babes. Their mouths might hold the truth but their little paws sure are sneaky. We'd get about 50 filled with water and then they'd come in and start throwing them at each other. It was quite frustrating to watch them repeatedly miss and throw them in the dirt. We tried to stop them, but Holli just gave right in. She's a push over when it comes to Carly and Evey. It was fun to watch them, but it would have been more fun to bean Holli with a nice water filled balloon. But yeah, as least when I was there, there were only a few skirmishes to be had and no all out fight like planned, but hey, it was still loads of fun. Oddly enough, despite the lack of war, I still managed to be soaked. Let's just saying filling balloons is wet work. In addition to our environmentally hazardous games, we also chilled out on their porch and had some yummy food. It was quite the smörgåsbord (you like that? it's got the accents and everything. I know, I'm good...) of classic favorites: hot dogs and burgers, potatoes and macaroni salad, a yummy, mayo-free pasta salad, corn on the cob, chips, guac n' salsa, and so much more.
After that rousing, American Dream filled afternoon, I headed over the the Peterson's for fireworks. Every year, their family to Brengle Terrace Park, in Vista, to spend the afternoon and enjoy fireworks in the evening. This is only like my 4th 4th (teehee) with them, but their family has been going for 20-some-odd years. Sadly though, almost everyone bailed this year. Normally theres like 20 people there by the time the fireworks begin, but this year there was just six of us for the evening with Jan's parents showing up just in time for fireworks. Boo people trying to change tradition! That's all I have to say. Well, with or without out without them, it was still a good time. Christene and I played with our cameras (she has an Elph like me only I have the 1100 and she has the 850), I kicked some trash at Phase 10, we all listened to some good music (excluding the last band) and were privy to a kick-a fireworks display. Everyone was disappointed that Dr. Feel Good and the Interns of Love were not back this year, but they had extra patriotic fireworks to make up for it. All in all, I'd say it was a pretty awesome fourth.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Spontinaity At Its Best

I tend to do a lot of things without thinking them through (don't worry; I do realize I'm stating the obvious), the product of was which was last Saturday. So, on the 29th, at approximately 9:25 pm, Camille Anderson, a bestie of mine, phones me and tells me to come to Las Vegas with her parents. They are driving out that night to hang out Sunday and I have cordially been invited. I, of course, immediately say yes. I had no reason not to. I have no calling (I would be ditching church). I wouldn't be driving and I wouldn't have to pay to stay anywhere (Camille and Brit's older sister lives in Vegas). Why-the-heck not go to Las Vegas? Needless to say, I went, and, let me tell you, that was one of the best split second decisions I've ever made! It was a long drive there. We didn't get in until about 2:30 am, but there was nothing better than walking in the door and seeing Brit and Camille there, just as excited to see me as I was to see them. It's been a long summer and not having my besties there has made it just that much longer, so oh man was it good to see them!
I only had one day there which resulted in us not doing too much, but that was okay by me. In the morning, we took their niece, Madilyn, swimming in their community's pool. She was the funniest baby! She has a personality bigger than mine packed into that little body of hers (good luck with that when she's older...)! She just loves the water, so the pool was very fun. We then enjoyed some good old In N' Out (I truly pity all of you who haven't enjoyed an animal style double double) and got ready for our "night on the town." For us, that pretty much equated to an after noon wandering around the Mandalay Bay resort and dinner at a very yummy BBQ restaurant that Alton Brown (of food network fame) rated the best in the nation (I'm a HUGE fan of his--he's just so clever). We were back on the rode by 7 pm and I was home by 11. It was a beautiful ride home; we were traveling at sunset, after all. I love those last, dusky hours of the day when all the world around you bathed in a fine, rosy light. It's like the landscape is glowing. It was so nice to just gaze out the window and watch the already auburn Nevada landscape slowly slip into the night. Sometimes I wish I could hide away, the only person around for miles, and just watch the world go by. How magnificent would it be to so intently witness the perfect world our Heavenly Father created grow and change? Oh, if only!
I must say, it was a short trip, but it was SO good to see Brit and Camille. I got so much out of our snipit of time together. They really need to kick it into high gear and get their little tushies out here to CA (the motherland). There is just so much I still have to do this summer, and I have no one to share it with. Boo no one being here!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Happiest Post on Earth

"To all who come to this happy place - welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."-- Walt Disney, July 17, 1955

"Here you leave today and enter a world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy."

Opened in 1955, the park was conceived out of the desire Walt Disney had to spend quality time with his two daughters when they were young. On Saturdays (Dad's day with the girls), he would often take them to Griffith Park (an old stomping ground of my family when I was young), and sit on benches while they rode ponies and took train rides. Walt wanted more than just a park bench and a pony rink; he wanted a place he could experience with his family. As his resources and ability grew so did his imagination, and, as the early 1950's rolled around, Walt remembered those days with his children in the park. With that memory, just as seen in his films, Walt wanted to create an experience, a piece of art that allows you to step into another world, and Disneyland is just that. Every detail of the park from the trash cans to the architecture reflects a grander picture, a living movie almost. When I'm at Disneyland I'm reminded that I, like Walt, can accomplish anything I set my heart on. He came from even humbler beginnings than myself and yet, look at what he's given the world. If he could open his mind and let determination create what it conceived that I can accomplish all the things I have my heart set on. I can make my dreams come true too. Disneyland is so dear to me. The park truly is a representation of the the ambition, imagination and desire in all of us and I love every inch of the place.

Now, to step off my soap box: Thursday June 19 I returned to Disneyland. I haven't been since late August of '07 so this trip was well over due. It's like the park recharges my emotional batteries. Though, let me tell you, the heat, coupled with the stress of ridiculous drivers (some stupid Hoser from Canada, and a particularly dense man from Arizona), drained me of all my physical energy. It was 100% worth it though. Greta and I went down early (we left the happy village of Fallbrook at 6:30 am) and enjoyed the park before the heat and crowds set in, including a fabulous performance by the Dapper Dans. They did make sweet music.... My favorite part of their performance was "Lida Rose." Right as they began singing my sister, whom I had been playing phone tag with all morning, called. The song brought back a flood of memories; it made me miss my dear little "sister Susie" so much. Timing like that only happens with Walt's Help. There the Dapper Dans are with Greta. Look how glamorous she is!!

Particularly special about this trip, was my chance to share it with Alicia. Look how happy we are (it's all that Disney magic)! How absolutely wonderful it was to share the day with someone who loves Walt and his empire of magical dreaminess as much as I do.
After meeting up with Marie and Christene, the five of us enjoyed Dole whips in the Tiki Room (we were a little Hawaii sick), were spooked in the Haunted Mansion, rocked out on Space Mountain, tripped out on our psychedelic ride to Pooh's Corner, and even managed to discuss some high class literature; we did all that and much, much more.
My favorite part of my short (but sweet) time there, though, had to be the fireworks. The nostalgia of the music, the magic of the lights, the sounds and sights that trigger 1000 childhood memories, the fireworks always tug (more like yank violently) on my heartstrings, and, of course, I shed some tears of sheer joy (that just goes without saying). Luckily I talked (more like forced) everyone into watching them from my favorite spot in the whole park: the "Partners" statue (pictured at the top). It's silly, but I feel like, there, I'm experiencing the magic with Walt and Mickey as well as with my friends... That feeling is, to me, part of what makes Disneyland so special. Walt walked there. He worked there, played there and even, on occasion, slept there. It was his dream and his touch is still seen, heard, and felt all over the park to this day. I'm sure Disney World and the various other parks found throughout the globe are fun, but they don't have that element of Walt that only Disneyland possesses. Oh, Walt! I cannot wait to meet you in heaven.
...Needless to say, I had the absolute best time at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sorry Guys

It's my laptops fault. I had like an entire post written and then my computer shut off by itself.
I tried. Really, I did.
There will be a post soon (if my computer stops plotting against me), I promise.
In fact, there will be two.
1 regarding my delightful trip to Disneyland (Thanks Alicia!)
and 1 regarding my spur of the moment Sunday in Las Vegas (were "Sunday" and "Las Vegas" really used in coherent conjunction? yes.).
I'm so spontaneous...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

ATTENTION EVERYONE!

I need to make a correction to a specific bit of grammar used in my last message. In describing the little bat that I saved, I used this phrase: (don't worry, I do know their nocturnal). Upon reading that this afternoon, I was appalled and ashamed to realize that I used the word their incorrectly. The proper word usage would have been "they're." Please don't judge me...

Ben, I am holding you responsible see as you did not correct me sooner.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Back by somewhat popular demand...

To be perfectly honest, when I posted my first (and only) entry I knew I was addicted. I'm just such an attention whore (excuse my french) that I knew it would be hard for me to control the urge to update. And so, then and there, after clicking the "PUBLISH POST" button, I made a promise to myself. I promised that I wouldn't update unless I had something noteworthy to say. Luckily, I have had some fun experiences in the last week that I'd like to share and so I feel I am justified in this post.
First, I spent last weekend with my family and spoke in sacrament meeting. While not exactly noteworthy, I would like to mention how much I love our babies. My cousin Jeanna's boys, Isaac and Dominic, are such an incredible joy. Having those little feet running through our home definitely helps me to keep my sense of direction and perspective in life.
Saturday and Sunday (I know. I'm a heathen!) we took them to the pool. They just love being in the water. It's only June and we've already showered them with a number of fun pool toys. Isaac, the browner of the two little mexi-babies to your left (driving our Escalade), would spend all day swimming by himself in his little innertube if you let him. Well not exactly swimming, you see he hasn't quite gotten the technique of it down yet, so he pretty much just splashes in circles, but who am I to say otherwise? Besides, telling him he's not an olympic swimmer would be throwing cold water in that dear little boy's face (you like what I did just then?) and I am not the crusher of dreams, no sir. Dominic could care less about whether or not he's actually swimming. In fact, he prefers it when you hold him and just let him kick, but his favorite thing is to chase around the big beach ball we bought for them. He laughs so hard is makes me want to cry. There is not a sound more beautiful in the world than the laughter of that child.
However, my favorite part about taking them swimming has to be the end. When they are all done, we wrap their little naked booties up in towels and pile them back in the car. They are so tired and and happy; all they want to do is curl up into you and be loved. That photo to the right is perfect evidence. There's Dommy, happy as a little clam (I'm good, I know), damp and smiley in my arms. What a satisfying feeling to be able to give someone, especially those sweet little spirits, that feeling of care and contentment. I'm telling you, her children keep my biological clock from going haywire (I really do love being a woman). And, you know, it doesn't hurt that they are such yummy babies. Look at that grin! I just want to munch on those cheeks. I want to nibble on their "baby sugars," as we call them. Yumm-o! Holy moly--look how I've rambled. This isn't even the so-called exciting part of my life.
On to the action: I house sat this week. I know, that was kind of a let down but let me continue. I house sit often for a woman in our ward named Sherri, and she has a good sized piece of property in Fallbrook. It's out just before you hit the the Santa Margarita River (which is more like a piddley creek to tell you the truth). This means she has all manner of criters on her land. Counting only domesticated animals she has a horse (whose stall I have the privelage of cleaning), a dog and four cats. Well, one quiet Wednesday evening, as I was preparing myself for sleep, I noticed one of her miserable cats slink in with something in it's mouth. After I make it drop it I am finally able to discern what he caught, and to my suprise, he manage to obtain a little, tiny bat (pictured below). To give you an idea of that little thing's size, that is my hand underneath the towel. My fingers are pointing right and my thumb is pointed towards the blue mass in the background. He was just such a little thing! So I get this cat, whose name is Devil Kitty (big suprise), to drop the bat and I immediately inspect it for puncture wounds. Lo and behold there were none. After that scary process, I used my tweezers (which were disinfected afterwords--I'm not nasty) to genetly move its limbs and check if it is paralyzed. As far as I could tell this little bat was okay, however, it wasn't trying to get away. This worried me. If that little bat was not in good enough shape to fend for its life when faced with big, bad me, then how would it survive if I sat it outside? Being the sensitive soul that I am, I made a little bed for the furry, brown ball and tucked it in safely for a good night's rest (don't worry, I do know they're nocturnal). When I checked on him in the morning, he had moved around his modest tupperware home and began to click at me in a very rude and angry tone. He seemed to be in a much healthier position and so I took him outside. I tried to feed him and he wouldn't eat, but when his baby bat mouth came into contact with water he just gulped it up. The water did the trick for some reason, and after he had his fill he crawled to the edge of my hand and flew away. If was oddly satisfying watching him take off into the wild blue yonder. It sounds silly, especially considering the fact that I had actually interrupted the circle of life (sorry, Sir Elton John!), but it made me happy to know that I enabled his escape from the very literal jaws of death. That, as miniscule as it is, was my noteworthy experience this week: I saved a life!

Before I end this madness I would like to share the most wonderful quotation (Yes, quotation. The word quote is a verb, calling a quotation such would be improper English, and we don't want that! Just ask Ben...) with you, my darling readers (all 2 of you). I found it as I prepared my talk. I was asked to speak on finding happiness in the gospel, and so I followed the promptings and spoke on the Plan of Salvation or, as it is otherwise known, the Plan of Happiness. I broke the plan down, specifically addressing why we were here and how living with those purposes in mind can help us find true happiness. I ended my talk (and now this entry) with this quotation: President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve said
“There are three parts to the plan. You are in the second or the middle part, the one in which you will be tested by temptation, by trials, perhaps by tragedy. …
“Remember this! The line ‘And they all lived happily ever after’ is never written into the second act [of a play]. That line belongs in the third act, when the mysteries are solved and everything is put right. …
“Until you have a broad perspective of the eternal nature of [the plan], you won’t make much sense out of the inequities in life. Some are born with so little and others with so much. Some are born in poverty, with handicaps, with pain, with suffering. Some experience premature death, even innocent children. There are the brutal, unforgiving forces of nature and the brutality of man to man. We have seen a lot of that recently. “Do not suppose that God willfully causes that which, for His own purposes, he permits. When you know the plan and the purpose of it all, even these things will manifest a loving Father in Heaven."
All I have to say is Amen!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Testing the waters

I was perusing the blogs of friends and loved ones today and decided that this is something that I really need. I live an exciting life. I'm an interesting person. Why shouldn't I post my thoughts and considerations where everyone else can read them? The world is just waiting to give me attention, so why not accept it?
And here it is: my blog.
Just so you're aware, I've spent hours creating this. I had to carefully edit my layout, preview multiple color schemes (or colour schemes for you British readers), and settle on a photo, title and description that was elegant but not too pretentious before finally deciding I could allow people I actually respect to view it. I started on a whim and had no idea how intense this was going to be.

Hopefully I can update enough to satisfy the demands of the millions of people world wide who will soon be hanging on my every entry.
We'll see.