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!