Monday, September 29, 2008


I am moved. This weekend I, along with the help of some very wonderful people, moved nearly every one of my possessions to my new apartment. Special props goes to my dad who single-handedly moved my book boxes for me. There are 12. And I live on the third floor.
I have an apartment with my friend Christa. After many months of searching in Chapel Hill and Durham, we finally found one that is a great fit. I now officially live in Durham. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I may look into getting my permit to start packing.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

drive me crazy

Many of you may be aware of the Raleigh radio station 100.7. It's a "classic rock" station and the only one in the Triangle area. We used to have 106.1 as classic rock, instead of the present country designation, which was MUCH better and clearly more true to the "classic rock" genre. But that's not the point why I bring it up. The radio station has these cutesy little pre-recorded intros to songs every now and then. I heard one the other day that said: "If you remember paying less than $1 for gas, you'll love this station." This statement makes very little sense to me. Clearly this station did not do research before making this recording. When I started driving, a mere 10 years ago, I was paying less than a dollar for gas. I'm not sure if you will find anyone that would define "classic rock" as the late-90s pop persuasion with such timeless trailblazers as Britney Spears and Ricky Martin. They in fact play a lot of music from the 70s, which I would consider more likely classic rock. But wasn't there an oil crisis in 70s? So the proper tag-line for this station should be: "If you remember being restricted to buy gas on days that corresponded with your license plate ending in an even or odd number, you'll love this station."

My second segment on driving-related angst is on the lovely phenomenon of the on-looker delay. Over the past month I have been driving 45 minutes to and from work every day. This is not a fun drive. The majority of the commute is on I-40, the main stretch of highway between Raleigh and Chapel Hill. Anyone who has driven with me on a regular basis knows that I am not one for road rage. It's a completely wasted emotion. Anyway. Ever since I've had this regular commute, I've been victim of many more idiocy-induced traffic issues which are testing my normally calm driving attitude. One of those being the onlooker delay. I know that I cannot change the way people drive while I'm on the road. I recognize that I do not have that much power. Though I do feel that I can change the world one blog-post at a time. So I am saying this to my 3 readers out there: STOPPING TAPPING YOUR BREAKS ON THE HIGHWAY! IT IS POSSIBLE TO LOOK AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WITHOUT SLOWING TO THE SPEED OF SPIT. BETTER YET - DON'T LOOK!

The other part of onlookers delays that I don't understand is this: Last summer I drove cross country with a friend of mine. We had some car trouble. We needed a jump. We were on a major highway near some decent civilization. It was broad day light. We stood on the side of the road attempting to wave cars down. Cars kept driving. I had a sign that said "HELP". 30 minutes pass. Cars kept driving. I flipped my sign over and wrote "I'm not wearing any underwear." (Ok not really, but in hindsight that probably wouldn't have been a bad idea). Cars were nice enough to move into the far lane of the highway. But still, did not stop. An hour went by before someone stopped. People are all ready and willing to gawk at you when you are on the side of the road but much more hesitant to actually do something about what caused you to BE on the side of the road in the first place. Maybe it's because we were in the mid-west and people aren't as loving as they are here in the south.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Choose your blue

With the pending State/ECU football game this weekend, I'm reminded of a conversation I had once with a friend of mine. He made the observation that there seems to be an unusually high amount of Pirates fans in the Raleigh area. After that I found myself noticing the little Pirates on people's vehicles more often and it does seem that, for a school that is not actually IN Raleigh, there is a pretty decent amount of ECU fans here. Some may claim that ECU fans are an entirely different breed anyway but that's beside the point.

My question is, are there "rules" to dictate your sports loyalties? I dated a guy once that would constantly get into an argument with me about being a UNC fan (which in itself isn't that odd since I do live in NC and collegiate loyalties run very deep and very serious). He went to NC State and ligitimately thought that I was not a true UNC fan because 1- I didn't go there or possess any other real claim to the school and 2- my allegiance should first and foremost lie with State, my hometown college. Clearly he never won this fight since I am still a UNC fan and continue to be neutral towards State. He also felt that it was a tremendous slam against me whenever he brought up the fact that my college (BYU-Idaho) didn't even have an intercollegiate sports program.

This particular past fella of mine had numerous teams that he claimed allegiance, not just the school(s) he attended, but also the universities of his parents (undergrad and graduate), teams from their hometowns, and the teams he'd started following as a kid just for the heck of it.

As one that has been following sports pretty regularly the majority of my life, I recognize the importance of choosing YOUR team. I have heard various opinions and arguments on this topic, not just from this guy. I have also seen criticisms when one who claims to be a "true" fan of a team meets someone that shares a love for that same team but, according to them, for the wrong reasons. (Ican understand this somewhat since I claim to be able to call out those that aren't "true" DMB or Harry Potter fans).

With the varying opinions on criteria for "true" team allegiance in
mind, these are some of the teams that I should be "allowed" to be a fan of:
  1. Temple (my dad went there - though only briefly)
  2. All Philly teams (my mama's hometown)
  3. Various Arizona teams (I was born there)
  4. Carolina Panthers (obviously)
  5. Carolina Hurricanes (we have a hockey team?)
  6. NC State Wolfpack (as before mentioned)
  7. BYU Cougars (because I'm Mormon and that's what we do)
  8. BYU-Idaho (my alma mater)
  9. Meredith College (my other alma mater, kind of... *bonus points for anyone that can name their mascot*)
  10. Bruce Springstein (I know this isn't a team but there really isn't anything else of note to come out of New Jersey, except maybe Bon Jovi)

From this list, I only really claim to care about a few of them. So what do you think? I know there really isn't a set rule for determining what teams you should be allowed to follow, but as a fan of many sports, I have often encountered this topic. Also, since I am a woman and when it comes to sports I am already by default swimming against the current of knowledge, I am aware that I am more subject to sports-related criticism. I would hate to add to that genetic handicap by misstepping and choosing the "wrong" team...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Completely Pointless Post of the Week

$350 to be a nemesis? TOTALLY worth it.

Best of Craigslist

Nemesis required. 6-month project with possibilty to extend
Date: 2008-05-07, 2:49PM PDT

I've been trying to think of ways to spice up my life. I'm 35 years old, happily married with two kids and I have a good job in insurance. But somethings missing. I feel like I'm old before my time. I need to inject some excitement into my daily routine through my arm before its too late. I need a challenge, something to get the adrenaline pumping again. An addiction would be nice, but, in short, I need a nemesis. I'm willing to pay $350 up front for you services as an arch enemy over the next six months. Nothing crazy. Steal my parking space, knock my coffee over, trip me when Im running to catch the BART and occasionaly whisper in my ear, "Ahha, we meet again". That kind of thing. Just keep me on my toes. Complacency will be the death of me. You need to have an evil streak and be blessed with innate guile and cunning. You should also be adept at inconsicuous pursuit. Evil laugh preferred. Send me a photo and a brief explanation why you would be a good nemesis.

British accent preferred.

Compensation: $350 up front

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I *heart* Tina Fey

For those of you that missed it...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In your personal opinion...

I am beginning to notice a trend in my blog entries. That trend being the number of comments that I receive per entry. They are going down. While this may come as a great shock to some of you (myself included) while others (who probably aren't seeing this post anyway because you are clearly on a temporary hiatus from reading my spectacular blog-ness) didn't really notice one way or the other.

So my
question to you is this... what changes do I need to make in my posts/entries to stimulate more feedback? I read a good number of other blogs. I see what kinds of comments people make and on what kinds of blogs and blogging entries. So I have narrowed down the options for my changes. Please select from the following choices or make up one of your own:

a) S
tatus updates on my life and events
b) More details on my thoughts, feelings, and other such personal angst
c) Personal interpretations of current events/politics
d) Church/gospel-related topics
e) Book reviews
d) Group-participatory surveys/questions

I recently
gave my mother a hard time for not reading my blog. I exclaimed with (some) joking tones that if I was posting pictures of my children/her grandchildren she would be more likely to read it. She agreed. So clearly that is one sure fire way to get more readers - have babies. I'll get right on that.
Aside from having children, I am currently looking for other ways to give my blog a bit of a kick in the pants. Give feedback if you choose but let's be honest, I'm probably still going to post on whatever the heck I want. I'm just bored of looking at the same post on my blog for the past week.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Casting Stones

I recently read the book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. My mother read it while we were at the beach last week. At one point while on the beach she turned to me in disgust and said "They BOUND the girls feet to make them 7 mm long?!?" This particular book takes place during 19th century China and follows one woman's life story. For those of you that weren't in Professor Walz East Asian History class or particularly versed in Chinese culture, for about one thousand years it was common practice in China for women to have bound feet. The practice has only recently (early 1900s) been outlawed and you can still find women in China with bound feet.

Why in the world would they bind women's feet? I will attempt to summarize. The origin of why this started is not entirely known. It is speculated that there was a prized concubine once upon a time that, by nature, had incredibly small feet. She grew in fame because of her beauty and favor with the emperor. From this, women, especially those in high class society, began breaking their feet in order to make them appear incredibly small. The goal was to achieve the "golden lotus" - feet about the length of a thumb. The bound feet were seen as attractive and symbolized class and good breeding. Large feet became indicative of lower class due to the need for manual labor. The process began around the age of 6-7 and didn't fully heal for about 5 years. One in ten girls died from the foot-binding process. The girls knew their responsibilities as women and accepted that the bound feet determined theirstatus for the rest of their lives. Yes, bound feet even determined how well they would marry.

While we (my mom, sister, and I) sat discussing this on the beach, we speculated how a culture could practice something so crazy - and for a thousand years - all for the sake of society, fashion, sensuality, tradition, and duty. When examing alone the reasons for foot-binding, we'd find that such concepts are not foreign to American culture. My sister stated this observation as we sat there, baking ourselves in the sun, (oiling and lotioning! lotioning and oiling!), damaging our skin cells all for solely aesthetic purposes.

Her comment reminded me of an article I read in college that I often go back to whenever an issue of cultural differences arises. It is called "Trying out one's New Sword" by Mary Midgley. If you are interested, I suggest reading the article. If you choose not to read it, the basic idea is as follows: There is a word in the Japanese language that means "to try out one's new sword on a chance wayfarer." The practice was to test a new blade on a human opponent, preferrebly not another Samurai, usually completely at random. This example is used to bring about the question of whether members of one culture can make a moral judgement upon members or practices of another.

I often think of this article. Not only when discussing other cultures but moreso when hearing or reading about my own. I am not without judgment. No human can claim as such. But the root of our judgments upon other cultures lies in the intolerance of those within our own. I don't necessarily mean cultures within cultures but also groups, individuals, opinions, friends, loved-ones. A position we hold, whether it be socially, intellectually, or professionally, should not be used as basis for a superiority complex. It only contributes to a pedistol of intolerance and closes our minds when we otherwise claim to be striving to open them. It's a lesson that I don't mean to imply that I have learned, just one that I think of whenever I read that article.

Moral and cultural
judgments are a tricky thing. Reading that article after reading Snow Flower helps to put into perspective that every culture has a tsujigiri or a foot-binding. If anyone still has questions about whether or not bound feet are a completely crazy practice, read up on the definition of high heel shoes. Or people-watch at the state fair.

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