Wednesday, October 21, 2009

That's not quite right

Yesterday, I went to visit a friend of mine. I had never been to his apartment before, and when I walked in I saw this poster on the wall:

"Your apartment comes complete with Marilyn Manson, I see," I said as I walked in.

He looked at me a little funny and said "Yeah."

That night, I tried to go to bed early because I've been a little sick recently, and I'm trying to get better. After lying there for about 30 minutes, I suddenly realized why he had looked at me funny: Marilyn Manson is a very different person than Marilyn Monroe. I don't know if it is more funny that I made the mistake or that I realized it spontaneously 4 hours later. It wasn't like it was on my mind or anything.

In any case, it was nice of my friend to not say anything about it to avoid an embarrassing circumstance for me. It doesn't even occur to me most of the time not to correct someone when I know they are wrong. In fact, in a lot of circumstances I feel like I'm doing them a favor. (Like the other day, someone told me that the only baptismal fonts on campus were in the JSB and the JKB, and I was pretty sure that there was only one in the JSB. So I called the BYU operators and they confirmed my suspicion and told me that if I wanted to schedule it, I could do it through Campus Scheduling, but not until Monday because they aren't open on Saturdays and Sundays.)

Maybe I should be more willing to let people be wrong for the purpose of more harmony. I need to think about this some more.

Friday, September 11, 2009

People watching

I know lots of people who like to sit in the CougarEat or Brigham Square and just watch people go by. Me too. In fact, I occasionally take it even further and I follow people around to see what they are doing and talking about. This is more tricky because they can't know you are following them. If they are hard to understand, I will sometimes walk in front of them and try to guess where they are going. This tactic usually doesn't work as well.

This being said, I do have a little respect for privacy, and if they are talking about something really personal, I don't listen in. However, I have taken detours for discussions of health-care, anti-matter, and literature. People are really interesting.

Speaking of interesting people, a friend showed me this link today. The first one is about a Mormon missionary. I've listened to 2 of them now and they were both amazing.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Word Play

I'm a fan. I suppose I can't claim to have never groaned at a forced pun, but I really do appreciate that sort of thing most of the time.

Tonight, I was talking to my roommates about massages and one of them told us about a lady that once gave him a great one.

"She's a really good. . . massager. . . massoose. . ." he said.

"Misogynist," I said. No one laughed. They either didn't get it or didn't think it was funny. Either way, it made me sad.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Two things I've learned this summer

To keep my mouth shut more:
At the beginning of the summer, I was working away at my desk listening to my iPod when my cubicle neighbor came over, tapped me on the shoulder, and said, "Your humming is very nice, but I'm having a hard time focusing over here." What made it even worse is that I knew she was there and was making a conscience effort not to hum or sing or tap my desk in time to the music. And I did it anyways. I've been trying really hard since then, and I think that I'm better at not bothering people anymore. Or perhaps they've all decided to work in other places since it seems that my area of the cubicle farm is relatively vacant recently.

To open my mouth more:
One thing that I love about Boston is that more than 10% of the people I know aren't Mormon, so I get to be a sort of liason for the Church. I've had all sorts of great experiences talking to people about it, and I love it. My favorite story from this summer so far is helping a Norweigan stranger break into someone's house and then inviting him to church.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Alarm Days

I've realized that I really enjoy waking up to an alarm. Here is what happens in an alarm and a non-alarm scenario:

Non-alarm: I wake up briefly as the light starts pouring in the windows. I don't need to get up, so I pull my blanket over my head and try to fall back asleep. I wake up again when I start to hear other people bustling around the house. I don't need to get up, so I put my pillow over my head and try to fall back asleep. I wake up again because I've been lying in bed a long time. I don't need to get up, so I just lie there awake. I get bored so I eventually get out of bed and climb into the shower. Eventually, I make it work an hour and a half or two hours later and sluggishly work on the projects that I've been assigned. After 8 hours at work, I've done about 6 hours of work. I leave that evening, telling myself that I will work an extra hour the next day to fill the 7 hours of work that I'm supposed to be doing each day. (Lest anyone worry, I do work the extra hour the next day.)

Alarm: I wake up to the gentle buzzing of my cell phone on vibrate mode. If I'm concerned that I'm tired and won't wake up to the buzzing of my phone, I put my phone on my desk, and I wake up to the buzzing of my phone on my desk (which is louder). Since it is time to get up, I hop out of bed, hop in the shower, eat a quick breakfast and I'm at my office in under an hour. Maintaining the pace of the day, I make all sorts of beautiful figures and amazing discoveries at work and can leave at 3 pm since I got to work so early and have been so effective all day long. If the previous day was a non-alarm day, I happily work till 4 pm because time flies when you are effective. Life is great.

Sometimes non-alarm days are a little more effective than this, and alarm days are a little less effective than this, but this is the general idea.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Charles River

This picture shows how good of a photographer I am. Look at my beautiful fingers on the left. The big problem was that this photo was taken from the inside of the Boston Metro (the T), and I was trying to cover the flash so the camera could actually see through the window.

Another sign of how good of a photographer I am is that I really wanted this picture to focus on the sailboats in the river, and I'm not sure you can even tell that is what they are. Oh well.

One really fun thing about Boston is that they love their river, the Charles. Even in this dreary weather that we've been having lately, there are always people out rowing or sailing or doing whatever else you might do in a river. They have a really nice trail that runs along both sides of the river too, so bikers and joggers can enjoy it. I don't blame them for how much they like it. It really is very calm and majestic.

I think that most people think of rivers as inconveniences these days since they get in the way of where we want to go, and we don't get the commercial use out of them that we used to. I have to admit, a couple weeks ago I was trying to take advantage of the beautiful trails along the river and took the one bridge that doesn't connect the trails on both sides. Instead it brought me into the middle of Boston University (which is a nice place, but not where I wanted to be right then). What I wanted to be a brief 3 mile jog turned into a 6.5 mile one as I ran around the Boston area lost, trying to find my way back across the river. This, though, was not the fault of the river, but of the person who thought that since I wanted to cross the river, I also wanted to cross the freeway and the railroad.

In any case, perhaps I'll get a better river picture one of these days, and post that one, so you can see it a bit better.

Today, I'm leaving to California, so I probably will have to post my daily pictures all at once on Sunday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A picture a day. . .

I was talking to a friend of mine from back home a couple days ago, and she asked me if I had taken lots of pictures, to which I replied, "No, I haven't taken any pictures" because that was the truth. She then got mad at me and gave me a great idea:

I am going to take one picture a day for the rest of my time in Boston.

At least I'm going to try. I already missed Monday, but I have today's picture already. I've decided to put these pictures on my blog unless they are really boring, and then I can tell you why I like (or dislike) the thing in the picture. Most of them will be "like" things since I haven't really found anything that I dislike so far.

So without further ado, here is picture 1:

This is were I took my GRE today. I thought that it was a really cool building and it reminded me of the houses that I saw in Normandy on my mission. Although this building is really cool on the outside, don't be fooled; the inside hallways look a little like a hospital and smell a little bit like vomit. (I guess that makes this my first "dislike" thing.)

On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised by the actual testing center. I was expecting a run-down office with grumpy employees and it turns out that it is a beautiful office with pleasant employees. I'd give them an A+.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Words and Friends

As I've been preparing the GRE (which I take tomorrow, by the way), I've realized that I don't really have that large of a vocabulary. I always knew that my vocabulary was lacking to some extent, but I'm beginning to realize how limited it actually is.

This was particularly surprising to me because I really like words and grammar and other things like that. One of my favorite books in the whole world is "Eats, Shoots and Leaves." I have a special place in my heart for etymology. When I learn a new word, I feel like I've met a new friend. It just turns out that I promptly forget that friend once they are out of sight. I think that my subconscious mind does this on purpose because that way I can squeeze every last bit of joy over meeting a certain word several times.

Honestly, I think that I do this with people too. It seems I re-meet the same people several times in life. The difference is that people sometimes get offended if you forget who they are. Yesterday, I saw a girl at church that I knew from Provo while I was passing the sacrament and she smiled and waved and I smiled back. After the meeting I considered looking for her, but I decided against it in the end since I couldn't remember how I knew her or what her name was. Had she found me, I would've tried to figure it out without having to ask her, but I didn't really want to purposefully bring that on myself. (As a side-note: As I'm typing this, I suddenly remember who she is.)

In any case, I'd like to announce to my mind that given that there are over one million words in the English language and 6,788,282,557 people in the world, if I can even remember the words and people that I already know, there will still be lots more to meet in the future.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It is time

I measure how far I am behind on posting on my blog by how far down I am on Crolace's blogroll. When I noticed today that I was only just above Annie, I realized that I really need to get crackin'.

Unfortunately, I am at work and don't have time to post anything substantial. Maybe later tonight. . .

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pour on water, pour on water

Yesterday my church burned down. When I left, the brick exterior was still standing and the fire department was doing all they could to keep the flames off the steeple so that it wouldn't fall, but the roof had pretty much entirely collapsed, the heat from the flames had blown all the windows out, the the building looked pretty much gutted.

It started when we were sitting listening to broadcast for a multi-stake conference, and the fire alarm went off. I thought that it was a little irritating that the fire alarm would malfunction during the middle of a conference, but after a second I started to smell a hint of smoke in the air. The presiding authority then stood up and instructed everyone to exit the building quietly.

As I looked back after exiting the building, I saw smoke pouring from the roof and a little bit of smoldering in the eaves of the building over the chapel. When the fire department arrived, I think that they first were trying to stop the fire locally by going into the building with fire extinguishers and by cutting holes in the roof. Within a few minutes though, there were huge flames all over the roof and they realized that it was more important just to keep the flames from spreading to some of the houses that were only feet from the burning chruch.

It was really impressive to watch. The fire got so hot that you could feel it from across the street. At one point, the heat also blew all the windows out and caused the roof to collapse. You could see the flames devouring the chapel through the smoke-tinted, large, round window over the choir seats. I've only attended church there one and half times, but sitting and watching the building eaten away by flames and being able to do nothing really was an emotional experience.

I'm not sure what we are going to do for the rest of the summer now, but there are several church buildings in the Boston area. I heard as well that the Episcopal Church across the street has offered their facilities while we are getting something more permanent. It's funny how tragedies tend to bring communities together.

What a weekend.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Summer reading

So I forget how much I enjoy reading while I'm not doing it. In fact, if you had asked me a few weeks ago if I liked to read, I probably would have told you no. This did not stop me during the last week of classes last semester to read through 1600 pages of Fabelhaven when I should have been writing papers and preparing for finals. (They are really good, by they way. I give them a hearty recommendation.)

Now that summer is here, and I haven't made dozens of friends yet. I find reading one of my leisure activities of choice. So far I've read "The Last Lecture" and "Outliers." I think that they both got a lot more hype than they deserved, but each his'er own.

Today I went to the bookstore to get a copy of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" for my summer book club. It was going to be a quick run: rush in, grab it, and rush out. (And pay for it somewhere in there too I suppose.) The problem is that I'm a bookstore junky, and The Coop in Cambridge is one of the more beautiful bookstores that I've seen. So I took some time to wander through the shelves.

In short, I discovered that the next "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" book came out a few weeks ago. I was really excited, so I left with 2 books instead of one. Oh well. I'm really excited for it though. (That whole series also gets a hearty recommendation.)

I'm game for other people's recommendations too. I sort of think that I want to read Julia Child's autobiography, but that is the only one that comes immediately to mind as I sit here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Summer fashions

So it has been a while since I've posted anything. I apologize to all of you that check my blog every day hoping to find my pearls of wisdom. I just took my last final today though, and I should have some time to think again. Hooray!

So the warm weather today has reminded me that I don't really have much great summer clothes. I thought about going shopping today and was intimidated by prospect since I have no sense of style. Any hints anyone? I pretty much need a whole wardrobe including footwear.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Remember How I'm Your Friend

I'm often really surprised how mean return missionaries can be to people who try to persuade them of something. You'd think after 2 years of dealing with unkind people, they would learn from experience how to kindly, but firmly, let someone know you are not interested.

I'm helping out a friend of mine with her run for BYUSA president, and it was my job tonight to cover my ward and make sure they all vote for her. A lot of people were really nice and great; several were not. The most surprising thing to me were the people who are my friends and who were really mean.

I had many people tell me that they didn't really support anything that BYUSA does, and therefore didn't plan on voting, and that's OK. It is not OK to be unkind though. I think that these people don't realize that being mean to people who are pushing for causes that are important to them makes a world a worse place.

In any case, here is my rant at the world.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"The way my brain works"

So I was just reading something where someone made the claim "... but I'm not stupid. That's just the way my brain works."

I'm not going to make any claim on whether or not this person is stupid because I've never met them before, but isn't being stupid all about how your brain works? Or doesn't work, in this case?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

State of the Union

When I was little, I used to think that the State of the Union Address was similar to Student of the Month. It was always disappointing that my state never won. I was also always disappointed that I never won either.